Nuggets from Deuteronomy 1 and 2

Deuteronomy 1

Deuteronomy 1:1, Words.The Hebrew word is devarim, which is the plural of the generic Hebrew word for word, which is devar/debar,and is the Hebrew name for the last book of the Torah. Devar is related to several other well-known Hebrew words such as midbar/wilderness (Exod 7:16; Num 1:1; 14:33; Deut 1:1,31; 2:7; 8:2,16), b’midbar/in the wilderness (Num 1:1),and deveer/oracle, sanctuary, holy of holies (1 Kgs 6:16; 2 Chr 5:7,9; Ps 28:2). Look up these words in your Bible to see how they are used. How are they related to each other with respect to hearing or being led by the Word of Elohim?

Deuteronomy 1:1, Wilderness…plain…Red Sea…Paran…Tophel and Laban…Hazeroth…Dizahab. Seven names are mentioned here, which are code words for major sins that Israel committed against YHVH while wandering in the wilderness. The younger generation may have been too young to remember what happened at those places, but Moses was giving them a history lesson, so they wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of their forefathers as they were about to enter the Promised Land. (See below for a discussion of the sin that each of these names represents.) If one were to quickly read over these words and fail to realize that they are code words or Hebraisms representing historical events, one would pass over some rich Torah treasure. For Americans, words like 911, Ground Zero, Katrina, Pearl Harbor, Christmas, D-Day, JFK and FDR conjure up all sorts of images and emotions. This was true of the Israelites when they heard the names in verse one.

Deuteronomy 1:2, Eleven days. Horeb (Mount Sinai) was only an 11 days’ journey to the edge of the Promised Land (Kadesh Barnea), yet because of Israel’s bad conduct (disobedience to YHVH’s commands, lack of trust and faith in YHVH’s Word evidenced by complaining, murmuring and even outright rebellion) they were made to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. What is holding you back from going forward in your spiritual walk? What sin, what fear, what wrong beliefs or false religious concepts are you refusing to let go that are hindering you? If you are serious about serving YHVH, it is time to repent and go onward and upward in Yeshua!

Deuteronomy 1:5, Moses began to declare this law (KJV). This is a poor translation of the Hebrew. A better translation would be: “Moses began to explain this law [Torah]…” (NKJV), or “Moses undertook to expound this law [Torah] … “ (NAS), or “Moses began explaining the Torah …” (ASET). To whom was Moses explaining the Torah? (Read verse 39 and cp. with Deut 6:7). Moses was the dutiful parent faithfully teaching Torah to the younger generation about to enter the Promised Land. How are you preparing the young people in your life to enter into the Promised Land of YHVH’s eternal kingdom?

Deuteronomy 1:11, Add to you a thousand times yourselves. If the children of Israel numbered between several million (there were approximately 600,000 men of fighting age numbered among the Israelites), then when was this prophetic promise of YHVH ever fulfilled in Israel’s history? Where are the several billion Israelites (1000 times two to three million) today? (See Gen 26:4; 32:12; Exod 32:13 cp. Hos 7:8; 8:8; Eph 2:11–19.)

Deuteronomy 1:12–13, Choose…men. Choosing leaders to help govern Israel and to maintain the peace was of first priority because the people were prone to strife and complaining. Without a dispute and conflict resolution plan in place, the nation of Israel would have been one of total anarchy, strife and confusion.

Deuteronomy 1:13 and 15, Provide for yourselves distinguished men, who are wise, understanding, and well known … so I took … of your tribes distinguished men, who were wise and well known. Compare the two lists. What character trait is not listed in the second list? Why? The word understanding (biyn, Strong’s H995/TWOT 239) means “discerning, perceptive, discreet, intelligent, observant and prudent.” Why did Moses have such a difficult time finding understanding men to be leaders in Israel? Are people any different today? Only two men out of hundreds of thousands had understanding: Caleb and Joshua.

Deuteronomy 1:26–28, Moving forward in the face of obstacles. Many times in our spiritual walk we are just at the point of spiritual breakthrough, but we receive an evil report about some spiritual giants that is blocking our forward movement and our resolve to advance melts. It seems sometimes that if we could just see what the future holds for us that it would be much easier for us to go forward! Yet Yeshua said, Blessed are those who haven’t seen, yet still believe in YHVH’s promises (John 20:29). Do you have what it takes to go on without being deterred by the world, the flesh and the devil? How can one go forward in faith if one cannot see where one is going? It gets down to personal and intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father, through Yeshua. He directs us through his Spirit. Can you hear his voice with your spirit when he tells you, “This is the way, walk you in it,” (Isa 30:21)?

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Are Non-Jewish Christians Gentiles, Jews or What?

How many times have you heard non-Jewish Christians refer to themselves as “Gentiles”? Or Christian teachers talk about “the Jews” and “the Gentiles”—the latter label referring to non-Jewish believers in Yeshua or Jesus the Messiah? Or even Jewish believers in Yeshua refer to their Christian brothers and sisters as “Gentiles”? Is this a biblically accurate label? If you are a believer in Yeshua and non-Jewish ethnically, are you still a Gentile? This is the question we will answer below. As numerous end time Bereans (i.e. those who are deeply studied in the Bible) are finding out, many mainstream Christian traditions that are popularly taught and believed in reality do not line up with the Scriptures.

The Scriptures Call the Israelites Gentiles

When one actually studies the Bible, rather than just listening to others talk, preach or teach about it, it is amazing how truths emerge that do not line up with many popular belief systems in the mainstream Christian church. For example, many Christians would be surprised to find out that in numerous places, the Scriptures refer to the Jewish people as “Gentiles.” Yes, this is not a typo, but a biblical truth. Why is this? Perhaps it is because our understanding of what a Gentile is does not line up with the Bible.

One example where the Hebrew people are called “Gentiles” is found in Isaiah 1:4 where YHVH calls Israel a sinful nation. The word nation is the Hebrew word goy meaning “gentileor, in a spiritual sense, “worldly or secular.” This is not a complimentary moniker on the part of the God or Elohim of Israel.

This is only one of a number of passages in the Scriptures where Israel itself is referred to as being “gentile.” A quick study of the Hebrew word goy will bear this fact out. This word is translated in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as nation 374 times, as heathen 143 times, as Gentiles 30 times, and people 11 times. Whenever the word gentile is used in the KJV Bible it is the word goy. According to Strong’s Concordance, the meaning of  goy or gowy is “a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (fig.) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.”According to Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon,the word goy means “a people, a confluence of men,” and “contextually in Holy Scripture it is used to refer to the other nations besides Israel, the foes of Israel, and strangers to the true religion of Israel.” 

Amazingly, there are times when this word refers specifically to Israel (e.g. the descendants of Joseph in general: Gen 48:19; to the southern kingdom of Judah or the Jews when it forsook Elohim and its covenant with him and became like the surrounding heathen nations [see Isa 1:4; 9:1], and to all twelve tribes of Israel [see Isa 26:2; 49:7; Ps 33:12; Gen 12:2; 35:11]). 

There are numerous other instances in the Scriptures where the words goy or goyim (the plural of goy) are applied to the descendants of Abraham. In these cases, the Scripture’s use of the term is unbiased and lacks any of the pejorative implications that have been applied to the term subsequently (e.g. Gen 17:4, 5, 6, 16; 18:18; 25:23; 46:3; Exod 19:6; 33:13; Deut 4:6, 7, 8, 34; Ezek 37:22). In these cases, the word goy simply means “a people or ethnic group” regardless of race or ethnicity. The Greek word ethnos as found in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament) is equivalent in meaning to the Hebrew word goyim. Our English word ethnic or ethnicity derives from this Greek word.  

The Apostle Paul on the Subject

So now that we know what the Hebrew word behind the English word Gentile means and how the Bible uses this word, let us answer the question: “Are non-Jewish Christians Gentiles, Jews or what?”

Consider this fact: Paul the apostle says in a number of places that those who are in Christ or the Messiah (i.e. Christians) are “the children” or “seed” (literally “sperm,” which is the meaning of the Greek word behind the English term) of Abraham (Gal 3:29). Elsewhere, he declares that Abraham is the father of Christians—both Jews and non-Jews (Rom 4:16; 9:8–11), and that Christians are the “sons of Abraham” (Gal 3:7). Paul then goes on to say that in the Christian church there is no longer Jew or Greek (i.e. Gentile), but that in Messiah (Christ) all redeemed believers are literally the offspring, children or descendants of Abraham (Gal 34:28–29). Paul makes no qualifications when making this declarative statement. He does not say that the non-Jewish Christians are spiritual descendants of Abraham, or symbolic descendants of Abraham. He does use metaphor or symbolism. He simply makes the statement as a matter of act.

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Numbers 13 and 14—Joshua and Caleb Vs. the Rebels

Numbers 13

Numbers 13:6, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 

Caleb—A Man Full of Love for YHVH and His People

The name Caleb in Hebrew means “dog.”

Although Caleb is listed here as being from the tribe of Judah, he nevertheless was of Canaanite heritage having become part of Judah when the Israelites conquered the land of Caleb’s ancestors. 

Elsewhere, the Torah lists Caleb as the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite (Num 32:12, also Josh 14:6, 14). Who were the Kenizzites (also Kenezite)? They were among the original inhabitants of Canaan (Gen 15:19), that Israel eventually dispossessed when taking the Promised Land. This people originated from Eliphaz, the oldest son of Esau. Thus, Caleb was an Edomite who accepted the Elohim of Israel and became grafted into the tribe of Judah (Josh 15:13). Throughout the Tanakh, Edom (a nickname for Esau) remains a sworn enemy of Israel maintaining a perpetual hatred for YHVH’s people and constantly covetous of their land even into modern times. In fact, the case could be made that the modern day Palestinians, if not descendants of Edom, at least manifest the same hatred for Israel as did the ancient Edomites. It is out of this people that Caleb comes.

The Hebrew name Caleb literally means “dog,” although it can have the favorable connotation of faithful, loving and tenacious like a dog. Some Bible students have noted that the Hebrew name Caleb or Kalev can also mean “all heart” since this name is comprised of two Hebrew word: kol meaning “all” and lev meaning “heart.” Indeed, in his life, Caleb exemplified his name’s meaning in his faithfulness to the Elohim of Israel, in his faith and tenacious zeal to go up and to conquer the Promised Land as YHVH commanded as well as his love for YHVH, YHVH’s people, YHVH’s Torah and the land of Israel.

Evidently Caleb defected from his own tribal peoples and joined the Israelites, while they were wandering in wilderness and before they came up to take the Promised Land. This speaks volumes about Caleb’s character in that he was willing to forsake his pagan heritage and align himself with the Elohim and people of Israel years before they actually dispossessed his people of their ancestral land. Caleb remained aligned with those who took that land and killed his heathen family. 

Indeed, Caleb was a unique individual in that he chose a spiritual path less traveled and one that was unpopular, and he clung ardently to that path despite, at times, vicious opposition. The Torah records that he had a different spirit and that he fully followed Elohim (Num 14:24). For this, YHVH promised him an inheritance in the Promised Land (ibid.). May we be like Caleb!


Numbers 13:16, Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Yehoshua.Prior to sending the spies forth, Moses renames his assistant Hoshea(whose name means “salvation”) to Yehoshua(or Joshua,meaning “Yah [short for Yehovah] Saves”) by adding the Hebrew letter yud /H to Hoshea’s name so that his name would now begin with the first letter of YHVH’s name—the English letter “Y”. What was the prophetic significance of this name change? Who is it that will lead us into our spiritual Promised Land or our spiritual and eternal rest? (See Heb 4:8 and 11, especially verse 8, where the author shows that Yehoshua was the foreshadow of Yeshua.) Do you possess a vibrant and active faith in Yeshua? Is he the Chief Cornerstone of your spiritual house, the Author and Finisher of your faith and the Captain of your salvation to lead you into the spiritual rest of his eternal kingdom? Are you faithfully following him as the Israelites followed Yehoshua/Joshua into the Promised Land?

Numbers 13:32, It is a land which devours its inhabitants.The Jewish commentators in The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash cogently observe, “Such misinterpretations are typical of people who choose not to have faith. Invariably they interpret events in a way that will conform to their own notions” (p. 803). Having faith in YHVH is a conscious choice that one has to make. Faith does not come automatically. Fear, doubt and unbelief do, however, and are part of the fallen nature or evil inclination that all men possess. 

Paul talks about leaving behind the fallen, faithless, sin-bent nature (Rom 7) and moving into a walk of faith in the Spirit of Elohim when in Romans 8:1–2 he contrasts the “law of sin and death” with “the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua.” Through Yeshua we become more than conquerors (Rom 8:37). Moreover, 1 John 5:4 tells us, “For whatever is born of Elohim overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith[i.e. faith in Yeshua who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the One who gives us the gift of faith, the One in whom we have faith, and on whose words and promises believers stand firm and secure as a house built on a rock].” 

The fear of death is the mother of all fears and is what plagued the disbelieving Israelites. Through identification with Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection at baptism (Rom 6:3–6) we too (through Yeshua) can be victorious over the sting of death and the grave, which is the death sentence upon all Torah-lawbreaking mortals (read 1 Cor 15:47–58 and rejoice!).

Numbers 14

Numbers 14:20–24, I have pardoned.YHVH’s general pardon versus salvational pardon of sin. This Bible passages teaches us that there is a general pardon of sin of which all humans are the recipient, and a salvational pardon of sin that only a few receive. 

YHVH pardoned Israel for the sin of disobedient unbelief, but forgiveness in this case only meant that YHVH’s judgment would not come upon them for this particular sin. This pardon did not expiate them of all their sin resulting in eternal life of which entering into the Promised Land was a prophetic antetype. 

This is the same genre of pardon that YHVH extended to Adam and Eve after they sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit. They did not die immediately, but were able to live out their lives under that pardon, but it did not guarantee them eternal life.

Later we read that in verse 23 that YHVH would not allow this unbelieving generation of Israelites to see the Promised Land because they had rejected Elohim and refused to obey him. This was in contradistinction to Joshua and Caleb who had a different spirit in them and fully obeyed YHVH (v. 24). 

Joshua and Caleb

What can we learn from this? In general sense, YHVH pardons all humans for the sins they commit. If he did not, his judgment would come upon them immediately, for the wages of sin is death, and they would be no more. But humans keep sinning, rejecting Elohim, and yet he graciously, in most cases, allows them to live out their physical lives, but this does not mean that they will have eternal life. This is YHVH pardoning them momentarily, but not saving them or granting them eternal life. 

Only those, like Caleb and Joshua, who have a different spirit (i.e. the Holy Spirit) and a personal spirit or heart that is inclined to fully obey him will be rewarded with eternal life in the Promised Land of YHVH’s eternal kingdom.

Numbers 14:22, Have tempted me now these ten times. Israel, while in the wilderness, tested YHVH ten times and refused to heed his voice. According to the Jewish sages, these ten times were: Exodus 14:11; 15:24; 16:3; 16:20; 16:27; 17:2; 32:4; Numbers 11:1; 11:4; and here (i.e. believing the spies’ evil report). Look at each of these incidents where Israel “tested” YHVH and preferred to walk in doubt and unbelief rather than to trust YHVH’s Word. These are examples for us to learn from (1 Cor 10:11). Be blatantly honest with yourself: how many times have you tested your Heavenly Father in the same areas Israel did?

Numbers 14:40–45, We…will go up. Here we see the Israelites preparing to go and to possess Canaan in their own strength and against the will of YHVH. Where did this carnally-driven endeavor lead them?

Matthew Henry discusses how this act demonstrates how the carnal mind is enmity against YHVH (Rom 8:7), for when he bade them to go, they would not, and when he forbade the children of Israel from going, that is when they decided to go. They distrusted his strength, and trusted in their own. What was the result of their expedition? Failure! 

Let us take warning from the fate of Israel, lest we perish after the same example of their unbelief. Let us go forth, depending on YHVH’s mercy, power, promise and truth. Do you think that the Israelites were rationally aware of what they were doing? We can easily look back in 20/20 hindsight and see the folly of their ways, but let us pray that YHVH gives us the discernment to see when each of us is guilty of the same in our own lives.

From Psalm 37,

Delight yourself also in YHVH, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to YHVH, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.…Rest in YHVH, and wait patiently for Him…The steps of a good man are ordered by YHVH, and He delights in his way.

 

If Yeshua Calls YOU a Priest, Then Act Like One!

Exodus 28


Scripture reveals that the saints are to be a holy or set-apart (kadosh) priesthood,
not a profane (worldly and polluted) one. Which are you? Kadosh or profane?

YHVH Is Preparing His Saints to Be a Kingdom of Priests

In the Bible, YHVH declared that it was the destiny of the Israelite nation to become a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6). As such, he commissioned them to become a light to the heathen nations around them and to lead them to YHVH—the one true Elohim (Deut 4:6–8). This is why YHVH in his sovereignty positioned the nation of Israel at the crossroads of the major trade routes of the ancient world—between three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. Israel did not fulfill this prophetic destiny because of sin and rebellion. They desired to conform their lives to the standards of the wicked nations around them rather than conform to YHVH’s standards of righteousness as revealed in the Torah-law. While ancient Israel failed in its divine mission to evangelize the world, in these last days, through Yeshua the Messiah, YHVH has raised up his people (the Israel of Elohim, Gal 6:16) to be that holy priesthood tasked with spreading the good news of the kingdom of Elohim globally (1 Pet 2:9; Dan 7:18; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; Isa 66:21). Let us now explore how YOU be a part of fulfilling this divine commission.

First, who are you? Knowing this will enable you to understand your divine calling and mission.

Those who come to faith in Yeshua the Messiah become children of Abraham and are thus Israelites (Rom 4:16; 9:8-11; Gal 3:7, 9, 14, 28-29) who have been grafted in to the olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:11–32); they are the current “Israel of Elohim” (Gal 6:16). Ancient Israel never fulfilled its divine calling to be a kingdom of priests and a light to the nations of the world. YHVH’s calling and purposes for Israel are without repentance (Rom. 11:29). What ancient Israel failed to accomplish because of disobedience, rebellion and faithlessness will be left to grafted in Israel—the one new man in Yeshua the Messiah—to accomplish. Yeshua commissioned his disciples to preach the good news (or gospel) of the kingdom of Elohim to the world (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). But more than that, his disciples were to become that kingdom of priests that ancient Israel missed the opportunity to become.

We read in the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) that the saints of YHVH will be called kings and priests (or a kingdom of priests) of YHVH-Yeshua the Messiah and will reign with him during the 1000-year Millennium or Messianic Age.

[T]o him, the one who loves us, who has freed us from our sins at the cost of his blood, who has caused us to be a kingdom, that is, cohanim [priests] for YHVH, his Father… (Rev 1:5–6, CJB)

[At] the cost of blood you ransomed for YHVH persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for YHVH to rule, cohanim [priests] to serve him and they will rule over the earth. (Rev 5:9–10, CJB)

Blessed and set-apart is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power. On the contrary, they will be cohanim [priests] of YHVH and of Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years. (Rev 20:6, CJB)

During the Millennium, Messiah will be the King of kings. His government will be a theocracy with him, as the High Priest-King, at the head. The children of Israel operated under a theocratic from of government with Moses as the priest-king (he was from the priestly tribe of Levi and was called a king in Deut 33:4-5) as the human head of state. David Stern in his Jewish New Testament Commentary (p. 10) describes the role of the biblical priest to be like that of a prophet and to serve as spokesman and mediator between YHVH and man. The prophet speaks to man on behalf of YHVH, the priest to YHVH on behalf of man. In terms of practical job-description their primary duty was to offer sacrificial animals on the altar.

Of those who will be the priests to reign with Messiah during the Millennium, Christian commentator Matthew Henry says in his commentary on Revelation 1:5-6 that Messiah has made believers kings and priests to YHVH and his Father. As such they overcome the world, mortify sin, govern their own spirits, resist Satan, prevail with YHVH in prayer, and shall judge the world.”

This is an apt description of those who will qualify to become priests in YHVH’s kingdom, but let’s define some words Henry uses in his descriptions. How does Scripture define sin? Sin in its simplest definition is the transgression of YHVH’s Torah-law (1 John 3:4). Henry says that the Saints as priests will “judge the world.” What does this mean? Do you know of any secular judge who makes judgments without following some legal code upon which civil law is based? Of course not. What legal code is Scripture based upon? The Torah-law YHVH gave to the children of Israel through Moses. In numerous places YHVH instructed the priests and kings of that time to rule and judge on the basis of his Torah-law. When they failed to do so YHVH sent prophet after prophet to warn them to turn from their wicked ways and return to following YHVH’s laws. 

What standard of righteousness do you think YHVH’s kings and priests will rule and judge from during the Millennium? There is only one standard of truth outlined in Scripture: that is the Torah (Ps 119:142, 151), which is YHVH’s Torah, which by strict etymological and scriptural definition simply means YHVH’s “instructions, teachings and precepts in righteousness.” Since YHVH’s standards of righteousness do not change, for his character and nature do not change (Mal 3:6) despite what religious men may say or do, it stands to reason that YHVH’s kings and priests will be Torah-obedient set-apart or holy ones (or the saints). In fact, this is how the book of Revelation defines the saints: they keep the Torah-commandments of YHVH and have faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Rev 12:17; 14:12). Yeshua goes on to say in Matthew 5:19 that those who keep his Torah-law will be called the greatest in his kingdom (i.e. they will be kings and priests), while those who do not keep his Torah-law will be called the least in his kingdom. In other words, the higher the level of obedience to Torah the higher will be one’s rewards and responsibilities in YHVH’s kingdom. Yeshua told his disciples that if they loved him they would keep his (Torah) commandments (John 14:15, 21).

The Saints Are Called to Be a Set-apart (Kadosh) Nation

If you have repented of your sins, been washed in the blood of the Lamb and been born of the Holy or Set-apart Spirit (Heb. Ruach haKodesh) you are part of a set-apart priesthood. This is your identity according to Scripture. Get this into your spirit and every day live out the reality of it!

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The YHVH Method of Teaching Truth

Exodus 21–23, The basic principles of morality and righteousness

After having given the ten statements (or ten commandments), which forms the basic cornerstone of the whole Torah and out of which all the other Torah commands branch, Elohim now expands on these ten basic principles in chapters 21 to 23. This passage contains the basics of how to love YHVH Elohim and one’s neighbor as oneself (the golden rule). 

Exodus chapters 20 to 23 contain the basic laws and principles for a society to function smoothly at a high level spiritually. They form the foundation of societal governance, which the new nation of Israel needed in order to survive spiritually (in right relationship with Elohim) and to survive physically and morally as a holy or set-apart nation surrounded by heathen nations.

It is also interesting to note that YHVH did not give Israel the 613 Torah laws at once, but introduced them to his people little-by-little on an as-need basis and so as not to overwhelm them to quickly. He led and taught the children of Israel as a loving and patient parent teaches their child educating them in small doses as the child is able to receive it so as not to overwhelm them. This is the same method that the Spirit of Elohim use to this day to teach new disciples of Yeshua about the Truth of the Bible little-by-little and step-by-step. In this same manner, wise and godly Bible teachers will teach their disciples the principles of godly living.

YHVH started with the ten statements of Exodus 20, then expanded these ten into the basic laws of chapters 21 through 23, and he then goes from there instructing the Israelites in ways of righteous living. This teaches us another truth about how YHVH operates with his human children: He reveals himself to those who seek him slowly, methodically over time. He and his ways are too transcendently great and expansive for the mind of man to encompass all at once.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YHVH. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 58:8–9)

This measured method of divine revelation is exactly how the apostles chose to reveal YHVH’s truth to the new Gentile converts in Acts 15—little by little. First they heard the gospel message and came to Messiah, then they were given basic rules to follow in order to enter into the fellowship of the saints, then they would learn the laws of Moses over time each Sabbath in the instructional setting of the local synagogue.

Learning the divinely revealed truths of Elohim and his ways of righteousness as found in the Bible is a step-by-step process that will last a lifetime.

 

Rebutting the Entitlement Mentality in the Church

Who me???

Exodus 19:10, Consecrate them today. 

How to Come Into the Presence of YHVH Elohim

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? 

Why it important to ask these questions? Simply because popular religious notions as taught by respected religious leaders often get lodged into the thinking of well-meaning people, who then need to ask themselves whether these notions line up with Scripture or not (see 1 Thess 5:21 cp. Acts 17:11). As the serious Bible student will soon discover, often what is taught in churches does not line up with the Word of Elohim. By studying the Bible assiduously, including the lives of those who have gone before us as recorded in Scripture, the Word of Elohim, including the chronicles of the lives of those recorded within its pages, can become a mirror in which we can view our own lives. Let us now pursue this trail to see where it leads.

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.

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Fire: A Blessing or a Curse?

Exodus 14:19, Went behind them. Fire does two things: It both destroys and purifies substances depending on the durability of their composition. It consumes that which is flammable (e.g. wood, hay and stubble) and refines or purifies that which is inflammable (e.g. gold, silver and precious stones; see 1 Cor 3:12–15). To those people whose lives are characterized by wood, hay and stubble, fire is a threat and terror. On the other hand, to those whose lives are like gold, silver and precious stones, fire is welcomed, since they have nothing to fear; it will only refine, not destroy them. 

Moreover, fire creates light. To those whose lives are characterized by light (i.e. truth and righteousness), fire is a positive thing, since it exposes sin and gives them light by which to go forward spiritually. To those people who live spiritual darkness (i.e. the world, the flesh and the devil), as was the case with Pharaoh and Egypt (a symbolic picture of the world), and those who love sin and hate Elohim and his righteousness (John 3:19–20), fire and light are feared because it will not only expose their evil deeds, but will consume them in judgment. 

Therefore, the fiery flame that separated the Israelites from the Egyptians was a good thing and a blessing for the former and a bad thing and a curse and a terror for the latter. In fact, in Exodus 15:7, in poetic terms, the Egyptians are likened to stubble that YHVH destroys in his wrathful judgment. This same thing will occur again on a global scale when the earth is burned with fire and the wicked become ashes under the sole’s of the feet (Mal 4:3) of the righteous after the white throne judgment (Rev 20:11–15).

What is your life comprised of? Wood, hay and stubble, or gold, silver and precious stones:

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Cor 3:11–15)