Korah and His Rules for Radicals

Numbers 16:1–3, Took men…rose up…gathered together against. The story of Korah and company is a classic example of a group of malcontents and rebels attempting to usurp divinely appointed and the arrogantly seizing authority and power for their own selfish purposes. To this day, the theme and variation of this scenario continues to play itself out as one band of humans vies for power at the expense of others be it in the political, economic or religious arenas. The originator of this modus operandi is Satan the devil himself, the arch enemy and adversary of both YHVH and man, and it goes all the way back to the beginning and the serpent in the tree. Korah and his comrades took their rules for radicals out of Satan’s playbook. Let’s now analyze Satan’s means of seizing power versus the righteous, biblical way that YHVH’s servanrts earn the privilege of being a godly leaders.

In Numbers 16:1–3, we see a progression (or downward spiral) of actions on the part of Korah and his rebels. First they separated themselves from fellowship, then they rose up against Moses, then they gathered together others of like mind,and finally they falsely accused leadership of wrong doings. This is the world’s formula for achieving political (humanistic) power and domination. It is the opposite method of advancing in YHVH’s kingdom where the way down is the way up; that is, when one humbly lays one’s life down in service, spiritual reward, advancement and blessing will occur for that person (Matt 20:27; 23:10). There is no greater example of this then Yeshua the Messiah, when he diminished himself and came to this earth to become a man and a servant. This is the supreme example for us all to emulate.

Therefore if there is any consolation in Messiah, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yeshua, who, being in the form of Elohim, did not consider it robbery to be equal with Elohim, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore Elohim also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of Elohim the Father. (Phil 2:1–11)

Unlike Yeshua, who was divinely appointed for his mission, rebels like Korah arrogantly appoint themselves to be leaders and then go about attempting to seize power through subversion and violence. First, they separate themselves from fellowship (or the group of which they are a part). Then they seek out other like-minded rebels, and then rise up in defiance and accusation against legal or godly leadership. If their coup is successful, this tactic will catapult these self-appointed perpetrators into positions of political (and economic) power. 

On the other hand, the way of attaining to positions of spiritual power the godly way is laid out in Acts 2:42–47, where the followers of Yeshua continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, in fellowship, breaking bread together, in prayer and served one another by sharing their time, talent and treasure. Out of this righteous atmosphere, godly and Spirit-appointed leaders naturally rose to the surface like cream rising to the top of milk. The result was real spiritual power, authority and anointing from heaven. This was not power based on usurpation, human pride, degradation of others and a hubris-based, shameless self-promotion. No. The attainment of righteous authority can only occur as people forsake not the assembling of themselves together (Heb 10:25), function according to their divine gifts and spiritual callings within the spiritual body of Yeshua, while submitted one to another as they walk in the spiritual light YHVH’s instructions in righteousness, that is, the Torah.

Yeshua confirmed the biblical way to servant-leadership, when he taught that true power in the kingdom of Elohim is a result of one laying one’s life down for one’s brother, while serving him in love and humility. Such a person will be elevated to a position of influence and authority because he has learned to serve others in love, altruism and selflessness rather than seeking to be served, which stems from a heart of selfishness, pride and, often, covetousness and greed (Matt 20:25–28; 23:11–12).

The Jewish sages note that Korah and his band of malcontents had come under the power of resentment, which grew and festered until open rebellion broke out. Korah was a fellow Levite and cousin of Aaron, who was among those “overlooked” for the priesthood, and who were relegated to being “mere” assistants to the priests. He was also a firstborn of his household (Exod 6:21), and when the tabernacle sacrificial service was inaugurated Aaron’s sons replaced the firstborn Israelites in offering sacrifices. Furthermore, Dathan, Abiram and On were of the tribe of Reuben, the first-born child of Jacob. These men had their own grudge, since Reuben had lost his birthright as the firstborn son to the sons of Joseph because of sin (note 1 Chron 5:1). 

What do we see here? Resentment (a function of pride and selfishness) leads to bitterness, which then leads to separation, then to uprising, then to accusation, then to rebellion against YHVH-ordained authority, then to attempted usurpation of authority. Eventually it leads to judgment and death. Is this not the path Lucifer took in his rebellion against YHVH Elohim—a method that he and his human minions (or useful idiots) continue to this day? (Read Isa 14:12–23.) As with Korah and company, the trajectory of this downward path leads to death. For some, the earth will open its mouth and they will be cast into the bottomless pit. For the rest of the unrighteous, unrepentant malcontents and rebels, their fate is to be cast into the lake of fire, where they will become ashes under the feet of the righteous.

 

Shalach L’kha—Our Wilderness Journey, One Law for All & the Unpardonable Sin

In this video, we explain how the children of Israel’s journey through the wilderness is a biblical metaphor for our life, and the Promised Land is a symbol of salvation and the kingdom of God. We also explain how most Christians have a wrong understanding of why the man was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, and why the Torah-law is still Elohim’s standard of righteousness for both Christian Gentiles and the Jews to this day.

 

Leviticus 26 on Divine Blessings and Curses

Leviticus 26

Divine Blessings and Curses Are Based on Obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word 

As divine blessings come upon people for Torah obedience, so do curses come upon a people who have forgotten their Elohim because they have been blessed materially and in their self-sufficiency have forgotten who is the source of their blessings as this chapter shows. These are immutable laws that are written in the universe and no human-devised philosophical or religious ideologies regardless of their cleverness can circumvent them. To go against these laws is like attempting to push a giant boulder up a steep mountainside. Eventually the boulder will role backwards crushing the pusher. What wisdom can be learned from this passage on blessings and curses?

 YHVH’s Torah instructions continually stresses that blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. Similarly, Yeshua reveals that rewards in his everlasting kingdom are also contingent on obedience to his Torah-laws. The greater the obedience, the greater the reward (Matt 5:17).These principles are universal, yet how prone humans are to forget the cycles of history that repeat themselves over and over again like the unstoppable turning of giant millstone grinding into powder those who refuse to learn the lessons from the past. Each generation proudly asserts its exceptionalism and that, somehow, it is immune to YHVH’s inexorable and immutable principles of divine judgment. Only in the perfect hindsight of history can we see the fallacy of this assumption. Ancient Israel failed to learn these lessons as have subsequent people who are both ignorant of Scripture as well as many who claim to follow the Bible.

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other formerly European Christian nations as well), there was in times past a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a general public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the Elohim of the Bible. However, as the historical record reveals, as a nation becomes blessed, it reaches an apogee of prominence, power and wealth where it becomes rich and increased with goods and no longer needs Elohim—or so it thinks. It then becomes materially fat and forgets the source of its wealth and falls into a state of self-sufficiency leading to spiritual blindness in that it fails to recognize its true spiritual state (recall YHVH’s warning to a lukewarm church in Rev 3:14–22). This can happen to individuals, churches and to whole societies.

Because YHVH loves his people and wants to walk among them, to be their Elohim and to bless them (Lev 26:12), when they disobey him and walk in ways that are harmful to their well-being, like any loving parent, he is forced to discipline them. Again and again he sends them his prophets and watchmen to warn them that they are on a path of self-destruction. But because of pride, most people refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:40–41). It is the same old story over and over again. Human pride insists that “judgments cannot happen to us because we are so special, ”  and “All things will continue as they have from the beginning and no evil shall befall us.” Such a self-assured individual and society retorts in mocking and scoffing tones in response to all those who would hold them accountable for their errant ways (2 Pet 3:3–7). If only the great people, nations and empires that have already trodden this well-worn path and are now in the dust bin of history could speak from their graves and this generation had heart ears to hear!

As a loving Father, YHVH does not lower the gavel of his full disciplinary judgments immediately upon his wayward children. He increases the dosage of his spiritual medicine incrementally in hopes that each successive ratcheting down of his judgments will bring healing to his spiritually apostate children such that they will humble themselves, confess their iniquity (or Torahlessness, Lev 26:40) and repent of their sin and submit to his laws, so that he can bless them. 

In this chapter, YHVH reveals four sets of judgments with each one becoming seven times more severe than the previous one (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This reminds us of YHVH’s end-times judgments upon a rebellious world that has given itself over to devil worship just prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the book of Revelation. In that book, there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and, finally, seven bowl judgments. 

What can you do? You may not be able to change society, but a societal change begins one step and one life at a time; it starts with your life! That is the only thing for certain that you can change. No one person can turn the whole earth into a beautiful garden, but you can start by eradicating the weeds from your own garden. You know what needs to be done. Just listen to your conscience—to YHVH’s Spirit knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), and then repent and obey YHVH and his commandments. It is that simple.

The corollary to this passage on blessings and curses with regard to Torah obedience is Deuteronomy chapter 28.

Some More Reflections on Divine Judgment

By dictionary definition, judgment is “a decision of a court or judge; a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.”

The Bible speaks a lot about judgment. When we read about the subject of judgment in the Bible, it usually pertains to the “other guy” involving someone in the past, or someone in the future, or someone that we consider to be more sinful than we are. The problem is that our pride prevents us from thinking that Elohim’s judgment could happen to us. 

Judgment is nothing more than suffering the consequences of our actions. It’s simply a function of the law of cause and effect. If you jump off of a building, you’ll suffer the consequences of your actions when you hit the ground. Similarly, when we break YHVH’s commandments, we will suffer the consequences. Judgment is also a matter of degrees. To the degree that we obey his commandments, we’ll reap the blessings of obedience. Conversely, to the degree we disobey them, we’ll reap the negative consequences (Lev 26:3ff cp. 14ff) in the same way that jumping off a two foot ledge versus a 500 foot ledge has different consequence—a twisted ankle compared to death. For most of us, our actions with regard to obedience to YHVH’s laws are a mixture of both good and evil, so we’re reaping both blessings and curses at the same time. 

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Combatting the Religious Wokeness Spirit of Antichrist By Celebrating Passover

Dealing With Truth Issue—What Is Capital T Truth?

A cosmic struggle between light and darkness, error and truth has been going on in this earth ever since the snake in the tree made his debut and deceived the first humans into giving up the Truth of Elohim for the lie of the devil. How is this struggle between the forces of light and darkness manifesting itself on planet today, and what can the saints do about it?

Two categories of people exist in this cosmic struggle. Those who adhere to Truth who will pay a high cost—they will lose their lives and gain the world. Then there are those people who reject Truth will pay even a higher cost—they will gain the world and lose their lives, so says Yeshua who lost it all for us.

Capital T Truth is at the epicenter of this struggle. Every human is confronted with a choice with regard to Truth. Will he or she seek and follow that Truth or reject it? To not make a choice is to reject Truth. 

What is that Truth?

Yeshua the Messiah, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim, was the Light of Truth personified who came to pierce the darkness of this world.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4–5)

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Elohim. (John 1:10–13)

Sadly, nearly everyone around Yeshua totally rejected him including his own disciples and brothers up to his crucifixion. This is because each person has to face their own dark night of the soul: will they adhere to the Truth no matter what, or will they cave in to the extreme pressures of the world, the flesh and the devil that will be exerted against them?

Each person faces their dark night of the soul at different times. It may be the lure of money, the need social acceptance and the need to be recognition, peer pressure (family, friends, job, school), lust for sexual fulfilment and need for “love”, or whatever, the fear of death—of losing something important, of rejection, social ostracization. No one knows when their dark night of the soul will come when they will be forced to stand for Truth. Jacob experienced his when facing with death, and he had to wrestle with himself and Yeshua. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness being tested, then had the burning bush experience, then had to circumcise his sons. His wife left him over this and his ministry calling. He had to make the choice to follow YHVH or his wife. Yeshua faced his dark night in the Garden of Gethsemene (the olive press), and the disciples faced theirs at Yeshua’s arrest. When our time comes, will we stand for Truth, or will we cave or acquiesce to the pressure? 

The events surrounding the crucifixion revealed the metal of each person with regard to Yeshua. Either people flat out opposed Yeshua, the Truth (the Jews and Romans), or abandoned the Truth when forced to make the hard decisions requiring to stand for the Truth (the disciples).

The Jewish mob was opposed to Yeshua and yelled, “Crucify him” , while the Pilate, the Roman, was indifferent. He caved in to the pressure of the mob for political expediency. It was advantageous for him and his position to keep the peace no matter the cost. For him, it was about maintaining power and prestige in the eyes of Rome. The godless mob screaming, “Crucify him!” was the beginning of the modern manifestation of wokeism and its bastard child, cancel culture. Kill the truth that is a is a threat to your own subjective, feeling-based truth.

Yeshua’s disciples, on the other hand, faced their own dark night of the soul. How would they respond to Truth issues? Their initial response, like many Christians in our day, was to grow weary in the face of adversity. The disciples fell asleep in the garden, then they eventually abandoned Yeshua. Peter even denied him.

In our day, Truth is crying aloud in the streets for those who have ears to hear. Most people stop their ears from hearing the Truth because it is to disturbing and life-changing. The mass media, our educational systems, civil government, the societal culture in general is not only stopping its collective ears, but yelling and screaming like petulant children throwing a tantrum trying to drown out the voice of Truth originating from our Father in heaven. The mob is yelling, “Crucify him” or, in reality, “Crucify Truth!”

Questioning Truth

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Tazria–A Unpopular Subject That Most Churches Avoid

I made this video today as part of our weekly Congregation Elim Online Shabbat gathering (via Zoom). During this time of fellowship, Torah/Yeshua loving saints pray for each other, share praise reports and prayer requests, ask questions and share their insights from the Scriptures. Each week, I also do a teaching, which I record and place on the Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel and on this blog.

If you are interested in joining this weekly gathering, simply send my co-host Donna Nash or me an email request. You can reach Donna at DonnaNash61@yahoo.com or Nathan Lawrence at NatanL@HoshanaRabbah.org. People from around the U.S. and a couple of foreign countries regularly join us.

Today, I made this video while my wife and I are visiting our daughter and son-in-law in Minot, North Dakota.

On Shabbat afternoon we visited a local wildlife refuge and walked around a bit. The snow just melted off the ground a week or so ago, so all the grass is still brown. Pretty soon, everything will start greening up. Meet Zulu the service dog who we helped to train. Zulu just received his service dog certifications, and we delivered him to our daughter, Kaelie, who is clinical therapist at a Christian youth ranch that helps troubled and abused teens. Zulu will be the resident therapy dog there helping Kaeli in her counseling and therapy ministry to young people at the ranch. Kaeli and Zulu will also be volunteering at the Minot Air Force Base (where Kaeli and her husband Ryan live) helping troubled U.S. Air Force personnel.
 

Rebellion (Torahlessness) is as the sin of witchcraft!

1 Samuel 15

1 Samuel 15:3, Utterly destroy.Here YHVH was instructing Israel to commit genocide against Amalek—an action that does not set well with our modern Western mindset. Because of things like this found in the first three-fifths of Scripture, some Christians have even gone so far as to label the so-called “God of the Old Testament” as being cruel, vindictive, harsh and judgmental, while the “God of the New Testament” is, antithetically, loving, gracious and forgiving. First, such a characterization is a false one, since the God of both sections of Scripture are the same Being, for as both the Old Testament or Tanakh as well as the New Testament or Testimony of Yeshua tell us, YHVH does not change and is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, if he is gracious and loving now, then he was then as well. Any characterization to the contrary is not only a misreading of Scripture, but a blasphemous accusation against the Creator on the part of those who make it. 

Second, when YHVH tells a person to kill someone, it is neither murder nor genocide, for it is merely exercising divine will on the part of the Just Judge and Creator of all things to execute his righteous judgments upon whomsoever he chooses. He gives life and it is his right to take it away. 

Third, in this case, he was not only judging the Amalekites for the murderous sin they had committed against Israel during the exodus, but also because they, as a people group, like all the other Canaanites, had given themselves over completely to Satanism with all of its demonic and wretched practices including child sacrifice. As a people group, they were demon possessed and totally reprobate. Similarly, at the end of this age, when Yeshua returns to this earth, he will similarly judge and destroy those who hate him along with the world’s Antichrist system that they created.  

Fourth, the reason YHVH was justified in genocidally killing the Amalakites along with the other Canaanites is that he had given them hundreds of years to repent and turn to him,which they had failed to do (Gen 15:16).

1 Samuel 15:11, Not performed my commandments.Not to obey any command of Elohim that applies to us, no matter how small or large a command it may seem, is to turn away from Elohim, which is the biblical definition of sin (1 John 3:4).

1 Samuel 15:12, Set up a monument to himself.Elsewhere, Scripture declares that pride goes before a fall (Prov 16:18). King Saul was on the verge of a hard fall. In our day, there are too many Christians leaders that establish monuments to themselves. They name ministries, colleges and universities and buildings after themselves. The construct vast building projects and churches, which they claim are for “the work of the Lord”. In reality, most of these are monuments to their ego and glory. The sad reality is that many if not most of these edifices sit vacant ninety percent of the time and are not even being used for the purposes claimed. A wise use of the people’s tithes and offerings to be sure! In the end times, YHVH is going to judge and bring down the religious system that the book of Revelation calls Mystery Babylon the Great and likens to a whore along with all of these arrogant ministers. When this system euphemistically reffered to as churchianity comes down, it will be hard fall, even as Saul’s fall and destruction was hard. The reign and life of King Saul is prototypical of this end times confused Babylonian religious Christian system, which is a mixture of both good and evil. As with Saul, Scripture declares that eventually the patience of YHVH Elohim will run out and his wrath will be poured out on his so-called servants who serve Elohim, to one degree or another, as well as themselves and mammon.

1 Samuel 15:23, Rebellion. Heb. meree meaning “stubborn refusal to obey or comply with authority, especially a court order or summons.” This is how Scripture views those who refuse to obey the commandments of Elohim.

Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft/divination. (See notes at Rev 9:21.) Witchcraft involves taking or usurping authority that does not belong to you and then using it illegally to control others for personal advantage. It can also involve taking something holy and exploiting it for personal advantage. This is what Samuel accused Saul of doing when he kept the cattle he was supposed to kill, so that he could at a later time offer up an illicit sacrifices without going through the proper Levitical protocols (as well as probably keeping some of the loot for his own personal enrichment). Samuel equated this act of rebellion with witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23). 

Saul had the proclivity to not fully follow YHVH’s instructions and to take matters into his own hands, for he had offered up a witchcraft sacrifice once before (1 Sam 13:9–13). Samuel rebuked him for it, yet Saul willing and knowingly repeated the same mistake again, which was strictly forbidden. Taking that which YHVH has ordained to be used legally one way and defiantly using it another way for one’s own selfish purposes is usurping the divine will or authority of Elohim, violating divine law and, as such, is an act of rebellion and witchcraft. 

In a general sense, all sin (i.e. the violation of YHVH’s Torah-Word or his instructions as delineated in the Scriptures) is a form or witchcraft in its broadest sense.

From this brief analysis of witchcraft as it relates to rebellion and sin, it is not difficult to ascertain that the entire world lies in a state of witchcraft. In fact, there are only two spiritual domains in human existence: the domain of obedience to YHVH Elohim’s instructions or commandments as spelled out in the Bible, and the domain of witchcraft or Satan, the god and ruler of this world. At the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, the first humans were confronted with a choice: follow Elohim’s path of righteousness or follow the path of witchcraft as led by Satan. We all know which path they chose, which is why the world in its present mess.

Saul was like many typical “Christians”. Like Adam and Eve, he chose a path of both good and evil. When it suited him, he chose the good path of obedience to YHVH; however, when it did not suit him, and he wanted a path that would cater to his carnal lusts, he chose the path of sin and rebellion, which is witchcraft. 

Similarly and as regards many modern “Christians”, the tendency is to choose the commandments that appeal to them, and declare the others to have been “done away with.” This is tantamount to ripping pages out of the Word of Elohim, spitting in the Creator’s face and telling him to go pound rocks. Hard words? No! This is the hard truth. Just because pastors, Bible teachers, churches, denominations and whole sects declare something is acceptable does not necessarily guarantee that it will past muster with the Creator, Supreme Lawgiver and Just Judge of the universe. It is still rebellion and witchcraft no matter the quaint labels and shiny, or shellacked veneer humans attach to it. Moreover, the majority consensus is irrelevant if it does not line up with the Word of Elohim.