Beautiful Churches Europe

Every hamlet and city where we went in the British Isles, Ireland and France has a spectacularly beautiful church in it. The larger towns all have Gothic-style cathedrals, some of which took decades if not hundreds of years to build. Some of these churches have been standing for nearly one thousand years. It is truly amazing. The art and work that went into them is unimaginable, and all of this before the modern age of power tools and machinery!

When you step into one of these buildings, it simply overwhelms your senses. You have to see and experience it for yourself to understand the power of art and architecture.

What do I think about all of these religious endeavors? In the big picture, what I think really doesn’t matter. More importantly, I kept asking myself, “What does Elohim think about all of this effort on man’s part to reach him?” In a subsequent blog post, I’ll share some of the thoughts that came to when asking this question.

In the mean time, please enjoy some of these pictures.

Westminster Abbey—London
The Cathedral in Chester, England
Chester Cathedral
Chester Cathedral
Chester Cathedral
Cathedral in Cobh, Ireland
Cohb Cathedral
The Little Chapel on the Island of Guernsey. The smallest chapel in the world made of pebbles, sea shells and pieces of china.
St. Peter’s Port, Guernsey Church
Some church in Paris
Sacre Coeur in Paris
Sacre Coeur in Paris
Sacre Coeur in Paris
The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris
What’s left of the Cathedral of Notre Dame after the big fire.
 

The Divorce and Remarriage of YHVH-Yeshua and the Deeper Meaning of the Gospel Message

This is another way of saying, “Do not sin.” When we sin (or violate Elohim’s commandments), we’re committing spiritual adultery by going after (or worshipping) other gods—primarily the god of self-idolatry or self-will.

Romans 7:1–6, In Deuteronomy 24:1–5 we read,

1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her [The Stone Edition Tanach: found in her a matter of immorality; found her offensive in some respect] then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before YHVH: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which YHVH your Elohim giveth thee for an inheritance. [Emphasized sections are to be discussed.]

The word uncleanness or immorality is the Hebrew word ervah (Strong’s H6172) which according to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament refers simply to “nakedness or the resulting shame therefrom.” Strong’s Expanded Concordance adds to this definition: an indecent thing or figuratively the idea of disgrace or blemish. According to Strong’s Concordance this word is used in a various ways in the Tanakh (Old Testament) with reference to shameful sexual exposure or nudity as in the case of unlawful cohabitation (Lev 18:6), or the shame resulting from Israel’s spiritual adultery (Lam 1:8); or any “indecent thing” that represents defilement or uncleanness resulting from the misuse of the physical body (e.g. uncleanness [due to not burying human excrement] in the military camp, or violation of any laws of sexual abstinence, or being in a state of impurity from sexual cohabitation or nocturnal emissions). With regard to Deuteronomy 24:1 Strong’s comments, “ervah appears to bear this emphasis on any violation of the laws of purity—if a groom is dissatisfied with his bride ‘because he hath found some uncleanness in her,’ he may divorce her. Obviously this evidence is not of previous cohabitation, since such a sin merits death (Deut 22:13ff).”

The exact meaning of ervah is of great controversy between scholars. In his commentary on this passage, Jewish Torah scholar Samson Raphael Hirsch says nothing about the subject, although he goes into great detail about the peripheral issues relating to divorce and remarriage, the legalities concerning the bill of divorcement (Heb. get), etc., but not the cause of the divorce in the first place (i.e. the biblical meaning of unclean thing). Likewise, a cursory search of the Mishna on the subject reveals dozens of pages of minute details regarding divorce and remarriage and various attendant subjects, but I could find no legal definitions regarding the meaning of ervah or had how a marriage could be dissolved because a man found ervah in his wife. The meaning of this word and what were indeed grounds for a man to “put his wife away” was a controversy that raged in the first century between the two main Pharisee camps as well (i.e. the Schools of Hillel and Shammai). Even Yeshua weighed in on this controversial subject in Matthew 5:31–32 siding with the more conservative school of Shammai. The meaning of his exact words have fueled theological debates among Christian scholars to this day with regard to what constitutes legal grounds for divorce among believers.

In the simple or literal (Heb. pashat) meaning of this text ervah may or may not be specifically referring to the loss of the bride’s virginity prior to consummation of her marriage with her new husband, since Deuteronomy 24:1 neither specifically states, nor implies that this is the first marriage for both of them. This is underscored by the Torah’s use of the Hebrew word ishah (wife or woman) in verse one as opposed to either the words bethulah or almah both of which lexically have stronger references to a virgin, youthful bride or young maiden as opposed to the more generic term ishah. Therefore, based on the generic meaning of the word ervah (as discussed above) there could be broader meanings as to why the husband was compelled to “put his wife away” (e.g. as for adultery). If this is the case, do we find any example of this elsewhere in Scripture which could give us additional insight into the Hebraic understanding into the meaning of ervah?

The answer is yes. Jumping from a discussion the pashat (i.e. literal) meaning of this Torah passage up to its meaning at the drash (i.e. allegorical) level let us see what YHVH did with regard to the house of Israel because of her spiritual adultery. YHVH divorced her (Isa 50:1) because of her unfaithfulness (Jer 3:8) and rejected her (Hos 1:9; 2:2).

Thus saith YHVH, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. (Isa 50:1)

And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (Jer 3:8)

Then said [Elohim], Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your [Elohim]. (Hos 1:9)

Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts. (Hos 2:2)

At this point it is important to note that the prophets use the Hebrew word ervah in relation to the whoredoms of Israel as she left YHVH, her spiritual husband, and pursued her foreign lovers. In Hosea 2:9 the word naked is the word ervah and in verse ten Hosea relates this nakedness on the part of his wife, Gomer, to the lewdness of adultery. The prophet Ezekiel in describing the two harlot sisters, Aholah and Aholibah (i.e. Samaria or the house of Israel and Jerusalem or the house of Judah) relates their nakedness (ervah) to their whoredoms (Ezek 23:10, 8, 29). Again Ezekiel relates ervah to Israel’s sin of breaking wedlock with YHVH and the lewd behavior she exhibited in pursuing her foreign lovers (Ezek 16:38).

Yet in her pursuit of her spiritual lovers she was not satisfied, but longed for YHVH her former (spiritual) husband (Hos 2:7–8). This prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. This is beginning to happen now as Christians are beginning to leave the harlot church system and are starting to return to the pro-Torah Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. Malachi prophesied this would happen in the last several verses of the Old Testament when he talked about YHVH’s people remembering the Torah they had forgotten. They will turn their hearts back to the fathers of their faith just before the great and terrible day of YHVH’s judgment on this earth at Yeshua’s second coming (Mal 4:1–6).

Even though YHVH’s adulterous wife has gotten tired of your lovers and wants to return to him, because YHVH had already divorced her due to her violation of her marital or covenantal agreement (Heb. ketubah), which she made with him at Mount Sinai when she said, “I do” to him three times (Exod 19:8; 24:3, 7), he could not remarry her without violating his own Torah-law (Deut 24:4), since she had become another man’s wife. Yet YHVH’s intentions were clear: he would remarry her (Hos 2:16–20; Isa 62:3–5; Jer 31:31–34).

And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. (Hos 2:7–8)

And it shall be at that day, saith YHVH, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know YHVH. (Hos 2:16–20)

Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of YHVH, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy Elohim. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for YHVH delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy Elohim rejoice over thee. (Isa 62:3–5)

Behold, the days come, saith YHVH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith YHVH: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith YHVH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHVH: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith YHVH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer 31:31–34)

But how could YHVH remarry Israel since (a) she was worthy of death for her adultery under Torah-law and (b) he could not remarry his divorced and remarried wife?

The Deeper Meaning of the Gospel from a Hebraic Perspective

Enter the legal mind of the Apostle Paul to resolve the difficulty. Romans 7:1–6 is a discussion of this very issue. If a woman’s husband dies she is free to remarry. She is no longer legally bound to her husband since the Torah-laws pertaining to marriage have no jurisdiction over a dead person.

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know law,) how that the Torah-law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the Torah-law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that Torah-law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the [or, that] law by the body of Messiah; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto Elohim.

5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the [or, that] law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6 But now we are delivered from the [or, that] Torah-law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Some Christian biblical expositors claim this passage teaches that New Covenant believers through Yeshua are now dead to the Torah-law of Moses meaning that one is now only obligated to keep the moral aspect of the law (no idolatry, no murder, no adultery, etc.), but that one is freed from the more ritualistic, ceremonial, and lifestyle aspects of the Torah (Sabbath, biblical holidays, kosher laws, etc.) except tithing, curiously so (sarcastically speaking).

But is Paul teaching the abrogation of the Torah-law in this portion of his letter to the Roman believers? No he is not. Those who teach that Paul here is liberating believers from Torah-obedience are overlooking a major detail in the Greek grammar of Romans 7:1–6. In every place where the phrase “the law” occurs in these six verses (where the definite article the is found in the Greek) the word the (Gr. tou/tou)can act as a weak demonstrative pronoun (i.e. that). The context must determine whether the definite article is to be translated into English as the or that (Basics of Biblical Greek, by William Mounce, p. 85). Additionally, both Thayer and Zodhiates note the same grammatical nuance about the Greek definite article in their lexicons. In Romans 7:1–6, for example, the definite article the (Gr. tou/tou) when attached to the Greek word nomos (law) can be translated as this or that. How do we know this? In context of this passage, Paul is referring to a specific law contained in the Torah, and not to all 613 laws of the Torah. This we know, since Paul uses the phrase “the [or this or that] law of her husband [see the kjv, nkjv, nas, NIV, RSV, HRV, J. P. Green, Mounce Bible translations]” in verse two, which is referring to a specific Torah-law that pertains to marriage and not to all the Torah laws in general.

Interestingly, the same Greek definite article (the; tou/tou), which can also be a demonstrative pronoun (this or that) is also connected to the noun law (Gr. nomos) in verses 2, 5 and 6 along with verse 3 (as already noted above).

Based on this and the translators’ use of the demonstrative pronoun that in verse three (as opposed to the definite article the), the internal evidence of this passage would point to the phrase that law being preferred over the phrase the law, since the reference is being made to a specific law in the Torah (i.e. the law of her husband, verse 2) and not to all 613 laws of the Torah. This being the case, to which specific law out of the 613 found in the Torah would Paul be referring? In verse two we read, “… if the husband dies she is loosed from [this/that] law of her husband.” In general the law found in the Ten Commandments states that if a woman has sex with another man beside her husband (and she is not legally divorced) she is an adulteress (Exod 20:14). But a sub-law of this general marriage law is found in Deuteronomy 24:4. Here the Torah also forbids a woman from remarrying her first husband who had divorced her due to her adulterous relationship with and subsequent marriage to another man.

But how could she remarry her first husband (if her second husband was still alive) without violating the Torah-law prohibiting this? Impossible in the natural, but with YHVH all things are possible. What if her first husband were to die in her place (and pay the legal death penalty under the Torah for her adultery) and then resurrect as a new or different man? Is this possible? Evidently, Paul thought so, for in Romans 10 he expresses his heart’s desire for the salvation of Israel and states that this occurs through one’s calling upon the name of Messiah Yeshua who did just that: he died on the cross and paid the sin penalty and resurrected as a new man. The preaching of this message, which Paul calls the gospel or good news, is the message of YHVH-Yeshua remarrying his divorced bride, for in verses 14-15 Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7, which in its greater context (Isa 52:2–62:12) is talking about the (final) redemption (a rabbinical concept involving the return and restoration of the exiled house of Israel and the establishment of the Messianic Age [a.k.a. Millennium]) of Israel back to YHVH (i.e. the pre-incarnate Yeshua [Acts 7:38 and 1 Cor 10:4]) through the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua (see Isa 53).

Additionally, the gospel teaches us that when a sinner (who is like the adulterous woman) accepts Yeshua as their Savior, they must be baptized for the remission of sins and then receive the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a ritual that symbolizes one’s spiritual identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua and pictures being born again spiritually and becoming a new creation or person (Rom 6:3–6; John 3:3, 5; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20). At the same time, when one comes to Yeshua, they become part of the nation of redeemed Israel (Eph 2:11–19). Therefore, Yeshua, the new resurrected God-Man will be marrying a new spiritually redeemed, born again Israelite bride. So both the man (Yeshau) and his adulterous wife (you and me) are new individuals spiritually when we remarry at Yeshua’s second coming. 

What’s more, at his second coming, Yeshua will destroy the “man” with whom his wife (Israel) had the adulterous relationship; that is, Babylon the Great along with all of its false religious systems which have come to us down through the ages. Satan, the head of this evil counterfeit system, will be cast into the bottomless pit.

As we can see, the righteous requirements of the Torah will be fulfilled. Yeshua will be able to legally remarry his Israelite wife, and the death penalty for adultery will have been paid for both the adulterous woman and the man with whom she had the relationship.

Messiah Yeshua is presently betrothed to his bride (the spiritual body Torah-keeping saints (see Rev 12:17; 14:12; 19:7–9) whom he has redeemed and sanctified by his blood from her state of spiritual harlotry. This bride awaits his return from his Father’s house where he will claim her as his own and take her as his full-fledged wife. She awaits the wedding feast that will last for 1000 years. This is the true good news (gospel) of the kingdom of Elohim!

The deeper message of the gospel that many have missed, yet in no way contradicts the standard gospel message that has been taught in the church world for nearly 2000 years, involves the divorce of YHVH from his first wife Israel and the remarriage of himself to his first wife. This is a message of redemption, reconciliation and love which involves YHVH bringing his people out of spiritual adultery, slavery and captivity where they had been dispersed and downtrodden. This love story is the theme of the book of Hosea and is embodied in YHVH’s seven biblical holidays. They are the whole plan of salvation or redemption for Israel.

 

The Adulterous Woman and YOU

Numbers 5:11–31, The adulterous woman. This passages deals with a curious ritual involving wives suspected of adultery called the Law of Jealousies whereby the woman is hauled before the priest, her head is uncovered and, according to Jewish tradition, her dress is ripped open just above her breasts (b.Talmud Sota 7a). She then has the choice to drink a concoction of earth from the floor of the tabernacle mixed with the set-apart (kadosh) water from the bronze laver into which is dipped a piece of paper that contains the curses written on it. If she is guilty of the charges of adultery when she drinks the bitter waters, her belly shall swell and her thigh (Heb. yarek or side or loins,which are the seat of procreative power) shall rot as a result of a divine judgment. If she is guiltless, the bitter waters will have no effect on her. If she refuses to drink the bitter water and her husband still suspects her unfaithfulness, then he is free to divorce her, even though she has admitted no guilt. According to Jewish tradition, this legal procedure was carried out by Israel’s highest court in Jerusalem (Sota 7b).

Some biblical commentators see a parallel here between the adulterous woman and the trial and execution of Yeshua at the cross. After only a casual reflection on the issues, this may seem unlikely. But ponder this for a moment. Did YHVH liken his relationship to Israel as a marriage? (See Ezek 16.) Did Israel (both houses) remain faithful to her (their) marriage covenants? (See Ezek chapters 16 and 23; Jer 3; the entire book of Hosea.) Under the Torah, adultery was a capital offense (Lev 20:10). Was YHVH faithful to his marriage covenants with Israel? Of course. He is not a sinner (i.e., a violator of his own Torah, 1 John 3:4). With whom was the fault then? It was with the house of Israel and the house of Judah! (See Heb 8:7–8.) Have we all sinned (violated YHVH’s Torah) and fallen short of his glory? (See Rom 6:23.) What are the wages of sin? (See Rom 3:23 and Ezek 18:4.)

“But I am a Gentile Christian, not an Israelite,” you may respond. “Neither I nor my ancestors was ever an Israelite who was spiritually married to YHVH. Therefore, I am not guilty of spiritual unfaithfulness. I have not broken any marriage covenants with YHVH.” In response, first, who did Yeshua come to redeem? (See Matt 15:24.) Are we all not likened to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? (See Isa 53:6.) Did not Paul equate Gentile believers with the house of Israel? (See Rom 9:25–29 and compare with Hos 2:23; Isa 10:22–23.) Who did Jacob prophesy that the descendant of Ephraim and Manasseh would be? (Read Genesis 48:14–16.) In this scripture passage, Jacob speaks of a Messenger from heaven who redeemed him from all evil, he makes the sign of the Paleo-Hebrew letter tav over his grandsons, which is the sign of the cross.He then speaks of them growing into a multitude in the midst of the earth, or becoming like fish in the sea of humanity (see the Orthodox Jewish ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash/Tanach translation of this verse). Who are these descendants who have the sign of the cross, the fish as their symbol and speak of a Redeemer or Savior? Spiritually speaking, are you not that adulterous woman? Furthermore, does Paul not clearly state that ALL those who have put their trusting faith in Yeshua the Messiah are Israel and Abraham is their father? (Read Rom 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal 3:7, 9, 14, 28, 29.)

Now that we have established this point, let’s ask the next question. At the cross did Yeshua bear upon himself all of our sins? (See Isa 53:4–6.) Did he even bear upon himself our guilt for committing spiritual adultery? Did he die in our place by becoming like the adulterous woman that we were? Was the crucifixion like drinking a bitter cup for him? (Matt 26:39,42; John 18:11). Was Yeshua hauled before the highest religious court in the land of Israel in Jerusalem to stand trial prior to his death? (See Matt 26:57–68.) Was he stripped of his garments? (See Matt 27:31.) Was his side ripped open by the Roman soldier’s spear? (See John 19:34.) As a substitution for us, he took the curses against us for adultery that in times past would have been written down on paper (Num 5:23). In light of this, what does Paul say in Colossians 2:12–15, with special emphasis on verse 14, that Yeshua did with those curses against us? For those who are washed in Yeshua’s redeeming blood and have been buried with him in water immersion or baptism (Col 2:12 cp. Rom 6:3–11), does the devil, who is the accuser of the brethren, have any charges to lay against us any more? (Read Col 2:15!)

 

Who spoke to the Israelites at Sinai?

This is a question that many Christians have. They have largely been taught that it was the Father who spoke to and led the Israelites in the wilderness, not the pre-incarnate Word of Elohim who became Yeshua.

It is convenient for those who take a dim view of Torah to believe this, since it’s an inconvenient truth in light of traditional anti-Torah Christian theology to think that Yeshua was actually the one who gave the Torah and commanded the Israelites to obey it. After all, hasn’t the church taught us that he’s the one who came to fulfill it so that we no longer have to do it?

I address this issue in the following dialog with a reader.

Erica emailed me with the following questions:

I am a fellow (fairly new) Torah observant believer in Yeshua. I was listening to a video by Natan Lawrence on “Yeshua gave the Torah-Law to the Children of Israel.”  I am confused about a particular thing he said and was hoping your could clarify it for me.

Around midway through this video Natan stated that John 5:37 shows that it couldn’t have been our Father who gave the commandments at Mt Sinai.  This verse, which states: “…You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form”

Now what I don’t understand, is that I thought Yeshua was addressing the Jews (v.18 who were trying to kill him) and their grossly misguided hearts – as He states in the next verse that “you don’t have His Word staying in you, because you do not believe Him who He sent.” I understand that no one has seen the Father (Jn 1:18) I didn’t think this verse applied to everyone – insinuating that no one can hear from the Father.  Or am I misunderstanding Natan’s point?

In ch 6 v 45 Yeshua states “Everyone then who has heard from the Father, and learned, comes to Me”

Now I agree that Yeshua could have clearly been present at Mt Sinai  as He and the Father are one – but looking at John 1:17 which states “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through Yeshua Messiah.”   Wouldn’t it read differently if Yeshua gave the commandments? Just wondering

Again, I might be misunderstanding the point of what Natan was saying – so I appreciate your assistance with this confusion!

Here is my response:

Hello Erica,
No, you didn’t misunderstand me. I teach that Yeshua (before he was Yeshua) in his pre-incarnate state, was the Word of Elohim who the Father not only used to create the world and humans (John 1:3; Col 1:15; Heb 11:3), but to communicate with the children of Israel including the Jews (of which the Jews largely from the tribe of Judah were a part). Stephen affirms this in Acts 7:38 where the word “Angel” should, in this case, be  “Divine Messenger” referring to the pre-incarnate Yeshua who was the Divine Messenger of his Father YHVH. He was the same Messenger (incorrectly translated “Angel”) that spoke to Moses at the burning bush (Exod 3:2), as well as the Man (a prophetic allusion or shadow to the incarnation of Yeshua the Messiah as the God-Man) with whom Jacob wrestled (Gen 32:24), but who was actually Elohim (vv. 28, 30 and Hos 12:3–4), was in the pillar of fire and led the Israelites in the wilderness. Paul also refers to Yeshua as “the Rock” from which the Israelites drank (1 Cor 10:4), and says that the Israelites tempted Messiah (1Cor 10:9). Paul doesn’t say “Father” here, nor does Stephen refer to the Father as having directly interacted with the Israelites either. Moreover, Yeshua confirms that he was the I AM at the burning bush in John 8:58, which is why the Jews wanted to stone him. They thought he was committing blasphemy by calling himself Elohim. Note what he didn’t say: My Father was the I AM! He said that he was.

Furthermore, if we understand that Yeshua in his preincarnate state married Israel at the foot of Sinai (Ezek 16), then divorced her because of her adulteries, then died for her sin at the cross to pay the death penalty for the adulterous woman, then will remarry the rebirthed or born again redeemed Israel, the one new person (Eph 2:11–19) or church (Rev 19:7–9) comprised of redeemed believers who are the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16), then everything falls neatly into place that Yeshua was the one who directly interacted with the ancient Israelites. If you want to go deeper on these subjects, I have published many written articles and made numerous videos as well about these truths that the mainstream church has missed. What I have given here is the briefest overview.


I know this goes against what the mainstream church teaches, and thus such truths may jar a person’s comfortable understandings a bit, but as you’re finding out in coming to Torah, there are many things that the mainstream church as either missed or gotten wrong either because their apathy or outright antipathy for the Torah has blinded them from the full light of the truth of Scripture, and caused them to misunderstand the Bible because of their wearing tinted and even shaded glasses thus hindering them from seeing the full light of truth.


You can disagree with me, and that’s fine. It won’t affect one’s salvation, but understanding who Yeshua really is and was helps one to a) have a higher view of Yeshua, b) have a higher view of the Torah, c) have a better understanding the truths of the Bible which, like a beam of light, are a perfectly straight line with everything adding up, which brings us back to John 5:37 and 1:18. Instead of cramming these verses into our handed down theologies according to the traditions of men and then painting them to match, which is what the church has made an art and science of and taught us do do, as well, let’s just read and believe the Bible for what it actually say.


One more thing. In John 14:15, Yeshua says that if you love me, keep my commandments. This is nearly an exact quote of someone else telling the Israelites the same thing in Exod 20:16. It seems clear to me that Yeshua is connecting himself to that Person who previously spoke to the Israelites. 


All of this goes to the point that when we start connecting the dots and letting the Scriptures speak for themselves instead of imposing on them our suppositions based on the traditions of men who are looking at the Scriptures often through lenses of men’s thinking and philosophies, suddenly things begin to come alive more, line up more, make more sense and the Bible becomes a much more amazing and unified, unearthly, supernaturally inspired book.

 

We’re back from Europe!

Sandi and I just returned from our nearly three weeks long trip to the British Isles, Ireland and Paris to celebrate our sixtieth birthdays. This was my first time in Europe in nearly forty years and Sandi’s first time (not counting our lay-over in Zurich en route to Israel in 2008). YHVH was with us. No sickness and safe travels. No pickpocketing. Unusually excellent weather, except for a couple of rainy days in Scotland, and even then it was beautiful with the clouds and mist over the Scottish Highlands.

We spent six days in London, then hopped onto a ship for a 12 day, 10 port cruise including cities in England, Ireland, North Ireland, Scotland and France. We disembarked in France and traveled to Paris where we spend a couple of days. We then flew home via Iceland where we laid over for a couple of hours.

While on vacation, I kept my spiritual ears open reserving quiet times nearly every day to listen to YHVH and to study his word. I was blessed to receive some deep revelations on some new biblical topics, which I will be sharing in due time. Took many notes on my I-Pad.

Other than that, it was a time for Sandi and I to come back together after raising and homeschooling our four children, then starting and pastoring a congregation for 18 years, while, at the same time, running a business full-time. Now that we’re nearly empty nesters, we’re trying to spend more time with each other as we embark on our senior years, and our next ministry assignment and life adventure together.

I will be using some of my experiences from our travels accompanied by photos as a launch pad from which to write some blog articles, so stay tuned.

Here are a few photos of us on our travels.

Natan at the Royal Botanical (Kew) Gardens near London.
Sandi popping out of an iconic London phone booth.

Westminster Abbey in London.
Sandi taking photos inside the cathedral in Chester, England.
At the Blarney Castle in Ireland.
Dunrobin Castle in northern Scotland.
En route to Edinburgh, Scotland.
You all know where this is!
Natan at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Saw the Mona Lisa and a couple of other things too.
 

Blog Scripture Readings for 6-9 Through 6-15-19

Aside

Parashat Nasso — Numbers 4:21 – 7:89 
Haftarah — Judges 13:2-25
Prophets — Jeremiah 38:1 – 44:30
Writings — Lamentations 1:1 – 5:22; Ecclesiastes 1:1-18
Testimony — Romans 6:1 – 11:10

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 6/9/19 through 6/15/19. This week is the seventh week of seven complete weeks of the count of the omer.

 

Righteousness Vs. Pseudo-Righteousness

Righteousness is one of those biblical words that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Often righteousness is defined more by the traditions of the churches or religious movement we are a part of (e.g. don’t lie, steal, commit adultery, drink alcohol, dance, play cards, smoke, etc.) than by what the Word of Elohim actually teaches. Have you wondered what the word righteousness really means?

In this study, we have attempted to look up nearly all 297 references in Scripture to righteousness, then list the main scriptures that capture the quintessential meaning of righteousness and then categorize them topically. By this means, we hope to let the Bible itself define righteousness instead of men’s traditions and religious philosophies.

It behooves us to know what righteousness is, since Yeshua declared that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled, and that those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake will inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:6 and 10). Additionally, he commands us to “seek first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness” (Matt 6:33). Elsewhere the Scriptures tell us that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim” (1 Cor 6:9). Yeshua also taught that it was necessary for the righteousness of his disciples (and us) to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt 5:20). What did he mean by this? And finally, in Revelation 19:7–9 the bride of Yeshua is described as wearing “fine linen, clean and bright” garments which is “the righteous acts of the saints” (NKJV). Notice it doesn’t say “righteous beliefs,” but righteous acts.” What are the righteous acts of the saints?

To continue reading, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/righteous.pdf