Deuteronomy 7—What will it be for YOU? Fear or faith?

Deuteronomy 7:12, Because you listen. This verse shows the conditional nature of the Mosaic Covenant. Blessings are conditional upon obedience to YHVH’s Torah instructions in righteousness. It was a person’s choice to obey or not. Either way, the law of cause and effect would come into play. Blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The same is true with the New Covenant. If we place our faith in Yeshua the Messiah,who is the Living Torah, and love him by keeping his commandments (John 14:15), we will not only be blessed physically blessed here and now, but we will be blessed with eternal life. Those who refuse to place their faith in Yeshua and obey his commandments will receive the fruit of their disobedience now, and will also perish in the lake of fire. The law of cause and effect still applies to both the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant, and humans will reap the consequence of their actions based on the choices they make whether good or bad. It’s that simple.

Deuteronomy 7:17–18, Dispossess them…not be afraid. Do we walk by faith or by sight (i.e. relying strictly on human logic or intellect)? Was it logical to think that Israel could dispossess a fortified land full of people mightier and greater in number than themselves? Fear and logic are often the enemies of faith in YHVH’s Word and promises. Without faith it is impossible to please YHVH (Heb 11:6), and the just shall walk by faith (Heb 10:38). What is faith? (See Heb 11:1.) By faith the physical creation came into existence (Heb 11:3), therefore, faith preceded the physical creation and is the “mother” of it. From the “womb” of faith, if you will, came forth all that we see and know. That “womb” is the very heart, character and mind of YHVH Elohim. It is spiritual. We live in a physical dimension. The new heaven, new earth, and the Jerusalem from above, for which we look, will be of a spiritual dimension. Those who plan on being there must learn to walk in that dimension here and now by trusting in the Word and promises of YHVH for all of their needs. What lessons can we learn from the Israelites in this regard?

Deuteronomy 7:18; 8:2, 11, Remember… forget not. An essential element of a strong faith in the promises of YHVH (e.g. ­prosperity, verse 13; fruitfulness of the womb, verse 14; healing, verse 15; victory over enemies, verse 16; etc.) is to remember YHVH’s past accomplishments in your life: how he has healed you, prospered you, answered your prayers, transformed your life, delivered you from enemies and troubles, given meaning, hope and purpose to your life. In the last days, many are turning away from Yeshua the Messiah (who is also YHVH of the Tanakh, see Acts 7:36–38; 1 Cor 10:4, 9; and compare John 14:15 with Deut 11:1 and Exod 20:6) and are turning to idolatry, doubt and unbelief, secularism, materialism, hedonism, rabbinic Judaism and false religions because they have forgotten what YHVH-Yeshua did for them. Have you forgotten? To forget is a slippery slope that can lead to spiritual oblivion. Take a moment to recall the wonderful things he has done for you. Write them down. Remember them. Thank and praise him for them.

Deuteronomy 7:20–24, YHVH will go before you. Do you really believe that YHVH is leading you into your spiritual Promised Land? What is your mission, calling, destiny and purpose in life vis-à-vis helping to advance the kingdom of Elohim? As he promised to be with the Israelites and to go before them (7:20–24), so his promise commandments and faithfulness are for a thousand generations (7:9), which means they are for you! If you do not have a mission, goal or purpose (the Israelites’ goal and mission was to enter and to possess the Promised Land) then you will wander aimlessly in the wilderness indefinitely.

Deuteronomy 7:25, Carved images of their gods. This shows the link between the two commands contained in the ten statements or commandments relating to idolatry. The prohibition against the worshipping of false gods and making graven or carved images is actually one command with two parts. Men tend to worship idolize what they can see or make.

 

It is your divine mandate and highest calling to teach YOUR children!

YHVH Elohim literally commands parents to instruct their children in his ways. This is not the job of the church or someone else. Now more than ever with the leftist bent of the public school systems, with the constant barrage of ungodly, even God-hating messaging that is constantly assaulting us from every direction and from numerous electronic platforms and devices, it is more important than ever to teach our children the ways and truth of Elohim as found in the Bible. If we fail to do so, what hope do our children have of surviving spiritually in the swirling seas of unrighteous darkness that surrounds us attempting to overtake the saints of the Most High?

Listen up parents! Teaching your children may mean changing your lifestyle. Yes, that’s right. Maybe you’ll have to settle for a little lower standard of living, so that mom can stay home to help homeschool your children. Dad, maybe you’ll have to spend more time at home too and less time pursuing the almighty dollar to help mom homeschool the children. Dad, maybe you’ll need to turn off the television or whatever else you waste your time doing in the evenings and on the weekends and spend more time instructing your children about the Bible. In fact, mom and dad, maybe you’ll have to get up a little earlier each day actually to spend time studying the Word of Elohim, so that you’ll know it well enough to be able to teach your children about it. Am I talking hypocritically out of the top of my hat, so to speak, on this issue? NO! This is exactly what my wife and I did with our four children. If we can do it, YOU can too.

May YHVH bless you in your God-given divine mandate to instruct your children in his way as well YOUR grandchildren or any other children YHVH brings into your life. Taking the time and effort to teach our children is the best investment we can make make bar none in the future; the rewards are far better than any material possessions and riches or anything else the world has to offer!


Deuteronomy 6:7, 10–16, 20–25, Instruct your children in the Torah, so they don’t fall into idolatry. YHVH is constantly warning his people against idolatry; idol worship is anything that gets in the way of our relationship with him. 

If you’re not sure whether you have idols in your life, then ask yourself this question: What is of higher priority in your life than serving YHVH? What in your life takes more of your time, energy and money than serving YHVH? What draws your heart away from the study of his written Word, from prayer and fellowship? What or who hinders you from moving forward in your spiritual walk? What in your life keeps YHVH from getting out of a spiritual box in your life? This is idolatry!

Our children follow our example more than our words. By our actions, if YHVH isn’t first in our life our children will follow our example and will be prone to perpetuate our idolatrous ways down the generational line.

Several times YHVH instructs the children of Israel to be certain to instruct their children in the ways of Torah-righteousness. In the Shema, YHVH commands, “And you shall teach them [i.e. his Word] diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up” (6:7). Then in verses 20–25 of the same chapter we read, 

“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which YHVH our Elohim has commanded you?’ Then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and YHVH brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and YHVH showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And YHVH commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear YHVH our Elohim, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before YHVH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’”

Too often in the church-system the children have had to take the backseat when it comes to discipleship and ministry. They get a few table scraps thrown at them called “Vacation Bible School” (once a year) and a little psychological pep talk Jonah and the Whale-type teaching on Sunday morning accompanied by some, often inane, craft project. Seldom does the head pastor of the church bother with the children’s ministry. Usually, this function is relegated to the younger associate pastor. Typically, the position of “Youth Pastor” is viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone to the “top dog” position of “Head Pastor.” Furthermore, seldom do parents spend any meaningful time during the week instructing their children in the ways of YHVH. As redeemed Israelites, it is our opportunity to follow the Torah and to place the highest ministry priority on instructing our children in the truths of the written Torah, in the truth of Yeshua the Living Torah, and in the fundamentals of who they are as members of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12) and in preparing them for the kingdom of Elohim. If we don’t, who will? As parents, what are you doing on a regular basis to diligently instruct your children all day, every day? As grandparents, aunts and uncles and members of gospel-orientated Torah community, what are you doing to help in teaching the children? What was the attitude of the disciples when they attempted to shoo the children away from Yeshua. What was Yeshua’s response? Read and compare Matthew 19:13–15 with 18:1–5 and go and do likewise, for they are our future and our legacy!


Torah Explorers Bible Study Program

Do you need a little help teaching your children the Bible? How about a free Torah and gospel-based Bible study program for young people—one lesson for each week of the year? Many years ago, while homeschooling our children and pastoring a local church congregation, I developed Torah Explorers for homeschooling and for churches. This is a good Bible study program for adults as well. Check it out here: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/parshiot.html

 

The Works of the Flesh Vs. the Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:16–25 Discussed…

Acting Defensively as a Cover-Up for Own Sinful Inadequacies

How often do people have a personality and a worldview that is based on a mental and spiritual paradigm that is defensive and self-protective? Someone with such a personality often excuses and absolves themselves of responsibility for their actions by shifting the blame off of self by accusing others for the negative consequences their own actions. The actions of such a person often proceed from that person’s mental and spiritual carnal nature strongholds. It is out of these strongholds (e.g. pride, selfishness, fear, greed, lust, bitterness, etc.) and an attempt to cover their  sin (instead of dealing with it through admission of responsibility followed by confession and repentance) that these defensive, self-preservationist actions occur. Those on the receiving end of the person’s defensive, sinful actions will see this person as accusative, angry, contentious, lying, arrogant and fearful. These are the bad fruits of a carnally-minded person.

Moreover, our own sins often blind us from clearly seeing the sins of others. What happens, in an effort to cover up our own sins and absolve and excuse ourselves from responsibility for our own sinful actions, is that we often condemn and accuse others of that which we ourselves are guilty. This is called blame shifting and is a merely a slight-of-hand diversionary tactic to distract the attention of those we’re trying to deceive. By resorting to this defensive strategy, we get the critical eye of others off ourselves and we effectively are able to cover and hide our own sins thus escaping responsibility for our own evil actions.

This is why we have to be so careful when pointing fingers at others for any reason. Perhaps we are guilty of the same sin for which we’re accusing others.

In fact, the wise person, when he sees himself accusing someone of something, will stop for a moment of self-reflection and self-analysis to determine if he is actually reacting in a hypocritical and duplicitous manner. If so, this is an excellent opportunity for one to gain an insight into the dark areas of one’s own soul and to admit his own glaring sinfulness and to confess and repent of that sin. This takes great courage and spiritual maturity, but provides one with a great opportunity to overcome sin and to grow closer to Elohim by becoming more like Yeshua.

Accountability to others is vitally important to help keep us on the narrow path of righteousness and truth and to even aid us in maturing spiritually. With the help of those to whom we make ourselves accountable, we will learn to act under the controlling influence of the Word and Spirit of Elohim. We will be disinclined merely to act out of carnal emotional and mental (often demonically-influenced) impulses that are based on sin-strongholds that exist deep in our soul as a result of past wounds and hurts. These past hurts continually jerk us around by dictating how to act and what to say when we are confronted with difficult, embarrassing situations (Gal 5:16–17). Instead of being led by the Spirit of Elohim to respond appropriately in crisis situations resulting in the fruit of the Spirit being produced (Gal 5:16, 22–25), such a person, instead, tends to react emotionally, impulsively and defensively and the outcome is the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19–21).

This is why accountability to others is important. Other people will help us to see our blind spots and, if we can get past our own pride and proclivity to react self-defensively, to overcome our fleshly, carnal, sinful tendencies, and to walk under the control of the Spirit of Elohim thus producing the fruit of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh.

As a result, our interpersonal relationships will improve, stress will diminish and the peace of Elohim will fill our lives and will live in an atmosphere of love, joy and peace instead of strife, contention and anger.

 

Galatians 3—What is “the curse of the law”, what was “added” and who are what is “school master”?

Do these Galatians Scripture passages nullify the YHVH’s Torah-law as the mainstream church teaches, or do they validate the Torah as the church does not teach? Read and find out…

Galatians 3:13, Curse of the law. The curse of the law is not the Torah-law, but the penalty for violating it. Yeshua came to save us from the penalty of the law, not from the law itself.  Through his grace and forgiveness coupled with our repentance, we are saved from the consequences of violating the law (the penalty of the law, which ultimately is death), but we have not been liberated from obedience to the law. That would be like saying that if someone pays your fine for speeding, the speeding laws no longer apply to you and you are free to drive at any speed you like. This of course is absurd.

Galatians 3:19, It was added/sent again. This refers to the Torah in its codified form as given to the Israelites at Sinai, and to the sacrificial system that was imposed on the rebellious Israelites until the time of Yeshua’s death on the cross (see notes at Jer 7:22). Let me explain.

The Levitical priesthood (along with the elaborate tabernacle sacrificial system) was a temporary institution that YHVH added (Gal 3:19 cp. Jer 7:21–22) to the nation of Israel’s legal system because of the firstborn Israelites’ (who YHVH commissioned to be the priests of their families, Exod 19:22 cp. Exod 13:2, 11–16) failure to prevent Israel from worshipping the golden calf and to sin  by faithlessly grumbling and  murmuring against Elohim. In a general sense, YHVH didn’t give the Israelites the Torah at this time—the principles of which they and their forefathers already knew (e.g. Gen 26:5), and which were in existence since the foundation of the earth. These eternal and inviolate principles had already been passed on down to successive generations by men like Enoch, Noah and the patriarchs. So what other law was added? At Mount Sinai, the eternal principles of the Torah were codified into an administrative legal system (with civil penalties including the institution of a sacrificial system as a penalty for sin, which the Bible calls this system “the law of Moses”), and this codified system became the constitution of the nation of Israel. At the same time, YHVH gave them the institution of the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system (Gal 3:19), which (along with the rest of the Torah) pointed them to their need for Yeshua the Savior (Gal 3:16, 24). An example of such a codified system of law would be the American Constitution, the principles of which the founding fathers gleaned from many sources (including the biblical Torah, the ancient Greeks, English common law, the English Magna Carta and the French philosophers), which they then combined to make the legal code that now governs the United States (in theory). A similar situation occurred with the law of Moses, except the source for it was the Word, will, heart and character of Elohim, which he had revealed his servants of antiquity, and which then had been passed on down as well as additional laws that were given to Moses pertaining to governing the nation of Israel.

The civil penalties that the law of Moses prescribes along with the sacrificial and Levitical systems were temporary institutions that pointed, like a schoolmaster, tutor or pedagogue (to use Paul’s analogy in the latter part of Galatians chapter four), to Yeshua the Messiah, and which were completely fulfilled by the Messiah as the writer of Hebrews goes on to explains in great detail (see Hebrews chapters 5–11). 

The general principles of the Torah are inviolate and have never changed. This includes the ten commandments, the biblical feasts, the Sabbath, the dietary laws, and all the laws and principles that regulate moral behavior as well as tell us how to love Elohim with our total being and our neighbor as ourselves. These are the eternal principles of the Torah of which Yeshua said that not one jot or tittle would pass away, that we must obey (both letter and spirit), and that obedience to will determine the saint’s rewards in the kingdom of Elohim. Yeshua explains all these things in his landmark and pivotal teaching that history now refers to as the Sermon on the Mount (i.e. Matthew chapters five through seven). Read it, believe it and follow these principles as they lead and guide you into the kingdom of heaven through Yeshua the Messiah!

Galatians 3:24, Schoolmaster. The church’s concept and understanding of the schoolmaster is incorrect. Consider what David Stern has to say about it:

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Galatians 3—”Works of the law” and “Judaizer” Defined

Too many people wear bias glasses when reading the Bible which ends up filtering out the light of truth.

Let the light of truth shine forth against the lies and misinformation that is so freely and regularly promulgated in the minds and mouths of so many disciples of the Messiah—many of whom are viewed as biblical experts. The problem is that too many people view Scripture through various lenses which filter out the light of divine Truth and skew the words of Elohim. As a result, they interpret much of Scripture through bias confirmation rather than letting the simple truth of Scripture speak for itself. Hopefully, the following discussions will clear up some of the confusion…

Galatians 2:11–16, Peter…works of the law. What were these “works of the law” to which Paul was referring that forbad Peter from eating with the Gentiles? Is this referring to the corpus of Jewish extrabiblical tradition or oral law, which forbad Jews from eating with Gentiles? Or is it referring to the idea that since the Gentiles were uncircumcised, and thus, ostensibly, non-Israelite, Jews couldn’t share a meal with them for fear of being defiled by incurring ritual impurity? Is Paul attacking the Jews’ oral traditions or the false concept that circumcision is a precondition for membership within the body of Yeshua and hence of fellowship among believers including the sharing of food? Perhaps Paul, in rebuking Peter, is attacking both issues. 

Support for the idea that Paul is addressing issues surrounding adherence to Jewish oral law is strengthened by a text found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4QMMT or 4Q394–399); qv. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4QMMT), which address sectarian Jewish interpretation of biblical law or halachah including righteousness by works, and which seems to contain similar language to Paul’s statements in this chapter. 

However, to one scholar, the validity of the argument that Paul has 4QMMT in mind when writing Galatians is debatable as pointed out by Jeff Dryden (http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/4QMMT.htm). 

On the other hand, Hebrew scholar, Martin Abegg, presents the idea that Paul in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians may have been informed by some of the ideas espoused in 4QMMT (http://www.sabbathreformation.com/article-paul-works-of-the-law-and-mmt-118800746.html). The term “works of the law” (miqsat ma’ase ha-Torah) is found in it its complete form once in 4QMMT (4Q398 14–17 ii conflated with 4Q399 from The Completee Dead Sea Scrolls in English, p. 229 as translated by Geza Vermes; Penguin Classics, 2004 and A New Translation—The Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 454, translated by Wise, Abegg and Cook; Harper San Fransisco, 1996) and in its incomplete form (4Q394 3–7 i conflated with 4Q395; Vermes. p. 223 and Wise et al, p. 462). 

Therefore, with various and opposing opinions from biblical linguistic experts on the subject of whether Paul is referring to extra biblical Jewish laws or to the Torah-law itself in this verse, one thing seems clear. The exact meaning Paul’s phrase “the works of the law” is not clear and remains open to discussion and to debate.

Galatians 2:14, To live as a Jew. The Greek word here is Ioudaidzo from which the term Judaizer derives. This is the only occurrence of this word in the Testimony of Yeshua. Biblically speaking, who and what is a Judaizer?

Who Is the Real Judaizer?

Mainstream Christians often label those believers in the gospel and who adhere to the Torah Judaizers. Is this a correct label and is the biblical historical origin of this term? 

The term Judaizing or Judaizer as the mainstream church understands it today isn’t found in the New Testament per se. However, church historians and Bible teachers have applied this term retrospectively to those in the primitive Christian church as well as to modern saints who advocated adherence to the Torah. This is ironic since Paul advocated Torah obedience to the believers in Rome (who were both Jewish and Gentile). So while Paul teaches Torah observance on the one hand, many believe that Paul was teaching liberty from the Torah (in book of Galatians, for example) on the other hand. This has led to much confusion about what Paul really believed. Was he conflicted in his beliefs being both for and against the Torah? Or maybe he gradually changed his opinion from pro-Torah to anti-Torah. This latter proposition seems unlikely since Bible scholars tell us that Romans and Galatians were written nearly at the same time. So the term Judaizer as used by modern Bible scholars seems to be a canard ­— a fabricated concept, or a concept built on a false premise. 

The term Judiazer is found only in two verses in the entire Bible. The first place is in Esther 8:17 where the Greek Old Testament (LXX) uses the Hebrew verb yachad meaning “to become a Jew,” or “to profess oneself to be Jewish.” It was used in reference to those Persians who suddenly “converted” to Judaism to escape Jewish persecution. The final reference is found in Galatians 2:14 were Paul was accusing Peter, not of being Torah-obedient, but rather of adhering to non-biblical Jewish traditions, which forbad Jews and Gentiles from eating together. In reality, adherence to these extrabiblical Jewish traditions was Judaizing — a fact that seems to be missed by the majority of Christian scholars from the second century to this day! This isn’t a new thing, for Yeshua accused the learned Jewish religious leaders of his day of the same thing: “making the word of Elohim of no effect through your traditions which you have handed down” (Mark 7:15). Earlier he said, “You reject the commandment of Elohim, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9).

In reality, what Paul was fighting against was not the Torah, which he advocates, defends and claims to follow himself in a number of places in his writings, but he rejects the idea that one can be saved by their works including circumcision. After all, this issue was the focus of the debate of the first Jerusalem council in Acts 15. In combatting the false notion that circumcision, for example, must be a prerequisite to salvation, Paul opposes this idea in a grand and logical step-by-step fashion in the book of Romans, and again in the book of Galatians in a knock-out-the-opponent-quickly manner. So if we’re to apply the term Judaizer to anyone, it must be applied to those advocating a works-based salvation formula, not to those who teach that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Yeshua with the spiritual fruits of conversion being love toward Elohim and one’s fellow man as defined by the Torah — something this author strongly advocates. Sadly, this fundamental truth of who a Judaizer really was seems to have been missed by the majority of early church fathers and modern mainstream church theologians who have continued to repeat the anti-Semitic theological viewpoints handed down to them starting with the second century church fathers onward, and who fear rejection from their peers and supporters if they go against millennia of church tradition.

 

Deuteronomy 4—Torah-light to the Nations, the Fear of Elohim and the Exile and Regathering of Dispersed Israel

Deuteronomy 4:2, You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor shall you subtract/diminish from it. YHVH warns his people against adding or subtracting from his written word elsewhere as well (Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18–19). Men seem inclined to ignore YHVH’s command in this regard. In fact, whole religions have been founded based on disregarding this prohibition. Some claim to be Bible-based (e.g. Mormonism with their Book of Mormon and rabbinic Judaism with its Talmud), and some have supplanted the entire Bible with their own book (Islam with its Quran). This doesn’t even include the numerous unbiblical traditions and man-made doctrines that many traditional churches and denominations have constructed out of whole cloth and patched into the teachings of the Bible. This cannot be pleasing to Elohim!

Who is the author of and real power behind adding to and subtracting from or twisting YHVH’s Word? It is Satan the serpent. (See Gen 3:1ff and Matt 4:3ff.) Make no mistake, adding or subtracting from the Word of Elohim is to fall for the lie that the devil told the first humans at the tree of knowledge that the Word of Elohim can be molded and formed to fit men’s ways of  thinking instead of Elohim’s.

What did Yeshua warn the religionists of his day against in this regard? He said, “Thus have you made the commandment of Elohim of none effect by your tradition” (Matt 15:6) and, “Howbeit in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). What are some examples of traditions and theologies in the modern-day Christian and Jewish religions where YHVH’s word has been superseded by man’s traditions? What are some traditions and doctrines of men you have turned away from in order to bring yourself into greater alignment with YHVH’s Word? How is your life better for it? What has been the reaction of those around you in response to your aligning your life more closely with the truth of YHVH?

Finally, the Bible ends with a warning to those who would add to the word of Elohim.

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, Elohim will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18–19)

When this passage says “this book,” which book is it talking about? The Book of Revelation or the entire Bible? To be on the safe side, it is prudent to assume John is referring to the whole Bible. I personally don’t care to experiences any of Elohim’s curses; life is already difficult enough as it is!

Deuteronomy 4:2, Observe the commandments of YHVH. The word observe (RNA/shin-mem-resh)is a common Hebrew verb meaning “to keep, guard, give heed, watch, protect, have charge of.”In its noun-form, shamar means “a watchman.” According to TWOT, the basic meaning of shamar is “to exercise great care over something.” One of the most frequent uses of this verb in Scripture is how it is used in this verse. YHVH commands his people to shamar his Torah-commandments some 30 times in the Torah alone. What does this mean to you? Are you learning to not only “hear,” but “to do” his commands? How has your life changed and what are the resulting blessings? Though YHVH clearly commands his people “to keep” or “to guard,” what is commonly taught in most Christian churches in regard to “the law”?

Deuteronomy 4:6, Keep. Keeping Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) was the means for YHVH’s chosen people to be salt and light to the surrounding nations. Torah is literally a “witnessing tool.” What kind of righteous witness are you (via your Torah lifestyle) to those around you who are lost in spiritual darkness?

Wisdom [Heb. chokmah] and understanding [Heb. biynah]. What is the biblical definition of wisdom and understanding? Let’s explore this subject to see what we can learn from the word of Elohim.

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Strength Out of Weakness—A POWERFUL Principle of the Kingdom of Heaven!

2 Corinthians 12:9–10, Strength…weakness…weak…strong. This is another fundamental principle of the kingdom of Elohim that is counter-intuitive to the natural human mind. How can weakness be strength? This seems to be the reverse of what the world teaches us. Strength in weakness is akin to other scriptural principles as well where the opposite of what seems to be true is actually the higher spiritual truth. For example, the Bible teaches us that to become rich (spiritually), we must give our physical wealth away. Or to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, we must become a servant, that is, the way down is the way up. Or to gain (eternal) life, one must be willing to lose one’s life (to lay one’s physical and soul life down at the foot of the cross of Yeshua). Or when we come to the end of ourselves and have no where look but up, this is when we find Elohim. 

Similarly, Paul’s statement in this passage teaches us that when we are in physical distress through persecution, infirmities of the flesh or reproaches of men this is when we find the love, strength, presence and love of Elohim. David expressed it this way: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me” (Ps 23:4). In a similar vein, Isaiah declared that when we pass through the floods and fires of adversities, YHVH will be with us, for he will not allow us to either drown or be burned (Isa 43:1–2). Job was perfected in weakness and found strength in Elohim in his time of distress, as was Jacob in his dark night of the soul when he found himself at death’s door and his natural strength failed to deliver him out of his troubles upon returning to the Promised Land. The Israelites found Elohim when trapped between Pharaoh and the sea, as did the three Hebrew children when thrown into the fiery furnace. Countless other biblical examples could be given of true strength being birthed out of human weakness. 

Remember this. When you’re strong (in yourself), it’s hard if not impossible to find YHVH’s love, but when you’re weak (and have come to the end of yourself), YHVH’s love will find you, that is, YHVH’s strength will be made perfect in weakness.

I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…(Eph 3:16)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph 6:10)

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on YHVH Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:29–31)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your Elohim. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)

He shall say, “Surely in YHVH I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, And all shall be ashamed Who are incensed against Him.” (Isa 45:24)