Does the “Voice” of YHVH Elohim ever contradict itself?


Deuteronomy 28:15, To the voice of YHVH. What is the voice of YHVH?

 

Is his voice that which uttered the Torah at Mount Sinai? Is it the voice of his Spirit inside of a Spirit-led, redeemed believer? Is it the voice of Yeshua as largely recorded in the red letters of the Testimony of Yeshua, or is it the entire Word of YHVH Elohim called the Scriptures? If the answer to the question is “all of the above,” then should any parts or aspects of Elohim’s voice contradict with any other?

If we have a Biblical view or theology where we believe that one aspect of YHVH’s voice contradicts with and another in that we believe a part of it has been “done away with,” then what does this imply about the mind and nature of YHVH? There is a psychological term for this. It is called schizophrenia.

Now in our right mind, we would never dare label YHVH with such terms, for to do so would be blasphemy, right? Yet, in reality, many of our religious beliefs make YHVH into something that he is not, and we risk become an unwitting party to attaching this blasphemous labeling to the Almighty Creator if we subscribe to these false theologies that, in one way or another, tell us one part or another of the Word of Elohim is no longer for us today.

One thing is certain. YHVH is not a liar, nor does he ever contradict himself. If there seems to be a problem with inconsistency in YHVH’s Word, the problem is with OUR ­misunderstanding or misinterpretation of it, and NOT with the actual Word or voice of YHVH!

 

The Commandments of Torah—A Strong Chain

Deuteronomy 27:15–18, The commandments are all inter-connected. To the casual reader, the admonitions contained in these verses may seem to be arranged in a random order, but this is not the case.

Consider the following: The prohibition against idolatry (verse 15) is juxtaposed with that of degrading one’s parents (i.e. not honoring one’s parents, or as S. R. Hirsch states in his commentary, “who outwardly is respectful to his parents but inwardly considers himself vastly superior to them”) along with trespassing against one’s neighbor’s property by removing his neighbor’s boundary markers or landmarks. Now consider this: One who does not honor and fear YHVH but turns to idolatry (the second commandments) will not honor one’s parents (the fifth commandment) (and vice versa) will likewise not honor the property of one’s neighbor (including his neighbor’s wife).

Juxtaposed next to these commands is the prohibition against misleading a blind person (verse 18). This means that we should not take advantage of one’s blindness by advising a blind person in a way beneficial to us and detrimental to him.

Juxtaposed to that is one who steals justice from another by perverting judgment against one who is weaker socially or financially or who is less informed at law than another thereby giving the advantage to the stronger (The ArtScroll Davis Edition Baal HaTurim Chumash/Devarim, pp. 2126–2127).

Can you see how each command is interrelated with all the others? Does this not give one insight into the curious statement found in James 2:10, which declares that if you have broken one commandment you have broken them all? We can see that in one way or the other, all of YHVH’s commandments are inter-related, all depend on each other, and they all stand or fall together.

Now relate James 2:10 back to verse eight where the entire Torah-law can be summarized as the “royal law of love.” As you review YHVH’s list of prohibitions in Deuteronomy 27 can you see any other relationships between these juxtaposed concepts?

Learning to exegete (draw truth out of) Scripture in this manner will yield a whole new level of spiritual revelation to the reader.

 

Do you view yourself as Elohim’s special/peculiar treasure?

Deuteronomy 26:18, His special people. Heb. am segulah. (See notes at Exod 19:5.)

Exodus 19:5, Peculiar treasure. This term or treasured people (Heb. am segulah) is

used several times in the Torah. Here (Exod 19:4–6) YHVH betrothed himself to and married the people of Israel and they became his am segulah or treasured possession among all the peoples of the nation, a kingdom of priests and a kadosh or set-apart nation. Later Moses restates this same idea to the younger generation Israelites about to enter the Promised Land (Deut 14:2); and finally in Deuteronomy 26:18 (see also 7:6) he again calls Israel his “treasured people” and admonishes them to keep his Torah-commands that he might “make you high above all the nations which he has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor, and that you may be a set-apart people unto YHVH your Elohim.” In the Testimony of Yeshua, this theme is again picked up by Peter in his first epistle (1 Pet 2:9) when he refers to the saints as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a peculiar people.” 

Am segulah/hllgso means “possession, treasure, valued property, peculiar treasure.” The basic meaning of the word is “personal property.” Well attested in Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Aramaic, the Akkadian sakalu, ‘to acquire property’ and sikiltum ‘personal property’ are also doubtless related. While the word occurs only eight times, it is filled with theological and spiritual treasures. The preacher in Ecclesiastes reports that the accumulation of the finest of personal possessions is sheer vanity. Those who fear the Lord become his peculiar possessions whom he will never forget, even in that time of great judgment (Mal 3:16–18, see TWOT).

“Israel was God’s personal possession (Ps 135:4). Moses reminded Israel that God chose her and redeemed her from bondage not because of her goodness, but solely because he loved her and was faithful to the promises given to the patriarchs. Israel should reflect God’s holiness and live out his commandments (Deut. 12:2ff), reflecting his standards in a life of wholehearted compliance with the terms of the covenant made at Sinai (Ex. 19:5-6) and renewed at their entrance into Canaan. Then would they have good success (Deut. 26:16-19). So it should be with all believers. These verses are doubtless alluded to in Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9” (Ibid.).

How do you view yourself spiritually? How does Elohim view you? How are these two views different from each other? How you view yourself should be determined by what the Scriptures say about you. What does Elohim’s Word say, and do you believe it?

  • I am complete in Yehshua who is the head of all principality and power. (Col 2:10)
  • I am free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:2) 
  • I am alive with Yeshua. (Eph 2:5)
  • I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. (Isa 54:14 )
  • I am born of Elohim, and the evil one does not touch me. (1 John 5:18)
  • I am holy and without blame before him in love. (1 Peter 1:16; Eph 1:4; Col 2:10)
  • I have the mind of Yeshua the Messiah/the Anointed One. (Phil 2:5; 1 Cor 2:16)
  • I have the peace of Elohim that passes understanding. (Phil 4:7)
  • I have the Greater One living in me, greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
  • I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Yeshua Mashiach. (1 John 4:4 Rom 5:17)
  • I have received the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Yeshua, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened. (Eph 1:17–18)

(For a complete list of what the Scriptures say about you, please see http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/who_i_am.pdf.)

 

Tithing—An Act of Grateful and Prayerful Worship

Deuteronomy 26:4–11, You shall answer. This was the prayer that one was to make when one brought their tithe to YHVH. Bringing one’s tithe to YHVH was an act of gratefulness and worship and was brought with a joyful heart for the blessing the Almighty had bestowed upon the tithe-giver.

Deuteronomy 26:11, You shall rejoice. Bringing one’s tithes and offerings to YHVH is to be a joyful event since it is a reflection of our gratitude to him for abundantly blessing us. (Compare this verse with 2 Corinthians 9:6–11.) Giving to YHVH is a form of worship since it allows us to put our treasure where our heart is (Luke 12:34). Please join me in praying this prayer: 

Father, help us to give to you out of the abundance of our hearts joyfully and with gratitude for your blessings and bounty in our lives. Help me not to be a fair-weather giver only, but to give out of obedience, even sacrificially, that we may learn to have faith in your promises of provision and to obey you no matter the circumstances. Amein.

(For a brief study on tithing and giving, please see my teaching entitled, “Is Tithing for Us Today?” which is available on our ministry website at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/tithing.pdf.)

 

Laws and more laws—What is the point of it all?

Deuteronomy 21–25

This section of the Torah (Deut 21:10–25:19) contains 72 commandments, which is more than in any other Torah portion. In this passage there are rules pertaining to all aspects of human relations showing that the “Torah deals with the real world. It does not present a world where all people get along with one another or rush to take care of one another’s property. Instead, it ‘takes into account the grim reality that people do not achieve the desired observance of “you shall not hate others in your heart”’” (A Torah Commentary For Our Times, vol. 3, p. 150). In studying this portion, one can easily miss the point of a particular command if one views it strictly in its pashat (most literal) meaning. For these commands to have relevance in our day, one must view them as principles that have a broad range of application. The specific examples Torah gives are merely representative of one of but many life situations to which the principle behind the example could apply. Keeping this in mind, this Torah portion will give you much to ponder pertaining to your day-to-day walk (or halakhah).

In these chapters we see a plethora of laws concerning many seemingly small details regarding human life. Many people in the church have the tendency to broadly sweep away these commandments with such dismissive cliches as, “We’re now under grace …” or “We’re not under the law anymore …..” But please observe how many of the civil laws of our nation regulating actions between various members of society are based upon YHVH’s laws found in the Torah. As many of us make our way back to a more biblically-based lifestyle and orientation, we begin to see that (a) YHVH cares about the details of our lives and (b) these laws, while sometimes hard to understand, are for our own well-being and blessing. Do you still nurse a “pick and choose” or “have it your own way” mentality with regard to YHVH’s biblical commandments choosing to follow the ones you want and making excuses why you can’t (or don’t want to) follow the rest? By doing so, what blessings are you depriving yourself of, and how are you hindering your love relationship with YHVH?

Some of the laws in these chapters may be hard to observe nowadays. With others, due to our church background, we may have the tendency to spiritualize them away, thus, in essence, rendering them of non‑effect in our lives and thereby placing ourselves above YHVH’s Torah-law and thus becoming a law unto ourselves. Is this not humanism: every man doing what is right in his own eyes instead of obeying YHVH whatever the cost? Who is the Master of your life? You or YHVH? 

How do you view laws about women wearing men-type clothing, wearing fringes on the corners of your garments, mixed certain types of fibers in clothing, lending without interest, caring for the widows and orphans, personal hygiene, family purity laws (e.g. men not having sexual relations with their wives during their monthly cycles), removing blood from all meat before eating it, men wearing beards, faithfully tithing, following the biblical dietary laws, and observing YHVH’s Sabbaths (weekly and annual), etc.? These are lifestyle-changing laws, many of which go contrary to the mores of our society. 

Are we not called to be a kadosh, set-apart, special and peculiar (i.e. treasured) people before YHVH? What progress are you making to bring your life into conformity to his standards of righteousness?

 

Abortion and Worshipping the Demon-God Moloch

Deuteronomy 18:10, One who causes his son or daughter to pass through the fire. This was done in honor of the Canaanite deity Moloch (see Lev 18:21 and 20:1–6). The name moloch in Hebrew means “king” with the root of the word meaning “to rule or reign.” Child sacrifice (the ancient form of modern abortion/infanticide), though a pagan practice that
YHVH abhorred, was practiced by both houses or kingdoms of Israel as they drifted into syncretism with the heathen cultures around them (see 1 Kgs 11:7; 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; 23:10,13; Jer 7:31; 19:5; Ezek 16:20; 23:37). Baal appears to be a synonym of Molach (see Jer 19:5 and the Ency. Britan. eleventh edit., vol. 18, p. 676). The dead bodies of sacrificed children were thrown into the garbage dump of the Valley of Hinnom or Tophet just below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Jer 7:31; 19:5–6). Apparently, the children were not burned alive, but were slain (by knife) like any other sacrifice before being thrown into the fire and then into the garbage dump (Ibid.). The ancients sacrificed their children to appease their bloodthirsty gods of prosperity, sensuality and fertility (The Story of Civilization, vol. 1, by Will Durant, pp. 66–67, 297). 

What can we learn from these random pieces of information concerning the ancient practice of child sacrifice? It was done in honor of their deity; in other words, their idol was the king that ruled their lives. What is the chief deity in modern America and most everywhere else in the world? Money and wealth? Sex and pleasure? Fun and entertainment? In ancient times, children were killed by a knife, thrown into the fire and then into the garbage dump. Today, what happens in America? Parents abort Continue reading

 

Shame on the Mainstream Media: Stop the Lies and Slander!

How much of what we say would not be said if we had to establish every word in the mouth of two or three witnesses as the Torah-word of Elohim and Yeshua commanded?

Consider this: How much of what the mainstream media pawns off as news is actually lies, hearsay and gossip?

As an academically trained journalist who studied at two university journalism schools and wrote for a major daily big city newspaper and several smaller newspapers while in my teens and twenties, I am appalled at what passes as news reporting today in the mainstream media! This is NOT what we were taught in J-school.

The lives and reputations of many people and organizations are being destroyed because some self-seeking and profiteering “journalist” or “news” organization is trying to make a name for themselves and a buck. Period. Reporting the news is no longer about truth, much less righteousness. That’s one reason I didn’t pursue a career in journalism. It was bad 35 years ago, and it’s even worse today.

As a published author and trained journalist, I say shame on most of the unrighteous upper level journalists and news reporters today who have sold their souls to the world, the flesh and the devil to make a buck and a name for themselves with no thought of whose lives they ruin in the process.

At the very least, have you never heard of the golden rule? 

[Yeshua/Jesus said,] Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matt 7:12)

Moreover, didn’t your mother teach you that if you have nothing good to say about someone, don’t say anything at all? “Ah, but it’s news…” you say as if that would justify your sinful and criminal behavior. Well, then consider this:

Be not deceived; Elohim is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:7–8)

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matt 12:36)

Now consider this:

Deuteronomy 17:6 (and 19:15), By the testimony of two or three witnesses. One could not be accused of a crime without the testimony of two or three eyewitnesses. This admonition is repeated in the Testimony of Yeshua:

But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matt 18:16)

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Cor 13:1)

Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (1 Tim 5:19)

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. (Heb 10:28)

Most gossip and slander would stop if this commandment were followed, and thus much division and strife within the congregation of believers. How many times have you repeated hearsay and gossip without checking the source? Even if you know it to be true, is it beneficial and righteous to repeat it to others? One Jewish sage goes so far as to say that Messiah has not come back because of all the gossip and slander of the people of Israel. Perhaps. At the very least, the Spirit of Elohim is greatly grieved, our intimacy with Elohim is diminished, and our marriages, families, friendships and congregations are fractured, hurt or destroyed because we speak things that should not be uttered.

How often do we accuse, slander and gossip about other people through use of the “evil tongue” (lashon hara) without going through proper channels and following proper biblical protocols to resolve interpersonal conflicts as Yeshua instructed in Matthew 18? How often do we attack others and spread our evil reports and accusations about others when we were not even eyewitnesses to what occurred or were not involved in the matter? How often do we attack YHVH’s leaders and accuse them of evil when there are no other witnesses (1 Tim 5:19)? YHVH hates those who sow discord among brethren and lying false witnesses, and calls this practice an abomination (Prov 6:16–17, 19). So let’s all be careful with our mouths!