What does badger skin have to do with love and Torah?

Numbers 4:6, Badger skin [Heb. tachash]. When being transported, the ark of the covenant was covered with a tachash skin, which, according to rabbinic tradition was an unusually beautiful color of turquoise blue made from the hide of a now extinct animal. According to The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, this striking color of blue invited one to keep YHVH’s Torah-commandments by clothing them in physical beauty thus showing that obedience to them would be enjoyable (p. 745). Is obeying YHVH, keeping his commands, inviting and enjoyable, or is it a burden? In 1 John 5:1–3 we read:

Whosoever believes that Yeshua is the Messiah is born of Elohim, and every one that loves him that begot loves him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous [burdensome, severe, cruel, heavy].

John the apostle clearly states that obedience to Torah is centered on love—a love relationship between man and his Creator. John, in his Gospel, records Yeshua, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim, saying,

If you love me, keep my Torah-commandments (John 14:15).

Other scriptures that say the same thing in a different way include,

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.…Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13:8, 10)

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John 3:23)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:2–3)

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (2 John 5–6)

 

How Do You Come Before the Throne of Elohim in Heaven?

Leviticus 16:1—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator

How do humans come into the presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and many improper ways. The Torah’s discussion pertaining to the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) reveal to us what the proper protocol is and also alludes to the fact that there is an improper way to approach the Almighty Creator as well—something which brings disastrous results.

Now YHVH spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before YHVH, and died… (Lev 16:1)

Elohim killed Nadab and Abihu because they came into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses (a representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room) in a careless and indifferent manner. Not only were they intoxicated with alcohol, but they failed to follow the proper ceremonial protocols outlined by YHVH Elohim to come into his presence. The next few verses lay out what those protocols are to come before the King of the universe. To not follow those protocols brings the death penalty on the person. Such a person is entering illegally as an unauthorized trespasser.

Before exploring how to enter the presence of Elohim properly, let’s bring this abstract concept down to a level we can understand. For example, who hasn’t seen signs on private property that say something like this: “Private Property, No Trespassing,” “Government Property, No Trespassing,” “Unauthorized Entrance Prohibited,” “Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law,” or “Violators Will Be Shot”? What happens to an uninvited intruder who climbs over the fence around the White House or Continue reading

 

Introduction to Biblical Aroma Therapy—Essential Oils

Exodus 30:34–38, Sweet spices. According to Jewish tradition (b. Talmud Keritot 6a), there were eleven sweet spices (Heb. ketoret bisamim) in the tabernacle incense, four of which are mentioned here. They were balsam, clove, galbanum, frankincense, myrrh, cassia, spikenard, saffron, costus, aromatic bark (a type of cinnamon), and cinnamon. Four thousands of years, ancient cultures relied on the medicinal properties of aromatic plants. Only in recent years, has the West rediscovered the salutary benefits of these plants. Listed below are the suggested healing properties of several of these herbs. In modern times, the oils from these plants are being extracted for use in various ways. (Source of information is from various online sources and Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre.)

  • Galbanum (Ferula gummosa or Ferula galbaniflua) is an antiseptic (prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms), and helps to treat asthma, acne, coughs, cramps, scar tissue, wrinkles. Apparently, the smoke from burning the resin of this plant was used in ancient times to keep flies and snakes away.
  • Onycha may by cloves, which is an antiseptic, analgesic (pain relief), carminative (for relieving flatulence) or Styrax officinalis, which is a resin from this tree and is great for kidney support (edema), bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, skin conditions, and is said to relieve stress.
  • Frankincense is a skin tonic, heals infected wounds and is an anti-inflammatory. It helps to reprogram cellular memory thus promoting permanent healing. It is used against typhoid, allergies herpes, tonsillitis, head injuries, depression, and cancer. Research shows that it will lower cortisol by 40 percent just by deep inhalation. Elevated cortisol contributes to weight problems.
  • Myrrh (stacte) is a skin tonic or conditioner, anti-inflammatory, cough expectorant, vulnerary (heals wounds), fungicide, antiseptic, astringent (causes the contraction of body tissues—notably the skin). It is especially useful for mouth ulcers and throat infections. In ancient times, pregnant mothers anointed themselves with myrrh for protection against infectious diseases, and they used myrrh during labor to stretch the perineum and on umbilical cords. Myrrh has a long history of use in skin health and hygiene products, and it prolongs the life and scent of other oils. Myrrh helps to combat wrinkles, is antiseptic, aids in balancing the thyroid, clearing athletes foot, ringworm, viral hepatitis, thrush in babies, inflammation and bronchitis.
  • Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) is an antiseptic, antibiotic, and immune system builder.
  • Spikenard is a skin tonic or conditioner.
  • Aromatic Bark is an antiseptic (against flu and infectious disease), stimulant (circulation, nervous system).
  • Cinnamon (leaf) is an antiseptic (against infectious disease), relieves skin irritants (e.g. poison oak).
 

Is the oil level in your spiritual engine low or high?

Herodian oil lamps from the first century A.D. The lamp on the left is a replica. The lamp on the right is an actual 2000 year old clay lamp from the Holy Land.

Exodus 27:20–21, They shall bring pure oil. Olives, olive oil and the olive tree are very significant biblical symbols. This oil was used for anointing and for burning in the seven-branched menorah—a picture of redeemed Israelite believers comprised of many different congregations (Rev 1:12–13). This olive oil was pure and the olives were beaten or pressed to produce oil for light (Exod 27:20). How does this relate to the believer’s life, so that he can be the light of the world Yeshua commanded him to be (see Matt 5:14–16 cp. Acts 14:22; Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Pet 4:12–14; Jas 1:2–3)?

The priests attended to the menorah to keep it burning continually from evening till morning. This reminds us of Yeshua’s Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1–13), where Yeshua’s exhorted his disciples to be like the wise virgins who kept their lamps trimmed and full of oil as they were watching and waiting for their bridegroom to come.

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the level of oil in each virgin’s lamp was the factor that determined whether they would be allowed entrance into the bridegroom’s wedding or not. Therefore, what is the significance of olive oil (the fuel for the lamps) scripturally? There are several.

Olive oil was used in consecrating kings and priests for YHVH’s service (see 1 Sam 16:13; 1 Kgs 1:39; Lev 8:12).

Olive oil symbolizes YHVH’s rich blessings on one’s life, was used for consecrating the tabernacle and its contents (Lev 8:10).

Olive oil was a medicinal agent for healing (Isa 1:6; Luke 10:34).

Olive oil is also a scriptural metaphor for YHVH’s anointing on one’s life (see Ps 23:5; 133:2; Zech 4:12–14).

Olive oil is a biblical metaphor for gladness or joy (note Ps 45:7; Prov 27:9; Isa 61:3; Heb 1:9).

Olive oil speaks of healing by the laying on of hands (read Mark 6:13; Jas 5:14).

Olive oil is a symbol of prosperity (see Deut 32:24).

In Jewish thought, olive oil is also a metaphor for Torah, since it is a comfort to the head and body even as are the words of the Torah (Everyman’s Talmud, by Abraham Cohen, p. 134).

Oil in the Parable of the Ten Virgins oil is generally recognized to be a symbol of the blessing and anointing of YHVH’s Set-Apart Spirit functioning in one’s life.

Let us not forget that the same is the spiritual force that Spirit leads one into YHVH’s Torah-truth (John 15:26; 16:13). The five foolish virgins’ lack of oil speaks of their lacking YHVH’s anointing and blessing, that their lives were not fully consecrated to him, that they were deficient in YHVH’s Spirit and were not walking in the fullness of his Torah-truth. Torah teacher, Dean Wheelock characterizes the foolish virgins’ lack of oil in this way:

The foolish squander their oil, their precious oil of Torah instruction, which tells them how to live their lives in a righteous manner. Meanwhile the wise hang on to their Torah learning, and thereby save their oil for that time when it is needed. And the time when it will be most needed is when Messiah arrives to take us to the wedding. Then we will need all of the Torah oil we can muster. That is what the “foolish virgins” were missing. They did not have an adequate supply of understanding of the Torah, they were not living a Torah-centered life, they had not prepared themselves adequately to be the wife of the Messiah Yeshua, the one who as the “Living Torah” when he walked the earth some two thousand years ago. (Hebrew Roots Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1997, article entitled “Oil For Our Lamps,” by Dean Wheelock, p. 10)

In the Scriptures, how is the lamp viewed metaphorically? (Read 2 Sam 22:29; Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23.) Believers are to be leading lives reflective of YHVH’s light and are to be lamps or lights shining in the darkness of this world (note Matt 5:14; Luke 12:35; Phil 2:15). The ceramic lamps used in biblical times are an apt symbol of our physical lives, which the Scriptures describe as vessels of clay, which contain the Spirit of YHVH, for the spirit of man is the candle or lamp of YHVH burning inside of man (Prov 20:27) and, our lives are earthen vessels that contain YHVH’s spiritual light (2 Cor 4:6–7). At the same time, the pure gold menorah in the tabernacle shows us although we may now be mere vessels of clay as we walk this earth, it is our spiritual destiny, upon receiving our glorified bodies at the resurrection to be gold in that we will be like Yeshua (1 John 3:2).

 

The Manifest Presence of Elohim Transforms a Person

Exodus 25:22, There I will meet with you. Between the two cherubim was the glowing, anointed, manifest Presence of YHVH called the Shekinah. This pictures the glories of the New Jerusalem and life happily ever after for Yeshua and his spiritual bride.

The manifest Presence of Elohim is the last of seven “items” in the tabernacle and it is also the one ingredient that is missing in all the other religions of the world. Yes, many of the world’s false religions have their signs, wonders and supernatural experiences, but these are cheap demonic counterfeits that only imitate the real thing. In the end, despite all that they promise, they bring shame, confusion, guilt and eventual death and eternal separation from Elohim.

In the Tabernacle of Moses, the first six items were made with human hands. Six is the number of man. YHVH’s Presence cannot be constructed by the hand or mind of man. It just is, and it doesn’t come as a result of anyone conjuring it up. It comes as a result of repentance, holiness, obedience and humans seeking Elohim with all their hearts, while following the protocols he has laid out, which, when followed, lead to him. There is no other way.

The Presence of Elohim is what is missing in every other of the world’s religious systems. It was even missing in the Second Temple!

In YHVH Elohim’s Presence, a human is miraculously changed and transformed spiritually from the inside out.

There I will [Heb. ya’ad] meet with you…I will commune [Heb. d’bar]…I will give you. This entire verse is pregnant with spiritual meaning relating to the holy of holies, which was YHVH’s point of contact between heaven and earth. From this Continue reading

 

“And now we will pass the offering plate…” Huh?!?

Exodus 25:2, That they may bring me an offering. Interestingly, this is the only place in the Scriptures where an offering was taken of YHVH’s people to support the work of the ministry. In one other place in the Bible, a collection was taken, but what was its purpose and who was it for? (See 1 Cor 16:1–3 and Acts 11:27–30.)

This is not to say that the saints should not give of their substance to help support their spiritual leaders. What did Paul teach about the saints supporting the work of the ministry—especially those who are spiritually feed them? (Read 1 Cor 9:1–18; 1 Tim 5:17–18; Gal 6:6–9.)

The main point we wish to make here is that the taking of offerings or the passing of the plate isn’t a biblical norm. People were expected to give, but of their own freewill and without pressure or coercion from their spiritual leaders.

What did Yeshua say about giving? (Note Acts 20:35; Luke 6:38.) What did Paul say to those who do not share their substance with (or sow sparingly to) those who teach them? (Look at 2 Cor 9:6.)

What should be our heart attitude when giving to the ministry of Elohim? (See 2 Cor 9:7.)

What are the blessings from Elohim that one can expect from giving cheerfully? (Read 2 Cor 9:8–11.)

 

The Tabernacle of Moses Explained—YHVH’s Plan of Salvation in Full Display

Over the years on this blog, I have shared numerous teachings on the Tabernacle of Moses. To find these teachings in this blog’s archives, simply type in “Tabernacle of Moses” in the search box at the top right hand corner of this blog’s front page and you’ll find a whole list of these teaching for your spiritual edification. Please enjoy!