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What Is ‘The Word’ ?

‘Scripture’ is a word spoken and heard time and time again in our churches, synagogues and meeting places. According to dictionaries, it is ‘any sacred book or writing, a passage from any sacred book or writing; The Bible;’ We also refer to The Bible – Scripture – as ‘The Word’.
Where does the term ‘The Word’ come from ? The phrase “the Word of the Lord came’ appears almost one hundred times in the The Old Testament, and most of those appearances are followed by this phrase, ‘and said’. So ‘The Word of the Lord came and said . . .’ John tells us this ‘Word’ was in the beginning and took on flesh and walked among them . . .’ It tells us Yeshua is the Word made flesh. He is the living, breathing version of the written Word. Yeshua is not only He that spoke from Mt. Sinai but also that which was spoken.
The title, ‘The Bible’ comes from first century common greek (ta biblia) and literally means ‘The Books’, which is an apt title, understanding the Bible to be not just a book but a collection of books written by numerous authors from different backgrounds and educational levels over a period of more than four millennia. And in all this it is not only a collection of books in which there is no contradiction but that all carry the same theme and thread and point to the same culmination – the last days and the Salvation of Israel.
One thing we seem to lose sight of is the fact that the Bible as we know it today and the ‘Bible’ in Yeshua’s day is not the same collection of books. Don’t hang up yet. What we mean by that is in Yeshua’s day the only Scripture that existed is that which we refer to as the Old Testament. The New Testament ( also called ‘Apostolic Writings’) did not exist in His day. Yeshua, the Apostles, and the others were ‘living’ the NT but it was not compiled as a ‘collection of letters’ and added to the canon of The Bible for another 200 years or more.
“Yes”, you say, “we know all that”. Well, with that understanding, ponder this concept. Paul spoke this admonition in 2 Timothy 3:15 “ . . . from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” “. . . in the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Hebrews 10, Psalm 40)
So the question ? What ‘Scripture’ and ‘Word’ was Paul referring to in his letter to Timothy if the NT did not exist at that time ? Well, the only Scripture that existed was that which we call the Old Testament. Paul is telling Timothy not only are the Law and the Prophets not done away with but they are the ‘Word’ we are to be ready to preach in and out of season. How can we be sure this is what Paul means ? Because it lines up with what Yeshua says in Matthew 5 . . . 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill . 18 “For truly I say to you, heaven and earth shall pass away, but not the slightest stroke of the pen shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished (and when will all be accomplished?…at the end of the millineum). 19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” The keeping of His ways is not a matter of salvation but of obedience.
So are we saying ‘the Old does away the New’ ? Not at all. We are saying ‘the Old is the foundation for the New’.
“This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths where the good way is, and when you find it walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But the people said, We will not . . .”” Jeremiah 6:16
May that not be said of us in these days . . . Shalom –

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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That Name means Salvation

That Name means Salvation

Strong’s # 03444 yeshuw`ah {yesh-oo’-aw}

In English His name is Jesus. In the Hebrew language His name is Yeshua (or Y’shua)which translated is ‘Salvation’. It’s what His momma would have called him as a child growing up. In our English alphabet we have 26 letters that carry varying sounds but, as a rule, do not have specific meanings themselves. In the Hebrew alphabet there are 22 characters, each one having not only specific sounds but each letter also carries a numeric value and a specific meaning or definition.
For instance, the letter ‘Bayt’ carries the ‘B’ sound and is also the Hebrew word for ‘house’. So let’s take a closer look at the word and Hebrew name of the Biblical Messiah – Yeshua or Y’shua.
The letters are yod or ‘Y’, shin or ‘Sh’, vav  which here is the vowel sound ‘U’, ayin which sounds like ‘ah’ and is the word for ‘eye’, and finally the letter ‘hay’ which would correspond to the english ‘H’ and would complete the ‘ah’ sound at the end of the word. But do all these letters together actually mean anything beyond the word they form ? Is there any connection between the letters of this word and the One who carries this Name ?
Let’s do a little digging, shall we ?

First the ‘yod’, which means ‘hand’, usually will refer to the right hand or-‘yamin’ which also starts with the letter ‘yod’. Example – Benjamin or Ben Yamin – son of the Right or son of my right hand.

Next, the ‘shin’ or ‘sheen’ which stands for Shaddai, ‘The Almighty’.

After that is the ‘vav’ which is a consonant that can produce a vowel sound. The ‘vav’ is the nail or spike that connects heaven and earth.

The following letter is the ‘ayin’ which is the ‘Eye’. “Behold, the eye (ayin) of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love;”  Psalm 33:18

And the last letter is the ‘hay’ . . . couple it with the first letter of this word Yeshua and we have the poetic name for God Almighty – Yah – Yod Hay . . .

So what do we have in this word and Name ‘Yeshua’ ?  We have the Right Hand (yod) of God (Shin) , the One that by the nails in His feet and hands is the Spike (vav) that connects heaven and earth. In Him we see ( eye-ayin ) the perfect image of our heavenly Father and through Yeshua’s shed blood Abba sees us for what He intends us to be. And encompassing it all by the first and last letters – the Yod and the Hay, is YAH, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of creation, God Almighty, and Yahweh of Hosts is His Name. And His Son ? Yeshua . . . Salvation.
“You shall call His name Yeshua (Jesus in the english) , for He shall save His people from their sins”.
There is salvation in no other Name. Why? That Name IS Salvation.
Sometimes we do lose a little something in the translation . . . but no matter the translation, He hears us when we call on Him . . . regardless of what we call Him . . .
Shalom – J & R

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Cup

THE CUP

Following in line with the teaching concerning the Crown of Thorns, another element deserving of our attention at this season is ‘The Cup’. For the purposes and point of this teaching, our focus will be on the ‘cup’ referred to by Yeshua during His prayer in the garden. ( Matthew 26:36-42) For many this will be ‘old news’ but, hopefully, for some this will be new understanding. Also here, allow us to briefly explain the name ‘Yeshua’ and our use of it. The English translations of the first chapters of Matthew and Luke basically make the same statement – “ . . . you shall call His Name Jesus . . .”
That Name evokes so much for so many. Let’s look just a little deeper. Mary was of Hebrew descent and Hebrew would have been her mother tongue. More than likely, the Angel would have spoken audibly to her in her native tongue. It is NO coincidence that the Hebrew word the Angel would have spoken to her, the word from which the English word ‘Jesus’ is derived, is the word Yeshua – a Hebrew noun which translates as ‘Salvation’. Could it be anymore fitting to what the Angel declared ? “ . . . and He shall save His people . . .” Salvation – Yeshua . . . Now, back to ‘The Cup’. In His prayer in the gospel accounts Yeshua is not speaking metaphorically or poetically in these passages, although true, there was no actual physical cup in His hand. Yet the cup referred to was very much physical and real. Let’s dig a little deeper and find that cup. To do that we must return to the foundational teachings of the Old Testament in general and the Torah in specific. Let’s take a look in the book of Numbers beginning with chapter 5 and verse 12 and following.
Here we have instructions on dealing with an ‘unfaithful wife’ by her ‘jealous husband’. In these passages we see the use of an actual cup in the determination of guilt or innocence, judgment or pardon. As you read these verses you will see the use of a cup, water( The Word) , dust ( element of creation) and the presence of the Priest. All this to determine if the husband is justly jealous and the wife justly due punishment. If the wife drinks the contents of the cup and there is no effect, then she is innocent. If guilty, there will be obvious and grave consequences and she will ultimately die. So what does this have to do with Jesus and ‘the cup’ and the prayer in the garden ?
The Apostolic Writings ( New Testament) make multiple references to the ‘congregation of believers’ both past, present and future as ‘the bride’. Isaiah 54:5 declares ‘God is the Husband . . .’ Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us ‘God is a consuming fire and a Jealous God . . .’, a jealous husband if you will. In Ephesians 5:25 the Apostle Paul admonishes husbands to ‘love your wives’ (bride) as Messiah loved the congregation of believers and willingly gave himself in her place’. Is the picture starting to come together ?
The unfaithful bride is us, this body we call the ‘church’ and God calls Israel ( Eph. 2:11-14). The Godhead is the husband. Yeshua is also the priest. (Heb. 4:14) And He keeps and observes His Father’s principles and rules without exception.
So when Yeshua kneels to pray before His Father in the garden, ‘The Cup’ is all too real. It is the cup of judgment that, if drunk by His bride, she will die, for she is guilty. Therefore the eternal loving Husband takes from her hand the cup of judgment she is justly due and drinks her judgment unto Himself, saving her from the curse of the law which is death (Gal. 3:13).
So as we celebrate this season of Passover, let us ‘remember His death until He comes again’, for His death should have been mine.
May this be a blessing to you and yours, especially during this Season.
Shalom – J & R

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Revised Re-Post . . . ” A Crown of Thorns”

A CROWN OF THORNS

When we begin to look at the process of Yeshua’s ‘examination’ ( Exo. 12:3) and death, one of the elements taking center stage is the crown of thorns. It was ‘plaited’ by the roman soldiers and violently forced down onto the brow and scalp of Yeshua. But why a ‘crown’ made out of thorny branches ? It was not happenstance. It could have been made out of anything. Was it just a manner of barbaric mockery by the roman occupiers or is there more ? Is there a deeper meaning to this seemingly senseless and torturous creation of man ? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
One thing we must remember. Yeshua’s coming does more than just save the souls of men. His return culminates the ‘restoration of all things’ . . . “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God.” ( Acts 3:21, Romans 8:19-22) So what does this have to do with the ‘crown of thorns’ ?
Remember what Father God told Adam when he and Eve disobeyed ? “ Cursed is the very ground, because of you. Thorns and thistles it will produce. And you shall eat of the herb of the field by the sweat of your brow until you return to the earth. For from dust were you made and to dust you will return.” (Gen. 3:17-19) When Cain and Abel brought their respective offerings to God, Abel’s offering was accepted but Cain’s was not. The basic offerings ( minchah ) were the same. Why was Abel’s offering acceptable to God ? Because it was covered by an offering from the flock – a blood covering. But why did the grain offering need a blood covering ? Because since the ground was cursed, so was everything that came from the ground. And that which is from sin cannot come into the presence of God without being covered.
The Apostolic Writings (New Testament) tell us Yeshua came to deliver us from the curse of the Law. We must remember the curse does not affect just mankind but also all creation, therefore all creation must be redeemed. To be redeemed from the curse brought about by the sin of disobedience requires a ‘blood covering’ ( “ . . . without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins . . .” Heb. 9:22)
So as Yeshua is willingly undergoing indescribable pain and torment, the blood, His Blood, is being shed to provide that covering . . . it is applied even to the ground . . . and to the thorns and thistles. For by this crowning, His Lordship and Kingship over all creation is declared and confirmed. As His Blood touches those thorns and thistles, even they are delivered from the curse. When the Crown of Thorns was placed on His head, it was prophetic. It takes us back to the beginning to Genesis 3 where the judgements were pronounced on the ground that it would produce thorns and thistles and man will eat his bread by the sweat of his brow. So when that crown was pushed down on Yeshua’s brow those judgements ( curses ) were covered and overcome by His Blood. Yeshua took the curse upon Himself. “He became sin Who knew no sin . . .”
It is very interesting the Hebrew word for thistle ( dardar – dalet resh dalet resh ) is symbolic of wilderness, desert. Father God many times sends His own into that dry place of the wilderness or desert for a time of correction and learning and then in that very place is where He speaks to and comforts and prepares them. Pruning is not fun, but it is necessary to bear fruit for the Kingdom. The two Hebrew letters that make up the word for thistle – dalet and resh – carry intriguing meanings. Dalet is the Door and Resh is the Head or Chief or First. Yeshua is the Door. He is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end.
So Yeshua, the First Fruits of the Resurrection, the Door to Salvation and Eternity with our Father, willingly pays the price for our sin with His Blood . . . for our life is in His Blood.
“All creation groans and labors with birth pangs until now . . . eagerly awaiting the revealing of the sons of God . . .” Romans 8:19,22

It is also interesting to think on how this passage in Genesis 3 is prophetic in perhaps ways we hadn’t yet considered. Consider where it speaks of the snake being put on his belly and eating dust. Ever since that day, the Serpent has been slithering among the ‘dust’ ( mankind ) stealing, killing and attempting to destroy. The thorns and thistles come out of the dust. All creation comes from that dust and must be redeemed. In the natural, most folks dislike snakes, or are at least cautious of them because they are slithering around in the dust of the earth. If we get too close they will strike at us. In the spiritual, the same thing happens, with Satan taking ‘strikes’ at us, desiring to kill and destroy . . . fiery darts, if you will. The crown of thorns on Yeshua’s head literally reveals His Kingship and the Power of His Blood to redeem all creation. Satan will bruise Yeshua’s heel, but Yeshua will crush the serpent’s head. ( Gen 3:14-15)

May this be a blessing to you and yours, especially during this Season. Shalom –

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Lamp and the Light

     This morning Rhonda was reading in Exodus concerning the building of the Tabernacle, the earthly example of the Throne Room and the earthly dwelling of the Presence of God . As she read and we discussed, we began to see a picture we would like to share concerning a portion of that process and perhaps some application to us today.22

     God asked for the people’s involvement in building the Tabernacle by bringing contributions as their heart would prompt them for His work. They were all involved in one degree or another – both women and men – as God gave them anointing and wisdom. Just as Abba used all His children to build the first earthly expressionof His dwelling, we today are still being used by Him to build up His dwelling . . .  once again He is endowing with anointing and power to do His building . . .

Joel 2:28 ‘ . . .and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.  29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

      “  . . .4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,  5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood ( order of Melchizedek ), to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . .” 1 Peter 2

       “ . . .19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.   22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by  the Spirit . . .” Ephesians 2

     As we look at all that was made for the Tabernacle ( the Mishkan – the place of His Shekinah, His Presence )  the one item that stood out for us today is the Lampstand – the Menorah – and it’s connection not only to the beginning verses of The Revelation but also the parable of the 10 virgins. We will attempt here to share some insight into that connection.

     The Menorah – the 7-light Lampstand – stood in the Holy Place giving Light to the enclosed area containing the Table of ShowBread  and the Altar of Incense.   A side note, the Showbread or ‘Bread of the Face’ is a picture of Redeemed Israel         ( which includes every blood-bought believer ) in their sinless perfected condition( therefore  ‘unleavened bread’ ) before the Face of our Father, illuminated by the Light which is Yeshua. (John 8:12)

     Now, back to the Lampstand. Revelation speaks of 7 lampstands ( which represent 7 congregations, a full picture of the Bride, the fulfillment of His vow ) and the One Who walks in their midst, which again is the Bridegroom Yeshua.  As we contemplated the Menorah and it’s embellishments ( for example the 5 embellishments on each branch – 3 cups, 1 knob and 1 bud- ‘5’ being the number of redemption ) it took our minds to a few other places – Psalms, Proverbs and Yeshua’s parable in Matthew 25 concerning the 10 virgins.

     Yeshua, in Matthew 25,  compares the coming of the Kingdom to ten virgins who take their lamps and go out to meet the Bridegroom. The word ‘virgin’ is a word that translates ‘ marriageable maiden ; any person ( male or female )  that has abstained from all uncleanness and has kept their respective chastity, and can be applied both physically and spiritually. 

     So these Ten go out with their ‘lamps’ to meet the Bridegroom.  Five of the ‘virgins’ are described as being wise while the other five are described as foolish. From a Scriptural basis, what is ‘wise’ and what is ‘foolish’ ?  Psalm 111:10 tells us “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom . . .”   The same is stated in Proverbs 9:10 along with “. . . and knowledge of the Holy One is discernment . . .”.  The Prophet Micah advises  “ it is sound wisdom to fear the Lord . . .” ( 6:9 ) The same is echoed in the Apostolic Writings. Paul prays for the congregation at Ephesus that ‘the GOD of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, the FATHER OF GLORY, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of discernment in the knowledge of Him. ( 1:17 )

     So we can understand that the wise virgins had a holy fear of God which leads to discernment which comes from knowing His ways.  They, the ‘Wise 5’, also took oil for their lamps.  In contrast, ‘foolish’ by Scriptural definition is ‘Godless’.  “ The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God’ . . .” ( Psalm 14:1, 53:1 )  “ For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; . . .” Isaiah 32:6   They are the ones that Yeshua spoke of in Mark 7 . . . “ You worship Me with your lips but your hearts are far from me . . .”

So we can understand the ‘Foolish 5’ have all the right words but it is all head-knowledge, without relationship and fear of the Lord. And by the way, they brought lamps without any oil.

     Psalm 119:105 “Thy Word is alamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”   Let’s take a look at these two words for a moment. How much good is a lamp without a lightbulb ?  You can have a very nice lamp, but without the light bulb it is absolutely worthless. We must also remember to whom Yeshua was speaking. He was not speaking to a bunch of unsaved western 20th century rednecks ( I can say that, I am a redneck ) although it can and must be applied to us today. He WAS speaking to 1st century Sabbath-keeping middle-easterners with an understanding of God’s ways.

     So here is the picture. Ten people ( a minion – the minimum number necessary to act on behalf of  or represent the whole ) come out to meet the Bridegroom. They ALL have brought their lamps – the Word of God, the Torah, Psalms, Proverbs and the Prophets.

     The ‘Wise 5’ – the ones with a fear and discernment of the Lord and His ways – brought OIL in flasks.  The ‘OIL’ is what, when ignited, brings ‘Light’ .  The OIL is a combination of the drawing power of the Holy Spirit through conviction unto Salvation – Yeshua – bringing LIGHT to those 5.  “For in Him is life, and that life is the Light of men . . .” John 1:4

     What about the ‘Foolish 5’ ? They have their Lamps but have no OIL. They have not combined the Truth with faith which leaves them in the dark without the Light of the World.  “ . . . for we also are having good news proclaimed, even as they, but the word heard did not profit them, for it was not combined with faith in those who heard . . .“  Hebrews 4:2

     So what do we have ? Ephesians 2 tells we are ‘saved by grace through faith . . . unto good works’, not by good works. Yet these ‘good works that were prepared from beforehand that we would walk in them’ that many walk in even before they come to Salvation are to be the indicator of to Whom we belong. The purpose of Torah is to show us our sin and our need for Messiah  – the lamp and the Light – both are to work together ‘hand in glove’. Once we accept Messiah Yeshua we are not to discard the very practices and observances that pointed us to Him. We are to ‘walk in them’ in freedom and liberty – the outward signs of the inward change –  as not only His servants but fellow heirs with the saints.

     Is this a picture of ‘lost’ contrasted with ‘saved’ ?  Sure it is . . . but it is more. Just as a foundation without something built upon it is worthless, a House without it’s proper foundation is unstable.  There is an inexorable connection between the written Word which is ‘living and sharper than a two-edged sword’ and Yeshua Who is the Living Word.

     Are we saying Torah and the keeping of commandments are necessary for our Salvation ?   NO . . .  What we ARE saying is Torah observance and obedience to God’s commandments are the Scriptural evidence of our Salvation and our Love for our Heavenly Father, and we can only come to Our Father through the Son. 

(Exodus 31:13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep My Sabbaths for this (* the keeping )  is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.

1 John 5:3 This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome,

1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. ( * amplification added )

And by the way, there are not two sets of commandments – God’s and Yeshua’s.

     We are saved by grace through faith.   He – Yeshua – is the Chief  Corner on which our House is founded. But without the remainder of the foundation – The Torah – the House is skewed. The House is established on the Chief Corner but without the rest of the foundation the House will be just a little cock-eyed.

      Torah without Yeshua is a dead-end that culminates in separation from Abba for eternity.

Yeshua without Torah is Salvation, but salvation is not the end. It is just the beginning. To quote and old friend, ‘if it is the end, it is the front end’. Once we enter the Kingdom through the Door – Yeshua – there is a way to walk that has purpose – our Father’s purpose. Once we come to Faith through Yeshua, we are no longer ‘lost’, but we can still be a bit bewildered without the Torah for it is our map, and without it we do not have the proper direction.

     He – Yeshua – is the Living Word, the Way, Truth and Life. Yeshua is the door into the Kingdom. There is something about the commandments of God that establish ‘standing’ within the Kingdom ( Matt. 5:17-19 ). We want both. God is Spirit, and we must be willing, especially in these days, to worship and serve Him in both Spirit and Truth.  

                

Shalom to you and yours –  J & R

 

                                    

  

    

    

  

    

    

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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