Category: Weekly Torah Portion Reading

Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 110 (The Moment the World Turned Backward)

This week we’ll cover the Torah portion Kedoshim, or “Holies” and we’ll tease apart some profound details in the account of the woman caught in adultery.

Leviticus 19:1-20:27

Amos 9:7-9:15

Psalm 15

John 8:2-11

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Le 19:18)

Kedoshim, the “holies,” is nestled in the very heart of the Torah. This commandment stitches itself to heaven and earth. Heaven and earth are two witnesses.

If we love Adonai, then we will love His people. Loving His people on earth pleases Him above, for He is “glorified through his people.” Heaven should be glorified on and through the earth.

“Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. (Is 60:21)

“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (Jn 14:13)

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Le 19:18)

In the explanation of the holy commandment to love one’s neighbor, the Torah student is told it’s the most obvious thing:

“This is a great principle in the Torah. Many commandments in the Torah depend on it: Thus, a person who loves another as himself will not steal from him, will not commit adultery with his wife, will not cheat him of goods or oppress him with words, will not move his boundary and will not harm him in any way. So are many other religious duties bound up with it; the matter is evident to every understanding person.” (Sefer HaChinnukh #243)

Yeshua wasn’t kidding. All the commandments really do hang on two!

“…Whoever derives honor through the disgrace of his fellow-man, has no share in the world-to-come. On the other hand, when a man behaves toward his fellow in a way of love and peace, and friendship, seeking his advantage and rejoicing in his good fortune, Scripture refers to him in the verse, ‘Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ (Is 49:3)” (Sefer HaChinnukh §243)

In the Gospel of John, Yeshua elaborates on how the holy commandment will work on earth to glorify Heaven:

“A new [chadasha-refreshed] commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13:34-35)

The KJV translates Strong’s H2318 in the following manner: renew (7x), repair (3x).

Outline of Biblical Usage:
to be new, renew, repair
to renew, make anew
to repair
(Hithpael) to renew oneself

Strong’s Definitions ?????? châdash, to be new; causatively, to rebuild:—renew, repair.

The KJV translates Strong’s H2319 in the following manner:

new (48x), new thing (4x), fresh (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage: new, new thing, fresh

?????? châdâsh; from H2318; new:—fresh, new thing.

Yeshua wasn’t teaching a brand-new commandment; he was teaching how to refresh and repair the commandment they already had by explaining its function. By loving one another, the greatest commandment, to love Adonai with all one’s heart, soul, and strength, would be fulfilled in such a way that the whole world could see it!

Loving one’s neighbor as one’s self is impossible if the Torah is not written on the tablets of the heart. If we love our neighbor, we will not disgrace him or her. It is a commandment that has a “refresh” button! Each day, we must remind ourselves to hit “refresh and repair” on our hearts where Adonai has written love.

This explanation is found in context. A person who embarrasses another believer is behaving disgracefully toward ADONAI!

A person who behaves peacefully with other believers and honors them glorifies ADONAI, not the person. It honors the Father through the person. It also sets apart in holiness the one who honors others as a disciple of Yeshua in the eyes of all men. This is ONE HEART.

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Co 3:2-3)

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is embedded in Leviticus among many statutes of holiness. If you love your neighbor, and you are holy, you will not perform those transgressions. If you love Adonai, you will not perform those transgressions; therefore, all the holy Torah hangs on those two.

“Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.” (Ga 3:19)

Yeshua is the Promised Seed. In him, we have, are, and will be made perfect in love. A day is coming…if we will continually and faithfully “refresh” with the Father’s mercy and His Ruach…when Yeshua will need only two tablets of our hearts to hold 613 commandments. We will be the perfect testimony and witness of Heaven through the earth.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 109 (Days of Elijah: Three Warnings Pt 2)

The Last Three Warnings
and
Shabbat HaGadol

The Days of Elijah begin with Passover. Join us as we explore the role of Shabbat, especially Shabbat HaGadol, and the three foot festivals as a warning for Bride to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom. Together we’ll unpack the language of zealous striking in the feasts. This Pt 2.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 108 (Days of Elijah: Three Warnings Pt 1)

The Last Three Warnings
and
Shabbat HaGadol

The Days of Elijah begin with Passover. Join us as we explore the role of Shabbat, especially Shabbat HaGadol, and the three foot festivals as a warning for Bride to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom. Together we’ll unpack the language of zealous striking in the feasts.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 107 (That’s So Lame)

THAT’S SO LAME

With the eclipse so recent, literally putting a point on the new year of the feast cycle at the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh), it seemed proper to emphasize this year’s pilgrimage through the feast. This is true specially in the United States where the eclipse bisected an already very divided nation.

The eclipse gave us a glimpse of a wedding ring, which for believers in Yeshua, is the covenant, particularly Shabbat, the sign of our betrothal. We protect its holiness while we await the Bridegroom’s return. During each eclipse, we have a dramatic reminder.

For Americans, at the very least, I take this as a warning. Repent. Be set-apart. No more lukewarmness toward the feasts and Shabbat.

Pray.

Pray for the world, but especially Israel and our nation.

The new moons are a zikaron, or remembrance. It is an appointed time for Adonai to “remember” us, which means to purpose an action pertaining to us.

Attend Shabbat and each feast with like kind and like mind. Gather however you can. Each year at Pesach, you may have have started the journey through your last “sealing” on earth as we know it. It is your protection to the tribulation that accompanies those final days. Even as I write this, the ancient beasts of Babylon and Medo-Persia are crouching at the door.

In apostolic times, the Biblical feasts were seen as a seal of protection to those who celebrated them. Seven feasts, seven seals. Sound familiar? You can find the details in Creation Gospel Workbook Six.

We are living in a miracle so great that almost everyone is missing it…even those who are the miracle! What is even greater than the Exodus? The Greater Exodus! Israel being gathered from all the nations to return to her covenant, the Living Torah, and her Promised Land of covenant.

Isn’t that greater than the Reed Sea parting? After all, it’s been almost 2000 years since a large group of people dared to proclaim Yeshua the Messiah and walk in obedience to his Torah simultaneously. As with the wilderness journey, the arguments and chaos frequently obliterate the miracle-consciousness.

First, however, before the journey home, the “moral” return begins in the lands of exile. Before we walk and leap on the way to celebrate the foot festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, we need healing. Thousands upon thousands are being healed of enmity against the Word and their Jewish brothers and sisters walking in the covenant.

In ancient times, Jeroboam put up barriers on the highways of Israel to prevent the tribes of the Northern Kingdom from journeying to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts. By separating brothers, which is the seventh and most wicked of abominations, the northern tribes quickly lost their identity among the nations. To undo this separation has to be a work of the Ruach HaKodesh.

To reiterate how the Ruach works to knit together like kind, rather than scatter and separate, I’m including Chapter Two of Standing With Israel: a House of Prayer for All Nations. It describes how prayer brought Jew and non-Jew together at the time of the afternoon prayer and Temple sacrifice. This prayer is named after the sacrifice, the Minchah. It is also called Shemoneh Esrei, or Eighteen, after its eighteen individual prayers.

STANDING WITH ISRAEL: A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS

CHAPTER TWO

JEW AND GENTILE: PETER AND CORNELIUS

The Shemoneh Esrei, whatever its form evolving in the Second Temple era, is a common prayer for both Jews and “God fearers” in Acts of the Apostles. Peter and John observe the hour of prayer: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” In Acts, Peter and John are still accustomed to praying in the Temple at the appointed hour, and they encounter a lame man, likely a Jew, at the hour of Minchah prayer, the ninth hour. This is three o’clock.

The lame man’s inability to walk in the life of the covenant people makes him poor. He asks alms at the Beautiful Gate (Yaffa Gate), and receives silver and gold of the Kingdom, which is strength to walk into the Temple of Israel as a strong man. His waiting for alms at the gate parallels the common term for a non Jew who practices some of the Torah, but who has not yet converted to Judaism; he is a “proselyte of the gate.” Although he is a native-born Israelite, there is yet a barrier between him and the inner Temple courts, for none blemished in body could enter into those precincts.

The correlation to Minchah prayer and the poor lame man is found in Jewish law. In Berachot 34b of the Talmud, the code of Jewish law and commentary, we read, “The Minchah has the same high degree of holiness which is generally brought by a poor person.” The reason is that a poor man may have to fast his daily bread in order to afford his offering, so his Minchah has a heightened degree of holiness.

Adonai’s concern for the poor is evidenced by the many provisions in Leviticus for the poor man to bring an offering of reduced cost, whether turtledoves and meal in place of flesh, or a single lamb instead of several. This poor man’s Minchah request for help from the disciples of Yeshua is endowed with special favor from his Father in heaven.

Peter and John’s Shemoneh Esrei prayers of faith at the 3 o’clock hour of Minchah minister healing to the poor lame man. This restored Jew sees the beautiful feet of Peter and John, who bring him the good news of Messiah Yeshua. He no longer has to sit outside the Beautiful Gate like a Gentile, separated from the joy of the “foot festivals,” the pilgrimage feasts of Adonai, but he can walk, leap, and praise Adonai in the Temple.

Yeshua is the Beautiful Gate to the House of God. By faith in the blood of the Minchah Lamb, who was sacrificed at the hour of prayer as an everlasting memorial, the restored Israelite can enter the Temple on strong feet. The cripple is reunited with his Jewish brothers and his Messiah in the life of the covenant. He affirms the blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei, “Blessed are You, O Lord, who heals the sick of your people Israel.”

Cornelius is also in Minchah prayer when he is visited by the angel. “He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.” While many English readers would picture Cornelius as kneeling in prayer with clasped hands as Christians do today, the true picture would look much different.

Cornelius learned of the One God of Israel from Israelites; therefore, he learned how to pray from Israelites! Picture Cornelius standing in his home facing Jerusalem. He takes three steps back, then three steps forward, symbolically stepping into the Presence of Adonai. He begins to pray, “My Adonai, open my lips, that my mouth may declare your praise…”

Cornelius’ Minchah prayers are accompanied by acts of kindness to the Jews of his community. He offers not only the sacrifice of his lips, but good deeds of the Torah. The text calls Cornelius a “God-fearer.” A God-fearer is a Gentile, a “proselyte of the gate,” who has accepted the one God of Israel and who has begun to keep some of the commandments.

Cornelius the God fearer also observes the Jewish hour of prayer: “And Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.” In the waning decades of the second Temple, the hour of prayer is the ninth hour. This places the prayer “between the evenings,” between noon and sundown, three o’clock, the time of unity for day and night.

Even the time of month when Cornelius prayed is evident. Rabbi Munk reminds us that “The Torah ordains ‘On your days of rejoicing and your holy days and on your month’s beginning, you shall blow the trumpets over your offerings that they may be to you a memorial (zikaron) before your God.”

Just as the Jews place goodwill money offerings in the Temple trumpets to accompany their prayers, Cornelius’ good deeds are offered with prayer, and together they ascend as a memorial offering, a zikaron, for the angel says, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”

Cornelius’ Minchah prayer and gifts to the poor parallel Peter’s Minchah and gift to the poor, not silver and gold, but healing. Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the lunar Biblical month, is a day appointed for sacrifices of prayer and good deeds to be an especial zikaron to Adonai. This may be Cornelius’ exact day of prayer.

When one is fasting as Cornelius says he is the day of his visitation, a significant benediction of the Shemoneh Esrei is inserted. The fasting benediction is a fervent plea to Adonai to answer the prayer:

Answer us, Adonai, answer us, on this day of our fast, for we are in great

distress. Do not pay attention to our wickedness; do not hide Your Face

from us, and do not ignore our plea. Please be near to our cry; please

comfort us with your kindness – before we call to You answer us, as it is

said: ‘And it will be that before they call, I will answer; while they are

speaking, I will hear.’ For You, Adonai, are the One Who responds

in time of distress, who redeems and rescues.

The answer to Cornelius’ fervent Minchah prayer is that indeed, while he is yet speaking, Adonai hears and answers. Cornelius is rewarded with not only acceptance of his zikaron offering of prayer, but redemption for his whole household, and the gate is opened for the unification of the Jew and Gentile in the Commonwealth of Israel. The Orthodox Jewish translation of the New Testament plainly connects the zikaron (remembrance) to the unification of Jew and Gentile through the sacrifice of Messiah. Paul urges the Ephesians to

Have zikaron (remembrance) that you were at that time unrelated

and separate from Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, having been alienated

from the citizenship in the Am Berit, from Yisroel, being strangers to the

Beritot HaHavtacha, lost, and having no tikvah (hope) and without G d

in the Olam Hazeh. But now in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua,

you, who formerly were in the outermost courts, have been brought

near by the kapparah of the dam of Moshiach. Therefore, then, no

longer are you zarim and aliens, but you are fellow citizens of the

Kadoshim and bnei bayit members of the household of G-d.

The KJV translates the same passage:

Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh…that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ…For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one…that in Himself He might make the two into one new man…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…

Paul’s placing of believing Gentiles within the Am Berit, or as most English translations read, the Commonwealth of Israel, and the Gentiles’ inclusion with the bnei bayit, or Children of the Household, gives credence to Rabbi Munk’s comment on a portion of the Minchah Shemoneh Esrei:

“The third group (of prayers) comprises the spiritual preconditions for the reunion of the nation of Israel under the rule of G-d. According to the prediction of the prophets, the spiritual and moral foundation will have to be laid before the rehabilitation of our people can take place.” Cornelius’ commandment-keeping, acts of kindness to the Jews, and participation in a “Jewish” prayer lay the moral foundation for the rescue and reunion of Israel under the rule of God.

Apathy, hatred, and jealousy among Israelites is so lame it prohibits entry to the House. Where do we think we’re going?

A lame person cannot fully engage the Shabbat and feasts, a Beautiful Gate into the Presence of our Father at His feasts. He is separate from the House. We are being healed. Rise up and walk. Walk to Shabbat. Walk to the Passover seder with a staff in your hand, ready to collect the seven seals of Yeshua’s kingdom. They are seven beautiful gates, and each week, the Shabbat gate protects you and beautifies you for the Bridegroom while you journey between the feasts.

Healing is available for Jew and non-Jew. One household. One House. A foot-festival is approaching quickly.

The zealous spirit of Elijah says, “The King is coming.” Prepare.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 106 (Getting Stoned)

Getting Stoned

Biblically, that is.

Torah contains many commandments. Some of those are positive, “you shalls,” and some are negative, “you shall nots.” Most frequently, the negative commandments carry tangible punishments such as restitution, whiplashes, hanging, or even stoning. Sometimes no punishment is prescribed, or a vague phrase, “he shall be cut off from his people.” It has been speculated to be banishment or shunning, and some sources say this is a Divine punishment, not a human one.

Let’s take a closer look at stoneable offenses, which will help us to understand a Divine punishment in John’s Revelation.

“You shall also say to the sons of Israel: ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.’” (Le 20:2)
“Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” (Le 20:27)
“Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death….Then Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the one who had cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the sons of Israel did, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.” (Le 24:16, 23)
“Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day…Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.’ So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.” (Nu 15:32-36)

Idolatry, dark arts, blasphemy, and desecration of the Shabbat are the most explicit of the commandments that carry a death penalty of stoning. An additional commandment against adultery is linked to idolatry:

Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women. But they, righteous men, will judge them with the judgment of adulteresses and with the judgment of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands. ‘For thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Bring up a company against them and give them over to terror and plunder. The company will stone them with stones and cut them down with their swords; they will slay their sons and their daughters and burn their houses with fire. Thus I will make lewdness cease from the land, that all women may be admonished and not commit lewdness as you have done. Your lewdness will be requited upon you, and you will bear the penalty of worshiping your idols; thus you will know that I am the Lord GOD.’” (Ezekiel 23:44-49)

The Ezekiel passage is addressed to two nations in their state of apostasy, Oholah (Northern tribes of Israel) and Oholibah (Judah). They are also called mystically “Babylon” and “Egypt” because they carried with them the adulteries/idolatries of Egypt and Babylon and continued to practice them. Their example was a message to other “women,” or nations.

The vital transition in Revelation is that first Israel is warned through the “moedic memos” to the Seven Assemblies of Revelation. Next, those nations from which they carried the adulterous idolatries are judged. The smaller to greater pattern may also be seen in Zechariah 14:17 when he prophesies that the commandment that initially was specific to Israel of going up to Jerusalem for the foot festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot will extend to the other nations in the millennium.

It then explains why John prophesies in the Revelation to the world that they will suffer the same sentences applied to Israel for the “stoning” offenses. As those nations transition to King Yeshua’s rule over the earth, they, like Pharaoh, will suffer stoning for stubborness concerning control of Israel and the commandments of Adonai.

To understand how stoning was performed, we have to erase our memories of high school reading assignments such as “The Lottery” or news images of men stoning women in Afghanistan. While throwing stones at someone until they are dead is one way of stoning, the Biblical method is rarely explained outside of Judaism.

The Jewish understanding of how to perform stoning is rooted in Moses’ warning at Sinai to protect the people from the hailstones by which they would be stoned if they approached the mountain:

“And you shall set bounds around it for the people, saying, ‘Guard yourself from ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely die. A hand shall not touch it, for he shall be stoned or he shall be cast down; whether animal or person he shall not live; when the blast of the ram’s horn is drawing out, they will ascend the mountain.” (Ex 19:12-13)

Judicial orders of stoning in ancient times consisted of first, pushing the guilty one off a high place, such as a cliff. This was the “casting down.” If the person were to somehow survive the fall, then he or she would be stoned, sometimes placing a heavy rock on the chest to prevent breathing. First the fall, second the stones.

Exodus 9:25 was a plague of hail in Egypt which affected unbelieving man and beast: “Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.”’” (v. 19)

This is just after a pestilence upon the beasts of Egypt (but not of the prepared Hebrews) which knocked them off their feet (Re 2:22-23). Likewise, those following the idolatrous teaching in Thyatira, which corresponds to the fourth feast of Shavuot, will be thrown on a sickbed and afflicted with pestilence for eating things offered to idols. Egypt and Babylon. Fallen, fallen. The unprepared “believers” and the rebellious world: fallen, fallen.

This equivalency sounds very familiar from the Revelation of John, which describes those who conform themselves to the image of the beast.

The nations are judged at the blowing of the shofar at Yom Teruah in the fall, whereas Shavuot, the conclusion of Pesach, is the warning to the righteous among all nations to prepare. If prepared by “holiness and washing” (Ex 19:14), they will be prepared to cross the boundary and ascend the mountain at Yom Teruah without fear of stoning or being cast down.

Put that in the context of ascending into the cloud, “going up” as the resurrection, then it makes sense why Israel could not ascend until a specific shofar was heard, the Great Shofar of Yom Teruah that accompanies Yeshua’s return.

It is the plague of the Seventh Angel, corresponding to Shabbat and Sukkot, that stones the nations of the earth. If we read the context of Revelation 16, it references Babylon, recalling the Tower of Bavel when mankind agreed to challenge the boundary of heaven to achieve eternal life. Their attempt to approach the mountain without holiness and washing results in this:

“And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.” (Re 16:21)

Egypt and Babylon were the sources of the idolatry-adultery of Israel and Judah. Egypt handed off the authority of the serpent to the first beast kingdom, Babylon. Israel and Judah will be judged first. The righteous among them will wash themselves and their “clothes” (garment of salvation, robes of righteous deeds) and be prepared to go up to the mountain at Shavuot (not saying they will).

The nations and the lukewarm among Israel and Judah will hear the Great Shofar at Yom Teruah, yet not be prepared to ascend. If they try, they will be “stoned.” What would keep them from ascending, or worse yet, being “stoned”?

Adultery/idolatry, dark arts, blaspheming, and profaning Shabbat are all associated with the punishment of stoning.

Warn, judge, cast down, stone.

Yeshua uses the language of Yom Teruah, when he comes like a thief in the night, to warn the world to be “awake” on Judgment Day. Yom Teruah is the opening of the books, and Yom HaKippurim is the closing ten days later, a period known at the Terrible Days, the Great and Terrible Day of Adonai:

“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.” (Re 16:15)

The preparation for Shavuot at Sinai to receive the Torah included washing one’s clothes. This warning was given through Moses. The Torah.

The clothes must then be “kept,” or guarded, shamar. This guards the person’s body. Likewise, the preparation for Yom Teruah is to stay awake: “Awake you sleeper, arise from the dead…”  The warning is to “keep” one’s clothes, which were washed to prepare for Shavuot, all the way to the Great Shofar, the Resurrection of the Dead at Yom Teruah.

Discerning the Body of the Bride on Shabbat is to guard the first of the moedim, to guard one’s clothes. Guarding one’s clothes from Re 16:15 has a Hebrew cognate, shamar, which is also used in the “wedding ring” of Shabbat as shamor et yom ha-shabbat:

“Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.” (Dt 5:12)

??????? ???????? ????????? ??????????? ????????? ??????? ?????? ?????????

It is because of this warning of stoning at Shavuot that Jewish scholars scrupulously read guidelines concerning stoning offenses in the Torah. “He shall be stoned or he shall be cast down” (Ex 19:13 Artscroll) explains how the death sentence is executed. 

If a person is observed committing a stonable offense, he should be warned, just as the Israelites were warned to wash and keep themselves and their garments until the Presence was revealed on the mountain.

The beast will try to “ascend” in rebellion, not obedience, with the stonable offense of blasphemy:

There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (Re 13:5-6)

Adultery/idolatry, dark arts, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Re 9:20-21)

The offender is warned first. If he does not repent (stop), then he is judged. When he is found guilty, he is stoned. The very presence of believers who obey the Word of Adonai and proclaim Yeshua’s testimony serves as a warning to the nations. Those “lukewarm” believers who are a little like obedient Israel and a little like the rebellious world will be assigned a place with unbelievers, at least for a time. (Lk 12:46)

They failed to warn the idolators, magic-workers, blasphemers, and Sabbath-breakers. Maybe they’ve even engaged in it themselves like the Thyatirans. What we do, how we walk before others is the testimony of Yeshua that can warn the world and protect them from falling down and from the hailstones of judgment. Why wouldn’t the Master be angry when He returns if His own witnesses have treated His Shabbat casually?

Those sentenced by the court to be stoned are

First pushed down from a high stoning place. The fall may kill them.
Should he survive the fall, he will be stoned with stones.

Yes, as Israel is judged, so will the nations follow quickly:

“The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell…” (Re 16:19)

First they will be warned like Pharaoh with plagues. Then they will fall. Then they will be stoned.

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,

Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

Which I have reserved for the time of distress,

For the day of war and battle? (Job 38:22-23)

The message to Laodicea, the Seventh Assembly, is to not think that being “lukewarm” concerning the Shabbat would adequate covering to survive the Presence that is encountered at the resurrection of the dead in the cloud on the Mountain.

It isn’t.

It wasn’t in the wilderness, and it won’t be when we hear the Great Shofar. Yeshua gives the warning:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” (Re 3:15-19)

Every Shabbat could be the most important Shabbat of your life. We’ve been warned. Don’t get stoned. Why else would the most important number in Revelation be seven? We’ve seen the Words. We’ll hear the sound. Soon, we will see the sounds.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah 105 (One Size Fits All)

One Size Fits All

“Tzav”

“One Size Fits All!”

We’ve probably all been duped by that assurance! Sure it fits, as long as you don’t mind sleeves so long you could make it into a straitjacket!

One size definitely doesn’t fit all. Do we trust the ad enough to order it online? Do we hire a personal shopper who knows our taste, our height, our weight, body shape, even arm length?

How about prayer? Does one size fit all?

That’s a common question even though it is not usually worded that way.

Frequently I hear objections to Jewish prayer as vain repetition. It’s an uninformed way of looking at it, but we often simply repeat what someone who we respected told us. As we allow the Ruach HaKodesh to turn our spiritual life upside down repeatedly, that may be one area that turns.

To help coach new-to-Torah believers in the basics of Jewish prayer, I’ve written books such as Standing With Israel: A House of Prayer for All Nations, Messianic Shabbat Service, and Creation Gospel Workbook Six: Hebrew Prayer and Worship Traditions. Rather than cover that ground again, I thought I would reiterate one of the principles of Hebrew prayer.

Although the basic daily, feast, and Shabbat prayers are fixed and do not change, they do not need to. The Temple service was the same. Fixed. As the daily prayers took the place of the Temple services after its destruction, they too, were fixed.

There is room in the Amidah prayers for spontaneous, personal conversation with Adonai. The point of Hebrew prayer is that the person is transformed with each prayer. When I pray the Amidah in the evening, I am not the same person who prayed it that morning. The conversation with Adonai changed me. As immersion into Messiah Yeshua makes me a new person, so does the fire of the Ruach burn me on the altar each day.

This is why it is so difficult to advise someone on which siddur (prayer book) to purchase. It’s kind of like picking out someone else’s clothes, especially if you don’t know them personally. I’d need to know several things:

1. Do you want Hebrew text, English, or both?

2. Do you want an English transliteration?

3. Do you need a daily siddur, Shabbat siddur, or a combination of both?

4. Do you want a Messianic siddur?

5. Large print, or are you good with a font the size of a gnat’s tattoo in the pocket size?

You get the gist.

This week’s Ulpan-Or newsletter on the Torah portion is an excellent illustration of the personal relationship with prayer. The ashes from altar that burn down from the previous day are symbolically placed beside it. Today’s sacrifice will be a new one. Today’s prayers will be new because we are new, re-born of fire and water. With their permission to reproduce, I’ve included Ulpan-Or’s lesson below:

TORAH PORTION “Tzav”

This Shabbat we will read Torah Portion “Tzav”.

In our Torah Portion Tzav, G?d instructs Moses to command Aaron and his sons regarding their duties who offer the offerings on the altar in the Sanctuary.

The fire on the altar had to be kept burning at all times.

It is interesting to notice that each and every morning, the first order of the day in the Holy Temple was for the priest to remove a small portion of the ashes from the altar and place it on the floor just next to the altar.

Why particularly the priest had to start each day with removing ashes from the previous day?

What was the purpose of this ritual?

The purpose of this ritual was not merely to tidy up the ashes left over from the fire that had burned all night. The priest only had to remove a very small symbolic amount of ash.

And, in fact, after the first priest would remove a small portion of the ashes, the other priests would place the remainder of the ashes in a large heap in the center of the altar.

Why is it so important that it’s the first ritual performed in the Temple, – the first step in the service of G?d?

What is the significance of lifting and removing the symbolic amount of ashes?

Let us think. What are ashes?

These are what is left over from the previous day’s service.

Your yesterday, may have been perfect.

Yesterday, you may have achieved a lot with your talents and strengths.

But, …. That was yesterday.

However, if you do the same thing today, you do not grow spiritually.

If you repeat what you did yesterday – then you are merely stuck in the past.

You remain the “Old You”.

So, the ashes that represent “the old me” must be removed, in order to clear the way for “the new me,” that today will actualize today’s greater potential.

That’s why the first step in serving G?d each morning is the realization that that the ashes that represent “the old me” must be removed, in order to clear the way for “the new me,”

One must tell himself – Tomorrow will be totally different – not just “a bit different,” The next day’s potential would be so much greater.

Unlike in the Beatles’ song “Yesterday”, one should not long for yesterday, but rather look onward for a better tomorrow.

Remembering the exodus from Egypt is so central to Judaism.

Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim – ?????, and it means “constraints.”

So, if today you are in the same spiritual space that you were in yesterday, you are in Egypt – you are constrained.

The verse in the Torah insists that you “remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life.”

Each morning when we wake up, we need to remember to symbolically remove the ashes of yesterday and not limit ourselves to the person we were yesterday.

As Dr. Joe Dispenza says in his book: “Breaking the Habit of being yourself: “If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.”

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