by Ken Rank
The Hebrew Roots Movement might very well stand as one of the greatest examples to date of how man can take something intended as a blessing from God and turn it into a destructive force.
The Bible offers many contrasts through which God is able to declare His will for His people. This dichotomy is one way that God can give cause for man to turn from his fleshly desires toward living a more righteous life that is pleasing to his Creator. One of the more obvious examples is found in Deuteronomy 30:19 which states: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (NKJV) Polar opposites placed before us from which we are able to choose between a path that leads to God’s blessing, or a path that leads away from it.
Christianity as an entity has been quite dichotomous throughout its history. I remember during one of the very first sermons I attended before my adult baptism that the pastor seemed concerned about those Christians who “were saints on Sunday and lived liked hell the rest of the week.” But traits like hypocrisy are easy enough to spot and hypocrisy is certainly not confined to Christianity. Throughout the gospels we read Yeshua’s rebukes toward certain Pharisees who honored God with their lips but denied Him with their actions. Or even others who told the laypeople to do one thing while they themselves went and did another. As one who studies people and how they interact with their surroundings, I sadly conclude that hypocrisy is a trait that all of humanity, for one reason or another, is constantly in battle with. Consider Yeshua’s words in Matthew 7:5, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” I don’t know of one saint who hasn’t, at some point, forgotten to remove a plank from their own eye before trying to correct another.
Continue reading here.
Shalom people of the most high Elohim. Today is the first day of the 6th biblical month Elul. It is traditional to spend this entire month reflecting on our lives and the habits that are holding us back from the kingdom and true repentance.
In the interest of "spreading the love" so to speak I thought I would share an article from eliyah.com about loving our brothers in Messiah. With the cares of this life and Hasatan's world constantly batting for our attention, we need to focus on the important issues: love for the Father and his Son and love for our brothers and sisters of faith. It is easy to love our heavenly Father, he always does what is right and never lets us down, he is perfect in all his ways. What about our fellow believers? Unfortunately we are not perfect, we stumble, make wrong choices, say the wrong things, and generally show off the weakness of the flesh. But we are called to love none-the-less.
Let us put this calling at the forefront of our minds and examine ourselves as to how we can better love one another and truly serve in the kingdom of YHVH.
Hanukkah Teaching by Chaim Goldman [Repairing the Breach]
Shalom everyone, we had a great time at our first monthly San Diego Shabbat Meeting last Shabbat. It was a joy to visit with everyone. During this meeting I gave a teaching about Love and Unity in the Body and I wanted to post it here for anyone who might have missed it or wanted a copy. It covers how our pride and emotions can get in the way of the unity in the body of Messiah and the scriptures that deal with this issue. We all need to step back from time to time and realize that this walk isn't about us and our egos it is about Yah and his kingdom. May this teaching bless you in your walk.
Hello friends! If you have not been introduced to Jeff Benner then you are in for a treat. Here is a very interesting video explaining the origins of our alphabet (Aleph Bet) and how it came from Hebrew. This video is part 7 of a series and if you like this one then do yourself a favor and watch the whole series. Jeff has lots of other great videos and I encourage anyone who is interested in this type of research to drive right in. Once you realize it is an upside down ox head, you will never look at the letter "A" the same again.
Shalom brothers and sisters, our beloved brother Paul shared with us a video explaining the discrepancy in our Bibles over the length of time the Israelites were in Egypt. This is a very well done presentation as well as short and to the point. Enjoy.
This last Shabbat we read an article from eliyah.com titled "Galatians proves that we should observe the Torah" check it out here. This is an important letter of Paul to understand correctly since it is used by many Christians to "prove" that we do not need to follow the Torah and are free to break Yah's commandments. I have heard a couple explanations for Galatians but this one seems to be one of the best. Check it out and leave a comment on what you think.
Shalom Brothers and Sisters, this last Shabbat we read an article by 119 Ministries called "The Great Commission - What Does It Really Mean?" which can be found here. There is lots of good information about what our calling really entails. The best part of this article were the wealth of scriptures listed that really spell out the foundation of why us as Torah Observant / Hebrew Roots / Messianic types believe in the great benefits and joy that is found in following Yah's Torah.
Below is an excerpt from the article listing many important scriptures for us to have on hand so that we can "always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15b)
If you would like to know what you are bringing them when you instruct all nations to be obedient to God’s law, then consider studying the following Scripture:
This week we talked about love and explored a short article on the Life-Changing Hebrew Roots of love along with 100 Bible verses about love.
Love is typically defined as an intense emotion that we have towards others we care about. In the scripture we can see that "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV) These words are definitely truth, but do they tell us what love is? They tell us about how love works and give us insight into its correct application, but not so much what is consists of. Is it an emotion? A feeling inside? What does scripture tell us?
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3 ESV) Here we find the definition of what love is. Our Father's commandments are the definition of love, the specifics of love. The commandments of the Most High are given out of love for the purpose of love. They tell us how to love. If you truly love someone you will not kill them, steal from them, testify falsely against them, or covet their belongings. If you truly love Yah you will not hold up other gods in his face, worship idols, use his name in a worthless way, or forget his Sabbath day to dishonor it. His commandments teach us what love is and how to love.
These commandments are not put in place to be a burden to us as some falsely teach. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV) They are put in place for our benefit and are profitable in all aspects of our lives. When one lives by them and loves them they can easily see that our Father had our best interest at heart when he gave us the law, it is truly born out of love for love.
This week we read a short article on the origin and use of the word Amen in the Scriptures called: The Last Word, “Amen” —Its origin, use, and meaning. Sometimes we can take a word for granted in its use and fail to fully understand its meaning. Please take a minute to read this short article on the subject.
Hello friends, here is a quick run down on how to keep the Shabbat holy. What are the requirements that our creator made for us? Thou shalt eat challah bread? Well, there are traditions associated with this weekly holy day that run very deep. Traditions have a place and they definitely make the day more special, but it is important for us to realize that these are just traditions and not requirements. It is when we elevate tradition to the level of commandment that we can be in err.
Here are the hard and fast, low down, carved in stone, nitty gritty, bare bones, meat and potatoes, nuts and bolts, absolute bare minimum requirements for keeping Yah's Shabbat holy in your home for your consideration.
1) Don’t Work
Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to יהוה your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days יהוה made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy Sabbath of solemn rest to יהוה; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)
2) Don’t Buy, Sell, or Trade
If the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt. (Nehemiah 10:31)
In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:15-21)
3) Don’t Cook
He said to them, “This is what יהוה has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to יהוה; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.’” (Exodus 16:23)
You shall kindle no fire in all your dwellings on the Sabbath day. (Exodus 35:3)
4) Assemble Together
Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a Sabbath to יהוה throughout your settlements. (Leviticus 23:3)
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
5) Don’t do your own pleasure
If you refrain from trampling the Sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of יהוה honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in יהוה, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of יהוה has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13-14)