Posted in Torah, Wandering Mind

Righteousness by Faith is the oldest (good) news

While I was writing this, I ended up separating a portion of this into another post, Dizzy Faith. I dont know why or how, but the Wandering Mind thing hit me….

Faith was designed into the Garden

Just as a parent parses out knowledge and information to a child, YHVH leads us by Wisdom, within the context of Relationship and Revelation. At least that is my take on it. The context for this is shown in an account from the Garden in Eden:

[Gen 3:8 NKJV] 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Ive had a theory and interpretation of this for years, and it is more ind epth than I cn get into. But the basic idea in this application is that at a certain point of the day, perhaps regularly, YHVH walked around the garden wherein YHVH had placed Mankind. Both Adam and Havah were there. And YHVH called out to them.

This to me implies a lot of things, mostly relationship. There is a familiarity between mankind and YHVH. There is a connection, dialog. YHVH obviously know what is going on, so YHWH is in fact teaching mankind. I would even say shepherding, guiding towards a goal. Parenting comes to mind.

It is in this context that I began to think about faith. And many things in our life, parenting, teaching, correcting, leading etc… all work within the framework of the intedned party to have faith. Not just belief, but actual conviction working through action.

Parenting Children

Children often desire immediate remedy to whatever state they find themselves in. Especially when they perceive themselves to have a need or a lack. Many times they want information, or knowledge. It gives them a sense of stability, or even mastery of something that is currently keeping them in a sense of instability.

In some cases it is excitement:

Parent: “Guess where we are going tomorrow? It is going to be so fun!”

Child: “Where? Tell me!”

Parent: “Just trust me, you are going to LOVE IT!”

Child then pesters Parent incessantly.

In some cases, it is trust oriented

Child: “I need X (food, opportunity, object, help, support etc..)”

Parent: “Ill help you with that soon”

Child: “I need X NOW!!!”

Parent: “It is ok, don’t worry, Ill help you. You are actually fine, even though you don’t feel like it. Trust me, you are ok and Ill take care of it”

The temptation is to have immediate satisfaction of desire. The sign of immaturity is the inability to defer gratification. It is perfectly appropriate for a 2 or 3 year old to be “immature”. There are graduated steps of maturity and ability. We expect people to progress through stages and appropriate more ability to defer immediate gratification and resolution to unknowns.

There are many facets of this idea. From fear to excitement, to something new, or something boring. But Im beginning to see that a huge goal of parenting is to guide a child into an ability to trust us, and learn and develop themselves within that process so that they are successful in navigating the unknowns and emerging as authentic representations of their true selves. As they gain mastery and comprehension over themselves, and their interactions with others and the creation, they are able to DO what they BELIEVE.

Faith is Trust Matured

Faith is the ability to trust while the experience of the desire/need is not yet experienced. By faith Abraham was considered righteous.

Abraham was directed to offer his only son over to death. This was not unknown in Abrahams experience. People did this to their gods. YHVH had not given torah/instructions about forbidding child sacrifice. But at the point of this directive, Abraham believed that even if he did what Yahweh directed, the promise Yahweh had made about children and descendants would be accomplished by Yahwehs own power. All Abraham had to do was obey and let Yahweh deliver on Yahweh’s own promises. There was a level of confidence Abraham had that places his actions (not some ethereal mental concept) as the model for  everyone.

The Real Kinder(Garden)

Was YHVH always training creation in righteousness that comes from faith? Was the garden in Eden the perfect environment to walk mankind through a series of experiences, perhaps on a daily basis, to progressively teach them the nature and character of YHWH? If so, then was the alternative taking control ourselves of knowledge, information, or some other kind of resolution to a felt need, interest, stimulus or similar instinct? Is there an “appetite” (nephesh?) within mankind that can go beyond what is provided and seek out satisfaction some other way?

Was the eating from the knowledge tree the result of coveting information and understanding of how things work, and being able to avoid walking in daily dependence on relational based revelation? Was Havah encouraged to take control herself over the God ordained and God paced process of development and training in righteousness and have access to knowledge without having to be dependent on Yah?

It appears that way to me….

Climbing over the wall instead of using the gate

By eating of the Knowledge Tree, Havah and Adam circumvented the matrix which allowed YHVH to deliver knowledge via relationship (daily “walking” in the cool of the day?). They were introduced to an alternative (strange, foreign, secret, gnostic?) path. There was something awakened in them (before its time), and once awake, began to rule. They coveted knowledge, and wanted it for themselves. The crafty, shining, most naked one of all, the serpent (nechash) informed mankind that there was far more than what Yah was delivering. In fact, Yah was intentionally holding out on them. It wasn’t that Yah didn’t know certain things, it was that Yah knew FULL WELL and was refusing to share it. The serpent seemed to have first hand knowledge about this. The implication is, and we learn more about this later in scripture, that Yah had withheld these things from the serpent as well!

I know that classic christian thought is that this serpent was “Satan”, a personal and malevolent being, most probably a “fallen angel”. I have heard jewish perspectives that this was simply a snake, and this was just a snake being a snake. They talked with people, and it wasnt sin for a snake to desire these things, but it was wrong for mankind.

I tend to think it was a unique spiritual being, who was the embodiment of what the term “Satan” is, an adversary. There are many “satans”, from actual personal beings to worldwide evil anti Yah mindsets and agendas. Apparently in Israel, prosecuting attorneys are actually called “Satans”.

Regardless of the context one might have for the “satan”, it is the action of mankind that resulted in its own problem. It may have been encouraged, or catalyzed, but it was the action, not the thought, that was the downfall.

It was the DOING of the eating or the fruit from the Knowledge Tree that was wrong. Whatever the motives. But the motives themselves are easily understood as lack of Faith (conviction, belief, assurance, trust) in the words Yah gave.

The Results

Adam had to return back to where Adam came from (the dirt outside the Garden). The pattern then repeats itself with the Hebrew children. They had to wander the desert (the dirt) and learn how to walk in dependence on Yahwehs provision. Every time they desired to take things into their own hands, the consequences were essentially death. Either by their enemies, Elohim’s judgements, or by the loss of valuable property in sacrifices.

The result of the covetous action of eating from the knowledge tree resulted in death. And now with more knowledge than YAH parsed out at any given time, mankind had awareness of possibilities and options that bring fear, anxiety or apprehension. The desire to appease the initial response can become so great that humans take actions about options or possibilities without WISDOM directing the flow, quality, and truth of the scenario. By acting outside of, or parallel to, YHWH they act outside of covenant relationship. They use their strength, mind, might, in reality their SELF to LOVE THEMSELVES.

As well, people see opportunities for their desires without understanding the broader impact to anyone or anything else. By taking action on these desires without the guidance of WISDOM, they end up with results at someone or something else’s expense. They essentially forgo LOVING THEIR NEIGHBOR.

This all stems from their lack of Loving YHVH with all their might, soul, strength, mind etc… Loving Yahweh is defined as obeying Yahweh’s commands. It isnt thinking right, it is DOING them. In fact, study the idea of Guarding (Shamar). We are told to guard the commands of Yah. Mankind was told to guard the garden. Learning from Yah, and then guarding what Yah said.

Faith in the Garden

If the thesis is in the right direction, then YHVH was sustaining mankind while teaching them the way things work, how to trust, how to be righteous. As they learned, they were to guard what was told them. Watch over it. tend to it, keep it, treasure etc… Not just the command itself, but the actual outworking of it. For instance, Im not supposed to shamar a Torah Scroll. Im supposed to shamar the instructions of it. it is not a conceptual idea, but a reality.

By circumventing this trust and response to Yahweh, death came. More on that later. A lack of Life is the result of not DOING the instructions.

Posted in Creation, Torah, Wandering Mind

The Tree of Life was always good eating

There is no indication that Adam (mankind) was not eating of the Life Tree. Perhaps daily during the “cool of the day”? Both Adam and Havah were permitted to eat of ANY tree in the garden except for the Knowledge Tree. If there was 2 main trees in the middle of the garden (does it say that?), one you could eat and one you couldn’t, how is it possible that they didn’t eat of it? If YHVH drew attention to them both over and above any others (at least that is what we read in scripture) I would certainly go check them out.

Yah says “in the day you eat of the Knowledge Tree you will die”, but they don’t actually die. I have heard people teach all around this. Is there another method of death? In a fantastic podcast, Mirimam Brand discusses how the Masoretes attempted to reconcile things and added some punctuation in this passage. The snake uses a classic “forked tongue” in saying “Undying one you will die“. The word “death“, (muwth) is simply repeated here, but in context clearly the serpent is attempting to get Havah (and therefore mankind) to eat this.

Is there also a concept that “Existing you are not Alive”?

Created for Death?

There are numerous animals and processes created in creation that have either a direct or indirect role in dealing with death, dead things, or in some way recycling. Predators, as well as scavengers exists and we believe Yahweh created everything. Perhaps predators are/were a distortion of the original creation, but the massive amount of microbiological, insects, small animals, birds and other living creatures cannot be accidental. Everything from a micro level to a macro in creation has a clear and inherent structure for recycling and conversion of matter and energy.

Is it possible death itself is designed into creation? That death in original context is the ending of the purely physical, whereas the death talked about in the Garden is talking about the disconnection from Yah?

Living Soul vs Existing Soul

We see in the creation story that Elohim breathed into Adamah the “neshamah“, and then “Adam” (which is all mankind) became a LIVING SOUL. All the previous animals appear to already have a soul (nephesh). But Adam experienced a totally different and unique (to the creation account so far) element. Now mankind (Adamah) was alive, whereas before, the status was different.

So if this “neshamah” is the difference, and Adam was already existing prior to the infusion of “the neshamah”, existence is not the same thing as “being alive”. Animals were existing, some possibly human like in form and function. But once Yah breathed the neshamah into a specific one, the bible begins the story and a separation occurs.

Regardless of the path creation took, the Life Tree could possibly be the element that would sustain that “Living Soul” breath. The breath was a spark, the fruit was the sustaining resource. One was the start, the other was the maintenance. One was involuntary, the other was the voluntary responsibility of mankind.

Would we then would say death is the removal or absence of the “neshamah”? Is it a return to the appetite driven, instinctual existence that animals have? When you combine that existence with the toolset and unique characteristics of humankind, you have a dominant species that will consume everything else including each other.

Life Tree

It is only after eating the Knowledge Tree fruit, that Elohim decides that Adam and Havah cannot be allowed to eat from the Life Tree. In fact, the Creator puts guards (watchers?) at the gates to the garden to ensure mankind is unable to access the Life Tree. Why? Yah says this stops Adam from coming into the garden and eating from it and existing in a state of being “like us” permanently. This doesn’t mean mankind would simply eat of it one time. There is no indication of this previously. Perhaps it was the accessibility to the Life Tree that would maintain mankind, and they would be stuck in some kind of negative consequence.

And this might actually be the death Yahweh is speaking about.

Is there simply a regenerative or restorative context to the Life Tree? Was eating Life fruit it a regular event, or a periodic event in response to specific actions?

If there is a regenerative process of the Life Tree it would totally make sense that death itself would result from not having access to the Life Tree. If mankind was allowed to eat from the Life Tree, was it the Life Tree that was keeping mankind alive forever?

  • If the context for eating Life Fruit was daily, then this lends itself to the idea of “Daily Bread”, Manna, and other concepts later developed within scripture as a Wheel within a Wheel.
  • If the context is Yah leading Adam (all mankind here) to the Tree of Life when they have “missed the mark”, it sets the stage for the idea of repentance.

If the neshamah and the Life Tree are connected, then another idea could be that progressively the living part of mankind is eroding. The ability to be regenerated is removed, and entropy increases. Disorder increases. Sin increases. The consequences of sin increase. Mankind stops being a living soul, and reverts back to simply existing, driven by instinct and desire, and unaware of the transcendent God relationship.

We do see this as the story unfolds. All the way to the account of Noah, mankind progressively lives shorter and shorter, and awful things become the norm. Yah states that it is no longer going to work, and mankind (and all living land animals and birds) will be wiped out.

Access Restored

Later in the prophecies we see that the leaves of the Life Tree provide healing for the Nations… the peoples, MANKIND. Access to the Life Tree is conditional to being allowed access into the restored reality spoken about in the Prophets. In the Apostolic writings we see the Life Tree in the middle of the “New Jerusalem”, and access is via 1 of 12 gates around the city.

Is it possible that the guardians of the gates are removed, and the access to the Life Tree is once again the sustaining force, even for the resurrected bodies talked about in the Prophets?

Tree of Life in Messiah

Messiah Yeshua talks about eating “from” or “of” Him. It is a symbol, but in context, the Tree of Life becomes many different expressions and symbols all resolving into Yah’s provision for healing, salvation from death, and restoration to YHVH.

Posted in Wandering Mind

Dizzy Faith

For most people like me who were involved in christianity, there was a massive emphasis on faith. Debates about it, denominations and movements about it. Definitions of it and how to use it. On and On… In fact, it is proposed that faith is the difference between Jesus and the Torah, or Old and New, or jewish and christian. It goes so far that christians actually are led to believe by doctrine that they alone are the actual possessors of this “saving faith”.

For others, mainly people who even study the scriptures themselves, righteousness by faith was clearly predating the “New Testament”. It comes as a revelation to many that Paul himself quotes Genesis and says “Abraham believed God, and it was accredited to him as righteousness”. Different translations word it slightly differently, but the gist is Abraham believed God, and was considered righteous by that belief.

Basic christian concepts equate being declared righteous as the same thing Yah does in “saving” people. Righteousness is “imputed” to them fulfilling some kind of requirements for their status to change.

Faith is not ethereal

Faith in the context of Abraham is really evidenced by his actions rather than some internal thought or commitment. Actions demonstrate belief. Another classic verse used is “The righteous shall live by faith”. Sometimes it is “the just”, or justified. Regardless of the actual context of this verse, the piece of it quoted here is used even in the apostolic scriptures by Paul/Shaul as evidence that within the good news of the Kingdom itself, righteousness is revealed as being by faith. In the Apostolic writings, James slams this home with the famous “Faith without works is dead” statement. The evidence of faith is action. Abraham demonstrated his confidence in Yah by DOING.

Faith and works are inseparable. The works of a person, or their actions, reveal where they are at.

James also states a very interesting concept, yet does this in a very weird way. To me, this drives home the idea of what we do as the reality of righteouness vs simply something we say or believe

James 2:19 (NKJV) 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!

Think through this a bit….

  • You believe there is one God: Either this is simply basic monotheism, or something more. I suspect it is a reference tot he fundamental tenet of Israel which is the Shema, the greatest commandment. It is the declaration that YHVH is ONE, and that you should Love YHVH with all your heart, soul, mind etc…
  • You do well: This is a good thing. In fact Yeshua confirms this is the GREATEST COMMANDMENT.
  • Even the demons believe this… The things Yeshua casts out of people. The supernatural beings who live in essentially rebellion to the Kingdom of YHVH. By doing well, following the GREATEST COMMANDMENT, you are at the same level as demons.
  • And Tremble: This is the only time (in the greek version of the NT) the word is used. The word seems to mean being scared like when your hair stand on end.
    • Looking up the Greek word in the Septuagint tells us what translators used the Greek word for a Hebrew word (click here). The Septuagint uses the word twice, Jer 2:12, and Daniel 7:15 which is an Aramaic word.
    • The Hebrew word means to be very afraid, and also a whirlwind. I would say this is like when you are scared and possibly disoriented or even dizzy.

Why does this make them afraid to the point of their proverbial hair standing up on end? Because they are unable to do anything abut it. They “believe it” in their “mind”. They even know it to be true. And their lack of repentance, their inability to respond with the appropriate action renders them unable to resolve the problem. YHVH is ONE. Mighty, certainly. But there is NO OTHER MIGHTY ONE. Any variant of ONE you try to use (quantity, quality, unity etc…) results in a sinking, foreboding feeling to a demon. I believe that is because they simply will not, or cannot respond in repentance to this reality. They cannot put action to their belief. In this case, they cannot back up their faith with anything meaningful enough to reconcile the issue.


The next series of verses, and the supporting context of the whole concept follows

[Jas 2:20-23 NKJV] 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

So essentially, my take is:

You state that you believe in the fundamental and greatest commandment of the scriptures, the Shema. And this is great. It puts you on the same level as the demons. They agree with you on this, and are scared out of their wits about it because they cannot produce any works consistent with this.

Should you be concerned?

Posted in Biblical Calendar, Torah

Learning from the Mo’edim – Shavuot 2016

This post builds on the basic assumptions listed in Learning from the Mo’edim

Shavuot 2016

I dont post very much as Im so busy and honestly dont have energy and focus to sit down and write stuff out. I just happened to go back through some posts, noticed gobs of spelling errors and was correcting them, and read through last years Learning from the Mo’edim. It reminded me that I hadn’t written down things from this years Pesach or Shavuot.

I cannot recall much of Pesach. I don’t know why! I believe we had a family come over, eat some food and discuss the holiday. And we read through the Exodus together and discussed it. We have an age range of 4 to 8, and lots of interesting questions. I am always reminded of how much deeper I need to dig into these things and prepare.

Shavuot is a whole other challenge for me. 2016 had a bunch of discussions and differing opinions about timing of Pesach. Pesach (Passover) begins the calendar. There are so many ways different folks work around the start of the new year. I see the idea of barley being mature in the field as the indicator that the new year is able to start as the most simple and direct way presented in scripture so far. This is key as it starts the chain of events and dates that set the rest of the year timetable for holidays.

Once we hit Shavuot, I realized that I had made a serious mistake. We had planned a family trip to Alaska. We had to plan this way in advance, and I didnt realize that an appointed time occurred right in the middle of it. This isnt necessarily a problem.  I dont see where Shavuot is a Sabbath, but I might be confused or missing something. But by being on a trip, away from home, with my wonderful extended family who dont remotely care about this stuff threw me off. Combined with the last minute realization of it, I simply didnt give it the attention it deserved.

However, some interesting and redemptive things have occurred. Prior to the holiday, I began to really think about the classic role and reference to “the/The spirit/Spirit”. All the combinations. My background in christian culture, especially charismatic expression has resulted in a whole bunch of presuppositions and biases. There is a whole bunch of things Im unlearning, and it turns out this whole concept is under serious revision.

Oddly, I have come across lots of teaching resources about this very topic. I didnt go searching for it but I came across these resources seemingly accidentally. This has been encouraging that perhaps Im getting divinely guided.

The main ideas that seem to be working themselves out:

  1. The concept of Pentecost in christian context is related to the “giving” of “The Spirit”. This really seems to be plain wrong. There are plenty of references to the spirit of Yah being present from the creation forward. There is nothing new about the working of the Spirit of Yah in human history. What seems to be the new part is the idea of being IMMERSED, or BAPTIZED in the Spirit. I interpret this (so far in my limited understanding) as a quantitative idea. There is an intensification of the work and activity.
  2. The nature and identity of The Spirit is really changing in my mind. The best concept I have heard that seems to connect the dots of scripture for me is an interesting one. The idea of a distilled essence of something. It flies in the face of the classic trinitarian interpretation. The Spirit not being a “person” as much as the deep, distilled essence of Yehovah. This also resonates with a previous mental wrestling match.
  3. Yeshua now seems to embody the Spirit with skin. It is more and more to me that Yeshua IS the Salvation of Yahweh. The Strong Right Arm. And the practical mechanics to me is a picture of the distilled essence of Yah ut into a body with skin. Even the literal teaching of Yeshua brings the distilled essence of Torah to reality. The Sermon on the Mount, where Yeshua talks about the idea of not just murdering someone, but not hating them. The revealing of the distilled essence of the commandments comes out of the mouth of Yeshua, and Yeshua expects disciples who choose to submit to this same Spirit.

Im still in the weeds with these ideas. It is always a trap to listen to someone teach something, and then run with it. Im looking to take the ideas presented and then study and prove it with scripture. The next step is how to practically respond and adapt to the idea. What is Yah expecting of me? How do I agree with this and engage it?


Posted in Wandering Mind

The Worship Mall

A classic section of scripture I’ve read time and again, and heard referenced many more. There are interesting things about this passage like:

  • Yeshua is not some meek and mild, passive individual. He flipped over tables, chased out livestock, and no one could stop him.
  • Yeshua was keeping the Festivals, and in this case it is Passover. He traveled on foot to get there in time. This is a specific day, and in my understanding he had about 2 week notice to make this happen.
  • He went to the Temple. Clearly he wasn’t just a Jew, but an observant, Temple centered one.

But I caught something, and it ties into other things I’ve been learning by reading Torah. As I read Torah, I learn that there is a real heart to it. There are lots of  passages that keep describing not just specific behaviors, but themes.

Read through this first.

John 2:13-17 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”c

So yes, Yeshua was mad. Apparently Yeshua didn’t like the fact this was happening. Why is that?

Some people I know claim it wasn’t the buying and selling, it was the location. That may be. Yeshua specifically associates it with the verse about a “House of Prayer”, quoting  Isaiah. The intention for the Temple itself was to be a place for all nations to gather and engage in intimacy with Yahweh.  I’ve never been to the Temple Mount, but I hear it is quite large, and it was by many accounts even bigger 2000 years ago. This must have either been a massive operation, or perhaps there is an even bigger issue underneath . . .

It’s the HEART

Possibly this issue is something even deeper. There are some concepts that occurred to me, and it involves how profound the Feast of Passover is, and how the Torah instructs us to interact with one another.

Passover is Big

The Passover is perhaps the single biggest event in the faith practiced by Yeshua. This is true even of a religion like Judaism (My take is Yeshua was Jewish by ethnicity, but not by practice of a religion). Passover is an event, followed immediately by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They are not technically the same thing, but they are associated with each other as if they were the same thing.

The Passover is simply the single most defining event in Israel’s history. They were essentially birthed by the Exodus from Egypt.

It is also the first Feast of the New Year. The New Year begins in the month of Aviv. While some people believe this is in the 7th month, there isnt any support for this. It is a creation of a Babylonian context, and Babylon is never associated with anything positive in scripture. In fact it is associated with everything negative.

Every Adult male is required to come up to Jerusalem and celebrate the Feast. They are to present a Lamb, or develop a connection with other families and share the Lamb. By some accounts of this era is that there were hundreds of thousands of lambs being sacrificed in the afternoon of this specific day. If true,this would mean multiple dozens of thousands of men coming into Jerusalem from all over the area. This is a massive amount of people, who are travelling, and where there is this many people far from home, there is money to be made.

Loving your Neighbor

Yehovah makes constant reference to the approach you are to have in dealing with your neighbor. Whether they are rich or poor, you are to treat them fairly.  You are to seek out their best. If they are poor you are to lend them money, and do everything you can to help them stay living in the land in any way possible. In Leviticus 19 it specifically states to love your neighbor as yourself. It describes a generosity of heart. An interest for each other. A way to help support others and facilitate them to obey commands, enjoy the blessings of the God of Israel, and thrive.

I see this in all the commands. Even the hard and painful ones about sending people away or even executing them. As hard and traumatic as it would be, YHVH explains that the reason for something this intense is to protect everyone else from falling into the same issues and losing out on the blessings.

Getting Practical From the Heart

So if I were an average Joe travelling up from dozens to hundreds of miles away through deserts full of bandits, possible complications, and various trials. I might be bringing my sons, and even wife and daughters if they want to come along (they aren’t required). It is a lot of logistics. And I need a lamb. I need a beautiful one too, not just some cheap excuse to fulfill my obligations. YHWH doesn’t want just basic, ritualistic actions, but a heart motivated action that is coming form JOY.

But I’m excited to be in the big city, at the most significant time of the calendar. It is one of the Moedim, an appointed time where the God of creation meets with us. And I’m commanded to do this, for at least 8 days. There is at least 1 weekly Sabbath, and there are potentially 2 others within this week. I can’t work, as I’m not at home. I’m not able to bring my own lamb, and I have limited ability to bring infrastructure.

So the way I see it, is that if I live in Jerusalem it is my job to welcome in these people who are not just my countrymen, but fellow brothers and sisters in our faith. And in fact, they are going to be m literal neighbors for at least 8 days if not longer. I need to proactively love these people. But how?

The most practical thing I could do is to meet any of these wonderful pilgrims, and try to help them any way I can! Can I find some lambs and help them supply their needs? Can I make it as easy and cheap as possible so they can enjoy and celebrate as much as possible? Is there a way that I can help them and support them and celebrate with them? And can I do it without worrying about what Im going to “wear or eat”? As Yeshua teaches in other places, we are to give to whomever asks, to give more. And to care for my neighbor in every way.

Setting up a shopping mall is the wrong idea. Not just practically either. The Temple itself is NO PLACE for any business transactions between people. It is a place, THE PLACE for transactions between God and Man. It is offensive.

But it also goes against the very heart that seems to underlay the commands themselves. Taking advantage of people who are earnestly trying to come and obey the Torah is patently WRONG. Taking opportunity to make profit off of someone else while they are weary, hard pressed, and displaced is wrong. It isn’t the heart of being a God directed neighbor. Taking opportunity wouldn’t be wrong at other times, but doing it during what is arguable the most important time of the year is worse.

What is the Real Beef?

I think it is all of it.

  • The heart of the matter is to keep the Temple HOLY, set apart for God and Man.
  • The paradigm of a Jerusalemite is to welcome my fellow people as neighbors.
  • Part of being a neighbor is to ensure that anyone who desires is able to participate. The deeper heart is to see my neighbor able to do this as easy as possible.
  • Part of loving my neighbor as myself is also to protect the integrity of the process. Encouraging others to maintain integrity. Protecting them from giving in the opportunistic greed and taking advantage of the pilgrims, the Temple mount, or the holiday.
  • Charging interest, high interest, or other types of behavior like this is an indicator my heart is worried or fearful. People can argue wether any interest is acceptable. The main point is during a holiday, if not THE Holiday.

The negatives make it so that the whole point is missed. It doesn’t communicate the Heart of Yahweh, nor does it facilitate the heart response Yah is looking for in Yah’s people.

Im sure there is a lot of different things Im not seeing, but this really grabbed my attention. It is the heart as much as anything to me so far.

Posted in Wandering Mind


So a question that is pinging around in my head is something I’ve never actually considered. This is my 2nd or 3rd time going through the Gospels via the chronological method in the Daily Bible. It is a great way to read through as it attempt to harmonize the 4 different accounts. It is also a great way to read my part of the bible as it integrates things like psalms into the chronicles, and minor prophets in with Daniel etc…

We are early on and this verse caught my attention. John 4:24

New International Version
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

This seems like a simple enough statement, but it really is not. I have heard lots of people talk about it and interpret it. But honestly I cannot seem to yet hear something that really “clicks”.

But the first part is what is really giving me pause. God is spirit. God, meaning YHVH of course, is spirit. However the NIV translates some subsequent usages of the word spirit as the Spirit, meaning they have decided it must mean what trinitarians talk about when they say the “Holy Spirit”.

Not all translations do this so I have to assume the text underneath doesn’t communicate this.

However, the real question is (to me at this point:

If YHVH is spirit, then how is the Spirit, The Spirit, the Holy Spirit etc… something else or something different?

Talking about the Holy Spirit as an entity and an individual, or a “part of God” etc… makes no sense. If God is already spirit, then anything related to the Holy Spirit is talking about a different spirit. Buy we know God is ONE, total unity. So is the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Grace etc..)just a piece cut off and sent on a mission? If it is a different spirit, then we are in big trouble. If it is a part of God, then God divides itself up into portions?

And then interesting questions come to mind about Yeshua’s own words that He must go to the Father so the Holy Spirit could come. Since God is spirit, it must be located in a specific location, and not able to be somewhere else? And what about in Torah and Tanakh where it talks about the Spirit of God, and how it came upon Saul, and David and others? It is drawing a clear, pre-christian, pre-trinitarian view of an active agent of God, that is also referenced as spirit.

I do not wish to denigrate God, or to be  casual. Im simply trying to grasp something I previously just swallowed and emulated and defined my experiences with. It doesnt add up. Im guessing a lot of this comes down to pre-programming and bias where we will present the scriptures and try to help the reader (by putting the and a) and capitalizing words as to direct them into a pattern of thinking.


Posted in Wandering Mind


Thank you to the decade of the 70’s


So Yeshua claims to be the “Bread from Heaven”, and also says that He has Bread to eat we don’t know about. Two of the miracles is multiplying bread. At the last meal together, bread is used as a signal to expose the enemy, ans well as demonstrate the coming tearing of the physical body of Yeshua.

According to the genealogies given in the gospel accounts, Yeshua is a descendant of David. Yeshua was born in the “City of David”, Bethlehem.

Bethlehem in Hebrew is basically 2 words; Bet-Lechem

Bet is both a word, and a letter. The word Bet means house.

Lechem means Bread.

Bet-Lechem = House of Bread

Yeshua was born in the House of Bread. And Bread was a regular reference to help explain and His mission.