Exploring the WORD (EX 30 - LEV 1)

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PARASHA: “Ki Tisa” (when you elevate)

EXDOUS 30:11-34:35………………1 KINGS 18:1-39……………MARK 7:1-8:38

This parashah starts out by numbering the people, those who are 20 years old and older, Each person has to give one half shekel of silver. Why the count? This is to count those who are old enough for the Army, the very first IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Since it is not appropriate to count “people” perhaps as to not trust in “numbers” for strength, which might lead to pride, YHVH tells Moshe to collect silver, and for each half-shekel of silver, one person is represented. The silver is to be used for the Mishkan, for repair and maintenance. Of course, we realize that the Levites were not included in the Armed Forces, they were exempt, their jobs were to be “chaplains” of a sort, working with the priests in ministry.

Every born-again believer is “numbered” in the eyes of YHVH for HIS army of adopted sons and daughters, we are fighting a spiritual battle against a hardened enemy, HaSatan, who has his own army of demons, devils, and unsaved humans working for him. Even though there will be many battles, the war has already been won, it was won 2000 years ago, on Calvary’s cross. YHVH came down in flesh and blood and paid our sin price in full. We are fighting against an enemy who has lost the war, but he has an attitude and will not relent, He wants to cause havoc among the brethren, and “sisteren” (my own made-up word)

YHVH commands Moshe to prepare incense and anointing oil. The incense is to be used in worship, burned on the table of incense, which is before the “Kadosh-Kedoshim” (Holy of Holies) and also, on the bread, and on the sacrifices. Incense is still used today in religious services, it has a calming effect on the emotional and nervous system of those who are around it. There are many distinct aromas, the aromas that are similar to the incense that was used in the tabernacle and temple would be frankincense and some even say “musk” scent, however no one can be sure of the original ingredients, what they are today, besides, YHVH prohibits an exact duplication of the formula.

The anointing oil was used to anoint the Levites and priests “on their heads” and not on the flesh, the ingredients were sweet cinnamon, calamus, cassia, myrrh, and olive oil, there are oils today that are used for anointing, yet it was prohibited to replicate the “exact” recipe.

In Remez, the incense symbolizes our prayers that go upward towards heaven, and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit who is with us all the time. Through the Ruach HaKodesh, our prayers go up and are heard by our Messiah Yeshua.

We see later on in this parashah that Moshe goes up Har Sinai to receive the tablets of the Mitzvoth, and as we all know the story, after a while the people wonder; “and Moshe? What happened to him?” their faith was weak, and when faith is weak, the enemy HaSatan will take advantage, Aaron who was left in charge was pressured into relenting, with gold earrings, the people made a “golden Calf”. “This is our god” they said, could one think that they replaced YHVH with this false god? The Egyptian god “hapis” took form of a cow or bull, and perhaps, they had a miniature one of those gods with them. I would think they still believed in YHVH but they wanted to “See” with their eyes, some kind of form, breaking of course the commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”. True faith is “believing” even if we cannot see something that is invisible. Yeshua said to his talmidim; “Blessed are those who do not see yet believe”.

Do we trust Adonai, even when we cannot see the immediate results? That is what testing is all about, He will try our faith, will we trust HIM even unto the end? YHVH lives in the infinite dimension of time and space, while we live in the finite dimension. He can see the end while we can’t even see around the corner. He has everything under control, we just have to believe and wait on him, as the Israelites should have done. It would have saved a lot of grief, lives, and dishonor.

Moshe comes back down only to witness the disaster, breaks the tablets as a sign of a “broken covenant” between YHVH and the people. It is like getting married and on the same wedding night, the bride goes out and commits adultery. YHVH wants to DESTROY the people, and start over with Moshe. YET, Moshe intercedes before YHVH for Am Israel. Just as Moshe interceded, so did YESHUA intercede before the Father on our behalf, and still does. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Yeshua’s words). “Yet now, if you will forgive their sin, and if not, blot ME out of thy book” (Moshe’s words) and…. YHVH forgave them. Just like YHVH forgives us of our sins, when we confess and turn from our wicked ways.

Moshe wants to see the glory “HaKavod YHVH” he goes back up for a second copy of the commandments.

“Show me thy glory!” the LORD responded; “I will make all my goodness go before thee” yet, he said that no one could see the “face” of YHVH, who can look upon the pure essence of YHVH? For it would drive the spirit out of the body, So, as YHVH passed by, Moshe saw the “after-effect” the “tail end”. It could be similar to my experience in seeing Haley’s comet back in 1987. While I was in college, I went to Lynchburg College Observatory which was open to the public, we could see Haley’s comet going back out into space, I saw the “tail end” of the comet, which was just a faint glow at that time.

Now Moshe gets the second set of the tablets, and YHVH gives them to him with these words:

“YHVH, YHVH God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and their children’s children……”

Now, how does that describe our God? He IS full of mercy and showed us grace, in that we were yet sinners, He came to earth in human form and died for us all. He is “long suffering” in that he puts up with our “stuff’ our “attitudes” and “rebellions” and gives us second, third, and fourth “chances” to repent, He could have wiped out Israel in one second, but he didn’t. He gave us his Torah, the Bible which is full of “goodness” and IS the TRUTH, he forgives sin, but ONLY when we come to him as repentant sinners and trust Yeshua as our Savior and LORD. He does not clear the guilty ONLY WHEN, the guilty DO NOT REPENT! And yes, the sins of the fathers can affect the children, just look at the public schools today, the students are rebellious, disrespectful because they have learned that from THEIR PARENTS!

If the kids hear the parents fuss and cuss, they will too, If the parents smoke dope, they will have the tendency to do the same, children will copy their parents in all ways, HOWEVER, the blood of Yeshua can heal all of that, the generational curses can be cut short when YESHUA comes into the lives of families.

Moshe returns to the congregation with the new set of tablets, and YHVH instructs him and reminds him of his commandments, “Yes, I will go before thee…only observe all that I am commanding thee this day…. And toward the end, YHVH mentions, “thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk” which is a repeated commandment, this was discussed before, it symbolizes a separation between, “life and death” of the “clean and unclean”

Moshe comes down “glowing” like a thousand-watt light bulb, why? He has been in the presence of YHVH right there, in the middle of the Shekinah glory! If he glowed with God’s glory, Moshe being a sinner like all of us, can you imagine how Adam and Eve glowed before the fall? Being in constant fellowship with Elohim? It was only after the fall that the “light covering” left, and they found themselves “naked!”

Yeshua said; “Ye are the light of the world” Yes, we are, yet we have no light of our own, we reflect the light of Messiah Yeshua, in our own lives. Is our light bright, like that which reflected from Moshe? Or…dim?

“Standing on the rock!” (33:12-23) Moshe asks YHVH a very interesting question; “You say ‘bring this people up’ but who is going with me?” Without guidance, we can go nowhere. It is like walking in the dark without a lantern or being in the middle of the ocean without a compass. Where will we go? Who will lead us? Adonai has the answer that Moshe is searching for;

“My presence goes, and I shall give you rest” (vs 14) The “Ruach Elohim” will go with the people and they will receive “shalom”. There are two kinds of rest; “physical rest” from our labors, and “spiritual rest” which is from within us. Before knowing Yeshua, we were burdened down with the curse of sin, but after accepting Him as LORD and Savior, we receive his presence inside of us, and we can be assured of our salvation, eternal life in heaven is ours, that gives us “inner peace” and a good “state of mind” knowing what lies ahead of us once we face physical death.

Moshe wants to experience the “essence” of YHVH, but who can know who he really is? Can we grasp the meaning of the universe? Or the mind of God? The truth is that we are limited, because we are finite beings, fallen beings, yet YHVH listens to Moshe and gives him an answer;

“I shall cause all my goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of YHVH…See, there is a place with me, and you shall stand on the ROCK” (vss 19-21). There was a special place, a special ROCK where Moshe was placed, he “stood” upon the ROCK (HaTzur). In the picturesque ancient Hebrew the letters “Tzadik” “Vav” and “Resh” which spell “Tzur” could very well symbolize “The first Righteous one who receives the nail” . The ROCK symbolizes YESHUA who is the TZADIK (the righteous one) who received the nails at Calvary and paid our sin debt in full, thus giving us SHALOM, rest from our spiritual torment of being lost sinners.

The name YHVH comes from the word HAVAYAH (the essence of existence) who IS (HAYA-present) HOVEH (the past) and YIYAH (the future)

1 KINGS 18:1-39

…. This relates the time when there is a contest, sponsored by Eliyahu Ha Navi, Elijah the prophet calls for a contest between “Baal” and “YHVH” it is time to take action, clear up the error that Baal even exists. So, it is Baal vs YHVH, Elijah against 450 false prophets of Baal. Sacrifices are ready, all that is needed is fire, but fire not kindled by man, only by the true God, we all know who won the contest, Elijah called upon YHVH;

” ATAH YHVH HaELOHIM” (you are YHVH you are God) and fire fell from heaven and consumed EVERYTHING, the sacrifice, altar, stones, water, the people now had proof, the false prophets were still crying out and dancing around. Judgment; death for all false prophets. The people repented and returned to YHVH

Are we worshiping and serving our true God? Or are we chasing after idols, idols of money, fame, popularity, jobs, fast cars, lust, avarice, etc. We can only serve one master, who is it going to be? Do we serve YHVH? Or the world? The choice is ours.

MARK 7: 1-8:38

In this portion of scripture, we see Yeshua rebuking the Prushim (Pharisees) they are pointing out that the disciples did not wash their hands before eating. It is true, that one of the rites of the priests was to wash their hands and feet before entering into the Holy place, yet this was never stated as a commandment.

…. Today, we see many religious practices which are stressed and done as if they were commandments. There is a big difference between “commandments” and “tradition” many traditions stem from commandments, but we need to differentiate between the two. Wearing a Kippa, is a tradition, different manner of dress in Judaism is tradition, but wearing Tzitziot is a commandment, putting a mezuzah on the doorpost is a commandment. But one should not judge one another in these cases. One can point out different scripture verses, but we must leave everything in the hands of God.

” It is not what goes into a person that which defiles, but what comes out of a person that which defiles, for out of the HEART comes forth…….

So as not to confuse one thing from another, eating certain kinds of food does not defile a person SPIRITUALLY! it may defile one physically, eating what is not considered biblically kosher, like pork, shellfish, etc... BUT there are other things that can defile a person spiritually, like listening to unholy music, doing things, watching things, movies, etc. that are un-holy, satanic, things tied in with the occult, etc.

Physical defilement is different from spiritual defilement. In this passage of scripture, Yeshua is performing many miracles, opens the ears of a deaf man, healing the eyes of a blind man, casting out demons, how are our eyes, ears, heart? Can we see the truth in scripture? Can we hear the WORD of God clearly? Is our heart open to receive his word? Do we come against HaSatan and his demons through the power of the Holy Spirit? Is Yeshua HaMashiach your savior and LORD?

PARASHA: VaYakhel (and he assembled) and P’Kudei (Accountings of)

EX 35:1-38:20 and EX 38:21-40:38…………….1 KINGS 7:13-8:21…………. MARK 9:1-50

These are the final chapters of Exodus (Shemot) and Moshe talks about honoring the Sabbath day, the prohibition of lighting a fire on the Sabbath, gathering an offering to build the tabernacle and it’s furnishings, the appointment of persons to make certain items, and finally, the building project in detail and the outcome. All these are worth talking about.

” Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to YHVH”

” You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

These are very important statements, commandments repeated from before. Even before the building project begins, YHVH wants his people to know the work days, rules, and regulations. In this “work-a-holic” world in which we live, the believer should know when to stop and rest. YHVH commands it, for our own good and mental soundness. Too many people work all seven days a week, perhaps 10 or more hours each day to make a “lot-of-money” only to spend the extra money at the hospital when they have a nervous breakdown because of all the extra work hours.

The Sabbath is a day to spend with the family, at the family’s place of worship., be it at a synagogue or at a church. It is a time to spend with the LORD, to worship, learn from HIS WORD, and fellowship with other believers. It is a time to leave the things of the house alone, perhaps eat out, and return home at the end of Sabbath. It is intended as a “day of rest” so, “rest” means exactly that, “rest”.

When we look at the commandment; “Thou shalt kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath” we need to ask ourselves, what was fire used mainly for? Probably for cooking! To boil water, prepare food in different ways. Manna fell from the sky and the Israelites perhaps ate it as is, or boiled it, made it into bread, they probably roasted goats or lambs from the flocks, heated ovens for “Manna flat bread” It was a task and a half to start and maintain a fire, cooking, preparing and all that. So, YHVH is saying STOP! just for the Sabbath, and take a break from it all. Stop slaving over the hot stove and rest, prepare something on Friday, that is why HE gave a “double-portion” of Manna on Friday.

Today, how can we put that “mitzvah” into good use without “overdoing it” as some Jewish sects do, not, turning on a light switch, not driving a car, etc. Well, to start, we can prepare meals for Saturday on Friday, and on the Sabbath, just heat them up. Another idea, eat something light like salad and sandwiches. Many churches and synagogues have the custom of eating out or eating “in”. Some Jewish synagogues have “Oneg” a lunch prepared for the members and guests after service. Some church Sunday school classes go out to eat as families after services on Sundays. Why not? Give the house-wife or house-husband a break from kitchen duty! Don’t they deserve it? Anyway, the Sabbath was made for man and woman, to “rest” and take it easy, and mediate on YHVH.

The rest of these two Parashot have to do with the Tabernacle. The order to build it, to take up an offering of materials, to assign workers, to “build it” to “put it all together” and finally, to invite YHVH to come down and dwell in it, which he DID, at the close of the book of Exodus. So, go ahead and read the chapters. How can we look at this in light of our lives as born-again believers in Messiah Yeshua?

The “tabernacle” today is YHVH’s dwelling place which is each and every “Kehilah” (congregation) where born-again believers meet to worship the LORD, singing praises and teaching his WORD. The tabernacle is also the bodies of all believers, with the Ruach HaKodesh dwelling inside of us! YHVH has given each and every believer some gift and talent to “maintain” the “Mishkan of Believers” as YHVH chose different individuals to build the furniture of the Mishkan, so HE has selected different believers with different talents to maintain the Kehilah.

So, what does every article of tabernacle furniture symbolize in relationship with Yeshua and believers?

1. The Mishkan itself with the curtains, poles, staves, etc. = A “fence” to keep holiness in and ungodliness out!

Once inside, you are in the holy place, where YHVH dwells, and where the priests minister. Our Kehilot are “holy places” where the LORD dwells and where we join for fellowship with other believers.

2. “Aron HaKodesh” (The Ark of the Covenant) the “heart” of the Mishkan, where the tablets of the commandments are kept, together with a pot of Manna, and Aron’s rod. It symbolizes the believer who “should” shine like “gold” both inwardly as well as outwardly. We should be mindful of the commandments to put them into action as “unto good works” Yeshua is our “Manna” the “Bread of Life” and the Rod of Aron as our “Rod of authority, our high priesthood of believers” the “Shekinah glory” which rested above the mercy seat is the everlasting presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

3. “The Table of Incense” it symbolizes our prayers as they go up “like smoke” unto the heavenlies, even to the Throne of Grace. One thing to point out, all the furniture with the exception of the Menorah, was made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold, the wood symbolizes the humanity of Yeshua, and the gold “purity”. The incense was made of various ingredients but making an exact replica of the original substance is forbidden, most worshippers today that use incense use a mixture of Frankincense and Myrrh, which is readily available. It is a relaxing aroma that helps one to go to sleep at night.

4. “The Golden Menorah” was made of one solid piece of gold, hammered and formed into a seven-branch candlestick. It had seven lamps which were filled with olive oil and burned all night. In the morning, the priest would come into the Holy Place and trim the wicks and re-fill the lamps with olive oil. We look at the Menorah as “Yeshua Ha Or Olam” (Yeshua who is the light of the world, the Eternal Light) we are the 6 branches that are on either side of the “Shamash” the helper lamp which is in the middle, Yeshua said, “Ye are the light of the world” that means “every believer is a light in dark places” but our light comes from Yeshua” we have no light of our own, like the moon, moon light is sun light reflected off the lunar surface. The oil symbolizes the Ruach Ha Kodesh, (The Holy Spirit) and the wicks are “us” we need to be in contact with the “oil” in order to have brightness.

5. “The Table of Shewbread” made of hard wood overlaid with gold. Had 12 loaves of bread, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. The table and bread symbolize “Yeshua HaLechem Chayim” (Yeshua the Bread of Life)

Even the “unleavened bread” of Passover which symbolizes “Yeshua” who is the unleavened bread”

6. Outside the holy place are two items, the bronze laver and the Brazen Altar. The bronze laver was a huge bronze bowl filled with water. The priests would wash their hands and feet after offering blood sacrifices. It was made of bronze which symbolizes “judgment” when the water was still, the priest would see his reflection in the water. When we look in still water, or in a mirror, we see our reflection, we see who we are, sinners saved by grace, yet we still have the sin nature, and Yeshua went through “judgment” in our place, we have been “washed” in his blood and made clean. Remember that Yeshua washed the feet of his talmidim.

7. “the Bronze Altar” (Mizbeach) (pronunciation = “ach” like Yohann Sebastian Bach) not “beach” which is by the ocean, NO! was made of hard wood overlaid with bronze, symbolizing the humanity of Yeshua who was judged in the “fires of our sin”. The animal sacrifices were performed on this altar, the blood was poured out at the base of the altar and the animals roasted on a grill. Think of the Mizbeach as a big BBQ pit. The brazen altar symbolizes the cross of Messiah Yeshua, the animals symbolizing Yeshua himself who poured out his blood for us sinners, who incurred “our judgment” in his own body.

We see the materials that went into building the tabernacle; gold, silver, bronze, fine linen, wood, blue, purple, scarlet, and animal skins, They all have symbolic meanings; Gold=purity (of Messiah) and the goal of every follower of Mashiach, Silver=redemption (Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of sin) bronze=Judgment (Yeshua was judged for our sins, Fine linen= our new nature and our walk with the LORD, wood=Humanity of Messiah

Blue=Heaven, Purple=Royalty, (we are royalty in Messiah Yeshua, part of his royal family) Scarlet=blood. Animal skins=the covering of our sins before, but now, our sins have been erased, not just covered.

At the end of Exodus, in 40:38 it says that YHVH settled upon the Mishkan in a cloud. Now his presence is visible. Messiah is still with us in the form of the Holy Spirit, WE are the living Tabernacles and the Spirit of God lives in our heart, as well as within the “Kehilot” of believers who come together for worship. There is much more to say, but I better end here, or I’ll be here all night and it is already past midnight.

1 KINGS 7:51-8:21

We see here a repetition of the same building project, but on a larger scale. Solomon builds the first “Temple” for the presence of YHVH. Wherein the tabernacle was a mobile structure (kinda like a mobile home) the Temple was a fixed place. He employed thousands of workers, so there wasn’t much unemployment in Israel during that time. It took many years to build whereas the tabernacle was finished in a matter of months.

It takes time to build a ministry, many years sometimes. But if the goal is to share/teach the Word of God to others, to minister HIS word, then the LORD will bless that work, no matter how small or how big, whether a “mobile” ministry or a “fixed-in-one-place ministry, Adonai will bless and it will last.

MARK 10:1-52

Here, Yeshua teaches on divorce. This is a big subject, and a sad subject because many couples do not take marriage seriously any more. “Love” is a “commitment” it is a “conscious choice” to care for a person, it has nothing to do with “feelings”, yet “feelings” can lead two people together in order to “make a “love” commitment”

Divorce was allowed out of the “hardness of man’s heart” in biblical times, it was instituted by the man, never the woman, all is different now, get tired of your mate? Bored? Run to the lawyer and get a divorce, look for a new mate, someone more exciting and full of life. This is the mentality of the world, but not the mentality of God. The only biblical reason for allowing divorce is adultery, and for unbelief, if there is a mixed marriage and the unbeliever refuses to live with the believer, “let him (or her) depart” for we are not called to strife. All the more reason to be “equally yoked together, believers with other believers” Personally, divorce should be a last choice if one is living in a “hell hole” and the mate is a “unholy terror” but let’s not even go there now, we need to lift up our mates in prayer and pray for understanding one with the other. We are all different, and our mates complement our weaknesses, and through our mates, our weaknesses become “strong”