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Showing posts from August, 2015

Divorced

“And it has been said, ‘Whoever PUTS AWAY his wife, let him give her a CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE.’ “But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32 ISR, emphasis mine)
“When a man takes a wife and shall marry her, then it shall be, if she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found a matter of uncoveredness in her, and he shall write her a CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, and put it in her hand, and SEND HER OUT of his house …” (Deuteronomy 24:1 ISR, emphasis mine)

The institute of marriage was created in the Garden of Eden, pure and sinless, and it is from the Book of Genesis that we find the original instructions concerning marriage:  Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become …

Offended

“If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and GO, FIRST make peace with your brother, and THEN come and offer your gift..” (Matthew 5:23-24 ISR, emphasis mine)
"Moreover, if your brother commits a sin AGAINST you, GO and show him his fault — BUT PRIVATELY, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.”  (Matthew 18:15 CJB, emphasis mine)


In Matthew 15:12, the Greek word that has been translated ‘offended is the word ‘skandaliz┼Ź’ (Strong’s #G4624), and it is ‘kin’ to the root of OUR words ‘scandal’ and ‘scandalize’.  The meaning to this word paints a picture of a trap, or snare, hidden in a type of ambush, such as a pit covered by limbs or tree branches.  ‘Skandaliz┼Ź’ will generally refer to the conduct, or actions, of the person who is ambushed, or trapped.  Messiah Yeshua told us emphatically that offenses would come (see Matthew 18:7);…

True Righteousness

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.  (Matthew 5:20 ISR)

There are, unfortunately, STILL legalistic Pharisees in the world today, just as there were in the time of Messiah Yeshua.  These ‘pharisees’ like to tell us we must only pray certain ways, dress certain ways, attend only Sunday church, and only sing songs picked out by the appointed song leader (that was appointed to the position 40 years ago), never moving from established tradition, for that would be SIN.  Emphasis, to these people, is placed on the ‘appearance’ of a religion, an outward display, and approval from the population, from MAN.
However, TRUE righteousness begins in the heart; it is an inward attitude toward YHWH Elohim reflected in and through a set-apart, righteous life of obedience to His TORAH.  Love and obedience to Elohim (and His Torah, His Word) are of the utmost importance; life is no longer SE…

A Light in the Darkness

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”  (Matthew 5:15-16 NKJV)

The sun is the principal source of light in our universe, and the Word of YHWH tells us that the sun was created by Elohim (Genesis 1:14-19).  With the further discovery of fire, mankind learned how to keep the darkness at bay, and those things that the darkness could hide were no longer as fearful.
YHWH Himself is Light (Isaiah 60:19; John 8:12), and there is no darkness IN Him, for there is nothing in Him that needs to be concealed.  When we enter into a covenant relationship with our Master, Messiah Yeshua from Nazareth, He comes into our heart and life by the power of the Spirit of YHWH, the Ruach HaKodesh.  This HOLY breath of YAH, we need to remember, is also the Spirit of TRUTH, from whom NOTHING is concealed or hidden.  For those of us who “hunger and thirst…

Seasoned

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”  (Matthew 5:13 NLT)

Salt in the Middle East is in plentiful supply, and found in several different forms.  The Dead Sea, in Israel, has one of the highest percentages of salt of any body of water on the face of this earth, and is more than 1300 feet below sea level.   Much of the salt taken from the area surrounding the Dead Sea is NOT ‘pure’ salt, and has other minerals mixed in with it.  When exposed to natural elements, the outer layers, or crusts, will lose their ‘saltiness’, and need to be removed.  This would expose the inner layers, the pure salt, which could then be used for ‘seasoning’ and preserving.  The outer layers were most often used as a road base in the time of Messiah Yeshua, so yes, the worthless salt was trampled underfoot (see our opening verse).
Salt is one of the symbols of YHWH’s covenant with us…

Persecution

"How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me! Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.” (Matthew 5:10-12 CJB)

When I looked up the word ‘persecute’ in Noah Webster’s Dictionary, I was somewhat astonished at the cruelty, ugliness, and spitefulness this word portrays.  It means:  “to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with UNJUST punishment or penalties for SUPPOSED offenses; to inflict pain from HATRED OR MALIGNITY; to afflict, harass or DESTROY for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828emphasis mine).  History has taught us that the United States of America was founded on the p…

Makers of Peace

“Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of Elohim.”  (Matthew 5:9 HRV) 

When I originally wrote this ‘Mailbag’ (about six years ago), the headlines of THAT particular week told us that Iran was again stalling concerning the disposal of their uranium supplies, which are the key ingredients to atomic bombs.  All indications are stillpointed toward a full scale war between Israel (who is defending its homeland) and Iran.  Events THIS year center around the sham of an agreement concerning nuclear arms that the United States has made with Iran – and so the Middle East continues to be a melting pot, on the verge of boiling over. 
The entire world is looking for peace, yet never, in its history, has peace been more elusive.  Messiah Yeshua Himself told us that we would hear of ‘wars, and rumors of wars’, but we were not to let these things disturb us (Matthew 24:6).  Why?  Because peace, LASTING peace, begins with the Prince of Peace, the “Sar Shalom”, and with HIS kingdo…

Pure in Heart

"How blessed are the pure in heart! For they will see God.”(Matthew 5:8 CJB)

How many of us yearn for the presence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  Do we dare to be like Moses, during the forty days on the mountain top alone with YHWH, then descending with the shining glory of the “El Elyon”, the MOST High God, evident on our face (Exodus 33:11; 34:30)?  What of Stephen, knowing death is imminent, yet looking into the face of YHWH with joy and peace (Acts 7:55)?  And yet, according to our opening verse, the first requirement of seeing God is a “pure heart”!  So how can we know if OUR hearts are pure?
“Who shall ascend into the mountain of YHWH?  And who shall stand in His set-apart place?  He that has clean hands, and a PURE heart; who has not taken My name in vain, and has not sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive a blessing from YHWH, and righteousness from the Elohim of his salvation.  Such is the generation of them that seek after Him, that seek YOUR face, even Ya’akov.…

Full of Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NKJV)

Some years ago, a young friend of ours felt led by YHWH to stop and pick up a hitch-hiker, while on her delivery route in a town about 100 miles away from her home terminal.  After arguing with YHWH for several miles (mostly to verify whom she was hearing from), she turned her truck around, and went back to where the older black man was still standing by the side of the highway.  The two of them had a conversation for a few minutes (during which time YHWH confirmed to our friend that this was of HIM), Louis was then invited to ride along for the remainder of her route, and away they went. 
It turned out that Louis was a mature believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, spending his time traveling from coast to coast, ministering as the Creator would direct him to.  Most of the people Louis reached were fellow “thumb-travelers”, bums (as some people would class them), and the homeless, destitute people th…

Famished

“Happy are they, which hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”  (Matthew 5:6 HRV)

Noah Webster defines ’insatiable’ as “incapable of being satisfied or appeased; very greedy; as an insatiable appetite or desire; insatiable thirst” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  Someone who is addicted to a drug (ANY drug) has an insatiable appetite for the thing he/she is addicted to.  This individual will do whatever is necessary to satisfy the craving for this drug, legal or illegal.  That is the nature of an addiction; it is a bondage from the adversary.  And yet, how hungry and greedy are we for things of YHWH our Elohim, for His presence, for His Word, for His ‘shalom’, for the righteousness that only comes from obedience to HIM?  This type of hunger is a blessing from YHWH, and one that He longs to satisfy, for He is the ONLY One that can.
“Yeshua answered, "I AM the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will NEVER go hungry, a…

Only to the Meek

“Happy are the meek, for they will inherit the land”. (Matthew 5:5 HRV)

The principle, the concept, the idea of being ‘meek’ in a world that is so totally concentrated on human AND civil rights is everything contradictory.  Most people associate ‘meekness’ with weakness, and the statement that THIS is the class of believers that will inherit the earth seems ludicrous. Yet true Biblical meekness is everything BUT weak, as our Messiah Yeshua showed us in the example of His own life.  He illustrated incredible strength and boldness when He drove the money changers out of the Temple area, and overturned their tables (see Mark 11:15-19).  However, on the flip side of this coin, when Yeshua raised the only son of a widow from the dead, He showed great compassion, gentle mercy and the grace of our ABBA Father (see Luke 7:11-15).
Meekness is power and strength under perfect control, under the control of the Holy Spirit of YHWH.  A fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), meekness will pa…

Those Who Mourn

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”(Matthew 5:4 NKJV)


Most of us are familiar with the story of King David and Bathsheba, a story of adultery and murder (see 2Samuel 11–12:23).  Nathan was the prophet chosen by YHWH (2Samuel 12:1) to confront and expose the depth of this sin to David.  Upon doing so, the king’s comment to Nathan was: “I have sinned against YHWH” (2Samuel 12:13).  Much of the heart-wrenching repentance that David went through is written for us to bear witness to in Psalm 51.
How many of us would say we have truly “mourned” over the sin we have committed in our lives, sin that has brought sorrow to our ABBA Father, sin that has grieved HIM, disappointed HIM?  Have we reached such a place of casualness concerning sin, of expecting AND assuming forgiveness, of taking it for granted, of treating it lightly?  Noah Webster’s definition of ‘repentance’ includes “real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a viola…

Poor in Spirit

“Happy are the poor of spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”(Matthew 5:3 HRV)

It is, perhaps, difficult to associate blessings with being poor; such, however, is the ‘banking system’ in the finances of YHWH’s Kingdom.  “Poor of spirit” has absolutely nothing to do with our external circumstances or conditions; it is the attitude and condition of our HEART.  It is how we see OURSELVES when we look in the mirror of God’s Word, His TORAH, His divine instructions for righteous and moral living.  What kind of opinion do we have of ourselves?  If we were to realistically strip away everything that our Elohim is, and does, in and through us, just how proud of ourselves WOULD we be?
For by His favor we were saved by faith, and this was not of yourselves, but is the gift of Eloah, NOT of works, lest a man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 HRV, emphasis mine)
The individual that welcomes this heart attitude of being “poor of spirit” has been through the furnace of the refiner’s fire, and KN…

Overcomers

“Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated AND overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives IN YOU is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.”  (1John 4:4 Amp, emphasis mine)

YHWH Elohim does not ‘hand out’ to us overcoming life when we accept Messiah Yeshua as our redeemer and deliverer; He gives us life AS we overcome the trials and tribulations that we walk through.  There has to be an obstacle for us to overcome before we can be successful overcomers.  We will never have a testimony without first passing a test, regardless of whether we like the testing ground or not.
“And they OVERCAME him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness; AND loving not their lives they freely gave themselves up to death.” (Revelation 12:11 BBE, emphasis mine)
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we DO NOT loosen …

Parched

I spread forth my hands unto You; my soul thirsts after You, as a weary land. Selah” (Psalm 143:6 HRV)

The drought conditions we have been experiencing in different parts of North America during the last several years has been an on again/off again story.  The resulting fires caused by the dry conditions has been heart breaking, as we watch families lose their homes, belongings, and even their lives, to these merciless forces of nature.  A lack of water IN, and ON, the land is a serious and critical issue, one that we have little means of alleviating in our own human capacity.  It is YHWH Elohim , our Creator, who gives us rain in due season, but when the heavens are shut up, we pray, and trust in our ABBA Father.
Consider, if you would, the lack of ‘spiritual’ water in our personal lives.  THIS water is NOT in short supply, and we have no reason for a ‘dry’ condition in our spirit man.  If we have searched our hearts, done “teshuvah” (repentance and turning away from all evil), and K…

Gossip

“They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather GOSSIP, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.”  (Psalm 41:6 NLT)

Some years ago, my husband and I found ourselves involved in a situation that we had not wanted to be a part of, a situation that did irreparable harm to a couple that were, at that time, close friends of ours.  It was a situation all caused by ‘gossip’, and fueled by the leader of a local congregation.  Beloved, this is a situation that ought NEVER to be.
How many of us – in all honesty – have started a conversation with the words, “Have you talked to (or seen) so-and-so lately?”  Or what about, “Have you heard what’s happened to ‘what’s his name’?”  Brothers and sisters, beware of people trying to ‘pump’ you for information.  Our HOLY  and set-apart Father knows who He can trust with what He chooses to reveal, and He knows who will go straight to the prayer closet with what He reveals to them.  If we, as children of “EloheiMikkarov”, (the …

Healthy Eating Habits

“I don't withdraw from His lips' command; I treasure His words MORE THAN my daily food.” (Job 23:12 CJB, emphasis mine)

Americans, as a majority, are known for unsound eating habits and questionable diets.  The term ‘junk food junkie’ originated in the United States, which is also home to the many varieties of so called ‘junk food’.  It is no small wonder that of the healthproblems millions of Americans suffer from, many are weight and diet related.  We simply do not have healthy diets, and it is a ‘discipline’, unfortunately, that many of us have forgotten.  As I write this, please do not feel that I am pointing fingers at anyone in particular.  ABBA Father is dealing with ME first, concerning my physical diet.
We cannot afford to forget this discipline in the spiritual realm, either.  We are what we eat, both in the natural, and in the spiritual.  If we choose to consume a high calorie, high carbohydrate diet of ‘junk food’, then we must expect to pay the penalty for it.  The …

Being Set-Apart ...

THEREFORE, SINCE these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let US cleanse OURSELVES from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.(2Corinthians 7:1 Amp, emphasis mine)

According to our opening verse (and others) from the Word of God, it is OURresponsibilityto purify ourselves from those things that contaminate, infect, defile.  Being set-apart and holy is not only a goal to strive for; it is also a prerequisite for citizenship in the heavenly Jerusalem, the future kingdom of Messiah Yeshua:
“… PURSUE that consecration and HOLINESS without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.”(Hebrews 12:14 Amp, emphasis mine)
Holiness is best explained as a commitment, dedication and consecration to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it is also revealed in sincere and total OBEDIENCE toward YHWH, and His TORAH, His Word.  It will also be seen in the integrity with which we handle our relationships in…

Hidden Secrets

“But there is a God in heaven who REVEALS SECRETS …” (Daniel 2:28 NLT, emphasis mine)

As a young child growing up, my Dad instilled in me a principle that has proven true many, many times: “If you are doing something that you have to hide, then it is probably something that you shouldn’t be doing at all.”  Once we start hiding our actions, then lying to cover up what we have done, all we are doing is digging our own pit that we will fall into (Psalm 7:15).  Ultimately, the truth WILL come out, even if it is years down the road – we have YHWH’s Word on that …
“There is nothing covered up that will not be UNCOVERED, or hidden that will not BECOME KNOWN. What you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.”  (Luke 12:2-3 CJB)
What of secrets in our hearts, thoughts, feelings, attitudes that we do not want to admit to?  Our hearts must be clear and transparent – like a glass-bottomed boat, revealing …

True or False

“If anyone should say to you then, behold the Messiah is here or there, do not believe it.  For false Messiahs and lying prophets WILL arise and they WILL produce signs and great wonders in order to DECEIVE if possible even the chosen.  Behold, I have told you beforehand.”(Matthew 24:23-25 AENT, emphasis mine)

Messiah Yeshua, as well as the first apostles, warned us, while yet on this earth, that there would be a FALSE ‘Way’ in the end times, a doctrine NOT according to Torah, a counterfeit, if you will (see Matthew chapter 24, 2Peter 2:1-3).  Noah Webster defines ‘counterfeit’ as: “that which is made in imitation of something with a view to defraud, BY PASSING THE FALSE FOR TRUE; assuming the appearance of something; not genuine”(American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828)
To put thisinto other words, this so-called end-time religion would have all of the APPEARANCE of the true Way, the walking AND living out of the TORAH-lifestyle.  Only those who have diligent…