Friday, August 13, 2021

Body or Bride?

The two of the pictures of Messiah presented by Paul in his letters to the churches seem to contradict. In some verses he says the Church is like the Bride of Messiah and in others he says it is the Body of Messiah.
I would discuss this with others and they would foo-foo my bewilderment and say, They are just illustrations! Don't take them too far!
Bu I'm kind of like that old hound dog, I will chew on a bone until I get to the marrow or break my teeth trying!

So today I was listening to some teaching and it clicked. It just clicked! It wasn't that they were teaching on the subject, but whatever it was, the subject came to  mind and something else Paul said popped into my was the key and it was soooo obvious!

So now, I am going to share it with you and if it does not amplify the love of the Bridegroom to you....

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.
[Eph 5:22-33 KJV]

Let's pull out some key points:

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

...and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

Now let's put Christ in as the "man" or husband:

So ought Christ love his own wife, the church as his own body. 

Christ that loves his wife, the church, loves himself.

For we, the church, are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

and Christ shall be joined unto his wife, the church, and they two shall be one flesh. 

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

Are you seeing it yet?

Here's another one:

....God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17

If the Creator G-d does this, how to also the Son of the Father who is known to be like his Father?

One of the quotes above is from Genesis 2:24:

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

This is describing blood covenant oneness!

See it now? 

I used to imagine the Body of Christ as all of us believers as little cells making up the various parts of Christ's body. The only problem was, our head was in heaven! Weird, right?!

What if, Christ, full of faith, sees his Bride, the Church, as if already married to him? What if he refers to her as his Body because he is sure of their future covenant unity? What if the Body he is referring to is not his exactly, but it is his as a husband refers to his wife's body?

The Torah Scroll, The Serpent, and the Messiah


I don’t know how many know, that much of the Temple service was preserved in the synagogue service and the daily prayers. For instance the three daily prayers represent the three times of daily sacrifice in the Temple.

In the same way, the handling of the Torah scroll in the synagogue service represents the accepting of the Messiah by all Israel.

If you have never seen a Torah scroll, let me introduce you. It is made of lambskin pieces hand sown together.

Each end of this long series of skins is attached to two wooden poles with wheel like caps on the top and bottom so the scroll can be rolled open or closed.

The two scrolls are then dressed in a fancy cover and decorated with metal embellishments.

It is stored in a wooden cabinet called an ark, reminding us of the Holy Ark of the Covenant in the Temple. It is brought out during synagogue services in grand procession and much fanfare. The scroll is undressed and placed upon the Bimah[1] and rolled open by the Golel (the act itself is called Gelila) to at least three visible leaves. The Chazan then lifts up the opened Torah and turns around for everyone to see the script, declaring “Vzos HaTorah” , “And this is the Torah”.  The congregation stands and orderly advances to see the Torah close up, close enough to read the holy letters, which are said to emanate special light. Once close enough, it is a custom to bow in reverence, and to return the declaration, “Vzos HaTorah”, “This is the Torah”. They then kiss the Torah the way one kisses a mezuzah. Touch the Torah, and then touch your fingers that touched the Torah to your lips, thus “kissing it”. Once the portion is read, it is rolled closed by the Golel, redressed and returned to the ark.

The lifting of the Torah is known as Hagba. Vzos HaTorah is in Hebrew: וזאת התורה.
“Whoever does not bow…should be put in Cherem.”[2]
The Torah describes a practice of declaring people cherem, which means that the person, and—in some cases—his family, would be annihilated, and his possessions donated to the Temple. 

Upon reading about this elaborate ritual, I was reminded of two verses in John:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jhn 3:14-15 KJV

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto me.” This he said, signifying what death he should die. Jhn 12:32-33 KJV

When the Torah scroll is lifted up in the synagogue, the people are drawn to it, they bow to it and they kiss it.

“I have sworn by myself, the Word is gone out of my mouth-righteousness, and shall not return, ‘That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’”             Isa 45:23 KJV 

This verse is quoted by Paul as a Messianic prophesy:

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Rom 14:10-11 KJV 

The word “judgment” is mistranslated. It literally says “bimah”, the place from where the Torah scroll is read.

Again Paul quotes it:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phl 2:9-11 KJV

This is so similar to the confession of the people before the Torah scroll: “This is the Torah!”

It is known that "the Word", a nickname for Torah, became flesh, much like the words of the Heavenly Torah come to earth to be written on animal skin…so too, Yeshua, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

“And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God.” Rev 19:13 KJV 

And this reminds us of what Moses did:

“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,…Though we acknowledge that dipping and sprinkling are different, there is still blood common on the Torah and Yeshua’s garments.” Heb 9:19 KJV

[1] The  (pronounced BEE-ma) is the raised platform in the synagogue from which the  is read and services led.

[2] The Maharikash, R. Ya’akov Kastro (mid 1500’s) in his Tshuvos  אהלי יעקב, 57 states “Whoever doesn’t bow, because he thinks (bowing) is forbidden, should be put in Cherem!”


Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Torah is Illuminated by Ahavat

The Revelation on Mount Sinai - Jewish History

When Israel received the Torah at Sinai, they united as One Man with One Heart and thus they received the ability to elevated themselves above themselves which allowed them to love one another before themselves.
For it is the Light of the Torah that transforms one from selfishness to selflessness.
Two thousand years ago Israel was plagued by baseless hatred, divided into numerous sects and factions. In the midst of this came the Moshiach, the Living Embodiment of Torah, only to be subjugated to this same hatred and be crucified by All Israel. This oneness of hatred resulted in the Temple's destruction forty years later according to the Laws of Tzaraat, where the Lashon Hara, evil speech, has manifested itself in the form of a plague on the walls of one's house and needs to be torn down. So too, YHWH's house, had to be torn down in judgment.
In such circumstances the Light of Torah fades and loses its power. Only true love of fellowman inspired by love of YHWH can re-illuminate the Torah to the people of YHWH. Such unselfish, laying-down-one's-life type of love, like the love of the Moshiach renders the Torah powerful,
Torah life can only be fulfilled in assuming mutual responsibility for one another. For obedience to the Torah is summed up in love for one another. This is the true meaning of fellowship....taking upon oneself the mantel of responsibility for your brother, as you do for your own life.
This is the essence of covenant, when one cares for his brothers' needs as if that life is his own. United in blood kinship through covenant.

The above article was inspired and partially quoted from:
It's Time to Debunk Misconceptions About the Torah, by
Michael Leitman as published on Haaretz, 5/24/17

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Is it Really "All About Jesus?"

       Many, many moons ago I attended a Midwest Full-Gospel Bible School. One day I was in a class taught by an evangelist who said, It's not all about Jesus!
       I was shocked for a moment, when he concluded, "Jesus came to bring us to the Father".
"Oh," I mused," that's right". It made immediate sense, but took awhile to process. Renewing the mind according to the Word of G-d is hard! Upon further study, I verified to my own satisfaction that he was correct. Jesus never glorified himself, he always pointed to the Father.

Consider these verses:

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise" John 5:19

"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me". John 7:16

"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things". John 8:28

So, to sum up: 

He is powerless on his own

He has to watch the Father to know what to do
He emulates the actions of his Father
His teaching isn't his, it's his Father's
His actions do not originate with himself, but with the Father
He only speaks what the Father tells him to speak

Not very Almighty, Omniscient, or Omnipotent as we were taught, eh?

So, how do we explain this next verse?

"And he is the Head of the Body, the Church: who is The Beginning, the Firstborn from the Dead; that in ALL he might have the PRE-EMINENCE." Colossians 1:18


He is the head of the body now, not before

The body is the church
He is the beginning
He is the firstborn from the dead
He is the firstborn from the dead so that in all things he may have preeminence

And the end of the matter: 

"...Christ's at his coming. Then the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to 

G-d, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and authority and power. For he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy (that) shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under his feet. But when He saith  "all things are put under him". it is manifest that He is excepted, who did put "all things" under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that G-d may be All in All." 1 Corinthians 15:23-28

You will not hear this in any Trinitarian circles. Yeshua's 'headlining the show' is temporary, his mission on earth was to glorify the Father and bring back the lost to the Father.

The Son's reign is temporary and he will hand over his kingdom to the Father who commissioned him to go get it. Then he will be a co-regent with his Father.

This in no way diminishes the Son. He is center stage because his Father put him there and he has completed the work which he was given to do and will reign a final 1000 years to show everyone how to obey the Torah of his Father!

Was Yeshua limited by unbelief?

                                              Image result for fearful

"And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." Matthew 13:58

Back it the 80's I went to a popular full-faith Bible School. The founder of the school taught on this verse. I couldn't believe that Yeshua had any limitations! Recently, in meditating upon this verse again, I almost came to believe that if such were the case than unbelief was the most powerful thing in the world under heaven.

Then I decided to look at it from a Hebraic perspective and stumbled upon a word study by Skip Moen. (

We usually think of faith as doctrine, a list of truths we hold dear from the Word of G-d. If you want more faith then you have to be persuaded to have more faith.

Or, like me, you know that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of G-d." (Romans 10:17) So, you just need to hear more sermons, read more scriptures and wait for the revelation to "POP!". Right?

Skip points out that unbelief is actually unfaithfulness. A lack of reliability.

Here's the power point: James points out that faith produces action. You have faith? Let me see it by what you do. (James 2:17) It is not mental assent. 

Again, Brother Moen states that unbelief is "in spite of wanting to, the inability to act."

This is the key that explains the apparent problem.

Let's look at it again with Hebraic eyes:

"And he did not many mighty works there because of their inability to act."
They knew Yeshua after the flesh. They did not know him as the Messiah, the Son of G-d!
(see 2 Corinthians 5:16)

How many times do we see Yeshua ask someone to do something to be healed?

"Arise, take up thy bed..."
"Stretch forth thine hand..."
"Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam"
"Go show yourselves to the priests"

Yeshua did not have a formula and sometimes was astonished at the faith of people, and sometimes disappointed, but Luke says in general that he "went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for G-d was with him." (Luke 10:38)

Let us take action and listen to the Small Still Voice that whispers, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am El, and none else."

Saturday, February 24, 2018


            Image result for feeling pain of others

Excerpt adapted from Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, from blog: Rabbi on a Narrow Bridge

empathy – feeling the pain of others

Our capacity to hold the pain of others is all used up by our own suffering, our own sense of being victims, our own narcissism.

There's no word in Hebrew for empathy, but consider the following mitzvot:
“As for the stranger (ger) in your midst, you shall not wrong or oppress them, for you were strangers (gerim) in the Land of Egypt.”

And again,

“As for the stranger you shall not oppress for you know the soul of a stranger, for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.”

The command not to oppress the ger is repeated 34 times in the Tenach.

And it's clear that ger in this context doesn't mean the convert. It means the outsider to the Jewish community who wants to live in the Israelite camp.

This is the way in which empathy functions in Hebrew.

There may be no word for it, but the idea could not be clearer.

We are commanded to feel the pain of the dispossessed, the alone, the widows, the orphans, all of them, because we know the soul of the ger.

And while the Tenach tells us to do many things zecher yitziat mitzrayim (in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt) – as a response to our own redemption from pain, the thing we are told most often is to take care of those who find themselves as “strangers”.

While empathy might be seen as merely an emotional response the Rabbis, their eye for concrete action takes the general terms 'wrong' and 'oppress' and renders them even more explicitly as commands not to wrong with words and not to oppress with financial opportunism.

One ancient Aggadah even looks at the placement of this verse, next to a command to avoid idol worship to suggest that one who oppresses a ger by demeaning their belief system is deemed to have committed the great sin of avodah zarah (foreign worship) themselves.

It turns out that to be a true survivor of the experiences of our faith we have to look beyond our own people.

As tired as we may be, as hurt as we may be.

The command is clear – but it is not a command to feel empathy – we can be reminded of what we might have forgotten – ki gerim hiyitem (do not oppress the ger)– but the command is to action.

To hear the voice of those who suffer from lack of identity, a mindset of poverty, and emotional woundedness we once (and possibly still do) suffered from, and to come along side them to elevate their condition, is the highest duty of the Jew succinctly stated in the mitzvah:

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You are dust!

I heard someone talking about the "fall" of man and how G-d called Adam "dust".
Ouch! I thought to myself. How thou art fallen, O Image if G-d!

Having recently found the wonders hidden in the Hebrew Letter Pictures, I looked up the word for "dust".
Aphar, Ayin-Peh-Resh
As if G-d was saying, You see, you speak, and that is all you know!
What's missing?
Rabbi Shaul said, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (Torah) of G-d.
Moses said, Hear, O Israel, the L-rd, your G-d is One!
To hear G-d is to know G-d.
To not hear G-d is to be dust.
Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return!