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There is a meaning and purpose behind the hard days in your life. Click the image for a message from the Father's heart to you about this issue!

We all go through horrible things. We have all been there. Or where just there. Or we are there now. Divorce kills a marriage. The boss said he no longer needed you. Your old church doesn’t understand. The money runs out before the month is over. Friends move away. Family persecutes and belittles your faith. Children rebel. Neighbors scoff. The taxman cometh. Trials, tests, and bad times are everywhere. Don’t be fooled by the show people put on in public. No one is void of issues.

The Scriptures emphatically encourage us in regards to struggles and pain. Read this new teaching to discover YHWH's message for you behind the dark days.

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Cities of Refuge and You

In 1760 an engraver who wanted to help educators teach geography mounted a map on some wood and then cut around the various countries.  He called his work a “dissection puzzle.”  In just a little over one hundred years “jigsaw puzzles” had become a novelty loved by the young and old.  During the Great Depression puzzles reached their heyday as millions were sold each week for less than 25 cents each.  And though inexpensive, these puzzles were tough to figure out as they had no interlocking pieces and no guide picture to follow.  People often didn’t know what they were putting together until it was completed!  In a similar fashion, we have the an enormous jigsaw challenge in the Older Testament.  As we learn from the Torah in view of the Newer Testament we get a better, bigger understanding of our Messiah and His plan for man.

In the double reading portion Matot Massei we are told of the journeys of Israel, a battle against Midian, tribes asking for their land, the boundaries of Israel, cities of refuge, places for the Levites to live, and about a group of gals who don’t want to loose their inheritance.  This is an action packed parasha that gives a picture of Messiah that we can piece together through a little study and a lot of reliance upon the Spirit of YHWH.  Take for example the cities of refuge given to Israel as a provision for safety.  Perhaps nothing in the entire Torah better typifies Moshiach than these 6 places of atonement.  Just read about this from Numbers / Bamidbar 35…

‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee.  They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they stand trial before the assembly.  These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge. 14 Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge.  These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.

“‘If anyone strikes someone a fatal blow with an iron object, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  Or if anyone is holding a stone and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  Or if anyone is holding a wooden object and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when the avenger comes upon the murderer, the avenger shall put the murderer to death.  If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at them intentionally so that they die or if out of enmity one person hits another with their fist so that the other dies, that person is to be put to death; that person is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when they meet.

“‘But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended, the assembly must judge between the accused and the avenger of blood according to these regulations.  The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled. The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.

“‘But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which they fled and the avenger of blood finds them outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder.  The accused must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may they return to their own property.  This is to have the force of law for you throughout the generations to come, wherever you live.  Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.  Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. They are to be put to death.  Do not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a city of refuge and so allow them to go back and live on their own land before the death of the high priest.  Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.  Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I YHWH, dwell among the Israelites.’”

The Torah speaks plainly about capital punishment, homicide, and revenge in the previous verses.  To deal with these issues, the Israelites were to set aside three cities on each side of the Jordan River for safe haven.  The roads into these towns were to be easily accessible and always open for the needy.  Like the security of a national embassy on foreign soil, these cities were to protect anyone who had shed blood accidentally.  Upon arrival into the town, the guilty party had to announce their side of the s story to the town’s elders.  Protection was provided until the High Priest died or another death occurred at the hands of the accused.    

Just shortly after entering the Land of Israel the cities of refuge became a reality.  Joshua, the disciple of Moshe, set up these places of refuge according to the pattern of the Torah.  “These cities were appointed for all the Israelites and foreigners among them, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there and not die at the hand of the avenger of blood until he stands before the assembly,” Joshua 20:9.  

The Torah gave no provision for a police force; the elders were the “law” enforcement of the day.  The elders and priests enforced the Torah’s guidelines.  Crimes were dealt with quickly.  Fathers stoned their own children.  Neighbors reported Sabbath breaking immediately.  When necessary an “eye for an eye” was the law of the Land.   If a person was killed then the Torah allowed the nearest kin to avenge the death.  But just like today, a difference is made between murder and manslaughter.  An accidental death was treated differently than a premeditated murder.  Grace was given to those who unintentionally took a life.  A person could run to a place of refuge for safety.    

The Newer Testament says that if we are guilty of breaking one command then we have broken them all.  (Telling a little lie is just as bad as killing someone!)  Y’shua taught that hatred is equal to murder.  At His crucifixion the religious leaders took responsibility for Messiah’s death and said “may his blood be upon us and upon our children.”  This means that we are all murderers at heart.  The enemy has full rights of vengeance unless we run to the refuge of Y’shua.  Such a refuge is pictured in the names of the cities that actually became the designated places of refuge.  Like a beautiful landscape puzzle, Joshua chapter 20 designates the areas of “Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan” for those running from death.  The Hebrew names of these towns are highly prophetic of Moshiach.  The name of Y’shua is a strongtower that we can run to and be safe.    

The first city is called “Kadesh” and literally means “holy place.”  Messiah is the kadesh or holy one that is without blemish or sin.  Hebrews 7:26 calls Him, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.”  Think about His holiness for a moment.  Allow the sinless perfect Messiah to invade your mind.  For anyone who wants to know YHWH you must go to and through the Holy set apart gate of Y’shua.  “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise YHWH: This gate of YHWH, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise Thee: for You have heard me, and have become my Y’shua (salvation).  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.  This is YHWH’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day which YHWH has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Save now, I beseech thee, O YHWH: O YHWH, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.  Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of YHWH: we have blessed you out of the House of YHWH,” Psalms 118:19-26.    

“Shechem” is the second city of refuge.  It was located near the hills of Ephraim.  The word “shechem” means “back or shoulder.”  This is where Avraham built his first altar to YHWH and where Y’shua spoke to the woman at the well in John 4.  The shoulder of Shechem is Y’shua who has “borne our griefs and carried away our sorrows,” Isaiah 53:4.  The sins of the world have been placed on the shoulders of the Holy One.  He carried His own execution beam and the “government is upon His shoulders.”  Like the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement, our Messiah has carried away our sins.  “You saw in the wilderness how YHWH carried you as a man carries his son all along the way you traveled until you reached this place,” Deuteronomy 1:31.  Messiah spoke of Himself when He told the parable of a good Shepherd who went after a lost sheep, “until He found it; and when He had found it, He laid it on His shoulders, rejoicing,” Luke 15:5.  Do you allow Y’shua to carry off your sins daily?

The third city is one of the most ancient places in all of Israel.  Hebron means “fellowship.”  As believers we have been “called unto the fellowship of His Son Y’shua our Master,” 1 Corinthians 1:9.  First we run to the Holy One, then we lay our burdens upon His shoulders until we have fellowship or “hevron” with Him.  Wow!  Hebron is where the patriarchs were buried and where David was anointed King.   It is symbolic of the friendship and anointing made possible through Messiah.

Jacob sent Yosef “from the depth of Hebron” to look for his brothers in Genesis / B’resheet 37.  Messiah left the “depth” of a heavenly Hebron to find us so we could have friendship with YHWH.  “Though he was in the form of YHWH, did not count equality with YHWH a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men,” Philippians 2.  Y’shua willingly gave His life so that we could experience the depths of Hebron – fellowship with the Almighty. 

“Bezer” is the fourth city and literally means “strong hiding place, fortress, or rock.”  That’s Y’shua!  A military fort is a place from battles were waged and safety was sustained.  In ancient times forts were often made of rock or stone.  Messiah is our rock.  The Psalmist said, “He is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my YHWH is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold,” Psalm 18:2.  We have been hidden in the cleft of the rock Y’shua and no plague shall come near us.  

In 1591 King Philip of Portugal commissioned the building of a fort with walls taller than 18 meters.  He also wanted it to be built in the shape of a man.  When completed the King named the place “Fort Jesus” as a way to remind his army that they would be protected within the mighty fortress.  As a believer, “your life is hid with Messiah in YHWH,” Colossians 3:3.  He is your life!  When you begin to trust YHWH with all your heart you can experience the rest and peace found only in Him.  History states that no weapons were allowed inside the cities of refuge.  They were demilitarized zones.  Today, “there is no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Y’shua,” Romans 8.

East of the Jordan river is the fifth city of refuge named Ramoth or Ramoth-Gilead, which literally means “exalted high place.”  Throughout the Bible we read of high places of worship.  Hills or mountains were considered closer to heaven and therefore closer to the supernatural.  The pagan nations often erected idols at high places.  The enemy took Y’shua to a high place to be tempted.  We must combat these evil high places by exalting Y’shua because “YHWH has highly exalted Him,” Philippians 2:9.  Y’shua was indeed tempted on a high place but Y’shua prevailed.  Today we have been made to “sit together in heavenly places with Y’shua.”  As you humble yourself He will lift you up.

The puzzle is coming together nicely…first we run to the Holy One, then we lay our burdens upon His shoulders until we have fellowship or “hevron” with Him then he protects us from the temptations of high places.

The final city of refuge is “Golan,” a town found in the hills of Manasseh.  “Golan” is a Hebrew word that is often translated as “joy.”  Messiah is our joy.  Y’shua has given us His word so that His joy may remain in us and our joy might be full.  There is joy in knowing that we are safe in Y’shua.  We can rejoice that our names are written in the book of Life and that YHWH meets all of our needs.  It is this joy that should overflow into all areas of life.  Yes, we are guilty of death.  And yes, we deserve to die.  But, we can have joy that grace has been given as we run to the Mercy Seat.    

It is interesting that Judaism considers these cities places of protection and places of atonement.  It was the teacher Philo who said that an “innocent man would never be chosen by YHWH as the instrument of another man’s death, and therefore those claiming refuge at these cities must have committed some sin before they had killed, for which their exile acts as an atonement.”  We should view our lives as the same.  All have missed the mark of YHWH’s perfection and therefore deserve death. Our only hope is to run to Y’shua to escape the avenger of our souls.

The six cities are six puzzle pieces that when put together picture Messiah as the holy, exalted fortress who gives us fellowship, protection and joy.  YHWH is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. YHWH is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.  The cities of refuge were places of protection and atonement.  We can “take refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us,” Hebrews 6:18.  Today, we can run to Messiah, who as an eternal High Priest will never die.  The enemy, the avenger, can not touch us because of Y’shua. 

ReTHiNK THe FaiTH Lesson Three

CLICK HERE  to download the teaching.

By Daniel Rendelman  

www.emetministries.org

  

LeSSoN THRee

How to Study the Scriptures

 

1) The Scriptures have been given to mankind for instruction regarding all issues of life.  The bible isn’t just to be read.   It is to be studied and then obeyed.  Before the Torah can be obeyed, it must be understood.  The purpose for Torah study is to instruct the believer regarding the commands and build a relationship with YHWH. 

 

Romans 15:4

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

2 Timothy 3:15-17

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Y’shua.  All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

John 5:39

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

 

Romans 7:12

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

 

1 Peter 1:25

But the word of the YHWH endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Matthew 5:17-18

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Romans 10:17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Elohim.

Matthew 22:29

Y’shua answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of Elohim.

 

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

2) The first step of Torah study is having an open mind and spirit to learn.  A person who is closed to the truth will not benefit from the Scriptures.  Search your heart and open yourself to the truth of YHWH.  Then pray that the Ruach HaKodesh (Set Apart Spirit) will teach you from the Word.

 

Psalm 119:18

YHWH open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your Torah.

 

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of YHWH, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to YHWH, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of YHWH.

 

1 Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

 

2 Timothy 2:15;

Study to shew thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be         ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 

1 Thessalonians 2:13

For this cause also we thank YHWH without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of YHWH which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of YHWH, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

 

James 1:21

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls

 

3) After you have set your heart to YHWH then simply begin your study.  One great way to study the scriptures is to use the weekly Torah portions a guide for learning. 

While most modern people read a verse or two every week, there is a long-standing tradition to weekly read aloud and study various chapters of the Bible.  This tradition comes to us from Judaism and was kept by the Savior and the early believers. Call it the original water-cooler conversation. This isn’t a vain tradition of man that makes void the word BUT an inspired tradition that was handed down from Moses and supported by Paul. Who are we to argue with them? 

“What special privilege, then, has a Jew? The privilege is great from every point of view. First of all, because the Jews were entrusted with the word of YHWH,” Romans 3:1-2.  Clearly the Jewish tradition of reading the Bible through the year is a good one to follow. Is there more proof that we should be reading the Word aloud and discussing it?   In the book of Deuteronomy, Moshe / Moses spoke the commandments aloud as an example. He told the new nation of redeemed slaves to read the Word aloud. Later Ezra the Scribe instituted reading the Scriptures aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturday afternoons (Nehemiah 8:1, Megillah 4:1).

The Newer Testament continues this theme when it teaches that “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word.” Without the Bible being read aloud and discussed it is difficult for faith to truly set in. “Give attendance to the reading of Torah, to exhortation, to teaching,” says First Timothy 4:13.  Here we are commanded to gather with others to HEAR the Torah read.

The Torah has been divided into 54 readings that correspond to the calendar year. These portions contain various nuggets of truth that deal with every issue in life. The sections are usually named after the first important Hebrew word or phrase used in that section. For example, the section on the evil king Balak and the evil prophet Bilaam is titled “Balak.” And the first portion in the Torah is called “Beresheet” after the first Hebrew word found in the Bible, which means “beginnings.”

While most new believers start their Bible reading with the Gospels, it is the first five books that set a foundation for the rest of the word. You can’t pick up a Stephen King novel and turn to the middle to begin reading. And you certainly shouldn’t do that with the Bible. Start your reading cycle this week with the Torah. If you can, join with others to read and discuss the word to learn even more.

 

Romans 15:4

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

Romans 16:26

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting YHWH, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith

 

Deuteronomy 4:2

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH your Elohim which I command you.

 

Deuteronomy 12:32

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

 

1 Corinthians 2:13

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit / Ruach HaKodesh teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

 

Matthew 22:29

Y’shua answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of YHWH.

Acts 13:27                                                                                                                       For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him

 

4) Our Messiah set an example for all believers when he attended the synagogue for Torah reading. (Surprisingly he never went to church to hear a sermon!) “And He came to Natzareth, where He had been brought up: and, according to his practice, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and stood up to read,” Luka / Luke 4:16. The Savior never stopped the Torah reading in the synagogue to do start a new practice. If he wanted to preach a sermon or rebuke the Jewish tradition of Torah reading he could have done that. But he didn’t. He participated in the Torah reading and thus put His seal of approval on this tradition.

The reading for the Torah and prophets generally correspond to the same subject. For example, one Torah portion begins with a few chapters from Genesis, then 3 chapters from Isaiah and a section out of the Newer Testament.  Your daily study can center on the Torah portion.  But that doesn’t mean you have to read the entire Torah portion each day.  Instead, begin your study with the right heart attitude and then read and study until the Spirit of YHWH speaks to you.  Don’t wear yourself out with 10 chapters a day.  Rather, study until the Ruach gives you wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

 

 John 5:39

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

 

John 7:52

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

 

Acts 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

5) Open the Scriptures and then read a passage.  But don’t just read!  The Bible was meant to be studied and learned.  The Torah was not meant to just be read.  Read a section of Scripture and then think about what you just read.  Ask yourself questions about what you have read.  Consider first who is speaking and to whom is the person speaking.  Then consider: who, what, when, where, how and why.  Compare and contrast by asking “why does it say ______ when it could have said ______?”  Take a single word and then develop a word study back to the Hebrew.  A Bible concordance and Hebrew dictionary help the serious student to dig deeper. 

 

Psalm 119:11

            Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Devarim 11:16

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

 

6) One key point to consider when doing Torah study is to realize that each verse, each sentence, and even each word in the Scriptures has many different meanings.  The Scriptures are full of depth and understanding.  It is possible to take one word or verse and find many different applications.  To help interpret the Torah, the Rabbis of Judaism have developed the PRDS method.  PRDS helps the student go deeper into the Scriptures.  In Hebrew the word “pardes” is similar to “paradise.”  Pardes literally means “orchard” or “garden.”  When a person studies the scripture, this person is entering the paradise orchard of Eden and eats from the Etyz Chayim / Tree of Life.

Proverbs 3:13-20

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.  The YHWH by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he establishedthe heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Torah, and the Torah was with YHWH, and the Torah was YHWH.

 

Matthew 19:16-17

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal       life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, YHWH: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. [Torah]

 

7) PRDS is an acronym that explains the depths of Torah study.  The four levels of understanding Scripture are from most basic to the deepest.  These are found in the word PaRDeS.  P stands for the “pashat” or the simple.  R stands for the “remez” or hint and allusion.  D stands for “drash” or parables, riddles and allegories.  S stands for the “sod” or the secret esoteric and deep mysterious level.

A person starts with the plain and simple meaning of the text.  This understanding is NEVER negated by other interpretations.  The plain and simple understanding is to be followed and accepted.  This is called the “pashat.”  The “pashat” is the literal meaning. 

Next, the Remez is an allusion or hinted meaning.  This is usually found in reading the context surrounding.  The “remez” can be discerned by discovering the implied meaning given.  To “remez” means to “read between the lines.” 

The “drash” level includes involving other people and other resources.  The “drash” is the “drawn out meaning.”  Historical and Jewish works can be used at this point to develop understanding.  Two or more believers can “drash” a discussion to share what each has learned.  Most sermons are on this level.

Finally, the “sod” is the deepest meaning of Torah.  The “sod” is the “secret.”  This can be found through meditation, prayer, gematria, referencing other works, Hebrew word play, inspiration, and root word study.

 

Devarim 11:18-20

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

       

Romans 10:4-11

For Messiah is the goal of the Torah to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the Torah, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” And the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”‘ (that is, to bring Messiah down from above) or, “”Who will descend into the abyss?”‘ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).         But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Master Y’shua and believe in your heart that YHWH has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Deuteronomy 30:11-16

For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it        and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love YHWH your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live.

8)     We are told that “there is a fifth level of Torah study which unifies all the other four.  This is the ‘fear of YHWH.’  If there is no fear of YHWH then there is no wisdom,” Avos 3:17.

 

Deuteronomy 17:19-20

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear YHWH his Elohim, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up      above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

 

Romans 3:31

Do we then make void the law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Job 28:28

The fear of YHWH, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

 

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of YHWH is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way to walk, and the perverted mouth.

 

Psalms 111:10

The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all those     that do His commandments.

 

Proverbs 16:6

By the fear of YHWH men depart from evil.

 

Proverbs 3:8

Be not wise in your own eyes: fear YHWH, and depart from evil.

 

9) One example of how PRDS can be used is found in Devarim 11:9.  This verse says, “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  In Hebrew this is “eretz zavat chalav udvash ” 

In the pashat, the plain meaning is simple.  The land is abundant and flows with lush flowers, fields, cows, and goats.  

In the remez, this quote shows us that the land if full of abundance and fertility.  YHWH’s blessed land is beautiful.

In the drash, the Rabbis have told us that “milk and honey” is a reference to Torah.  In Song of Solomon 4:11 we read, “milk and honey are under your tongue.”  The land of milk and honey is a spiritual land of Torah. 

In the Sod, the numerical value of halav / milk is 40.  Moshe spent 40 days on the mountain as he received the Torah.  The spies were in the Land for 40 days.  When the spies returned, the majority gave an evil report and the minority gave a faith-filled report.  When people look upon the milk and honey of Torah, most will sour at the idea of Torah obedience.  We must choose to be like those who saw and believed the good report of Torah.

 

Deuteronomy 11:9

And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which YHWH sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey

 

10) When studying Torah, various tools can help the search for knowledge.  You must remember that these tools contain some truth and some error.  Only YHWH’s word is infallible.  One tool that is for study is a good concordance.  A concordance helps you find the word or phrase that you are considering.  Most concordances also have Hebrew dictionaries that will allow you to study the actual words used without having to be fluent in the Biblical language.

Jewish and Christian writings also help but must be used with care.  Jewish and Christian writings are works of men that specifically give the author’s opinion.  The writings of the Jewish sages such as the Mishnah, Talmud, and Zohar are useful texts that should be used for reference only.

The best guide for Torah study is the Torah itself!  Compare words and verses with other references and be amazed at the power of topical study.  Below is a chart found on the internet that compares Y’shua’s teachings with Talmudic writings.  It is amazing how similar the Rabbis teachings are to those of YHWH.

Teachings of Y’SHUA the Pharisee  (Summaries in italics) TALMUDIC Teachings of the Pharisees  (Summaries in italics)
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. – Mark 2:27 Rabbi Jonathan ben Joseph said: For it is holy unto you; I.e., it [the Sabbath] is committed to your hands, not you to its hands. – Talmud: Yoma 85b
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. – Matthew 25:45 One who betrays his fellow, it is as if he has betrayed YHWH.- Tosefta Sh’vuot, ch. 3
Insulting someone is like murder.- Matthew 5:21-22 He who publicly shames his neighbor is as though he shed blood.- Talmud: Bava Mezia 58b
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. – Matthew 5:28 One who gazes lustfully upon the small finger of a married woman, it is as if he has committed adultery with her.- Kallah, Ch. 1
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:45 Rabbi Abbahu said: The day when rain fails is greater than [the day of] the Revival of the Dead,for the Revival of the Dead is for the righteous only whereas rain is both for the righteous and for the wicked – Talmud: Taanit 7a
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 6:1 In the case of the recital of the Shema’, since everybody else recites, and he also recites, it does not look like showing off on his part; but in the case of the month of Ab, since everybody else does work and he does no work, it looks like showing off.- Talmud: Berachot 17b
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. – Matthew 6:3 What kind of charity is that which delivers a man from an unnatural death?  When a man gives without knowing to whom he gives. and the beggar receives without knowing from whom he receives. – Talmud: Bava Batra 10a – 10b
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.- Matthew 6:7 If one draws out his prayer and expects therefore its fulfilment, he will in the end suffer vexation of heart, as it says, Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. – Talmud: Berachot 55a
Do not worry about where your food will come from tomorrow, or your drink. – Matthew 6:25-31 Rabbi Eliezer the Great declares: Whoever has a piece of bread in his basket and Says. ‘What shall I eat tomorrow?’ belongs only to them who are little in faith. – Talmud: Sotah 48b
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6:34 A parable: [They were] like a man who was kept in prison and people told him: To-morrow, they will release you from the prison and give you plenty of money. And he answered them: I pray of you, let me go free today and I shall ask nothing more! – Talmud: Berachot 9b
Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. – Matthew 5:34-37 A righteous yes is a Yes; a righteous no is No. – Talmud: Bava Batra 49b
At that time Y’shua answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. – Matthew 11:25 Rabbi Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. – Talmud: Bava Batra 12b
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30 Come and hear what was taught: Rabbi Tarfon said, ‘If his hand touched the membrum let his hand be cut off upon his belly’. ‘But’, they said to him, ‘would not his belly be split’? ‘It is preferable’, he replied, ‘that his belly shall be split rather than that he should go down into the pit of destruction’. – Talmud: Niddah 13b
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Messiah; and all ye are brethren. – Matthew 23:8 Shemaiah used to say: love work, hate acting the superior, and do not bring thyself to the knowledge of the ruling authority. – Mishnah: Avot 1:10
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. – Matthew 24:44 Even as R. Zera, who, whenever he chanced upon scholars engaged thereon [I.e., in calculating the time of the Messiah's coming], would say to them: I beg of you, do not postpone it, for it has been taught: Three come unawares: Messiah, a found article and a scorpion. – Talmud: Sanhedrin 97a
Yeshua taught in a parable that they can please the king (YHWH) by pleasing one another.  – Matthew 25:40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 Rabbi simeon said: if three have eaten at one table and have not spoken thereat words of torah, [it is] as if they had eaten sacrifices [offered] to the dead, for [of such persons] it is said, for all tables are full of filthy vomit, [they are] without the All-Present. But, if three have eaten at one table, and have spoken thereat words of torah, [it is] as if they had eaten at the table of the All-Present, blessed be he, as it is said, this is the table before YHWH. – Mishnah: Avot 3:3
Love your enemy. – Matthew 5:43
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; – Matthew 5:43
They who are insulted but insult not back; who hear themselves reproached but answer not; who serve out of love and rejoice in their affliction–of them it is written in Scripture: They that love YHWH are as the going forth of the sun in its might. – Talmud: Yoma 23a, Gitin 36b, Shabat 88b
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. – Matthew 5:23-24 If a man said, “I will sin and repent, and sin again and repent”, he will be given no chance to repent.   [If he said,] “I will sin and the Day of Atonement will effect atonement”, then the Day of Atonement effects no atonement.   For transgressions that are between man and YHWH the Day of Atonement effects atonement, but for transgressions that are between a man and his fellow the Day of Atonement effects atonement only if he has appeased his fellow – Mishnah: Yoma 8:9

 

 

LeSSoN THRee

Study and Discussion Questions

 

1)Explain how the right mindset determines what a person learns from Bible study?      What happens if a person is closed to new understandings from the Torah.

 

2)   What does Romans 12:1-2 mean to you?

 

3)   When it comes to Torah study, how does the weekly Torah portion help you stay focused?  Do you believe the Torah portion can speak to your weekly needs?

 

4)   Did the Messiah disrupt Jewish worship services and start new traditions?  How should the actions of Y’shua affect our thoughts about study, prayer, and corporate worship?

 

5)   What does Proverbs 16:6 personally mean to you?  How can this verse affect your desire to study the Scriptures?

 

6)   Explain what PaRDeS mean?  How does this method of interpretation help you learn from the Scriptures?

 

7)  How can several people read the same verse and get different understandings?  Shouldn’t everyone believe the same about each passage?

 

8) What specifically did you learn from this lesson?

 

 

9)  How often do you read the word?  What is your practice for greater understanding?  What goals do you have when you study the word?  What changes in your personal life do you need to make so that you can ensure study is given proper time?

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