Now see here!

August 31st, 2011

“Behold!  [See!  Take a look!] I set before you today a blessing and a curse:
the blessing, THAT you obey the commandments of the YHVH your Elohim which I command you today;
and the curse, IF you do not obey the commandments of the YHVH your Elohim, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”
  – Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26-27

If there is a single parsha, or weekly Torah portion, which exemplifies the differences between the movement of “Torah Observant Believers” in the Messiah Yahushua, and much of the mainstream ‘church’ — the 1700+ years of “tradition” which teaches that God somehow changed His mind and did away with His own Written Word — it is the one which begins with that admonition.  (“Re-eh”; Deut. 11:26 through 16:17).  These approximately four chapters literally encapsulate the heart of much of what Scripture says we are to “hear and obey”; things the Sunday church attempts to teach are “old”, no longer matter, and have been “nailed to the cross”.

Who will we choose to believe?  What we have “heard it said” by men that it should say, or what our Creator Himself Wrote down for us?  After all, what does “let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4) mean otherwise?

The essential message of most of Scripture is that we have a choice:  between “good or evil”, blessings or curses, and obedience or rebellion.  It boils down to, “Who do we serve?”  These parts of the Book of Deuteronomy repeat the same message literally over and over again (no doubt because He knows we are stiff-necked, and the message is important enough to repeat!) that we are to love Him…and that this literally means to keep His “commandments, statutes, and judgments”.  (See, among many examples, Deut. 10:12-13, 11:1, 11:13, 11:22 – and so on!)  Not because we can “earn” His love, or His salvation, certainly, but because that is exactly how He tells us to show our love for Him!

But chapters 11 through 13 of Deuteronomy make a particularly important point.  Our Creator literally hates idolatry.  Not only does He repeatedly forbid it in any form, liken it specifically to adultery, and tell us clearly that this is why He drove the various Canaanites out of the land which He then gave to His people (and later sent them again into exile for the very same crimes) — but He lays out some of the most specific, and most graphic instructions concerning idolatry in these chapters in all of His Word.  The evil pagan practices by which those people served their gods are abomination to Him:  “You shall NOT do so unto YHVH your Elohim.”  (Deut. 12:4)  And we are not even to risk being “snared” (v12:30) by inquiring how they served those evil ‘gods’, much less doing likewise, and thinking it somehow pleases Him.

Deuteronomy chapter 13, however, is so “politically-incorrect” that many state-licensed clergy simply don’t even want to touch it.  The reason is obvious, because it contradicts so much of what so many of them teach, in contradiction to Scripture.  It is also, I have found, one of the most obvious ‘stumbling blocks’ when it comes to many Torah-literate, observant Jews, who reject what they have been told about a “Jesus”, who “did away with the Law of Moses”.  Over the years, I have come to know many such who were literally astounded to hear that the Messiah I know, and who was witnessed by those who walked with Him, did NO SUCH THING. Instead, He said that not the smallest part of His instruction (torah) would pass away so long as “heaven and earth” still exists (Matt. 5:17-19, etc) and that those who did not believe Moses’ Writings would not believe His Words either.  (Luke 6:46).  The difference is stark…and it is Deuteronomy 13 which tells us why.  Had He done so, He could NOT have been the One of Whom Moses foretold!  Some, as Shaul (Paul) noted, literally preach “another Jesus“, which we “have not preached“.  His warnings in Gal. 1:6-10 echo those of this chapter.

And, no, we are in well-deserved exile, NOT in the land, and certainly not in a physical kingdom which claims Him as King.  So NO – neither I, nor anyone I know of has ever suggested stoning false prophets.  But we should certainly know better than to listen to them, much less follow them!  Our Savior called the scribes and Pharisees “hypocrites”  (and worse!) for making forbidden “additions” to His commandments and claiming their traditions were “law”, and then He literally died in their place — and ours.  But the principles outlined there are clear, and certainly should make those who preach that it’s somehow OK to “add to” or “subtract from” how YHVH specified He was to be worshiped, substituting pagan practices based on “gods” like Mithras or Ishtar, very nervous.  Those of us who diligently seek Him must turn away from such!

“…you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for YHVH your Elohim is testing you to know whether you love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul.”  (Deut. 13:3)

Most importantly, however, Moses told us how to know that the Messiah Who would come after him was the Real Deal, as opposed to “another Jesus”.  Yahushua Himself, when He fulfilled those promises, as well as those of YesheYahu (“Isaiah”, whose Hebrew name literally telegraphs the Savior’s Name!) and the other faithful servants of YHVH who told us of His coming, gave similar warnings.  Many would come in His Name, claiming His authority…and they would be liars.  (MatitYahu/Matt. 24:4-5, 11-12, etc.)  They are literally “without torah”, in that they deny His instruction,  by changing His Word.

We are entering into a time of increasingly great Deception, perhaps the greatest the world has ever seen.   Wars and rumors of wars are nothing new, and even “earthquakes in diverse places” are but “the beginning of sorrows”.  To my mind one of the greatest ironies is that a ‘church’ which so often claims to act in ‘love’ but then teaches lawlessness, and which has “added to” and “subtracted from” His Word for the better part of two millenia, is a large part of that deception.  Some such have no doubt “left thy first love.”   No wonder He says that “the love of many will wax cold”.

If we are to be ready to give account for what we believe, and testify to others who ask us about WHY we know that our Savior IS exactly Who He IS, it is imporant to “study”, to show ourselves approved, and rightly divide the Word of Truth.  It is impossible to mix the pagan with the ‘qadosh’ or set-apart (‘holy’), or the clean with the unclean, and still please Him.

In these brief and yet blunt chapters, Moses lays out the differences between what it means to worship the True Creator of the Universe and an imposter.  We can choose blessing or cursing.  His commands aren’t even burdensome (He says so!)…
…so long as we avoid the continuing temptation to twist them according to the vain traditions of man.   Just like the Son shows His love by obedience to the Father, so should we.

What could be simpler?  Yahushua put it this way, in perhaps the most succinct summary of what it means to “love Him” in Scripture:
“If you love Me, keep my commands.”  (Yahuchanon/John 14:15)

Torah portion “Re-eh” from Shabbat Shalom Longmont

August 29th, 2011

Attached below is the Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) teaching from the services at Shabbat Shalom Longmont in Longmont, Colorado, on 26 August, 2011.

 

This is Mark Call discussing the parsha called (in the Hebrew) “Re-eh”, from Deuteronomy (Debarim) 11:26 through 16:17.    It really could be considered a “Torah 101” introduction to what it is that DISTINGUISHES a “first century” understanding of followers of the MessiahYahushua from what could be called ‘modern christianity’.

 

SSL Re-eh – teaching part 1

SSL Re-eh – teaching part 2

SSL Re-eh – teaching part 3

Ekev – teaching from TalkingTorah, and news

August 20th, 2011

The most recent Torah portion teaching from the TalkingTorah (Paltalk) fellowship is “Ekev”, from Deuteronomy chapters 7 through 11:

Ekev

The Thursday, 18 August, 2011 edition of “Come out of her, My people”, is:

CooH, 8-18-11

And the Friday news shows:

Drive Time Friday

Mark Call News

 

Most recent audio updates – Torah portion ‘Vaetchanon’ and the news

August 15th, 2011

Looking at the news, I contend that it is hard to deny what is happening.   “Lawlessness” (or “torah-less-ness”) abounds, and the demise of the unconstitutional, full-fiat, dishonest weight/measure that the Bible repeatedly calls “abomination” obviously draws closer by the day.

Here are links to the two most recent news podcasts (aired live weekdays on Hebrew Nation Radio)…

Friday, 12 August, 2011

Monday, 15 August, 2011  (the 40th anniversary of a day that SHOULD live in infamy)

 

This is the regular link to the weekly “Talking Torah” teachings, by first Jeff Gilbert, then Mark Call, via WayToZion:

Vaetchanan

 

And finally, here is Friday’s “Drive Time Friday” show for August 12, again with Jeff and Mark:

DTF – 8/12/11

 

Marriage, Divorce, Vows, and Authority

August 5th, 2011

I have long contended that a proper understanding of marriage, and why it is that the western world – or the “greater Babylonian Metropolitan Area” at least – is such an incredible mess, is obvious from any even remotely honest examination of Scripture.  We literally call “good”, evil, and “evil”, good.  What He clearly calls “abomination“, government now “licenses”.   And what the Word allows, Caesar’s government, and its incorporated tax-exempt faith-based ‘church’, all too often forbids.

The Word of YHVH is simply not “politically correct”.

This, too, should not surprise us.  After all, our Savior warned us that the “world will hate you for My sake“.  The blessings, and the curses, described in Deuteronomy chapters 28 through 30 are impossible to deny – for those that have “eyes to see”.

But it is perhaps because marriage, as ordained and instructed by YHVH, is so utterly fundamental to an understanding of His intended relationship with US,  that it is a major battleground in the so-called “culture war”.    His instruction (‘torah’) about marriage is attacked by the Adversary, and truly hated by modern post-Biblical Babylon.  How DARE the Designer Himself actually come right out and say clearly that “male and female He created them” — and that we are “perfect” or “complete” (from the root ‘tamim/tamam’ in the Hebrew) for the purposes that He made us!  We must not confuse what it means to be equally “blessed and beloved of Yah” with the popular notion that men and women are somehow “equal”.

Most who have heard me talk or teach about ‘law’, or the Constitution for the once-united States, or Exodus 21 and what it means for a master to give his slave a wife, know that I eschewed licensing of marriage — even long before the ‘state of New York’ put yet another exclamation point on the argument this month.   Perhaps even more vital, however, and even MORE politically-INcorrect, to an understanding of marriage, I contend, is the nature of vows, and authority, outlined for a house which puts Him as its head in Numbers chapter 30.  Those who are, or ever intend to be, husbands, or wives, should read and study it carefully.  It is not only about ‘vows’, but about authority, in accord with His Word and will.

Summarized, and admittedly over-simplified, it boils down to, “Men – do all that you SAY you will do”.  And “women, if you are under the authority of a father, or later a husband, who ‘covers’ you in accord with that provision – be thankful.”  For while you, too, are accountable to do as you vow to do, there is a layer of protection for you in the covering of that head of your house:  If you make a rash vow, and he nullifies it when he hears it, HE “bears your guilt”.  (And all of this helps explain as well why the Savior advises us all to be VERY careful about vows, and let our “yes be yes”, and our “no be no”.)

This aspect of the Torah may in fact be one of the few examples I can think of where a well-known tradition of men – at least “once upon a time” – actually teaches the principle in Scripture correctly.*  Not only that, but it demonstrates as well how, properly understood, EVERY aspect of His “teaching and instruction” fits together like a glove.   Proper authority, and usurpation; marriage, covenant, and divorce; adultery, idolatry, and the process for “putting away” — all are consistent with His Word as Written, when we understand His ‘torah’!

Do you remember the phrase which was often traditionally used in marriage ceremonies, just before the time when a father walks his daughter down the aisle and to the groom at the altar?

“Who gives this woman to be wed?”

This tradition traces directly to Numbers 30 and the explicit authority of a man over the vows of his wives and daughters. Since a man may void, or cast down, the vows of his daughter while she is under his authority, it makes sense that a transfer of such authority would be expressly  observed.  The wife-to-be has accepted the offer of marriage from her eventual ‘covering’, and so does her father.

This tradition shows that a father is surrendering his God-given authority over his daughter, and her vows, to her new husband.  This is, I suggest, part of the reason why Scripture is so specific, in so many places, about marriage, sexuality, and that covenant union.

Now I ask the next question:

What then is a certificate of divorce?  As outlined by God in Deuteronomy 24:1-3, it is an explicit, necessary part of the proper and complete process for lawfully sending a wife out of his house – so that she is no longer under the former husband’s covering – and may thus remarry.

Is it not yet another explicit transfer of authority? A woman who has been lawfully and completely “put away” is now responsible for HER OWN vows, and has no husband in headship over her. With such a certificate, as a believer, she is eligible for remarriage; without it, she is not – and is guilty of adultery for joining with any other man while her husband yet lives.**

Likewise, if that husband puts her away unlawfully, then HE, as her covering, is guilty of the adultery that he has ’caused her’ to commit (as Matthew 5:32, properly translated, makes clear).  But otherwise, his giving to her of a ‘certificate of divorce’ is a written, second witness that she is eligible to be remarried.  (She, of course, is a witness as well.)

Consider who has thus taken authority, and responsibility, for making the vow void.   “Who gives this woman to be wed?”

If she was ever married, her certificate of divorce is lawful written proof that her former husband did!  Indeed, as Numbers 30:15 confirms, he “bears her guilt” for that vow as well.

It is important that each of us understand why Scripture says that “death and life” are in the “power of the tongue”.  We must learn to guard what we say, and do according to all that we say we will.  To make vows is serious, to break them even more so.  But Who we “submit ourselves to obey” – and thus serve – is just as important.  We must know and respect His delegation of proper authority, in accord with His instruction.

——————————
*  Most, of course, will recognize that the line I quoted has since been corrupted by ‘egalitarianism’!

**  Note one other important thing, as both Numbers 30:15, Matthew 5:32, and many others make clear.  If a husband puts away his wife treacherously, then HE bears her guilt.  He “causes her” to commit adultery!

 

Latest “Come out of her, My people” Show and Torah session

July 31st, 2011

This week’s “Come out of her” Show dealt with the subject of vows, marriage, and what that has to do with our choices concerning what passes for “Law” in post-Constitutional Amerika:

Come out of her, My people for 28 July, 2011

(There is an iPod version and media player here as well.)

Talking Torah – Torah portion – Massei

Newest radio shows

July 22nd, 2011

Come out of her, My people, for Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Drive Time Friday, with Jeff Gilbert and Mark Call, for 22 July, 2011

Friday news – 22 July, 2011

 

AND – last weekend’s Torah portion, from TalkingTorah:

Pinchas

Contradictions and apparent contradictions

July 10th, 2011

Here are some additional links to the most recent audio teachings and podcasts available on-line.

 

Thursday’s “Come out of her, My people” show explores the concept of “Voluntary Bondage” to what Scripture refers to as “another master”:

Come out of her – July 7, 2011

 

The Torah teaching set for this Shabbat was about Balaam.  As usual, Joel Sanchez taught the first segment, Jeff Gilbert the second, and Mark Call the final part.   (Which had quite a spirited, and sustained, Q&A session at the end as well!)  I would summarize the main emphasis of my own part of the set by calling it “Contradictions and Apparent Contradictions” and noting that there are some very dramatic parallels between the nature of Balaam and ‘the Church’ which should not be overlooked!

…and I will also point out that the final hour (or a bit more) of the entire segment had to do with questions about marriage – and licenses!  Hope you find it interesting:

 

TalkingTorah for 9 July, 2011 – Balaam

 

Finally, here are links to several other recent shows from Hebrew Nation Radio:

 

Drive Time Friday – Jeff Gilbert and Mark Call – Friday, 8 July, 2011

Friday News

Thursday News

 

The Declaration of Independence…and withdrawing consent

July 1st, 2011

Here are links to several shows which have to do with the almost-forgotten concept of “Truths” which we once unanimously held to be “self-evident”, and other related topics.

 

Food for thought going into a weekend where there is more to remember than fireworks and barbeques:

 

Special show:  The Declaration of Independence

 

Come out of her, My people for 30 June, 2011

 

News – Friday, 1 July, 2011 – leading into “Fourth of July Weekend”

 

 

Self-evident Truths

June 30th, 2011

Every year about this time, I find myself thinking about the miracle of how a bunch of different men, with varied religious backgrounds, and a history of some fairly significant disagreements, managed to come together and “walk in unity” – unanimously, even – in order to literally pledge, and risk, “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” over an idea:

that we are “endowed by our Creator” with Rights, which come not from any earthly government of man, but from Him alone.

That there is a “Law” which has been given to us by the Supreme Legislator of the Universe.  And that “to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men”.

And isn’t it “funny”, in hindsight, that the fact that there IS a God — that He created us — is so undeniable that it goes without saying?  After all, the “self-evident Truths” involve the fact that He GAVE us Rights, and that those Rights therefore cannot be “aliened” by any government of fallen men; of COURSE He has to exist in order to do that!

There is no doubt that there were differences among those men in their “doctrines”, their interpretation of Scripture, and arguably even in how they perceived Who that Creator was, and what He had Written meant to them.  But they were able to agree on what was written there in spite of them.  The major points were just, well, obvious.

They were able to walk together in agreement because they held that certain Truths were “self-evident”.  Undeniable.  So important, as a matter of fact, that everyone who signed the document, and pledged “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” was willing to die for them.  The crime of treason, which they knew their signatures on that document meant, carried the death penalty.

After studying the history of that period of time, and the incredible obstacles presented by the requirement for a unanimous agreement to declare those thirteen colonies independent of a despotic monarch, I am personally persuaded that they had, shall we say, Help in working out those differences.  Nevertheless, the principles that they set forth in that document served to outline the legal basis for the government that was to follow.   As such, I have long considered the Declaration of Independence to be the greatest document ever written originally in the English language.

But the disappointing fact is that so many “Truths….” once held to be “…self-evident” are now not only ignored but denied by so many people.  This is really not surprising at all, given the disdain of so many today for the Word of YHVH.  If a ‘government’ refuses to even acknowledge now that He EXISTS, how can it admit that His authority is superior to theirs?  And a people who attempt to deny what has been Written by the Hand of the Creator Himself,  can certainly show equal or greater contempt for all other so-called “law” as well.  A “living constitution” is no law at all…unless enforced at the barrel of a gun…by those ALLOWED to have the guns, today.  And, of course, it no longer means what it SAYS it means, in actual writing; it means what THEY say is was supposed to mean.

Many of us, who have ‘come out of’ what Scripture repeatedly calls the “whore” — a system, or a ‘church’, which puts other “mighty ones”, other gods, or “elohim”, in his place, have become frustrated at the refusal of ‘the world’ to see what we see.  After we begin to study, it seems obvious that He never changed His Sabbaths.  When He says, “I change NOT”  (Malachi 3:6), or that He is the same “yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8) and “came not to change one yod or tiddle” of His own torah (instruction) so long as “heaven and earth” still exist, we know what that means.  Pieces begin to fall into place.  He didn’t change our bodies, either…what He said was “food” is STILL food, and what was not is still not…men are still men, women remain women, and His instruction about marriage still applies, too — just as it has since He Wrote it down for us.

We might think some of those things are self-evident.  But the Truth remains that He Wrote it down for us for a reason.  Fallen men lie.  They change the meaning of words.  They “add to” and “subtract from” what is Written — in spite of His commandments to the contrary.

The Founders understood Scripture.  History records that the single most quoted work, most referenced book among ALL of the history and texts referenced during the Revolutionary period, the letters of the “Committees of Correspondence”, and the debates leading up to the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, and later the Constitution, was the Book of Deuteronomy.

Neither the English “Common Law” (referenced directly in the Constitution) nor the references to God in the Declaration of Independence can be understood completely outside of a Biblical context.  Note, for example, that there are precisely THREE additional references to Him in the Declaration, outside of the use of the “Creator”: He is the “Supreme Judge of the world”, the Legislator, who gave us the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, and the King, or Protector, called “Divine Providence”.  How many people who now try to deny that ALL subsequent law in these formerly-united States is based on the principles outlined in the Declaration are ignorant of the fact that those three references come directly from Isaiah 33:22?   The King James version of that verse says, “For the LORD is our Judge, The LORD is our Lawgiver, The LORD is our King; He will save us.”  And from that specific set of references, added during the debates over the document itself, forms the basis for what is known as the “separation of powers”.  The Founders knew and agreed that man was fallen, and would seek to acquire power over time.  “In His hands ONLY”, they agreed, could such powers be combined!

We can take several lessons from things which are rarely still talked about, but vitally important, at this time of the year.  Law is Written down for us for a reason!  Even things that might once have been “self-evident” can become twisted over time by fallen men, and the deceit of the Adversary.  And it IS still possible to “walk in agreement”, even unanimously, when we are willing to trust and be led by Him…our Judge, our Lawgiver, and our King.  He WILL save us, just as He promises.

Finally, there is a message as well for those of us who have been frustrated by not being able to “get through” to some of our friends or family…who don’t seem to want to read the Bible like the Bereans…as it is Written.  Sometimes a different approach can make a difference.  If you can’t get people to read the Bible with you most of the time, try this:  See if you can get them to read just the first couple of paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, just this once, during this time.  Perhaps they’ll see the point that way, and it will eventually get to be “self-evident” that it is True.