This morning I was asked, "what should we do???” Here it is the day of Pesach, which starts at sundown this evening. It is time to clean out the biblical leaven. From a biblical perspective, cleaning out the leaven is actually as simple as throwing out the actual biblical leavening agent and any leavened bread - leaven is yeast or yeast based. In ancient times, the leaven (Yeast) was from the sourdough starter that was used. This would include any breads, rolls, biscuits, and sometimes flat breads or tortillas that were leavened (risen) using a yeast or sour dough starter.
In Exodus 12, verses 15-20 talk about the actual requirements:
“Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.” See also: Leviticus 23:4-8; Numbers 28:16-25; Deuteronomy 16:1-8
Although it is not commanded to clean out every nook and cranny of our homes, traditionally many people do. Yet this is only tradition.
The leaven used in biblical times was what we call today sourdough starter. It was a lump of raw dough from a previous loaf that is added to the next loaf to cause it to rise. Historically speaking, they would take that lump, set it aside in a bowl, covered, and add it to the next loaf. We do the same today by taking a portion of sour dough starter, feeding it, storing it for the next loaf, and taking the leftover portion to make a loaf with.
Baking soda and baking powders were not used in baking until much later, and thus we do not consider them the same as biblical leavening. Although baking soda (bicarbonate of sodium or sodium bicarb) was used for mummification purposes in ancient times, it was not for baking. This is why we teach that you do not need to throw them out for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They are not actual leavening agents as they do not cause the same fermentation/gaseous process as yeast does.
What we think of "cakes" mentioned in the bible are not at all like the light, fluffy sweet cakes we eat these days. Our cakes use baking soda or baking powder. The ancient cakes would have more likely been a drier, whole grain cake that would either have been a flat cake or leavened with sourdough. Even the sweet cakes would have been heavier than we are accustomed to seeing. After the spring Feasts are over, it is fun to start a new sour dough starter and try experimenting with making muffins and sweet breads with it instead of baking powder and baking soda. . .it takes practice, but it is much better for you in the long run. It also gives a good view of how the little lump leavens the whole lump.
When deciding what to eat right this minute or to toss in the trash, here is one way to look at it: The leaven in the bible is actually a living "creature." It needs to be fed - yeast, when you activate it, feeds off the sugars or carbs in whatever it is living in. It grows into a larger 'colony.' When you take a piece of that yeast dough (sour dough starter), then add it to a fresh batch of flour, the yeasts in the starter feed on the natural sugars in the new mixture, producing the gas, etc., which generates the rising effect.
You cannot take a dollop of dough from quick breads, cakes, cookies, etc., which contain baking soda or powder, and add the dollop to the next batch to generate "leavening the whole lump." If you have left a batch of any of these batters sit too long, you can see it will not rise any longer. It is "flat." It also will not re-leaven if you add more sugar or flour to 'feed' it because it cannot be fed. Leaven from the bible is something that is fed, re-fed, and fed again. . . . Each new batch getting stronger and more active.
Biblical leaven, though, can almost always be re-fed (unless you left it unfed horribly long and all the yeast actually died of starvation). This is why sourdough starter should be fed at least once per week in cold or rest times, or every day if you are using it regularly. It is much more than just the chemical process produced by baking soda and powder (which is nothing more than baking soda and cream of tartar).
Our answer is simply: No, baking soda and baking powder are not commanded to be avoided. If someone "chooses" to avoid them, that is their choice, but it is not part of the commandment.
May you have a blessed Feast Day and may your final preparations today go wonderfully easy.
Chag Sameach Massah!
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More and more often there are reports amongst believers these days claiming there is no revival in the Scriptures and that there will only be a great falling away. These people will deny the existence and the power of revival as well as deny the Spirit’s ability to take part in this end time event in the lives of those who seek it. They forget that the Spirit has already come and has never left us. He still operates today as he operated in the past, but he is looking for people that are hungry for more.
Oddly, this teaching and belief that denies revival, has come from those who have actually come out from what many may label as a “dead” church, one that does not exhibit the gifts and does not move in them. Yet while in that church, they themselves had experienced a great move in their own hearts. This move then prompted their journey back to scripture where they now study the word out deeper than they ever had before. In doing so, they have been immersed in what is obviously a "REVIVAL" of Yahweh’s Spirit inside of their own spirit where they seek even more.
If there is NO end time revival then what happened within them? Weren’t they “REVIVED”?
For several decades many prophetic voices have been predicting a great shaking will come - in America, in the world, and also in the church. These same prophetic people have been saying there would also be an end time revival. Now deniers are emerging right and left claiming these words are false, a lie, claiming there will NOT be an end time revival, but only a falling away, a “great falling away” that will happen.
As people are seeing healings, and a stirring of the gifts, more and more deniers are professing that these manifestations are false and lies from the adversary. As more and more people are stirred to leave their religions or denomination and rediscover their FAITH, others are right there ready to squash that faith and proclaim manifestations of that faith are all a lie.
It is important to note, that yes, according to scripture there is an end time falling away occurring amongst those who profess to be believers in Yeshua. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 talks of this and verse 3 even warns us about it.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; . . .” and again in 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”
Yet, the interesting part is that even with many departing the faith there is also revival happening. Several mainstream churches are seeing their youth come alive and live up to the first century believers in Acts 2:17,
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: . . .”
Young men and young women all over America are prophesying about things they see happening in the church. They are coming forth with words about what is happening in our courts and to families, marriage, and also against their peers. These young people are jumping in with both feet, and calling their peers to return back to Yahweh. Little children are praying for people and people are being healed. Something is happening and it’s called REVIVAL.
This love for their Abba is having a domino effect and reaching the older crowds as well. They are being touched by the sweet innocence of the spirit stirred in the youth and children as they return to Yahweh.
So as time goes by, and the world is changing so quickly, as families and traditional beliefs are attacked right and left, we should recognize that these young people are a fulfillment of the Word that was given so long ago. Recognize their spiritual potential, study the Word for ourselves, and be ready to train them up in the way they should go.
Revival is happening, folks, and you can either continue to deny it, or you can help it spread in the hopes that as many as possible will be reached by Yahweh’s truth.
"If it is from God [which I believe it is], you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!" Acts 5:39
Blessings and Shalom.
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Is there revival or falling away?
Exodus 16:22-24 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, "This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning." So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it.…
Recently, in a panic, a sweet sister asked about these verses in Exodus. Her family was concerned deeply that they could not even boil water for tea or rewarm a pot of soup for Shabbat, and had concluded that baking or re-heating a casserole is strictly forbidden based on these verses. After much study, here are our thoughts about these verses and the terminology in question.
These scripture verses in Exodus appear to mainly apply to the requirements for the children of Israel in the wilderness when it comes to gathering, preparing and eating the manna. It does not appear to be directed to ALL of Yahweh's followers through out our generations. Many commandments which are given, such as feast days (See Day of Atonement Leviticus 23:31), include a statement that they are to be done for generations. These verses appear to deal specifically with handling the manna.
One thing to note is that the wording in it is not 100% clear whether they boiled and baked ALL their manna on the sixth day, and then saved the leftover cooked foods for Shabbat meals, or if they only cooked and boiled what they ate that day, saving the "raw" manna for Shabbat. Either way, there appears to be no clear commandment in these verses that says, “Thou shalt not. . .” when it comes to boiling or baking food on the Shabbat (Sabbath). It is also not something that appears to be forbidden ‘throughout your generations’, or ‘forever” as many other things are commanded. We therefore take the stance that baking or boiling an already prepared meal during Shabbat is acceptable for meals.
That being said, we ARE commanded to not labor or work on Shabbat, and to make it a day of rest.
Exodus 20:9-10 clearly states, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.”
Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
It is important to note that Torah for Women believes and teaches the Hebrew word used that is translated into the English word "work" in these verses would mean work that is done for your job or employment. We also recommend, as well, that any strenuous labor around the home, such as lawn mowing, laundry, cleaning, car repairs and such be put off as well. Our conclusion from scriptures is that these do not meet the description of rest that is also commanded for Sabbath observance.
Because the big question posed to us, though, addressed boiling and baking on the Shabbat, we felt it would be helpful to give some suggestions that we use at home to make our Sabbath day easier, while still being able to enjoy our meals. Remember, these are just ideas and are not commandments or written in stone. It is our hope that what these ideas may do is spark more creative ways for easing your life during the Shabbat to make it more restful, and filled with Shabbat SHALOM!
The first thing we have made into a habit is to start thinking about the next Shabbat as soon as possible in the week. Usually Sunday or Monday I start planning meals for Friday and Saturday so that we can pick up any additional groceries early. This ensures that prep day won’t be stressed with the additional task of shopping and putting away groceries. We also address any cleaning or yard work as soon as possible as well, and try to complete this by Thursday night. I often wiggle my laundry days around to fall on Monday and Thursday rather than Friday so that I can focus more on what is needed for Shabbat on prep day.
This leaves just the biggest task for us to do on Friday before sundown as making sure we have meals prepared in advance. We like to make sure that as much preparation as is possible is completed so that all we need to do on Sabbath is re-heat meals or assemble them at the table from already prepared ingredients.
For reheating foods, we have several different appliances we use depending upon what we are serving. Rice cooker, crockpots, and even our stove top or oven work well for just slipping foods in and allowing them to warm while we rest and read. Good ideas for easy serving would be soups, one-dish crockpot meals, casseroles, or sandwiches. Even cold cereals for breakfasts, because they are just pour and eat. Another favorite is to make some yogurt and oatmeal parfaits, then let them sit overnight in single serving containers. Each person can grab one in the morning as they get hungry. Sometimes I make muffins and we eat those for breakfast, or baked oatmeal. Hard boiled eggs are good, too, to go with any of these or to be eaten alone. I have also been known to whip up chicken salad or egg salad to be eaten on bread or even rolled in lettuce for breakfast. I will even slice and dice all vegetables or fruits we plan to eat, and place in containers for easy serving. All these preparations can be done in advance and then meals are eaten with as little work as necessary on Shabbat.
Many families prefer to make Friday until Sundown their official prep day for Sabbath and spend the day doing all their cleaning and preparation, while I prefer to spread things out a bit over the week. You will know which works best for you. Always remember, Prep Day is not the commanded day, by any means, and that Shabbat is. Having a day set aside for preparations, though, certainly helps alleviate a lot of stress or concern from the Sabbath and allows for more rest and time in prayer and studying the Word.
Other examples of what our Shabbat meals might include:
Friday morning, mix up TWO quiches - one for that day’s brunch and one to reheat Shabbat morning. Cooking one for the entire baking time means it can be eaten right away, while the other one is baked just until the egg is thoroughly cooked, but quiche is not browned. That way I can reheat it in the morning, browning the top nicely. I make sure that all the coffee is ground for morning, and that all water pitchers are filled on prep day, too. This means I don’t need to worry if there is enough filtered water for everyone to drink during the day. We don’t have an automatic ice maker, so I will also ensure that all our trays have been cracked and refilled.
For dinners and snacks: grilled chicken salad sandwiches with chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, and onions. These also can be used as a snack. I might also wash a couple of sweet potatoes or potatoes in case we get hungry in the afternoon Saturday, or maybe fix a huge bowl of chopped mixed fruits. The potatoes can just be tossed in the hot oven to bake and each person can serve theirs the way they like. For Shabbat dinner, I like to spice up chicken breast Friday early, and let it marinate a bit, then cook it before sundown either in the oven or in a fry pan. We often toss it into some salad greens with oil and vinegar. If it is cold weather, we love to have a big pot of soup and either just reheat it on the stove or put it in the crockpot and slow cook it throughout the day on Shabbat. Some casseroles are great made ahead and then just baked quickly for dinners, too. I have several recipes for chicken and rice style casseroles, pasta casseroles, Tex-Mex casseroles, or even Lasagna can be made ahead, partially baked, and reheated to finish baking on Shabbat.
A big complaint we hear from some sisters is the leftover dishes and mess when the sun sets on Saturday. I have seen photos of homes where toys, books, clothing, and dishes have been left laying around in an effort to ensure the day is “restful."
Three simple questions to ask yourself:
Is this restful for mom (and sometimes even dad) to look at this mess all day long getting bigger and bigger and bigger? Especially knowing that the likely candidate for clean-up after sundown is mom or dad.
Would you tolerate your home being left a mess like that any other day of the week?
Then why tolerate it on Shabbat?
Spring time is a great time of year to drum this one into ourselves. Sun sets around 9:00 pm in the US. How late do mom and dad wish to stay up washing dishes and putting things away? It is not work to simply pick up after yourself. In fact, it is common sense.
If someone gets out books or toys, they should put them away. If you spill something, wipe it up. If someone dirties a dish, they should grab a soapy sponge, wash it off, rinse it and place it in the dish rack. Simple. There are so many other easy solutions for keeping cleanup down to a minimum at the end of Shabbat. Another idea for dishes, if you have a dishwasher: just make sure it is empty as late as possible on Friday, and have everyone scrape their dishes, then place the dirties in there. They can collect all day and it can be run Saturday after sundown. Little children, of course, might need an older sibling or parent to help with these dish ideas, but it is still less stressful this way than to wait to clean an entire kitchen later in the evening. When all else fails, paper products work great too.
We know these ideas might not work for everyone, but maybe they will help you create new habits that will work for your family. Each home IS different and has individual needs that must be met. Our hope is to help you relax, and enjoy preparing for your Sabbath as much as you will enjoy the rest you get on that day.
Blessings and Shalom!
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Inviting Shabbat Shalom
A few years ago, stories were floating around the internet about how certain terrorist groups were rumored to be feeding parent's their children in a demonic and wicked act of cruelty. People were appalled at such horrifying examples of cannibalism. Yet, as disturbing as this was to people, justification for cannibalism is actually happening amongst believers and it needs to be addressed.
Publishing this article may make a large number of faithful women angry, hurt, or upset, but it must be said. This is not something Torahforwomen.com ever thought we would need to address, yet we find ourselves in the position to take a stand on what may end up causing women serious sadness, grief, and anger. It is not our intent to hurt anyone, yet this subject, although it may be upsetting to some, needs to be addressed from a Biblical perspective, no emotion, just pure biblical Teachings.
Here it is: It IS NOT Torah (biblical teaching) to eat your baby’s placenta, ever. It is also NOT Torah to consume the placenta in pill form because, although it is not being cooked & served, or made into a "placenta smoothie", it is still the consumption of human tissue.
First let me say that it is uplifting to see women of deep faith so diligent about every little detail of what goes into their bodies or what they use in their home when it comes to pork and other unclean ingredients. In fact, women will not use gelatin capsules because of the concern for pork gelatin being hidden in the capsules ingredients. Mothers and wives will purge their cupboards of every food, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, or medication that may have contained pork or even seafood ingredients derived from unclean aquatic life. Out of concern for their own or their family’s eternal well-being, they will remove all the potential of sinning through ingesting something Yahweh has commanded as unclean. Yet, they will defend with angry outrage, their “right” to ingest their newborn child’s placenta.
To sum up the reasoning behind this practice: someone they know, either before or during their pregnancy, has convinced these women that they will not be able to control their hormonal fluctuations without consuming their baby’s placenta. I have studied all the defensive articles advocating this practice, as well as the history of the practice. I could go into more detail, but in all honesty, it does not matter what the reasons are, it all comes down to what YAHWEH says.
Leviticus 11:2-3 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat. . .”
Ask yourself one question based off Yahweh’s description: What makes meat clean food? Parted hooves (cloven) and chewing cud. Creatures that DO, we may eat, those that don’t? No. It’s that simple - Honestly. Yahweh has made a rule, a commandment, a clarification for us. Simply put, some living creatures ARE food and some are NOT. If a creature does not have a parted hoof (cloven foot), and/or does not chew the cud, we may not eat it. Period. So let me be the one to break the news to everyone, humans don’t meet the qualification as food. Humans are not edible according to the Levitical definition of “food”. End of discussion.
A placenta is human tissue - it is created when the fertilized egg splits inside the womb. One half of the egg becomes the infant growing inside the mother, while the other half becomes the organ which feeds the infant and acts as a filter for waste during the pregnancy. It is considered an human organ. When the child is born, the placenta is no longer needed, and the mother’s body expels it. Has it changed genetic properties simply by being expelled from the body? No. It is still human flesh or tissue and does not qualify as “food” for the mother or father, or anyone else, for that matter.
Someone will likely say, “But I am not eating it as ‘food’, I am taking it as a nutritional supplement.” Let me ask those people this: Would you take PORK ingredients as nutritional supplements? How about any of the other unclean beasts: Vulture? Eagle? Hawk? Shark? Shrimp? Tiger? Cat? Dog? Now, some of these might sound ridiculous, yet many (not all) of these are made into supplements of some kind or another and used in Chinese medicine which happens to be the biggest contributor to the original teaching on eating human placenta. If you would not take these supplements because they are unclean and unfit for you or your family, why would you take human tissue? On the other hand, I have discussed this issue with several women who WOULD take unclean items through supplements, for that I have to say, you should take this to the scriptures, weigh it against Yahweh’s truth, and seriously pray about whether it is right, and if you are living right according to HIS Torah (teaching).
Consuming human tissue, placenta, must be weighed against the teaching that Yahweh has given us for clean foods. There are some who have attempted to change the definition of “cannibalism” by redefining it as eating only the part of a human that is found between skin and bone.” Thus, by their definition, cannibalism only occurs when someone eats the meaty portion of a human that is found on legs and arms. This definition would leave any portion of the torso found beneath the skin and ribs free for human consumption - so they would justify eating human organs, and anything else you find inside. Crazy!! “Food for thought,” the OLDER definition used to be that cannibalism involved eating ANY human remains or parts, period!! No attempts were made to draw a line between what parts of a human are edible and which are not. One must kind of step back for a few moments and honestly ask, why would anyone even consider redefining the term??? For what purpose???? - Obviously to justify their practice.
Now that I have totally grossed most of you out by this description, let me clarify that the above "new" definition IS NOT our opinion of the proper definition of eating human flesh, also known as cannibalism. Cannibalism is eating any human flesh - period. We base our decision and definition solely on the description of food found in Leviticus 11. Plain and simple. Any variation from that definition given by Yahweh would be sin.
Some will say that it is acceptable to eat the placenta because cannibalism IS mentioned in the bible. However, what they do not teach is that when it IS brought up, it is always discussed in negative terms. Yes, Yahweh mentions women who are starving first eating placenta (afterbirth) and then consuming children in Deuteronomy 28:56-57 “The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.” I pray you will see that this is a CURSE, not a blessing, and certainly not, by any means, some form of permission or a commandment from Yahweh to eat human flesh! It is a curse as a result of their sins, a consequence of what is taking place in the world at that time. Because of their sins, they will end up eating their afterbirth, and then they will consume their children. Do you want to willingly participate in the fulfillment of this curse for sin?
One big detail here that also needs to be considered is this: Who is more powerful and whose instructions should you follow - that of a friend, blogger, midwife, naturopath, or doula? Or Yahweh? When we take the advice of another person over the teachings of Yahweh, and that advice is not in any way backed by the word of Yahweh, we have elevated them and their teachings above Yahweh and his Torah. This places us in a dangerous position spiritually.
It is complicated for the woman of faith who believes that consuming placenta has helped her overcome something as devastating as post-partum depression, and we have great compassion for those who have gone through such a trauma following childbirth. We run the risk of being called cold-hearted and unkind, or being accused of not understanding. That is a risk that we are willing to take in an effort to teach Yahweh’s truth, and it is a responsibility we must do, no matter the fall-out from women who profess to follow the scriptures.
There are options that an expectant mother can and should talk about with a qualified nutritionist, faithful midwife who follows Yahweh, or a believing naturopath, which should be someone willing to respect and honor the commandments of Yahweh above claims that there is some form of "medical" benefit. There are herbal supplements and remedies that may be taken safely following childbirth to stabilize and alleviate symptoms mothers may experience. There are also nutritional adjustments that may be able to be made through diet and even exercise. These should all be discussed with your professional caretaker, remembering that all supplements should meet the needs of both mother and newborn, as well as the commandments of Yahweh.
For additional scriptural discussion and information on this topic, please feel free to print and study the scriptural references, historical information and such contained in the PDF located below this blog article. We pray with all our hearts that you will find peace and comfort in Yahweh’s teachings, and that you will find a way to bring peace to your pregnancy as well as your weeks and months following birth, so that your experience and new motherhood will be a fulfilling blessed time for you and your new baby, as well as your spouse and family.
May you be blessed with much joy and Shalom.
One lesson we cannot seem to teach often enough is that Shabbat truly is easier than people want to believe it is.
One way to look at preparing for the Sabbath is treat it like it is the same as finding out on Monday that your best friend is going to come visit on Friday, but she can only stay for 24 hours. You know how the two of you are when you get together and want to catch up on everything that has gone on since your last visit. You hope to make a good impression plus you will probably talk for hours and hours, so you want everything to be JUST RIGHT when she arrives. From being organized to the house being cleaned and food prepared, you know it is going to take some time to get everything accomplished, but you have four whole days to get it done. Waiting until the last minute will clearly cause confusion and likely stress - something you are certain you want to avoid.
Your hope is that by preparing early you can alleviate the majority of tension that could arise for you or the family. You start by putting together a menu plan, get as much done Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as you can, shop early for ingredients you might need, clean on Thursday, cook early Friday, and then make sure that everything is wiped up and ready for when she arrives that evening.
You plan ahead by making sure you have something special baked for snacking on, some kind of drink that is her favorite - coffee, tea, lemonade, or something else delicious. You make sure the kids have PLENTY to keep them occupied while the two of you talk with as few interruptions as possible. It isn’t that you want to neglect the children, but you are praying for some quiet time to just catch up and have adult conversation.
You want to make sure the house is tidied up before she gets there, too. You clean the bathrooms, bedrooms, dust every nook and cranny, vacuum, mop, every imaginable thing you can get done, you get done well in advance.
You know that those 24 hours you are going to spend as much time talking together as possible, so you create meals that are easy to re-warm. The more prepared you are, the more time you can then spend enjoying each others company, eating together, maybe praying together, and just resting and relaxing. You are all excited and anticipating her arrival so that you can enjoy this special time together. When she arrives, you take her coat, tuck it away, make her comfortable, and viola! It is as simple as Shabbat!!
Sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? Yet Shabbat really can be all that and less. Sadly, in an effort to do our absolute best to try to please Yahweh, we can become over-vigilant and create more work than is necessary for resting on Shabbat. They make their yoke difficult and the burden very heavy. By over analyzing, over preparing, over doing, we can then over stress.
Yahweh’s commandments for Shabbat are not complicated:
1) No Work
(Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15)
We find when someone is new to honoring the Sabbath, those two things don't seem to be enough yet those are the only things that need to be the focus. We often believe there MUST be more to it than that, especially if we came out of a denomination that had “Sunday sabbath" where there were a lot of meetings, prayer groups, gatherings, meals, and such. Our subconscious is accustomed to busy-ness all day on what we thought was “Sabbath", and discovering that it is just those two simple tasks makes it seem almost impossible to believe.
Shabbat doesn’t need to be anything major, fancy, or extravagant. You just follow Yahweh’s instructions for no work and for rest. A great example of the simplicity is the story from scripture about the manna. When planning for prep day and for Shabbat, Yahweh instructed them to gather every day, and then for the Sabbath, "On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily." Exodus 16:5 The people were to gather manna on the sixth day, their prep day, and on the 7th day they were to just eat what they had prepared for that day and rest. That was it.
While many websites will counsel you to incorporate numerous traditions such as candle lighting, specific prayers, or large feasts each and every week, this can get overwhelming, time consuming and expensive. These teachers often will also counsel on Rabbinic (Pharisee-type) micro-details such as turning on light switches, not being allowed to tear toilet tissue on Sabbath so you must pre-tear it in sections before sundown, not tying or buckling shoes, not driving a car, and so many other “micro-tasks”. These things are all man-made traditions, and Yahweh did not intend for it to be such an overwhelming burden. Shabbat (Sabbath), is a blessed day that Yahweh set aside (sanctified - Gen. 2:3) for you and your family and for your physical and spiritual rejuvenation (Mark 2:27).
Our hope is that you see that truly your Shabbat can be as easy and as exciting as having your best friend come to visit. By preparing early throughout the week, when the day finally arrives, we can rest in His Shalom and enjoy the day in His presence.
Blessings and Shalom.
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Making Shabbat A Burden
Sound Bites - 3 minutes or less
Recently while listening to a teacher we enjoy, he stated that modern followers of Yahweh are too impatient. You see, because we are so used to instant gratification with TV, cell phones, internet, and other forms of technology, many people feel that what they need to learn or know should be given to them in 3 minutes or less. I am impatient, too, at times, but there is also that other side of me that enjoys taking more time to study things out. I learned how to do this and also how important this is many years ago as a young mom.
When the kids were younger, I got used to sitting and waiting while they went to sports practices, music lessons, and even doctor appointments. Before I had a cell phone with social media and all the games and APPS that come with it, I had to check things out from the library and do it the old fashioned way. There were even times I would bring an art project I was working on at the time, and listen to scriptures or talks on CD or cassette tape while I worked on it. This gave me the extra time I was seeking to put into studying and even into my relationship with Yahweh through prayer, which I very much appreciated. I knew at these appointments there was often a large amount of uninterrupted time scheduled in that I could use for building my own spirituality. So, although I can be impatient, I also very much appreciate putting time into studying and learning as much as possible about something, especially if I have to teach it to others.
There are things that I am inspired to share with Torah for Women, yet it takes days, weeks or even months to discover and assemble everything that can be found on the topic. I may want to sit and write a post right away but there are things that need to be confirmed through The Word so that when we are challenged we can provide resources and scriptural evidence to back up what we have taught. We just can’t get away with “Because it sounds right” or “but it feels right” when it comes to teaching others. The warnings are very clear in scripture what the responsibility is upon the heads of those who take on the role of teaching others. (James 3:1)
Often times we need more time to explain properly, doing all we can to avoid error, and 3 minutes or less will not work. There have been many times we have seen others jump up with memes they grabbed from someone else, or one little verse taken out of context that was used to develop an entire doctrine around. These unverified teachings can end up being spiritually dangerous if others are lead away from Yahweh’s truth, or His truth is distorted. Even worse is if these sound bites people teach bring someone to sin.
Having come out from another religious system, you may find that there are teachings you need to un-learn, doctrines you need to prove or disprove to yourself, new teachings that you need to discover that were never taught. The desire to learn everything instantly can sometimes be very strong, and this can encourage us to desire “sound bites" of information. Yet it is very important to take your time and study things out to prove them with Scripture. This will take more time than just a few minute sound bites.
Busy women may find fault with what I am saying, by stating that they only have a few minutes here or there to read and we understand this, very much. What we are saying is, don’t let that be the ONLY time you spend studying a topic. Expand, stretch, dig, study, all while using the scriptures, reliable resources, and even the good old fashioned library if you need to. You will likely find, as we introduce more and more teachings online for you to build your faith, that many of our teachings may be short messages, yet each one will be a jumping off point to encourage or guide you into a much longer study to strengthen your walk with Yahweh.
Having a strong foundation in the scriptures, and following Yahweh’s teachings will help write the word on our hearts and in our minds, which will help us when the temptation arises to avoid using our words idly. We will have access to great wisdom and knowledge that will be embedded in our memory for us to recall as needed.
The scriptures teach, Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This same exact counsel is mentioned at least 3 times in the Tanakh and one thing is certain, it must be important. I find it interesting that this is used to get a point across, as is done many times in scripture. One topic is covered repeatedly so that we can grasp the concept. You see, it is an interesting tidbit to find that it was common practice for ancient Hebrews to not raise their voice in making a point as we often do these days - in other words, no CAPS LOCK. Instead, they would keep repeating the teaching so that it was clear and its importance was made known.
The question is, what is meant by “fear of Yahweh?” The fear mentioned is not a frightful fear as one might be afraid of a bear in the wilderness, but a respect or reverence. Restating this verse would mean that respect of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. We can get a very basic level of respect and wisdom by grabbing those sound bites I mentioned above. Yet how much more wisdom and knowledge would we all grab and hold onto if we spent more time listening to and studying teachings that we need to have written on our hearts and in our minds? Maybe even hearing them over and over again until we glean all we can from that teaching.
Let me use an example that might help make it more clear. You buy a new cell phone. Besides the phone, you get a cord and a couple of other accessories with it, and then you find that great piece of paper that everyone looks for, that's almost always right on top called “The Quick Start Guide”. It is one page long, and with it you can immediately figure out how to charge and use your phone. BANG! YOU'RE Done. . . .Right? Then your 10 year old says, “Hey, mom, did you know that with your phone you can...?” What is your response? Mine might actually be, “What???” Or worse, “No, it doesn’t!” as someone much younger than me proceeds to show me that my phone not only does that one thing, but also will do a thousand other things that I never knew a phone was capable of doing.
Now, how could I have found this information out? One, I could utilize this new teacher that has agreed to show me every little tiny thing that my phone can do; or number two, I could just read the other book inside that has 200 tiny little pages called the "Owners Manual". Either way, it is definitely going to take me more than that 3 minute sound bite, aka: " The Quick Start Guide" to get the full potential out of my phone.
Personally, I would do both simply because I have had a couple of young people show me things to do with my electronics that in the end would have actually voided the warranty on my product! So, I needed to be careful to look up and verify what these young teachers are teaching me about my phone - a great example of how it is YOUR responsibility also to test every word that springs forth from teachers, or meme's, videos, "revelations,” and especially from sound bites.
It's your responsibility to take more than 3 minutes of your time to understand fully and search out the full truth before you adopt it and follow it in your life. Don't be lazy when it comes to things that may have eternal consequences.
I hope this will help you see more clearly that if you cannot learn all the ins-and-outs of your new cell phone in a few minutes or less, how can you expect to learn all the ins-and-outs of your faith, His love, His teachings in sound bites?
Will you take the time to study and reverence (fear) the lord so that you will be filled with the wisdom and knowledge that Yahweh has freely given you in His word? Read it, search it, study it, confirm it and adopt the truth.
Our prayer is that some how, some way, you will find the time and have that reverence for His word so that you will not be amongst those who only feed on 3 minutes or less of the word.
"It is written, people shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God". Matthew 4:4
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If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand. Mark 3:24-25
In these words of wisdom, Yeshua can easily demonstrate to us what we are capable of doing in a body of believers and in Yahweh’s house.
Torah for Women gets a lot of negative feedback from certain people because of some of the blog posts or comments that are written on TorahForWomen.com and the social media profile page. Sadly, every single one of those conflicts comes from someone who has left a Christian church in the past 5-8 years and has now vowed that all Christians are heathens that are lost in their “pagan, fake church,” as they label it.
Often times, these people who proclaim they follow Yeshua, will also imply that all Christians are beyond saving because of their unwillingness to see "the evil ways" of the denomination they continue follow.
Seriously. . .is that what you believe? Have you taken a moment to think to yourself, “Where did I just come out from and how long has it been since I crossed over to the Torah Movement?” I would also encourage you to ask, why did you decide to leave what you once thought was "the truth", and now here you are following a Torah observant life? Why? What made you decide?
Take a few minutes and seriously look at your reasons. I have seen countless people declare they have been called out to help repair the breech, build up the kingdom of Yahweh, but how can you go around claiming that is your calling when you continue to have such lack of compassion and kindness toward your fellow believers? And YES, they are believers. They believe in Abba (the father), in Messiah (Yeshua, as their Savior or as many call him, Jesus), and they believe in the Ruach HaChodesh (The Holy Spirit). Is there more for them to learn? Yes, of course, but there is also more for you to learn. I can testify to this because I have not yet learned all that Yahweh has to teach me, either.
You cannot Condemn Christians, Messianics, Jews, or any faithful follower of Yeshua by saying that there is no teaching them, no hope for them, that they will never be saved, and you are giving up on them. What of Paul? Look at his life - participating in the murder of a disciple, tormenting Yeshua’s followers, lost in his pharisaic traditions, yet HE was able to be saved. Yes, it took a vision on the road to Damascus. Yet, he was reachable, wasn’t he? Now ask yourself, have you become the OLD Paul, the persecutor, or the RENEWED Apostle Paul who taught the truth to the churches??? Which do you want to be?
Most will say that the reason they started to question their previous denomination was because something felt wrong, doctrines seemed skewed, and they may have recognized that some traditions seemed against the bible’s teachings, such as ignoring His feast days. How long were you there in that denomination, though? Were you raised in it? Was it an adult decision to join that church? Did you enter it through marriage, or maybe some other reason. Were you in your denomination for years, or were you a church jumper, jumping from church to church searching for truth. What I would like for you to recognize is that Yahweh was able to touch YOUR heart regardless of your circumstance, so why can’t he touch the hearts of those you left behind? If Yahweh afforded you understanding, grace and forgiveness, isn’t it likely that he could afford your former friends, former church members or relatives that same love?
Please do not mistake my conversation for condemnation - that is not what I am expressing. I am concerned that as we go through this journey there will continue to be some that will make the divide bigger by the unwillingness to change their stern thinking & closed minds. Too many may continue in their unwillingness to allow Yahweh to soften their own hearts, so that they can be used to lovingly reach out to those who are stuck in vague or false traditions.
The condemnation, and persecution needs to stop - it is like an earthquake that is shaking the foundation of a great and powerful building, and that shaking is making the fault line open and the DIVIDE grow bigger. At some point you run the risk of making that divide becoming so wide that people who want to cross over will be blocked by the gap you created.
A person who believes they were called to bridge the gap, in order to help people, the person who proclaims they are a Torah Observant follower, needs to examine their heart, their motive and how they approach and treat people.
Instead of going down that road of persecution, of hate, and condemnation, why not ask yourself, honestly, “How can I best touch the hearts of others and how can I reach them, or teach them?
If I continue to yell condemnation at them and accuse them of not knowing who the real Messiah is, will I touch their hearts or build up a wall of bitterness?
Then also ask Yahweh, “Please, Abba, guide me and direct me how to teach others so that you may soften their hearts and fill their minds with your great truths.” Pray this while remembering that you, too, were once in that “heathen” place you now so loudly condemn.
Blessings and Shalom. . . .
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Division in the Body of Christ
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.”
The other day on Facebook, we talked about the root of bitterness and the small fibers or side roots that can trigger new growth of the old root. Someone asked, what exactly is the bitterness spoken of in the scriptures and how do you pluck it out?
The word in both verses we used, Hebrews 12:15 and Ephesians 4:31, is the word “pikrias πικρίας" Strong's 4088, which means an "embittered spirit”. What does it mean to be embittered? It means to be “soured, envenomed; to make pungent (flavor)”. This would mean, putting it into perspective, your spirit would be filled with venom, sourness, acidity, and be pungent or putrid. These are not the only references, either, to bitterness inside us. In Deuteronomy 29:18, Moses refers to “lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood;” The gall mentioned is like venom, and is a bitter, poisonous herb, while the wormwood is a plant that can cause seizures and death by kidney failure. None of these examples sound in any way like being filled with the Holy Spirit, do they?
So to purge ourselves of the root of bitterness, we need to replace that venomous, sour, putrid spirit with HIS Spirit! How do we do that for ourselves? Let's Explore this:
After reading Part 1 of this teaching, you may have recognized by now that I enjoy my garden and all the natural creations of Yahweh’s. I find so many lessons in his creations. So returning to the garden example, you can choke out those little left behind roots by planting the RIGHT seeds! If you plant low-growing seeds, they will create a “carpet” that can blanket the ground which may prevent the root from getting the right amount of sunshine. You can plant another layer of plants that grow a bit taller than that ground cover, and these will grow deeper roots than the low growing plant. Then plant a third layer, that grows bigger and taller than the mid-range plant. NOW, you have plenty of good roots, taking up the nutrients from the soil and the new plants will need the water the weed-root used to thrive. You have ground cover that is shading the weed roots from the warmth of the sun. All of these will deprive the bad weed of what it needs to survive and grow.
What are these good seeds and plants we are planting that will deprive the weeds bitter root?
- READ READ READ! And Study, Study, Study!!! Get that word of Yahweh in you, so that you can call upon verses for strength when you need them. Luke 8:11 “. . .The seed is the word of God.” The Parable explains how some seed fell on the road, the rock, amongst thorns, and some on good ground. We want our hearts to be the GOOD ground. So we want that seed, that word in us. When it is in us, we can call upon his counsel and promises anytime we need it for strength and even for correction.
- Do good for those who persecute you - the toughest “good” is often those good works for the person “attached” to that bitter root. Galatians 6:9 says, though, “Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.”
I once volunteered to take a meal to someone who had hurt me and my children horribly with rumors, gossip, and back-biting. Their family was very ill with various stages of flu and bronchitis. No one was helping them, so I volunteered - and I made the kids go with me to deliver the food. It was one of the most difficult things for me to do, but it helped me realize that I CAN be kind to someone and still love them as well as forgive them, yet not let them back into my life for further hurt. We did not become friends, nothing I did stopped what was going on, but I changed inside, my children changed inside. Over time we lost touch and who knows what seeds we planted in them, but I DO KNOW the seeds that were planted in me.
A word of caution here: There are some people for whom you just cannot do some physical act for, and this Yahweh understands. Either the conflict between you two will put you or someone else in harms way, or could cause legal problems. Maybe it would harm your family or children. For those rare, extreme situations, the only thing you can do for them is the next thing on the list: PRAYER.
- Pray - for them and yourself. For them - there have been those times when the other person is unwilling to accept your efforts of kindness and it has become difficult or even volatile. Open your own heart in prayer to Yahweh. Ask forgiveness for anything that you may have contributed to the situation. Then pray for all good changes to take place in that person's heart. Pray for shalom, softening, even direction for yourself. Communicate with Yahweh, but whatever you do, don’t pour fertilizer on that bitter root by believing that you are justified for holding a grudge or wishing vengeance. That will not help the bitter root to be plucked, only to be fed and grow stronger.
- Allow the Spirit to change your heart. Give in to the rebuke, correction, and influence of the Ruach, so that your heart will be opened to what it needs. True forgiveness of another will allow this change to take place in your heart. John 16:8 “When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;” Allow this in you, and let it go.
- Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:29-30 warns us, “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” It is very plain to see that the root of bitterness and the speech which comes out of our mouth can “grieve” the holy spirit. Guard your tongue and protect yourself from gossiping or fueling the situation with negativity so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit. This grief mentioned is one that is deeply felt, a sorrow, distress, heaviness that can be brought to the Holy Spirit by our unwillingness to cleanse ourselves through the processes mentioned.
Galatians 6:8-10 "For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith."
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 “Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work."
Remember that you can only change what is in YOUR heart, BUT Yahweh can change what is in their heart. Don’t make yourself a doormat, but don’t hold onto the anger, vengeful feelings, don’t rehash over and over what they did to you - in your mind or in gossip. Be extra careful not to talk about them. This may be very difficult, but you need to purge those behaviours and feelings from you through Yahweh and the Holy Spirit so that your heart is soft and pure.
One more word of advice is to avoid conversations with people who are negative and want to bring up your past hurt, anger and bitterness. They stoke the fire within you and make you recall all the feelings you're trying to remove out of your heart. Tell the person that you're trying to get over what happened and get all the bad feelings out of you. Ask them to respect what your're trying to do. This may be a witness and example for them. If they refuse to respect what your're wishes, then you may have to cut back or cut off the time you spend with them.
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”
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The Bitter Root Part 2
Not long ago on Shabbat we listened to an amazing lesson taught on faith and the things that stand in the way of building our faith. During the teaching something truly struck me as being a major stumbling block for some, and I felt it important to share with Torah for Women.
Hebrews 12:15 looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;
“Any root of bitterness”. This reminded me of that horrible weed in your garden. You know the one - you think you got all the root, but all it takes is the tiniest little piece left behind, a little rain, some sunshine and POP! There it is - another brand new weed trying to take over the garden by choking out all the good plants. Just a little root and the right conditions and it becomes invasive, toxic, strangling. The sad thing, too, is that it seems to grow much hardier and much faster than anything else in the garden does. If we don’t pull it out quickly, when it is first noticeable, then it will have the time to grow too many side roots to get them all. Then more roots will sprout new weeds, creating a vicious cycle. Better to pluck it up quickly when it is small, before it has time to develop a bigger root system.
Now apply that to the feeling of bitterness:
Everyone at some point in life has a conflict with another person and sometimes we believe that we have fully forgiven them. Yet there can be a twinge of bitterness leftover, hidden deep inside, like those small roots. It lurks there until something happens to create the right conditions and then it creeps into our hearts. This often happens when we either have contact with that person again or when a similar situation to the one that hurt us pops up in our lives. It is that last little piece of leftover root just waiting for the right fertilizer and amount of rain to come along so that it can spring up and grow again. This is the root of bitterness.
If we aren’t careful to pluck it out immediately, too, just like the new weed in the garden, it will grow quickly and very hardy, making it difficult to move forward in forgiveness, in developing faith, or in other spiritual matters that we have been working on. It is important that we learn to recognize these roots quickly so that as warned in Hebrews, “many” are not defiled by our bitterness.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 WEB
Blessings and Shalom!
(This post was originally published on Torah For Women Facebook page, December 9, 2016)
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Bitter Root Part One
Yahweh has a way of bringing things to my attention that I need to either study deeply or that I need to help others see or pay attention to. I may hear something a thousand times and it be of no effect, then one day it will strike me in a way that gives me pause. This has been that kind of week where it has happened several times. I would hear a quick mention of something by a source, then suddenly that phrase would appear “everywhere” around me. It wasn’t just one topic, either, it happened with multiple topics, and in multiple areas, by multiples sources. By weeks end, I was shocked how many different “new things” Yahweh had drawn to my attention. I made a list, and decided over time I might like to address each one, starting what Yahweh felt was most urgent.
Two things kept coming to mind from the list whenever I looked at it, but I wanted to make certain that they weren’t my personal feelings getting in my way. I set the list aside for a couple of days, and then felt I could pray over them on Shabbat. Shabbat morning, I felt prompted to start with one of the two, and decided to just let the words flow. So, here we are, discussing whether or not a “young ministry” is qualified to teach the Torah and if they are capable of speaking “truth” to the Body of the Assembly.
Are young ministries qualified?
I have a feeling there are some reading this right now who are trying to figure out what exactly I am talking about - “young” ministry? Let me take a moment to share with you what I have heard. There are ministries, groups, and people teaching that if a ministry is “young”, they are not “qualified” to preach, teach, or minister in the kingdom until or unless they have “enough experience”.
There are several things which don’t make sense about this thought pattern. First and foremost, what is meant by a “young” ministry? There are a lot of qualifiers that could make a ministry appear “young”, so just how should we judge a ministry’s “age"? Is it decided by the ministry’s “ability” to preach and teach about the Word? How do we judge their “ability”? Is there a standard set forth? Maybe a check list of abilities or qualifications that we can all run through so that we can ensure a ministry is aged properly? Kind of like a good cheese. . . Is aging based on time in ministry? Or, is it time in only the Hebrew roots ministry? Or time spent studying the Bible? Maybe time studying the Near East, just Israel, or the Hebrew language? Degree in Divinity? Theology? Philosophy? What level degree - bachelors, masters, doctorate? From which college or Yeshiva? Maybe some colleges qualify but others don’t, but who decides which ones do? Or is the age of a ministry determined by whether they have been in it longer than this minister or that ministry? And what team of experts make all these decisions for the Body of Yesua? When someone coined the phrase “Age is relative”, it seems that this might be a perfect example of what they were talking about.
It would be extremely difficult for someone to determine the age of ANY ministry based on all these variables and these are just a FEW of the ones I had written down when preparing for this article. Where did I get these ingredients? From comments, articles, and remarks made by ministries and individuals who feel that THEY self-qualify for having “enough experience”. The list could be amazingly much longer, probably totaling more than 100 questions on the check list if I set my mind to it.
Torah For Women could easily be judged as one of these “young ministries”, if you just judge by the date our social media sites were created, or if going by when our most recent copyright date was added to our websites. Does that mean that is the time period when Yahweh inspired us to begin a women’s ministry focused on teachings for women? Wouldn’t you need additional information to make that judgment before discounting a ministry for their experience or to decide whether they are established enough to teach, preach or minister? Invariably this is where someone may ask, well, how “old” are you? That is not the issue of this article, not in the least. The issue of this article is, essentially, how do we ("we" meaning any of us in the body) judge a ministry’s ability based on what we perceive as their “age” in comparison to some mark we, as an individual, have established as the measuring stick? We can’t.
Let’s take a look at a couple of ministries that might be considered “young”:
Are you aware of what is happening in the Southern United States right now? Revival, POWERFUL revival. In WV alone, over a period of several months, thousands of people have come to know Yeshua in just a few counties. Do you know who started this movement? Yahweh did it through YOUNG PEOPLE, teenagers and young adults - the spirit worked on their hearts and they preached in the schools and at outdoor revival meetings, had baptisms, and brought many to know Yeshua. You can’t get much younger in ministry than someone who is 16/17 years old preaching the Word to his or her friends for the very first time. These young preachers are telling it like it is - the scriptures as they are written, without compromise, with the spirit and power of Yahweh. And their friends are listening! States like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina are moving in the Spirit and people are returning to faith.
Who would like to be the first to tell these “children” they are “too young” to follow the inspiration placed in their hearts or too young to act on behalf of Yahweh? Would you like to be the one to tell them they are “too young” to preach, teach, and bring people to Yeshua? Are you going to be the one to step up and put a halt to the move of Yahweh, because these young people don’t measure up according to the standards of your measuring stick? If you have the arrogance to say yes, then you need to take a serious look at the condition of your heart.
Two of the youngest ministries I can think of come right from the Bible. Think for a moment about the apostles. They were very “young” in ministry, about as young as, or younger than any of the ministries I have witnessed this week being criticized for their “age”. These men (apostles), in their “young” ministries built the church with the limited teaching, training, and experience they had gotten from and with Yeshua.
Would anyone in the body seriously walk up to the apostles and say, “You are too young for me to take seriously. Let me wait until you have been around awhile, then perhaps I will listen to your teachings."
Yet people with doctoral degrees in theology, groups with “years of experience” will look down on ministries with the same months of training or more as the disciples, and call them too “young” to teach the Word correctly, or to teach with the Spirit.
Seriously, we need to look to the word for what is too young. The scriptures tell us:
Luke 10:21 “In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children.” These children could be taken literally as meaning small children, or “children in the gospel” as the apostles were. Either way, they would be “young” in ministry, yet Yeshua praises Yahweh for delivering His messages to these young ones. Do you know why? because these “little children” had ears ready to hear, hearts ready to receive and most of all were teachable. Yet, the arrogant who believe their experience and wisdom is far superior will always remain un-teachable.
When the prophet Jeremiah was called to ministry he at first resisted the call because he said: “Ah, Lord Yahweh! Behold, I don’t know how to speak for I am a child. But Yahweh said to me, ‘Don’t say I am a child; for to whoever I shall send you, you shall go, and whatever I shall command you, you shall speak.” (Jeremiah 1:6-7)
Acts 2:17 (also Joel 2:28) describes “young men” who will see visions in the end times.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, (italics added for emphasis) and your old men shall dream dreams:” Again young ministers will be called forth to serve Yahweh.
What about the story of a 12 year old child being found in the temple with the elders talking, questioning, and answering questions?
Luke 2: 45-49 “When they didn't find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you." He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?" This same child went on to teach and preach to thousands just a short time after he had been baptized. Seems like one of the youngest ministries we can pull right from the Word.
Everyone knows of whom I am speaking, because this young 12 year old was Yeshua. But, if we all went back to ancient Israel would we discount the “young” ministry of Yeshua which he started right after his baptism? Would you say “Your ministry is too young to be taken seriously”? If so, then you would have missed out on the greatest move of Yahweh in the scriptures and would have missed the opportunity to be a personal disciple of the Messiah himself, while he walked on the earth.
These are just a couple of examples of “young ministries” in the scriptures, but the people accepted them. Its not the age of the ministry or the age of the person ministering that is the qualifier, because “young” is not an obstacle with Yahweh nor is it a hindrance in his work. All that matters is if Yahweh is working through that person and ministry, and that they are teaching the truth.
Paul even instructed Timothy to do the following: “Let no one despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:12-13)
I believe judging a ministry, or minister because it or he/she is not “old enough” rather than on whether or not they are teaching truth is a precarious position.
Now I am not saying that everyone can just jump out and proclaim themselves to be a teacher, because I do believe people need a good foundation of instruction and the call of Yahweh on their life, but if a person has a solid foundation of instruction and mentoring under their belt and a legitimate call to teach, then no one should despise their youth or the newness of their ministry.
What we need to judge is the soundness of their teaching (Titus 2:7-8) and the fruit of their works (Matthew 7:15-27).
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1
Youth and newness of a ministry is not a factor in the legitimacy of a ministry. Therefore, to all the youth who are inspired to share the gospel with their friends, we encourage you to first study the Gospel message, then share the message with zeal and wisdom and let no one despise your youth. For those of you who come across a new Torah based ministry, please don’t despise their newness, but judge them by their message and the spiritual fruit in their lives.
Blessings and Shalom!
Guilty as charged. I have done it. Said something or posted something that I believed was correct only to find out later that it was either distorted or completely wrong. I have learned. There is much more to learning The Word than just reading a few articles here or there or studying the newest translation of the Bible and running with the words written there. One good example of this is a new version of the Bible that includes questionable additions to The Word that border on or are heresy. Is this what we want for ourselves or our families - to be teaching from false teachings or urban legends? Or do we want to be sharing the truth?
I remember a few years ago watching this woman speak about her journey into being more Torah observant and following Yahweh's Feast Days. I laughed out loud when she said, “At some point you will find that you see EVERYTHING as being pagan,” and she went on to explain that you will find yourself saying to people “I can’t do that - IT’S PAGAN!!” I laughed at how she calmly said the first part, but then distorted her face and almost yelled, “IT’S PAGAN!” Then one day it happened - I heard myself saying it to someone I have known for years. I almost choked on my own words as they just rolled off my tongue. I knew at that moment that I needed to take a step back and truly look at my new beliefs.
Most of us have come from some other organized religion and have had to undo, forget, or clear our minds of dogmas, doctrines, or baggage so that our thoughts are not tainted by what we have been indoctrinated with for years or even decades. These false teachings must be put aside to make room for truth and old teachings from ancient writings that we may have never fully understood before. It’s a careful balance between saving what we learned that was truth and what we need to relearn or unlearn is truth. Yet often times we jump on board a social media bandwagon that includes the newest and latest creative meme without even questioning the truthfulness behind the creation.
It seems in our desire to be “right” and Torah observant, we get over zealous sometimes, especially with certain topics, and forget that we are carrying His message to His people, so we better get that message right.
For some time now I have been writing in Prayer Book #2 and keeping track of the things Yahweh would have me write down. It contains records of dreams I have had, inspirations, impressions, blessings and guidance. Everywhere He is a part of my day I try to record so that I can look back and see the role Yahweh plays in my personal life and in ministry.
It has been a great blessing to also listen to the Spirit pressing me for the last month to go through my Book #1 and take a tally of all that has transpired. What an awesome spiritual experience I have had this past year and a half and most of the times I did not even realize what was going on.
Dreams - there were dreams and visions I wrote down that were explanations of things that were about to happen in life, whether personal or ministry. At the time, I did not quite understand the scenes that played out but recorded the dreams anyway. Then, as time went on, I was able to connect and record those events that ended up being the scenes that played out in dreams - often times it was a forewarning of someone who was going to do something negative, yet each dream contained a positive to counter act that person’s attempts.
I recall one vision in particular that had my husband and I running through a thick jungle, fighting back vines, trees, bushes, shrubbery, everything was in our way. We didn’t have any tools to cut through it, and we were fighting every bit of the way. Suddenly Yeshua appeared in front of us, and it was as if he had a huge machete, yet there was nothing in his hands. As he went before us, everything fell in his path. Every vine, every branch, every bush or plant moved out of his way and left a clear and open path for us. Nothing was in our way, nothing was stopping us, or trying to prevent us from going forward on the path He was laying out before us. And Yeshua was clearing that path. As I look back now over the past year or so, I see how, so many times, the pathway has been wiped clear ahead of us in ways we never could have done on our own. People moved, hearts changed, miracles happening, all through our prayer, and dedication to the path He said to stay on.
There are prophetic moments I recorded which my husband stated or I was impressed to record - which completely came true in our own lives.
My favorite part, though, is where He has told me over and over again my importance as a daughter of Yahweh. His encouragement, compliments (not in an egotistical way, but in an uplifting way), and how HE sees me. Things I know I could not have come up with on my own. He has given me information to lead me in teaching, to strengthen me in trials, direction in ministry. I find times when I was aching and He lifted me higher than I could have imagined. The best part is that each thing in the book lines up with The Word, there are no conflicts with his word. I test every impression, every dream or every prophecy against the written words of Yahweh.
Just so you know, there are rebukes and corrections, too. When I didn’t handle something right, or needed to refine something in myself. I recorded those things, too, even though I didn’t want to. There were times along the way when I balked at the idea of continuing in writing everything down, but as I look back at the record He has had me keep I have come to appreciate how far I have come, how far I still may need to go, and how much Yahweh has carried me through.
Thank you, Yahweh, for everything.
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (also Deut 5:7)
Each of us has come a long way on our journey through man-made doctrines until we reach the pure Word of Yahweh. Along the way, we could claim various denominations as our spiritual “home”, albeit a temporary one. One common thread I see is that not long ago, 3-10 years ago, a movement was afoot. Many of the women I speak with regularly left the “comfort of their customs and religion” to forge a new road for themselves, their families, and friends. Along the way, as far as people go, they have lost some and gained some. I am no different in my search for Truth - family and friends have come and gone.
At one point in my life, I was Catholic. Having gone through their classes and ceremonies, I became a full member in “good standing” at the parish closest to my home. I loved the people. They gave me the community, acceptance, and love I had been searching for. There were gatherings, and festivals, prayer meetings, and even the need for a women’s auxiliary. With writings going all the way back to the times of the apostles, church history provided me with the historical background I was seeking in a church.
I learned the prayers to recite and even memorized the Rosary. I had several sets of beads to use and prayed it often in the beginning because I was under a lot of stress at the time. I found that, when I prayed, it brought me comfort and calm that I felt I wasn’t finding any other way. Although for decades I had been praying directly to the Father, I felt some kind of comfort believing that the rosary prayers were “interceding” for me. Almost as though praying for “intercession” gave you that extra power boost you needed to get the desired answer to prayers.
As time went on, I discovered the more I prayed, the more “it” brought me peace, comfort, direction, answers to prayers, even healing. Everything I asked of God he delivered and, oddly, I still continued to believe it was because of my rosary prayers.
Until one day I noticed I would get a few words into the rosary “prayer," suddenly stop saying the repetitive words, then pray directly to The Father. This was just as I had done for so many decades before. I realized how all those blessings and every prayer answered was not from the intercession of some string of beads or a methodical prayer to someone else. I had been giving power to an idol (the Rosary) in the beginning. Over time, though, my spirit recognized that I needed to break free from that idolatry and pray, speak, praise, and ask Yahweh directly. Without my knowing it, I had escaped man-made religion and slipped right into what was right and true - A relationship with Yahweh. I was praying to Abba, and he was blessing me.
Knowing this story about my past, it seems strange that I now get condemned by people who are doing the same thing I once did, using different objects of idolatry. Over the last several years, I have seen both men and women give a similar power to “things” they own, just as I had done with the rosary beads. Like them, I initially believed it was my praying through that string of beads that gave me healing, strength to fight, ability to overcome, personal comfort, just as they believe it is in their particular “item” that they have power. I have witnessed people make the same kinds of claims about healing, comfort, and power that I once made about the rosary prayer. However, their idol is not a set of beads, but instead, their idol is a head-covering, a tallit, a kippah, or even a pile of balanced rocks.
No matter what your item (idol) is, you need to learn that the power is not in that physical thing. In fact, the power given to an item only lies in the mind of the one worshipping the item. The key that we have to learn is that the power of Yahweh lies with Yahweh, and not in some object we turn into some idol.
Now, before you deny you worship idols, ask yourself if you could live days, weeks, or months without that object. If you find an attachment to that object and believe your life will not be the same without your head-covering, kippah, tallit, or another item, you are attributing power to that item. You are caught up in a form of idolatry.
Sometimes it doesn’t appear we take this issue personally enough. We ignore the obvious and we may even think we can’t “have” some of the promises from Yahweh unless we earn them. For whatever reason, inside our heads, we believe we are supposed to suffer, be anxious, wear an object or perform some man-made ritual, to get answers. Yet Yahweh has told us many times that those things are not of him. In the scriptures, we witness Yeshua’s miracles and the power of Yahweh at work throughout every event. We marvel at His amazing acts portrayed right before our eyes. We know that Yeshua promised we would do greater works than what he did. Yet people seem to be unable to fully believe in these things and they are unable to put their full stock in the promises from Yahweh. People find it easier to believe that a Tallit, a kippah or a head covering will bring more comfort and blessing than Yahweh will, while at the same time claiming Yahweh used that fabric or that item to bring them blessings. It’s like people need an earthly object they can touch and see in order to fool themselves into believing they are connecting with Yahweh.
In our book, “The Headcovering Dilemma - SOLVED!” we address this topic of idol worship with some questions you can ask yourself to help clarify and understand if you have placed an item before, in front of, or even in the way of Yahweh, therefore making it an idol in your life. These questions can be used by both men and women to help in understanding their relationship with Abba.
There are scriptures listed to guide and direct you as well. I recommend each person pray so that your relationship with Yahweh will be what it is meant to be, and then read the book. Take the time to do a self-checkup on idol worship. Before writing this message, I took the "check-up." It helped point out a few things to me that I don’t worship, but that I was at risk of elevating to a position they don’t deserve. It was a good personal examination, and I pray you will give that time to yourself as well. Don’t get caught up in idol worship and especially don’t do that idol worship in His name.
May you be blessed.
Isaiah 42:8 KJV “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
Judges 10:14WEB “Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen. Let them save you in the time of your distress!”
Do I honestly know that this is lesson number 757,243? No, of course not, but some days I honestly feel that Yahweh has truly had to work hard at showing me certain things - and patience in trial is one that I struggle with sometimes - or rather impatience in trials!
I have noticed that when things are going great it is easy to point out to myself and to others that Yahweh is good, He is with us, he is guiding everything. When things are a struggle, or someone comes along and tries to throw an obstacle up, that is when He has told me I am whining!!! He has also warned me of my demanding nature in trials, and my why, why, why. . . .
I don’t find myself asking “Why don’t you do this for me?” Or “Why did you do that to me??” I don’t find myself blaming Him at all, but what I DO find myself doing if a challenge is going a little bit longer than what I think it should be going, I can find myself asking “Yahweh, I know you have got this but why aren’t I seeing the end result already? Seems to me this struggle has been long enough. It sure looks like everything is in place for it to work right, so where is my end result??? HMMM????”
But if I would just stop - for five minutes or maybe ten, just long enough to listen to Him I might actually HEAR Him. When I do that, when I pay attention to the Spirit telling me to “Be still! And know that He is the great I Am!” If I relax, I find the truth - there are often instructions that He has been giving me that I didn’t do, or people I needed to talk to that I had forgotten to talk to. Each of these little details may be something that needs to be in place before the end result produces what He wants it to produce. That end result is always much more than I anticipated or expected. It gives me the opportunity to realize and learn that I need to remember to do my part, too, all of my part as He instructed.
It is a wonderful feeling when you help Him put all the pieces in place by doing your part, by being obedient, and then, after the end result, you can look back and say, ‘WOW!” His hand was literally in every single detail, including me. I have seen this happen so many times in our lives and in the ministry. Yahweh will reveal to us a choice that we need to make, but to accomplish that choice, it is going to take a lot of little pieces to be put in place. I have watched Yahweh change a hardened heart in another person and turn a situation completely around for our benefit. I have witnessed a difficult person pulled from our lives because they were standing in the way of what Yahweh wanted to happen for us, and a new person filled with his love and Spirit placed right at our door.
When we sit back, and listen, when we are quiet, there is so much more that can be done and accomplished, so many more lives touched, so much in our own hearts changed for the better when we cooperate with leading and yield to the work of the Master.
The other day in prayer, while pleading with Yahweh for the concerns of the sisters in Torah, an inspiration for an article came to me to share with you:
Close your eyes for a moment and picture a HUGE sports stadium packed to the brim with people. There is not an empty seat anywhere to be found. You are walking in with all those people seated and waiting for you to walk up to a podium in the middle of the stadium where there is a remote control and a microphone. You pick up the remote and start showing the entire audience pictures of your children, extended family, every vacation you have ever gone on right on the Jumbo screen. While you flip through the photographs, you make sure that you tell them every little detail about your event and life in general:
- where you live, the colour of your house, and your pets
- your children’s names, ages, where they live if not at home, where they go to school, who their friends are
- include where you go shopping and when
- Where you work, what days and times, and where you go to lunch during work
- Show them your spouses name, where he or she works, and everything you love or hate about them
- Oh, and please remember to tell them when you are leaving for your next vacation and how long you will be gone.
You might be saying to yourself, “That is ridiculous. I would never give all that information to perfect strangers!” Yet many do it every single day - but you don’t call them strangers, you call them “friends”. Perusing social media and looking at other’s accounts, sometimes you can see people who have thousands of “friends” who have access to their very personal data. This is not just public figures who have this high number, but many average people have large numbers as well. Yet, do you really know who you are sharing your personal information with?
Let me go back to the original example - An average sports stadium holds 70,000 people. In 2001, there were over 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States of America, and over 1/4 of them were reported “missing”. Today, according to statistics the US could have more than 750,000 registered sex offenders. Add to that the annual rate of approx. 300,000 rapes that have no convictions, the number of predators in that stadium just doubled. Doing the math using the percentages from 2001, there would be approx 210 registered sex offenders in that stadium, along with approx. 90 non-convicted rapists. If you consider robberies and forced entry burglaries, out of the 70,000 people in that stadium, 650 of them will be robbed at some point in time. This could be translated to the reverse by saying that 650 people in that stadium are likely to be burglars of some type. This may seem like few people when compared to the 70,000 at the event, but so far that would mean that there is, at minimum, around 1000 potential violent criminals in that stadium and you just gave your information to all of them.
This is not said to instill fear in people’s minds, but to bring awareness to you of who you could be giving your personal information to. Often times we are no more familiar with the people we “meet” online than that group of people in the stadium, yet we are so free with very personal information that could be used to get even more personal information about us. We try to be friendly and nice, and often we do it in the hopes of teaching someone about Yahweh.
You may be asking right now what this has to do with Torah. Not long ago Torah For Women accepted a friend request from a fellow who proclaims to be a follower of Yahweh and Torah observant. Within a short time, this wolf in sheep’s clothing revealed his true self by implying something that was very anti-Torah, through a post about husbands and wives. We not only recognized his false teachings, and blatant self-promotion of what he called a ministry, but we also took the time to do some checking on this individual and discovered many more anti-Torah teachings that he shares with men and women in the Torah movement. We even discovered he had perused our writings, personal information, and public posts to discover our "mind-set", then made an attempt to use it "against us".
This individual was found to not only share anti-Torah teachings of others, but he also writes many of his own false teachings and is even willing to “personally advise” others on their relationships by giving his false interpretation of Torah as well. Sadly, the teachings this person advocates are not something we haven’t seen before and even more alarming we continue to see spread among Torah keepers and Christians. This teaching is anti-Torah, because it involves approving, promoting, and even encouraging the physical abuse of women. It is done to teach wives complete submission to their husband, and as these false teachers state it is often “necessary” to beat a woman so that the wife will properly understand her place in the marriage and home. This type of thinking is not only anti-Torah, but very dangerous and criminal.
This teaching spreading online goes on to claim that a man has the right to deny even basic comforts because they are privileges, and not rights. Things such as food, water, drink, personal care items, showers, even toilet tissue, could be “privileges” that a man can remove until the wife submits to the man of the house - whatever his submission requirements are at that time. Sadly, many men and women are following this teaching and are standing by these so called Torah teachers and adopting these methods of “disciplining wives”.
Yes, you read that right, there is a move among Torah followers that is teaching men to beat a woman into submission and deny them basic comforts as well, and both husbands and wives are following it and falling for it. Some men, we discovered, will even go so far as to make the wife’s life miserable by selling her car and buying her one that is less than what she had. This is done to show her that she must comply with his directions in keeping the home and raising the children. Not selling it for financial reasons as if it is a burden on them, but for punishment for not “taking care of the house properly”. It was also recommended on one fellow’s counseling site to “punish” or “discipline” the wife as you would a child by changing the password on the internet, cancel the television service, turn off her cell phone, and embarrassing her publicly until she “submits”. If these methods don’t work, then it is recommended to perform “harsher punishments as discipline”, such as beatings. These people (men and women) think this form of relationship and submission is biblical, but we outright call it unbiblical. These people claim the bible teaches men to be harsh masters of their home, but we 100% dispute this and call their teachings sinful.
Here is our biblical proof to refute these false teachers that promote spousal abuse.
Colossians 3:19 says “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them”. Is this method of forced compliance taught by these false teachers fulfilling this counsel to love your wives? NO!
Psalm 11:5 “Yahweh examines the righteous, but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates.” This teaching by these men that promote domestic violence is something Yahweh hates. Pretty clear to me.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;. . .” Husbands - is beating your wife the way Yeshua loves his church, the assembly? No, he sacrificed himself for his church/assembly.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” These men need a lesson on true love.
1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands, in the same way, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered” Please, answer for yourself, ladies, do you want a husband to give you honor or to give you a relationship where you are forced into doing everything a man demands and if you refuse to obey get beaten? I hope you would always want better for yourself.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for God's temple is holy, which you are.” God’s temple is holy, you are the temple of His spirit, should that temple be beaten, abused, misused, tortured, and demeaned? Any Torah keeping man should recognize this.
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone doesn't provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” These men who think they have the right to hold back food, water, clothing or other things from their wives are not only in need of help themselves, but the scriptures call them WORSE than an UNBELIEVER.
Each home is different, each has its own dynamics, direction or flow. It is not our job here at Torah for Women or our responsibility to tell one couple or another how to run their home. It is our calling, though, to teach what the Torah teaches and this matter has been pointed out several times in recent weeks to us. We have even witnessed ourselves how this violent teaching is being shared amongst brothers and sisters, and it needs to END!! This is a great concern for us. Violence of any kind toward a wife is not biblical.
We don’t care what any wolf in sheep’s clothing is teaching online or in home groups. These false teachers might claim this criminal activity is approved by scriptures, but that’s a lie. These false teachers will encourage men and women to adopt their teachings and will even proclaim themselves Torah-keepers and “experts,” but we know enough about the scriptures to tell you their teachings are unbiblical, sinful and ungodly. Sisters, know that their are weirdo’s online pretending to be Torah keepers and biblical teachers. Don’t be so trusting of everyone you meet online!!!
Many of you sisters are single and are praying Yahweh bless you with a Torah observant spouse. Others are married sisters looking for places to fellowship with your husband and family. In either case, I want you to place yourself back at the stadium scene. In this stadium you’re allowing everyone and anyone to come along and know your deepest, most intimate details and learn enough about you to weedle their way in to your life. You’re allowing them to look into your relationships, your problems and the feelings your experiencing. These people might offer you comfort, console you, offer advice and attempt to win your trust. For the safety of your children, yourself, your family, please search your friends list, read what people post. Be skeptical before accepting random “friends”. I would also like to recommend as soon as possible, read through the timelines of these so called “friends” you barely know and read what they have been up to. You may find you need to make some changes and delete some people from what you thought was your sanctuary....(your personal Facebook page). If you love having all these friends then stop posting your personal business on your page. Talk scriptures, talk about world events, talk about generic topics and keep your personal business among your real friends and family by sending private messages.
Check them out, don’t be afraid to do it either. It is YOUR home they are coming into, through your computer, your phone, your tablet. Don’t forget people can download your photos, your kids photos and use them. People can scope out your possessions, and know enough about you to approach your kids and claim they are family and you sent them to pick them up.
You are the one who lets them in, or doesn’t. Be blessed, but also: BE WISE. and Be courageous.
2 Timothy 3:6-7 For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For some reason this feels like it should be simple to write and yet it has been one of the most challenging articles to get from my heart and head to my fingertips. I thought, “I can whip this out in a day!" Yet Yahweh has had different plans for the direction He wants these thoughts to go. As these two whole weeks that I have been struggling with this topic have gone by, I have found out that this problem runs deeper than I initially thought.
Now there are some who are going to say this is silly to bring up, but it is the deeper part that makes this entire topic far from silly and very valid. The scripture above, found in 2 Timothy 3, depending on the various translations, calls us women “vulnerable”, “gullible”, “silly”, “weak”, “captive”, “idle”, “foolish”, and . . . how about we stop there? It’s not very flattering. This is talking about days to come in the future from the time of the apostles. Times that we live in now. This is a time when women typify those words and give in to the people that creep into their homes through the internet, and women are being led away by various “lusts”, passions, desires, and impulses.
Now the key to this whole verse, though, is that the women who are lead astray and deceived appear to already be loaded down with sin. Yet it does not describe with what sin or sins they are weighed down. Often times women do not feel that this latter day warning applies to them because they are not “weighted down” with sin. Sure, each of us are battling with a sinful nature, but women believe they are not “weighted down” by any sin. It seems that the vision of being weighted down includes BIG sin - like total immorality, murder (abortion), lying, cheating, and stealing. Even these last three bring to mind images of BIG lies - like what politicians do daily, BIG cheating - like a major company deceiving the public with a skewed medical study, BIG stealing - like robbing a bank, but Yahweh does not distinguish between BIG and little. Sin is sin and in the end we will have to answer for all our choices. So, take a good look at your heart and mind, then ask yourself, “Am I weighed down with sin?”
Take a spiritual inventory of the things you might struggle with or be hanging on to. Past bitterness from a failed relationship, gossiping, unbelief, hypocrisy, head-strong, high-minded, speaking evil of something without proper evidence. These are just a few of the things we have talked with others about, and when confronted people quickly deny they do it or that their words and actions are sinful. Yet, this is their opinion and not God's.
We are not here to judge whether you are weighted down or not, we are here to only inform you that there is a pattern developing in the women in the Body of Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus) that is concerning, and can lead to dangerous spiritual travels down strange and winding roads. What you want to be seeking, though, is the straight and narrow pathway.
In this modern age, there really aren’t people physically “creeping” into our homes - we have locks on our doors, security systems, lights on out front and out back. We take pretty good precautions to keep our homes safe against physical intrusions. Yet without us realizing what is going on, people are creeping in - right in front of our faces. Through our computers, tablets, cell phones, televisions, and social media of every kind. Not just the daily entourage of unsavory stars and reality TV people, but even those who claim to be men and women of Yahweh are sneaking in. They enter with teachings that sound good and reliable, yet if we took the time to truly study things out and test them against The Word, we would find that there are a lot of flaws in what these people are "teaching".
Now, here is why this is important - and yes, I laughed when I first read the situation below, yet Yahweh has impressed upon me that what is happening is a fulfillment of 2 Tim 3:6. Women are making themselves look vulnerable, gullible, silly, weak, captive, idle and foolish by allowing people to creep into their lives and homes, leading them astray with all types of fables and strange doctrines.
Here is one example:
DiHydrogen Monoxide. Have you ever heard of this dangerous chemical before? I can promise you, beyond a doubt, that you have definitely heard about it. This chemical can irritate skin, increases corrosion of certain metals, is used as an industrial solvent, used in nuclear plants, it can cause explosive reactions when mixed with certain mineral compounds, contributes to erosion, is a major component in acid rain, and when inhaled, can even cause death. You use it daily, have it in your home, use it in your gardens, eat it in foods, and do so many other things with this “dangerous chemical composition”. Right about now you may be seriously getting nervous about having such a horrible product in your home. You might be asking yourself “Is this endangering my family?” Well, don’t worry because Dihydrogen Monoxide is only WATER. YES, I said it is plain old WATER.
Think about it for a moment “di” means 2, Hydrogen is H, MON is 1, Oxide is Oxygen. TWO hydrogen and ONE oxygen make up what? WATER, also known as H2O. BUT, when you put a chemical name to it it sounds very scary, doesn’t it? It sounds toxic, maybe even deadly? But it is not any of those things, it is simply water. YOU are made up of water, or at least a good part of you is. God made you and God made water.
More and more, there are memes floating around claiming that farmers are spraying it on our crops in an attempt to force us, unknowingly, to consume this hazardous chemical. It is used in our prepared foods, added to our drinks that we buy, etc., etc., etc. Someone has even been creative enough to dedicate an entire website to this “chemical compound” and has created a governmental HazMat sheet called an MSDS for this dangerous product. I have watched people fly off the handle and make statements such as “The maker of this needs to be stopped!!! Just like (that major chemical company)!!!” Which has me laughingly calling out, “But it’s just water people!!!”. You may even be surprised to learn that this rumor was "invented" by a 14 year old in 1997 to find out how gullible the public is.
With creative marketing, some pretty pictures, and just the right wording, someone has made a complete campaign out of it now to deceive people into spreading rumors and false teachings. He or she are probably laughing at all the gullible people believing this joke and passing it around from post to post. Why is this important at all? After all, water has nothing to do with our salvation, and it does sound silly that many are falling for this spoof. BUT if you are gullible enough to fall for something such as this, what other delusion will you allow to lead you astray into false doctrines, teachings, or impulses?
Take for example the strange teachings that are running rampant through the Torah followers. There are so many of them cropping up right and left that it is often difficult to keep track and keep up. Lately everything is pagan. Everything from saying the words “blessing” or “amen” to watching the Olympics to the bible being called an idol. Yes! You heard it correct. There are people who believe and teach all this, or they are just passing around another joke to see who falls for it. All these things are randomly being declared forbidden because of their so called attachment to “paganism,” which are claims that cannot even be proven.
Recently I witnessed someone being scolded that they improperly capitalized a letter in a word, therefore giving it “more glory than was appropriate”. And let’s not even discuss the “name game” today. These are just a few, but there are an over-whelming number now, and it seems to grow exponentially every day. It is becoming such a phenomena that people are making memes now to show the silliness of it all. Now, normally these would not be any issue at all because much of this silliness has nothing to do with your salvation, but if a woman in Torah is easily led astray because she falls for these memes, or even this H2O website, what else will she fall for?
WE are responsible for studying. WE are responsible for learning, and testing everything. WE are responsible for knowing the truth. But, sadly, it appears lately many women are more easily deceived than men tend to be. Women have the softer heart, often feel overwhelmed with responsibility, and they act as if they haven’t enough time to study something out fully and test teachings for themselves. Single women in the Torah movement have the need for male leadership to fill that missing gap in their life. However, this desire for male leadership is making these single women susceptible to falling for any man who appears godly, who fills the missing gap. Sadly, no matter what this man teaches, women easily accept what he says as truth because they must follow this new “male leader” in their life.
Ladies, let’s face it, the very first deception was in the Garden, and Eve fell for it. Not Adam. Why? Because it fulfilled her desires. We don’t need to be this way, though. Choose you this day whom you will serve, the deceiver? Or Yahweh!
It is our prayer that you test, challenge and study for yourself all teachings that cross your path. The next time a meme pops up that sounds unnerving or even joyous, please look it up and study it for yourself first before you join in passing false doctrine. Know the truth, know His true teachings and make sure His words are written on your hearts and in your minds. Do this for yourself so that you will know the difference between truth and all the internet lies and strange doctrines being passed around.
Now, go, please, and pour yourself a nice cold glass of dihydrogen monoxide, relax and study to avoid being fooled again!!!
Blessings and Shalom!!!
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The Verses Sometimes Known as The “Check List” Every Woman Must Perfect
At least once each year, usually around Mother’s Day in America, pastors, preachers and teachers bring up the Proverbs 31 woman. When they speak on it, many women take an invisible whip and beat themselves up for not measuring up to what many claim is the perfect woman - The Super Wife and Super Mom who does perfectly everything mentioned in Proverbs 31and MORE! It is often believed that you must be able to do every single thing on the list and that this is commanded by Yahweh. Torah for Women hopes to give you a new perspective and insight into Proverbs 31 in your own life.
Where to begin. . . The best place is in what Proverbs 31 is NOT:
First, Proverbs 31 is not a commandment. No where in this writing is it stated that these words are a command delivered from Yahweh to the children of Israel. We must first understand and accept this before moving on. When we study the Torah, it is fairly clear that there are things we are commanded to do: the Sabbath, the Feast Days, the Ten Commandments, to name a few. What makes it obvious is how Yahweh had them written and recorded for us. Proverbs 31 is not written in the same way, nor are they words directly fromYahweh, but are the words of advice from a mother, recorded by her son. Do these words from the son’s mother exemplify Godly principles? Definitely. Do they contain inspiration that may have come from Yahweh? They certainly appear that way. Yet, they are not words of command from Abba to His earthly daughters.
If Proverbs 31 is not a commandment from Yahweh, then it is to be used only as a description of things that we could be or what we could work toward in order to make our homes, lives, and families more organized and able to operate in the day and age in which we live. There are things in Proverbs 31 that will help us in society, in life, in finances, in saving money, making a better home, helping our husband succeed, and so much more. We could easily apply these teachings in our lives, and probably already are, but we need not beat ourselves up over them while struggling to become the perfect Proverbs 31 woman.
The description of the wife being sought by the king in Proverbs 31 is someone who is well versed in many areas so that she can be a valuable partner to her husband so that he is able to go out into the town or society with honor and with a good reputation, which can benefit them in their ministering for Yahweh as well as in providing for their family. This is easily explained and understood when you read verse 11 that tells of the confidence he has in her ability and in verse 23, which says he is respected at the city gate and takes his seat among the elders of the land.
Second, Proverbs 31 is not a score card. What many women do not realize or have not been taught, is that this is not a check list for women to go over and compare themselves to. Simply put, Proverbs 31 is not written as a prescription for all womankind, it is instead, a list of characteristics for a young man to look for in a wife who will fear the Lord and who will not ruin his work, his reputation, his ministry in Yahweh, and his earthly realm or “kingdom”.
If it is not a list of commandments, and is not a checklist for us to judge ourselves by, what is it? It is, in reality, several different things that many women could and should find comforting and encouraging, not constraining.
Proverbs 31 is:
- Poetic. Many writings in the Bible are written in the form of poetry, and Proverbs 31 is one example. It is actually an “acrostic” poem. For those who do not recognize this term from our high school or college English courses, an acrostic poem is one in which the first letter, syllable, or word of each line or paragraph spells out a word or a message. In this case, in the Hebrew writings, the beginning letter of each verse spells out something in particular: the Hebrew alphabet, in order, from beginning to end. This would not be noticeable in an English translation, but in Hebrew it would be seen as the first letter on the right at the beginning of each verse.
It could be said that poetry is as old as the hills because many examples of poetry have been discovered in ancient ruins all around the world. Some of these include prayers, stories with religious subject matter, love songs, fiction, even instructions for everyday activities, like we sing the English Alphabet to teach our children letters. Some prominent discoveries are the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, but two of the most notable are Iliad and Odyssey. In the biblical records we have the Psalms and some of the Proverbs, as seen here with number 31.
Poetry was a beautiful way to convey historical events, share knowledge, express deep feelings, or just tell stories. These could be carried down through the generations and passed along as a record of the people.
In this case, the Poem is recorded as the “words of King Lemuel” and is a summary of the words of wisdom passed on to him from his mother. Words of counsel that cover everything from how to avoid compromising yourself as king to what to look for in a quality wife who will bring him honor and praise, as well as protect him from disgrace.
Is this about a woman of virtue or a woman of strength?
Let’s take a look at what might be translation bias. In the mother’s first instructions about a wife, which appears in what we know as verse 3 KJV, it states:
“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.” This is an interesting phrase to share with a son - “give not thy strength to women. . .”
When you look to the Hebrew the word for strength here, referring to Lemuel’s strength, it is the same Hebrew root word that is used to describe the ideal wife in a later verse, which is translated into English as being “virtuous”. So, is the King’s mother telling him to not give his VIRTUE to women or his strength? Let’s dig deeper to see why the same Hebrew word is translated strength when applied to the king and virtue when applied to the woman.
The root word for the king and the ideal wife means: power, strength, army, capable, valiant. These are forceful words that are fit for a king, while “virtuous” is more delicate and gentle. Therefore, it seems that the more accurate translation for the word would be the one used to describe the instructions to King Lemuel, rather than the later description of the “virtuous" woman he should marry. Why? Well, how often would a king be described as delicate or gentle? Not of a king that is supposed to be powerful, but in addition, there are only two times that the word is translated as “virtuous” and that would be in Ruth 3 and Proverbs 31. Both of these uses of the word “virtuous" are describing women, who were often thought of as delicate and were not often wanted to be perceived as strong, powerful leaders. All other records show that the Hebrew word is translated to English as able, valiant, valor, capable, army, warrior, forces, troops, riches, or wealth. It makes it more accurate to translate the sentence for the king as “Give not your power, strength, army, capabilities, and valor to women.”
With this clarity we can now adjust the sentence about the type of wife to find: “Who can find a virtuous (worthy) woman? For her price is far above rubies. . .” should more accurately be translated, “Who can find a powerful, strong, capable, and valiant woman? For her price is far above rubies.” Here we can now see a different picture painted of the wife the king should seek.
In the Jewish cultures Proverbs 31 is not for women to focus on, but rather for the men. “For the MEN?" you ask, “How is that possible when the entire poem is about what a woman must be?” It is tradition that it is sung by the husband of the household at the beginning of Sabbath as a praise for all that his wife is and has done in the home. It is used as a song of gratitude and appreciation for the wife and mother keeping her home together, organized, and ready to share with others and especially to share with Abba.
The messages of praise that are included in this Proverb are that the wife is good at household tasks such as cooking and sewing which is described by her ability to spin her own threads and make clothing and household goods. As well as provides clothing for her family, she sells these items she makes to provide additional finances for the household. She is honorable, wise, kind, works diligently and willingly, able to buy food, prepare it, and feed her whole household. She knows how to invest and make financial decisions, buy and sell property as well as grow a vineyard, and is intelligent, smart, and charitable. She does and is all these things while at the same time she does not speak ill of her husband or gossip. From her dedication, her husband is recognized in the city and amongst their people. All of these attributes contribute to making a woman what verse 3 says a man (a king) should look for in a wife - she is someone who is powerful, strong, capable, and valiant, as powerful as a warrior, while being loving and charitable in reverence of Yahweh.
Now, some may believe that doing all these things may make a woman over-bearing, controlling, or unable to submit to her husband. It may even be claimed that she “wears the pants” in the family. This is not the case at all, and is evident when a man must leave the home to go to work, out of town on ministry or business, and a great example is when a man goes away to war these days. The wife must be ready, willing and able to rise to the occasion and take charge of the home while he is away - she must be able to run his “kingdom” as he would run it. This could involve decisions in every area from household finances, investing to help their financial stability grow, to taking care of children and feeding family. It may also involve so very many other areas that normally a husband would be “in charge” of, but his wife must be ready, and knowledgeable enough to handle in his absence. If she is untrained in these areas, unwise in these areas, who will take up the slack in protecting the family while he is away? The key is that, as in everything, it is a balance, and the wife must be willing to fully understand that when the husband returns, she relinquishes those responsibilities back to the “King of the castle”.
The understanding of Proverbs 31 should be clearer now, and it should be evident that it is not a commandment from Yahweh on what the perfect woman must be. Can Proverbs 31 be used as a guide of things that would be helpful for every young woman, single adult woman, or wife to learn? Yes!
It is our hope that women might find some desire to learn something new that she has not learned as yet, perhaps finances, or real estate. Every home has different needs and every home is unique, but husbands and wives should work together as true partners in the home. The wife should be involved in all the day to day activities of the home and fully aware of the finances. Wives should be ready to step in and pick up the husbands duties when he is not home. This might include learning how to repair things around the house, or working on the car. A woman shouldn’t be paralyzed when her husband is not available. However, this type of household requires the husband and wife being united in thought and purpose and willing to work together toward their goals.
May Yahweh bless you in your endeavors and in your studies, and may you find joy in learning something new and uplifting.
Being a wife and mother is a beautiful calling in life. It is one of which many young women dream.
Not long ago I heard a mother speak of her daughter and say all she wanted to do when she graduated from high school in a year or so was to get married and have children. What an honorable thing to seek after and proclaim. The daughter worked hard all through school, got good grades, and was well liked by all her peers. She was not asked or required to hold a job while in school, and had no experience at all to take to the workplace. It was her belief that the husband was supposed to do all the providing and that she need not go any further in her education than high school. She believed she would be fine as soon as she was married, which she greatly wanted to be as soon as possible.
But. . . not every woman is blessed with this opportunity. For some it may come later than intended or wanted, for others it may never come. For some it may have come, and gone, while others it may have been stolen from them through death and tragedy leaving them alone to figure things out and raise the children alone. Life is different for each person, and this world sometimes creates different paths for us than what we dreamed of or prayed for.
In times like these, what is a woman to do? The scriptures are actually filled with many words of wisdom on preparing ourselves for what is to come as well as many records of events where people prepared for the future. Joseph was told to set up stores for the famine that was to come; Noah was told to build a boat to save his family and the animals; Moses was told to ask the Egyptians for wealth to take with them as the Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 12:35-36). Then there is the parable of the Ten Virgins, the wise and the foolish, 5 prepared for the bridegroom and five unprepared (Matthew 25:1).
How can these be related to a young woman just leaving school and dreaming of marriage and children, or what life may bring in the future? A lot. Yahweh has given examples to us throughout the scriptures to prepare for things to come, for the future.
The young woman mentioned in the beginning was ready, willing and able to be married and could not wait. She was putting together her wedding planner, picking out dresses, flowers, venues, and even what day she would be married on. The interesting part was that she had no prospects, none, zero. She was not dating, not working, rarely socializing, and had not yet met any young men who would fit her qualifications. The likelihood of her marrying at any time soon is drastically reduced with her not being out in the community in some way. Making new friends or meeting new co-workers, even attending college could lead to meeting someone with the same faith, same moral standards, same life goals. She was not out communicating with her peers, yet she was insistent that she was going to marry immediately and have children on a particular date. It could be said that this is not a very good example of a Proverbs 31 woman, who is valiant, powerful, ready, prepared, knowledgeable, and educated. (link to Prov 31 article)
In ancient times, the problem of not socializing with young men was often solved by the father arranging a suitable marriage for their daughters, completely eliminating the need for dating to find a spouse. Then, things became more relaxed, societies expanded, and women become more able to choose their own husbands. Today, though, some young men and women find themselves in a similar predicament as ancient times because they are seeking someone in the same faith or moral standard which can, at times, be difficult to find because their faith community is spread out or small. The role of the “matchmaker-father” now is often left up to dating sites that allow for you to contact people of the same interests, but this has gotten more and more confusing and in some cases, dangerous. It could take some time for a young woman to find a suitable mate this way, and in the mean time she has options that she can choose, I would hope that staying at home, doing house work for mom and dad as a single woman would not be the only option she would choose.
Things that a young woman could take into consideration are working while searching for a future husband.Or how about the young girl attend college, a trade school, a tech school, or some other form of educational path? This is not an offense against her dreams of becoming a wife and mother, and in fact might be a way to help her Why can’t she meet someone she can befriend, get to know, and one day marry if things work out. In the meantime, the young woman can expand her knowledge base and become more like the Proverbs 31 woman that a king could be searching for to help “rule his household” and build his “kingdom”.
There is nothing at all wrong with the dream of being a mother and wife. As said before, it is a most beautiful calling in life, and there is so much to learn about being a wife that isn’t always learned just by the example of your own good mother. Running a home is similar to running a business with accounts payable and accounts receivable, scheduling, financial decisions involving buying cars, homes, and large ticket items. The list is endless what a wife needs to know and do, which some say can include everything from being a housekeeper, laundress, gardener, interior decorator, secretary, psychoanalyst, nutritionist, diagnostician, baker, chef, handyman, and even a nurse. Some of these things will be learned growing up, others will be learned as hands-on experience or on the job training when she becomes a wife and mother, still others can be learned in further education, or by outside-the-home job training that might also come in handy in the future.
As said before, life does throw things in our pathway that we cannot always forsee, but we can prepare for. In these troubled times, men lose their jobs and it is not uncommon today for it to take a year or two to find another. A man may be injured and unable to work. How will the family provide for themselves without dad’s income? If the mother/wife has had some training along the way or further education, both may need to be refreshed, but there is the potential there to be able to provide for the family in the interim.
Why are woman so resistant to be prepared? Why do women put all the burden on their current or future husband to figure out all of life’s problems. Why don’t woman prepare themselves to be the wife that will be a real asset to their husbands and family with skills that are ready for any problem life throws at you.
Just food for thought. . . Blessings!
I have learned in recent months that people often express several different “types” or “levels” of what we call faith. As we experience each one, our Father asks us, even expects us to reach for the higher ground, pushing and prodding us upwards in our faith walk. Through inspirations and our time we spend with him, he reveals to us scriptures and teachings that will help us reach those new heights, if we are willing to accept his influence.
1. There is the faith that we have that says, “Ok, I THINK he will help/bless me. But I am not sure, but I will pray anyway, let’s see what happens. . .”
2. The faith where we think he might bless us, but where we don’t believe we are worthy of His blessings or his protection, because in our mind we just are not “good enough" to receive the things we are believing for. Although Yahweh, through his love and mercy, sees us worthy to receive his blessings:
Ephesians 2:4-10 WEB
But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, . . . For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.
-- There is the faith where we grit our teeth and say, “Ok, God, it’s yours!!!” But in the back of our heads we are thinking, “it’s not like he is going to really help me, he never has in the past!” This is the one where we are plagued with doubts because we are looking back at our past experiences and past failures instead of focusing on his word. In this kind, we often fail to see the times when he has pulled us our of our own messes and saved us in spite of ourselves.
-- Then there is the faith we use when we get angry that things have not happened on our time table and we throw our hands up in frustration and call out, “FINE!!! If YOU think you can do it, go ahead! I put it all in your hands!” Here we become weary in the midst of the battle and give up, because we don’t see things happen we we thought they should happen.
Galatians 6:9 WEB Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up.
-- And finally, the faith where we say in humility, “Ok, Yahweh, first let me apologize for all those other things I did and said. . . . Please forgive my impatience, my frustration, anger, my pride, my weariness, and even my doubts. You said to give it to you – it’s yours. I love you and trust you to take it from me - burden and all. I also know you love me and you are faithful to your promises. I am just going to let you handle it while I go on with life and follow the directions that you have laid before me. You know what directions I mean: those instructions you have given me a thousand times, but I wasn’t paying full attention. You said you have got this and you have made promises in your Word, so here it is. I will be over there working on the other things that need to get done. Oh, and Yahweh? Thank you for your loving kindness and especially your forgiveness.”
This is the better form of faith, the one that will, in the end, get us through while we grow and learn. It is the stronger faith, the humbling faith. Having faith in his faithfulness and love.
A great example of this would be the story of Jonah. When he realized he could no longer hide from Yahweh, and that he could not fight against Yahweh’s calling. Once Jonah realized his attitude was wrong, Jonah prayed for forgiveness and deliverance, which Yahweh granted.
Jonah 2 WEB Then Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God, out of the fish's belly. He said, "I called because of my affliction to Yahweh. He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried. You heard my voice. For you threw me into the depths, in the heart of the seas. The flood was all around me. All your waves and your billows passed over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple. The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The deep was around me. The weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. The earth barred me in forever: yet have you brought up my life from the pit, Yahweh my God. "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Yahweh. My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple. Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation belongs to Yahweh." Yahweh spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land.
In the end, I believe Yahweh wants us to develop the ultimate form of faith, where we don’t put ourselves and Him through the first several so-called faith scenarios. We need to break our bad faith habits and skip right to the last example by simply saying, “You said to give it to you – it’s yours. I love you and trust you.” We need the kind of faith were we say: “YUP! I know that I know that you’ve got this one, so guide me, direct me, lead me through it! I am ready Lord!!! Let’s do this!”
Just a little random thought for the day. . . . Shalom!
Other scriptures on Faith:
Psalm 4:1 WEB Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness. Give me relief from my distress. Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
Genesis 25:21 KJV
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. . .”
It seems that at times we are so used to hearing the same interpretations of certain scriptures and principles preached from the pulpit over and over that we believe that they are 100% accurate. Yet, if we could and WOULD take the time to read and study His Torah, we might find something new, different, and even contrary to what we have been taught our whole lives. It is especially important to take the verses in context.
Take for example something we often hear when things go awry in life, “Don’t worry, dear, God would not give you more than you can handle (bear or take).” This teaching is based on the verse in 1 Corinthians 10 that people believe tells them that God has given them all the negative happenings in their lives in an effort to teach them something important, either about a situation, about others or about themselves. Is this truly what Paul is saying in these verses?
Let’s take a quick look at what 1 Corinthians 10:
Verses 1-4 talks briefly about the Children of Israel and the Exodus, then the time in the wilderness. Paul is summarizing what happened to those who did not follow Moses’ teachings from Yahweh. He briefly talks of how they ALL were under the cloud of the Lord, ALL passed through the sea together, and they ALL experienced the same “spiritual meat” and “drink”, yet in spite of the fact that they ALL went through the same experiences, some did not choose the same path of righteousness.
Verse 5 says that Yahweh was not pleased with many of them and because of this, they were “overthrown”, or struck down in the desert. He is speaking of people like Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their followers who, in the wilderness, spoke against Moses and Aaron, but especially against the Lord. They were swallowed by the earth and killed, then 14,700 were sickened with plague and died before Aaron could get to them and make atonement to Yahweh for their sins. (Numbers 16)
Verse 6-11 describes how the people of Corinth could use these examples to learn from, and that they shouldn’t lust after evil as the children of Israel did. Paul goes into detail about things not to do: don’t be idolaters, don’t commit sexual sins, do not grumble or murmur. As Paul uses the example of Korah and his followers, it appears you could safely include the additional sins they committed as part of that evil as well, which are: pride, arrogance, covetousness, envy and jealousy, just to name a few.
Then finally in Verse 13 (WEB version), we read: “No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” To help get the clearest picture, the word translated as “temptation” from Greek to English can also mean test, trial, or calamity. What is Paul actually saying in this verse? Does he truly say, “God has not GIVEN you more than you can handle?”
He explains to the people that what has happened to tempt them or whatever tried them, is nothing new and is common to mankind. It has happened before and will tempt people again, remembering that there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
Paul also says that Yahweh is true to us and will not allow us to be tried above what we are δύνασθε. This Greek word translated into English is often translated as “able”, but it has another translation, which means power, and when inserted, would make the verse mean “above which we have POWER.”
The Greek word δύνασθε, transliterated as “dunamai”, means: I am powerful, to be empowered. This gives a completely different view of the wording and the scripture. Previously it stated you were merely “able” - capable, ready, competent, adequate. With the additional clarification you are now - impressive, forceful, influential, potent, robust, vigorous as well as able and capable. Does this give a different picture in your mind of what will happen in our lives when we are tried or tempted? We will not just be “able” but we will be empowered and forceful in overcoming.
In addition, we need to see clearly that Paul does not say Yahweh will GIVE us trials, he says Yahweh ALLOWS it, but it will not be above what we have the power within us to push through. Let me ask you for a moment, what power do you have?
John 14:12 WEB Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.
We are told to be like Elijah, who performed great wonders and miracles (James 5:17-18). Elisha was given the mantle of Elijah, and asked for double the portion of Elijah’s spirit, then did greater than he (2 Kings 2:9). The scriptures prophecy of the Messiah coming and performing miracles, and Yeshua performed many miracles similar to those of Elijah and Elisha. If we are to be able to do more than Yeshua accomplished, then using all these miracles as a testimony to us of our ability, do you now see what Paul was describing of us? There is nothing that comes our way that we cannot power through.
When you carry on through the verse to the final sentence, Paul says that when the temptations happen, when they are allowed to move through our lives, Yahweh will also “make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” What is this way of escape? It is an exit, a way out. It is the final outcome and result. When things happen, whether brought on by our own actions, those of others, or just by the nature of things on this planet due to the fall of Adam, Yahweh will point to the exit, and prepare a way so that we will be able to carry on and bring forth the outcome.
One description explained the Greek word to mean “carry under”, like a powerful river undercurrent. How does an undercurrent work? An undercurrent of a river or stream goes unnoticed, flowing silently underneath the surface of the river. It is often much stronger than the surface current, moving boulders, rocks and other bottom material in its way. While the surface current will mosey along, the undercurrent uses its power to accomplish it’s task of pushing objects out of its path and faster, farther, and away from the immediate area. The undercurrent may cause some erosion or redefining landscape, and it is often credited for cleaning up toxic sediments or moving debris that is causing problems. Down the line, that sand, stone, and silt will create new shorelines, deltas, and islands adding to the landscape and habitat, making things better in the long run. Can you see how that may be likened to what Yahweh does to us as he makes the exit visible, and carries us along to the way out of the trial or temptation?
The next time you see or hear someone, even yourself, trying to say that Yahweh has given this trial as a challenge to better them, that He has thrust some negative circumstance upon them on purpose, it is hoped that you would instead help them to understand that Yahweh is a loving father who has fortified them with the power to follow the current that leads to the exit that He has prepared. Yahweh does not give us problems, he gives us power to overcome problems. He does not give us sickness, he gives us the power to be healed and to heal the sick.
Blessings and Shalom
Recently I was asked why a website and ministry called “Torah for Women” was created - after all, why is it necessary to teach the LAW for Women? Many believe that only the males need to learn Torah. While others wish to proclaim “The LAW is dead!" The easiest way to answer these questions is to simply state that the purpose of Torah for Women is to share Yahweh’s TEACHINGS for Women.
Using the word “Law” gives a wrong impression to the modern mind. Many liken it to what is present in modern society - the law of the land, also known as statutes. People picture God’s law as being judging and condemning, a list of restrictions and binding rules that are made to control men and women. The word law gives a clear picture these days of being controlling, restrictive, oppressive, and even of being tyrannical, unjust, and burdensome. Yet Yahweh’s teachings are not to be burdensome at all, in fact the teachings are meant to be freeing.
Matthew 11:28-30 KJV “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is EASY, and my burden is LIGHT.”
Torah for Women has already published several free e-books which explain our position of the role women hold in the church, based on the Torah. (Read More) We would invite you to read them for a clear picture of what the Teachings say about women in the church and in homes. To summarize, while many believe and teach that women must remain silent and the Word should only be taught by men, the Torah teaches that women should study the Torah, and even teach the Torah to each other as well as where ever they may be called to teach.
So what exactly IS “Torah for Women", then? The scriptures give clear and proper definitions so that we can better understand. The Torah describes the first five books of the Old Testament, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, in the Bible. It is the foundation of His assemblies and where the majority of His teachings can be found. While that is a practical definition or explanation, there is much more. Many may already know the origin of the word Torah from the Bible, but for review and refresher or those who wren’t aware, the word Torah can be traced back to the root word “yarah,” and this root word is defined as “to throw, shoot”. It is also translated as archer, archers, shoot, teach, and instruct. Why does it mean to teach or instruct? Because when you teach or instruct, you expect the one who is learning will hit the mark or target, get a bullseye, being spot-on, hit where they are aiming, understand exactly what is being given for wisdom and understanding.
This gives a much different picture than the modern mind interprets. If Torah isn’t just a bunch of words assembled together to show rules and regulations or statutes that we must follow, and it means to get a bullseye or hit the mark, how does that apply in studying the Words of Yahweh? When you study the Torah, teachings, you are working toward being on target for who and what Yahweh wants you to be. If you are following his wisdom, you will hit where you are aiming. When you understand what is being given for wisdom, you will be applying the Teachings He has laid out for all time - teachings that can be applied 5000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 500 years ago, today and in the future. The teachings and Yahweh do not change.
Isaiah 40:8 WEB “. . .The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever."
Psalm 33:11 WEB “The counsel of Yahweh stands fast forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”
Another way to look at things might be like this: When you are aiming anything at a distance, whether using a gun, catapult, spear, or bow and arrow, to hit that target, to hit the mark, you will need to know how to compensate for variables. Cross winds may blow and try to push that arrow off its path, making it difficult to hit the target. Rain or other obstructions may affect how the arrow flies. Without the proper teaching and instructions, the archer may not be able to hit the target correctly, if at all. If we do not study the Teachings of Yahweh, and learn to apply them to the variables that happen in this imperfect, fallen world, then we will be less likely to be “spot-on” when we try to hit the mark.
Yahweh covers so many different topics and aspects, from what to eat, to how to behave morally; from how to deal with household mold, to how to deal with health issues. It isn’t just “The Law”, it is filled with messages to cleanse, purify, encourage, strengthen, lift up, celebrate, guide, direct, and even enjoy. Suddenly the Torah does not look much like many of the statutes that are created today by our American legal system, or denominational legalism, does it? Does it still look like a burdensome “The Law For Women” that enslaves?
Now, imagine yourself reading and studying the word of Yahweh and likening it to your journey: you are grabbing your bow and arrow, practicing, compensating for the negative aspects that are tossed at you, all the while standing firm on what you have learned, and suddenly you are more able to hit the target and get a bulls eye with that bow and arrow than ever before. Because of the teaching you have been given and your personal study, you have learned to hold true and to resist or compensate for all those things people or influences placed in your way to stop you from following the path Yahweh wants for you to follow.
Another thing that we hear often is the belief that “The Law is dead". What does it mean to be dead? Automatically, your mind probably creates a picture of something or someone being completely void of life. Apply this now to the word of Yahweh, is His teachings: void of life - lifeless; no longer living, or inanimate? When someone is alive in our lives, they make us laugh, smile, bring joy to us, talk with us, encourage us, bring us peace, challenge us. We may find they also might rebuke, correct, and lead us to a better path. Even if we might appear to be following them resisting, kicking and screaming down that path. Yet, one thing is certain, they are alive - the opposite of dead: they are filled with life, full of energy and spirit, active, lively, vivid, vibrant in our lives.
If we are going to conclude that “The Law is Dead”, then we are really saying the Torah [the first five books of the bible] are dead. Torah, is more accurately described as “teaching” or being on target. Therfore, if we state “The Law is Dead” then we would have to be willing to declare that the TEACHING OF YAHWEH is DEAD - that Yahweh’s lessons in the word, his teachings, are completely inanimate, void of life, no longer living. The teachings have no energy, no spirit, are not active. It means it can bring you no joy, no encouragement to live by, it is not going to help you, in any way, to be spot on when aiming at a target and you will not be able to use it to get a bullseye.
It makes you think of the verse where it says to eat and drink for tomorrow we die (1 Corinthians 15:32), doesn’t it? If the Words of Yahweh brings nothing that helps us to stay straight on the path to a target, then why don’t we just do as we wish, enjoy life, and wing it because nothing matters? This theory would make you believe there is no benefit or reward in hitting the mark, no consequence for missing the mark. However, we know this is not true:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
As you can see, Yahweh’s Word is living, it is vibrant, it is Teaching. It can be piercing to correct, direct, and rebuke, but it is not a prison where we get nothing but bread and water til the day we die. It is instead, filled with promise, hope, love, life and encouragement that will help us to understand how to adjust to the variables which present themselves on a daily basis. We can teach that it keeps us on the straight and narrow pathway, and that now, with it’s presence in our life, we can hit the target.
Aim for a bullseye, ladies, and don’t miss the mark!
Philippians 3:14 KJV
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Matthew 7:13-14 KJV
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Blessings and Shalom!
John 8:32 says ” . . . and the truth will set you free.”
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to social media this month. . . Seems the truth definitely set me free - from other people’s social media, to be exact. I have to say that social media is not my favorite thing on the planet, to be honest. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until just a few years ago. I always sensed that social media could rob you of time and get out of hand quickly when not “babysat” properly. I have watched this happen on several occasions to myself and to others, and it has taught me to be much more watchful and careful.
Recently it seems, there has been an uncomfortable tendency to attack people and say things about them that are just not right and decent. The concern started when people with normally kind hearts, seemed to change from the ways they would usually act, which was kind and caring, and then turn on people with venom in their words when people challenged their faulty beliefs, both biblical and secular beliefs. It took me some time to get the courage to stand up for someone else because I knew I risked losing “friends”. Probably not the right attitude to have, right? After all, the Bible tells us several times how we are to stand up for others.
Proverbs 31:8-9 WEB Open your mouth for the mute, in the cause of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and serve justice to the poor and needy.
Let’s quickly explain that in Verse 8, the word mute means someone who is unable to speak for themselves, someone who is speechless. This definition can be used to mean someone with a physical inability to actually speak, but is also used to mean someone who just isn’t able to speak for or stand up for themselves. This may be someone who is not courageous enough or who feels intimidated. Yet, you can see how these verses tell us to open our mouths for those who cannot so that we can help get justice for the afflicted, humble or weak ones. By not speaking up because there is more worry about whether or not the numbers of our friends or followers will go down, then we are not following the advice of scripture. I was not speaking up at first because I was more concerned about risking being “deleted”. Finally, something stirred inside me and I just could not watch while others were disrespected by unkind words and taunts, especially by people who are normally very kind and loving.
Psalm 82:3 WEB "Defend the weak, the poor, and the fatherless. Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed”
Psalm 94:16 WEB Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
What happens when we choose to sit silent and allow the insults, taunting, or what-not to continue? There are a few very clear verses in Ezekiel that warn us of consequences for when we DON’T speak up. You see, when we remain silent, we are failing to share the truth that Yahweh gives to us about how to treat others.
Ezekiel 3:17-19 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn't turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
OUCH! Yahweh has given us his truths, and we are responsible for lovingly teaching others through our example and sometimes even through rebuke. It is our responsibility to try with love in our hearts to teach them, for the burden lies with us who know the truth.
I was faced with this on a few occasions recently and, well, after much hesitation, I finally spoke up. I carefully chose the words I used and tried to follow the Torah in everything I said. I wrote, erased, and rewrote each line several times. It was important to make certain my heart was true and my intentions were pure so that I could be blameless for what I was saying. I prayed before I “spoke”, in written words of course, and I tried to use scriptures for those who would listen to scriptures. For those who are not believers, I tried to use only truths that were Torah, not worldy “truths”, and worded things so they would hold up to their personal belief system. Knowing that mentioning the Torah or “God Stuff” would upset them more, I tried to avoid mentioning Yahweh, scripture verses or His teachings in any way, while still teaching His Truth.
No matter how much I struggled with writing just the right words, they were not well received. The reactions were less than kind, often accusatory, and in the end, very angry. None of which were my intentions. Yet I have learned one thing over the last several months in Yahweh’s refining process, there will be people who will not yield when the truth is presented, no matter how it is presented to them. I watched as my words were misquoted, twisted, and misused. As things unfolded, my true intentions were misrepresented and untruths were told about my character and my reasons for speaking. Very little was spoken about the content or whether it was right or wrong, just personal attacks launched against me and those I defended. When things I stated WERE rebuked by this other person, it came across as nit-picking about phrasing, or my grammar, and an attempt was made to embarrass me in front of their friends for my misusing one word. The truth from scriptures I was attempting to teach was never accepted, denied or even addressed. Instead, all I got back as a response was a diversion from the real message, like a magician who uses slight of hand to trick the audience, or a politician who redirects an uneasy conversation.
John 3:20 WEB For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed.
Proverbs 1:7 “. . .but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. . .”
Proverbs 15:32 “. . . He who refuses correction despises his own soul, but he who listens to reproof gets understanding. . .”
I am sorry that there is now a wedge between me and these others I had hoped to help. That was never my intention. I have spent several hours over the last few weeks, a few minutes here, several minutes there, questioning, and re-examining my behaviours, to ensure that I stayed within Torah. There are a couple of things I will correct, should I ever have the chance again to speak with the people who are angry. I am not above judging my own actions, receiving rebuke from Yahweh or refining myself, but for now things will be left unsaid.
There was never another chance to talk sensibly, calmly, or humbly with each other. The immediate response was for the person to eliminate the perceived “problem." In each case, it was my sincere prayer that the recipient of my messages will take to heart what was said, pray on the words that were spoken and see the spirit in which they were given. In the end, it is in Yahweh’s hands and only He can change or mold hearts. And if anything else that I have said or done was in error, He will correct me, change me and continue to mold me as well. In the meantime, life goes on, and social media is STILL not my favorite thing in the world. It is, however, a useful means to minister to others, especially those who are at a great distance as long as we continue to have the boldness to speak the truth and the compassion to minister to others.
Ephesians 5:11-13 Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them. For the things which are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things, when they are reproved, are revealed by the light, for everything that reveals is light.
Here on Torah for Women you will often see the name Jesus or the word "God" appearing alone in the sentence, or in parenthesis following Yeshua (Jesus) and Yahweh (God) or Abba (father). There's a very good reason for this: one of our goals here is to share His teaching, Torah, with everyone that we can, everyone He brings to this site. Jew and gentile, believer and non-believer, follower and seeker. This includes those who identify as Messianic and Christian, no matter what sub-group, denomination, or doctrine you profess. We are here to deliver the truth to all that come and in terms they and you understand.
I am sure many of you have been there, at the beginning of your journey, hearing all the discussion about which name is correct and which ones are pagan or not. Maybe you switched from Yeshua, to Yahushua, to YAHshua, to YEHshua, and back again. From YHVH (yod hay vav hay) to Yehovah, to Yahweh. Maybe you are even still looking for the correct pronunciations of Moshe (Moses), Shimon (Simon), Yakov (Jacob, also known as James), and Yochanan (John). Then, what happens when suddenly the name of Jesus slips out of your mouth because you have used it for 30, 40, 50 years, and it is what you know, all you have known, and are used to using?
This is a legitimate internal struggle for some and sometimes a stressful time because they have a deep desire to please God in every aspect of their lives. They have read the promises about saying His name, and they have a deep desire to not "get it wrong". Some are almost fearful that He won't answer prayers or hear them if they say his name "incorrectly".
That is why you will see us use Yeshua (Jesus, sometimes even Christ), Yahweh (God), and Abba (Father) when we discuss topics or publish books. Everyone, everywhere is at different levels of understanding and learning. We cannot know their understanding just by starting a conversation with them for a few minutes or quickly chatting with them online, and we cannot know who we will reach with our teachings.
In the Torah movement, we have seen everything from individuals who are trying to teach people the basics and Hebrew names with loving kindness to pure inexcusable venom, insulting and hurting people until they are crushed. I honestly cannot say I have seen it all because, sadly, I seem to be surprised each week by someone new that I meet who crosses a line into wickedness toward another believer. It pains me to see the whole thing play out.
As followers of Yahweh, we can either choose to be forceful and harsh, gentle and mild, or somewhere in between. Or we can choose to follow His spirit and teach the truth. His truth. As Yeshua taught. We are keepers of His word, seekers of His truths ourselves, you know. Weren't we once there, in that place, trying to discover, trying to figure things out?
In daily life we come in contact with so many people, and we may find that we need to adapt the message for their comprehension. I am not suggesting or even implying that we adapt it to compromise or soften His Truth, as so many in the churches are doing today. However, we must be ready to teach in "their language," just as you would teach someone in Chinese, French, or any other foreign language, while still holding firm to The Word.
This was driven home to me the day we excitedly showed a video to a loved one who is not on the same Torah walk yet. We could not wait to share the message we received from the program, but the creator of the video used names that she had never heard before. He used all Hebrew names for the apostles, the books of the bible and the Hebrew name for Jesus. This might be fine and acceptable for a Jewish person that spoke Hebrew, but you could see on her face that she had no idea of whom he was speaking. She became frustrated, and I don't believe the message we had hoped she would receive was the message she got. In fact, I am not sure she got much of a message at all. What would have been the result, though, if the maker of the video had used names she recognized: Jesus, God, Moses, Paul, etc. Would she have heard the message in a way that would touch her heart? I believe so. I know some people want to use Hebrew when they speak or write for accuracy, but why do people use Hebrew when they are speaking to an audience that has no understanding of Hebrew?
At TorahforWomen.com and our main ministry, Shofar Productions, we have been called to reach souls and touch lives for the kingdom. We take to heart the example of Ezra and the other priests "They read from the book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage." Nehemiah 8:8 NLT
If you find fault with this and feel a spirit of contention, then we challenge you to examine your attitude against the numerous scriptures that speak against stirring up strife, against pride, speaking evil, and spreading false statements.
"I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work." John 9:4 WEB
NLT - Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright 1996' 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015, by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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The Name Game
Peter, James, John, Paul, Moses, David. There are countless examples in scripture of people recording things. Everything from every day items and genealogy to seriously important prophetic words for those in the future. Dreams, visions, or revelations have all been written for people to read and study today as they work toward a better relationship with Yahweh. Today we call these records “The Bible”, Torah or “scripture” and look to them for the words of Yahweh, for teachings, guidance, comfort, and strength.
We can see so many examples of people either feeling it is important to make records, or being told directly by Yahweh to do so. Examples of this can be found in Exodus 24:4 when “Moses wrote all the words of the Lord”, and we see the Ten Commandments being written, then they were to be stored in the Ark. 1 Chronicles gives another example of how certain Levites were appointed to make records, and in Revelation 1:19 John is point blank told to write the things he has seen, things that are happening and things that are to come. It is very obvious that Yahweh feels that his words of counsel and direction need to be remembered and recorded.
If His ancient words were important then, how important are the things he speaks to your heart now? Personally, I have found they are very important in my life. Not long ago, He impressed upon me to get a journal and record all that he shares with me, in dreams or in prayer time with Him. What a blessing it has been to follow his instruction in this matter!
Before writing things down, I would know that he had blessed me, but I could not always recall them. Sometimes I would forget important details that I should have remembered. When trying to share a testimony with others, I would have to rack my brain to find examples of when He has comforted, strengthened, or blessed me. I also would have moments of frustration thinking Yahweh had not blessed me, and maybe even feeling a little left out or not sure he has been with me in a trial. Now, with my journal, I can call upon my records and remind myself or share testimony with others of times when Yahweh has been truly loving to me.
What should you write down? How about recording your dreams? Daniel, Habakkuk, and Joseph all had dreams. The dreams are written in the Bible for us to study and learn from. When you awake in the middle of the night and have one of those dreams that feels so very real, or that has touched your spirit in a way that is different than your “normal” dreams, write down what you remember before it is washed away in your sleepiness. If you can, record as many details as possible. Places, scenery, as well as the people there, whether someone you know or strangers. Sometimes you may find there is a pattern that will reveal something to you about lessons you need to learn in the Torah or improvements you can work on in your character or changes to make in life.
“For God speaks once, yes twice, though man pays no attention. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, in slumbering on the bed; Then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction.” Job 33:14-16 WEB
When you pray and you have that burning feeling that an idea needs to be written down? Write it down! During prayer time I have been truly inspired with topics to write on, have been led to find scriptures I could not recall when I needed them for teaching or for self-study, and was encouraged to study a specific topic for personal edification or for someone in need. Whenever I get an inspiration for teaching, or even personal revelation, I always enjoy taking the time to compare it with scriptures to validate it, then I study it as much as I can. I have grown so very much in His ways and His word by writing down and following His inspirations for me.
Often I take the time to go back and read what was recorded in the past. I try to do this at least every few weeks to see what has come to fruition, what needs to be worked on, what blessings He has worked in my life. I write it all down, too, no holds barred. The positive AND the negative, because I know I am not perfect and may need some refining; and sometimes he rebukes my attitude or my lack of study. I need to hear that just as often as I hear the good things. When I do go back over these pages, I can see how much I have grown, where I still need to work on myself, and can be lifted up by the evidence of the power of Yahweh in my life. These are the times that drive home that our Abba is a loving and gracious father! Psalm 86:15 KJV “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
I also like to make notes of changes that have happened or blessings fulfilled, often in an ink of a different colour, so that I can see what is new in life. This always helps in those low moments, too, when you feel as though you are questioning His presence. When you see all the wonderful moments where His hand has corrected, protected, guided, or directed, it gives you courage and strength knowing He has your back. Psalm 121:1-3 WEB “I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber.”
I challenge you to take the time and make the effort to run to the store and grab yourself a simple journal to make your own records of His words to you. It need not be a big, expensive, leather bound journal, a simple pad of paper will do. Just make it your own and fill it with His love shown to you in inspirations and record the expressions of faith for your life. Each week on Shabbat you can take your journal, review your inspirations and compare them to the scriptures. You will see how visible He is in your life. Blessings and shalom!
Blessings and Shalom.
There is an old saying that seems to have gone by the wayside for many women of faith. We call the phrase “The Golden Rule” and it says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Nowadays many seem to have lost where this “old saying” comes from: It’s in the BIBLE. Yes, the Golden Rule can be found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. It is a quote that is often used to show a Christian that they are a hypocrite and that they are not behaving “Christ-like” when an outsider wants to call the believer to repentance or to call them a hypocrite. I have seen believers become very angry or annoyed when called on the carpet by an unbeliever, no matter what the particular reason for it, we often become offended because we do not believe we are doing anything wrong. What if you truly do need to pause and take some time to use the verses to take a closer look at yourself and that you might need to make some corrections? What if right now you are NOT treating someone else as you wish them to treat you?
Sadly this is what is happening more and more frequently in one relationship that used to be somewhat immune to the disrespect and double standards. Now, though, our modern social-media-engrossed world is drawing a line between husbands and wives, and it is time for this double standard to come to light.
It has bothered women for probably thousands of years that men appear to be quickly led to look at women in a lustful fashion. Throughout our modern history, we can find countless examples of women getting angry that men gawk at women as they walk down the street, men have been caught flirting with waitresses in front of spouses, or encouraging attention from women in various situations from flight attendants to bosses or subordinates. Many divorce courts are filled with cheating husbands that started with “innocent” flirting (as they call it) that evolved into full blown adultery, separation and then divorce.
Imagine for a moment that you are perusing your social media stream and you see pictures and memes popping up all through the feed from a married man’s computer. These pictures and memes have scantily clad women, women in compromising positions, or just women in sexy poses. You suddenly notice your husband making comments and “appreciating” how those women look. What would your reaction be? Most often, women get angry and call the man a “misogynist”, a “pig”, and tell him he is portraying women as nothing but sexual objects. How horrible! You rotten male human who has no respect for women! Now, what if I told you the tides have turned, and it is time that women wake up to their own lustful behaviour?
Let’s switch roles for just a moment. Instead of photos and memes of women you see pictures of MEN scantily clad, in compromising positions, or in sexy poses. Would you be the first woman to leave a comment or compliment about his physique? Would you be the first one to hit the approval button? If you think this is all fine, then I need to ask you why. Don’t you believe that you should hold yourself to the same standard that you hold your husband? OR, do you, like so many in the world, think that you are just making up for lost time? Do you believe that all those times men have done it to women gives women have the right to “get even” for all the cat calls, whistles, and “oooooh, baby” remarks?
It pains me to see that women have decided that along with “equality” and “liberation” they have chosen to lower the standards for themselves while holding their men to a higher standard. When I see these posts come across my feeds on social media, I can’t help but wonder what effect this has on their marriages. How will a woman feel when her husband sees her lustful comments about another man? Women have for decades complained about how sexual remarks and malicious behavior makes us feel like objects, threatens us and our relationships. When we hear a man that we love make those kinds of remarks about another woman it causes us to suffer dings in our self-esteem by making us feel less appealing to a man who claims to love us. Why would it suddenly be acceptable for women to treat their husbands, whom they claim to love, in a way they would never tolerate from their men?
Some will say, “But they deserve it! If for no other reason than all the times that men have treated women that way!” Really? I thought you believed in “Do unto others AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.” Doesn’t your behavior make it okay for your husband to now go out and do the same as you do? Shouldn’t he be allowed to do unto you as you have done unto him? I can already hear someone out there saying, “Well, that’s exactly what I am doing!!! Giving him back what he has done to me for so many years! Therefore I am living by that scripture.” God did not provide us with that counsel that we would do unrighteous things to others, but that we would do righteous things to others. Remember, Romans 12:19 says, “For it is written, "Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” If there is issue with our spouse’s heart, it is our responsibility to talk it out and pray about it, but it is not our job to “get even” by doing the same thing or having the same attitude and sin in our hearts.
It is happening more and more amongst the people I know, and I am concerned for those I hold dear. I 'm worried for the marriages that are being touched by this reverse sexism and concerned for the salvation of those I know. My concern has led me to ask several ladies these same questions just to see what they would say and was surprised that, yes, many women do feel that men have done it for so long that it is now the woman’s turn to verbally assault men with sexual comments. They also believe that we are just making up for lost time. “Turn-around is fair play, after all.” I have even had one Christian woman, a friend try to convince herself that the counsel against lust only applies to men. She used the verse in Matthew 5:28 which reads, “You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” You see, she said, this verse only refers to a man looking at a woman, not a woman looking at a man.
I believe we need to take the scripture, in context, and read then study it in conjunction with the totality of scripture. Did Yahweh honestly give the commandments only to men? Or do they apply to women as well? Clearly in Leviticus 19 it states that God told Moses to consecrate the people, the people agreed to prepare for the meeting with the Lord at Mount Sinai, Moses led the people out of the camp, and then in Chapter 20 the Lord spoke to the people what we now know as the Ten Commandments. The Old Testament does not say that Moses only took the men with him or that God only spoke to the men. It plainly tells us that all of this happened with and for the people, both men and women. It is not gender specific and applies to BOTH spouses, not just the husband.
What other proof text can we provide to show women that it is just as important for them to remain faithful in thought and avoid lust?
We already know “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” but what other scriptures would help clarify how God and Yeshua (Jesus) feel about this sin? Moreover, what scriptures can we use to prove to women that the sin of lust applies to them as much as it applies to men?
“…gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:6-7 WEB
“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.” Romans 1:26 NLT
James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” When we behave one way and preach or teach another, we are only living the old adage of “do as I say and not as I do”, therefore becoming very deceptive and unstable, according to God. Not just in the way we present ourselves to our husbands but to others as well. Children, relatives and friends, especially on social media, will see how you treat your spouse, what impression will this give?
The scriptures are clear that a woman is just as vulnerable. Even Christianitytoday.com claim that 1 in 3 visitors to adult websites are women . Therefore, the problem is not a male only sin, but women also struggle with the sin of lust, yet many are in denial about their sins.
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. . . ” Although this scripture may be talking initially about loving God or loving money, it shows us what will happen if we serve one master rather than the other. The two masters being the world and God, which are we serving when we are gawking at a member of the opposite sex and making inappropriate remarks? Which Master would you like to serve?
What can we do? Use the scriptures to look at yourself and what you are demanding of others as well as what you are doing. Matthew 23:25-26 warns, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Now when I hear women talk about how unfair it is for their husbands to stare at other women who may be younger, thinner, prettier, I take pause. Wives don't like it when spouses compare that "other woman" to them because that woman is unnatural or fake, maybe even airbrushed. In this double standard world, you have to wonder if the wife has applied the same judgment to her words and actions. Has she thought that maybe the man she is drooling over may be just as airbrushed, unnatural and fake as the women about whom she complains?
My prayer today is to stir up in women the desire to better themselves, their relationships with their spouses, and most of all their relation with their creator and God.
 Reference: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/march/confessions-of-lustful-christian-woman.html
Scriptural references unless otherwise indicated are from the World English Version .
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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