The Israelites that were rescued from Egypt and must now find a way to shift their paradigm from slave to free and accept righteousness and justice instead of wickedness and abuse.
This transcript is not exactly like the recording but it doesn’t vary by much and all the essential scriptures and quotes are there. Click here to listen to the Midrash. Some excellent comments were made and questions asked.
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THE KINGDOM AND ITS LAW
Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
The Israelites that were rescued from Egypt about 2 months ago (their time) are about to crown their King and vow to be His people following His Law. They have been freed from Egyptian oppression, a Law that mandated their continual abuse to one that makes them a free people.
Mat 11:28 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
The people must now find a way to shift their paradigm from slave to free and accept righteousness and justice instead of wickedness and abuse.
What is the foundation of YHVH’s Kingdom?
Psalms 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Loving kindness and truth go before your face.
Psalms 89:15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound [teruah, the shofar sound made at the Feast of Trumpets]. They walk in the light of your presence, Yahweh.
No other nation on earth has ever claimed that righteousness and justice are its foundation. Even the US Constitution, critically acclaimed as unique in the history of the earth, claims the equality of all men as its foundation, not righteousness and justice.
The final generation must make the same choice as the first one. But like that first generation that backed away from the mountain, many are still backing away from the Torah.
It happens from year to year that situations happen with the Torah cycle. Last week, learned about some people who have decided to not study the Torah this year. They’ve “been there, done that” and say they are tired of going over the same material every year without getting anything from it. Love is missing from the Torah, they say. They will now study Revelation and then the Gospels.
I believe they are missing the boat and are in the same heart-frame and mindset of that first generation who received the letter of the Law but failed to mature into the spirit of it because of their hard hearts. The Torah is designed to circumcise the heart and kill the flesh.
When the heart is hard, the eyes won’t see the justice and mercy built into the Torah. They see rules, letter of the Law, so after several annual rounds of Torah Portions, when they think they have not learned anything, they are right. And they not matured spiritually as they should.
DELIGHTING IN THE LAW
I have been accused of loving the Torah too much. Yep, I have. Here is why. By the way, I love that the whole Book of Psalms, the book with the most chapters of the bible starts this way. The entire Book of Psalms is about loving the Law of YHVH and dealing with implementing it in our personal circumstances.
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.
Psalms 1:2 But his delight is only in the Law of YHVH; and in His Law he meditates day and night.
The result of delighting in the Torah is spiritual growth which leads to the intimate relationship with Yeshua that we need so we never hear these words, “Depart from Me, those working lawlessness! (Matthew 7:23). This is what doing YHVH’s Law does for us:
Psalms 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Delighting in the Law, commandments or precepts is mentioned 8 more times in Psalms (Psa_112:1, Psa_119:16, 35, 47, 143, 70, 77 and 174). Those who say Paul destroyed the Law haven’t read this passage written by him:
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man: – says Paul. Paul understood that the Law was to be part of us inwardly.
We are to delight in the Law so much that we teach its commandments diligently to our children, talk of them when we are just sitting around (let’s replace TV and Youtube with that!), talk of them when we are just walking around inside or out, when we go to bed and when we get up in the morning (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).
With no other book of the Bible are we commanded to do this with any other books of the Bible. Only the Law of Moses.
YHVH says doing this will mean to Him that we love Him with all of our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) and will know He is One YHVH so that later, when the Son of God comes to fulfill the Law, we won’t try to separate them and say the Son did away with the Law because the Father was too harsh on His people.
THE LAW CONVERTS THE SOUL
The annual Torah Portions are important for our understanding and maturing but they are more important for our identity. One thing the Jews got right was the Torah Portion cycle. Even Yeshua followed this cycle. The Torah Portions helped the Jews through the Greek and Roman occupations even keeping them together as a culture during 2,000 years of dispersion. The Torah Portions and Hillel II calendar held them together and gave them an identity so that when YHVH whistled for their return they knew who they were and they returned.
Furthermore, the Law converts our souls.
Psalms 19:7 The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The Hebrew word for ‘converted’ is ‘shoob’. It means “to turn back”. We are turned back to YHVH through doing His Law. It is the doing that results in spiritual maturity. In 8 (9 total) other Old Testament scriptures, the Law and turning back are mentioned together (Deuteronomy 30:10, 2 Kings 17:13, 2 Kings 23:25, Nehemiah 9:26, 29, Psalms 19:7, Daniel 9:13, Amos 2:4, Malachi 2:6). YHVH’s people wouldn’t do it.
Why is it important for us to be converted? So that we will be fit citizens to enter His Kingdom when He arrives! But this conversion is a process that takes time and it requires us to have a school master.
THE LETTER AND THE SPIRIT
People want to leave the Torah and study from the back of the Book without understanding that what Yeshua taught in the Gospels is the mature understanding of the Law, what we call the “spirit of the law”. We gain the spirit of the Law first by following the letter of the law, the school master. As we walk in the Law, YHVH fills up our understanding. A spiritually immature person cannot understand the lessons taught by the Master. His instructions will seem like good sayings and parables but the comprehension will be missing. The spirit of the law requires a circumcised heart which requires walking in the Law doing those things that we don’t understand the reason for and which make our flesh unhappy.
Deuteronomy 30:1 It shall happen, when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, where Yahweh your God has driven you,
Deuteronomy 30:2 and return to Yahweh your God, and obey his voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul;
Deuteronomy 30:3 that then Yahweh your God will release you from captivity, have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples where Yahweh your God has scattered you.
Being released from captivity is not just a physical thing. It is a state of inner being thing, as well. To be released from the hold that the world and our flesh has on us, se must return with our whole heart, delighting in the Law (the only thing besides the LORD that we have been commanded to delight in) and do all that we can instead of trying to figure out how to do the least and get away with it if we want to be gathered to the Kingdom.
The heart that wants to do the utmost and the one that wants to do the least are 2 difference kind of hearts. One wants to please YHVH and grow in spirit and in faith. The other wants to please itself and justify its own fleshly desires.
The letter of the Law is the school master that Paul teaches about. The Kingdom perspective is that the “spirit of the law” is what is written on our heart. We must all sit under the school master for our entire lives. We can slip backwards to easily. But after some time passes in our walk we will find ourselves doing the Law automatically. We will slip less and less whereas in the beginning we slip a lot. In other words, we will more and more operate in the “spirit of the law”.
Does that mean the letter of the Law will be gone once we are walking in its spirit? No. It means that our wrong perspective is gone. Nothing of the Law will ever pass away but our flesh will one way or another. Either through our voluntary cooperation with the process which leads to eternal life or through stubbornness that leads to eternal death.
FACE TO FACE WITH GOD
Studying YHVH’s Law puts us face to face with Him because His Torah IS Him. Yeshua is the Torah made flesh. The Torah describes YHVH in every detail and it is the Law that helps to remake us in His image. It renews our mind if we delight in it and do it. It is through His Law that we know and are intimate with our King and is how we demonstrate our love for Him and our desire to please Him.
1 John 2:3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4 One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him.
1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps his word, God’s love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him:
1 John 2:6 he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
Yeshua’s New Testament commentary on loving God and loving each other is not new in the New Testament. It is the two sections of the Torah which detail and govern our behavior toward God and people.
We often hear the question “what would Jesus do”? He would follow the Law. In fact, that is what He did when He laid His life down for us. It is the “spirit of the Law” to lay our life down when YHVH asks us to and to lay it down for other people.
Backing away from the Law was the first generation’s Mount Sinai reaction that led them to only having the letter of the law. Those who say the Law is harsh and hard and it scares and makes them uncomfortable and unhappy have hearts like the first generation.
It breaks my heart when people say they get nothing out of studying the Law, that it’s the same thing over and over every year and they don’t learn and gain more understanding for their walk. They don’t delight in what YHVH delights in! He delights in His Law and His people who themselves delight in His Law.
AT THE MOUNTAIN
This Torah Portion, Yitro, brings us to the inauguration of the Kingdom of Israel with a King, a people and a land. And with that, comes the need for laws to govern it all. There is no country on earth, ever, that does not have Law. It is only YHVH’s Law that is easy and the burden light, however.
Here in lies a point. YHVH never said His Law is not a burden. He said His burden is light. So if we are finding His Law too heavy to handle, the problem is not with the Law, it is with us! The problem is not how to get rid of the Law but how to get rid of our flesh.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine;
Exodus 19:6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Notice that the first prerequisite of being a citizen of Israel is to obey His commandments. “If” makes the Law the condition for His people to continue being Israelites. Obedience is a requirement of citizenship.
Also notice that the priesthood is a Kingdom priesthood, not a religious priesthood. This is a priesthood that serves a King and the King’s people. They are administrators of the King’s government.
Exodus 19:7 Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Yahweh commanded him.
Exodus 19:8 All the people answered together, and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to Yahweh.
That first generation accepted YHVH’s proposal which made every generation afterward liable for keeping the Law.
Exodus 19:9 Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh.
YHVH will come to them in a thick cloud and with definite boundaries around His throne.
This verse and elsewhere (Exodus 18:20. 24:12) also establishes why we call YHVH’s Law the “Law of Moses”. This is Moses reward for acting in the capacity of ambassador to Pharaoh and then leader of the people going into the wilderness.
Exodus 19:10 Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments,
At some future time, this will happen again:
Revelation 7:14 I told him, “My lord, you know.” He said to me, “These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood.
Exodus 19:11 and be ready against the third day; for on the third day Yahweh will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai.
On the third day, YHVH will come down. This is a prophecy.
Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him.
The third day from Yeshua’s resurrection will coincide with the start of the 7th millennium.
Exodus 19:12 You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death.
Exodus 19:13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it is animal or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain.”
There is an automatic death penalty for encroachment into YHVH’s space, both literally and figuratively. But what else is going on here? This is a wedding ceremony. The Bride does not touch the groom during the ceremony.
Also, this ceremony is not about any individual alone. It is for the entire congregation as a whole. All of the people must come together as one.
John 17:20 And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,
John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
Yeshua, before His death, prayed for the unity of Israel just as was supposed to happen at Mount Sinai. Moving forward, renewed Israel will be once again one 12-tribed Kingdom united with God.
The ceremony at Mount Sinai was to unite the congregation with God not to choose one person to be united with God. The one who does not understand this must die. The unification of the entire congregation with YHVH is why all Israelites are equal. No citizen of Israel is better than another.
Exodus 20:1 God spoke all these words, saying,
Exodus 20:2 “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
What is the spirit behind this declaration? And yes, it is a commandment and is for the congregation an identity statement. He is doing for the congregation what He did for Moses at the burning bush. The spirit is this that if you don’t know who has brought Israel out of Egypt, the rest won’t even matter.
This is also the commandment that tells us He expected them to make personal relationships with Him. Knowing who He is credentials us to receive His Word and enter into His Kingdom.
Here is a paradigm shift YHVH’s people fail to make. People think of the Law as restrictions. But these are not restrictions. They set us apart from the nations and elevate us.
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
His holiness is why we are to have no other gods before His face.
The letter of the Law means to stay away from idolatry. But what is the spirit of it? To take YHVH alone to yourself, to have and to hold from this day forward keeping ourselves only unto Him because He will be always only unto us. In fact, He will love Israel so much that He will die to restore her to her original pristine state so that all the “whosoevers” will have a nation to enter into when they make that choice.
Exodus 20:4 You shall not make to yourselves any graven image [pesel], or any likeness [temunah] of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not do what the nations do. You are elevated and will receive what the nations cannot – direct access to YHVH. Thus, you shall not “asah” – make, produce or prepare, deal with, attend to, acquire, celebrate, appoint or use – images. Those words describe what “asah” means.
The word “pesel” is wrongly translated as “statue” in English. The pey and samech in pesel are mouth (pey) “without a voice” (samech) of an el, a god. A “voiceless mouth” is what YHVH calls the demon deities. You shall not make a likeness of a voiceless mouth, an idol.
And then there are all the other kinds of images which are not used as idols, voiceless mouth, that fall under the category of “temunah”. Temunah is simply “image” of any kind. The same that the word “icon” today encompasses all kinds of images from 3D to flat, 2D.
Egypt’s non-religious images were attributes to the Pharaohs, the mighty Egyptian military, they depicted daily life in Egypt and were even used to shame Egypt’s slaves. Teraphim, images of family members who they believed had become gods after their death, were found in Egypt. The same imagery stuff of today in popular culture worldwide.
Images usurp the copyright owned by YHVH. There is nothing of creation that belongs to a human being. Therefore, it is unlawful to steal YHVH’s creation by making an image of it and then saying the is yours when the original belongs to someone else. YHVH can do what He wants with His creation, even using images for His purpose, but we cannot.
There is more that we are not to do with images. We are not to bow or prostrate before them.
Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I YHVH your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me,
Exodus 20:6 and showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.
YHVH says if we physically bow or prostrate to an image, we hate Him. He also says if we serve an image, we hate Him. His people mingle these two things together as one thing, worship. Bowing, prostration, is the outward sign of worship but serving is not of that same kind.
How were images served in the nations? The people fed, watered, bathed and clothed them, prayed to and talked to them.
This is the letter of the law regarding images but what is the spirit behind the prohibition of all images?
First, it sets us apart, elevates us as a people with direct access to our God and King such that Gentiles do not have with their gods and kings. Their access comes through images. Our access is direct which makes the privilege we have to be coveted by them.
Second, this commandment protects us from both image worship and idolatry through the ages and, particularly, at the end of the age when YHVH will test Israel with the image of the beast to see who will serve the image and who will not. If we do not follow what Satan sets before our eyes, we will not be deceived.
Those are the spirit behind the prohibition of images: Elevation and protection of the relationship between us and YHVH.
Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
The Hebrew word for “vain” is ‘shav’. It means emptiness, vanity, falsehood, nothingness, lying and worthless conduct.
We are not to make YHVH’s name is empty, worthless or meaningless by our own unrighteous (lawless) conduct. Don’t rebel against His Law and still claim you are one of His family or a servant or citizen of His Kingdom.
What is the spirit behind this commandment? It is to protect the reputation of YHVH. It protects Him and His Kingdom. With the images prohibition, He protects us. With this commandment, we protect Him.
Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of YHVH your God. You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger within your gates.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.
The letter of this Law is to cease all work on the 7th day. The spirit of this Law is for a deeper purpose. Keeping the Sabbath means we agree with YHVH that He is the Creator of everything. Thus, we do what our god and King does.
Second, keeping this commandment is for a continual reminder of who we serve.
Exodus 31:13 Speak also to the sons of Israel, saying, Truly you shall keep My sabbaths. For it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I am YHVH who sanctifies you.
Humans need constant reminders. The Sabbaths were given to Israel so that Israel would be often aware of who we are and who serve. We need to know He is YHVH. Rejecting the Torah Cycle is how we forget who we are and who He is.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long upon the land which YHVH your God gives you.
You have heard that this is the commandment with a promise, but what is the spirit of this law? It is for us to respect the two people who are to us on earth what YHVH is for us in Heaven.
How we treat our parents reflects on our relationship with YHVH. If we dishonor them, we will probably dishonor YHVH.
Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.
There are 7 Hebrew words (H7523, H5221, H2026, H7819, H4191, H2873, H2076) for killing. The letter of this Law has to do with not taking away the physical life of a person. But the spirit of the Law says there is another way to kill someone as Yeshua pointed out in Matthew 5:22 when He tells us that our anger toward someone without cause will put us in danger of His judgment.
The Hebrew word ‘ratsach’ also means to assassinate. Anger without cause (Matthew 5:22) can spew forth to others as character assassination. Murdering of the character.
Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
This commandment involves not breaking up a marriage but the spirit behind it is idolatry. Physical adultery is unfaithfulness to our wedded partner. Idolatry is unfaithfulness to YHVH.
Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.
Simply, do not take anything that is not your possession. The spirit of this Law is to not steal people’s dignity or the justice that is due them within YHVH’s judicial system, either.
Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
This isn’t just about lying under oath. It is anytime we lie about someone whether under oath or not.
The spirit of this is compassion toward and protection of others both in a witness situation where we need only tell the truth. This commandment, then, protects everyone from all the harm that comes from disobeying it.
Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Coveting begins in the uncircumcised and hard heart and can lead to planning how to either steal someone’s possessions. We are to not plan or imagine such things. Coveting is evidence of jealousy, selfishness and pride.
Yeshua has an answer for coveting:
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to get to the spirit of the Law and it does us good to go through the Torah every year so we can be reminded of things that we humans so easily forget.
Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled, and stood afar off.
Exodus 20:19 And they said to Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Exodus 20:20 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear, for God has come to test you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin.
Exodus 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
There is already a problem. Not only have the Israelites been complaining to Moses about Moses’ God (they don’t dare to complain to God’s face) but now they don’t want to hear His Word or, more importantly, receive His Spirit, the Spirit that He would give 1500 years later. The flesh does not like YHVH’s Word or His Spirit!
The last generation is worse than the first. We must be careful to be obedient so we can enter the Kingdom because the Law is our path of righteousness. The Moses generation backed up from YHVH at the mountain but they would, at least, hear what Moses had to say. This last generation, the Jesus generation, doesn’t even want to hear what Moses has to say! If we cannot stand hearing what Yeshua, the Torah made flesh has to say now, how can we claim we will hear and do what He says when we get into His Kingdom?
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