Vayishlach...and a personal note.
An excerpt from Torah portion "And he sent..." CG WKBK 5 Vol 1
The first mention of Sukkot by name was the camp where Jacob built a house for himself and sukkot for his livestock, which alluded to the peoples who would join themselves to Israel.
Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth. Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for one hundred pieces of money. Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. (Genesis 33:17-20)
The "house" in Scripture can also serve as a metaphor of the Temple, and in this case, can serve as a prophetic marker concerning Israel.
The theme is that making camps and division can be a preparation to protect all Israel. The parable of the talents was also one of division. The talents were divided among the servants so that the rewards could be made according to the faith and due diligence of the servants.
Divisions are part of the process of testing Yeshua's disciples, and in the final judgment, divisions are separations in order to gather to like kind and like mind. Reward, whether desirable or undesirable, will be experienced with those of like faith. In true Scriptural pattern, a division is a gathering.
The Creation was multiple acts of division. Within Jacob's own camp he separated the wives and children of the two handmaids from one another. He separated the wives and children of the handmaids from Rachel and Leah and their children. He separated Leah and Rachel with their children. He separated himself on the other side of the waters. He separated sheep, donkeys, milking camels; he separated the animals by gender; he separated the gifts to travel forward in intervals.
Perhaps more importantly, Jacob separated his entire family from idols and had them change their garments, a symbol of separation from idolatry. There are occasions when division is good, for each division or camp had its unique purpose within the covenant, a purpose that endures even to this generation of Jacob's descendants. Count how many times in the parasha that you see the words "camp" and "divided," or some form of division. These divisions were not purely arbitrary, but a result of Jacob's preparation for tribulation.
Humans are not always on board with divisions, especially if they were not a part of that decision! What if the handmaidens objected and felt as though they and their sons were being thrown to the front lines so that they would die first? What if Rachel and Joseph felt as though Jacob considered them the least important by placing their camp in the rear? What if all the camps felt abandoned because Jacob camped on the other side of the brook? What if the two righteous servants in the parable sat around trying to figure out why the master divided the talents by giving some more? Divisions are not always evidence of importance, but of plans.
Each division or camp was part of a merciful and righteous master plan. Jacob's reasoning was that if one camp laid down its life in the earth, it may mean life for others. This is a picture of Messiah. The camps of Jacob laid it down as did our Messiah. The result was that their trust in Jacob's judgment in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, the death and trampling of their souls in the dust, resulted in life for everyone and reconciliation between brothers.
Jacob was a wise shepherd, and though he demanded a lot of trust from his flocks of wives and children, he never drove them beyond their ability to withstand the test. The wicked servant was not tested beyond his ability to invest his talent. The perfectionist often will not risk trying because he is afraid of failure and losing control. He trusts in his own strength, which is limited, not in the strength of the Good Shepherd, which is the power of resurrection.
We Need Your Help
No, this is not another end-of-the-year-last-chance-to-get-a-deduction-on-your-income-tax-appeal. Ironically, the Torah portion this week deals with the man Jacob became: not just a man of the tents occupied with study, but a shepherd of the sheep, prophetically shepherding the nations to Sukkot. This week something has been heavy on my heart, and it's not a surprise to you.
This Torah walk is teacher-rich and pastor-poor. We are part of something amazing, a twice-in-2000-years phenomenon: non-Jews turning to Torah and the Sabbaths, seeing Yeshua in all things between Genesis and Revelation. While we needed teachers who could nurture us in the Word, we need pastors, shepherds to keep disciples of Yeshua on a safe path to the one fold with one Shepherd, Yeshua.
The sheep come from so many religious and non-religious backgrounds. They are internet-promiscuous, in dire need of study skills and healthy filters to test the sources and messengers of teaching. Few have access to healthy congregations and fellowships, and often the wolves seek out those fellowships to cut down the weak and distracted. The few good shepherds we have are weary and battle-worn from the never-ending Niagara Falls of doctrines gleaned from the internet, most of them designed to cause unhealthy divisions among the little flocks.
I've met many of these local shepherds as I travel, and my heart goes out to them. They need support, rest, encouragement, and most of all, spiritual renewal. I'm asking if you will help one in particular. I'm taking a study tour to Israel in March, and our focus is to prepare for Passover. If we are on the traditional shmittah cycle, we are in the second year, which in the Creation paradigm, was a day of separation, a day not declared good until the waters were gathered on the third day.
I've seen much separation in the Body of Messiah over the last two years, but we should transition to a gathering mode after Trumpets next year. The shepherds and shepherdesses need to be prepared for the increase that will begin to sprout. Although this certain local leader does not have the funds to make the trip, nor does Creation Gospel have enough to spare since all designated funds go to the LaMalah Children's Centre, I'm asking if you'd be able to donate $5, $10, $20, or whatever you can to make this trip possible. I'm asking you to send a good shepherd as it says, "And he sent..."
Our faithful, good-hearted shepherds and shepherdesses need spiritual renewal. They are beset on every side, and I'd like to come alongside this worthy individual to help. I've seen miracles and spiritual breakthroughs on these trips to Israel, both personally and in the lives of others.
Peter said to the lame man, "Such as I have give I thee." Although we don't have ready cash, I've thought about it, and what I do have is an amazing new teaching that I'll be presenting at the Chanukkah conference in Nashville. I'll only be able to present around 95 minutes total of the teaching on the
Seven Shepherds and
Pray That Your Flight Be Not in Winter, so there will be lots of material that I can't cover at the conference.
I've offered to teach some extra sessions on that material to my online Torah classes either late this month or early January. If you'd be willing to make a donation IN ANY AMOUNT to this special need, I will send you a link to listen to the Seven Shepherds/Winter Flight teaching when it is recorded. The link will be good for about three weeks, but you can always download it onto your own computer to watch later. The material will be in an upcoming BEKY Book because I believe that the message is a vital one to the non-Jewish believers who have joined themselves to Israel.
The teaching points include:
- Why did Yeshua say that we should pray that our flight be not in winter or on Shabbat?
- What did the Prophet Chaggai prophesy about Chanukkah? How did Zechariah extend this Chanukkah "blessing" to the nations?
- Where is the First Mention of chanukkah in the Torah, and how does it relate to the time Yeshua walked in the Temple at Chanukkah?
- What was the context of the Pharisees' challenge to Yeshua at the Feast of Dedication, and how was his answer prophetic of the "other flock" and how he would accomplish the task of bringing them to the House?
- When was the "real" Chanukkah, and what does it have to do with Passover Sheni in the Torah and the Chanukkah celebrated today?
- What do Yared, Enoch, and Methuselah have to do with Chanukkah and the 1,000-year reign? What about the loosing of the Adversary after 1,000 years?
If you can help, click
to donate by
. Please put "Shepherd" in the Comment section so we can know who the donation is for. Alternatively, you can send a check (memo line: "Shepherd") to
PO Box 846
East Bernstadt, KY 40729
Don't forget to include your email address to receive the WebEx link to the teaching.
What is the Torah? in Spanish
The Kindle Spanish version of BEKY Book What is the Torah? is now available on amazon, and the paperback version should be ready within a week or so. Click
or the following book image to see if you've won a free copy. No strings attached!:
Now available on amazon.com, the newest BEKY Book,
Truth, Tradition, or Tare: Growing in the Word
Readers of the Newer Testament can find its treatment of tradition confusing. Many of the customs in its pages are Jewish, and therefore foreign to non-Jewish believers. Yeshua (Jesus) sometimes corrected those observing religious customs, yet at other times he said they should have observed them. Paul does the same in his letters, and twice he instructs non-Jewish believers to keep the Jewish customs he passed on to them.
Among believers in Yeshua today, some enjoy incorporating tradition into their worship. Some dismiss all customs as "man-made," and therefore extraneous at best or the sin "adding to" the written Word at worst. There is a way to determine the relationship of the written Word to tradition, for the Word would not leave us without comfort on such an important question. Our Father wants His children to grow in wisdom, maturity, and favor before Him as well as their communities.
The methods used by the prophets of the Older Testament (TANAKH) as well as the writers of the Newer Testament (Brit HaChadasha) did leave readers guidelines to divide the Seed of truth from tradition, and then to separate a tradition grown from truth from a "taredition" grown from a different seed. Additionally, it is just as important to the disciple of Yeshua to test the goodness of the soil on which the practice of the Word grows. The most important consideration in the Older Testament's, Yeshua's, and the apostles' instructions is the sincere heart that holds justice, mercy, and faithfulness as the weightier matters of any religious custom.
By evaluating the traditions that one chooses to observe or not observe, the individual can avoid the lament:
"O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: 'Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.'"
By applying the instructions in the Word, every believer is encouraged in his or her growth. A careful examination of Yeshua's instructions lifts a nuance that is frequently lost in discussions of truth and tradition. The first step is to identify whether that tradition is a tare. By throwing all tradition into a mental trash bin labeled Man's Tradition, it is possible that one could throw good plants and fruit into the bin with the tares. This is a logical fallacy called oversimplification. Yeshua's parables encourage his disciples to learn critical thinking skills so that growth in the Word is abundant life.
When a disciple of Yeshua examines his or her walk in the Word, there may be times that he or she feels that there is not enough growth. The very fact that we question our growth is a sign of readiness to grow. The next step is to allow the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) to teach us how to bear good fruit. To do that, every disciple can identify beliefs and practices that either stimulate healthy growth in the Word, or they stunt it. Welcome to the living fields of the Father's Garden!
Don't be alone this December! Come fellowship with friends, believers, and family at HRN's 2016 "Lord You Are My Light" Hanukkah Conference.
Enjoy teachings by Bill Cloud, Hollisa Alewine, Tony Robinson, Daniel Botkin, & more! Experience heartfelt worship and join hands with hundreds of people who share your faith.
We weren't meant to be alone - we were created to be in community with one another. Space is limited so register for this exciting event today! You'll be glad you did.
or the Hanukkah image above to make your hotel reservation at a special discounted group rate. Discount available on the nights of December 23-26 if booked by December 7.
DATES: December 23-25, 2016
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
HOTEL: Sheraton Music City
REGISTRATION: $30 per individual or $50 per couple or $75 per family.
A Davidic Dance Class will be offered Friday, Dec. 23 frin 4-6 PM. To sign up for this two hour class,
. $15 per person.
LaMalah Children's Centre
Thank you for your faithful donations! We hope to be able to take in two more youngsters on the waiting list soon.