Yitro:  More Good Better
An excerpt from CG WKBK 5 Vol 2

Jethro, or Yitro, has a Hebrew root that means abundance, extra, plenty, advantage, profit, gain, remainder or more.  "Better" in Hebrew is yoter tov, and you can hear the same root in yoter as Yitro.  Something that is better is more than good.  It's more good better.  Moses' father-in-law's advice is More Good Better.

A schema (singular) or our schemata (plural) is our way of looking at life.  The challenge is not to be in bondage to what happens to us, but to discipline the way one views the things that do happen.  An old saying is that life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you handle what happens to you.  That's an easy way of saying how important it is to frame one's life according to the outlook of God's Word.

The problem is human ways of explaining the world to themselves are flawed, and disciples don't always grasp the good way of Yeshua in interpreting the events of daily life.  Instead of more good, we see more bad.  More commonly, however, we don't necessarily see bad, we just don't see clearly, or we don't see the big picture.  The needs and pressures of the day prevent us from seeing how the specific problems of that day fit into the bigger scheme; therefore, our schema does not effectively fit the Great Plan of God.  

Our schema may be good, but Yitro teaches that even a good schema can be improved with faith and vision, and schemata can become more good, better.

Adonai sees clearly through eternity.  He says He KNOWS the plans He has for us, for good.  When Israel sees what He sees, then their schemata also become more good, better.

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.'[1]

Since His scheme for us is good, it is a point of advantage, profit, gain, and abundance for us to fit our schema to His.  It is more good, better than ours.  Our plans and our schemata have been proven time after time to be ineffective and short-sighted, and often the bitterness of life experience darkens vision in particular areas.

[1] Jeremiah 29:11-12

The numbers Yitro gives to Moses hint at more than just levels of civil government. Each number has a meaning.  Ten, of course, is the smallest number of a congregation.  The other levels of government are leaders of 50, 100, and 1000.  The point of this more good better advice was so that the judges would bear the burden with Moses.  

Moses took Yitro's advice to heart, for later when Yehoshua is upset that Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Moses declares he wishes ALL would prophesy.  Additional personnel who are willing to work under teaching authority without usurping it are not a threat; instead they augment the leadership in place.

Teaching the Teachers

In its brevity, the Torah does not detail the process that Moses went through in order to train his new judges and civil leaders.  Common sense would say that after their initial orientation, when they brought the more difficult cases to Moses, it was his opportunity to teach them how to rightly divide the Word so that justice and judgment were in a flexible balance.

What about Mary and Martha?  Martha is laboring hard to provide food for the disciples, yet Mary sits at Yeshua's feet absorbing "the better thing." How were Moses and Martha alike?  They both thought they must do something to meet needs in the moment without considering long-term growth and maturity.  Long-term growth and maturity is a proposition of hope and vision.  Serving meals to the faithful is a good thing.  Having a long-term vision to feed them spiritual food is a better thing.  Hope is the belief that things will be better in the future.  

Hope requires a plan, a scheme; hopeful individuals allow their own schema to flex to a new concept rather than force it into the old schema. Martha's schema needed to be smashed and rebuilt with vision, which would have likely included both meeting immediate hunger as well as the vision of meeting the hunger of 1000s of new disciples.  

Maybe what Martha needed to do was delay the serving of the physical bread in order to hear her rabbi teach and train her for an expanded vision.  Maybe Martha was bound in the fetters of a culture that expected her to cook and serve the men, not to learn like a male disciple at her rabbi's feet.  The important point, however, was not whether her culture prioritized her serving role over her learning, but whether Yeshua prioritized her learning role over her serving.  In that day and time, Yeshua's words to Martha surely smashed paradigms.

Disciples need to be taught before we can serve.  To do nothing is harder than doing something, but it is better in some situations.  We need to be taught with vision and spiritual bread before we can serve physical bread with the proper attitude.  Serving the saints is not an unskilled task to be left to those who have little foundation!  The deacons selected to serve the Body in Acts were men highly skilled in the Word.  Kitchen duty is not what you do when you have nothing else to contribute.

Doing nothing is in fact doing something very important.  If a disciple is not disciplined enough to learn sound doctrine, then he may run off too quickly in zeal scattering error.  Yeshua wanted Martha to hear a sound message in its entirely, not to feed on the scraps gleaned while her mind was engaged in serving.

The true test of the Spirit of Counsel is not the ability to give it, but to receive it, to hear it, and to make it part of one's growth.  Counsel allows the Word to make a disciple, judge, or leader permanently More Good Better.  This is the test of the Holy Spirit in all its manifestations, receivorship.  We RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We RECEIVE power from on high.  We RECEIVE wisdom and knowledge and understanding; we do not work for it.  Only after it is received can it be manifested as works in the fruit growing by the Edenic Rivers.  Moses needed to receive counsel before he gave it.  When he received the counsel of the Holy Spirit, he became better at training a nation and freeing them from the bondage of dependency, a characteristic of slaves.  Martha needed to receive the teaching counsel of Yeshua, which would train her to assemble with a congregation and receive before she worshiped Yeshua by serving that congregation.

Moses and Martha threw themselves into hard work for the Kingdom, and neither was condemned for sinning.  Such a thing is good.  Both were given a choice to choose a better way and to see the Kingdom not from a natural human perspective, the level of the heel, but from a spiritual perspective, eye-level.  What was more good better from the spiritual perspective was the long-range plan of the Father.  

The Father desires not mighty men and women who work hard as individuals, but disciples who hear counsel and reproduce congregations and 100s, which is the Gentile nations, through the power of the Holy Spirit, not self-aggrandizing works.  These 10s of congregations, 50s of release, and 100s of the nations will eventually lead to holy 1000s, which is where the promise of the Father extends.

Gather the Scattered is back, following up a very successful (thanks to attendees like you!) 2016 event. This year we will be focusing on the End Time Gathering that the Scriptures speak of. What will the return of our Savior look like? Can we know when this will be? We believe there are 'keys' in the Scriptures that we've lost, Keys, that once recovered, will bring clarity to the confusion of this subject and in the process will greatly encourage you in your walk with God.

We want to see everyone that comes leave refreshed, uplifted, encouraged, and blessed. Whether you may be struggling with one thing, or a myriad of things, we believe you will find that in the presence of a gathering of the Body of Messiah this is possible. Whether you have weekly fellowship, or believe you are all alone, Gather the Scattered 2017 is for you.

We've gone to great lengths to bring premier speakers to be a blessing to you. Like last year, we will have the opportunity to be a blessing to them and to others.

Don't wait. Register now as space is limited. We can't wait to see you there!   http://gatherthescattered.com/register/

Can You Help?

Our BEKY Books need more good better reviews!  The booklets are doing well, but they can do better at reaching our target audience, the beginner to Torah.  One thing that helps readers to decide whether to purchase a book is reviews.  If you've read a BEKY Book (and enjoyed it), please take five minutes to post a good review.  

The BEKY Book authors have poured our hearts into carefully selecting and placing words in these booklets to encourage newcomers that there is a more good better way to walk in the truth of Yeshua.  If you can post a "good report" on amazon.com or goodreads.com, then you can boost this work.

The BEKY Booklet on Shabbat is finished and in the editing process.  This will be a vital foundation stone in the BEKY curriculum for curious Christians and those beginning their walk in the instructions of the Torah.  Stay tuned!

What is the Torah? in Spanish

The Kindle Spanish version of BEKY Book
What is the Torah? is now on Amazon.

Now available on Amazon, 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! 
LaMalah Children's Centre

Orphanage Update: Good News!

We hope to disburse the funds to the LeMalah Children's Centre at the end of the month to purchase an additional milk cow.  Two additional children have been taken in by the Centre, and it is exciting to see the vision of salvation (physical, spiritual, emotional) realized through the hard work of our brothers and sisters in Kenya.  
We are saving toward the purchase of a vehicle for transportation.  This vehicle will not just be for the orphanage, but for Brother Ndungu and the other elders to continue traveling to teach the Torah both within Kenya and surrounding countries.  If you can help toward this goal, as always, we welcome your assistance.  For those of you who send monthly support to the orphanage, we can't thank you enough for your More Good Better vision of Messiah's commission. 
Thank you for your faithful donations!