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Hebrew Prayer - The Resonance Of Saints

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Hebrew Prayer -

The Resonance of Saints

A Messianic Jewish Commentary

Published At Smashwords

By P.R. Otokletos

Copyright 2015 P.R. Otokletos

All Rights Reserved

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Table of Contents

About the Author

Introduction

[+ Prayer -A Traditional Hebraic Perspective +]

The Shema

The Amidah

Ten Commandments

Dynamic Hebrew Prayer

Traditional Hebraic Perspective Summary

Prayer – A Messianic Hebraic Perspective

Meaning of Ritual Prayer

Messianic Ritual Prayer Conclusion

Messianic Personal Prayer

Prayer and the Disciples

Resonance of the Saints

Conclusion

Afterthoughts

Heavenly Rabbi

Dedication

As always … the work is dedicated to the great and awesome G_D Most High; the Infinite G_D of all existence whom no man has seen but the only begotten Son; the G_D of Israel: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Psalms 9:11: “And they that know thy Name will put their trust in thee; for Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

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About P. R. Otokletos

The author Andrew A. Cullen has been writing under the pen name of P. R. Otokletos since 2004 when he began writing/blogging Messianic Jewish/Hebraic Roots commentaries across a broad range of topics.

The author is part of an emerging movement of believing Jews as well as former Christians and new believers recapturing the Hebraic roots of the Messianic faith. A movement that openly receives not just the redemptive grace revealed within the Good News Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) but also the transformational lifestyle that comes with joyful pursuit of G_D’s Sacred Torah … just as it was in the first century Ce!

Despite a successful career in politics and business, the author is driven first and foremost by a desire to understand the great G_D of creation and humanity’s fate. To this end the author has spent years studying the Hebrew and Greek Sacred Texts, in a Hebraic context in order to get past the delusions of mainline religions … to get at the truth!

In 2005 the author completed this first book “The Seven Churches of Asia – The Path of the Chosen Revealed”. A work which provides a Messianic Hebraic look into the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach in Hebrew/Aramaic) respective to the seven church messages found in the Book of Revelation.

In his second full length book completed in 2013 “Exposing Mystery Babylon – An Attack On Lawlessness”, a broad sweeping overview is provided regarding how G_D’s adversary works against the children of men through confusion, lies and deceit to keep people from the truth of the Gospel Message and the Covenantal relationship offered by G_D. The work exposes the false framework of wisdom woven into this temporal world (olam hazeh) and the genuine solution for humanity and all of creation (Grace and Torah) provided by G_D through Yeshua HaMashiach. This work undertakes a broad overview of the Torah Commandments and present day applicability within a Messianic context provided to us by Yeshua … The Master Rebbe and Lord!

His third book “The Biblical Festivals – Messiah’s Aliyah of Glory” was completed in 2014. In this work the Traditional and Messianic Hebraic perspectives relative to the eternal Biblical Festivals are surfaced, discussed and reviewed in order to reveal the glory of G_D through the awesome fulfillment and perfection of the Festivals by, in and through Messiah Yeshua. This work essentially reveals Yeshua’s great “aliyah” (ascent) to glory and consequently the great aliyah of Mashiach’s faithful community … a.k.a… Israel!

The author is convinced that nearly two thousand years of wayward understanding of the Biblical texts and man-made doctrine has significantly shrouded humanity’s view of G_D … his Messiah … and even the very Gospel message itself. Consequently the author has dedicated his time and efforts to offer humanity the original Hebraic perspective of the G_D of Israel … the original Hebraic perspective of Messiah Yeshua … the original Hebraic perspective of the Gospel message in the hopes that some might be awakened to and pursue a relationship with G_D as defined within Holy Scriptures.

There is indeed a veil of ignorance that thickens all around us and is keeping us from our destiny … from our restoration. Like others who have been enabled to see past this shroud, the author labors for no other reason than to give G_D the glory he is due and G_D’s just due comes by way of the Hebraic bias … as the reader will soon see!

The author hosts a web-site at http://pr.otokletos.org/ where numerous Messianic Hebraic materials are provided free of charge.

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Introduction

Unfortunately there is only little justice that can be done herein to describe the importance and nature of prayer within the Hebraic perspective … it is quite frankly a fundamental communal, personal and mysterious aspect of a believer’s life.

Anyone familiar with mainstream religious Jewish individuals or families realize that in the Jewish world … there is a prayer for virtually every occasion. In the Jewish mindset just about every human activity entails giving thanks or praise to G_D … waking up … going to sleep … having a job … crossing the street safely … and so forth!

Although to many outsiders this traditional/cultural nuance of the Jewish people might be perceived as purely learned behavior … the point must be made that even if this is the case these nuances run extremely deep and are embedded within Jewish culture from their earliest days of existence.

For instance … most faithful Jews recite a prayer to G_D upon waking:

In the Hebraic perspective … the very act of awakening represents a gift from G_D and sets the tone by which “yom hazeh” (this day) will be conducted. In the Hebraic perspective G_D is in control and the central focus of life … in all aspects. In fact, as this prayer suggests, the very awakening represents a quickening of sorts wherein a lifeless (unconscious) person is once again instilled with the breath of life from G_D and the reality is we have no power of our own to guarantee that we do awake! Hence the blessing for the return of our cognitive essence.

On a more historical note however Jewish scholars and sages over the millennia have discerned that the key to prayer lies in the very root of the Hebrew word for prayer itself – “tephilla”. The root of “tephilla” is “palal”. This word root means “to judge, discern, differentiate, clarify and decide.” In other words, prayer is the means by which the believer’s own will comes to discern, clarify and differentiate G_D’s will … from their own. Conversely it would also appear that in the act of “tephilla” G_D also judges and discerns the heart of the one praying … hmmm!

We pray so that we can be changed by our own musings and words, so that we can through our own speech and resonance better understand how to be transformed into G_D’s likeness. We pray so that we can develop true perceptions about life in order that we may be prepared to receive what G_D’s will is for us. We pray in order to fit G_D’s desire … we pray so that we can fit into G_D’s plan!

According to the rabbis, prayer is less to do with what I think I want, what I think I need, or what I desire and more about communicating with G_D in a manner wherein I become pliable enough for G_D to place his will into me. The traditional Hebraic perspective is that man becomes more human through conversation with the Creator … which leads to a better understanding of his will … which ultimately leads us to obediently follow his Torah … thus manifesting his desires for creation! We in essence return to the human creations we were meant to be and hopefully exercise acceptable and authoritative stewardship over G_D’s creation.

Additionally within the Hebraic perspective and assuredly in Holy Scriptures itself there are scores of words that are associated with prayer … crying, groaning, pleading, shouting, praising, jumping, contemplating … on and on. Consequently from a Hebraic perspective prayer is not always a neat and clean formulaic recitation … we simply need look to the Psalms to confirm this evident truth. Prayer can be getting deep into the weeds with one’s inner most essence and hoping to meld this connection with G_D Himself! When we ponder the Psalms we should be connecting with the hearts of the Psalmist. Yes the words are inspiring … but much more so when we realize the deep emotional connection in which the Psalmists are praying.

We also need to keep in mind that there are core Hebrew ritual prayers which in many respects encapsulate Israel’s understanding of and relationship with G_D. Through review of these core traditional Jewish prayers we can peer into the mind of ancient Israel as we seek to garner a greater understanding of how the Hebraic perspective approaches prayer, faith and belief.

Additionally we will also conduct a review of Hebrew prayer in a renewed covenant perspective; in a Yeshua (Jesus) perspective … seeking to understand the impacts upon Hebraic prayer responsive to the great Messianic Mission!

Shalom Aleichem

P. R. Otokletos

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Prayer – A Traditional Hebraic Perspective

The Sh’ma (Shema)

If one accepts the Traditional and Messianic Hebraic perspective that deep within the Sacred Shabbat is encapsulated the quintessence of the relationship between G_D and Israel – between G_D and humanity … then it might be worth pondering the importance and relevance of the foremost cited and revered traditional Hebrew prayer … generally referred to as the “Shema/V’ahavta” in as much that this prayer has come to serve as the foundational Jewish profession of faith and prayer life … and as will be seen so very much more!

It must be noted that the Shema is an aggregation of a few key Scripture passages found within the Tanakh (so called Christian Old Testament) … which include the “Shema/V’ahavta” (Deuteronomy 6:4–9) … The “V’haya im shamoa” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21) … and “Vayomer” (Numbers 15:37–41) respectively. The complete prayer is provided below herein!

(Note: Unlike the English language and transliterated text below herein the actual Hebrew text is read “right to left”.)

So what then is this “Shema” prayer all about and why is it so vitally important to Israel in the original Hebraic perspective? To begin let us look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9 … we should see how it begins with the critical Hebrew word Shema … which means:

As should be seen the prayer thus starts out with an axiomatic mandate to listen up and take to your very deepest inside human element the truth that Israel’s G_D is ADONAI (The LORD in Hebrew) … he stands alone above all else … he is the very essence of all that is!

We see where this truth is not just about some mere mental affirmation … the prayer represents a mandate for every individual to take this very truth into the heart. Take this truth and make it a way of life … having this truth and having it manifest at all times … being single minded in the ways of G_D … having this truth and passing it down faithfully from generation to generation … having this truth guide our very existence and finally having this truth formally codified by marking the house and gates of our dwellings!

What we see in the “Shema” is essentially the core element of Israel’s Kingdom Constitution. Contained within the Shema we see essentially what being a Jew is all about … being a person that is in a relationship with the living G_D … a person that is single-mindedly aligned with G_D … a person that is a member of Kingdom Israel. Hence we should gain valuable insights into the essential nature and importance of what “Shema Yisrael” means to a faithful Jewish person … to the faithful Jew there is no existence without Shema Yisrael!

On a deeper and more complex note please be aware that within the Sacred Texts there are two larger-print letters in the first sentence …

The ‘ayin ע in the word shema and the daleth ד in the word echad which, when combined, spell “דע” pronounced “ed” which in Hebrew means “witness”.

The idea thus conveyed is that through the recitation or professing of the Shema, one is a living witness testifying to the truth of its message! Clearly the underlying importance of this declaration, yea this entire expounding of Torah, from Moses was well understood in the Hebraic culture! When this little piece of information is coupled with the fact that “the people” (“haAM”) are most often communally referred to as “haEDAH” … “the witnesses”, we should begin to get a clearer picture of the Jewish mindset! Or at least one can hope as much!

So then … we hopefully should recognize how important the “Shema” is to Israel and understand why a faithful Jew is expected (according to the sages) to recite the prayer minimally twice a day … when you arise and when you lie down to sleep. But beyond sheer testimony to this truth let us consider if we do not already know … how the recitation of the Shema can be representative of an individual offering up the twice daily communal “burnt offering” to ADONAI in accordance with the Holy Service conducted within the Temple.

It certainly goes without question that the Jewish sages discerned the connection between “prayer” and the “holy service” (avodah). Although it is the duty and privilege of the priests to present the olah (whole burnt offering) sacrifices to G_D … we see where these same sages envisioned how every Jew spiritually and ritually participated as it pertains to presenting the “olah” to G_D … as it pertains to presenting the singular sacrifice that is symbolic of the unique covenantal relationship between G_D and community Israel.

For those not aware of the “olah” it literally means that which “goes up” … or “ascending” … or perhaps in some manner we can visualize the rising pleasing aroma making an “aliyah” to G_D. Unlike other specific sacrifices (peace, guilt, sin, etc.) within the Holy Service, the “olah” has been discerned to be the sacrifice that is given completely to G_D … a whole burnt offering … an offering of simple and complete dedication to G_D on behalf of Kingdom Israel.

Moving along … the V’haya im shamoa – Deuteronomy 11:13-21 portion of the prayer presents us with a little bit of different dynamic in that the prayer now moves further towards a communal/national/kingdom perspective and does so clearly within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant and the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … (the Patriarchs).

We see clearly where there are continued blessings associated with heart felt compliance to G_D’s commandments – G_D’s Torah and conversely we see where there are harsh penalties if Kingdom Israel wavers in their faith. Consequently this portion of the prayer brings to mind the great promises to Israel … their inheritance … their blessings! But also the responsibilities associated with being the chosen people Israel … the children of the covenant.

It must be remembered that Israel was raised up by G_D to serve him as the mechanism for restoration of his creation. Israel by design is intended to stand in the gap for the nations … to be the light to the nations and therefore manifest G_D’s glorious character and benevolence upon the Earth. This portion of the prayer calls into mind the responsibility of Nation Israel and just as well forewarns Israel what becomes of them if they forsake their covenantal charter!

Sh’mot/Exodus (19:4-6) Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’

Vaikra/Leviticus (20:22-24) Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all mine ordinances, and do them, that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, vomit you not out. And ye shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you: ‘Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your G_D, who have set you apart from the peoples.

Devarim/Deuteronomy (4:5-8) Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as the LORD my G_D commanded me, that ye should do so in the midst of the land whither ye go in to possess it. Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there, that hath G_D so nigh unto them, as the LORD our G_D is when so ever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Isaiah (56:4-7) For thus says the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast by my covenant: Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a monument and a memorial better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting memorial, that shall not be cut off. Also the aliens, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast by my covenant: Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

Hopefully we can see the relevance and importance of the V’haya im shamoa portion of this great Hebrew prayer. We see in this portion of the prayer where G_D has established the chosen peoples’ purpose in the great restoration plan. G_D did not redeem Israel simply to raise up the Jewish people. G_D raised up the Jewish people so that “all nations” would be drawn into G_D’s glorious light! G_D desired that Israel would flourish within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant and all other nations would marvel at Israel’s success and be drawn to the source of their blessings and goodness … G_D Himself!

When faithful Jews recite this portion of the prayer it is hoped that their thoughts are drawn to the promises made by G_D and just as well the great commission they were given by G_D and their communal responsibilities … to their homeland-Israel … and to all the nations of the Earth.

The final component of the prayer consists of the Vayomer – Numbers 15:37-41 segment wherein we see ADONAI’s great exhortation to Israel … “Be holy for ADONAI is holy” … but clearly G_D does so while making Israel understand that conforming to his holiness is not something that is innate to a fallen humanity … even the chosen people Israel. Herein we see G_D clearly define the propensity of fallen man and the need to be constantly reminded of this propensity.

But there is more going on here as well. Within vayomer we must realize that the command to wear tzitzit (fringes) on their clothing is also a tangible means of separation between the ways of this temporal world … olam hazeh … and the ways of ADONAI! In many respects the tzitzit represent the most visible and tangible testimony of either being with G_D … or with the world.

Additionally … despite the poor English translation it should be noted that the Hebrew word “zonim” literally translates as whore. So in actuality within this portion of the prayer it is considered by traditional Judaism to represent that unique Biblical dynamic between G_D and Israel … between Husband and Wife … wherein G_D views Israel’s unfaithfulness in the same way a husband views a wife’s sexual infidelity.

Shema Conclusion

As is often the case with commentaries provided on these diverse and in many ways complex matters … the information provided is done so necessarily at a fairly high level … hopefully depicting some major points worth noting. Quite frankly a comprehensive study on the Shema by itself could entail books if we wanted to really delve into the nuances of the Hebrew language and the comprehensive writings of the Jewish sages.

What is important however is for us to gain an appreciation for the importance of this “Shema” prayer from a Hebraic perspective! It is important that we know about Shema Israel because this prayer is fundamental to the Jewish people … fundamental to the Hebrew Faith … fundamental to all believers in the G_D of Israel … including the Gentiles!

In just these few brief pages of review we should realize just how essential this Shema prayer is to the Jewish people. We should readily see how this prayer broadly incorporates the following:

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p<>{color:#000;}. The testimony that the G_D of Israel is the only G_D and he has determined to make known his glory through the chosen people Israel;

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema prayer itself represents an individual’s direct connection to redemption from Egypt, separation from the nations, single mindedness towards G_D and the inheritance of the holy land.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The recitation of the Shema (and of course joyful obedience to the sacred commandments) serves as both an individual and communal testimony/witness to whom Israel serves;

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema serves as an individual and communal connection to the holy service … and the Kingdom of kings and priests;

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema, like the olah, ascends to the throne of G_D … a prayer that is wholly focused upon G_D’s desires and not those of Israel … i.e. “man”;

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema readily represents Israel’s “declaration of independence” and points to the divine constitution of the everlasting Kingdom which is G_D’s sacred Torah;

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p<>{color:#000;}. That Israel’s divine charter of restoration is predicated upon their willingness to become holy … like The LORD;

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p<>{color:#000;}. The divine charter is designed to not just make Israel holy … but to also bring the Nations into the divine covenantal relationship;

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p<>{color:#000;}. That central to the divine covenantal relationship is the place where G_D places his holy name … for this shall be the house of prayer for all nations;

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p<>{color:#000;}. That G_D’s divine covenantal relationship with Israel is to be viewed in a Husband to Wife dynamic. Within the Shema we essentially see G_D courting his bride and extending to her the marriage contract.

As we hopefully can see … there is so very much going on with this great Hebrew prayer of old … The Shema!

Let us for a moment once again revisit the idea of Hebrew prayer and it’s very nature being to understand what G_D wants … what G_D has in store for us … what G_D wants us to ask of him!

Above all else in the Hebrew tradition we are presented with their great prayer … and we should not be disappointed in Moses or the Jewish people … or most certainly not disappointed with their understanding of G_D and prayer. When one ponders the Shema introspectively we are confronted with the essential framework of Israel’s everlasting covenant with G_D and their divine charter! We are confronted with true Israel and all the implications that emanate from this great prayer and the covenantal relationship with G_D!

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AMIDAH “The Standing Prayers”

Outside of the Shema … The Amidah is the central prayer of all four Jewish prayer services: shacharit (morning), mincha (afternoon), maariv (evening), and mussaf (additional).

The word Amidah literally means standing, because it is prayed while standing. It is also known as Shemoneh Esrei, meaning eighteen, because it originally consisted of eighteen blessings, and as tephilla (prayer) because in liturgical regards it is the most important Jewish prayer. According to Jewish tradition the obligation to pray three times a day, which was established by Ezra and codified in the Talmud (Berakhot 26b), is traditionally fulfilled by reciting the Amidah.

In the 5th century B.C.E., the 120 men of the Great Assembly (Sanhedrin) composed the basic text of the Amidah. The exact form and order of the blessings presented herein were officially codified after the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century C.E. The Amidah was expanded from eighteen to nineteen blessings in the 2nd century C.E adding the blessing (against heretics to combat the threats posed initially by the Samaritan and Sadducee sects, and later by the Christians.)

Traditional Customs

Traditionally a person stands with one’s feet together while reciting the Amidah as a show of respect for G_D. The rabbis add that this pose mirrors the vision of angels that Ezekiel had in which the feet of the angels appeared as one (Ezekiel 1:7). The custom is to face the direction of Israel, and if one is in Israel, to turn to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This shows respect for the Temple, which was central to Jewish life, and reminds one that the synagogue was established to try to fill the gap in Jewish life left by the Temple’s destruction. In many synagogues in the west, the ark (Torah scroll container) is on the eastern wall of the synagogue for this reason.

The Amidah is a person’s opportunity to approach G_D in private prayer, and should therefore be said quietly. The words should be audible to oneself, but one should be careful to pray softly enough not to disturb others. If one is alone, it is permissible to raise one’s voice slightly if it helps concentration. Traditionally it is forbidden to interrupt the Amidah even to greet an important person. One should not even acknowledge a greeting. Only a grave emergency justifies interrupting the Amidah, since it is considered a conversation with G_D … no interruptions please!

The Amidah does afford the opportunity to insert one’s private prayers. During the eighth blessing, for healing, many siddurim (prayer books) include a prayer that asks G_D to heal a specific person and has a place to insert the name of anyone who is sick. Personal requests may be made during any of the blessings, but in the sixteenth blessing specifically, which asks G_D to hear our prayers, it is appropriate to insert one’s own requests. Traditionally the appropriate place in this blessing to do so is after the words “raykam al teshivanu” (do not turn us away empty). These additional prayers can be said in any language for any need.

Order and Content of the Blessings

There is a logical basis for the order and content of the blessings. One Talmudic source provides scriptural foundations, another suggests that each is associated with a historic or miraculous event, and another relates the blessings of the Amidah to the prayer of Hannah (Mother of Samuel). Either way, the Amidah contains three sections: a three-blessing introduction made up of praises of G_D; thirteen petitions to G_D for various needs; and a closing of three blessings of thanksgiving. The model for this structure is how one would approach and depart a powerful ruler or how a servant would approach a master when seeking a particular petition granted.

The Amidah is introduced with a verse that requests, “Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare thy praise” (“ADONAI sfatai…”). The first three blessings of praise appeal to G_D as the protector of the forefathers, and extol his powers and holiness. The blessings of petition ask for six personal needs: knowledge, repentance, forgiveness, redemption, health and economic prosperity. They also plead for six needs of the Jewish people: ingathering of the exiled, restoration of justice, destruction of Israel’s enemies, reward for the righteous, restoration of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Messiah. The final supplication asks G_D to hear our prayers. The closing three blessings speak of the hope of return to Temple worship, thanksgiving to G_D, and a prayer for peace.

In all practicality the Amidah, with the exception of the Shema is the most often recited prayer(s). Traditionally the collection of prayers is viewed singularly … as in one conversation/appointment with G_D!

tehillatekha yaggid ufi tiftach sefati ADONAI

“O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Amidah 1 Avot – Praising the G_D of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

The first blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Avot (Patriarchs), and offers praise to G_D as the “G_D of Abraham, the G_D of Isaac, and the G_D of Jacob.”

Amidah 2 – Gevurot – Praising the One who revives the dead

The second blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Gevurot (“mighty deeds”), and offers praise to G_D as the ultimate Power in the universe as demonstrated by the resurrection from the dead.

Amidah 3 – Kedushat HaShem – The Holiness of G_D’s Name

The third blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Kedushat HaShem (“the holiness of the Name”). Kedushat HaShem is also a technical term for “sanctifying G_D’s Name,” which, in extreme cases, may require the giving of your life. The following is recited when you are by yourself, reciting the Amidah:

Amidah 4 – Da’at – Petition for Knowledge and Insight

The fourth blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Da’at (“knowledge”) and functions as a prayer for understanding from the LORD. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).

Amidah 5 – Teshuvah – Return us, our Father, to Thy Torah

The fifth blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Teshuvah (“turning”) and functions as a prayer for return to the LORD and his Torah. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).

Amidah 6 – Selichah – Forgive us, our Father, for we have sinned

The sixth blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Selichah (“forgiveness”) and functions as a confession of sin before the LORD. Note that this part of the Amidah is only recited during weekdays (the Shabbat and Holiday versions skip this prayer).

Amidah 7 – Geulah – Redeem us for the sake of thy Name

The seventh blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Ge’ulah (“redemption”) and appeals to the LORD for redemption and deliverance. The Talmud states that this blessing’s position as seventh in the Amidah points to the future advent of the Mashiach, which will be preceded by seven years of travail (the time of Jacob’s trouble). In the seventh year, the upheaval will reach its climactic stage and the world will totter on the brink of total destruction. Then the Mashiach will appear and end the horror to usher in an era of unsurpassed shalom.

Amidah 8 – Refuah – Heal us, O LORD, and we shall be healed

Amidah 9 – Birkat Hashanim – An appeal for a prosperous year

The Birkat Hashanim (blessing of the years) is the ninth blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to prosper us for the year’s needs

Amidah 10 - Kibbutz Galuyot- Ingathering of Exiles

The Kibbutz Galuyot (gathering of exiles) is the tenth blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to return the Jews from the affliction of Galut.

Amidah 11 - Birkat HaDin- Restoration of Justice

The Birkat HaDin (restoration of justice) is the eleventh blessing of the Amidah wherein appeal is made to the LORD to restore righteous rule upon the earth.

Amidah 12 Birkat Ha_minim – against enemies

Amidah 13 Tsaddikim – the righteous ones

Amidah 14 – Binyan Yerushalayim – Rebuilding Jerusalem

While in Galut (exile), Jews will never stop mourning for and praying to return to Jerusalem. This sentiment finds its expression in Zionism – the worldwide movement of the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland as the chosen people of G_D (Zionism comes from the word Tzion, one of the Jewish names for the holy city of Jerusalem).

Amidah 15 – Malkhut Beit David – Kingdom of David

Blessings ten through fifteen of the Amidah emphasize the LORD’s redemption of national Israel. With blessing fifteen, Malkhut beit David, the appeal is made for the “Branch of David” (Tzemach David) to arise and bring about Israel’s salvation .

Amidah 16 – Kabbalat Tephillah– Acceptance of Prayer

Blessing sixteen of the Amidah prayer, Kabbalat Tephillah, is an appeal to the LORD for pity, mercy, and acceptance of the foregoing petitions, and thereby closes the petitionary (middle) section of the foregoing sequence of prayers.

Amidah 17 – Avodah– Worship

The Avodah (worship, labor, service) is the seventeenth blessing of the weekday Amidah and the fifth blessing of the Shabbat Amidah. According to the Rabbis of the Talmud, the Avodah prayer was said by the priests in the Temple just after they had offered the sacrifices (Mishnah Tamid 5:1).

Amidah 18 – Hoda’ah– Thanksgiving to the Lord

The eighteenth blessing of the weekday Amidah is composed of two parts: the Hoda’ah portion, expressing thanks to the LORD, and the concluding section.

Amidah 19 – Sim Shalom– Establishing Peace

The final blessing of the weekday Amidah is called Sim Shalom which means “create peace,” and anticipates the birkat kohanim, “May he grant you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Oseh Shalom Bimromav

This blessing ends with the following ritual: Bow to the left for the phrase oseh shalom bimromav, bow forward for during hu ya‘aseh shalom aleinu, and straighten up for ve‘al kol yisrael. Veimru amen:

Commentary:

Although it would appear that the brief introduction into the Amidah Prayer was sufficient in establishing the framework in which this prayer(s) serves the Jewish people, there are some notable highlights that should be exposed herein.

G_D’s Revelation to Israel and his nature

The prayer is clearly connected to the Temple and Holy Service as can be seen by the structure and order defined by the Jewish sages as well as the Amidah’s incorporation into the Temple liturgy. We should see within the Amidah pattern a picture of orderly approach to the King of Kings … the G_D of Israel, an approach which in all ways confirms the need to be “in awe” of G_D and recognize G_D’s power and control over all facets of one’s life.

We should recognize that above all else G_D has revealed himself to humanity by way of the Everlasting Covenant and the relationship which G_D forged with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … or in broader terms the relationship with Israel. Within this relationship G_D reveals that he will bring redemption to Israel through his Messiah.

We should recognize that fundamental to the Jewish faith is the belief that G_D is life … that G_D brings life from the dead … that G_D resurrects … that resurrection is indeed salvation and this truth was known by Israel from the beginning!

We should recognize that G_D is forever holy … and even his very NAME encapsulates his essential nature. Within Jewish understanding it is the privilege and duty of the holy ones to praise G_D daily … in holiness! This consequently is serious business!

Within this framework it is then easy to understand why the first three portions of the prayer are strictly focused upon Praise/Worship of G_D!

Man’s state before G_D:

As prayers four through seven depict the state of man is clearly a fallen state. A state wherein people are in need of the real truth and wisdom that comes only through G_D. We also further see how this wisdom of G_D is defined as a return to his ways … to his Torah … as knowledge of G_D. Only in a state of repentance is Israel (people) able to adequately draw near to G_D in order to perform their rightful service.

Interestingly enough, but completely aligned with Jewish tradition and thought we subsequently see that after the return to G_D’s ways … a return to a relationship with G_D … that Israel (people) are able to genuinely understand their sin, express guilt and make a plea for forgiveness … a plea for “grace” knowing that guilt is already established!

Finally in the redemption prayer we see where the Jewish people acknowledge their plight and their need for “redemption” from the redeemer … who is of course G_D!

What is important to note, keeping in mind the traditional understanding of Jewish prayer, is that key to the Israel – G_D relationship is Israel’s desire to be restored to acceptability … to function in the manner which G_D intended … essentially to operate on behalf of G_D and manifest his will for humanity contained with the sacred Torah.

Before all other supplications what we see first and foremost are the prayers of the Jewish people asking G_D … to enlighten them … to draw them close to him … to instill his will (the Torah) within them … to forgive them when they misstep and finally to redeem them!

For sake of discussion let’s for the moment not debate the order or sequencing of these prayers … despite the fact that this same ordering clearly reveals the thinking process and understanding of the Jewish sages. For the time being let us dwell on the aggregate initial requests made to G_D by the Jewish people. If we do so we should undoubtedly see a people who acknowledge their covenantal unfaithfulness and whose desire is to be restored … made acceptable to G_D and successfully conduct their rightful service to the King of Kings!

Temporal Supplications:

Undoubtedly we see within the Amidah prayers eight through sixteen respectively, Israel’s plea for G_D’s intervention in their communal and personal lives. We see petitions for health; prosperity; return of their dispersed brethren; a restoration of true justice; defeat of their enemies; relief from persecution; the restoration of Jerusalem (the Kingdom); the manifestation of the Messiah and then finally a petition to accept the prayers of the chosen people.

Clearly we see a set of prayers that is representative of Israel’s temporal and temporary state of subjugation to the powers of this temporal world (olam hazeh). It is within these prayers we can gain a glimpse into the desperation of the Jewish people and there should be no doubts that the very development of these specific prayers is reflective of a seemingly perpetual state in Israel’s existence (post Solomon era) wherein the Jewish people essentially represent an enemy to the world’s imperial kingdoms.

Despite the temporal and tactical nature of the development of these prayers (responsive to persistent persecution and subjugation) it should be presumed that the sages of Israel were quite cognizant of the fact that their covenantal relationship with G_D makes Israel a threat to the nations of the world. As we see clearly in the Books of Esther and Daniel… the Jewish people from an imperial kingdom perspective are something of a different breed … they are not like everyone else … they are a problem!

Ultimately then these seemingly somewhat temporal prayers of Israel essentially ask G_D to remember that the plight of the Jewish people is directly correlated to G_D and the covenantal relationship. Now clearly the Jewish sages knew that Israel’s troubles stemmed from their own individual and communal unfaithfulness … all the same however it is clear that Israel remains embattled … caught in a war between G_D and the Earthly kingdoms.

When we understand this Hebraic perspective we might perhaps not look upon these great Hebrew prayers as being selfish … or motivated by some ideas that blessings should be bestowed upon Israel … simply for being of the seed of Abraham. What we should see is a set of prayers asking G_D to remember the covenant … to take pity upon Israel and most importantly raise Israel back up so that they can do what they were supposed to do … be the light of goodness and justice for all the nations.

What we should ultimately understand is that even within temporal requests for “blessings”, the Jewish people recognize their personal and communal relationship to the Everlasting Covenant and the essential fact that blessings come by way of G_D and not from the works of their own hands!

It is hopefully noticed that the prayers are literally for all of Israel. We might look but we cannot see a prayer that asks G_D to give me what I want … or make me successful … or spare me hardship! Hmmm!

Thanksgiving & Hope:

Amidah seventeen through the closing prayer manifests Israel’s complete dependence upon and sincere thanksgiving to G_D … despite whatever temporal woes befall them.

Within these prayers we see the coming of the Olam HaBah (the world to come) wherein G_D once again graces Israel and the Earth with his glorious presence.

In this age we see the restoration of the world. Justice, Order and Shalom (peace) are the fruits of this Kingdom and humanity is graced with the very light of G_D’s magnificent presence.

Within these prayers we see the very hope of Israel … restored as covenantal priests/servants to G_D most high in accordance to the promises of the Everlasting Covenant.

There is not a whole lot to add … the hope of Israel should clearly be the hope of all humanity and these concluding prayers provide us insight as to how Israel prays with trust … knowing that G_D remains faithful even if they do not!

Amidah Conclusion

Now if we view the Shema as Israel’s “declaration of independence” then it would be fair to view the Amidah as representing an extension of that declaration and to a certain extent a profession of core beliefs … or minimally an understanding of how things work with G_D.

Perhaps … just perhaps we can see that there is an intentional or maybe unintentional pattern to these prayers which depict a certain form of movement … not surprisingly an “aliyah” of sorts towards the throne … towards Israel’s destiny?

Let’s recap the Amidah while thinking in very discrete steps:

Step 1-Attesting to the identity of G_D … the G_D who has revealed himself to humanity and all creation as the G_D of the patriarchs … the G_D of Israel;

Step 2-Acknowledging G_D’s glory and his power over life, death … all things! G_D can and does resurrect the dead;

Step 3- Attesting to the holiness of G_D … even his very NAME;

Step 4-Submitting to G_D as being the source of all true knowledge and wisdom;

Step 5-Repenting and cleaving to Torah as a sign of repentance and spurning the ways of the world;

Step 6-Confession of sin and forgiveness;

Step 7-Seeking Redemption/Adoption into the inheritance … Kingdom Israel;

Step 8-Request for healing and bearing witness to our dependency upon G_D;

Step 9-Thankfulness for the sustenance/blessings provided by G_D;

Step 10-Fellowship and the in-gathering of the dispersed/wayward brethren;

Step 11-Walking in Torah with G_D and each other … producing a righteous environment;

Step 12-Standing as a light against the darkness of this world (olam hazeh);

Step 13-Blessing and supporting those people that abide by the everlasting covenant;

Step 14-Awaiting the re-building up of Jerusalem;

Step 15-Awaiting in all hope for Mashiach’s appearance and reign;

Step 16-Acceptance of prayers;

Step 17-Restoring of the Holy Service;

Step 18-Receiving Salvation;

Step 19-Living in everlasting peace before the face of G_D

Now despite the fact that these are intended to be “recited prayers” we must not think strictly in terms of ritual repetition or these prayers being mouthed by rote. Let us recall that the purpose of Jewish prayer is to commune with G_D long enough to understand his will for our lives and for all of Israel. Consequently we should view these prayers as the sages discerned … as a singular session with G_D. A session that entails pondering, reflection, introspection and listening … yes listening!

So indeed these prayers are recited publicly by the community but most assuredly these prayers are also designed to be pondered and mused upon individually by all faithful Jews.

So as a complete union of prayer … The Amidah in a traditional Hebraic perspective should result in the believer pondering G_D … his Kingdom … his Torah … his Mercy … his Blessings … and his Promises. And do so with an understanding that despite the fact that it is ALL ABOUT G_D … that we are intrinsically immersed into G_D’s plan as we await with all hope the coming of Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom that will be ushered in!

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Aseret Hadiberot

The Ten Commandments, called “aseret hadiberot” (or sometimes aseret hadevarim[_)_] the “ten sayings/words! In the early Temple period, these commandments were recited immediately before the Shema as part of the seder (order) of worship.

Introduction:

Deuteronomy (31:12-18) And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: ‘Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily ye shall keep my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who sanctify you. … Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth and on the seventh day he ceased from work and rested.’ And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of G_D. So … you may be wondering why the “Ten Commandments” are listed herein as “Hebrew Prayers”? Well dear reader … the answer is simple; these commandments are designed to be pondered and prayed over.

If by chance the reader will recall that the Hebrew perspective on prayer propagates the notion that “the goal of prayer is to distinguish between my own will and G_D’s will.” So … what better way to determine what G_D wants of me than to contemplate his sacred commandments? Especially those given at Mount Sinai written with G_D’s own finger!

Now beyond the root word “palal” connection that provides the foundation of the Hebraic perspective regarding prayer … it should be noted that we get our very best intuitive insights regarding the prayerful nature of the commandments (Torah) from the book of Psalms; generally regarded by both Jew and Gentile as being the great prayer book within the Bible

According to at least the following ten great prayers excerpted from the Books of Psalms:

Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf doth not wither; and in whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper.

The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Give me understanding, that I keep thy law and observe it with my whole heart. Make me to tread in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy ways.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a sojourner in the earth; hide not thy commandments from me. My soul breaks for the longing that it hath unto thine ordinances at all times. Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, that do err from thy commandments.

I am thy servant, give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. It is time for the LORD to work; they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all [thy] precepts concerning all things to be right; every false way I hate. Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore doth my soul keep them. The opening of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened wide my mouth, and panted; for I longed for thy commandments. Turn thee towards me, and be gracious unto me, as is thy wont to do unto those that love thy name.

I delight to do thy will, O my G_D; yea, thy law is in my inmost parts.’ I have preached righteousness in the great congregation, lo, I did not refrain my lips; O LORD, thou knows. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from the great congregation.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD, neither spurn thou his correction; For whom the LORD loves he corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delights.

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I hope in thine ordinances; so shall I observe thy law continually for ever and ever; and I will walk at ease, for I have sought thy precepts; I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. I will lift up my hands also unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than mine elders, because I have kept thy precepts.

Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that obtains understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that holds her fast.

Commentary:

Now … for a moment let us think like the Psalmist … let us think as the faithful believer that we might consider ourselves to be! For one single moment can we conjecture that the commandments of G_D are not absolutely fundamental to the spiritual health and prayer life of the Psalmist … of those believer(s)? Hmmm!

Again … let us consider the Hebraic perspective on prayer. Let us consider the ultimate goal of prayer is to be aware of and in tune with G_D’s will … for us and all creation. If we do, then we must realize that the prayers of the Psalmist represent the very heart of the passionate believer. These Psalms recognize and establish for us the complete interdependence upon G_D’s sacred commandments as a foundation of our prayer life … so that we can LIVE!

Beloved children of G_D … can we see the relationship between G_D’s will and purpose for us and his sacred commandments through the heart of the Psalmist? Can we not see clearly how the Hebraic perspective relates doing G_D’s will on Earth as being rooted in performing the commandments as a manifestation of his holy and righteous character? Can we see even further that according to the Psalmist there is assuredly much more than simply “doing the law”?

Please … ponder these Psalms and really consider what is being revealed. Frankly in the Hebraic perspective there is simply no purpose, wisdom, contentment, joy, mystery … or even life without the Torah of G_D.

Of paramount importance as well is that the Hebraic tradition does not approach this endeavor as a pure-play study! The Hebrew does not approach contemplation of the Commandments as a course of study or some exercise in logic. What the Hebrew does is hopefully approach the Commandments of G_D with the heart of the Psalmist … approach the Commandments in prayer … in delight … in joy; knowing that this is all part of getting to know G_D and ultimately to be conformed to his great character!

So now let us review the Aseret Hadiberot knowing a little bit more about Hebrew prayer and how the ancestors of old did not just recite the commandments … but prayed the commandments in order to become integrated with them out of sheer love for G_D! And also keep in mind that there is a reason the Aseret Hadiberot are prayed just before the Shema within the ritual Hebrew liturgy … think on that for a bit as well … then again think on this issue a lot!

I am ADONAI Your G_D.

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (ADONAI).

You shall not take the Name of ADONAI Your G_D in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it separate.

Honor your father and your mother.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet…

Now for one moment let us just consider where pondering the first great commandment “I AM ADONAI” could take us.

Initially we are brought right back to the amazing events surrounding the redemption of Israel and the freedom from the bondage of slavery from Egypt … we are brought back to the miraculous wonders and works of the G_D of Israel and all creation. Initially we are left pondering just how awesome this one true G_D really is … he is truly in charge and he truly has the power and might of creation … of existence … at his fingertips.

But we need to ponder this commandment deeper still. What we encounter is a G_D that stands against oppression and injustice. We encounter a G_D who for the sake of his great Name and compassion stands behind the promises which he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We encounter a G_D who has a plan that will not be turned back and will be done according to his timing and means.

What we should also realize is that the Israelites were freed not for the purpose of doing what they wanted to do … but rather to serve the living G_D in accordance to the terms and conditions of the Everlasting Covenant. They were freed so that they could become G_D’s children and begin the process of bringing order back to the creation through remaining in a relationship with G_D and manifesting his character upon the entire Earth.

Naturally we could continue in perpetuity with respects to pondering “I AM ADONAI”! The point being made however is these ten great commandments serve us no purpose if we recite these great revelations by rote. ADONAI declares who he is … it is up to us to consider through prayerful meditation the unending extent and mystery of what this declaration really means.

The next time we ponder a Psalm just think how this could have been possible without G_D revealing himself to Israel. It would appear that the Psalmists’ meditations began with faithfully obeying the first commandment to “know ADONAI”!

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Dynamic Hebrew Prayer

Although anyone would be hard pressed to deny that the Psalmists’ prayers regarding G_D’s sacred commandments are “dynamic”, there are many more instances contained within Holy Scriptures … particularly the Psalms that depict the non-formulaic, extremely diverse and deeply emotional/spiritual dynamic nature of Hebrew prayer.

Since the Psalms will be our immediate focus herein it would be prudent to at least take a glance at these Psalms (tehillim/praises in Hebrew) in aggregate fashion. There are 150 psalms in the collection. The title of all of these psalms is properly tehillim – praises. Essentially every psalm, regardless of content, emotional aspect or topic, is considered a praise to G_D. This is a very important point to understand.

There are psalms of: sorrow and joy; struggles and victory; fear and hope; acknowledgement and questioning; supplication and thanksgiving; glorification and destruction … but ultimately these are all tehillim/praises of and to G_D and they are most assuredly couched within a construct of deeply intimate prayer/tephillim!

From a traditional Hebraic perspective the focus of these praises/prayers is not upon the psalmist … but rather upon G_D … the One being sought and pursued … the One being revealed as the One who actually has; worth, power and control … the One who is capable and willing to respond!

From the psalmist’s perspective there are no topics, emotions or situations that are off the prayer table! From the psalmist’s perspective we bring all things to G_D since this is the very nature of “relationship”.

What is most interesting however about the Psalms is that we find a vast array of uniquely Hebraic terms/words which ultimately broaden our horizons … providing us insights into the Hebrew mindset and the relationship between G_D and truly inspired believers.

Although the intent of this work is not to delve deeply into the complex Hebrew language some key points need to be made.

Since Hebrew is a phenomenological language, it expresses most human emotions in picturesque descriptions of physical phenomena. For instance the setting of the sun due to Earth’s rotation is Biblically described as “the sun goes down … or disappears”. Or in another instance G_D’s retribution/attack upon the wicked is referred to as a “lightning/arrow” from heaven. And let us not think for a moment that these people were ignorant or mentally deficient … they were not. They simply used their traditional language to communicate and they chose to do so using various genres (narrative, poetry, didactic teaching, etc.) and literary techniques (metaphors, hyperbole, etc.) … in a uniquely Hebraic fashion. Despite these nuances we know that such things do not take away from the literalness of G_D’s Word at all.

We should then be very careful not to disregard the language and thought-patterns found in the Sacred Texts if we endeavor to delve into the mind of the Hebrew people. If we are diligent we can enter their civilization and view it through their eyes and we will find that their thought framework is vibrant, rich, and colorful. It has its own unique nuances and features.

Let us note that in contrast to the passive language and perspective of Greek/Western culture, the Hebrew people were largely an energetic, robust, and, at times, even turbulent people. They were primarily agricultural/outdoors people,—farmers, fishermen, tradesmen —who lived life to the full. For them, truth was not so much an idea to be contemplated but rather an experience to be lived, a deed to be done. The biblical writers often use vocabulary which is highly colorful, dynamic, and action-centered. They tell the story of a people on the move, a people who approached living with boldness, drive, and expectation…Israel followed a dynamic ‘G_D in motion’ and they were ‘his “in motion” people’

Unlike our passive Western view/language, the Hebrew language does not view movement and motionless as opposites. In the Hebrew mindset the reality is what is taking place and in most instances Hebrew verbs can translate as meaning either one state or seemingly the exact opposite. As an example … the Hebrew verb “shuwb {shoob}” … meaning to return, turn back or turn away from. This verb can imply a wayward individual returning back to G_D (reality) versus a faithful follower turning their back on G_D (non-reality … since the later results in non-existence). The point to be made is that the one verb implies both reality and non-reality … motion and non-motion based solely on the context in which it is applied. The Hebrew does not think like we do!

In the Hebrew language all words stem from a far more limited number of “root stem combinations” containing just a few Hebraic letters. These root words as well are not simply key grammatical constructs but are rife with context, visualization and thematic propositions. Consequently words have relationships that invoke the meaning and context of their respective roots. Unfortunately when we view most Biblical interpretations in English for instance we find that many diverse Hebrew words, with different roots, may be represented by only one or two English words as an example. In these numerous instances what we lose sight of is the unique Hebraic perspective that was being invoked and conveyed by the inspired writers.

As we prepare to uncover this great Hebraic dynamic as seen through the Psalms, let us keep in mind that the focus of the specific terms utilized within the psalms is “action” … while understanding that these “emotive” outputs are a direct result of the G_D to man relationship and still further that the emotive state of the psalmist is a direct result of G_D’s influence on the unique interface taking place between the person praying and G_D!

Consequently in the Hebrew perspective … if the emotive state of the person praying is not a direct result of G_D’s handiwork … then the state itself is self-propagated and in strict Hebraic language constructs does not constitute reality. This may seem quite strange to us … but using the previous example regarding the verb “shuwb” as a portrait: the person turning way from G_D is cognizant, breathing, walking, talking, etc. … or in a Greek/Western mindset still alive … still real. In the Hebrew perspective however they are not alive … hence G_D describes how he is the G_D of the living … not the G_D of those just walking, talking, etc.

Please exercise some patience dear readers … it is worth it and you can rest assured that these past few paragraphs will be the most grammatically complex materials contained within this work. Hopefully you will see these somewhat difficult perspective/cultural variances come to light readily through review of discrete examples.

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Praise/Worship

Our first foray into the dynamics of Hebrew prayer begin with a look at “praise” and naturally we should look first at some standard … Western definitions of the concept:

PRAISE: the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something. (“The audience was full of praise for the whole production”) | Synonyms: approval, acclaim, admiration, approbation, acclamation, plaudits, congratulations, commendation

EXALT: hold (someone or something) in very high regard; think or speak very highly of. | Synonyms: extol, praise, acclaim, esteem;

WORSHIP: the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. (“The worship of G_D”) | Synonyms: reverence, veneration, adoration, glorification, glory, exaltation;

REJOICE: feel or show great joy or delight. “He rejoiced when he saw his friend alive” | Synonyms: happiness, pleasure, joy, gladness, delight, elation, jubilation, exuberance, exultation, celebration, revelry, merrymaking

Commentary:

As we can see from our traditional Western perspective the idea of “praise”, “worship” and “exaltation” is a passive “mental attitude” for the most part. Oh most assuredly these terms can be “combined” with rejoice … but often times the “combination” of terms is not used by the psalmist despite the fact that “action” is clearly essential to the praise/worship being conducted.

Additionally it should be noted that because these “concepts” in Western culture are more mental than tactically physical … it would appear that the manifestation of these concepts is somewhat vague … as in being left up to the emotive outputs of the individual … which naturally is perfectly aligned with the Greek mindset wherein “the individual” is essentially the center of all things and priority of thought and consciousness is subjective … or personal to the thinker.

But now let us take a look at some key Hebraic terms utilized by the psalmist (Note: additional words related to the same root have not all been depicted for the sake of brevity)

yadah {yaw-daw’}: literally to hold out the hand; physically to throw at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively to bemoan (by wringing the hands):—cast (out), (make) confession), praise, give thanksgiving).

shachah {shaw-khaw’}: to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in worship to royalty or G_D):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

shiyr {sheer}: to sing

zamar {zaw-mar’}: to sing, sing praise, make music | to make music, sing | to play a musical instrument

samach {saw-makh’}: to rejoice, be glad: exult (at); to rejoice (religiously)

alats {aw-lats’}: to jump for joy, that is, exult:—be joyful, rejoice, triumph.

rinnah {rin-naw’}: a creaking (or shrill sound), that is, shout (of joy or grief):—cry, gladness, joy, proclamation, rejoicing, shouting, sing (ing), triumph.

Commentary:

Well it certainly appears that the Hebraic perspective is far removed from the Greek perspective in that the Hebraic focus is upon “action” … the focus is upon clearly defined tactical actions … lifting up one’s hands; getting prostrate on the floor; singing; playing an instrument; jumping; shouting; crying; experiencing joy, gladness, etc. … and all the while generating some form of “resonance”.

Let us briefly take a closer look at “yadah/praise” where in the Hebrew we can see that the three core root letters that comprise the word are:

Naturally this conveys only grammatical sense to us English speaking people in as much that we get an idea as to how the pronunciation of the word is formed. However the Hebrew language is an old language … a visual language … a phenomenological language. In the Hebrew language as revealed these root letters convey much more than the grammatical construct enabling structured vocalization.

Below is a traditional Hebrew language “pictograph” which provides a key to the deeper context of individual Hebrew letters and of course a deeper context associated with specific root letter combinations.

When we apply these contextual visualizations to “Yod”, “Dalet” and “Hey” we can get a very clear sense of intention … of activity.

If one would have it … we should see where the Hebrew word “yadah” contains deep symbolism wherein a person in lifting up their arms is physically penetrating a doorway or traversing a path to behold or communicate with G_D! It is most certainly a foreign construct for us … but not for the ancient Hebrew.

We must also consider as well that within the definition of the word “yadah” itself we see where there is an associated “resonance” of sort that accompanies the physical action of lifting up the hands. We can see a range of resonance: praise, bemoaning, confession, thanksgiving … etc. What we should understand is that the physical action of praise is directly connected to an emotive resonance and in no manner limited to a mental attitude or feeling!

Ultimately the intent of this brief review is to get a glimpse and better understanding into how the Psalmist expects, what is being scribed, to be understood by the readers/hearers. To get a better understanding of what is happening to the Psalmist during a particular prayer.

Let us keep this visualization of “yadah” in mind as we look at a portion of Psalm 22 … a Psalm of David: For he hath not despised nor abhorred the lowliness of the poor; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.’ From thee (G_D) cometh my praise in the great congregation; I will pay my vows before them that fear him. Let the humble eat and be satisfied; let them praise the LORD that seek after him; may your heart be quickened forever!

Beyond the visualization of what we expect David’s physical praise activities might look like, what is most interesting is that David clearly reveals that it is G_D that orchestrates the praise itself. Still further we see David reveal how praising G_D is essentially a quickening of the heart … with David’s hopes that this quickening last forever.

Additionally when we consider the aggregate Hebrew words listed herein respective to Praise/Worship: Shachah | Shiyr | Zamar | Samach | Alats | Rinnah, we are confronted with an amazing dynamic of interfacing through G_D … by his orchestration that could have us prostrating; lifting our hands; singing; rejoicing; jumping; shouting; exulting … and the context in which this “living” is being undertaken could be quite diverse!

But our brief exploration of Praise/Worship in a Hebrew context does not end on this fantastic note! Also of noteworthy interest is even the unique exultation (samach) wherein the gladness is directly tied to “religious endeavors or circumstances”! Perhaps unknown to the reader … In observance of the Biblical Festivals: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonements, and Sukkot … it is customary to greet fellow observers with the saying “Chag Sameach” … literally “Joyous Festival”.

Now despite the fact that this sounds like a general “happy holiday greeting” … we can tell from the word “samach” that what is really going on is that the believers are exulting in G_D! And we know this because here is the traditional blessing associated with reaching a Holy Festival day:

Now of course there are numerous other “religious” instances for “samach” but the point is that the Hebrew words are centric to action … centric to G_D … centric to emotive and physical action predicated upon being in a relationship with G_D. And their language uniquely sets the stage for proper understanding.

When we look at the phrase “chag sameach” … what we need to understand is that this is indeed a joyful greeting commemorating the festival but at the same time all of the focus is upon G_D who has given these festivals lovingly to Israel as an inheritance within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant. This is no simple greeting by any means; this is a testimony by the chosen people that because of G_D “we are still here and remain in our relationship with G_D despite the world’s attempts to destroy this relationship and us”! And we are jubilant in a very special way on these specific days … because G_D is G_D and because we are still here!

Ultimately we can see that praise and worship in a Hebraic perspective is not some form of mental or abstract undertaking! The Hebrews praise and worship in a manner they know to represent reality … moving, emoting and resonating in concert with G_D moving in their lives!

And rest assured we can see as well that the Hebrew is fit to be led by G_D. Praise for the Hebrew can be raising their hands up in thanksgiving … or conversely raising their hands up to bemoan their situation or lament for a particular reason. Exultation just as well can manifest quite differently as can be seen by the diverse terms/modes. The key element is once again that there is no prescription (but apparently an orderly framework) … hence the Hebrew language reflects variable emotive outputs because ultimately it is G_D that is directing the conversation!

On the other hand how many individuals reading their translated version of Hebrew Scriptures has a real notion as to what the Hebrew inspired writers were actually conveying. If the word simply says “exult” … then it would seem apparent that in most instances the modern reader would naturally super-impose their own idea as what the writer intended to convey. Within this very brief review however it should be quite obvious, given the very specific and at the same time broad nature of the Hebrew language, that the writer was most assuredly attempting to convey a very specific meaning … which was important within the context of his personal relationship/conversation with G_D!

Knowing whether David jumped, shouted, sung, etc. within a context of a specific psalm would seem pretty important … at least to this believer. And what is more important is that we understand that it essentially is G_D bringing about this emotive and physical state.

So when we as individuals read the Psalms (and assuredly we should be doing so) do we find ourselves being captured by G_D through the Psalmist’s words and experiences? Do we let G_D speak to us and share with us the outpouring of Spirit that he so graciously provided David for instance?

When we read Psalm 150 … Hallelujah. Praise G_D in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his abundant greatness. Praise him with the blast of the horn; praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and the pipe. Praise him with the loud-sounding cymbals; praise him with the clanging cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Hallelujah.

So … do we get a rush? Do we understand that David is literally outside of himself in: reverence, jubilation, awe and pure spiritual resonance? Can we imagine the symphony going on in David’s heart … in his soul … perhaps even in his home as a means of thanking G_D and ascribing greatness to him?

More importantly do we understand that G_D is waiting to sew this symphony into our own hearts … if we are willing to let G_D happen?

So the next time we consider the notion of praising G_D … let us consider what this meant to the Psalmist … let us for a moment consider Praise/Worship in a Hebraic context and put away our own ideas … our own prescriptions … our own expectations and just let G_D be G_D!

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Ok dear reader … it was declared that we would not go down an extended language study of the Psalms or Hebrew Scriptures to a greater extent. It is genuinely hoped that this cursory review dealing with Praise/Worship … within a Hebraic context has settled the matter that there is way more going on in the Sacred Texts than what is presented by way of translation and to a broader extent it would seem apparent that there is a genuine lack of depth and understanding by most people who think they have a good handle on Holy Scriptures … in the opinion of this commentator!

Frankly our limitations are not just confined to our lack of understanding the nuances of the Hebrew words. This commentator did not even broach the far more complex nuances of the Hebrew language wherein “idiomatic expressions and concepts” are surfaced within the Sacred Texts … if one knows about these unique expressions … and if one knows how they weave to other Hebraic thoughts and understanding.

In any event the objective herein is not to deflate any believer or give them stress regarding their understanding of Holy Scriptures. Instead the purpose herein is to expose the broad utilization of terms, themes and concepts revealed to us by the Psalmist so that we can develop this broader and deeper understanding of “prayer” within a Hebraic perspective … for our genuine edification and benefit towards strengthening our relationship with G_D.

Consequently we will have no more reviews of “English” versus “Hebrew” terms to point out the apparent disconnects between same. Instead we will focus on the Hebrew terms and explore the heart and mind of the Psalmist … and at the same time hopefully get a deeper look into the heart and mind of G_D!

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Revere/Tremble

yare’ {yaw-ray’}: fearing, reverent, afraid | reverent fear and awe of G_D

giyl {gheel}: to rejoice, exult, to tremble (from fear)

ragaz {raw-gaz’}: to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear):—be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, fall out, fret, move, provoke, quake, rage, shake, tremble, trouble, be wroth.

bahal {baw-hal’}: to tremble inwardly (or palpitate), alarmed or agitated; be or make affrighted/vexed

pachad {paw-kkad’}: to fear, tremble, revere, dread, be in awe or dread

Commentary:

For most purported believers (an objective observation) the notion of genuine fear of G_D has long since retired to the deep recesses of the mind and heart. How quickly do we forget that our very call to G_D in the first place was predicated upon a deep innate understanding that we were hopelessly in need of redemption and that our ultimate fate before a holy and righteous G_D … was righteous and deserved rejection and obliteration?

Let us think like an ancient Hebrew for a moment. We are standing on the banks of the Sea of Suf (the Reed Sea) and we’ve just miraculously passed through the parted sea … in the dark of night … being led by the spectacular and awesome pillar of fire. As the sun rises we witness the horrific destruction of the Egyptian forces. Though we are gladdened and relieved that we are safe … we stand shaking and quivering on the banks of the sea … wondering what kind of G_D … what kind of force … is this?

Quickly what comes to mind are the recent times in Egypt where we witnessed but were spared plague upon plague … judgment upon judgment! All the same we stand in awe and wonder as our adrenalin continues to surge.

But not long after we find ourselves at the foot of Mount Sinai … eagerly but warily awaiting the G_D of all existence to manifest his amazing presence. We are reminded that nothing is to approach the Mountain or it will be killed. And soon after we find ourselves pleading with Moses to go and speak for us … we dare not approach G_D lest we die! And G_D declares to Moses that we the people have spoken “well”!

Now we know that this G_D has chosen us. We know that this G_D loves us because of the selection of and promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … all the same we are wary because our eyes have seen firsthand what true power and majesty is.

Beyond being wary we are also very cognizant of the fact that this same G_D, who saved us with such great power and might has warned us … on numerous occasions … that if we fail to abide by the covenant … if we fail to follow in the paths that he has laid out for us … then what has befallen our enemies will befall us.

Deuteronomy (31:14-22) And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thy days approach that thou must die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may give him a charge.’ And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. And the LORD appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud; and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent. And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our G_D is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, flowing with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten their fill, and waxen fat; and turned unto other gods, and served them, and despised me, and broken my covenant; then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination how they do even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.’ So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

So what shall we say about our G_D? What shall we say about Israel’s G_D whose very first commandment is to remember that he is G_D and that he is the one who brought Israel out of Egypt with a mighty arm and wondrous miracles of power and awesome strength?

Perhaps we should simply defer to the inspired Hebrew writers:

Psalms:

(19:10) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;

(111:10) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that do thereafter; his praise endures forever.

(25:12-14) What man is he that fears the LORD? Him will G_D instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in prosperity; and his seed shall inherit the land. The counsel of the LORD is with them that fear him; and his covenant, to make them know it.

(33:18-19) Behold, the eye of the LORD is toward them that fear him, toward them that wait for his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

(34:8-12) The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them. O consider and see that the LORD is good; happy is the man that taketh refuge in him. O fear the LORD, ye his holy ones; for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger; but they that seek the LORD want not any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

(2:11-12) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Do homage in purity, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, when suddenly his wrath is kindled.

(5:8) But as for me, in the abundance of thy lovingkindness will I come into thy house; I will bow down toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee.

(85:9-10) I will hear what G_D the LORD will speak; for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

(103:11-13) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father hath compassion upon his children, so hath the LORD compassion upon them that fear him.

Of course we could continue on and on … knowing that “fear of G_D” is the very beginning of wisdom and apparently fundamental to our relationship with G_D. Clearly this wisdom was known to the Psalmists who expressed “fear of G_D” in a variety of ways and context as depicted by their selection of Hebrew terms: Yare’ | Giyl | Ragaz | Bahal | Pachad.

We see a full gamut of emotive and physical outputs … not just some mental understanding that a healthy response to G_D is “watch out”! We see reverent fear through joyful awe to a collection of physical states: quivering, shaking, trembling and palpitating … within various emotive states: alarm, fear, agitation, provocation, vexation, fretting, dread and so forth.

Once again we see through the Psalmists that this inter-communication with G_D is indeed about relationship. We see through the Psalmist G_D revealing his parental righteous anger and establishing the order of the G_D to man … the G_D to created being relationship. And in this relationship there is only one righteous and supreme power. There is only one party to this relationship who has created all things for his own glory and honor.

Now please dear reader … we have a long way to go and the intent herein is not to frighten anyone. Rather as we see from the Psalmists … there is a price to be paid by humanity for our aggregate betrayal of G_D. There is a power beyond our comprehension that seeks in some instances to instill genuine fear within us so that we will turn to him … so that we will pursue him and get to know him. And if we do so, according to his order of relationship, then our “terror” of him will be molded into “reverent awe” of him and our core relationship with him will develop into a relationship rooted in praise and worship!

The questions we should pose too ourselves are simple: “Do we have any genuine fear of G_D?” … “Do we ever find ourselves inexplicably trembling or agitated because our walk has become a bit wayward?” … “Do we ever stop to consider that G_D might be angry with us … with me?” … Or has our traditional Western/Christian attitude toward the “all loving” G_D removed from us this knowledge of righteous indignation, wrath and anger that as Biblical history depicts … can become the fate of people … both chosen and unchosen!

Ultimately we can see from the Psalmists that their understanding of a perfect and unchanging G_D must take into account G_D’s self-righteous and holy power and might. In the Hebrew tradition there is nothing wrong with a firm understanding of G_D’s awesome powers and how this relates to us mere mortal beings … G_D is simply awesome and most assuredly due our rightful fear and reverence.

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Talk/Listen

amar {aw-mar’}: to say, speak, utter | to answer, to say in one’s heart (commune), to think, to command, to promise, to intend | to be told, to be said, to be called

nagad {naw-gad’}: to be conspicuous, tell, make known | to tell, declare, announce, report | to avow, acknowledge, confess

naba` {naw-bah’}: to gush forth; figuratively to utter (good or bad words); belch out, flowing, pour out, send forth, utter (abundantly).

shama` {shaw-mah’}: to hear, listen to, obey | to hear (perceive by ear) | to hear (have power to hear) | to hear with attention or interest, listen to | to understand (language) | to listen, give heed | to consent, agree | to grant request

As we review these few “talking/listening” terms associated with Hebrew prayer let’s initially consider the fact, as discussed previously herein, that prayer comprises a vast spectrum of resonance and activities. This being stated however we should also realize as well that “talking” with … or rather talking too G_D … seems to entail less open discussion and more confession, acknowledgement, receiving instruction and listening. Or at least this would appear to be the case outside the auspices of traditional ritual prayer!

Now don’t take this the wrong way … most assuredly there is discrete implication that a discussion with G_D (prayer) can indeed be augmented with verbal communication. However … based upon our core understanding of Hebrew prayer; that being to communicate with G_D long enough for him to instill his will into us … and based upon our previous reviews which lead us to the conclusion that the physical and spiritual outputs of real prayer are placed within us by G_D … then it must be presumed that outside of formal ritual prayer there does not seem to be a great deal of need for talking. Rather it does appear that listening is a more appropriate mechanism for people to utilize.

When we look at these terms in a Hebraic perspective … we can almost see our primary mode as subjects being called before the King. In “Amar” we can see ourselves kneeling before the King as he looks into our thoughts … gazes into our hearts! Unfortunately this would typically be followed up by “Nagad” wherein we find ourselves acknowledging our faults and confessing them … knowing that hiding them is futile. Next … for most of us … comes the excuse or explanation “Naba” that almost always accompanies a human admission/confession. But ultimately we can be assured that G_D is listening “Shema”… and if we decide to listen we can run the gamut again … but differently.

If we really listen … G_D will talk to us … G_D will instruct us and then “Amar” moves towards G_D speaking instead of us … then “Nagad” moves towards us acknowledging what G_D is saying and declaring this understanding between us and G_D instead of us babbling out our excuses. And then “Naba” turns into an outpouring of “good words” wherein we express G_D’s will in our own terms. And finally we now can really listen and “Shema” … take it to heart … sew it within us … not as a function of visualized words but rather as discerned resonance.

This cycle of discussions dear reader is ultimately about “Shema”! First it is G_D listening to our hearts and not our fancy impressive verbal expressions. The engagement is predicated upon us humans being willing to listen and approaching the King in silence … until being authorized to speak!

If we can understand this order and realize that G_D listens because he is real and this is the reason that we pray … then we must realize that what is important in our relationship is what G_D has to say and not what I have to say!

Yet again we are confronted with an extremely different dynamic with regards to prayer in general. Take it from this commentator who knows! For the longest of time my prayer life was dominated by petition after petition … supplication upon supplication! As if G_D were the “Wizard of Oz” of sorts and if I could impress him he would grant the deepest desires of my heart.

Now let this commentator make an honest confession here and now … “that boat don’t float!”

So … is it being stated that G_D does not want to hear from us? Oh this could not be further from the truth dear readers! G_D assuredly wants to hear from us … quite often in fact! G_D however wants to hear from us for purposes of strengthening our relationship so that we can do his will … not for us to have G_D do our bidding!

But we must understand that more often than not our heads are not aligned with our hearts … our desires are not aligned with G_D’s desires … our petitions are not necessarily aligned with G_D’s awesome plan for humanity.

Do we ever stop to think how often we request G_D to intervene on our behalf (or behalf of a loved one) without even asking G_D if he has a hand to play in the very situation we are confronted with? And when G_D decides to deny our request … do we circle back around and ask G_D why my prayer was off-base … or why I did not hear back from G_D?

Sadly we talk and we set expectations without really understanding what we are asking for in the first place … without even inquiring as to if we should even be making a particular request. It would appear that once again our Greek mindset which places “me” at the center of all things continues to get in the way of what G_D is trying to tell me … continues to get in the way of G_D’s answer to the prayer of my very soul which sadly may not even be comprehended by my far too busy and distracted brain!

Perhaps the next time we plan on having a discussion with G_D we might first want to approach G_D as a Hebrew would. Let us approach G_D as King and us as the subjects. Let us consider our position … understanding that the King really wants to graciously care for us but at the same time realize that what is of value will be the advice of the King. Let us remember that there is nothing that escapes the eyes of the King and ultimately no matter what we claim to request he will know what is in our heart and he will respond … he will not fail to listen and he will give us the counsel that we seek!

Maybe … just maybe if we listen intently enough … we will hear the counsel of the King resonate deep within us. Maybe just maybe we can draw this advice out into a form that we can cognitively receive it. Maybe just maybe we can then declare this advice and sew it into us!

Now this dear reader would be what the Psalmist considers having a meeting with the KING!

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Muse/Ponder

hagiyg {haw-gheeg’}: whisper, musing, murmuring

hagah {haw-gaw’}: to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder:—imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, utter.

baqash {baw-kash’}: to search out (by any method; specifically in worship or prayer); by implication to strive after:—ask, beg, beseech, desire, enquire, get, make inquisition, procure, (make) request, require, seek (for).

nabat {naw-bat’}: to scan, that is, look intently at; by implication to regard with pleasure, favor or care:—(cause to) behold, consider, look (down), regard, have respect, see.

biyn {bene}: to discern, understand, consider | to know (with the mind) | to observe, mark, give heed to, distinguish, consider | to teach, instruct | prudent, regard

ra’ah {raw-aw’}: to see, gaze, discern, consider, take heed, behold, have experience, advise oneself, , look – (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, spy, stare, think, view, visions.

bachan {baw-khan’}: to test; generally and figuratively to investigate:—examine, prove, tempt, try (trial).

yakach {yaw-kahh’}: to prove, decide, judge, rebuke, reprove, correct, be right

yacar {yaw-sar’}: to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish

ya`ats {yaw-ats’}: to advise; reflexively to deliberate or resolve:—advertise, take advice, advise (well), consult, (give take) counsel, determine, devise, guide, purpose.

nachah {naw-khaw’}: to guide; by implication to transport, bestow, bring, govern, guide, lead (forth), put, straighten.

darak {daw-rak’}: to tread; by implication to walk; also to string a bow (by treading on it in bending):—archer, bend, come, draw, go (over), guide, lead (forth), thresh, tread (down), walk.

In the last section, talk and listen, we saw that verbal back and forth is not really the way in which prayer conversation takes place with G_D in a Biblical Hebraic perspective. In this Muse and Ponder section however we find ourselves confronted with a plethora of terms wherein the Psalmists share with us their personal interactions with G_D.

As we consider the words hagiyg, hagah and baqash we can hopefully visualize the Psalmist having a deep introspective encounter … with G_D’s Word … or in their understanding G_D’s Torah.

We might visualize the Psalmist reading some particular passages … stopping in their tracks when they see something that doesn’t make sense to them … or somehow they might think that they see something they could not before. They utter to themselves … Hmmm … what means this … why the use of that particular word … is there more to the literal meaning that I can presently perceive … what is really going on here?

Perhaps … just perhaps the Psalmist is reading Exodus (34:27 – 35:3) And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Write thou these words, for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.’ And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the Mount that Moses knew not that the skin of his face sent forth beams while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face sent forth beams; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him; and Moses spoke to them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh, and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD that he might speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out; and spoke unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses that the skin of Moses’ face sent forth beams; and Moses put the veil back upon his face, until he went in to speak with him. And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: ‘These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.’

In response to this initial murmuring and curiosity the Psalmist decides to go deeper and inquires of The LORD what it is that should be understood. What is going on with Moses’s radiant face? The Psalmist begins to pray … marveling at G_D’s awesome Word … knowing that G_D abundantly blesses!

While coming to the LORD for answers the Psalmist is led back to the Sacred Texts of interest and he begins to intently consider them and he finds this pondering to be quite soothing to the soul and pleasurable. Before long the Psalmist realizes that he can view these passages in numerous perspectives … that the passages could mean a variety of things to him! All the same the Psalmist is excited knowing that G_D is trying to speak to him through the Torah. (nabat; biyn and ra’ah)

And now the Psalmist is all revved up and ready to dig into G_D’s Word. The Psalmist has multiple ideas going through his mind … but first he realizes that he needs to consider some things before going off on a tangent. The Psalmist grounds himself and remembers the character of ADONAI and how he has faithfully made promises to Israel. The Psalmist remembers that ADONAI is wholly righteous … holy and unchanging. The Psalmist keeps in mind the everlasting covenant and the holy service which Israel is obligated by and privileged to perform. The Psalmist keeps in mind that ADONAI rebukes and chastises Israel but that he will never completely forsake her. And now the Psalmist begins to investigate G_D’s Word. The Psalmist begins to weed out ideas that are not consistent with the Hebrews’ understanding of G_D. The Psalmist begins to hone in on what G_D is revealing to him by way of exploration of Torah. (bachan, yakach and yacar)

Genesis (1:1-5) In the beginning G_D created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of G_D hovered over the face of the waters. And G_D said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And G_D saw the light that it was good; and G_D divided the light from the darkness. And G_D called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Exodus (10:21-23) And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.’ And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Exodus (13:20-22) And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night: the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.

Exodus (14:19-20) And the angel of G_D, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud removed from before them, and stood behind them; and it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness here, yet gave it light by night there; and the one came not near the other all the night.

Exodus (27:20-21) And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. In the tent of meeting, without the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall set it in order, to burn from evening to morning before the LORD; it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

With a sense of urgency and excitement the Psalmist begins to understand the depths of G_D’s words … the Psalmist begins to see a connection between G_D’s light and the radiant face of Moses after descending from Mount Sinai and after conversing with The LORD in the Tent of Meeting. David realizes that the light upon Moses face was a reflection of G_D’s light … a reflection of G_D’s character. The Psalmist ponders even deeper and realizes that when man was made in G_D’s image … man was made to be a creature of light … not darkness!

Genesis (1:26-27) And G_D said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ And G_D created man in His own image, in the image of G_D created he him; male and female created he them.

David continues to ponder … deeper and deeper. He places himself at Mount Sinai with Moses … he comes to realize that Moses is there receiving instruction from G_D … receiving the sacred law. David realizes that exposure to the law … is exposing Moses to the very character of G_D … exposure to the light of G_D … and as this law is being sewn into Moses … Moses begins to change … his darkness begins to wane and the very light of G_D within him begins to shine forth.

And then David connects the dots …

Deuteronomy (4:5-8) Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as the LORD my G_D commanded me, that ye should do so in the midst of the land whither ye go in to possess it. Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there, that hath G_D so nigh unto them, as the LORD our G_D is when so ever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

David quickly reaches for parchment and begins to scribe feverishly …

Psalm 19 For the Leader. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of G_D, and the firmament shows His handiwork; Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge; there is no speech, there are no words, neither is their voice heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run his course. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. …

The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, they are righteous altogether; more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, that they may not have dominion over me; then shall I be faultless, and I shall be clear from great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before thee, O LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.

David gets it! David understands that the purpose of G_D’s instruction … G_D’s Torah is to bring mankind back to the light. To bring mankind back to a state in which he can reflect G_D’s character upon the creation and exercise proper stewardship and authority over the creation … just as G_D does.

David sees the sacred commandments … literally in a whole new light. David scribes how nothing is hidden from G_D … that the innate truth of G_D is sewn into the very creation which testifies to the truth. David realizes that the goodness of G_D’s character serves to bake in extreme heat those who are disobedient while at the same time lighting up those seeking his face … his glorious character.

But now faced with this revelation … steeped in bliss and blessings David now takes this revelation from G_D and turns this glorious light upon himself!

Now David must reflect upon this wisdom … taking into account his own behavior … his own walk along the LORD’s path. (ya`ats, nachah and darak)

Now David needs to put things to the real test and examine himself according to the wisdom imparted to him by G_D!

(Note: This commentator utilized this example simply as a means of exploring how in a Biblical Hebraic perspective the Psalmist might have approached this aspect of musing/pondering. By no stretch of the imagination is the commentator declaring that Psalm 19 came about as depicted herein … conversely … if it did then the commentator would by no means be surprised!)

Ultimately what we hopefully see is the Psalmist’s journey … the adventure that comes about when exploring G_D’s Word … when exploring G_D!

Although there is no limit to what might be uncovered it is also clear that uncovering the mysteries of G_D are designed to be real and effective within our souls, hearts and very lives.

  • * * * * * *

Stress/Distress/Unload

n’hamah {neh-haw-maw’}: snarling, growling, groaning, moaning

anachah {an-aw-khaw’}: sighing, groaning (expression of grief or physical distress)

bakah {baw-kaw’}: crying, weeping | literally dripping | bemoan, complain

chebel {kheh’-bel}: pain, sorrow, travail, pang, pains of travail

yaga` {yaw-gah’}: properly to gasp; hence to be exhausted, to tire, to toil:—faint, (make to) labor, (be) weary.

qadar {kaw-dar’}: to mourn, be dark | to darken | to cause to mourn | to grow dark

mowt {mote}: to waver; by implication to slip, shake, fall:—be carried, cast, be out of course, be fallen in decay, moved, shaken, slide, slip.

naphal {naw-fal’}: to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitively or causatively, literally or figuratively):—be accepted, cast down, cease, die, divide (by lot), (let) fail, fall away, fall down, fell, fugitive, inferior, be judged [by mistake] for], overthrow, overwhelm, perish, presented, rot, slay, smite, throw down, prostrate oneself, throw oneself upon

As we move our review of Hebrew prayer into the realm of emotive experiences that we humans are so often confronted with, stress-distress-confrontation, let us recall once again that in the Hebraic perspective … all of our lives are on the prayer table to share with G_D and essentially all of our prayers are designed to be a form of praise/worship.

When we consider the range of emotive and physical conditions of the Psalmists … and realize that these are deeply inspired believers, we must initially cut ourselves a little slack knowing that we too suffer from such conditions responsive to the general onslaught of life in this temporal world …regardless of the knowledge of G_D and the glory that awaits the saints in the world to come!

Yes … most of us have heard and understand “I shall not fear” … but all the same it appears to be impossible for us to fully extricate ourselves from our present human condition which is at times quite fragile!

David himself … the one who will not fear because G_D is with him … is the primary scribe of the great prayers … often times inquiring with much stress why G_D allows injustice … why G_D tolerates the prideful and haughty men who plague the world.

But capitalizing upon the previous section dealing with musing and pondering, let’s turn our attention to what really causes David anxiety and stress!

Even a cursory review of the Psalms enables us to see within David the stress, pain, sorrow, suffering and hopelessness associated with being an unrighteous and sinful man … despite numerous other Psalms which are in complete opposition to this emotive condition.

So is David psychotic … does he suffer from a personality disorder? Oh beloveds we know that he does not. We know that David pours out in crying, groaning, moaning, sighing, and complaining responsive not just to the observable permeating injustice in the world but even more so because of his own failures … as a man … as king of Israel … as a child of G_D!

We see David struggle with slipping away … we see David’s concerns over falling away and the intensity of the emotions that come with this soul wrenching introspection brought upon oneself by G_D’s revelation of how he wants and expects us to be.

Both fortunately and unfortunately for us … we find the introspective revelation of G_D’s glorious character making us uncomfortable when we turn this great light towards our own path … our own walk … our own behavior.

Consider just this one portion of Psalm 38 … A Psalm of David, to make memorial. O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger; neither chasten me in thy wrath. For thine arrows are gone deep into me, and thy hand is come down upon me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine indignation; neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are noisome, they fester, because of my foolishness. I am bent and bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day. For my loins are filled with burning; and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am benumbed and sore crushed; I groan by reason of the moaning of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my sighing is not hid from thee. 38:11 My heart flutters, my strength fails me; as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

Undoubtedly we see in David a clear understanding of the worthlessness of his walk as a child of G_D that fails to abide by the terms of the everlasting covenant. We see in David our own uselessness to be “righteous” before G_D. What we also see in David is more than an acute mental awareness of this state/condition. What we see from David is intense physical, mental and emotional suffering! We see an individual who can readily equate his own unhappiness and lack of well-being with his own short comings as a servant of G_D.

What we also learn from David is that sin is most definitively physical and reaches well beyond the known conventions of moral turmoil and damage to the soul. What we see through David is how we humans, like the creation itself, groans under the duress of chaos, sin, injustice and decay. To some extent, if we look hard enough, we can see David commiserating in union with the physical creation over the state of David’s self-awareness regarding his condition and to a broader extent how the creation itself is affected by individual sin.

If we accept the revelation that the unspoken truths of G_D’s glory and righteousness, as contained with the creation itself are manifest within the human soul … then we do not have to extrapolate too far to consider that the creation’s testimony of humanity’s failure is also manifest within the soul and this pain can indeed affect us … even physically according to the revelation of the Psalmist.

Consequently the depths of our own unrighteousness … and the awareness of our condition as a result of realizing G_D’s revelation to humanity can, as we see in David, create havoc upon our soul.

This being stated we must understand that G_D is light and in him there is no darkness. As such this deep emotional reaction brought upon us humans is not intended to drive us away but rather it is intended to have us seek him … for protection … for redemption … for salvation!

As the Holy Scriptures reveal … G_D rebukes those whom he loves. As such we must consider the reality that a lack of chastisement/rebuking from G_D … ever … is quite frankly not a good thing!

Ultimately what we learn from David is that thorough personal introspection of our own lives, using G_D’s Torah as our measuring stick, can only be viewed as a necessary and parental blessing … despite the havoc such personal introspection will most assuredly produce.

  • * * * * * *

Cry-Out

qara’ {kaw-raw’}: the idea of accosting a person met; to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications):— call (for, forth, self, upon), cry (unto), (be) famous, guest, invite, choose, mention, (give) name, preach, (make) proclaim pronounce, publish, read, renowned, say.

tsa`aqah {tsah-ak-aw’}: cry, outcry | outcry (against) | cry of distress (especially as heard by G_D)

za`aq {zaw-ak’}: to cry, cry out, call for help | to call (to one’s aid) | to be assembled, be called together, be joined together | to make a crying, proclaim

shava` {shaw-vah’}: to be free; but used only causatively and reflexively (for help, that is, freedom from some trouble):—cry (aloud, out), shout.

ranan {raw-nan’}: properly to creak that is, to shout (usually for joy):— cry out, be joyful, (greatly, make to) rejoice, (cause to) shout (for joy), (cause to) sing (aloud, for joy, out), triumph.

Although it would appear how our last review, dealing with distress brought upon the soul responsive to genuine personal introspection, could create some serious discomfort … we immediately see in the terms used to “cry out” what G_D really wants us to do in our broken state.

It is clear that G_D does not want us to recoil from the cold hard truth but rather he wants us to reach out to him. Why? Because it is only in our broken state that our helplessness is revealed … that we finally take the steps to becoming wise by humbling ourselves and seeking relief from the only source that can alleviate our pain and heal us!

What we see in “qara”, “tsa`aqah”, “ za`aq” and “shava” is our only true means of ridding ourselves of the hopelessness of being “fallen” before a holy and righteous creator … before our Father!

Naturally … or supposedly as stated previously herein, the redemption that each and every believer has been granted was predicated upon this call for relief from the stark reality of what we really are … a fallen soul.

But let us keep in mind that David’s cry for help happens long after he was anointed by Samuel to be the King of Israel … long after David knew G_D!

The point? Well it seems apparent that this cry for help does not appear to be a one-time confession … a one-time humbling before the King of Kings. In fact to even suggest such a scenario would run contrary to the Hebraic perspective regarding man’s relationship with G_D.

For a moment let our minds ponder the ancient sacrificial system put in place by G_D as the mechanism for Israel to remain in relationship with him. As we can conjecture there was never any expectation or prescription that an individual bring a one-time sin offering to G_D. Sin can indeed be atoned for but first and foremost there must be the acceptance of guilt … heart felt conviction … willingness to turn away from the sin … remuneration to offended parties if necessary … presentation of the sacrifice to the priest … inspection of the offered sacrifice and then finally the offering to G_D.

Using this pattern of reconciliation as our standard, it certainly does appear that presumption of forgiveness is something that should be avoided at all cost. Additionally when we consider that the person offering the sin sacrifice was the individual required to cut the animal’s throat, we should be extremely cognizant of the ramifications of our sin.

Beloved children of G_D … even now this commentator clearly can remember the state of helplessness when I cried out to G_D for redemption … but at the same time I am admittedly having trouble remembering all of the other times when I should have cried out. Could it be that I am no longer in such a desperate state? Could it be that because I’ve taken steps to allow myself to be more pliable to his will that somehow I am less vulnerable … less unworthy?

We know the answer dear reader … clearly this commentator, even with some level of proper Hebraic understanding, has not been listening enough to G_D! Yes beloveds … we all can become complacent and grasp onto the joy of redemption (ranan) and over time become presumptuous!

Unless we are perfect however … unless we are without sin … unless we have arrived at our ultimate state; then we should realize that G_D does not stop chastising us … G_D does not stop molding us … G_D does not give up on us. G_D wants us to be all that we can be … in the here and now so that he can use us for his good will and purposes.

Just as Jacob struggled with G_D … we too must be prepared to struggle and when we finally see things G_D’s way then we need to take the way out which he has so lovingly provided. We can cry out for help and he will surely remain faithful to those who humble themselves before him.

If we have not done so in a while let us reflect upon our past and current state … let us without delusion measure ourselves against true righteousness … let us consider if we truly are in great need!

And if so … let not the chance to cry out to the LORD slip away while there is still time.

  • * * * * * *

Confide/Seek Shelter/Hope

tiqvah {tik-vaw’}: hope, expectation | ground of hope | things hoped for, outcome

batach {baw-takh’}: to trust, trust in, to have confidence, be confident, to be bold

chacah {khaw-saw’}: to flee for protection; figuratively to confide in:—have hope, make refuge, (put) trust.

palat {paw-lat’}: to slip out, that is, escape; causatively to deliver:—calve, carry away safe, deliver, (cause to) escape.

natsal {naw-tsal’}: to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense — defend, deliver (self), escape, without fail, part, pluck, preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, take (out).

cathar {saw-thar’}: to hide (by covering), literally or figuratively:—be absent, keep close, conceal, hide (self), (keep) secret

shamar {shaw-mar’}: properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.:—beware, be circumspect, take heed (to oneself), keep mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save, wait for, watch for.

shakan {shaw-kan’}: through the idea of lodging to reside or permanently stay (literally or figuratively):—abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell, have habitation, inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).

Thus far we’ve been on a virtual roller coaster ride as experienced through the Psalmists … and we are not quite finished yet. Although praise, reverent fear, listening, communication, introspection and crying out are critical elements of our relationship with G_D, what he really desires is that we would simply put our trust and hopes in him … the only source of spiritual comfort and protection.

Naturally we see in “tiqvah” and “batach” our standard ideas associated with hope and trust. In fact to a large extent we might even go so far as to declare this understanding of hope and trust as being paramount to faith … or at least one might suspect as much when considering modern believers’ attitude towards G_D and faith.

But then the Psalmists give us much more to think about when they introduce “chacah”, “palat” and “natsal”. When these Hebrew terms are applied within the context of hope and trust we begin to understand that hoping for “no trouble” … trusting that “all things” will be well for us … does not really make sense.

We see from the Psalmists that hope and trust, once again, become much more than a simple form of mental attitude. We see from the Psalmists that hope and trust become a tactical reliance upon G_D to intercede and help in times of trouble. We see in the Hebrew how G_D intervenes: by hiding us; by allowing us to slip away; by snatching us out of trouble depending upon various situations.

Most assuredly David experienced these intercessions by G_D on a personal level. How often was David pursued and put into precarious situations throughout his own life? David as well was fully aware of Israel’s brief but storied history to date and readily could see G_D’s intercession in the life of Israel.

The point to be made is that the pattern of Israel’s relationship with “olam hazeh” (the temporal world) as previously declared puts Israel in direct confrontation with the nations of the Earthly Kingdoms. This means as well that the children of G_D (those redeemed/adopted by G_D) are naturally at odds with the children of men … the children of the Earth’s Kingdom.

Consequently when we consider the role of G_D’s children is to be a light to the nations, a living witness to G_D … then we must presume that our path will be wrought with contention and precarious situations. As such it would seem apparent that we remain vigilant of these situations and be consistently ready to put our hope in G_D … in a tactical manner as opposed to some general mental attitude that declares we trust in G_D.

To trust in G_D in a Hebraic perspective entails being cognizant of our various situations … being cognizant that we need G_D’s protection … being cognizant that G_D will not turn us away empty handed when we flee to him for cover.

And … if we remain hopeful … if we remain trusting as our standard modus operandi, we can experience “shamar” and “shakan”! If our relationship with G_D is solidified in hope and trust … if we remain very close to G_D as we walk along the path, then G_D has promised to place his hedge of protection around us … G_D has promised us a permanent shelter!

It is hopefully clear that the very distinctive visualization of G_D’s protection within the Hebrew language used by the Psalmists presents us with a complete picture of trust and hope. In a Hebraic perspective hope and trust is less about awaiting upon a far removed G_D to come and intervene as opposed to a G_D that is walking in our midst … walking with us … surrounding us with his strength as we are confronted with afflictions and troubles … which will surely come!

Ultimately our real hope and trust in G_D boils down to not wishing for zero confrontation but exercising confidence that G_D will protect us during confrontation! Perhaps the best visual that can be invoked by this commentator is the young David going out to meet Goliath on the battle field. As we can see from the Holy Scriptures, David … in confidence … does not shy from confrontation. Conversely we see David pass the battle along to G_D! David truly puts his trust and hopes in G_D … like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before him!

As we reflect on real hope and trust let us consider how often we flee to G_D’s protection in the course of “living our lives”. Do we really trust in G_D on a daily or hourly basis … or do we express our hope and trust in G_D by showing up to services on the weekend? Hmmm!

The Psalmists teach us that our entire lives are a prayer since we inevitably meet confrontation at every turn … every day … in numerous ways. Let us consider the ramifications of not fleeing to G_D for protection and perhaps worse yet the ramifications of not even knowing that we are in trouble or under attack!

  • * * * * * *

Desire/Longing/Passion

chamad {khaw-mad’}: to delight in:—beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, delight, desire, goodly, precious (thing).

ta’avah {tah-av-aw’}: a longing; by implication a delight (subjectively satisfaction, objectively a charm):—dainty, desire, exceedingly, greedily, lusting,

rachab {raw-khab’}: to be or grow wide, be or grow large | broad or roomy pasture

shalowm {shaw-lome’}: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace | completeness (in number) | safety, soundness (in body) | welfare, health, prosperity | peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment | peace with G_D especially in covenant relationship | peace (from war)

And now we wind down and approach the last segment of wonderful Hebrew terms used by the Psalmists to describe their Hebrew prayer life … their very lives … with G_D!

We can see in “chamad” how a relationship with the living G_D is in simple terms … flat out “goodness”! It is a goodness expressed in a very precious and endearing love and beauty. It is a goodness that spurs us to a longing and desire not just to maintain this relationship but to seek after it even more … even to the extent of excess (ta’avah)! In the same manner that a wife will long after her husband … in the same manner that G_D in jealous fashion pursues us!

And when we reach this state of passionate pursuit of G_D we see from the Psalmist how G_D rewards his children … his bride. We see G_D enlarge (“_rachab_”) his possession … we see how G_D allows us to then flourish through our relationship with him.

Finally we get to see the end game that G_D has for us. We see in the awesome Hebrew word “Shalom” G_D’s great desire for us. What we find at the end of the path is the completeness … the perfection that G_D offers us by way of being “echad” (unified) with him.

Of course this does not mean in the here and now (in the temporal world) that all physical stress and confrontation will be removed from us. What it does mean however is that a genuine relationship with the living G_D can complete us and give us “shalom” in a manner that is unattainable without him!

Perhaps in considering the broad place and the peace and surety that comes from a relationship with G_D is what David has in mind:

Psalm 23 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in straight paths for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

When we consider this Psalm of David we must be reasonable and understand once again that David is not a psychotic individual. It is clear that David declares G_D’s goodness … his grace, mercy and benevolence … all the while knowing that life continues … that struggles will manifest in his life … that he will slip at times … that he will have to revisit the prayer table to confess his frailty and failures … that he will be continually digging into G_D’s word seeking guidance, tutoring, correction and growth.

David knows that perfection resides in and with G_D alone. David knows that humanity is broken and needs G_D … for goodness. But David also knows the heart of G_D. David knows what G_D’s desire is for humanity. David knows that genuine trust and faith in G_D will yield G_D’s promises under the terms of the Everlasting Covenant … G_D can and does make all things perfect!

  • * * * * * *

Dynamic Prayer Conclusion

Although this particular discourse was limited to a very cursory review of the Biblical Psalms which entailed review of just a small portion of discrete Hebrew terms, it is genuinely hoped that the presentation of same was done in such a way to at least expose the grandiose nature of dynamic personal prayer within a Hebraic perspective.

As we reviewed the selected Hebrew prayer terms what must be stressed is the lively, active nature of Hebrew prayer. From the Hebraic perspective we are not presented with a purely mental and or emotional paradigm. Instead we see a consistent pattern of vocalization, myriad physical resonance and bodily affects … essentially lively actions which quite frankly are not well represented through traditional English translations.

These lively actions are also accompanied with a broad range of extremely deep emotional/spiritual experiences which as we could see were not the result of individual orchestration but rather the result of G_D working within the individual!

Now to this commentator at least it appeared as well that these broad range of combined activities, physical affects and spiritual outpourings could rather easily and concisely be aggregated in fairly specific groupings. (Refer to visual provided herein)

It is hoped that this segmentation of Hebraic prayer/life experiences can be seen as representing in many respects a personal journey as the individual to G_D relationship grows in depth and strength!

Additionally, if one would have it, this path in some respects represents a never ending journey towards G_D … in Hebrew an “aliyah” of sorts. Now most assuredly would we have to view this journey in a completely dynamic perspective … as in this by no means is a one-shot linear path route.

We could see within the personal experiences of David the great Psalmist how his own life was quite turbulent … and we can see with David in many different scenarios … his place along this great aliyah! At times David is one hundred percent in ecstasy while at other times we see him dropping to great depths wherein his soul groans in near hopelessness.

What is important to remember is that all the segments of this path comprise our relationship with Father G_D. And the key for us to remember throughout this entire journey is that the common element from a human perspective is “humility”! Without humility there is only pride … and with pride there can be no relationship with G_D!

Let us also keep in mind that the Holy Scriptures reveal to us that most often the pride that is called out is not referring simply to the nations of unbelievers … not referring to people that don’t know G_D … not just referring to the enemies of Israel and G_D, but rather pride amongst the children of Israel … the purported believers … the purported faithful.

What we learn from the Psalmist is that G_D tears us humans down to our very core … our very essence so that we can develop a relationship with him on the only terms that will work. Develop a relationship when we are in a state of submission and choosing to seek help from the only real source of power!

What we see from David is the absolute necessity in putting our complete trust in G_D … knowing that this on many occasions will cause us strife. On occasions we will have to deal with our infidelity and waywardness and simply take our medicine from our benevolent Father who only desires our success … and so much more!

What we learn from the Hebraic perspective on dynamic prayer is that the Jewish sages are correct in that their understanding of prayer is really all about us interfacing with G_D long enough for him to sew his will into us.

Our review conducted herein however gives us a much greater understanding of what the sages were thinking … what the sages meant when pointing us back to being able to “discern G_D’s will instead of our own!”

What we learn from the Psalmists, in a true Hebraic perspective, is that discerning equates to action … equates to living! In a Hebraic perspective discerning is not something that we rationalize and then mentally attempt to apply along our walk of life. Discerning rather is letting G_D work in us … letting G_D make us tremble, jump for joy, commiserate, shout in triumph or prostrate ourselves out of sheer awe and thanksgiving … on and on.

Hebrew prayer beloved children of G_D is just plain being alive and in a relationship with the awesome living G_D of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … the G_D of all creation!

  • * * * * * *

Traditional Hebraic Prayer Summary

Thus far we have taken a very high level approach to Hebrew prayer and focused initially upon the core prayers (The Shema; The Amidah and The Aseret Hadiberot) … and we could assuredly see the direct connection to “ritual prayer” which points us toward the Holy Service and the Temple where G_D places his holy Name.

In delving a bit deeper into the “Shema” we hopefully could see how this great prayer, utilized in Hebraic tradition for both communal and individual prayer, in so very many ways encapsulates the unique relationship between G_D and his chosen people Israel.

What we could discern from review of the prayer is that Shema incorporates the following:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The testimony that the G_D of Israel is the only G_D and he has determined to make known his glory through the chosen people Israel;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema (prayer) itself represents an individual’s direct connection to redemption from Egypt, separation from the nations (olam hazeh), single mindedness towards G_D and the inheritance of the holy land.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The recitation of the Shema (and of course joyful obedience to the sacred commandments) serves as both an individual and communal testimony/witness to whom Israel serves;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema serves as an individual and communal connection to the holy service … and the Nation of kings and priests;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema, like the olah, ascends to the throne of G_D … a prayer that is wholly focused upon G_D’s desires and not those of Israel … i.e. “man”;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Shema readily represents Israel’s “declaration of independence” and points to the divine constitution of the everlasting Kingdom which is G_D’s sacred Torah;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That Israel’s divine charter of restoration is predicated upon their willingness to become holy … like The LORD;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The divine charter is designed to not just make Israel holy … but to also bring the Nations into the divine covenantal relationship;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That central to the divine covenantal relationship is the place where G_D places his holy Name … for this shall be the house of prayer for all nations;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. That G_D’s divine covenantal relationship with Israel is to be viewed in a Husband to Wife dynamic. Within the Shema we essentially see G_D courting his bride and extending to her the marriage contract.

Ultimately the Shema leads us to one inevitable conclusion: G_D has determined to restore order throughout his glorious creation and for his reasons and the sake of his own great Name he has determined to utilize the chosen people Israel as an integral element of this restoration.

We thus see in the Shema this great exhortation from G_D to his chosen people to “hear” … to “get it” … to “be it” … because the importance of being chosen is not so much in the selection but rather in the response to being selected.

We should intuitively perceive however that because of this unique relationship between G_D and Israel, that the Shema is undoubtedly near and dear to the very soul of every faithful Jew. And because of the declarations contained within Shema Israel, we can with zero difficulty see why this prayer is the most esteemed prayer in the Hebrew tradition.

But our foray into the realm of ritual prayer did not end with the Shema and our attention was turned to the Amidah, the standing prayer, wherein we were exposed to the “traditional litany” of the Temple Holy Service.

Upon review of the Amidah we could see how the prayer itself contained a variety of themes: G_D’s Revelation to Israel and his nature; Man’s state before G_D; Temporal Supplications; and finally Thanksgiving & Hope. We should have discerned as well how the Amidah itself, viewed in traditional Hebraic thought as “one prayer”, serves as a form of Aliyah with the people praying their way virtually through an individual and collective life journey.

Let’s once again recap the Amidah while thinking in very discrete steps:

Step 1-Attesting to the identity of G_D … the G_D who has revealed himself to humanity and all creation as the G_D of the patriarchs … the matriarchs … the G_D of Israel;

Step 2-Acknowledging G_D’s glory and his power over life, death … all things! G_D can and does resurrect the dead;

Step 3- Attesting to the holiness of G_D … even his very Name;

Step 4-Submitting to G_D as being the source of all true knowledge and wisdom;

Step 5-Repenting and cleaving to Torah as a sign of repentance and spurning the ways of the world;

Step 6-Confession of sin and forgiveness;

Step 7-Seeking Redemption/Adoption into the inheritance … Kingdom Israel;

Step 8-Request for healing and bearing witness to our dependency upon G_D;

Step 9-Thankfulness for the sustenance/blessings provided by G_D;

Step 10-Fellowship and the in-gathering of the dispersed/wayward brethren;

Step 11-Walking in Torah with G_D and each other … producing a righteous environment;

Step 12-Standing as a light against the darkness of this world (olam hazeh);

Step 13-Blessing and supporting those people that abide by the everlasting covenant;

Step 14-Awaiting the re-building up of Jerusalem;

Step 15-Awaiting in all hope for Mashiach’s appearance and reign;

Step 16-Acceptance of prayers;

Step 17-Restoring of the Holy Service;

Step 18-Receiving Salvation;

Step 19-Living in everlasting peace before the face of G_D

When we view the Amidah in conjunction with the Shema … what we see is the stark reality of life that is associated with the great covenantal relationship defined by Shema Yisrael. In the Amidah we see the struggles as well as the very hopes and dreams of the Jewish people come to life … we see their vision of restoration responsive to the great prayer of Solomon:

2 Chronicles (6:1 - 7:3) Then spoke Solomon: The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built thee a house of habitation, and a place for thee to dwell in forever. And the king turned his face, and blessed all the congregation of Israel; and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said: 'Blessed be the LORD, the G_D of Israel, who spoke with His mouth unto David my father, and hath with His hands fulfilled it, saying: Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be prince over my people Israel; but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the G_D of Israel. But the LORD said unto David my father: Whereas it was in thy heart to build a house for my name, thou didst well that it was in thy heart; nevertheless thou shalt not build the house, but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. And the LORD hath established His word that he spoke; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the G_D of Israel. And there have I set the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with the children of Israel.' And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands-- for Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven-- and he said: 'O LORD, the G_D of Israel, there is no G_D like thee, in the heaven, or in the earth; who keeps covenant and mercy with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their heart; who hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou didst promise him; yea, thou spoke with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thy hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD, the G_D of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying: There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; if only thy children take heed to their way, to walk in my law as thou hast walked before me. Now therefore, O LORD, the G_D of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou spoke unto thy servant David. But will G_D in very truth dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my G_D, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prays before thee; that thine eyes may be open toward this house day and night, even toward the place whereof thou hast said that thou would put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall pray toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; yea, hear thou from thy dwelling-place, even from heaven; and when thou hears, forgive. If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath be exacted of him to cause him to swear, and he come and swear before thine altar in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, requiting the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. And if thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, when they sin against thee, and shall turn again and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them back unto the land which thou gave to them and to their fathers.

When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, when they sin against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, turning from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou dost direct them on the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague or whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer and supplication so ever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, who shall know every man his own plague and his own pain, and shall spread forth his hands toward this house; then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart thou knows--for thou, even thou only, knows the hearts of the children of men-- that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, all the days that they live in the land which thou gave unto our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, when they shall come out of a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thine outstretched arm; when they shall come and pray toward this house; then hear thou from heaven, even from thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calls to thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and that they may know that thy name is called upon this house which I have built. If thy people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatsoever way thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee--for there is no man that sins not--and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto a land far off or near; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn, and make supplication unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying: We have sinned, we have done iniquitously, and have dealt wickedly; if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captive, and pray toward their land, which thou gave unto their fathers, and the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from heaven, even from thy dwelling-place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause; and forgive thy people who have sinned against thee. Now, O my G_D, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attentive, unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD G_D, into thy resting-place, thou, and the ark of thy strength; let thy priests, O LORD G_D, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in good. O LORD G_D, turn not away the face of thine anointed; remember the good deeds of David thy servant.'

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’S house. And all the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD was upon the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and prostrated themselves, and gave thanks unto the LORD; ‘for he is good, for His mercy endures forever.’

Yes dear reader … today and every other day faithful Jews around the world … in synagogues and homes, face towards Jerusalem the holy city and recite the Amidah knowing that their long suffering hope of restoration will come to pass … because … G_D is faithful. Because G_D heard and approved Solomon’s prayer and G_D keeps his promises.

Ultimately then we see in the Amidah an almost tactical response to Israel’s failure in upholding the great everlasting covenant encapsulated within the Shema. What we see in the Amidah is the life that accompanies the great commission. What we see is Israel in distress … in need … in wanting and hope of the return of G_D’s glory!

Additionally we know in the Hebraic tradition that fundamental to the great commission and the hope of restoration is G_D’s sacred Torah … G_D’s sacred commandments … as witnessed by the inclusion of the Aseret Hadiberot into the ancient Temple liturgy.

Etched forever in the minds of faithful Jews is the scene at Mount Sinai on the Festival of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) when THE LORD G_D descended and gifted to Israel the great Ten Commandments written in stone by G_D’s own finger! Do we consider this … can we visualize such a thing … do we really believe this happened?

Although it goes without saying that G_D’s law is integral to the Hebraic tradition we must make note in light of our brief review that David assuredly viewed G_D’s law well beyond an ethical framework for human behavior and or societal and religious governance.

What we see in David, through his love letters to the Torah, is the true “heart of Israel” … a heart that longs to be in union with G_D … on his terms. A heart that sees beyond the sheer righteousness of the sacred commandments … a human heart that peers into the very heart of G_D and sees the very will of the Creator for humanity. G_D’s will for humanity that longs for equity, justice, compassion, mercy and love.

Consequently in the Hebraic perspective there is no separation of G_D’s Torah from the Holy Service, society, the home or most importantly the Jewish heart!

What we ultimately realize is that ritual prayer in the Hebraic tradition … is not simply ritual is it? What we find in the ritual prayers is a consistent … daily reminder of the deal between G_D and Israel … the deal between G_D and humanity. We find that the core and revered ritual prayers of the Hebrews are very covenantal in nature and rife with the fundamental elements of the chosen peoples’ faith.

We see in the ritual prayers of Israel the great truths of all creation … and we see Israel as haED … the witnesses testifying to these truths which even nature resonates, though not in words.

We see in the ritual prayers of Israel the great commission of the chosen people … their glory … their burdens … their very hopes and dreams.

We see in the ritual prayers of Israel the at times invisible threads connecting them to the past … and at the same time to their destined future.

We see in the ritual prayers of Israel an implied mandate to go beyond the recitation of prayer in rote … a mandate to take these truths, principles and revelation into their hearts for guarding and safekeeping.

We see in the ritual prayers of Israel how the Jewish sages of old discerned and passed along the understanding that the root and reality of prayer is to succumb to the will of G_D and set aside their own personal imaginations.

But despite all of this potential insight and context (if one will receive it) into traditional Hebraic prayer, we found an even deeper perspective when we casted our eyes towards the Psalms in a broader light.

Far beyond ritual prayer we entered into the realm of dynamic Hebrew prayer … we entered into the wilderness where a person communes with G_D … and must do so at some risk.

What we found is that the Hebrew perspective and language differ greatly from those of our so called enlightened civilization. We found in the Hebrew tradition an extremely rich, colorful, visual and active depiction of interfacing with G_D unlike our modern “mental/cognitive” approach.

We can see with the Psalmists, particularly King David, a vibrant and active relationship with G_D expressed through individual prayer life. Although our review was only cursory (dealing with only a sampling of prayer terms) we can surely understand that David’s utilization of specific Hebrew terms was done so that a permanent record was made regarding the seemingly unlimited range of physical and emotive states he experienced.

Much more importantly however we could see where David revealed that ultimately this tremendous range of physical and emotional outpouring was not of his own doing … but rather the work of G_D himself … putting David into specific “spiritual states” because this is what G_D knew David needed … not per se what David’s mind contemplated but what David’s soul contemplated … and desired through a broad range of non-vocal resonance.

But our review opened up our understanding to Hebraic prayer even more when we realized that the extensive range of physical and emotive states were not wholly unique but appeared to share commonality within discrete areas of activity: Praising; Fearing; Listening; Communicating; Introspecting; Crying Out; Hoping and finally complete Living … Shalom!

What was also noteworthy is that there is no way to imply a purely linear path that any particular individual might experience. Yes indeed it would appear that these “activities” connote a form of “ascent/aliyah” towards G_D … but it would also appear that a particular “spiritual state” is in fact dynamic and predicated upon G_D’s desire and will at any given time.

Essentially we are left with the conclusion that Hebraic prayer is indeed quite dynamic … just like G_D … and just like the relationship between G_D and his children. Ultimately we see in this model of dynamic prayer that G_D indeed listens … G_D indeed responds … G_D most assuredly is the central focus of prayer because true to the Hebraic perspective of prayer … praying is rooted in coming to the knowledge of G_D and his will for us!

What we can consequently deduce is that “dynamic personal prayer” … and “ritual prayer” are designed for similar purposes. Hebrew prayer is designed to praise and glorify G_D through testimony to who he is and what he does. Hebrew prayer … both ritual and dynamic serve to show believers to be witnesses! In one instance a witness to the G_D and individual/communal Israelite relationship … and at an even deeper level a witness to the heart to heart relationship shared by G_D and his children.

Both scenarios, ritual and dynamic prayer, result in the believer’s understanding of G_D … understanding of G_D’s plan for humanity … understanding of the frailty of both Israel and the individual … understanding that there are consequences to be paid for failure … understanding that we are destined to cry out for G_D’s help … understanding that all we really have is hope in G_D’s mercy and benevolence … understanding that G_D wants us to succeed, be restored and live with him in complete Shalom.

Despite the similarity of these “net results” it is also very apparent however that both ritual and dynamic prayer have a place in the life of the believer. It should also be noted that it also seems apparent (by virtue of David’s love letters to the Torah), that there are no clear lines between how G_D chooses to operate within an individual. This means that recitation and pondering of the ritual prayers may just as well result in any or multiple of the diverse spiritual states experienced by the Psalmist … and conversely it should be recognized that G_D could just as easily use a dynamic personal prayer session to reveal to an individual the “truths” encapsulated within the ritual prayers.

So … what we ultimately end up with is a situation wherein all types of Hebrew prayer appears to essentially be dynamic … if of course we are willing to let G_D be G_D … and if we are willing to let G_D’s Spirit move within us. It would thus seem that a significant deterrent to dynamic prayer would be the approach by either an individual … or a community … with respects to prayer! Hmmm … perhaps we need to let this sink in for a moment?

Of course it should be noted that despite treating at some level the core Hebrew Prayers (The Shema; The Amidah and The Aseret Hadiberot) … and at least delving into the dynamics of Hebrew prayer by way of a cursory review of the Psalms and key prayer language terms, we should not fool ourselves into believing that we have adequately addressed this wonderful topic in detail.

As those familiar with Holy Scriptures know … the Biblical account is full of prayers … at nearly every turn and in most cases they are overwhelming if pondered. For instance … the prayer of Hannah a barren woman … who by the mercy of G_D became the mother of the great prophet and judge Samuel!

1 Samuel (2:1 – 10) And Hannah prayed, and said: my heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in the LORD; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD, for there is none beside thee; neither is there any rock like our G_D. Multiply not exceeding proud talk; let not arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a G_D of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry have ceased; while the barren hath borne seven, she that had many children hath languished. The LORD kills, and makes alive; he brings down to the grave, and brings up. The LORD makes poor, and makes rich; he brings low, he also lifts up. He raises up the poor out of the dust, he lifts up the needy from the dung-hill, to make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for not by strength shall man prevail. They that strive with the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them will he thunder in heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and he will give strength unto His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.

Or let us not dismiss the numerous prayers of the prophets and other Biblical figures such as Noah, Abraham, Moses … on and on.

What we need to realize is that in many instances these great spontaneous Hebrew prayers were answered by G_D … immediately … and most often in very dramatic fashion.

What we can also be assured of as well is that G_D is apparently always ready to hear from us … or well at least ready to hear from those children in a relationship with him … or those children of men crying out to be made into a child of G_D! As for those that are not in a relationship with G_D …

Psalms: (37:12-13) The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash at him with his teeth. The Lord doth laugh at him; for he sees that his day is coming.

Proverbs:

(1:24-30) Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man attended, But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also, in your calamity, will laugh, I will mock when your dread cometh; When your dread cometh as a storm, and your calamity cometh on as a whirlwind; when trouble and distress come upon you. Then will they call me, but I will not answer, they will seek me earnestly, but they shall not find me. For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD; they would have none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof.

(15:8) The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD; but the prayer of the upright is His delight.

(28:9-10) He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. Whoso causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit; but the whole-hearted shall inherit goodness.

So … it would also appear that there is another side of traditional Hebraic thought on prayer that we need to address; the Hebraic perspective that holds to the position that G_D does not listen to the prayers of the rebellious. And rebellious in the Hebraic perspective simply translates as any individual that does not abide to the terms of the Everlasting Covenant and spurns G_D’s sacred Torah.

As we have already addressed previously herein the prayers of the believers (the saints) are akin to the sacrifices offered up to G_D within the Holy Service … and ascend to his throne as a sweet aroma. In the Hebraic perspective … all sacrifices are by eternal ordinance examined closely by the priests in order to confirm that they are unblemished and meet G_D’s requirements. As such in the Hebraic perspective the prayers and supplications of individuals that choose not to enter into a covenantal relationship with G_D are tainted … blemished and ultimately not fit for presentation and offering to G_D!

Interestingly enough we must objectively admit that the Hebraic perspective pertaining to “tainted offerings” is assuredly consistent with all of the facets of Hebraic prayer reviewed thus far. Ultimately the prayers of the rebellious represent mere supplications in times of distress … and presume that G_D whimsically grants wishes. On the other hand this commentator will be very cautious in how this particular topic is handled in that G_D does what he does for his own good pleasure. As such it must be admitted that there should never be any preconceptions as to who G_D will answer … nor in what manner G_D may respond. Still further the Sacred Texts also point towards the scenario wherein G_D scoffs at the wicked and ultimately it would seem to be reasonable to let G_D make any such judgments … as opposed to drawing a hard line in the sand declaring that G_D will not answer the prayers of people not rigidly adhering to the Torah.

The general point to be made however, utilizing the traditional Hebraic perspective on prayer and the patterns of acceptable sacrifice, is that the Hebraic expectation regarding the answering of prayers is directly correlated to “relationship”. As such we can presume that prayer is expected to be an integral component in the lives of believers.

What we should also discern from the Holy Scriptures is that despite our hopeful expectations that G_D will hear and respond to our supplications, the Hebraic tradition understands that patient long suffering goes hand in hand with trust and hope. Additionally since prayer is really about G_D’s will, another key Hebraic vantage point holds that we as individuals need to be discerning with respects to how G_D answers our prayers … meaning that the answer to prayer does not automatically result in the expectation that we may have formulated in our own minds. We need to be diligent in looking for G_D’s hands in our lives and do so knowing that G_D does not work against his own will and plans. If we discern using G_D’s perspective we will be much more apt in seeing the Creator’s handiwork in our lives.

In concluding this brief discourse and review of traditional Hebraic prayer please dear reader understand that this represents only a peek into the richness and bounty of the communal and individual relationship that exists between Israel and G_D through the prayer dynamic.

What is important to this commentator however is that this unique Hebraic perspective be exposed because in so many ways does it differ from the modern Western and yes even Christian traditions. Sadly our Hellenic immersion has resulted in purported believers that operate in opposition to this Hebraic perspective … in prayer and life.

Because the Hebraic perspective is so vibrant, colorful and visual this commentator might be so bold as to attempt to convey a broad understanding of the Hebraic perspective on prayer by utilizing a picture … as seen herein below:

Although this visual is indeed rudimentary it is hoped that this great dynamic which is Hebrew prayer is at least somewhat captured.

It begins with The LORD revealing himself to a newly incorporated nation … his chosen people Israel. Critical to this G_D and Israel relationship as can be seen is the sacred law … the Torah of G_D which serves as the very brick and mortar of the covenantal partnership … a partnership that is both communal and quite personal. A partnership that is ultimately centered around and rooted in G_D himself. A relationship, that because of G_D, is unique … separate … set apart … holy!

We see by way of this relationship where Israel on a consistent basis lives to make “aliyah” towards the Temple where G_D has placed his Name … has placed his very Presence! At least three times a year does corporate Israel make Aliyah up to the Temple; for Pesach/Passover; Shavu’ot/Pentecost; and Sukkot/Shelters … in accordance with the Sacred Law!

We can see how the core relationship between Israel to G_D is designed to be one characterized by sincere sacrifice … praise … worship … trust! And we also understand that this corporate relationship extends right down to the individual believer.

We hopefully then can see just how important both the ritual and dynamic aspects of Hebrew prayer are to the Jewish people … to Israel. We should also understand that there are no clear lines of demarcation within this relationship … it is all dynamic … it is all up to G_D working within individuals and to a greater extent working within all of Israel to make known his glory and will for humanity through his chosen people Israel.

So by chance dear reader … do these visuals invoke any memories of prayers gone by within you? Do these visuals invoke any longing to get closer and cleave to the G_D of Israel? Do these visuals incite you to ponder ourselves making aliyah to visit the very presence of G_D? Do these visuals have us longing to make our own prayers rise as a sweet aroma to the very throne of G_D?

It is the hope naturally that like King David, the great Psalmist, we do yearn to experience the full gamut of physical and emotive resonance that comes with genuine Hebraic prayer life. If this is indeed the desire of our hearts then we can be confident that G_D will move within us … with no less force than he did with the Psalmist himself!

Let us all be brave beloved children of G_D! The wilderness might be intimidating and getting what we need from G_D will assuredly shake us up. All the same as we can see with G_D … there simply is no bad resonance if we let him use us as his instrument!

End Part I

Prayer – A Messianic Perspective

As we begin the second component of this look into Hebraic prayer and turn our sights towards the B’rit Chadasha (a.k.a. Christian new Testament) … let us do so knowing that we have exposed a decent and fairly succinct framework by which we can compare what we learn in the B’rit Chadasha to that which we gleaned from our review of Hebraic prayer in the Tanakh.

To summarize the high level components of Hebrew prayer:

Hebraic prayer is rooted in and consists of both “ritual” as well as “dynamic” interfacing methods with G_D. Methods which are designed to: bear testimony to G_D’s glory; encapsulate the key elements of the everlasting covenant; uphold G_D’s sacred commandments and let G_D work on the believer resulting in a believer experiencing a broad range of physical, emotive and spiritual states;

Hebraic prayer is intrinsically connected to the Temple … the place where G_D places His Name … Hebraic prayer focuses upon G_D;

Dynamic Hebraic prayer assuredly manifests as a “wilderness experience” wherein the believer lays everything out on the table … the good and the bad.

Hebraic prayer is essentially a relationship component wherein the individual seeks to discern and understand the “will of G_D” … over their own will so that they can be purposeful for the promulgation of G_D’s Kingdom … so that they can be transformed into G_D’s image through inspiration, introspection and refinement;

Hebraic prayer is active … energetic … resonant and incorporates a believer’s entire life!

Hebraic prayer makes G_D the object and his will for us the objective!

Hebraic prayer is akin to the sweet aroma of the olah (whole burnt offering) which ascends to the throne of G_D … Hebraic prayer is in essence an “aliyah” towards G_D.

B’rit Chadasha – Hebraic Prayer Continues

Luke: (Chapter 1) There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zachariyah, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisheva. And they were both righteous before ELOHIM (Unified G_D in Hebrew), walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisheva was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before ELOHIM in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zachariyah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zachariyah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisheva shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name Yochanan (John). And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their ELOHIM. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Eliyahu, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zachariyah said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gavriel that stands in the presence of ELOHIM; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believes not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zachariyah, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisheva conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from ELOHIM unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Yosef, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Miriam. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Miriam: for thou hast found favor with ELOHIM. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name YESHUA. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord ELOHIM shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Miriam unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of ELOHIM and, behold, thy cousin Elisheva, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with ELOHIM nothing shall be impossible. And Miriam said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Miriam arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zachariyah, and saluted Elisheva. And it came to pass, that, when Elisheva heard the salutation of Miriam, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisheva was filled with the Holy Spirit: And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Miriam said, my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in ELOHIM my Savior. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath upheld his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever. And Miriam abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Now Elisheva’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zachariyah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called Yochanan (John). And they said unto her, there is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is Yochanan. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised ELOHIM. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, what manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zachariyah was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord ELOHIM of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. …

Luke: (2:21-24) And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called YESHUA, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Luke (2:25-39) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Mashiach. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed ELOHIM, and said, Lord, now let thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Miriam his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served ELOHIM with fasting and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

Commentary:

Wow … talk about starting off our review of the B’rit Chadasha with a bang … it is indeed a challenge in just figuring out where to begin!

Our very first foray into Hebraic prayer in a Messianic perspective begins not surprisingly right where one would expect … at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem … the place of G_D’s great Name … and we can see that there is so very much going on … the emergence of the forerunner as prophesied in Yeshayahu (Isaiah) … the miraculous conception of Miriam … the presentation of Yeshua at the Temple … the continuation of G_D’s great restoration plan for humanity!

We see Zachariyah, a Levitical Priest, going into the “Holy Place” to offer up the “incense sacrifice” to G_D … his once in a lifetime opportunity to get oh so very close to G_D’s presence within the Holy of Holies … the place where the sacred Arc of the Covenant resides … the place where the Kapporah (the mercy seat) resides!

It is assuredly expected by the thousands of faithful Jews outside the Temple that Zachariyah will offer up the traditional ritual prayer associated with the offering … Israel is praying that G_D accepts the offering of Zachariyah.

But as Zachariyah presents the offering … something strange happens. Deep within Zachariyah as he stands before the incense table his heart’s desire pours out before G_D … wondering why he never had a son to promulgate the family lineage … wondering why he was never blessed with a son to take up the charge as priest after him … wondering why he was not blessed despite his faithfulness to G_D’s sacred commandments.

And Zachariyah’s resonance rose to G_D’s throne and G_D sent Gavriel to deliver an answer to Zachariyah’s most intimate prayer. Zachariyah and Elisheva would be gifted with a son! But of course our brief review of these events continues as we quickly see the story unfold.

Now … while Zachariyah remains physically mute because of his initial doubts … G_D continues to work as we see Elisheva soon thereafter with child for six months. And at G_D’s appointed time once again Gavriel is sent forth to reveal G_D’s will, this time to the young Miriam, a cousin of Elisheva. Despite the amazing and frightening revelation, the young virgin receives the news graciously … accepting G_D’s word!

Next we see upon Miriam’s visit to her elder cousin, the dynamic movement of Ruach HaKodesh within the two women and the growing Yochanan.

Please dear reader … note the active resonance taking place during this meeting. The mere sound of Miriam’s voice resonates through the ears of Elisheva … cascading down through her body and into the womb where the young babe leaps for joy in praise upon receiving the Holy Spirit … directly from Messiah! But the Ruach was not done and immediately Elisheva reveals what she could not have known and prophesies that all that was told to Miriam by the LORD will happen!

And responsive to Elisheva’s outpouring Miriam proceeds to dynamically pray … in many respects in similar fashion to Channah … the mother of Samuel. And what we see in this great dynamic outpouring, is the testimony to G_D’s faithfulness … His mercy … His justice … His promises to Israel!

And three months later … after the birth of Yochanan and upon the babe being presented at the Temple for circumcision, we once again see a similar outpouring from Ruach HaKodesh … this time via the now unmuted Zachariyah. Simply amazing!

But naturally the events associated with the forerunner are overshadowed by what transpires when Yeshua is presented at the Temple according to the rites of Torah. In the midst of the rite of circumcision we see the dynamic intervention by Ruach HaKodesh wherein not one … but two prophets of Israel, responsive to their long term faithfulness and prayers are blessed in amazing fashion and declare that Yeshua is both the redemption and salvation of The LORD!

Let us dear reader for a moment ponder these events and do so keeping in mind that these are indeed the inspired writings associated with the earliest events of the B’rit Chadasha record. Does it not make us stop and think as to why and how these events present an absolutely perfect transition from the Tanakh (Testament of Promise) to the B’rit Chadasha (Testament of Fulfillment) … presuming of course that such a transition is even necessary in the first place?

Let us consider for a moment however the backdrop of these events … it all begins at the Holy Temple … the place where G_D placed his Name in all of Israel. It all begins with a faithful priest … an elder priest … concluding his tenure in dramatic fashion by being honored with presenting the sacred incense offering to G_D within the Holy Place … and within the traditional framework of Hebraic ritual prayer.

But in the midst of this ritual prayer session G_D dynamically intervenes and makes things quite intimate and personal. And the intimacy and personal nature of G_D’s relationship with his children continues … as we see with Elisheva and Miriam.

But we must note how this intervention … though dynamic and personal … results in a physical, emotional and spiritual outpouring that maintains the central themes of Israel’s covenantal relationship and dependence upon G_D … redemption, salvation, restoration and promulgation of the kingdom to all the nations.

Let us attempt to place ourselves in Judah … two thousand years ago when the young Miriam enters into the room and greets her elderly cousin. The room is electric and the women are blushing with the knowledge of what G_D is doing … they are physically ramped up with an energy that is indescribable … they are resonating from every cell in their bodies and this resonance cannot be contained. Yet at the same time these women defer to the power that is working within them … these women, overcome with awe and wonder … simply let G_D be G_D!

We see a short time later … where Zachariyah as well, after battling with the turmoil of not being able to even speak for nearly a year, succumbs to the power and the resonance of Ruach HaKodesh and begins to prophesy while glorifying and praising G_D most high at the Temple during the circumcision of Yochanan!

And six months later we see recorded another scene at the Temple wherein Ruach HaKodesh dynamically intervenes upon Yeshua’s rite of circumcision; again in a very personal and intimate manner yet once again within the context of the everlasting covenant and specifically the messianic mission foretold by the prophets of old.

In this opening foray of the B’rit Chadasha we see G_D working in mysterious and wondrous ways. We see G_D bringing about his will for humanity through the lives of faithful (Torah observant) Jewish people in a very intimate fashion … yet at the same time brought about clearly within the auspices of the everlasting covenant and G_D’s relationship with national Israel … there is assuredly divine orchestration taking place!

Ultimately in this opening foray we see the Temple as the central focus … we see the combination of both ritual and dynamic prayer … we see the intimacy of the G_D to person relationship … we see the earmarks of the G_D to Israel relationship … we see G_D continue to uphold the everlasting covenant … we see the great and active resonance produced by G_D’s Holy Spirit … and we see clearly the picture of the sweet aroma of prayer rising to G_D’s throne.

There should be no doubts as we view these prayers in aggregate fashion that the great tradition of the Hebraic prayer framework as seen in the Tanakh remains consistent as we move into the B’rit Chadasha.

Let us once again revisit the visualization provided herein depicting traditional Hebraic prayer …

To this commentator it surely appears that this same visual framework … purportedly aligned with the so called “Old Testament” is aligned perfectly with the events as recorded within the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel.

Consequently it might appear that we need venture no further seeing how this pattern of Hebrew prayer has, upon just a cursory review, spanned the Biblical Testaments. Conversely it is clear that we are just getting started and should not even consider our venture anywhere near complete!

Just think what G_D has in store for us as we now proceed beyond the initial record of the B’rit Chadasha?

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Yeshua Upholding the Traditions

Luke (2:46-50) And it came to pass, that after three days they found him (Yeshua) in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me? Think ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spoke unto them.

Luke (4:16) And he (Yeshua) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Matthew (4:23) And Yeshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

John (2:23-25) Now when he (Yeshua) was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Yeshua did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

John (5:1) After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.

John (7:2-3) Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou does.

John (10:22-23) And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Yeshua walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

Luke (6:7) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

Matthew (21:12-13) And Yeshua went into the temple of G_D, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Mark (12:35) And Yeshua answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Mashiach is the Son of David?

Commentary:

In line with our initial review of how traditional Hebraic prayer remained consistent from the very onset of the B’rit Chadasha record, we can see from these excerpts from Holy Scriptures how Yeshua throughout his entire life made the Synagogue and Temple a central component of his “halakha” … of his lifestyle … of his walk.

If indeed the traditional ritual elements of the Jewish faith were designed to pass away responsive to the great Messianic Mission … it appears that someone forgot to relay this information to Yeshua. Instead we see Yeshua in the Synagogues … we see Yeshua at the Temple in Jerusalem … always making aliyah for the Biblically ordained Festivals of G_D.

Although it might appear from the Holy Scriptures to untrained non-Jewish eyes that Yeshua was more of a renegade of sorts as it pertained to mainstream Jewish religious practices, the sacred texts more than imply the exact opposite. In a Hebraic context the Holy Scriptures historically portray Yeshua as faithful Jew and as such more than imply that Yeshua readily grasped the traditions of old that were indeed inspired by G_D’s Holy Spirit.

Now … so that no one is unclear it must be noted that the ritual services in both the Synagogues and Temple were historically established in Yeshua’s day. There can be no doubts that Yeshua, like all faithful Jews, prayed and chanted the ancient prayers during these liturgies.

The point to be made dear reader is that we can be assured that the Temple and Synagogue framework established in Israel was upheld and validated by Yeshua. As the sacred text reveals Yeshua undoubtedly honors the Sabbath …the Biblical Festivals … the Synagogue … the Temple and in so doing upholds the great traditional prayer rites of the Jewish people … of the Jewish faith!

For us believers today the implications should be self-evident. If these Jewish traditions and associated prayer rites were upheld by Yeshua … as being inspired … as containing great value … as being worth honoring, then under what scenario would we his disciples not also cleave too and honor these ancient rituals? Hmmm!

Despite the contentious relationship with the blind religious leaders of that particular generation, Yeshua apparently had zero problems with the conventions and principles of the Temple, Synagogue or Ritual Prayers associated with them … as we will see in greater detail as we proceed herein.

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The Meaning of Ritual Prayer

Matthew (6:5 -13) And when thou pray, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which sees in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Commentary:

Perhaps Yeshua’s greatest and most insightful Torah teaching was provided when our LORD was asked by his disciples to “Teach us how to pray!”

As we begin this brief discourse let us keep in mind that those disciples asking Yeshua are not devoid of knowledge regarding what it means to pray in the Temple … or the Synagogue. These are people that are versed in the Hebrew faith … people that have consistently cleaved to local synagogues and people who have annually made “aliyah” to Jerusalem at the appointed sacred Festivals … these are people that know the ins and outs of “ritual prayer”. As such we very well could easily rephrase the disciples’ question to read like this: “LORD show us how you pray!”

Interestingly enough at first glance however Yeshua in direct response to this question does not reveal any deeply introspective mode of personal prayer but rather seemingly points the disciples to a framework that they know quite well already … Hebrew ritual prayer!

Please note that various Messianic commentators through the years have conjectured that this is exactly what Yeshua intended and was teaching the disciples how to cope with a rabbinic requirement to pray three times daily while dealing with time/life constraints that seemed to make this requirement impossible to keep.

So perhaps the connections between the disciple’s prayer and the Amidah of the Hebrew daily liturgy are not readily evident? Let us recall the order and content of the Amidah (below herein) and keep in mind that there certainly does appear to be a strong correlation to what Yeshua prays in relation to the Amidah prayer elements.

Step 1-Attesting to the identity of G_D … the G_D who has revealed himself to humanity and all creation as the G_D of the patriarchs … the G_D of Israel;

Step 2-Acknowledging G_D’s glory and his power over life, death … all things! G_D can and does resurrect the dead;

Step 3- Attesting to the holiness of G_D … even his very NAME;

Step 4-Submitting to G_D as being the source of all true knowledge and wisdom;

Step 5-Repenting and cleaving to Torah as a sign of repentance and spurning the ways of the world;

Step 6-Confession of sin and forgiveness;

Step 7-Seeking Redemption/Adoption into the inheritance … Kingdom Israel;

Step 8-Request for healing and bearing witness to our dependency upon G_D;

Step 9-Thankfulness for the sustenance/blessings provided by G_D;

Step 10-Fellowship and the in-gathering of the dispersed/wayward brethren;

Step 11-Walking in Torah with G_D and each other … producing a righteous environment;

Step 12-Standing as a light against the darkness of this world (olam hazeh);

Step 13-Blessing and supporting those people that abide by the everlasting covenant;

Step 14-Awaiting the re-building up of Jerusalem;

Step 15-Awaiting in all hope for Mashiach’s appearance and reign;

Step 16-Acceptance of prayers;

Step 17-Restoring of the Holy Service;

Step 18-Receiving Salvation;

Step 19-Living in everlasting peace before the face of ELOHIM

So … did in fact Yeshua provide his own disciples with an abbreviated model of reciting the Amidah prayers?

Perhaps this is what was in fact going on but this commentator believes further exploration is warranted!

Now initially let us just look at Yeshua’s opening prayer line …

Our Father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name … thy kingdom come

Comment: Naturally nearly all faithful Jews would not be surprised by Yeshua’s opening prayer line which would not shake or challenge anyone. But perhaps it is not just the Amidah where Yeshua is leading us. Let us recall what Yeshua himself declares when queried as to which is the greatest commandment: “Shema Yisrael ADONAI ELOHEYNU ADONAI echad … and you shall love the LORD your G_D with all of your heart … with all your soul … and with all your power!”

Let us also recall that the opening lines of the Shema prayer are as follows:

Hear oh Israel … the LORD is our G_D … the LORD is ONE | Blessed be his glorious Name and eternal kingdom forever and ever!

It would appear that the “Shema Yisrael” prayer would be the prayer that reasonably first comes to the minds of the faithful Jew given the similarity between Yeshua’s opening prayer line and those of the Shema … in this commentator’s opinion!

And we then must ask … “What is so special about Yeshua’s opening prayer line which points us back directly to the opening of the Shema?” Certainly the Jewish people already get the fact that G_D is in heaven … that G_D is the creator … so what is eye or ear opening about this introduction at all? In fact at first glance it would appear to not be very special at all!

Let us begin by noting that in Matthew 6:7 Yeshua makes it ever so clear that “vain repetitions (prayer by rote) is not the modus operandi of the faithful believer. Yeshua’s introduction in fact is not a condemnation of ritual prayer … rather he is revealing that rattling off even eloquent words by rote (for ritualistic purposes alone) in essence is vain … or “profaning G_D”!

It would appear that within a context of “ritual prayer” Yeshua is initially teaching/revealing to us that: introspection, understanding and passion (the opposite of vain) are integral elements of ritual prayer. Consequently Yeshua is giving us a vital clue as to what is about to take place … Yeshua is revealing that this same introspection, understanding and passion is what is needed to interpret what he is revealing as it pertains to the specific prayer he recites.

Regarding the specifics of Yeshua’s prayer … for starters let us remember that Israel, both corporately and individually, is involved in the covenantal relationship with G_D … Israel is the redeemed people from Egypt (Olam Hazeh) … the people adopted by G_D … a nation forged by G_D … the firstborn son … the people who have the right to call the one and only true G_D … their Father … “Our Father which is in heaven”!

Unlike the opening of the Shema however which refers to our LORD as our G_D … Yeshua refers to G_D as Father and at numerous other times refers to G_D as Father of the children … but Yeshua also refers to G_D as his “ABBA” … a very personal term on numerous other occasions. A term in fact which for the religious leaders proved to be quite a contentious term and even this very relationship both implied and declared by Yeshua proved too much for the religious leaders to ingest and set them upon their path of bringing Yeshua to ruin! It was this very relationship which Yeshua declared that prompted the religious leaders to accuse Yeshua of “Making himself equal with G_D!” As we see in John (5:17-18) But Yeshua answered them, my Father works hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken their Sabbath regulations, but he said also that ELOHIM was his Father, making himself equal with ELOHIM.

And of course with just a few other Scriptural excerpts we see that this is exactly what Yeshua was declaring …

Matthew (7:21-23) Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew (10:31-33) Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Who so ever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew (11:25-27) At that time Yeshua answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Now despite the perspective of the religious leaders of that generation, perhaps Yeshua (the Master Rebbe) is using known and accepted Hebraic exegetical methods to point us towards a truth revealed in the Shema that was not really understood by Israel. Perhaps Yeshua (the Messiah to come whose very mission was to fill up the Torah of G_D) wanted to create focus upon the fact that G_D as declared in the Shema is “echad” (singularly united) … and that we need to look further back to Genesis where G_D reveals himself, in the Hebrew text, as ELOHIM (plural)!

Perhaps Yeshua in these opening prayer lines is revealing much more than the disciples were seeing … much more than Israel was seeing! Perhaps Yeshua was really letting them know how he prayed … as G_D’s only direct issue … as G_D’s only Son … and at the same time sending a loud and clear message to Israel that HE has indeed arrived!

It would appear in a Hebraic (rabbinic) perspective that Yeshua’s utilization of known Hebraic methods of handling the Sacred Texts was not only designed to provide the “learned sages” with a declaration of who he really was … but to also have them test what he was declaring through a careful search of the Torah. In fact Yeshua exhorted these blind religious leaders on numerous occasions to do just this …

John (5:39-47) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. … For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

It appears that Yeshua’s unmatched expertise of Torah has left Israel with yet another permanent Hebraically acceptable pointer to his true identity and at least some form of answer regarding the mysterious and enigmatic truth revealed that G_D (ELOHIM) is both plural and echad … and even more amazingly Yeshua is also letting Israel know … “here I AM”

Continuing along this line of exploration we also see:

Matthew: (3:1-3) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Yeshayahu, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Matthew (4:12-17) Now when Yeshua had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Nephthali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zebulon, and the land of Nephthali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Yeshua began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew (5:17-20) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Who so ever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew (10:5-8) These twelve Yeshua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew (12:25-28) And Yeshua knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of G_D, then the kingdom of G_D is come unto you.

John (5:39-47) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of ELOHIM in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from ELOHIM only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Yet again we should see clearly what Yeshua is declaring … “the Kingdom of G_D” has arrived … with him! Even more so Yeshua is not just declaring that he is ushering in the Kingdom of G_D … but with the Hebraic connection to the Shema already made the implications are far more serious. Yeshua is declaring that the Messianic age has arrived … an age that will last forevermore and that just like the Father … he himself is the HOLY one … Barukh Habah b’SHEM ADONAI … blessed is he who comes in the NAME of the LORD!

Here Oh Israel, the LORD is our ELOHIM, the LORD is One … Blessed be his glorious Name and eternal kingdom forever and ever!

Our Father which is in Heaven, holy be the Name … thy kingdom come!

Hopefully we can concede that there is far more going on here than Yeshua just providing the disciples with an abbreviated version of the “daily prayers”? As we can see within this brief discourse already, it would appear that Yeshua is making a direct connection between himself and Israel’s great ritual prayers.

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Let us now cast our attention on the next line of Yeshua’s personal prayer:

Thy will be done on the Earth as it is in Heaven

Commentary:

Once again a seemingly basic comment by Yeshua: “Thy will be done on the Earth as it is in Heaven” … would not at first glance be surprising to a first century Jew who at a rudimentary level certainly understood the deal between Israel and G_D via the covenantal relationship and of course the ritual prayers which encapsulate same.

Let us once more ponder Yeshua’s prayer a bit further … looking beyond what we anticipate to be G_D’s will as Hebraically defined within the Shema prayer itself where it seems pretty obvious that G_D’s will calls for the restoration of Israel first and then the nations through the auspices of the everlasting covenant … where we see humanity once again aligned harmoniously with G_D as we people operate in accordance to the sacred commandments.

But Yeshua takes us to a place where we humans can’t go … can’t understand! He makes it very clear with his own prayer that he does in fact know G_D’s will … from a heavenly perspective. Yeshua’s prayer seems to beg the question … “Who can really know the will of G_D?”

Within the backdrop of traditional Hebrew understanding Yeshua is not directly challenging Israel’s understanding of G_D’s will but he is most certainly asking Israel to contemplate this issue more deeply … prompting Israel to pose the question “If indeed we do understand G_D’s will then why do we always seem to be troubled so … why are we always in a state of turmoil”?

As is always the case we will of course look to the Torah itself for the answers to the questions:

Matthew (11:25-27) At that time Yeshua answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

John (1:15-18) John (the Baptist) bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spoke, he that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Yeshua Mashiach. No man hath seen ELOHIM at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John (3:1-13) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yeshua by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from ELOHIM: for no man can do these miracles that thou does, except ELOHIM be with him. Yeshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of ELOHIM. Nicodemus says unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Yeshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of ELOHIM. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind blows where it lists, and thou hears the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be? Yeshua answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and know not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

John (6:37-39) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

With just these few excerpts from the Holy Scriptures we should get a better understanding as to just how personal Yeshua’s prayer to the Father really is. These excerpts from the Sacred Texts reveal to us that it is only Yeshua, come down to Earth from Heaven, who is the only human who can possibly know the will of G_D!

Oh most certainly within the auspices of the everlasting covenant and consistent revelations to Israel has G_D revealed his plan and laid out the framework of how this plan will come about through his chosen people Israel. G_D has selected Israel to be his chosen people; G_D has provided the sacred law to Israel; G_D has separated his people from the rest of the nations; G_D has manifest his very presence amongst Israel … yet despite all of this G_D has also revealed that Israel will have to be saved and that G_D would save them through his Messiah!

In traditional Hebraic understanding it is known that Messiah would come and open up the Torah to them in a completely different dynamic … open up the Torah to reveal the great mystery of G_D … open up the Torah to reveal G_D’s will.

Consequently Yeshua not only points us towards himself as the Messiah who in fact does know G_D’s will intimately from a Heavenly perspective … but he also points us to the very question itself … “just what is G_D’s will revealed?’

Isaiah: (53:1-12) ‘Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him. He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of G_D, and afflicted. But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. All we like sheep did go astray, we turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? For he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due. And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.’ Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand: Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even my servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear. Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John (3:14-17) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For ELOHIM so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For ELOHIM sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John (1:6-13) There was a man sent from ELOHIM, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lights every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of ELOHIM, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of ELOHIM.

Luke: (4:16-21) And he (Yeshua) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Matthew (26:36-39) Then cometh Yeshua with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and says unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then says he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Naturally we could continue on seemingly in perpetuity with respects to how Messiah Yeshua revealed G_D’s will to us but let it suffice for now that within Yeshua’s personal prayer to his Father we see the deep and mysterious will of G_D from a Heavenly perspective revealed … in a very personal, intimate and Messianic context.

Now despite the fact that we as humans revel in the joy that G_D’s will is to see us restored … reconciled with him because G_D’s love for his creation is virtually unlimited, let us for the moment focus not on the result of G_D’s plan and love for the creation but let us focus specifically on G_D’s will for our beloved Yeshua.

From a Yeshua perspective G_D’s will is difficult … hard … beyond all real human comprehension. What we see in G_D’s will for Yeshua is a testing of the beloved Son’s own love for his Father.

We see G_D’s will for Yeshua (glorified with and in G_D from before time) having our beloved Messiah put off his divinity and glory to be vexed, pursued, crushed, humiliated and finally killed by mere created beings … so that the Father’s wrath respective to his creation can be appeased by the only acceptable offering … the willing and perfect self-sacrifice of G_D’s only direct issue!

Beloved children of G_D … let us understand that in Yeshua we are seeing the absolute perfect love that anyone could ever have for G_D …

And you shall love the LORD your G_D with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your might and these words I command you this day shall be within your heart!

In pointing us back to the Shema Israel Prayer and have us pondering Messiah’s own prayer … “Thy will be done on the Earth as it is in Heaven”

We can peer much further into G_D’s plan and realize his will not just for his creation but for Yeshua himself. And we are confronted with love that is quite frankly hard to understand and ingest. We are seeing a love of G_D for his creation that would so move G_D that he would give the life of his own son … and in perfect correlation to this great love … we see the son willing to undergo the unthinkable … even beyond any pain, suffering and humiliation … we see the son becoming the very thing that the Father and he hates … sin itself!

There should be little doubt at all that Yeshua is pointing us towards the commandment and living revelation of what it means to love G_D with all of your heart … all of your soul … and all of your power! And in so doing reveals to us the Heavenly will of G_D … known only to Messiah Yeshua … the one come down from Heaven to complete the Father’s will on Earth!

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Give to us this day our daily bread (sustenance) and forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us

Yet once again Yeshua prays a request that is at first glance readily understood within a traditional Hebraic context … emphasizing Israel’s complete dependence upon G_D for everything. And still further that we are to be bountiful in blessing upon others … just as G_D is bountiful to us. To a first century faithful Jew what readily comes to mind is the truth that we owe absolutely everything to G_D … food … shelter … life and that we are to generously disperse the blessings upon those who are in need!

On the other hand let us consider Yeshua’s prayer once more in a personal … Messianic light! Let us consider Messiah’s own understanding of “sustenance” as revealed in Holy Scriptures!

Matthew (4:1-4) Then was Yeshua led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of G_D, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of G_D.

John (4:31-34) In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Yeshua says unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John (6:30-69) They said therefore unto him, what sign will you show us, that we may see, and believe you? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, he gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Yeshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of ELOHIM is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Yeshua said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. … 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Yeshua unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Mashiach, the Son of the living ELOHIM.

Isaiah (30:9-11) For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that refuse to hear the teaching of the LORD; That say to the seers: ‘See not,’ and to the prophets: ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy delusions; Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Isaiah (42:1-4) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall make the right to go forth to the nations. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the dimly burning wick shall he not quench; he shall make the right to go forth according to the truth. He shall not fail nor be crushed, till he have set the right in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his teaching. …

Isaiah (42:18-24) Hear, ye deaf, and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who is blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my messenger that I send? Who is blind as he that is wholehearted, and blind as the LORD’S servant? Seeing many things, thou observe not; opening the ears, he hears not. The LORD was pleased, for His righteousness’ sake, to make the teaching great and glorious. But this is a people robbed and spoiled, they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison-houses; they are for a prey, and none delivers, for a spoil, and none says: ‘Restore.’ Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the LORD? He against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient unto His law.

Matthew (16:6-12) Then Yeshua said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, it is because we have taken no bread. Which when Yeshua perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Commentary:

Yeshua reveals to us plainly that the greater bread … the greater sustenance from G_D in Heaven has less to do with the welfare of our “physical needs” but much more so regarding our “spiritual needs”.

In looking at Yeshua’s prayer in a very personal and Messianic perspective … and knowing that the real sustenance is the true knowledge of G_D that nourishes the very soul and draws us near to life eternal with G_D, can we now see more clearly what Yeshua is requesting of his Father?

It would most certainly appear that Yeshua’s mission is to provide true knowledge … life-saving knowledge … in a manner in which only the Messiah could do. And as the Sacred Texts reveal it is apparent that the children of Israel are being denied the true knowledge of G_D because of the rebellion and false doctrine of the Jewish religious leaders themselves.

Can we picture Yeshua’s heart as he pleads with the Father to sustain him … to give him the words of life … to give him the strength to execute the Messianic mission to bring about the will of the Father … which for Israel and all the nations is to have them receive the true sustenance … the real and true teaching of G_D … the very words of life eternal?

And now that we have connected Yeshua’s prayer line regarding “sustenance and forgiveness of debts” to the real bread … the Spiritual bread … the teaching of truth … the delivery of mercy and grace, we can hopefully see Yeshua once again pointing Israel back to the Shema Yisrael prayer:

“And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit in your home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down to sleep and when you arise”

Yeshua in praying “give us this day our daily bread” is making a direct request that he be given the words of life from the Father so that the teaching (the knowledge of G_D) will be great and glorious … so that the children of Israel will be exposed to the truth … so that the children of Israel will live!

So what in fact are these words of life the Sacred Texts refer to … what are the teachings that Messiah delivers to the children of Israel that are so very vital to Messiah’s mission?

To begin, we certainly can conclude without any doubts, at least by way of our previous discourses herein, that Yeshua gave no indication at all that the halakha surrounding the Temple, Synagogue, Festivals, Holy Service and great Hebrew prayer traditions were abrogated.

Naturally in a first century Jewish context … and perhaps even now, it is very easy for us to consider this element of the Shema prayer and turn our focus towards the great sacred commandments handed down by G_D through Moses and realize as well that G_D desires we be single minded towards him and that we make him and his ways known to our children … the next generation.

Let us understand these great commandments initially within the context that we’ve exposed herein previously and keep in mind the virtual love letters scribed by David and the critical importance of the sacred commandments within a covenantal and kingdom perspective.

Let us keep in mind that the delivery of these sacred commandments is completely inspired by G_D’s Spirit and let us also keep in mind that Yeshua is essentially the same unchanging Spirit which ELOHIM has declared himself to be.

Let us keep in mind that the true purpose of prayer is to discover the will of G_D and that Messiah’s mission is to reveal, teach and manifest the will of G_D … for us!

Keeping in mind these points … let us really look at what Messiah teaches to the children of Israel … to his children!

Matthew (13:36-38) Then Yeshua sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, he that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

John (12:35-36) Then Yeshua said unto them, yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.

Matthew (18:1-4) At the same time came the disciples unto Yeshua, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Yeshua called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Commentary:

Initially we must point out that Yeshua clearly defines Israel as “children” … and more specifically those that follow him as … his children of the light!

Additionally Yeshua makes it quite clear as well that there are indeed “other children” … the children of hasatan … the children of the kingdom of darkness.

And although Yeshua reveals repeatedly how walking in the kingdom of light requires faith in the one who is light and has been granted authority, he as Messiah would naturally need to define this walk in the light … his teaching … his torah … within a traditional Hebraic framework that Israel could understand and put into practice … halakha!

As we will see Yeshua assuredly did not disappoint …

Matthew (15:6-14) Thus have ye (religious leaders) made the commandment of G_D of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. … And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, know thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matthew (23:1-7) Then spoke Yeshua to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matthew (23:27-33) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Matthew (5:1-20) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see G_D. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of G_D. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. … Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fill up. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew (22:34-40) But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Yeshua said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy G_D with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

John (14:15-21) If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Matthew (10:34-39) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew (7:21-29) Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (torahlessness). Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Yeshua had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Commentary:

Contrary to pervasive Christian dogma and subsequently the perceptions of mainline Jewish believers regarding Messiah’s ministry, Yeshua in no uncertain terms has made it clear that Israel’s traditional covenantal relationship with G_D, based on faith and trust in ADONAI and cemented by the Sacred Law, has not been abrogated and will last until Heaven and Earth are dissolved.

The Biblical Texts are definitive on this issue as Yeshua instructs the children of Israel to listen to … obey … and abide by the rulings of the Jewish religious leaders. As we can see however Yeshua warns the children of Israel to not apply the Sacred Law in a hypocritical and self-righteous manner as do these same religious leaders!

It is not Yeshua that is calling for abrogation of G_D’s sacred Torah but rather it is the Jewish religious leaders’ wrong interpretation of Torah … wrong application of Torah and suffocating adherence to and promulgation of their own traditions that is essentially “abrogating/making meaningless” the Holy Torah of G_D!

As Yeshua’s great “sermon on the mount” reveals, G_D is opposed to pride, arrogance, hypocrisy and the traditions of purportedly enlightened leaders who lead the children of Israel astray. What we see in Matthew 5:1-18 is Yeshua’s revelation and exhortation that G_D’s will for the children of Israel is that they have a humble, loving, obedient, passionate and faithful heart for G_D … first and foremost!

What we see Yeshua teach is that there is no place for pride, anger, angst, complacency, self-righteousness, insincerity and haughtiness in the Kingdom of G_D. But most assuredly we see Messiah in this same delivery uphold the Sacred Torah by declaring that not one single character contained within the inspired Text will be abrogated until Earth and Heaven are done away with. Still further Yeshua declares that those properly teaching the Sacred Law will be great in the Kingdom of G_D … and of course there is none other greater than himself as he has declared himself to be the “Master Rebbe” … the one to come whom Moses spoke of.

To really understand Yeshua’s teaching on the Torah however we will need to dig a bit deeper and do so in the Hebraic context in which he delivered his teaching.

So let us look at the overall framework and personal revelation of Torah as taught by Yeshua when he was asked by a scribe in the day, which of the mitzvot of the Torah was the greatest:

Then one of them [that is, one of the Pharisees], which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the Torah?

Yeshua said unto him, thou shall love YHVH thy G_D with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Torah and the prophets.

Initially what we see in Yeshua’s answer to the question (regarding which is the single greatest commandment in the Torah) is not some off the wall understanding of Torah with “Two New Commandments” … but rather a direct reference to Leviticus (19:1-18) …

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them: Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and ye shall keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Turn ye not unto the idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. And when ye offer a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it that ye may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow; and if aught remain until the third day, it shall be burnt with fire. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is a vile thing; it shall not be accepted. But every one that eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the holy thing of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from his people. And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall not steal; neither shall ye deal falsely, nor lie one to another. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, so that thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor favor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

Yeshua not only answered the Scribe’s question but did so in a manner that would take any learned Torah student to Leviticus Chapter 19 where in Hebraic tradition it would be concluded naturally that Yeshua was revealing in his answer that “everything” contained within the referenced passages was integral to his response.

And amazingly what do we see? For starters we see that Yeshua is clearly indicating that “being holy for G_D is holy” is directly correlated with loving ADONAI with all your heart, soul and might!

We see Yeshua upholding core components of Torah (Sabbath and the Festivals; Sacrifice and the Holy Service; The Sacred Law) as well as the core principles of compassion, justice and righteousness!

True to form we see the Master Rebbe “amplifying/resonating” the Torah … utilizing known and acceptable Hebraic methods … but Yeshua does not end his revelation by simply pointing us back to Leviticus … he goes much further.

The image that Yeshua gave of the Torah would have been understood in the context of a 1st century rabbi as a tree with an initial trunk and two main trunks that split off from that main trunk. One of the trunks might be called the “Love G_D branch” while the other, might be called the “love humanity branch”. Mashiach declared that all of the remaining mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah hung from those two trunks as branches and leaves. Thus, we can easily justify placing each of the mitzvot of the Torah under one of those two headings: Loving G_D or loving humanity.

When we further examine this revelation, we can relate Mashiach’s teaching to the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were the first statements of life formally given by G_D to his people at Sinai (and recorded) after their rescue from the bondage of Egypt. Quite easily we can segregate the Ten Commandments into one of these two “tree trunks.”

From one of the two main branches, we can place four additional branches. Those four branches relate to the first four commandments. From the other main branch we have six additional branches. Those six branches correspond to the last six commandments (commandments five through ten).

When we survey the commandments within the Torah we can place each under one of the Ten Commandments. Thus, we end up with ten groups of related mitzvot. All of these various mitzvot hanging under one of the Ten Commandments … just as Mashiach revealed!

Once we find the appropriate location for each of the mitzvot in the structure of the Ten Commandments, we would immediately notice that sub-groups of mitzvot appear. Thus, the mitzvot under the First Commandment fall into neat sub-groups of related topics. For example, the sub-group headings for the First Commandment include: Knowledge of G_D; Love of G_D; Fear of G_D … and so forth.

This same model can be employed for each of the remaining nine Commandments. All of the mitzvot of the Torah can be categorized under one of the Ten Commandments. From there, each of the mitzvot can be placed into a smaller group of related mitzvot. The end result of this categorization process is that the mitzvot of the Torah become integrated and their application becomes more concise within the context of its respective root commandment. And with this teaching coming from Mashiach should we expect anything different? In fact the unique Hebrew language follows a similar root/child methodology and as such Mashiach’s teaching continually upholds the Hebraic bias or model fashioned over time through his own guidance from the very beginning of Israel’s creation!

And still further, utilizing this revelation from Messiah, perhaps we can understand why in Leviticus Chapter 19:1-18 there is oddly enough an omission of the great commandment “not to commit murder”! The answer is quite simple when we realize that “hating your neighbor in your heart” and “spreading gossip about your neighbor” … within Yeshua’s revelation falls directly under the parent commandment “not to commit murder”.

Perhaps the following illustration should help the reader better visualize this Torah framework which Mashiach was revealing to Israel.

Yeshua Teaching the Commandments & Life

It should be noted as well that Mashiach, as you surely must understand was not just any rabbi … but the REBBE … the MASTER TEACHER … as he declared in Matthew 23:8 and is depicted within the Tanakh. As such it should come as no surprise that his metaphor of Torah as a tree is deeply entrenched within Hebrew culture and understanding. Simply stated: Mashiach’s teaching was not esoteric or off the wall but rather a new and deeper amplification premised upon previously inspired declarations within Holy Scriptures:

Proverbs (3:1-18) My son, forget not my teaching; but let thy heart keep my commandments; for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to thee. Let not kindness and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thy heart; so shall thou find grace and good favor in the sight of G_D and man.

Trust in the LORD with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the LORD, and depart from evil; it shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy vats shall overflow with new wine.

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD, neither spurn thou His correction; For whom the LORD loves he corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delights.

Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that obtains understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that holds her fast.

From a Hebraic perspective the Torah as a “tree of life” was and remains a very important known and accepted construct. Still further and once again it should not be surprising, the metaphor of “man as a tree” is also a known and accepted Hebraic convention which we see in both the Tanakh as well as the B’rit Chadasha. A convention invoked by Mashiach on numerous occasions.

From the Tanakh … Isaiah (44:1-5) Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen; thus says the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon the thirsty land, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. One shall say: ‘I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

From the B’rit Chadasha … Matthew: (7:15-20) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Mashiach’s teachings are naturally at the core Torah centric! As we can see from just this very brief review, Mashiach was building upon his already delivered revelation of the Tanakh to fill up Israel’s meaning of Torah and subsequent application. And if you look … really look … you shall see this pattern throughout the entire B’rit Chadasha. The pattern that consistently connects the Tanakh to the B’rit Chadasha through Mashiach Yeshua!

So … as we can see there are numerous revelations and pointers that Yeshua gives us that he does in fact “teach the children of Israel” regarding Torah living and practice. We see Yeshua declare that torah practice/living without a passionate and humble heart is not G_D’s will. We see Yeshua declare that Torah understanding is comprised not just of the sacred statutes and ordinances but just as well the teachings/revelations of the prophets. We see Yeshua provide Israel the proper framework in which the Sacred Law should be viewed, studied, understood and applied. We see Yeshua not only uphold the Sacred Torah of G_D but deliver an understanding to Israel as to what G_D’s desire … G_D’s will is for “righteous covenantal living”!

So dear reader … let us once again open up our horizons and really take in what Yeshua reveals to us … what Yeshua’s Torah is pointing us too … what Yeshua wants us to understand.

Although this very brief exposure of Yeshua teaching the children of Israel in known Hebraic conventions may not be what you are used to … or how you’ve been trained to digest his glorious revelations regarding Torah practice, please consider once again that Yeshua’s delivery of his Torah to Israel would be done so in a context that Israel would understand … in a Jewish context … using traditional methods that are pertinent to Israel … and not modern Western culture or Christian theologians.

So is this commentary declaring that Yeshua’s great Torah … his great teaching was strictly a revelation regarding the Sacred Law of G_D … given to Israel through Moses?

Within the context of first century Jewish understanding it must be noted that just Messiah’s Torah centric teachings would have to be considered hebraically correct, precise, flawless, eloquent, revelatory and ground breaking. Messiah’s understanding of Torah, delivered with complete authority and supported by the wondrous miracles he performed challenged the status quo of complacent, arrogant and self-righteous religious guidance which had led Israel astray.

Messiah’s teachings of Torah brought to the forefront the interpersonal relationship that G_D desired for every Israelite … the relationship that is G_D’s will for Israel.

If … if … Yeshua taught the children of Israel nothing more, it would have to be admitted in a purely Hebraic perspective that his position as the Master Rebbe of Israel would be solidified for all time!

But Yeshua went well beyond providing the children of Israel with the definitive Rabbinic Torah understanding as we will soon see.

But before we foray into Messiah’s divine Torah teaching let us just for a moment consider the relevance of continued Torah living by fast forwarding to the end of the Great Book:

Revelation (12:14-17) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of ELOHIM, and have the testimony of Yeshua Mashiach.

Revelation (14:11-13) And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of ELOHIM, and the faith of Yeshua. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, says the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.

Revelation (22:8-15) And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then says he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship ELOHIM. And he says unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.

Commentary:

Dear reader … if by chance there remains any doubts as to the continued relevance and purposefulness of Torah life, these excerpts from the Book of Revelation should wipe away said doubts.

Not once … not twice … but three times does Yeshua reveal through John the Apostle that both faith and obedience, even to the very end are relevant. We see those that have faith in Yeshua and obedience to the Sacred Commandments declared to be:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The remnant of the seed of Israel

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The saints;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The citizens of the kingdom who have the right to the tree of life

Frankly it would seem quite apparent to this commentator that the body of evidence herein has definitively answered the main questions regarding Yeshua’s stance on proper Torah application.

But let us now proceed to Yeshua’s “divine Torah revelation” with confidence that his personal prayer is directly aligned, in traditional Hebraic fashion to the Shema … specifically regarding how and what the children are to be taught as G_D’s will for both Yeshua and Israel.

John (18:37-38) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Yeshua answered, thou says that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate says unto him, what is truth?

Yes … what is the truth … what is it that Yeshua was born and came into this world to bear testimony about … beyond his master teaching on proper Torah application/living?

Isaiah (8:16-9:6) ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the instruction among my disciples.’ And I will wait for the LORD, that hides His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. …. For is there no gloom to her that was steadfast? Now the former hath lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but the latter hath dealt a more grievous blow by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in the district of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy; they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of Midian. For every boot stamped with fierceness, and every cloak rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, for fuel of fire. For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom; That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this.

John (1:1-5) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with ELOHIM, and the Word was ELOHIM. The same was in the beginning with ELOHIM. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John (1:29-30) The next day John (the Baptist) sees Yeshua coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of ELOHIM, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, after me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

John (3:18-21) He that believeth on him (Yeshua) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of ELOHIM. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in ELOHIM.

John (3:31-36) He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifies; and no man receives his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that ELOHIM is true. For he whom ELOHIM hath sent speaks the words of ELOHIM: for ELOHIM giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loves the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of ELOHIM abides on him.

John (5:19-31) Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these that ye may marvel. For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of ELOHIM: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

John (6:37:51) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. … . No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of ELOHIM. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of ELOHIM, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John (10:11-18) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catches them, and scatters the sheep. The hireling flees, because he is a hireling, and cares not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John (12:23-32) And Yeshua answered them, saying, the hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, an angel spoke to him. Yeshua answered and said, this voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John (3:1-8) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yeshua by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from ELOHIM: for no man can do these miracles that thou does, except ELOHIM be with him. Yeshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of ELOHIM. Nicodemus says unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Yeshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of ELOHIM. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind blows where it lists, and thou hears the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John (14:15-26) If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas says unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Yeshua answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. …

John (16:5-33) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asks me, whither you go? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. …

These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loves you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from ELOHIM. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speak thou plainly, and speak no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knows all things, and needs not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou came forth from ELOHIM. Yeshua answered them, do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. …

John (17:1-10) These words spoke Yeshua, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true ELOHIM, and Yeshua Mashiach, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gave me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gave me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gave them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

John (22:15-20) And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of ELOHIM. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of ELOHIM shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Luke (23:34-38) Then said Yeshua, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Mashiach, the chosen of ELOHIM. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, if thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Commentary:

And now dear reader … here is the truth that much of Israel was blinded too … the very glory of Messiah and his great Messianic mission of spiritual redemption and salvation!

And even knowing that Israel’s blindness was foreknown to G_D and would be used to usher in the kingdom of G_D to not just Israel but also all nations … it remains heartbreaking that Israel was being led by hard hearted, stiff necked and self-righteous leaders who could not within the very revelation from G_D which they were so purportedly fervent for, recognize Messiah Yeshua revealed therein.

Yeshua provided every single opportunity for them to do what was right … he even went so far as to challenge them to find Yeshua within the Sacred Texts … to realize that eternal life did not come by way of facts or knowledge or man inspired rituals but strictly through the mercy, grace and actions of G_D …

John (5:39-40) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

So for a moment let us ponder what the religious leaders might have found in the Sacred Texts … if they were not so brazen … if they were not so blinded by their own understanding, traditions and doctrines?

The Messianic Prophecies

Knowledge of Mashiach’s Divine Nature:

• To know that G_D will come as Mashiach … HIS ruling ARM (Isa. 40:10)

• To know that Mashiach will be from ancient days … everlasting and eternal (Micah 4:14-5:2)

• To know that Mashiach will be ImmanuEl … G_D with us (Isa. 7:13-14)

• To know that Mashiach will come to HIS temple and deliver the covenant (Mal. 3:1)

• To know that Mashiach will be like unto the eternal but as a “Son of Man” coming in the clouds of Heaven (Dan. 7:13-14)

• To know that Mashiach will be “Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom” – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G_D, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace … Mashiach will be the exact image and likeness of G_D … a perfect unity (Isa. 9:5-6)

• A Psalm of David. The LORD says unto my lord: ‘Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ The rod of thy strength the LORD will send out of Zion: ‘Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.’ Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy warfare; in adornments of holiness, from the womb of the dawn, thine is the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent: ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek.’ (Psalms 110:1:4)

Those religious leaders of Yeshua’s day would have found that the Tanakh clearly declares the awesome and divine nature of Mashiach without question! Praise G_D!

  • * * * * * *

Knowledge of Mashiach’s Redemptive Mission:

• Bring good tidings unto the humble (Isa. 61:1; Nah. 2:1)

• Bind up the broken-hearted (Isa. 61:1)

• Comfort those that mourn (Isa. 61:1)

• Open the of the eyes to them that are blind (Isa. 61:1; Isa. 35:5)

• Open the ears of the deaf (Isa. 35:5)

• Free the tongue of the dumb (Isa. 35:5)

• Heal the lame (Isa. 35:5)

• Free the captives/possessed/unclean/infirmed/dead (Isa. 61:1)

• Strengthen the weak and fearful (Isa. 35:3)

• Proclaim Jubilee (Isa. 61:1; Isa. 35:3)

• Disavow the curse of Israel’s covenant with death (Isa. 28:16)

• Serve as the foundation stone for the renewed covenant (Isa. 28:16; Mal. 3:1; Jer. 31:30-33; Psa. 118:22)

• Build G_D’s eternal place of dwelling (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Isa. 28:16; Mal. 3:1; Jer. 31:30-33)

• Circumcise the remnant and put Torah upon their hearts (Jer. 31:30-33; Isa. 42:3)

• Guarantee the seed of Israel forever (Jer. 31:36; Isa. 49:5-6)

• Restore the pride of Jacob, as the pride of Israel (Nah. 2:1)

• Cut off the wicked one (hasatan) (Nah. 2:1)

• Minister Mercy in humility and meekness (Isa. 42:2-3)

• Sacrifice his righteous self for the transgressors (Isa. 53:10)

• Bear the iniquities of the transgressors (Isa. 53:11)

• Make intercession for the transgressors (Psa. 110:4; Isa. 53:12)

• Reconcile the transgressors to G_D (Jer. 31:33; Isa. 53:11)

• Fill up the Torah as the prophet to come (Deut.18:15-19; Isa. 42:4; Nah: 2:1)

• Bring light to the darkness (Jer. 31:33; Isa. 9:1; Isa. 42:4)

• Teach the knowledge of G_D (Isa. 2:3-4; Isa. 42:3; Isa. 42:18-21; Hab. 2:14)

• Fill the Earth with the knowledge of G_D (Isa. 7:14; Isa. 42:4; Hab. 2:14)

• Deliver salvation to Israel (Psa. 14:7; Isa. 49:5-6)

• Deliver salvation to the ends of the Earth (Isa. 49:6;

• Bless all the families of the Earth (Isa. 49:6; Gen. 22:18; Gen 28:14)

• Restore justice and righteousness (Isa. 9:6; Isa. 28:17; Isa. 42:4)

• Set things right in the Earth (Isa. 9:6; Isa. 42:4)

• Proclaim the day of The LORD’s vengeance (Isa. 6:1; (Isa. 35:3)

• Proclaim judgment upon those without faith in HIM (Isa. 28:22; Isa. 40:10; Deut. 18:19)

Those religious leaders of Yeshua’s day would have found that the Tanakh paints a clear prophetic picture of Mashiach’s mission which is focused upon healing, redemption, reconciliation, transformation and salvation. Praise G_D!

  • * * * * * *

The life of Mashiach … the suffering servant:

• Born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:1)

• Descended from the stock of Jesse (Isa. 1:1-2)

• Descended from the line of King David (Jer. 23:5; 2 Sam. 7:12-16)

• Miraculously birthed of a virgin girl (Isa. 7:14)

• Honored and Blessed by Kings bearing gifts (Psa. 72:10-11)

• Foreshadowed by the messenger … a voice in the wilderness … having a spirit of Elijah (Mal. 3:1; Mal. 3:23; Isa. 58)

• Imbued with unmeasured Spirit of G_D (Isa. 42:1; Isa. 61:1)

• A loving delight to the soul of G_D MOST HIGH (Isa. 42:1)

• Humble, meek, merciful and loving (Isa. 42:2-3)

• A most wondrous healer of ailments and torments (Isa. 35:5-6; Isa. 61:1)

• Ridden into Jerusalem triumphantly … victoriously but lowly in humility upon a donkey (Zech. 9:9)

• Rejected by the leaders of Israel (Psa. 118:22-23)

• Betrayed by his own people (Psa. 41:6-10)

• Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver out of the Temple treasury (Zech. 11:12-13)

• Alienated from HIS people (Psa. 69:9)

• Abandoned when HE as the shepherd is smitten (Zech. 13:7)

• Beaten, spat upon and shamed by HIS tormentors (Isa. 50:5-7)

• Tested by HIS tormentors (Psa. 22:8-9)

• A reproach … despised of the people (Psa. 22:7-9; Isa. 53:3; Psa. 69:20)

• Allowed to suffer without rescue (Psa. 22:2-3; Isa. 53:4-5)

• Robbed of HIS garments by way of the casting of lots (Psa. 22:19)

• Allowed to be offered up for slaughter (Isa. 53:7-8; Dan. 9:26)

• Sacrificed for Israel (Isa. 53:8-9)

• Wounded in the hands and feet (Psa. 22:17)

• Suffering no broken bones (Psa. 22:18)

• Given vinegar to drink (Psa. 69:22)

• Obedient unto death (Isa. 53:1-9)

• Die broken hearted (Psa. 69:21)

• Poured out like water (Psa. 22:15)

• Buried with the sinners (Isa. 53:9)

• Not be abandoned to the nether-world … be raised from the dead (Psa. 16:9-10; Hosea 5:15-6:2; Jon. 2:3-10)

• Questioned about the wounds on HIS hands (Zech. 13:6)

• Remembered by Name forever (Psa. 72:17)

Those religious leaders of Yeshua’s day would have found that the Tanakh is most assuredly not short on prophetic passages depicting how Mashiach can and would be recognized. Praise G_D!

  • * * * * * *

Mashiach is destined to be the KING OF KINGS:

• Mashiach will wait to return as KING (Isa. 30:8-18)

• Israel will return to G_D … seeking Mashiach (Hosea 3:3-5)

• Israel in their time of distress will mourn their rejection of Mashiach and G_D will be gracious unto Israel (Zech. 12:8-10)

• The nations shall rebel against G_D and his Anointed King (Psa. 2:1-3)

• Mashiach will be given HIS inheritance (Psa. 2:6-12)

• Mashiach will crush rebellion upon the Earth (Isa. 63:2-6)

• Mashiach will set up HIS Kingdom (Hag. 2:5-9)

• Mashiach will build the temple, bear the glory and sit upon the throne as HE rules (Zech. 6:12-13; 2 Sam. 7:13-14)

• Mashiach rules with the eternal scepter of Judah (Gen. 49:10)

• Mashiach stands as an ensign of the peoples and HIM the nations shall seek (Isa. 11:10)

• Mashiach will rule all the nations … HIS rightful inheritance as the Eternal Anointed ONE (Psa. 110:1-7; Dan. 7:13-14)

• Mashiach will reign with justice and righteousness … HE shall prosper … when Judah is saved and Israel dwells safely (Jer. 23:5-6)

• Mashiach will restore the glory of Israel (Psa. 45:14-18)

• Mashiach will reign for eternity (Dan. 7:14; 2 Sam. 7:13)

Those religious leaders of Yeshua’s day would have found that the Tanakh clearly depicts the destiny of Mashiach through numerous prophetic passages. Undoubtedly Mashiach as declared in the Tanakh is destined for eternal Lordship as the “Son of David” … sitting upon the throne of the Kingdom Israel in glory and splendor. Praise Yeshua!

Now … despite the amazing and awesome revelations found within the Tanakh (and recorded in the B’rit Chadasha) regarding the personage, mission, destiny and divine nature of Messiah … and realizing just how close we get to the completeness of Messiah and the Messianic mission by the light of these revelations … we still do not get the full story without delving into Yeshua’s personal Torah to us!

So again the question … what is the truth?

The truth as we can see from Messiah’s teaching is that G_D … ELOHIM echad … desired our restoration so much that HE took on physical flesh himself in order to bring to us the very truth and words of life!

The truth is that pure light came into the world as the Son of G_D … dispensing and teaching the truth of himself in direct accordance with the commandment and will of ELOHIM!

The truth is that the mercy and grace of ELOHIM towards his creation is so great that all debts owed to ELOHIM … even blood for blood … life for life has been paid in full by the Son in an awesome and mysterious manner.

The truth is that Messiah’s own death and resurrection … as impossible as it may seem is, in accordance with the will of ELOHIM and great victory by Yeshua, now the necessary cornerstone of the Jewish faith.

The truth is that all power, authority and judgment have been put into the hands of the Son (Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom) – Wonder; Counsel; Divine; Might; Father; Eternal; Authority; Perfection) and condemnation comes from spurning the truth of Yeshua’s awesome nature, mighty works and victory … and spurning the grace given to us by ELOHIM through the Son!

The truth is that Yeshua has now become the Progenitor … as it was in the beginning … of life. Through Yeshua are believers made into the offspring … the children of G_D … through Spiritual rebirth!

The truth is that G_D’s Spirit … the Spirit of Messiah himself … again as incomprehensible as it may seem, is gifted to Messiah’s faithful believers responsive to Yeshua’s glorification and union with the Father.

Ultimately the truth is that Yeshua himself is the truth, the light, the way and the life! And in accordance with the promises made to Israel through both Moses and Jeremiah … Torah has now, through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) sent forth from Messiah, been placed upon the very hearts of the true believers.

UNDOUBTEDLY … even within the auspices of Israel knowing, affirming and awaiting the coming of Messiah through the ancient prophecies, we can conjecture that at the time of Yeshua … as it is today … this Torah of Yeshua is absolutely mind boggling to say the least!

And we know even further from the revelations of Yeshua that it appears that even the very acceptance of this Torah is a gift from G_D and is not something that we can grasp and cleave to by our own minds or hearts.

As we conclude this discourse regarding the Father providing real heavenly sustenance to Yeshua … so that Yeshua could complete his divine mission … so that Yeshua could in fact provide us with the real heavenly sustenance … what can we possibly say … except WOW and BARUKH HASHEM!

Still further … what else could there possibly be to discuss? … Where else could we possibly focus our attention that would not pale in comparison to what we’ve just been confronted with?

Despite these difficult questions it is also clear that we’ve not concluded with Yeshua’s prayer! Despite the seemingly anticlimactic results that we will face it would seem prudent to continue through our review.

  • * * * * * *

And lead us not into temptation … but deliver us from the evil one!

Now despite the fact that in our previous discourse we have just seen revealed the glory of Messiah’s personal Torah and the eternal truths of Yeshua’s awesome victory … and still further how this victory results in the indwelling of G_D’s Spirit within the true believers hearts … how the believer becomes the place where G_D and Messiah places the holy NAME, we are confronted with a very straight forward plea from Yeshua to be kept from the temptations of the world and from the very clutches of the evil one … hasatan!

It would certainly appear that Yeshua’s prayer is now shifting focus towards the reality that warfare still needs to be undertaken … that the enemy will not sit back silently and slink away into the darkness from which it emanates!

Luke (4:12-13) And Yeshua answering said unto him, it is said, thou (satan) shalt not tempt the Lord thy ELOHIM. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Luke (10:17-18) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.

John (14:28-30) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

John (8:12) Then spoke Yeshua again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John (11:9-10) Yeshua answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.

John (3:20-21) For everyone that doeth evil hates the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in ELOHIM.

John (12:35-36) Then Yeshua said unto them, yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not whither he goes. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spoke Yeshua, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

John (15:17-23) These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also.

Matthew (5:10-12) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mark (13:10-13) And the gospel must first be published among all nations. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

John (8:37-44) I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. … Ye do the deeds of your father. … Then said they to him, we be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even ELOHIM. Yeshua said unto them, If ELOHIM were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from ELOHIM; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John (7:51-52) Ye (Scribes and Pharisees) stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

Matthew (23:29-36) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? … Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

Revelation (17:5-6) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Yeshua

John (17:13-18) And now come I (Yeshua) to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Commentary:

We see through Yeshua’s prayer and supporting revelation that he provides to us within the B’rit Chadasha, the true nature of the warfare being waged … the enemy that we face and the temporal and eternal stakes that are at risk.

Once more Yeshua points us back to the distinct kingdoms … the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light! But Messiah also reveals to us some very interesting matters to consider:

1) There is more between the two kingdoms then mere separation:

2) There is a residual hatred for G_D that permeates within hasatan and the children of darkness because the light manifests their wickedness;

3) The innate hatred that exists for G_D within the children of darkness will be manifest against the children of light;

4) The Gospel message represents no mere battle being waged by national Israel versus the rest of the nations but rather a battle between light and darkness. A battle that will be waged within Israel itself … a battle that will be waged within local communities and yea even unto families.

5) The children of the light should have no expectations that they will be spared persecution by the children of darkness … just as the Master was not spared;

6) Persecution will come in the most unlikely of forms … persecution from those who have been deluded into thinking that they are the righteous of ELOHIM … persecution from purported believers and even from some of the children of Abraham’s natural seed who are really the children of hasatan;

7) Ultimately the persecution comes from hasatan via Mystery Babylon … in whom the blood of the saints and prophets has been taken unrighteously.

So pray tell how can Yeshua possibly be praying to “keep us from temptation and that we be delivered from evil” … while at the same time declare that not only are we in the midst of this great battle between kingdoms but that he will also not pray to the Father that we be taken out of this world?

It would have to be concluded consequently that Yeshua’s prayer to keep us from temptation … and deliver us from the “evil one” … is a genuine exhortation to the Father that we be kept steadfast in our faith … in our walk within the kingdom of light! … That we be equipped to bear the burdens of “the olam hazeh” … bear the hardship of communal and familial conflict … bear the persecution of Mystery Babylon … in order that we remain faithful and holy … even unto death.

It certainly appears that Yeshua is asking the Father that we be prepared for the battle that will surely confront us … be prepared for the battle that Messiah himself ushered in with his glorious ministry … be prepared with the strength of the truth that will sustain us.

Ultimately Yeshua is asking the Father that we be readied for battle … just as he was!

So now that we know Biblically who the battle is against and that the stakes of this warfare is our very souls … what pray tell do we do next? What will this battle look like and how does a warrior of light prepare for … and wage the battle?

Matthew (6:22-23) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew (13:15-16) For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew (18:9) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew (5:30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Psalms (13:1-5) For the Leader. A Psalm of David. … How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Behold thou, and answer me, O LORD my G_D; lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say: ‘I have prevailed against him’; lest mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved.

Psalms (18:27-31) With the pure thou dost show thyself pure; and with the crooked thou dost show thyself subtle. For thou dost save the afflicted people; but the haughty eyes thou dost humble. For thou dost light my lamp; the LORD my G_D doth lighten my darkness. For by thee I run upon a troop; and by my God do I scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in Him.

Psalms (19:8-14) The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, they are righteous altogether; more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned; in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins, that they may not have dominion over me; then shall I be faultless, and I shall be clear from great transgression.

Matthew (5:15-16) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew (7:1-5) Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why behold thou the splinter that is in thy brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the splinter out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the splinter out of thy brother’s eye.

Matthew (7:13-20) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. … Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Luke (12:16-21) And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, what shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But ELOHIM said unto him, thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward ELOHIM.

Matthew (6:19-21) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew (16:26-27) For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Commentary:

In the previous discussion we found that Yeshua’s prayer pointed us towards the emerging battle between the kingdom of light and darkness … we found Yeshua’s prayer to be an exhortation to the Father that we be prepared for this battle and be kept to the end through endurance. And now utilizing Holy Scriptures as our guide and “G_D’s light” as our prominent clue, we should be able to discern from Yeshua’s perspective what it means to be a warrior of light and what it means to wage the battle against darkness.

Hopefully we can see that we must initially take a step back and realize that before we can wage the battle against the darkness of the olam hazeh … the kingdom of darkness … we must first prepare ourselves by rooting out all darkness within ourselves … we must battle against the old man that ruled us before we were born again in Spirit.

Although Messiah has revealed to us that we come to him through the Father’s will and calling … and although it is clear that through Messiah the Holy Spirit is made available to us, it is incumbent upon us to understand just what this really means … understand how this Holy Spirit of G_D is to manifest!

As the Holy Scriptures reveal and Messiah’s Torah upholds and amplifies … this light of the body … this light of the eyes is apparently the righteousness of G_D’s holy character manifesting through the Sacred Law … by the works emanating from the believers hands … producing the good fruits of righteousness.

We learn from the Psalmist how the light of the Sacred Law illuminates our heart while exposing our behavior (the work of our hands). We see the Psalmist yearn for this light in order to root out all potential sin … even the sins of ignorance … through the wisdom of the Sacred Law and the counsel of G_D’s Spirit.

And … we see Yeshua amplifying this revelation. We see Yeshua exhorting us to root out and rid ourselves of sin … both inwardly and outwardly. Yeshua’s teaching regarding cutting off the hand … or plucking out the eye is assuredly not literal and is meant to have us use the illumination of the Sacred Law for purposes of personal review and refinement.

Let us recall that foolishness in a Biblical Hebraic sense is walking according to one’s own eyes … being self-determinant … not yielding to the wisdom of G_D but cleaving to the world’s wisdom. Let us recall how often the Biblical record and Yeshua himself refers to the wayward … as being blind!

We see Yeshua teaching and exhorting us to make a public stand … to exhibit and manifest G_D’s goodness to the world so that the believer’s heart will be made manifest and G_D in Heaven will be glorified.

We see Yeshua declare how he will come and judge all mankind by their works … by their outputs … and we also see Yeshua support the Psalmist’s revelation that there is much reward in Heaven for those that produce the good fruits of righteousness … who produce the fruits of righteousness with the humble and compassionate heart of Messiah himself.

It would certainly appear obvious, at least to this commentator, that Yeshua defines our battle readiness for spiritual warfare as a deeply personal and introspective parlance with G_D wherein we let G_D illuminate us with the light of his own glorious character as manifest within the Sacred Law.

It would certainly appear that Yeshua is revealing to us that the illumination that comes from the Sacred Law is what “lights up our pathway” allowing us to walk the straight path … allowing us to “see things as he sees things”!

It would certainly appear that Yeshua is revealing to us that the heartfelt manifestation of the Sacred Law through the works of our hands is essentially the promulgation of light that works against the darkness … that exposes the wickedness of darkness … while at the same time serves as a beacon to those who may be called by the Father to Messiah by seeing the light!

And with this Hebraic perspective exposed we should be able to discern that Yeshua’s prayer: “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one”, is ultimately once again pointing us right back to the great Hebrew prayer … the Shema …

“And you shall bind them (commandments) upon the hand for a sign and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes and write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates”

The figure above herein is that of an Israeli soldier in prayer and as can be seen the soldier is outfitted with Tefillin also called phylacteries a word meaning “to guard, protect”! The Tefillin are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, which are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. Although “tefillin” is technically the plural form (the singular being “tefillah”), it is loosely used as a singular as well. The arm-tefillin, or “shel yad – “light hand”, is placed on the upper arm, and the strap wrapped around the arm/hand, hand and fingers; while the head-tefillin, or “shel rosh – light head”, is placed above the forehead. The rabbinic tradition commands that they should be worn to serve as a “sign” and “remembrance” that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Despite the rabbinic tradition exposed herein, we can see from the Master Rebbe’s Torah that G_D is more interested in our heart and our walk and perhaps less concerned with any traditions which men may fashion. (Note: As we’ve seen herein already … traditions that uphold the Torah and G_D’s glory appear to be just fine! The problem Messiah has is with traditions that make null and void … or make common the Torah of G_D! So by no means is there any condemnation of this practice by this commentator.)

But … we do see Yeshua make reference to how the religious leaders of “that generation” even usurped this longstanding rabbinic tradition …

Matthew (23:1-12) Then spoke Yeshua to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders (tzitzit/fringes) of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. … But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Now despite Yeshua’s condemnation of the pride and arrogance of the Scribes and the Pharisees, Yeshua does not necessarily condemn the traditional Jewish practice of donning Tefillin … or wearing the tzitzit (as commanded in the Torah and as Yeshua himself wore tzitzit) but … Yeshua reveals to us that the true intent of the Torah is for the Sacred Law to be projecting out from within the believer … projecting out through the eyes of the believer … changing the very manner in which we perceive the world … projecting out as the humble and righteous manifestation of the works of the Sacred Law through the hands of the believer.

Ultimately Messiah reveals to us that the binding of our hands is our submission to the will of G_D and the manifestation of his light to the world as the believers walk in the knowledge and light of G_D’s perception … not our own!

  • * * * * * *

Now dear reader please do not think this commentator remiss in concluding this section of discourse prematurely; there still is the matter of “writing them (commandments) on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates”!

The figure above is a Jewish Mezuzah which is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case as seen herein) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses compose the Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”, beginning with the phrase: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD (is) our God, the LORD is One”. A mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema “on the doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:9). Some interpret Jewish law to require a mezuzah on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms and closets too small to qualify as rooms. The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe (a “sofer stam”) who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case.

In traditional Hebraic understanding the house/home is an integral part of nation/kingdom Israel. As such the marking of one’s home as being dedicated to the kingdom naturally has its roots to the first Pesach/Passover in Egypt. In light of Moses commandment within the Shema prayer this testimony has over time resulted in the Mezuzah tradition revealed herein.

Ultimately we should be able to see an obvious connection once again to how the haEdah (the witnesses) are exhorted and even mandated to publicly declare their allegiance to the G_D of Israel … the one whom they serve …

Exodus (12:21-23) Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them: ‘Draw out, and take you lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you

Joshua (24:14-15) Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

What we should gather from the Hebraic perspective is that everything is about G_D and the special relationship forged between G_D and his chosen people. In fact well beyond the marking of the Israelite homes we see in Holy Scriptures where from its very commencement Israel upon entrance to the Holy Land even marked the borders of Israel itself with G_D’s Sacred Law:

Joshua (8:30-33) Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD, the God of Israel, in mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of unhewn stones, upon which no man had lifted up any iron; and they offered thereon burnt-offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace-offerings. And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which he wrote before the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger as the home-born; half of them in front of mount Gerizim and half of them in front of mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel.

What is important to note within the Hebraic tradition is how this writing … this marking is akin to “cutting an oath … making a “B’rit” … yes even as in the “B’rit Olam” (Everlasting Covenant) or the “B’rit Chadasha” (Renewed Covenant).

In essence the marking of dwellings and cities is in the Hebraic tradition closely intertwined with the Everlasting Covenant between G_D and Israel.

So we can deduce readily that in traditional Hebraic fashion there is no hiding from the covenantal relationship … this special relationship is no mere personal matter between the individual and G_D … this relationship is communal … is national … is designed to promulgate the truth that “everything”’; belongs to G_D and the purpose of Israel’s testimony is to resonate this truth to all nations and the entire creation! The message is that what you see on the outside … or the border is what you should expect to see on the inside!

G_D is looking for the outward expression of our submission … with full understanding that our “branding as his” is supported by the inward covenantal expression of righteousness within the borders of the land … within the gates of the cities … within the doors and walls of the homes!

So having a basic understanding of the Hebraic perspective regarding the marking of the houses and gates and the relationship to the Everlasting Covenant between G_D and Israel … let us see what the Master Rebbe teaches us regarding these practices.

Oddly enough we find virtually nothing in the way of direct teaching from Messiah regarding these practices … instead it appears that Yeshua literally “cuts to the chase” and addresses this great “covenantal marking” to Israel in very plain terms by challenging the value of the greatest marking tradition within all Israel … the Abrahamic circumcision of the male organ.

Exodus (26:33-42) And you (Israel) will I scatter among the nations, … And they shall stumble one upon another, as it were before the sword, when none pursues; and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their treachery which they committed against me, and also that they have walked contrary unto me. I also will walk contrary unto them, and bring them into the land of their enemies; if then perchance their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then be paid the punishment of their iniquity; then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Deuteronomy (10:14-16) Behold, unto the LORD thy God belongs the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, the earth, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you, above all peoples, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

Deuteronomy (30:4-6) If any of thine that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee. And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.

Jeremiah (9:24-25) Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will punish all them that are circumcised in their uncircumcision: Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair polled, that dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.

Jeremiah (31:30-33) Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant (b’rit) that I will make (cut) with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD’; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

Matthew (3:7-12) But when he (The Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

John (7:51) Ye (Scribes and Pharisees) stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Matthew (7:24-29) Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Yeshua had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew (13:51-52) Yeshua says unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Matthew (10:6-15) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into a house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Matthew (23:37-39) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luke (7:36-50) And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Yeshua sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner. And Yeshua answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he says, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, see thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gave me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. And he said unto her, thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, who is this that forgives sins also? And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Commentary:

There is historically no doubt in a Hebraic perspective that the very root of the Abrahamic Covenantal sign … respective to its value for the Scribes and Pharisees, was significantly challenged by both the Baptist and Yeshua. In essence Yeshua’s proclamation that these religious leaders were of an uncircumcised heart was paramount to calling them apostate … which indeed they were.

But Yeshua’s attack upon them as can be seen is extremely purposeful if we look with Hebraic eyes. By attacking the value of their individual circumcision, Yeshua was not only attacking their wayward understanding of righteousness/justification through ritual inclusion through birth … by showing how forgiveness came by grace, Yeshua was also attempting to lead them back to the plethora of Holy Scriptures where G_D declared that an uncircumcised male organ is worthless where the heart remains uncircumcised … and to a broader extent … that all the outward signs of the covenant (for both man and woman) are without value where there is no true heart for G_D!

But these Scribes and Pharisees, full of pride and arrogance would have nothing of this attack … nor would they search deep and possibly even realize that what the Baptist was declaring about Yeshua was exactly what G_D promised through the prophet Jeremiah; that promise being a divine circumcision of the heart wherein the Torah would literally be cut (B’rit) into the believer’s heart.

Once again we see Yeshua using known Hebraic rabbinic methods to deliver his Torah to Israel. We see Yeshua challenging and exhorting the religious leaders in public … as well as in private. We see Yeshua chastise the Pharisee over tolerating the woman … the sinner … but Yeshua puts this self-righteous Pharisee in his place … and then forgives the woman of her sins!

But if we look closely enough we will see Yeshua declare in Matthew 13:52 where the Scribe that is converted … that humbles himself and receives instruction of the Kingdom, will bring forth treasures … and the treasures will comprise old and new. In this manner Yeshua is declaring that there is much value in the traditions of the Sages … if these treasures can be properly utilized for G_D’s purposes! (Perhaps our thoughts should consider Sha’ul (Paul) the great Pharisee converted to work for the kingdom? Or perhaps in more contemporary terms those Jewish teachers that preach Messiah Yeshua … Hmmm!)

Beyond this issue of “marking/cutting” however we see Yeshua on numerous occasions draw allusions to “the house” and do so within the context of personal and communal faith.

Most assuredly we can conjecture that many houses visited by Yeshua’s disciples who were sent to preach the kingdom would in fact have been marked with the Shema … if not per se a modern Mezuzah. Yet we hear from Messiah himself that any such markings would be for naught if they refused the preaching of the kingdom. So too is the matter settled when Yeshua declares that the house of Israel is left desolate … regardless of any exterior trimmings and trappings that may or may not be prevalent … we should understand that simple outward marking without inward cutting (b’rit) falls short of the mark.

Ultimately we see Yeshua, without negating Israel’s commandment to mark their homes, gates and borders … utilize traditional Hebraic methods to open up their eyes to the truth (himself) that is standing right before them.

We see Yeshua challenge virtually every vain outward expression of the covenantal relationship by attacking the sign/b’rit that hits closest to home … the circumcision of flesh.

In so doing Yeshua draws attention away from the outward sign of the b’rit and moves our attention to the cutter of the b’rit … the nature of the b’rit and the intended outcome of the b’rit. As such it should be perfectly clear that we need to look hard and make sure that we understand the focus of this attention!

John (22:19-20) And he (Yeshua) took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new b’rit in my blood, which is shed for you.

Jeremiah (31:32) But this is the covenant (b’rit) that I will make (cut) with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

So yes we should see plainly discern that the purpose of this b’rit is to put the law … the word … of G_D into the very hearts of the faithful believer … on this we should all be able to agree.

But just what does this really mean? Does this mean that the specific commandments are put within us? Or does this mean that in general terms the knowledge of G_D is put into us? Does this specifically mean that G_D’s Spirit is put into us? Does this mean that we have received a blood transfusion from Messiah himself? Hmmm?

John (14:23-26) Yeshua answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John (6:67-69) Then said Yeshua unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Mashiach, the Son of the living ELOHIM.

Matthew (1:21-23) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name YESHUA: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Isaiah (9:5) For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom;

Revelation (19:11-16) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of ELOHIM. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty ELOHIM. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Psalms (33:4-6) For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

Psalms (56:11-12) In God—I will praise His word—in the LORD—I will praise His word—In God do I trust, I will not be afraid; what can man do unto me?

Psalms (119:49-50) Remember the word unto thy servant, because thou hast made me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Thy word hath quickened me.

Psalms (138:1-2) I will give thee thanks with my whole heart, in the presence of the mighty will I sing praises unto thee. I will bow down toward Thy holy temple, and give thanks unto Thy name for Thy mercy and for Thy truth; for thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.

Now dear readers … at least it would appear to this commentator that the excerpted passages from Holy Scriptures give us our best clues as to what is actually taking place … what is happening when Yeshua cuts this B’rit Chadasha with the believer.

It would certainly appear that ELOHIM himself will send “in the name of Yeshua” the great Holy Spirit of G_D!

Let us hear this once again … ELOHIM “in the name of Yeshua” … in the NAME that is also called “ImmanuEL” … in the NAME that is also called “Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom” … in the NAME that is called Faithful and True … in the NAME that is also called the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”… in the NAME that is also called the “Word of ELOHIM” …in the NAME that has been magnified above all that ELOHIM is called by … will the Ruach HaKodesh be sent and contained therein!

Can we see it dear reader? Can we see that what is cut into our hearts by way of the B’rit Chadasha is the very NAME of Messiah … is the very NAME of our LORD! Is the NAME of life eternal … and contained therein is the very Spirit of G_D … placed there so that all things pertaining to the Word of ELOHIM can be brought to remembrance … so that we can see and walk and work and shine in accordance to His magnificent image and likeness!

What can be said? … Just like Messiah Yeshua came in the very Name of ELOHIM … we too are now sent to go in the NAME of Messiah!

Now lest we think this some mere authority via ordinance of sorts … that we travel the path perhaps with an ethereal kingdom passport per se … we should fully understand that in the traditional Hebraic understanding a name is not just a moniker used to identify a person. A name in fact represents the sheer essence of what the person is designed to be.

For instance … the Messiah born as a man was given the Name “Yeshua” meaning G_D’s Salvation. This by no means is meant to imply that Messiah is merely the vessel by which G_D will bring about salvation … but more so that Messiah is actually G_D’s Salvation.

Consequently, if one would receive it, the B’rit which has been cut between a believer and Messiah has resulted in that great Name being placed … being cut … being circumcised upon our heart … upon our very soul. As such we truly are no longer a John or Andrew or Mary etc. … But we are now designed to be the image of Messiah … the child of G_D!

And if by chance we are still not real sure that this expression of the covenant … designed to have us mark our house … to mark our very soul with the only Name that will keep us from temptation and deliver us from the evil one … let us consider the following passages from the Sacred Texts:

The Positive:

Isaiah (43:3-7) For I am the LORD thy God, The Holy One of Israel, thy Savior; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba for thee. Since thou art precious in my sight, and honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee, and peoples for thy life. Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: ‘Give up,’ and to the south: ‘Keep not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth; Every one that is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.’

Isaiah (44:1-5) Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen; thus says the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, and thou, Jeshurun (Messiah), whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon the thirsty land, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. One shall say: ‘I am the LORD’s’; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

Revelation (3:12-13) Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my ELOHIM, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my ELOHIM, and the name of the city of my ELOHIM, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my ELOHIM: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the saints.

Revelation (22:1-5) And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of ELOHIM and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of ELOHIM and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord ELOHIM giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The Negative:

Revelation (13:15-18) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. …

Revelation (14:10-11) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of ELOHIM, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. …

Revelation (17:4-5) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Isaiah (14:21-22) Prepare ye slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they rise not up, and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities. And I will rise up against them, says the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and offshoot and offspring, says the LORD.

Now despite our earlier discourse and exposure of the two kingdoms … we see upon even deeper review how this separation has its root in the seed and the offspring. There should be no doubts that within each kingdom there are distinct seeds … two distinct circumcisions … that bear the name of two distinct progenitors. On one hand we have the kingdom of light of which the children are indwelt with the NAME of Messiah … the NAME of the Word of ELOHIM … and as for the other kingdom; they bear the name of their progenitor … hasatan … the father of darkness … a murderer … the anti-life!

Consequently we are indeed still commanded and blessed to mark the doorposts of our houses and our gates … and do so in a manner wherein the most intimate sign of the covenant … the b’rit upon our very hearts and souls … the placement of Messiah’s very NAME, the NAME of our progenitor becomes outwardly expressed through our very lives!

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Messianic Ritual Prayer Conclusion

We began our Messianic prayer discourse by utilizing the earliest of the B’rit Chadasha events; the Gospel of Luke and reviewed the record respective to the announcement of both Messiah and his forerunner (the Baptist) and their respective ritual circumcisions.

And we readily could find in this opening foray:

The Temple as the continued central focus of Jewish national and personal religious life … the place where G_D placed his Name;

The combination of both ritual and dynamic prayer … the combination of rites and personal dynamics;

The intimacy of the G_D to person relationship … and within these personal interactions the earmarks of the G_D to Israel relationship manifest through inspired prophetic utterance within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant and promises made to the Fathers;

The great and active resonance produced by G_D’s Holy Spirit;

The picture of the sweet aroma of prayer rising to G_D’s throne.

Ultimately as we viewed these inspired prayers in aggregate fashion it was impossible to deny that the great tradition of the Hebraic prayer framework as seen in the Tanakh remained consistent as we moved into the B’rit Chadasha.

And despite the similitude of patterns and the consistency of practices (halakha) … wherein it would appear that all remained the same … we should also discern that indeed everything had changed … because of Yeshua … G_D’s redemption, restoration and salvation.

Our B’rit Chadasha review then had us take a look at the record of Yeshua’s personal walk … his halakha as it pertained to the traditions of the Synagogue, Temple and Festival aliyah. And we found that Holy Scriptures showed us that throughout his entire life Yeshua made the Synagogue and Temple a central component of his of his lifestyle … of his walk. Yeshua most assuredly remained traditionally Jewish throughout his life on Earth.

It was also noted that the ritual services in both the Synagogues and Temple were historically established in Yeshua’s day. As such there can be no doubts that Yeshua, like all faithful Jews, prayed and chanted the ancient prayers during these liturgies.

So if indeed the traditional and inspired ritual elements of the Jewish faith were designed to pass away responsive to the great Messianic Mission … it appears that someone forgot to relay this information to Yeshua.

The point that was made is that we can be assured that the Temple and Synagogue framework established in Israel was upheld and validated by Yeshua. As the Sacred Texts reveal Yeshua undoubtedly honors the Sabbath …the Biblical Festivals … the Synagogue … the Temple … and in so doing upholds the great traditional prayer rites of the Jewish faith … regardless of the many contentions he had with the Jewish religious leaders of “that generation”!

But despite the Biblical evidence that pointed towards the great Hebraic ritual prayer tradition being upheld within the B’rit Chadasha … we discovered through Yeshua that we were only getting started.

What we found, in the disciples exhortation to Yeshua to teach them how he prayed, was the GREATEST of all TORAH REVELATIONS delivered by the Master Rebbe … the Heavenly Rebbe!

What we found, through Hebraic eyes … through the Hebraic tradition, is that Yeshua directed his disciples’ attention … yea even the attention of all Israel to the great ritual prayer framework of the Jewish people … The Aseret Hadiberot (The Sacred Law) … The Amidah (Standing Prayers) … and Yeshua even utilized the greatest Hebrew Prayer of all “the Shema Yisrael” as the template for his own prayer to the Father!

Hear Israel the LORD is our G_D – the LORD is ONE.

Blessed be his Name and his kingdom for all eternity!

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.

And you shall the love the LORD your G_D with all your heart, soul and might.

And have these words commanded this day be upon your heart!

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

And you shall teach them diligently to your children and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house – when you walk along the way – when you lie down and when you rise up!

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hands and let them as frontlets between your eyes – and you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates!

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one

Now admittedly the associations that surfaced … the connections that were made … the clues followed … and the conclusions reached, are only achievable “if” we understand and accept a Hebraic bias in our approach to the Sacred Texts and apply this same approach to the ministry, teachings and life of our beloved Yeshua … Messiah of Israel!

It is whole heartedly hoped that herein some form of justice was given to the Master and his glorious delivery of G_D’s revelation to Israel and all humanity.

And if it be received then we are confronted with a revelation from our beloved Yeshua that completely changes the Hebraic paradigm of faith and understanding … while at the same time completely and perfectly upholds the Hebraic tradition inspired by G_D’s Spirit through the Jewish sages and prophets of old!

Ultimately we are left with the divine delivery of G_D’s Torah in such a manner wherein Yeshua, using all the known elements of Hebrew faith and understanding, filled the Torah up … with himself.

In making the personal prayer to the Father, using the ritual Shema Israel as his template, Yeshua revealed to us how his own prayer was perfect exhortation that he himself as G_D’s Son be empowered to be holy and righteous … that as Messiah he manifest the Name of the Father … that he as Messiah successfully bring the kingdom of G_D to the Earth.

Yeshua’s personal prayer was a perfect exhortation to the Father that he as Messiah perform the will of the Father … perfectly … displaying his own whole hearted love for the Father.

Yeshua’s personal prayer was a perfect exhortation to the Father that he as Messiah teach the children of Israel the truth and perfect Torah of G_D.

Yeshua’s personal prayer was a perfect exhortation to the Father that he as Messiah be strengthened to endure to the very end without faltering so that His Name could be imparted to the very hearts and souls of Israel.

But within the context of this deeply personal prayer from Yeshua to the Father we found that the very will of the Father was to make Messiah Yeshua the very focus of the Shema Israel and Hebrew Ritual Prayer itself … if we have ears to hear … Shema Yisrael!

Essentially Yeshua’s prayer, in perfect union with the Father’s will, was for himself as G_D’s Word manifest in the flesh, to become the recipient of Israel’s love and worship … for Yeshua to become the source of Israel’s strength and sustenance … for Yeshua to become the rock of Israel’s trust and hope … for Yeshua to become Israel’s salvation and glory!

So … what then has changed about Shema Yisrael? … Nothing and Everything at the same time!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we expand our focus to Messiah Yeshua … the one who is echad with ELOHIM!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we shift our focus to the Kingdom of Light ushered in by Messiah Yeshua … and look with all fervent hope and trust for Yeshua to return as Mashiach ben David … the conquering King!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we shift our focus to the filled up Torah of G_D … a Torah that does not abrogate the Sacred Law but perfects it with the grace and mercy won by Messiah Yeshua wherein G_D’s righteous wrath has been appeased for all time!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we look to be indwelt by the very Name of Messiah … so that we can be delivered from the evil one … so that we can manifest the light of G_D … so that we can endure the onslaught of the olam hazeh … so that we can live as the children of G_D … so that we can live as our own progenitor Messiah Yeshua lived … by His Spirit!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now as the witnesses (haEdah) we testify to G_D’s awesome works and mercy … we testify to Yeshua in our own lives!

Can we see the great and awesome paradigm shift beloved children of the Kingdom?

G_D … ELOHIM remains unchanging … but at the same time the great dynamics of the source of ALL THINGS … has changed everything in, by, through, with and for … Messiah Yeshua!

As we can see Yeshua’s great personal prayer to the Father is indeed more appropriately defined as “Yeshua teaching us how he prayed to the Father” … yet in mysterious but perfect fashion in so doing Yeshua does in fact teach us to pray in this manner … Yeshua is teaching and revealing to us that we now pray the same great Hebrew ritual prayers but within the new paradigm wherein the Father has bestowed upon Yeshua the authority, power and glory!

And now just perhaps we are in the right frame of mind to conclude Yeshua’s great personal prayer …

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

From a Yeshua perspective … it was always about the Father … his power, his kingdom … his glory forever and ever!

But … for us within the new paradigm revealed to us through the great Master Rebbe, Messiah and LORD … Yeshua, we know the will of the Father is to give to the Son … the kingdom, power and glory forever and ever … as the Son’s eternal gift for loving the Father perfectly … and because of their perfect unity … this glory is unto ELOHIM and at the same time the Father basks in the worship, love and adoration accorded to the Son!

Simply amazing!

So perhaps dear reader the next time we settle in and contemplate or participate in praying the great Hebrew ritual prayers handed down to us through the ages … we will do so in and by the Spirit of Messiah himself!

And who knows what might happen?

This commentator is quite expectant … are you?

  • * * * * * *

The Wilderness & Personal Prayer

Although it would seem difficult, in light of previous discourses, to find very much more to contemplate with respects to Hebraic prayer … it must be noted that despite the very personal and intimate aspects that we examined respective to “Messianic ritual prayer” … we do in fact have more B’rit Chadasha records to review regarding Messiah Yeshua and personal prayer.

Although it might have appeared to some that our previous reviews answered the question of “how we should pray” … such was really not the case … as we shall see!

Matthew (3:1-3) In those days came Yochanan the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. …

Matthew (14:22-23) And straightway Yeshua constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Luke: (6:7-12) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Yeshua unto them, I will ask you one thing; is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Yeshua. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to ELOHIM.

Matthew (26:36-44) Then cometh Yeshua with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and says unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then says he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and finds them asleep, and says unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Luke: (22:39-46) And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Matthew: (3:13-4:3) Then cometh Yeshua from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and come thou to me? And Yeshua answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Yeshua, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of G_D descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Then was Yeshua led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered. And when the tempter came to him,

John (9:28-31) And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

Commentary:

As the Holy Scriptures depict the “wilderness experience” … the personal prayer dynamic experienced by the Psalmist, appears to be a fundamental element of the B’rit Chadasha.

Initially we see wherein Yochanan the Immerser … the one raised up and blessed to present Messiah Yeshua to Israel … is in fact a man of the wilderness. Like the prophets of old we see Yochanan communing with G_D in the desolate places … the places wherein he confronts G_D with no distractions … those secret places where all is made bare before G_D … the same kind of places where the Psalmist’s heart and soul went in his pursuit of G_D.

And not surprisingly we see a variety of recorded events (some excerpted herein) wherein Yeshua, in similar fashion, retreated to a wilderness place to be alone with G_D.

With these examples we see Yeshua retreating to the wilderness for: personal introspection; submission; strengthening; testing and uplifting. Ultimately we see Yeshua the man being refined by G_D so that he could perfectly understand the will of the Father as a human … as Messiah and submit his own flesh to G_D’s will in order to perfectly achieve the messianic mission reserved only for him.

And let us not for one moment delude ourselves into thinking that these activities by our LORD were strictly for show or historical posterity. Forty days and nights of prayer and fasting … agonizing over the cup of pain and sorrow destined for him alone … which is G_D’s wrath upon humanity!

Can we even attempt to comprehend the spectrum of physical, emotional and spiritual stress that our dear LORD took upon himself so that we could be spared G_D’s wrath … so that we could be justified before G_D?

If within our hearts we can but for a moment empathize with and share the resonance of the Psalmist’s soul … if for a moment we can remember our fears and agonizing pain regarding our own sinful state … if for a moment we can call to memory the hopes that our trust in the LORD brings us; then let us consider the fact that Messiah Yeshua would receive no temporal mercy … that Messiah Yeshua suffered not just the burden of the sins of the world but became what is completely contrary to his holy nature … sin itself.

The point dear reader is that the spectrum of physical, emotional and spiritual resonance experienced by Yeshua is beyond our own human comprehension … in that what Yeshua had to endure … had to achieve … was a human experience reserved solely for him as Messiah and the Word of G_D made flesh!

This being stated however we as his progenies should not only expect but pursue as best we can this range of intimate personal states/resonance … simply so that we know him better … so that we have a more solid foundation with which to understand what he has done for us … so that we can more intimately praise and worship him.

“Oh great ELOHIM of all that ever was … is … and will be; what is man that you consider us? What is man that you would send to the sacrificial altar the only begotten Son … on our behalf? How is it great ELOHIM that humanity, first made in your image and likeness, has been gifted with salvation as part of your restoration plan for your creation … the works of your very hands? We praise you ELOHIM for the gift of Messiah Yeshua and we ask, even within the joy of redemption that you heal our pain and hearts that are broken pondering what Messiah endured which was rightfully due to us … due to me! We ask as we ponder our awesome Messiah that we be gifted with his own joy … his own shalom in overcoming the world and share in his glory as we reflect back to him his own light … as we pour out upon him our spirit and heartfelt love, adoration and worship! Yeshua … we owe you everything … bless your forever and ever!”

In many respects, like the Psalmist, our own struggles and our own wilderness experiences serve to have us die with him … die in him so that we can take on the new individual as a creation of and in Yeshua.

As previously declared herein there is assuredly risks associated with the wilderness experience … but as we can see as well this same wilderness experience is what refines us towards the image and likeness that the “Maker” has designed us to be … it is simply part of the process that we all must endure … just our Progenitor Yeshua did!

But … as we can also clearly see this same wilderness contains for us untold blessings that our LORD promises us. Just like Yeshua was greeted by the Father’s approval upon praying and undergoing the ritual water immersion (baptism) … we too seek the approval of our Progenitor and long to hear “well done good and faithful servant”!

Even more so we see in John chapter nine the promise of glorification with Messiah for overcoming the olam hazeh (this temporal world) and being counted worthy to life in Messiah.

So let us for a moment ponder and attempt to capture the resonance associated with such bliss, joy and total shalom … please dear reader … go ahead and smile right now knowing what G_D desires for us and knowing to what awesome lengths he has gone to make this possible.

Ultimately what we see in the B’rit Chadasha wilderness experiences is the Hebraic pattern of deep and introspective personal prayer as depicted within the Psalms. We should see a pattern of personal interaction with G_D that lays everything out on the table … we bring everything to G_D regardless if we are up or down … regardless if we are on top or at the bottom. And we should expect and pray that G_D through his Ruach HaKodesh immensely amplify our physical, emotional and spiritual resonance.

Despite our Western culture and attitude that frowns upon emotional outpouring and the unreliable nature of emotional living … we should realize that we are emotional because G_D made us this way … because G_D is emotional and we are made in his image and likeness.

To this extent let us not think that our emotional outpouring is reserved solely for the wilderness experience either. When Yeshua cried when coming to the tomb of Lazarus he was truly in mourning and genuinely sharing the heartache of the family and indeed the loss of his own dear friend! When Yeshua felt compassion for the lepers and their woeful condition he simply did not feel sorry for them but rather his heart broke for them.

What we learn from our Messiah is that what we encounter in the wilderness is designed to carry over into our lives! This same resonance that is experienced … gifted to us by G_D … during these wilderness experiences is designed to refine and mold us for active living … designed to integrate our personal prayer life into our personal public life.

Let us chew on this for a while understanding that G_D wants the world to not just see his will for humanity through us but G_D also wants the world to experience his own heart through us!

As we should be able to clearly see from the Biblical record, Yeshua did in fact on numerous occasions “show the disciples” how to pray. We see Yeshua exhorting the disciples to go into their “prayer closet”. We see Yeshua exhorting the disciples not to make any type of spectacle with their prayers. We see Yeshua exhorting the disciples to “do as he did and go deep” so that they also could hear the will of the Father for their own lives.

In great Rabbinic fashion we should be able to the Master Rebbe showing his disciples … showing us … how to really pray!

We see Yeshua showing us how he has become the focus of our prayers … the ritual and the personal!

So now we perhaps should get a better feel for what Yeshua instructed us to pray for … beyond discerning the will of the Father!

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What To Pray For

Mark (11:25-26) And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Matthew (24:15-22) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (who so reads, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mark (13:32-37) But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke (21:34-38) And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives. 21:38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.

John: (_]14:15-18) [_If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Luke (11:11-13) If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Matthew (_]6:9-13) [_After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our transgressions, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Commentary:

Collectively it would seem apparent that our LORD has given us a very concise menu of items that should be on the priority list with respects to our prayer life. We see direct instruction with regards to:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying about our plight in the olam hazeh and the tribulation that we will surely face … and the devastation this tribulation will have on the blessings that G_D gives to us!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D satisfy our daily living requirements … that G_D sustain us!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we be forgiven for our own transgressions and sins!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we remain close to G_D and do not get sucked into the cares and ways of the olam hazeh!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for diligent vigilance as it pertains to our life in G_D … pray against complacency!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for submissive obedience … to remaining in a covenantal relationship with G_D!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for receipt of G_D’s Holy Spirit!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that Messiah come to us!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D keep us from the evil one … hasatan!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for our very souls in the hopes that we can withstand the coming judgment of Messiah himself!

As we review this list of prayer priorities it would seem apparent that Yeshua’s concern for us runs deeply with the ultimate focus of our prayer life being centered upon having us retain our faith by cleaving to G_D in total hope and trust … knowing full well that the road ahead is wrought with all sorts of tribulation, danger and temptation.

As we ponder Yeshua’s grave concern for our very souls just perhaps we can gain more appreciation for the parable which he gave to us regarding the sower of seeds:

Matthew (13:1-23) The same day went Yeshua out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. … Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and with joy receives it; yet hath he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and he becomes unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

It would seem apparent that Yeshua, who knows the hearts of persons and is well aware of the forces that confront the believer, wants us to be absolutely prepared … always … even if indeed we personally believe that we are in a good relationship with G_D … even if we think we are doing G_D’s will …

Matthew (7:21-23) Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (torahlessness).

So we know that we need to stay on guard (Shema Israel) and that we need to really remain close to G_D at all times. We should also put some thought into the declarations of the sower parable which point towards producing fruit … in a Hebraic perspective doing G_D’s will through righteous conformance of the sacred commandments. Just as well we need to consider the so called iniquity in Matthew 7:23. The actual word is not really “iniquity” but literally “lawlessness” … or in other words working against or making null G_D’s Torah!

Although most people reading Holy Scriptures may not see the underlying concerns of Messiah as something to be afraid of … it is the opinion of this commentator that it is because of just these instructions from Messiah that Sha’ul (Paul) instructs us to work out our salvation in “fear and trembling”. Oh most assuredly Sha’ul is instructing us that we should have a reverent fear and awe of G_D … but perhaps Sha’ul knows something else … perhaps Sha’ul knows that it is not difficult to go adrift and meander off of the straight and narrow path? Hmmm!

In any event it becomes quite evident that what Yeshua instructs us to pray for in many respects is in fact exactly what David prayed for. Just like the Psalmist we pray for our very souls to the One that can actually deliver us from oblivion!

So … are we praying for the right things? If not we surely can’t blame Yeshua because his instructions seem to be rather concise and to the point!

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Prayer and the Disciples

Although we have taken more than a cursory review of Hebrew prayer within a Messianic context … within a Yeshua context, it must be noted that this commentator would be remiss if we did not go still further with the B’rit Chadasha record to see what transpired after Yeshua’s glorious resurrection and ascension back to Heaven.

What we assuredly saw in the life and ministry of Messiah Yeshua was from an objective vantage point … an upholding of the Hebrew ritual prayer framework and just as well an upholding of the dynamic/personal prayer framework encountered within the Tanakh … and specifically that very intimate and personal dynamic encountered within the Psalms.

Since we can rely on the Book of Acts … serving essentially as the fifth Gospel account wherein we see the early record of how Messiah’s Good News was broadcast throughout Israel and then to the nations … let us initially concentrate our attention on this work and see how Hebraic prayer was being treated by these earliest of witnesses and anointed emissaries of Messiah Yeshua.

Acts (1:10-14) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Yeshua, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Miriam the mother of Yeshua, and with his brethren.

Acts (1:20-26) For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, thou, Lord, which knows the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts (2:1-43) And when the day of Shavu’ot was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? … What means this? Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, says ELOHIM, 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: … And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Yeshua of Nazareth, a man approved of ELOHIM among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which ELOHIM did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of ELOHIM, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom ELOHIM hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaks concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. … He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Mashiach, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Yeshua hath ELOHIM raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of ELOHIM exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he says himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that ELOHIM hath made that same Yeshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Mashiach.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yeshua Mashiach for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our ELOHIM shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Acts (3:1-3) Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

Acts (4:31-37) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of ELOHIM with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Acts (6:1-4) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of ELOHIM, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Commentary:

Initially it would appear that we need not spend any significant amount of time attempting to figure out what was going on with the disciples in the immediate aftermath of Yeshua’s departure to Heaven.

We see Yeshua’s disciples obediently awaiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit … and we should also note how they waited … in communal prayer. Additionally let us not lose sight of the fact that they were granted this great gift through Messiah Yeshua on none other than the Festival of Shavu’ot … the Festival of Weeks … Pentecost; which in traditional Hebraic perspective is essentially the memorial for the “Giving of Torah at Mount Sinai”!

And for those untrained in the Hebraic Biblical ways this would have entailed daily prayer wherein the community was commanded to “count the days of the omer” … count the forty-nine days (Seven Sabbaths) from the Festival of First Fruits (Messiah’s Resurrection) until Shavu’ot.

It certainly would appear that in the Hebraic perspective the disciples would have been following the ritual prayers commanded to Israel … awaiting the special day of Shavu’ot! Hmmm!

And if there is any doubt as to the disciples’ intentions still … we should understand that their presence at the Temple on Shavu’ot is a clear indication that they, as well as Yeshua, were under no misconceptions that their Jewish lifestyles had changed … at least as it pertains to their relationship with the Temple and the community!

Still further we see Peter and John visiting the Temple after Shavu’ot to pray … in accordance with the traditions of Israel!

What we should be able to conclude from the early chapters of the Book of Acts is that prayer (both ritual, communal and personal) remains an important element of faith and religious practice. Additionally we see that despite the great Messianic mission of Yeshua … these disciples faithfully conduct business as the Master Rebbe did … in accordance to the traditions of the elders! But they do so now under the auspices of the B’rit Chadasha and the guidance of the Holy Spirit … sent forth responsive to Yeshua’s re-glorification!

But those of us familiar with the B’rit Chadasha record realize that there is much more to cover!

Acts (9:10-12) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prays, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts (9:39-43) Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

Acts (10:1-4) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared ELOHIM with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to ELOHIM always. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of ELOHIM coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, what is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before ELOHIM. …

Acts (10:9-10) On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

Acts (10:27-33) And as he (Peter) talked with him (Cornelius), he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but ELOHIM hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of ELOHIM. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before ELOHIM, to hear all things that are commanded thee of ELOHIM. …

Acts (10:34-43) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that ELOHIM is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which ELOHIM sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Yeshua Mashiach: (he is Lord of all) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How ELOHIM anointed Yeshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for ELOHIM was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him ELOHIM raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of ELOHIM, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of ELOHIM to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Acts (10:44-48) While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify ELOHIM. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

Commentary:

To begin let us establish some important context. The events recorded dealing with Peter and Cornelius are not mere weeks or months after the amazing events in Jerusalem on Shavu’ot … but rather we are dealing with a time span of roughly a decade … ten years!

And we can conclude from this time frame that despite all that has happened to Peter … all the enormous changes in his life responsive to Yeshua … all of the amazing things that G_D has done through Peter, that his Jewish life goes on … his Jewish prayer life continues … his Torah observance remains intact. We see in fact that both Peter and Cornelius pray in the tradition of the elders handed down to Israel!

And of course the record of events gets quite interesting as we see G_D bless Cornelius … a Gentile who is zealous for the Jewish people and the G_D of Israel. We see recorded for all time the marvelous descent of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his gathered family (those that could hear the Word) as Peter delivers to them the truth of salvation through Messiah Yeshua!

Without diverging into a lengthy discourse regarding the calling of the Gentiles … let us remain focused upon what the Sacred Texts are telling us about these people and the events!

We are not dealing with just any people … we are dealing with Peter … elder of the Apostles and we are dealing with Cornelius … a G_D fearing Roman Centurion! This is not some haphazard meeting or event. What we see is G_D orchestrating events … orchestrating his will in the lives of these people … who are most assuredly praying diligently in order to ascertain G_D’s will for them!

It should be very clear that Cornelius was praying that the G_D of Israel hear his prayers … that G_D accept his humble submission … that G_D bless and accept his family … despite the fact that they are Romans, the people subjugating G_D’s very own chosen people!

As for Peter … well it would appear that Peter was just being Peter and doing what he does … continue being a faithful Jew! But as Peter found out … being a faithful Jew meant rethinking the terms of the covenantal relationship … rethinking Israel’s role in promulgating the kingdom … rethinking his relationship with those who were thought to be unclean!

Once again we see G_D working through the wilderness experience in both Peter and Cornelius and there should be little doubt that surprises were had on both sides of the Jewish and Gentile equation respectively. If ever there was a risky proposition for both of these men … this would have to be it! On one hand Peter is instructed to blow off the rabbinic tradition/law that prohibits Jews from entering the home of a Gentile and for Cornelius there are certainly risks associated with continued fraternization with the enemy … the Jews!

But the events work because these men are seeking the will of G_D despite ignorance … despite roadblocks … despite personal risks!

Here we are yet again … years after Messiah has ascended to Heaven, with a situation wherein personal and dynamic prayer … within the auspices of traditional Hebraic prayer … is being responded to by G_D in the most dramatic and unlikely of fashions!

It sure seems that we are seeing the emergence of some very relevant patterns! Hmmm!

But let us continue on …

Acts (16:11-13) Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke unto the women which resorted thither.

Acts (22:12-21) And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The ELOHIM of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou should know his will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarry thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me (Yeshua). And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

Acts (28:7-10) In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: who also honored us with many honors; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

Acts (28:17-29) And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. And they said unto him, we neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spoke any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinks: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of ELOHIM, persuading them concerning Yeshua, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spoke the Holy Spirit by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of ELOHIM is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

Commentary:

As we can see from the beginning of the Book of Acts all the way through to the end, the disciples of Yeshua remained for the most part steadfast in their adherence to the Jewish traditions surrounding the Temple, Synagogue, Festivals, Torah and so forth … even at their own personal risk given the contention that consistently met them by the hands of the unbelieving Jewish people.

But despite all of these issues we only see disciples who remain faithful, obedient and fully cognizant of the fact that Yeshua did not do away with traditional religious practice (halakha) in Israel.

Oh most assuredly Yeshua changed the very fabric and dynamic of the Everlasting Covenant … but just as assuredly Yeshua did so in a manner that was designed to keep the inspired and good elements of the faith intact … designed to change very little from an outward expression of faith … but designed to change everything about the inward expression of faith and therein changing the entire world!

Certainly the Book of Acts reveals to us a lively expectation by Yeshua’s disciples that Israel would continue on in faith … in prayer … in relationship with G_D … in promulgating the kingdom of light! Just as certainly it also appears that these same disciples, like Yeshua, must not have received the news about abrogating the centuries old ways of the chosen people! Hmmm!

  • * * * * * *

Beyond the Book of Acts

Now that we’ve taken a very tactical approach in exposing the continuation of traditional Hebraic prayer … beyond the ascension of Yeshua, via our short review of the Book of Acts, let us consider the great salutatory greetings/opening prayers associated with the Epistles of the inspired Apostolic writers … let us see what their own prayers have yielded in way of understanding G_D’s will!

James (1:1-5) James, a servant of ELOHIM and of the Lord Yeshua Mashiach, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diver’s temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of ELOHIM, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him.

1 Peter (1:1-16) Peter, an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of ELOHIM the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Yeshua Mashiach: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Blessed be the ELOHIM and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Yeshua Mashiach from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of ELOHIM through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Yeshua Mashiach: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Mashiach which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Mashiach, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Yeshua Mashiach; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

2 Peter (1:1-6) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of ELOHIM and our Savior Yeshua Mashiach: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of ELOHIM, and of Yeshua our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

1 John (1:1-10) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Yeshua Mashiach. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that ELOHIM is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yeshua Mashiach his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2 John (1:1-6) The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from ELOHIM the Father, and from the Lord Yeshua Mashiach, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Jude (1:1-8) Jude, the servant of Yeshua Mashiach, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (made holy) by ELOHIM the Father, and preserved in Yeshua Mashiach, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our ELOHIM into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord ELOHIM, and our Lord Yeshua Mashiach. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Galatians (1:1-5) Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Yeshua Mashiach, and ELOHIM the Father, who raised him from the dead) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from ELOHIM the Father, and from our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of ELOHIM and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians (1:4-6) I thank my ELOHIM always on your behalf, for the grace of ELOHIM which is given you by Yeshua Mashiach; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Mashiach was confirmed in you:

2 Corinthians (1:1-7) Paul, an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach by the will of ELOHIM, and Timothy our brother, unto the community of ELOHIM which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: Grace be to you and peace from ELOHIM our Father, and from the Lord Yeshua Mashiach. Blessed be ELOHIM, even the Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, the Father of mercies, and the ELOHIM of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of ELOHIM. For as the sufferings of Mashiach abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Mashiach. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

Ephesians (1:1-14) Paul, an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach by the will of ELOHIM, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Mashiach Yeshua: Grace be to you, and peace, from ELOHIM our Father, and from the Lord Yeshua Mashiach.

Blessed be the ELOHIM and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Mashiach: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Yeshua Mashiach to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Mashiach, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Mashiach. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Philippians (1:1-11) Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Yeshua Mashiach, to all the saints in Mashiach Yeshua which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from ELOHIM our Father, and from the Lord Yeshua Mashiach. I thank my ELOHIM upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Yeshua Mashiach: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For ELOHIM is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Yeshua Mashiach. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Mashiach; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Yeshua Mashiach, unto the glory and praise of ELOHIM.

Colossians (1:1-6) Paul, an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach by the will of ELOHIM, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Mashiach which are at Colossae: Grace be unto you, and peace, from ELOHIM our Father and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach. We give thanks to ELOHIM and the Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Mashiach Yeshua, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of ELOHIM in truth

1 Thessalonians (1:1-10) Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in ELOHIM the Father and in the Lord Yeshua Mashiach: Grace be unto you, and peace, from ELOHIM our Father, and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach. We give thanks to ELOHIM always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, in the sight of ELOHIM and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of ELOHIM. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to ELOHIM-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to ELOHIM from idols to serve the living and true ELOHIM; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Yeshua, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

2 Thessalonians (1:1-12) Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in ELOHIM our Father and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach: Grace unto you, and peace, from ELOHIM our Father and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach.

We are bound to thank ELOHIM always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of ELOHIM for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of ELOHIM, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of ELOHIM, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with ELOHIM to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Yeshua shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not ELOHIM, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our ELOHIM would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our ELOHIM and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach.

Hebrews (1:1-14) ELOHIM, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he brings in the first begotten into the world, he says, and let all the angels of ELOHIM worship him. And of the angels he says, who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he says, Thy throne, O ELOHIM, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore ELOHIM, even thy ELOHIM, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remain; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any times, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Commentary:

Not surprisingly we find within these great opening prayers associated with the inspired writings of Yeshua’s chosen emissaries, a full gamut of revelation, praise, emotive and spiritual outpourings that very well appear to align with the revelation, teaching and ministry of Messiah Yeshua!

Now … let us keep in mind however that we know from the Sacred Texts that these same disciples were not of this knowledge and wisdom while the beloved Messiah was with them … despite all of the personal interactions and teachings he made them privy to!

As such there can be no doubts at all that this post Yeshua ascension enlightenment commenced on Shavu’ot and the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh … the Holy Spirit … sent to them through Messiah Yeshua himself.

Before we address the dynamics of the Apostles’ great opening prayers let us first revisit how Yeshua redefined the dynamics of the Hebrew faith with the so called “Disciples Prayer” or “Lord’s Prayer” depending on one’s preference.

As we could discern Yeshua’s prayer, in perfect union with the Father’s will, was for himself as G_D’s Word manifest in the flesh, to become the recipient of Israel’s love and worship … for Yeshua to become the source of Israel’s strength and sustenance … for Yeshua to become the rock of Israel’s trust and hope … for Yeshua to become Israel’s salvation and glory!

So … what then had changed about Shema Yisrael? … Nothing and Everything at the same time!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we expand our focus to Messiah Yeshua … the one who is echad with ELOHIM!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we shift our focus to the Kingdom of Light ushered in by Messiah Yeshua … and look with all fervent hope and trust for Yeshua to return as Mashiach ben David … the conquering King!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we shift our focus to the filled up Torah of G_D … a Torah that does not abrogate the Sacred Law but perfects it with the grace and mercy won by Messiah Yeshua wherein G_D’s righteous wrath has been appeased for all time!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now we look to be indwelt by the very Name of Messiah … so that we can be delivered from the evil one … so that we can manifest the light of G_D … so that we can endure the onslaught of the olam hazeh … so that we can live as the children of G_D … so that we can live as our own progenitor Messiah Yeshua lived … by His Spirit!

Israel still remains in covenantal relationship … but now as the witnesses (haEdah) we testify to G_D’s awesome works and mercy … we testify to Yeshua in our own lives!

And the question posed by this commentator was this: “Can we see the great and awesome paradigm shift beloved children of the Kingdom?”

Now … in reviewing the inspired prayers of the Apostles which open the great epistles of the B’rit Chadasha do we find ourselves in any way concerned that the Apostolic understanding of G_D’s plan in and through Yeshua is lacking alignment?

In the opinion of this commentator we should assuredly rest easy in the knowledge of truth revealed to us by Yeshua and supported by the apostolic prayer record.

In the apostolic prayer record we find allusions to and references respective to Israel’s traditional understanding of G_D’s plan … allusions and references to:

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Everlasting Covenant and the ancient relationship between Israel and G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s tender mercies and forgiveness of transgression;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s Sacred Law … the commandments … the divine teaching … the Torah;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s sanctifying power … G_D making us holy;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s judgment and punishment of the wicked;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s promise to sustain us;

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p<>{color:#000;}. G_D’s promise of restoration;

But … we also see within these great apostolic prayers the greater truths revealed to us by Yeshua as previously reviewed herein. What we find is that the apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit, revealing their understanding of matters as taught by Yeshua. We see the Apostles attest to the truth of Yeshua contained with the great Standing prayer … the Amidah:

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p<>{color:#000;}. The identity of G_D … the G_D who has revealed himself to humanity and all creation as being “echad” … and one with Yeshua

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p<>{color:#000;}. Acknowledging G_D’s glory and his power over life, death … all things! G_D can and does resurrect the dead … through Messiah Yeshua

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p<>{color:#000;}. Attesting to the holiness of G_D … of Yeshua … even his very NAME;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Submitting to G_D and his Holy Spirit sent by Yeshua as being the source of all true knowledge and wisdom;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Repenting and cleaving to the Torah … the Sacred Law and teachings of Yeshua as a sign of repentance and spurning the ways of the world;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Confession of sin and forgiveness through Yeshua’s self-sacrifice;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Seeking Redemption/Adoption into the inheritance … Kingdom Israel through the blood of Yeshua;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Request for healing and bearing witness to our dependency upon G_D … upon Yeshua as the comforting and sustaining force;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Thankfulness for the sustenance/blessings provided by G_D … thankfulness for the grace and mercy gifted to us through Yeshua;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Fellowship and the in-gathering of the elect of G_D in Messiah Yeshua;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Walking in Torah with G_D and each other … striving for the image and likeness of Messiah Yeshua … the living Torah;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Standing as a light against the darkness of this world (olam hazeh) … being dead to this world in Messiah Yeshua and withstanding the tribulation thereof;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Blessing and supporting those people that abide by the everlasting covenant … having favor for and comforting the brethren in Messiah Yeshua;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Awaiting the re-building up of Jerusalem;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Awaiting in all hope for Messiah Yeshua’s return and reign;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Acceptance of prayers;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Restoring of the Holy Service;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Receiving Salvation … receiving Yeshua;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Living in everlasting peace before the face of ELOHIM … experiencing all things gathered and restored within Messiah Yeshua

But we also see more in these apostolic greetings/prayers … we see the active emergence of the Holy Spirit responsive to Yeshua’s glorification … and not only do we see the truth of the Holy Spirit revealed within these inspired writings … but we also see the work of the Holy Spirit in these writings.

Notice how the disciples depict the spiritual and emotive states within their opening prayers: Indescribable joy … rejoicing … hoping … praying … praising … thanking … testing … confessing … remembering … exhorting … contending … comforting … testifying … walking … being echad (one) with G_D and Messiah Yeshua!

These opening prayers are most assuredly rife with tremendous Messianic Hebraic revelations regarding Yeshua … the covenant … the kingdom … the world to come … etc., but they are just as assuredly abounding with the active Hebraic terminology that we saw manifest within the Psalms. These opening prayers of the disciples are living prayers … resonating prayers that are active and inspired by the Holy Spirit!

It certainly does appear that these deeply personal and dynamic prayers of the disciples not only point to the great truths of the Hebraic faith … but do so in a manner that is consistent with the pattern of emotive, physical and spiritual outpouring experienced by the Psalmists.

And if we delve a bit deeper beyond the Apostles’ opening prayers contained within their respective epistles and turn our attention towards the mound of writings of Sha’ul … the great Apostle raised up to bear testimony of Yeshua … we should find some additional insights regarding Hebraic prayer.

1 Timothy: (2:1-6) I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of ELOHIM our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one ELOHIM, and one mediator between ELOHIM and men, the man Mashiach Yeshua; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

2 Thessalonians (1:3-9) We are bound to thank ELOHIM always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the communities of ELOHIM for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of ELOHIM, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of ELOHIM, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with ELOHIM to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Yeshua shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not ELOHIM, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power

Colossians (1:9-15) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of ELOHIM; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible ELOHIM, the firstborn of every creature:

Ephesians (1:15-18) Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Yeshua, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the ELOHIM of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Philippians (1:8-11) For ELOHIM is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Yeshua Mashiach. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Mashiach; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Yeshua Mashiach, unto the glory and praise of ELOHIM.

2 Thessalonians (1:11-12) Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our ELOHIM would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our ELOHIM and the Lord Yeshua Mashiach.

Colossians (4:12) Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Mashiach, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of ELOHIM.

1 Thessalonians (3:10-13) Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? Now ELOHIM himself and our Father, and our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before ELOHIM, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach with all his saints.

Philippians (4:4-9) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto ELOHIM. And the peace of ELOHIM, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Mashiach Yeshua. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the ELOHIM of peace shall be with you.

2 Corinthians (13:5-9) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Yeshua Mashiach is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to ELOHIM that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

Commentary

Sha’ul and the will of G_D

Although one could make a solid case that a great portion of Sha’ul’s writings constitute Hebraic prayer, it is prudent for us within the confines of this discourse on Hebraic prayer that we focus our attention to the specific supplications made by the Apostle … and as the excerpts depict it is clear that Sha’ul is first and foremost concerned with the believer’s relationship with G_D and that the believer understand the will of G_D for their lives.

What we see revealed by Sha’ul is that above all else it is the will of ELOHIM that all humanity would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth by the intercession and mediation of Messiah Yeshua! But … we also see revealed that despite G_D’s desire that all could live a godly and peaceful life … that the fallen world and those given authority therein will simply not allow this design. Instead we see revealed that tribulation and persecution for the testimony will need to be endured!

And we see Sha’ul consistently drive home the same theme … time and time again. We see Sha’ul reveal through the prayers of the Apostles that their hope is that we be filled with the knowledge of G_D … that we be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding … that we be filled with the very will of G_D!

And the purpose? The purpose of these blessings is so that we can know the hope of this divine calling … so that we can understand the glory of the inheritance of the saints … so that we can bring forth the fruits of righteousness, which is Messiah Yeshua himself, in our lives for G_D’s glory … so that we can glorify the Name of Yeshua within us … so that we can withstand the evil one … so that we can stand holy and blameless before Messiah Yeshua in the day of his coming … so that we can be made perfect!

Naturally all of these prayers and exhortations, though extremely intimate and personal at first glance, might to the untrained eye seem somewhat ethereal or very general in nature. However in 1 Thessalonians we see where Sha’ul introduces the hope that the believers be made not just blameless but “holy”! We see in Philippians where Sha’ul’s prayer is that what is true, honest and just … those things seen of and learned through Sha’ul himself be esteemed and done! We see in 2 Corinthians where Sha’ul’s prayer is that the believers examine themselves … by the very Spirit of Messiah Yeshua within them so that they do no evil … that they commit no sin!

Dear readers … is it unclear in light of the Sacred Texts what Sha’ul’s prayer is for this great relationship between G_D and person … between Yeshua and person?

Is it not clear that the believer be made holy … like unto G_D who is holy?

Is it not clear that the believer examine themselves spiritually through deep introspection and the knowledge of holiness so that they can root out all that is not acceptable … root out all that has no portion in Messiah Yeshua?

Is it not clear that the believer should be transformed into the image and likeness of Messiah himself … having Yeshua’s very Name within us?

And if this be the prayer of Sha’ul … the great Messianic emissary to the Nations … then where do we believe Sha’ul is pointing the believer … where do we think Sha’ul wants us to place our focus … what do we think Sha’ul wants us to understand?

Romans (7:12-13) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? ELOHIM forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Yes dear reader … we should not let the overtly obvious pass us by. Sha’ul’s prayer is that, through the liberty and grace gifted to us through Messiah Yeshua, we establish the righteousness of the Sacred Law within us. Sha’ul prays so that the amazing light of the Sacred Law … the very light of Messiah within us … manifests our sin and becomes exceedingly sinful to us so that we recognize it and put it away … pluck it out if it offends us … cut it off if it offends the Spirit within us!

Quite honestly we should hear the prayers of the Psalmist in the background asking G_D for this very sight … this very self-enlightening lamp of introspection!

Quite honestly we should hear the very Words of the Master Rebbe Yeshua in the background … exhorting us to be holy … exhorting us to be enlightened … exhorting us to let him cut his B’rit upon our hearts and embed his Sacred Law therein … exhorting us to stay the straight and narrow path … exhorting us to stay in him as he is in the Father!

And if for a moment one may still be unconvinced that Sha’ul’s prayer is that the believer, in establishing and strengthening their personal relationship with G_D, be spiritually led to immerse themselves into G_D’s Torah … then perhaps one should consider the following:

2 Timothy (3:15-17) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Mashiach Yeshua. All scripture is given by inspiration of ELOHIM, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of ELOHIM may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

It would appear that in spite of all the doctrines and philosophies surrounding what it means to be “indwelt by the Holy Spirit” … in spite of all the doctrines and philosophies regarding “grace and or being under the law”, according to the Apostle Sha’ul that there can be no separating the knowledge and wisdom of G_D from the Torah … there can be no separating the Holy Spirit from Torah … certainly in as much that the only Sacred Texts known to Sha’ul would have been the Tanakh or Hebrew Old Testament!

So pray tell how does Sha’ul’s prayers for the community of believers stack up against what Messiah Yeshua himself revealed that we should be praying for? Let us recall Messiah’s instructions regarding what to personally pray for:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying about our plight in the olam hazeh and the tribulation that we will surely face … and the devastation this tribulation will have on the blessings that G_D gives to us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D satisfy our daily living requirements … that G_D sustain us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we be forgiven for our own transgressions and sins!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we remain close to G_D and do not get sucked into the cares and ways of the olam hazeh!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for diligent vigilance as it pertains to our life in G_D … pray against complacency!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for submissive obedience … to remaining in a covenantal relationship with G_D!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for receipt of G_D’s Holy Spirit!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that Messiah come to us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D keep us from the evil one … hasatan!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for our very souls in the hopes that we can withstand the coming judgment of Messiah himself!

This commentator will let you the reader be the judge of how closely aligned or not Sha’ul is with the revelation of the Master Rebbe Yeshua the Messiah!

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Now beyond the personal prayers of Sha’ul on behalf of the community of believers and his desire that their relationship with G_D be strengthened as is his own, Sha’ul also prays that G_D’s own will for his life is fulfilled to the maximum extent.

Romans (1:1) Paul, a servant of Yeshua Mashiach, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of ELOHIM … 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Mashiach: for it is the power of ELOHIM unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians (1:1) Paul, called to be an apostle of Yeshua Mashiach through the will of ELOHIM

Ephesians (6:17-20) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of ELOHIM: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Romans (10:1-3) Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to ELOHIM for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of ELOHIM, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of ELOHIM’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of ELOHIM.

Romans (15:30-33) Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Yeshua Mashiach’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to ELOHIM for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of ELOHIM, and may with you be refreshed. Now the ELOHIM of peace be with you all. Amen.

2 Thessalonians (3:1-5) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of ELOHIM, and into the patient waiting for Mashiach.

Commentary

Sha’ul and the Great Commission

When we review the writings of Sha’ul we can see from these excerpted passages from the Sacred Texts that he is committed to his calling as an Apostle of Yeshua and clearly when he writes to the brethren he often times seeks their prayers and intercession so that his mission, G_D’s will, can be accomplished!

We see multiple requests by Sha’ul that he be kept from harm’s way … that he be kept from the hands of wicked men. Undoubtedly Sha’ul’s concern is for the mission and not his personage as we can see from the following record:

2 Corinthians (11:22-33) Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Mashiach? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The ELOHIM and Father of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, which is blessed for evermore, knows that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Consequently we know that what is paramount to Sha’ul is promulgation of the Gospel of Messiah Yeshua … promulgation of G_D’s will … promulgation of the truth!

It would appear that Sha’ul has indeed sacrificed everything to G_D … to Yeshua and has indeed committed to loving ELOHIM with all of his heart, soul and might … even unto death!

So clearly we can deduce that praying for personal success, within the auspices of G_D’s will … and for G_D’s glory is acceptable … and most assuredly warranted. But what we should not lose sight of is that within Sha’ul’s personal supplications is the prayer request that the greater gospel dissemination efforts be successful … that the greater gospel dissemination efforts produce the fruit desired by G_D … desired by Yeshua … that the great commission be fulfilled in completeness!

Obvious to Sha’ul and the other Apostles is their charge … their commandment that they promulgate the Gospel of Messiah … that they promulgate the Kingdom of light to the ends of the Earth. So they pray … just as Yeshua prayed for success. They pray that the will of G_D be achieved on Earth knowing that this divine commission is essential to G_D’s plan … essential to G_D’s restoration … essential to G_D’s will for Messiah Yeshua!

So it would appear that the success of the great commission itself is something that the believing body of Messiah should earnestly be praying for. And pray tell what exactly do we think Sha’ul’s idea of the great commission might be? It would seem important because he seeks the intercession of the saints so that he can continue his labors!

Matthew “Go therefore and make disciples (talmidim) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”

(This is left for you dear reader at the present time to ponder and if you are so inclined there is an additional review of the “Great Commission” contained herein after the conclusion of this work)

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Prayer and the Disciples Summary

Although our review of Hebraic prayer respective to Yeshua’s disciples was admittedly cursory in nature, it must be objectively noted that through the Book Of Acts … we could only find evidence to support the conclusion that the Apostles and early members of the body of Messiah continued to view the Temple, Synagogues, Holy Festivals and even the traditional daily prayer times as being foundational to their continuing Jewish lives.

What we found in the Book of Acts is the evidence that, years after Messiah Yeshua gloriously ascended back to the Heavens, the followers of Messiah continued to practice their “new faith” in accordance with the “old traditions”/“halakah”!

Consequently it must be concluded that despite whatever theological differences existed between the believers in Messiah and the unbelieving Jews … the disciples of Yeshua were convinced that Messiah in no way shape or form had commanded or implied that they abrogate the foundational practices of their Jewish faith!

Additionally we must note that beyond the expectation and religious practice of Yeshua’s disciples we see in the Gentile Cornelius … that even he harbored expectations that his expression of faith be modeled after the traditions of the one true Jewish faith … and we must also note that apparently G_D approved of his personal expectations and walk … else why would G_D bless Cornelius in the manner that was done?

The point to be made is that the disciples continued to pray … and it appears conclusive that they continued to pray according to the traditions of the ancient Jewish faith!

Now as far as what they prayed for … or how they specifically prayed? It is hoped that our brief review of the great opening prayers contained within the Apostles’ epistles to the communities of Messiah provide us the answer to these questions.

It is hoped that the active and resonant prayers/greetings to the body of believers from the Apostles is evidence of their indwelling of the Holy Spirit sent through Messiah Yeshua. Despite only utilizing their opening prayers it is clear, at least to this commentator, that the disciples were not only inspired but fully cognizant of the relationship that now exists between Yeshua and the great ritual prayers of Israel.

Upon review of the Apostles’ prayers we found not only the declarations of the great traditional truths contained within the Hebrew faith but clearly we found these truths revealed in a Messiah Yeshua perspective.

In many respects like the Psalmists and Prophets of old, the Apostles experienced personal, dynamic and inspired interaction with G_D through the Holy Spirit and produced the best fruits of the Spirit … the eternal truths respective to G_D and his living Word … Messiah Yeshua!

Still further we see in the writings of Sha’ul where he prays that the believers also come to this state of indwelling … so that the believers can be blessed as are the Apostles … so that the believers can come to the knowledge of G_D and Yeshua as they have been led … so that the believers can become as they are … disciples of Yeshua!

Ultimately we can choose to view Yeshua’s disciples as being some form of sect that is separate and distinct from mainstream first century Judaism … but it would appear that any objective perspective would have to conclude that the Sacred Texts depict otherwise. The Sacred Texts depicts disciples of Yeshua that remain thoroughly engaged in their traditional Jewish religious practice and disciples that pray in accordance to the great Hebraic traditions respective to both ritual and personal inspired prayer.

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The Resonance of Saints

Thus far we have taken a look at Hebraic prayer from a variety of perspectives. We’ve looked at Hebraic Ritual Prayer and we’ve looked at Hebraic Personal/Dynamic Prayer. We’ve viewed these perspectives in light of their potential context within the Tanakh as well as the B’rit Chadasha … And it is certainly being contended by this commentator, using the Sacred Texts within a Hebraic perspective as evidence, that long after Messiah Yeshua’s ascension to the Heavens … that the traditional Hebraic Prayer framework not only remained in place for the disciples but that they operated within this framework in Spirit and mental cognizance knowing that Yeshua had changed everything … while amazingly leaving the framework perfectly intact!

Now … as we continue to ponder the potential implications for us two thousand years later, it must be admitted that modern believers are indeed faced with some serious obstacles such as but not limited to:

1) In 66 CE the Jewish population rebelled against the Roman Empire. Four years later, in 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus retook and subsequently destroyed much of Jerusalem and decimated completely the Second Temple. The Arch of Titus, located in Rome and built to commemorate Titus’s victory in Judea, depicts a Roman victory procession with soldiers carrying spoils from the Temple, including the Menorah; which were used to fund the construction of the Colosseum. The sects of Judaism that had their base in the Temple dwindled in importance, including the priesthood and the Sadducees. Although Jews continued to inhabit the destroyed city, Emperor Hadrian established a new city called Aelia Capitolina. At the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, many of the Jewish communities were massacred and Jews were banned from living inside Jerusalem. A pagan Roman temple was set up on the former site of Herod’s Temple.

2) Beginning in the middle of the Second Century CE, the movement to separate the Messianic faith from its Jewish heritage and traditions was led by the likes of Marcion, Bishop of Sinope. Although branded a heretic and removed from the community of believers Marcion’s anti-Judaic movement ultimately never died out and was successful … culminating in a complete split from the orthodox faith under Emperor Constantine in 325 CE … as witnessed by his Epistle to church leaders contained within Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History 1.9:

The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, concerning the matters transacted at the Council (Nicaea), addressed to those Bishops who were not present: “It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival (Passover), because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. . . . Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. . . . Avoiding all contact with that evil way. . . . who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. . . . A people so utterly depraved. . . . Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. . . . No single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.

On July 25, 325 Ce, in conclusion, the fathers of the council celebrated the emperor’s twentieth anniversary. In his valedictory address, Constantine again informed his hearers how averse he was to dogmatic controversy; he wanted the Church to live in harmony and peace. In a circular letter, he announced the accomplished unity of practice by the whole Church in the date of the celebration of Christian Passover (now called Easter) … the festival aligned with the pagan Spring Equinox Fertility Festival).

3) Our Messiah made numerous revelations regarding the Temple in Jerusalem that would point to a time when apparently traditional Biblical Jewish would cease to exist:

Matthew: (24:1-2) And Yeshua went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Yeshua said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

John (2:18-22) Then answered the Jews and said unto him, what sign will you show unto us, seeing that thou does these things? Yeshua answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Yeshua had said.

Luke (20:14-18) But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, this is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, ELOHIM forbid. And he beheld them, and said, what is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Matthew (27:50-51) Yeshua, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the Spirit. 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent

Sadly we know via the historical record that the Gentile church, removed from its Hebraic roots and Jewish traditions, viewed the destruction of the Temple as G_D’s ultimate judgment upon the Jewish people leading them to conclude in error that a new “spiritual Israel” had been created. A new Israel that did not recognize the Everlasting Covenant and usurped the role of the “chosen people” from Israel itself.

In so doing not only was a total injustice perpetrated upon the Jewish people but worse yet the foundational elements of Biblical faith and living were abrogated as new philosophical theology spawned within the body of purported believers. A theology that changed the eternal and sacred appointed times of G_D … a theology that snubbed its proverbial nose at the Sacred Law … at G_D’s Torah … a theology that removed the Jewishness from Messiah himself!

And … if we for a moment can stand fast in the truth of the historical record … wondering what things would be like if the Gentile church had not absconded the faith … we are still left with the cold hard fact that upon destruction of the Temple the notion of a Biblical Jewish lifestyle would not … could not be achievable!

Or could it? Hmmm!

Hebrews: (2:16-18) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to ELOHIM, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

Hebrews (5:5-10) So also Mashiach glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. As he says also in another place, thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of ELOHIM an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

1 Peter (2:1-10) Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of ELOHIM, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to ELOHIM by Yeshua Mashiach. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of ELOHIM: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

1 Corinthians (3:14-17) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of ELOHIM, and that the Spirit of ELOHIM dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of ELOHIM, him shall ELOHIM destroy; for the temple of ELOHIM is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians (9:12-14) Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Mashiach. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

2 Corinthians (6:14-18) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Mashiach with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of ELOHIM with idols? For ye are the temple of the living ELOHIM; as ELOHIM hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their ELOHIM, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Revelation: (5:6-10) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of ELOHIM sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to ELOHIM by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our ELOHIM kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation (8:1-6) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before ELOHIM; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before ELOHIM out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Romans (8:24-27) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of ELOHIM.

Colossians (3:15-17) And let the peace of ELOHIM rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Mashiach dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing soul melodies in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to ELOHIM and the Father by him.

Commentary:

So dear reader … what do we think?

It would certainly appear that the inspired Apostles have a pretty firm grasp upon what Yeshua had revealed to them. It would certainly appear that they were quite cognizant of the fact that the Temple would in fact be destroyed. It would certainly appear that they were in tune with the “Spiritual House” which Yeshua indicated would be built!

So now understanding that the community of believers were in fact provided revelation and instruction pertaining to Jewish life without the Temple … let us explore these passages and see if we can get a firm understanding of what is really going on!

Initially we see where Yeshua is revealed to be our great Heavenly and eternal Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) … the great intercessor … Israel’s direct point of contact with ELOHIM. And let us also recall that Sha’ul’s letter to the Hebrews reveals this truth within the context of how the Earthly Temple Priesthood and Sacrificial System is, like the original Tent of Meeting and Ark of the Covenant, but a pattern and shadow of the true Heavenly Mishkan Temple, High Priest and Ministry!

Next we see in 1 Peter, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians respectively the inspired writers in true Hebraic fashion paint a visual picture for the believer wherein:

Yeshua, as prophesied long ago has become the stone which the builders (the Jewish religious leaders) of the Temple rejected … but being approved by G_D has become the very headstone upon which the new spiritual Temple will be built.

And true Israel, the chosen people of G_D … the elect in Messiah … the national and royal Priesthood according to the terms of the Everlasting Covenant, are the lively stones that comprise the Spiritual Temple being built up by Messiah … and this Priesthood offers up the spiritual sacrifices to G_D through the orchestration of the eternal High Priest Yeshua.

Although Peter paints us this picture of the new Temple, we see revealed by Sha’ul how G_D is working this through Messiah and how this is much more than a purely allegorical picture. Sha’ul reveals that we ourselves … in Messiah … have become the Temple … the dwelling place of G_D … housing G_D’s very Spirit … the Holy Spirit! And true to form Sha’ul in the letters to Corinth ties this relationship right back to the Sacred Law and the Holy Service while directly connecting them to the Gospel itself!

It should be intuitively obvious that Sha’ul, in revealing that the Temple remain free of defilement … that our spiritual sacrifices remain untainted, is instructing us that we must walk in accordance to the Gospel! In connecting the ethereal concept of not defiling the Temple directly with the very tangible “walking in the Gospel”, Sha’ul in typical Hebraic fashion is undoubtedly leading us once again back to the Torah which has as one purpose the goal of separation and sanctification!

But the revelation for our edification and benefit does not end quite yet. As Messiah reveals to us through John in the Revelation … we see how our prayers, offerings and sacrifices ascend to the very throne of ELOHIM!

Once again we should be taken directly back to the Holy Service … to the burnt offering … to the Olah (that which goes up) and recognize that our very prayers … our very walk … the righteous works/fruits of our hands is what ascends to the throne!

But in true Hebraic fashion Sha’ul still once gain makes it clear to us that we are not dealing with some form of “mental/cognitive” operation. Sha’ul in the letter to the Romans reveals how it is the work of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit within us that produces these ascending prayers … ascending offerings … ascending works!

It is hoped that Sha’ul’s delivery of this mystery, described in terms of groaning and unutterable supplication by the Spirit, has us recall the earlier discourse regarding the Psalmists and their inspired emotive, physical and spiritual outpourings.

And still further yet Sha’ul in the letter to the Colossians reveals to us yet again this extremely active and vibrant indwelling of the Holy Spirit. An indwelling that not only transforms the believer from rebellion to obedience … from non-covenantal to covenantal … from unholy to holy, but … instills within the believer the very heart of Messiah Yeshua resulting in true spiritual rebirth … resulting in genuine love for ELOHIM and for the brethren that is active, vibrant, real … living!

It would appear dear reader that our review of prayer in a Hebraic fashion has led us towards the ultimate objective of G_D’s great plan for humanity. That objective being the very construction of the Olam HaBah (the world to come) in, through, by, with and for Messiah Yeshua!

Ephesians (2:18-22) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of ELOHIM; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua Mashiach himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of ELOHIM through the Spirit.

Revelation (3:10-12) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my ELOHIM, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my ELOHIM, and the name of the city of my ELOHIM, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my ELOHIM: and I will write upon him my new name.

Revelation (21:9-22:5) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from ELOHIM, Having the glory of ELOHIM: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. … And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of ELOHIM and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of ELOHIM and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord ELOHIM giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Ultimately beloved children of G_D there can be no true understanding of what G_D has in store for us … there is simply no means in which the mind or the flesh of humanity can comprehend the awesome mystery and glory of ELOHIM. Yet … in Spirit we should be able to discern a union … discern what being echad with ELOHIM through Messiah Yeshua promises us in the way of unfathomable riches, blessings, holiness and perfection (shalom).

The Sacred Texts reveal to us a portrait of something completely majestic and new … but planned from the beginning of creation by ELOHIM.

The Sacred Texts reveal to us an imparting of G_D, for G_D and by G_D … a spiritual imparting through Messiah Yeshua which enables, perhaps imperfectly in our humanity, the redeemed of G_D to emotionally, physically and spiritually experience G_D in human form as did our beloved Messiah!

Additionally it would appear that the Sacred Texts reveal to us that this same divine expression of living resonates throughout all creation and ascends back to the very throne of ELOHIM wherein all impurities are burnt away leaving for G_D only that which has been imparted from him to us!

Still further it would appear that the Sacred Texts reveal to us that ELOHIM in aggregating all things in Messiah Yeshua is in essence taking back all of the creation … removing all defilement … perfecting all that is holy and gifting all of this to the Son through whom the creation has been restored.

Consequently the salvation of G_D … Yeshua … results in his spiritual progenies becoming all things in Messiah. The progenies become Yeshua’s: children, bride, priests, servants, temple and yea even the very city of light itself wherein ELOHIM continues as the source of all things!

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Conclusion

Hebraic Ritual Prayer

This work … designed to surface and investigate the Hebraic perspective on prayer could admittedly be described as a somewhat cursory summary of the topic; the journey at least for the commentator however has been eye opening and provided numerous insights while prompting some sorely needed soul searching.

As we began our review into Hebraic prayer we found initially that the Jewish sages of old discerned that prayer “tephilla” … is in essence a human endeavor to uncover the will of G_D … an exercise in becoming more human … an exercise in pliability resulting in the Jewish people becoming individually and communally a reflection of G_D’s will on Earth for humanity!

We also found that traditional Hebraic prayer, in a Biblical and cultural sense, readily surfaced in the form of both “ritual” as well as “personal/dynamic” prayer.

Regarding the great Jewish ritual prayers the review focused upon those core prayers of tradition associated with: the Everlasting Covenant; the Temple Services and Jewish Life. Within these respective prayers; The Shema; The Amidah and The Aseret Hadiberot, we discovered a uniquely Jewish dynamic wherein Israel’s dependence upon and relationship with G_D is discretely defined.

Within our review of Shema Yisrael we found that central to the Jewish people is the realization that they are first and foremost a nation of “witnesses-haEdah” … a people chosen set apart from the other peoples of the Earth to bring forth testimony about G_D.

We found contained within Shema Yisrael the Jewish people’s; redemption; declaration of independence; commandment to be holy; divine charter of being a light to the nations; eternal connection to the Holy Service; and marriage contract with G_D!

Essentially this perhaps greatest of all Hebrew prayers represents both an individual and communal connection to the past and the great Exodus from Egypt and inheritance of the Promised Land. The Shema encapsulates the relationship of G_D amidst Israel and focuses attention upon the Sacred Temple … the place where G_D places his Name … the place where G_D is the center of Jewish life … the place where G_D through the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant is to be the central focus of all Nations of the Earth.

In praying the Shema daily the faithful Jew testifies of these great truths about G_D … about Israel … about the Everlasting Covenant, and does so in union with the eternal olah sacrifice wherein their testimony ascends … makes aliyah … to the very throne of G_D as a “re’ach nicho’ach” … a sweet savor!

From a traditional Hebraic prayer perspective the Shema Yisrael essentially encapsulates the G_D to Israel relationship while defining the core truths associated with the Everlasting Covenant and G_D’s great plan for humanity! Ultimately as we can readily discern there is no being Jewish in a Biblical sense without “Shema Yisrael” and consequently we should understand the tremendous importance of this ancient prayer to the Jewish people … to all of Israel!

As we saw however the review of Shema Yisrael was just the beginning of our foray into Hebraic ritual prayer. Within the “Standing Prayers – The Amidah” we discovered Israel’s formal approach to the King of Kings wherein; the omnipotence and power of the King is declared; man’s condition/status in relation to the King is confessed; temporal supplications are made; and finally where thanksgiving and hope of complete restoration is expressed.

But we found as well that contained within the Amidah Prayer was Israel’s response to being a chosen people who had fallen short of the mission … a people plagued by their own failures with persecution and subjugation … a people in need of redemption yet again … a people with the hope and trust of complete restoration in accordance to the promises made to the fathers; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

As such whereas the Shema Yisrael encapsulated the declarations and truths associated with the Everlasting Covenant … G_D’s plan and desires, the Amidah encapsulates the temporal reality for Israel within living as G_D’s chosen people. And even more so than this when we peer deeper into the Amidah we find a more profound Hebraic understanding of G_D and how he is going to operate.

In the Amidah we find the revelation that it is only G_D; who can and does resurrect the dead; who is the singular source of knowledge and wisdom; who is not just holy but is holiness itself; who draws Israel back to Torah living; who extends unmerited favor and forgiveness (grace); who is himself the redeemer of Israel; who is the source of all sustenance and healing; who will bring justice and restoration back to Israel through Messiah … the servant of G_D and seed of King David; who is the sole focus and deliverer of prayer and supplications; who is the focus of praise, thanksgiving and worship; and who is essentially the hope of Israel.

In a purely Hebraic perspective we find contained within the Amidah, responsive to need and the crush of olam hazeh (temporal world) … Israel’s hope in G_D … hope not just for temporal relief but hope for the ushering in of the eternal kingdom … the hope for eternal life through resurrection of the dead!

Consequently the Amidah prayer is deeply interwoven to the very fabric of the Temple Holy Service wherein Israel’s trust and hope is focused upon the only source of relief and blessing … G_D himself. But intuitively obvious is the fact that this great prayer represents not just the hope of national Israel but is also extremely intimate to the individual praying.

Ultimately we find in the Amidah the foremost “religious” ritual prayer of the Jewish people. A prayer that constitutes a singular conversation with the G_D of all creation. A prayer that requests both individual and national restoration in accordance to the terms of the Everlasting Covenant … a restoration that results in not only temporal relief from tribulation but the return of righteousness and justice in a world torn apart by wickedness!

But let us also note that to the Jew … this great restoration is not something that just magically happens because the Messiah has returned. As this prayer more than implies the Jewish people are cognizant of the fact that as the chosen people they are indeed charged with first returning back to Covenantal accordance … they are charged first with repenting and seeking forgiveness in the hopes that G_D will accept Israel and restore the most Holy Service to its designed glory!

And now if this was not enough to chew on from a ritual prayer perspective, we were confronted with the Jewish tradition wherein the Aseret Hadiberot (Ten Commandments) completed the “big three” Temple service prayers.

What we can naturally deduce is that Israel’s understanding of G_D’s Sacred Law and its relationship to the Everlasting Covenant is absolutely vital to Israel’s very existence as implied via the sage’s understanding and its status in the prayer order coming even before the Shema Yisrael.

In the great Hebraic tradition we must keep in mind how the onset of Israel as a Nation was forged at Mount Sinai … where on the Festival of Shavu’ot G_D delivered to Moses the great Ten Commandments written in stone by his own finger.

Consequently etched into the collective memory of Israel forever is the awesome events at Mount Sinai and the unequivocal nature of the dynamic between their relationships with G_D … the Sacred Law … and the Everlasting Covenant solidified in blood.

What we should understand is that in the Hebraic tradition the Sacred Law represents not only the very fabric of the Covenantal bond between Israel and G_D but even more so within the Sacred Law is to be found the very essence of G_D’s character … within the Sacred Law is to be found the very heart of G_D wherein justice, equity, mercy, compassion, holiness, righteousness and love itself resides.

And despite perhaps any initial confusion as to why these great ten words would be deemed to be “prayers” we readily found within the Psalms by David a virtual litany of love letters to G_D’s Sacred Law! What we learned in pure Hebraic fashion is that praying, endeavoring to know G_D’s will for humanity, virtually mandates pondering what G_D has already commanded that we do … the Sacred Law … or at least this is an understanding in the Hebraic context.

Ultimately our review of the great traditional Hebraic ritual prayers (the Shema Yisrael; the Amidah and the Aseret Hadiberot) exposed for us a very discrete framework of understanding and communal/personal interaction between Israel and G_D.

What we find in the Hebraic tradition is ritual prayer associated with the Holy Temple service that focuses first and foremost upon G_D as the center of all things and testifies to Israel’s knowledge of and dependence upon G_D for all things!

We find where the great ritual prayers of Israel are integral to their society which is by definition a theocracy and irrevocably linked with the Temple … the place where G_D places his holy Name!

We find in the great ritual prayers of the Jewish people Israel’s unique identity as G_D’s chosen people … set apart to serve in G_D’s great plan of restoration for humanity in accordance with the Everlasting Covenant.

We find in the great ritual prayers of the Jewish people the very fabric of the nation itself and upon a deeper review the great theological conventions of Jewish faith … of the witnesses … that make Israel unique amongst all the nations of the Earth.

But we also find within the ritual prayers the very intimate relationship components between G_D and the individual. A relationship driven by knowledge of G_D that inspires the individual to go deeper than mere recitation of any ritual prayer … a relationship that in true Hebraic fashion puts an individual on a path wherein they attempt to understand the will of G_D in their own lives and the life of national Israel through introspection and understanding!

What we ultimately learn is that there is good reason why these great codified ritual prayers from time long ago have withstood the test of time. Within these great ritual prayers is contained the essence and unchanging infallible truths of G_D’s relationship with Israel. Contained within these great ritual prayers is not just the hope of Israel but the very hope of humanity itself.

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Upon turning our gaze towards the B’rit Chadasha … the good news Gospel of Redemption, we perhaps surprisingly to some found a seamless transition wherein the earliest of recorded events maintains the integrity of the Temple as the foundation of Jewish life and the great ritual prayer dynamic still operational.

From the onset of the B’rit Chadasha events through the very life and ministry of Messiah Yeshua, we see upheld the great traditions of the Hebrew faith and the associated rites of prayer and religious practice.

We found Yeshua honoring the Shabbat … the Sacred Festivals … the Temple … the Synagogues … the Jewish way of life. We found that Yeshua apparently had not received the message that Jewish Halakah (religious practice) was meant to be dismantled.

And perhaps even more surprising we found that Yeshua when asked to show the disciples “how he prayed” … pointed all Israel directly back to the great ritual prayers of Israel. By simply utilizing a Hebraic perspective … a rabbinic perspective … we could readily align the Lord’s Prayer with the Amidah and even more discretely to the Shema Yisrael!

Amazingly we found the Master Rebbe utilizing the same ritual framework of the Shema as his very own personal pattern of prayer to the Father in Heaven. And within this personal framework of ritual prayer was revealed the great exhortations from Yeshua to the Father … exhortations seeking blessings, support and strengthening so that the great Messianic Mission … Yeshua’s charge alone, could be perfectly realized!

But as surprising as this was … we found that Yeshua was also doing something quite amazing indeed. By expressing perfectly the will of the Father for his own life as Messiah on Earth, we found great meaning for all of Israel contained within Yeshua’s prayer. We found most astonishingly that Yeshua, in accordance with G_D’s will, was in effect declaring an awesome previously unrevealed dynamic within the auspices of an unchanging framework … as hard to conceive as it might be!

What we found revealed with Yeshua’s Torah was the dynamic not just for Israel … not just for the Nations … but a new dynamic for creation itself wherein Yeshua himself, by the will and commandment of the Father has become the focal point and very essence of Hebrew ritual prayer itself … a dynamic wherein the power, authority, glory and life itself has been entrusted to the Son who through his own perfect love for the Father has commenced ELOHIM’s great restoration plan for humanity!

Within this thoroughly mysterious and awesome revelation about the Father’s will … about the prophetic destiny of Messiah Yeshua, we find just as well the mandate for Israel to accept the will of the Father and this new dynamic wherein Messiah Yeshua is now the central focus of our trust, hope, adoration, worship and love … accept the will of the Father wherein the honor and glory accorded to the Father is now bestowed upon the Son … accept that now, as a matter of faith, redemption and salvation … the only path to the Father is through the Son, come down from Heaven to reveal, execute and live G_D’s will on Earth as a human being …as Messiah of Israel.

Naturally as we could see recorded within the time of Yeshua … the religious leaders of “that generation” simply could not get it … would not get … did not get it. And admittedly even today the mainline rabbinic Jewish system continues to discount the events in Israel over two thousand years ago and continues to await the coming of Messiah. To this extent the commentator herein is certain that this work, like other Hebraically centric works that reveal and depict a Jewish Yeshua, will be touted as another cunningly devised fable wherein the outputs of the work are pawned off as some imagined concoction to enable the record of Messiah Yeshua to be reconciled with the Biblical record contained within the Tanakh.

But … the record stands on its own accord … for all time. The record also reveals a thoroughly Jewish approach to the Torah by Yeshua … when viewed in a traditional Hebraic perspective. Through alignment of his own personal prayer to the Father with the Shema framework … and the results of Yeshua’s filling up of Torah within a Hebraic perspective, we conversely find that in all probability the Christian side of the spectrum will also have issues with this commentary. Oh most assuredly mainline Christians will readily accept the truths regarding Yeshua … that align with established church doctrine … but most assuredly there will be no agreement that Yeshua upheld the Sacred Law to the point where it remains an integral component of the Everlasting Covenant and life for both corporate and individual Israel! Assuredly the church will not relinquish its grip on their “replacement theology doctrines”!

All the same however what was concluded within this commentary is that Yeshua’s thoroughly Hebraic, and yea even rabbinic, teaching/Torah divinely upheld the traditional inspired Hebraic ritual prayer tradition of the past, while ushering in a whole new dynamic that amazingly leaves everything intact while changing everything forever … by, with, in, through and for Yeshua himself! (Note: “Changing in a human perspective … not a divine perspective)

As such there will be a day, not long in the future, when the adherents of Messianic Judaism will be joined by others from all nations and tongues in recitation/praying of the great Hebrew ritual prayers focusing upon Messiah Yeshua … King, Helper, Savior and Shield of Israel.

In that day the great ritual prayers of Israel will resonate from the lips of the faithful. In that day the manifestation of Israel’s very hopes and dreams will be realized within Messiah himself. In that day all Israel … yea all creation … will know the truth that the unchanging inspired framework of Hebraic ritual prayer was inspired by Yeshua himself even before the creation of the world.

The simple questions are these … “Will we receive these truths revealed to us by Messiah?” … “Will we give to the Son what is accorded to the Father?” … “Will we embrace the ritual prayers of Israel as our own?” … “Will we receive the entire Torah of Yeshua or will we pick and choose what truths align with our doctrines?” … “Will we challenge ourselves and hear what Yeshua is calling out to us through time and space?’ … “Will we Shema Yisrael?”

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Personal Hebraic Prayer

In light of the staggering revelation given to us by Messiah Yeshua through his awesome prayer and the grandiose nature of Hebraic ritual prayer … it would appear that any review of personal prayer in a Hebraic perspective would be anticlimactic … yet we found the opposite to be true.

Beginning with a cursory review of the Psalms … specifically the unique, vibrant and active Hebrew language prayer terms, we uncovered a prayer scenario that is very unintuitive to our modern Western culture wherein the Hellenistic focus is upon mental understanding and or an emotional state driven by cognitive influences. Within the Hebrew scenario however we found a plethora of unique, active and resonant Hebraic prayer terms. We found upon closer inspection of the Hebrew language how the very words carry unique meaning … action … resonance based upon their respective “core letter constructs”, with the clear implication that the Psalmists’ selection of specific words was intentional so that focus and understanding was drawn to the personal experiences they were being subjected to.

Beyond the broad range of resonant prayer activities encountered by the Psalmists, what we also found was that this vast spectrum of emotive, physical and spiritual states were not induced by the Psalmists themselves … but rather induced by G_D’s Spirit predicated upon the Psalmists’ true needs and desires as defined within the heart … within the soul … and not within the cognitive realm of the mind!

We also found that this broad range of emotive, physical and spiritual states was not haphazard … but rather, in orderly fashion, intuitively segmented into discrete categories of interfacing with G_D. We discovered these outpourings of the Psalmists focused upon:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Praising/Worshiping G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Fearing G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Listening to G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Communicating with G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Self-Introspecting through G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Crying out to G_D;

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p<>{color:#000;}. Trusting/Hoping in G_D; and

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p<>{color:#000;}. Desiring/Living in G_D!

Ultimately what we learned through the Psalmists’ prayer experiences is that the personal relationship with G_D was extremely intimate and dynamic. A relationship wherein the Psalmist retreated to the secret recesses of their souls to: find G_D; understand G_D and place themselves in G_D’s care.

We found the Psalmists taking risks … pleading with G_D to reveal himself to them … despite the impacts of knowing G_D’s perfect righteousness would have upon them in light of humanity’s imperfect and woeful state. We discovered that knowing G_D’s righteousness and his will for us can lead to a profound and heartbreaking personal introspection … but … we also know that it is G_D’s intent that we be torn down (break the pride) so that we can be built back up for his good pleasure and use!

We ultimately discovered however that within this very intimate and personal prayer relationship with G_D was a broad experiential exercise in the Torah itself. We see where the Psalmists’ outpourings comprise: the great theological framework of the Jewish people; Israel’s grand historical record; numerous prophetic utterances; the communal cries of Israel; numerous pleas for restoration of the Jewish people and the entire world; and heartfelt praise and worship.

But we also discovered these outpourings to be of a very personal and intimate fashion wherein the Hebrew Texts expose, beyond the content scribed, the very spiritual state of the Psalmist and what they are experiencing at that very time. And when the Psalmist turned the focus upon himself, we for the most part found the content to be centric to the covenantal relationship and the Sacred Law. We found that the Psalmist’s desire was to be conformed to the image and likeness of G_D … and for the Psalmist this meant being enlightened … elucidated by G_D’s Law so that all unrighteousness could be rooted out and purged!

So despite the seemingly psychotic nature of the Psalmist where they are woeful and totally unrighteous in one respect … but then amazingly comforted and confident in their righteousness before G_D, we know that we are simply dealing with the life-long experiences … the ups and downs … of the Psalmist.

Oh most assuredly we can view the personal prayer dynamic in terms of an approach to G_D … an aliyah, but this dynamic is by no means a linear path if we use the Psalmist as our Biblical pattern. We learn from the Psalmists that our life as a believer is a continual refining and molding process by the Creator wherein we stay close enough to G_D to let him work in us … for our personal benefit and for the benefit of his good will for the Creation!

And staying close to G_D means that like the Psalmist we put everything on the table … our joys, failures, trials, triumphs, hopes and trust because G_D wants everything from us … the good – the bad – and the ugly … because it is G_D that will keep us humble in victory; strengthen us in trials; comfort us in mourning and deliver us through hope and trust!

In true Hebraic fashion we are confronted with the seemingly illogical truth of intimate personal prayer: “it is all about the individual confronting G_D on his terms and trusting that G_D will pick up the pieces and be merciful in how the Spirit orchestrates our correction and aliyah towards G_D!”

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When considering the personal prayer aspect within the B’rit Chadasha we readily found in the Gospel record a portrait of Messiah Yeshua retreating to the secret places … retreating to the wilderness experience.

As we see with Messiah Yeshua this great wilderness experience was fundamental to his glorious walk and ministry. We found Yeshua braving the wilderness at the start of his ministry responsive to spiritual inspiration after being baptized. We found Yeshua braving the wilderness yet again in the garden of Gethsemane as he prepared to face the most challenging element of his Messianic Mission … his great passion and sacrifice.

What we really see in Messiah Yeshua is the same pattern we found with the Psalmist. A pattern wherein the wilderness experience is consistent, integral … genuine, passionate … challenging, risky … but necessary and spiritually inspired … this is assuredly no one shot deal!

What we find in Yeshua’s wilderness experiences is the quintessential pattern of our LORD “showing us how to pray” … personally; showing us what it is like when we retreat to the prayer closet; showing us what it is like to confront ourselves through G_D’s Spirit; what it is like to intimately commune with G_D!

Unlike Messiah “teaching us to pray” … with the teaching in Hebraic terms being equal to … “Messiah reveal to us your Torah”, we find in the wilderness experience Yeshua physically showing us how to pray and leading us deeper … not just towards the great truth of the knowledge of G_D but interfacing with G_D in Spirit so that the knowledge of G_D tangibly confronts us … on all levels … mental, physical, emotional and spiritual!

Ultimately there should be little doubt that Yeshua upholds for us the Hebraic perspective that prayer is all about communing with G_D so that his will for us … his will for the creation can be instilled within us!

Additionally our review of Yeshua’s instructions regarding personal prayer led us to discover what Messiah himself defined as what we really need … and what we really need to pray for.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying about our plight in the olam hazeh and the tribulation that we will surely face … and the devastation this tribulation will have on the blessings that G_D gives to us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D satisfy our daily living requirements … that G_D sustain us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we be forgiven for our own transgressions and sins!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that we remain close to G_D and do not get sucked into the cares and ways of the olam hazeh!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for diligent vigilance as it pertains to our life in G_D … pray against complacency!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for submissive obedience … to remaining in a covenantal relationship with G_D!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for receipt of G_D’s Holy Spirit!

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that Messiah come to us!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying that G_D keep us from the evil one … hasatan!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Praying for our very souls in the hopes that we can withstand the coming judgment of Messiah himself!

What we learned from Messiah is that the tribulation which began when he ushered in the Kingdom of Light is a new battle … a battle of Spirit not flesh … a conflict wherein he himself is yet again the only answer … Messiah himself is not just the focus and center of the truths revealed within Hebraic ritual prayer … but Messiah himself is the answer to personal dynamic prayer … Messiah himself is both the object of prayer and the objective of prayer … and still more! Let us ponder this truth for a while!

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The Living Temple

Our review of Hebraic prayer, both ritual and personal dynamic modes, would appear to be quite consistent from a Tanakh and B’rit Chadasha perspective … or so this conclusion has been reached herein by this commentator utilizing a Hebraic perspective that is aligned with the inspired understanding of the Jewish sages of old. Utilizing a perspective well known to first century Jews … utilizing a perspective well known by, inspired through and utilized by Yeshua himself and of course his talmidim.

We discovered through review of Messiah’s Torah, and personal prayer life and instructions pertaining to same, how he revealed to us the previously hidden paradigm wherein he is the center of Hebrew ritual prayer … a paradigm wherein he is the objective and object of personal dynamic prayer! And Messiah did so in amazing fashion without disrupting the inspired framework implemented from Israel’s beginning!

But we also encountered additional teachings from his talmidim that completed for us the picture and reality of this revealed paradigm in Yeshua. The talmidim revealed to us through their inspired writings how this B’rit Chadasha … this covenant in Yeshua’s blood … cut into our very heart and soul placing his own holy Name within us … how Yeshua makes us his own … how Yeshua incorporates us into himself through the indwelling of G_D’s Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)!

What has been revealed to us is that this unbelievable but true blessing has now made the believers in Messiah the very Mishkan … the Temple of G_D … the place where G_D dwells and places his holy Name!

In this great Temple that Yeshua is building not by hands but by Spirit … Messiah himself is the great and eternal Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) … the great intercessor for humanity and the creation itself. In this great Temple the believers of G_D … of Messiah serve as Priests and servants within the Holy Ministry … in this great Temple being built up by Messiah Israel is being restored back to the human condition wherein mankind can once again commune with G_D in direct fashion!

As the believers of Messiah await the completion of this Temple and the restoration of all things we are gifted with the indwelling of G_D’s Spirit which makes supplication for us through Messiah! As such this great supplication and intervention on our behalf that defies mental description is essentially the resonance of the saints which rise to G_D’s throne … the resonance of the saints which ascends like the “olah” … the resonance of saints which is all things we produce as a living sacrifice to G_D … the resonance of saints which is ultimately Messiah within us … Messiah Yeshua the perfect sacrifice!

At the end of all matters there is only one harmony that can be “echad” with G_D and this harmony in a creation perspective is the resonance that emanates forth from G_D’s Word … which makes all things!

For the saints … the believers in Messiah Yeshua … the believers in ELOHIM … all Israel, it is the very resonance of Messiah within us that interfaces with G_D … it is the very Spirit of Yeshua himself that resonates in such a manner as to be acceptable to ELOHIM … all other resonance is brushed aside and will be ultimately destroyed!

What we encounter in the Yeshua paradigm, as we look with hope and trust towards New Jerusalem, is that Yeshua is indeed the object and objective of prayer … but even more so in a real Hebraic prayer perspective, wherein we attempt to interface with G_D and discover his will for creation, humanity and us … we find that Yeshua is prayer itself!

We find that true to the great Hebraic tradition … Messiah is discovered to be the central focus of Hebraic ritual prayer.

We find that true to the great Hebraic tradition … Messiah is discovered to be the central focus of Hebraic personal prayer.

We find that true to the great Hebraic tradition … Messiah is in fact the only means by which the will of G_D can be discovered, discerned and applied … and more so we discover that Messiah himself is the one who intercedes … the one who resonates … the one who ascends to the throne!

And also true to the great Hebraic traditional understanding of the Bible itself we are confronted with the inevitable conundrum … we are confronted with the reality that we as humans exist … we are active … we emote … we resonate … we live, but within the Hebraic perspective we are only alive if the light of G_D … the life that is Yeshua dwells within us.

And if this Yeshua … this life dwells within us then what is good (tov) will work to manifest goodness for G_D’s glory … for Yeshua’s glory … since this is the commandment given by the Father!

And if this Yeshua … this life dwells within us then we have been blessed with his Spirit and instructed not to quench this Spirit … but let him thrive … let him communicate … let him resonate so that we can consistently be drawn closer and closer to the source … which is ELOHIM … which is Messiah Yeshua … which is our destiny!

IT TRULY IS ALL ABOUT MESSIAH YESHUA IN WHOM ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE BEING GATHERED FOR RECONCILIATION, RESTORATION AND UNION WITH ELOHIMYESHUA IS IN ELOHIM AND WE ARE IN HIM!

THE END

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Afterthoughts

Most individuals who have read one or more of the works produced by this commentator are certainly not surprised by the Hebraic centric slant on this topic of Hebraic Prayer. Over the years it has been in essence a personal mission … a compelling mission by this commentator to bring to light the truth about G_D and his plan for humanity in a context that G_D himself chose … the Hebraic context!

Objectively speaking this commentator has attempted to explore numerous aspects of belief and faith spanning a broad variety of topics such as but not limited to: the nature of G_D; G_D’s great plan for humanity; G_D’s Everlasting Covenant; G_D’s Torah; G_D’s Eternal Festivals; G_D’s Mishkan (Holy Place); and G_D’s Holy Service.

Naturally the exploration of all these glorious aspects related to G_D has inevitably led us to the reality and truth of Yeshua HaMashiach … Messiah of Israel … G_D manifest to humanity on Earth … Bless his holy NAME!

These fundamental aspects of knowledge and truth have naturally been explored within the auspices of the Sacred Hebrew Texts … as well as the broader history of humanity and the Gentile church in as much that everything is connected … everything is part of G_D’s plan … everything is subjected to G_D’s great plan for creation.

Previous works by this commentator have been undertaken with genuine and passionate efforts to correct what is viewed as a traditionally incomplete and wrong understanding of Messiah and the subsequent presentation of Yeshua to the Nations by mainstream Christianity and conversely to combat mainstream Judaism’s blindness and rejection of Messiah!

Previous works by this commentator have been undertaken to address G_D’s plan for humanity in a Hebraic context so that our human understanding of G_D and his plan for us can be aligned with what appears to be the intuitively obvious Hebraic tradition (seemingly concealed for nineteen hundred years) … when the conventions and framework of Hellenistic philosophy are pried away from our minds.

Now despite all best efforts, desire and prayers, this commentator’s works are assuredly imperfect, incomplete and are primarily designed to bear testimony to this commentator’s understanding of G_D’s truth so that we … as individuals and all Israel … can comprehend what G_D is achieving through Messiah and just as importantly what this means by way of the true Gospel Message and how this Message of redemption, hope and salvation is designed to bring about true transformation … not just in that day to come … but in the here and now!

Beloved children of G_D we are being prepared not just for the Heavenly union with G_D but just as importantly for the return of Messiah Yeshua … and his glorious Earthly millennial reign … as prophesied in Ezekiel chapters forty through forty-eight and the Book of Revelation respectively.

Upon review of these prophecies we find a millennial reign with Mashiach ben David as King … we find a Kingdom wherein Israel has been restored to glory … we find a Kingdom wherein the Holy Temple is once again the center of the Earth … we find a Holy Temple wherein the G_D of Israel is with us … ImmanuEL!

Can we see and discern that Messiah’s return will in fact be precipitated by the persecution of Israel … and the remnant of her seed … those that keep the commandments and have the faith of Yeshua … those that are the persevering saints?

Can we conceive of such a scenario and amazing events? Do we believe? Do we await with joyful hope the coming of Messiah? Do we long for the days of the King when we can pour our hearts out to him in praise, worship and thanksgiving … while he is here?

Can we see and discern that this is an earthly Kingdom (not New Jerusalem) wherein the ways of old will be established … the ways of old will be taught … the ways of old will be promulgated throughout the Earth … readying the creation for its final and ultimate restoration!

This is a Kingdom where the Covenantal promises to Israel and G_D’s faithfulness is manifested! This is a Kingdom where the righteous and just Sacred Law of G_D is the very Law of the land!

This is the precursor to the Kingdom of Light wherein all remaining chaff will be exposed and ultimately burned … but more importantly wherein all that contains goodness (tov) will be pruned, refined, molded and prepared for the coming permanent renewal of all things in Messiah!

Does our Spirit not have us panting for the days of the King? Does our Spirit not have us sharing in the joy, gladness, honor and glory of our beloved Messiah … our Redeemer … our Savior … as he finally comes to receive what is rightfully his … the entire Earth as his inheritance!

And if this Spirit is working within us do we not long for this Kingdom … for this King in such a manner that has us readying ourselves in the here and now?

Oh yes indeed dear reader … this commentator has been producing Hebraic perspective works that point us towards the eternal truths and the aspects of this great plan of G_D … in, by, with, through and for Yeshua HaMashiach!

These previous works have been a great blessing upon this commentator, (and hopefully for those who may receive these writings) and these works have most assuredly enlightened this commentator, strengthened the faith and resolve and transformed the personal behavior … but … these previous works have still left the commentator wondering what more is there … wondering what G_D has in store for us in the here and now … wondering why at times life remains such a struggle … a tribulation … even having the knowledge of the truth?

And months ago an old question posed by this commentator in a previous work came to mind: “What is important … what is required by G_D … knowledge of the truth or real circumcision of the heart?”

It was this very question that prompted some badly needed introspection with regards to prayer at a time when things (halakha both ritual and dynamic) did not seem to personally produce within me the same joy and contentment which had been previously experienced … I had found myself becoming complacent without realizing it … in spite of having just completed a fairly in depth work regarding the Sacred Biblical Festivals!

Ultimately I realized that somewhere along the line my heart … my passion … was waning while at the same time my zeal and thirst for knowledge of G_D was heightened! Naturally this commentator was baffled … naturally this commentator decided it was time to dig in and pray harder … make supplication with greater intensity … you get the idea … the commentator decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands!

And praise G_D … because he stopped me right in my tracks and decided to leverage this “mental zeal” to his own advantage. G_D decided for me that now was the time to finally pursue the work on Hebraic prayer that had been planned for nearly five years and what has been presented herein is the result of this endeavor and most assuredly it must be admitted that this result has been an eye opening surprise for the commentator.

Oh most assuredly the knowledge that all things are in Messiah … was embedded in my mind and to a certain extent even within my heart. I know this to be true yet at the same time there was a realization that I was operating under severe limitations. I did make Messiah the object of my prayers … but my prayers were still my own … my prayers were still reflective of my perceived objectives for G_D’s plan … G_D’s will for my own life … my prayers were not Messiah’s prayers … my prayers were not necessarily resonating the desire that Messiah be my objective … my prayers were not Messiah himself!

So … now this commentator is left with the reality and understanding that there is more … much more that G_D has in store for me … if I can get out of my own way … if I can, like the Psalmist … like Yeshua … just let G_D be G_D!

Ultimately the journey continues children of G_D … for me … and all of Israel! It is a journey that ebbs and flows like the rivers, winds and seasons. It is a journey that takes the individual and community, if we allow G_D to be G_D, everywhere we need to be at the right time. It is a journey rife with risks, tribulations, trials and failures but at the same time is offset by exhilarating and indescribable joy and comfort knowing that G_D is faithful!

It is ultimately a journey designed to bring us face to face … heart to heart … soul to soul with Messiah Yeshua. In our temporal state this convergence is through his own Spirit, seeking to enable us … to drive us … to become his disciple … to become like him … to become him and reflect his goodness upon the Earth as a sign of hope for others who are in need of him!

So back to the question … “Is knowledge of G_D or circumcision of the heart the requirement?”

The answer naturally is yes to both sides of the equation!

And now when this commentator ponders and muses the great Biblical Psalms there is no longer a cognitive attempt to get inside the head of the Psalmist … or understand the great truths revealed within the Psalms themselves; these blessings have already been imparted in adequate measure. Now there is simply a spiritual request that Messiah bless this commentator’s soul as he did the Psalmist.

To what end or how this blessing may manifest … only Messiah knows. But rest assured dear reader that if Messiah’s blessing for me is to take me to a place of active discomfort … anxiety … fear … joy … praise or worship; I will be assured that it is all for his good pleasure and I will be assured that I am being given exactly what I need … exactly what Messiah’s Spirit within me is requesting … exactly what I need to understand about G_D’s will and purpose for his creation and the honor, exaltation and glory of Messiah Yeshua!

Trust this commentator on this issue … Messiah Yeshua has indeed forever changed … nay perfected … the Hebraic Prayer paradigm and has done so by the only means possible … Messiah Yeshua has become prayer itself!

John: 16:26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I will say not that I will pray to the Father for you: 16:27 For the Father himself loves you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from ELOHIM.

Yes beloved children of G_D … it would appear that Messiah has revealed that at some point … in that day … Messiah within us shall be revealed in full … the great mystery of mysteries. But if nothing else has been discovered by this work let it suffice that we know Messiah’s Spirit is what intercedes … resonates from within us … longing to go back home … just as Messiah longed to go back to the Father!

“Whatever you ask in Messiah’s Name will be granted!” Ultimately there is only one prayer request that counts: “Father in Heaven … the Spirit longs to be reunited with you through the righteous and holy begotten Son … Yeshua; and while we wait, we pray that Messiah fill us up so that he can continue to do your will on Earth … as it is so in Heaven!

Shalom Aleichem,

P. R. Otokletos

The Heavenly Rabbi

It is hoped that something Sha’ul revealed to us in his letter to the Ephesians did not slip past our eyes without some intrigue: “ Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of ELOHIM; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yeshua Mashiach himself being the chief corner stone”

This dear reader is most assuredly unusual language utilized by Sha’ul in as much that Holy Scriptures reveal time and time again that all the works of merit are performed by G_D himself … creation; redemption; salvation … everything.

Yet Sha’ul’s revelation makes it very clear that the prophets and apostles represent not just servants of Messiah Yeshua but are true partners regarding the construction of the eternal olam habah … the world to come!

So how can Sha’ul make such a bold statement regarding the stature and role of the prophets and apostles within this context? Under what circumstances or framework can Sha’ul’s inspired revelation be understood … realizing of course that the Revelation itself upholds this very scenario depicted by Sha’ul?

Romans (10:8-15) But what says it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Yeshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that ELOHIM hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Now … from a modern Christian theological perspective Sha’ul in Romans is pointing us towards what is considered to be the “Great Commission” … or in other words the commandment to spread the Gospel of Messiah to all ends of the Earth! On this point we should have little contention. But let us keep in mind all that has been discussed herein already … let us keep in mind that the very objective of the Gospel is to instill within the believer not just the truth of G_D’s great plan of restoration but G_D’s very Spirit designed to have us walk the Gospel … walk the life as Yeshua walked!

So what comes to mind when we think of walking as Yeshua walked? To begin if we are not thinking of Yeshua as the Master Rebbe … the greatest Rabbi of all time then we are not on the same page with Yeshua … His disciples (talmidim) … or even Holy Scriptures!

As Yeshua himself reveals … as the Word reveals … Yeshua the perfect man is Jewish through and through. He is the Messiah of Israel and he is the great teacher and arbitrator of Torah as declared in the Messianic prophecies contained within the Tanakh! To understand what it means to walk in Yeshua’s footsteps … we then must understand what it means to be a Rabbi and what it means to be a Talmid/Disciple. Naturally then we must approach this in a Jewish context because this is of course the only context that makes any sense.

When we look at “rabbi” … we know that we are by Biblical definition discussing a “teacher of Torah” … a person whose life is dedicated to understanding and transmitting G_D’s Word for the glory of G_D and the betterment of Israel within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant.

But this view does not really paint the complete picture. The real picture is that the Rabbi is a person who “lives” Torah. A Rabbi is an individual devoted to the transmission of G_D’s revelation to Israel through their very life … unlike our Hellenistic education framework where mental/cognitive understanding of a particular subject … to a particular standard … with certain transmission capacities … qualifies one to be a “teacher”.

There is a huge paradigm differential between the Hebrew Rabbi and the modern “teacher”. In one context the “teacher” transmits knowledge … in the other context the Rabbi transforms the life of the talmid to reflect their own character … their own nature!

Consequently the relationship between a Rabbi and their respective talmid is one of steadfast commitment, personal interaction, intimacy … an endeavor of complete trust and virtual emulation wherein the goal of the talmid is to become just like the Rabbi … in thought and behavior. This relationship is no sheer transfer of knowledge … this is a relationship about action … not about cognitive understanding … or acceptance of ideology.

To this end we get a glimpse into Hebrew discipleship which is all about personal interaction and emulation … it is not about teaching you knowledge of some truth … it is about circumcising this truth on the talmid’s heart through personal exchange and tangible life training. It is really about true Jewish evangelism … did we get this?

When we consider this Hebraic model we can be assured that the lives of the Rabbi and the talmid are deeply connected … deeply integrated … deeply entrusted. Faith and trust are needed on both sides. The Rabbi selects the talmid and the talmid accepts the selection … the two become inseparable and bound by the relationship.

The behavior of the two becomes critically important because both are bound by the understanding of G_D’s revelation and the standards of behavior that must manifest. The behavior of the Rabbi and the talmid is a reflection of each other.

So let us consider Yeshua’s rabbinic model for a moment … dare we ask: “If Yeshua was a good Rabbi?

Hold on for a moment any that might be offended by the question … let us judge not according to some standard that we don’t know anything about … let us consider the following:

• The Rabbi was an expert in the Sacred Texts;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Law;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Tradition;

• The Rabbi understood and used acceptable Jewish exegetical and interpretive methods/principles;

• The Rabbi was Torah observant;

• The Rabbi transmitted Torah to Israel;

• The Rabbi selected and trained their talmidim;

• The talmidim’s authority came by way of the Rabbi;

• The Rabbi sent the talmidim out to walk as He walked;

• The Rabbi’s heritage is maintained through the Rabbinic/Talmidic line

Now perhaps … we are in a better situation to answer the question … while understanding that Yeshua himself declared that he was tin fact the Master Rebbe … so we know that he did according to the mandatory Jewish definition of what a Rabbi is … else his own people would have no rationale to accept him!

Now comes the kicker … if we don’t or can’t see from Holy Scriptures how Yeshua upheld this Rabbinic model (seriously see it and not just nod a head at it) … then we quite frankly don’t really know Yeshua … you heard this correct … then we quite frankly don’t know our Messiah!

Now don’t get this wrong … we very well may know Yeshua as Lord and Savior … as our great Redeemer and lover of our souls … but we surely don’t know him as a man … as the Rabbi … as the One who we are to emulate! And this is critical for us. For if we don’t know Yeshua as a man … or understand how we are to walk after Him in the flesh … than pray tell how are we to know what He wants from us as G_D?

As Messiah revealed to Nicodemus … if you can’t understand what is shown and explained to you in the Earthly … how much more impossible is it that you will understand the Heavenly? In plain rabbinic terms the notion is preposterous … you can’t understand the Heavenly if you can’t understand the Earthly through which the Heavenly is revealed.

Now the intent herein is not to provide hundreds of instances where Yeshua upheld the rabbinic model on top of what has already been exposed herein … this would simply take too long indeed. But it must be noted that Yeshua was Torah observant … that Yeshua taught Torah … that Yeshua used well known Hebraic Rabbinic conventions and idioms … that Yeshua taught by using and referencing the Tanakh … that Yeshua used the rabbinic expression of Torah to even combat the Jewish religious establishment of his day … on and on.

Unfortunately our modern theology tends to focus on “the miracles” and consider that these works of the Spirit … somehow served as a replacement for plain and simple Torah observance and obedience. But this is not what the Sacred Texts reveal and as for the miracles … as amazing as they were these were mandatory signs for Mashiach to perform so that He could be recognized … just as the Messianic prophecies within the Tanakh depict. It is well known within the Messianic Jewish tradition that Yeshua by no means revoked or abrogated the Rabbinic tradition … the facts are simply irrefutable … and in fact we know that Yeshua commissioned his talmidim as Rabbi(s) just before his ascension to glory … therein passing the Earthly Rabbinic baton to them!

“Go therefore and make disciples (talmidim) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”

Let us really consider this great commission before we let our minds wander off to some Greek/Christian notion of what this distinctly Jewish dynamic means. Oh the church indeed has their understanding of this great baptismal charge most assuredly … this great altar call … undoubtedly! But what does this commission look like if we consider the traditional Rabbi-Talmid paradigm … what does this great commission look like in a Jewish context? Hmmm!

1) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Yeshua knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.

2) And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he (Yeshua) entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

3) And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Yeshua of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of G_D. And Yeshua rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, what a word is this! For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

4) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yeshua by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from G_D: for no man can do these miracles that thou does, except G_D be with him.

5) For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which hath sent him.

6) And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

7) And with many such parables he spoke the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable he spoke not unto them (the talmidim): and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

8) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, why call thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He says unto him, which? Yeshua said … The young man says unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Yeshua said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

9) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, which is the first commandment of all? And Yeshua answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our G_D is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy G_D with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these … On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one G_D; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Yeshua saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, thou art not far from the kingdom of G_D. And no man after that dared ask him any question.

10) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. …

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

11) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

12) Yeshua says unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

13) Now before the feast of the Passover, when Yeshua knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Yeshua knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from G_D, and went to G_D; He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter says unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Yeshua answered and said unto him, what I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter says unto him, thou shalt never wash my feet. Yeshua answered him, if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter says unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Yeshua says to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Amen, Amen, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Amen, Amen, I say unto you, He that receives whomsoever I send receives me; and he that receives me receives him that sent me.

14) If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas says unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Yeshua answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

15) And he said unto them, these are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Mashiach to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.

Commentary:

OK now … it is time to put on our Jewish caps and look at these Holy Scriptures within a rabbinic framework! What should we be seeing?

Within passages #1-#5 respectively … We see the pattern of Rabbi and Talmid between Abba Father and Yeshua wherein Abba has chosen Yeshua and all things are shown to Yeshua! We see where Yeshua is sent by Abba to behave and teach just as Abba would.

Yeshua is the exact image and likeness of Abba … the Heavenly Rabbi is how Yeshua refers to the divine G_D-head! Remember that the goal of the Talmid is to learn and become just like the Master. Yeshua as he Himself declares is “the Master Rebbe” … taught by ABBA directly! Yeshua declares that his word is not his own but the word of the Father!

We see where Yeshua’s authority is derived from the One who sent him on his mission. The authority is overtly perceived and supported by Yeshua’s doctrine and majestic works. Yeshua goes so far as to declare that because he himself is just as the One who sent him … that Yeshua as well has the power to raise, quicken and judge! Yeshua declares that he has become the Rabbi that perfectly reflects the Father!

In a proper Hebraic context we can readily see the rabbinic paradigm unfold in Abba and Yeshua! It is clear that the “great commission” is not some church mandate … the great commission is rooted in Yeshua’s very own ministry and mission. This great commission is not something that commenced after Yeshua’s ascension … it was going on throughout Yeshua’s entire life … ultimately culminating in His glorious works of self-sacrifice and redemption!

“And I will put my words in his mouth and the teaching will be glorious!”

Moving along … within passages #6-#7 respectively we see where Yeshua begets the rabbinic lineage through the process of choosing his own talmidim … and as the Sacred Texts declare they are already deemed to be “apostles/emissaries”.

Let us also remember … the talmidim were selected by Yeshua and of course they had to accept the invitation to become the trusted talmidim … with the full knowledge of what this entailed in a Jewish context. They in essence were giving over their lives to Yeshua.

We also see where Yeshua, unlike to the masses, reveals plainly and fully the scope of Torah (teaching/revelation) to His talmidim.

What we must also consider is the significant importance relative to the selection of the original twelve talmidim … symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel and therefore conclude that this “great commission” is essentially the same “great commission” placed upon Israel within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant … to be the light to the nations!

Moving along … within passages #8-#10 respectively we see Yeshua definitively teaching Torah in accordance with His divine commission and doing so within a Covenantal and Rabbinic framework.

In passages #8 and #9 Yeshua validates the Sacred Torah and Laws handed down to Israel directly from G_D! First we see Yeshua uphold the sanctity of Torah by revealing that “keeping the commandments” is the way of life! But Yeshua goes further as we see …

Yeshua directly invokes the great commission call of Moses in Deuteronomy … Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sits in thy house, and when thou walks by the way, and when thou lie down, and when thou rise up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates. But … there is still more …

Yeshua points Israel right back to Leviticus chapter nineteen when He reveals that loving thy neighbor as thyself is the second great commandment.

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them: Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and ye shall keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Turn ye not unto the idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. And when ye offer a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it that ye may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow; and if aught remain until the third day, it shall be burnt with fire. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is a vile thing; it shall not be accepted. But every one that eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the holy thing of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from his people. And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall not steal; neither shall ye deal falsely, nor lie one to another. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, so that thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor favor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD. Ye shall keep my statutes.

We need to put our rabbinic caps on beloved children of G_D. Yeshua is the Master Rebbe … He was using well known rabbinic methods to expound upon the Torah. What we should see is that Yeshua did not provide some form of axiomatic philosophic guideline … but rather Yeshua revealed the consistency and unchanging nature of the Torah and great commission to humanity handed down to Israel. This is why there was “consent” from the Scribe!

The Scribe knew that Yeshua had perfectly encapsulated their understanding of Torah. It was Covenantal and cemented first and foremost within the G_D to Israel relationship … G_D first above all else … in thought, heart and behavior. But the Scribe also knew that the mandate to “love thy neighbor as thyself” carried with it the entire revelation of Leviticus 19:1-19 (Be Holy because ADONAI is Holy) culminating in the mandate to “keep the statues … i.e. the Sacred Law”!

In the traditional Hebraic perspective there is simply no way to comply with the commandment of loving thy neighbor without complying with the mandate to be Holy … to be set apart for G_D … to be lawful!

Now … what the rabbi(s) did not get is the fact that Yeshua also provided the basis for the ultimate taxonomic construct through which the laws (mitzvot) should be codified. The taxonomy wherein the Torah (the tree of life) is to be viewed as having two main branches (Love G_D and Love Humanity) with all of the other mitzvot hanging from these two as branches and leaves respectively.

At this point we should note that Mashiach is fundamentally in league with the rabbi(s) of His day … and is also teaching His own talmidim at the same time. This is clearly the teaching of the Master Rebbe … the great commission remains the same!

Where we see Yeshua going beyond the traditional understanding is manifest within passage #10. Here we see Yeshua invoke the Psalms and other Holy Scriptures to paint a portrait of the heart and character that G_D desires … here Yeshua paints a portrait of his own precious heart. The Sermon on the Mount essentially takes Torah to a whole new level of understanding and commitment that is revelatory … that is revolutionary for its day … for all time!

Yeshua is opening up G_D’s Torah … expanding the Torah and the law itself to include the revelation given to the prophets and through the writings to up the ante! Yeshua is declaring that the root of Torah is the manifestation of G_D’s compassionate heart! Yeshua is teaching His talmidim what it is to walk in His footsteps. … And notice how Yeshua continues to reveal to His talmidim the great commission! They are to manifest the very heart of G_D while understanding that they are to continue to “teach and live the commandments” in order to be called great in the Kingdom!

We really should be able to discern what is taking place here. In this quintessential Torah teaching Yeshua is filling up what was then currently lacking in Israel’s understanding and application of the Torah … while imparting to His talmidim the standards that they themselves would need to live up to … in order to become unto like the Master Rebbe.

We know from the Holy Scriptures (Matthew Chapters 5-7) that Yeshua continues His great Torah discourse … teaching the multitudes as Abba has commanded and shown to Him. And to put an exclamation point on the validity of His Torah … Yeshua proceeds to do what only Mashiach would do and that is clean the leper … heal T’zarat … and Yeshua goes even further by healing the faithful Centurion’s servant and thereby cementing His Name as the One in Whom the Gentiles would trust. Simply amazing!

The point of these passages is to understand just what is really going on here. Yeshua is just not running around healing people … dispensing mercy and justice … comforting the lost! Yeshua in the great rabbinic tradition of Moses is expounding upon the Torah and doing so for the purposes of once again defining Israel’s great commission within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant! And still further doing so in a very personal but public manner wherein Yeshua is transmitting the rabbinic tradition to His own talmidim.

In passages #11-#15 respectively our beloved Mashiach, LORD and Master Rebbe now displays the true intimacy with His talmidim.

In passage #11 Yeshua declares that the great commission, commenced with his choosing them, is now ready to begin. Oh how intimate this really is. The Rabbi is declaring that the talmidim are now ready to reflect himself … the one who will send them … just as Yeshua reflected the character of Abba who sent Him.

But Yeshua does not lift up the talmidim through acknowledgement of their understanding. Yeshua reveals to them that they are connected to him … he in them and they in him. This is no mere emulation beloved children … Yeshua’s expectation … nay his declaration … is that servant and master are now one … “echad” … and cleaved together. We can conclude therefore that not only is Torah revolutionized but so too is the primary delivery mechanism through the rabbinic tradition … there is much going on here … if we look and see!

The new rabbinic mandate handed down through Yeshua is not just mere emulation of the Master Rebbe … but to be the Master Rebbe … operating under his authority and his power! WOW!

In passage #12 Yeshua solidifies this same construct by revealing that he also is no mere emulation of Abba … Yeshua declares that Abba is in him! And because Abba is in him the talmidim have seen Abba … there simply is no other way to view this revelation. This provides even more power to Yeshua’s revelation to the talmidim that he will reside within them!

Can we see what is going on here? Can we see this great commission coming into fullness through Mashiach Yeshua?

In passage #13 Yeshua goes so far as to ceremoniously commission his talmidim … to anoint them! With continued humility to the very last Yeshua anoints His talmidim in a way that lets them know how they are going to have to operate … to be acceptable to him! This great commission will be undertaken with compassionate humility … just as the Master Rebbe received and obeyed!

In passages #14-#15 respectively Mashiach closes the deal. Yeshua reveals to his talmidim how this “indwelling” … this “unity” will happen as a result of their steadfast love for … and obedience to Yeshua. Abba and Yeshua will dwell within the Talmidim and provide them a continual source of Heavenly rabbinic training … should we view this differently? Does this not appear to be the purpose of The Spirit and G_D’s will and plan for the talmidim of Yeshua?

Finally we see Yeshua opening up the very minds of his talmidim to understand the Sacred Texts in full … to know (yada) Yeshua within the Word … to not just know that Messiah is the Word itself but to know Yeshua within the Word … to see Him within every yod and tittle … to experience Messiah in the Sacred Texts!

We must also note that this is apparently quite important and a pre-requisite of preaching the good news of repentance and the remission of sins … agreed?

Let us now once again focus on the requirements of the qualified Rabbi:

• The Rabbi was an expert in the Sacred Texts;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Law;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Tradition;

• The Rabbi understood and used acceptable Jewish exegetical and interpretive methods/principles;

• The Rabbi was Torah observant;

• The Rabbi transmitted Torah to Israel;

• The Rabbi selected and trained their talmidim;

• The talmid’s authority came by way of the Rabbi;

• The Rabbi sent the talmidim out to walk as He walked;

• The Rabbi’s heritage is maintained through the rabbinic/talmidic line

Beyond the fact that we had sufficient declaration by Yeshua himself that he met the rabbinic requirements … we have clearly seen within the inspired Word of G_D how Yeshua took this rabbinic model to a whole new level of understanding and reality! Oh boy did he ever!

Additionally we all should agree that the ministry of Yeshua continued through his talmidim … agreed? Is this not what Holy Scriptures reveal and thus declares?

So now let us revisit the initial great commission paradigm that we began with and examine this commandment by Yeshua in a proper Hebraic context:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you

Let us begin by taking a look at the specific key Greek text handed down to us … these key terms being “poreuomai” and matheteuo … usually translated as “go and make disciples” … Hmmm!

As we look at these key words, and do so within the rabbinic framework that we’ve just briefly discussed herein, we should view this “go” not just in simple “depart” terms. Oh indeed there is the implication of departing but also leaving with a specific purpose and most importantly in a specific manner. What we should really see is the mandate to take what Yeshua has transferred … has imparted … and promulgate accordingly!

So Yeshua has not just commanded the preaching of the Good News Gospel to the nations but he has done so with strict orders that this message be delivered exactly as he the Master Rebbe delivered the message. As such the walk and comporting of the talmidim is absolutely fundamental and integral to their commission. The talmidim are no longer students … they have been duly anointed as Rabbi(s) and are given the clear and concise charge of going out to the nations and making talmidim of their own … in and through Yeshua Himself!

Do we get this most fundamental and critical element associated with the great commission? The great commission is spearheaded by the very rabbinic lineage that Yeshua HaMashiach raised up, trained, certified and sent out!

And we cannot lose sight of the fact that this great commission, as revealed by Yeshua, is the same continuing commission of Israel within the auspices of the Everlasting Covenant. These relationships beloved children are irrevocable and divinely appointed by G_D Most High!

We really must let this idea sink in … it is critical that we “get it”. The great commission is indeed related to the preaching of the Good News Gospel … the great commission is indeed related to the baptism of talmidim amidst the nations … but the great commission does not end with the message of hope for salvation. The Great commission by Yeshua’s design is purposed to begin with the message of hope for salvation and then promulgate the spread of G_D’s Kingdom … in thought, heart, soul and behavior! Do we get it?

If the talmidim are to walk in the footsteps … yea the very nature of Yeshua … then it should be intuitively obvious that they will walk as the Rabbi walks. They will walk in alignment with Torah. They will teach the Torah in the fullness of Mashiach and they as well will raise-up their own talmidim to walk in their stead! Herein lay the truth of the great commission!

What Yeshua expects is a host of talmidim … some being elevated to Rabbi(s) based on selection, working in union to promulgate a Torah centric Kingdom throughout all the Earth!

Frankly beloved children it seems unfathomable that anyone could objectively reach a different conclusion based on the evidence that we have been left with. The misinterpretation of the great commission … of Yeshua’s desire and mandate … can only be misconstrued when Holy Scriptures … nay when Messiah himself … is viewed outside the auspices of a proper Hebraic framework … in which case one could supposedly treat and usurp The Word to fashion any brazen desire of the heart!

But enough about this personal view shared herein … let us review what the talmidim actually did!

“This Yeshua hath G_D raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of G_D exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he says himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that G_D hath made that same Yeshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Mashiach. …

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yeshua Mashiach for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our G_D shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising G_D, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the community daily such as should be saved.

Now when they (the religious leaders) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Yeshua. And beholding the lame man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straightly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. …

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest dared no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed everyone.” (Book of Acts)

Commentary:

We can readily see from the Book of Acts that the talmidim were doing as they were commissioned! Beginning in Jerusalem (in Israel) they walked as Mashiach walked. They remained faithful to their rabbinic ways handed to them by Yeshua. They functioned, as did all Israel, with a central focus upon the Temple … upon G_D … upon his ways … the Torah.

And Mashiach, just as Abba did for him, provided the validation of the talmidim’s Torah, of Mashiach’s Torah … with the power of miracles thereby declaring their authority as being divinely granted!

Let us also note as well that the newly delivered Jews abided in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. Meaning … that they also were becoming talmidim of the Apostles. Meaning that they too were expected to walk in the footsteps of the Apostles … in the footsteps of Yeshua HaMashiach!

And of course the Good News … the great commission was not limited to the natural branches … the Jews! So too did Mashiach raise up a talmid … a Rabbi for the Nations in Sha’ul … Paul!

“And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem. There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge. And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things G_D had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, thou sees, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: …

Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. … I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward G_D, as ye all are this day. …

And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. …

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before G_D until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, G_D shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sits thou to judge me after the law, and commands me to be smitten contrary to the law? …

But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, we find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against G_D.

And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. … For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself may take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: Because that thou may understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the G_D of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” (Book of Acts)

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to G_D-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to G_D from idols to serve the living and true G_D; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Yeshua, which delivered us from the wrath to come. ….

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. … In everything give thanks: for this is the will of G_D in Mashiach Yeshua concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very G_D of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray G_D your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians)

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (2 Thessalonians)

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of G_D and that the Spirit of G_D dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of G_D, him shall G_D destroy; for the temple of G_D is holy, which temple ye are …

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Mashiach, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Mashiach Yeshua I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Mashiach, as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of G_D is not in word, but in power. What will ye … Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? …

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Mashiach. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. (1 Corinthians)

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? G_D forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (Romans)

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of G_D, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of G_D, who quickens all things, and before Mashiach Yeshua, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach: …

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of G_D; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood (preached against) Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Mashiach Yeshua shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Mashiach Yeshua. All scripture is given by inspiration of G_D, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of G_D may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (1 Timothy)

Be ye therefore followers of G_D, as dear children; and walk in love, as Mashiach also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to G_D for a sweet smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Mashiach and of G_D. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of G_D upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth); Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (Ephesians)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of G_D; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of eat sold his birthright For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews)

Commentary:

Well it sure seems apparent that Paul takes seriously this “great commission” … agreed?

We see in Paul … until the end … a faithful Jew … a Pharisee … an Apostle … a Rabbi;

We see in Paul … many years after Mashiach’s ascension functioning as the other Jews do … making the Temple the central focus of their relationship with G_D;

We see Paul exhort believers in all ways … fostering emulation of his own “orthodox behavior” through discipleship … of Mashiach … through Paul himself;

We see Paul upholding the rabbinic tradition and even mandating that the followers hold in high regard and support those who have been chosen to lead them … the Apostles’ talmidim;

We see Paul revealing how the followers are in fact the Temple of G_D and therefore mandating that the Holy Commandment be adhered to;

We see Paul rebuke and chastise those that claim to be followers but do not behave according to the ordinances, traditions and teachings (The Torah) handed down by Paul to them;

We see Paul rebuke and chastise those that claim to be leaders but arrogantly and foolishly preach against Moses … against the Torah.

Frankly there is nothing that we see with Paul that would have us believe he was anything but faithful to the “great commission”!

And for some other notable talmidim walks?

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. …

For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, reveling, banqueting, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. ….

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Mashiach, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of G_D which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over G_D’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for G_D resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter)

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds): The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceit while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Yeshua Mashiach, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter)

Commentary:

Ok … then: Peter seems to be on the very same page with Paul … agreed?

The Great commission is clearly one of “holiness” … which as any good Jew knows is about “sanctification” … a major purpose of the Torah itself! Holiness (Kadosh) is separation for the service of G_D … it is not a halo … or aura … or some other concocted idea … it is purposefulness through obedience to G_D’s commandments.

But Peter as well continues on … Peter clearly expects and seems to declare that the followers’ obedience is not sitting well with those of unbelief … as in there is a definite change of behavior!

Peter also upholds the rabbinic tradition and clearly points to overseers … i.e. talmidim! And Peter expects them to comport themselves just as he does … and just as Mashiach did!

And not surprisingly we see more issues related to false teachers … related to purported leaders and believers that obviously do not behave in a Mashiach like manner … people who obviously are disobedient. People who are obviously not following Torah and hence incapable of walking the walk of Mashiach … agreed?

And now let us look at what John declares to be a good walk:

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that G_D is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Yeshua Mashiach his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua Mashiach the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of G_D perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John)

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yeshua Mashiach is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Mashiach.” (2 John)

Commentary:

Naturally we could go on and on … but clearly John, as are the writings of the other Apostles/Rabbi(s) … not solely concerned with the message of the Good News Gospel. It is quite clear that there are many problems throughout the purported believing community. There are clearly many false teachers and many that would yet again drag those that are redeemed back into the slavery of sin with their heretical and diabolical teachings. False teachings that clearly are designed to keep the people from the truth … keep the people from being holy … keep the people from Torah … keep the people from being transformed!

It should be intuitively obvious just by the nature of many Apostolic Epistles that from the beginning the Great Commission was under attack by the adversary … just as it is today! This being stated however we should see conclusively that the Apostles were true to form … true to Yeshua’s form and deviated in no manner from the commission they received from the Master Rebbe.

Conclusion:

We began this brief discourse by asking a basic question … “what does it Biblically mean to walk as Yeshua walked?”

Now … despite any objections that frankly would only come from a non-Hebraic crowd, the Holy Scriptures are very explicit that Yeshua is indeed the Master Rebbe and that his “disciples/talmidim/apostles” … were commissioned to spread forth unto the nations and make disciples/talmidim/apostles amongst them. With this being the irrefutable truth then clearly it was appropriate to explore the Rabbi-Talmid dynamic to understand what this entailed and also that it had to be done within a Jewish context since all other contexts would be irrelevant.

What was provided was the basic Rabbinic attribute framework:

• The Rabbi was an expert in the Sacred Texts;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Law;

• The Rabbi was an expert in Jewish Tradition;

• The Rabbi understood and used acceptable Jewish exegetical and interpretive methods/principles;

• The Rabbi was Torah observant;

• The Rabbi transmitted Torah to Israel;

• The Rabbi selected and trained their talmidim;

• The talmid’s authority came by way of the Rabbi;

• The Rabbi sent the talmidim out to walk as He walked;

• The Rabbi’s heritage is maintained through the rabbinic/talmidic line

What we then were able to do was overlay this very same framework atop just fifteen B’rit Chadasha Gospel excerpts hopefully resulting in no discord that this entire framework was employed and validated by Yeshua and Abba Father.

But far beyond the validation and utilization of the framework by Yeshua and Abba Father … what we should have readily discerned is that Yeshua essentially used this very same framework to re-introduce and perfect the “great commission” of Israel. A great commission designed not to just preach the repentance from and remission of sins … but more importantly to usher in the Kingdom of G_D through personal and then national transformation of the entire Earth … beginning naturally with Israel! A transformation predicated upon the knowledge of G_D … a behavior model fashioned after the righteousness of G_D’s character (the Torah) … and an application of this same Torah with an indwelt heart that single mindedly pursues G_D in a most intimate manner.

We also should have intuitively discerned that Yeshua went still further yet by changing the Rabbinic dynamic from one of Rabbi emulation … to that of Rabbi indwelling! A perfected model wherein the talmid does not just become unto like the Rabbi … but essentially becomes the Rabbi in the flesh through the Spirit! Quite remarkable to say the least!

What this remarkable revelation enables us to do is really look at Yeshua’s sending forth of the Apostles within a proper Hebraic/Rabbinic context. What we should see then is that this Great Commission is just as centric, if not more, to restorative transformation as it is about repentance and remission of sins.

Clearly the repentance and remission of sins is a free gift … G_D’s mercy wrought by the awesome works of Yeshua … grace! But we should then recognize that the designed purpose of grace is to usher in the behavior model of the Kingdom to bring about restoration. The Earthly tangible element of Yeshua’s entire mission is encapsulated within the mandate to “walk as he walked”! But …

We can see by how this Great Commission model works that it is dependent upon the unchanging model of Jewish evangelism. Just as the tribes of Israel were commissioned to be the light to the nations … so to the Apostles were commissioned to be the light to the nations.

We just cannot simply turn a blind eye to how Yeshua orchestrated all of this. Clearly the talmidim were personally and intimately immersed into the Torah of the Master Rebbe. Clearly the talmidim were commanded to remain within the framework of G_D’s Torah. Clearly the talmidim were charged to walk as Yeshua walked and clearly the talmidim were charged with the responsibility of taking Yeshua’s Torah to the nations and establishing the next lineage of talmidim and Rabbi(s) … to perpetuate the promulgation of the Kingdom!

Holy Scriptures also reveal that this is exactly what the Apostles did. What is also clear is that the Apostles’ expectations of the faithful followers was to result in a transformed people … a holy people … a people set apart … a lawful people … a renewed people … a Spiritually indwelt people capable of applying Torah in and through Yeshua by the power of the Holy Spirit! But …

Holy Scriptures also reveal to us that even from the beginning the adversary was working within the loins of the children of disobedience … working to derail the Great Commission … working to derail the Kingdom of G_D. … And Holy Scriptures reveal how these vile agents operated … they fostered: uncleanness, impurity, licentious behavior, lawlessness and all kinds of filthiness and did so under the veil of being a believer … under the veil that their own vile ways was somehow authorized by the Good News Gospel of Yeshua! It is nothing short of OUTRAGEOUS!

So therefore … if we are confident that the Apostles did in fact continue the rabbinic lineage of promulgating the Kingdom … promulgating Torah life … then we must admit that the Apostles as well can be described in the following manner:

• The Apostle was an expert in the Sacred Texts;

• The Apostle was an expert in Jewish Law;

• The Apostle was an expert in Jewish Tradition;

• The Apostle understood and used acceptable Jewish exegetical and interpretive methods/principles;

• The Apostle was Torah observant;

• The Apostle transmitted Torah to Israel;

• The Apostle selected and trained their talmidim;

• The Talmid’s authority came by way of the Apostle;

• The Apostle sent the talmidim out to walk as He walked;

• The Apostle’s heritage is maintained through the rabbinic/talmidic line

So what then can we conclude about what is going on today? Yes let us consider the “Great Commission” and let us consider the ramifications within a traditional rabbinic framework validated by Yeshua … the Master Rebbe … Savior and LORD of us all!

Is it possibly a “Great Commission” if there are no Rabbi(s)? Is it possible to choose and groom personal talmidim without Rabbi(s)? Is it possible to usher in a Kingdom transformation without the basic tenets of the faith being understood let alone implemented? Is it possible that the preachers of today … purportedly raised up by G_D and led by the very Spirit of Messiah would openly profane and work against the Sacred Torah?

Personally … one can only shudder to think that the Great Commission has been turned into the Great Omission. An evangelical movement that wildly preaches the Good News of Salvation but has no concept of true Jewish discipleship or Kingdom promulgation designed to bring about restoration of the Creation through transformed lives and communities!

It might appear that without the “C” … the great endeavor is missing the fundamental element “Chai” … “Life” … the great endeavor is missing Christ!

Beloved children of G_D Most High … for the sole sake of G_D’s Glory and the Glory of his Son … Yeshua … our Master Rebbe Savior and LORD … I beseech you to awaken in the truth and challenge our very way of thinking …

Our Hellenized mindset has sent us down a path of dead philosophy and cognitive delusion that is so far removed from the truth of G_D’s Word that it would be laughable if it were not so horribly sad and distressing.

But … praise G_D Most High that he swore upon his own holy Name that he would maintain always a remnant for himself! Not billions … not millions … not hundreds of thousands … but just a small remnant. And he has not disappointed or become unfaithful. Barukh HaSHEM!

The Great Commission has never died … it has never stopped promulgating … it continues in humble and steadfast labor on behalf of the One who sent forth … Yeshua HaMashiach … yes indeed beloveds there remains a remnant that continues in the way of the Master Rebbe. Oh … they may not be easy to find but they are out there … ready and willing to take on talmidim according to the commandment of the Great Commission … according to the commandment of Yeshua … our Heavenly Rabbi … according to the desires and heart of our Good Shepherd!

So let us assuredly pray for the promulgation of the Kingdom … of the Gospel message as we have been exhorted by the great Apostle Sha’ul. Let us pray that the feet of those bringing the true Gospel message do not tarry or be delayed. Let us pray that we be gifted with the hearing of the true Gospel message and let us pray that we are made a Talmid of Yeshua!

So in closing beloved children of G_D … feel free to challenge and try all things as commanded by the Apostles. Feel free to test all matters with G_D’s Word … but I leave you with a simple word of advice: “Do test all things but make sure that our testing is in accordance to the ways of the Master Rebbe Yeshua HaMashiach … if we want to walk as he walked we assuredly need to understand how he thought … how he taught … what he revealed … what he expects … and we can only do this if we know how to rightly divide the Word!


Hebrew Prayer - The Resonance Of Saints

This commentary, the fourth full length book from the author, provides a broad sweeping overview of Hebraic Prayer in a traditional mainstream Jewish as well as a Messianic Judaism or Hebrew Roots perspective. From Israel's very beginning the importance of both ritual and dynamic prayer (communally and individually) has been well understood and documented within the Jewish tradition. For millennia the Jewish prayer tradition has maintained that the purpose of prayer is for the believer in the G_D of Israel to commune close enough and long enough with G_D in order to discern G_D's will for the individual and Israel. In essence the object of prayer is G_D and the objective of prayer is G_D's will ... and not our own will! But there is very much more to the Hebrew tradition regarding prayer and this work in summary fashion exposes these traditional aspects through review of Israel's great and notable ritual prayers (The "Shema Yisrael"; The "Amidah - Standing Prayer(s)"; and The "Aseret Hadibirot - The Ten Commandments"). In addition to the review of the great ritual prayers of Israel, this work also peers into the realm of dynamic personal prayer through review of selected Psalms. What is uncovered within these reviews is the great national, social, covenantal and religious framework of Israel. What is uncovered within these reviews is the very heart of Israel ... their hopes as well as their dreams of complete restoration. But these reviews also enable us to peer into the heart of the Psalmists, particularly King David, wherein we find the great depth and mystery of traditional Hebrew prayer ... wherein we find G_D's real desires for his children. And ... far beyond the beauty and wonder of Hebraic prayer in a traditional Jewish perspective, we are confronted with the revelation of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) wherein we see the emergence of the perfected Hebraic prayer dynamic in and through Messiah himself. This commentary objectively explores the aspects of Hebrew prayer in a B'rit Chadasha (renewed covenant) light and views Messiah's revelations to us within a traditional Hebraic perspective. The results of the reviews presented speak on their own behalf and point to the astonishing conclusion that Messiah Yeshua himself completely upheld the Jewish tradition regarding both ritual and dynamic prayer ... while at the same time revealed a previously hidden dynamic wherein he himself is the object of prayer ... he himself is the objective of prayer ... he himself is the resonance of saints! If you have ever wondered how Yeshua (Jesus) presented himself to Israel as the "Master Rebbe" ... if you have ever wondered what Yeshua's personal teaching/Torah was all about ... if you ever wondered how the Jewish Messiah taught his disciples to pray, then you will assuredly benefit from this commentary.

  • Author: P. R. Otokletos
  • Published: 2015-09-21 20:40:21
  • Words: 104168
Hebrew Prayer - The Resonance Of Saints Hebrew Prayer - The Resonance Of Saints