Aviad Cohen and Messianic Judaism

Not sure how I feel out this. It seems to me that Judaism is a bit of a mixed bag for the believer.  Even if that sounds like a contradiction for me to make, based on some of my previous sentiment.  I am always open to readjustment on these issues.

The following was from Aviad Cohen, the believing rapper and ex-Jew.  It would be interesting to know what some of my believing friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, think about this.  Note, I stay away from the term Gentile.

I recieved this from a brother. It appears there is another witness to the Truth that I believe Yahweh is revealing concerning Messianic Judaism. Unleavened Torah is unleavened by both professing Christianity as well as Messianic Judaism and must be exposed. -bk

Date: September 8, 2008
Program: Let’s Talk Moshiach
Host: Gil Burgos
Guest: Aviad Cohen
Topic: Messianic Judaism Exposed

Is Messianic Judaism is a gateway to Orthodox Jewish Conversion? I, Aviad Cohen have spent the past few years picking up on these clues. I wish none of this was ever true, but it is. As a former Pharisee of 29 years and now a believer in Yeshua Messiah, it bewilders me to see how people are foresaking the Scriptures and turning to Talmudism and other witchcraft practices (Kabbalah candle lightings, wearing a “hex”agram which is also used in Fremasonry and other occult organizations, Talmudic Kippah wearing and milk/meat Talmudic laws and much more. Some people are being mislead by publications and organizations to never use the name Yahweh again and to call Him HaShem. That is outragious!

Even worse, it’s Pharisaic. Gentiles are supposed to follow the Noahide Laws?
NO! Why are these wolves in sheeps clothing pushing Messianic Gentiles to abandon their faith, take on the Noahide Laws in order to become “more Jewish” and accepted by Messianic Pharisaic Jews? Why do they call themselves rabbis, when we have one Rabbi, Yeshua Messiah (Matthew 23:8)?

Some people are listening to Pharisaic music online and then getting sucked in by the music and Jewish cult-ure and then convert to Orthodox Judaism. Beware of the Pharisaic pied pipers. You might have some of them in your CD collection.
This is an insightful interview. And as for this topic of discussion, it is NOT an isolated case. This is happening right now. People in Messianic Judaism (especially Gentiles) are currently “finding their Jewish blood”, are leaving Yeshua Messiah and then converting to Orthodox Judasim in the name of “connecting with their Jewishness.” They don’t want the Gospel. They want to speak yiddish and eat gefilte fish and enjoy a “warm Shabbos mean with chabbadnicks.”

Beyond that, many people in the Messianic Judasim movement do not have discernment and are projecting themselves in online social-networking websites
(MySpace/Facebook/Youtube) as “just Jewish” and you can’t tell the difference between them and a Jewish American Princess with a Jezebel harlotry spirit.
The same go for the Messianic “Ahabs.”

Even some top leaders in Messianic Judasim are aware of some of these peculiar situations that are occuring, which seems to have gotten a bit out of hand.
Can they address this and move the movement in the right direction away from Pharisaic Judaism and towards Yeshua Messiah and Torah? It might be too late.
Do they want to address any of this? No. It’s an avalanche of confusion and false doctrine, led by many wolves in sheeps clothing, and its tumbling straight down into hell. Either you grab hold of Yeshua Messiah and Yahweh’s Torah and hop out and into a healthy fellowship with sound doctrine or you will be caught in the “matzoh ball avalanche mess.”

WE NEED TO BE SET-APART! We are not supposed to be trying to fit in with unsaved Jewish people and take on Pharisaic practices. That is not evangelism. That is assimilation! Assimilating to the identity of those who are aligned with the same practices of the Scribes and Pharisees who sentenced Yeshua Messiah to death and murdered the prophets. Any form of Judaism is STILL JUDAISM.

Let’s pray that people will WAKE UP and seek Yeshua instead of seeking “their Judaism.” There is a reason that they call it their Judasim. Because it is a religion of man. They made it. They own it. As for the Truth, you just follow it or fall off the narrow path and into the wider path that leads to eternal destruction.

As for “Lashon Hara” that is from the oral traditions of man (Pharisees).
People in the movement told me to shut up about what I saw was really going on in the Todd Bentley false revival. They rebuked me and then emailed me a bit later to say they were sorry and that I was right. Some of you forget where I have come from. I know what all these forms of Judaism are and the road of destruction these sects lead people astray in. Funny, how the editor of Charisma called out everyone who was threatening and rebuking people who called out Todd Bentley’s ministry.
People were pushed to “not judge this move of God.” Now they realize they had no discernment. Again, if your heart is not in the right place, you follow man’s traditions, are involved in witchcraft – you will not have much discernment, if any at all. You will just feel puffed up. Match it up to the Scriptures. If someone starts justifying their traditions by certain things that are not in the Scriptures or if they are twisting Scripture to make it justify their Pharisaic traditions, you need to undertand the red flag there.


Greek and English Prepositions, by comparison.

Now, despite the last post, I did not purpose a review of a text. Rather, my thoughts have been turned to the prepositions about which I have been reviewing today. Consider English, in which dozens of prepositions make their home. If you were to ask my Roman Catholic friends, Maryalice Ralston, and William Phillips, they could rattle off just about every English preposition in the English language, ALPHABETICALLY!!! They were forced to as good RC’s in an RC school. Thank the Lord for these nuns who demand obedience.
A list similar to the following (taken from wikipedia.org)
a (see “an” for usage in front of vowels.)
an (see “a” for usage in front of consonants.)
apropos (“apropos of” is a common derived term.)
mid (from “amid”. Usually used poetically.)
midst (from “amidst”. Usually used poetically.)
notwithstanding (also used post positionally)
through, thru (informal)
throughout, thruout (informal)
versus, commonly abbreviated as “vs.”
vice, meaning “in place of”[1]
Two words
according to
ahead of
as of
as per
as regards
aside from
because of
close to
due to
except for
far from
in to (contracted as into)
inside of (note that inside out is an adverb, not a preposition)
instead of
left of
near to
next to
on to (contracted as onto)
out from
out of
outside of
owing to
prior to
pursuant to
regardless of
right of
subsequent to
thanks to
that of
where as
Three words
as far as
as well as
by means of
in accordance with
in addition to
in case of
in front of
in lieu of
in place of
in point of
in spite of
on account of
on behalf of
on top of
with regard to
with respect to
Archaic or infrequently used
anti (loan word)
cum (Latin loan word)
pro (loan word)
qua (loan word)
re (loan word)
sans (loan word)
‘twixt (from betwixt)
unto (largely supplanted by to; used in some formal, religious, or archaic contexts)
vis-à-vis (loan word)
Greek, on the other hand, at least, New Testament (Koine) Greek, has about 25 prepositions, given in the following list, which occur ten times or more in the Greek New Testament. I would love if you had anymore, if you could put them down as a comment beneath.
Easy by comparison to roughly 150 for English. Unfortunately, I have had to transliterate them, since blogger evidentally is not equipped to read Greek fonts. -ow means long -o sound as in low.
And when it says that certain prepositions occur with one case/two cases/three cases. That means Greek has cases like English.  Put simply: 
Genitive prepositions are connected to Genitive Case nouns, which is similar to the English possessive, 
Dative prepositions are connected to Dative Case nouns, which are function like English indirect objects.
Accusative prepositions are connected to Accusative Case nouns, which function like direct objects in English.
The case is determined in Greek, by the context of the noun to which the preposition is connected.  For example, if “meta” is connected to a Genitive noun, it will be translated as “with.” 
The preositions with one case, however, will usually only appear in the presence of the particular case with which they are associated.  For example, in order for “ana” to be present, there must be an Accusative noun present in the verse in question.  No Accusative noun, no Accusative preposition. The good thing about this is, if you see one of these one-case prepositions, that means you will run across a noun in that case, and it usually is the next word. 
One other thing, just because you do not have an Accusative/Genitive/Dative preposition, does not mean there will be no Accusative/Genitive/Dative preposition.  Accusative nouns to not need prepositions to exist.  Only prepositional phrases do.  
Prepositional phrases are those phrases that contain both a preposition (a word that describes position) and it’s object.  “Under the bridge” is a prepositional phrase, with “under” functioning as the preposition and “bridge” functioning as it’s object. 
Anyway, enough babbling, and onto the list.  
Prepositions with one case
accusative: up, upwards
instead of
genitive: from, away from
achree, achrees
genitive: as far as, until
accusative: to, into
ek, eks
genitive: from, out of
genitive: before (place)
genitive: before (place)
dative: in, with
genitive: outside, out of
genitive: until, as far as
genitive: behind
genitive: before
accusative: to, towards, with
dative: with
genitive: apart from
with two cases

genitive: through
accusative: on account of
genitive: down from, against
accusative: according to, throughout, during
genitive: with
accusative: after
genitive: concerning, about
accusative: around
genitive: on behalf of, for
accusative: above
genitive: by
accusative: under
with three cases
accusative: alongside, beside
genitive: from beside
dative: (resting) beside
genitive, accusative, dative: on, upon
If you have any thoughts on the following, please, I enjoy this subject, grammar and language, intensely. Drop a line and we will chat. Or just ask the students at Dayspring Christian School how much I enjoy this material.

Some thoughts on New Testament Greek, and a really good book for that subject

So, I was reviewing Joe Castleberry’s First-year Greek text (by “review” I mean refreshing myself in the principles, in preparation for Second Year Greek, not writing a book review), which is incidentally one of the best first-edition textbooks available for first year NT Greek, by virtue of the fact that he drives and pushes vocabulary to an insane degree.
If one takes a year of serious study with Dr. Castleberry’s text, then by the end of the year, you will have picked up all vocabulary occurring in the New Testament occurring ten times or more-most grammars get you to words occurring 50 times or more. The reason he pushes vocabulary as he does is because his book is an Independent Study Textbook through ICI/Global University, a correspondence university of the Assemblies of God. Most people who receive this text are overseas without ready access to a plethora of NT Greek study materials, so to have a single volume that introduces the subject of Greek study and then unloads copious amounts of vocab will readily stand head and shoulders above any who use texts without such an emphasis on vocabulary. More over, given Castleberry is a polyglot, primarily in Spanish, and an experienced Latin American missionary, he is capable of communicating linguistic concepts to people of other cultures easily.
Now, does that mean Greek with anyone is a walk in the park? No, for the majority of us, especially for the majority of us who make the leap to seminary study, Greek is one of those burdensome tasks with which we would rather avoid like the plague. Greek, like other language courses, is a hearty subject that requires daily interaction and concerted practice, even when one does not feel like it. It requires a mind for analysis. But for those of us who love the Scripture and believe in their inerrency, there are few things more worthwhile, especially with the biases potentially inherent in the numerous translations, than the study of the languages themselves.
Next Post: Prepositions…

Jewish Messiahs, Jesus, sacrifices, and Leviticus

I will be honest, I have been stuck in Leviticus for some time.  And, you know what, it’s really been a great eye-opener into the Scriptures.  Leviticus deals with everything relevant to the Levites, those descendants of Levi who shared the responsibility for the temple, and particularly those connected to Aaron and his lineage through Eleazar.  What has really blessed me in this reading is the casual friendship I have with one of my Facebook friends who is out in Chicago at their Divinity School, I presume, who happens to be Jewish.  He has spoken some things that were in part corrective to my understanding, and the understanding which is connected to our understanding as believers (note: I did not use the term Jew of Gentile there, because in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, ultimately, except as we self-designate). 

If we fail to embrace the Torah as believers, then we forget our history and the purpose of our L-rd.  The offerings expound, to the letter, what Jesus did.  Jesus was not only the burnt offering, wholly self-offered to the Father, for the joy set before himself,  he was also the sin offering, scapegoat, freewill offering, tresspass offering, grain offering, guilt offering, and fellowship offering. Every verse between Leviticus 1:1 and 7:21, Jesus fulfilled, operated, and functioned on our behalf, and on behalf of the nation of Israel, making completely unnessecary any sacrificial system for the Jews.  I know you will probably reply, “yeah, Dave, but He fulfilled everything.”  Those of  whose response is this are missing the point, and there are six and a half chapters you need to ingest and commit to memory.  This is one of the most critical parts of all Scripture for the purpose that it shows the full weight of what Jesus did in fact fulfill as the Messiah.  Verse by verse, read it and let it sink in.  

Repeatedely it says, :”a male without defect,” “an offering made by fire,” “an aroma pleasing to the L-rd,” skin it, “cut it in pieces,” “wash out and offer the very heart and soul of this creature on the altar,” “no mutilated sacrifices,” “an offering of fellowship,” “roast the grain in the fire,” “take eat, and drink, this is my body,” “perfection in both animal and priest, and “no uncleanness in the camp.”

Wow.  If this does not get your blood pumping, that Jesus did all of this for us, and created all sorts of doors for us open to the Father, that were better than the covenant under Moses, though he spoke with G-d face to face as a man speaks to his friend, then something drasitcally needs to happen in your heart.  

Moreover, I enjoyed this comment from the desk of Gary Shapiro, my Jewish friend, who said the following on a reading of Leviticus 19.

I read Lev 19 as a rich and powerful articulation of what it means to bring God’s holiness into all corners of life. Underlying this articulation is the affirmation (19:2) that it is possible (and commanded) to possess the same holiness which is God’s holiness.

It is possible to possess the same holiness that G-d possess.   Does that not just blow you away?  That really gets into me every time I read it.  Leviticus 19:2.  We are commanded to be holy, and the reason we are commanded to be holy is because He is holy.  He does not give us an easy path or set of directions that, when followed, will imbue us with holiness.  Rather, the L-rd gives us the illustration of Him as G-d and his own character and behavior as a model for us to follow.  We are to follow the creator of the universe who has enabled us to be holy.  Note, He did not say, DO holy.  He said, BE holy.  It is to be who we are, not merely something we do.  

 What I fail to get concerning Judaism is that since He is the L-rd and does not change, yet the sacrificial system seems to not have changed, at least as to it’s requirements, where does that leave Judaism.  If they are commanded to offer these sacrifices, and they are not doing so, where does that leave them.  Jesus offered the sacrifice for them, and, at least, from the writings of the New Testament, claimed to be the Messiah of the Jewish people, and indeed of all people, and perfectly, once and for all, fulfilled the requirements of the entire sacrificial system, where does that leave Jews as Jews.  I would suggest that that leaves them in the perfect, albiet uncomfortable and offensive position of accepting Jesus for whom He claims to be and in fact is: the Messiah of the Jews and the perfect sacrifice for all sins.  If they accept Him, He will take care of, indeed has already taken care of the system, making it unnecessary.  The New Testament book of Hebrews makes this clear, and was written to bear witness to the Hebrews, the Jewish people, concerning the Messianic prophecies.  If this is the case, I would even push the envelope one level further and say, at the risk of offending some of my Jewish brethren that, except one receive the Jewish Messiah, one cannot be truly Jewish in ones heart, no matter the nationality, genealogy, the forms of worship, and the culture. 
That is, without Jesus, there is no real Judaism, since Judaism is marked by the sacrificial system, which he satisfied. 

No, this is not replacement theology.  This is Roman 11 speaking.  I have been grafted in, and the bible speaks of addition theology.  That is, that believers are grafted into Israel by faith, as Abraham was made righteous, or as we call it in Jewish terms of Leviticus 19, holy. 

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays

On the way to church in Agawam, a brief 40 minutes from my home in central Connecticut, I was thinking about Bultmann’s program of demythologyzing the NT.  What got me thinking of this was all the irritating foolishness that flows forth from pulpits across America that masks the truth of the Scriptures with myths about our L-rd’s birth (with respects to my Jewish and non-Jewish brothers).  I got to thinking that we really need to demythologize Xmas and our notions of His birth.  

Here is what I mean.  We are told that Jesus was born to a carpenter, in winter, on December 25th.  We are told that he shivered in the cold, and that three wise men brought him gifts.  We are further told that his family was impoverished or poor, and it seems he was also rejected in the inn, for any number of reasons.  And finally, we are told that so say Xmas takes the Christ out of Christmas.

First of all I would like to say this.  Jesus was likely not born in winter, as Luke 2 spells this out (shepherds were in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night).  That is, the weather would have been warm enough in order for shepherds to keep watch over their  flocks.  Other parts of the context, from weather.com such as 

Bethlehem has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and cold winters. Winter temperatures (mid-December to mid-March) can be cold and rainy. January is the coldest month, with temperatures ranging from 1 to 13 degree Celsius (33–55 °F). From May through September, the weather is warm and sunny. August is the hottest month, with a high of 27 degrees Celsius (81 °F). Bethlehem receives an average of 700 millimeters (27.6 in) of rainfall annually, 70% between November and January.[60]

and other places in the Bible, might, while not accounting for the warmth of this Xmas, add to the  likelihood that the Son of G-d was born on December 25th.  

Thinking of the narrator who told us over the radio that he was born in the winter, gave me some pause.

It occurs that the crowds of people in Israel at the time of empire taxation might be accounted for by the occurrence of one of the biblical feasts, when the people had just gotten done with their harvesting, and resources were at their peak. 

Sukkot, anyone? If the Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us, according to John 1:14, perhaps we are looking at the taxation of barley harvest, and surely Caesar would wait until the vats were overflowing before he took his share, which would throw the people into even more frustration, that the emperor would dare impose a duty on a festival to their G-d. Perhaps we are looking at the context of the Feast of Tabernacles, which would place the birth of Jesus in the comfortable Autumn, and have implications for the rest of the culture, who spent their time during this week in homemade booths. 

Concerning the concept of Xmas, I cannot say it better than the lead pastor of James River A/G in Springfield. This is an extremely well-thought out explanation from the desk of John Lindell.  We really need to teach the languages of Scripture in many of our churches, otherwise we have ignorant myths spread about like the notion that Jesus was born in the winter, he was born on the 25th, or the foolishness of taking the “Christ” out of Christmas. Enjoy and feel free to leave your thoughts, which would help serve as a corrective of the thoughts here.

X-mas or Christmas

With Twitter and Facebook–saying as much as you can with an economy of words has become the new challenge. Especially during the Christmas season, with only 140 characters on Twitter, you have to keep it short and on many of my posts Christmas has been written as X-mas which has caused a bit of stir.
Some have thought me disrespectful or using slang. So whether people agree with using X-mas or not, perhaps a little background on its use will at least help people understand why at the very least X-mas is not slang, disrespectful or “taking Christ out of Christmas.” I am indebted to WikiAnswers for helping me provide a concise but detailed explanation.
Writing Xmas is not slang nor is it taking Christ out of the
season. In many respects, Greek is the language of Christianity–the New Testament was written in Greek and utilized the Greek alphabet. There are still traces of the Greek in symbols and phrases used today, like calling God ‘the alpha and the omega’ meaning ‘the beginning and the end’ because alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega is the last. It’s like calling Him the A to Z!
Another place you might see Greek symbolism used in modern western Christianity is the Ichthys or fish symbol. You’ll have seen it somewhere, it’s the classic fish shape that people sometimes use to show they’re Christian. It’s called an Ichthys because that is Greek for fish. Why a fish as a symbol of Christianity? Because ‘Ichthys’ stands for Içsous Khristos Theou Huios, Sôtçr which means “Jesus Christ God’s Son, Savior.” The ‘ch’ in Ichthys stands for Christ, and the Greek symbol used to for ‘ch’ looks a lot like an ‘X.’
Similarly, the ‘Chi-Rho’ symbol that looks like an ‘X’ superimposed over a ‘P’ is actually the Greek letters Chi (X) and Rho (P) which are the first letters in Christ’s name. This symbol, like the fish, is almost as old as the Cross symbol and can be found scratched on the walls in the early Christian Church catacombs in Rome. The coincidence that the ‘X’ Chi letter also looks like a cross resulted in the ‘X’ being adopted as an abbreviation for “Christ.”
From ancient times, Christians have used the Greek letter that looks like an ‘X’ as an abbreviation of ‘Christ.’ Therefore, ‘Christians’ is abbreviated to ‘Xians,’ ‘Christ’ is abbreviated to ‘X’ and ‘Christmas’ is abbreviated to ‘Xmas.’ This is useful when people want a shorter way of writing something and is a reminder of Christianity’s roots.
The word ‘X-mas’ should never be pronounced ‘Ex-mass’ as the ‘X’ in it is not the letter ‘X’ in our alphabet. The letter is actually the Greek letter Chi “χ” (which looks like an ‘X’) which is the first letter of the Greek word ‘Christos’ meaning ‘Christ’.” Therefore ‘X-mas’ should be pronounced simply ‘Christmas’ because that is exactly what it is.
While you may not like the use of X-mas as an abbreviation for Christmas…the ‘X’ stands for Christ…it has since the earliest of times. Christ is the reason for the season… and for everything else.

Thoughts between Luke 10 and Leviticus 19

My reading in Scripture has been taking me through Leviticus in the last several days, as the result of a challenge from the Rhode Island presbyter to read through the entire Bible, which I have done faithfully since our meeting with him and two others for my credentialing interview.  Bro. Rick Sfameni, if you are out there, this blog post is specifically for you, with apologies to Wave Nunnally if I somehow manage to butcher what I remember Mark Turnage telling me…
We will catch up to the Genesis account in a minute, but first…

One of my professors, who taught us Hebrew via the Living Biblical Language model, gave us an illustration that has stuck with me to this day.   In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Yeshua spoke to a lawyer who asked, in an attempt to find a loophole and so justify himself (typical lawyer):

“Who is my neighbor?”

We get through the story, and then as we get through the story, Mark says to our class, and I fully agree with this:

Yeshua dealt with the first and second command (which begin with the words “You shall love…”) and moves to an interesting application of the Torah.  In the Torah, there is only one other place where the L-rd uses that grammar fconstruction, “You shall love.”  It is in Leviticus 19:34. 

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the L-RD your God. 

It seemed evident that Yeshua dealt with the two greatest commands and then moved to close the loophole of this lawyer by using the third command to love, to love the alien and stranger, as an application of the principle found in the second.  

The answer to this question, for my Southern brothers, is that “carpetbagging Yankee.” 
The answer to this question for my New England brothers, is that “dumb hick” whose ancestors you think were responsible for starting the Civil War(I say this as a proud Dixie native, “dumb hick” and rabid advocate of states’ rights).  
The answer to the impatient, road-raging driver is that idiot who cuts you off on I-91 as you hurry through 5:00 traffic, or in the rotary (called “roundabouts” in Dixie and the border states) on the way to church.  
The answer, husbands and wives, is your irritating spouse in the moment they display the most asinine behavior on planet earth on the way to church.  
The answer, parents, is your children, who wake you up daily at 6 am, after three hours’ sleep in order to yell at each other about toys an hour before you and they are supposed to get up (I say this as a father of two who do this on a regular basis).  
The answer, son-in-law and daughter-in-law, is your in-laws.  
The answer, FOX News disciple, is that Muslim you wished to G-d the government would profile, so you can get on with your life and hope to G-d he does not terrorize your plane, when in fact it could be someone with skin just as white as yours (I say this as a listener of FOX News).  
The answer, pastor, is that one person Sunday in and Sunday out whom you cannot stand but comes to you with what seems to you to be the most foolish question in the world each week (I say this as a future minister who has had plenty of practice in this, and has eaten his share of humble pie).

The alien and sojourner, the usurper (at least, in your eyes) is the one whom you are supposed to love. That is your neighbor.

What I discovered in this passage is that Yeshua is, in making Leviticus 19:34 an application of the second commandment, is covering love of aliens under the umbrella of things on which “all the law and the prophets hang.” This not only adds dimension to our understanding of the greatest commandments, but it also brings conviction.

Moreover, what Yeshua is saying, which was a recurrent theme of his ministry to the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and legal experts, is the following:

In their zeal to remain ceremonially clean and not defile themselves, the priest and Levite, in refusing to help their neighbor, this beaten man, fellow Israelite, broke the law.  They should have sloughed off their religious duties, duties which got the religious leaders into trouble with Yeshua on more than one occasion, helped the man, and dealt with being ceremonially unclean for a measly day or week.  Moral and ethical law trumps ceremonial law any day of the week and shows the heart of G-d for his people. 

Or put several ways from the mouth of Yeshua
 “Which of you, if his donkey falls in on the Sabbath, will he not pull it out?”
“You clean the outside of the cup and dish?”
“Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: …?”
“And why do you break the commandment of G-d for the sake of your tradition?”
it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

 The concern for ceremonial law in the eyes of G-d is  far less important than healing the withered hand, cleansing the leper, expelling demons, and raising the dead.  

Moreover, G-d used the example of the Samaritan to probe the depth of this legal expert’s heart.  He cut to the root of the issue with the meat and potatoes of the law, which was love of G-d and love of neighbor.  This Samaritan would have surely rankled the sensibilities of any expert of Jewish Torah.




Genesis 27:part 2 vv. 18ff

 Indeed.  Now that Jacob is ready, here comes the next part

18Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

 19Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(L)”>(L)Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(M)”>(M)you may bless me.”

Again, Jacob here is deceiving.  Esau was not deceived in the birthright.  The cunning hunter went for the quick and easy route.  He wanted the bowl of lentils, rather than the work of venison, which was tasty, and so reaped what he sowed.  Am I saying what Jacob did here was right or in any way justifiable.  Hardly.  Those of you who are ready to assume so, are missing something about the LORD himself.  His ways are higher, as one of my colleagues eagerly pointed out.  However, He does find ways to use the evil that we do, to bring about His purposes.  God and His character not once condones this.  In fact, the proof, as they say is in the pudding, and Jacob will spend the rest of His life reaping the consequences of his sin, like David, year after year.   His life, though he did receive the blessing of Isaac, was full of heartache, separation from family, and from children, because he played favorites, even into his old age, and even with the children of his favorite wife, Rachel, much in the same way Rebekah played favorites with him.  He learned this negative mechanism from his mother, who probably learned it from Laban, who will illustrate this attitude in a fuller light in a few chapters.  This attitude cost him, as we will see in the concluding chapters of Genesis.  

In other words, those who think God was in on this need to read this request for blessing in the context of, 1) Jacob’s deception of Isaac and 2) Jacob’s life after this point.  God was not in on Jacob receiving a blessing by deception.  God said Jacob would receive the blessing and to an extent the inheritance, but when God chooses to do something, He always does it above board and without trickery of any sort.  This is the part where Jacob is about to sow some mixed seed.  Had Rebekah waited, she could have had a blessed son and seen him grow into old age.  Instead, she short-circuited that God-ordered design and resulted to trickery in order to supplant Esau.  There is such a thing as legitimate supplantation.  But instead of waiting, she rushed in with an imperfect plan.  Yet, somehow, God still ended up being glorified in this plan, and His ends were still met, and He still knew what was in Esau and Jacob’s innermost hearts, which is why he wrote in Malachi “Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated.”

 20Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “<sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(N)”>(N)Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me.”

Lie number 2

 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come close, that <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(O)”>(O)I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.”
 22So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”

Lie number 3.

 23He did not recognize him, because his hands were <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(P)”>(P)hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.
 24And he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.”

Lie number 4.

 25So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value=&qu
ot;(Q)”>(Q)I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank.
 26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come close and kiss me, my son.”

I would argue that, from the text here at this point, Isaac still had his doubts about whether or not this really was his firstborn son.  “Please come close,…my son” (repeat of verse 21).

 27So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(R)”>(R)blessed him and said,
         “See, <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(S)”>(S)the smell of my son
         Is like the smell of a field <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(T)”>(T)which the LORD has blessed;
    28Now may <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(U)”>(U)God give you of the dew of heaven,
         And of the <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(V)”>(V)fatness of the earth,
         And an abundance of grain and new wine;
    29<sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(W)”>(W)May peoples serve you,
         And nations bow down to you;
         <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(X)”>(X)Be master of your brothers,
         <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(Y)”>(Y)And may your mother’s sons bow down to you
         <sup class="xref" style="line-height: 0.5em;" value="(Z)”>(Z)Cursed be those who curse you,
         And blessed be those who bless you.”

The last two lines of the prophetic blessing, 

Cursed be those who curse you,

         And blessed be those who bless you.”,

are a carbon-copy verbatim retelling of the Abrahamic covenant given to God.  In this blessing we see the prophecy beginning to come to pass, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

Though the name of the people chosen by God was to be Israel, it was, according to Genesis 21:12, that we see that Isaac was the life-giver and guardian of this promise given by God to Abraham, and only whom Isaac said would carry the blessing, would be the one whom carried the blessing.  the problem with Jacob is that he did not gain it by honest means, and so reaped a whirlwind.  Isaac’s words carried a lot of weight and influence because he was the one given by God to continue the covenant made to Abraham.  Nothing could stop that.


Why the Israelites died in the wilderness, because the refused to do the following

More good lyrics from the Mark Stuart-led group of Psalmists…

I can’t stop till my body drops
And you know I’m not gonna be the one to sit it out
I clap my hands to the promise land
‘Cause the promise can
Yeah, the promise can
Yeah, the promise can keep me
Until my heart caves in

Did you hear that?  The promise can keep you until your heart caves in.  You have to clap your way to the promise land.  You have a promised land.  Don’t stop.  Don’t stop.  The Israelites, in one facet of their lives, chose not to embrace and cultivate a lifestyle and attitude of worship toward the Lord Himself.  

It’s all about cultivating a life that reflects our understanding of God as He truly is.  About dilligently seeking Him (Hebrew11:6), and in that lifestyle, entering into that place of rest, not hardening our hearts (Hebrews 4, Psalm 95).  Instead of worshipping, and standing of the truth of whom God was and is, the Israelites griped, complained, groumble, gritched, whined, bickered, tested, moaned, and played a bunch of drama kings and queens against the God of the universe.  No wonder He says He loathed that generation.  Their unbelief drove them to wickedness.  Even after God spent day after day after day, non-stop, speaking directly to Moses and the people.  

Even with the cloud, fire, miracles, signs, wonders, and destruction of their enslaving captors, they still complained it was not good enough.