Portion 33- John 15:10-21

Submitted by: Minister L. Deadwyler

Related scriptures: Leviticus 26:3-27:34, Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 & Psalms 105

Yeshua does not leave us to guess how to stay in his love; it is in keeping his commands that we are found in his love.

  1. YHVH’s commands sets us up for holiness

Commands are defined as follow: To govern, lead or direct; to have or to exercise supreme authority over. Furthermore, it is through the commands of our Lord Yeshua that we receive direction, protection, liberty and justice. As we follow them they transform us. In John 17:17 Yeshua asked this very thing of the Father on our behalf- “Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth= your word is truth.

2. We cannot consider ourselves friends of the Bridegroom if we are not obeying him

The difference between a slave and friend is: a slave is one who involuntarily subjects himself to the will of another. A slave only does what is ordered him to do; there is no passion, zeal, honor or love in following the instructions. There is no true union between a slave and his master only control; however, a friend is one who voluntarily attaches himself to another; and is one who is reconciled after enmity, but lastly a friend is one who has sufficient interest to serve another. He is not forced to serve. Although Yeshua chose us we still have to willingly say yes to him. The Lord says that those who follow what he instructs are his friends and there is a true union (fellowship) because the instructions are meant to draw us into him and in this consensual relationship. He reveals the things of the Father that are not made known to those who do not belong to him (Daniel 2 esp verse 22; Deuteronomy 29:29 and Matthew 13:10-11.

If we find ourselves grudgingly meeting with YHVH during His appointed times (Shabbats, Feasts and whatever assignment he calls us to) or at home; if we are lazily completing assignments (with the attitude of ‘I can’t wait until this assignment is over’) then we really cannot grab hold to this friendship that Yeshua has offered until we repent.

  1. Obeying Yeshua’s commands expresses our love for him (John 14:15; 23a)

It is not enough to just say we love the Lord; our love must be seen in our actions. Actions truly speak louder than words. It is in our actions that the fruit, which represents the character of Yeshua can be seen. (Galatians 5:22). 1John 5:2 says that when we love G-d we also do what he commands.

Twice Yeshua instructs us to keep loving each other because when we love one another it is an indication that we love the Father. (1 John 5:1- everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too).

In obeying Yeshua we are established as His people!

Portion 31 – Galatians 3:26-29

Submitted by: Brother P. Wells

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 21:1-24:23, Ezekiel 44:15-31, & Psalms 42

Trusting and faithfulness brings about oneness with Yeshua and being a child of G-d. The word trusting is defined as a belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective. Faithfulness is defined as having or showing true and constant support or loyalty. These concepts aren’t merely words to throw around. To the believer this is a way of life. We must understand that we didn’t come to this decision on our own. Paul says in 1 Cor. 1.9 G-d is trustworthy: it was he who called you into fellowship with his Son, Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord. Also in John 1.12-13 – But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God. If we look at Avarham’s life as an example it wasn’t Abarham looking for G-d, yet G-d calling to Abraham to follow Him.  Paul says in Gal. 3.6 it was the same with Avraham: “He trusted in God and was faithful to him, and that was credited to his account as righteousness.”Be assured, then, that it is those who live by trusting and being faithful who are really children of Avraham.  It’s our trust and faith in G-d calling to us to be clothed and immersed in Yeshua. Once this happens there should be no distinctions or separations in the body of Yeshua, no black church or white church and no many denominations. Yeshua said in John 17. 20-23 -“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one — I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.  It’s the L-rd who called us from our old nature, our sin life to be one with Him and the Son who are one. Yeshua the seed, gave his life for us that we may be son and daughters of G-d to have trust and faith in Him just as Abraham did and having this faith and trust it brings about righteousness. Not by our works, yet by G-d calling us. The promise mention and being an heir Paul makes it plain in Gal. 3.14 – Yeshua the Messiah did this so that in union with him the Gentiles might receive the blessing announced to Avraham, so that through trusting and being faithful, we might receive what was promised, namely, the Spirit. The Spirit is what brought us to be children of G-d and by faith we are one with Yeshua. So the promise made by G-d to Abraham in Gen. 12.7 that all the families on earth will blessed, is our inheritance.

Portion 34- Luke 2:1-7

Submitted by: Minister M. Smith

Related scriptures: Numbers 1:1-4:20, Hosea 1:10-20 & Psalms 122

The Sovereignty of YHVH will put us in the right place at the right time.

In the mist of this world we sometimes find ourselves in circumstances that are beyond our control. Many times these circumstances are inconvenient, uncomfortable and challenging; something we would never enter into on our own recognizance. Sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstances to get us out of our comfort zone to take us exactly where YHVH wants us to be; surrendered, stretched, and submitted to His will. YHVH orchestrates circumstances in our lives that remove our ability to lean to our own understanding, unable to add our own opinion, and unable control the outcome. Romans 8:28 says: “Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose;” We are in constant need of YHVH’s intervention, without it we would wind up stagnant, unchanged and wasting away. It is in YHVH’s faithfulness that He intervenes in our lives and willingly hides the execution of His plan so that we end up in the right place at the right time. (The census ordered by Emperor Augustus caused Yosef and Mary to be in Beit-Lechem at the time of Yeshua’s birth.)

YHVH’s perfect plan may not look like the “ideal situation”.

Many times we assume that when all of the pieces are in a familiar sequence, then YHVH is at work. Rarely do we recognize the working of Yah if it is not in the ideal sequence. It is true that YHVH is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8); Yet, He is always doing something new. In Isaiah 43:18-19 YHVH says; “Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by; I am doing something new; it’s springing up — can’t you see it? If we are always looking for what the world calls an “ideal situation” we will be left anxious and confused. ADONAI does not always work in the ideal. ADONAI uses what the world calls “nonsense” to redeem those who trust (I Corinthians 1:21). It is by that trust that we are able to proceed when the situation is not ideal. When we trust and obey the first instruction given by YHVH, then we can be sure that we are in His will regardless of the situation. (Yosef and Mary were far from the ideal situation, yet there situation fulfilled the prophecy about the Messiah.)

If we focus on our being inconvenienced we will miss the Deliverance of Yah.

Our desire for convenience has left us unable to deal with change. This is a great hindrance in our walk with YHVH. YHVH is dynamic; He is always working in ways beyond our “conveniences”. If we are only concerned about our own comfort we will not be in union with Yah. We have to understand that our discomfort is a part of the deliverance; the discomfort it is what we are being delivered from. Yeshua said: “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Yeshua understands that we are struggling that’s why He is bringing rest. Rest coincides with freedom; convenience coincides with bondage. If we are only seeking convenience, we will never enter into freedom. (Yosef and Mary’s did not let their inconvenience darken the birth of Yeshua.)

Portion 30- Mark 7:1-23, 12:28-34

Submitted by: Elder D. Acoff

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 19:1-20:27, Ezekiel 20:2-20, & Psalms 15

This passage gives us a glimpse of a battlefield where the conformation of the world is attempting to come up against the Transformation of G-D: our hearts and minds.

Every day we must actively choose whom we will believe: The One Whose Word Is Truth or the ones whose words are vain. In the hour that he was faced with the decision to conform or be transformed, Pilate asked The Savior this question: What is truth? (Jn 18.38) and in this hour we need to have the answer:

Truth – Strong’s H571; G225 – is unchangeable, cannot be manipulated, faithful, sure, reliable and permanent; The Truth is security, justice and, sincerity; The Truth supports, upholds, nourishes, establishes, and carries us; making us certain and rendering us firm. Truth is consistent in any matter under consideration. It is absolute, objective, real, factual, certain and timeless; The Truth is every eternal word that has proceeded from the mouth of G-D.

The Word of G-D Is Truth; by it we are sanctified and through it we learn of the love of The Father(Jn 17.14-26). There is no other fount of Truth. No other source can be regarded so highly. Anything that man attempts to equate with or use to supersede the Living Word (Heb 4.12) is vain.

When something is Vain – Strong’s H7723 – it is empty, false, useless, worthless; destructive; full of guile, subtle, treacherous and insidious cunning to attain a goal; idolatry, subjective; intentionally misleading or concealing.

According to the scriptures the traditions of men are vain. What The L-RD would have us to hear and understand is this: When we begin to believe that we know what is pure and what is defiled and our “knowledge” differs in any way from what the scriptures reveal then our hearts are erroneously lifted up, we have opened the gates wide to idolatry and we have turned aside from G-D.

When we have our own ideas of Who G-D is we are unclean and we will do nothing to rid ourselves of our uncleanness because we are blind and cannot see where our heart state is leading us.

When our hearts are elevated in haughtiness, because we meet our own standards and develop our own exemptions while simultaneously making a diligent search for the tiniest blemish to disqualify our brother, we are far away from Truth (there is only one standard and it is G-D’s and His is the same for all and without exemptions).

IT IS THE HIGH PRIEST THAT DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN CLEAN AND UNCLEAN. Since the high priests of the temple were representing the Authority of Yeshua HaMaschiach, we must surrender ourselves to Him for His scrutiny or risk being found wanting (Mt 7.15-27, 1Chr 28.9).

Loving The L-RD begins not when we think we are doing everything right, but when we acknowledge that He is right in all of His ways (Deut 32.4, Prov 3.5, Ps 25, Ps 86.11). The instructions of G-D wash us and prepare us for an eternity in His Presence amongst the brethren. 1 Cor 2.14 reveals that in our own minds we can never grasp the purpose or value of G-D’s perfect precepts.

In order that we no longer hinder the living and active Word of G-D, we must flee from idolatrous traditions, dissembling fault finding missions and subjectivism. Let us return to The L-RD, obey Him and trust that He will complete His perfect work in our hearts (Heb 12.2, Jn 15.3, 1Cor 6.11).

Three Summary Points

*Truth is with G-D alone; all else is vanity Rom 3:4

*Idolatry opens the door to defilement and haughtiness to separation from G-D Ps 106.39, 138.6.

*Only YAH can cleanse us from within, we contribute nothing Heb 9.14.

Glossary:

Treacherous: Guilty of or characterized by betrayal of confidence or trust, unforeseen or hidden hazards, instability and or danger; perfidious – deliberately faithless, deceitful, tending to betray

Subjective: Dependent on or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world; Based on a given person’s experience, understanding, prejudices, and feelings (emotions); believing that a subject exists only as perceived; placing excessive emphasis on one’s own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; relating to or of the nature of an object as it is known in one’s  mind (“my god”; idol); taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias; of a mental act performed entirely within the mind

Subjectivism: The doctrine that all knowledge is restricted to the conscious self and its sensory states; holding that the only valid standard of judgment is that of the individual. In other words it is the belief that individual conscience is the only appropriate standard for moral judgment.

Objective: undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on evidence; proven; Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real; Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices; existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions

Haughty H1363,61: exaltation, pride, arrogance, elevation; to lift up the heart

Tradition G3862,60: verbal or written opinions that are believed to illustrate and expand the written law and thus were to be obey with equal reverence; to deliver up treacherously by betrayal to cause one to be taken; to deliver one to be taught, molded.

Tradition is any “law” or “standard” or “rule” or “code” that we live by that is given equal or more honor and reverence (i.e. held with higher regard, clung to with greater fervency, believed above) than The Word of G-D while simultaneously separating the observer from the truth of The Word.

Dismantling tradition – that which has been exalted above the Word of G-D – is never accomplished without warfare; the kind that hurls personal attacks (propaganda that distracts from the real issue at hand – truth & G-D’s will)

Fault G3201; H3972, 71: to blame; a speck or point; blemish, spot, defect; moral stain Mt 11.6, Mt 13.57, Jn 16.1

Dissembler (-ing): To disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance; person who is inwardly evil but outwardly professes to be virtuous; hypocrite

Hypocrite H2611, 10; G5273, 71: godless, profane, irreligious, impious, soiled with sin, polluted, corrupt, unclean, a gentile, one who has turned aside from the true religion AS WELL AS ONE WHO TURNS OTHERS ASIDE BY POLLUTING AND CORRUPTING THEM (Is 24.5); one who answers, an interpreter; an actor or stage player under an assumed character; a dissembler, pretender

G-D’S LAW IS ETERNAL AND SPIRIT. IT CAN NOT BE GRABBED UP AND PUT AWAY ANY MORE THAN ONE CAN TAKE HOLD OF THE WIND. Jn 1.5, 3.8, Job 38-41, Ex 20, 1Cor 6.9-11

Portion 29 – Galatians 3:10-14

Submitted by: Elder J. Smith

Related Scriptures: John 5:36-44, Ezekiel 22:1-19, & Psalms 40:5-10

Redemption is from YHVH alone; His will, His work, and for His pleasure.  There is no work or activity that we provide in this miracle of salvation.  Our participation is to submit to YHVH’s great authority, and through faith, receive the great gift of atonement through the blood of Yeshua (Ephesians 2:8-10).  We cannot please Elohiym without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and we cannot know the Father’s will without the Holy Spirit purifying our character (Romans 12:1-3) through that same faith in Yeshua, our Lord and Savior.  Even our obedience is the response of faith and trust.  So, we can’t take any credit for the salvation given by the G-dhead.  If we move into thinking that our human effort contributes to or is responsible for our salvation or righteousness, then we have now set our trust in legalism. 

Legalism is the adherence to the letter of the law with no regard for the Spirit underlying the law.  However, this is deception because it is selective and partial on what to observe while neglectful of being fully obedient and honoring to what is written entirely in the word of G-d (Habakkuk 2:4).  When unbelief and sin is not addressed, the soul becomes a breeding ground for legalism.  Even though it appears righteous on the surface, legalism is denial and rejection of the G-dhead.  It denies that salvation is possible only by the Father.  It attempts to nullify the need for atonement by the Messiah by appearing already righteous and denies the Holy Spirit by acting as if faithfulness is due to human power or will. 

We see an example of this with the Rich Young Man (Mark 10:13-27 and Matthew 19:13-26).  Legalism attempts to put a wall in between the Father and any who desire a relationship of trust and faithfulness with Him.  Those who live by faith are the heritage of Avraham.  Those who trust in legalism are actually Gentile and pagan, even if they are physically born of Israel (1 Samuel 17:26 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).  But what great comfort we have in knowing that our Father, the Eternal Living One, cares so much for His children; that His desire has always been to bring forth daughters and sons, not just servants or workers.

Three Summary Points

Redemption is from YHVH alone; His will and His work.

Legalism is denial and rejection of the G-dhead.

YHVH desires daughters and sons, not just servants.

Portion 27- Mark 1:40-45

Submitted by: Minister M. Smith

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 12:1-13:59 & 2 Kings 4:42-5:19

We have a great lesson of Yeshua’s compassion in these scriptures.  Move by pity Yeshua heals this man from the torment of his physical condition. It is not because of the man’s faith that Yeshua heals him; it is to show mercy. When Yeshua stated that He was willing to heal this man, He was talking about the complete condition, physical and spiritual.  The physical part was done by Yeshua; the spiritual part was to be done by following of the instruction. Sadly, this man failed to grasp the complete healing. 

Yeshua wants to cure our sinful behavior not just our disease. 

Disease is the indicator that something is wrong.  It is the physical evidence that we need the LORD’s intervention, not just for our physical well-being, but for spiritual wholeness. As Believers, when we cry out for healing we must understand that we are in need of a complete healing that will involve a change in our behavior and actions.  The instructions that Yeshua gave to this man were to heal the underlying spiritual condition of an uncontrolled tongue.  Since he disobeyed Yeshua’s instruction his healing was incomplete; the underlying condition was still alive and active. Our sinful habits can be so hidden from us that we desperately need the examination of the Great Cohen Yeshua.  This will require us to cry out and willingly obey Yeshua’s complete instructions.  It is only then that we can be healed of our diseases and declared clean.

The goal of individual healing is to bring unity to the body of Yeshua. 

This man’s healing was intended to bring him back into fellowship so that the Body would be complete.       1Corinthians 12:27 says: “Now you together constitute the body of Messiah, and individually you are parts of it.”    Each one of us has a gifting that is needed for the unity of the Body.  When we are sick and diseased the Body of Yeshua also suffers.  However, when we are restored, our presence among the brethren testifies of G-d’s faithfulness and it builds all of our faith.  It allows us to walk in unity as we witness the miraculous healing power of the LORD together.  If we are only focused on our individual healing then we deprive ourselves and others of a greater blessing, the restoration of the Body of Yeshua.

Our personal testimony without obedience limits Yeshua’s movement among us. 

Yeshua said “instead as a testimony to the people, go and let the cohen examine you.”  The testimony was to come out of obedience, not lip service.  Too often we want to tell of how we have been healed, yet we neglect to obey the word of the LORD.  A testimony without obedience has its root in selfish-ambition. This type of false testimony draws the attention of those whose desires are also self-centered. James 3:16 says: “where there are jealousy and selfish-ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice.”  When disharmony and foul practice abide, Yeshua is unable to move freely.  This is why it is imperative that we are mindful of our actions. Our obedience to Yeshua speaks louder than our words.

Portion 25 – 1 Corinthians 10:14-23

Submitted by: Brother Paul Wells

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 6-8:36 & Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22,24

The first commandment YHVH gave to Moshe and the children of Israel was “You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them.” Idolatry is simply putting our desires, our wants and needs above G-d. These desires start in the heart of man, our wants and needs, our pride, our career, our home, our car, our family, our friends, our entertainment personality and our life.  Idolatry produce a whole host of problems, for instance it breeds disobediences and a compromising spirit. The Bible give a number of examples of the destructive and deceiving spirits of idolatry, the disobediences come first by not heeding warnings of the L-rd, when He commanded a number of times in the Torah and through His prophets the dangers of worshipping and obeying things other than G-d, it ensnares and drives a wedge between G-d and man this is the method and aim of the adversary. It creates an adulterous relationship.  Then this compromising  spirit enters in an example of this is the history of the Kings of Israel and Judah, when some of these Kings done what was right in the L-rd’s eyes but did not take down the high place that were being worshipped to these idols. This compromise is evident to today by the world saying everything is permitted, but for us followers of Yeshua its not, we can’t be those who partake commune as one unified community and have disunity and disobedience  in everything else, we can’t mix new age church babble with the Word of G-d, we can’t be prideful in our material and worldly accomplishments and try to act as if were humble, or are we seeking approval from the world and its sinful way to be adored and also claiming to be Disciple of Christ. What Paul was saying we can’t have it both ways and are we really trying to make the L-rd jealous and ourselves unfit bride.  Yeshua said, No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first.

How do we avoid and rid ourselves of idolatry?

1) We must love and worship G-d with all of our heart, all our being and all our resources. To obey His mizvot, commandments and rulings.

2) Repent when we have allowed our pride to take us away from G-d.

3) To know we are to be a single-hearted and spotless bride, we are to be set apart as a people of G-d.

4) To have the Holy Spirit direct and constantly remind us that idolatry is death and judgment and YHVH is life.

5) Pray ,learn and cling to the Word of G-d, so we may receive wisdom, knowledge and understanding to not make the same mistakes of our past of being idolatrous.

6) 1John 5. 19-2119 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment, so that we may know who is genuine; moreover, we are united with the One who is genuine, united with his Son Yeshua the Messiah. He is the genuine God and eternal life.

21 Children, guard yourselves against false gods!

Portion 24 – Romans 8:1-13

Submitted by: Minister Monica Smith

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 1-5:26(27) & Isaiah 43:21-44:23

Salvation and devotion to Adonai are required to walk in the Spirit.  Many of us understand that upon Salvation we are indwelled with the Spirit, but few of us realize that it is by devotion to Adonai that we walk by the spirit.  To walk by the Spirit is the intentional offering of our devotion to the Lord as we surrender our lives to Him.  It is a willingness to forget the things of the world and devote our attention to serving the Lord in Spirit and in Truth.  Walking by the Spirit does not come by association, but by committing ourselves every day to the Spirit of G-d.  It is a deliberate action that results in being united with the Father on a daily basis.  Yeshua offered Himself for our Salvation; in thanksgiving we must offer our devotion.

We have been given a new identity in Yeshua.  Our every thought and action must hinge on this truth.   The Lord has made us a new creation; old things are passed away and all things are new (2 Cor.5:17).  If we are not firm in this truth we will be subject to torment. When we recognize the old nature trying to rise we have to make a choice to agree with the Spirit that we have been given new nature and walk accordingly.  This will require persistence and perseverance.  It will teach us to be more sensitive to the Spirit and careful of our behavior as we continue to walk by the Spirit.

The old nature cannot torment us when we understand that we are no longer condemned.  All of our sins have been covered by Yeshua’s blood; therefore we are no longer condemned.  When the Lord exposes our sin we can be sure it is not to condemn us, but to reveal areas in our lives where our devotion to Him is being hindered. The Lord will to search out every area of our lives that gets in the way of our being faithful to Him.  We do not have to give in to guilt or shame, but repent and continue in our devotion to the Lord.  Our willingness to honestly examine ourselves shows that we are maturing in regards to ADONAI’s love.   We demonstrate that love has achieved its goal by setting us free from the fear of condemnation.

Three Summary Points

Salvation and devotion to Adonai are required to walk in the Spirit.

We have been given a new identity in Yeshua.  Our every thought and action must hinge on this truth.

The old nature cannot torment us when we understand that we are no longer condemned.