MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

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Remove the Blinders - Study the Bible!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Red Letter Words - Are They New??


Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch (1877)

If we take a step back, look and listen carefully to the gospels and the record in the book of Acts, we might take note that these accounts only record an estimated 50 days of Jesus' life.

Most often the accounts are scarce snippets of information with the exception of a few days about the man whose real name is Yeshua.

Yet, the words written and spoken about Him over the past 1,900 years are impossible to count as are His deeds: 

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25

Many today do not see His teaching as He did despite all the words written and spoken about the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, the red letter truth is in plain sight if we will just open the Bible and take off our Greco-Roman sunshades with an open heart. 

Being unfamiliar with the foundation of Yeshua's words can make them seem new. The red letter reality of His voice is rooted in an unwavering commitment to the voice and words of righteousness of our Heavenly Abba Father written by Moses and the Prophets.   

If you are brave enough to stop and listen to His voice, the stark reality is that Yeshua did not say anything about a new religion, we know because He said so. If you'll open you heart you will see that, especially if a relationship with Yeshua of Nazareth is your goal. 

So, what did He actually say?

In my scriptures studies, I've learned that Rabbi Yeshua taught with authority to the crowds in Galilee that gathered to hear Him. They were amazed:

"And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority." Luke 4:31-32 NASB 

What authority were they amazed by, what were they thinking?

Yeshua's red letter authority is infused with truth from the Hebrew Scriptures (aka the Tanach) the written record of God's voice. How do we know? He said so Himself:

“My teaching is not My own,” Jesus replied. “It comes from Him who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether My teaching is from God or whether I speak on My own. He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is a man of truth; in Him there is no falsehood." John 7: 16-19

His red letter words repeat God's words, so its time for you to do something about that.

Yeshua filled them with meaning in everything He did while focusing 100% on the life giving importance of upholding the truth and spirit of the Father's voice for life in the Kingdom of God. 

That's why Yeshua gave anyone that added to or took away from the written words that declare the Father's voice so many challenges about tradition. 

Don't forget, in the wilderness, people did not want to hear what the God of Israel really had to say at Mount Sinai, do you? The earth was physically reacting to God's presence with lightning bolts, thunder, fire, smoke and shaking. Everyone but Moses was frightened to the core because they could see, hear and feel that they were encountering holiness at that mountain. 

Your may find that His not so new words will shock your traditional thinking. It's time to wake up. That requires that you do something, the reason, faith without action is not faith.

Most anyone that holds religious tradition above God's Word had and has a problem with Yeshua, whether they know it or not. Those that argued with Yeshua were blinded by doctrine's tradition, isn't that still a problem if we believe that what He said is something new?

It's time to do something and examine the tradition of a new doctrine that Yeshua never knew. 

Do some of us have the same problem with Yeshua that the Pharisees did and not know it? 

I must ask that because at the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua declared to everyone He did not come to do away with one jot or tittle of God's righteous voice recorded by Moses, the Prophets or the Writings and that little understood fact is front and center in all of His red letter teaching. 

The hidden truth of the red letter words of that sermon is that they should turn us all back to the Bible in repentance. That's the action plan of return God expects of us.

After all, return is what repentance is about, it's about getting in the game, but it's not a new ballgame. 

This sermon fulfills the voice of the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd Stone of Israel, the Lion of the tribe of Judah that was promised in the blessing that Jacob gave to Joseph.

The life messages delivered that day were like the others Yeshua gave to the crowds that followed Him, and believe it or not, Yeshua's words to the multitudes always focused on the Kingdom of God, not the cross. 

That was for another day after the call for repentance to prepare for the Kingdom. That Passover day was a great day fulfilling God's purpose too. It is the life offering action required to undo the curse Adam and Eve brought on themselves, their descendants and all of us by fulfilling the Passover lamb of God offering promised by Abraham to Issac with a redemption covering for the entire world.

I pray you keep reading on to see and hear the sermon's healing words, but there not here to just read, you have to make a choice and do something about your choice. That's the reason Yeshua always healed people, he did something in faith so that they would know who He is.

Everything Yeshua said and did upholds the written Word of God, that's our responsibility too as a disciple witness for Him. Hear say and do.

During His walk across the promised land of the Bible, Yeshua used Biblical lessons and examples of everyday parables while calling everyone to do something. That was and is repentance and the Kingdom of God. That fact is woven in the sermon and the 50 days that describe day to day accounts of action in His tour across Israel. 

Like Moses at the Red Sea, Yeshua entered His ministry of teaching and instruction with a mikveh. When Yeshua was at the Jordan River, before the immersion, despite His cousin John's objection, He told John the son of the Levite Zechariah something very important:

"Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness."

Those words "for us" connect that immersion to the righteous requirement for two witnesses found in God's Word with the goal is to fulfill righteousness.

When we open the Bible, the righteous Word of God begins with the Genesis creation account and there we catch a brief glimpse of life in the Kingdom as it was intended, without sin. Yet, when we barely unroll the Torah scroll, we see the deceiver arrive on the scene with a lie. 

That lie basically says, don't believe and follow what God says, He didn't mean it, just do your own thing, eat and be merry, because you too can be like Almighty God Elohim.

The startling thing is that among the first of His red letter words ever recorded before the sermon, Yeshua says just the opposite as He quotes Moses directly from Deuteronomy 8:3 as Yeshua addressed that deceiver's lie with Moses words direct from the written Torah:

"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"

Next, Yeshua then points toward another account that zeroes in on king Ahaz during Isaiah's day and the Immanuel prophecy given to Ahaz that's found in Isaiah 7:10-16: "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.'"

Here's the thing about king Ahaz, he tried to bribe the king of Assyria by giving away Temple treasures. He even built an altar to honor himself and replaced the Temple's altar with it. He also moved the bronze laver Solomon had made. Finally, Ahaz removed the Sabbath pavilion which was built in the House of the Lord to suit himself.

So far, Yeshua has nothing new in the red letters to say. His words are all firmly rooted in the Hebrew Bible. 

Believe it or not, haSatan responded with another lie! Yeshua's answer was the one Adam and Eve failed to deliver in Eden: "Get behind me, Hasatan! 

Then, Yeshua went straight back to summarize Moses' constant sermon admonitions written in Deuteronomy to both native born and sojourner: For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

No matter the audience, Yeshua's teaching always focused on the Moses' message: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” and the gospel accounts summarize Yeshua's guidance to the first step in this calling:

 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repent is the Hebrew word "shuwb" שׁוּב and it means return, turn around and go back. Almighty God gave this same message to Ezekiel 600 years before Yeshua pointed everyone back to Abba Father's plea across the mountains, plains and valleys of Israel:

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. "Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!" Ezekiel 18:30-32 

Yeshau always taught that the door into the Kingdom of righteousness begins with teshuva repentance, aka a return to the Holy Scriptures. Yeshua taught with parables too, but that was nothing new either. In fact, if you'll take the time to read and study the Lord God's voice recorded in Ezekiel 18, you'll find the chapter is Abba Father's personal refute to a misguided parable.

When we open the so-called new testament account of Yeshua's yeshiva time with His disciples that begins with Matthew, it is critically important to see that the first page is not new at all either. It begins with a flash-back to the books of Chronicles and the family tree that starts with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

When we turn the page in Matthew, we are given the 1 Samuel connection to Bethlehem, the shepherd king David's hometown in the land allotted to Judah, and we even see another survival trip to Egypt like Joseph's in Genesis 37. 

Matthew describes Yeshua's escape from Herod's death death in Egypt as a infant. It mirrors young Moses who also escaped Pharaoh's death sentence in Egypt when he ordered all Hebrew infant boys to be drowned. 

Not only that, if we pay attention we can't miss the tie to the Exodus 24:18 with Moses' ascent at Mount Sinai with the Sermon on The Mount climb described in Matthew 5:1 before the crowds.

Background stories are critical to the framework foundation of truth. 

We must also see that Yeshua's Sermon on the Mount teaching incredibly lays out a prophetic fulfillment of the words written by Moses that are promised by the Father in Deuteronomy 18:15-19:

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’

And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 

And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him."

God's own voice tells us all that the words to be spoken by "the Prophet" will be The Father's words. 

That's critically important to understand when we return to the red letter sermon with repentance in mind with a humble heart.

Before we get to the sermon, do you remember the murder of children in Matthew's account? It ties to Rachel's weeping in Ramah described by Jeremiah years after her death. It also connects the death of the children in Moses' day to the baby boys murdered by Herod in Bethlehem. Rachel's tears are important. By the way, Rachel died and was buried in Bethlehem.

King Herod is known in history books as "Herod the Great." He wasn't so great. 

Matthew's account as well as those from historian Flavius Josephus and the Talmud all describe Herod as a ruthless barbaric king. 

True, years after Mark Anthony ordered him to capture Jerusalem, he greatly expanded Solomon’s Temple. He did that for his own benefit, and in doing so, sadly he created a ruling religious class in Jerusalem that was loyal to Herod the king. The reality is that Herod was just like king Ahaz as was his son Herod Antipas. King Herod built the Masada fortress palace for himself, it would later become not only his own grave, but the Roman death trap for many thousands of Jews and Masada marks the end of the beginning of their 1,800+ year exile from Israel with a horrific last stand that ended in suicide bt the Dead Sea. 

It's absolutely mind bending to consider, but the amazing thing is that another unimaginable massacre by Hitler and his madmen during the Holocaust would mark the return of the Jewish people to Israel. Only the providence of Almighty God Elohim could make that happen in 1948, so it's high time to hit your delete button, pray, fast and repent of any attitude you may have from an old sermon about a new replacment religion.

When we look back to king Herod, the record shows that he was an Edomite, an Idumean born around 74BC. An Idumean is the the Greek Hellenized name for an Edomite, the descendants of Esau. Don't forget, the Edomites were ancient enemies of the Jewish people. In fact, they were among the recruits that helped Nebuchadnezzar destroy Jerusalem. Believe it or not, in the 1st century, they were recruited again to serve Titus among the Roman Legions with the same result: destruction and desolation. 

History reveals that fact, the "Legions" of Titus were a remnant of the ancient enemies of Israel. 

What you many not know is that the Legions included recruits of local warrior tribesmen, descendants of Ishmael, Esau and the Philistines all drafted by the Romans from the native peoples of the Middle East that surrounded Judea and Samaria before 70 AD. They were descendants of many of the same people groups that Joshua was told to drive out of the Promised Land.

Titus promised them Roman citizenship and he used them to attack Jerusalem and destroy Herod's temple and slaughter innocent Jewish men, women and children. Those native people groups returned again in 1948 to attack again and they lost. They fought again in 1967, and they lost again in the Six Day War. The reason, God keeps His promises.

Herod has a dark connection to Haman. This is critical to the bigger story because his son Herod Antipas was the 1st-century Roman tetrarch of the districts of Galilee and Perea. They were client states invaded by the Roman Empire and Antipas played a key role in his father's 30 year old massacre order in Bethlehem.  During Yeshua's day, the two brothers of Herod Antipas ruled other districts. Archelaus ruled Judea, Idumea (Edom) and Samaria, Philip ruled the largest area being today's so-called Golan Heights), southern Syria and a large area in today's Jordan. His sister Salome, named after her grandmother ruled three cities along the Mediterranean coastline. 

It was Herod Antipas that ruled the Galilee, he is the man that beheaded John the Baptist. He's the one that sent Yeshua back to Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea for sentencing. 

Pilate was the first Roman in charge to hear the accusations of blasphemy, but he handed Yeshua over to Antipas who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. Herod in turn sent Him back to Pilate's court much like his father sent his foot soldiers to murder the innocents in Bethlehem. Pilate then carried out the Roman order of execution by crucifixion and in contempt, he had a sign nailed above Yeshua's head at the crucifixion stake that read King of the Jews. There's a story behind that sign written written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. (John 19:20).

The death sentence did not end at Passover for Herod Antipas. Some 15 years later c. 45 AD, Antipas "killed James the brother of John with the sword" (Acts 12:2) and he put Peter in prison. Shortly after that his life ended "immediately [when] the angel of the Lord smote him... (Acts 12:23) when he gave a speech that those around him blasphemed and shouted: "saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man." Acts 12:22.

Herod the Great influenced his son's crimes and ultimate death. He murdered potential rivals to his power, Herod even killed two of his own sons. Their names were Alexander and Aristobolus. They were the brothers of Herod Antipas. Herod killed them because he believed that they were plotting to take his king's throne. Herod the so-called Great also murdered his wife Miriam, and her mother Salome under the same accusation.

Now you can see why Herod the Great declared the child death sentence and murder of the innocents in Bethlehem as he sought to kill the infant Yeshua, again to protect his throne because he'd heard of Micah 5:2 from the "wise men" that told Herod they were looking for the "King of the Jews." They told Herod about Micah's prophecy which reads:

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

The history you need to know is that Herod the Great had been appointed "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate. Josephus writes in his book, "The Wars of the Jews" that Mark Antony "then resolved to get him made king of the Jews…told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign".

After Herod the Great's death thought to be between somewhere 4 BC-1 BC, Matthew's background story describes Yeshua's return from Egypt to the promised land of Israel and Nazareth in fulfillment of Hosea 11:1. 

When Yeshua began His ministry around age 30, John's gospel give us something critical as it notes Philip tie to the promised "Prophet" like Moses declared by Almighty God from the plains of Moab. The “prophet” has no message of his own; he speaks only the message of God. 

For the tie to the prophecies Philip knew read Genesis 3:15, Genesis 12:7, 2 Samuel 7:12-17, Jeremiah 26:2, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 52:13, Zechariah 9:9, Daniel 7:13-14 and Daniel 9:25-26 and you'd see that's exactly why Yeshua told everyone what he spoke in the red letter sermon and why he later said this about Deuteronomy 18:15-19: "If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me." (John 5:46).

"Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Torah and also the prophets wrote, Yeshua of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45

Phillip (actually Pinchas) was saying, we have found the promised Moshiach, the promised anointed one. 

He knew Yeshua never intended to start a new religion, had he done so He would be a false prophet. Like all prophets, Yeshua was rejected, do you reject Him with a new replacement theology? 

Yeshua's first rejection was in Nazareth, don't let His next be in your hometown, He might move on.  When rejected in Nazareth, He moved to the upper Galilee in fulfillment of Isaiah. 

Did you know the Galilee district was known as the “Galilee of the nations”?  Isaiah 9:1 writes:

"...but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan.” 

In addition, 1 Chronicles mentions the same area, as does Joshua. 1 Kings describes it as land gifted from Solomon to Tyre's King Hiram and Isaiah's prophecy fulfillment is noted in Matthew 4:13-16: “when Jesus ministered in Capernaum near the major highway from Egypt to Damascus, called ‘the Way of the Sea.”

Keeping repentance and the Kingdom of God in mind, we must take note, the Galilee district was a big part of the former Northern Kingdom of the ten lost tribes of Israel that had been missing since the Assyrian conquest some 750 years earlier. 

When we remember the lost tribes, we have to consider what Yeshua said in that very area: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Phillip's son of Joseph description to Nathanael noted in John 1:45 has a mystery connection to Joseph in Egypt. Joseph's sons were Ephraim and Manasseh and their mother was an Egyptian princess. Her father was a pagan priest so they were adopted by Jacob at the end of his life. 

Before that Genesis account, we see Jacob's seventeen year old Joseph telling his family about his dream. Later, a man found him wandering in the fields near Shechem, and the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” Joseph's reply: “I am seeking my brothers...” The man told him, “They have gone away."

The lost sheep story is a big one and it is woven throughout the Bible with a promise that is still unfinished because it requires a second trip to fulfill the lost sheep restoration of brothers promised in the Scriptures. 

The disciples asked Yeshua about the Kingdom restoration in Acts 1:6-8:

"Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

For now, did you know that long before Herod Antipas ever ruled, a big part of the Northeast Galilee district was deeded to Manasseh? 

That's a part of the Joseph connection. 

The center point of commerce in the district was the Sea of Galilee and there were many trade fishermen in the area, Yeshua called on a few of them to join Him on His journey with the others that He called to the way:

"Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men."

They left their boats and nets and followed the Master Rabbi (teacher) from Nazareth. They became known as His talmidim (disciples). There were several key students at the Sermon on the Mount, likely including Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and perhaps Judas Iscariot. 

The talmidim followed the man they called Rabbi to a mountain in the Galilee where Yeshua ascended up so the large crowd could hear as He laid out His red letter teaching of righteousness we now call the Sermon on the Mount. Take note, Moses chose 12 spies to explore Canaan, only two were faithful and Yeshua chose 12 disciples, in the end all but one repented of their lack of faith.

What you may have not realized is that the foundation of that sermon in Galilee echos back to Mount Sinai. If you stay for awhile on the mountain you'll see that was nothing new for Yeshua. 

Matthew's account goes into much detail about this particular day and in great precision, the gospel writer replays that mountain side sermon. Matthew, the tax collector may have been there, but he was called after that, so the other disciples may have filled Him in on what they heard. Perhaps, they wrote the words down because there are no short snippets found in the three chapters (Matthew 5-7). 

It's time for a baptism in the living water of God's eternal, unchanging Word given on the mountain. To borrow Yeshua's words at the Jordan: "for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness."

Before His mountain top sermon, Matthew 4:23 tell us: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people."

That healing was not new or unexpected, it fulfilled the promise of Isaiah 35:5-6: 

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

​​And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

​Then the lame shall leap like a deer,

​​And the tongue of the dumb sing."

On the mountain that day somewhere in Galilee, Yeshua explained that the blessings of Heaven above are promised in the Torah. As already noted, we might see the message delivered links to Joseph's blessing given by his father Jacob that was tied up in the bounties of the everlasting hills noted in Genesis 59. 

Jacob's blessing declares: 

"May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers."

There are nine blessings recorded by Matthew and that number is no accident, everything is important. Nine (9) symbolizes divine completeness.  You may have missed it before now, but years later, Paul the Jew from Tarsus wrote noting new when he summarized these nine blessings noting that they represent the fruits of God's Holy Spirit. 

Paul outlined them as 1) Faithfulness, 2) Gentleness, 3) Goodness, 4) Joy, 5) Kindness, 6) Long suffering, 7) Love, 8) Peace and 9) Self-control. You can find them in the Galatian letter (Galatians 5:22 - 23).

Back to the big sermon.., it opens with words that point us back straight to Isaiah 61:2. Those words were read by Yeshua in a Nazareth synagogue on the Sabbath (see Luke 4:16-20). Many sermons for the past 1,800 years have said that the words declared on that mountain were new and revolutionary truths for those who heard them. They say the words declared the foundation for a new message. 

Far from any theory born out of the weeds of replacement theology, Matthew writes the opposite, and you can see it if you'll open your heart and the Bible Yeshua taught from:

"And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Yeshua's nine blessings connected the crowd's ears with loud echos from Psalm 1, Psalm 47 and Psalm 145. 

The sermon was not new at all. 

It also zeroes in on Isaiah 61:7 and Psalm 37:11: "But the humble shall inherit the land, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of shalom." It pointed everyone to the ancient words of Psalm 22:25-31 and king David's Psalm 24 too.

The people of Galilee were mostly Jewish at the time, and likely everyone on the mountain side was familiar with Psalm 1. They knew it points in the way of righteous instruction and delight in the Torah of the Lord. 

There on that mountain in Galilee, Yeshua was fulfilling His synagogue reading of Isaiah 61:1 noted by Luke and Yeshua reminded everyone of the menorah's purpose to give light. Without question, it reminded those present of the story of a winter miracle. It's was known as Hanukkah (Hebrew for dedication). 

They knew that in 164 BC, the Macabbees (hammers) defeated Antiochus and the Temple was purified and rededicated. The menorah played a big role in that. That event gave birth to the celebration day when we find Yeshua in Jerusalem and He is asked the BIG question:

“The Festival of Dedication then took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple in Solomon’s portico.” 
“How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Yeshua answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me... John 10:22-25.

The menorah's purpose is to give light, light by what it does. It burns oil and gives light. The menorah is also seen in imagery of Revelation 1. After all, the light (truth) of God's Word is to come from a people whose heart is to glorify The Father through what they do. That's was Yeshua's good works message when He said:

"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Yeshua then set the record straight that many still struggle with. I know, I'm an expert, I once did, I thought my belief alone gave glory to Almighty God, but what we do out of love for Him gives glory to The Father.

The Master Rabbi of the disciples and the multitudes that heard Him came to fill the mitzvot of the Torah up with meaning, to live it out including the blessings for Joseph and the lost, but many have forgotten a part of His sermon thinking He changed His mind and hung the Torah of Almighty God The Father on a cross. Here's what Jesus has to say about that:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not a jot or tittle will pass from the Torah until all is accomplished."

Does Yeshua's voice should shake you awake to this unchanging truth? It should! After all, He reiterated the same message that many faithful rabbi's and scribes had insisted on for thousands of years, that not one stroke of the Torah could ever be altered by a pen. That's why the Bible remains the light to be declared and we can thank the faithfulness of the Jewish people for that. The apostle Paul agrees, read it for yourself:

"For as many as have sinned without Torah will also perish without Torah, and as many as have sinned in the Torah will be judged by the Torah (for not the hearers of the Torah are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the Torah will be justified..." Romans 2:12-13

Yeshua of Nazareth declares another admonition with His singular focus on God's Kingdom constitution Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy 5:1 which says: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb." Yeshua goes on and declares the connection of the Torah to the Kingdom of God:

"Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

Many pass over the next statement in the sermon, But we shouldn't speed read Scripture. The desire of our Heavenly Father is Yeshua's, to keep the covenant words. As Moses said: "listen to the voice of the LORD your God" and do the mitzvot of good deeds written by Moses, not do our own thing and add or take away from them but to do them the best that we can in righteousness so that our lives will bring glory to The Father. 

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Master Rabbi Yeshua's sermon shows that He is the prophet like Moses as He takes the crowd straight to the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17. Yeshua fills the covenant of God with the conscious heart and soul of their meaning by explaining the circumcised heart declared in Deuteronomy 10:16,  Deuteronomy 30:6 and Jeremiah 4:4:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."

He points to the Kingdom importance of making things right with each other. The Kingdom of God is a humble community, an assembly that seeks to walk in God's ways. Yeshua was teaching that the offering described in Deuteronomy 26 is not acceptable if you cannot say that you will walk in the Father's ways and keep His statutes, commandments and judgments, and that you will obey His voice if you have a problem to resolve with others as a holy people set apart remember the LORD your God:

"So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny."

Yeshua quotes Moses verbatim from Deuteronomy 5:18 as He explains the heart and spirit of the big Torah message of Exodus 20:14:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."

Next, Yeshua zeros in on the what Almighty God considers as adultery noting Exodus 20:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18 while explaining the "indecency" of sexualy immorality Moses noted in Deuteronomy 24:1:

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

He then simplifies the simplicity of truth summarizing an old saying that later made it in one form or another into the Talmud. Yeshua is teaching nothing new about making false promises declared in the Ten Commandments from Numbers 30:3, Leviticus 5, Deuteronomy 5:20 and Psalms 48:3. The footstool of 1 Chronicles 28:2 is noted as well from from the words of David:

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil."

Yeshua teaches against the sin of retaliation from Exodus 21 while explaining Leviticus 24:19-20 and Deuteronomy 19:21. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

He expounds that the reason for His teaching against retaliation is lovingkindness. The crowd no doubt is familiar with the "chesed" lovingkindness Almighty God declared to Moses after the sin of the golden calf. The Father did not wipe out Israel although they broke their covenant with Him in sin by the adultery of idolatry. Instead, God saved them, kept His promise and provided the Ten Commandments for Moses to carry down the mountain a second time. The Tanach (Old Testament) never teaches to hate our enemies, Yeshua starts by summarizing a saying that must have been prevalent in His day, He upholds and does abolishes the Torah when he tells us:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?"

Yeshua then does away with the theory for those today that say I am a saved Gentile sinner, but continue to sin thinking all sins are all washed away in grace. Yeshua give the sermon no one hears today as He admonishes us all to walk in righteousness:

"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

He also speaks against self-righteous bragging from Proverbs 16:19 which says: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven."

Yeshua focuses in on caring relationships. He teaches about freewill giving without credit from Proverbs 19:17 and Proverbs 21:26 showing that giving to th needy is part of a private relationship with The Father:

"Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

He expounds on the importance of a personal relationship with Almighty God from Isaiah 26:20:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

For those that say God's Kingdom will only be seen in Heaven think again! 

In Yeshua's demonstration on how to pray, He declares the opposite linking His prayer coaching to the manna of Exodus 16. He starts what we now know as "the Lord's Prayer" with the importance of God's Holy name. Yeshua is teaching straight from Exodus 20:7, Leviticus 19:12, Deuteronomy 5:11, Proverbs 18:10, Micah 4:5, Isaiah 26:13 and other so-called Old Testament Scriptures:

"Pray then like this:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name."

Next, Yeshua points to the Kingdom gospel promise in Zechariah 14:9-17 and Isaiah 65:17:

"Your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven."

Yeshua unveils Deuteronomy 8:2-3 again with a connection to Numbers 14:19, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Daniel 9:19, Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Proverbs 30:8. Those words all point us back to hallowing God's name. After all, asking our Father in Heaven to forgive us hallows His name. He points to deliverance from Psalm 32:6, Psalm 60:11 and Psalm 72:4:

"Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Yeshua's prayer emphasizes forgiveness of others precisely as described in Genesis 50:15-21: "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

He also teaches that fasting is part of the blessing in a personal relationship with The Father:

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Yeshua teaches everyone to lay up treasures in Heaven from the heart with His reference to Isaiah 51:8:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

He presses in on the importance of Psalm 119:105-112 and the riches found in the precepts, testimonies and statutes of God's Word:

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Yeshua then teaches from Isaiah 35:4 and Psalm 80 which ties to the scene on the mountain side: "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!"

His message is don't worry or worry's sake but trust and rely on God as declared in Psalm 47:7:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 

For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Next, Yeshua brings Leviticus 19:15, Psalm 50:4, 1 Chronicles 28:9 and Psalm 145:8-9 front and center into the sermon regarding judging others:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."

Nothing new here, Yeshua then points everyone back to Psalm 22:16, Psalm 68:23 and Isaiah 56:11 saying:

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you."

To be continued...

Shalom ya'll.

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