‏This Week’s Torah Portion | October 08 – October 14, 2017 – 18 Tishrei – 24 Tishrei, 5778

Beresheet (In The Beginning) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

TORAH : GENESIS 1:1-6:8

PROPHETS : ISAIAH 42:5-43:10

GOSPEL : JOHN 1:1-18

From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage.

We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will highlight specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel.

The Haftarah, unless otherwise noted, will be that read in Ashkenazy synagogues around the world.

The NEW CYCLE BEGINS!

This weekend the cycle through the Torah begins anew. This first reading is called Beresheet—“In the Beginning”.

TORAH:

*Genesis 1:1-5.  “In the beginning Elohim (English: God) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then Elohim said, “Let there be light; and there was light. And Elohim saw the light, that it was good; and Elohim divided the light from the darkness. Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

As we open to the first chapter of this divinely–breathed (II Timothy 3:16) book, ELOHIM—GOD is simply there–creating. The SPIRIT of God is there (vs 2).. And as God speaks, His living WORD is there (Vs 3; John 1:1). Elohim is a Hebrew word translated into English God. It is a plural word, which could be translated “gods” or “exalted beings”—yet, when referring to the Hebrew God Who is over all, it is always accompanied with a singular verb.

*Genesis 1:3. “God said: ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light.” The Scriptures do not say that God “created” light (God Himself is light, I John 1:5). Rather, He spoke it forth—“Be light!”—and it was released into His creation! John 1:1-9 speaks of Yeshua as being God’s Word, in whom was life “which is the light for men”.

There are a number of words used for God’s actions during these early “beginnings” chapters: creating (from nothing that is seen, Hebrews 11:3); making; building; fashioning or shaping (out of something already created); working (Interestingly, for bringing into being the “adam” (man) in His image, both the acts of creating and fashioning are used (Genesis 1:2, 2:7)..

*Genesis 1:5. “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Today, in Israel all days for religious observance (such as the Sabbath or feast days) are reckoned from sundown the evening before rather than sunrise.

*Genesis 2:3. “And on the seventh day Elohim ended His creative work which He had done, and He ceased on the seventh day from all His creative work which He had done. Then Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (Hebrew: “made it holy”), because in it He ceased from all His creative work which Elohim had created and made”. It is significant that the first place in Scripture in which we see God making something “holy” or “set apart” is here in relation to the seventh day of the week when He shabbat—“ceased working”.

*Genesis 1:27. “So God created man in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him; masculine and feminine He created them.” “Man” in Hebrew is adam. In Genesis 2:7, we are shown that Elohim formed the adam out of adamah—“earth” (which, in turn, is adomah—“reddish in color”). The modern-day Hebrew term for “human being” is still benei-adam—“son (or child) of adam.” From this passage it is clear that God, although always referred to in the masculine gender, bears, nevertheless, within His nature both the masculine and feminine which is transferred into the nature of those created “in His image”.

By the end of Chapter 3 that image is marred and what had received the breath of life is, because of sin, already dying. In 4:1 the man and woman have begun to reproduce, and realize that their Creator and the One through whom this new life comes has a name, YHVH (Yehovah, “The LORD”). Their sons bring offerings to this YHVH (4:3). Yet it will be many generations before Humankind comes to know and use that Name in a personal and intimate sense (Exodus 3:15b; 6:2-3).

In Genesis 4:8 murder is committed, and Abel, a good man whose sacrifice pleased God, becomes the first man to die. It is notable that Abel’s name in the Hebrew is spelled the same as the Hebrew word for “vapor” or “vanity” (This word both begins and permeates the book of Ecclesiastes which we have been reading during the feast of Succot.). Life is but a vapour which is here and passes away; the lives of Abel the good and that of Cain the wicked are both temporary.

*Genesis 2:24. “Therefore a man (Hebrew: ish) shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his woman (Hebrew: isha), and they shall become one flesh” (NKJV).

Here the Creator lays out clearly right at the beginning and for all time His ordained order for his human creatures’ being joined together in what we call marriage (His Son, the Messiah Yeshua, would corroborate it in Matthew 19:4-6). Attempting to become ‘one flesh’ in any other kind of relationship besides “man and woman” steps outside of this ordained order, and is strictly forbidden for all humankind (Leviticus 18:22-23; 20:13,15; Romans 1:26-27). The holy alternative “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven” is celibacy (Matthew 19:12).

*Genesis 4:26. “And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Ehnosh.”

It was perhaps with an awareness of the death of his brother Abel, as well as of the sin-sickness obviously at work in his eldest brother Cain that Seth chose to name his first son Ehnosh. Ehnosh is often translated into English “man” (Psalm 8:4, “What is man (ehnosh) that You are mindful of him, and the son of man (ben-adam) that you visit him?”). The most-used word for “people” is anashim—a plural of enosh. But at its root, the word more literally means “mortal”. Just as English “mortal” has to do with that within man which dies (“mortuary” is related to that word), so ehnosh has within it a reference to the fallen effect of sin in the children of Adam. Ehnush, a word using the same Hebrew letters, appears in Jeremiah 17:9 where it says that the heart is deceitful above all things and “desperately wicked” (NJKV), “desperately sick” (ESV and NAS), “beyond cure” (NIV).

By Genesis 6 the earth is corrupted through sinful man in conjunction with rebellious angelic beings. “Then YHVH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…So YHVH said, ‘I will destroy the man (Hebrew: the adam) whom I have created from the face of the earth’ (Hebrew: the adamah).

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD!”

(6:5,7a, 8)

To “find grace in the eyes of” is an expression which is still common in Modern Hebrew, meaning “to bring pleasure to.”

PLEASE PRAY: that today, when “as it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37), we are faced with a rapidly rising darkness of evil on the earth, there will also arise, not one, but a multitude of latter-day “Noah’s”—who will bring pleasure to their LORD, who will “walk with God”, who will “find grace in His eyes.” The English translation of a popular Hebrew worship song, written some years ago by an Israeli Messianic teenager reads:

Come Spirit, Come Spirit, Come today

The Desire of my heart is to find grace in your eyes

The desire of my soul is to be more like you

Come God, Dwell within me, Make me pure

Focus my eyes on what pleases You that I may be devoted to You

HAFTARAH:

*Isaiah 42:5-7. “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: ‘I, YHVH, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.’”

*Isaiah 43:1-3b. “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk throu8gh the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

*Isaiah 43:5-7. “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.’”

*Isaiah 43:10. “‘You are my witnesses,’ says the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.’”

[The readings for next week (15-21 October) are called Noach—“Noah”. TORAH: Genesis 6:9—11:32; HAFTARAH: Isaiah 54:1—55:5. Since 21 October is Rosh Hodesh–the beginning of the Eighth Month (Cheshvan), some Synagogues will close with a reading from Isaiah 66:1-24.]

In A Nutshell

Beresheet (In the Beginning) is the first portion in the Torah (Pentateuch). It tells the story of the creation of the world in six days, and the rest on the seventh day. It talks about the creation of the man, his arrival at the Garden of Eden, and the creation of the woman. The portion also narrates the story of the sin of the tree of knowledge, Cain and Abel, the generations from Cain to Lamech, the ten generations from Adam to Noah, the corruption that engulfed their generations, and the renewed hope that emerged with the birth of Noah.

 Commentary

Beresheet contains more stories than any other portion in the Torah. In many ways it is also the deepest of the portions, as it discusses the basis of our being—the creation of the soul.

The common soul was created out of the will to receive delight and pleasure, or simply, “the will to receive.” That will is the soul’s core, and it’s affected by six qualities: HesedGevuraTifferetNetzahHod, and Yesod. These qualities penetrated the substance—the will to receive—and designed it in synchrony with the upper force, the Creator. The reason why man is called Adam is that the word Adam comes from the word Adamah, from the verse, Adameh la Elyon (“I will be like the most high,” Isaiah, 14:14), since he is similar to the Creator, the sublime bestowal, sublime love, to that upper force that gave birth to it.

Adam is the structure of the soul that is equal in form to the Creator and is in Dvekut [adhesion] with Him in the Garden of Eden. A garden means “desire.” The garden is the part of the creature, Adam’s substance—the will to receive. Eden marks the degree of bestowal, degree of Bina. Adam, who is on the degree of Bina, is in the Garden of Eden.

This does not pertain to our world or to the universe we know, but rather to the common soul that the Creator created. From the very beginning, the common soul undergoes a special preparation, the sin, because at its inception it was adhered to the upper force, which means that it had no authority of its own, nothing to its name, or any sense of independent existence. In a sense it is like an embryo in its mother’s womb—on the one hand it exists, on the other hand it is part of its mother, and each of its actions is ruled by its superior.

Such is the structure of the soul. While it is in the Garden of Eden, the place itself does not permit independence. Independence means that a person is beyond someone’s control, a state of being ready to assume self-control. The structure of the soul is the creature, the created being. The word Nivrah (creature) comes from the word Bar (outside). In order to allow the structure of the soul to actually become a creature, it must be taken out, removed from the Creator. Put differently, it must be made opposite from the Creator, and this oppositeness is obtained through the sin.

Explaining the Sin

The soul consists of two forces—Cain and Abel. Abel wants to exist by raising the Hevel (breath/vapor), meaning the Reflected Light, or bestowal. Cain is the opposite, wanting to draw all the pleasures, all the lights, inward, into the soul. Cain—the quality that draws the pleasure, the light to itself and not for the sake of the Creator—draws it until Abel, the desire to bestow, disappears. This act is called “Cain’s killing of Abel.”

The Kli (vessel) of the soul that receives light not for the sake of the Creator shatters into pieces—bits of self-centered desires. Each such desire is an individual soul that becomes enveloped in a wrapping that is similar to a Klipa (shell/peel). During the formation process of the broken souls, additional falls and descents occur along the spiritual degrees to the point where we are here in this world, each of us having a part of the single, common soul that was created.

It is precisely because we are detached from one another by our egos, immersed in the will to receive instead of in the will to bestow, that we now have an opportunity to correct. Because in the past we were already corrected, today we can begin to correct the ruin and sin that took place in the past. Although we aren’t the ones who committed the sin, within us, in our souls, is a preparation for a state that enables us to carry out the correction.

This correction is called “repentance,” constituting a return to precisely the state in which we were in the Garden of Eden. We must hurry and achieve that state because the whole world is already moving toward connection. This process that the world is going through is moving us toward unity, connection, and the perception of ourselves as a single soul. Thus, when we are all in bestowal and mutual love, we will succeed in returning to the structure, the state we maintained prior to the sin.

The Reasons Why Majority Of Jews Rejected Christian Idea Of Jesus


Let’s understand why ― not in order to disparage other religions, but rather to clarify the Jewish position.

Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:
1 Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.
2 Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.
3 Biblical verses “referring” to Jesus are mistranslations.
4 Jewish belief is based on national revelation.
But first, some background: What exactly is the Messiah?
The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

1 Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Specifically, the Bible says he will:
1 Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
2 Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
3 Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
4 Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.
Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.
Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.
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2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah

1 Messiah as Prophet
The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Yad Teshuva 9:2)
Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets ― Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.
1 Descendent of David
Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)
The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father ― and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)
According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
1 Torah Observance
The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”
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3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text ― which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.
1 Virgin Birth
The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

1 Suffering Servant
Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”
In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.
When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

A Jewish Parent Versus Child Relationships


Judaism commands us to respect our mothers and fathers.
As with other human relationships, Jewish parents and their children (both adult and minor) are, in traditional Judaism, bound to each other by a series of commanded responsibilities and sacred practices. Most societies emphasize reverence for parents; post-biblical Judaism appears to have gone further than its contemporaries in mandating that parents provide for their children with very specific preparations for the future. Furthermore, Judaism sees parents and offspring as bound to each other not only for practical or humanistic reasons, but also as a way of honoring God.

Parenting in the Torah

The Torah includes numerous mitzvot regarding parent-child interaction. Fathers must circumcise sons on their eighth day of life (Genesis 17:10-14). Parents may not sacrifice their children, neither to a foreign deity (Leviticus 20:1) nor to God. Incest is strictly forbidden (Leviticus 18:6-7). Parents are responsible for educating their children (Deuteronomy 11:19). First-born sons must be redeemed from the priesthood (Exodus 13:2,13). Insults to parents are subject to grave punishment (Leviticus 20:9).

Honoring parents (kibbud av va’em) is among the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16); the requirement to show them reverence appears in Leviticus (19:1-3). The language of these two commandments provides motivations for their observance. The wording in Exodus (nearly identical in Deuteronomy) states that one who honors parents will lengthen one’s life and continue one’s link to the land of Israel: “Honor your father and your mother so that your days will be lengthened on the land Adonai your God gave to you.” The motivation here is one of a promised reward.

In Leviticus, we find that reverence is part of participating in God’s holy plan: “And Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to all the community of the Children of Israel, and say to them — ‘You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. A man shall revere his mother and his father and observe my Sabbaths; I am Adonai your God.’ ”

These laws generated much discussion among the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud. Much of their wisdom is found in the Talmud ic tractate Kiddushin, surrounding the following teaching:

All the mitzvot of the son [incumbent] upon the father–men are obligated and women are exempt. And all the mitzvot of the father [incumbent] upon the son–both men and women are obligated. (Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7, Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 29a)

The ensuing discussion (continuing in the Talmud until 32a) contains definitions of these two categories, explanations of their gender distinctions (e.g.mothers cannot be obligated to do for sons mitzvot that they are not commanded to do themselves), biblical derivations, stories and role-models regarding performance of the commandments. Fathers are obligated to circumcise, redeem, teach Torah to, acquire a wife for, and teach a craft to sons.

Both sons and daughters must honor mothers and fathers by providing them with food and drink, clothing and covering them, and providing for their mobility. Children show reverence by not standing or sitting in a parent’s place, contradicting his/her words, or opposing a parent in a dispute.

Spiritual Aspects of Parenthood

Along with these practical concerns, we also are provided a deeply spiritual understanding of the bond between child and parent. After connecting biblical verses pertaining to honor of parents and honor of God, the Talmudic sages offer the following statement: “There are three partners in a person–the Holy One of Blessing, one’s father, and one’s mother. The Holy One of Blessing said [to the ones who honor their parents], ‘I rest over them as if I dwelled among them and they honored me.’ ” Parents are seen as partners in God’s creation of each human being; therefore, to honor one’s parents is to honor God. Similarly, to display disregard, disrespect, or violence toward one’s parents is to do so to God.

The place of parent as God’s representative is further emphasized through the mitzvah to teach one’s children Torah — God’s word. Adoptive, step- and foster parents are included in this sacred relationship — “He who brings up a child is to be called its father, not he who gave birth” (Shemot Rabbah 46:5 and elsewhere) — although the mutual legal obligations are not, strictly speaking, identical. Parents offering the traditional Friday night blessing to their children do so as God’s emissaries.

Incredible Bible Verses Match Hebrew Years in Astonishing Prophetic Countdown

“For the Lord GOD will do nothing but He revealeth His counsel unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (The Israel Bible™)

A numeric method of matching Bible verses to Hebrew years has led a prominent rabbi in Jerusalem to the discovery that there is a direct correlation between the two which could pinpoint the deadline for the messiah.

Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students at the Diaspora Yeshiva and a noted lecturer, recently revealed an amazing method of prophecy that can be accessed by simply reading the Bible. Rabbi Sprecher stated that according to Kabbalah, Jewish esoteric learning, every year has a corresponding verse in the Torah. According to Rabbi Sprecher, all that is required to find the verse that describes a particular year, whether it is in the past or the future, is to count verses from the beginning of Genesis until the number of verses equals the Hebrew calendar year.

Rabbi Sprecher explained that this is one of the reasons scribes who write Torah scrolls are called ‘Soferim’, which literally means ‘counters’. Handwriting the sacred scrolls, Torah scribes count the letters and the spaces. With remarkable precision, Rabbi Sprecher noted that there are 304,805 letters in the Torah, 79,847 words, and 5,845 verses. He believes that the year correlating to the final verse in the Bible will signal the End-of-Days, quite literally.

“What that means is that the Moshiach (messiah) must come by the year 5845, since that is the year we run out of verses,” he explained. “All we have to do is hang on for another 68 years.”

The rabbi gave an incredible example of how this system works. World War II began in 1939, which was the Hebrew year 5699. The corresponding 5,699th verse in the Torah is disturbingly appropriate.

And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and a burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein…Deuteronomy 29:22

Rabbi Sprecher warned that the verses do not always reveal the entire truth. He explained that six years later, after World War II ended in 1945, people tried to understand the horrors they had just experienced. The war-torn world searched for the reasons behind the war and the Holocaust.

The secret things belong unto Hashem our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:28

“The Holocaust was too great, too enormous, for man to understand and ascribe a reason,” the rabbi explained.

The rabbi jumped ahead to 1948, the year Israel became a state. The Hebrew year was 5708 and the verse is fitting indeed.

That then Hashem thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither Hashem thy God hath scattered thee. Deuteronomy 30:3

In 1950, Israel was inundated with massive immigration. Over 150,000 Jews made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 24 months, the most intensive period ever of Jews returning to their homeland. The verse clearly reflects this.

And Hashem thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.Deuteronomy 30:5

Another powerful example is the verse that correlates to 1968, the year after Israel’s miraculous victory in the Six Day War. The verse corresponding to the year 5727 describes the aftereffects of the Six Day War in 1967, the reality Israel was presented that year.

Hashem thy God, He will go over before thee; He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them Deuteronomy 31:3

The verse describing to this year, 5777, is ominous indeed, written in language that does not bode well.

For a fire is kindled in My nostril, and burneth unto the depths of the nether-world, and devoureth the earth with her produce, and setteth ablaze the foundations of the mountains. Deuteronomy 32:22

This may describe the moment, in April, when for the first time the US military dropped its largest non-nuclear explosive device on Islamic State (ISIS) troops entrenched in tunnels dug into a mountain in Afghanistan. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the Mother-of-All-Bombs, succeeded in “setting ablaze the foundation of the mountain”, killing all ISIS personnel.

Skeptics of Rabbi Sprecher’s method of understanding the Bible, need only wait a little more time. Whether or not the technique is accurate will become clear on September 30, 2084, when the verses run out.

The Paul Of Tarsus: A False Teacher Or True Apostle?


Rembrandt’s painting of Apostle Paul

Rembrandt’s “Apostle Paul” courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Yahushua knew that when He returned to Heaven, Satan would seek to destroy the fledgling Christian Ekklesia. By ridicule, by force, by deceitfulness, Satan indeed tried to destroy what Yahushua had raised up.

To meet the emergency, Yahuwah “gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of . . . Yahushua. (See Ephesians 4:11, 12.)

The goal of this great gift was so “we [could] all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of . . . [Yah], unto a perfect man. . . that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Ephesians 4:13, 14)
One wind of doctrine that has been growing in strength is the belief that Paul was a false apostle, brought in by the devil to destroy the new Christian faith. Paul’s warning in Acts is applied to him, as an imposter and apostate:

“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29, NKJV)

Various phrases, once in a while a full text, from Paul’s writings are taken out of context and used to support the contention that he was a false apostle, brought in by the devil to wreak havoc on the “flock” of believers.

These phrases, taken primarily from First and Second Corinthians accuse Paul of:

Boasting;

Stealing;

Pride;

Graft;

Cursing;

Speaking NOT on behalf of YHVH;

Using trickery and deceit;

Passing judgment upon others;

Belittling Peter, James and John;

Consulting with Satan;

Holding an exalted opinion of himself;

Injecting his own ideas into Scripture;

Preaching “another” gospel;

Giving faulty marriage counsel;

Telling husbands to start living the single life again;

Dictating “proper” hairstyles for men;

Judging hungry, growling stomachs.

These scattered texts and partial phrases are taken out of context and used as “proof” that Paul himself was one of the ravening wolves he warned against. Taking verses out of context should always raise warning flags in every mind.

Such claims do not regard the context of the surrounding verses; they do not consider the environment in which Paul was raised nor the culture for which he was writing. 

The style of Paul’s writing is consistent with the literary style of the first century A.D. He used a “point-and-counter-point” style of reasoning that was commonly used by the Israelite scholars of his day.

Rejecting the writings of Paul typically does not end with cutting his epistles from the Bible, which account for 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament. Consistency demands that if Paul is a false apostle whose books should be removed from the Bible, then the two books written by his co-laborer, Luke, must also be rejected because Luke clearly supports Paul as an apostle commissioned for Gospel work by Yahushua.

But it does not stop there. If Paul were a deceiver whose writings must be rejected, then the authority of the other apostles is also called into question because the leading apostles, Peter, James and John, accepted Paul’s apostleship:

“. . . when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.” (Galatians 2:9)

The James who extended the “right hand of fellowship” to Paul, was not James, the brother of John, for he had already been martyred by that point. This James was the highly respected step-brother of Yahushua and author of the New Testament book of James. 

If Paul were a false teacher, then the trustworthiness of those who extended to him the right hand of fellowship, must also be questioned. The result is that eight more books of the remaining 11 books of the New Testament must be laid aside. These are:

The Gospel of John

First Peter

Second Peter

James

First John

Second John

Third John

The Revelation

The only books remaining in the New Testament then would be Matthew, Mark and Jude. Nor are these unassailable. 

The gospels of Matthew and Mark support Peter and John as men commissioned by Yahuwah. But if Peter and John are untrustworthy for accepting Paul as one of them, then the judgment of Matthew and Mark is questionable for accepting Peter and John. The only book left in the New Testament is the single-chapter book of Jude.


list of books that must be dismissed if one rejects the inspiration of Paul 

The real danger in setting aside the writings of Paul, however, is found in the motivation prompting such charges against this most prolific of the New Testament writers.

The whole Hebrew economy revealed the plan of salvation in type and symbol. This was why, when Yahushua wanted to explain His mission the evening after His resurrection, “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27)

Paul was raised and educated as a Pharisee. He was a member of the Sanhedrin. Israelite tradition demanded that any prospective member of the Sanhedrin have the Torah, the five books of Moses, entirely memorized by age 12.

Paul’s education as a Pharisee made him very well-acquainted with the Law as well as what part was merely the traditions of men. This made him an extremely capable teacher of the gospel, rightly dividing between Truth and Tradition.

Paul’s denouncement of the rite of circumcision has led some to reject his writings as a Law-breaker. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul upheld the divine Law as “holy and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Romans 7:12)

Circumcision is one of the statutes. Paul did not argue against circumcision as a statute. He simply clarified that it would not somehow earn one salvation.

The entire thrust of Paul’s ministry was righteousness by faith. Clearly understanding that salvation is by grace alone, through faith, Paul’s writings must be understood in the context of his struggle against the heresy of salvation by works.

All false religions are based on salvation by works, in one form or another. Even the Israelite religion had degenerated into a system of salvation by works under the traditions of the elders which Yahushua repeatedly rebuked.

Righteousness by Faith (Galatians 5:5)Gentile believers, coming out of paganism, were easily lured back into the salvation by works taught by “Judaizers.” The Judaizers claimed to believe in Yahushua as the Messiah, but their influence was to return to the traditions of men as the means to salvation. 

They rejected salvation as a free gift received when one chooses to believe in the Saviour.

Paul’s clarion call to the Gentile believers echoes down to truth-seekers today:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of . . . [Yahuwah]: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9, KJV)

Adopting the traditions of the Jews does not bring one salvation. Wearing tassels and head coverings does not recommend one to Yahuwah. Using Hebrew words that no one else can understand does not make one a better Law-keeper.

Salvation by works is very alluring to fallen human nature. Adopting Jewish traditions, clothing or words can easily make one feel superior to those who do not adopt the same traditions.

Whether the life-style choices are founded on Scripture or are merely Jewish tradition, the point is that salvation by works may feed the ego but will never earn anyone salvation. 

Law-keepers will be careful in diet and dress. But to use it as a standard by which to judge one’s merits, destroys the very essence of the Law which is Love.

The Pharisees rigorously kept the do’s and don’ts of the Law, but neglected love, kindness, justice and mercy. Yahushua told them:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” (Matthew 23:23)

Salvation by works will never save anyone.

“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of . . . [Yahweh] is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ ” (Galatians 3:11)

Satan knows no one will ever be saved by works. He has led people to misunderstand Paul’s writings and reject the clearest teachings in Scripture of the vital doctrine: righteousness by faith.

Here is the real secret behind the rejection of Paul. Paul’s clear understanding of the Law versus Tradition led him to reject the law as the means of earning one’s salvation. 

Paul taught that the Law should be kept. However, he understood it can only be kept by faith in Yahuwah. 

The only hope anyone has is to cease trying to work one’s way to Heaven. Accept that all the “works of the law” you have performed cannot save you. 

“All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)

Righteousness by faith means Yahushua lives out His life in you. Your will is brought into perfect harmony to Him. Then and only then is the divine Law perfectly kept.

Paul, an apostle divinely commissioned by Heaven to take the gospel to the Gentiles, has a message for all today who would be saved:

I am crucified with . . . Yahushua: nevertheless I live; yet not “I,” but Yahushua lives in me: and the life which “I” now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of Yah who loved me, and gave Himself for me. (See Galatians 2:20)

Do not be swayed by the varying winds of doctrine. Be rooted and grounded in Scripture. 

Accept the righteousness of Yahushua by faith. You, too, can experience the joys of salvation through faith in the merits of the Saviour. 

The Jewish Priests Ready For Biblical Status Confirmed By DNA And Prepared for Third Temple

“But the Kohanim the Leviim the sons of Tzadok that kept the charge of My sanctuary when the children of Yisrael went astray from Me they shall come near to Me to minister unto Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 44:15 (The Israel Bible™)

The priests (Kohanim) gather in the Holy Temple with the High Priest (screenshot)

In a powerful blend of science and religion, a rabbi has turned to genetics to reinstate the priesthood for the Third Temple. This rabbi believes that science has proven that the priesthood is exactly as the Bible described: An eternal covenant that will reappear to herald in the Third Temple.

“Genetics connects modern Judaism to the Bible, confirming 3,000 years of Jewish tradition,” explained Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman to Breaking Israel News. “This is an amazing testament to God’s covenant and the Jewish People. Despite more than 2,000 years of exile we have maintained our religion, our customs, our Torah, and our genetic identity.”

Manifesting prophecy is Rabbi Kleiman’s daily work. He opened the Center for Kohanim in Jerusalem nine years ago as a practical endeavor, and has authored a book on DNA evidence of the priesthood. Kohanim, or priests, are Jewish men believed to be descendants of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. The Temple service may only be performed by kohanim.

In his effort to designate priestly candidates, Rabbi Kleiman has turned to genetics as an aid. This tools first became available 20 years ago when genetic researchers in Haifa discovered a Y chromosome, a genetic marker passed from father to son, that indicated a common ancestry for Jewish men whose family traditions hold that they are descended from the Biblical priestly class.

Rabbi Kleiman is using this science for a purpose the researchers probably had not envisioned: to help prepare for the Third Temple.

“According to prophecy, there will be a Third Temple, and when there is, we will need to identify the priests,” Rabbi Kleiman explained to Breaking Israel News. “Kohanim are the manpower of the Temple. Without them, it is an empty building.”

But the Kohanim the Leviim the sons of Tzadok that kept the charge of My sanctuary when the children of Yisrael went astray from Me they shall come near to Me to minister unto Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 44:15

As a kohen himself, Rabbi Kleiman has a personal interest in the work. He is essentially tracing his own family tree back 106 generations. For him and other kohanim, the results have prophetic implications.

The rabbi noted that this genetic phenomenon represents scientific proof of the most long-lasting unbroken tradition known to modern man. He attributes this to the eternal aspect of the priestly covenant described in the Bible.

“This scientific proof is an affirmation that, as the Torah said, the priestly covenant would be eternal,” the rabbi said, citing the Book of Numbers.

And it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. Numbers 25:13

Priests are a subset of the Tribe of Levi, but this genetic tool has proven ineffective in identifying the Levites, who also have a role in the Temple.

“Levi is the same concept and you would expect the same genetic markers but there is not the same percentage of the J group, the genetic marker showing that Jews originated in the Middle East. This indicated that the tradition of being a Levi is not as strong as that of kohanim,” Rabbi Kleiman explained.


Kohanim perform the priestly blessing on Sukkot. (Flash90)

He speculated that the rituals and the stringencies connected with being a kohen strengthened the tradition. Kohanim are forbidden from marrying converts or divorcees. Also, the public nature and honor associated with giving the priestly blessing in synagogue make identifying kohanim a significant part of the Jewish community.

Similarly, genetics has been unable to find markers for the individual tribes of Israel.

Though “Jews have genetic markers that show that they are from the Middle East,” Rabbi Kleiman explained, “There were many different nations living in the region. Even if we can show a common ancestry with Abraham, he had two sons. We can show a common ancestry but are unable to find markers for specific tribal haplotypes (genes passed from father to son).”

The rabbi noted that genetics will not have the final word. According to Jewish tradition, Elijah the prophet will appear before the Messiah to clarify precisely this issue: who is a priest and who is not, and the tribe to which each Jew belongs.

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of Hashem. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction. Malachi 3:23

Nonetheless, the rabbi does not feel that this final clarification will render his work futile. He hopes that when Elijah arrives, the genetically verified kohanim will already be hard at work in the Third Temple.

“When Elijah arrives, If he wants the DNA information, we will be happy to give it to him,” Rabbi Kleiman joked. “But he will probably be making his determinations based on a higher source.”

The Top Trump Advisors Practicing Weekly White House Prayer Meetings


“When the righteous are increased, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people sigh.” Proverbs 29:2 (The Israel Bible™)

Since the beginning of the White House transition in January, members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been gathering for weekly prayer sessions led by Capitol Ministries Pastor Ralph Drollinger. Though religion has always been part of the White House, these sessions include an impressive number of the highest-ranking members of the Trump Administration.

Capitol Ministries provides Bible studies, evangelism and discipleship to political leaders in over 40 US state capitols. The ministry also hosts separate weekly Bible studies in the House and Senate.

“In terms of a country’s health and direction, when its leaders are seeking God, the nation is in a position to be blessed by God,” Drollinger told CBN News.

Though not personally observant, Trump was blessed several times by pastors and rabbis during his presidential campaign. He has yet to attend the weekly prayer sessions but last month, he held a group moment prayer after he announced the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

As an outside group, the Capitol Ministry sessions, which are closed, must be sponsored by someone in the government in order to hold meetings in a Congressional building. In the White House, they are currently sponsored by no less than eight politicians: Vice President Mike Pence; Secretaries Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Sonny Perdue, Rick Perry, Tom Price and Jeff Sessions; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Former US Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Rep-Minnesota) serves on the board.