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What Is ‘The Word’ ?

‘Scripture’ is a word spoken and heard time and time again in our churches, synagogues and meeting places. According to dictionaries, it is ‘any sacred book or writing, a passage from any sacred book or writing; The Bible;’ We also refer to The Bible – Scripture – as ‘The Word’.
Where does the term ‘The Word’ come from ? The phrase “the Word of the Lord came’ appears almost one hundred times in the The Old Testament, and most of those appearances are followed by this phrase, ‘and said’. So ‘The Word of the Lord came and said . . .’ John tells us this ‘Word’ was in the beginning and took on flesh and walked among them . . .’ It tells us Yeshua is the Word made flesh. He is the living, breathing version of the written Word. Yeshua is not only He that spoke from Mt. Sinai but also that which was spoken.
The title, ‘The Bible’ comes from first century common greek (ta biblia) and literally means ‘The Books’, which is an apt title, understanding the Bible to be not just a book but a collection of books written by numerous authors from different backgrounds and educational levels over a period of more than four millennia. And in all this it is not only a collection of books in which there is no contradiction but that all carry the same theme and thread and point to the same culmination – the last days and the Salvation of Israel.
One thing we seem to lose sight of is the fact that the Bible as we know it today and the ‘Bible’ in Yeshua’s day is not the same collection of books. Don’t hang up yet. What we mean by that is in Yeshua’s day the only Scripture that existed is that which we refer to as the Old Testament. The New Testament ( also called ‘Apostolic Writings’) did not exist in His day. Yeshua, the Apostles, and the others were ‘living’ the NT but it was not compiled as a ‘collection of letters’ and added to the canon of The Bible for another 200 years or more.
“Yes”, you say, “we know all that”. Well, with that understanding, ponder this concept. Paul spoke this admonition in 2 Timothy 3:15 “ . . . from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” “. . . in the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Hebrews 10, Psalm 40)
So the question ? What ‘Scripture’ and ‘Word’ was Paul referring to in his letter to Timothy if the NT did not exist at that time ? Well, the only Scripture that existed was that which we call the Old Testament. Paul is telling Timothy not only are the Law and the Prophets not done away with but they are the ‘Word’ we are to be ready to preach in and out of season. How can we be sure this is what Paul means ? Because it lines up with what Yeshua says in Matthew 5 . . . 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill . 18 “For truly I say to you, heaven and earth shall pass away, but not the slightest stroke of the pen shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished (and when will all be accomplished?…at the end of the millineum). 19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” The keeping of His ways is not a matter of salvation but of obedience.
So are we saying ‘the Old does away the New’ ? Not at all. We are saying ‘the Old is the foundation for the New’.
“This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths where the good way is, and when you find it walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But the people said, We will not . . .”” Jeremiah 6:16
May that not be said of us in these days . . . Shalom –

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom

” Know this, Yahweh is God, He made us, we belong to Him, his people, the flock of His sheepfold. Come within His gates giving thanks, to His courts singing praise, give thanks to Him and bless his name! For Yahweh is good, His faithful love is everlasting, His constancy from age to age.” ” For HE is our God, and we, the people of HIS sheepfold, the flock of HIS Hand . . . ” Psalm 95:7, 100:3-5

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Servile Work ? What’s that, anyway ?

Leviticus 23 speaks of ‘servile work’ ( KJV ) as it lists things we should abstain from on Sabbath. ‘Servile’ ? What’s that mean ? The hebrew word there translates as ‘work, labor, to till . . .’  Ok, so what does that mean ? We find that sometimes a ‘word’ in one language or culture does not always have a corresponding ‘word’ in another language or culture. So, we attempt to come as close as we can. Well, they say a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’. Let’s see if we can ‘paint’ a picture ( with less than a 1,000 words ) to get the idea across.

When I was a kid, a really long time ago, I would sometimes go spend a few days on our grandparents’ farm in the spring or summer. PaPaw would come get us up really, really early, like 6:00 in the morning. Nothin’s up at 6:00 in the morning. He would have us get dressed and meet him in the barn. There we would feed the chickens, slop the hogs ( if you don’t know what slop is, don’t ask . . . you don’t want to know . . . we don’t eat the hogs but they have to be fed) throw hay for the cows that were going to be milked, give the horses a little hay and sweet feed . . .and this went on and on and on for hours it seemed like. Finally . . . the work would be done and we – the people – finally got to go back to the house and eat. MaMaw would have a big spread for breakfast . . . biscuits, gravy, eggs, meat, sorghum, sliced tomatoes if she had any, and coffee . . . MaMaw let me have coffee !!  Well, anyway . . .

So we’re sittin’ there at the table finally getting to eat after all that work, and then PaPaw declares, ‘hurry up and finish eatin’, we’ve got work to do . . .’ Before I thought, my mouth came open and something came out kinda like – ‘ Work, isn’t that what we just did PaPaw was work ? You mean there’s more work ?’ PaPaw said something profound that helps me today understand some of God’s Word.  “Work ?  that wasn’t work, son . . . those were chores . . . the work’s in the field’.

Keeping, observing and guarding the Sabbath is a privilege that we, as God’s children get to participate in. And it’s pretty simple. There are some basics mentioned in Scripture ( Exodus, Leviticus, Nehemiah, Luke, and others ) concerning Sabbath, and it’s pretty simple . . . don’t cook, don’t buy or sell, don’t ‘work’, don’t involve in business and yes, don’t light a fire . . . and that would be in the context of working and cooking. Abba doesn’t expect you to freeze, although He does expect you to prepare for the 7th day that is approaching ( wink,, wink, nod, nod ) .

The big deal for us was when we came to the point that we could call ‘His day a delight’ ( Isaiah 58 ) . . . that was the turning point. It then became a matter of the heart and not just ‘do’s and don’t ‘s .  Remember, Paul did say ‘first the physical then the spiritual’ ( 1 Cor 15). We have come to understand in Him and His sabbath, there are things that I have to deal with on friday, and things I have to concern myself with on sunday, but with the exception of the ‘chores’, I don’t have to deal with the things of the world today. Today is Shabbat. It’s the Lord’s day. Today is for me and my family and Him and His family . . . pure and simple . . . Yes, Sabbath is a day to share the love of Abba in Yeshua’s Name . . . to give a helping hand, and not turn a blind eye to a need . . . but His ways, and not mine. And yes, Sabbath IS the 7th day . . . always has been and always will be . . . ‘saturday’ you and I would call it . . . since we are still in exile . . . but by any other name it is still His day for His people . . .

Hebrews 4:9 There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest (sabbatismos – a sabbath-keeping)  reserved for God’s people,

Isaiah 58:13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
 Isaiah 56:3 ” Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”
4 For this is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant–
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant–
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Sovereign LORD declares– he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”
Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh . . .
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Shabbat Shalom  –

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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