WHERE THERE IS NO MAN, BE A MAN…Part 1

Shalom!

In our first Blog-Style Bible Study, I present Part 1 of a subject that will undergird virtually every other torah topic we will discuss and investigate in our studies.

When I first heard this unforgettable expression in the study of torah, it truly resonated with me, and I’ve been intrigued with it ever since.

Being that this is our inaugural lesson, I am compelled to share a message dearest to my heart.

“In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.”

-Rabbi Hillel, (110 B.C.E. – 10 C.E)

This is really what we want, isn’t it? When little girls hear that, I’m sure they think of their fathers. When married women hear this, they reflect on the character of their fathers, husbands or brothers. When unmarried women hear this, I expect that they too, reflect on their fathers, brothers, friends and consider the characteristics and qualities they desire in the man of their future. When a nation hears this, do they hear a longing for the resurgence of the soul of a most excellent man?

When I hear this, I feel like a critical moment of decision is at hand. Hillel cries out with a sense of urgency. This is a call to action. Something wicked has reared its head and the circumstances thrust a man forward who will challenge evil. In a place where there are no men, is there a mighty man of valor? A man of courage? Someone who will arise, and do more than it is his duty to do?

The word picture evokes the image of a hero, someone with character, integrity, courage, bravery, fearlessness. Hillel makes the observation that, though we may be in the presence of 20, 50 or even 100 men, none of them measure up to the stature and majesty of one man.

Hillel says, “strive to be a man.” Who is this man who will press his way through? This man, must be able to summon all his strength, all of his potential. He has to arise, into the image and likeness of his better self.

Clearly, all of the above are suitable, when we think of a man who stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Why did Hillel call out so eloquently for men, to be a man? What are the qualities of a good man?

We could slap some verses together, hold ’em, pin ’em down, and grab some sticky stuff and squeeze them all together…and call it a day.

Not so fast! This is torah study. We have to throw in some due diligence. There’s some lesson plans and homework required.

We will apply a meticulous 5 step approach as follows:

You are all at different levels of torah study. For the benefit of the newbies, I will walk you through the terminology in detail, so that you will own this knowledge once were done.

#1. What is Torah?

# 2. We will do and we will hear. Summary: Torah is Obedience in Action.

#3. Hebrew is a very meticulous language.

#4. Concordance Research on the Hebrew Definition of –Man.

#5. Conclusion

The question we are considering is:

There are 12 different words in the Hebrew Language that GOD can use to say, ‘man’. Which one does He use, to call forth a man among men? In which one do you see the attributes of, a mighty man of valor?

Lets set aside the question of “man” for moment, and first be sure we understand what torah means…

LESSON NO. 1
Studying torah is a completely different matter than studying scripture. Torah and scripture are two different subject matters from the perspective of our Christian roots. (If you feel differently, I understand why. However, allow me to work this out for a few other students who are new to these concepts).

Basic Definition of torah:

Traditionally speaking, when we say torah- we are speaking of the 5 Books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy.

Today, what we understand as torah has gravitated to include ALL the Books of the Hebrew Scriptures, Genesis through Malachi. (Notice: I deliberately did not say Old Testament).

Torah means teaching/instruction. Teaching, is the most accurate interpretation of the word. Our ancient Christian ancestors, trained up the body of Christ in a tradition that taught us to translate the word, torah, as the word, law (and we have diligently done so, for at least the last 400 years, minimum). Our ancestral translators, and the majority of some of our translators of this present age, still persist in translating torah as law. Despite the fact that, we have more accurate information than we had in past decades.

When your going in the wrong direction, do you just keep going?, Forever?

Or Do You Course Correct?

A rough guess would put us at approx. 95% of the times that we see the word law in scripture, it is due to translating the Hebrew word, torah into the English word, law. In reality, the word torah means teaching.

This is an essential, foundational part of understanding torah. Hillel was a Rabbi, a Hebrew Scholar. In order to establish a connection with a Hebraic mindset, we need a fundamental understanding of terms.

Let’s continue working to untangle this:

If you go back into your bibles and locate the word– law, scratch it out and write in the word –teaching. Already you will have gained for yourself, valuable insight into the original conversations in scripture.

See the example below:

In Christian Bible studies, we have learned to study scripture in a completely different manner. We will begin to make a few adjustments to that process in this class.

For now, go to biblegateway.com and enter the word “law” into the search box. Hit enter. 529 hits will be returned on your query. The first 9 are not applicable. (they include either, daughter-in-law or father in-law – completely different topic). Next you will see the following:

Gen 47:26 and Joseph made it a law (choqmah) over the land of Egypt unto this day.
H2706 choqmah in Hebrew means statute or law. [the best approximation of the pronunciation of, “choqmah” that I can give you is ‘hoke-mah’].

Gen 49:10 the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver (chaqaq) from between his feet,
H2710 – chaqaq to decree or inscribe, to cut in. chaqaq is more of a law than torah. Notice that choqmah and chaqaq are based in the same root word—they are related. The lawgiver decrees the word of God – The lawgiver will be from the seed of Judah.

Ex 12:49 One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth with you.
H8451 torah – teaching, direction, instruction. (cross out the word, law)
One teaching shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth with you. [—note that God said, that those who take this journey with you are entitled to the same teachings].

Ex 13:9. …that the LORD’s law may be in thy mouth
H8451. torah – teaching, direction, instruction. (cross out the word, law)
…that the LORD’s teaching may be in thy mouth

Ex 16:4 …that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
H8451. torah – teaching, direction, instruction. (cross out the word, law)
…that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my teaching, or no.

Ex 16:28 …And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
H8451. torah – teaching, direction, instruction. (cross out the word, law)
…And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my teachings?

…And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my directions?

…And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my instructions?

Ex 24:12. …and I will give the tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.
H8451. torah – teaching, direction, instruction. (cross out the word, law)
…and I will give the tables of stone, and a teaching, and commandments which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.

Of the remaining of 513 verses, the majority are interpreting torah as law, incorrectly.

Go back and review the verses thoroughly before continuing. Email me any questions you may have. Thank you.

Some have said, these are insignificant tiny little word-smith-ing issues, what’s the big deal?

Look Carefully:

We took the 1st 7 occurrences of the word– law in the Hebrew Scriptures and peeled back the onion, just a bit. We saw for ourselves that 5 of the 7 don’t mean law at all.

What proof do we have other than my word, that torah should not be translated as law?, other than my word for it?

Hebrew is the native language of the Jewish nation. We have to respect them as the authority on record with their native language. If the Rabbi’s tell us that Torah means teaching, that settles the dispute! It’s their language, they ought to know.

Here, in our native language, GOD has been accused of being brutal, heavy handed, legalistic, ritualistic… and everything else in the book, [because we lack even a modicum of torah centered knowledge and perspectives].

We put the word ‘law’ in His mouth when He is actually referring to His teachings, His instructions, His directions. We are the ones creating the confusion. It’s our western mindset. We have a fondness of expressing things in terms of laws, commandments, decrees, statutes, doctrines, etc., etc. It’s possible the early translators of the bible felt, “teachings”, was too soft of a word to use. Perhaps they underestimated the masses, and assumed we could not accept God’s Word without a little more Fire of God authority? …perhaps they did.

We have the opportunity to repair the portrait that we painted. We created this picture of an overbearing GOD that people don’t know how to relate to, and we as laity, continue to inadequately explain His teachings. Did you notice what I did right there? I did not blame the pastors, priest or any leadership from any denomination?

This is because I see those three little fingers pointing back at us (the people) when we put the blame on any one else. As the people of God, we can’t just sit in the pew forever and act like we bear no responsibility for the outcomes. If we love God like we say we do, then we have to take accountability for our own behavior, i.e. our own lack of knowledge, and our inability or trepidation to answer questions about our own faith. I’m not speaking of course of every single Christian being this way. My generalizations are specific to the Christians that know they lack understanding about the GOD they love, and they know they need to be snatched out of their sleep. [More on this subject in part 2 of this blog].

God wants to teach you something and I have the heart for teaching that He can use to communicate through. You are the YOU that knows… that He is talking to YOU. –Not everybody, YOU. Why You? It’s like I said in the very first blog. You Are An Answer God Sent Into The World and He is coming for YOU!

“In a place where there is no man, strive to be a man.” Before we can [ever] get to the heart of that matter, we have to get a lot of other stuff out of the way. Stuff, that is blocking you from progress. Not progress in the world system… this is more important than that. There is all this stuff, that is blocking you from making progress in the anointing! God wants you taught! And for some reason, He believes this blog is going to have a part in doing that.

The First Thing God wanted to do, when He brought His People out of Egypt…

In Ex 12:49, 13:9, 16:4, 16:28, God wanted to teach His people. Ex 24:12, states the sum of the matter beautifully. God provided us with His teachings on tablets of stone, His decrees also, that we should be taught. He could have legislated mankind to the hilt, we certainly have, but He did not. He desired that we be taught.

We have impressively rehearsed the 10 commandments and neglected the 10 teachings.

God did not come with a sword. He came to the House of Israel and stretched out His hand in love, and for peace. Doesn’t that remind you of Jesus?

Do we have the patience to be teachable?

Can we be taught? Can we endure His teachings? Can we bear His instruction? Will we receive His instructions?

Additionally, contrary to some opinions, studying torah is not about converting to Judaism. [[There is no attempt being made here to convert anyone to Judaism]. The Jewish culture has so much beauty within it, and I must say, we could definitely benefit from several of their “best practices“. However, our primary goal before us today, is to perfect those things pertaining to the body of Christ. Every culture has something magnificent to contribute to the world, and knowing each other enriches our spirit. The development of our spirit is our greatest weapon, an essential prerequisite, which enables us to address our character flaws. Together, we are better people as a whole].

The Bible is a book of teachings and instructions. Embracing the Jewishness of Jesus, His Hebrew Heritage, Culture and teachings, only makes us stronger, never weaker. We have to accept ALL of Him, not pick the part we want and disavow the rest. If we would do that with the King of Kings, of course we will do it to others. In fact, we do it to others. When we disrespect others, we disrespect GOD. If our behavior in anyway disrespects the Son of the Living GOD, (accepting only what we deem appropriate, then we disrespect the anointing).

I hope I am making this clear. Anyone who marries a man or a woman and tells them to sever all ties with their heritage, culture and teachings, really doesn’t love the person. Would you agree with that? Am I wrong? Am I missing something? Either we take the complete package with Christ or we don’t. There is no lukewarm offering on this. Hot or cold, hot or cold.

It’s time to fully cross over to the other side. No more refusing the good instructions, because we think we are betraying our Christian heritage by learning torah. We oppose our own selves if we don’t.

[“And the Lord’s servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing, in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will”]

[Betray the enemy who is trying to prevent us from obtaining the fire that the torah, will ignite in us. Betray that].

Part 2 of this post will settle the dispute regarding torah, as we continue to put all the pieces in place, for greater insight into Rabbi Hillel’s teachings in Pirkei Avot 1:15 [The sayings of our Fathers] Stay Ready!

SPECIAL NOTE: I put together a handout for Part 2 of this Bible Study. I believe it will help you follow the scripture details that I will present in Part 2 of this message. If you would like to a copy sent to you, send me your email address by subscribing to the blog. I’m a teacher, I can’t help creating handouts!

[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so. I want your final product to be as pristine as possible. Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament. I do that intentionally. We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue. We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good. I want to provoke us to do that. It’s good for the soul 🙂 Your a good student! God Bless You].

Copyright 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog

YOU ONLY NEED 4 STEPS TO GET STARTED….

“Torah is not education, it’s transformation.”Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

For our Blog Style Bible Study, these are the initial supplies you will need, plus suggestions on how to prepare your atmosphere for torah!

Let me begin with a disclosure: The Bible Study Lessons that I will present are atypical. Together, we will examine little known passages, trace down common threads and patterns that are hidden in plain sight, and connect the dots. In short, we will examine the torah from many different angles and our reward will be extracting honey from the rock. Lets get started!

Step 1:

1. King James Study Bible. Online or Book format. I typically pull my quotes on scripture from King James only.

2. A Bible Concordance. I recommend the Strong’s Concordance, to begin with. As huge as it is, you can always find one at a reasonable price.

Option B to the Strong’s is to learn how to use search engines online that provide an easily accessible alternative with the same information. i.e., BibleHub.com, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Online, etc. With practice you will quickly learn how to use them. Experiment with similar apps to see which one you prefer.

As you plan to follow along with the blog, I want you to be able to check everything that I teach you, which is why I cite sources.

As we progress on our journey, I will recommend other books, materials and resources that will be of advantage to you to acquire or access. I continuously recommend books, so please don’t let that overwhelm you. More than likely, I will create a Book List Tab to track all the books and materials I recommend as they become relevant to where we are in our studies.

KEEPING YOUR CONSECRATION:
STEP 2:
Determine the best place for you to concentrate when you study.
Find the best time of day, to consecrate to your study time. Be consistent. However, if your selected time of day is not working for you, tweak it.

You may find that once you make a consecration time for study, every imaginable issue will rise up to interfere with it. Don’t worry and don’t get frustrated. Anticipate hindrances and plan ahead! Shift around your time until you find one that works best for you.

Even if it turns out that you need to get up and study at 3AM in the morning, to have some peace and quiet in order to gain the advantage, do it! The only thing you need to ask yourself is, “How bad do I want this knowledge for myself?” What are you prepared to do to make this work?

If it is not that serious, then it is not that serious, and this is your decision to make. Circle back another time, or let it go.

HOW TO CONSTRAIN THE ANOINTING OVER YOUR STUDY TIME:
Step 3:
In your selected study area, place flowers or scented candles. Boil cinnamon or incense in a pot of water– warm up the atmosphere with fragrance. It helps you concentrate when you study. Scents can also help you recall information. Pleasant odours just make you feel good, and they get you in the mood for study!

No cell phones or emails, or self-inflicted distractions of any kind. This exercise is about consecrating time to the LORD, as a sacrifice and love offering. For example, your attendance in the study time you set is a statement to GOD saying, “I plan to be here at 3AM in the morning, every M-T-W-Th, whether you show up or not. In fact, I am going to be here UNTIL you show up in my study time, and reveal your wisdom to me”.

This is an example of what I meant earlier when I spoke of placing a demand on Heaven. You will find yourself smack dab on the pages of scripture. On several pages of scripture in fact, including my personal favourite, “I will not let you go… until you bless me!” (Gen 32:26).

BE ON TIME FOR YOUR BLESSING!
Step 4:
If you are getting up at 3AM, or some other equally daunting or stressful time in your schedule, freshen up and wake up. This improves your ability to concentrate.

Whether you have designated 30 minutes, or 60 minutes– be on time for your own blessing! Use the entire time you allotted. Keep the promises that you made to yourself.

Please use the comments tab below to submit your questions or send a reply. Thank You.

I will post the 1st Study Session this Week!
[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so. I want your final product to be as pristine as possible. Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament. I do that intentionally. We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue. We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good. I want to provoke us to do that. It’s good for the soul 🙂 Your a good student! God Bless You].

THE JOURNEY BACK TO A TORAH MINDSET BEGINS…. Part 1.2

Q&A Continued…
Below are a few questions that were submitted to me via email that did not come through the posts. I am going to answer a few of them here for the benefit of all participants.

Q#3: Will your articles typically take 10-15 minutes in length to read?

Yes indeed! I am really very impressed with myself that they are that short! It is my teaching style to be at length. Generally speaking, I struggle in class to contain my lectures to 50 or 110 minutes. I try to squeeze every drop, out of every minute with my students and I am not ashamed to hold them captive. Learning is a scientific process. You have to be meticulous in every detail. I demand a lot out of my students, and I have no sympathy for the amount of time it takes to study to show yourself approved.

The Hebrew letters are called the raw materials of creation. I agree. I think every student is like the raw materials of creation. In my class, every student carries a Hebrew Letter over their head, like a crown of torah. They are going to create something powerful with it. Every time they absorb new information, they have the power to create, edify, encourage. They have the power to build. Some in 7 minutes, some in 6 minutes, some in one hour, some in a year. In reading, studying, learning….they are the masters of time.

Imagine my surprise and delight to have written something in a blog that only takes a few minutes to read. I might mess around and find this enjoyable!

So, why am I writing this, if it is such a foreign concept to me?
Earlier I told you that I am going for my graduate level degree in humility. Humility 101 is a marathon. It is all day, every day, and last a lifetime. This is my primary reason.

Secondary to that… I am doing this because my students are making me do it! They have suggested, implored, cajoled, questioned, fussed and looked at me strangely. They have asked me to do this for years, and I have just smiled and said, “one day, maybe”.

This is me, surrendering and being obedient to their request. They obviously have something else to teach me. So I am taking the course.

The most excellent truth of the matter is, teachers can only excel in their particular skill set, as long as they are willing to be students at the same time that they are teaching. My students have probably taught me more than I have ever taught them. I don’t know how many teachers actually share that thought out loud, or even if we share it with each other. However, ask a teacher and find out if they agree.

Students are not learning in a vacuum. Your teacher has just as much to learn from you, as you do from them. It is a symbiotic relationship. I have come to know it as, iron sharpening iron!

Technically speaking, we are just about 20-25 minutes into our first class!

I think this is a good place to introduce you to a few of your classmates. There is Ruth. Her code name is Ruth. I call her that because she is tah-meem. That is Hebrew for blameless. She has such a pure, innocent spirit and is so genuine in prayer.

You will hear me speak of David. That is his code name. I call him David because he is so sold out to God. David is one of the tzaddikim (righteous ones). His children are aware of his spiritual identity, and they see God in him. He is a rare one. He is a man, who has honour in his own country, and his own house.

You will hear me speak of one person, as the Beloved of John. She is a master torah scholar in Christ Jesus. She is the librarian, historian, record keeper par excellance. Although she would never agree with me commending her with praise. In the area of humility, kindness and joy, she is a savant. They are truly her areas of expertise. She operates in a highly specialised skill set in the body of Christ.

Then there is Shamar. shamar in Hebrew means to guard, to protect. She is hungry for the Word. She is a soldier, fearless in spiritual battle. She detests stagnation, apathy, and confusion, and she knows how to stand her watch in the service.

David, Shamar, Ruth and the Beloved of John are like the sons of Thunder in prayer. They each have an-already-been-done kind-of-spirit in prayer, and nothing is impossible with God. They know their names and each of them will recognise their description when they have read it. One day, when their identities are revealed, their families will see that I have made no exaggeration about their spiritual character.

They will attend every class and every lecture with you. They will read what you read, and hear what you hear. They are ministers of the gospel, students, teachers and intercessors. It’s what they do.

Now we’re learning torah!

Quick Links to Previous Post:  

The Journey Back To A Torah Mindset, Part 1

The Journey Back To A Torah Mindset, Part 1.1

[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so.  I want your final product to be as pristine as possible.  Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament.  I do that intentionally.  We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue.  We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good.  I want to provoke us to do that.  It’s good for the soul 🙂  Your a good student!  God Bless You].

Copyright 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog

THE JOURNEY BACK TO A TORAH MINDSET BEGINS…. Part 1.1

Q&A:

Below are a few questions that were submitted to me via email, that did not arrive through the posts. I am going to answer a few of them here for the benefit of all participants.

Q#1: Why did your original two posts not include any scripture or torah teachings? I think you only quoted scripture once.

The first two posts referred to are: The Journey Back to a Torah Mindset Begins… April 11, 2019, and How to Reset Your Torah Mindset to Acquire Torah Concepts… April 13, 2019.

Good question. “Because I am a teacher at heart.” There are several reasons I can offer to explain why I handled the introduction in this way. The fact is, both articles were loaded with torah principles, insights and teachings. I purposefully did not identify them in the articles, for the specific benefit of allowing everyone to hear the information and gain some insight into our foundational objectives. Teachers never start teaching, until everyone in the class knows specifically, what we are there to accomplish. Students hail from vastly divergent backgrounds, knowledge in and experience with scripture. It is imperative that we are given the same road map for our journey.

That being said, The Journey Back… began with a rabbinic quote. Did you recognise the quote, or have you heard it before? Chances are if you have had no prior experience with torah, you did not. That’s OK. How did you answer the question when you read it?
Were you so curious about the right answer, that you googled the question to see if you could find it and discover the meaning?
In your opinion, What is the good path to which a human being should cling? You have been out among the world. What have you discerned? What is the proper path?

If you still remember the question in your heart and are still pondering your response, you are a Christian torah scholar in the making. If not, you may have some struggles with the upcoming material. Regardless, dependant upon how much effort you are willing to place in your study, you will be an excellent student in your own right! How much are you willing to put into it? Do you have a thirst and a hunger to understand scripture at a higher level? Are you willing to be taught? Are you teachable? What are the characteristics of a teachable spirit? Even the questions are torah centric questions. Together we shall explore the answers, as long as you feel that this blog is right for you!

As we continue on this journey together, we will identify every torah principle that was addressed in the body of these two articles mentioned above. We will proceed line by line, precept by precept.

—Torah Lesson Number 1: The Five Students of Torah

How did the five students of the Rabbi answer the above question? “Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai said to them [the five disciples]: Go out and discern which is the proper path to which man should cling. Rabbi Eliezer says: A good eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: A good friend. Rabbi Yose says: A good neighbor. Rabbi Shimon says: One who considers the outcome [of a deed]. Rabbi Elazar says: A good heart. He said to them: I prefer the words of Elazar ben Arach to your words, for your words are included in his words.” Pirkei Avos 2:13 (i.e., Sayings of the Fathers 2:13)

Do you agree with Rabban Zakkai? Did you have a completely different answer than the five students? Explain.

Q#2: It seems like you rarely ever capitalise the word, torah, even when you should. Why is that?

That’s deliberate. In Hebrew, there is no capitalisation of letters. Capitalisation is a western concept in our writing system. Not so, in Hebrew. Even though English is my first language, I work very hard at not capitalising Hebrew words. It’s adorable when I think about it. Every letter is conceptually written in lower case… this is an aspect of humility embedded into the presentation of the Hebrew Language itself.

The torah was given in humility, given with love. The torah was received with humility, and received in reverence (awe). Reverence, is how we say, “I Love You” back to God. This is the disciples short hand for, “I will do and I will hear” (Ex. 24:7). torah should be written with a lower case t, to remind us of the necessity to handle the word of God with humility and love.

Case in point, my computer is operating on the world system, with a western mindset. I have to be mindful to do the opposite of what it is programmed to do. The computer is on autopilot. I, on the other hand, am forcing myself to be mindful of a new thing, another way, a more excellent way. I am retraining my mind to think a new way. Little things like this, I find helpful. I place this simple requirement on myself. My students are not required to do them. Contrary to some beliefs, the study of torah is not about being legalistic, or ritualistic. It’s more about building a fence around the torah. (A concept that we will delve into at much length, later in this journey!)

Torah is about the little things, considerate things, that we can do to let God know that we are continually walking consciously, aware of His Presence. I am daily training my own spirit, in the art and science of graduate level humility. Every little bit helps!

Excellent question!

Quick Links to Previous Post:  The Journey Back to A Torah Mindset, Part 1

Quick Links to Next Post: The Journey Back to A Torah Mindset, Part 1.2

[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so.  I want your final product to be as pristine as possible.  Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament.  I do that intentionally.  We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue.  We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good.  I want to provoke us to do that.  It’s good for the soul 🙂  Your a good student!  God Bless You].

Copyright 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog

The Journey Back to a Torah Mindset Begins… Part 1

– A Rabbi once asked his five students, “What is the good path to which a human being should cling?”  Naturally, he received five different answers.  The question is now posed to you.  What is the good path to which a human being should cling?

post

YOU ARE THE ANSWER GOD SENT INTO THE EARTH…

Torah teaches you, that you are important to God. The trouble with that significant piece of information is, that before you can ever fully come into the knowledge of this truth, you must first be important enough to yourself to discover why it is true. So, we now have a dilemma. Judging by what we may see in the world around us, it may be difficult to imagine yourself as, “an answer” to anything. Where is the evidence of my importance to God? How am I, an answer?

BIG QUESTIONS REQUIRE BIG ANSWERS!

I actually consider these fair questions. When it comes to the Word of God, we all ask very worthy and intriguing questions that deserve a response. But as my students come to learn, big questions require big answers. In order to have our questions about God answered, (and our questions about ourselves) we have to decide how much time, if any, are we willing to invest in hearing the torah out? Are you willing to search the scriptures for yourselves, to see if these things be true? Let me ask that another way. Are you willing to do the work it takes to locate yourself on the pages of scripture?

What a student learns in their own study, can be far more powerful than what the teacher can ever teach them. God said, “Learn of me.” (Matt. 11:29 KJV). This requires a personal commitment, a teachable spirit and a consecrated heart.

Our minds are powerful and dynamic. In my experience, the student never has just one question. Any question you ask, is just one small component of what you really wanted to know. There are years of thoughts (the ungodly and Godly kind), ideas, disappointments, suppositions, information, and misinformation which are compounded by our life experiences from jubilation, to accusations, to church frustrations that are wound up in everyone’s simple questions about God.

We are complex and our questions are complex. God is complex, and we are created in the image and likeness of His complex being. In short, no simple answers will ever satisfy us at our core, and that’s a good thing. That being said, where do we begin?

SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES…to see if these things be true…

We begin with a heart of study, a heart of purpose and intention. Everyone eventually arrives at a place in life where the pew is not enough and the world is not enough. You know there is something more to all of it, especially the Word of God. You arrive at a place where all of your mindful recognition of God, your awareness and open acknowledgment that He exists, is compromised knowingly and simultaneously, by your present daily awareness that you don’t really operate like God is before you at all times. This is true for a great many peoples. In the larger scheme of things, the Book of Revelation may just be right. Of the 7.6+ billion people in the world today, there may only be, 144 thousand qualified to walk with Christ in the thousand year reign. What if this 144k is comprised of all the people that ever lived? …not just people living in this present day and time? If God is speaking in literal terms, we do get a sense that the enormous gap between 7 billion and 144 thousand, correlates with how far removed the majority of people in this world are from God.

PLACING A DEMAND ON HEAVEN…

How does this news help matters? If you decide to place a demand on Heaven to increase our ranks and become, one hundered-forty four thousand and ONE, you have chosen to become a light in the midst of darkness. At anytime we can say, ” We are better than this!”. When we decide, as believers to place a demand on Heaven saying, “I make 144k and One! That’s when we have conclusively decided to study to show ourselves approved. We have the ability to stand before God like Moses and ask for a different outcome. But we have not challenged God on the matter. More often than not, we look for ways to explain the hundred-forty-four thousand. Perhaps, we should present God with an argument to increase it!

This can only happen when we decide to come out of the pew, serve others and do the actual work of God. When we decide that, we are not good enough the way we are, anad the situation is not good enough the way it is. We decide our voice matters. We decide our life matters. We decide that it’s preferable not to be of the 1% of the world, and to pursue instead, the one-hundred-thousandth percentile with God. We decide that humility, kindness, generosity, and compassion is better than, not less than. We decide that character refinement is our mandate. We decide that consecration, education and dedication are not less than, but greater than. We decide that we know the difference between right and wrong, and we no longer stay silent about wrong. Especially when its happening right in front of us. If it is in your power to do good, will you do it? This is the substance and quality of our faith.

SO, WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO?

When we decide to educate, validate and emancipate ourselves from lower level thinking, that’s when we are ready to question what we know, and how we know it. When we are so hungry for God’s wisdom that we submit our wisdom to His. When we can see the signs of God along the way and are not ashamed to follow Him and let everybody see it. In our carnality, the things that we treasure are…what we know, what we think we know, what we have, what we want to have, what we hold dear, what we think should be held dear…When we are ready to put someone else’s needs ahead of our own, we abandon our worldly treasures. This is when we are ready to hear God’s word. When we begin to notice that our conversation has changed and elevated. When we are ready to love our neighbor, who is, by the way, our enemy...that’s when we are truly ready to do a work for the Lord God Almighty. That’s when we transfer ourselves and our possessions from our kingdom and what we cherish, and into the Kingdom of Heaven, which God treasures.

THESE ARE NOT OUR WEAPONS…

It is around this time and space, when we begin to hear the answer to our questions and we become an answer ourselves. When we are ready to lay down all of our worldly carnal weapons and say teach me LORD, how to wield the weapons of Your Warfare. When we decide a prayer life is not so hard to accomplish. When we decide worship is not embarrassing or a foreign concept, but a lifestyle. When we decide that gossip, loshon hara (an evil tongue or wicked speech) or a mean spirit are putting blockades between ourselves and God, shutting up the Heavens like iron. When we would rather control our tongues than put up walls between ourselves and God. When dying to self is preferable to staying stuck in our own wicked ways. This is how we release the anointing over our own lives. That’s just how it works.

Torah elevates thought. Torah elevates your work ethic. Torah creates moves ahead of your opponents. Torah opens up the Heavens. Torah increases wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Torah increases compassion. Torah changes us.   If we are not ready to do all of the above, there is no reason to study torah… because that’s all God talks about.

MORE DEMONSTRATION, LESS CONVERSATION…

There are no short answers to weighty questions. There’s only study and walking out the answers. Besides, once you know the answer for yourself and become the answer, no one can ever take that knowledge of who you are, away from you. Then and only then, are you ready to give an answer to everyone, about who God is.

CONNECTING THE DOTS…

This blog will be about connecting the dots in scripture and showing you where all the connection points are, line upon line. I’ve been very straight forward, very matter of fact, because your time, your life, your role in God’s plan is not just valuable, it’s a matter of urgency.

If you’re ready to challenge what you’ve already been taught, ready to build upon good soil, ready to be good soil, this blog may be a good match for you.

Let’s study the Plan of God…

Note: In every place where I spoke of “You, Us or Your”, I am referring to the collective “Us”, as the Body of Christ. This blog is not being written as an apologetics tool. It is written for those who believe already. If you do not, you may find this blog helpful in clarifying points of scripture. However, it is not written to challenge anyone but the Christian Believer and My Current Students, who are seeking Greater Knowledge and Understanding in the Word of God.

This Blog is dedicated to my son in honor of the memory of a precious soul he knew, whose life was cut short by baseless hatred and senseless violence.

…I am so sorry for your loss. I know that place you find yourself in and how hard it is to celebrate a homegoing. So I will call it instead, his Change of Address. You lost his presence here on earth, the presence of someone you truly cared about, one of your peers. Someone whose life, ideas, thoughts, and messages penetrated your soul, like the Word of God itself. Be comforted. His blood cries out from the ground and his voice can still be heard in the earth. People of his caliber are rare jewels and their legacy must be continued. I pray that the passion and compassion you feel in your heart today, never perishes from this earth. I pray that the international community never forgets and that thousands of young men place a demand on Heaven and pick up his mantle. I pray that the love they feel in this moment fell on the good soil in their hearts. Let the ache in their hearts become a perpetual fire of purpose. His message and his deeds will not be snatched away, the beast of the field shall not trample over them. His seed shall remain and multiply, and his Legacy Continues.

To God be the Glory, Amen.

[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so.  I want your final product to be as pristine as possible.  Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament.  I do that intentionally.  We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue.  We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good.  I want to provoke us to do that.  It’s good for the soul 🙂  Your a good student!  God Bless You].

© 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog

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