Sermon on the Mount Part 1

PART 1 – Are We Putting The Kingdom And Yahweh’s Righteousness First?

Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you.”

The first time I read Yahshua’s words, I realized that, of course, this is important. However, it
took reading Yahshua’s words several times and building up a daily practice over time, before
my actions reflected my desire to seek the Kingdom and Yahweh’s righteousness first.

It is useful, for deeper understanding, to read the Scripture in context. Matthew 6:33 is part of
what is known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29), a significant sermon from
Yahshua. It is important to follow Yahshua’s examples and teachings (1Peter 2:21); therefore, I
believe the Sermon on the Mount is precious Scripture. This Sermon contains key concepts and
guidelines that Yahshua teaches us, including:

1) the mindset, behavior and attitudes that we are to embrace and engage in as believers;
2) Yahweh’s laws as found in the Torah are still relevant and endure forever;
3) how to treat others and how we ourselves are to live righteously;
4) expounding on the definitions and spiritual intents of the Law;
5) prayer;
6) key principles about serving Yahweh with complete devotion and obedience.

(These topics will be covered in future parts of this series.)

The focus of this article is on “seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness”
specifically, and what this may look like in day-to-day life. I found the footnote in the
Restoration Study Bible, 4th edition, helpful in understanding the importance of this verse: “These
likely represent the promise of eternal life and the perfection of Yahweh’s holy Word. By these
two attributes a believer finds Yahweh’s blessed assurance and provision.”

The promise of eternal life is certainly a promise I would like to be part of! Living a life of peace
and harmony on earth forever without pain and suffering, living with Yahweh and with Yahshua
and with my spiritual family, is a big motivator to keep me walking this walk and enduring
whatever trials and challenges come ahead! (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 21:1-7) The perfection
of Yahweh’s holy Word is definitely something I agree with, as when I continue to read and
study the Bible, it is continually reinforced that Yahweh’s Word is “perfect, sure, right, and
pure” (Psalm 19:7-11), and that it is inspired by Yahweh (2Timothy 3:16-17).

These two attributes in Matthew 6:33 help us comprehend the “big picture” of what Yahweh’s
kingdom and righteousness bring us, both in daily life and in the future. (Big picture is defined in
the Meriam Webster Dictionary as “the entire perspective on a situation or issue”.)

(www.meriam-webster.com) In the Torah, Yahweh gives us His Laws, which are clear
expectations of how to live righteously and do His will. In the prophetic books and chapters of
the Bible, Yahweh gives us valuable lessons and information so we can learn His ways, live
righteously, be prepared for what the future holds, and potentially be a part of the Kingdom to
come. The New Testament reinforces and expounds on Old Testament Scriptures. Those who
obey and follow Yahweh’s Word are blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 119; Matthew 5:19).
I also felt compelled to look up the definition of the word “first” to further discuss Matthew 6:33.
According to the Meriam Webster Dictionary, “first” means: “preceding all others in time,
order, or importance: before another in time, space, or importance: one that is number one in a
series: something that is first: at the beginning.” (https://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/first) As we see in this definition, “first” has to do with importance
and with sequential order. Therefore, according to Yahshua’s teaching, if we seek Yahweh’s
Kingdom and righteousness “first”, meaning we place those first both in importance and
before other aspects of daily living, then “all these things shall be added unto you” – referring
to what Yahshua spoke of in preceding verses i.e. what to eat, drink, wear (things we need daily
for living).

Now that the big picture and the significance of this Scripture became clearer, I was left with the
question, how can I show by my actions that I am seeking first the Kingdom of Elohim and his
righteousness?

It is important to have faith in Yahweh and Yahshua, AND to obey (Romans 3:31). We show our
faith by our actions (James 2:14-18). Therefore, it is important to keep the Sabbaths and the
Feasts according to the biblical calendar, and obey the Commandments, as this is important for
our very salvation! (Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 4:40; Matthew 7:21; 1John 5:1-3; Revelation
22:14).

I also asked myself, what actions can I do daily to express to Yahweh that I love Him
(Deuteronomy 6:5), want to worship only Yahweh (Exodus 20:2-3), and want to obey Him,
because I trust in that He knows what is good for me? (Deuteronomy 10:12-15; Proverbs 3:5-6)
How do I spend time with Yahweh, my Heavenly Father, day to day, because our relationship is
important to me?

To me, the answer is to develop and engage in a daily spiritual practice. Over time, I have put the
following in place:

Daily morning practice:

 First thing in the morning, before I get out of bed, I pray and give thanks to Yahweh.

 I have an app on my phone with which I see a Bible quote of the day. I check it and read
it, think on it, and then share it.

 After breakfast, I spend time reading the Bible every day. I am following the 52-week
Bible reading plan in the back of the Restoration Study Bible, so I read the portion of the
day based on that plan. (I like the structure of it, and it works well for me. My son reads a
few chapters at a time in sequence, which works well for him.) After I finish reading the
portion of the day, I record in my journal a Scripture that I find inspiring and think on
what the words in those pages could mean. On Sabbath mornings, my family and I read
together for about 45 minutes and then discuss what we read. (Psalm 143:8)

During the day:

 If something happens where I feel very blessed by Yahweh and it is a joyous event, I say
a prayer of thanks to Yahweh for His blessings, and I like to share my joy with others
(Psalm 9:1).

 I also like to sing songs of praise and to listen to devotional music, at varied times (ex.
while commuting, after dinner, whenever I need a “pick me up”, etc.) (Psalm 100).

 If something happens that is sad, stressful, challenging, etc., I do my best to remember
that Yahweh is there, and I go to Him in prayer first. I have other tools to use as well if
needed to get me through challenges, but I find that going to Yahweh first is important
(Psalms 55:16-17, 22; Philippians 4:6-7).

 If I feel like I have erred/sinned, I go to Yahweh in prayer for forgiveness and ask for
help with how I can change and do better (Psalm 103; Matthew 6:12-13; Luke 11:4).

 Pray for others (James 5:16).

Night time before bed:

 My husband, son, and I sing and say prayers to Yahweh at night before bedtime
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Numbers 15:40-41; 1Thessalonians 5:17-18).

These are things I have built into my life and my routines over time. I am not saying that folks
need to engage in a daily routine as I have done it; I am merely listing what I currently do as a
practice, just as an example of what spending time with Yahweh every day and putting His
Kingdom and righteousness first, means to me.

There have been days in the past that I did not read the Bible in the morning, for whatever
reason, and became busy with day-to-day things like work, cleaning, cooking, and life-stuff in
general; looking back, those days did not go very well and were stressful! I felt a big difference
in how my day went when I started with prayer and Scripture, my days went much smoother! I
definitely feel like starting my day with prayers to Yahweh and with Scripture reading set up my
mindset and heart with faith, love, hope, and inspiration, and I feel better overall and ready to go
about my day and whatever it brings.

I believe we can see in Scripture that Yahweh loves His children and wants a relationship with us
(Proverbs 8:17; John 3:16-17; Romans 8:28; 1John 4:7-16). Therefore, in order to nurture that
relationship, and because we need to seek the Kingdom and Yahweh’s righteousness first, it
stands to reason that need to spend time daily with Yahweh Our Father in Heaven, and read His
Word, every day (Psalm 143:10; Proverbs 2:6, 3:1-6, 4:13; Acts 17:11; 1Thessalonians 5:17-21).
If ye then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which are above, where Messiah sitteth on the
right hand of Yahweh. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
(Colossians 3:1-2)
~ Submitted by Judy Stern

A Collection of Poetry and Scriptures

A Collection of Poetry and Scriptures

Praise Yahweh! The Bible is full of so much inspiration!

I was reading the Bible one day and was inspired to write poetry. In addition, I felt inclined to
find and list related Scriptures.

This is the Scripture that moved me:
1Samuel 12:22, 24
For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased
Yahweh to make you his people.

Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he
hath done for you.

Yahweh has indeed done so much for us!

Yahweh Elohim
King, Holy, Savior, Father,
In Him I will trust.
(Psalm 99; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 12:2-6; Jeremiah 10:6-7; Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2)

Yahweh Elohim
In Him all is possible
Love, have Faith, Obey.
(Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; 1John 5:1-4)

Yahweh hears our prayers
Glory and Praise to Yahweh
He does wondrous things!
(Psalm 40:1-5)

Yahweh answers prayers
If you Love Him and Obey
Then He will bless you!
(Deuteronomy 28; John 9:31)

Yahweh’s Commandments
Can be summed up in this: Love
Yahweh, neighbors, self.
(Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28)

Yahshua Messiah
Our Rabbi, our example,
Obey his teachings.
(Matthew 23:8; John 14:15; 1Peter 2:21)

Study Yahweh’s Word
Read, Be Inspired, Learn! It’s
Perfect, sure, right, pure.
(Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalm 19:7-8; Romans 15:4; 2Timothy 3:16-17)

Read, study and think on the Scriptures for your own edification and inspiration!
~Submitted by Judy Stern

Strong Women

What is a “strong woman”?

If you were to ask my 8-year-old self, a good example would have been “Sheena – Queen of the Jungle.” Sheena was television’s female counterpart to Tarzan. She was beautiful and brave, conversed with animals, and was very proficient at tree-swinging in her mission to protect the innocent. But that was then and now, many years later, I have changed my perceptions. Over the years I have been fortunate to know, and in some cases form lasting friendships with, many whom I consider to be strong women. So, what exactly are the properties or characteristics that determine whether a woman is “strong”?

Throughout the Scriptures there are many examples of women displaying various aspects of strength. The women differ in age, country, and economic circumstance. And while each displays a unique type of strength, all of the women had at least one thing in common – each fearlessly took action when confronted with hard situations.

Rahab: Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”

Living the life of a prostitute in Jericho, Rahab was drawn to the Elohim of the Hebrews who surrounded the city. She sheltered and protected the lives of the Hebrew spies who had been sent to assess the city’s defenses, all at the risk of her life and that of her family. Because of this, Rahab and her family were rescued when the walls of Jericho fell. She later married one of the original spies and became the great-great-grandmother of King David.

Ruth: Ruth 1:16, “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after thee; For whither thou goest, I will go; And wherever thou lodgest, I will lodge; Thy people shall be my people, And thy Elohim, my Elohim.”

Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, who, when their respective husbands died, journeyed with Naomi to her native Bethlehem. Instead of going back to the safety of her own Moabite family, Ruth endured many dangers and hardships to protect and provide for Naomi. Ruth later won the love of and married Boaz, a Hebrew, who admired her kindness and diligence. Ruth became one of five women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Yahshua.

Deborah: Judges 5:7, “The [inhabitants of] the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel.”

The fourth judge and a prophetess of Israel, Deborah provided civil and spiritual leadership when it was most needed. She inspired the Israelites to a mighty victory over their Canaanite oppressors. Barak, Israel’s military commander, refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. Through her courage and leadership, Deborah was a light to her people and turned many back to faith in and service to their Elohim.

Esther: Esther 4:14, “…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther was a Jewish queen of a Persian king. King Ahasuerus was convinced by Haman, his advisor, to kill all of the Jews in the country. Esther, after fasting and praying, and at great danger to herself, approached the king to ask for mercy on her people. The result is that the king not only spared the Jews in his empire, but also decided to kill all of the enemies of the Jews, Haman included. Esther’s courage saved her people.

Abigail: 1 Samuel 25:35, “So David received of her hand [that] which she had brought him, and said unto her, ‘Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person’.”
Abigail was the wife of Nabal, a churlish, drunken, and selfish fool who refused to help King David and his army with needed provisions. David was readying to kill Nabal and all of his household when Abigail saved them by hastily gathering all that was needed and taking them to David with an apology for her husband’s rebuff. Through Abigail’s quick thinking and courage, Nabal’s household was saved. Nabal died soon after and Abigail became a wife to David.

Phoebe: Romans 16: 1, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.”

A wealthy woman, Phoebe used her wealth to serve others. She was referred to as a “sister” in the faith by Paul. She was also a deacon of the church in Cenchreae, teaching and helping the sick and administering to the poor. As a spiritual sister, she was entrusted with the task to carry Paul’s Epistle to the Romans to the city of Rome, quite a distance from Corinth in Greece. While there, she also represented Paul and his gospel message to the Roman assembly. Due to her first-hand knowledge of Paul’s message, after serving alongside him as a co-worker, Phoebe was able to explain and answer their questions. Phoebe was not only a generous person, but a skilled leader in proclaiming the gospel.

If we look around us today, we see many women struggling with the contentions of the world. In our assembly alone, there are women who have lost husbands or are caring for husbands who will never get well. There are women who have suffered the unimaginable sorrow of having lost unborn, young, or adult children. Then, there are the women who are struggling with their own handicaps or health problems, yet manage to make it to Sabbath services. Many women lack a provider, yet are raising and teaching their children with much love in lieu of money. Widows and other single women living alone, uncomplainingly manage to make ends meet while faithfully following Yahweh’s commands, including tithing each month. Despite hardships, these women have drawn their strength to endure and go forward from their obedience to and faith in Yahweh and Yahshua, His Son. It’s not always the outspoken and opinionated voices that pinpoint tenaciousness, but often the unnoticed, humble, and faithful women who demonstrate the most endurance. These are the truly strong women.

By Debbie Reed

Be sure to check out the other wonderful articles in the Come to the Garden blog!

Yahweh Is Love

Yahweh Is Love

Many people are familiar with the scripture, John 3:16-17, “For Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. For Yahweh sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  This is definitely a wonderfully beautiful testament of Yahweh’s love! He sent Yahshua to the world for the sake all who believe.

There is also an inspiring scripture that plainly speaks of Yahweh’s love, 1John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love that Elohim hath to us. Yahweh is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in Elohim, and Elohim in him.”

Note: The preceding two scriptures are both in the New Testament. The reason I quoted them is to discuss what I have heard people say about Our Father in Heaven; that the Elohim of the New Testament is loving, in sharp contrast to the “angry and vengeful” Elohim of the Old Testament. I have heard some say that due to Yahshua’s sacrifice and the New Covenant, the ways that Elohim used to punish people in the days of the Old Testament are no longer necessary.

I wholeheartedly disagree with folks who view Yahweh as an “angry and vengeful” Elohim and with those who see a very different Elohim in the Old Testament than in the New Testament. Are there lessons to be learned from the Bible, such as in the accounts about the Great Flood and about Sodom and Gomorrah? Has Yahweh imposed consequences for disobedience? Absolutely, yes, and I’m not trying to sugar-coat anything. However, I cannot deny that, as I study and read the Bible, I see an Elohim of love and mercy throughout the Bible; I see an Elohim who loves and protects His people, who forgives their transgressions, and who essentially wants His children to love Him as He loves us.

In my earlier studies of the Word, there were two Scriptures I discovered that show Yahweh is, has, and always will be, the same:

First: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of Yahweh, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Second: Malachi 3:6 “For I am Yahweh, I change not.”

This led me to think, if all Scriptures are inspired by Yahweh and He does not change, and we further  read Scriptures showing Yahweh’s love in the New Testament, such as John 3:16-17 and 1 John 4:16, then surely Yahweh’s love can be seen in the Old Testament as well!

Prior to listing those Old Testament Scriptures, I would first like to mention the passage that inspired this article, Micah 6:8, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Yahweh require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy Elohim?” As we discussed in a recent Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry Bible study, this Scripture shows that Yahweh loves us and wants us to walk with Him.

 

Yahweh wants to have a loving relationship with us, like any loving parents would want close and loving relationships with their children. These Old Testament Scriptures show that Yahweh is love; Yahweh always has been and always will be a loving Elohim. He loves and teaches us and is an Elohim that His people can trust and turn to in times of trouble. He protects us and is a faithful, forgiving, and merciful El. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.”

Genesis 21:1-2, “And Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, and Yahweh did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which Elohim had spoken to him.”

Exodus chapters 3-13, The powerful story of how Yahweh freed His people from the bondage of the Egyptians!

Deuteronomy 7:7-9, “Yahweh did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because Yahweh loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath Yahweh brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that Yahweh thy Elohim, he is Elohim, the faithful El, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”

Joshua 21:43-45, “And Yahweh gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And Yahweh gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; Yahweh delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which Yahweh had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

Judges 10:16, “And they put away the strange mighty ones from among them, and served Yahweh: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.”

1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

2 Samuel 7:20-22, “And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, my Sovereign Yahweh, knowest thy servant. For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. Wherefore thou art great, O Yahweh Elohim: for there is none like thee, neither is there any Elohim beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

Nehemiah 2:4, 8, Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the Elohim of heaven…And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my Elohim upon me.”

Psalm 103:1-8, “Bless Yahweh, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Yahweh executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”

Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith Yahweh: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Isaiah 26:4, “Trust ye in Yahweh forever: for in Yah YAHWEH is everlasting strength:”

Isaiah 54:10-13, “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith Yahweh that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of Yahweh; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

Jeremiah 9:24, “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am Yahweh which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith Yahweh.”

Jeremiah 31:1-3, “At the same time, saith Yahweh, will I be the Elohim of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith Yahweh, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. Yahweh hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of Elohim more than burnt offerings.”

Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh hath said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.”

Nahum 1:7, “Yahweh is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

~ by Judy Stern

Headship

At the very mention of this word most people will cringe at the thought that someone is in a position of authority to tell them what they can and cannot do. From creation of this world there has been a rulership of authority that has reigned on the earth. The Heavenly Father was in existence before mankind was created. Humans were given the ability to decide who they wanted to serve whether good or evil. They chose to disregard what the Father told them and ate of the tree of which they were not to partake.

Headship means – a position of leader or chief. In ancient times, and even to this day, men have been the ones accountable for the state of their homes and their family. However, in the days before the return of Yahshua scripture states that, in these end days, women and children will rule the home. Isaiah 3:12, “My people! Youths exert pressure on them, and women rule over them. O My people! Your leaders lead you astray, and swallow the way of your paths.”

Whether men are right or wrong there will be a day coming when men will stand accountable before the Father to answer for the state of their rulership.

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey those leading you, and be subject to them, for they watch for your lives, as having to give account. Let them do so with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master.”

Ephesians 5:23, “Because the husband is head of the wife, as also the Messiah is head of the assembly, and He is Savior of the body.”

Ephesians 5:24, “But as the assembly is subject to Messiah, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every respect.”

Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it,”

Women were not created as their own reigning entities. Women were created from man to be companions and helpers for them. Many will find authors and supporters of the belief that women are equal, if not superior, to men, but this assertion is not in line with Scripture, whether old or new.

Genesis 2:22, “And the rib which יהוה Elohim had taken from the man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

Genesis 2:23, “And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one is called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of man.’”

Genesis 2:24, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

We see from the two following scriptures that women were not created of their own domain but were, not only made for man, but from man. 1 Corinthians 11:7 states, “…but woman is the esteem of man.”

1 Corinthians 11:8, “For man is not from woman, but woman from man.”

1 Corinthians 11:9, “For man also was not created for the woman, but woman for the man.”

In the verse below we see the hierarchy from the Father. There is no directive that states a woman is over the man nor is she her own authority.

1 Corinthians 11:3, “And I wish you to know that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is Elohim.”

From the beginning of time, we see how decisions were made in the hierarchy that is noted in the scripture above. When a woman made a vow of which her husband or father did not approve, her vow was removed from her and she was forgiven. If her head authority approved and did not revoke her vow, then she held all responsibility for this vow or decision, as well as any repercussions from this commitment.

Numbers 30:3, “Or if a woman vows a vow to יהוה, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth,”

Numbers 30:4, “And her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father has kept silent towards her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself stands.”

Numbers 30:5, “But if her father forbids her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself stand. And יהוה pardons her, because her father has forbidden her.”

Numbers 30:6, “But if she at all belongs to a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself,

Numbers 30:7, “And her husband hears it, and he has kept silent towards her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself do stand.”

Numbers 30:8, “But if her husband forbids her on the day that he hears it, then he has nullified her vow which she vowed, and the rash utterance of her lips by which she bound herself, and יהוה pardons her.”

Numbers 30:9, “But any vow of a widow or a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, stands against her.”

Numbers 30:10, “And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound herself by an agreement with an oath,”

Numbers 30:11,”And her husband heard it, and has kept silent towards her and did not forbid her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement by which she bound herself stands.”

Numbers 30:12, “But if her husband clearly nullified them on the day he heard them, then whatever came from her lips concerning her vows or concerning the agreement binding her, it does not stand – her husband has nullified them,and יהוה pardons her.”

Numbers 30:13, “Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her being, let her husband confirm it, or let her husband nullify it.”

Numbers 30:14, “But if her husband is altogether silent at her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all the agreements that bind her – he confirms them, because he kept silent towards her on the day that he heard.”

Numbers 30:15, “But if he nullifies them after he has heard, then he shall bear her crookedness.”

Numbers 30:16, “These are the laws which יהוה commanded Mosheh, between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter in her youth in her father’s house.”

While women today want to ascertain that they are free to make decisions and can override their husband’s authority, this is not true according to the Scriptures as a whole. Women’s decisions and vows were conditional in the Heavenly Father’s eyes to their heads (fathers or husbands) approval or silence. If a woman made an oath that her head did not support, she was excused from any consequences of this decision.

However, if a woman who made a vow was widowed or single, any negative consequences from that vow were her responsibility. Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.’”

Some common questions or arguments presented by women about male headship:

If my husband will not lead our home how am I supposed to follow or submit to his authority?

1 Timothy 5:8, “And if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the belief and is worse than an unbeliever.”

According to this scripture, if a man refuses to provide or take his role as a leader, he is considered as an unbeliever. Trying to usurp his authority in order to “save” your home does not motivate your head to take charge. As is stated in scripture, a woman can lead her unbelieving spouse by her behavior.

1 Peter 3:1 “In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that if any are disobedient to the Word, they, without a word, might be won by the behavior of their wives,”

1 Peter 3:2, “having seen your blameless behavior in fear.”

As is the case in most social situations, if you try to overcome someone who is belligerent or violent nothing is accomplished but a power struggle and more pain and suffering. The best way to deal with someone who is aggressive is to remove yourself from the situation and get to a safe place while seeking prayer and wisdom.

My husband does not make good decisions so I must protect the family.
Because your spouse is making decisions that you are not in full agreement with does not give credence to your rebelliousness. If a man is wrong, the consequences will be on his head and not yours. Recall the situation with Abigail and Nabal; she intercepted to protect her household and husband when she learned of his decisions. When he was sober she told him what she did in a calm rational way. The scriptures do not indicate that she kept pointing out his error. It was in Yahweh’s hand and he dealt with Nabal in His own way. Abigail intercepted for the protection of the household, not to question her spouse on his decisions.

Let me leave you with these scriptures on what Yahweh is looking for in the conduct and behavior of wives and those under headship.
Titus 2:11, “Let a woman learn in silence, in all subjection.”

1 Timothy 2:12, ”But I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, rather, to be in silence.”

1 Timothy 2:13, ”Because Aḏam was formed first, then Ḥawwah.”

1 Timothy 2:14, “And Aḏam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, fell into transgression.”

1 Timothy 2:15, “But she shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in belief, and love, and set-apartness, with sensibleness.”

Titus 2:3, “The older women likewise are to be set-apart in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of what is good,”

Titus 2:4, “In order for them to train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,”

Titus 2:5, “To be sensible, blameless, workers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, in order that the word of Elohim is not evil spoken of.”

By Luann Avalos

Corona Virus 2020 Bible

Quarantine Survival Tips

*Remember who the author and finisher of your life is.

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”

I came to the belief and understanding recently that, once I have given my life to Yahweh and Yahshua, my life is not my own. My physical days on this earth have been decided and it is up to me if I will continue to surrender my life to Him or try to save my own life.

*Improve your health.

If you are dependent on conventional medicine, then improve your health by weaning your body off prescriptions. Start eating food that supports and strengthens your body to its fullest potential. By eating healthily, your body, in turn, will be able to resist bacteria and infections that can drain your health and cause further problems.

*Use your talents to serve others.

1Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, serve one another, as good trustees of the manifold favor of Elohim.”

I believe that we all have talents and have been created for such a time as this. Pray and seek Yahweh concerning the gifts you have to build up and strengthen those around you. If you have a gift of prayer, encouragement, music, speech, and more, share with those whom the Father puts in your path. We do not know how much of our personality helps those around us.

*Improve your relationship with Yahweh and your family.

While this time of quarantine is unpleasant and difficult, it is the perfect time to reflect and to spend time in Scripture and prayer. If you have been busy running around from appointment to appointment, then this is a great time to rebuild relationships with your loved ones. If we look at this time of being stationary and take the time to study Yah’s Word and work on our relationships in our immediate family, then we will be strengthened for the battle that is ahead.

*Accept change, as Yahweh is in control.

Habbakuk 3:16 “I heard, and my body trembled, My lips quivered at the sound, Rottenness came into my bones. And I trembled within myself, That I might rest for the day of distress, To come upon the people who would attack us.”

More than likely, once this version of “lockdown” is over, life will not go back to what it was before. There will be changes and trials that will test our beliefs.

Remember in all things that Yahweh is in control. His Word states in Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה, ’plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.’”

By: Luann Avalos

Trust in Yahweh, Fear Not

Here is a list of Inspiring Scriptures to remind us that Yahweh is with us!

Deuteronomy 31:8
And Yahweh, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for Yahweh thy Elohim is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

2 Samuel 22:31-33
As for El, his way is perfect; the word of Yahweh is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is El, save Yahweh? and who is a rock, save our Elohim? El is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

1Kings 17:7-16
And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of Yahweh came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As Yahweh thy Elohim liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith Yahweh Elohim of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that Yahweh sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spake by Elijah.

Nehemiah 1:5, 9-10
And said, I beseech thee, O Yahweh Elohim of heaven, the great and awe inspiring El, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:, But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

Psalms 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of Yahweh; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalms 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou Yahweh, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalms 5:1-8
Give ear to my words, O Yahweh, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my Elohim: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Yahweh; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a El that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: Yahweh will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O Yahweh, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

Psalms 5:11-12
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice…for thou, Yahweh, will bless the righteous, with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Psalms 9:10
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou Yahweh, has not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalms 13:6
I will sing unto Yahweh, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalms 16:11
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalms 17:8
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalms 18:2
Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my El, my strength in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 23
Yahweh is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of  death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of Yahweh for ever.

Psalms 34:4
I sought Yahweh, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalms 34:7
The angel of Yahweh encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Psalms 37:3, 7-11
Trust in Yahweh, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and vrily thou shall be fed., Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon Yahweh, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalms 37:25
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Psalms 37: 39
The salvation of the righteous is of Yahweh: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalms 46:1-2, 10-11
Elohim is our refuge and strength, A help in distress, soon found. Therefore we do not fear, Though the earth reels And mountains topple into the heart of seas, Be still, and know that I am Elohim: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Yahweh of hosts is with us; the Elohim of Jacob is our refuge.

Psalms 55:22
Cast thy burden upon Yahweh, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalms 56:3-4
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In Elohim I will praise his word, in Elohim I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Psalms 69:30
I will praise the name of Elohim with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Psalms 91
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Yahweh, He is my refuge and my fortress: my Elohim; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made Yahweh, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalms 103:1-6
Bless Yahweh, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Yahweh executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Psalms 118:5-6
I called upon Yah in distress: Yah answered me, and set me in a large place. Yahweh is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Psalms 121:1-8
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from Yahweh, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Yahweh is thy keeper: Yahweh is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Yahweh shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. Yahweh shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalms 138:8
Yahweh will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Yahweh, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalms 150:6
Let every thing that hath breath praise Yah. Praise ye Yah.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in Yahweh with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 18:10
The name of Yahweh is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in Yahweh shall be safe.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Isaiah 1:18
Come now, and let us reason together, saith Yahweh: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 12:2
Behold, El is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yah YAHWEH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 35:4
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your Elohim will come with vengeance, even Elohim with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy Elohim: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed is the man that trusteth in Yahweh, and whose hope Yahweh is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Joel 2:32
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh hath said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.

Amos 5:4, 14
For thus saith Yahweh unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:, Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so Yahweh, the Elohim of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

Matthew 6:25-26
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they?

Matthew 6:34
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 19:26
… with Yahweh all things are possible.

Luke 9:12-17
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

Luke 11:3
Give us day by day our daily bread.

Luke 12:7
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2 Corinthians 5:7
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Yahshua the Messiah:

Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto Elohim. And the peace of Yahweh, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Messiah Yahshua.

2 Timothy 1:7
For Elohim hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Hebrews 12:1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Yahshua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the stake, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.

Hebrews 13:5-6
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have for he hath said I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE. So that we may boldly say Yahweh IS MY HELPER, AND I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL DO UNTO ME.

1Peter 5:6-9
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of Elohim, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

I John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear:

Praise to Yahweh for Inspiration!

Contributors: Michael & Meandy Bishop, Michael & Sandra Daley, Christopher Fouts, Jose Gonzalez, Brenda Hobbs, Jessica Kruse, Jevon Love, Debbie Reed, Judy Stern, and additional brothers and sisters.

All We Have To Do Is…NOTHING?

The Bible is full of inspiration and tells us exactly what we are required to do as believers, as children of Yahweh. It instructs us how our loving Father wants us to have lives filled with love (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:20-21; 1Corinthians 13), joy, peace and Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), to enjoy many blessings and be a part of the coming Kingdom (John 14:23). Yet the Bible is so often misquoted; verses are often taken out of context and misunderstood. The answers are there… if we pray to Yahweh and ask for His help to understand His Word and His Way. If we read the book He provides for instruction and guidance, and if we allow Scripture to explain Scripture, it is amazing what we can discover and learn! (John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1Thessalonians 5:17-21; 2Timothy 2:15).

One teaching that is based on misunderstandings and misinterpretations is the “saved by grace through faith alone” doctrine and associated misconceptions, such as: “The Old Testament is ‘old’ and therefore no longer relevant; we no longer need to keep Sabbaths and Feasts; Yahshua put an end to observing the law. In conclusion, we no longer need to do anything. All we need to do is have Faith.…”

REALLY? Is this scripturally supported? All we have to do is… NOTHING???

In this article, we will take a look at some New Testament Scriptures that can be erroneously transformed into a “saved by grace through faith alone” doctrine. We will also see what the New Testament actually says about following the Mosaic Laws, and see how we know the Old Testament is still valid.

These are some Scriptures used to “prove” that all we need is to have faith:

1) Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

2) Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

3) Galatians 3:13: “Messiah hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”

(Restoration Study Bible, 3rd edition, based on the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version)

(We will look at these verses in more detail momentarily.)

WOW, if everything was done for us then all we have to do is… nothing! WHEW! Wait a minute…

Sometimes it is great to do nothing!!! Yes, it is important to rest and take some down time, but also consider… our residences do not come equipped with self-clean buttons, food does not cook itself (even with slow cookers and instant pots you still have to grow/buy your food and chop, prep, and add the ingredients!), and bills need to get paid. Therefore, we must have some income source; we need to shop for things needed for daily living, etc. We have to “do” things in order to live! Doing means action. We need to make an effort to make things happen. Makes sense, right? If we have to “do” in order to enjoy the blessings our Heavenly Father Yahweh provides now (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), then let us do as we are commanded to because there are bigger blessings yet to come with the Kingdom! (1Corinthians 2:9 and 3:8) Our efforts now to have faith and to obey can lead to eternal life where we will no longer get sick, suffer, die, nor want for anything, and we will live with our Almighty Father Yahweh! (Revelation 21:1-4)

Yahshua’s words as recorded in Matthew 7:21 state, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Master, Master’ will enter the Kingdom of the Heavens, but only those who are obedient to my Father who is in Heaven.” (Weymouth New Testament). Yahshua goes on to say that whoever hears what He is saying and does it is like a wise man who built his house on a rock that remains standing after a rainstorm, versus “a foolish man who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice and builds a house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, New International Version) Did you catch that? Yahshua says “he that doeth the will of my Father,” and “he that hears his words and does them” is like a wise man; not “he that has faith alone.”

There we see the “doing” theme, as Yahshua – the Son of Almighty Yahweh – taught. In addition, consider, did He tell His disciples following Him that all they needed to do, since they started to follow Him, was to have faith? NO! Yahshua sent them out to teach Yahweh’s ways, first to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:1-20), then after His death and resurrection, out to the Gentiles (Matthew 28:18-20).

If we need to “do,” by sheer logic that directly contradicts that we don’t have to “do”. In addition, nowhere in Scripture does it say that we are saved by grace and that faith alone is needed. In fact, James 2:14-26 very clearly and plainly states that both faith AND works are necessary. Here are some specific verses from James 2: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (v.17); “You believe that there is one [Elohim]. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!” (v.19); “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (v. 24) (Holman Study Bible, NKJV edition). If nothing else in that Scripture stands out, then how about verse 24 which clearly says NOT BY FAITH ALONE! The Bible does not contradict itself (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, if we are being clearly told that both faith AND works are required, then logically we see that it CANNOT possibly teach that all you need is faith alone.

Let’s take a look at the Scriptures mentioned previously, often used to “prove” the faith-alone doctrine:

1) In Matthew 5:17-18, Yahshua said He “came not to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them,” and that not a thing, “not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen of the Law will pass away until all is fulfilled.” (NIV) The Greek word for fulfill is “pleroo”, and it means to make full, to cause to abound, to render perfect, to carry out (taken from footnote in Restoration Study Bible 3rd ed.; see also Strong’s Greek Dictionary No. 4137). Some say that Yahshua fulfilled the Law and it’s done and over with and no longer applicable. If you examine the meaning of the word fulfill, AND look at the broader context of this Scripture (this is part of the Sermon on the Mount; why would Yahshua teach that which was being done away with?), it is clear that Yahshua is saying that He is carrying out the Law. In addition, if you look throughout the Evangels, you will see several examples of Yahshua following the Laws. Yahshua’s earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, went to the temple for Passover observances, and Yahshua went with them (Luke 2:41-42). Yahshua kept the Passover (Matthew 26:17-21; Mark 14:1-18; Luke 22:1-18) AND commanded His disciples to continue to do it in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19-20). When Yahshua healed the leper, He told the man to go to the temple and see the priest, and to give the offering according to what was “prescribed by Moses” (Matthew 8:2-4). Yahshua often quoted Mosaic Law: when He was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:4-10 and Luke 4:4-12), during the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-48), when answering the Pharisees regarding their question as to why His disciples did not wash their hands before a meal (Matthew 15:3-4), when asked by a scribe what are the most important commandments (Mark 12:28-34), and when asked by someone what to do to gain eternal life, Yahshua answered, “If thou will enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17). Did you catch that? Yahshua clearly said “KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.” Does it make sense that Yahshua would teach to keep the commandments if they were to be done away with? Clearly not. Also note: Yahshua quoted other Scriptures as well, which today are known as part of the Old Testament, specifically mentioning Isaiah and Hosea, for example (Luke 4:17-21; Matthew 9:13). He also refers to other Scriptures, such as Psalms (Matthew 21:42), for example. Why would Yahshua continually quote invalid OT Scriptures?

2) Romans 3:28 says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (RSB). Cherry pickers love this one!!! As mentioned previously, the Bible does not contradict itself. In addition, it is good practice when reading and studying the Bible to look at the verse in context and to read what is before and after the verse (like when one reads any other book and applies context clues for deeper meaning). Therefore, if we read the entire third chapter of Romans, we learn Paul is teaching that Law is necessary because there is sin, and all fall short of the glory of Elohim; however, now through the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah, there is hope of being saved, both for Jews and for Gentiles, by having faith in Yahshua the Messiah. And to finish this thought, verse 31 clearly states: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not: yea, we establish the law.” (RSB) “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” (NIV) Paul makes it abundantly clear that the Law is NOT voided, and two Bible versions are presented here, showing the Law is established, upheld!

3) Galatians 3:13 says, “Messiah hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” (RSB) Wow, the Law is a curse? Again, let us read the Scriptures around this verse for deeper meaning and look for understanding in context. This is a verse that in and of itself may not be easy to understand. However, if we take a look at what it says in the entire third chapter of Galatians, we see mentioned the faith of Abraham, whom had great faith in Yahweh and was obedient. This chapter of Galatians goes on to quote Deuteronomy 27:26 which states that, “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” (NIV) Since we all fall short, as discussed above, and no one but Yahshua the Messiah has followed all the Law perfectly, we must put our faith in Him, who by being hung on a tree became cursed, “being made a curse for us” (see also Deuteronomy 11:25; 21:22-23) and through Him “we find justification from that punishment and an opportunity to obtain grace” (Commentary from Restoration Study Bible v.13, 3rd ed.). If we are part of the body of Messiah, then we are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (v.29, RSB and NIV)

Oh wait, there’s one more… the end of the Law… Cherry pickers love this one too!

Romans 10:4: “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (RSB)
Well, there you have it…Yahshua ended the law!!! Wait a minute… if we follow the logic presented so far, then we have seen that in Scripture: 1) there are no contradictions; the Bible does not contradict itself and all Scripture is valid; 2) it is recorded that Yahshua taught using the Laws and the Scriptures; 3) it is recorded how the apostles followed and taught the Laws long after Yahshua was resurrected; and, 4) we can search for answers about Scriptures within Scriptures, reading verses before and after and examining related chapters/verses. If we apply these principles, then we see that there must be a deeper meaning to this verse. In addition, as we saw above when examining Matthew 5:17-18, it is useful when studying Scripture to look up words in the Hebrew/Greek dictionaries and to cross-check Bible versions for deeper study. The word for end in Greek is “telos” which means to set out for a definite point or goal; it can also mean the conclusion of an act or state. (Note in Restoration Study Bible, see also Strong’s Greek Dictionary No. 5056.) Since there are two possible definitions, then we must look at Scripture for answers as to which definition applies here. If we apply what we know, that Scripture does not contradict itself, and look at how that same word “end,” (telos), is used in other Scriptures, we can arrive at its meaning in this one. We have seen in other Scriptures such as the need for the Law (Romans 3:31). There are other Scriptures where the word “end,” (telos), is used with the first definition; for example, James 5:11 (“the patience of Job and seen the end of Yahweh” – end meaning goal, for we know that Yahweh is eternal), and 1Peter 1:9 (“the end of your faith” – again, end meaning goal, as the same verse says “we receive salvation of our souls,” for salvation we must have faith, as we discussed). By following principles of Scripture study and looking at context and original language definitions, we see that the first definition applies here as well. Since Scriptures are not contradictory and other Scriptures show the word “end” (telos) meaning “goal,” the same meaning applies here.

In this discussion, we see that the doctrine of being saved by grace through faith alone is NOT scriptural and NOT what the Bible teaches. We clearly see that we must have faith AND obedience (doing what we are taught, following the commandments) in order to have hope for eternal life in the Kingdom. Having faith in Yahweh and in Yahshua the Messiah leads to obedience, and we learn what they teach and what we are required to do by reading and studying the Scriptures, Romans 1:3-5. Obedience means to follow what? The Laws, clearly spelled out in the Torah (the Pentateuch) written by Moses as commanded by Yahweh, as reiterated and illustrated in other books in the Old Testament and as taught and emphasized by Yahshua.

Not only did Yahshua follow and teach the Law, we also see that long after His death and resurrection the apostles (directly taught by Messiah) kept the Sabbath days and the Feasts. The book of Acts of the Apostles show many examples of this, including where the apostles and Jews were gathered and observed the Pentecost (known as the Feast of Weeks in the OT, 1:12-2:4); where Peter said he kept clean food laws (10:14); where Paul kept the Sabbaths and read aloud the Laws (13:14-15; 17:2 and 18:4); and where Paul was determined to arrive at Jerusalem for Pentecost (20:16). The apostles were following the example set by Yahshua. We are reminded that, as believers, we need to follow His example: 1Peter 2:21: “Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps” (RSB).

The Bible quotes in this article are taken from the Restoration Study Bible 3rd edition, which is based on the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version; the Weymouth New Testament (as found on biblehub.com); the New International Version (2011); and the Holman Study Bible New King James Version edition. Please read and study these Scriptures for your own edification. Continue to read and study, have faith and obey Yahweh’s ways, for your well-being and salvation.

~by Judy Stern as published in the Come to the Garden Women’s Blog

Homeschool

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

Are parents capable of educating their children at home, or should this be left to qualified professors or academics?  Parents will often stiffen up and say, “I am not educated enough to teach my child,” or “I leave the education of my child up to the professionals.”

Long before there was a law that children of a certain age needed to attend school, parents were teaching their children to read and write. Once a child is old enough to comprehend what their parent or guardian is saying to them, the parents are educating their children on the world around them. Prior to entering the public-school system, the parents are educating their child on how to navigate this world by teaching him or her at home.

Once their child reaches the age of compulsory attendance – “Compulsory school attendance refers to the minimum and maximum age required by each state in which a student must be enrolled in and attending public school or some equivalent education program defined by the law,” (Education Commission of the States) – most parents turn the teaching over to the school systems while they either go to work or stay home.

The question that comes to mind is, “When did the laws change that required a child to attend public school or to be educated at all?” Horace Mann, known as the “Father of Common School,” argued that, “’universal public education was the best way to turn unruly American children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens.’ Mann won widespread approval from modernizers, especially in the Whig Party, for building public schools.” (Wikipedia).  In some cases, this works to the good of the population and in others it can degrade the values and morals of the community.  It works toward the good of the population when it allows all participants to get an education that was only accessible to the rich who could afford to pay for their child’s education.  In other circumstances, children were needed at home and not allowed to get an education due to responsibilities. This mainly applied to girls who would be the future home-makers and only needed to know how to manage a house, not be among the working class.

While the goal to provide an education that is universal is a noble one, this can create concerns for parents who do not agree with the teachings that are being presented on a neutral platform. Some universal teachings can conflict with the religious and personal beliefs of the parents.

While providing this luxury to all citizens of a community, regardless of social or economic status, the next stipulation that came into play was that children were required by law to be educated between specific age requirements or the parents or guardians would face penalties for disregarding this law. While the common school was set in place to allow education for everyone whether they could afford it or not, it eventually became the mandate for the public at large.  However, parents are now in the situation where they must fight for the right to educate their children at home again, whether it is for religious reasons or just the fact that they want to be the ones to educate their offspring.

Parents who decide to take on the task of educating their children are often considered irresponsible with a lack of concern for their children’s future education and societal standing in the community. They may also be viewed by their community as being religious zealots who want to skirt the system that has been set in place for everyone.

Prior to the enactment of public education, it was thought that homeschooled children were smarter and more well-rounded individuals compared to their peers. Today, children who are educated at home or by private tutors have the one-on-one education that public-school children lack. Due to overcrowding or teacher/pupil ratio, students that need additional support in learning may suffer the lack of proper education or time that their personal situation warrants.  If a child is struggling to understand the current lesson, due to time constraints educators cannot stop and review until the student picks up the material.  If the child can’t keep up, he will flunk the class or end up repeating it until he graduates or quits. The benefits of the one-on-one education is that time can be granted a student who is struggling or teaching strategies can be adjusted for that one child, which cannot be duplicated in a public-school setting. Some students learn better by reading, hearing (auditory), or seeing (visual) the material in a way that promotes comprehension. Parents know their child better than anyone else and can easily adjust to meet the need.

Another benefit of homeschooling is flexibility in scheduling the education course. Instead of being at their desk for the timed school day, students have the freedom to take their education on the road if need be. The parents have the freedom to take a vacation which can also be combined with field trips. The student not only reads about the Grand Canyon, but also they can travel and see all aspects of the Grand Canyon in person and write a paper on their own experience. If the family does not have any travel constraints then they have the option of taking a few more days of study in another area. This allowance gives the student a hands-on approach to their learning achievements.

Home-education is not to be confused with mass education production. Educating children at home should be for the purpose of giving them quality education for the benefit of each student. There are requirements that home-school parents must follow to meet state guidelines. In Missouri one of the laws states that parents must “b) Offer at least one thousand hours of instruction, at least six hundred hours of which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to the aforementioned subject areas and consonant with the pupil’s age and ability. At least four hundred of the six hundred hours shall occur at the regular home school location” (Families for Home Education). According to this law, parents must provide the required hours of education in the core subjects, but the content of that instruction is the choice of the instructor. If the parents would like to instill religious teachings in core subjects there is liberty to do so. Parents can also choose an “eclectic” curriculum which means “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources” (Wikipedia). Becca, a mom who homeschooled for eight years stated, “My approach has morphed many times but it has always fallen under the category of what I term eclectic homeschooling. Basically, I use whatever works” (The Homeschooling Option).

Time constraints or strict schedules are not part of a home-schooler’s vocabulary. Due to the more relaxed pace of home education, school can start at 8:00 a.m. or in the afternoon.  It is possible for single parents or parents who both work outside jobs to educate their children. Due to the persistence of parents and supporters of home education, many advancements have been created and instituted to allow more individuals to teach more advanced subjects. Workbooks for all grade levels can be found at the local retail market or publishing companies. Software companies such as Switched on Schoolhouse have contributed to the homeschool program by designing educational programs that allow customization of the curriculum or use the one they created. Many of these programs have been structured and evaluated by teaching professionals, which allows the parent to implement them with confidence.  There are also free websites which allow printing of worksheets, certain subject material, or even allow students timed coursework such as math, spelling, and typing assignments which can be great supplements.

A parent who works a job in the morning can come home and educate their child in the evenings.  Along the same lines of that freedom is the ability to homeschool during normal school times, year-round or times based on family needs. If there is a need for extra hands during a certain time period of the year, schooling can be adjusted to meet these demands.

Homeschooling allows many benefits to the student’s overall academic performance and should not be reduced to a mass education. Parents should have the ability to educate their children if they so choose without the interference from officials who would like to structure the curriculum. Homeschooled children have been proving, unlike their prior stereotypes, that the individualized education has made them more knowledgeable, well-rounded individuals who can relate to their peers and adults to a higher degree (National Home Education Research Institute).  Homeschooled children are not isolated, withdrawn, uneducated, or dregs of society. They are starting to prove their place in the academic realm.

by Luann Avalos

 

Cite Works

“Horace Mann Wikipedia”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Mann

“Education Commission of the States.”:

https://www.ncsl.org/documents/educ/ECSCompulsoryAge.pdf

Families for Home Education https://fhe-mo.org/missourilaw

Lisa Rivero. “The Homeschooling Option”, 2008 pg. 93

National Home Education Research Institute: https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/

Faith and Action

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

What is faith? It is not physical; so how do we know that faith exists? To have faith, one
starts with hope which will lead to belief. I have hope that I will overcome my educational
obstacles and retain the knowledge I am seeking to excel in my career path. When I build upon
this hope by telling myself that I can overcome, it will eventually become something tangible
and real. Constant repetition of the belief will force the mind to accept that the idea or concept
once “hoped” for can, in actuality, be realized. It then becomes a substance that feels physical
and real. Our mind is shaped and formed by what we tell ourselves. If we inwardly say that we
cannot be a successful business owner or become the doctor that we have always dreamed of
becoming, our mind will follow in this line of thinking and make this a reality.

This is such a valuable thought – to remember that we are not subject to the whims and
ways of this world. Our life can be changed by how much our minds have been bent to accept
that anything is possible. In the past, I have restricted my existence to what I can see and feel
and not on what is possible to achieve. However, we do not have to accept that if only we are
in the right place at the right time then what we truly want can be obtained. My generation has
been taught that, as long as you live in the right neighborhood and go to the right schools, you
are automatically primed for the most rewards in this life. Further, if you do not have these
things, then you will never succeed to your full potential.

This world would be so dismal without faith to give us the hope we need for better days.

It is the thought that as long as I keep having faith in the things that I cannot see or feel, one
day it will become physical. What I am doing in the unseen world can and will be revealed in
this world. I can also change the outcome of my life by having faith, hope, and then belief that
anything is possible. Faith can also bring about other positive changes.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” (Luke 6:31)

In my life, there have been many times that circumstances required change. When I had
been faced with accusations or insults and anger had begun to rise, I began to learn that what
you feel in the moment is usually not the truth. There are times where negative emotions like
rage, jealousy, bitterness, selfishness, and depression can be upon us so strongly that to be free
of their grasp seems impossible. However, when I truly reflect on those feelings and why I am
choosing to accept them, the root is usually pride. I am believing that those emotions are
impossible to shake, yet there are many verses that deny this:

All is permitted me, but not all do profit. All is permitted me, but I shall not be under
authority of any.” (1Cor. 6:12)

And I say: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not accomplish the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16)

I sought יהוה, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Ps. 34:4)

When I tell myself I can choose joy, or that I can choose faith, or that I choose to believe
I can do all things, I am choosing faith. As I am in this faith, I choose to make steps that will
direct the course of my belief. If I want to be joyful, I smile more; if I am afraid, I tell myself that
I am not alone and He watches over me; if I want to succeed, I prepare, study, and work.

Another area of life that requires faith is relationships, as they are valuable to our
existence. It is important to cultivate this partnership between two or more people. The
existence of our physical bodies in this world can be bleak if we isolate ourselves because we
have treated those in our closest circle in a harsh, unloving way.

When I feel valued and loved, it brings a warm, serene feeling to my soul. It makes me
want to reach out to others and share this aura with them as well. The result of this makes me
want to surround many cities and states with this beautiful “thing” called happiness.
The feelings of bitterness and anger also operate along the same lines of transportation.
When the feeling of annoyance, which turns to anger, starts to rise up in our body, everyone
around us will have some participation in this sad turn of events. The harsh, snarling tones
erupt like flames of fire and can destroy a group of people in just a matter of seconds.

It takes perseverance and courage to push past the conflict we have with others,
whether we are to blame or not. I cherish the idea that we are to love, serve, honor, protect,
care for, and value others as we would want the same from those around us. This idea is so
precious to me because it is what I do not accomplish on my own. It is something that I am
consistently striving to achieve every day in my personal relationships.

Each day is a new beginning toward building our personal relationships with those
around us. If we remember to act in a way that we would want to be treated, then some of our
relationships might be spared estrangement and loneliness. If we want kindness and love, then
we must be the ones who give it. This is true faith with action, to be in the moment but to
believe in a better future and consciously make sure steps toward it.

By: Luann Avalos