Shabbat Shalom!

Tonight begins Baruch’s conference in Virginia.  We hope that those who live nearby will be able to come.  We appreciate our friend Patsy who arranged everything.

Please find below a brief commentary from Baruch on this week’s Parasha, Eikev.
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Parashat Eikev (Reward) Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3

In this week’s Torah reading, it is said that “HaShem will not take a bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17) Throughout the Scriptures, there are several occurrences where those in leadership positions are commanded not to take a bribe. However, it is never said in the Bible, that one should not offer a bribe. Does this mean that it is acceptable for one to do so? The answer is obviously no. The reason why the Scripture only states that it is forbidden to receive a bribe is that if it were not sinful to do so, then there would be an incentive for individuals to try to pervert justice and transgress the law and offer a bribe. The Bible emphasizes that it is wrong for one to accept a bribe, and as a result of this, it removes the incentive for one to behave in such a manner.

Through this, one learns an important principle. Although a person should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, removing the incentive from a particular sin can go a long way in causing another not to sin. This is why sinful behavior can never be rewarded or tolerated. A few years ago I was involved in a situation where someone embezzled money from the estate of another. When this offense became known by the relevant parties, one would think that the offender would return the money and seek forgiveness. This did not take place; rather lawyers were brought in to negotiate a settlement. Years passed before finally the money was returned. In the end, the lawyer fees, other expenses, and the aggravation cost far more than the money which was taken. In fact, it would have been better from a mere fiscal perspective to simply ignore the offense and settle the estate. Many people told me that as a believer I should forgive and be gracious. However, this misappropriation of the concept of grace would have actually been a betrayal of my responsibilities to the deceased. In addition to this, many people were watching. For example, the children and grandchildren of the offender were closely following this matter. It was important for them to learn that such behavior is not beneficial. In other words, it was proper for them to understand that there was no incentive to act in such a manner. In the end, the offender just wanted to be finished with the ordeal, for the money became irrelevant and it was returned.

In short, it is very important for a society to remove any and all incentives concerning sin. When this principle is ignored, sin will increase.

Shabbat Shalom

Decision made!

Thank you to everyone who responded!  I do want to clarify that it will be me, Rivka, writing the posts.  As I can, I will try to also post something now and then from Baruch.  Not sure if you all know that I am Baruch’s wife.

I will begin with Rosh HaShanah.  I will really try to do my best to make the posts interesting, informative, include pictures and hopefully link a few videos that I make along the way.  We can all learn together!

Blessings!

Tell Me What You Think

I am prayerfully considering blogging the Biblical calendar…meaning posting about every fast, holiday, new moon, shabbat, etc.  Please give me your feedback.  If you think it would be helpful and you would enjoy it, leave me a comment.  Thanks!

Shabbat Shalom

Here is a commentary by Baruch, concerning this week’s Parasha, Va’etchanan.  If you have not done so, you might want to check out http://www.1335kingdom.com and order Baruch’s latest e-book concerning the end times.  Shabbat Shalom!

Parashat Vaetchanan (And he entreated) Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11

Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses sees what is called “This Good Mountain” and “the Lebanon” (see Deuteronomy 3:25). Although most English translations think that this is the area called Lebanon, like the country today, it is odd that the direct article appears on the word, i.e. the Lebanon. Most Rabbinical scholars believe that this passage related to Jerusalem, which is the good mountain and is called “the Lebanon” because this word can mean white, as in a reference to purification, i.e. the altar which would be built there for atonement.

The point that I want to make is that Moses longed to make it to Jerusalem. I wonder if we have that same desire to enter into the New Jerusalem? At our study center in Israel, we are meeting on Motzei Shabbat (Saturday evening after Shabbat) to study the book of Luke. Recently, we completed Luke Chapter two and learned about Shimon (Simeon). It is said about this man that he was waiting for the consolation of Israel. This is not only a reference to the Messiah, but what Yeshua will establish, i.e. the Kingdom.

If you had to make a list of ten things in which you were most interested, where would the Kingdom be on that list? I was teaching about the Kingdom and I mentioned that the fullness of the Kingdom would come in two distinct stages. The first is the Millennial Kingdom and the second and final stage is the New Jerusalem. The fact that more and more “evangelicals” state that they are amillennialists is most alarming. This tendency reveals a problematic methodology in interpreting the Scriptures and a lack of concern for the Gospel. Did you know that more people will accept Yeshua as L-rd in the Millennial Kingdom than in this age?

I have encountered several pastors that do not want to admit that they reject the Millennial Kingdom and therefore they identify themselves as Pre-millennial. This term simply means that Yeshua will return before the Millennial Kingdom. However, they simply only believe in one stage of the Kingdom or combine some of the elements of the Millennial Kingdom into the New Jerusalem and affirm that Yeshua comes before the Kingdom; hence they say they are Pre-Millennial. Such a methodology is dishonest and outside the bounds of Systematic Theology. It also is irreconcilable, as when one studies both the Millennial Kingdom and the New Jerusalem there are things, which are mutually exclusive. For example, there is a Temple in the Millennial Kingdom, but not in the New Jerusalem.

I strongly recommend that one embark on a Biblical study of the Kingdom in its entirety, you will be glad you did.

Shabbat Shalom

 

Dreams….

In the past 24 hours, Baruch and I have tuned in (on and off) to the Christian stations we receive here in Israel.  Three of the pastors were speaking about dreams (and no, one of them was not Joel Osteen!).

Each one of them (and 2 of them are known for being conservative) focused primarily on what our dreams (goals) are and would occasionally mention G-d, such as someone’s dream to be involved in ministry.  But there primary points revolved around getting what we want.

It was appalling to me that these men have bought into this new, popular theology that G-d is happy when we are happy (John Piper–“Christian” hedonism) and treat G-d, the Creator of the Universe, as if He is here to give us whatever we want!

Where is the fear of the L-rd?  Where is the concept of obedience?  Submission?  Humility?

People speak of G-d in such a flippant manner.

We need to be on our knees seeking His will, His plan, His desire for our lives.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and He loves us.  What we want for ourselves is never better than what He wants for us.

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