Posted in Five-Fold and Torah, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM

Leadership and Bare Buttocks, Part IV

Leadership and Bare Buttocks

“Hine Ma Tov”

time lapse photography of water hitting left palm

What could a disturbing story in II Samuel have to do with a Psalm on unity? One has oil dripping down the beard and covering the skirts of Aaron; the other has skirts cut to bare David’s servants nakedness. Their beards shaved half off in disgrace. Have you ever lifted your brother or sister’s skirt to peek under it? Have you ever cut off half of a person’s honor or damaged their character? Just half.

Has leadership become an enemy to the Body of Yeshua? How many times have we usurped our Father’s authority and placed our desires above Him?

Before we get to this blog’s meat, I want to cover a verse that I see being used in error.

Some proclaim that the Holy Spirit teaches them All things, so they do not need a teacher. They get this from several verses. Let’s look at how these passages get twisted before we delve into our troubling tale of shame.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things. . .” (John 14:26, NASB).

“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for “anyone” to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (I John 2:27, NASB).

‘Anyone’ was a word chosen by the NASB version—not a good choice of words here.

John starts this passage the same way Yeshua starts his. Both explain that it is the commandments they’ve had since the beginning. Yeshua says, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John says much about false teachers, and right before he speaks in the verse above, he says, “These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.” He was letting his audience know that, hey, they’ve had the Torah/Commandments since the beginning. They’re not just hearing the word but abiding in it. (Shema) They know that Yeshua is the Messiah. They see that salvation is not by works. John doesn’t own a New Testament Bible. These people knew and kept the Commandments. If they didn’t need a teacher, why is John even writing them instructions and warning them of false teachers?

The context proposes that John is referring to those who are teaching contrary to what his readers already know to be the truth. His listeners do not need any of these KIND of teachers. Now, many people twist this and say things like, “The Holy Spirit fell on me and told me this and that, and I don’t need “anyone” to teach me.” Trust me, friends; The Holy Spirit would not tell you to break the righteous Commandments of our Father. And the Holy Spirit would never tell you not to keep His 4th Commandment or that it has been changed. “I am the LORD; I change not “(Malachi 3:6, KJV). But let’s get to leadership and why people hate authority. Possibly we can learn from King David and a king’s son who was mourning the loss of his father.

Remember when Yeshua said we were to love our enemies? What if they never were our enemies to begin with?

“It came about after this that the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son Hanun reigned in his place.  Then David thought, “Let me show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent word by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. But when David’s servants arrived at the land of the children of Ammon, the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, their lord, “Do you think that David is really honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you? Has not David sent his servants to you in order to explore the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” (II Samuel 10:1-3, TLV).

“At the beginning of Saul’s reign Nahash attacked Jabesh-Gilead, and when the people of that place asked for terms of surrender he gave them the alternatives of having their right eyes thrust out or of being put to the sword. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead then obtained a respite of seven days and sent messengers to Saul, who assembled an army and routed the Ammonites (I Sam. xi. 1-4, 11). It appears, however, from I Sam. xii. 12, that Nahash had threatened the Israelites before Saul was made king, and that it was, for this reason, the Israelites insisted upon having a king. According to Josephus (“Ant.” vi. 5, § 1), Nahash was in the habit of putting out the right eye of every Israelite that came into his power.” Jewish Encyclopedia.

Nahash means serpent, bronze oracle– the serpent that speaks. If we listen to his voice, he will damage our right eye. The right eye is the spiritual eye—the eye that sees the good in leadership and our brothers and sisters. The right eye sees the good in the journey, whether it is hard or not. But there is an office in the five-fold that used to be called Seer.
1 Samuel 9:9—Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, ‘Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.
Having no right eye means no favorable vision. Samson lost his eyes and his hair. Baldness and blindness. The choice given by Nahash was to be destroyed by gauging the right eye or using the sword. Do we use the sword of the spirit wrong at times? Do we use it to inflict pain on our own Body?

Hanun, a name that ironically means merciful and gracious, believed the lies these men filled with fear told him. He had the remedy in his name to conquer this fear. So what does this son of the King do?

So Hanun seized David’s servants, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle at their buttocks, and sent them away.” II Sam. 10:4.

old man wearing traditional suit during daytime

Unless they were high priests, they would have had no undergarments, just bare buttocks. And the disgrace of one half of a whole beard. These men made the servants of David humiliated, and they let them walk barefoot, disgraced. No mercy. No honor for those coming to pay respect. Half a beard. Bare buttocks. SHAME! What does this remind you of? There is a verse in Psalms that is so precious we should meditate on it day and night.

“{A Song of degrees of David.} Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Psalm 133, KJV).

jar of oil

The Father spoke to me the other day and showed me how some who are connected to me could not receive my blessings, and when I came to help console them in their darkest hour, they saw me as a spy–a person bent on usurping, stealing, and taking over the family. Like David, this was the furthest thing from my heart. But if you’ve read my new release, The Spirit of Leviathan, then you know what they accuse you of is what they really have in their own hearts. It’s fear-based!

The children of Ammon were the offspring of Lot’s daughter. His first daughter sleeps with him and gives birth to Moab, the Moabites. And the younger one, after getting her father Lot intoxicated, gets pregnant and has Ben-Ammi, which became the Ammonites.

Lot’s daughter was intimate, committing incest with her own father due to FEAR. Afraid she would never be able to have a husband. Fearful that the whole earth was destroyed. Instead of becoming intimate with Adonai and seeing what instructions He had for her, she took matters into her own hands. The Father of Glory was merciful enough to bring them out of Sodom and wait for them to get to shelter. He would have also spared them this shame. They knew the Torah, and that incest was forbidden.

Apparently, this Ammonite, King Nahash, treated David well. They both had something in common—an enemy named Saul.

Remember, Nahash means Serpent, Bronze, Oracle.

This should get your wheels spinning. Where have we seen this bronze serpent before? And why did the bronze serpent come about? Wasn’t it due to the people grumbling and complaining against their God and His leadership?

“Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”

The Bronze Serpent

The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:5-9).

Who intercedes for them? Leadership.

brown snake

David wants to show kindness to Hunan. Have you ever had your kindness mistaken for evil plots and schemes? The servants were falsely called spies who were bent on usurping a city, a people, a person grieving.

What does Korah say in Numbers 16? He says all the people are holy. He says, ‘Why do Moses and Aaron think they can run the show?’ He shouts, ‘I am just as anointed as they are!’

What does Korah mean? His name means baldness and frozen. Meditate on that for a bit.

Beloved David, a man after Adonai’s own heart, has a heart to comfort the hurting. Bind up the broken. He sends his servants. David was a shepherd who watched over the sheep. He protected them from the lion and bear. He was a giant slayer. All Israel was one under his leadership, and the Messiah Yeshua came through his bloodline. In our story, David is sending his servants. What does the Father, and His Son, Yeshua, say happened to all the servants sent to their people? Who were Adonai’s servants?

Yet I sent you all My servants the prophets, again and again, saying: ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate.’ 5But they did not listen or incline their ears; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods.…” (Jeremiah 44:4).

“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9).

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those having been sent to her! How often would I have gathered together your children, the way in which a hen gathers together her chicks under the wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

“So you testify against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets” (Matthew 23:31).

“Which of the prophets did your fathers fail to persecute? They even killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One” (Acts 7:52).

How does David remedy this? What instructions does he give those who have been humiliated? Disgraced?

“When they informed David, he sent word to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow, then return.”

There was someone else whose beard was plucked, and his nakedness was exposed—the most Humble servant of all, Yeshua, Messiah.

“I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

 

Jericho is a place where walls come down. It is a place with a name that means fragrance. When your buttocks are exposed, and your beard is shaved half off, you will either have a putrid smell, or the crushing will leave you with a sweet aroma. May it be the latter for all the weary leaders out there and their servants, the prophets. Intercede for those who wish you harm. Remember how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! O, it is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments, and his skirts were covering him.

Pray for the restoration of the Five-fold. It is detrimental for the Body to become One.

man sitting on chair holding and surrounded by people

Leadership Part I HERE

Leadership Part II HERE

Leadership Part III HERE

Leadership Part V HERE

Leadership Part VI HERE

Sources: Jewish Encyclopedia.

Abarim Publications–name meanings.

Photos: Unsplash.

Posted in Five-Fold and Torah, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM

The Five-Fold and Accountability–Part III

man raising right hand

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

Before we look at mentor-ship, I first want to reiterate Part One and Two of this blog series and discuss more concerning the five-fold that was set up by Adonai. This type of foundation should be in place for unity and order.

Why is the body so against this? Could it be that we all would be held to greater accountability and greater righteousness if we had to answer to someone?  Yes, I think this must be it. But unity smells sweeter than any title, in my book. If leadership can bring order and truth and unity, we all need to be [praying as Yeshua did–make them one as we are one Father. “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah,” (Ephesians 4:11-13, ISR). 

We need those who hold the offices to come out of their proverbial closets. You may be thinking, “Tekoa, how will we know they are apostles or prophets? How will we convince those operating with one man or one woman that they need the full 5-fold?

Yeshua tells us that we will know them by their ‘fruit.’ Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:15-17, NASB).

selective focus photography of purple grape fruit

And Abba is good to send an apostle and prophet to every synagogue or assembly. Many are sitting at our gatherings, not operating in their gifting, and not trained to carry it out. Often, those in leadership know apostles, prophets, and Elders/teachers are sitting in their assemblies, but they have such a fear to use them due to their Shepherding gift. They want to protect sheep. More often than not, those who carry the authority and anointing remain handcuffed and duct-taped.

On the flip side, We have sheep afraid of authority because authority has let them down (being fleshly/ it always will). Some men and women love the spotlight and the accolades of men. This, too, is immaturity and not fearing Yahweh. We have the structure for these bones so that we can frame His House–His Body, but will we humble ourselves and do it? This has to start with Leadership, and, yes, titles.

Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20-22, NASB).

I have a theory; I say ‘theory.’ Could the five-fold be hidden in the five Torah scrolls? I think it could. Meditate on that for a minute.

closeup photo of black metal sconce

Genesis or Bereshit means Beginning, but it’s so much more than that. The first letter is Beit/bet and means the house/tent of the Strong Father. This place in the garden was and is the foundation of all creation and the first temple with Adam acting as High Priest. The Apostles are also visionaries who lay a foundation to build on like Nehemiah. They venture into the fallow ground and turn over the soil, planting, and building and setting up new places to spread the Good News.

selective focus photography of pink sakura

The second book, Exodus, is about leaving sin and Egypt, and we see the great prophet Moses receiving the covenant and instructing the people on how to keep the Commandments. So we have Apostle, Prophet, and then teachers, master instructors. Who were they? Levites. We now have the third scroll, the book of Leviticus (and He called). Remember how Ezra read from the Torah, and the Levites gave the knowledge and explained it?
“Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8 And they read in the book, in the law of God, [c]distinctly; and they gave the sense, [d]so that they understood the reading.”
You can’t lay a foundation and build without knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Prophets and Apostles need teachers, and they need each other. We need schools for prophets because they are wired differently. The prophet is one who speaks with authority. They speak the truth with great power. They are unafraid to confront men who slay giants. They were and still are unafraid to confront kings and leaders in government, and they still are much needed today if we are ever going to become mature.
The prophet is likened to the eyes of the body. They are seers. They also hear in their spiritual ears things to come.

Rabbi Sacks has an interesting study on both prophet and priest and their characteristics. I want to share a bit from his blog:

“Let us, therefore, consider some of the differences between a prophet and a priest:

The role of the priest was dynastic. It passed from father to son. The role of the prophet was not dynastic. Moses’ own sons did not succeed him; Joshua, his disciple, did.

The priest offered up sacrifices in silence. The prophet served G‑d through the word.

The task of the priest was related to his office. It was not inherently personal or charismatic. The prophets, by contrast, each imparted their own personality. “No two prophets had the same style.” The priests wore a special uniform; the prophets did not.

There are rules of kavod (honor) due to a kohen. There are no corresponding rules for the honor due to a prophet. A prophet is honored by being listened to, not by formal protocols of respect.

The priests were removed from the people. They served in the Temple. They were not allowed to become defiled. There were restrictions on whom they might marry. The prophet, by contrast, was usually part of the people. He might be a shepherd, like Moses or Amos, or a farmer, like Elisha. Until the word or vision came, there was nothing special in his work or social class.

The priest offered up sacrifices in silence. The prophet served G‑d through the word.

They lived in two different modes of time. The priest functioned in cyclical time—the day (or week or month) that is like yesterday or tomorrow. The prophet lived in covenantal (sometimes inaccurately called linear) time—the today that is radically unlike yesterday or tomorrow. The service of the priest never changed; that of the prophet was constantly changing. Another way of putting it is to say that the priest worked to sanctify nature; the prophet, to respond to history.

Thus, the priest represents the principle of structure in Jewish life, while the prophet represents spontaneity.”

Very interesting, indeed.

Paul, (Sha’ul) was an apostle, and he was one who had been taught. We need each other. You can’t step into your role as Apostle, prophet, or teacher without a teacher!

Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.” (Acts 22:3).

“Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. (Acts 23:6).

“ If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” (Philippians 3:5-6).

Why is it important that he knew the law/Torah? Isn’t that old Testament stuff like killing animals? Why would Sha’ul be name dropping and explaining his titles and his teachers and how he was zealous for the TRUTH? Let’s meditate more on this.

“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.” (Psalm 119:142). If His law or Torah is truth, and Yeshua is the word made flesh, the living truth, shouldn’t we know what that entails?

“Your word is the essence of truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure.” (Psalm 119:160).

You can’t be an apostle or prophet correctly if the scholars do not train you. Scholars are not experts on calendars because they read a portion of Enoch. Stop running to people who cause division. Certain things may seem appealing to delve into but ask yourself a question: Does this topic divide the body of Yeshua Messiah? Can arguing for hours over how to say His Name, whether the earth is shaped round or flat, if Trump and Putin are buddies, etc., can any of this nonsense bring any good? What good can come from posting political memes or slandering leaders? Leaders, Abba has placed in authority, no less. Can our sarcasm change anyone’s mind? Do some act as if they have found a hidden calendar from a Pseudepigrapha document? Pseudepigrapha is a work falsely attributed, and texts whose claimed author is not the true author or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past. Find good soil and get to gardening.

bokeh photography of person carrying soil

So much falseness is being spread that we need a messianic/Christian Snopes page, but who would be in charge of it? One type of grievous ministry to watch is one that spreads fear and causes antisemitism. Through ignorance and lack of knowledge about the Jewish people, many consider them sinners, evil Pharisees who have not the spirit of the Living God. The same God that called them His chosen people. These are the very ones who wrote our Bibles and protected His covenants.

On a side note: If you have a bad taste in your mouth about the Pharisees, might I suggest Dr. Hollisa Alewine’s latest book: Pharisee: Friend or Foe? You can purchase it HERE.

There has been an attack on all levels of leadership that I believe stems from ignorance and immaturity. We all may act immature at times, but the real issue is authority figures. It’s like Korah who wanted the title for himself.  He already had a title!!

Korah said, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire congregation is holy, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:3).

Ha! Moses, the meekest man to ever live, exalt himself?

Remember, what they tell you is wrong with you (exalting yourself) is actually what they have a problem with. Next time we think we have someone’s number down and are saying ‘Aha!, we’d do good to go look in a mirror. The mirror will reveal.

Recently, I read a blog of a man who is active in the Torah Observant movement; I quickly noticed his insults and attacks were directed at leadership. He seemed to be comparing his righteousness to what he perceived as a lack of obedience in the leadership. But he did not have all the information. Many times we are quick to judge without having the whole story.

Korah looked in the mirror and compared all his gifting and knowledge to Moses and Aaron. He may have even witnessed things they did that he thought he could have done better.

He said things like, “You’ve gone too far! Who do you think you are? I am just as holy as you!” Korah was jealous of the fact that Aaron had been chosen as High Priest. He wanted all the Torah’s Glory without upholding it and without being thankful for what he already had.

This man, Korah, gathered 250 LEADERS of the congregation to come against Moses and Aaron. Men of RENOWN the scripture states. (Renowned) Strong’s Hebrew 8034: 1) reputation, fame, glory). These were men of glory, fame, and reputation.

Korah was Moses and Aarons, cousin. Family jealousy is often the worst–wanting the gifting or a position you have not been called to by Elohim. Are we not satisfied with being ‘renown?’

Korah’s name means ice, hail, and baldness. The perfect examples of judgment. Most of us know the end of the matter. The earth swallows them and takes them down to Sheol–death.

When Korah yells and demands to be exalted, Moses falls on his face before The Father. The most humble, merciful man to ever live does what any great leader should do first–a face plant! Oh, the heart of Moses to be holy at all times and to be set apart to hear the Voice of the Father and speak before the people. He listened to all their bitterness and complaining.

Moses said, “Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me,Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers?” (Numbers 11:12).

People want the titles without the responsibilities and the crushing.

This type of slander has hurt the real ministers who are trying to bring the Good News. Fights break out with name calling. Sarcastic titles like “Those big name Torah teachers, ‘the elite” and accusations of name flaunting, but Paul (Sha’ul) always explained in his letters what his title was in the body and not only his, but others.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus... ” (II Timothy 1:1, NASB).

(1 Corinthians 1:1) “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,”

(2 Corinthians 1:1) “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,”

Of course, when you are doing what you are called to do and gifted to do, you don’t necessarily need a title. The body gives it to you. The titles of teacher, worship leader, missionary, prophet, apostle, shepherd, evangelist, etc., are all listed in the Newer Portion of our Bibles. Do you see them flowing through your gatherings?

I prefer what Amos said (I was not a prophet), but can you imagine the stink I would get if I started my blogs as Bonnie (Tekoa), a prophetess called and appointed by Yeshua Messiah, by the will of Adonai? Forgetaboutit! But it’s okay to tell the world you have a doctorate or that you are a pastor. Why did Paul feel led to add it to his letters if the body of Yeshua already knew his title? Ponder. Meditate. Think outside of the box.

If we had leaders in place who knew His Torah and a structure to follow, we could get back to honoring the Moses and Aarons, and yes, Miriam’s He has placed in the body. We could also see the Spirit flowing through our gatherings like a mighty river of life.

 

waterfalls photography

Recently, two young ladies requested to be mentored by me. The truth is, I will learn much from them and already have. When we spend much time with someone, it is easy to pick up on weaknesses or uncover faults, or ponder their words in a wrong manner. Both parties have to be mature enough to remember their own weaknesses and ability to express things unfavorably at times. The Mishnah tells us to make for ourselves a teacher. We are told that even if he or she, on their own, may not be up to the standard. If it is someone from whom you can learn, you are being taught.
Can we be servants of Yeshua? Servants to one another?
Can we with desire look for a teacher who has more years under their belts? More knowledge and empathy, wisdom, and understanding to help us become better disciples? Can we stop sounding like Korah? He said, “Everyone in the entire congregation is holy, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” He says this with all the boldness and brashness of a man wanting to be in leadership, and he already was, but it wasn’t exalted enough for him. If he only knew what Moses went through and the burden of the people he carried in his bosom.

man riding on donkey

Being mentored is also making for oneself a friend. When we mentor or ask for mentor-ship, both parties win. It’s a win, win situation. Each person learns from the other, but for this to work, both people have to become transparent, vulnerable, and open to discussing problems, asking questions of one another–pondering and meditating without being condescending or judgmental. One must be honest but also compassionate. Shoes must be exchanged and slipped on, feeling the others’ pain and problems, but also celebrating their joys. Multiple people in the Bible were willing to be mentored. Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David, Jethro and Moses, Timothy and Paul, Elijah and Elisha. But how does one know who to choose or what to look for in a mentor?
Mostly today, people do not request to be mentored. Today in certain circles, a drive-thru sermon of storytelling and prosperity reign supreme. With a click of a button, we can land on a plethora of teachers. We can watch videos by several or podcast. With a touch of our fingertips, we can run from place to place, gathering food. Many times, it is good food and offers a variety of nutrients. Other times it’s mixed with things that need spit out, or it isn’t even fit for consumption. To sit and wash hands as a servant is not the norm. “And one of the kings of Israel’s servants answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” (II Kings 3:11).
Ministry is not fame. It is not titles. Ruth needed no title because the whole town knew what her character was. She was busy doing good works and caring for her Mother-n-law. May we be like her. May we learn to be humble and pray for the Five-fold to take shape and begin to build His Kingdom in unity and righteousness.
I pray this has ministered to you or caused you to ponder some things about leadership.

Part I click HERE

Part II click HERE

Part IV click HERE

Part V click HERE

Part VI click HERE

Blessings and Shalom,

Tekoa

Sources: Unsplash free photos

Links can be found for blog on Prophet and Priest.

Photos –hand/five Zan Lic

Donkey –Umit Yildurim

Posted in devotional, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Up to Half the Kingdom

zeb 1

Several people in the Bible made requests–dire requests. Esther (Hadassah) stood before a King to save her people. One man on a cross next to Yeshua requested forgiveness and received the promise of Paradise. Even in our silence, we are continually asking of our King Yeshua, Messiah. He tells us who He is in the Gospel of John. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;” (John 14:6, NASB). There is nothing hated as greatly as truth.

Stephen speaks truth in the book of Acts and is stoned to death. John speaks the truth and ends up on the menu. “For Herod, himself had ordered that John be arrested and bound and imprisoned, on account of his brother Philip’s wife Herodias, whom Herod had married. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife! So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him” (Mark 6:17-19).

Grudge in the Hebrew sense means to cherish an anger and nurture it.

Herodias wanted John dead. Her daughter dances for Herod on his birthday, and he tells her that he will give her anything, even half of the kingdom. She, like Esther, is standing before a king. What will she ask for? What will we?

“The king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom!”

Then she went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”

And Herodias answered, “The head of John the Baptist.”

At once, the girl hurried back to the king with her request: “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter immediately” (Mark 6:22-25).

Immediately. Chop chop–literally.

What are our souls requesting from the Master, the King of Kings? When our King waves his scepter and says, “Ask whatever you wish.” Are we coming boldly to His throne room like Esther? “Assemble all the Jews in Susa. Fast for me: Do not eat or drink at all for three entire days. My servants and I will also fast. After that, I will go to the king, even if it is against a royal decree. If I die, I die” (Esther 4:16, GWT). Esther said, If I die, I die? What does our request look like?

Some of my most significant accomplishments and life lessons have been birthed out of tragedies, mistakes, weaknesses, and fears. It is often on this journey under the sun that we find ourselves in incredibly uncomfortable circumstances. We may have moments that turn into seasons where we want to check out. We huddle up in a fetal position and hold our broken souls, or we run full throttle, keeping busy with life, never slowing down long enough to deal with our past or present wounds.

Can we sit still long enough to question why we take flight or sit paralyzed—why we scream to be noticed or slink into corners? Why we need to fill up a room with our grandeur, or why we feel invisible and unworthy of being seen.

As a society that makes millions off social media and reality television, can we capture sacred moments without publicizing them? Can we enjoy a sunset alone with our Creator without sharing it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter every time? Even if it’s royal purple and red? Are my treasured moments, thoughts, or accomplishments in life measured by the number of views, hearts, likes, or shares I get? Can I be silent without ‘my’ opinion being stated? Or worse, have I kept silent while Haman is erecting gallows for my people?

Who are my people?

sunset by Peter

In our sorrow or complacent posture, we ask questions to the King of the universe, or we request nothing. Is it possible that our flesh grows louder, and is in fact, screaming for red stuff because our souls are as dead as a corpse?

Yeshua said, “You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

Self-indulgence: gourmet foods, pampering, massaging, plucking, plumping, sitting on ivory couches, eating choice lambs.

DEAD.

Who will awaken the dawn?

In our deadened state, we tell the world we are alive and excited! Prosperous, even, but by whose standards? We say we are blessed, but how is this defined for us?

“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laughBlessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:21-22). Truth can get you killed by the sword or by men with sharp tongues.

We venture outside and see each person with fresh eyes, eager to learn from their wanderings, or we smugly think they have nothing to offer us. We magnify their faults and forget their strengths. We notice their blackheads while our pimples come to a head.

They offer us clothing, but we judge their shoes and where they’ve traveled as less than and dismiss their offerings–or we crave their attention so much, we tap dance for them and parade our peacock feathers in prideful fashion.

We get so caught up in the hustle, we forget about our soul and leave it on the counter like our lukewarm coffee cup.

The soul is always whispering to us,” taught Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz.

“Then why don’t we change?” asked the disciple Reb Raphael of Bershad.

“Because,” said Reb Pinchas, “the soul never repeats itself.

Spring arrives, and we are still naked. In our effort to sprout or bud with some form of life, we speak to our soul in the silence and say things like, ‘Has anyone ever truly loved me? How can I love my neighbor as myself after what I’ve done or failed to do?’

Why am I here?

What am I created to do?

lonliness

We stare at scars where our breasts used to be. We remove the wig and see a few spry hairs. We study the MRI report. We look at our ex’s new lover and make comparisons. We receive a frightening diagnosis, a foreclosure, job loss, family issues that seem irreparable, or worse, a call in the middle of the night.
We replay the past and multiply our guilt. We say words like ‘if.’
“If I had only done this or said that, perhaps things would be different. Suppose I would have taken a different route that day. If I just would have made the phone call. If I would have taken them to the doctor sooner—replaced the batteries in the smoke detector, showed them love, and not just enunciated the words carelessly—flinging them from my keyboard or lips with such ease.
I
l o v e
y o u
But can we love like a lamp with all its warm glowing light?
Can we love like Yeshua?
Would we know what love looked like if it slapped us in the face?
Have we ever felt it from someone? Who was that person that created a space for our voice, our sorrow, our joy, and our accomplishments? Can we be like them?
Have we returned an ear?
A shoulder to cry on?
Been silent long enough to listen—really listen.
When we lack stillness– we forget the birds sing to us every morning—when we don’t absorb the Sonshine or actually taste our food, we wander over hills searching for manna on day 7, forgetting how it arrived effortlessly on days 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and doubled on day 6.

numbers

We purchase hair extensions instead of waiting like Samson for new growth. We try and fight for ourselves instead of being still or letting Him. We toss memes up with sharp points that stab people. “Aha, take that!”

We clean out our cabinets, closets, cars, toxic people list. We apply for new occupations, start new projects, enroll in a class, and rearrange the furniture. Finally, we open the mini-blinds and allow light to sweep over us like a vacuum collecting debris. Our eyes squint at this beam of radiance as if it’s some foreign object of torture.

We forget that we are lamps.

We forget to buy oil.

We proclaim that we have oil. Meanwhile, our oil light flashes for all to see, but we don’t notice it.

We go through the motions and never enjoy the moments that make up our lives.

We are corrected and can’t admit that the other person has light to give us.

Have we ever really seen the other person?

Our spouses?

Children?

Family?

Friendships?

“We each have blind spots, just as every candle casts its own shadow. Only when you place a second candle next to the first, do the shadows disappear, illuminated by the other’s light.” Ariel Burger.

We study other humans and decide that we know them. We gaze at people over seasons and form an opinion of their soul—what needs removed, added–like a cake recipe, we have the formula.

cake batter
Yes, we have the ingredients they need for success, knowledge, health, better posture, greater peace, cleaner foods and how to live their best life now.
We don’t listen.
We don’t have empathy, because after all, our pain is more considerable.
We want them to measure our pain, and so we tolerate theirs until we can chime in.

Tolerate? Elie Wiesel, explains,

“I don’t like the word tolerate. Who am I to tolerate you? I prefer the word respect. I must respect you even if I do not agree with you. In fact, my disagreement may be an expression of my respect for you. If I truly respect you, don’t I owe you my honesty?

Honesty? Didn’t John (Yochanan) say honest things to Herod?
Can we handle such a big word in a day and time where everyone gets a ribbon, a medal, and must never be offended? Isn’t pride the reason behind most of our offenses? Our flesh wasn’t noticed. Our feelings were hurt. Our work wasn’t honored or seen. Our talents overlooked. Our children were left out. No one thanked us for our generous gift or time. Or worse, the truth they spoke enraged us to cut off their head.

We wander about not knowing what those we meet daily are going through. We express the rudeness of the bank teller. Like Haman, concerning Mordecai, we say things like, “He didn’t even smile at me or greet me.” We look at the gas station attendant and say, “It can’t be that bad, smile.”

For all we know, they just lost a loved one, a pet, their home, etc.
“Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.” Proverbs 25:20.

We bounce words off the walls to describe the waitress who leaves our glass empty of tea or never returns with our check, never weighing that possibly she was raped the night before. Abandoned. Had a miscarriage. Is contemplating suicide.

We disregard our family members who put on smiles and utter “life is great! Sales are at an all-time high.” We call him or her pompous on our car ride home, not knowing they hide behind horrific loneliness, addiction, and depression. We accuse others of being hypochondriacs and needing attention. Meanwhile, they suffer with chronic conditions unseen to the naked eye.

We lack empathy.

What have we become? Mere mortals scrolling through our phones, computers, remote controls. Do they control us? Desensitize us? Entertain us? Are we becoming more remote due to them? “Remote–distant, having very little connection with or relationship to.”

We place on mask and hide behind them.

We lack vulnerability, so we build walls to protect ourselves.

“From the Latin word vulnerare, “to wound,” vulnerability is our susceptibility to be wounded.”

At times, there are people in our lives, who blurt out their sufferings with great vulnerability, but where are we while they stand naked before us? Where was Yeshua’s disciples when he cried out,

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 20:18-19).

This passage is just placed in-between two bookends. We read no responses to Yeshua’s words. There are no words of sympathy. No, “I wish you wouldn’t have to suffer so.” There’s not even a “But on the third day, you’ll be fine!” Matter a fact, the next verse we read is the words of James and John’s mother requesting that her sons may sit on the right and left-hand side of Yeshua when he sits as King in his kingdom.

She bows before him and makes her request. It seems vastly different from Esther’s appointment with a king.

What are we asking of him to do for us in this season?

The gentile Kings, Herod, and king, Ahasuerus both offer up to half their Kingdoms. Kingdoms they wouldn’t have if it weren’t given to them by Adonai.

Herod means to flee or be a afraid. Are we afraid of the truth? Haman’s Name means a multitude of noise. He proclaims truth is what he says it is. Do we make noise when we hear truth?

“The council members shouted and covered their ears. At once they all attacked Stephen and dragged him out of the city.” (Acts 7: 57).

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him! And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.” (Luke 7:20-23).

Haman’s request is to kill a people– Esther’s is to save. The sons of Zebedee and their mother request positions and titles. What are we requesting from such a Holy King?

In part II of this teaching we will look at more request given to kings and what the heart of the matter is.

PART #2 Click Here

sources:

Quotes from Witness, by A. Burger

Photos by:

Gabriel Testoni —sunset
 
Gaelle Marcel —cake batter
 
 
Cristian –Newman hidden
Austris Augusts —numbers
Posted in devotional, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM

The Naked King

There is a children’s book written by H. S. Anderson titled The Emperor’s new clothes. I’ll be weaving this tale along with a man named Naaman in this writing concerning self-perception and denial.

“The name Naaman is derived from the verb נעם (na’em) meaning be pleasant, sweet, delightful, and beautiful” (Abarim Publications).

We can be all these things and still have a sickness. This man, Naaman, was commander of the army of the King of Aram. The Bible describes him as a mighty man of valor.

“A great man in his master’s sight (Naaman) and highly esteemed, because through him Adonai had given victory to Aram. Though the man was a mighty man of valor, he had tza’arat (leprosy).’(II Kings 5:1, TLV).

Many of us have this disease and don’t even know it.

Leprosy is incurable, and in advanced stages, the face is covered. This can produce a hideous disfigurement. As the disease advances, insensibility of the skin and paralysis follow, and the fingers and toes may rot away. Naaman had the esteem of men, he was famous for possibly wounding King Ahab, but all his wealth, honor, and fame could not make him clean. Like Miriam, he was separated from the people due to his condition.

In this blog, we have two men, one is fictitious, and the other is real. The Emperor in Han’s Christian Anderson’s story was also a great leader of an empire, but he was so consumed with himself, he had no time for his officers or his kingdom. Every hour of every day was spent looking in the mirror and having royal garments custom made for him to parade around town in so all the people could see him. This emperor had leprosy too, but he didn’t even know it.

emperor 1

“One day two swindlers came. They told everybody that they were weavers and that they could weave marvelous clothes. Not only were the colors and the patterns of their material extraordinarily beautiful, but the cloth had the strange quality of being invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office or unforgivably stupid.

“This is truly marvelous,” thought the emperor. “Now if I had robes cut from that material, I should know which of my councilors was unfit for his office, and I would be able to pick out my clever subjects myself. They must weave some material for me!” And he gave the swindlers a lot of money so they could start working at once.”

There is only one King that I know of who has the ability to see our garments and know whether they are unfit for His Kingdom.

But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14“For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:11-14).

The two thieves set up looms and act as if they are weaving beautiful garments, but secretly they have hidden the golden threads and fine silks. They are pretending to be able to dress the kingdom, but their hearts are greedy and interested in storing up riches here on earth where thieves break in and steal, where moths eat, and rust destroys. Vanities—chasing after wind, the wrong wind, instead of His Ruach Wind and Spirit, these men chase after what holds no joy. Our Father feeds the birds of the air and clothes the flowers of the fields, and He has beautiful garments for us.

But, let’s get back to Naaman, a real commander and leader of the king. Naaman was more than likely the talk of the town, both for his ability to shoot a bow and injure Israel’s king, and also for being leprous. He needs new garments, only his involved fleshly skin.

A little maid girl, a captive taken in war, a servant of Naaman and his wife, has a cure for this leprous man. This young maid is nameless, faceless, and dressed in servant attire. She should be angry at being captured and made to work. Some of us, if in her shoes, might have secretly swelled up with delight that our captor had leprosy. But not this young lady! She says, “If only my lord went before the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his tza’arat (Leprosy).” (II Kings 5:3).

Her heart is for her enemies to be cleansed. This reminded me of Moses and his brother and sister. As they gossip about Moses, the Father hears it. “OUCH!

As Miriam turns leprous, Moses doesn’t say, “Aha! That’s what you get for messing with a prophet and leader!” No, he cries out and says, “O God, heal her, I pray!” (Numbers 12:13, NASB).

This is the heart the Father is looking for. Do you see your brother or sister and their condition? Have they spoken about you in a negative light? Or did they go to you in private? We need to address and handle situations the Torah way, if not, we may end up with a stinky mess.

I found the following information very curious. The king of Aram sends a letter to the king of Israel, and with it, he sends ten talents of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold, and ten garments. This just sings ten lost tribes, scattered, leprous, and in need of new garments. After 6,000 years, in the 7th year, we see completion, rest, restoration. Six days a week we work, and on the Shabbat, we rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor; the same is true with millenniums. And so we wait for our King Yeshua to come set up His kingdom.

Naaman goes to the king who writes a letter and sends it to the king of Israel.

“And now as this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me.”

It happened when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (II Kings 5:6-8).

namaan

Before we get to the climax of the story, I want to return to the emperor and his new clothes. The emperor was very inquisitive as to how his new garments were coming along, but he remembered that those who were stupid or unfit for office would not be able to see the material.

Everybody in town had heard about the cloths magic quality and most of them could hardly wait to find out how stupid or unworthy their neighbors were.

“I shall send my faithful prime minister to see the weaver,” thought the emperor. “He will know how to judge the material, for he is both clever and fit for his office, if any man is.” The good-natured old man stepped into the room where the weavers were working and saw the empty loom. He closed his eyes, and opened them again. “God preserve me!” he thought. “I cannot see a thing!” But he didn’t say it out loud.

The swindlers asked him to step a little closer so that he could admire the intricate patterns and marvelous colors of the material they were weaving. They both pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old prime minister opened his eyes as wide as he could; but it didn’t help, he still couldn’t see anything.

Am I stupid?” he thought. “I can’t believe it, but if it is so, it is best no one finds out about it. But maybe I am not fit for my office. No, that is worse, I’d better not admit that I can’t see what they are weaving.”

“Tell us what you think of it,” demanded one of the swindlers.

“It is beautiful. It is very lovely,” mumbled the old prime minister, adjusting his glasses.

“What patterns! What colors! I shall tell the emperor that I am greatly pleased.”

The story continues until the evil thieves have taken all the money, gold, silver and fine silks for themselves. It’s like Egypt and the evil task masters. No one wanted to point out the truth. In doing so, they might be deemed stupid or unfit for kingdom work, so they pretend. They are pretending that those in authority are actually clothed in garments of beauty when in fact they are naked.

By the end of the story, the Imperial Majesty stands in front of a mirror, and the swindlers have him take off his clothes. He stands naked before them and his elected officials, but he doesn’t dare admit it. They fashion an invisible garment around him with a long flowing train.

A perfect fit!” everyone exclaimed. “What colors! What patterns! The new clothes are magnificent!”

“Well, I am dressed. Aren’t my clothes becoming?” The emperor turned around once more in front of the mirror, pretending to study his finery.

The emperor walked in the procession under his crimson canopy. And all the people of the town, who had lined the streets or were looking down from the windows, said that the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful. “What a magnificent robe! And the train! How well the emperor’s clothes suit him!”

emperor 2

None of them were willing to admit that they hadn’t seen a thing; for if anyone did, then he was either stupid or unfit for the job he held.

No one but a child!!!

But he doesn’t have anything on!” cried a little child.

“Listen to the innocent one,” said the proud father. And the people whispered among each other and repeated what the child had said.

“He doesn’t have anything on. There’s a little child who says that he has nothing on.”

“He has nothing on!” shouted all the people at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he was certain that they were right; but he thought, “I must bear it until the procession is over.” And he walked even more proudly, and the two gentlemen of the imperial bedchamber went on carrying the train that wasn’t there.”

Oh, how very spiritual this story is! It is both a tragedy and a form of pride and being stiff-necked. We look in the mirror and never see what we truly look like.

The man Naaman becomes a lot like this Emperor. He has envisioned in his mind how things should come about. He thinks the mighty prophet Elisha will come out and possibly all the people, and he expects the mighty prophet in his mantle to call forth from the heavens and lay hands upon him and poof! Bingo! Ding! Ding! But, no, he must descend to the bottom of the Jordan on his own, and then he will be cleansed. He must immerse himself in the laver, in the cleansing waters of a Mikva. He must dip seven times as instructed by the prophet, but he is angry and wounded—insulted even. How dare him! Does he not know who I am? I’ve got better water, larger areas of water in my own area, he thinks proudly. Can Elisha not see my emperor clothes? Does he not know that I am over the whole army? I’m highly esteemed and a man of VALOR!

Naaman is so stiff-necked, he turns and walks away in a rage.

“Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.” (II Kings 5:13-14).

A little child calls out the emperor in public and tells all there just how stupid and unfit they are. Pretending to have royal clothing on in front of the people, when in fact we are naked is a fearful place to be in. We don’t even know our condition or perhaps we do know it, we look right in the mirror and see our nakedness, but like Naaman and the Emperor, we don’t want to confess to the people who have held us in esteem just how rotten our condition is.

emperor 4

There is a King who is very aware of our garments. He is preparing a banquet, and he will throw out those not dressed in wedding garments.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Sometimes the Father sends prophets to warn people, but they leave in a rage. Sometimes the Father send little handmaids to warn those in authority of a condition that needs to be healed. Sometimes a little child has to proclaim the truth in the streets.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:3-6, NASB).

May we clothe ourselves in garments of beauty before our King. May we become like the little maidservant and a child.

Blessings,

Tekoa Manning

And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet. Yet not one of them was cleansed— only Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27).

Sources: http://www.honolulutraffic.com/Emperors.pdf

Abarim Publications

NASB and TLV

Posted in Inspirational, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM

The scent of the Moon & Trees

Recently, a friend brought to my attention a very unique flower.

Here in Louisville, at the YEW DELL Botanical Gardens, they displayed an Amorphophallus konjac–aka the Voodoo Lilly, also known as the corpse flower. The flower evokes a horrid smell and an unusual bloom for 2 to 3 days and is native to China. When the plant blooms, it stinks worse than a rotting carcass, and multiple photographs resemble a man’s member. ( a smelly seed?)

Multiple lessons ran through my mind as I read the article and watched men from our police department wearing a gas mask while inspecting the flower.

Devil's Tongue flower comes to life in continuing five-year cycle

Photo and blog on the plant–HERE.

It just so happened that the same day my friend sent the article, I read the following definition.

“The name Jericho, according to Jones’ dictionary, may mean the City Of The Moon. Norse Study Bible Name List defines it as a Place Of Fragrance.

If the name Jericho is indicative of the meanings above, what a lovely place to be. Of course, the people in Jericho were worshiping the moon, but we also know that the Father placed that big night light in the sky! “Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road” (Mark 10:46, NASB).

The Bible describes this blind beggar in Mark like this,

“He was the son of Timaeus.”

He needs the Son of David.

“The name Bartimaeus means Son Of Timaeus. . . Timaeus means Highly Prized, the name Bartimaeus means Son Of He Who’s Highly Prized, or Son Of honor.

Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary) circumvents this conundrum by deriving the second part of the name Bartimaeus from the Hebrew verb טמא (tame), the regular Hebrew word for to be or become unclean. That would render the name Bartimaeus the meaning of “Son of the Unclean One, or Son Of Uncleanness. . .” Abarim Publication.

Sometimes what the world regards as highly prized is actually unclean. Sometimes a flower doesn’t have a sweet aroma. When we read about various forms of sickness in our Bibles, many have a hidden message with nothing to do with physical ailments. Bartimaeus’s father’s name meant “highly valued” as in wealth or goods. These goods could represent knowledge or prophetic gifting, or material wealth and esteem. He was known due to his father’s honor of great wealth or of having great goods, but he’s a beggar. His father’s name also meant “unclean.” He was the son of the unclean wealthy man, and he was “blind.”

‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Rev. 3:17).

Miserable. What picture does that word evoke?

When we read the previous story in the book of Mark, chapter 10, we read about a rich young ruler who was righteous and had kept all the commandments since his youth, but Yeshua told him that he lacked in one area. He told the man to sell everything he owned and give it to the poor and follow Him. The man left sad.

What’s this have to do with Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus? Much.

Image result for have mercy on me son of david

Bartimaeus is blind, and he is crying out. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18: 38-39, NASB). His father isn’t blind physically. If he is, we don’t read that, but what we do learn is that he is unclean. “For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man (the man laid at the gate beautiful), or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,. . .” (Lev. 21:18, NASB).

The list continues.

Just like the woman with the issue of blood:

“Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean. ‘Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, like her uncleanness at that time. ‘Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. ‘When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she will be clean.” (Lev. 15:25-28).

Each story is about a greater awakening and healing.

So Yeshua asked the blind man a curious question: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). It seems like a bizarre question to ask a blind beggar. Isn’t it apparent that he would want to see? Do we want to see? Do we have an unclean area that needs to be healed? Are we crying out in the midst of the crowds around us who are yelling (be quiet)?

Do we see His beautiful moon, can we smell His fragrant flower.

Bartimaeus says, “Yeshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

He was begging alms. Alms is the word for mercy.

I need mercy!

Inkfish has an interesting article on sight and smell. Can you smell the moon?

“Imagine the smell of an orange. Have you got it? Are you also picturing the orange, even though I didn’t ask you to? Try fish. Or mown grass. You’ll find it’s difficult to bring a scent to mind without also calling up an image. It’s no coincidence, scientists say: Your brain’s visual processing center is doing double duty in the smell department.

According to Jadauji, that the brain’s visual processing center is specifically involved in how we process smells. Marring the curriculum plans of kindergarten teachers everywhere, our sense of smell–or at least our skill at identifying different smells–may rely on our sense of vision.”

blind 3

And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God” (Luke 18:41-43).

Both stories deal with spiritual blindness.

Who is our Father?

How does His title differ from Timeaus?

What good things does He offer?

May we cry out to the Son of David to heal our sight and smell and to allow Him to crush us to the point a beautiful aroma comes forth that is pleasing to Him. (2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV) “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. . .” (Song of Solomon 2:13 ESV) “The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”

In the book of Mark, chapter 8, there is a blind man, and Yeshua spits on his eyes. He sees men as trees.

In Parashat Shoftim, we learn that men are as trees.

“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, making war against it to capture it, you are not to destroy its trees by swinging an axe at them. For from them you may eat, so you shall not chop them down. For is the tree of the field human, that it should enter the siege before you? 20 You may destroy and chop down only the trees that you know are not trees for food, so that you may build siege equipment against the city that is making war with you until its downfall” (Deuteronomy 20:19-20, TLV). When translated it says, “For man is a tree of the field.” We, as trees, are known by our fruit.

An interesting tidbit was shared with me by my sister. We recently bought a house, and the owners told us we had a persimmon tree on the property. My sister said, “You can cut open their seeds and inside will be a knife, a fork, or a spoon.” What? Yes, and it’s supposed to inform us of how bad of a winter we will have.  The folklore says that a spoon pattern inside the seeds indicates there will be lots of snow to shovel, a fork pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be mild with good eating, and a knife pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be cold with cutting winds. My point is, our fruit has a seed inside. It’s either good or bad. The fruit of the spirit is 9 items. Just as it takes 9 months for a baby to develop in the womb, these 9 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Image result for persimmon tree seed fork knife spoon

May The KING of GLORY spit on our eyes. May he lay His nail-scarred hands over our vision. May our candles be scented like sweet perfume in a dark world. May our trees have fruit so bountiful that our branches are weighed down to the ground! May His Holy Spirit blow away any scent of a corpse! I’m going to wrap this up with a passage from Isaiah that makes my mouth water and my eyes see something glorious in the distance.

Is it not yet just a little while

Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field,

         And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?

On that day the deaf will hear words of a book,

           And out of their gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD,

And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:17-19).

Posted in #Doctrines of Demons, teaching, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Strong Drink

wineee

“And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder?” (Revelation 17:6-7 NASB).
She is drunk with the blood of the saints, and later we find that the saints have been going into her and drinking her intoxicating beverage. If you’ve never been drunk before, you’ve probably at least been around someone who has drunk too much and is stumbling into things or is not quite with it. Many times the drunk person laughs and laughs and is high on life at that moment. They also forget at times that they have a wife or a husband and become led to bed with strangers. Sometimes they throw all their money on a crap die roll and place their bets until they don’t have the rent money. They fall into gutters and are left to sleep off their drunken state. Sadly, the “Church” has been drinking from this cup for a long spell—pun intended. They’re deceived by their Shepherds/leaders and intoxicated by their potions.
This ancient book we read called the Bible was written long ago in a land most are not familiar with. The dusty sandals of our Messiah and his chosen ones have been followed by many through the Newer Testament letters but sadly without the understanding of the Older portion.
We open the Bible and read a passage, and we forget what year it was written in and what year it is now. We forget who was in control of the government, the Sanhedrin, and the temple. We quote sound bites and make doctrines out of them. Here are a couple of trendy ones.
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. (What was lacking?)
“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
Because you have ignored the law/ Torah of your God” (Hosea 4:6 NASB).
Another popular one:
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB).
We read verse eleven, but what does verse ten say?
“For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have. . .” He was sending them to Babylon.
They were being punished for not keeping His Sabbaths, but many say God changed that day, although Sunday is always called the 1st day of the week, and Sabbath is always called Sabbath, even until the end of the book. Sabbath is the day of delight—the first day called holy and set apart was always Saturday and has never been changed by Our Father. The Catholic Church and Constantine may have changed it, but our Abba did not.
We act as if Christianity replaced His people Israel. We create our own holidays and rituals and go to a Greek theatre weekly and pat ourselves on the back and call it a church.
Many know little about the Torah in Christianity. There is unquestionably a different Jesus being taught today, and Paul writes about this with tears. So does Peter. James, Yeshua’s brother, indeed does, and he speaks of it loudly. By the time we get to Revelations, John sees a picture of a harlot riding a beast and drunk and intoxicated by its false wonder. He is shocked!
Is the way narrow if the whole world is following its calendar and its holidays? Does the world hate you? It should.
This harlot system has its headship, rules, food, entertainment, months, days, clothing, and medicine. It has Greek schools of learning, Greek gymnasiums, lust, and ease. The people lay on ivory couches and gorge themselves on food and wine. They are full, drowsy, and intoxicated, not by literal wine but by this harlot’s spirit. Not by literal food, although Americans are obese, I’m talking about itching ear words and sweet treats of prosperity. She promises signs and wonders and miracles and a Holy Ghost that’s loud and vulgar. All eyes are on her teachers, and no eyes are on the Father. She lulls them to sleep with entertainment, pride, and fatty foods while causing them to slave away working for the harlot system–storing up wealth.
Abba’s days sound a shofar Blast. They wake people up! They want people to rest on His Sabbath, meditate, eat foods with life, and spend time with family away from the system and close to His creation. The true Bride is searching His Word and Commandments. His Word is a lamp and a light to direct their paths for good.
Straight is the gate -and narrow is the way, and He says few find it. How are we in tune with this ancient book and His Seasons? Not our seasons but the Creator of all who made the seasons—HIS DAYS. The God of Abraham called them His appointments with us or our appointed times with Him.
“And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years…” (Genesis 1:14 NASB). Sacred times do not have bunnies and eggs.
His people became intoxicated with this harlot, and he reproved them in Jeremiah.
“Yea, the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the law of the LORD” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV).
That’s why He wrote Israel a certificate of divorce and sent her away, but Yeshua/ Jesus was coming for these lost sheep of the house of Israel.
I started this blog with a verse about knowledge. How can we get this knowledge? What is it? What does it look like? The book of Proverbs describes the Harlot and the Bride and goes into great detail. While reading these passages, many have only seen them as a description for sleeping around with women who are not modest and drinking too much wine. They read about drunkards and forget that the harlot church system had made the saints drunk. The book of Hosea also discusses this.
“Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the LORD” (Hosea 5:4).
Let’s get back to Revelations and the shock on John’s face when he sees this whore and cries for God’s people to come out of her. How could they be so blind and drunk, not even to be aware they were a part of Babylon?
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a [c]prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have [h]piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelations 18:1-5 NASB.
Jeremiah Chapter 51 talks about this. “Come forth from her midst, My people, And each of you save yourselves From the fierce anger of the LORD.”
By the time we get to Proverbs Chapter two, we see this harlot, and she is described as someone who threw away the Torah/ the covenant she made in her youth. This covenant is the very one Yeshua said he did not come to do away with. He said they were rehearsals—shadows of things to come. A shadow comes around a corner before the person is seen. Let’s look at that closely.
In verse eleven, it is explained that the true Bride will be given the discretion to guard her and understanding. Let’s read further.
“To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with her words;
That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
For her house sinks down to death
And her tracks lead to the dead;
None who go to her return again,
Nor do they reach the paths of life.
So you will walk in the way of good men
And keep to the paths of the righteous.” Proverbs 2:16-20 NASB.
The harlot leads to death, but the wise woman (Bride), she leads to life and the tree of life. Let’s look at Proverbs three.
“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you” (3:1-3).
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast” (Proverbs 3:16-18).
By the time you get to Proverbs Chapter four, it’s very apparent that this harlot is alive and well today, and so is the Bride who has made herself ready by keeping His Feast—His Sabbaths and being set apart from the world.
“Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding,
For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction” (4:1-2).
“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty” (Proverbs 4:6-9).
Do not forsake her! This is not the harlot that has made the saints drunk with her intoxicating spirit of ease and wealth and prosperity doctrines. This is the Torah or instructions.
As we continue in Proverbs, we learn that not only is the Word of Yah sharper than a two-edged sword, but the Harlot’s word is too.
“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;
But in the end, she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword” (Proverbs 5:3-4 NASB).
When the pastor tells you, you are not under the law, and that you do not have to keep Abba’s Feast days and holy set apart days, you are headed down a path with a harlot system that has grown into a multibillion-dollar business of men selling another Jesus. They build their own kingdoms. They sell snake oil. It looks shiny. It has the appeal of the tree Chavah/Eve ate from. They tell the people that they will never go through any tribulation. They will be air-lifted. They tell them the day of the sun is the set apart Sabbaths. They throw away His festivals, which were never a “Jewish thing,” and the people have no thought about all the hidden secrets in their Bibles and revelation connected to His appointed seasons and moedims. They proclaim them bondage, and they lead many astray.
“And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors! Proverbs 5:12-13.
During this season, let’s take some time to just shut out the world and meditate on Him and His greatness. If we trust Him and believe that He is a good Father, he will come and get His children. He will send the King to come for His Bride. The Bride has made herself ready. How? She is dressed and watching. She has oil in her lamp and extra. She knows His appointed days so that she is not unaware. “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1st Thessalonians 5:4-5 NIV).
There is a Feast day that is referred to as “a thief in the night.” There is a Feast day that a shofar will sound on, and the dead in Messiah Yeshua will rise. Do you know about these days? Get wisdom. Get knowledge. Get understanding. Do not be led astray any longer by the harlot that comes to you as an angel of light. Come out of her, my people. Can you hear the Father’s voice crying out?
Photo by Tekoa Manning