Up to Half the Kingdom

zeb 1

In this blog series, we will look at those like Esther, who stood before kings and made request, as well as the request of one man on the cross next to Yeshua.

At one point, I’ll ask you to sit with me, as we shine a light of introspection inside our souls. Even in our silence, we are always making request of the King. If we pray without ceasing, our hearts cry out.

There is nothing hated as greatly as truth.

Stephen speaks truth in the book of Acts and is stoned to death. John speaks 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.” 23And 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.

During this blog, I hope you will pause here and there, as we ask the question: what are our souls requesting from the Master, the King of Kings? When the king waves his scepter and says, “Ask whatever you wish.”
Are we coming boldly to His throne room like Esther? 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 circumstances that are incredibly uncomfortable. 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 of 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 its 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 breast 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. If 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 its 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.

20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him! 22And 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.”23But 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

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, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13“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 next 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.” 7When 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.”

8It 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

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 had on display 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 mans member. ( a smelly seed?)

Related image

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

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!

“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. . . And since the name 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 that has 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 said go sell everything you own and give it to the poor and follow me. 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).

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 its 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. Its 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 as 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 distant.

 

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.

 

 

 

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 all the way 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 into 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 letters of the Newer Testament 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 own 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 as 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 as to 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 really 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

Sap Sucker’s

buggy

 

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day, and her cat had found a giant bug. It was large and had wings, and the cat was playing ping pong with it and smacking it back and forth. Eventually, the large cicada was dead. My friend took a picture of it lying next to a quarter to show me its size. I noticed the dead bug and also the quarter. One word, liberty–He who the Son sets free. The image seemed to speak to me. It was as if Abba was saying look at that picture closer.

What are cicadas? These giant bugs look like they are wearing combat gear—camouflage.

“Cicadas begin life as a rice-shaped egg, which the female deposits in a groove she makes in a tree limb, using her ovipositor. The groove provides shelter and exposes the tree fluids, which the young cicadas feed on. These grooves can kill small branches. When the branches die, and leaves turn brown, it is called flagging.

Once the egg hatches, it begins to feed on that tree like a vampire sucking all the life out of it. Once the cicada gets bigger, it falls to the ground and tunnels underneath, hidden and feasting on the root of the tree.

Hopefully, you are getting a vision now of what I am trying to express. The Bible often compares people to trees.

“The man looked up and said, “I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around” (Mark 8:24 BSB).

Even Daniel interpreted a dream for a King that used a tree to represent him. “Your Majesty, you are that tree!” (Daniel 4:22 NIV).

The Tree is also Israel.

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:17-18 NASB).

We need the root and the rich sap of the olive tree. We need it to survive in our gatherings.

So these cicadas live under the ground anywhere from two to seventeen years, and while they are underneath, they are actively feeding like a termite on the tree’s roots. The book of Jude warns of those who are hidden among us too.

“These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 1:12 ASV).

After 2 to 17 years the adult Cicada comes up out of the ground as a nymph. These nymphs suck the sap from the roots of trees with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They even drink the xylem from the stem of the tree. What is Xylem? Xylem transports water from the roots to the branches, leaves, and shoots of the tree. It also transports nutrients. The very word xylem in Greek means wood. If we are like trees and we are being eaten by a type of pest, and they are busy sucking us dry of our nutrients and water source which is His Holy Ruach Spirit and His Word then we need to be made aware of who is doing it.
“so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,. . .” (Ephesians 5:26).

What else does Jude say about them?

“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil (Adversary) and argued about the body of Moses (Israel,) did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them!”

These men are dreamers. They are puffed up with themselves. They reject authority. They talk about angels (Messengers) Abba created perfectly and said they slept with women.

“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do His will” (Psalm 103: 19-21 NIV).

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14 NIV). Or Young’s words it this way. “are they not all spirits of service — for ministration being sent forth because of those about to inherit salvation?” YLT. Remember that we are told those who preach the gospel will be judged more harshly. Messengers were also Kings, Prophets, and leaders. Let’s look at an example, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:25 KJV). This scripture calls the spies Joshua sent to spy out the land Messengers. John the Baptist was a messenger.

“Strong’s 4397: Malak: a messenger.”

Original Word: מַלְאָך Part of Speech: Noun Masculine Transliteration: Malak Phonetic Spelling: (mal-awk’) Short Definition: angel ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).’

In Numbers chapter 16 we read about these men who were princes, leaders over the Tabernacle of the Lord Adonai. Over 250 of these men rose up against Moses and Aaron and wanted to be in the spotlight and control. If you read the entire chapter of Jude, which is only one chapter, it brings forth the topic of Moses death and these men that defile and despise angels. This chapter also goes hand in hand with 2nd Peter. I believe the subject is about the earth swallowing up these wicked men. These men were loud and hidden underneath. They came forth like these cicadas and made a loud noise and then went to their death.

“Males sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape — like the cap of a Snapple bottle. The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen.” Cicada News, Facts, Lifecycle & Sounds | Cicada Mania.

Paul warns that we can be as empty as a drum or a clanging cymbal. An empty hollow belly that’s empty of water and love.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing” (1st Cor. 13:1-3 NASB).

 

The Hebrew/ Torah Observant community has a lot of Indians but not many Chiefs. Not many Apostles like Paul visiting and writing letters to the assemblies. Not many prophetic voices that cause men and women to look deeper at their walk and obedience and less at the trite conflicts that divide us.

When these cicadas come forth, they have the loudest voice. Their sound is louder than all the insect kingdom. This should not be the way it is in the Spirit. The Body of Yeshua should not be flocking after the most booming voice but the most humble—those who are upright and upright doesn’t mean living in a community with fellow believers who have separated from the rest of the Body due to them thinking other parts have things wrong or are usurping jezebels who can’t get their calendar, beard, sacred name, attire, the shape of the earth, the size of a Giants butt or the proper Torah portion in order to be a part of the group. I digress.

“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11 NASB).

Are we sucking each other’s sap? Are we stealing nutrients and water, fresh living water from our own BODY? People, it’s time for us to wake-up and be filled with His love and let perfect love cast out fear.

Can the Body come together and stop acting as Peter did right before Little Paul had to address him in front of everyone and rebuke him?

“But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong” ( Galatians 2:11 GNT). This wasn’t about whether the earth was flat or round, it was over hurting sheep.

Does anyone rebuke anymore? “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2nd Timothy 4:2 NASB).

I guess I am. Who am I to rebuke? No one. A filthy rag. But I am grieved over My Body. My Body and Your Body and His Body. Let’s stop being like these sapsuckers and instead of destroying each other let’s sing a new song. A song that is loud in Abba’s ears and exalts Him who created it all and encompasses it all and let His Holy Ruach Set Apart Spirit knock this cicada out—yes, like my friend’s cat who happens to be named Shadow. His Feast days are a Shadow of things to come, and the sound of His shofar blowing should wake us up soon for the coming year. Let’s become more unified, more loving, more kind and more at liberty.

Stay in the Light as Shadow below. Even a cool cat like Shadow knows how to keep Shabbat.

 

cat

Sources:

http://www.cicadamania.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4397.htm

Strong’s.

Photo rights given by Kisha Gallagher.