Posted in America, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

The Coup and the King

sun rays piercing through gray clouds

In this blog, we will meet a king who must flee his palace because his own son has planned a coup to overthrow his kingdom. David’s son Absalom has been quite successful in winning over the people with his charm. David and his men are not prepared with food and supplies to withstand such a battle. The King will have to go underground, and then he will have to operate using a secret informant to listen and give him the plans of his own son’s military tactics. The story seems remarkably close to our own situation in Washington.

In this blog, you will meet a man named Barzillai:

1.        He can no longer discern what is good and what is not.

2.        He can no longer taste.

3.        He can no longer hear the voice of singing.

In 2nd Samuel 19, David learns that his son, Absalom, who tried to usurp the kingdom from him, is now dead. King David has already lost two sons. The son he had with Bathsheba and his son Amnon who raped Tamar, was killed by Absalom because David is not good at confronting situations concerning his seed. In chapter 19, word has come to the King concerning the death of Absalom. The King is weeping. Yes, David is crying out from the depths of his belly, “Oh, my son! My son, Absalom! How I wish I would have died instead of you. Oh, my son, Absalom!”

King David’s servants and all the people hide themselves in humiliation. But the king does not have time to weep or mourn; he, after all, is still the king. Joab comes to David bringing strong rebuke and correction.

 “Today, you (David) have disgraced all your servants who have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, of your wives, and of your concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you! For you have made it clear today that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you. I know today that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, it would have pleased you!

Now, therefore, get up! Go out and speak comfort to your servants, for I swear by the LORD that if you do not go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the adversity that has befallen you from your youth until now!” (II Samuel 19:5-7).

Have you ever loved those who hated you and hated those who loved you? We can often blindly do just that.

David straightens his crown and dries his eyes and sits at the gate. All the people come out to congratulate the king. Those who had left him to follow Absalom had fled to their tents, but with Joab’s wise advice, the king prevents possible anarchy. The text says all the people throughout Israel were arguing over whether David should still be the king. Does that sound familiar?

“And all the people throughout the tribes of Israel were arguing, “The king rescued us from the hand of our enemies and delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled the land because of Absalom. But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?” (II Sam. 19:9-10).

Sometimes, we must restore the king, and sometimes the one usurping the kingdom hangs himself. Those who were deceived by Absalom’s charm are now in limbo. Before Absalom’s death, he sent spies to all the tribes and told them as soon as they heard the shofar, then they were to say, “Absalom is King!” Regardless of who is placed in the White House as president, Yeshua is still our King. He is King of King’s. No man will get His glory. 

white concrete building during night time

David’s son, who tried to take the kingdom from him, ends up hanging from a tree by his thick hair (pride). Joab, David’s commander in chief, took three darts and thrust them through Absalom’s heart, killing him. Absalom was usurping something that was not his. Absalom’s name means “My Father is peace.” Adonai does bring peace after this horrific situation.

David, who has been in hiding from his seed, is going to cross back over the Jordan and take back what is rightfully his. He has been cursed and pelted with rocks. He has lost another son. He is a broken man who no doubt is replaying Nathan’s words from Adonai in his head. Weeping and repenting as he goes. Before David approaches the Jordan, something peculiar happens. A man who is 80 years old comes out to meet king David as he is getting ready to cross over from exile. His name was Barzillai. II Samuel 17 gives us a description of this man:

Barzillai: “A wealthy Gileadite noble of Rogelim (meaning fullers), who, together with two other prominent chieftains of the east-Jordanic territory, met David at Mahanaim, when he was fleeing with only a few followers from Absalom, and provided the king and his weary men with food” (2 Samuel 17:27).

He was a noble from Rogelim (meaning fullers). Fullers were men who treaded on clothing to cleanse the garments. Fuller’s soap is used to scrub the wool of sheep. Think righteous garments. Rogelim also means feet, and feet represent our walk. He meets David (Beloved) at Mahanaim.

Mahanaim is an interesting place.

 “Right before Jacob names the region Mahanaim, he is met by angels of God that motivates him to say, מחנה אלהים וה (“This is God’s camp”), using the word מחנה (mananeh)”(Abarim publications).

It is interesting to note that a man with crippled feet is also mentioned right before Barzillai. This man was Mephibosheth, meaning “one who DESTROYS SHAME. When he was five years old, a report came that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle, and when the boy’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, the nurse dropped Mephibosheth, and he became crippled (II Samuel 4).

Oh, the misfortune of it all. We do not hear much more about this young man again until II Samuel. David decides to bless anyone left of Saul’s house, the greatest enemy he ever had. David approaches Mephibosheth, and Mephibosheth says, “What is your servant that you take an interest in a dead dog like me?” How ironic that the name “Mephibosheth” means destroyer of shame, yet his crippled-up legs had brought him just that, shame. When Mephibosheth walked into a room, he was noticed, not for his beauty or even his heritage as the grandson of a king and the son of a mighty warrior, Jonathan. No, that is not what people noticed; they noticed his hobbling bent up legs.

When David searched for Jonathan’s son, and brought him to the palace, and placed him at his table, the King’s table covered his twisted legs that would not work right. The king’s table hid all his infirmities. He was under the shade of that table, and he was fed delicacies. One day, Mephibosheth went from thinking he was a dead dog to eating at the king’s table. One day we shall, too, eat at His Table if we do not lose heart and faint.

 Barzillai had the same opportunity to go with David and be fed by the king, but he does not. He is prepared to die and be buried with his parents. However, this very wealthy 80-year-old man wants to escort the King over the Jordan. Meditate on the number 80 and the crossing of the Jordan.

“The Hebrew number 80 is Pey and represents the mouth. The Hebrew number 8: “Shemoni [f.], shemonah [m.] Literally to “make fat.” New beginnings, not just complete (like seven), but satiated. Becoming “fat” is having more than enough. Full to overflowing. Moves from natural to supernatural. Transcends natural time and space to supernatural realm. Figuratively, eight takes one through a full cycle of seven, and begins anew – the One Day – Yom Echad – of creation.” (Grace in Torah)

Moses is 80 years old when he is sent to lead the Children of Israel to cross over the Reed Sea. Barzillai is 80 years old when he comes to escort David over the Jordan.

In our story from II Samuel, David tells Barzillai that he will provide for him and give him a place in Jerusalem if he crosses over with him. His name means man of iron. Barzillai teaches us how to die, and there is quite a contranym in his message and age. Remember, the Jordon is the place Yeshua was immersed in by John. It means to descend downward, and after we descend into the waters of the Jordan, we are cleansed just like Naaman from his leprosy. Naaman had to dip seven times, the number of completions. But Barzillai is 80 years old, and he tells David something I have been meditating on all week.

“But Barzillai replied, “How many years of my life remain, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? I am now eighty years old. Can I discern what is good and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks? Can I still hear the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?

Your servant could go with the king only a short distance past the Jordan; why should the king repay me with such a reward? Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” (II Samuel 19:34-37).

He can no longer discern what is good and what is not.

He can no longer taste.

He can no longer hear the voice of singing.

Barzillai sends his servant—his son ChimHam instead. Chimham means to thirst, pinning, and having a great desire. “The verb כמה (kama) means to thirst but specifically expresses a desire for liquidity in the exchange of knowledge and wisdom (rather than the light of wisdom itself, or the eventual productivity that results from having wisdom). This verb also resembles the particle of comparison כמו (kemo), “as if” or “like.” (Abarim Publications). Chimham is mention in Jeremiah. It is the name of a town near Bethlehem, from which it would seem that David gave Barzillai’s son some land that was passed on to his descendants in his name. Barzillai sends his son over to Jerusalem, the one whose name means desire and thirst, a pinning to be in the Land. The man of iron cannot go. The man who can no longer discern what is good and what is not. The man who can no longer taste and see. The man who can no longer hear the voice of singing will remain on the other side of the Jordan. Jerusalem means rain of peace and a foundation of peace. Oh, how we need this today!  

I pray this has blessed you. May we continue to keep our eyes on the King of Kings and the Lord of All. 

Posted in prophetic, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Them Bones, Them Bones

citiscan result hand ok

A note to my readers: Obadiah’s Cave will be closing soon, and I will be moving many of these writings over to my Tekoa Manning site. The blog below was originally written in 2019 at Obadiah’s Cave.

One of my favorite songs is by Jim Croce, “I got a Name.” When I was newly divorced, I would sing this song and think of my maiden name, My father and mother, and all those who went before me. Joseph went to Egypt before his family did. Like the shmita year of redemption, he would be delivered from Egypt by a prophet like Yeshua, Moses. In one part of the song’s lyrics, he says, “I got a name, and I carry it with me like my daddy did.” Those of us who keep His commandments and walk in His ways carry our Father’s Name. Bones are interesting. 

David writes concerning Yeshua Messiah, “I can count all my bones.” Psalms 22:17.

The title of the passage is: For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.

Aijeleth Hashshahar means “Deer/hind of the dawn,” and is said to be about Esther as well as our Messiah. Esther would have to enter a throne room and stand before a King. She was counting the bones of her people too. 

Yeshua counts his bones. Isreal is counted throughout scripture. Each tribe and people numbered. Dry, dusty bones come to life and take on flesh. We are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He is fashioning us and preparing us. We will leap like a doe at dawn, but we must come fitly joined together. We need unity, honor, and respect. The children of Isreal went out of Egypt in 50’s. Many are afraid of the 5-fold structure, but it is the very structure that brings unity and maturity to all the Body–all the bones. Without it in place, we are off balance and prone to witchcraft. 

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels” (Psalm 22:14, NKJV).

Out of joint. . .

When my children were small, we rented a humble house in a subdivision. One night, one of my sons knocked a lamp over that had no shade, and it fell on the comforter. The lightbulb smoldered and caught fire. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to the scent of smoke and was thankful to find all three sons asleep in front of the television. I shut the door to the burning bedroom, grabbed them, and took them outside to my mini-van. Then called the fire department and proceeded to snatch my Bible and a photo album close by. When we exit a place, and we have little time, we grab our most treasured possessions.

Moses grabbed bones!

“And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” (Genesis 50:25, NASB). 

All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” (Psalm 35:10, NASB).

Our bones speak! They have a voice.

white skeleton figurine in tilt shift lens

Bones are a funny thing. Without them, we would be a puddle on the floor. Yes, I’ve written about bones before, and the “Luz” bone that cannot be burned, crushed, or destroyed, and how it relates to the resurrection of the dead. I want to pick a bone with you, not as in grievance but more like a crisply fried chicken bone, delicious bone broth—and how deep into every cell His Word is hidden if we hide it.

What are we soaking up in our bones?

Sunlight (Yeshua is the LIGHT) is the best natural source of Vitamin D– and is essential for healthy bones. The letter D in Hebrew is dalet and is a picture of a door. Yeshua stands at the door of our hearts and knocks.

From the very beginning in Genesis (Bereshit), we read of bones.

Adam said of Eve (Chavah), his wife,

This is now bone of my bones(The animals were not bone of his bones)

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23-24, NASB).

“According to the opinion of Rashi and many other medieval commentators, “woman” was created from one side of Adam, not from his rib bone. His side.

Abarbanel states that Chava (Eve) was not created from Adam’s foot so that he would not consider her a lowly maidservant, nor from his head so that she would lord over him. Instead, she was created from his side so that she would be equal to him.”

“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

brown number 1 graphic

Chavah (Eve) was in a deep sleep, resting while the Maker of All fashioned her. He is fashioning us, His Bride! And He will wake us up.

The second man Adam, Yeshua, will come with a voice of triumph, and the dead in Messiah will come forth out of the grave.

The Sages say that the seed of the body is in the bone marrow. One Hebrew word for ‘bone’ is (etzem) and also means self or essence. Our bones represent wisdom.

What exactly is bone marrow? How much does it weigh?

Adults have an average of 5.7 pounds of bone marrow. Five is the 5th feast, Yom Teruah, or Feast of Trumpets, a time when all our bones rise up, and seven is the number of completion. Five added to seven is 12, the number of the tribes. 

Human marrow produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day. This is how we get oxygen.

Other interesting tips:

Red blood cells don’t last long in your bloodstream, so they need to be replaced continuously by new cells, which originate in your bone marrow. The next time you have a rich bowl of bone broth, think on this.

The Word of Yah pierces our bone marrow.

person holding yellow and white pack

Our bones hold resurrection glory. A crime scene can look at bones and tell if they were male or female, their age, if they suffered trauma, and much about their lives.

Yes, all our bones will say, “Who is like YOU? Oh, YAH!

“And it has been explained by the Masters of the Mishna that a wicked person has his sins (black) engraved on his bones. And so it is with a righteous person, his merits are engraved on his bones. Since his actions were connected with higher wisdom, the bones would be engraved as a bright light on white.”

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13, NASB)

What can our bones tell us? It seems such an intricate Creator, who forms life in the womb and causes our very bones to grow, might have a massive plan for them. Joseph’s bones are his last request at death. Can you imagine? People prepare for death all the time. They buy caskets and plots, erect stones, and pick out clothing. Others say, cremate me. I’m dead. Who cares. They may even say, “I’m not going to be in there anymore; I’m floating to heaven.” But Joseph said carry my bones out of Egypt.

“Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely visit you and bring you up from this land to the land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” And Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and said, “God will surely attend to you, and then you must carry my bones up from this place” (Genesis 50:24, NASB).

Joseph, the dreamer–his brother’s hatred and jealousy sent him to Egypt, but his brothers would have to make sure he was carried out–later, their bones will come forth too. A whole army of bones will stand dressed in righteousness. Judah and Levi need Joseph too.

And 300 years later, Moses must carry up Joseph’s bones. Think about that. Ponder each generation discussing these bones and crying out for freedom. Ephraim had a name of doubly fruitful.

Think about a King on a cross whose bones could not be broken. If Adonai can raise the dead, can He not knit bones together again? Yes, but no flaw of any kind was in the spotless Passover Lamb, and no bone would be broken in His pre-resurrected body. May there be no brokenness between His people, just oneness. Make them one, Yeshua cries out to His Father–Make them one, as we are one.

Moses’s name means ‘he who draws out’ and ‘he who extracts.’ He was drawn out of the water, but he also drew the people out of Egypt. He extracted some special bones, those of Joseph, and carried them with him. Where is Joseph in the Body? What bread does he have during a famine? What bread did Elijah have? May the apostles, prophets and teachers all come together as one and learn from one another.

“And Jacob went down to Egypt, and there he and our fathers died. “From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem” (Acts 7:15-16, NASB). The name Shechem is identical to the noun שכם (shekem), meaning shoulder.

Joseph’s Tomb” by David Roberts, 1839.

“Since it would be 40 years or more before those bones finally were re-interred at their resting place in Sh’chem, it could also be reasoned that the same bones (or the merit of the man behind them) were responsible for other miracles that occurred in the wilderness. Indeed the oral tradition records that two arks were carried throughout Israel’s wilderness wanderings; one the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets of the 10 Commandments; and the other, the coffin of Joseph. The same Hebrew word, ARON, is used to describe both.” Torah Voice in Exile.

Joseph, of course, is a picture of Yeshua in many ways. Both had very much in common. So carrying his bones up out of Egypt seems to display a broader picture.

There are some famous bones mentioned throughout scripture, but do they speak? Let’s look at this deeper.

“As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet” (II Kings 13:21, NASB).

Oh, OUR BONES HAVE POWER! Even the bones of sick people.

“When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” (II Kings 13:14).

selective focus photography of wood with fire

Jeremiah had to give a very stern word to a priest.

“When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the LORD.”

Afterward, Jeremiah spoke of having this ‘fire’ shut up in his bones and how he had to release it. The prophets have to release things to the Body. Many times they are misunderstood. 

” LORD, You have deceived me, and I was deceived;

You have overcome me and prevailed.

I have become a laughingstock all day long;

Everyone mocks me.

For each time I speak, I cry aloud;

I proclaim violence and destruction,

Because for me, the word of the LORD has resulted

In reproach and derision all day long.

But if I say, “I will not remember Him.

Or speak anymore in His name,”

Then in my heart, it becomes like a burning fire.

Shut up in my bones;

And I am weary of holding it in,

And I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:7-9, NASB).

This fire is shut up in his very being.

Yeshua is like a refiner and a fuller’ that washes and engraves our bones.

Hebrew word ‘atsemot’ bones) comes from the verb ‘atsom, to be strong and mighty. There is a television show called Good Bones, where a team of people demolition abandoned houses and keep the skeleton of each to rebuild it. They often find the homes have mold (infection), bad foundations, plumbing issues, and electrical issues, but the skeleton is good so that they can rebuild it new.

“He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 37:3-6, NASB).

“Your dead will live;

Their corpses will rise.

You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy,

For your dew is as the dew of the dawn,

And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.” (Isaiah 26:19, NASB).

Our bones speak, they rattle, and they even have the power to resurrect the dead.

How’s your vitamin D levels? What are your bones absorbing? May we absorb His Word and power. 

The Whole House of Israel:

“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” (Ezekiel 37:1-).

Sources:

Sources:

Strongs: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6106.htm

Bone marrow–https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/bone_marrow.htm

Bone and seeds, binah, and engraving: https://www.inner.org/healing/healing11.htm

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/tractate-shabbat-chapter-23

Photos: Unsplash

Fire–Vadym Lebedych

Broth–bluebirds provision

Hand skeleton–Owen Beard

Number 1–Jon Tyson

Skeleton–Phil Hearing

Posted in prophetic, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Prophetic Word for Elul–(Is it Evening?)

silhouette of grass under cloudy sky during orange sunset

For shorter podcast/Video click the link below.

 

While studying and meditating during the month of Elul, I heard in my spirit that evening was here—that darkness comes before light.
Now, this is something most know if they have ever read Genesis/ Bereshit Chapter one. “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). It is after this sentence that Adonai said, “Let there be light and there was light. This light came before the sun, moon, and the stars. The sages call it as Ohr Ha-Ganuz, “the Hidden Light.” This light will shine again at a future time.
“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there)” Rev. 21:23-25.
Our Messiah is light. The Torah is light. The Torah is a lamp for our feet, but this is not what the Father was directing me to search out. It was evening. Then it was dark.
The evening comes before darkness. Darkness before light. When will it be pitch black? When will the earth and the people feel such darkness? “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt” (Exodus 10:21). There are multiple ways to feel darkness. Anyone who has lived very long upon this earth has felt some form of darkness.
One of my favorite books is called Night by Elie Wiesel. In one portion of the book, Wiesel tells a story that has never left me. This story makes all the darkness I’ve experienced seem lighter in comparison. One portion of his account of the holocaust recounts the hanging of a young child. Wiesel hears a man asking, “Where is God? For God’s sake, where is God?” Elie Wiesel writes:
“And from within me, I heard a voice answer: “Where is He? This is where—hanging here from this gallows.” His most potent passage paints a scene so black one can see the chimneys’ blackened smoke and smell the horrors of death.
“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget the smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
Never.”
Elie Wiesel, Night
During this darkness, a few in the camp put God on trial. Elie said, “It happened at night; there were just three people. At the end of the trial, they used the word chayav, rather than ‘guilty’. It means ‘He owes us something’. Then we went to pray.”

Night (Night Trilogy) by [Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel]
Elie continued to pray to HaShem His God there in the camps. He continued to keep the Sabbath as best as he could. He risked his life to put on tefillin that were smuggled in. In the “night,” he still prayed the Shema. Jesus/ Yeshua said this was the greatest commandment.
“Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ h No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31—Deut. 6:1-19).
Elie Wiesel experienced evening before night. It was gradual. The sun was setting, but he could still see light. Things got a little darker before too long and a little more until he was crammed in a cattle car with dead bodies and a bucket for waste. Evening is something I want you to meditate on. Evening means “the mixing.” It is a mixing of darkness and light often used to describe people. Our prayers begin in the evening. (Psalm 55:17) “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”
When Noah landed and let the black raven out, it flew back and forth. Much flesh was awaiting its beak, not so with the dove.
“And behold, the dove returned to him in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak. So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth” (Genesis 8:11).
May we return to Him in the evening like the dove–to the Ark of His covenant. Returning with Israel freshly plucked and in our beaks (mouths), white (pure), and hovering over the waters. The dove returned in the evening. Evening can cause many to return to Him. Evening comes before darkness, and darkness comes before the Messiah. The day of the Lord Adonai is said to be a day of darkness and not light.
“Blow the ram’s horn in Zion;

Sound the alarm on My holy mountain!

Let all who dwell in the land tremble,

for the Day of the LORD is coming;

indeed, it is near—

a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and blackness” (Joel 2:1-2).
Evening has its own mysteries. Many things in scripture happened in the evening, not in the morning.
(Gen.19:1) And there came two angels to Sodom in the evening. . .
Violent men came out in the evening in Sodom, but so did Abba’s two messengers who may also represent the (Torah/prophets—Moses and Elijah).
Wicked men who wanted to sodomize the messengers came forth in the evening. Then something happens that is very prophetic in nature. “But the men (messengers/ angels) inside reached out, pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men at the entrance, young and old, with blindness, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the door” (Gen. 19:10). Yeshua is the door. These wicked men cannot find the door due to their darkness. Yeshua said, “But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23). The Father shut the door of the Ark during the flood. “Then the LORD shut him in” (Gen. 7:16). The Father did not remove Noah and his family from the storm; he protected them in the darkness. But what was happening at evening? What did evening look like for Noah and his family? Was he busy working even in the dim light?
“…the righteous Noah rebuked them, urging, ‘Repent; for if not, the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring a deluge upon you and cause your bodies to float upon the water like gourds, as it is written, He is light [i.e., floats] upon the waters. Moreover, ye shall be taken as a curse for all future generations, as it is written, their portion is cursed’ in the earth.” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108a).
Not only was it evening during Noah’s day, but it was evening during Abraham’s day in one location, Sodom and Gomorrah.
“But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Matt. 17:29-30).
There is a woman that comes out in pitch darkness.
“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, And I saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, A young man lacking heart, Passing through the street near her corner; And he went the way to her house. In the twilight, in the evening, In the black and dark night. And look, a woman met him, Dressed like a whore, With a hidden heart” (Proverbs 7:6-9, ISR).

woman holding string lights
The fall feasts are upon us. They come just as it gets darker outside. Not only does evening come swiftly, but the darkness in our streets filled with unrest also seems to grow more significant with darkness.
Darkness is also a word used to describe protection and beauty, as magnificent as a black stallion—a black panther slinking through the jungle, A black butterfly, or a black sapphire ring. Darkness is a womb protected by water. Darkness represents being hidden. Darkness is when the beast comes out of the jungle, the fields, the forest, stalking, and searching to devour something in the darkness. When someone is robbed, shot, or sexually assaulted, if it happens in the daytime, we proclaim, “They did it in broad daylight!” Yet, Adonai dwells in thick darkness.
“The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness” (I Kings 8:12).
“He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies” (Psalm 18:11).
`araphel is Strong’s H6205: thick darkness (8x), darkness (3x), gross darkness (2x), dark cloud (1x), dark (1x). (Exo 20:21) “And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness H6205 where God was.”
“He bowed the heavens also, and came down.

With thick darkness under His feet.

“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.

“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

“The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.

“And He sent out arrows, and scattered them,
Lightning, and routed them” (II Samuel 22:10-15).

Could the evening be approaching our timeline spiritually? Evening comes before the Son/ sun. Evening comes bringing Jacob’s trouble and great tribulation before we see the sign of the Son of Man. Evening comes before wars, rumors of wars, before pestilence, and famine. Evening and “mourning” come before death and destruction. Evening comes, and the world grows cold and dark. Thieves break in and steal in the evening. They wear black. Death is draped in black clothing, black scarves, and black caskets driven in black hearses. But evening is not pitch black. Evening still has some light to work with. We are told to work while it is still light because the fall feasts represent the time of our Messiah’s return, and this occurs before winter brings death.

“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon
And make the earth dark in broad daylight.

“Then I will turn your festivals into mourning
And all your songs into lamentation;
And I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins
And baldness on every head.
And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son,
And the end of it will be like a bitter day” (Amos 8:9-10).

In Zechariah 7, we see a glimpse of the return of the Messiah. All the nations will gather against Jerusalem to battle. On that day, the Lord Adonai will fight against those nations, and the Messiah’s feet will stand on the mount of olives, and the mount of olives will be split in half. Please meditate on the last passage, verse 7 below.
“In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
In that day, there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light” (Zechariah 7:4-7).
In the evening, there will be LIGHT.

left human palm close-up photography
Back in March, before Pesach/ Passover, the Father spoke to me and said the Spirit of Elijah is here. Invite him in and open the door for he is here.
Now, He is telling me it’s evening. The evening can last a long time–years even in Adonai’s timeframe since a day to the Lord is a 1,000 years and 1,000 years is a day (2 Peter 3:8). It takes anywhere from 70 to 1,000 minutes to become dark after evening. 7 is completion. 1,000-year reign with our King. Symbols are everywhere.
Evening may be swiftly approaching when things get darker on the earth. I’m not date setting, but even the people in Noah’s day had a timeline.
A few years ago, I had a dream. During this time, my husband and I led up meetings and Feast gatherings at a city building. In my dream, we were in the building, and a couple came in with a baby in a car seat. A blanket partially covered the baby, and it was a boy. I greeted the mother and asked her what she had named her son. She said Methuselah. I just looked at her with large eyes. His name means, “When He Is Dead It Shall Be Sent, Man Of A Javelin.” When he died, the flood came and destroyed the earth. His name and life were a warning. Man doesn’t live as long these days as they did in his day. I am thinking it is evening, but evening also has its powerful symbols.
I want to shift this message to an uplifting one and close with powerful verses that are beautifully filled with His Holy Spirit that hovered over the water in the darkness, just like the dove Noah released.
“As evening approached, he made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town at the time when the women went out to draw water” (Genesis 24:11). Women are drawing water right now. This is Abraham’s servant Eliezer. He is a foreigner and younger. He is going to find a bride for Isaac (laughter) at evening, and his name means Yah is my help or helper. The Holy Spirit is called a helper. Eliezer also means Yahweh’s ten. Can you see the Holy Spirit coming in the evening and women drinking from the wellsprings of life? “The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: (Psalm 68:11, ESV).
Eliezer came for Rebbeca and adorned her with jewels/ gifts. This is the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). He is the giver of gifts and fine jewels, not Tiffany and Co.

In John 8:12, Yeshua spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Ephesians 5:8-9 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”

There is a Kingdom of darkness and a Kingdom of Light. (Isa 60:2). Darkness may cover the earth, but Adonai shall arise, and His glory will be upon us. Can you picture it?
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness ( ערפל araphel -H6205) the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
“HEBREW WORD OF THE DAY: Darkness (ערפל araphel, Strong’s #6205): There are two words in the Hebrew translated as darkness. The most common is the word hhoshekh [str:2822] and means “darkness.” The other word is “araphel” and has a meaning that is something more than just darkness. In Exodus 20:21, we read, “And Moses approached the “araphel” where God was.” This darkness is a different type of darkness. It may be alluded to in Exodus 10:21, which mentions the “plague of darkness” (hhoshekh) that could be felt. We often associate darkness with evil, and light with good, but, interestingly, most of the times when God appears, it is in this araphel, such as we saw in Exodus 20:21 but also in 2 Samuel 22:10, 1 Kings 8:12, Job 22:13, Psalm 97:2 and other places.” Jeff Benner.

Jeff Benner has one more nugget that I found worth sharing. It’s the definition of the word shine.

Shine–The word ‘or, as a noun means “light” and as a verb, it means to “give light” or “shine.” It is also related to the idea of bringing order, in the same way, that you bring about order in the darkness when you turn on the lights.

Strong’s: #216

May He appear, and may His Spirit hover over the water. May light spring forth out of the darkness and heal His people. May we be pockets of light all over this earth, shining.

Posted in prophetic, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

The Voice of Hosea

​I heard the men whispering in the market. Suddenly one of them with piercing eyes was standing before me.
“What is your daughter’s name, he asked?”
I glance down at her angelic face before answering him.
Lo-Ruhammah, (low—Rue-hay-ma)
I whisper.
“So it is true?” He says, his eyes intently staring at me.
I stood up straighter, returning his gaze before answering.
“Yes, her name is an example of what is coming on our people because we have left our first love!”
The man’s face flashed with disgust. He placed his loaf of bread back into the basket of my shop.
“Who would do such a thing as name their daughter this! He raised his hands up to the heavens in disbelief. “Disgusting,” He said before he spat on the ground—the other men in the marketplace gawk. I continue wrapping a fresh loaf of challah for the customer in front of me and then speak.
“What was I to do? HaShem told me to name my daughter “no mercy.”
I then tell him, we would do well to return—to do Teshuvah. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry Father.”
The man shakes his head and walks away from me. I embrace my daughter and tell her I love her. She is still too young to know or understand.
Oh, the grief I feel to speak over my own seed a name as no mercy. My second son is named Lo-Ammi (low-am-eye), which means “not my people.” His name, too, was ordained by HaShem, who spoke to me, saying, “You are not my people, and I am not your God.” He tells me that at a later time, He will proclaim that we are His people again, but things are very somber for now.
My mother hates the names of her grandchildren. Who can blame her? I look at them and am reminded to weep and mourn over my people and to fast for us. I warn and explain what I am hearing, but no one seems to pay much attention to a man whose wife continues to love another. Abba tells me that my wife that I love so much is like His people. Even though she looks at me with her dark eyes and raven hair and speaks such lovely words to me, I know her heart is far from me. Abba tells me that His people draw near with their mouth, and with their lips honor Him, but they have removed their hearts far away. My heart breaks daily.
Before I go any further, Shalom, My name is Hosea. My father was the prince of Rueben’s tribe, and he, too, was a prophet. His name, Beeri (bee-ee-rye), means Adonai’s well, and his writings were incorporated in the book of Isaiah, chapter eight.
I, Hosea, wanted to speak to you and your people. I am aware that it is 2020 there, but my writings were not just given to me for my people, but for future generations as well. I pray you will listen.
Where to begin? The Father told me, “Hosea, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking Me. It is difficult, but I have a deep passionate love for my wife. It’s as if the Father has given me more compassion and love for Gomer than anyone I’ve ever met. Oh, how I love her even though she has eyes that lust after other gods and other men. So many nights, I walk the streets and corner brothels looking for my beloved. I search the red-light districts weeping and praying.
HaShem told me to Go show love to my wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as I love my people Israel, though they turn to other gods and offer raisin cakes to idols. My wife Gomer was like a slave standing there in public at the auction. She may as well have been naked. Men were looking her over. I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. The silver and the barley – amounted to thirty shekels, or three pounds and ten or fifteen shillings. Thirty shekels is the estimated value of a manservant or maidservant; for it is stated in our Torah that “if an ox pushes a manservant or a maidservant, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver.” In Numbers chapter 5, Barley is an offering for a woman suspected of adultery. I paid the highest bid for my bride because even though she has been unfaithful, my love for her is unending. Possibly you are remembering that thirty pieces of silver were paid to Judas to betray the Messiah, Yeshua? Yeshua came to pay the price to redeem us from the slave market of sin and clothe our shame with His righteousness. He was the One who was sold, for 30 pieces of silver.
The Father’s sorrow has become my sorrow. If only I did not love her so, then perhaps my heart would not be so broken. Every day I picture Gomer holy, pure, dressed in robes of righteousness, smiling at our children and teaching them the Father’s Word.
Possibly you’ve never heard of me? My prophetic ministry began during the prosperous time of Jeroboam II, but after he died, his son, Zachariah, took the throne. He was assassinated after six months by Shallum. Shallum, too, was assassinated, not even a month into his reign.
Things have become grave. We’ve had five Kings, and three have seized the throne through violence. Manahem shed much blood to get his position, yes, he took the throne after Shallum, and he began paying tribute to Assyria. The amount of silver he paid was almost 40 tons. The Father called him a vulture and said, “Set the trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the Lord Adonai because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my Torah” (Hosea 8:1). It seems wickedness brings such leaders to a nation.
I tend to refer to the Northern kingdom of Israel as Ephraim. It’s become complete anarchy here. Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria. They bargain and carry oil to Egypt. Whoever heard of such a thing? They seek leaders to save them, but not HaShem. Some trust in chariots and horses, but we must trust in our Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They think the leaders give them oil, grain, new wine, and lavish them with silver and gold, but it is HaShem.
Baal worship is strong here, but it is strong there where you are sitting in the 21st century. Baal means Lord or master. Baal Peor was and is a god of sexual appetites. We have fertility goddess worship. We have idols that are enlarged sex organs. Orgies and temple prostitutes are common. The people seem to have a license for perversions, and even child sacrifices to Molech.
I have viewed some of your movies there and even commercials promoting drugs for sexual arousal. I have been looking at the number of sacrifices to Molech and the number of abortions in your nation. It may be packaged differently, but I fear your nation and others have even surpassed my people Israel. During the reign of Jeroboam II, we had economic prosperity. The people were extremely wealthy, overfed, and self-consumed. We, of course, cannot take selfies on iPhones, but we are self-seeking.
Friendly relations with the Phoenicians have brought many things of beauty and luxury to my people, just as many nations have brought luxury to your people. They recline on beds of ivory while their morals collapse. Ephraim says, “Surely I have become rich,
I have found wealth for myself, In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity.”
Things creep in slowly, desensitizing us. I have seen your hoarders and the bridal television shows there where the bride’s gowns are so sheer, see-through even. The brides expose their breasts and dress like a harlot on their wedding day. Oh, how His bride needs clothing. The Father says He will uncover our lewdness In the sight of our lovers, And no one will rescue us out of His Hand. HaShem told me, He will be like a lion to Ephraim
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
He will tear to pieces and go away, and there will be none to deliver us.
The people seek Him at their festivals, but He has pulled back Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek His face. He tells me that in our affliction, we will earnestly seek Him. But people do not want to speak of affliction or suffering. They say, tells us smooth things. Give us prosperity.
Although my heart is tender and sore concerning Gomer, I am not without hope. HaShem tells me that after the affliction, He will lead us into the wilderness and speak tenderly to us.
A marriage to Baal is nothing but ownership, slavery, dominance, and it leaves one very empty. But HaShem says He is our maker and our husband. He has given us a wedding ring and a marriage covenant. He wants a bride who is searching for Him like the woman in Song of Songs. She says, Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you– if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.
Like the Father, I married Gomer. She is my bride, but she is often straying after other lovers. Her name means “to come to an end.” Her name, like my children, pierce my heart. The Father often uses my wife and my children to speak to me. The things He shares are very sorrowful, but still, He offers mercy. Some days my grief seems to weigh more than the sand of the seashore. Yet, He tells me, one day, the number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And it will happen that in the very place where it was said to us, ‘You are not My people,’ that we will be called ‘sons of the living God. I cling to this.
I continue to warn my people, but my voice is often used in mockery. The people are in a hurry. They are busy, and they continue to run to and fro.
People are eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage just like the days of Noah. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. They do not know what is coming upon them. Remember when your towers fell? It seemed like a Hollywood production, but there is was on your news channels. It came unexpectantly. It came in the blink of an eye. The number 911 is remembered each year.
It is the Father who told me to “Go, take a prostitute as my wife and have children of adultery because this land is flagrantly prostituting itself by departing from the Him.”
I, Hosea, wanted to bring this message to you and plead with you during this season, to fall in love again. The Messiah speaks to one particular body of believers in the book of Revelations, and he says,
“I have this against you that you have left your first love. Remember, therefore, from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. May we all renew our vows this Shavuot and be like a bride who is working on her bridal garments to become without spots or wrinkles.
I wish to leave you with the last words from my writings. The Father is speaking here as He pleads for all of us to bring Him Words and return.

Return O Israel, to Adonai your God,
for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
3 Take words with you and return to Adonai.
Say to Him: “Take away all iniquity,
and accept what is good,
so we may repay with offerings of our lips:
4 ‘Assyria will not save us.
We will not ride on horses,
and we will never again say, “Our god,”
to the work of our hands,
for with You, orphans find mercy.'”

5 “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
for My anger will turn away from him.
6 I will be like the dew for Israel.
He will blossom like a lily,
and thrust out his roots like Lebanon.
7 His tender shoots will spread out.
His beauty will be like an olive tree
and his fragrance will be like Lebanon.
8 Those dwelling in his shadow will return.
They will grow grain and bud like a vine.
His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

9 Ephraim: “What more are idols to me?
I have responded and observed Him.
I will be like a luxuriant cypress tree.
From me will be found Your fruit.”

10 Who is wise? Let him discern these things.
Who is intelligent? Let him know them.[c]
For the ways of Adonai are straight,
and then just walk in them,
but the wicked stumble in them. Hosea 14
This is Hosea signing off, shalom!

Posted in Tekoa, TM, torah

“So he was left hanging between heaven and earth”—II Samuel 18:9.

photo of left human hand reaching sky “So he was left hanging between heaven and earth”—II Samuel 18:9.

A man suspended between two points– do you know who this passage was written about? It is David’s son, Absalom. He is his third son. Not only will he hang from a tree, but his advisor will kill himself in Judas fashion.

Grab a rope and hold on tight as we look at one of the most dysfunctional families listed in the Bible.

David, a man after Adonai’s own heart has multiple children by multiple women. After his father in law, King Saul, chases him over hills with an army of thousands hunting him like a wild animal, he eventually takes the crown. Saul is wounded in battle, stripped of his honor and beheaded in more ways than one. Flash forward in time, and David is king. David is a great warrior, mighty in battle, but he lacks skills dealing with those in his own household. He doesn’t take care of issues. He acts as if nothing happened when his daughter, Tamar is raped by his firstborn son, Amnon. There is no healing or validation for his daughter. Tamar wearing her royal robe rips her ornate coat from her soiled body. She cries out wailing the loss of multiple things. Her tears get stored in bottles. A note is written in ink and the exact number of salty droplets are counted from heavens throne.

But Tamar’s father will never comfort her. He will never make the guilty party pay. Tamar, like most rape victims, will be isolated. She probably felt dirty even though she was kind and innocent. Many times the women blame themselves.

After Amnon fulfills his lust for her, he has her thrown out and the door bolted. Tamar warns her half-brother before this saying, “No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me” (2 Samuel 13:15-16). This response refers to Deuteronomy 22:28 which states that a man who rapes a virgin must marry her. Ouch! Why would a woman want to marry a man who rapes her? The victim is not required to marry the rapist; the rapist is required to marry his victim (if she consents), after paying her a very heavy fine.

Something happens after we love someone with the kind of love Amnon had for Tamar. It doesn’t have to be a person of the opposite sex, it doesn’t need be lustful—it can be anyone in our lives that we love in an unhealthy manner. They become a false idol of worship. Through fear of rejection or coveting their gifts, positions, and more, we can fall into sin. Amnon is pretending to be physically sick but he is far more spiritually sick than we can imagine. He wants his sister to bake him cakes and feed him out of her own hands. He wants his cake and to eat it too. Something dreadful arises out of the place where he imagined love lingered—it’s called hatred.

person cutting piece of paper

Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her.”

His love for her was a love to fulfill his desires and fleshly appetites. It was not a holy love. Love is defined as patient, kind, long-suffering. He has none of these qualities. We can have a false love for people. We can love the idea of them. Love has rules. The Father of Glory set up each rule for love carefully.

“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home” (Lev 18:9).

There is an order to His Love. We place the Father and His commandments first, then our spouses, then our children and honoring our parents/ family. We love our neighbor as ourselves. Anything out of this order causes chaos. If your brother hates your sister yet calls you brother and says he loves you, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

One does not have to be literally raped to be assaulted and defiled in such a manner. We, humans, are capable of doing this with our tongues and our actions. We can harm others through ignorance, gossip, and harmful words that are far greater than murder. If I shoot you, I take your life—you cease to exist, but if I shoot you with my mouth, and my fingers type out curses, I can cause people to shame you, isolate you and destroy your character. You end up living in pain daily. I know it sounds rather bizarre, but many of the wisest Sages say this can be far worse than murder.

What does all of this have to do with a man hanging between heaven and earth? A lot actually!

One event, one moment, one decision, yes, just one choice can change a person’s path forever and even change the dynamics of a whole family. Amnon did just that.

woman whispering on woman's ear while hands on lips

What happens to rape victims? Isn’t the victim often shamed? Of course, they are. The very ones who rape, sodomize, and destroy people’s lives often go living with no conscious or need felt to repent, meanwhile the victim is treated like a leprous outcast. Let’s look at the advice given to Tamar.

But now keep silentmy sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.” (II Sam. 13:20).

They are hushed. They are desolate–abandoned. The victim is often treated like the criminal or whispered about in certain circles as deserving it.

woman holding signage

Tamar’s brother Absalom takes his sister to live in his house. King David is angry but he never punishes his son. Absalom waits for his father, the king, to do what kings do–penalize those who break the Torah and cause harm and especially to someone of a gentle nature as his beloved virgin sister. But his father is weak in this area. The man who can clean sever the head of a giant and circumcise a 100 philistines cannot do justice in his own household. He loves his oldest son more than he loves justice, mercy, and covering his daughter. He acts passive-aggressive. The silent treatment—simmering and brooding with intense anger, and yet acting as if nothing is unfolding before his eyes.

Years go by–A father, daughter, and son is separated by the sins of their very own flesh and blood. Is blood thicker than water? The blood of His covenant is thicker than any family tragedy. There is a family in Him that nothing can come in-between because the people in that family keep His commandments and they address issues right then. They go directly to the person to settle disputes. The sin of silence can’t live. Amnon is David’s oldest son, but even Dinah’s rapist wanted to marry her and make it right. Even he circumcised himself, but the circumcised son of a man after God’s own heart will act more wickedly with each action. He has her thrown out after he takes her virginity, even bolting the door.

If someone sees his fellow sinning, it is a commandment to make him return to the good and to make known to him that he is sinning, as it is said, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him” (Lev. 19:17). Are we bearing sin? Are we holding on to hatred and bitterness until its a putrid rancid aroma that we have grown used to like a dead skunk in the attic?

Katy bar the door! Yes, there’s trouble ahead.

In order to serve justice that was never served, Absalom comes up with a plan to invite his brothers during sheep shearing season and have Amnon killed. When we shear sheep, we remove the outer layer and get straight to the heart. Sheep shearing happened in the spring and it was considered a great festival with much drunkenness.

Author, Jeffrey C. Geoghegan, has a fascinating blog titled, “Israelite Sheep shearing and David’s Rise to Power,” where he states:

“As a final observation: both sheep shearing’s in Samuel involve the demise of drunken participants whose deaths aid the protagonists in their ascent to the throne: David gains land and livestock in Hebron, his future capital, and Absalom eliminates the heir to his father’s throne, placing himself next in line.”

Not only do we have these stories, but we also have another woman named Tamar, Judah’s daughter-n-law, who disguises herself as a harlot and sleeps with her father-n-law during sheep shearing season.

“Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry. 22But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar. Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons” (II Sam 13:21-23).

pair of white sheep standing on green grass

Two years of hatred in his heart. He doesn’t speak good or bad. Ironically, this is the same thing Adonai warns Laban concerning Jacob and at the very season of sheep shearing. “When Laban chases after Jacob, God warns him not to speak to Jacob “from good to bad” (Gen 31:24).

Don’t speak anything good (tov) or bad (ra). Don’t say anything with intent to act or not act. Don’t act overly nice or overly cruel. But Absalom has hatred in his heart and for two years the seed has birthed murder.

Have you ever been in a room with people plotting your destruction and planning your death, but they are careful with their words. All the while, they strategically are planning your assault. Absalom is acting low key. He is giving his enemy no warning of his intentions.

Soon King David will experience what Tamar felt in a moment. He too will tear his royal robes and fall on the ground. Not once, but twice. Death. It comes in multiple colors. Sometimes we can be standing upright walking around and be deader than any corpse six feet under. This family full of dysfunction takes it to a greater level. Before the story ends there is suicide, secret messages, advisers who are said to have more wisdom than the greatest of men yet end up dangling by ropes. Kingdoms and concubines, adultery and treason, honor and shame and why such unrest? Ironically, Absalom’s name means The Father is Peace.

Finally, years go by and Absalom returns to his father. He now seeks to usurp the kingdom for himself and kill his own father. Once you’ve shed blood, it’s easier to do it again– with your hands or your words.

(II Samuel 15:10-14) Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’ (11) Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. (12) While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing. (13) A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” (14) Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword.”

The knowledge that your son is your number #1 enemy is enough to crush the hearts of most men.

gray wooden 2-panel closed door

When Absalom starts his rebellion he wants to get Ahithophel on his side. Ahithophel was thought to be the grandfather of Bathsheba, so that would make him possibly a grand-father in law to David. He was his first appointed counselor and confidant.

“The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.” (II Sam. 16:23).

Tragedy, betrayal, and destruction are not with a foreign nation or military leader, no, it started right where it did in the garden with Cain and Abel. It’s the members of their own households.

Let’s backtrack:

Amnon rapes Tamar. Tamar is shamed and not taken as a wife. Absalom is angry and confronts his father. David does nothing. Two years go by and Absalom has his half-brother killed. Three years go by and the silent treatment between the father and son are brought to reconciliation by a wise woman from Tekoa. The next thing we see is Absalom trying to usurp the kingdom from his father and have him killed. One adviser, Ahithophel has him sleep with all his father’s concubines on the roof for all to see. Absalom pitches his tent-like Lot and his eyes are towards sin, his heart is now consumed with victory—a victory of his father and the kingdom given to his father by Adonai. Absalom is handsome and his hair is dark and long. He cuts it every year and it weighs it. It’s his pride and glory. He wins the hearts of the people and deceives them. He appears to be someone he is not.

man standing in front of tree

Both Yeshua and Absalom have followers who hang themselves (Judas and Ahithophel). Both rode on a donkey. Absalom’s donkey will keep going as his thick tresses wrap around a branch. Absalom’s hair was caught in a thicket. Yeshua was adorned in a crown of thorns. Absalom will hang suspended between two points, the heavens and the earth.

“(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)” (Ephesians 4:9-10). Yeshua will fill the whole universe with His Glory!

In Rabbinical Literature:

The life and death of Absalom offered to the rabbis a welcome theme wherewith to warn the people against false ambition, vainglory, and unfilial conduct. The vanity with which he displayed his beautiful hair, the rabbis say, became his snare and his stumbling-block. “By his long hair the Nazarite entangled the people to rebel against his father, and by it he himself became entangled, to fall a victim to his pursuers” (Mishnah Soṭah, i. 8). And again, elsewhere: “By his vile stratagem he deceived and stole three hearts, that of his father, of the elders, and finally of the whole nation of Israel, and for this reason three darts were thrust into his heart to end his treacherous life” (Tosef., Soṭah, iii. 17). More striking is the following: “Did one ever hear of an oak-tree having a heart? And yet in the oak-tree in whose branches Absalom was caught, we read that upon its heart he was held up still alive while the darts were thrust through him [Mek., Shirah, § 6]. This is to show that when a man becomes so heartless as to make war against his own father, nature itself takes on a heart to avenge the deed.”

heart engraved tree trunk

Notice that when sin is not dealt with it causes more sin. Dysfunction can be found in all families. Many people hope that the sins will evaporate and dissipate and eventually disappear, but sadly, these things usually get passed down. We need the blood of Yeshua and His Torah to become greater than any fleshly desires to be king. Let us place Yeshua Messiah as King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. Let us cut our hair and cover our nakedness less we hang ourselves.

Could this story have had a different outcome? What if the king would have punished his firstborn son right when he raped his daughter? Could this type of authority along with action make someone like Absalom think twice before usurping authority? Our choices and actions do cause a ripple effect. What are your thoughts on this story?

For the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Ruach is life and shalom.

For the mindset of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not submit itself to the law of God—for it cannot.

So those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Ruach—if indeed the Ruach Elohim dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Ruach of Messiah, he does not belong to Him.

But if Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.

And if the Ruach of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Ruach who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:6-11, TLV). 

Blessings,

Tekoa.

Photos–unsplash

Posted in Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Leadership and Titles– Part I

man standing in front of group of lamb

Leadership bears great accountability. No man or woman, when called, seemed to feel worthy of the calling. They knew the cost and said things like, “I can’t speak, I am but a child–did I give birth to all these people?”

Anarchy is a state of disorder due to the absence or nonrecognition of authority.

Do we have anarchy in the Body of Yeshua?

John Cougar bellows in his 1984 hit; I Fight Authority, Authority Always Wins. People do not like authority. People fought against the leadership in the Bible, and they still do today.

We often become rebellious when we are placed under authority. In our immaturity, we look for things wrong. We grumble and complain like a two-year-old who didn’t get the crust cut off our PBJ sandwich. We envision how a meeting or service should go and are quickly disappointed when it’s not how we pictured it. After all, isn’t it all about us and how we feel? (Sarcasm). We say things like, “the music was too old fashioned, too rock/pop sounding, too Jewish, too Pentecostal. The prayers were too rabbinical, too Christian, or the message was not what we would have spoken.” Even in the Messianic circles, folks do not feel the need to honor the leadership and ponder the person Abba has placed in front of them.

What is a teachable spirit? Often it isn’t even knowledge; we are lacking. We have a grace deficiency. We don’t know how to treat one another–how to have empathy for those who are broken–how to handle conflict–how to nurture babes. When we sit quietly for a season under someone, we can learn manners and ways of doing things differently, even if it’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But can we sit with an ear eager to hear, eyes keen to see, instead of a mouth biting at the bit to get out our opinion or eyes looking for fault? Like a hungry child.

group of childrens sitting on ground

Titles in all forms have been a problem for many. Even arguments over how to pronounce The Name has come forth. Yeshua, in Revelations, is said to have a name written that no man knew, but Him. Others rise up against the title of Rabbi.

Ron Warren presents some interesting questions to ponder in his blog titled “Call No Man Rabbi.”

  1. According to Matthew 23:8, there is only One Teacher (Rabbi), which is the Messiah. Why did He give teachers to His body as part of the 5-fold Ministry?

 

  1. Q: If Yeshua (Jesus) seems to prohibit the use of the term “teacher,” Why, in Matthew 28:19–20, does the Messiah himself appoint certain men to be teachers in his Church: It reads, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

 

  1. Paul speaks of his commission as an apostle and teacher. It is written in I Timothy 2:7 “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith. . .You can read the entirety of his message HERE.

As you read this blog, please pray and ask Abba, who He has placed in your life, to ‘make for yourself a teacher.’ If you are in leadership, ask yourself who among you is gifted or called to a particular office and how you can help them begin using their gifts and talents. I know a woman who is very gifted in the apostolic ministry. She has connected some amazing ministries in the Messianic movement. My husband has an apostolic anointing. Several of the ministries/departments he started are still flourishing.

Let’s dig into His word to understand leadership in a more significant measure.

Now at this time, some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. (Acts 11:27-28).

And after this verse, prophets and apostles disappeared and were no longer needed in the body? WHAT?

Today, it seems we need one man behind the pulpit, and for some, that’s even too much leadership. You won’t find them sitting and being a part of the community unless they are in front. I have heard both men and women in leadership mock the office of the prophet. There is mocking for most titles and leaders today, but the prophet gets more ridicule than any other office. Perhaps the word office isn’t the right choice of wording?

In the book of Acts, prophets were gathering at schools, and they were telling and foreseeing events. Prophets were warning Paul about his forthcoming imprisonment. They were warning of famine coming just as Joseph did, but no one seems to take them seriously today. Mostly, due to the false ones.

Women are prophesying in Acts. Women, who in one verse are told, “I suffer not a woman to teach,” by Paul, are now being highlighted as teachers. Four daughters prophesied.

“Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea, and we went to stay at the home of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. After we had been there several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea” (Acts 21:9-10, BSB).

We have women disciples and apostles in the Book of Acts and women who had house churches, but no one seems to meditate on this. Meanwhile, many in the body place duct tape over His mouthpieces.

faucet covered with adhesive tape

Paul could have just said a man named Agabus came down from Judea, but his title of prophet is essential to the rest of the chapter. If Sha’ul (Paul) had just said ‘Agabus told us a famine was coming,’ we would wonder how he knew this, but with his title, there is no confusion. Paul could have just said he was staying at Philip’s home without letting the reader know what type of gifting or title Philip held. Philip was one of seven evangelists. I don’t think Philip had a business card bearing the name ‘evangelist’ in gold, but Paul felt his title was worthy of note in his writing. I have a dear friend who is a professor. When we are out to eat or at a function, I introduce her as Dr. Jo __. A person who has worked hard to receive a doctorate should be honored. It tells others about their desire to be a GREAT teacher. If I call her Doctor Jo __, no one knows if she is a doctor of medicine, psychology, English, etc. Explaining what her knowledge of study is, gives others an understanding, but does a prophet need to announce that he or she is one? I stay clear of those who are telling everyone they are a prophet. No need to tell anyone, for the Body of Messiah will know if you are the real deal, and they will speak it, or as in Paul’s case, write about it. They may also stone you like they did Stephen. Pastors/ teachers and others in leadership announce their titles daily without any ‘harm.’

“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:15, NASB).

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!” Matthew 23:37.

And the next verses are relevant because they give the reader an idea of what it’s like to be a prophet. Everyone in the body can and should prophesy. Moses said this after two men in the camp were prophesying, and Joshua was ready to forbid them. “I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29).

The Lord’s Spirit was alive and well at the beginning of the Book.

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

“Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” (Mark 6:4).

To be a prophet or apostle is not without mocking and scorn. You have to have the tenacity of Nehemiah to build with one hand and carry a sword in the other.

white book on table

We often describe a person by their gifts. We say things like, “He is an amazing carpenter. She paints in many mediums. He writes intriguing novels. Etc. The Body has gifts! Plural.
It is my wish to bring the prophets of Adonai together in unity and have a school for the prophets where they can learn His Torah and how to use their gift of prophecy to help equip the body, but how can this be done if no one even feels comfortable about their calling? If stating their gift causes harm, mocking, slander, and labels. Why would they want to tell anyone? To tell the body of a dream you had, a vision, a word you heard in your spiritual ear seems quite coo coo for cocoa puffs to many. To tell the body of things that pop off the pages of your Bible, mysteries, well, this is often not very well received. Can you hear Joseph’s brothers screaming, “Are we to bow down before you?” Young prophets need training, but not just prophets, every type of gifting needs training. Remember when you first learned to ride a bike? When you first tried to drive a car? Hopefully, after time, you became better at this. It’s the same way. At some point, the training wheels come off, and the state issues you a license to drive.

I long for a place where the doctrines of men are removed, and the impurities that have crept in and tainted the gifts are done away with. Please pray for the vision He has given me to come forth because the body needs the prophets to bring Jerusalem (Foundations or peace/raining Shalom) down to Antioch (resistance).

Now there were at Antioch, in the church (ecclesia) that was there, prophets and teachers:” (Acts 13:1).

Does your gatherings or congregation have both prophets and teachers, and does the community know who they are?

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.” (Acts 15:32).

Do you have a Silas on board?

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28).

(Ephesians 4:11)  “And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.”

To mature any gift, you need disciples, teachers, and leaders, and yes, prophets. There are many different gifts but one body.

Dr. Skip Moen gives a great example of who God calls in his blog titled, Buried by Desire: He says, “God calls reluctant leaders; those men and women who are quite certain that they are not qualified and who would rather not have the job.  Why?  Because they know that their usefulness depends entirely on God’s grace.  Woe to the throng that follows the man who desires to lead.  His ego will bury them all.”

I hope you have enjoyed part I of this teaching.

You can read Part II HERE.

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Blessings and Shalom,

Tekoa

Posted in Tekoa Manning, TM, torah

Avi, avi, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!

After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice. (I Kings 19:12).

In this blog portion, I will ask multiple questions. I pray the questions are thought-provoking, and that you will share some of your thoughts. First picture the heart of someone who wandered about in sheepskin, and camel skin. Men of flesh described in the book of Hebrews as men the world was not worthy of. Ponder a world not worthy of such men as these. Do men like these exist today? What kind of power does a man or woman like that have? It’s a power that doesn’t come from men. No amount of money or titles can purchase it.

“They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.” (Hebrew 11:37-38).

MEN OF WHO THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY!

These men like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and others were acquainted with fire before Acts chapter two ever happened.

Pour kerosene on a heart and strike a match. Got a visual? These were men who had fire in their souls. These men like Jeremiah, Ezra, Samuel, and Moses were a different breed. These men had zeal, and His Word shut up tightly in their bone marrow.

lighted match stick

Jeremiah said, “But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.”

‘Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out. (Leviticus, 6:13). The lamps of the Menorah were to have fresh oil every morning. Only pure, new olive oil of the highest quality was suitable to light the Menorah. Yeshua informs us that we are lamps—a city set on a hill. A light shining in the darkness.

How can we kindle a flame daily that never burns out?

And how can we refrain from offering strange fire like Aaron’s sons?

How can we burn like a burning tree that is on fire but not consumed?

Fire and chariots of fire have always interested me. Elijah was a man who called fire down from heaven. He was a man who watched fire lick up water. We read later of this blazing prophet going up in a whirlwind. Yeshua went up to the Heavenly abode, where he sat down at the Right Hand of the Father. “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51). The Book of Acts explains that a cloud hid him from their sight. He was the cloud by day and the fire by night. But even more interesting is the place—Bethany. Yochanan (John the immerser) was said to have ministered there. Bethany has multiple meanings. Abarim states it is a House of Answer, Business, Affliction, and Singing. Different circumstances happened at this place. Not only was Lazarus brought forth from the grave, but Yeshua was anointed for burial here. Lazarus was sick for two days and resurrected on the 4th day. This is a picture of the 6,000-year timeline we see concerning the flood as well. Eddie Chumney has an amazing teaching on this. He explains:

“Noah was 600 years old when the flood (judgment) came upon the earth. In Genesis (Bereishit) 7:11-12, it is written:

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month,

the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the

fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven

were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and

forty nights.”

This is a spiritual picture/blueprint given to us by the G-d of Israel that after 6,000 years (the end of the Olam Hazeh), judgment (the tribulation/birth pangs of the Messiah/Chevlai shel Mashiach) will come upon the earth.” For more, click here.

We see the ravens coming to the ark, and we see the ravens feeding the prophet Elijah. Many symbols have deeper meanings. The raven did not have the olive leaf. He was not white like the dove that ascended on Yeshua as he came up out of the waters. The raven left and didn’t return.

 

grayscale photo of birds

Could the resurrection of the dead be hidden in Elijah and Elisha’s lives and their deaths, as well? Elisha and Elijah were both prophets and both powerful. They part waters, raise the dead, cure leprosy, and make an ax head float. If Elijah went up into the heavens in a whirlwind and Elisha’s bones raised the dead, shouldn’t we dig deeper and see what may be hidden? The prophet, Elisha, who died in his disease, had enough anointing in his bones to spark a fire and cause a dead man, deader than a doorknob, to stand upright.

“Once, as the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders, so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. And when he touched the bones of Elisha, the man was revived and stood up on his feet.” (II Kings 13:31). Can you picture the scene? Dead bones bring life. Oh, friends, one day, we will stand up on our feet and come forth out of the grave. Yah is our salvation. This is Elisha’s name. Yeshua will save us from death, he who took the keys to death and the grave.

When Elisha got sick with his illness from which he would die, King Joash of Israel came down to him, wept over him, and cried, “Avi, Avi, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (II Kings 13:14, TLV).

Why would this king say, “The chariot and its horsemen?” We see angelic messengers on horses in Zechariah. We even read about King Yeshua on a white horse in the book of Revelations. The Father and His Heavenly abode are often described as a chariot of fire, and like the whirlwind, we read concerning Elijah.

“Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad,

And your bones will flourish like the new grass;

And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants,

But He will be indignant toward His enemies.

 For behold, the LORD will come in fire

           And His chariots like the whirlwind,

           To render His anger with fury,

           And His rebuke with flames of fire.

 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire

And by His sword on all flesh,

And those slain by the LORD will be many.

  “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens,

Following one in the center,

           Who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things, and mice,

           Will come to an end altogether,” declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 66:14-17, NASB).

“Behold, he goes up like clouds, And his chariots like the whirlwind; His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined!” (Jeremiah 4:13).

“Did the LORD rage against the rivers, Or was Your anger against the rivers, Or was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, On Your chariots of salvation?’ (Habakkuk, 3:8).

two white horses

Chariots and horses are entirely unique to use as a description of the Holy One. Wouldn’t you agree? If you read Ezekiel chapter one, you get an even greater picture of chariots of fire and a throne room of fire, although the word chariot is not mentioned. Here are a couple of verses, but if you have time, look at Ezekiel and his heavenly visions.

“I looked and saw a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire was a gleam like amber, 5and within it was the form of four living creatures.” 1:4-5.

 Above the expanse over their heads was the likeness of a throne with the appearance of sapphire, and on the throne high above was a figure like that of a man. From what seemed to be His waist up, I saw a gleam like amber, with what looked like fire within it all around. And from what seemed to be His waist down, I saw what looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded Him.

 The appearance of the brilliant light all around Him was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.” 1:26-28.

flame from woods

When we fall face-down, we have seen unspeakable things. Such matters Paul described as too wondrous to speak of. He said he was caught up in Paradise and heard things that are not to be told that no mortal is permitted to repeat. Can you imagine? The Bible has a well of water, treasures hidden inside that cause one to meditate on a Creator so powerful no words are found in dictionaries to describe the glory of HaShem. Who are we that He is mindful of us? We fall humbly on our faces.

How do Elijah and Elisha’s deaths speak life and a future time when the Messiah will return on That Day?

If Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind, and Elisha was to receive a double portion of his spirit, why did Elisha die in his disease? Are we dying in disease? Is the earth crying out? Are the oceans full of trash? Famine, pestilence, sexual sins so horrendous, to mention such things is forbidden according to scripture. We are told not to even speak of them. But one day, these symbols hidden in Elijah’s whirlwind and Elisha’s dead, diseased bones will come about. Dead men will walk through objects, fly, and take on a new appearance. They will be full of light. Clothed in light. His Glory!

Interesting things are hidden in the book of Kings. Elijah appears out of nowhere.

Elijah is given the title of prophet and “Tishbite,” probably because he came from a place (or a family) by the name of “Tishbe.” A place of that name lay within the boundaries of Naphtali (comp. Tobit i. 2).

The etymology of the word Thishbe:

From the noun תושב (toshab), sojourner, from the verb ישב (yashab), to sit or dwell.

Elijah, therefore, came from the land east of the Jordan to wage war against the worship of Baal. His very name means Yah is my God. Before Elijah (Eliyahu ha-nabi’) is taken up in a whirlwind, he is given a command to anoint Elisha and spread his mantle over him. Different scholars guess at this timeline of training; some say it was a period of 7 or 8 years. Seven is the number of completion, and eight is an unspeakable joy; it is a time when we will live in new bodies and behold the glorious One.

Wherever Elijah was found, Elisha was sure to be sitting, following, listening, learning, and helping the older prophet with his task. “Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah” (2Kings 3:11). Elisha served as Elijah’s servant, pouring water.

Elijah is a man who called fire down from heaven. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.” (James 5:17).

This is the timeline mentioned at the end of days—3 ½ years.

“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.” (Rev 12:14).

“And the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been shattered, all these things will be completed.” (Daniel, 12:7).

We see in both these prophets’ lives the whole resurrection story from our leprous bodies being washed seven times. To oil that never runs out. To sleeping children raising up from death. The ax of his Word given to his prophets being restored. I believe every hidden gem concerning the coming of the Mashiach and the resurrection of the dead, including the great tribulation, is found hidden in their miracles.

(The King) He again sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. When the third captain of fifty went up, he came and bowed down on his knees before Elijah, and begged him and said to him, “O man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. 14“Behold fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.”

Abraham begged for any righteous in Sodom to be spared, and he started with the number 50.

The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” (Genesis 18:16).

What are all these ’50s about, and how is fire connected to the beginning and the end? The very first word in our Bibles is Bereshit. The first and last two letters form the word covenant—brit. The remaining middle letters form the word fire. Fire is a funny thing. It destroys, and it purifies. We see fire throughout the scriptures. A fire that rains down from heaven. A burning bush. Fire on the mountain when the covenant was given. And Peter talks about a fire that will consume the earth at the end.

“Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness 12as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God when the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (II Peter 3:8-13).

red fruit on black plate

The Hebrew letter nun has the numerical value of the number 50. The pictograph for nun looks like a seed. Fifty is life, fish, and a seed. The first mention of Nun in the Bible is Joshua; he was the son of Nun. The son of ‘Life.’ He was the first to enter the promised land—a picture of Yeshua Messiah. There are 50 years for a Jubilee year. All these things are about a time when the faithful who speak life and bear fruit will arise from death and stand up on their graves. It’s the 5th Feast when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Messiah arise first.
That whirlwind of clouds will happen. Those bones in the grave will revive. Our Father is not slack concerning His promises.

clouds during golden hour

“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him” (Dan. 7:13).

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7).

Blessings,

Tekoa!

Check out my new release at Amazon Books, HERE

Sources: Hebrew for Christians

Eddie Chumney

Abarim Publications

All pictures were taken from Unsplash.com

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

Up to Half the Kingdom, Part II, Can We Drink This Cup?

Up To Half the Kingdom

When I posted part one of Up to Half the Kingdom, I had typed a portion of part two already.  However, I had a chapter from my memoir (Still unpublished) titled “Can You Drink this Cup?” ringing in my head. Although I do plan on posting one more chapter on connections made with ‘up to half the kingdom,’ I believe this chapter I’ve tweaked is to come first. Travel back in time with me to (2006—7).

Can You Drink This Cup?

It was late afternoon, and I was sitting in the bathtub with the shower turned on full force. Warm beads of water were spraying over me–pelting my skin. I was beyond weary. I sat there due to the sound from the water pressure; it helped drown out my sobs. I was crying so hard my body shook.
I had just started a round of steroids to bring me back from the neurological monster that had gripped me and depleted me of strength. This disease was causing painful muscle spasms and slurring of speech. I could not stand in the shower because I was so off-balance, I feared that I might fall over. Also, my legs were too wobbly to hold me up. They felt like tree trunks.

grayscale photo of woman crying holding her right chest

I had just shared with my (previous) husband a concern about one of my symptoms that was growing worse—I was losing control of my bladder. I spoke to him in a voice that quivered about how one of my friends with multiple sclerosis was wearing diapers now, at the age of forty. I was terrified of what was happening to my BODY. My underpants were staying soaked, and the smell of urine was quite embarrassing. However, instead of the compassion that I had received from him in the past, I was now getting disdain and regret. He was regretful that he had married me. It was written all over his face. We began to argue. He informed me that he did not plan on taking care of a sick wife for the rest of his life and that he sure was not going to change diapers. He mentioned harshly, my father’s name, who at that time, was taking care of my mother with Parkinson’s.
“I am not going to end up like him!” He voiced loudly.
I tried to dissolve under the kitchen linoleum.
He would later go on to leave the country and never return. I would lose not just him, but my precious step-daughter, who called me Momma, Bonnie. A child, now 7, who had lived with us bi-weekly since she was a baby, had become a bright ray of sunshine in my life. Months later, on a warm spring day, her mother would arrive to pack up her things, and I would stand frozen, yet horrified, as her mother unpeeled tiny fingers from my shirt. To this day, I can still hear her voice sobbing, “Please, momma, please, can momma Bonnie come live with us, pleeease!” These words will be forever seared into my memory.

girl holding paper boat illustration art

Her father was tired. Who could blame him?

So as I sat in the shower with my head between my knees, sobbing uncontrollably, a million thoughts fired through my brain. Who would take care of me? I already knew he was leaving. It was all part of a bigger plan that I couldn’t see yet. My mind raced with fear. I was crying for two reasons: 1) I was in horrific pain. 2), my husband no longer viewed me as a vibrant woman but more of a grotesque, sloppy person that he had to care for.  I had come to see myself in the same manner. I missed the life we had before the sickness came. Just when I thought it could not get any worse, my husband entered our small bathroom and ripped the shower curtain back. He began to yell and curse with bulging eyes and throbbing temples. I felt like death, and my words slurred when I spoke to him. His eyes glazed over my body that had become overweight and flabby. He continued to yell while I sobbed, and like a scene from the Garden, I tried to cover my nakedness.

This was my husband. The one who had recently purchased a Bible. The one who had started taking me to a local assembly on my better days. I knew this man loved me and had taken care of me up until this point. Now he had become overwhelmed by the situation. My sickness had taken its toll on everyone.

I pleaded and begged him to leave the bathroom, telling him that I just wanted to be left alone, but the more I cried, the more he yelled–even cruelly mimicking my slurred speech. I finally just stopped talking.

I wanted to stop breathing.

At that very moment, I wanted more than anything to check out.

Have you ever wanted to check out? Yeshua, the Messiah, did!

He cried, “Lord, take this cup from me!”(Luke 22:42).  Then He said, “not my will Father, but your will be done.” He began to sweat drops of blood. He knew the PRICE.

After my husband left the bathroom, I was alone with my thoughts.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of a prayer I had prayed days before. I remembered then what I had asked for.  I had cried out for forgiveness. I had made so many mistakes.  “Help me be like Yeshua! I want to think and act like Him; I want to be a reflection of His love.

My mind began to picture Yeshua needing Peter and Peter denying him three times.

Woman, I do not know Him.” (Luke 22:57, NASB).

Perhaps, Peter wasn’t completely lying. Possibly, in a sense, he did not know this ‘man. Yes, he knew the man, Yeshua, who raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind, healed the sick and cast out demons, but this bloody, beaten man? Who was he? This man stripped of his robe, beaten, and spit on—who was this? Hadn’t they laid the palm branches down and sang to him?

Woman, I do not know Him!

The night before, in the garden, Yeshua requested prayer while all of his best men fell into slumber. These were his Talmidim, the ones who swore they would die for him. All his close friends deserted him when He needed them most. Mine had diminished entirely since the sickness.

My mind pictured the crowd gawking– thorns crushed down into his skull and the spit of men. How many times had I spit and not even consider my salivary glands? We all have three of them–the parotid glands, the submandibular glands, and the sublingual glands. The saliva produced in these glands is secreted into the mouth from a duct near our upper second molars. Oh, how we forget what a magnificent Creator we have! To spit upon the one who created spit?

Yeshua was not standing with a golden crown, dressed in His Kingly attire riding on a white horse. He was not roaring like a lion from the tribe of Judah. Who was this man? A sacrificial Lamb stood before them naked and bloody, and Peter screams, “I don’t know the man!”

My bathroom shower curtain had been flung open, and my nakedness had been looked upon with such contempt and repulsion, I could feel the disparagement in my bones.

Our Messiah could count his bones.

Yes, I was getting a taste—

a

very

teensy

sip

of

a

cup.

I continued to meditate on how Yeshua’s beard was ripped out in the hands of hate. Indeed, it all became crisper from my weakened condition.

I had prayed to look like Him. Now, Abba was asking me a question. “Do you know what you are asking? Are you able to drink the cup, I drink?”

The sons of thunder wanted the glory and the seat next to him in his Kingdom, but could they taste his cup of suffering? And so it is the same with many of us in the body of Messiah. We pray to be like the spotless Lamb, but we do not want to suffer with him. All his disciples went on to drink this cup. They were tortured, beheaded, crucified upside down, killed with the sword, boiled in pots, and put to death. The Father did not spare them. The head of His prophet was whacked off and placed on a platter. Were these men not chosen for such a time as this?

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (II Corinthians 4:10).

“From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus” (Gal 6:17).

Paul knew this pain. He had been stoned, beaten with rods three times, imprisoned and shipwrecked. He was left in the open sea for two days, clinging to a plank with the sharks. He was whipped with thirty-nine stripes. He had been given a thorn in his flesh!

How do we prosper amid such trials and places that seem void of the Father? How do we get back up with that cross on our shoulders and keep climbing up the hill towards Golgotha so we can get this flesh crucified? Can we drink this cup? Did the world know the apostles due to their prosperity, ease, fame, and accolades of men?

“You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Good questions to ask are: Is the whole world doing it, watching it, talking about it, buying it, wearing it, and celebrating it?

How can the things of this world compare to eternity with The King of Glory?

Do people hate you? Maybe you’ve been taking some drinks from His cup?

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:19).

James said to count it all joy when we go through trials and sufferings. Paul said, “And not only this, we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

I feel like we in the body of Messiah, at times, have just wanted the meek and mild Yeshua, the One who took the stripes for our healing. The Messiah that gives us wealth, a good parking space, and answers all our prayers. We don’t like the Yeshua that offends us–the Lamb that says, “Pick up your cross–drink my blood– eat my flesh and drink from my cup.”

The sons of Zebedee wanted the upper room experience, the resurrection glory–they want it without the DEATH. If we don’t drink the first cup, can we partake of the second cup? 

After Yeshua spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, the Bible says, “From then on, many of His taught ones withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.67יהושע, therefore, said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”68Then Shim‛on Kĕpha answered Him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You possess words of everlasting life” (John 6:66-68, ISR).

Is it our best life now?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:24-26, NASB).

So let’s recap Part #1:

(Matthew 20:17-21) “As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18“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.” Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom, these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”

We read the same story in another Gospel, and it shows that the brothers asked as well. They came worshipping him, but they wanted to be exalted. They had a taint in their worship. They tried to bargain–make a deal with the Moshiach and exchange their devotion for a place of honor and esteem. If He was going to have a kingdom, they wanted to be on the throne and exalted right beside him.

Yeshua said, “Ye know not what ye ask! Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? John said he baptized with water, but one was coming who would baptize (Immerse) with FIRE. Our Messiah could not baptize them with fire until he was baptized in sorrow—immersed in all the anguish and cruelty that the garden of Gethsemane and the cross held in its hands. They slept while his very blood dripped and oozed out of his pores. My family members, for a season, seemed to snooze through my suffering. To this day, when I mention some of the things I went through, they respond with, “Hmm, I don’t remember that.” The friends I had for years were suddenly gone. They didn’t know how to react or be around this woman. They said, “I do not know that woman!” These men wanted to worship him, but they had not spiritually died with him yet. I was beginning to die to my flesh. This suffering was causing me to reach up and seek a place of death so that I could live.

group of people attending burial

I was learning more from the pain than I had ever learned when I was healthy. I was becoming thankful for the mornings I awoke in my right mind–my very breath. Sometimes it takes getting on a cross and dying, to worship a Father without bargaining. I had reached a place where I could honestly say, “If I never get any better and only grow worse, I am still going to praise You because Adonai you are WORTHY!

Sometimes in our suffering, He seems a million miles away. You may feel that way right now? It’s as if He has forsaken you. His Son, Yeshua, felt the same way.

Psalms 22 says, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver him” (22:1, 6- 8, KJV).

The psalmist continues, “They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones: They look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength haste’s thee to help me” (Psalms 22:16-19).

I needed Him more than ever as I sat twelve years ago in my bathtub, naked and sick, and dying a death. I felt so frightened, so alone.  Abba led me to this verse.

“You who fear Adonai, praise Him!

All Jacob’s descendants, glorify Him!

Revere Him, all you seed of Israel.

25 For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the lowly one.

Nor has He hidden His face from him,

but when he cried to Him, He heard.

26 From You is my praise in the great assembly.

I will fulfill my vows before those who fear Him.

27 Let the poor eat and be satisfied.

Let them who seek after Him praise Adonai.

May your hearts live forever!” (Psalm 22:24-27, TLV).

Abba, Daddy, did not loathe me when I was crying out, sitting in fetal form at the bottom of my bathtub. He did not hide His face from me. He was there all along. It was my husband and me, who abhorred my illness, not the Father. Suffering brings sweetness and compassion for others. He is right there with you!

The prosperity lies in what we learn during the trials of our sufferings. I learned my Heavenly Father would never leave me nor forsake me.  He had a plan.

Let us look at Isaiah 53, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed, all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to His own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (4-6).

It goes on to say in verse 10, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; He hath put him to grief.”

pink rose

Have people accused you of being stricken of God?

Yeshua knew the end of the story:

“But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt 26:63-64).

Has He bruised you?  He sees the end of your situation too, and He longs to bring restoration. 

King David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). When we begin to cry out, “Not my will for my life, but your will Father–You do what needs to be done, you pluck out what needs to be removed, You put me on that Potter’s wheel and smash the clay. You take those pruning shears and cut away. Yes, it is then that He shows up mightily on our behalf. That’s when he says hand over the clay. I am molding you and making you into an instrument worthy of use.

Adonai is full of mercy, and He longs to know us on an intimate level. Do you have the courage today to say, “Yeshua, I want to be just like you, instead of, I want to sit next to you on the throne in an exalted place?” Earthly Kings can only offer up to half of their kingdoms, kingdoms they do not own.

Can we see the end result?

 Amy Carmichael said it best, “No wound? No scar? Yes, as the master shall the servant be, and pierced are the feet that follow me; but thine are whole. Can he have followed far, who has no wound? No scar? 1867-1951.”

man and woman on seashore nearby starfish

Blessings!

Tekoa Manning

Part #1 HERE

Sources:

Artwork–photography:

Toa Heftiba@heftiba

Sharon McCutcheon@sharonmccutcheon

Rhodi Alers de Lopez@20164rhodi

Zhang JR@z734923105

Aleyna Rentz

Kat J@kj2018

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, Inspirational, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah, Uncategorized

Wholly Illuminated

This week while scrolling through social media I read a meme (below) that described my week or parts of my whole existence.

survive

The meme, along with the raw words written by a friend, pierced me. Her vulnerability at that moment ministered to me. It went to a place in my soul that needed a bandage. It helped me cry. I believe there is rainwater from heaven in every droplet of our tears. Feelings are meant to be felt.
When I started this blog last week, I had no idea that I would add a portion exposing my vulnerability, but here I am.
I am a person that’s dealt with trauma in my lifetime. None of us are getting out alive.
When my husband and I go for short walks at night, he knows that if a dog barks, I will jump two feet. A loud horn blares. I squeeze his hand until my nails leave indentions. Earlier in the day, he walks behind me unannounced in the bathroom, and I scream bloody murder, my arms flaring and my heart pounding. Later, he wants to look at a property for sale in the country, secluded– and my first thought is a book written by Truman Capote called “In Cold Blood.” It would be funny if it weren’t true. Perhaps this is what helps me write fiction? I’ve lived a thousand lives under the sun. He briefly touches on the topic of my fears, and I blurt out,
“I am fearful of everything and nothing!”
“What?”
“I’m scared of people hurting me, dogs, going for walks, evil men, living in the middle of nowhere—living in the city. I’m petrified of hospitals, doctors, and the whole time we lived with my father I never once went on a walk with you for fear of a dog, a bobcat, a snake, or some ferocious animal attacking me.”
He’s listening, and I wonder what he is thinking, but I continue talking this through.
“At the age of 9 or 10, my brother had a paper route. If he missed a couple of houses, my father would toss me in the back of the truck. He would pull in the drive, and I’d place the paper on the porch and hop back in the bed. One particular house stands out. Before I could reach the porch, a large German shepherd lept over the fence and landed on top of me, gnashing his teeth. Luckily my dad got it off of me. I went on to babysit for our neighbor at 13, who had the most massive, loudest, German shepherd on the block. The fear started after a dream of hungry wolves surrounding me. I was 30, and they were there.
“I’m scared of everything and nothing, I say again.”
“I’m not scared of sickness, death, demons, or losing all my material possessions and becoming homeless.”
He looks confused.
“Honey, “Do you know how crazy that sounded? Do you even understand what you just said? You just named things most people in the world are scared to death of. Even death.”
“Maybe it’s because I have faced those things, I think to myself?”
Some of us have a point on a map, a calendar, a datebook locked in our brain, and we can tell you the exact moment of the car wreck, the diagnosis, or our child that died before it ever learned to talk or even before it exited the womb. There is a moment in time where we look back at the shattered glass, the addiction, the iron bars, the chemo, the foreclosure, the divorce papers, the bruises, the rape, the welfare department, the mental break down, or the charade of pretending to be put together when we were one button shy of EXPLODING!
Yes, we all have our moments, and some of us have another type of trauma. In World War II, with gunfire and bullets whipping around his head, my uncle, wading in freezing waters, stopped and threw his hands in the air and cried, “The war is over!” Of course, it wasn’t. He just had wishful thinking. He had seen too many bodies stacked in piles– stripped of all dignity— He had seen and smelled enough death.
But, some of us don’t have one memory or one vivid scar—it’s not one childhood adventure filled with nightmares, but more of a series of unfortunate events—sometimes it is an everyday battle just to get through.
Sometimes we wonder how we can take another step—breathe– trust again–go back out into the world and try and be a candle burning for someone else. We, too, cry and throw our arms to heaven, exclaiming, “The war is over!” I’m exhausted, Abba. Take the pain, sorrow, shame, guilt, confusion, debt, unbelief, sickness, and trauma and take my weapons of fear. Take the bars I have built to protect me. Take the suffering.

pottery job

Job took broken pottery, and he scraped his sores. He came to a place where he was okay with death. As a matter of fact, he welcomed death. He said the thing he feared the most had come upon him, but what was that thing?
He starts at the beginning of chapter three, cursing the day of his birth. He wishes that he had never been born because his pain is so deep. He explains how those in the grave are at rest. Job 3:16-17.
One morning, in the midst of some of the worst pain I have ever felt, I awoke to this pain in terror that I was going to have to get through another day of suffering. I prayed to die. I quoted Job verbatim. Then I heard an echo, “Do you not value the life I’ve given you? Do you not hope for better days?”
Job goes on to explain his fear.
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come,” (Job 3:20-21).
And that is what he feared. A death that does not come. He feared he wasn’t going to get to escape such misery. He had lost children, cattle, oxen, servants, and he was suffering so severely. He wasn’t a man steeped in fear. He was a righteous man who wanted to go rest. I remember relating to such words. “Just take me Abba! I’m finished here. What good am I to anyone laying here suffering? I have nothing left here to do!” But I was much mistaken. I hadn’t even tasted what He had in store for me.
What does it look like when we use all our experiences and healing to help another heal? What does it look like when we embody Him and are a light? A candle. A burning flame that can’t be hidden because His light outshines all the darkness we’ve been through?

lightttttttt

What if The Father of Glory wanted to come to spend an evening with you? What would that look like? What did Shavuot and the tongues of fire sound like?
We often imagine what it would have been like to walk with Yeshua/ Jesus. To intently listen to Him tell parables, but what about as we go through our repetitious life? A typical workday or weekend. What would that look like to meet the risen Savior face to face? I’m talking about something fragrant. Something memorable. Something hard to even articulate.
You may have gathered from my previous blog that I don’t like to be at the hospital without my husband. Our first night back at the hospital, he slept on a couch next to me. By the second evening, between his back and his hip, he was ready to go home and get some much-needed rest. Before he left, he came over and said a simple prayer asking The Father to watch over me and protect me while we were apart. He also prayed for the Father to send compassionate people to care for me. What a very precious husband I have.
After he left, I was exhausted and a tad anxious, but I was prepared to try and rest until he returned. If you’ve ever spent much time in a hospital, you know it’s challenging to get any rest with pain, nurses coming in and out, beeping IV’s, as well as bathroom help, and so forth. On my second return to this hospital, I had some of the best nurses I’ve ever come in contact with. However, there was one that seemed explicitly handcrafted for me. I’ll call her Daffodil.

dafodils

I’m fast asleep, and around 8 pm, I hear my door open. I turn, sleepy-eyed, and look up at this woman who has just entered my room. She is tall– with a smile that made her eyes twinkle like stars in the night. She did not walk but seemed to sashay around the room in ballet slippers, softly checking this and that.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Manning; I’ll make a note that you’re an early sleeper so that I won’t disturb your rest.”
“Oh, I’m not an early sleeper. In fact, I’m a night owl. I was dozing from the medicine.”
We began to talk, and before we knew it, we were knee-deep in cooking shows. The Great British Bake-off! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were our first topic.
“Did you know that Mary contracted polio at the tender age of 13 and had a weaker arm due to it?
“No, I did not know that.”
“And did you know Paul would help her roll out her dough and prepare items?”
“Really,” I said, trying to sit up more.
“I think Paul looks like the guy from American Idol.”
“Oh, Simon!” Yes! Ha-ha!”
She laughed heartily, and then we were off to our next cooking adventure. Daffodil expressed her aspirations to create fabulous food. Her stories of family and grandparents who loved to bake were sprinkled throughout. I discussed my mom’s homemade carrot cake, and she described a delicate Italian cream cake made by her grandmother. The conversation was light but personal. We left baking and then traveled to World War II episodes on Netflix. Soon, we were reliving Foyle’s War, Land Girls, and Call the Midwives. Before I knew it, we were sailing on to authors and our all-time favorite books.
When Daffodil smiled, her light lit up the room. She exclaimed, “I love books! I love the smell of books!” I responded with an unquestionable, “YES!” Like fresh crayons in kindergarten! We giggled like school girls. Her phone buzzed, and she had to scurry off to another room. Suddenly, I felt revived. She was one of my people, and I was going to be blessed with her light for the next three days.
We discovered we lived very close to one another, right down the road from Barnes and Noble bookstore—a landmark. I mentioned my new grandson.
“Oh, I bet you just want to eat him up!”
She began to tell me about her nephew, who had high jacked her heart.
“Even if I have worked all night, need to clean, do laundry and catch up on things, one call from him “Aunt Daffodil can we go out?” and I am like “Baby, yes, we can!”
Suddenly, we laughed, and I had to hold my side, which was still very sore, to release the joy I felt. She caused me to forget my pain—my fear, and that my husband wasn’t coming back until morning.
Since the surgery, I have met two stoma nurses, both kind and good at what they do. Their profession is to try and prepare people to change a colostomy bag and empty it. For me, it was overwhelming and quite frightening to take in. It was humbling. You notice things and smells and the level of care. Since I had been back in the hospital with my wound, no one had helped me one on one yet, but Daffodil did. She took me in the bathroom and equipped me with gloves, tips for spraying, cleaning, and deodorizing the room, and she did it with the most compassion I’ve ever felt from any human. I wasn’t embarrassed, humiliated, or even scared to allow her to help me, help myself. This woman snuck into my room over and over again. She learned I was a writer of fiction and Torah teachings and wanted to know how to order my books.
She never told me about her religious beliefs. She never preached to me. She never quoted scriptures. No politics. No pushing or pulling, but her words held LIFE—her tongue FRUIT.

tekoa 8

Daffodil walked into my room like a candlelit burning brightly–like a flower pouring out fragrance. She bowed lowly. My husband witnessed her in her other patient’s chambers as he walked down the hall, and he said: “She is that bright no matter where she goes.” That BRIGHT. Like a candle on a lampstand. Oh, Saints, we can be those candles! We can be the hope of glory!”
When we are crucified with Messiah Yeshua/ Jesus, we no longer live, but He lives in us.
The Zohar states, “When a Jew utters one word of Torah, the light [in his soul] is kindled…and he sways to and fro like the flame of a candle.”
CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival, has a song called “Long as I can see the light.” John Fogerty bellows for us to put a candle in the window.
“If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” Luke 11:36.
What does Yeshua tell us before this? “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”
Thank you, Daffodil, for being a light to me, and thank you, Abba, for hearing my husband’s prayer and bringing light into my room.
We can heal from all the trauma by shining our lights on those in need. By listening. By praying. By giving sound counsel. By measuring our words. Even at our darkest moments in our most profound misery, we have LIGHT.
My husband’s picture below seemed to shine with extra light, and I wanted to personally thank him for being a bright light in my life for seven years now. Blessings friends. SHINE!

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