On Wednesday, the wonderful ladies at Cuppa Shebrews on Hebrew Nation Radio (HNR) interviewed me about my new book: The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating. The following link will take you to the recorded podcast. It will be available for one week and then archived for HNR subscribers. As a bonus, Ryan White of Rooted in Torah was on the second hour.🙂 I love his teachings on the Temple Service and the Honor and Shame cultures.
For best context, read Part I.
By Kendall Watson
“You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” (Ex. 34:26)
“You shall not eat anything which dies of itself, You may give it to the alien who is in your town so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out o father field every year.” (Deut.14:21-22)
Boiling a Kid in its Mother’s Milk
The prohibition of boiling a kid in its mother’s milk is mentioned a total of three times in Torah. Have you ever noticed what it’s associated with? In each case, this command is juxtaposed with the first fruits or tithes. What can we glean (spiritually) from this? Since fruit can mean “the result of or results”, physical children are man’s literal fruit. The (ideal) result of a man and woman coming together as one flesh is reproduction. This is expressed as the “fruit of the womb” or the “fruit of the loins”.
The first year that I homeschooled my two children, we studied Botany. (I love to garden.) In the course, we learned that every flower that produces an encapsulated seed is a fruit. Therefore, most things that we eat are actually a type of fruit, even nuts! Seeds reside inside of fruit. This is true in the natural and the spiritual realm. Messiah emphasized this here:
“Now this is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the Word of God.” (Luke 8:11)
Whether you are a “spiritual parent” mentoring the Body or a literal parent, the picture is the same. Words are seeds planted in individuals who are the fruit of Elohim. The question we must answer is this: “Is the fruit we are producing the result of Messiah’s works or is it the result of our own flesh/works?” There is a huge difference between the two. We are designed to rest in Messiah’s works. Just as He only did the works He saw His Father doing, we are to only do the works we see Him doing.
Perhaps another analogy is helpful. Let’s consider working the ground. In order to get a harvest (or first fruits), we must cultivate the soil, sow seed into the ground, and water and weed the plot to ensure that the plants eventually produce fruit for nourishment. This is very hard work. It takes strength, persistence, and patience to reap a harvest. The seed must be nurtured and cared for in order to mature.
Bringing our first fruits to the House of the LORD demonstrates that the first of our strength and all of our hard work is ultimately HaShems. He is the one that enables one to work the soil. The least we can do to show our gratitude is to give him the first fruits of our toil. When we sow with our own works we fail to realize who “really” did the work, which is Messiah.
This same analogy can be made with people. Are we nurturing the congregation with mother’s milk (Torah) or are we killing our kids (first fruits) by boiling them in the very thing that should bring them to maturity and lead them to life?
Let that sink in for a moment. This idea is not far fetched. Paul said, that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Torah without the nurturing Holy Spirit kills. It will boil the “kids” alive or bring death. (2 Cor. 3:6)
Being a Creation Gospel trainer/student, numbers and their themes, such as creation days and feast days, stand out in the text. Therefore, I can’t help to point out the number three here. Three alludes to the feast of first fruits. Ultimately, Messiah IS our first fruits. He is the strength of our labor; everything else is vanity. What happened on day three of creation? Seeds and fruit trees were created! In Hebrew, the word for tree is etz. Etz is the Hebrew root for counsel, etzah. Wise counsel heals and corrects with words that bear the good fruits of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. It doesn’t injure the sheep or tear them to pieces with vicious words (unwise counsel) in order to be right or more correct. Godly counsel gathers and protects the plants and trees that are near bloom. Hopefully, we appreciate the difference.
“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit”. (Matt.7:15-17)
In Isaiah it says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” The word evil, according to Strong’s, is ra (7451). It can mean “evil” or “adversity”. Let’s take a closer look at the word adversity. Adversity means difficulties. The root of this word is adverse and can mean, “not helping”. I don’t know about all of you, but in my mind, I always thought that evil meant “all those other people out there that aren’t believers“. The Hebraic view has expanded my understanding and challenges my old definition. Are we being helpful? What is the fruit of our lips? Is there any good fruit at all? Maybe evil is closer to home than we thought…
“But Jesus turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”. (Matt 16:23)
Satan is Strong’s 4567. It means adversary, not necessarily some ethereal evil being. An adversary is someone that opposes or accuses others. We can actually be a satan! What?! The next time you are compelled to tell someone how wrong they are about keeping a commandment a certain way or feel led to push your spouse around because they don’t keep Shabbat, choose your words carefully. To be honest, I have been there. I was so angry at one point with someone close to me that I could have smacked him right in the face! (Really, I could have. If you’re honest, you’ve been there as well.) Later, I realized that my anger was rooted in fear. I was afraid that judgment would fall on us because certain commandments weren’t being kept. Do you think my volatile reaction worked (bore good fruit)? NO! It pushed my dear friend further away.
We do this very thing when we think thoughts such as:
“We are not sure if so and so should be at our feast“.
“We probably shouldn’t go to that assembly because they have some women teachers…“
“I need to control my spouse, kids, and other people because they just don’t know what I know…“
“Even though the Father didn’t tell me to give money to that family I’m going to anyway, because I can’t stand to see them suffer.”
“The poor church is going to have judgment poured all over them“.
“Those Jews are just so legalistic, too bad they don’t see Messiah“.
Fear is the fuel behind every evil and adversity in the world. It causes people to separate, point fingers, control, and manipulate all because YHVH’s love is not perfected in them. This is not the love of Messiah.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” (1John 4:18)
My dear sister in Messiah once visited an assembly with me. The speaker for that day got up and spoke on the Torah portion. Somehow, his message rabbit trailed into a lecture on what (he thought) was wrong with the Church. After leaving the service, she did not tell me what she thought about “our walk”. Years later, she divulged her thoughts and feelings on the experience. Tears run down my face every time I think about that conversation.
As she cried, she told me that she essentially felt like a whipped puppy with no hope. Tearfully, she asked me, “Kendall, are we not one in Messiah? And if we are, why do I feel like you all get offended at the mention of the word church?” She also stated that she was glad that she went because it showed her that what we were doing was not right. What this precious person witnessed in our midst was NOT the Light of Messiah. Instead of finding a place of refuge to learn and grow she found hate and strife among brothers. Any curiosity that may have been flickered was snuffed out by an attempt to “help” people “see” the “letter” of the commandments. The sad part is that I really don’t believe that the speaker she heard meant to cause destruction or bring words of death, yet that is what she perceived. The end result of this message (fruit) wasn’t nurturing milk for life and growth. Instead, it brought adversity, not help.
“Hatred stirs up discord, but love covers all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12)
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:12-14)
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have wee not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”. (Matt.7:21-23)
I don’t know about you but I want to know the Lord. Even in the contentions among brothers, Adonai still has great mercy and suffers long for His People. Praise our Elohim for His loving kindness! It’s time that we put aside strife among brothers and sisters. Do you need to ask forgiveness from someone? Then what is holding you back? Do you need to forgive? Then let it go. Do you have bone to pick with Judah about their oral laws? Then I would humbly urge you to not judge so quickly. I have seen the Spirit of Messiah in more Rabbis than I have in the Hebrew Roots movement. Are you worried that by letting outsiders into our feasts, you are sinning? Then, look to King Hezekiah for instruction. According to scripture, he knew that the priests were not clean. Yet, he invited the dispersed to Jerusalem with a heart of joy despite the fact that they had been following the ways of Jeroboam (2Chronicles 30:1-20).
The Father is in His fields. He is searching the hearts and minds of His people. He LOVES the children He has created. His judgment is not bad but good. He wants to bring us life, joy, and peace. Has your flesh roused up to think it’s in charge of you and others? Then use your Fathers discipline to humble it and your mothers Torah to instruct it. Are you afraid that if you let go of control that everyone will fall? Listen to the words of Yeshua:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Matt. 10:29
“So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Matt.10:31)
I have found that my family draws closer to Yeshua when I let Him shine through me with my actions verses using my words. Our memory verse in homeschool this week happens to be:
“My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)
May all of you have a wonderful month of Elul! And may the Spirit of Messiah rest on each and every one of you!
 Ex. 23:19; 34:26, Dt. 14:21
 Rabbi Fohrman also has a great teaching on Hezekiah.
The next couple of articles will be a two part series by guest poster Kendall Watson. Kendall is not only my sister in Messiah, she is also my sister in the flesh.🙂 Her heart in this vital message echoes my own. I pray it blesses you during this season of Elul. May we never forget the Spirit of the Commandments, which is Love. – K. Gallagher
During the month of Elul, it is said that the “Father is in His fields”. He is searching His people and seeking intimacy with His Bride. He longs to be with His children. If only His children would draw close enough to “shema” His voice. That is, if only they would listen and obey. What is His message, you ask? I believe the Father is telling His children to love not only Him but love one another as well. Love is a concrete thought. In Hebrew, love is not just an emotion but also something you do. In other words, someone can say that they love you all day long, but if their actions are not behind those four letters, then the word love means nothing.
In a healthy family, it is natural to love one’s parents. However, the love for one’s siblings is not only different, it is also more difficult. They are the competition for the parent’s affections. Consider what parent’s do for children. When they fall down, parents pick them up. When they cry, a parent’s loving embrace provides comfort and safety. Parents root and cheer for their progeny’s efforts at sporting events. They celebrate every accomplishment of the child as if they were the ones receiving the award. And if there is only one cookie left in the cookie jar, guess who gets to enjoy every bite? Not the adult, of course. Mothers and fathers sacrifice large and small everyday for their children…because they LOVE.
Children don’t generally reciprocate this type of love to their parents. While they certainly love, that love is expressed differently. Parents love, nurture, and discipline with wisdom. In a way, mothers and fathers pour out their very lives to give their children the best opportunities in this world. Over time (in a ideal home setting), the child intuitively learns this truth. This is why the child expects the last cookie, and why the parent usually gives it to them. Even in the most brutal homes, there is evidence from psychiatric studies that the children long for mom’s and dad’s love and approval. In our example, the cookie is simply the child seeking these things.
On the other hand, brothers and sisters don’t love one another quite as sacrificially, do they? Consider your childhood (if you had siblings.) Brothers and sisters aren’t usually very nice or giving. When we fell down, they were usually the one who had pushed us. When we cried, it was usually a brother that had hit us. Over and over again, jealousy takes over siblings in a rivalry. This enmity has its own mantra, “Mom and dad loves me more than you“.
Siblings incite one another with their words. “Oh, you won an award? Well, guess what? Mine is bigger!” Sister ate the last cookie in the cookie jar with a smirk on her face. She smugly thinks to herself, “I’m faster, smarter, and well, just plain better than you kid“.
Needless to say, contentions among siblings are too numerous to count. Praise the Father for the children that grow out of the immature bickering, and learn to love one another unselfishly. There is much to learn from these family dynamics. Sadly, many never overcome the battles of youth. Instead, they choose (or are forced) to not communicate with family members due to past hurts, jealousy, or other issues.
What spiritual significance can we learn from these life lessons? Loving YHWH is easier than loving our very imperfect and often immature siblings. I submit to you that Moses, Yeshua, and the disciples speak of these very things in the Word. When Yeshua was asked what the greatest commandment was, He answered:
“You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt.22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31,Luke 10:27-28)
This teaching was not new. Those with trained ears heard the words of Moses coming from Messiah’s lips.
” Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:4-6)
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord”. (Lev. 19:18)
To love the Lord, is to keep His commandments. For it says,
“If you love Me, keep My commandments” John 14:15
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me, And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him”. (John 14::21)
How many times have you quoted these scriptures to a challenger of your beliefs? Maybe you’ve even quoted them to someone that is curious about why you don’t eat pork. Is it wrong to quote scripture? As Paul would say, “Certainly not!” What I am submitting to you is to consider the Spirit behind the commandments. The question I was confronted with not so long ago was, “Who in me, is keeping the commandments?” And the second internal question was, “Is this pleasing to my Elohim?” I hate to admit that I did not get an “A” on this test. My response to the first question was: Me. My answer to the second question was: Yes! Of course! I honestly couldn’t see anything wrong with my answers. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, at least by the letter.
Torah portion “Ekev” caused me to reevaluate my answers to this “test”. Ekev means heel. The heel is the lowest part of the body. It can be likened to the “nefesh” or “flesh”. For example, Jacob grasped the “heel” of Esau, who is the epitome of the beast or flesh. Jacob overcame the “heel” or flesh and was later named Israel. Hence, in portion Ekev, this is what stood out to me:
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. ‘you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day”. (Deut. 8:17-19)
“Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land, whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you” (Deut. 9:4)
“Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people” (Deut. 9:6)
The Father has delivered us from bondage, brought us to the wilderness to test us and show us love, and now He is giving us land flowing with milk and honey with houses that are already built and vineyards that have already been planted. But, be careful! Don’t forget who delivered you and brought you into this good land. The temptation is to think that it’s all about ME. To put it another way, one may think that they have this “keeping the commandments” thing all figured out.
It’s a deep, slippery pit when we haughtily begin to think, “I’m the one following the commandments, so I have to be doing something right.” Or: “Maybe everyone should keep Shabbat and keep kosher just like me. If only everyone could see what I see. Sigh… Then we all could get along. Until then, I’ll separate myself from all these sinners.”
Yikes! Thoughts like this are very dangerous. The Father is the reason ANY of us keep the commandments. It is YHVH that gives us the strength and power to do anything. It is by His mercy that we even see one of these precious “Words” or “Utterances”. When we act out the commandments in our own strength, we are nothing more than a dry, parched branch needing to be burned. Yeshua reiterated this here:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:5-6)
Fruit in the Greek concordance is karpos (2590), and can mean “the result of” or “result”. When we read the scripture from this point of view, what Yeshua actually states is, “He who remains in Me, and I in him bears much results. If you do not remain in Me, you are a branch that is withered and needs to be burned”. In the Greek, burned is kayo.  While this word is often translated as “burned”, it also means “light”, which is reminiscent of these verses:
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your vision is clear, your whole body also is full of light. But when it is poor, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness”. Luke11:34-35
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
We as a people, for the most part, focus on the literal application of the above scriptures. We tend to associate these things with those we deem on the “outside”. Few in Messianic circles argue that we each need Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice to inherit Life, which inspires obedience to the commandments. But our zeal often overshadows a vital component to our walk. The temptation is to forget the works of Messiah and focus on our own. When the emphasis shifts from Messiah’s loving salvation to our own works, the resurrection Spirit is left out and all that remains is a bag of fleshy letters. This “other” spirit has the tendency to put burdens on others in the Body because they begin to believe that they “know what’s best”. Unknowingly, the person working in the flesh is taking the life giving Torah and twisting it to bring death to the Body of Messiah.
Could this be one of the spiritual applications of “boiling a young goat in its mothers milk?”
“You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.” (Ex. 23:19)
In Part II, we will continue with the notion that boiling a kid in its mother’s milk is rooted in first fruits that are not of Messiah, loving our brother, or the weightier matters of the Torah.
 Strong’s G2545
 It’s translated as “light” in Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (Mt. 5:14-15)
It’s been a while in the making considering its small size, but my BEKY Book is finally available on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. BEKY Book stands for Books Encouraging the Kingdom of Yeshua. This series is the brainchild of Dr. Hollisa Alewine. She envisioned a platform that would accomplish two things. First, the series fills a gap for new-to-Torah folks. Each book is nonthreatening and easy to read. They are small enough to consume in one sitting and the language is Christian friendly, while introducing the reader to a few new Hebrew words and concepts. They are very affordable and make perfect gifts for those that show interest in the Hebraic walk. Secondly, she is giving lesser known teachers of the Gospel a larger platform to spread their messages to the Body.
Currently, there are seven different authors working on various Torah related topics for beginners in the BEKY Book Series. You can learn more at the BEKY Book website. By liking the BEKY Book Facebook page, you will receive updates on new titles, receive links to interviews with the authors, and will even have multiple chances to win a free copy of one of the new books.
My book is the fifth in the series and is entitled, The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating. It’s not about calendar calculations or crescent moon sightings. Instead, it offers the reader an introduction to the Scripture, history, and tradition of new moon celebrations. It also examines the purpose and function of the moon. The second half of the book is devoted to each Hebrew month in an effort to help the reader celebrate each new moon/month and dedicate it to the Creator. My prayer is that this little booklet will shed some much needed light on this often forgotten festival of YHWH. May it bring glory to our King!
I humbly ask that you share this with your friends and family. Any Amazon reviews for my book and others in the BEKY Book series are also greatly appreciated!🙂
UPDATE!! Click this link for a chance to win a copy of my new book!
For the Kindle version, click here.
This is worth twenty minutes of your time. Watch how an Assemblies of God minister in TN started keeping the Sabbath and Feast Days and then moved his congregation to do the same. Baruch HaShem!
Following is a terrific video of Assemblies of God Pastor Scott Hillman humbly and compassionately giving testimony of why and how he and most of his congregation began keeping Shabbat and the Feasts of the Lord. Interestingly, after many questions and deep discussion, his denomination allowed him to stay and Hillman reveals that he is not alone. Apparently, there are a number of AoG congregations that have begun to take all of God’s Word seriously.
He is not alone. I have recently heard that there are more than 100 Southern Baptist Missionaries who self identify as Messianic and walk as the Messiah did, keeping Sabbath, eating clean and keeping Feasts. I personally know several pastors, one Southern Baptist, who have made the switch in the last year.
Our Father is doing something amazing in our day. He is bringing His people back to the fullness of Truth and causing them…
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