Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Light of the World

light2

Light. Science and nature will not deny that every living thing depends on light either directly or indirectly to maintain life. This picture in the natural world has a mighty lesson to teach us about the immense spiritual world around us. So, what is light? I hope to show you through the scientific exploration of natural light and the Scriptures that our Elohim (God) is truly the “Light of the World[1].

What is Light?

Ask any scientist and you’re likely to get varied answers. The truth is that even with the many technological advantages that we have today, light remains a scientific mystery[2]. As soon as scientists think they’ve figured out this mystery, light surprises them yet again. Perhaps this is what provoked Albert Einstein to say:

“For the rest of my life I want to reflect on what light is”

Quantum physics and the theory of Relativity, two of modern physics great paradigm shifts , started from anomalies in the behavior of light. Both thoughts led to radical new understandings of the nature of light. It seems that light occupies a very special place in the universe. In some ways, it is more fundamental than space, time or matter.

The biggest question of light is whether it is a wave, a particle, or both. The classical description of light defines it as an electromagnetic wave. This means that it is a varying electric and magnetic field, which spreads out from one place to another. Light doesn’t have physical mass; instead it is “energy”. The modern quantum mechanical description says that light can also be considered to be particles called photons. These photons carry energy and momentum but they also have no mass.

Science defines light as having no physical substance or no mass, yet it is carried by a very real and observable means. YHWH describes Himself as “Light” thousands of years before modern science. Like light He has no physical substance; He is a Spirit[4]. Yet, He has given us an “observable” substance: His Word. It is the Word that took upon flesh to show us the Light[5].

Ps. 27:1 YHWH is my light and my salvation…

Jn. 8:12  Then spake Yeshua (Jesus) again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world…

1Jn. 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Jn. 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Quantum mechanics tells us that no matter can exist without light and all matter exists of invisible particles. Thus, light is necessary not only for life, but for any form of matter. The first recorded speech of Elohim (God) in our Bible’s is “Let there be Light”. This is the Hebrew word אור “ohr”. It shares the root with the Hebrew word for order and box. In Hebrew thought, a box helps keep things in order. Therefore, light is also necessary to maintain order[6]. Even the English word order begins with this same sound “ohr”. Thus, light is a sort of containment for the structure of our universe. As good science teaches us, light is what “holds” quanta particles together and all matter consists of invisible particles. Thus, light literally holds our universe together.

Rom. 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Col. 1:17  And he (Yeshua) is before all things, and by him all things consist[7] [are held together].

According to Wikipedia, “Light is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the human eye (in a range from about 380 or 400 nanometers to about 760 or 780 nm). In physics, the term light sometimes refers to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not”. [8]

Light is a form of what we call radiation. The electromagnetic waves produced by light move in a manner similar to the waves produced by a stone dropped in a pool of water. The transverse waves of light from a light source spread out in expanding circles much like the waves in a pool. However, the waves in the pool are very slow and awkward in comparison with light, which travels approximately 186,000 miles per second.

Scientists have come to the conclusion that the speed of light is not only observed to be constant, but that it does not even make any sense to say that it varies[9]. The speed of light is constant or eternal, because it never stops traveling[10]. Thus, our God of Light is also constant or eternal and does not vary. Natural light teaches us about the spiritual reality of YHWH.

Dt. 33:27  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Mic. 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Einstein’s theories of Special and General Relativity also teaches us about light in respect to time and space. Time is relative to the observer. As an object accelerates, time slows down relative to that object. In other words, time and speed come together at the speed of light. We can imagine this if we think of a person riding a beam of light. Relative to everyone else, he would appear to be frozen in time. He could travel for several million years without aging a single second. However, to himself, time appears normal; it’s just that the rest of the universe seems to be aging infinitely quickly. Like God, anything traveling at the speed of light does not change. Just as God exists outside of the laws of time and space, time as we know it does not exist at the speed of light.

Ps. 90:1-4 [[A Prayer of Moses the man of God.]] Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.

Mal.  3:6 For I [am] the LORD (Yahweh), I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

2 Pt. 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Dan. 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Jas. 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

I am not a scientist by any means, so those of you that are more scientifically minded may find my post very elementary — sorry. My husband is highly intrigued by the scientific world and it is my understandings of his studies that I offer here. As he digs deeper into the natural things, we are always amazed by the accuracy of Scripture. The heavens and creation never fail to declare the glory of YHWH! Moreover, the natural things really do give us glimpses and sometimes far more accurate pictures of spiritual matters.

Conclusions

  • Natural light still mystifies scientist —- so does YHWH/Yeshua
  • Natural light is energy that can become mass (E=MC2) — YHWH/Yeshua is Spirit (energy) and can take upon flesh (mass)
  • Natural light holds matter together — Yeshua holds all things together
  • Natural light is eternal and constant — so is YHWH/Yeshua
  • Natural light operates outside of time and space —- so does YHWH/Yeshua

There is still much more to come on Light! In future posts, I hope to cover the electromagnetic spectrum, the menorah, rainbows, and much more.

Read more in Part II.


[1] John 8:12; 9:5

[3] Yahweh, the four letter tetragrammaton in Hebrew (yod, hey, vav, hey). This is the Most Holy Name of God. Often translated as The LORD in English bibles.

[4] John 4:24

[5] Read all of John chapter 1

[6] See Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible under entry H216

[7] See Strong’s number G4921

[10] This is proved by Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity.

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Creation Gospel, Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Torah Portion: Korach

Numbers 16:1-18:32; 1 Sam. 11:14-12:22; 2 Tim. 2:8-21; Jude 1-25   (K. Gallagher 2011)

 

Korach’s Rebellion

Do we sometimes feel that YHWH has been unfair to us? I shamefully have at times. We know from reading the p’shat or literal meaning of this portion that Korach’s desire is wicked and rebellious. Yet, Korach felt that he was a better choice to lead the people. I’ve been around people like Korach; they desire a form of the priesthood also. They are those that always find fault with leadership and as a result they begin to vocalize their opinions to others in the congregation. Whether they realize it or not, like Korach, they are drawing others unto themselves.

Those that participate in such activities usually do so under the banner of holiness or righteousness. They accuse the leadership in place of not being as righteous or as holy as they should be. Perhaps they accuse the leadership of not being as Torah observant as themselves. They forget that those leaders have been allowed to operate and function by YHWH Himself. Sure there are some legitimate reasons to confront a leader—- like when there is proof of blatant or unrepentant sin. However, far more often than not, that leader is functioning just as YHWH has planned. Among Messianics, there is usually a family or group of families that comes against the leadership because of particular halachah (specific ways a community keeps a commandment) and not sin. And thus, I must wonder if they are in the rebellion like Korach.

Korach felt that he and all Israel were holy. While it is true that those that follow the Elohim of Israel and keep His commandments are holy, the real question is holy for what? In Hebrew the word for holy is “kadosh”; it means to be set-apart for something. But that something can be good or wicked. Kadosh doesn’t function like our English word for holy. This is why in Hebrew a harlot is also called holy; she is set apart for her task or god. The question is to what or to whom are you set apart? We must strive to be “kadosh l’YHWH”—Holy unto Yahweh. There is a big difference.

One striking thing that cannot be overlooked is the condition of the camp at the time this rebellion took place. Last week, the Israelites learned that their lack of fear and trust in the God of Israel would cost their generation the Promised Land. They believed the report given by the 10 negative spies and once again grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The consequences of their sin must have seemed unbearable. Emotions had to be running high in the camp as they pondered their predicament: They would spend the rest of their earthly lives in the wilderness.

With a judgment like that looming over your head, Korach’s message would have been enticing to say the least. Thoughts would race through your mind possibly like the following: “Perhaps, Moses heard wrong. Maybe Korach is right. YHWH loves us too, right? He said we were holy. Look where Moses and Aaron have gotten us—nowhere! It’s not as if Moses and Aaron are perfect. They make mistakes too! Perhaps He will start all over with us! Yes, that’s it! We will get to the Promised Land; glory to God, A-men!” And on and on it would go. You see, it would feel like the right thing to do because it would make your flesh feel better about your lot in life. When YHWH says we don’t get to go somewhere or we don’t get to do something—He means it. We must learn to rest in His sovereignty and FEAR Him and Him alone. YHWH always has us right where He wants us. Whether or not we like it doesn’t matter. Our duty is to fear Him and Keep His commandments and to do so with a spirit of joy! It is possible… with Him. (Mt. 19:26)

Back Up

Let’s rewind this story a bit and ensure that we don’t find ourselves wearing the shoes of rebellion. The first spark of dissent happens after the people (20 years and older) realize that their dreams of entering the Land will NEVER be grasped. People that have had their dreams or agendas are crushed are dangerous. Sadly, their fate is a consequence of their own making (sin). Instead of accepting the Creator’s sovereign ruling, the people want someone to blame. They look to the earthly leadership and plan a mutiny, even though the real culprits are their own evil inclinations and mistakes. Do you suppose that we are any different today?

Moses realizes the enormity of the people’s actions and humbly tries to quiet their emotions by bowing (he has a servant heart!) and reasoning with them. He then devises a plan for all those in rebellion and the current leadership to offer incense before YHWH. In this YHWH would assert His choice (again). But Moses’ words of wisdom do not appease the people. As a matter of fact, they have become so prideful that they continue the onslaught of accusations against Moses and refuse to come when he requests their presence. (vs. 12)

Wow. Instead of looking at the real problem (their own evil hearts), they blame Moses. I believe this occurs again and again in our own assemblies. In 16:13-14, it becomes obvious that the people have deluded themselves into believing that their punishment is Moses’ fault. While it is most apparent to us that their accusations are completely unwarranted, the people feel justified in their actions.

When issues of halachah surfaces in our assemblies, often the accusers are simply rebelling as Korach did. They refuse to submit to the ruling of the leadership under the guise of “righteousness”. These people, like Korach, really believe that their interpretation of halachah is more divine or biblical than the community’s current standards. And somehow they feel that it is their duty to “set everyone else straight”. When the leadership humbly tries to reason with the accusers, they puff-up in pride and usually spew verbal bullets (scripture proof texts) in retaliation. Is this not exactly what Korach and his company did?

You see, like Korach and his cohorts, we often react in similar fashion when we don’t get our way. Like little children, we kick and scream and blurt out false accusations toward leadership. Our evil inclinations can conjure up a myriad of threats, allegations, and blame. If the accused tries to humbly squelch the outrage, the people usually respond as Dathan and Abriam and refuse to make amends. I believe that by this point, pride has such a hold on the person or persons that they cannot repent. Like Korach, pride has completely blinded them to the truth and to reason. Sadly, what results is usually a sharp division of fellowship. But, the leadership cannot allow this spirit to proliferate. Like Moses, they must turn them over to YHWH.

The thing I don’t want you to miss is how “subtle” Korach’s initial argument was. In 16:3, everything Korach said about the people was true: the people were holy and YHWH was in their midst. This was the hook Korach used to drag the people away in his revolt. In reality, the people and Korach didn’t like the judgment YHWH made about their sin. They wanted to leave the wilderness and enter the Land. Realizing that they would never get there with “Moses” as leader, they decided that just perhaps, another would get them there.

In our assemblies today, this same thing plays out again and again. The “people” have a set desire (and that desire may not be wrong in and of itself). Upon realizing that the current leadership is not going to get them there or submit to what they perceive is the best halachah; they begin mouthing these things to other assembly members. Some with similar aspirations become carried away with the Korachs. Eventually, there is a “meeting” challenging the leadership. If the leadership refuses their demands, they throw a tantrum and leave the assembly, usually dragging others with them.

This saddens me very deeply. Even worse, looking back, I realize that I have been a cohort with a Korach before. I was so blinded by my “righteous” aspirations that I failed to recognize the authority that YHWH had placed in our midst. What resulted was a split and broken relationships. And guess what? When YHWH’s timing was right, that assembly did walk out the very thing that we aspired to! So the real lacking was my own humility and patience. We forget how powerful pride actually is. Pride’s favorite disguise is a form of godliness, holiness, and righteousness. Rarely is it overtly evil.

Since I’ve had a bad experience with a Korach, I really have to check myself when things aren’t done the way “I” believe they should be. When emotions are running high, we are primed for the enemy to slither in and plant seeds of dissent.

So, I said all of that to say this: I believe this is the biggest problem in Messianic assemblies today. We are so zealous for YHWH, His Torah, and Mashiach, that we often forget the two most vital keys to unity: humility and authority. When everyone is his own master; serving others is nonexistent. Or as my mother says, too many chiefs and no Indians.

We must get to a place where loving YHWH and loving others trumps our pet doctrines and halachah. This is not compromise, it is humility. Too often our desire to be right far exceeds our desire to love, exercise mercy, and live in unity. Moreover, we have a real issue with authority. Where are the people that are willing to commit, lift up, serve, and stand with today’s leaders? Sure they aren’t perfect; yes they will make some mistakes. If you think (like Korach) that you would be a better leader — you are deluded by your own pride and rebellion.

Or perhaps you believe that you must isolate yourself and family from the main assemblies. Many that do this fear “contamination”, opposing doctrine or halachah, or the like. This too is pride, because the negative side of pride is FEAR — fear of man and circumstances. Congratulations, you’ve just made your fear holy or kadosh.

This may sound harsh, but when I look around our “movement”, instead of seeing steadfast believers walking in unity, I see too many fickle and inconsistent people. Today, I doubt that their would be an Aaron or a Hur to help Moses hold his hands up to defeat an Amalek. [1]

This is to our shame. My prayer is that we wake-up and mature. We have to accept the fact that we are each in different places in our restoration. We cannot demand that everyone be exactly where we are in our walk. Nor can we demand that everyone become a cookie-cutter version of ourselves in matters of halachah. If you dislike diversity (in halachah), then you need to reevaluate the creation and get over yourself. Prayerfully find an assembly. Stick with them. Support the leadership. Be steadfast. Serve the community with humility. Crucify your own desires and agendas and flow with the camp.

For which do you believe that YHWH will judge more harshly: having incorrect halachah and submitting to an imperfect leader or refusing to serve and love His people in unity?


[1] Ex. 12:8-13

Categories: Torah Portions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Women in Slavery

In my research and studies about women, I have stumbled across a reality that has shaken me to my core. If you’ve read my posts on The Biblical Role of Women, you are aware that Chavah’s (Eve’s) curse entails man’s propensity to the dominate women. This wasn’t God’s original design; instead, it is the result of the fallen nature.

Little did I know how rampant this facet of the fallen nature manifests in today’s world. If I asked you what the extreme expression of the fallen nature of Adam is toward Eve, what would it be? I believe Adonai has shown me the answer even though I never asked the question. The extreme form of the “curse” is abject slavery. More often than not, it is sexual slavery.

Did you know that there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history?[1] Did you know that it is estimated that 80 percent of those in bondage are women and children? How does this make you feel? The more I read and learn about this harsh reality, the more I want to do something about it.

It all started (for me) when I came across a book called Half the Sky[2] by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. These New York Time’s reporters noticed a sickening trend in many of the countries they were reporting from and decided to do something about it. Their book is a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. They also made a documentary[3] by the same name. If you only read or watch one documentary this year, let this be the one!

Now, I’m not completely naïve. I was fully aware that sex trafficking and slavery are alive and well in the world. But, I was oblivious to how pervasive it actually is. There are an estimated 27 million people in slavery today… TODAY. That’s roughly double the population of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined.

I can’t even begin to comprehend that figure. Although slavery is illegal in every country of the world, we have more slaves today than there were 1860.[4] Half the Sky put faces on these numbers. Little girls as young as three are subjected to the vilest forms of sexual abuse and rape. They are bought and sold as if they were a used car; rode and driven and, then discarded for a newer model. Girls rescued from this hell are empty shells of what a child should be. Their distant eyes only reflect apathy, indifference, and emptiness. It’s as if their soul was stripped from their bodies along with their innocence. And this is the daily reality of millions of women, girls, and boys. Can we stand by and do nothing?

women slaves

The average cost of a slave today is $90 U.S. dollars. Can you imagine $90 standing between you and your freedom and that amount feeling like an impossible dream? I can’t. I can’t even imagine the life of suffering and abuse these millions of people face every day.

I’ve never felt more sick and passionate about a cause before. If I want to walk as Yeshua walked, my heartache and compassion compels me to “set the captives free.”

And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” (Luke 4:17-19)

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.  (Is. 61:1-3)

I’m still learning about ways I can fight this battle. From what I’ve discovered so far, one of the biggest obstacles to change is lack of awareness. There are way too many people who are like I was: ignorant of slavery’s pervasiveness. We can’t stick our head in the sand this time. This is an issue that touches every nation, tribe, and tongue. It crosses all political and racial boundaries.

I plan on writing more about this issue that has become very dear to my heart. But for now, I leave you with a list of links that can help you educate yourself. We simply must refuse to do nothing.[5]

Links

Half the Sky Movement

Not For Sale

Free the Slaves

Hope For Justice

Responsible Sourcing Tool (Ensure that human trafficking isn’t in your goods supply chain.)

Love 146


[1] This is according to the research done by Free the Slaves:  https://www.freetheslaves.net/SSLPage.aspx

[4] In 1860, there were an estimated 25 million slaves.

[5] This is a reference to a book I’m currently reading on the topic called, Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery by Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim. Available at Amazon.

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: