Posts Tagged With: Holy Spirit

Homeschooled

love-booksA Quick Thought to Ponder

As the sun was setting at the close of last Shabbat, I sat outside with a group of women for a Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) celebration. (I plan to write about our New Moon gatherings soon; they have been such a blessing!) There was one lady in attendance that expressed her newfound awakening to Hebraic things. She mentioned that though she had visited with one Messianic Jewish group, she felt strongly that the LORD wanted her to first learn at home. I pondered this for a moment (for it can have both pros and cons) and then it dawned on me…

homeschool11

Perhaps the Creator has similar thoughts about us?

Why have many of us been led to homeschool our children in recent decades? Many do so because it protects and shields our children from the world and secular humanism. The Bible and prayer are restored to the classroom. Children receive the one on one attention they deserve. No child can “slip through the cracks”. The best curriculums can be chosen. The interests, gifts, and learning style of each individual child is recognized and emphasized.  And the list goes on and on.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Ps. 32:8)

Is this not what YHWH does for us too?! Are we not also being “homeschooled” by the Creator?

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:26)

The majority of the people that I’ve met that are returning to the Hebraic roots of their faith, at least in part, have learned much just by reading their Bibles at home and listening to the leading/teaching of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

We have the greatest Teacher! And He usually begins our education at home.*

We are the homeschooled children of the Most High! 

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Dt. 6:6-9)


* Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting that you leave the fellowship you’re with or that you isolate yourself from gathering together. Even homeschoolers often have a “co-op” they meet with once a week. (Hint. Hint.) It is also good to be a part of a homeschooling group (i.e. a local congregation) if at all possible. So please don’t take this analogy too far. 🙂

Categories: Messianic Issues, Musings | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Biblical Role of Women Part IX

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Role of Women Main Page

Builder or Destroyer?

In Part VIII, we looked at how men are the strong foundation of the House, but our focus was on women as “builders”. A woman builds with the Holy Spirit of Binah or understanding –discernment. (Is. 11:2) She builds upon the firm foundation of the Word, the Son of Man, and her husband. Once again, here is the Proverb’s verse that speaks to this:

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. (Pr. 14:1)

Before we look at the first builders of the Torah and the Gospel, I would be remiss if I didn’t deal with the second half of this verse in Proverbs. If a woman is not a builder of the house, she can only be one other thing — a fool that “tears the house down with her own hands”. I’ve mentioned the duality found in the female before. Dr. Alewine deals with this concept extensively in her Creation Gospel workbooks.

In the Bible, we are often faced with two women, one righteous and one wicked. A Bride and a Harlot. The problem is that as humans, we have a difficult time discerning which is which. These women are easy to confuse if we are ignorant of the written Word, are immature in the faith, or if we operate in pride. (That latter one is nearly inescapable; we must diligently search our hearts for pride.)

But do not be deceived! Even a sincere follower of the God of Israel can confuse the two — just ask Judah about Tamar. One very important concept that will help us to grasp the difference between the two is to realize that when we are acting contrary to the Word of God, we ARE the harlot. It also may be helpful to research the term “harlot” in a concordance. Most of its references are used to refer to God’s wayward people. And much of the time, the people actually believed that they were righteous —everything was “okay” in their own eyes. We become the fools if we think it is any different for us today.

I believe this why our verse in Proverbs refers to the woman that “tears down” her house as a fool. She doesn’t realize what she is doing. A woman that tears down is actually a destroyer. Does this indicate who her master might be? It definitely reveals what “spirits” light her lamp. They are the seven abominations of Proverbs 6:16-19. If I’ve learned anything from studying the seven Spirits of God and the seven abominations, it is this: our hearts are desperately wicked. We are ALL capable of operating in the wicked lamp. (Pr. 6:16-19) Our “good intentions” can often just be a cover so that our flesh can get what it desires. But wisdom is still calling from every corner. She knows the Way to our freedom.

“Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars.” (Pr. 9:1)

Wisdom’s seven pillars are the seven Spirits of God and the seven Holy Moedim (feasts). If you want to know what fuels your lamp, you must take an honest look at your own heart. This exercise must be an ongoing endeavor. The moment we think we’ve “arrived” or have it all figured out, is the moment pride (the first wicked spirit) has entered our hearts. Both the harlot and the righteous woman (wisdom) call to us daily. We must learn the difference between the two. One appeals to your desires, your lower nature. Her call is very pleasing and can be good. But like the tree of knowledge of good and evil — she cannot produce LIFE.

Keep the notion of the woman being a contronym (a word that can mean its own opposite) at the forefront of your mind. We will continue unpacking the duality of the woman throughout this series. For now, remember that as a woman you are either a builder or a destroyer. Men do not get to escape this duality, because both men and women are found within the woman, the wife, the harlot, the virgin, or the bride. At the end of our days, we will be revealed as righteous or wicked.

There is one other important point to grasp in this duality. It is not happenstance that God compares His people to a “woman”. Both men and women are meant to deal with the body like a mother deals with an infant. If tender mercies and nurturing the immature fails to shine through our Torah keeping, then we are not “builders”. How many young (new-to-Torah) in the faith have been “destroyed” by Torah terrorists? I suspect far too many. These “terrorists” may have a lot of “knowledge”, but they do not operate with the Holy Spirit of Da’at (sacrificial love). The Holy Spirit of Da’at is willing to die for the sheep like Moses and Yeshua. (Ex. 32:32; Rom. 5:8) The righteous or unrighteous stance of the people isn’t what mattered. They were willing to die for those even in their sin. The question is: are you?

How far are you willing to go? Will you leave the 99 sheep to rescue the one? Can you reserve judgment when necessary? Do you know the difference? There is not a black and white answer to these questions. God is love. Binah (the Spirit that builds the House) requires you to discern the difference between compromise and love. Our lower (nephesh/flesh) nature will choose judgment over mercy every time. It likes to point the finger. It secretly relishes in condemning others. It’s much easier to be a destroyer. But beloved, you are called to build! You can be LONG suffering and merciful without compromising — never let anyone tell you any different.

If you struggle with your past, bad circumstances, pain, contentment, depression, self-pity, or the like, my article  Repairer of the Breach will offer some realistic solutions to repair or rebuild what has been breached.

Key #1 You are either a builder or a destroyer of God’s House. 
Often, the difference is difficult to discern.

Women, the First to Receive the Torah?

Interestingly, in Jewish tradition and understanding, the women were the first to receive the Torah from Moses.[1] Their reasoning is two-fold. First, notice how the Torah words the following verse:

“Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel:” (Ex. 19:3)

woman_as_wisdomThe Sages explain that the phrase “house of Jacob” refers to the women; whereas, the “sons of Israel” refers to the men. Based on what we discovered in Part VIII, you should be able to discern with a Hebraic lens why they make this inference from the text. Women are associated with the HOUSE. But, why would the Torah reference the women before the men? Ah, that’s the other side of their reasoning and there are conflicting opinions as to “why” this is so. Here is an example from Ask Moses:

“G-d told Moses to relate the “general principles” of the Torah to the women, and its “exacting particulars” to the men. The woman relates to the Torah’s all-inclusive essence, while the man relates to the detail, specific law and particular applicationMoses went to the women first because the Torah’s revelation unfolds from the general to the particular, from the supra-spatial point of concept to the breadth and depth of the law.”

Pay very close attention to the bolded print from the above quote. The Sages believe that the women received the Torah first because there is a natural process to how people learn and grow. In Part VIII, we essentially deduced the same conclusion. Babies (physical and spiritual) require their mother’s “milk” before they can eat the “meat” at the Father’s table. This in no way diminishes the intellectual capacity of women or their ability to eat meat for themselves. But what it does imply is that women are endowed with the unique ability to ingest MEAT and then transform it into a substance (milk) that can give a baby the nourishment it needs to thrive.

This natural/physical reality is also true in the spiritual realm. The writer of the Book of Hebrews, Peter, and Paul all mention the “milk” of the Word in the Brit Chadashah (N.T.). They associate those that need milk with immature infants. What makes it obvious that they are spiritual babies? Look at these passages:

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (1 Cor. 3:1-3 NASB)

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. (Heb. 5:12 – 6:2)

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God… Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation. (1 Pet. 1:22- 2:2)

Spiritual babies haven’t learned how to allow the Spirit to rule over their nephesh (flesh). In other words, their outlook, emotions, and desires are all ruled by their lower nature (the beast). As I’ve mentioned in other places, this part of our being isn’t evil in and of itself. However, like Cain, we must learn to rule over the lower nature or it will lead us to sin. Our beast nature is only concerned about self-preservation and survival. It will always put itself before others. It will live out life based on how it “feels”. The verses above mention things like jealousy, strife, slander, hypocrisy, malice, and deceit as the trademarks of a “spiritual baby”. One only engages in this type of behavior because it is selfish.

The above verses were written to encourage these babies to GROW, learn to OBEY, PRACTICE training their SENSES, and to seek after genuine love for the brethren. Once these precious ones learn (through practice) to overcome and tame the beast (their flesh), only then can they truly walk in the maturity of Da’at or sacrificial love. According to the Rabbis, women have a natural ability to help these “babies” mature. If the details, particulars, and depth of the Torah is placed in the hands of the immature, judgment will be levied without the tender mercies learned by receiving mother’s milk first. This brings destruction, not growth. Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, in Ascending Jacob’s Ladder, puts it this way:

“If you learn Torah, it will make you big. But in what it will make you big depends upon what you plant. If you plant seeds of good middot, Torah will make you a great tzaddik [righteous one]. If you don’t work on your middot, Torah will make you big — but you will be a big monster.” (Brackets and bolding are mine.)

The middot are character traits. By studying and practicing the attributes of God, one learns to become more like Him. Without this type of intentional living, a disciple will live life based on animal-like instincts. But, from the beginning, God has ordained that we rule over this side of our nature. The Jewish exercise of building godly character traits is called mussar. I wrote a little introduction to mussar here.

The whole point of practicing mussar is to gain the upper hand over your nephesh (flesh). Rabbi Hillel already knows what those returning to Torah are just starting to understand: an immature (flesh ruled) person that learns Torah will grow, but instead of growing in righteousness (salvation), only his monster (beast) will get bigger. This makes him a destroyer, not a builder. Mussar is practiced throughout one’s lifetime. As a human, your lower nature will always seek the upper hand. But, if you do well, shall you not be accepted? and if you do not well, sin lies at the door. And to you shall be his desire, and you shall rule over him. (Gen. 4:7)

Key #2 The Torah was first received and taught by the women, 
the House of Jacob.
Key #3 Learning Torah will make you big. 
Will you be a big tzaddik or a big monster?

Women, the First to Proclaim the Gospel?

It is important to note right here that my pointing out or alluding to women being the “first” (at anything) is in no way meant to disparage men or their role. God has painted a masterpiece with the two genders. Sadly though, we often miss the true beauty of His work because we constantly want to separate what He has meant to be ONE. (Unified)

Both men and women are revealed in “the woman” in the Bible. (Think: wife, bride, virgin.) For century after century women have been oppressed and silenced. If this is true in the natural, then it has also affected the spiritual realm. By living according to the actual design of the Creator instead of perpetuating the curse, women are elevated to their coequal status with men. In this process, men are edified and made whole in ways that we never imagined. The bottom line is that if women are bound, then men (as the other half) are also bound.

The Bible is full of stories and parables that hint at this “hidden” reality. The Holy Spirit is revealing these things in our day because the time is short. One little nugget that opens up this truth is to simply look at the gospels anew. This time, pay very close attention to the women.

ImageIt was the women who first proclaimed the good news of “He is Risen!” I reblogged a post by Jane Diffenderfer on this very topic called: Firstfruits and the Women Who First Preached the Good News.  I encourage you to read it.

Why does it matter that Yeshua entrusted women with the gospel first? Does it have any significance? After all, even the disciples didn’t “believe” the report of the women, so why should we? Are women unreliable witnesses? Are women prohibited from proclaiming the Good News? Did Yeshua make a mistake by giving this vital message to the women first?

We must answer these questions. Your tradition, upbringing, culture, and personal opinions about the proper role of women (and men) will be reflected back to you if you honestly seek the answers from the Word of God. You will find yourself either aligned with the Word or aligned with what you want the Word to say. And then, you have to answer one last question: What is it that I fear will happen if women are coequal with men?

I’ve witnessed men actually leave the room when a woman gets up to bring forth the Good News to the assembly. They really believe that it is sinful to listen to her. But isn’t that exactly what the disciples did with the report of the women from the tomb? By not listening to these women, they remained in unbelief UNTIL Messiah Himself appeared to them. One thing is certain: Yeshua charged the women first to proclaim the Good News! Carefully read His words and then consider the reaction of His disciples:

Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it. (Mark 16:9-11)

I believe that everything Yeshua did was intentional. He consistently challenged tradition and cultural norms. He wasn’t surprised that the women were the first to find the empty tomb, and He certainly didn’t make a mistake by entrusting them with the Gospel. The message He gave to the women was meant to reveal the hearts of His disciples. Notice that Mary Magdalene had had SEVEN demons cast from her. Could these have been the seven wicked abominations of Proverbs 6: 16-19? Regardless, she was a new creation through Messiah Yeshua, yet the disciples refused to believe her report. Here is the same account from Luke:

And as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. (Luke 24: 5-11)

imageI wonder how many treasures YHWH has entrusted to His daughters that men have considered nonsense over the centuries? History does repeat itself and there is nothing new under the sun. My hope is that by reconsidering these two accounts in the Gospels that it has pricked your heart to reevaluate the numerous other accounts in the Bible regarding women. The last thing we would desire is to not believe a report given by our Master because we deem the vessel of His choice unworthy.

It’s time to build and not destroy. We each have various materials, textiles, and tools to build up the House of Adonai. All are needed.

Key #4 The Gospel was entrusted to the women first, 
but the apostles failed to believe their report.

Stay tuned for Part X and the Repairer of the Breach. You can access past articles in this series here.

Recap of the four keys in this post:

Key #1 You are either a builder or a destroyer of God’s House. Often, the difference is difficult to discern.

Key #2 The Torah was first received and taught by the women, the House of Jacob.

Key #3 Learning Torah will make you big. Will you be a big tzaddik or a big monster?

Key #4 The Gospel was entrusted to the women first, but the apostles failed to believe their report.


[1] See this “Ask Moses” article for more information: http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/108,2217159/Ladies-First.html#articlepageinformation:

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Biblical Role of Women Part VIII

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Role of Women Main Page

It’s been a while since I’ve written under this title. Actually, I had planned to leave the original series with seven posts; but further study and the popularity of this series, has led me to conclude two things:

  1. The Creator, in these latter days, is restoring the role of women to HIS original design.
  2. Women are desperately seeking the freedom to live out their God-given purpose within the perfect and holy boundaries of the Torah (Bible).

I’ve received many emails in regard to my original seven posts. Some were cries of elation and jubilation at the prospect of real freedom and balance. Others were notes of skepticism or a fear of women taking over the assemblies. And a few were a mixture of both, but with a heart set on openness — a sort of  “let’s wait and see”.

In light of this, I am compelled to continue with this series. While I certainly don’t have all the answers (in fact, I have more questions than anything else) I do have a heart to share my journey with you.

Woman, Builder of the House

 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. (Pr. 14:1)

 woman bricksHave you ever thought of yourself or the women in your life as “builders”? I imagine that most of us naturally think of men when construction comes to mind. After all, they are usually our contractors, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. But, in Biblical and Hebraic thought, it is the women that build the House of Israel. Let’s once again consider the story of Ruth. Notice the words that the people and the elders at the city gate use when they bless the union of Ruth and Boaz:

 All the people who were in the court (gate), and the elders, said, “[We are] witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. (Ruth 4:11)

 While men may be the primary builders of physical houses, women build the house of their husbands and the House of the LORD. Obviously, men play a very important role in this process as well, but our focus is to explore how it is that “women build”. Do you recall how YHWH created the woman? In Part I, we looked at how YHWH formed/molded Adam. (He literally came from the dust of the earth.) In the beginning, both man and woman were within the one Adam.

In the eyes of the Creator, this wasn’t good or tov. So, you know the story, He took a rib from Adam and built (banah) Chavah (Eve). As a quick aside, notice that she came from his SIDE, not his feet where she would be “beneath” him. Nor did she come from his head, implying that she would be “above” him. She came forth from Adam’s side (tsala) as a perfect and coequal partner.

YHWH built Chavah. This Hebrew word for build, banah, is the same word used in both of the verses I quoted above in Proverbs and Ruth. The one who was built is the one who builds. She does this in several ways that I will enumerate shortly. But in order to grasp why this is true, we must first remember God’s design and function for women. In Part V, we discussed that women are a living parable of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, men will reflect the characteristics of our Heavenly Father and Yeshua. But as I’ve mentioned multiple times, God is One. Thus, we are NOT trying divide God into male and female. However, the ONE God did sovereignly choose to reveal Himself to us in ways that our little peon brains can understand.

What do we see in Creation? We see nearly every creature on earth coming together as male and female to produce life. The natural things are meant to teach us spiritual truths. (I Cor. 15:46) Therefore, it should not be surprising that in Hebrew, the Holy Spirit and all of its manifestations are in the feminine. Just as all the references to God being our Father and Husband are masculine. The One true God is neither male or female, He is a Spirit. But in order for us finite humans to reflect His magnificence, it takes both a male and female.

I only belabor this point because there are some that think it is evil or some type of goddess worship to refer to God in the feminine. I can only shake my head and pray. People fear what they do not understand and they like to throw stones at those that challenge the high places of their minds (tradition). Many false gods are male; does this make referring to God in the masculine something akin to Baal worship? Of course not, but the converse is also true.

To take a line from Brad Scott, if we would just look outside our window to see the natural everyday things of Creation, many of our theological debates could finally be put to rest. The natural IS a picture of the spiritual. Moreover, Scripture declares that God’s Creation does indeed testify of His power and divine nature:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

 In order to build and not “tear down”, a woman needs to walk in the Seven Spirits of God (Is.11:2). Wisdom is the first of the seven and implies raw materials, immaturity, and innocence. We English speakers usually think of knowledge as the building blocks to wisdom; but in Hebrew, wisdom and knowledge are reversed. Wisdom is the raw material or building blocks for knowledge (the 6th Spirit). Knowledge (da’at) is mature, self-sacrificing, and intimate. (See the Creation Gospel for a more in depth analysis of the Seven Spirits of Adonai. Or click here for an audio introduction)

The second Spirit is binah or understanding. This spirit takes the raw materials of wisdom and begins to separate and distinguish like kind. In other words, binah begins to banah (build). As you’ve probably guessed, the Hebrew root of banah has the same consonants as the word binah. You can think of binah as organizing and counting the costs for a home construction. It is in this spirit that a woman builds.

 Key 1: A woman begins to build with the spirit of binah,
 -- the spirit that separates and discerns.

Upon What Does She Build?

The spirit of binah compels a righteous woman to discern between good and evil (read Proverbs 4). But without a strong foundation, she cannot expand the House. This is where her counterbalance (the male) becomes a necessity. Men and women were meant to work and labor together in marriage and in the assembly. Each is a part of the whole. The man, being the image of the Father and the Son, is the woman’s rock or foundation stone.

Those of you that have studied a little Hebrew might be familiar with the Hebrew word for rock, eben. This word is pictographically the Father (av) and the Son (ben) put together. There is no firmer foundation than that! Any other foundation would be like building upon sand.[1] Upon this foundation, a woman begins to build the home of her husband. She guards the home against evil and expands the tent with fruit (children). She is a nurturer, comforter, encourager, teacher, and revealer. (All qualities of the Holy Spirit.)

In Biblical thought, the tent is expanded with the birth of sons. It is sons that go forth and carry on the name of their father. But the daughters are what build upon these firm foundations. We can see this in the natural with an analogy of human reproduction. A man provides the seed (Word). The seed finds the egg and once united, life begins to grow or “build” inside the womb. Both the “works” of the male and the female are necessary for life. Dr. Alewine has some brilliant insight into the “choosiness” of women in this process. It seems as though the woman’s body uses the spirit of binah to discern whether and if an embryo will be carried to full term. (All without the conscious knowledge of the woman!)

To carry this analogy a step further, consider the millions of seeds (words) a man gives a woman to choose from. Out of what seems to be an infinite number of possibilities, she (usually) only picks one seed (idea/word) at a time. She then devotes her full attention to see it nourished, protected, and brought to maturity. Are you beginning to see how the spirit of binah operates?

A woman takes the unlimited possibilities and potential of a man and surrounds it like the Holy Spirit. She is the container for his strength, his seed. Together they build their house and the House of Adonai.

Dr. Diana Dye also has some great teachings on how a “woman builds”. You can find them here and here. She uses the imagery of the Tabernacle and Temple to further the analogy we’ve been building upon (pun intended). It’s quite a fascinating prospect. The very first letter of the Bible is an enlarged bet, the pictograph for a tent or house. From the very first letter of the Bible, the Creator has made known His intent and purpose in creating us and giving us His Word.

His top desire is to enlarge, expand, and BUILD His House. In my Father’s house are MANY mansions. The Holy Spirit went through great pains to carefully delineate how the Father’s House is to be constructed. Studying the Tabernacle and the Temple gives us a foretaste in not only how we approach our King, but in how we build (or rebuild) our bodies, families, and assemblies. It’s really powerful.

For our purposes here, consider the fact that the House must be carefully maintained, repaired, cleaned, and at times, even rebuilt from the foundation up. This teaches us that our homes and our temples (bodies) will require this same diligent care. This might manifest in various areas and stages of child rearing, marriage building/counsel, financial/support/growth, or even physical/spiritual cleansing. Think of all the areas that are the “house”. Working from the inside out, this is your physical body, your family, your assembly, and the greater body of God’s people. Sometimes a demolition is what is necessary in order to rebuild upon the Rock. Do you need a fresh start? A clean slate? Remove everything that offends and rebuild; it’s never too late. Rebuild your marriage. Rebuild your relationship with that family member, coworker, or assembly leader. Restore the House.

Key 2: A woman builds upon the firm foundation 
of the man (especially the Son of Man).
Key 3: Sometimes the house must be rebuilt.

What Fills the House?

As a living example of the Holy Spirit, a woman will (usually) be what sets the tone for the atmosphere of the home, assembly, and workplace. Far more than men, women determine whether the house is filled with shalom or has a lack thereof. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is a saying that speaks a truth that has not escaped the masses. As a picture of the Holy Spirit, women are called to be long-suffering with their husbands, children, and the greater assembly. They are meant to be the ones that can bring correction and instruction with tenderness, sensitivity, and gentleness. This is the very reason that YHWH entrusts women with the most fragile of all lives: infants.

Women are designed to lead, guide, and teach the immature with patience, love, and mercy. This physical picture is also true in the spiritual realm (think spiritual babies). The lost, seekers, new believers, and those that haven’t grown past the formative years of the faith usually respond with growth (building) when the message is delivered with the tender mercies of the feminine aspect of God. Obviously, both men and women can operate with this quality through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. However, the natural representation of this is revealed in the female.

The Holy Spirit is commonly said to be the “wooer” of our souls. It is gentle, merciful, and tender.[2] From the heart of the Most Holy Place, the Presence of God would fill the Tabernacle/Temple of God. This “Presence” is often referred to as the “Shekinah Glory”, another feminine term that expresses the One True God. We will look more closely at the Shekinah and other feminine aspects of Elohim in a later post. For now, let’s think of the correlation between the Holy Spirit filling God’s House and a woman filling her home with her presence. There is a reason that we say “a woman is the heart of the home”. We can see the spiritual aspect of this in the following verse:

 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. (2 Chron. 7:1)

 Tabernacle-Layers-Lesson-23In a similar way, a woman will fill her house, but she will be tested in the matter of what “spirit” she does the filling with. Will it be the Ruach HaKodesh or will it be another spirit? A woman must choose (yes, it is and always will be a choice) to walk as a victor over her nephesh (flesh), emotions, hormones, and circumstances. When you choose to be the “victim” instead of the “victor”, you are in effect stepping on the blood of Messiah. He has either provided the Way or He hasn’t. His grace is sufficient or it isn’t. I know it doesn’t always “feel” this simple. But the truth is that we always have a choice even in areas where we feel completely out of control.

Every time a woman is able to exercise self-control over her lower nature (flesh/nephesh), she reflects the image of God as she was designed. She becomes a holy witness to her husband, children, family, friends, and assembly. Like the Holy Spirit, her presence “woos” people to the Father. Under her tender care, the immature feel safe to explore, learn, and prosper. This stage is necessary for every believer in the God of Israel to grow unto maturity. If they are built up as strong panels in the house by the Spirit, they understand (binah) why the flesh must be put on the altar (death). The Father’s instructions require maturity in the Spirit, because the letter kills (the flesh). This is liberty! And it produces humble and gracious vessels that desire to set other captives free.

 The Torah is spiritual, but we are carnal. (Rom. 7:14) In order to bring liberty to the captives, we ourselves must be free from bondage. Prisoners only propagate more prisoners. Thus, allowing the letter of the law to kill anything and everything but the flesh only leads to bondage or a “Torah Terrorist”. In order to be a (spiritual) light, we have to be able to offer people the freedom to grow into the Father’s commandments. This spiritual work of the Spirit is uniquely portrayed in the natural by the nurturing aspect of women. A woman builds the House…

 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. (Ps. 144:12 KJV)

Key 4: The Holy Spirit fills the House of Adonai. 
The woman fills her house with a “spirit” as well. 
A wise woman will build with the Holy Spirit 
which brings the liberty needed to grow and mature.

 The Voice of Wisdom

 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy [streets] she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long , O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. (Pr. 1:20-23)

  wisdomTurning toward the feminine voice of God (as manifested through His daughters) enables one to be filled with the Spirit. And, it makes the Father’s words to be made known unto us. In other words, there is intimacy, not just rules. The sixth Spirit of God is knowledge (Da’at). (Is. 11:2) It is a mature spirit of sacrificial love. No longer is the focus on what the Lamb has done for me, but what I am willing to do for the Lamb. In order to reach this place of maturity, a person must first learn to move through and with the first Spirit of Adonai, Wisdom (chokhmah).[3] Da’at is so intimate that it causes reproduction (both physical and spiritual). Knowing this should give us a deeper understanding (binah) of Yeshua’s words in Matthew.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Mt. 7:20-24)

 Can you see both the masculine and the feminine clues in these verses? Look at these keys words.

Masculine:                         Feminine:

  • Fruit (seed inside)             Prophesy
  • Words                                  Hears
  • Action                                  Casting out demons
  • Father                                  Performing Miracles
  • Heaven                                Wisdom
  • Lord                                     Building
  • Rock                                     House

These verses strongly hint at how the House of the LORD is built with strength. How will it remain when the storms come? The House must be operating with both the masculine and the feminine working together —  for only together is the true image of Elohim displayed in the natural. This is a House of Strength. The above example in Matthew is just one testimony of the truth that was birthed in the beginning.

 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” (Gen. 1:27-28)

Key 5: A woman filled with the Holy Spirit enables 
the immature to hear (know) the Words of Adonai.

Have you ever noticed that most of the denominations that are leery of (or against) the Spirit’s activity of prophesy, casting out demons, and the general working of miracles are also usually against women operating in any “seen/outward” role in the home or assembly? Do you believe that this is a coincidence? The Holy Spirit is THE feminine expression of God. If natural women are silenced, is it surprising that the supernatural Spirit is also quenched? The Spirit (feminine) is what brings the intimacy of “I know you”. She is shouting from every corner; will we heed her voice?

But the converse is also true. Those that forsake the masculine, forget that the foundation IS the Word, the Rock. The Spirit doesn’t supersede the written Word. Ignoring what has been solidly penned beforehand for our instruction (Torah) is just as detrimental to our “building”. Without the hard and firm masculine foundation, we build on sand as mere hearers only. This is what it means to be a practicer of “lawlessness”. How many assemblies do you know of that embrace the works of the Holy Spirit on the one hand, but speak evil of the law (Torah) on the other?

Without the balance of the Father’s instructions, we may become intimate with an unholy spirit. This spirit may imitate what is holy unto YHWH, but in reality only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Only by building upon the foundation of “it is written”, will we be able to discern (binah) the difference between the harlot and the righteous woman.

 Balance is the answer. Working SIDE by SIDE as male and female, we reflect the image of Elohim. Real godly fruit increases and the tent (House) expands. The WISE woman (Bride) builds her house…

In Part IX, we will take this building aspect of women one step further by looking at those that FIRST received the Torah and the Gospel.

Here is a recap of our  5 Keys:

 Key 1: A woman begins to build with the spirit of binah — the spirit that separates and discerns.

 Key 2: A woman builds upon the firm foundation of the man (especially the Son of Man).

Key 3: Sometimes the house must be rebuilt.

Key 4: The Holy Spirit fills the House of Adonai. The woman fills her house with a “spirit” as well. A wise woman will build with the Holy Spirit which brings the liberty needed to grow and mature.

Key 5: A woman filled with the Holy Spirit enables the immature to hear (know) the Words of Adonai. Like the Holy Spirit, she brings intimacy to the relationship.


For previous articles click here; the next article in this series is Part IX.


[1] Mt. 7 and Lk. 6. Interestingly, the context of Yeshua’s parable is about being both a hearer and a DOER of His Word. This same message is repeated in the Proverbs 4 chapter that I suggested for you to read.

[2] But like a concerned mother, the Holy Spirit can also manifest with great power and fierceness. We will look at this aspect of the Spirit in a later post.

[3] See Isaiah 11:2 and The Creation Gospel workbook one by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fruit Loops

photo (1)When describing her experience with the Messi-antics movement at a recent women’s retreat, my new friend, Deborah F., used the most clever analogy to describe the people she encountered. She called some fruit loops, some fruit punch, and others fruit snacks. Therefore, I must give her credit for inspiring me with this post. Thanks Deborah, I’m very grateful that the Father saw fit for our journeys to cross paths and I look forward to a great friendship.
 

 Fruit of the Spirit

There is no mystery that the followers of the God of Israel and His Messiah are supposed to produce godly fruit. After all, that is how we are told we will know one another… by their fruit. But there is some controversy as to what that fruit will look like. Regardless of your view, if you follow the God of Israel, we can all agree to this:

Gal. 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (24)  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (25)  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  (26)  Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

Fruit is definitely associated with our deeds or works in Scripture. And what we do (and don’t do) matters greatly to the King of the Universe. But this post isn’t about what commandments we are to keep or how much or how little Torah we are to observe. It is about the fruit of the Spirit.

If we belong to the Messiah, there should be nine obvious qualities that perfume everything we do. If these qualities are NOT present, then we are missing the mark and are in need of repentance. Thus, as people of the “Book”, we should be great “fruit inspectors”. We should well know the difference between good and bad fruit, works, or deeds. But sadly, there is an awful lot of stuff out there that poses as fruit that in reality is nothing more than human flesh.

Unripe Fruit

Ironically, I have noticed that many of those that are returning to the Torah of Messiah struggle with producing real fruit.  It’s as if they have forgotten the weightier matters of Torah as they learn to keep Shabbat, festivals, and kashrut (dietary laws).

My personal experience and opinion on this phenomenon is that what occurs is an “over” purge. Like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Seeking to rid your life of error requires you to revert back to an immature state. It’s one in which you must separate and discern the basics all over again — except this time, the arrangement and configuration is different than what you first believed.

The paradigm of living outside of the Torah most your life produces different works or deeds (and beliefs) than one that has been nurtured from birth inside of a Torah lifestyle. Thus, coming into the knowledge of a whole new worldview requires you to search out every nook and cranny of your walk and reassess its relevance and godliness. It’s difficult. This is not something you want to ever experience again. You want to know that you know what you know! And why. And where. And when. And how. Many people that have experienced such a profound paradigm shift have told me, “It’s like being born again—- again!”  And I must agree with that statement. The experience is very much like this for non-Jewish people who embrace the fullness of God’s Word AND keep the testimony of Yeshua.

This process requires a period of separation and examination. Things you thought you knew have been turned on their head and others have been revealed to be flat out lies! Thus, there is also a great level of caution and dare I say, doubt, when it comes to receiving new information OR embracing old information. Everything is weighed in the balance and sometimes that scale is unwittingly unjust.

If you happen to meet someone in this process (for some it can take years), their behavior may have been perplexing to you. You see they are keeping “truth”, but the fruit is inedible. I have come to realize that these are all maturity issues. Hopefully, they will move from a place of separation to a place of gathering. For separation that doesn’t lead to gathering of like kind and unity, is nothing more than death.[1] You might know about the Sabbath, feast days, dietary laws, and even the Hebrew language, but if you cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, then you are a baby. Your fruit isn’t ripe and should not be eaten by ANYBODY. Partaking of your fruit will only produce stomachaches and diarrhea. In other words, your antics make people sick.

Fruit Punch

The simple truth is that all the Torah observance in the world doesn’t matter and profits you nothing if you do not FIRST walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those that try to force others to accept their idea of obedience or observance are like a rebellious toddler trying to get her way. She thinks she knows what’s going on, but really she knows nothing.

They use their Bibles to PUNCH others in the face. They especially like to beat up on those still in the church or denominational Christianity. Any fruit they may possess is not eaten but used as a weapon of war. My Mom calls them watermelon throwers. A watermelon can be refreshing and healthy if eaten one bite at a time, but if thrown at the head, it can cause considerable damage, even death. Be careful where you think you stand, lest you fall.[2]

When will we stop beating people up with our truth? Fruit punch has very little real fruit juice in it. Most of it is chemicals, colored dyes, and corn syrup. It’s not healthy and gives the Body no sustenance. The same is true for those that try to bully the Body into doing things “their way”. If it’s all you consume, it will “kill” you. (This is why the letter of the Law must be balanced with the Spirit. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.)

Fruit Snacks

I think most people will find themselves in this category at some point or another. Fruit snacks also contain some real fruit juice but with the addition of dyes and artificial flavorings. Sometimes real fruit gushes out and other times it’s just a bunch of junk.

I freely admit I’ve been nothing more than a fruit snack at certain times in my life. However, I’m better than I used to be and with Abba’s continued mercy and grace, I grow every day. A fruit snack person is very similar to the unripe fruit people in that they lack maturity. They differ in that they also have a weaker foundation in the Word of Truth.

Fruit snacks aren’t as annoying as some of the other fruit people, but written right on their labelling it clearly says, “Not intended to replace fruit in the diet.[3] We need more vitamins and nutrients than these people can offer us. We might find them cute and entertaining in the short term, but they just can’t go the distance. They will run out of gas because they are not filled with the Ruach (Spirit). When their gas goes, so does any semblance of fruit.

Often, they just won’t let the Spirit of Adonai have full reign of their lives. Unfortunately, this means there is still a lot of junk that needs to be worked out of them. (Flesh) The trials of life are meant to goad us unto maturity. Fruit snacks usually resist this process. May they learn to produce fruit in keeping with repentance[4] and leave all the sugar, fluff, and “fakeness” behind.

Fruit Loops

I think this is by far the most bizarre of the bunch. I think of a fruit loop as someone that’s way out in left field. These guys believe they have discovered or cornered the truth. (They’ve found the secret “loopholes” everyone else has missed!) As such, they are usually in the corner of the field yelling to everyone else that home base is really in left field. For example, they may claim that Sabbath is actually on a different day of the week than Saturday. Some people may call them LUNAtics, but I think the term fruit loop is more fitting.

Often, they are gung ho on observing some “new” thing (secret revelation). Or, perhaps they believe they have figured out the Creator’s “correct” calendar— and all others are false. They forget that Judah not only holds the scepter and authority on these issues, but they childishly blow off centuries of wisdom, care, and diligence that only the Jewish people have maintained for the rest of us.

Sadly, fruit loops do not contain ANY real fruit. They might look and taste good, but again there is no real sustenance. You can eat and eat them and still starve to death. Fruit loops sometimes engage in fruit punch tactics when dealing with the Body. But instead of throwing a watermelon (real fruit) they want you to eat a sugary substitute (falsehood). Beware!

Fresh Fruit

There is nothing more succulent to our taste buds than fresh, ripe fruit. (Non GMO and organic, of course!) Consider for a moment not only how sweet, juicy, and tasty real fresh fruit is, but what it does for our bodies. Real fruit gives LIFE to our being. It nourishes, sustains, and sates hungry souls.

fruitNow let’s think back to the fruit of the Spirit. Truth (the Word) can only nourish, sustain, and satisfy a hungry soul if it is given in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If these qualities are not present, the fruit tastes bitter, it has added ingredients, and it cannot produce LIFE.

This is such a simple concept. Why do we have so much trouble “getting” this? Why do we walk over to the dessert table and CHOOSE junk or the likeness of fruit instead of the real thing? I think it is because we have been fed the artificial stuff for so long that we no longer can tell the difference; or worse, we actually prefer it.

By the way, where we seem to lack the most discernment is when examining our OWN fruit. We might be producing fruit punch, fruit snacks, and fruit loops and really believe it is proper. But, it’s very simple. Does my walk, life, and mouth produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Remember, this isn’t a box of cereal; you don’t get to choose which qualities you will produce. The fruit is singular. It’s ONE fruit with nine beautiful qualities. If something is lacking, it’s not the real thing. (Think GMO)

Answer for yourself:

  • Am I loving? Do I grant others mercy and forgiveness when they hurt me?
  • Do I have joy? Or do I wallow in pity, regret, and anger?
  • Do I have peace? Or am I a discontent murmurer and complainer?
  • Am I patient? Or do expect to have everything go “my way”?
  • Am I kind (even to those who are unkind to me)?
  • Do I act with goodness (to benefit others and not myself)?
  • Am I faithful to YHWH and others? Can others count on me or am I unstable?
  • Am I gentle and respectful with others? Or am I judgmental and hyper critical?
  • Do I have self-control? Or am I ruled by my emotions?

If our walk fails to produce even one of these qualities, then there is need for REPENTANCE. I don’t know about you, but I have some more work to do…


[1] These ideas were first impressed upon me while learning the Creation Gospel by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

[2] 1 Cor. 10:12

[3] http://www.generalmills.com/Home/Brands/Snacks/Fruit%20Snacks/Brand%20Product%20List%20Page.aspx#{FC107858-D028-4A34-AF2B-BB1714F13E12}

[4] Mat. 3:8-10  “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;  (9)  and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.  (10)  “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Categories: Messianic Issues, Musings | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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