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Dear Brethren in YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH, welcome to The Chief Cornerstone Ministry website. Thank you for visiting us and taking interest in us. Thank you for your continued support.
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3 John 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
We are now in Week 5 of the Omer Count. HalleluYAH. SHAVU’OT/Weeks/Pentecotst is around the corner.
Another week has gone by. It was my wife’s (Shulamit) birthday on Tuesday 05/05, HalleluYAH.
We praise YAH Almighty for HIS Grace and mercy.
Study of This Week’s TORAH Portion:
- Prayers in relation to our spiritual heart condition continue. Our hearts matter a lot to YAH Almighty.
- We also need to talk to YAH about making us whole. Being whole spiritually is crucial! Will write more about this and post on the website and YouTube soon.
In the past most of “civilized” society dealt with others’ handicaps by turning a blind eye. At best, the disabled were treated with dismissive sympathies and self-congratulatory charity; at worst they were often blamed for their disabilities and pushed to the margins of society. Only recently has the conversation turned toward treating those with disabilities as fully enfranchised members of society, rather than isolating them and consigning them to lives of degradation and exclusion.
Scripture also speaks of such disabilities through a complex balance of values, priorities, and perceptions. On the one hand, many of the heroes of the Bible suffered from physical and mental handicaps. Jacob limped, Isaac was blind, Moses had a speech impediment (and a fragile ego), Miriam dealt with dermatological concerns, and Saul clearly had bouts of depression and possibly psychosis. Rav Shaul dealt with some type of ailment but preferred to refer to it as “a thorn in the flesh,” leaving us to wonder about his issues of deep shame. What is most important to acknowledge is that these leaders were able to function in exemplary fashion.
But the narrative of Scripture is neither simple nor always inclusive. The parasha for this week seems to prefer “wholeness” of both sacrifice and those who presented the sacrifice.
Psalm 23:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Let 3 John 2 and Psalm 23:3 be your prayer. in this new week.
The Titles within the TORAH Parashah/Portion for this week are as follows:
Instructions for the Priests (Leviticus 21:1-22:16)
Worthy and Unworthy Offerings (Leviticus 22:17-33)
The Appointed Festivals (Leviticus 23:1-8)
Celebration of First Harvest (Leviticus 23:9-14)
The Festival of Harvest (Leviticus 23:15-22)
The Festival of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25)
The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32)
The Festival of Shelters (Leviticus 23:33-44)
Pure Oil and Holy Bread (Leviticus 24:1-9)
An Example of Just Punishment (Leviticus 24:10-23)
There is so much to learn from each chapter however the main focus seems to be on YAH’S Priests. This is the main theme seen in this week’s TORAH Portion.
Many of the instructions are ceremonial laws which YAHUSHUA told us to do away with since his First Coming to the earth. However, there are some useful things to take from the chapter and they are as follows:
- Verse 6 says instructs us as YAH’S Priests to be holy unto YAH. YAHUVEH adds that we should never bring shame to HIS Name! YAHUVEH further says that the Priests are the ones who present the special gifts to YAHUVEH, that is gifts of food for their ELOHIM (a.k.a YAH). This is very important to take note of!
- Verses 7, 13-15: The issue of whom a Priest is meant to marry and not marry is something that requires RUACH HA KODESH guidance. Whom one marries matters a lot as they either help to fulfil destiny or not full the destiny set by YAH Almighty! It is very painful to be married to the wrong person. YAH links the choice of marriage partner to HIS Holiness.
- Verse 9 makes it clear that YAH has high expectations of the Priest’s family members or members of his household as they represent the Priest everywhere they go. They also affect the Priest’s holiness through their behaviour by polluting the household spiritually whenever they return home from their evil acts that are done outside of their home.
- In verse 10, YAH starts instructing the High Priests – that is the go between mankind and YAH at that time. The appearance of the High Priest matters a lot to YAH Almighty. Here, YAH talks about the appearance of the hair as well as that of the clothing. In the spiritual realm, these matter a lot how they look as they are what Satan is always seeking to attack and they are the number one sign of Satan’s or YAH’S influence in a person’s spiritual life.
- In verses 17-21, YAHUVEH makes it clear that HE does not wish for any of the Levitical Priests who had one defect or the other to serve in HIS Tabernacle and Temple.
This is crucial to take note of because YAHUVEH was pointing to our appearances in the spiritual realm. This law does not apply in this day and age anymore in the physical sense however it has implications in the spiritual realm which is where our focus is meant to be as the spiritual supercede the physical. A defect represents imperfection before YAH! Those who had defects were and still are part of YAH’S Creation however HE chose that they were not meant to be part of the vessels that served before HIM on behalf of HIS set apart people, Israel. See Jeremiah 18: The Porter and The Clay.
Those with defects were also not allowed in the Holy of Holies. Thank YAH for this is no longer the case. Because of and through YAHUSHUA The Great High Priest (our mediator between mankind and ABBA YAHUVEH (a.k.a YAHWEH), we can boldly approach YAH’S Throne and be made whole again.
Why? Well, YAH wanted to show much HE wishes for HIS beloved set apart people to endeavour to endeavour to work out their salvation with fear and trembling so that through constant devotion with YAH, our imperfections are removed and in that way, we become more and more like YAH Almighty!
YAH continues to give instructions to the Priests in Chapter 22:
- Verse 1 talks about the gifts given by the people of Israel to YAH through the Priests. YAH relates these with HIS Holiness and HIS Name, YAHUVEH.
The gifts were of great significance to YAH Almighty in the spiritual realm. They were much more than gifts. They also represented the heart condition of the people who gave them. Only YAH could see that. Once they were handed to the Priests, they became Holy/Sanctified.
- In verse 3, YAHUVEH goes further as to say that if anyone of the Priests approached the gifts/offerings without cleansing themselves before YAH first, they would be cut off from HIS Presence.
This was serious. HIS Presence also represented RUACH HA KODESH. What is mankind without RUACH HA KODESH!? The answer is nothing. This tells us to be careful when making monetary offerings unto YAH whether online or in Church as well as offerings in other forms, such as food, assistance of any kind as long as it is given to YAH’S GLORY.
- Verse 4 talks about serving YAH and skin diseases. These were also seen as a form of imperfection before YAH that needed to be dealt with before approaching YAH’S Presence.
Remember that diseases and defects are a curse from YAH as a result the sin that came into the world. They are to constantly remind us that we live in a fallen world and we should desire a better world which will only manifest after the Great Tribulation.
- In verse 8, YAH tells us to beware of what we eat as HIS Priests so as not to get defiled. During fellowship via Zoom last Saturday from 2pm to 4pm, one of the readings we studied was about what we eat in relation to what is in our hearts. We were advised not to worry to much about what we eat and to deal with our spiritual heart conditions because YAH is constantly looking at our hearts. See Jeremiah 17:9 and 1 Samuel 16:7.
1 Samuel 16:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jeremiah 17:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
ABBA YAHUVEH emphasises how much HIS Priests must know, understand and follow HIS instructions so as to avoid YAH’S punishment and YAH’S punishment can be difficult to bear. King David can testify to that.
The Prophets section of the portion for this week is all about YAH’S expectations of Priests. We read from Ezekiel 44:15-31.
In Chapter 44 of Ezekiel , we see YAH’S expression of how displeased HE was with some of the Priests of Israel.
on the other hand, YAH was pleased with Zadok’s descendants as they were the only Levitical Priests at the time because they followed YAH’S instructions as YAH desired. HE continues to emphasise HIS expectations of the Priests.
YAH places emphasis on the observance of HIS set apart days – Sabbaths.
The sacrificial laws do not apply to us anymore as YAHUSHUA is the final sacrifice however we need to know about them so as to appreciate what YAHUSHUA took time to do for us. They are part of YAH’S WORD.
What has stood out here is the emphasis on wearing linen clothing when Ministering to YAH Almighty. Additionally, the forbearance of wearing lined mixed with wool.
Why is this the case?
So I did some investigation and here is what I have found:
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very strong, absorbent, and dries faster than cotton. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather.
Linen was sometimes used as a form of currency in ancient Egypt. Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen as a symbol of light and purity, and as a display of wealth. Some of these fabrics, woven from hand-spun yarns, were very fine for their day, but are coarse compared to modern linen.
The relevant Biblical verses (Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11) prohibit an individual from wearing wool and linen fabrics in one garment, the interbreeding of different species of animals, and the planting together of different kinds of seeds (collectively known as kilayim).
Early writers, like Maimonides, state that the prohibition was a case of the general law (Leviticus 20:23) against imitating Canaanite customs. Maimonides wrote: “the heathen priests adorned themselves with garments containing vegetable and animal materials, while they held in their hand a seal of mineral. This you will find written in their books”.
Because the priest’s girdle, and the tzitzit which every man wore, are preferably made from shatnez, the prohibition was a way of setting aside this fiber blend only for holy purposes.
According to modern biblical scholars (and Josephus), the rules against these mixtures are survivals of the clothing of the ancient Jewish temple and that these mixtures were considered to be holy and/or were forfeited to a sanctuary. It may also be observed that linen is a product of a riverine agricultural economy, such as that of the Nile Valley, while wool is a product of a desert, pastoral economy, such as that of the Hebrew tribes. Mixing the two together symbolically mixes Egypt and the Hebrews. It also violates a more general aversion to the mixing of categories found in the Leviticus holiness code, as suggested by anthropologists such as Mary Douglas.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook suggested that shearing wool from sheep is, at some level, “a form of theft, the oppression of the weak at the hands of the strong.” Since utilizing the flax plant and sheep are not – in absolute terms – morally equivalent, the Torah sought to distinguish between them, to instill a sensitivity towards animal welfare. 
In the Brit Chadasha a.k.a New Covenant/Testament, we read Matthew 26:59-66
- The first thing I picked up on here is that the Priests gathered together to speak against YAHUSHUA by giving false witness.
Remember Psalm 2? See something similar? the very people who are meant to be so spiritual to the point of recognising and acknowledging the true Messiah who had been prophesied about for centuries where the very people who colluded to lie about YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH (a.k.a JESUS CHRIST) so that they could put HIM death. As YAH’S Priests, they failed YAH! They betrayed YAH. They also gave a bad impression of the GOD they said they followed as they were the most respected people on earth that time and to-date. The Holy Biblical Scriptures say that YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH is the Great High Priest (YAHudim/Hebrews 8) while we all who accept HIM as well as HIS Blood Sacrifice into our lives are all Priests unto HIM (1 Peter 2:9-10). There are also High Priests within the Body of YAHUSHUA and they are the Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12).
HE expects us not to give false witnesses against our neighbours. This is one of HIS Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
- Secondly, the High Priest in his authority which is given to him by YAH Almighty blindly challenged YAHUSHUA to answer in response to HIS charges.
It’s ironic because YAHUSHUA is HIS boss. He spoke with boldness to YAHUSHUA because of ignorance. He was supposed to be highly anointed of YAH however he seemed to have strayed from YAH. The High Priest lacked Faith in YAH. He failed to see prophecy manifesting before his very eyes.
- The High Priest even went to the extent of tearing up his clothing.
This was an abominable act before YAH Almighty as the High Priest’s clothing were precious to YAH Almighty. They were not to be treated anyhow. The High Priest then was a go between the people and YAH so everyone of his actions affected the people’s relationship with YAH.
Leviticus 21:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “The high priest has the highest rank of all the priests. The anointing oil has been poured on his head, and he has been ordained to wear the priestly garments. He must never leave his hair uncombed[a] or tear his clothing.
- On the other hand, the tearing of the garment implies grief.
It was part of Jewish culture. See Numbers 14:6; Jeremiah 36:24; Job 1:20; Ezekiel 9:3. It is still Jewish practise to tear one’s garment when a close relative dies. Here, the imagery includes a picture of YAH’S grief as well.
- The High Priest accepted and acknowledged the false witnesses’ reports against YAHUSHUA and then used them to give a verdict.
This was forbidden by YAH Almighty as told to us through Prophet Moses. They sinned against YAH heavily because they knew better plus it was not just any ordinary person that was being prosecuted but rather their boss – The Most High – YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH!
However it was meant to happen in that way that YAH’S deliverance from the power of sin and eternal death.could come to HIS beloved people.
YAH loves HIS people so much hence HE gives them guidelines on how to live.
These guidelines help HIS people to avoid falling into Satan’s traps.
SHALOM and Have blessed New week. Don’t forget to have Holy Communion daily particularly in this season.