B’resheet (In the Beginning)
Torah: Gen 1:1 – 6:8 Haftarah: Isaiah 42:5-43:10 Brit Hadasha: John 1:1-14
As we begin a new cycle studying Torah, I would like to write these commentaries this year from a perspective of trying to reach folks who maybe have never heard about Torah. I also want this work to be an encouragement to those who are walking in Torah. I want to approach these commentaries from a simple perspective, something that we can apply daily to our lives. I am of the opinion that we are close to seeing the time of the ‘gentiles’ being fulfilled and YHVH is getting ready to turn His attention from the nations back to Yehudah (Judah). It is time to get our house in order and prepare to meet our King and warrior Elohim Sabaoth. While some of these reflections might not be new to some, we must remember not everyone is at the same level and many people are seeing and understanding Torah for the first time in their lives.
In the beginning
As we start in the beginning of the Scriptures, I think many times we miss out on something important because our culture and religion has taught us that these books in the Scriptures are just history, nothing more nothing less. That ‘something’ that we miss out on is how these books in the Older Testament have much to say about our future. Bill Cloud and Brad Scott’s work have really helped me to see and understand some things about B’rsheet. There is more “end time” prophecy in the book of Genesis than all the rest of the books of the prophets combined. I realize that many believers haven’t understood that but it is still true.
Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former events of old, for I am El, and there is no one like Me, declaring out of the beginning the end and out of ancient times that which has not yet been done, saying, ‘My counsel does stand, and all My delight I do,’
B’rsheet (Genesis) is the seed in which “ALL THINGS” come both spiritual things and physical because EVERYTHING is IN THE BEGINNING. All that the creation needs to function according to the purposes of the Creator is contained IN THE BEGINNING.
Picture a seed for a moment. Every seed contains within itself everything that pertains to that particular plant or tree. Even though we see just a seed that doesn’t mean that there aren’t roots, leaves, branches, a trunk, and fruit. Again, everything that pertains to a particular plant or tree is contained within the seed that it comes from. B’rsheet (Genesis) or the beginning of creation is that seed.
Question: If B’rsheet (Genesis) is a seed would that mean that Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, as well as the rest of the books of the Bible came forth from that seed? I believe that is exactly how the Creator designed it be.
Question: If all the books of the Bible, including the writings of Paul, came forth from Genesis, then how can the fruit in the Newer Testament differ from the fruit of the Older Testament? According to Genesis 1:11 it can’t.
And Elohim said, “Let the earth bring froth grass, the plant that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth.” And it came to be so.
What Genesis 1:11 is telling us is that a lemon tree produces lemons and an orange tree produces oranges. Like kind produces like kind. Lemon trees and orange trees don’t produce apples naturally. It isn’t written into their seeds to produce something else different than what they were made to produce. They must produce after their own kind. In today’s world I realize we have genetically modified foods and organisms. Scientists have manipulated the DNA of plants and organisms to be able to produce different things that aren’t according to their kind. This is not only harmful to mankind but has brought forth corruption into the earth. (see Genesis 6:11) This scientific manipulation of the DNA is called a mutation. A mutation is defined as the act or process of being altered or changed. An alteration or change, as in nature, form, or quality.
Question: If Malachi 3:6 is correct which states, “For I am YHVH, I change not,” and if Hebrews 13:8 is correct which states, “Y’shua the same yesterday, today, and forever.” How is it that many believers conclude that the Newer Testament teaches us something different than the Older Testament when it comes to obeying Torah = the commandments and instructions of the Creator (the Law)?
I believe this question can be answered with one simple word a MUTATION. The “spiritual scientists” (theologians, scholars, teachers, pastors, etc.) have altered, changed the nature, form, and quality of the Scriptures and have taught their followers that the mutation is the truth. I am not condemning nobody here but when one is taught wrong, he/she will teach wrong.
My point is if the Newer Testament teaches us that now through Y’shua we don’t have to obey the instructions (the Torah) that the Creator gave us in the Older Testament or that we can pick and choose which commandments to obey we are in trouble. Why? This is a mutation. The seed of ALL creation began with B’rsheet (Genesis) and the rest of the books of the Scriptures including the Newer Testament books came from or were contained within that seed of B’rsheet (Genesis). In order for this seed to “change” or mutate in the future, we must see it written in the DNA or contained within that seed. In other words, Genesis tells us nothing about a time that will come where YHVH will completely change His word or change what He gave us in the beginning or give us a “new” religions called Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, and Hinduism to name a few. Genesis doesn’t mention a “different” way of doing things later in the future. Like kind produces like kind and there is nothing new in the new testament according to Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9 there is no new thing under the sun. Lemon trees today are still producing lemons and apple trees are still producing apples.
Many read the Older Testament from a historical perspective. I am not saying this is entirely wrong, but I believe it speaks directly to you and me more than any other time in history addressing the present as well as our future. When the Eternal created the Universe He didn’t give us all the information to answer all the specific questions we may have, but He gives us the information that we need. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gives us the creation account in order to establish that He alone is the sovereign of the Universe. Why did the Creator create the Universe? Was there a purpose in His creation and if so what was it?
The statement ‘in the beginning’ doesn’t do the Hebrew word בראשׁית (Bereshit) justice. In Ancient Hebrew the first letter in this word is a (ב) Beit and in a Torah scroll it is enlarged more than the letters that follow it. The letter beit means a tent or house. First thing we see the Creator of the Universe doing is ‘building/creating’ a house. What I find very interesting is that He wasn’t just creating it for Himself. YHVH wanted a house so that He might be able to dwell among what He created. As Brad Scott says, ‘when little children draw pictures almost no matter which part of the world they are in you will see a picture of a house, family, sun, flowers, and etc.’ Why is that? It’s because the Creator chose to reveal himself through His creation and what a better way to reveal Himself in how a family or house functions. Now I know that in our society today the house is very much so out of order, but I believe that is because the enemy of the Creator has gotten his dirty little hands into the house and caused division, strife, disorder, and chaos. I believe the enemy saw the Creator’s plan in the beginning and now wants revenge and what a better way to make it happen than to cause disharmony and division within the house of the Creator.
This isn’t something that we should be upset about or cause us to lose any sleep. Why do I say that? The Father is in the process of restoring His creation back to the place of where we are reading from, ‘in the beginning’ (B’rsheet). The Father’s heart is a heart of resTORAtion! He wants His family to come back to His house and not only recognize it but live in it with Him and partake of the blessings that He has for His children. For many years we have been like the prodigal son living outside the Father’s house in disobedience, but today many of us are realizing our errors and returning not only to the house but the rules and instructions (the Torah) of the Father of the house.
Luke 15:11-19 And He said, “A certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods falling to me.’ And he divided his livelihood between them. “And not many days after, the younger son, having gathered all together, went away to a distant country, and there wasted his goods with loose living. “And when he had spent all, there arose a severe scarcity of food throughout that land, and he began to be in need. “And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him to his fields to feed pigs. “And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods which the pigs were eating, and no one gave to him. “But having come to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I am perishing with hunger! ‘Having risen, I shall go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against the heaven, and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
How to return
I remember hearing many messages about sin repentance and how we need to live right; I very seldom remember the ministers explaining or going into detail on how we were supposed to accomplish those things. Well I don’t want to leave us with any doubt on how we are commanded to return to the Father. It’s simple but has been distorted by our culture and religious leaders. Interestingly we find the word that is translated ‘repent’ right in the beginning of the Bible.
Genesis 3:17-19 And to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘Do not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground because of you, in toil you are to eat of it all the days of your life, and the ground shall bring forth thorns and thistles for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. “By the sweat of your face you are to eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you return.”
In this passage it’s the first time the word repent, in Hebrew (שׁובך) shoob, is used. It is translated as return and that is part of the meaning but not all. Most of us were taught by a religious system that ‘repent’ means to come back to the Creator of the Universe by making a change. There is some truth in that, but that definition is very abstract. We can see that Adam was told that he would ‘return’ to the place where he came from. Now we have something more concrete in that definition. In scripture when you want to know a concrete meaning or definition of a word, look at where the word was first used. The scriptural definition of repent is to return to the place where you first began to wander off the correct path. It’s not only recognizing that we have done wrong and have sinned but its returning to the place where we came from before we did wrong and sinned. Think about this picture. We could be walking towards a cliff and then change our direction (to repent) and still walk off the cliff only in a different place. This is the abstract definition of repent that the religious system teaches its followers. It is a lot more than just making a change in direction. We are certain to not walk off the cliff in a different place if we return to where we started going off the path. As the prodigal son returned to his Father’s house, we too must shoob/return to our Celestial Father’s house. In the story of the prodigal son it was about his returning to his father’s house. Houses have rules that have been set in place by the father of the house. Having returned to his Father’s house the prodigal son must now live by the rules and instructions of his Father in order to remain in the house and have all go well for him. This pattern is the same for you and me today. When we return to the Celestial Father’s house to remain there receiving His blessings, we must obey His rules and instructions which is translated in the Scriptures as ‘law’ but is the Torah which mean teachings and instructions of the God of Israel. If we don’t live in obedience to His rules then it is what scripture calls sin.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
In order for us to scripturally repent of our sins and live righteous now, we have clearly seen that it not only just takes us changing our thinking or returning to the God of Israel but it takes an action of returning to the Celestial Father’s house where we choose to obey His Torah, His instructions and rules for His house. Those rules and regulations can be found through all of the Scriptures but mainly the instructions/commandments that I am specifically referring to are found in Genesis to Deuteronomy. Also, the instructions and commandments that we find in the New Testament are repeats or are based in the commandments of the Old Testament. Remember there is nothing new under the sun nor nothing ‘new’ in the New Testament. It’s all true.
Fulfill doesn’t mean to do away with
Since I have mentioned above about returning to the Eternal through our obedience to His commandments, I would like to clear a false doctrine up as well. We find it clearly stated in the first chapter of Genesis. I believe that we must define words from their scriptural meaning and not what our culture nor religious leaders say they mean. When the Scriptures were written they were written from a Hebraic perspective and not a Western or Greek perspective. Many times when we read a word we allow our culture to interpret that word instead of allowing the Scriptures to properly define it. In Matthew, Y’shua tells us something about the Torah (teachings/instructions of the Eternal).
Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
He says that he didn’t come to destroy the Torah but fulfill it. Now in our Western thinking today when something has been fulfilled it means it has been completed and we no longer need to worry about. It’s as if we say that once something has been fulfilled then we need to move on to the next thing because it has been taken care of. Well this is where we get in trouble allowing our culture and society to define what words mean. In the first chapter of Genesis we have the definition of what this word fulfill means.
Genesis 1:22, 28 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The word fill and replenish are translated from the Hebrew word (ומלאו) maw law which means to fill up with meaning or give full meaning to. In these two verses above we see the Creator of the Universe commanding the fish to fill up the waters with meaning or give meaning to the waters and He tells man to bear fruit, increase and give full meaning to the earth or fill it up with meaning. When Y’shua says in Matthew chapter five that he came to fulfill the Torah; what was meant by his statement was that he came to give full meaning to or fill the Torah up with meaning since men had been very successful in adding to and taking away from it. Y’shua comes with the Torah written on his heart according to the first chapter of John verse fourteen and clearly began to clear up all the erroneous doctrines that men had created over time. Not that Y’shua was giving something ‘new’ but he was restoring the Father’s word to its original context thus fulfilling it or giving full complete meaning to what the Torah said.
Working on guard
Many people like to blame Eve for the debacle in the Garden of Eden. I’m not taking either side because I believe that both she and Adam were at fault, but I place the responsibility on Adam more than Eve. I think some men today are committing the same mistake as Adam.
Genesis 2:15 And יהוה Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Ěden to work it and to guard it.
Many men aren’t working at nor guarding their households. We could use a ton of examples here, but I return to my point of how the enemy knows that if he can cause confusion and division in the home then there will be no order and it will not function as it is supposed to function. Men, we should take on our responsibility and stop throwing it on the woman to do. I understand that we work all day and when we come home we want to just relax and maybe watch some television but it is our duty to guard the home and make it work.
My emotions are excited
The enemy is very subtle and cunning. He many times uses our emotions to bring about his plan. For example look at what happened to Eve. He comes and doesn’t just say hey Eve go eat that apple over there. No, he begins to tell her how it will elevate her ability to see things. On a side note, here we see the man not doing what he was commanded to do in working and guarding the Garden nor even guarding his wife from the serpent. How could the serpent have access to the garden if Adam was truly guarding it?
I would like to point out something here about how the enemy used Eve’s emotions and senses to get a response from her.
Genesis 3:6 And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
This verse should sound very familiar to us because it is referred to in a Newer Testament passage.
1 John 2:16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
Again the enemy is very cunning and doesn’t play fair. He enjoys using our senses and emotions in order to acquire a response. Usually the response that he wishes to obtain is never a response that pleases the Father.
Sin is at the door
Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, is there not acceptance? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should master it.”
I was taught that the Torah wasn’t given until Mount Sinai when Moses brought it down from the mountain but according to the above passage that isn’t all of the matter. First, we must define what sin really is.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
John clearly tells us that the scriptural definition of sin is transgression of the law or disobedience of Torah. My point is that in order for there to be sin there must be some type of Torah. I believe that Adam and Eve had some type of Torah because again you can’t sin unless you break Torah and their two boys even knew what types of sacrifices to bring so again that leads me to conclude that they had some type of Torah if not all of it. Many times in the Scriptures the Tree of Life is compared to the Torah or is a type and shadow of Torah so easily from them eating from that tree they could have received revelation or gotten the information straight from the Creator of the Universe. The point I wanted to make in mentioning this was that clearly Adam, Eve and the boys had some type of Torah in place because again you can’t have sin without having a Torah to break.
Romans 7:7 What, then, shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Let it not be! However, I did not know sin except through the Torah.
Thought for the Week
If the enemy of YHVH started out in the beginning mixing and adding to and taking away from the Word of the God of Israel then it makes sense that this would still continue to be his plan today. Especially when Isaiah 46:10 says that YHVH declared the end out of the beginning. Meaning that if we want to know what is going to happen or be going on in the end WE MUST RETURN TO THE BEGINNING!!! What we see going on in the beginning will be going on in the end. Like Adam and Eve and the rest of the world during that time thought they knew best and wanted to do their own thing and thumb their nose at Yahweh’s Word, we still continue having the same problem today. Humanity for thousands of years has thumbed its nose at the Creator thus living a life that is pleasing in our own sight. It is sad to say that this happens more in religious circles and systems than it does outside of these systems.