Nitzavim/Vayelech (You are standing)

Torah: Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9 Brit Chadasha: Romans 10:1-21

As we are drawing to the end of yet another cycle of studying Torah; I am remembering what Moshe is telling the children of Yisrael.

[i] There have been many times in my life when I am nearing the end of a project or even sometimes when I’ve come to the end of a Torah cycle where I begin to find myself somewhat drifting away from the task at hand.  I could even say that I have found myself letting the guard down somewhat.

Well I see Moshe here in the last stages of his life gathering the ‘troops’ and giving them that pregame speech before they are to go out into the ‘playing field’ called life where they have to walk this out on their own.  Moshe begins by telling the children that all of you are standing here today before the Creator.  To me that would have been a wakeup call.  Moshe was telling them today you are set in place.  You are pillars, if you will, and the Almighty has chosen you for a purpose and plan.

I think sometimes we need to hear these same words because as I mentioned before when I am nearing the end of a project or whatever task I am doing there seems to be a drifting away or my focus is not fully on the project at hand I guess I should say.  I seem to begin to think about what comes next or maybe am caught up in the happenings of the day in which I find myself.  You know I believe it’s good to go back and revisit sometimes where we came from, who we were before the Creator raised us up, and not forget those things.  It’s always good to keep the memories of the slavery of Mitsrayim fresh in our minds and what our purpose really is and Who we are representing here in the earth.

Moshe is getting ready to pass the baton onto the next generation, and he wants them to make it so he is encouraging them to remember where they came from and not get to a point where they would forget about the past and return to the ways of the nations that He brought them out from.  This was Yisrael’s downfall/weakness you might be able to say.  They seemed to be drawn to mixing with the nations.  I see this very strong in our day especially in our children.  The nations around us, the culture and society, seem to be very enticing to Israel.  There seems to be a pull on those of Israel to go and experience with the nations to get a taste of what it’s all about.  Well Moshe is reminding the children of Yisrael what happens when they go off and rebel against the Almighty and what it produces.[ii] We see Moshe using the picture of a root bearing bitterness or wormwood.  I believe Moshe is trying to convey the point that the root is what sustains and nourishes a plant and when we mix with the nations or go after the abominations of the nations then we are not only feeding our roots (the foundation if you will) toxic/poisonous material that are hazardous for our well being and livelihood but also the fruit we produce will be bitter and toxic to those around us.  So we can choose not to mix with the society/nations around us and not have to go down that road or if we do mix then we have to go the route that Y’shua presented where he tells us that the axe is laid to the root of the tree.[iii] The reason why this mixing is so important not to do is because this gets mixed in with the DNA or the seeds in the fruit.  Sure we could pick the fruit off the tree but that doesn’t help matters because the next harvest cycle that same fruit with those seeds will return so the axe has to be laid to the root of the problem in order to solve it and get rid of the mixture.  Trust me it’s a lot less painful and problematic in that we don’t mix with the nations around us.  It will save us a lot of heartache and suffering.  So Moshe is reminding the children of Yisrael guys don’t go there.  You are the people of the Creator of the Universe and you are whom He has chosen to represent Him in the earth so not only act it but live it in front of others.

Gather together in the Land

In chapter thirty of Deuteronomy we are presented with something very interesting.  I remember from my days of xtianity the false doctrine of the pre tribulation rapture which has been taken totally out of context from 2 Thessalonians 2:1.  So I would like to point out something here.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 says As to the coming of our Master Y’shua Messiah and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, brothers,…

Xtianity has taught that these words ‘gathering together’ was talking about a rapture and they go on by interpreting the following passages to mean a pre tribulation escape or free ticket out of here.  So I began looking at this phrase gathering together as to what it meant in Hebrew.  There are several words in Hebrew that have the meaning of this word in Greek here.  One example is in Isaiah 56:8 The Master YHVH who gathers the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl, declares, “I gather still others to him besides those who are gathered to him.”  This was quoted by Y’shua in Yohanan (Jn) 10:16.  Ok onto my point.  We are told in chapter thirty verse three that the Almighty will turn back and gather you from all the peoples where He has scattered you.  There is that word again.  So yes there will be a gathering together of Yisrael in the end of days and we will be returned to our proper place in the Land.  Xtianity has gotten off the path in more ways than one but especially when it comes to the timing of the rapture and the details of it.  So now we can see what Shaul was pointing to in 2 Thessalonians was Deuteronomy 30 and the whole concept of the Creator gathering His people and bringing them to the land and not to heaven where they will dip their big toe in the River of Life and walk on streets of gold while those nasty disobedient ‘Jews’ have to go through the tribulation as punishment for their rejection of Y’shua as the Messiah.  You might chuckle at that but that is a very popular belief in many denominations in xtianity and I have even heard some Messianics talk about the ‘Jews’ are going to be punished for their rejection of Y’shua as Messiah.  A key thing we need to look at in my opinion before we go out and condemn the ‘non believing Jews’, as many have deemed them to hell is ourselves.  Could it just might be that the reason as to why many ‘Jews’ reject Y’shua as the Messiah is because of the way that Messianics and xtians have presented/represented him?  Could it just might be that we have blood on our hands but yet we are first in line to cast the first stone?  I’m just asking here and not calling anyone out.  I used to be one of those who condemned the ‘Jews’ to hell because of their unbelief, and I will give an answer for that one day.  It’s not something that I am looking forward to either.  Ok I digress.

One more thing that I would like to mention here in Deuteronomy 30 can be found in verse two.  Moshe is telling us about the blessing and the curse and when we bring them back to our hearts in the places that we have been scattered/dispersed and when we turn back to Him and obey His voice according to all that He commanded in that day with all our heart and with all our being then it goes onto verse three and speaks of the gathering that I covered already.  I find something very interesting here but first let’s look at Deuteronomy 4:27-30

“And Yah shall scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the gentiles where Yah drives you. “And there you shall serve mighty ones, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. “But from there you shall seek YHVH your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart and with all your being. “In your distress, when all these words shall come upon you in the latter days, then you shall return to Yah your Elohim and shall obey His voice.

What is this word return all about?  It’s the Hebrew word shub which means to return to the starting point.  This statement obey His voice is a Hebrew idiom which means obeying Torah.  Now let’s look at verse two of chapter thirty which says and shall turn (shub) back to the Creator your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your being, you and your children,…  Are these statements not the same statements that we read in Deuteronomy 4?  Yes they are so my question to those who would argue against that keeping Torah is for today is this.  Which ‘Torah’ is it that end time believers are returning to?  Well clearly we are told in verse two of chapter thirty that it was the Torah that Moshe was commanding them in that day.  That’s the Torah that end time believers are to return to.

The message of love     

Since I have been talking about the end time believers, I will finish on that note by dipping into very quickly the Haftarah portion.  First, let me make a statement about something.  We have had the love of ‘Christ’ preached to us for more than fifty years now and what has it produced?  It has produced apostasy and lukewarmness in my opinion.  Should we be preaching the love of YHVH, yes most certainly but what about His judgment?  I believe that the love of ‘Christ’ message is very unbalanced and one sided because you can’t have the love without judgment.  Judgment in itself is a form of mercy.  If you have children you know what I am talking about.  When we discipline our children it isn’t out of hatred but out of love.  We are being the just judge if you will and teaching them that something they are doing is wrong and can bring harm into their life.  Sure it hurts them for a bit but is necessary for their growth and understanding.  So they may see it as judgment but in the end it will be seen as mercy.  I remember several ‘come to Jesus’ meetings that my Dad had with me, and I didn’t fully understand the whole picture of those disciplinary meetings until later on in life when the full revelation came as to why he disciplined me.  I saw firsthand just what he was trying to teach me in that if you do this you will suffer this.  Let me give you a hint it’s so much easier if we will listen in the beginning instead of having to learn the hard way on our own.

Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Master YHVH is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of YHVH, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn,

Y’shua quotes from this passage but leaves out something.  Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of YHVH is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed ones with a release, to proclaim the acceptable year of YHVH…  Why did Y’shua stop right here at this point and not quote further and include the day of vengeance of Elohim?  I believe the answer can be found summed up in his role in the first coming.  He was going after the lost sheep of the House of Israel preaching the good news, healing, and proclaiming liberty.  It was not time for the vengeance part.

Well we would probably all agree that in some shape form or fashion; we are living in the end of days.  As I mentioned above that for the last fifty or so years we have only had the message of love preached and there are many out there who don’t know the other edge of that sword.  Well I believe we are getting ready to see the other side of that double edged sword.  On one side is love and the other side is judgment/mercy.  What do I mean?  Well many folks have this false image of Y’shua in their minds.  They picture him as the California hippie surfer dude that walks around carrying the lamb underneath his arm stroking it and loving on it.  I find it interesting that many of us have it backwards today.  The bondservants wanted to know would this be the time that Y’shua the judge would restore things and kick Romans tails and throw them out.  They were looking for Y’shua the judge and not Y’shua the suffering servant.  Today many are only looking for Y’shua that carries the lamb under his arm or Y’shua the suffering servant and not looking for Y’shua the judge.

Think about this.  In the gospels Y’shua is lighting folk’s candlesticks, if you will, remember he tells folks to let their light shine and in the book of Revelation he tells folks that if they don’t repent he will come and put out their candlestick.[iv] In the gospels he is fighting for folks and in the book of Revelation he is fighting against folks who don’t repent.[v] In the gospels Y’shua heals folks on their sickbed and in the book of Revelation he casts folks into a sickbed for not repenting.[vi] So I think you can see the picture here.  Many folks are looking for the ‘Jesus’ that carries the lamb under his arm.  The one who is all lovey dovey and gives you goose bumps when in reality we will get ‘Jesus’ the judge who comes back with fire in his eyes and sword that cuts through the bone all the way to the marrow.

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to stand in that guy’s way and try to fight against him.  So sure we need the love message but boy do we need the judgment message as well to help level things out and bring balance into the House?


[i] Deuteronomy 29:10-15[ii] Deuteronomy 29:18[iii] Matthew 3:10[iv] Revelation 2:5[v] Revelation 2:16[vi] Revelation 2:22