Ki Tetzeh (When you go out)

Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10 Brit Chadasha: James 4:1-10

As we begin this week there is one thing that we must examine before we get into the portion.  In the xtianity we were taught that we must go out and knock on doors and ask folks a  simple question; do you know where you would go if you died right now?  I will admit that I am just as guilty as anyone else who has used this same tactic before.  We were taught that this was how we ‘work’ for the Kingdom.  You know evangelizing the lost.  Well after studying Torah we find in several places on just what true evangelization is all about and this week’s portion has a great principal in it dealing with this topic.

In Deuteronomy twenty two we are instructed on how to deal with our brother’s ox, sheep or donkey that has gone astray, even a garment of his that has been lost.

[i] It even instructs us that if we don’t know our brother or if he lives far away we bring his lost items to our house and keep them for him until he comes seeking them and we are to return them.  In verse three it says that we are to do this with whatever our brother loses and that we aren’t allowed to hide ourselves.  Now I find that to be an interesting statement because many of you reading this know about what happened throughout history.  Especially what the ‘church fathers’ did with the Scriptures and how they misinterpreted them thus causing the loss of the ‘Hebraicness’ which was clearly demonstrated to us throughout the gospels, the book of Acts and other writings in the Newer Testament.

For over a thousand years we and our brothers have lost the roots, culture and history of what the Scriptures really teach us.  It’s not our fault it was passed down to us and what we were taught or better stated what we’ve inherited.  So the Father today is beginning to work with His children in the process of restoring those things which have been lost.  I guess you could you say that we have been far away and are now showing up at our brother’s house and have been learning of some details that we have been in the dark about.

So we’ve been talking about what our brother has lost or we could even place ourselves in the mix here and say at one time what was lost to us.  Scripture tells us plainly that if we have found something lost then we are to return it to our brothers.  I mentioned above about the ‘church fathers’ and their twisting of the Scriptures that caused the true unadulterated Word to become mixed, mingled, added to and even taken away from.

Well let’s look at Torah for a bit.  Many of us have family friends and loved ones who the Father hasn’t taken the scales off of their eyes yet to see the truth of Torah.  It can be said that they have lost something very important when it comes to the Scriptures.  The Torah has become a forgotten archaic thing in our day and age it seems.  This happens with things that have been lost.  You know you can’t find it so oh well move on to something else.  Well for those of us who have ‘found’ Torah we have a duty and mandate to return to our brothers that which has been lost.  Now I would like to interject here that there is no Scripture here that calls for us to be Torah terrorists.  I know a few loose cannons in the movement with this type of attitude and spirit and nine times out of ten will tell you it’s because they are so zealous for Torah.  I will touch more on this spirit in a bit.

The Scriptures admonishes us to return to our brothers what they have lost.  Remember we need to deal with others the way that we would like to be dealt with.  Some of us I’m sure it took a Torah terrorist getting right in our faces and not holding anything back in order for us to see and hear but that doesn’t mean that’s the measuring stick that we use on everyone else.  We need to be led by the Ruach and not our spirit and emotions.

Now on the other side of the coin we shouldn’t be ‘closet keeping’ Torah observant believers either because we are instructed not to hide ourselves or the matter from our brothers.  Yahshua even admonished us not to hide our light and allow it to shine forth among men so that they may see our good works and glorify the Father.[ii] A quick side note here, I grew up Baptist and then was a part of the Charismatic movement but I still had a lot of Baptist friends.  I would always laugh to myself when one of my friends would get a little radical and receive the gift of tongues.

What I chuckled about was it was if may of them wanted to hide it and not come out of the closet, if you will, or let anyone know what had happened.  Now that was their business so I’m not trying to knock that, but I had the thought one day and maybe someone else says this as well but I thought you know this type of action seems to me as being an ‘in the closet tongue talker’.  So I’ve just taken that term and brought it over into the Hebrew Roots movement and use it for those who are ‘closet keeping’ Torah observant believers.  Believe me there are these types of folks out there.  I personally know a pastor that keeps Sabbath, keeps the Feasts, and even eats Kosher and has been able to maintain his position as pastor of a xtian fellowship.  I remember the first day my wife and I shared Torah with him and he was just awed by the Torah and how much sense it made.  I remember the countless talks with him in explaining/answering many questions that he had.  In my opinion he is an example of an ‘in the closet’ Torah keeper.

He will answer for his actions and not me so I don’t allow this to bother me or I’m not drove over him doing this or doing that or the way he does it.  We need to chill out and not allow our pride and emotions to get involved when others might not do it the way that we do it.  I’ve heard many people say that they were just being zealous for the Torah but yet where they were standing was a puddle because they honestly were dripping from their pores with pride.  Again as in this pastor’s case why not look at the positive things; at least he is keeping Shabbat, the Feasts, eats Kosher and studies Torah.  Sure I would like for him to come out of the closet but that isn’t my responsibility to make him do that.  He might not do it the way we would do it or like it but we aren’t the Creator and can’t make folks do it the way we do it.  When we try and make folks do it our way or a certain way we are moving out of a spirit of witchcraft especially when we manipulate or want to control folks in order for them to produce a certain outcome.  We just need to chill and if folks might be doing something wrong or not according to Scripture why not take it to the Father because last time I checked he is the just Judge and rules rightly.  I think if we would take it to the Father then we would have a lot less bickering and fighting going on in the movement because more than likely the first one to be dealt with would be you and I and our attitude in how we are approaching the situation.  So we just need to chill out and take a deep breath and allow the Creator to do His thing without us butting in and trying to do it for Him.  Not everyone out there will do Torah exactly like you and I.

Like Brad says we are living stones and not bricks.  How boring we would be if we had a million little Joel’s or Daniel’s out there running around all looking the same saying the same things and doing the same things.  Just plain old boring in my opinion.

Ok back to our portion here as I got side tracked.  So we were talking about returning that which was lost to our brethren.  Well today many of our brethren have lost Torah and its purpose.  It’s not our job to be Torah terrorists and shove it down folk’s throats.   Our job number one is to be obedient and have our house in order before we go over and try to barge into someone else’s living room and start inspecting things.  Why not allow folks to see the light of Torah in us and be drawn to it?  Why not allow them to taste the saltiness of Torah that is in us?  You know the Torah in Scripture sometimes is referred to as the River of Life.  What happens when we eat salty things?  We get thirsty.  So why don’t we for a change instead of running around thinking that the Eternal sent us to correct everyone, instead of trying to make everyone be obedient and trying to conform them to our way of doing the commandments; why don’t we allow them to see the light, taste the salt and drink directly from the River of Life?  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t go and share with our brethren.  Sure we can and should because we are commanded to not hide ourselves or the thing which has been lost from our brothers.

In other words allow the Torah that is within us to illuminate the path for those who seem to not be able to see how to walk down the ancient path.  I heard Monte Judah say “I know a lot of people who say they are xtians but their behavior betrays them.”  I would like to apply this to the commandments.  I know a lot of folks who say they are obedient to Torah but their behavior betrays them especially when it comes to the realm of attitudes and how we deal with others and even more so how we deal with one another.  Why not love folks and have a correct spirit when we are sharing Torah or returning that which was lost to our brethren.  The time to stop beating each other up over the way we do things is now.  Again the Creator can bring correction to someone a whole lot better than you and I so we must be careful when think that we are 100% approved by the Eternal and His instrument in the earth to bring correction to the lives of others.

When I was younger I remember getting rebuked one time by a prophet and what I was told will remain with me until I return to the dust.  He gracefully told me in the rebuke that I could catch a whole lot more flies with honey instead of vinegar.  At the time I didn’t understand what that really meant until I meditated and asked the Father to show me what that meant.  When I understood I thought what a great way to rebuke someone in front of others, I might add, and not offend or embarrass me.  It was done with grace and that is how we should deal with others you know the same way that we would want to be dealt with.

I leave you guys with a few questions.  When we return that lost thing i.e. Torah to our brothers and they taste it, are they tasting vinegar or are they tasting sweet delicious honey?  Do they taste vinegar because we have jumped into the River of Life trying to add our flavor to it or do they taste the pure natural organic sweetness of honey?

So what is it when we deal with others guys?  What taste do we leave in our brothers’ mouths and spirits when they nibble on the Torah that not only comes out of our mouths but the Torah that we do in front of them?  Are they drawn like flies to the sweet natural smell or are they repulsed because of the bitter tart pungent harsh rancid smell of our self righteousness?  Remember our words mean nothing and our actions mean everything and it’s our actions that truly reveal what is in our hearts.


[i] Deuteronomy 22:1-3[ii] Matthew 5:16