I was asked to present this paper for your conference this week so that I could participate with you as you learn about HaShem. Who is HaShem? It is a Hebrew rendition of the name for G_d; an evasive synonym. Why would people avoid saying the name (HaShem) of G_d? Because He is Holy, and other and worthy of our Utmost Respect. We as people should honor Him above all. Yeshua did, in everything. So in this paper, we will do the same. HaShem means, “the name”; for now that is how we will refer to Him, later, we shall see another way to refer to Him.
It is impossible for Christians to understand Jesus without understanding His religion. It was not, as current believers sometimes understand, Christianity. Jesus was Jewish. He came from a long line of Jewish people. As such, He did not think about things like church, sacraments, saint days, Sunday School, Christmas or Easter. All of those things were made up by Gentiles decades and even centuries after Jesus left this Earth. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles and New Testament writers were Christians, they were all, until their dying day, faithful, Torah observant Jews. Additionally, Jesus’ name was NOT Jesus. Jesus is a transliteration of a transliteration of a translation. Jesus’ mother called him Yeshua. In honor of Him, so as not to obscure his identity, this paper will refer to Him by His name, Yeshua.
I thought I would bring you a study on how HaShem began to show His people Israel how He wanted to be known. The “Israel” of the Sinai Desert was made up not only of circumcised Jews but also of righteous Gentiles called foreigners or ger toshav. They had come with Israel, the community out of Egypt. It was there that HaShem commanded them to remember and to keep the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread as a perpetual Holy Day to Him (Exodus 12:14-28). Israel was both Jew and Gentile who claimed HaShem as their G_d. While there were different roles for those who actually became circumcised and became Jewish, there were also Gentiles who did not convert in the community. HaShem saw them as one community, just as Yeshua and the Apostle Paul did as well (Romans 11, John 15).
It was in the desert at Sinai where He brought His people, both Jew and Gentile worshippers out of Egypt. HaShem’s goal was to show them His Heart and how they were to approach Him. He wanted to dwell among them as their God. However, He could not dwell among a disloyal or impure people.
From the time they left Egypt, the people of Israel, both Jew and Gentile, were taught by HaShem, step by step. At first, their deliverance through the Red Sea, was a sign to them that their G_d wanted to deliver them. They passed through the waters of baptism symbolically through the Red Sea, in order to be a separated and holy people. Then HaShem gathered His people and gave them a covenant. His Law was to be followed by everyone in the community, both Jew and Gentile, as a sign that they were His people. The 10 Commandments, as we know them, were given to both Jew and Gentile. They were given to people who claimed HaShem as their G_d. All of the people in the community promised before HaShem, that they accepted and would follow His covenant. That acceptance was voluntary, not demanded and it came AFTER not before deliverance. HaShem sees Israel as one body, the same body that Yeshua and Paul talked about in the Apostolic Writings (the New Testament).
After their acceptance of the Torah as a sign that they were His people, HaShem asked the leaders to take an offering from the people. We begin today in Exodus 25:2, where HaShem now asks His people to show their love for Him through gifts.
Notice that HaShem did not have his people go back to Egypt to ask for donations from rich people. He asked His people to give of themselves. These people were in the desert, they had nothing but what they could carry from their impoverished lives in Egypt. What could they give? HaShem asked them to share what He had already provided them. He was able to produce the things He needed through what the people already had. He is not limited by lack of funds. He can make things out of nothing. It is not we by He who decides what is worth giving.
HaShem wanted “investors” in His tabernacle. He did not want to demand it, He wanted cheerful givers that identify as a community who loves Him.
Most of Exodus 25 is used for the detailed description of how the Tabernacle was to be built. HaShem’s particular instructions were to be followed exactly. The people did not see this as a burden or something that they could brag about. These instructions or “mitzvoth” were opportunities to show HaShem how they loved Him. Similarly the Torah, as given to the community of Israel was a joy with 613 opportunities (not laws) that allowed the people of Israel to show HaShem their love and devotion.
The important thing to note here is the Heart of HaShem is something that can be accessed by anyone who will accept His covenant and follow His instructions. You don’t have to be Jewish, however, His commandments, as we see here are not just for Jews. In fact, His Torah (which does not mean LAW but rather Instruction) is the very thing that Yeshua commanded His disciples to follow. (Matthew 5:17-20). If we say that we are believers, the Torah applies to us. It was not Yeshua or the Apostle Paul that did away with Torah. It was the Greek, Ante Nicene Fathers, who decided that the Jewishness of Yeshua was unacceptable. They, not Yeshua, not the Apostles and not the New Testament writers, decided to replace Israel with the “church”.
The Heart of HaShem is in Israel, not in the “church”, which is a 3rd century invention. HaShem’s heart, as we see in the construction of the tabernacle, is in the presence of those who are obedient to His Word. His Word, by the way, is what the Church calls the Old Testament. The New Testament just expounds on what was already there. Remember, it was not canonized until the 4th Century, hundreds of years after the death of the Apostles.
I would ask that you examine Exodus 25-27 with open eyes and open heart. Read the word as if you were the ger toshav not the replacement for Israel (which Yeshua would never uphold). As you see yourself as part of a community that existed before the church, how can you see HaShem’s heart? Is the heart of the Father, whose seat is in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle, the same one that you want to know? Or do you want to know a Christianized version. One that replaces His Word, His Ways, His Torah, with something that even Yeshua would shudder to think.
I would encourage you to get to know Israel, the people of G_d, both Jew and Gentile, not the Church. If you would like to know more, please contact me, as we have online discussion groups and classes that you can access. Learning to know the TRUE Heart of HaShem is a life changing experience that you will not want to miss…..Shalom!
Read Exodus 25:27
How is the Ark of the Covenant a resemblance of the Heart of HaShem? Also, how should this represent the heart (in Hebrew the core of the human being) of the disciple?
How does this resemble the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:33? Who are the people HaShem makes the New Covenant with? Do you see that it is not the church? What do you know about Church History? You might start to try to find out…..
Study verses: 2Cor. 9:1-15 Giving to HaShem from what He has given to us
Paul talks to the community at Corinth. How does the concept of giving parallel the idea of giving in the Sinai? How should believers, both Jew and Gentile, give to HaShem? Does the responsibility for ministry fall on foreigners or on the local community? Why? How does the local body funding its own ministry model the community at Sinai? What can we learn from Exodus 25 that we can apply now? How does this show the Heart of HaShem?
In Matthew 5, Yeshua says this:
17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P’rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Here he is saying that He did not come to do away with the Law but rather to complete or bring it to the forefront. He says that we are to follow it as well as follow the teaching of the Torah teachers, the Pharisees (although He said not to follow what they DO hypocritically). So what, are Christians to do? Yeshua says if we disobey even the least of the commandments (mitzvoth) we will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven (which is not a PLACE). If we are to be part of HaShem’s Heart, of His Kingdom which rules men’s hearts (again this is a Hebrew idiom another synonym for G_d’s name), we are to be holy, we are to follow His instructions (Torah) and His leaders instructions….pray about this, ask HaShem to reveal His Heart to you, and contact me at Cheryl@livingtruth.us letting me know what He is saying to you.
Ger Toshav – a Resident Stranger (Gentile) who dwells in the Holy Land.
(N.B. Currently in this era nobody can become a Ger Toshav, until the Jubilee Year is reintroduced in Israel when the King Moshiach comes).
In biblical times a Gentile who observed the seven Noachide laws in the Holy Land was regarded as a resident alien or Ger Toshav in Hebrew. (גֵר תּוֹשָׁב)
The Gemara (Talmud Bavli, Avodah Zarah 64b) quotes three opinions regarding who is a Ger Toshav, and they are:
1. Rebbi Meir maintains that a Ger Toshav is a Nochri (stranger) who accepts upon himself, in front of three “Chaverim” (Talmidei Chachamim), not to worship idols.
2. The Chachamim say that a Ger Toshav is a Nochri who accepts upon himself to observe the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach.
3. Acherim maintain that the above opinions are incorrect, and that a Ger Toshav is a Nochri who accepts all of the Mitzvos except for not eating Neveilos (animals that were not