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The meaning of being "consecrated" to God, (Lev 9:1-11:47)

PARASHA: "Shemini" (eighth)

LEV 9:1-11:47.................2 SAM 6:1-7:17.........................ACTS 10:9-22

Aaron and his sons have been in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) for 7 days, awaiting the LORD, praying and getting ready to be consecrated as priests, in our terms, we would use the word "ordained". so now, on day "eight" of the "waiting on the LORD" all is ready, the number 8 in the bible symbolizes "new beginning" it will be a "new life" for Aaron and his sons, they will represent HaShem, the Great I AM , Adonai-Elohim-Yeshua, as mediators between the people and God. It is an important event. The animals are sacrificed, the blood placed on the 4 horns of the brazen altar, we can look at these 4 horns in each corner of the altar like the cross of Calvary, two on either side of the cross beam, and one at the head, and one at the foot, illustrating what Messiah did for us all. The blood was also poured out at the Base "Yesod" (remember last week's Parasha)

Today, when we look and think on the word "consecrate" we think of "setting something apart" like the word "Kadosh" to be "set apart" When Adonai puts in the hearts and minds of those who wish to follow HIM and minister the Word to others, may chose to study in Bible Colleges, and so, "consecrating" themselves in studying the Word, preparation to teach, to become rabbis, pastors, etc. and finally, the "ordination" process follows, I studied 5 years in a Baptist Bible college, and afterwards, enrolled in a Messianic Jewish Yeshiva (Shema Israel Jewish Theological Institute) for another 5 years, and later was ordained Messianic rabbi in 2005, I consider this a very necessary preparation, studying and looking at scripture from both a Christian and Jewish perspective, and applying both in teaching Torah and Yeshua as Mashiach

When the sacrifices were ready on the altar, Aaron blessed the people and fire came out from heaven and "fired up" the sacrifices, the first fire on the altar was lit by the LORD, All the people were glad, and shouted praises and fell on their faces in praising YHVH, what a glorious time, but wait.....something happened that dampened the whole event.

Chap. 10 tells us about Nadab and Abihu, two of the sons of Aaron. Many want to know why? Why did Adonai "light-up" these two men (literally) when we read chap 10, we read that Nadab and Abihu offered "strange fire before the LORD. What could this have been?

Scripture does not tell us for sure, we can only take an educated guess, we will find out for sure in heaven some day when we meet these two young men, they will tell us themselves, in the mean while we can only guess;

1. They offered incense to Adonai, were told to do so? were they authorized? perhaps they were doing their "own thing" and got "fired-up" for it. We can not come to God on our terms, doing own "own thing" (what ever our "own thing" might be)

2. "Strange fire" was mentioned. Well, let's say they were authorized to offer incense, but they made "their own fire" instead of taking of the burning coals on the brazen altar that the LORD had just kindled. It would be like trying to get to God without Messiah Yeshua intervening. If they indeed made their own fire, symbolically, they were offering up incense (prayers) without going through Yeshua, Yeshua said "I AM THE WAY...the truth and the life...NO ONE comes to the FATHER but by ME"

3. They may have been drinking wine, and because of this, they might have been a little drunk and not thinking clearly, and thus suffered this untimely death by offering "strange fire" when we are in the presence of the LORD, doing ministry, we should always be awake, sober, and not affected by alcohol, drugs, etc

It is interesting to note that they were dragged out of the tabernacle by their coats (tunics) seems like this was a special fire that consumed only Nadab and Abihu, and did not affect their clothing. Normally, when a person is on fire, their clothing burns too, this was not a "normal fire case"

Chap 11 is always a topic of fussing and discussing, there is a saying "don't stand before a man and his food, or you're look for a rumble" or "We're not under law but grace" or "the LORD cleaned all foods, (remember Acts? Peter and sheet of unclean foods) or "It isn't what goes into a person which defiles man, but what comes out of a person" or "I just don't care, I'll eat what I want, everyone has to die someday"...............Well...yeah!...BUT...

the word "law" has been wrongly translated from the Hebrew into something "legalistic" (the latin "legis" from where we get the word "legislature" the correct word is "Torah" which means "teaching and instruction" Do we consider ourselves guided by God's perfect teaching and instruction in his WORD? YES! are we also under his perfect GRACE? YES, so, we are both under his TEACHING AND GRACE. (torah v'chesed) There has always been his TORAH his guidance by his teaching since Adam and Eve, and GRACE has always been his WAY, since the beginning.

About Peter's vision, the "focal point" was on the unclean foods, but the message was for the "gentiles" God told Peter he considered the "gentiles" of the surrounding nations as "clean" if they came to Yeshua by faith, just like the Jews of Israel.

"It isn't what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out of man" this is talking about "spiritual defilement" not physical, unclean meats do not make a person 'Spiritually" defiled, yet unclean, non-kosher meats/foods can defile the body "physically" . Many of the "meats" in the supermarkets have not been ordained by Adonai for human consumption, but man thinks he is smarter than God, so man adds to God's pre approved menu. Pork, shell fish, crabs, lobster, crawfish, catfish, can bring on diseases, high cholesterol, and in time, bring down the health of a person. As much as we love the smell of frying bacon, pork sausage, Italian salami, dirty rice, craw fish boils, sea food gumbo, etc, lets try to stay away from them, they are NOT nor EVER WILL BE on God's food menu for his children. He loves us so much, he wants the best for us, he made our bodies so he knows what should go inside of us.

So just read the list of approved grocery items in Leviticus 11, this list is for TODAY as well as thousands of years ago. God talks to us seriously. Yet people today are used to eating anything they see in the supermarket, and anything that comes out of the water dangling from the fish hook or net. There is a saying, "if it flies in the air, and it isn't an airplane, eat it! if it has 4 legs and it isn't a table, eat it!, if it swims and isn't a submarine, eat it! but God says NO, it is our choice to either obey or disobey, blessings or curses, the choice is ours to make. "Be ye Holy for I AM holy" (11:45) "K'doshim Atem ki Kadosh Ani" (Holy means to be "set apart" , not sinless) Some say, "is it a sin to eat pork?" well, are we disobeying scripture? are we going against his commandment NOT to? then we have answered that question. But these are not my words, these are God words for us today as well as those that lived thousands of years ago.

Hey, ever eat a bug? you can roast a grasshopper, or a cricket on an open campfire, those bugs are KOSHER (11:21,22) talk about a Winnie roast, get a basket full of grasshoppers or locusts (John the Baptist ate those) with some crickets too, a bit of salt and pepper and hot sauce, roast them and YEAH! bon-appetite
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2 SAMUEL 6:1-7:17

when we read this Haf Torah portion, we see something similar to what happened to Nadab and Abihu, King David was transporting the Ark of the Covenant that was returned by the Philistines, on an ox cart, the WRONG Method, the oxen stumbled an "Uzzah" one of David's men put forth his hand to keep the Ark from moving (perhaps he thought it would fall to the ground) but God stuck him down and killed him for that. The Ark was not to be touched at all, only the Levites were allowed to carry it, on two poles, NOT on an ox cart. Perhaps Uzzah was sincere in his attempt to keep the Ark from falling, but he was sincerely WRONG.

It is good that today, things are different, God does not kill us for mishandling holy things

but we should take care to treat the things of God and worship with respect. When things are worn out so as to be of no more use, like old bibles, torn pages, prayer shawls, stained and torn, things of worship have lived their usefulness, they should be buried in the ground, like one would bury a loved one, not thrown in the trash (believe me when I say that I have found a few bibles in the trash dumpsters)
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ACTS 10:9-22

This is the story I was referring to, God showed Kefa (Peter) the sheet with unclean animals and told him to EAT, because he was trying to prove a point to the disciple, Peter knew these were unclean animals, and God's message to Peter was;

"Just as you know that these meats are unclean, you are also thinking that the gentiles (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc) are also unclean, but I tell you that THEY (the gentiles) ARE CLEAN, (those that come to me by faith in Yeshua) (read verse 28) Cornelius was a Roman centurion, and he had accepted Yeshua as Messiah, so, He (a Roman) was now part of the family of God, and part of the commonwealth of Israel, the "grafted-in believers" outside of Israel.

Shabbat Shalom.....................rabbi Ben Avraham