One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49




(in beginning)

B’reshit [Genesis] 1:1-6:8


Sneaky Snake

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:1
1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which YHWH Elohim had made.  And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has Elohim said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”

The serpent came to the woman whom YHWH had made for Adam and he engaged her in a conversation.  Here is the first lesson that we should learn from this portion of Scripture: it is never a good idea to have a conversation with Satan.  When he misquotes Elohim (Scripture), he will do so to suit his own desires.  It will also be to bait us (goad us) into defending YHWH.  But does YHWH need defending by fallible human beings?

Romans 3:4 
Elohim forbid; yea, let Elohim be found true, but every man a liar; as it is written, “That You might be justified in Your words, and might prevail when You come into judgment.”

We truly need to understand the ways in which Satan comes to us and tempts us to do evil (sin against YHWH).  If we do not understand these things, then surely we will not be able to stand in the strength of His might in these trying times.

2nd Corinthians 2:11 
that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

I fear that while this was true to those to  whom Shaul wrote  in the first century, it no longer seems to be true in our day.  For it seems that that serpent of old has blinded our eyes to his craftiness and parading around as a messenger of light.

2nd Corinthians 11:14-15 
14  And no marvel; for even Satan fashions himself into a messenger of light.
15  It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.

It is important for us to see with eyes that have been anointed by our Master so that we can see as He sees.  But in order for this to be a true reality in our lives, we need to die to our own selfish wants and desires.  If we are looking at this world with eyes that want something out of it, then it is likely that we will not be honest with what He shows us.  And if we are not being honest with ourselves, then we are being deceived.  And if we are being deceived, then we are probably moving in the wrong direction as regarding eternal life.


Well-meaning Woman

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:2-3
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Probably most of us have experienced this very phenomenon; i.e., when someone states a position to us that we are in disagreement with, what we tend to do is to overstate our position – we embellish.  We can put this in all kinds of candy-coated terms to make it seem not as bad as it is, but the truth of the matter is, that when we do this, it is misleading, exaggeration, and an outright misrepresentation of the truth.  In short, it is a lie.  It is sin.

Now we can own up to this for what it really is, or we can deceive ourselves into believing something short of the truth, which would not be a very good place for us to be!

It is because of this lack of honesty on the woman’s part that led her straight into open rebellion and sin against the known commandment of Elohim.  So can we begin to see the need to be honest with ourselves?  Or, even to do so when being honest may not put us in a very good light?  Or, when being honest may reveal our own personal sin?

In this case, because of her lack of honesty (because she overstated the command of Elohim), she set herself up for certain sin.  The moment those words came forth from her mouth, it was nearly certain (unless she would have repented of those words, which did not seem very likely), that she was going to transgress the known law of Elohim. 

How many of us have been guilty of overstating Scripture?  Can we begin to see the inherent danger in doing this?  In all actuality, this is simply adding to Scripture.  Not a good thing!


The Lie

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:4-5
4 And the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die;
5 for Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil.”

It is important for us to read this exchange between the woman and the serpent carefully.  Do you see how the serpent quotes Scripture?  Do you see how he just ever so slightly changes things to appeal to the flesh? 

Let us carefully consider just exactly what this lie from the serpent consisted of.  Please note, that the serpent is telling the woman that if she eats of this fruit, she shall become like Elohim.  Now here is something that is quite interesting; because this is the very basis of the belief and doctrine of evolution.  That is, evolution teaches that humans are becoming (evolving) into higher beings, and that they answer to no one because they are the highest being on the evolutionary scale.  What we see in this, is that the serpent has not changed his approach in six millennia.  The sad thing is, that many still buy into this very same lie today.  Let us consider some rather interesting passages of Scripture regarding this lie that he speaks.

Yochanan [John] 8:44
44 “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and stands not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Please note that many translations only render the above verse as the devil speaking “a lie”; however, the original language has the definite article, thus having Yeshua teaching us that the devil speaks “the lie.”  This is important for us to understand, for when he speaks the lie, he is speaking as he has always spoken to mankind.  If we understand what this lie is, then we are duly armed to resist his attacks.

Romans 1:25
25 for that they exchanged the truth of Elohim for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen.

Once again the translators wrongly leave out the definite article in front of the word “lie”, thus that serpent of old is attempting to disguise his true methods of beguiling mankind with the lie that he has always spoken.

Ephesians 4:25
Wherefore, putting away the lie, you speak truth each one with his neighbor; for we are members one of another.

In this passage the translators wrongly rendered the first part of this verse as: “Wherefore, putting away falsehood.”  While that is certainly a noble admonition, it does not accurately portray what Shaul was teaching us in this passage.  He is making a reference to the lie that the devil has always used.  We are not to teach this lie to one another as truth.  More on this in a moment.

2nd  Thessolonians 2:11
11 And for this cause Elohim sends them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie;

And just exactly why is it that Elohim is sending a strong delusion upon mankind?  The previous verse enlightens us.

2nd  Thessolonians 2:9-10
9 (even he), whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

When I am witnessing to someone, this is the very first thing that I work at determining: has this person received the love of the truth?  You see, it is not nearly as important where a person is in their walk with YHWH, as long as they are walking with YHWH seeking His truth with all their being.  If they are, then regardless of where they are in their personal understanding, they are our brothers and sisters.  However, if they have not received the love of the truth (His truth), then how can they be saved?  In fact, according to this passage the result of not accepting His truth and seeking it (having a love for His truth) will result in Elohim sending upon them a strong delusion and they will believe the lie and perish.

Now if those are not some very sobering words (the previous Scripture), then you probably have not received the love of His truth.  You see, it is like this: Elohim is the Creator of all that we see with our eyes and even that which we cannot see.  He is the final Judge of mankind and He will determine each and every man’s final eternal resting place, be it with Him or not with Him.  Now the lie of Satan is such that he tries to lead man astray to get man to thinking that he has the final say, that he determines his own destiny.  That man is, in fact, Elohim.  But please know for certain, that one day each and every one of us will be judged according to our works (not our beliefs) and then placed accordingly.  You and I can only determine where we go in so much as we choose to do good or evil in the here and now.

Now mind you, I am not suggesting that we can earn our salvation.  Far from it!  What you are needing to understand here, is that it is YHWH who will judge us and He does so according to our works.  Of course, all those things that we could possibly do are meaningless if we have not accepted Yeshua as our Messiah.  But this one act means nothing if it is not backed up with a life of obedient love to Him!

So the question that we need to ask ourselves is this, “Am I just doing my own thing?”  Or, “Am I honestly trying my best to die to self and allow Him to live His life through me?”  Make no mistake about it, you might fool me and you might fool others (for a time), but you cannot fool YHWH.  And if you are trying to fool YHWH (by deceiving yourself), then your destruction will come upon you suddenly and there will be no escape!


The Result of the Lie

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:6-7
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit of it, and did eat; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Where is your wisdom from?

1st Corinthians 2:5
 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of Elohim.

One can look into Scripture and learn a great deal.  However, if one only does so to prove their own personal doctrine, so that they can convince others to follow them, then it is only the blind leading the blind.  Let us please consider this next passage along with the verses above from the Torah portion.

Yochanan Aleph [1st John] 2:16 
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Let us list these together to further our understanding.

B’reshit 3:6

Yochanan Aleph 2:16

good for food

lust of the flesh

delight to the eyes

lust of the eyes

desired to make one wise

boastful pride of life

Thus, we have before us the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Is this fruit still a part of our world today?  If we are to understand what Yochanan is writing, then it is very much a part of our world today.  But you say, I thought that this tree was destroyed in the garden?  Let us consider what this tree actually consists of according to Yochanan.

If we are to be fully armed against the wiles of the devil, then we truly need to understand what the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is today.  May I submit for your prayerful consideration that this fruit is none other than thinking that we can determine for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.  In fact, the very act of making a list is eating of this tree.  Why do I say this?

Let us carefully consider the following.  When a person sets out to make a list of what is right and what is wrong, then they have set themselves up as a judge of the Law. 

Ya’aqov [James] 4:11 
Speak not one against another, brethren.  He that speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

When we judge the Law, then we are not a doer of the Law (Torah).  And if we are not a doer of the Law, then we do not have eternal life!

When we see something that we want (lust of the eyes) and then our flesh (sin nature) begins to desire that which is not according to Torah, and then we come up with all kinds of reasons as to why according to Torah we should have that which we want for our own selfish lusts, we are eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

If we are to truly keep Torah the way that He has always intended for us to keep it, then we must walk in the Spirit.  We absolutely must be filled with His Spirit and walk in obedience to His Voice for us to truly keep and obey Torah.  If this is not a part of your life, then you are eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Here is the thing that many do not truly grasp regarding this tree:  it is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Do you see?  It is not only the knowledge of evil, but it is also the knowledge of good.  Ouch!  Now wait just one minute here!  Are you telling me that if I am trying to determine what is right to do that I am eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?  Yes, that is what I am saying!  Huh?

All such lists, lists of evil as well as lists of good are just that, lists!  This is not what YHWH wants from us.  If He would have wanted us to just keep a list of dos and don’ts, then he would have made a very extensive list that there would have been no mistaking what His will was in any matter whatsoever.  But is that the case with Torah?  No, it is not.  There is latitude and leeway in Torah.  Yes, there are some absolutes (HalleluYah!), but many of the Torah commandments are not absolute.  Let us take for example the commandment to wear tzitziot.  How many different ways are there to tie tzitziot?  Possibly as many different ways as there are people.  Is one way better than another?  As long as it has a thread of techelet (blue, some say purple or violet), then it is within the commandment. 

It is time for us to stop eating of this tree and recognize that YHWH is the Elohim of us all and that if He so chooses to lead one in this way and another in a different way, who are we to say different?  As long as each one of us has the fruit of His Spirit in our lives who are we to judge another man’s servant?  We need to give latitude where latitude is due!   



B’reshit [Genesis] 3:8-9
8 And they heard the Voice of YHWH Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of YHWH Elohim amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And YHWH Elohim called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

This is one of those verses that YHWH opened my eyes to many years ago, and showed me that His Voice was actually a manifestation of Elohim.  Please note in verse eight above, that we have the Voice of Elohim walking in the garden.  Have you ever stopped to truly consider the ramifications of this truth?  This is one reason that I will always capitalize the word Voice when it is dealing with His Voice, because I see it to be a manifestation of Elohim.

Not only that, but notice that Adam and Chavah had a relationship with the Voice of Elohim and knew who He was, and they hid from Him!

Like many questions that YHWH asks of His people, it is not for the gaining of information as He already knows the end from the beginning.  What these questions are designed to do are to get us to reflect upon where we are in our relationship with Him.  When we honestly answer such questions as the one above, then we can find our way back to YHWH.  If we do not answer the question honestly, it will lengthen our wanderings and sojourneyings away from Elohim.



B’reshit [Genesis] 3:10
10 And he said, “I heard your Voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Adam was honest.  It was a good answer.  An answer that was very revealing as all answers are to the questions of Elohim.  Even those that are not honest reveal that reality as well.

My children hear me say to them quite often, that when a person needs an excuse, anything will do.  When Elohim asks a question of us, we should ponder deeply what it is that is about to come out of our mouths, for not only will it reveal what is in the depths of our hearts to Him, but He will also show this to His people as well.

Matithyah [Matthew] 12:34 
“You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”


Questions of Reflection

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:11
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten of the tree, that I commanded you that you should not eat?”

As stated above, when Elohim asks us a question it is not because He is seeking information.  Rather, Elohim asks us questions to get us to reflect upon where it is that we are and even more to the point, how we got there.  For in answering these questions is the answer on how to return to Elohim!


Passing the Buck!

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:12
12 And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

Some things never change!  As it was in the beginning, so it is today; when a person gets caught red-handed, their first response is often to point the finger at whoever is handy.  Rather than owning up to what we have done, we often point the finger at those who are closest to us in an effort not to be accountable for our own sin and wrongdoing.

If there was ever an action on our parts that was responsible for breaking more relationships it is the act of pointing fingers and placing blame on others rather than being accountable for our own actions.  It takes great maturity in the faith and being filled with His Spirit to be able to stand up and simply say, “you know what, I blew it big time!  I was wrong in what I did, please forgive me. “  But when we say “I’m sorry, but…”, that “but” completely nullifies any smoke screen of an apparent apology.  We are doing exactly what Adam did, pointing the finger and attempting to excuse our sinful and wrong behavior.  Will we ever learn?


Also Passing the Buck!

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:13
13 And YHWH Elohim said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

We sure learn some things quickly, like passing the blame!  Adam pointed at Chavah (Eve) and so she simply followed suit and pointed her finger at the serpent. 


The Buck Stops Here!

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:14-16
14 And YHWH Elohim said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life;
15 and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

I find it rather intriguing that YHWH did not ask for a response from the serpent.  YHWH simply passes judgment upon him. 

And then He proceeds to render His verdict upon the woman.



B’reshit [Genesis] 3:17-19
17 And to Adam He said, “Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it;’ cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil shall you eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field;
19 in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it was you taken; for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.”

I also find it interesting that as the blame was passed down from the man to the woman to the serpent, that YHWH then renders His judgment upon them in the reverse order from the serpent to the woman to the man.


The First Sacrifice

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:20-21
20 And the man called his wife's name Chavah (Eve); because she was the mother of all living.
21 And YHWH Elohim made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.

Then after the judgment is rendered, there had to be a price paid.  There had to be the shedding of blood.

Ivrim [Hebrews] 9:22 
And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

In this very first sacrifice of an animal, it was the first revelation of His eternal Torah to man.  (Some would rightly point at the Shabbat as another previous revelation of His eternal Torah to man.)  We do not know exactly how much of His Torah He revealed that day, but when we look throughout the book of B’reshit, we get glimpses that those servants who lived between the time of Adam and Moshe knew quite a bit about what YHWH had Moshe write down at Sinai.

Sometimes it seems that we fail to understand that His Torah is eternal, and that just because  it was not written down until Moshe, does not mean that it did not exist before, nor does it mean that it was unknown until then.  Especially considering that many actions taken by the patriarchs were quite in line with Torah.


Kicked Out of the Garden

B’reshit [Genesis] 3:22-24
22 And YHWH Elohim said, “Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
23 Therefore YHWH Elohim sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Because man made the very unwise choice of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Elohim kicked him out of the garden.  Because man chose to rebel against YHWH and His Voice (personal revelation to man), he was removed from the garden and destined to die and return to dust.

This is our lot in life, to die and to return to the earth from which we came.  However, we can have eternal life, if we would but choose to live according to His Laws and His ordinances and His statutes and His judgments, and especially His Voice.

What we have before us is an opportunity to return to YHWH and regain that which we lost.  Not all will regain it, for some will continue to choose to eat of this deadly fruit.  Some simply think that they can have it their way and His way.  This is not true.  We can choose to live His way or He will not let us into His House.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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