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


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Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 5:2-3
2 Shepherd the flock of Elohim which is among you, exercising oversight, not by compulsion but voluntarily, not out of greed for filthy gain, but eagerly;
3 neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock.

In these present times there are many who have risen up to be leaders.  Some have done so on their own authority.  Others have done so because YHWH has called them to a particular task.  From both of these groups we find those who are not willing to serve His people, but rather desire His people to serve them.  Some may even start out well in serving others according to the call that YHWH has placed upon their lives, but then drift over from feeding His flock into having others serving them.  This is not what our Master did, nor is it what He has called any man to do.  We are to do as He did in laying our lives down for His people. 

One thing that seems to happen all too often is that these leaders, whether they were originally called by YHWH or not, use their positions as a means of enrichment.  Now mind you, it is not wrong for a leader or teacher to be supported in the work that YHWH has called Him to do.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 25:4 
“You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain.”

The pashat of this commandment is that when we harvest the grain of our fields and then take it to the threshing floor to be threshed, we are not to muzzle the ox while he is trampling the grain to separate the chaff from the kernel of grain.  It would be cruel to the ox to make him do this type of work and not allow him to eat of his own work.

At a much deeper level of understanding of this commandment, those who work in His kingdom feeding His flock serve His people the bread of life.  However, before this bread can be served to His people the grain must be threshed out in order for the bread to be made.  While this process is being done the man of Elohim has a right to eat and be sustained by his work for YHWH.  This means at least two things.  One, is that the man of Elohim should, or actually must, eat of the truth that YHWH opens his eyes to and apply it to his own life first.  Two, he has a right to be supported by his labor in the field of Elohim.  Shaul used this very commandment to teach this principle as well.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 9:9-12 
9 For it is written in the Torah of Moshe,
You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain.
Is it for the oxen that Elohim cares,
10 or is He speaking overall for our sake? Yea, for our sake it was written:
because he that plows ought to plow in hope, and he that threshes, to thresh in hope of partaking.
11 If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your physical things?
12 If others partake of this right over you, do not we yet more?  Nevertheless we did not use this right; but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Besorah of Mashiach.

As Shaul points out, just because one has a particular right to something, that does not necessarily mean that it is expedient or beneficial for that person to exercise that right.  In this case, Shaul had a right to be supported by his work in Qorintyah by the talmidim in that city. However, Shaul did not do this; rather, he chose to give up that right in favor of not putting a stumbling block before anyone there.

It is in a similar manner that all the true shepherds of Israel should live and conduct their lives, putting the lives of His sheep before their own.  The shepherds of His people are to conduct themselves in a manner that is pleasing to our heavenly Father.  And what is it that is pleasing to Him?  It is that we lay down our lives for one another.

1st Timothy 5:17-18 
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.
18 For the scripture says,
You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain.
The laborer is worthy of his hire.

Here is the thing about all this: we are called to serve YHWH our Elohim in the Spirit of the love of Mashiach Yeshua.  This is on a voluntary basis, as it is not possible for one man to force another man to serve Mashiach in that love.  While he may force service, he cannot force the love to be there.  In fact, if one is forced, then by that very act of being forced, it precludes and excludes the love of Mashiach from being present in that service.  As our opening passage teaches us, we are to demonstrate by example how to serve Mashiach Yeshua so that others will voluntarily do so as well.

I am reminded of a missionary that I knew who was a missionary to China.  She was a missionary there when the communists took over the country.  She spent over four years in one of their prisons as a political prisoner.  Shortly after arriving there she was assigned the task to clean the toilets every day.  This was her task.  So she went from being a missionary to cleaning toilets in a prison.  Now mind you, many of those in this prison were not followers of Mashiach and many simply did not care about anything at all, and in particular, about being clean in the bathrooms.  So, her job was made all the more detestable by this fact.  As Mary cried out to her heavenly Father as to why she had to do this, He began over a period of weeks to impress upon her that she was not cleaning the toilets for the prisoners, or for the prison guards; nor was she being forced to do this task.  What YHWH asked her to do was to volunteer to clean the toilets for Him.  When she began to do this, victory came and she walked in victory during these four years in prison.  She was a wonderfully humble servant of YHWH.  She had learned what each one of us needs to learn and that is that we are not to do what we do because of compulsion.  We are not to do what we do for our spouse or our families or for other followers of Mashiach.  We are to do what we do because we are doing it for the One we love and serve, Mashiach Yeshua.  If we can learn to do this, then we cannot help but be in a right relationship with YHWH and with others!

Matithyah (Matthew) 20:25-28
25 But Yeshua called them to Himself, and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
26 It shall not be so among you; but whosoever would become great among you shall be your helper;
27 and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant;
28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Those in authority in pagan cultures lord it over those whom they lead.  This means that those who lord it over others act as a master of others and expect others to serve them and take care of their needs.  Mashiach Yeshua recognized this reality and pointed to it in teaching us that we are not to conduct ourselves in such a manner.  In His kingdom those who are called by Him to shepherd His people are servants of YHWH and thus, servants of His people.  When we see those who want to rule by force or compulsion, then we should rightly ask ourselves if they are truly working in His kingdom.  Many times those who rule in this manner will become quite indignant when someone dares to question his authority or position.  It seems from what Mashiach Yeshua taught us that such a one that rules in this fashion is not working to establish YHWH’s kingdom, but his own little empire.  This is why they can and do become easily threatened by one who is a true leader or shepherd of His people.

It is no wonder that the way into His kingdom is narrow or small, as there are so many shepherds who lead others astray.  It is only by His mercy and never ending compassions that any one of us is a part of His kingdom.  We should never feel lifted up in our hearts against another who is not a part of His kingdom!  Allowing this to creep into one’s life is a sure exit from His kingdom.

Matithyah (Matthew) 7:13-14 
13 “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby.
14 For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leads to life, and few are they that find it.”

Our opening passage in this teaching is directed more towards the shepherds than those whom they shepherd.  The voluntary aspect of this passage is dealing with the reality that shepherds cannot force another to be a servant of Mashiach Yeshua.  He can only choose to do this for himself.  And so it is for each and every person.  Each person can only make this choice for himself and no other person.  Shepherds cannot force anyone to follow Yeshua as Mashiach.  But what they can do is to lead by example.

This is seen in the life of a shepherd.  A shepherd does not drive his sheep, for attempting to do so will only cause the sheep to flee in all directions.  However, the sheep will follow the shepherd wherever he goes.  If the shepherd needs for the sheep to go somewhere, then he must go there first and lead the way so the sheep know that it is safe to do this.

If a particular shepherd is not living the way that he ought to live, i.e., leading by example, then he may actually hinder others from entering His kingdom.  It is no wonder then that Yeshua taught us that there are few who find the narrow path into His kingdom and then actually travel through that gate to enter into it.  And why are there so few who find the narrow gate?  There are so few who find the narrow gate because there are so few true shepherds to lead His sheep through that narrow gate.

The narrow gate is a gate that is marked with trials and tribulations.  It is this that the true shepherd must first endure.  But because so many are unwilling to endure the trials and tribulations which will mold him into the man that YHWH needs him to be, there are few men who are fit to lead His people. 

Please note this next passage.

Matithyah (Matthew) 7:21 
“Not everyone that says to Me, ‘Master, Master’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

Notice that those who enter into His kingdom are those who do His will.  But note well what those who are attempting to enter by some other means say to Mashiach Yeshua.

Matithyah (Matthew) 7:22
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy by Your name, and by Your name cast out demons, and by Your name do many mighty works?’ ”

It is not the production of signs and wonders that makes a man of YHWH, but rather a humble and obedient life.  It is for this reason that YHWH must take a man through the trials and hardships that life can deal a man (or woman) to reveal what is truly in one’s heart.  After what is in one’s heart is revealed, then it is up to each person to deal with it according to the mercy of Mashiach Yeshua, for He has already won the victory and offered that victory to us to share in it.  So it is each person’s choice to accept or reject what YHWH has offered to each one of us through Mashiach Yeshua.
There will be those who make the above declaration, thinking that this ability to do mighty works in His name guarantees one a place in the Olam Haba (the world to come) more commonly known as “eternal life.”  These things, the casting out of demons and other mighty works are only valid if they are done in obedience to His Voice.  Note what Mashiach says to those who do not live in obedience to His Voice.

Matithyah (Matthew) 7:23 
“And then will I profess to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity.’ ”

These thought that just because they uttered His name and did things in His name, they could do whatever they wanted to do.  This is the same problem that we see with Simon the sorcerer.

Ma’aseh (Acts) 8:9-11
9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime in the city used sorcery, and amazed the people of Samaria, giving out that he was someone great;
10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of Elohim.”
11 And they gave heed to him, because that of long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.

This man even after he believed, continued on in his former mindset.  His was a mindset of gaining wealth through the manipulation of the people around him.  In his case he used his ability by seeming to do miracles in order to dupe the people into giving him money.  This is how he made his living.  Then when the Ruach Qodesh moved Philip to this area to preach the good news to these people, he was one who began to believe.  Then when Kepha and Yochanan came down and laid hands upon the people who had believed and they were filled with the Ruach Qodesh, Simon the sorcerer attempted to buy this ability so that he could make even more money.  Of course, he did not really receive this ability, but he apparently came up with some kind of scheme in order to dupe the people further into believing that he had attained this ability, when he had not.

There are many in our world today who would lead astray YHWH’s chosen ones.

Matithyah (Matthew) 22:14 
“For many are called, but few chosen.”

The call of YHWH has gone out into the whole earth to bring back His sons and daughters.  Have you heard the call?  If you have then you have a choice to make.  We are now in the valley of decision, my brothers and sisters.  Now is the time that we must choose to walk with YHWH our Elohim calling upon the name of Yeshua as our Mashiach.  If we are to be in the remnant, if we are to be a part of those who are not just called, but chosen, then we must step up to the plate and do what is necessary to clean our own hearts and minds and spirits and lives of all that is not pleasing to Him.  If we will do this, then YHWH will come and meet with us and pour out upon us blessings that we cannot even imagine and they will be too numerous to count!

Fellow shepherds, any and all abuse of His little ones must now stop.  If it does not, then He will remove you and give your place to another.  It is your choice to make.  YHWH knows what each one is doing.  He knows what goes on behind closed doors.  It is time to stop playing around with religion and walk with YHWH our Elohim, hearing and obeying His Voice in all things, both the great as well as the small.  What we as shepherds cannot afford to do is to cause one of His little ones to stumble.

Matithyah (Matthew) 18:6-7
6 “But whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on Me to stumble, it would be better for him that a great millstone should be hung about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling!  For it must be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion comes!”

Brothers and sisters, we are all equal in His eyes.  We are all His servants.  It is not good that one man thinks himself to be better than another.  It is not good that one man thinks or acts as if he is over another man.  We need to walk in fear and trembling, understanding the times in which we live and the shortness of the hour.  We need to approach one another in love and compassion, knowing that but for His grace and mercy, we would be in the same place as another.

Please, His Spirit implores each one of us to stop lording it over one another as so many in the church system have done for nearly two millennia.  It is time to come together as His body and begin to function according to His will.  We do not all have the same duties, positions or jobs.  It is YHWH who has placed each one in the body, not man.  Stop, take time to hear His Voice, and walk in harmony and shalom with His Voice to each one of us.  Only in this way can we walk in a manner which is pleasing to YHWH our Elohim.

If we will truly follow His Spirit, He will lead us into freedom. 

Yochanan (John) 8:31-36
31 Yeshua therefore said to those Yehudim that had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then are you truly My disciples;
32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Avraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man; how do You say, ‘You shall be made free?’ ”
34 Yeshua answered them, “Amein, amein, I say to you, everyone that commits sin is the slave of sin.
35 And the slave abides not in the house forever; the Son abides forever.
36 If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
It is YHWH’s will that you be free.  However, each person has to want to be free of all the past hurts, sins, and other baggage that he is carrying around.  This also includes removing any unclean spirits if they are present in a person’s life, and closing any and all open doors that allowed those unclean spirits into his life.  If a person does not want to be free, then he will not be free.

Matithyah (Matthew) 12:43-45
43 “But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and finds it not.
44 Then he says, ‘I will return into my house where I came out’; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.  Even so shall it be also to this evil generation.”

This warning that Mashiach Yeshua gave to those who would be free still stands today.  It is so very important that those who are delivered by Him, would seek Him further to be filled with His Spirit.  I do not know how long it is between the time an unclean spirit is cast out of a man to the time that it returns to see if it can reenter the man he was cast out of.  But this I do know: it is imperative that once a man is set free, that he begin immediately to seek to be filled with His Spirit.  Furthermore, he must continue to seek and not stop seeking the infilling presence of His Spirit until He fills that man.  Even then, once a person is filled with His Spirit, he must continue to walk in that Spirit and seek to be filled on a continual basis.  Otherwise, one opens the door to allow to happen to himself, what Yeshua warned us about in the above passage. 

Now a person must want this freedom and he must want the infilling of His Spirit.  I remember a time back when I was pastoring.  One day I was sitting in my office studying when I received a phone call.  When I answered the phone the voice on the other end challenged me to come over there and cast him out.  I responded by saying that I would be right over.  As I was driving to the person’s house who needed freedom from this demon, YHWH said to me that I was not allowed to violate this person’s free will.  I knew then that this person would not choose to be free, but I continued on hoping and praying.

I arrived at this person’s house and was invited into the kitchen where we sat down.  On the table sat a very large bowl full of prescription medications.  There were dozens of bottles.  There in that bowl sat the essence of this person’s life, a life of bondage.  The demon immediately began to challenge me and I spoke with him for a few minutes so that the person whose body this was would be able to see what was going on.  Then I commanded the demon to be silent so that I might speak with the person.  As I spoke with the person I directed her attention to what was happening.  She understood.  This person also understood that she liked the attention that was given to her through going to the doctor all the time and getting the medication and prescriptions and so forth.  I asked this person if she would like to be free that day from all that held her in bondage.  I explained that Yeshua had come to set her free and that true freedom was being offered that day.  This person paused and thought about it and then told me that she liked all the attention and power that was given to her and that she did not want to be free.  While I was not surprised, I was greatly saddened. 

It was at that point that the demons retook control of her speech, for there were many of them. The demons began once again to taunt me.  The demons’ speech quickly moved towards blasphemy and so I excused myself and left.  This person up to that point, had occasionally come to the church I was pastoring.  But after that day I never saw that person again, not even around town.

It is so important that we understand the proper order of His creation.  We are not allowed to violate that order without some very dire consequences.  And when it comes to a person’s free will, delivering a person from demon possession against his will only opens the door for a worse state than before, and makes it even less likely that he would be able to come to a place in his life where he would make that choice to be free for himself.  We must do only as He directs us to do!

At this point it would be good to say a word about children.

Luqa (Luke) 9:38-42
38 And behold, a man from the multitude cried, saying, “Teacher, I beseech You to look upon my son; for he is my only child;
39 and behold, a spirit takes hold of him, and he suddenly cries out; and it tears him that he foams, and it hardly departs from him, bruising him sorely.
40 And I besought Your disciples to cast it out; and they could not.”
41 And Yeshua answered and said, “Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and bear with you?  Bring your son here.”
42 And as he was yet coming, the demon dashed him down, and tore him grievously.  But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.

This is but one of several instances in which Yeshua healed a child at the request of one or both of the parents.  In this case, the healing consisted of casting out a demon.  This teaches us that when it comes to minor children, the parents have the rightful authority to make the choice for their child to be freed of the demonic possession.

When it comes to children, particularly younger children, who may not know or understand exactly what the choices are that they are being asked to make, it is well within the right and authority of the parent to make the choice for that child.  If the parent sees that his child has a difficulty in this area, then he can seek help on behalf of the child.  In fact, the parent is under obligation to do so according to Torah.

Shemot (Exodus) 34:6-7
6 And YHWH passed by before him, and proclaimed, “YHWH, YHWH, an Elohim merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth,
7 keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.”

According to YHWH, parents are accountable as to what they pass on to their children.  This means that we also have authority to do something about it.  But first we must understand that we have this authority as well as this responsibility.  The man above took his responsibility seriously and sought help to bring freedom to his son.  Yeshua responded in loving kindness to this parent as well as his son, and set his son free.

It is at this point that we need to understand the importance of counting the cost of what we are doing and what He directs us to do for Him and His kingdom.

Luqa (Luke) 14:28-30
28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have enough to complete it?
29 Lest perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that sees it begin to mock him,
30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ ”

Each one of us needs to count the cost of serving our Master.  We need to understand fully and completely what it is that He desires from us.  In order to serve our Master in a manner that is pleasing to Him, we need to surrender to Him and His will, rather than seeking to do our own will.

Luqa (Luke) 14:33-35
33 “So therefore whosoever he is of you that does not denounce all that he has, he cannot be My disciple.
34 Salt therefore is good; but if even the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men cast it out.  He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”

If a person is going to be a true follower of Mashiach Yeshua, then he needs to understand that Yeshua will accept nothing short of our giving Him everything we have.  We must give to Him all that we have, all that we are, all of our past, all of our future, everything.  We cannot hold anything back.  Holding onto anything at all, not matter how great or small, or seemingly legitimate it might be to us, is an open door for the enemy to come into a person’s life and wreak havoc, confusion and discord.  For when a person holds onto anything it becomes a point of idolatry in his life.  Unless repented of, this will ultimately lead to one’s separation from Yeshua as Mashiach and YHWH as one’s Elohim.

Yeshua came to set us free from all of that.  However, we have to want it.  We have to be willing to pay the price for it.  We have to do whatever is necessary to get it.  This is not to say that we earn it, because Yeshua has already purchased our salvation for us.  However, in exchange for what He is offering He asks us to give Him everything that we have.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:45-46
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls;
46 and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Mashiach Yeshua has offered to us a pearl of great price – eternal life.  But if we are going to possess that pearl of great price, then we must sell all that we have and gain possession of it.  This may or may not mean literally to sell all our possessions.  Only His Spirit can direct you personally concerning that matter.  However, what it does mean for each and every one of us is that we must give up possession of what we have and place it into His hands. There can be no exceptions and no sacred cows.  We must place everything that we have upon the altar and leave it there.  YHWH is the Sovereign of the universe.  As such, He already owns everything anyway.  We do not really own anything.  Things are only placed into our hands for a season for us to be good stewards of the multitude of blessings that He gives to us. 

Matithyah (Matthew) 6:33
33 “But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

What is it that will be given to us?  It is the food that we need, the clothes that we need, the housing that we need.  If we have a need, a true need, then He will provide it for us.  But in order for this to come to pass then we must seek to do His will, not our own.  Any seeking after one’s own will, can only lead to disaster and shipwreck.

We seem to be on the threshold of some pretty awesome events in the world today, which seem to include another coming holocaust.  The only way that one will be able to get through these coming hardships is to lay down his life and allow Him to live His life through us.  This includes the lives of our loved ones as well.  If we do this He will give us out of His great treasures.  These things include His joy and shalom.

Yochanan (John) 15:11 
“These things have I spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

Perhaps you are right this very instant struggling with this in your own life.  You are serving Mashiach Yeshua, but the joy is just not there.  Pray and ask Him to open your eyes.  Look for something(s) that you are holding on to and have not given up to Him.  This is one of the most common areas in which Satan sneaks into one’s life to cause us to lose our joy in serving our Master.  As Mashiach Yeshua taught us, we cannot serve two masters.  One must choose to serve YHWH our Elohim, or by default, one chooses to serve the love of money or material possessions.

But this is not what Mashiach has for us.  His best for us is to give all that we have to Him and then all that He has, He will share with us.  So we can give up our meager possessions and then share in the possessions of our King!  It is not a fair trade, to be sure.  But we should not complain for we are getting the better end of this deal; a much better deal!

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 29:19 
The humble also shall increase their joy in YHWH, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Humility is a choice.  It is a mindset.  It is an attitude of the heart and spirit of man.  It is one which is not easily grasped and cannot be grasped at all if one walks according to the desires of this world.  Unless one is willing to stop seeking his own will and seek after the will of our heavenly Father, he will not find nor have this joy of YHWH.  We need to do His will, not our own.  We need to stop elevating ourselves and elevate Mashiach Yeshua.  We need to give all glory, honor, praise, and adoration to Him.  Let us always point to Him and draw men’s attention to Him, and not to ourselves. 

Yochanan (John) 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.”

If we voluntarily give up all that we have and all that we are and place it all in His beautiful hands, then He will give us His peace, His shalom.  When a person has His shalom, then there is nothing at all to fear in this world.  Walking in His shalom is one of the most wonderful and beautiful experiences available to us in this life.  But in order to be able to do this, then one must make the choice to do it.  One must do it because he wants to do it.  One man cannot force another to do it.  One spouse cannot force the other spouse to do it.  Each person must make this choice to walk in freedom, in His joy and to be filled with His shalom.

Yochanan (John) 16:33
“These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have shalom.  In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

In this world we will have tribulation!  Mashiach Yeshua has so declared it.  However, in the midst of all those trials and tribulations we can have His shalom if we are willing to pay the price for it.  What is the price?  If we will give up our will in favor of doing His will.  If we will do that, then we can have His shalom.  I can testify to you this day, that no price is too high to pay to have His shalom.

We cannot overcome this world, nor the tribulations we go through in this world in our own strength.  However, we can share in the victory that He has already won.  Are you willing?

YHWH is looking for volunteers.  He is looking for those who will serve Him out of love.  Let each one of us turn our faces fully towards Mashiach Yeshua and serve Him with one shoulder!

ABBA YHWH, we love You and place in Your hands our lives, all the past, present and future, all the good, the bad and the ugly; everything without exception, we place in Your hands and we hold nothing back.  Please take this and make something beautiful and useful for your kingdom; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach. 

Amein and Amein.

Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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