Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #1 B’resheit (In the beginning) B’resheit (Genesis) 1:1-6:8
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)
B’rit Chadashah: Mattityahu (Matthew) 1:1-17
Some of the statistical information used for this message is taken from “The Genesis One Code” by Daniel Friedman, who was the CEO of MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates until 2016. In this book, Friedman describes an inextricable relationship between science and G-d’s Torah. Science is indeed proving G-d’s Torah as information becomes more available, but Friedman’s comparison between the two is not without inconsistencies and error in some cases. The greater lesson is that the relationship between Science and Spiritual truths is important because we are living in a secular world, the majority of which no longer accepts the original Word of G-d as truth. Just one example is seen in the medical field where known truths such as the benefits of color, light, and music on human healing and well-being documented by Florence Nightingale cannot be used in many facilities without a health care provider order. Fortunately, as science continues to “prove” the validity of the Bible, some holistic and alternative medicinal practices are being allowed and even promoted and taught in classes designed to integrate holistic care into a plan of care. However, a major “pushback” on emerging truth of G-d’s Torah comes from secular humanism that is taught not only in our schools, but in churches and other venues of education under the guise of terms such as “empowerment,” “inclusion,” and an individual value clarification paradigm. Such a paradigm maintains that there is no fundamental “truth;” no G-d, no rules. If we need any evidence that this paradigm is not working, all we need do is look around us and review statistics on crime, depression, abortion, anxiety, and total chaos that results from the removal of G-d’s commands and laws from our social structure.
This message will address the real truth of G-d who is Truth by looking closely at this beginning parashah; the beginning of the Torah. in which the Author (YHVH/Yahshua) mentions His Name. Interestingly, most if not all authors follow this practice. Friedman chose to look at the science/spiritual connection of G-d’s Torah and concluded that if G-d’s Torah is the blueprint of the universe, key facts that are described in the Torah must coincide with what science has and is continuing to discover using the standard scientific method. We start with aligning the dates of major events described in Genesis 1 and 2 with scientific observations. We must take great care to compare all research with G-d’s Torah and explore the entire Torah for the truth, reliability, and validity of a matter. Although Friedman made excellent observations in many areas of his work, we need to solidly ground ourselves in the correct presupposition of any subject before building our “case” and establishing doctrine.
Friedman maintains that one creation day =1,000 years which is not supported by scripture. The equation he derived is one creation day =1,000 x 365.25 x 7,000 =2.56 billion years. He uses Psalm 90:4: For a thousand years in Your sight are as a day.” The word as or like does is not the same as is. Therefore, we cannot use this scripture or others that use the word as in comparing creation days and human days. An additional scripture with the same use of as is found in 2 Peter 3:8-9 that also cannot be used to establish that a day is 1,000 years to the L-rd. The context of this verse and Psalms 90:4 have nothing to do with creation. It does not define a day because the verse reads “like a thousand years” and not “is a thousand years.” The concept of this verse is that G-d is not bound by time that was created for man and that His plan for mankind and the universe is perfect and He is not constrained by human time. In any case, the meaning of ‘day’ in genesis 1 is defined by the context in the passage. The Hebrew word for say yom is used with the words ‘evening’ and morning.’ The days are sequentially numbered Whenever yom is used in this context, it is always a 24- hour day and not a long term of time. This is confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11 where G-d told the Israelites to work for six days and rest on the seventh because G-d had made the universe in 6 days and rested on the seventh.
The Talmud appears to be more n line with a 24- hour day as well although there are inconsistencies such as with the known human gestation period where Abel are concerned. In Sanhedrin 38b, a detailed account of Day 6 is provided hour-by-hour. “The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his (Adam’s dust was gathered… in the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet; in the sixth, he gave (the animals) their names; in the seventh, Eve became his mate; in the eighth they ascended to bed as two and descended as four (i.e., Cain and Able are born);in the ninth (he entered the Garden of Eden and) he was commanded not to eat of the tree; in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried; and in the twelfth, he was expelled (from Eden). There is no way to unequivocally prove these time designations to be true. I provide this information to illustrate just one difference in Orthodox Jewish teaching and belief and Messianic Jewish teaching and belief. Regardless of which Jewish sect with which one subscribes, the origin of time will be debated and argued until Yahshua’s return when He will set the record straight. For now, it is an interesting subject to research and explore but not to the exclusion of concepts regarding what it takes to be considered part of Israel (true believers); the Bride of Yahshua and ultimate salvation. We must keep our priorities straight as we search and explore G-d’s Torah.
With an incorrect supposition that is not consistent with the aforementioned verses, Friedman calculates the age of the universe to be 13.74 billion years, coinciding with the latest scientific measures. Although science continues to make progress towards actually provide the Bible although that is not the secular agenda, the disciple has a long way to go. Just a sidebar includes the discovery of dark matter /anti-matter and its importance in the scheme of scientific theory about the universe. Talk about a dark hole!
Friedman calculates the Age of the universe to be 13.74 billion years which coincides with the latest scientific measurements. He further calculated the first day of life at 3.52 billion years which agrees with the scientific time for “universal ancestor”-the single cell.
There are many events in the Bible than have been proven by science, although G-d does not need Science to prove Him. However, Science has not reached the truth about the age of the universe and G-d as the Creator of the entire universe. These are truths that are yet to come in G-d’s time. Let us move on to the Truth.
G-d’s Torah states in Genesis 1:1-2:3 “In the beginning G-d created [essenced] the alef tav, the heavens, and the earth.” Although the alef-tav is not translated in Hebrew, it is Yahshua the Messiah also identified at the end of G-d’s Torah in Revelation 22:12-13. So, the Author of the Book identifies himself on the first and last pages of His Word; how fitting!
Genesis 2:3 reads “G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified(separated) it as holy; because on that day G-d rested from all His work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.” 6;18
These two verses encompass all of creation. The opening three words end in the Hebrew letters taf, aleph,mem which are the letters in “emet”(truth). It is customary for an author to place his name in the opening of his/her work. G-d places His name emet on the first and last pages of His Book! Emet encompasses all of Creation and is a testimony to G-d as Creator of all. But if this is true, we must be able to compare this name of G-d to other scripture. A few references include John 14:6; John 17:17; John 16:13; Tim. 2:15; John 1:14; John 8:32; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 119:160; James 1:18;1 John 4:6; 1 John 5:20; Heb 6:18; and John 18:37-8.
In John chapter 17, Yahshua is near His time to be crucified. He looked toward heaven and prayed to the Father aspect of Himself (G-d). In 17:5 he makes the comment “Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.” This statement echoes Genesis 1:1 where the letters alef-tav are written as the fourth word in the sentence; corresponding to the fourth position on the holy menorah where the servant candle is located. Yahshua is G-d and in His role as Messiah, He was the Servant candle; no one can shine a light for mankind unless it is drawn from the Servant candle. What a beautiful truth!
In John 17:17 Yahshua states “Set them [those who will follow Him] apart for holiness by means of the truth- your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. On their behalf I am setting myself apart for holiness, so that they too may be set apart for holiness by means of the truth.” So how can we connect truth to YHVH/Yahshua? Let’s look at some different translations of 1 John 1. “The Word, which gives life! He existed from the beginning.” (The Complete Jewish Bible); In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d.” (New International Version); “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d.” (New Living Translation); “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with G-d and was truly G-d.” (Contemporary English Version). “ In the origin The Word had been existing and That Word had been existing with G-d and That Word was himself G-d.” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).Finally in John 1:14 we read “ The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory on the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So, if the Word is Truth as Yahshua stated, and Yahshua is the Word and the Word was with G-d and the Word was (and is) G-d, then we can safely and with confidence say that Yahshua=The Word= Truth=G-d.
So, what can we say to those who refer back to Genesis 2:17 where G-d tells Adam when forbidding him to eat the forbidden fruit “ You are not to eat from it, because on the day that your eat from it, it will become certain that you will die.” This is a Jewish idiomatic expression to the effect that “dying you shall die.” This has nothing to do with time as a 24-hour day or 1,000 years. This phrase appears twice more in genesis including the narrative about Abimelech’s dream concerning taking Abraham’s wife as his own being told she was not married but before consummating the relationship. Aware of Abimelech’s moral innocence, G-d warns him that if he consummates the relationship that he will certainly die. This and the account with Adam in Genesis 2;17 are clearly investigative judgments by G-d. In the case of Adam, he and all after him would have been condemned to spiritual death along with physical death because of Adam’s fall. There are 26 variations of this decree in the Pentateuch, 23 of which are associated with the penalty for murder, blasphemy, Sabbath breaking, and bestiality. In each case, G-d is announcing criminal or civil laws with their penalties. These examples support the position that 1 day is not = to 1,000 years as promoted by some secular and religious scholars and teachers.
Take home lessons from this teaching include the need to “do your homework” when seeking the truth about any subject. The subject of religion is particularly important because our beliefs, deeds, words, and values will determine our spiritual outcome. Another lesson is that no matter the credentials of someone who teaches, posts, writes, or otherwise provides information on a specific subject; it does not mean the information is correct. Nothing is written in stone with the exception of G-d’s commands including His designated times. Asking, seeking, and knocking for the truth is essential. Finally, no matter how we interpret a day or hour, time is short, and we have a job to do (John 9:4).
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 42:5-43-10 Haftarah connection:
There are two connections between the Parasha and the Haftarah.
First, the Parashah begins with the creation of the world. In the Haftarah, the prophet Isaiah reminds Israel that G-d is the creator of the world, sustaining the creation each day. We learn that creation is not something that was done once it is a continuing miracle.
Second, in the Parasha, man is the only creature given the power to choose between right and wrong, In the Haftarah, Yesha’yahu tells the people that G-d created Israel in order for them to be a “light for the nations.” It is our responsibility to show the nations what is right, so that they too, can come closer to G-d. We have a lot of work to do for we do not know when Yahshua will return, and we do not know how many days each of us are given.
B’rit Chadashah: Matthew 1:1-17; 19:3-9
Verses 1-17 provide us a wonderful precise genealogy of Yahshua HaMashiach beginning with Avraham. We know Yahshua existed with YHVH as part of the complex Echad” of G-d (Gen. 1:1), but these verses provide the earthly record of Yahshua’s ancestry as G-d incarnate. A wonderful learning exercise is to look up the names listed in these verses. Understanding the essence of the names provides those who take the time a blessed and enhanced learning experience that those who passively read them cannot enjoy.
Verses 3-9 in Chapter 19 echo G-d’s desire for man. “… the Creator made them male and female, and that he said, ‘For this reason a man should leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two are to become one flesh.” On the P’shat level of exegetic study, it is clear that G-d intended the union of a man and a woman (Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve or Eve and Genevieve). However, this statement does not say a man “will” or a man “shall” as in a command. As a side note, we can know that homosexuality is an abomination regardless of what religious leaders may say (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom, 1:26; 1 Cor. 9). However, this is not the focus of the lesson today.
On the level of Kabbalistic understanding, we see how Yahshua fulfilled this passage. We know that YHVH includes male and female attributes and that Yahshua is G-d. Accordingly, Yahshua left his “father and mother” and will be united with Israel (all true believers) who will become one flesh at the end of this age.
Verses 7-9 echo G-d’s behavior towards Israel (the nation) when they committed idolatrous acts also considered sexual immorality. G-d divorced Israel but not Judah (Is. 50:1: Jer. 3:8). According to G-d’s law, a divorced man may not remarry his ex-wife (Deut. 24:3-4). Judah remains the “wife” of G-d. Israel (all true believers) will repent by the very definition of a true believer and partaker of the covenants of Israel (Ezek. 27:27-37) and will be taken as the bride of Yahshua that does not violate any of G-d’s laws on marriage (Rev. 19:7; 21:1-9; 22:17).
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart