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Tonight at our online Tsiyon meeting, we will get into the Sermon on the Mount.
This is the first recorded message in Scripture in which Messiah delivers an extensive teaching. This is the place where the message of Christ is first introduced into the world. The shocking thing about this message is how entirely different it is from what much of Christianity teaches today. This amazing teaching is about the Torah, the books of Moses, that most of Christianity tells us "have been done away."
That's not what Messiah said. Listen to this:
ďDonít think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I didnít come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:17-19
In telling us that the Torah "is done away," false teachers are giving us a counterfeit license to 'break these commandments' - exactly what Messiah said not to do!
Actually, if you read the Gospels with care, you will see that Messiah said many things that were considered 'religiously incorrect' - both then and now. Because of such verses, seminary students are often told that the Gospels are reporting on events in the "Dispensation of the Law" so do not apply to Christians today, who are said to now be under the "Dispensation of Grace." Although taught this odd construct in seminary, clergymen seldom repeat this secret doctrine to their congregations, realizing how strange it sounds to say, essentially, that the words of Christ are to be disregarded by His professed followers as having 'passed away' - exactly what Messiah said could not happen to the Torah. Thus it is, by a convoluted doctrine of men, both the words of the Torah, and of the Messiah, are made to be of none effect.
We should not expect the proponents of such an antichrist position to have anything like a true grasp of Messiah's message in the Sermon on the Mount. As we have seen above, in that message Messiah is decidedly pro-Torah. In fact, properly understood, that entire message is about the righteousness revealed in the Torah.
When Messiah said "you are the light of the world" He was speaking to Israel, the nation of YHWH, the national keeper of the Torah, of whom David wrote:
"He will make your righteousness go forth as the light, and your justice as the noon day sun." Psalm 37:6
The Proverbs tell us the source of that light:
"For the commandment is a lamp, and the Torah is light." Proverbs 6:23
No, the Sermon on the Mount does not contain "teachings of Jesus that replace the Torah" as some would have us believe. Rather, Messiah taught us the heart of the Torah! That is, its true meaning and significance, as a light illuminating the heart of a righteous man. Messiah Himself walked the earth as the perfect example of a true Torah-keeper whose heart and every action were illuminated by the true righteousness, the light, of the Torah! This is profoundly deeper than we can ever grasp by the mere practice of religion. This is about being transformed from within into a true son of Israel, a true son of God.
This is what Messiah meant when He said:
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees [the religionists], there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:20
Now you know why we painstakingly go through the Torah each Sabbath, in the Midrash - so that we can be changed by it - we can absorb its light - we can actualize it by the power of the Holy Spirit - we can grow into actually being Israel!
In the Talmidim programs, and now, as we go through the Gospels, we can absorb the heart of the Torah, which is the heart of our Messiah, as walked out in the flesh. No, you may not be doing all of it now, but KEEP FOLLOWING HIM AND YOU WILL!
Tsiyon Partners, join us for our meeting tonight at 8 PM CST as we dive into the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Consider this profound message from our Messiah. Never has anyone else spoken like this, with such life-changing words as these.
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US officials: Obama has nearly ruled out UN action on Israel
Sources say Trumpís victory put kibosh on internal discussions about last-ditch peace attempt
Reprint: Times of Israel, December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) ó President Barack Obama has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, US officials said, indicating Obama will likely avoid one last row with Israelís government as he leaves office.
Frustrated by the lack of progress, Obama for more than a year had considered giving a major speech describing his vision for a future peace deal or, in a more aggressive step, supporting a United Nations resolution laying out parameters for such a deal. Although the goal would be to impart fresh urgency to the moribund peace process, either step would have been perceived as constraining Israelís negotiating hand while strengthening the Palestiniansí argument on the world stage.
Discussions about those potential maneuvers, underway before the US election, have fallen off since Donald Trumpís surprise victory, officials said. Obama is now highly unlikely to approve either of those options presented to him by US diplomats, said the officials, who werenít authorized to discuss internal deliberations and requested anonymity.
Officials left open the possibility that Obama could address the Mideast issue in a more limited way, short of weighing in on the contours of a future peace accord, before leaving office.
The White House and the Israeli Embassy in Washington both declined to comment.
Obamaís reluctance to upset the status quo in his final months in part reflects his desire to protect his legacy of support for the Jewish state. Though he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have disagreed sharply on Israeli settlements and the Iran nuclear deal, Obama recently signed an unprecedented military aid deal worth $38 billion over the next decade.
Avoiding a last-minute fight also allows Obamaís successor to approach the Israeli-Palestinian issue unencumbered by a diplomatic hangover.
Anticipating that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the White House race, the Obama administration had examined ways for Obama to more explicitly detail what he sees as obstacles to a breakthrough ó such as continued Israeli settlement-building in West Bank lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. Clinton, who ran on a pledge to strongly support Israel, could have softened the tone upon taking office, potentially enough to lure both parties back to the table.
Trumpís election dramatically changed the calculus.
The Republican Party and many Trump supporters are vehemently opposed to UN actions targeting Israel. So any action by Obama would put Trump on the defensive, potentially aggravating him and forcing him to respond publicly.
That could lead Trump to stake out a hard-line stance in opposition to Obama, in turn making it difficult for him to play a neutral arbiter between Israelis and Palestinians in the future. Trump has voiced interest in being the president to finally solve the Mideast conflict and has suggested his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could be the one to broker a deal.
Netanyahu has said little about Trumpís victory beyond congratulating him ó possibly in an attempt to avoid antagonizing Obama while he is still in office. Heís ordered his Cabinet not to comment on the election results and told his ministers not to speak to Trumpís transition team.
For years, the US has officially opposed any attempts by Palestinians to seek recognition for statehood or allow multi-country groups like the UN to impose solutions.
ďOur view hasnít changed, that we believe that the preferred path for the Palestinians to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations that will lead to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace based on a two-state solution,Ē State Department spokesman John Kirby said earlier this week.
Yet early last year, Obama began flirting with the possibility that the US could alter that stance by supporting a statehood bid at the UN, reflecting his dismay about a perceived lack of seriousness by Netanyahu about making peace. Obama was incensed when Netanyahu, during his re-election in 2015, voiced opposition to Palestinian statehood, though the Israeli leader later walked back that statement.
Though Obama and his aides have generally avoided speaking publicly about options being considered, they have conspicuously avoided ruling anything out. Officials maintained that all options remain on the table, unlikely at this point as they may be.
Maintaining ambiguity about what Obama might do could preserve any leverage the president still has over Israelís government. Removing the threat of US action, on the other hand, could embolden Israeli hard-liners and amplify calls for increased settlement construction and even the annexation of parts of the West Bank.
But House Foreign Relations Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said thereís a problem with Obamaís unpredictability.
ďIf you are heavily signaling that youíre not going to oppose and veto UN Security Council resolutions that seek to impose one-sided solutions, the consequence is others will take your measure, and the momentum will build, given the natural attitudes at the UN,Ē Royce said in an interview. Israelís supporters consider the UN to be strongly anti-Israel given its history of approving resolutions condemning Israel.
The House this week passed a non-binding bill sponsored by Royce and his Democratic counterpart urging Obama to continue blocking resolutions that attempt to impose preconditions on a peace deal. The bill passed with support from House GOP leadership and lawmakers of both parties.
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