Suggested Apostolic Readings for Parsha Chukat

Some Apostolic passages I think go well with Parsha Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1):

  • Matthew 10:40-42
  • Matthew 23:27-39
  • Mark 12:26-27
  • John 3:10-21
  • Luke 8:22-25
  • John 4:4-14
  • John 11:14-45
  • Romans 8:26-39
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-6
  • Hebrews 9:13-24
  • James 3:3-18
  • Revelation 21:5-8

Jesus can never be a Levitical priest

There are different kinds of priests: Aaronic, Melchizedek, familial, all believers... There can be overlap between some of these priesthoods. For example, a believer in Yeshua can also be a Cohen (rabbinical opinions are irrelevant to the fact). However, each priesthood has a different functional domain, and, although the activities within those domains might overlap, the membership of some of the priesthoods probably do not. I doubt that a Levite can ever be a priest in the order of Melchizedek and vice versa, because the kingship in Israel belongs to Judah, not Levi, and a Melchizedekian priest must also be a king. Therefore, within Israel, only a king from the tribe of Judah could be a Melchizedekian priest. Someone like Yeshua.

Some priesthoods can be bestowed. Others can only be inherited by blood. The Aaronic Priesthood isn't open to just anyone. You absolutely must be a genetic descendant of Aaron. It isn't just a spiritual calling. It's a physical, genetic one. Neither Yeshua, Paul, Christian priest, nor Jewish rabbi are qualified to act as an Aaronic priest.

Read Paul as Paul

People who reject Paul's letters because they seem to be counter to Torah are victims of one of two groups of false witnesses concerning Paul:

1. The same who accused Paul of teaching against Moses in the first century. They were wrong then and they're wrong today. They have misunderstood Paul's rejection of anti-Torah traditions as a rejection of Torah itself.
2. Antinomians and Marcionists who themselves reject Torah and twist Paul's writings in support of their own errors.

Don't do that.

Read Paul as if he was a Jewish rabbi more or less in line with the Pharisees of his day, because that's how he defined himself. You will be amazed at how the apparent contradictions between his letters automagically resolve themselves.

The Only Love that Matters

In Leviticus 19, God said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In Leviticus 20, He said "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death."

There is no contradiction. Love means doing what's best for people. It means refusing to tolerate behaviors that destroy the community & its relationship with God.

Celebrating spiritual disease is cowardly. It's an excuse to avoid speaking the hard truth that homosexuality is perverse rot. It's death. Love doesn't see a person committing suicide and say, "Oh, how sweet! Love wins." What vile filth has infected people's souls that they could possibly entertain such things?

No, love says to the man drinking poison, "Stop! No more!"

This is love by God's standard, the only standard that matters: "You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them." (Lev 20:22a)

Witch Doctors and Faith Healers

Sometimes I get the feeling that people discussing divine healing are like shamans discussing cancer. A shaman might stumble on an effective treatment and invent a theory as to why it worked, plausible sounding, perhaps, but not even remotely accurate. When it doesn't work for someone else, he can blame it on curses or interference from a strange rock formation near where an herb was found, or on a planetary alignment.

Likewise, a faith healer might lay hands on one person who is healed and blame a lack of faith or a familial curse when another person isn't, and be just as wrong as the shaman. Every explanation I've heard about why healing doesn't happen the same way every time just sounds like so much hand waving to me.

Why aren't people healed when they ask for healing? Did they use the wrong tone of voice? Should they have commanded instead of asking? It doesn't seem to make any difference as far as I can tell. I believe God can heal. I believe he does heal. So why doesn't he heal every time or at least more often? I wish I knew.

Days, Months, Seasons, and Years

In the past, when you did not know God, you served as slaves beings which in reality are non-gods. But now you do know God, and, more than that, you are known by God. So how is it that you turn back again to those weak and miserable elemental spirits? Do you want to enslave yourselves to them once more? You observe special days, months, seasons and years! I fear for you that my work among you has been wasted! Galatians 4:8-11

All Saints' Day
Valentine's Day
Ash Wednesday
May Day
Mardi Gras
Etc., etc...

Timeout for Grammar Nazi


Many prepositions, such as about, outside, past, and before, can be used as either an adverb or a preposition.

An example using "behind" as an adverb: The boy fell behind.
And as a preposition: The boy fell behind us.

Sometimes, two prepositions can be used consecutively, one as an adverb and another as a preposition.

Example: The boy climbed up onto the roof. 
"Up" is used as an adverb, while "onto" is used as a preposition.

Here's another example showing incorrect and a correct usage:
Wrong: Get your nose out my business.
Right: Get your nose out of my business.
"Out" is used as an adverb, and "of" as a preposition.

If you are going to use an adverb-preposition combo like these, please get it right. Don't make me write another one of these posts.