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Messiah in Life

Justin D. Elwell, Th.D.

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Messiah in Life is hosted by Justin D. Elwell, Th.D., Messianic Rabbi at Messiah Congregation in New Hartford, New York. Specializing in biblical ethics and theology, Justin draws from a variety of Jewish, Messianic Jewish, and Christian sources to aid the listener in applying the full counsel of God’s Word to life, by faith in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus. New programs every week. Visit themountainmensch.com for articles, videos, and other features.
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"Make every day count!" "I'm counting the days...!" We are all familiar with expressions like these, but why does the Lord command us to count the days? What is happening to us spiritually as we count the days between Passover and Pentecost? The answer is encouraging as we face challenges and trails today. Give a listen. References: Leviticus 23:15…
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In a combined Torah study, we consider the call to living holiness in the Lord. How can we love our neighbor as ourselves, not abuse the blind and the deaf, and walk in forgiveness? So much of our experience and faithful living in Messiah is walked out in the grace of forgiveness. Is this grace impossible? If it is not, then how can we do it? We lo…
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When David fled to the cave of Adullam, what did the Lord do? David had a messy life at this point. He was anointed the king of Israel, but a king without land, power, influence, or a throne. With Saul seeking to kill him, David seeks a hiding place and refuge. Yet, the Lord changes David's story when 400 men find David and commit to following him.…
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We continue to consider the meaning of spiritual leprosy, and how we may find evidence of that today. What is the opposite of the "evil tongue"? Are we expected to just say nice things in order to be nice? Or, does the Lord show us something profound as we "love our neighbor" as ourselves? We consider the words of the Torah, Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, a…
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How you ever gossiped about someone? How did that gossip make you feel after the other person found out? Or, when your gossip continued to spread, but not exactly how you said it, how then did you feel? Were you able to reconcile? How did the Lord restore lepers in the Bible? How did Yeshua/Jesus restore lepers? In the process we find something bea…
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The 8th day! How do we find holy meaning in everyday life? Can there be importance in the most basic aspects of human life? Absolutely. There is a beautiful connection between the intricate details of the priests beginning their ministry, and how the ordinary person in the camp can experience the same level of holiness. While the portion may seem d…
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What's wrong with leftovers? I like leftovers. Do you? Well, there is an issue with leftovers concerning certain sacrifices. What lesson do we learn from the leftovers, or lack thereof? Is there a life lesson for us in this today? Give a listen! References: Leviticus 6:1-2; 7:11-15; Exodus 12:10; 2 Corinthians 9; Colossians 2:6-7.…
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This week we begin the Book of Leviticus. Often, people find Leviticus a difficult book to study. With the subject of sacrifice, ritual purity and impurity, clean and unclean foods, leprosy, holy time, and a season of release, what does any of this have to do with faith in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus? This week we consider "calling," as Vayikra means, "An…
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The certificate of occupancy of a home, the assurance that the structure has been built to specifications. We, in faith, have an even greater assurance of our acceptance: the Holy Spirit. As the Book of Exodus concludes, Moses assembles and disassembles the Tabernacle during the time of sanctification of the priesthood. The Lord showed His approval…
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When the Lord gives us sacred work, does the immediacy of the new sacred work set aside His call for us to rest? The children of Israel were deep into the fabrication of the Tabernacle when they receive a reminder: rest. What do we learn from this? What do we learn from a dramatic linguistic parallel to the account of creation and the account of th…
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This week we take a look at a lesson from the sin of the golden calf. What lesson in faith do we learn from this? What does Moses mean when he asks to behold God's glory, or for Him to show Moses His way? Why these questions from this incident? How does this incident inform our walk with Messiah Yeshua/Jesus? Give a listen. References: Exodus 32:1-…
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There are times when our personal history distorts how we see and experience the promises of God. In those times we need the Caleb's and the Joshua's to speak His promises to us, to refute the distorted view, and see the fruit of God's faithfulness in our lives. Thank God for those Caleb's and Joshua's in our lives. References: Numbers 13.…
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Is there a theology regarding garments in the Bible? What would a garment theology reveal? The garments of the Levitical high priest are described to be for "glory and beauty." Why? Is there anything that we in Messianic faith can learn from this? Is there a theology regarding garments for those in Christ? Give a listen. References: Exodus 28:2; Ep…
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There is a strange shift in the Torah narrative, from the legal matter of Mishpatim (Judgments), to the constructive narrative of the Tabernacle. What is the Lord showing us? Can we understand the nature of "contribution," or terumah, differently when we understand the nature of giving itself? We find a teaching on transformation, not destruction, …
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In this week's Torah portion, the Lord seems to be making a radical departure from a more personal narrative, to one that seems to focus on the legal matters of a nation. Is there a reason for this besides the obvious? Can the Lord be teaching us something important for the life of faith in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus? Yes, and amen. The Lord begins to tr…
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As the children of Israel make their way physically and spiritually to Mt. Sinai, how does the Lord ensure that, following the war with Amalek, that His people will not become a covered or withdrawn light? Enter Jethro, the father in law to Moses. What important lesson to we learn from Jethro that continues to teach us today? How are a nation of le…
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How does the Lord heal a nation of freed slaves? In the wonders shown to Israel during the exodus, was there, perhaps, a secondary purpose to them, beyond the obvious? The fulfilled promise, the parted waters, the bitter waters, the manna from heaven, and the water from the rock, how do these miracles help in the recovery of a generation of God's p…
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As Egypt experiences the judgment of God through the plagues, the children of Israel are given a yearly and daily reminder of their time as slaves in Egypt. For what purpose? Why do we remember? Why do we share generational testimony? How does the Lord keep our hearts from becoming hardened, just as Pharaoh's heart was hardened? What would this har…
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The "sign miracle" of Aaron's staff being turned into a serpent. What is the meaning behind it? Why, when the Egyptian magicians so easily replicated it, did the Lord command for it to be a sign to Pharaoh? How does this help to harden Pharaoh's heart? How do we reconcile the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and the hardening in part that has come ove…
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As we open the Book of Exodus, we find the Lord beginning to "attend to" His people as they face dire circumstances. Often, what appears to be an end is a beginning, what appears as a loss, will become a victory. Moses is born under a death decree, but is delivered to be an heir of the very Pharaoh who issued the decree. Why? Moses was saved from d…
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We conclude the opening book of the Torah, Genesis. This portion focuses on the life of Jacob in Egypt with his beloved son Joseph. Yet, in a touch moment of blessing, Jacob blesses and adopts the sons of Joseph in order to give them, and Joseph himself, a future hope. Then Joseph, as the day of his death approaches, uses a phrase that will appear …
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Have you ever been a bridge for someone? Or did someone ever bridge a gap for you? We see some beautiful examples of bridges in this portion as we look at a root word peppered through this portion. Judah, Joseph, and ultimately, the greatest bridge, Yeshua/Jesus. We consider all this, and more in this episode. References: Genesis 44:18; 45:3, 4; Ja…
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"At the end" of what? After years of false imprisonment, and two years after the cupbearer is released, Joseph is brought before the Pharaoh of Egypt. Why? Is it just to interpret dreams? Or, is the time at hand for God's plan to openly unfold? Joseph enters Egypt as a slave, but becomes its ruler. He is adopted by a nation, given a new name, until…
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In this episode of Messiah in Life we consider the journey of two brothers: Joseph and Judah. From the loss of sons, to the loss of everything, the journey is leading these sons of Jacob to an important destination. From Shekem to Timnah to Egypt what lessons do we learn about the humbling before the exaltation? References: Genesis 37-39, Romans 8:…
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Jacob sends messengers. He receives back troubling news. How does Jacob respond? How does the Torah want us to understand Jacob's Mincha gift to Esau? Is there a messianic revelation somewhere in this portion? We are witnessing the transformation of Jacob, who finds himself alone and empty once again, only to discover that he is not alone. There is…
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Of Jacob's dream, stones, and not allowing life experiences to cause decay in your spirit. How are all these subjects connected? What do we learn from them? Why are stones so strongly associated with Jacob? And why are his descendants metaphorically referred to as dust? We cover so much in this study. Give a listen! References: Genesis 28:10-22; Ge…
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As the life of Abraham continues to unfold, he and Sarah celebrate the announcement, the birth, and ultimately the dedication of Isaac. Additionally, they must make decisions, difficult decisions that serve as examples of faithfulness for us. There is, however, an interesting connection in two words that sound very similar, but have two very differ…
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Can a wanderer settle? As we open our study of the weekly Torah portions, we first look at the life and meaning of Cain. What do we learn from his life, and where does it direct us? There are some amazing textual clues leading us to a deeper understanding of Cain's life, and ultimately our own. References: Genesis 1:1-6:8; Genesis 4:8-17; Matthew 1…
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What is the Work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of messianic disciples? As we prepare for the fall feasts during the month of Elul, we need to be aware of the washing of the Holy Spirit, not just in this season, but in every season until Messiah's return. References: Ephesians 5:21-33; 2 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.…
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What is the Work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of messianic disciples? As we prepare for the fall feasts during the month of Elul, we need to be aware of the working of the Holy Spirit, not just in this season, but in every season until Messiah's return. References: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Leviticus 23:24; John 14:16-18, 26; John 16:7-14; Romans…
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The Lost. Have you ever experienced the joy of finding what had been lost? Maybe your keys, wallet, or even those glasses you were wearing? Then you can relate easily to the parables in this episode: The Lost Sheep and The Lost Coin. Yet, the joy is more profound, more real, and has eternal implications. Give a listen. References: Luke 15:1-10; Eze…
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