Torah Portion SHOFTIM – Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-21:9
They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. Exodus 10:23
Shabbat shalom dearly beloved!
In a recent visit to Mexico, the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart the word “parallel worlds.” I was looking from the rear balcony of the lovely hotel we were staying in, and being acquainted with some Mexican customs I knew there was a cemetery. Because of the well known Mexican tradition of worshipping death, an inheritance from the Mayans, the cemetery looked like a city filled with flowers, colors and different foodstuffs that the people bring to their dead as they practice ancestral and death worship. Death, skeletons, and Calaveras are glorified in Mexico. Businesses are established around death, hell, and the grave. Death is dressed as a spooky skeleton woman in various garments and styles. Statues of those “death women” can be found everywhere, in poor and in posh places. Altars to death are positioned in key locations and especially over busy routes, thus making a Covenant with death that calls in demon spirits to cause accidents and calamities. Rather than decreasing through the years, the death culture of Mexico has increased together with deep and shameless corruption, drug and sex trafficking, and the like.
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, for we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.” Isaiah 28:15
I love Mexico; my heart hurts for the way that people self-destroy themselves with these hideous practices. Mexicans are very laborious and industrious people. Everything they do, they do with all of their hearts both good and bad.
While staying in the same beautiful resort across the Pacific Ocean, I could also go to the front balcony from my room. This one had a breathtaking view of the different pools, pool bars, the beach, the sand, the waves, and the wild beauty of nature in those parameters. I love views, and I went out on that balcony very often to view and review this stunning panorama and relish on it. While looking across the air and seeing the luxuriousness of the resort with its ethnic wood and bamboo constructions, I realized that from this balcony front view you could not know the reality of the rear balcony view of the cemetery with its death and ancestral worship, neither could you smell the stench that came from it. These two balconies represented two different worlds, two different Mexicos. One was the reality of most people, and the other one was the fantasy world; created especially for American Tourists. Then as I meditated on this dichotomy the Ruach-Holy Spirit whispered into my spiritual ears: “Parallel Worlds.”
Parallel worlds are not necessarily a bad thing. For example, the money created in this parallel world of tourism helps the economy of Mexico. People buy tour packages, rent hotels, rent cars, buy in the local supermarket, buy in the shops and even donate to good causes. For example, in the hotel we were in, they automatically charged us 300 Mexican Pesos (about $15) to give to a foundation of underprivileged Mexican children. We could refuse to let them surcharge us, but who would like to deprive these poor children and save $15? Most American tourists are too happy to give to a good cause, and we were no different. By creating this “parallel world” of tourism, Mexico is generating revenue. Of course, most tourists are not interested in the redemption of their “tourist spot” so they happily go about their vacation ignoring or not knowing about the real Mexico and the cemetery next door. But this is the nature of a vacation: people want to enjoy and have a breather in their hectic schedules. Being a Servant of YAH and having laid my life down for the redemption of the nations, I am more aware of the existence of those Parallel Worlds wherever I go.
In the Bible, Parallel Worlds also exist, and they are not necessarily a bad thing, in fact in some cases they are a “covenant principle.” One of those instances is the story of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Israel became a slave in Egypt for 430 years after Joseph’s death, and they lived in the pasture fields of Goshen as they were shepherds. However when the new Pharao arose in Egypt, he decided to use them as a workforce to build his pyramids and the monumental cities of Pitom and Ramses.
The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them. Exodus 1:13,14
The world of the people of Israel now became a world of slaves—very different than the rest of Egypt. Bitter slavery and forced labor was the norm in Goshen for 430 years! At the same time most of Egypt was enjoying prosperity and the life typical to a world empire. The reality of the Nation of Israel was bitter and underprivileged, while the reality of the rest of Egypt was sweet and affluent. Egyptians and Israelis were living in parallel worlds in the same land just like in Mexico.
Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. Exodus 2:23
But then something changed. The Parallel Worlds of Goshen versus the rest of Egypt still remained “parallel,” however the God of the Abrahamic Covenant showed up through His Servant Moses. The God of the Covenant demanded from Pharao, “Let My People go that they may worship Me in the desert.” Every time that the King of Egypt refused, the Almighty God of Israel sent a terrible plague. However that plague did not affect Goshen at all; it only affected everything outside of Goshen, which is the rest of Egypt! When the waters of the Nile became blood, and all the sources of water were undrinkable there was sweet water in Goshen. Though slavery was still bitter and even became more bitter at first, the power of the God of the Covenant was set into motion, and a serious overturning was on the way! When the frogs crept into the bedrooms of the nobility of Egypt, and there were dead frogs everywhere, not one frog was found in Goshen – all the Israelites could sleep and rest in shalom. When lice penetrated every house, area, living space and person in Egypt there were no lice in Goshen. When the cattle of Egypt died, the cattle of the Israelites in Goshen were healthier than ever. When there was darkness all over Egypt, in Goshen there was a brilliant light; and when mourning hit through the death of the firstborn of all Egypt, not one of the hairs of the Israelites firstborn was missing—and Israel, being the firstborn of YHVH exited Egypt altogether!
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13
Until the new Heavens and the new Earth establishes, there is going to be “Parallel Worlds.” Sometimes you may feel that you are living in Goshen before Moses came on the scene and the only thing you experience is a bitter life. But this is easily remedied because Moses was the one that was sent before Yeshua would come. Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah is our deliverer from the Egypt of sin, death, hell and the grave.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16,17
When you respond to Him, your Goshen is going to be changing. At first, you may experience some difficulties like the Israelites experienced when the King of Egypt representing the god of this world (Hasatan) got upset with Moses from commanding him to let YAH’s people go! Yes, maybe Satan will try to give you a hard time when you are starting your journey to freedom, but do not lose hope or get discouraged! Your Goshen is changing! As you continue walking with Yeshua, you will experience His Power, His Miracles and the benefits of the Covenant that will turn your Goshen into a place of Covenant and privilege! Eventually you will be marching towards the Land of Fulfilled Promises!
So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:17
Here is one crucial thing to remember. If your world is the world of the Covenant and you see others that are not enjoying what you are enjoying, do not feel guilty about it or become sad. Rejoice to your Father in heaven in the Blood of Yeshua—in the Presence, Power, and Fire of the Holy Spirit—for the marvelous provision and prosperity that your great Shepherd gives you. It is a command to serve YHVH and rejoice in His abundance and blessing! If we do not enjoy His blessing, the curse of lack and poverty comes.
Because you did not serve YHVH your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom YHVH will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. Deuteronomy 28:47-48
Enjoy your blessings and serve Him with all your heart, mind, and strength. From that place of enjoying your blessings without apologies – pray, ask, seek, and knock so the door can be opened unto you, so you can be used in this generation to introduce many people in the “other parallel world” to come into the blessings of the Covenant. This is what happened to many Egyptians and many people from other nations in Egypt: when they saw that the Israelites were under divine protection under the Blood of the Lamb, they sought shelter under their roof, and a mixed multitude came out of Egypt to freedom with them!
Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. Exodus 12:37, 38
The blessings of being in the Parallel World of the Covenant is what will attract many of those suffering masses out there to seek shelter under the same roof you have, under the Shadow of the Almighty, under the Wings of the Covenant-keeping God of Israel.
Enjoying Him and His Covenant Blessings for over 30 years
Your Israeli Mentors and Friends;
Archbishop Dominiquae and Rabbi Baruch Bierman
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