The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!

The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!

Sola Scriptura Or Sages of Israel?

Iconoclast for Hire

Well, we are barely past the Fall High Holy Days and I’ve already found opportunity to take on yet another sacred cow. I don’t mean to be provocative. Really! In truth, I am a quiet person who hates nothing more than to rock the boat. I crave the position of, “Go along to get along”. But it seems that each new day brings questions demanding a re-evaluation of some core value learned earlier in life.

And, I have found through experience that Bart is sometimes correct… Continue reading

Re’eh 5769

Introductory Thoughts

As we near the close of the Torah, we find that Moshe (Moses) begins to make frequent reference to the idea of rewards and punishments, or “blessings and curses”. Many people like to think that these conditions are directed towards individuals. However, that is not what the text indicates. Hashem expects the entire community of Israel to keep his commandments, as a whole. A little detail that often escapes us—it is not possible for a single individual to keep the entirety of the Torah. Why? Because some of the commandments are relevant only to females, while others are relevant only to males. Some of the commandments are relevant only to farmers, and not accountants. Do you see my point? No single person—not even Yeshua—is ever expected to keep every commandment in the Torah.

I always find that the hardest part of writing about a Torah portion is trying to narrow my topic. Every parsha in the Torah contains many significant statements, and I always hate to focus on one, as opposed to another. It is bad enough when my time is limited to “only” an hour or two for teaching. Here, I have only a limited space—enough to write what would take me just a couple minutes to present. So, if I don’t emphasize something you think is significant in a particular parsha, please feel free to drop me a note, and I’ll try to remember to address your point next year.

That’s one of the best aspects of teaching through the Torah—if I miss something this year, this parsha will be back in another year. <g>

On with the Torah

This time around, I want to share with you a paragraph from this parsha that has become something of a theme verse for my life. Before I ever even knew there was something called a “Messianic Movement” (this was a looooong time ago!), I heard this text expounded by a pastor in the “Church of God” denomination. The passage captured my imagination in a way I’m sure the speaker never thought possible.

(12)  “So now, Isra’el, all that Adonai your God asks from you is to fear Adonai your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being;  (13)  to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of Adonai which I am giving you today.  (14)  See, the sky, the heaven beyond the sky, the earth and everything on it all belong to Adonai your God.  (15)  Only Adonai took enough pleasure in your ancestors to love them and choose their descendants after them—yourselves—above all peoples, as he still does today.  (16)  Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart; and don’t be stiffnecked any longer!

(17)  “For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty and awesome God, who has no favorites and accepts no bribes.  (18)  He secures justice for the orphan and the widow; he loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing.  (19)  Therefore you are to love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

(Devarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-19, Complete Jewish Bible)

The first time I heard this passage read, it completely blew my mind. You see, I had been trained in the belief that “the Law” was harmful to us. It contained only threats and punishments, and was something to be avoided. Purportedly, the great blessing Messiah came to give was release from the harshness and severity offered by the Law.

So, imagine my surprise the day I heard that the Law (more properly, Torah) of God was “for your own good”! It set my thinking on an entirely new track. It became increasingly clear to me that Hashem had given the Torah as a way to bless his people, not as a way to curse them! Now it made sense when I read Sha’ul (the apostle Paul) saying, “the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good.” Obeying the commandments of God is something that is meant to benefit me, not hurt me.

Adonai associates keeping his commandments with demonstrating our love for Him. The Torah teaches us that, as a result of our relationship with him,  God expects changes in both our attitude and our behavior. Creating a dichotomy between the two is not only bad theology, it is psychologically damaging. Our behavior grows out of our thinking, and our thinking is affected by our behavior. Human beings are created to be an integrated, “wholistic” personality. As a result, we act upon our feelings, and our actions reinforce those same feelings.

Let’s take a look at what happens if we fall into either of the two extremes.

If we were to suppose that the only thing God cared about was our beliefs, we would tend to be lax in our dealings with others. “As long as we think good thoughts”, we’d say, “then we are doing OK.” After all, it is the thought that counts, right? If God is only concerned with our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs, then our behavior becomes inconsequential. In this case, we might have correct doctrine, but our application of that doctrine would suffer greatly, because we would consider our actions insignificant. For some of us, this would lead to being lazy and careless. For others, we might start thinking that it is OK to be mean-spirited to others, in the name of “getting them to believe correct doctrine”. This idea that right thinking completely trumps behavior can lead to all kinds of messed up relationships.

How about the other position? What happens when we believe that God judges us on the merit of our behavior alone? What if it makes no difference whatsoever how we go at things, as long as we do the right thing at the right time with the right materials? Well, then we end up with what we typically call “legalism”. That is, the behavior becomes paramount, while our attitude means nothing.

Come to think of it… both of these extremes lead to almost identical manifestations! Both result in caring only about self, and demeaning others who don’t “measure up” to our standard of correctness. Whether we demand that others hold our same “correct” doctrine, or whether we expect everyone else to perform up to our expectations—both cases result in setting our personal standards over the worth of the individual.

If we truly wish to demonstrate our love for Hashem, then we will show him appropriate fear and honor—in other words, we will be mindful of who we are and who he is, and show proper humility. This will lead us to behave in accordance with his commandments. More than that, humility coupled with love for God, will lead us to be loving towards others. This blend of traits is what the Torah calls, “circumcising our heart”. It describes the removal of the callousness that sometimes characterizes our lives, so that we can exhibit the tenderheartedness modeled for us by our loving Father.

In a similar vein, the haftarah this week is part of a series that fall during a period known as the “Sabbaths of Consolation”. It contains Yeshayahu 50:4, which says that a sign of one who is well-taught is that he “with [his] words, knows how to sustain the weary”. This theme appears throughout Scripture. Yochanan, a follower of Yeshua, put it this way—”If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” So we see that one who truly loves Adonai will also demonstrate compassion and kindness to others.

May we all be known as people who have our ears opened by Adonai, so that we learn from him how to love, how to obey, and also how to console. These are the hallmark characteristics of one who truly knows the Almighty, and who walks in his ways. If we exhibit this character and behavior, then we will enjoy the blessing of Adonai, and bring his blessing to all those we meet.

The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!

The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!

TOGI Messianic?

Are You a
TOGI Messianic?

For several years. now, the Messianic community has been embroiled in an argument of epic proportions. In case you are either new to the Messianic Movement or have been hiding under a rock for the past 15 years, let me summarize the situation:

  • What we today call “Messianic Judaism” began as “Hebrew Christianity”, and was defined as “bringing Jews to believe in Jesus”.
  • As the numbers of Jewish believers grew, so did the sense that we needed to manifest an authentically Jewish culture. (I entered the movement in 1981, just as this topic was heating up.)
  • The conclusion of this discussion was to regard the community of believing Jews and Gentiles as one Body, practicing “a Judaism”–“Messianic Judaism”, not “Hebrew Christianity”. This was a huge point, philosophically, and we are still working through making people understand the significance of this idea.
  • The initial fall-out of making this transition in thought was to raise the question, “If we are a Jewish community, then what is the place of Gentiles in our midst?” To get a sense of just how out-of-place some Gentiles can be in a Jewish community, I encourage you to watch “A Stranger Among Us”, with Melanie Griffith—bad acting in that film only enhances the presentation of how clumsy the relationship can be!
  • Just at the time the Messianic community was working on how Jews and Gentiles should relate to one another in a common community, a new thing arose—the Hebrew Roots (HR) community. HR is primarily composed of Gentiles who have become enthralled with the Jewish nature of the Bible. Their motives are good. They want to learn the Torah, the Hebrew language, and become observers of the commandments of God. Those things are praiseworthy. The problem is, they wish to do all this in a  vacuum, apart from the Jewish people who wrote and preserved those same Scriptures, and apart from the Jewish culture that informs the interpretations of the text. They are generally rabidly anti-rabbinic, and usually adhere to a theology of Identity called “Two House Teaching” (2H), which informs the HR Gentile that s/he is reclaiming his stolen Hebrew identity, to which s/he is entitled. With no evidence to support this claim, the effort is viewed as deceptive and antagonistic by Jewish believers.
  • The rise of HR right when the Messianic Jewish community was working out its own questions regarding self-identity set the MJ discussion off on a tangent that has been devastating to the unity of Jew and Gentile, as expressed in the Scriptures.
  • The result is that the present state of the discussion has crystallized into an argument over blood lineage, rather than individual self-identification in relation to the Jewish community. We are presented with a choice—there are Messianic Jews (MJ) and Hebrew Roots (HR) Gentiles. Not to mention some who still hold to the “Us versus Them” mentality of dividing between Judaism and Christianity. This original Hebrew Christian (HC) mentality figures prominently in the present anti-Gentile posture, as well.

This brings me to why I am addressing this subject today. After more than 30 years as part of the Messianic community, spending my entire adult life living in Jewish community, I find my wife and I suddenly marginalized by the teaching coming from a small, but vocal, minority of “leaders” in the Messianic Jewish community. This teaching takes the form of segregation based on bloodline. Jews are welcome into this brand of Messianic Judaism, and Gentiles are not. Gentile participation in the local synagogue service is viewed as usurpation of “Jewish cultural identity markers”, and Gentiles are encouraged to return to a church world that is rife with antinomianism and anti-Semitism. The old “Us versus Them” mentality has resurfaced—after years of singing, “Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah, one in Yeshua’s love!

These leaders in the Messianic community have apparently forgotten Yeshua’s words…

“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father': for I say unto you, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Luke 3:8).
There are days when all I want is to be as welcome as a rock.

So, Get to the Point, Already!

TOGI YogiOK… What has all of this got to do with TOGI? What the heck is a TOGI, anyway???

I’m glad you asked! TOGI is an acronym (obviously), standing for three core principles that I believe are necessary in order to establish a balanced, Biblical community that avoids the various errors and extremes we see in the various sub-sects calling themselves, “Messianic”. We have identified three sub-groups that have manifested at various points in the debates. Three groups, three points.

  • Torah Observant (TO)

This is more foundational to the restoration of all things than most of us are willing to admit. The Torah explicitly states in Devarim 30 that repentance while in dispersion will lead to a return to Hashem and to the Land. Anyone who believes Torah Observance is “optional” or “by invitation only” is blatantly fighting against the Restoration of Israel. The view that Torah is optional is common among Hebrew Christians, who give the traditional Christian churches more credibility than they deserve for their role in Jewish missions. Jews adopting traditional Christian theology regarding the Torah are operating at odds to the Biblical definition of Jewish restoration.

  • Gentile-inclusive (G)

The prophets foretell that the Restoration of Israel will include bringing myriads of Gentiles with them to Zion. The nations of the planet will flow to Jerusalem, alongside their Jewish counterparts, in order to learn the Torah and worship the God of Israel. To segregate Gentiles from the “Jews-only club”  violates every principle of the prophets and of Messiah.

Isaiah said it first, and it was echoed by Yeshua—”My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations”. What can this mean other than that Gentiles are called to engage the God of Israel in the same manner as the Jews, and alongside their Jewish counterparts?

  • Israeli-centric (I)

When one considers the arguments for “bi-lateral ecclesiology” (segregation), one cannot but hear the voice of fear. One of the greatest fears in the mind of a Jewish person is to be overrun and annihilated by the sheer numbers of the Goyim, who outnumber them by tens of thousands to one. This is a reasonable concern, given the history of Jewish/Gentile interaction over the centuries and millennia.

For this reason, it is incumbent upon any Gentile wishing to participate in the Messianic Movement to approach the issue from a position of humility and respect. We MUST account for the fear in our interactions, and do everything in our power to allay the Jewish concerns. There is no Messianic Movement without Israel. And Israel must be supported at all costs—REAL Israel, not a group of Gentiles playing “Hebrew” dress-up games, pretending to an Israeli identity for which there is no evidence, whatsoever.

I propose that these three pillars form the legs of a stool that can sustain the Messianic Movement, providing guidance and support, so we do not fall under the influence of half-baked, self-appointed “teachers”. These three principles will help us communicate the fundamental pillars of our faith—belief in the Jewish Messiah and his mission to re-gather Israel—in a manner that is both respectful and organically Jewish, all at the same time.

What If We Aren’t TOGI?

The alternative is that Messianic Judaism will implode. It will lose numbers because there are no Gentiles. It will fail to bring Jews to Torah because it follows Christian theology. It will fail because it values Jewish identity more than it values the Jewish Messiah, and the Torah he taught.

The experiment of a Jews-only MJ is already well on the way to marginalizing itself! Stuart Dauermann was recently seen commenting on Facebook, opining that MJ (at least, the brand of MJ currently represented by the UMJC, which is heavily influenced by his own theology) has failed. What was his criteria for making these comments? The fact that there were no Jewish anti-missionaries protesting at the 2014 UMJC conference in Chicago!

An MJ that makes no requirement of accepting Yeshua as Messiah is no longer a threat to the traditional Jewish community! It has made itself irrelevant, and does not fulfill the description given by the prophets—raising a banner for the Gentiles, calling them to Jerusalem where all will serve the God of Israel together… “ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE mikveh, ONE God and Father of ALL“.

It is time to stop beating the drum for racism and segregation, and get back to the Torah vision of Israel at the head of a planetary TOGI empire. Any other vision for Israel is TOO SMALL!

Let’s be “Smarter than the average bear, Boo Boo”!

The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!

A True Fast for Yom Kippur

The Message of
the Law and the Prophets

Yom Hakippurim… Yom Kippur… the Day of Atonements…

What does this day mean to us?

We are all aware that we are supposed to fast on the Day of Atonement. A full fast—no food and no water for an entire 24 hours! Unless, of course, you are very young or very ill. Then you aren’t expected to risk your health in order to fast.

What else are we supposed to do? There are other areas where the rabbis have given instructions on ways to deprive ourselves. Don’t shower on this day. Don’t wear leather shoes, which are a symbol of comfort and wealth. Avoid entertainment. Continue reading

The View from the Mishkan

Don’t forget to join us each week at “The View from the Mishkan! If you live in the Salem, Oregon area, you can visit with us on the radio, at 1220 AM each Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 PM. If you live elsewhere in the world, you can join us on the web at http://www.hebrewnationonline.com. Just point your browser to the site, and listen in!

Mishkan Logo“The View from the Mishkan” offers a Messianic Perspective from David Negley, who has been part of the Messianic community since 1981. Some of the programs will be topical discussions, and some will be based on particular Bible texts. Right now, we are working through the “Besorah of Mattityahu” (you might know this better as “The Gospel of Matthew”).  In this study, we are highlighting the numerous Jewish features employed by the author, including the use of gematria and other forms of rabbinic commentary, as well as the tremendous emphasis on the House of David and its role in the Messianic Expectation.

Some of what we share will be affirming, and some of it will challenge your most dearly held views. Be sure to set this time aside each Tuesday at

  • 8:00 PM Eastern
  • 7:00 PM Central
  • 6:00 PM Mountain
  • 5:00 PM Pacific

You’ll be thrilled, challenged, inspired, and occasionally irritated… all at the same time!