News Letter 5846-030
24th day of the 6th month 5846 years after creation
The 6th Month in of the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
September 4, 2010
Shabbat Shalom Family,
For those looking to keep the Feast Europe, here is the link that you could email to all your contacts in Germany, Switzerland, Austria France and the Netherlands: http://www.5mose30.org/7.html
We are just one week away from the Seventh Month. The first day of the seventh month is the Feast of Trumpets. Notice that the seventh month comes in September which is Latin for seventh Month. It comes at a day and at an hour no one can know. So have your ears on, on Friday afternoon to learn whether the High Day is on Saturday or not.
Every one of you, I mean each and every one of you and your children and spouses, parents and Grand Parents, should go out and look for this New Crescent Moon on Friday evening as a Family and when you spot it Shout it out and blast out a trumpet blast. See who can spot it first.
Then come inside and go on Face Book and look me up and tell me or email me when and where you saw it from. I am hoping that we will have a trail of witnesses from all around the world. That would be awesome to see everyone from all the countries around the world that are obeying the Torah and sighting the moon to begin the seventh month.
There are still some people who are stubbornly saying the Feast begins in October and not September. One of the reasons they say this is because the harvest is not in until then. I have word from Israel this week that the grape harvest is in full force right now three weeks early. I guess Yahovah really is the one to decide when His Holy Days are and not men by their calculations. Those of you who errored in the spring can still repent and keep the fall Feasts at the right time.
Many of you wrote me a note last week to tell me Sorry to tell you this Jupiter thing is a hoax!
I have received the same e-mail 4 yrs in a row.
Shabbat Shalom Joseph,
The same report has been floating around concerning Mars instead of Jupiter.
You can read about it here:
Most of you said that it was Mars that was a hoax. When I got the email about Mars I went and checked it on my computer program Stellarium which you can download yourselves and watch. http://www.stellarium.org/
In the Program it showed that Jupiter would be the brightest and very near the Full Moon of last week. This is what I wrote to you. I did change that email and removed the part about it being the size of the moon, and that it was not mars, but I did leave the distance the same.
One lady from Toronto Canada sent me the pictures of the full moon and the planet Jupiter and I will attempt to show it to you here. This was not a hoax. That email that went around was. So although I checked it out and corrected what was wrong, I did use parts of the email which were not right. Thank you all for correcting me and my apologies for passing on faulty information.
Amongst the many things in the news this week was this article on September 2, 2010. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100902/world/af_food_riots
Mozambique riots spotlight world food price spike. Although the price has only gone up a little it is having a devastating effect on the poorer nations of the world. You need to read this article.
As the USA negotiates Peace talks between the PLO and Israel Sept 2, 2010, Hurricane Earl shoots up the East coast with hurricane Fiona hard its heels with two more following it. Is there any significance to this. You can find out in the most recent article titled An Eye for an Eye- Israel & PLO Peace Talks and The USA Disasters . This is not the first time Yahovah has shown the USA His displeasure with its interference in frocing ISrael to give up land that belongs to Yahvoah.
Two weeks ago we covered the Feast of Trumpets and last week we talked about the ten Days of Awe during which time we are in deep repentance. We are repenting from the Feast of Trumpets up to and including the last day of these ten days, the Day of Atonement.
This is a Fast day. We do not eat anything on this day. If the feast of Trumpets is on Sept 11, then the Day of Atonement will be on September 20 beginning the evening before at sunset.
Read the command in Lev 23. As I have always said if it ain’t in Lev 23 then why on earth are you celebrating that holyday.
24 “Speak to the children of Yisra’?l, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart gathering. 25 ‘You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to ????.’ ” 26 And ???? spoke to Mosheh, saying, 27 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to ????. 28 “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before ???? your Elohim. 29 “For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”
Take note of verse 27. From the Complete Jewish Bible it reads;
27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.
And from the Interlinear we read;
27 `Only — on the tenth of this seventh month is a day of atonements; ye have a holy convocation, and ye have humbled yourselves, and have brought near a fire-offering to Jehovah;
We are to afflict ourselves, deny ourselves and humble ourselves.
King James 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
The word Afflict is from Strongs # 6031 anah
1. (Qal) to be occupied, be busied with
2. to afflict, oppress, humble, be afflicted, be bowed down
1. to be put down, become low
2. to be depressed, be downcast
3. to be afflicted
4. to stoop
1. to humble oneself, bow down
2. to be afflicted, be humbled
1. to humble, mishandle, afflict
2. to humble, be humiliated
3. to afflict
4. to humble, weaken oneself
1. to be afflicted
2. to be humbled
e. (Hiphil) to afflict
1. to humble oneself
2. to be afflicted
Why do we fast on the Day of Atonement?
A. Fasting on Yom Kippur is mandated by the Torah and is Positive Mitzvah #164. The Torah1 commands us to “afflict” ourselves on the “Tenth of Tishrei,” i.e. Yom Kippur. The Mosaic tradition teaches us that “afflict” (in this context) means de-emphasizing the body’s needs in five areas: bathing; using creams, oils, perfumes or other skin accessories; wearing leather shoes; sexual relations; and eating and drinking.
B. What’s the big deal about eating and drinking? Actually, it’s a very big deal. Yom Kippur is G-d’s designated annual day of total spirituality. On Yom Kippur, we get into things that make us like angels the most, and out of things that make us like animals the most: we spend the whole day in Tefillah, and we put our bodily cravings on the back burner. Tefillah is what makes us most like angels, and eating/drinking is what makes us most like animals. On Yom Kippur, we try to soar as high as we can. Not worrying about what’s to eat helps keep that in focus.
On Yom Kippur, a day of Moshiach in microcosm, we divorce ourselves from our needs for physical maintenance and rely on G-d…
C. Ultimately, fasting on Yom Kippur is an expression of pure faith in G-d. Yom Kippur is compared to Shabbat, and Shabbat is compared to the Era of Moshiach. In the Era of Moshiach, G-d will obliterate hunger, starvation, need and blight from mankind. On Yom Kippur, a day of Moshiach in microcosm, we divorce ourselves from our needs for physical maintenance and rely on G-d, as we will when Moshiach comes.
How do I fast on Yom Kippur?
1. Get in Time
Yom Kippur starts at a specific hour and minute, and likewise with the fast—it begins at sunset the eve of Yom Kippur, the ninth of Tishrei, and continues until the stars come out, 25 hours later. The precise times depend on your geographic location—consult your local Chabad center or see here for specifics.
2. Don’t even think of it!
When the Torah says fast, it means fast. Absolutely nothing may pass your lips and enter your mouth during this 25-hour period: no food, no drink, no crackers, no water, nothing. If the going gets tough, use this little mental trick: if I made it this far, I can make it the rest of the way. Also, bear in mind that you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with your Jewish brothers and sisters the world over, as they all fast on this day. If they can do it, so can you. And here’s another thought: Jews have been fasting for eons on Yom Kippur, yet somehow, it didn’t kill us. You’ll be fine.
3. The Rabbi is In
There are very few mitzvahs you have to lay your life down for (three, to be precise), and fasting on Yom Kippur isn’t one of them. If you’re on medication, you may take it if your life depends on it. For more information on this topic, see Is it permitted to take medicine on a fast day?
In Leveticus 16 we read about the ceremony that used to be performed on this day and it is very rich with meaning if we would only understand it.
1 And ???? spoke to Mosheh after the death of the two sons of Aharon, as they drew near before ????, and died. 2 And ???? said to Mosheh, “Speak to Aharon your brother not to come in at all times to the Set-apart Place inside the veil, before the lid of atonement which is on the ark, lest he die, because I appear in the cloud above the lid of atonement. 3 “With this Aharon should come into the Set-apart Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. 4 “He should put on the set-apart linen long shirt, with linen trousers on his flesh, and gird himself with a linen girdle, and be dressed with the linen turban – they are set-apart garments. And he shall bathe his body in water, and shall put them on. 5 “And from the congregation of the children of Yisra’?l he takes two male goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering. 6 “And Aharon shall bring the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 “And he shall take the two goats and let them stand before ???? at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 8 “And Aharon shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for ???? and the other lot for Azazel. 9 “And Aharon shall bring the goat on which the lot for ???? fell, and shall prepare it as a sin offering. 10 “But the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell is caused to stand alive before ????, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness to Azazel. 11 “And Aharon shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall slaughter the bull as the sin offering which is for himself, 12 and shall take a fire holder filled with burning coals of fire from the altar before ????, with his hands filled with sweet incense beaten fine, and shall bring it inside the veil. 13 “And he shall put the incense on the fire before ????, and the cloud of incense shall cover the lid of atonement which is on the Witness, lest he die. 14 “And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the lid of atonement on the east side, also in front of the lid of atonement he sprinkles some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 “And he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, and shall bring its blood inside the veil, and shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the lid of atonement and in front of the lid of atonement. 16 “And he shall make atonement for the Set-apart Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Yisra’?l, and because of their transgressions in all their sins. And so he does for the Tent of Meeting which is dwelling with them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 “And no man should be in the Tent of Meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Set-apart Place, until he comes out. And he shall make atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the assembly of Yisra’?l. 18 “And he shall go out to the altar that is before ????, and make atonement for it. And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 “And he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and set it apart from the uncleanness of the children of Yisra’?l. 20 “And when he has finished atoning for the Set-apart Place, and the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 “Then Aharon shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and shall confess over it all the crookednesses of the children of Yisra’?l, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a fit man. 22 “And the goat shall bear on itself all their crookednesses, to a land cut off. Thus he shall send the goat away into the wilderness. 23 “Aharon shall then come into the Tent of Meeting, and shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Set-apart Place, and shall leave them there. 24 “And he shall bathe his body in water in the set-apart place, and shall put on his garments, and shall come out and prepare his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people, 25 and burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar. 26 “And he who sent away the goat to Azazel washes his garments, and shall bathe his body in water, and afterward he comes into the camp. 27 “And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Set-apart Place, is brought outside the camp. And they shall burn their skins, and their flesh, and their dung with fire. 28 “And he who burns them washes his garments, and shall bathe his body in water, and afterward he comes into the camp. 29 “And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. 30 “For on that day he makes atonement for you, to cleanse you, to be clean from all your sins before ????. 31 “It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you shall afflict your beings – a law forever. 32 “And the priest, who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, the set-apart garments, 33 and he shall make atonement for the Most Set-apart Place, and make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar, and make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 “And this shall be for you a law forever, to make atonement for the children of Yisra’?l, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as ???? commanded Mosheh.
Having now read this some of you should see the similarities with Passover and indeed The Day of Atonement is tied into Passover. You may want to recall law # 167 from last week where we talked about the blood.
Here are some questions for your think about. Yahshua is the Lamb of Yahovah and was sacrificed at Passover for our sins. Yahshua the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
Yahshua is also symbolized in those things that Aaron did as High Priest. How does Yahshua do both; the Lamb that is sacrificed and the High Priest and now the Goat? Read Mitzvot # 167 from last week.
Atonement: Removal of Sin’s Cause and Reconciliation to God
We have already seen—through the symbolism involved in the Passover—that Christ’s shed blood atones for our past sins. In fact, atonement means reconciliation. The Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of God and all humanity.
If we are reconciled to God through Christ’s sacrifice, why do we need another Holy Day to teach us about reconciliation? If we are already reconciled, why do we need to fast, as commanded on the Day of Atonement? (Leviticus 23:27; Acts 27:9). What is this day’s specific significance in God’s master plan for the salvation of mankind?
The Day of Atonement and Passover both teach us about the forgiveness of sin and our reconciliation with God through Christ’s sacrifice. However, Passover concerns the redemption of the firstborn and thus applies most directly to Christians whom God has called in this age, while Atonement carries universal implications.
Moreover, the Day of Atonement pictures an essential additional step in God’s salvation plan not found in the symbolism of the Passover. This step must take place before humanity can experience true peace on earth. All people suffer the tragic consequences of sin. But sin doesn’t happen without a cause, and God makes this cause clear in the symbolism associated with the Day of Atonement.
Satan is the author of sin
The Day of Atonement involves not only the forgiveness of sin; it pictures the removal of the primary cause of sin—Satan and his demons. Until God removes the original instigator of sin, mankind will simply continue to fall back into disobedience and suffering. Although our human nature has a part to play in our sins, Satan the devil bears great responsibility for influencing mankind to disobey God.
Even though many people doubt the existence of a devil, the Bible reveals Satan as a powerful, invisible being who can sway all man-kind. Revelation 12:9 tells us that his influence is so great that he “deceives the whole world.”
The devil blinds people to the understanding of God’s truth. The apostle Paul explained this to the Corinthians: “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Paul also teaches us that Satan has influenced every human being to walk in the ways of disobedience. He notes that those that are called “once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Paul warned the Corinthians that Satan can present himself as righteous to lead people astray: “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Jesus Christ plainly stated that Satan introduced sin and rebellion into the world. In John 8:44 Christ declared to those who were antagonistic to His teaching: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Tying these scriptures together allows us to see the power and the influence of Satan. Paul warned us to beware of the deceitful methods of the devil: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, NIV).
Christians who struggle to resist Satan and stop sinning fight a spiritual battle against the devil and his demons. Paul explains: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12, NASB).
Paul further explains here that Jesus Christ will deliver us from the influence of the devil (verses 13-18). Of course, God is much more powerful than Satan, but we must do our part by actively resisting the devil and the pulls of the flesh (James 4:7). The Day of Atonement looks forward to the time during which Satan’s deception will be removed and he will no longer be free to influence and deceive mankind (Revelation 20:1-3).
Old Testament symbolism
Leviticus 16 describes God instructing ancient Israel to observe the Day of Atonement. Although Christians are not required to offer animal sacrifices today, this chapter adds significantly to our understanding of God’s plan.
Notice that the priest was to select two goats for a sin offering for the people, and he was to present them before God (verses 5, 7). Aaron, the high priest, was to cast lots to select one “for the Lord,” which he was to offer as a sacrifice (verses 8-9). This goat represented Jesus Christ, who would be slain to pay the penalty for our sins.
The other goat served a completely different purpose: “But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness” (verse 10). Notice that this goat was not to be killed. The high priest was to “lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert” (verses 21-22, NIV).
The priest chose by lot the “scapegoat,” or Azazel, as the word appears in the original Hebrew. Many scholars identify Azazel as the name of a demon inhabiting the wilderness (Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 326). The Azazel goat represents Satan, who bears the responsibility for the sins of humanity (verse 22) because of the deception he has foisted upon mankind.
The high priest laid hands on this goat and confessed over it the wickedness, rebellion and sins of the people. Why did he do that? As present ruler of the world, the devil bears responsibility for his perversity in beguiling and coercing humanity to sin. “The sending of the sin-laden goat . . . signified the complete removal of the sins of the people and the handing them over, as it were, to the evil spirit to whom they belonged” (The One Volume Bible Commentary, 1975, p. 95).
A scapegoat, in modern usage, is someone unfairly held responsible for the mistakes of others. However, the modern English word scapegoat cannot properly be applied to Satan; the devil is not a scapegoat in the modern sense of the term. (Although some Bible versions use the word “scapegoat,” Green’s Literal Translation more accurately calls it the “goat of departure.”) Rather than unfairly bearing the blame for sin, Satan will be held justly accountable for his own deliberate actions by which he has led humanity into sin for thousands of years.
The symbolism of the live goat parallels the fate of Satan and his demons, who will be removed at the outset of Jesus’ reign over the nations. The book of Revelation describes this removal: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished . . .” (Revelation 20:1-3).
Thus the devil and his demons, who for thousands of years have led mankind into every evil deed imaginable, will be removed to a place of restraint (verse 4). Complete global reconciliation to God cannot occur until the source of so much sin and suffering is out of the picture.
The modern application of this festival
Now notice specific instructions on when and how we are to keep this festival. “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement,” God says. “It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls . . .” (Leviticus 23:27).
How do you “afflict your soul” on this day? Afflict comes from the Hebrew anah, which means “to be afflicted, be bowed down, be humbled, be meek” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “To Be Humbled, Afflicted”). The same word is used in connection with fasting in Psalm 35:13, Isaiah 58:3, 5 and Ezra 8:21. Fasting means abstaining from food and drink (Esther 4:16).
So why does God tell us to fast during this specific 24 hours? Fasting expresses our humble desire to draw closer to God. The Day of Atonement represents a coming time of reconciliation during which, with Satan banished and the world having been devastated by the horrific events leading up to this time, a humbled and repentant humanity will at last be reconciled to God.
Few understand the proper reasons for fasting. Fasting is not to bend God to our will. We don’t fast to receive anything from God except His abundant mercy and forgiveness for our human weaknesses. Fasting helps us remember how temporary our physical existence is. Without food and water, we would soon perish. Fasting helps us realize just how much we need God as the giver and sustainer of life.
We should always fast on the Day of Atonement in a repentant frame of mind. Notice the prophet Daniel’s exemplary attitude while fasting: “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession” (Daniel 9:3-4).
The early Church observed the Day of Atonement. More than 30 years after Christ’s death, Luke still referred to the time and seasons by mentioning this day, stating that “sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over” (Acts 27:9). Almost all Bible commentaries and dictionaries acknowledge that “the Fast” refers to the Day of Atonement.
Yet another important lesson comes to us through the Day of Atonement. We have already seen that the slain goat represented the sacrifice in our place of Jesus Christ, who took on Himself the death penalty we have earned by sinning. But Jesus Christ did not stay dead; He came back to life. What does the Day of Atonement teach us about Christ’s role after His resurrection?
Leviticus 16:15-19 describes a solemn ceremony that was carried out only once each year, on the Day of Atonement. The high priest was to take the blood of the slain goat into the Most Holy Place—the holiest part of the tabernacle—and to the mercy seat. The mercy seat was symbolic of the very throne of Almighty God. The high priest acted out the function Christ performs for repentant Christians. Having ascended to the very throne of God to present the blood of His sacrifice, Christ intercedes for us—as He has since His resurrection—as our High Priest.
[Having risen from the grave after three days and three nights, Yahshua then rose up to Yahovah’s throne on the Sunday Morning as the wave sheaf offering and presented before Yahovah the first fruits of the Saints and this ties right into the event of the Hight Priest going to the Holy of Holies with the blood of the Goat. Remember the Passover Lamb could be a Lamb or a Kid. It could be either one. The term used in the Torah is “seh” and, as Rashi comments, this can mean either a lamb or a kid-goat. The verse actually says, “…take from the sheep or from the goats.”
Exodus 12: 1 And ???? spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying, 2 “This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you. 3 “Speak to all the congregation of Yisra’?l, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month each one of them is to take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next to his house take it according to the number of the beings, according to each man’s need you make your count for the lamb. 5 ‘Let the lamb be a perfect one, a year old male. Take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 ‘And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then all the assembly of the congregation of Yisra’?l shall kill it between the evenings.
I found an interesting explanation from Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, generally known by the name of his work, “Chatam Sofer,” why these two were chosen.
He points out that both the lamb and the kid are constellations of the Zodiac. We know them as Aries and Capricorn, but their names in the Hebrew zodiac are taleh and gedi—the lamb and the kid.
By using a Lamb at Passover and the Kid at Atonement we can see the connection being made here again.]
The book of Hebrews makes this symbolism clear. “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this [physical] creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12).
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we enjoy direct access to the true mercy seat—the throne of our merciful, loving God. This was dramatically and miraculously demonstrated at the moment of Christ’s death, when “the veil of the temple,” covering the entrance to the Most Holy Place, “was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). This massive curtain was torn asunder in a dramatic testimony to the access we now have to God’s throne.
Many verses in Hebrews mention Christ’s role as our High Priest and intercessor. Because of His sacrifice for us, we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The Day of Atonement thus pictures the loving reconciliation all people can have with God through Christ’s sacrifice. It also shows the remarkable truth that Satan, the author of sin, will eventually be removed so that humanity can at last attain reconciliation with God on a universal basis.
The Day of Atonement serves as a vital preparatory step in anticipation of the next milestone in God’s glorious Holy Day plan, beautifully depicted by the Feast of Tabernacles.
So if Yahshua was the High Priest, how did He bring the blood of the Lamb or Kid, which was also His own self into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement 6 months later? The answer is found in the Mitvah # 167 as we explained last week. Again this is something I show you in Jerusalem each year when we tour there. You just have to see it with your own eyes.
We are not to eat anything or drink anything from Sunset the 9th to after sunset the 10th for ever on this day.
Isaiah 58 has also something to say about this day as the High Priest laid His hands on the Azazel Goat and cried out the transgressions of the people before Yahovah.
1 “Cry aloud, do not spare. Lift up your voice like a ram’s horn. Declare to My people their transgression, and the house of Ya?aqob? their sins. 2 “Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the right-ruling of their Elohim. They ask of Me rulings of righteousness, they delight in drawing near to Elohim. 3 They say, ‘Why have we fasted, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our beings, and You took no note?’ “Look, in the day of your fasting you find pleasure, and drive on all your labourers. 4 “Look, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wrongness. You do not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. 5 “Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his being? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to ????? 6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loosen the tight cords of wrongness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to exempt the oppressed, and to break off every yoke? 7 “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, and cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 “Then your light would break forth like the morning, your healing spring forth speedily. And your righteousness shall go before you, the esteem of ???? would be your rear guard. 9 “Then, when you call, ???? would answer; when you cry, He would say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of unrighteousness, 10 if you extend your being to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted being, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness be as noon. 11 “Then ???? would guide you continually, and satisfy your being in drought, and strengthen your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 “And those from among you shall build the old waste places. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. And you would be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. 13 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of ???? ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in ????. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya?aqob? your father. For the mouth of ???? has spoken!”
In the Sabbatical and Jubilee years The Day of Atonement represents the Year that Satan is to be locked away on the Day of Atonement in the year 2033. This will be ten years after the Tribes of Israel have gone into captivity in 2024. That is after they have fought and lost the war with Germany and Europe and the Muslim nations which began in 2017.
2033 will be the end of the Tribulation years. There is so much more to learn about this time. I strongly urge you to order The Prophecies of Abraham so you can see how all of these things are connected and flow together.
It is at this time that those who are His at His coming will find their names in the Book of Life. In Israel to this day it is said, “May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life” as the most common greeting for this season.
Moses knew who originated the Book of Life. When he pleaded with Yahovah atop Mount Horeb after the children of Israel committed the great sin of the golden calf, he cried, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” (Exodus 32:31, 32.) So Yahovah Himself is the author and keeper of the Book of Life.
What is recorded in the book? According to the Bible, everything! King David remarks that even his tears are entered in that heavenly journal. (Psalm 56:8.) The Psalmist also speaks of the fact that the days that were ordained him were written in Yahovah’s book before he was even born. (Psalm 139:16.)
And who will be blotted out of the book? Yahovah’s response to Moses’ plea for the children of Israel was “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Exodus 32:33).
But everyone has sinned against the Almighty. Does this mean that according to the Bible all will be blotted out of the book of life? No. Yahovah is just, but he is also merciful. In His mercy, He has always provided a means of atonement, so that we could choose life.
Yahshua told those who believed He was Yahovah’s anointed, “…rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 10:20.) Does it seem strange to link the idea of celebrating the inscription of one’s name in the Book of Life to the person of Yahshua? The Jewish New Year expression “Le shanah tova tikatev ve-tehatem” is more than a quaint custom. It is an expression of hope for Yahovah’s acceptance and forgiveness.
At the time of Yahshau, the ancient Biblical tradition of atonement ceased. Was this merely coincidental? The Kapporah, or sacrifice animal, to accomplish atonement is nowhere apparent in modern Judaism—yet in original Judaism, sacrificial atonement is intrinsic and essential:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement” (Leviticus 17:11.)
What a paradox confronts the modern Jewish person! If he would be a faithful Jew according to the Bible and not merely according to the traditions of man; or if he would be Yahovah’s kind of Jew, then he must be written in the Lamb’s Book Life and thus be a follower of Yahshua, the Messiah.
Adapted from http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/1_1/book_of_life
Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 He that over cometh , the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was , and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder , whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was , and is not, and yet is .
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Yahovah; and the books were opened : and another book was opened , which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth , neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Yahovah shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Let me share one other teaching with you about the Day of Atonement. It is the end of the age of Satan as ruler here on this earth. We are given a prophecy in Daniel 12;
1 “Now at that time Mik?a’?l shall stand up, the great head who is standing over the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as never was since there was a nation, until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book, 2 and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth wake up, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches, everlasting abhorrence. 3 “And those who have insight shall shine like the brightness of the expanse, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. 4 “But you, Dani’?l, hide the words, and seal the book until the time of the end1. Many shall diligently search and knowledge shall increase.” Footnote: 1See v. 9. 5 Then I, Dani’?l, looked and saw two others standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank. 6 And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long until the end of these wonders?” 7 And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, and he held up his right hand and his left hand to the heavens, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it would be for a time, times, and half a time. And when they have ended scattering the power of the set-apart people, then all these shall be completed. 8 And I heard, but I did not understand, so I said, “My master, what is the latter end of these matters?” 9 And he said, “Go, Dani’?l, for the words are hidden and sealed till the time of the end1. Footnote: 1See v. 4 10 “Many shall be cleansed and made white, and refined. But the wrong shall do wrong – and none of the wrong shall understand, but those who have insight shall understand. 11 “And from the time that which is continual is taken away, and the abomination that lays waste is set up, is one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 “Blessed is he who is waiting earnestly, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. 13 “But you, go your way till the end. And rest, and arise to your lot at the end of the days.”
We have been told that this time leading up to the Day of Atonement would be times time and half time. Which we all know is three and half years or 1260 days.
The martyrdom of the saints in which the two witnesses are also killed takes place at Passover. But just as we do today because of two different calendars, there will be two Passovers that year once all the Israelites have been brought back from captivity based on the two methods now in use to begin the month. One is the sighted moon the barley being ready and the other is conjunction. This martyrdom begins at the second Passover 30 days later. 1260 days later is the Day of Atonement when Satan is locked away.
Then we read in verse 11 “And from the time that which is continual is taken away, and the abomination that lays waste is set up, is one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
In the NKJV it reads; 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
The daily sacrifices will be used at the Temple once again. When all of Israel is brought back from captivity they begin to worship Yahovah with the burnt offerings once again. Passover season comes but there is a disagreement as to how to begin the year. Conjunction or Sighted with the Barley. One group keeps Passover using the Barley and sighted crescent moon. The sacrifices will be stopped at this time and the abomination will be set up. But not everyone agrees that it is an abomination because as we read in Revelation 13 the image talks.
11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he does great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from the heaven on the earth before men. 14 And he leads astray those dwelling on the earth because of those signs which he was given to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword, yet lived. 15 And there was given to him to give spirit to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause to be killed as many as would not worship the image of the beast.
Mathew 24: 3 And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the taught ones came to Him separately, saying, “Say to us, when shall this be, and what is the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And ????? answering, said to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. 5 “For many shall come in My Name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they shall lead many astray. 6 “And you shall begin to hear of fightings and reports of fightings. See that you are not troubled, for these have to take place, but the end is not yet. 7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and reign against reign. And there shall be scarcities of food, and deadly diseases, and earthquakes in places. 8 “And all these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then they shall deliver you up to affliction and kill you, and you shall be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. 10 “And then many shall stumble, and they shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. 11 “And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray. 12 “And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold. 13 “But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.1 Footnote:1See 10:22. 14 “And this Good News of the reign shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. 15 “So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’1 spoken of by Dani’?l the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand – Footnote:1See Abomination that lays waste in Explanatory Notes. 16 “then let those who are in Yehud?ah flee to the mountains. 17 “Let him who is on the house-top not come down to take whatever out of his house. 18 “And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his garments. 19 “And woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing children in those days! 20 “And pray that your flight does not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 “For then there shall be great distress,1 such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Footnote:1Or great pressure, or great affliction. 22 “And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the sake of the chosen ones those days shall be shortened.
Again getting back to Daniel we are also told;12 “Blessed is he who is waiting earnestly, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
Who are these and what is the 1335 days?
Revelation 14: 1 And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name1 written upon their foreheads. Footnote: 1Some texts read: having His Name and His Father’s Name. 2 And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 They are those who were not defiled with women, for they are maidens. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no falsehood, for they are blameless before the throne of Elohim.
Revelation 7: 1 And after this I saw four messengers standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another messenger coming up from the rising of the sun, holding the seal of the living Elohim. And he cried with a loud voice to the four messengers to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees until we have sealed the servants of our Elohim upon their foreheads.”1 Footnote: 1See 9:4, 14:1, 22:4. 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of all the tribes of the children of Yisra’?l: 5 of the tribe of Yehud?ah twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Re’ub??n twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Gad? twelve thousand were sealed, 6 of the tribe of Ash?r twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Menashsheh twelve thousand were sealed, 7 of the tribe of Shim?on twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of L?wi twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Yissask?ar twelve thousand were sealed, 8 of the tribe of Zeb?ulun twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Yos?ph twelve thousand were sealed, of the tribe of Binyamin twelve thousand were sealed. 9 After this I looked and saw a great crowd which no one was able to count, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Deliverance belongs to our Elohim who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the messengers stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped Elohim, 12 saying, “Am?n! The blessing, and the esteem, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the respect, and the power, and the might, to our Elohim forever and ever. Am?n.” 13 And one of the elders responded, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Master, you know.” And he said to me, “These are those coming out of the great distress, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “Because of this they are before the throne of Elohim, and serve Him day and night in His Dwelling Place. And He who sits on the throne shall spread His Tent over them. 16 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun strike them, nor any heat, 17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and lead them to fountains of waters of life. And Elohim shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
We have now read that these 144,000, who are twelve thousand from each of the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed, that is they will keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days at the right time, and they will also be keeping the Sabbatical years. This is what the seal of Yahovah is, the fourth commandment. See Mark of the Beast
The 1335 days is to take place on the Day of Pentecost. In revelation 14 we read in verse 4 They are those who were not defiled with women, for they are maidens. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb.
The only time we read of first fruits offerings is during the Day of Unleavened Bread which we learned took place at Yahshua’s resurrection on wave sheaf Sunday morning, when those saints who rose from the dead After Shabbat when Yahshua rose from the dead. Mathew 27: 51 And see, the veil of the Dwelling Place was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.
These are those whom Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 15: 12 And if Messiah is proclaimed that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Messiah has not been raised. 14 And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is empty, and your belief also empty, 15 and we are also found false witnesses of Elohim, because we have witnessed of Elohim that He raised up Messiah, whom He did not raise up, if then the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then neither Messiah has been raised. 17 And if Messiah has not been raised, your belief is to no purpose, you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished. 19 If in this life only we have expectation in Messiah, we are of all men the most wretched. 20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Ad?am, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah . 23 And each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming, 24 then the end, when He delivers up the reign to Elohim the Father, when He has brought to naught all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He has to reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be brought to naught is death.
The next time we read of First Fruits is during the Feast of Pentecost which is when the two loaves are waved before Yahovah. Leviticus 23: 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to ????. 17 ‘Bring from your dwellings for a wave offering two loaves of bread, of two-tenths of an ?phah of fine flour they are, baked with leaven, first-fruits to ????. 18 ‘And besides the bread, you shall bring seven lambs a year old, perfect ones, and one young bull and two rams. They are a burnt offering to ????, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet fragrance to ????. 19 ‘And you shall offer one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old, as a peace offering. 20 ‘And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the first-fruits, as a wave offering before ????, besides the two lambs. They are set-apart to ???? for the priest.
The 1335 days is just 1260 days with one extra month added to it which brings you to 1290 days. You then must add 20 more days to the 30 to arrive at the 50 days for Pentecost, and your total is now 1330 days. The extra five days comes from the variable of when you begin the count to Pentecost. It does not start at Passover but on the Wave sheaf day and this could be the extra five days later after Passover that year. Which means that Passover in the year 2033 must be on the Tuesday of that week.
The reason you must have 30 day months is because the moon will not be visible to sight the moon at the beginning of the month for the entire time of the tribulation.
Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Revelation 8:12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
In the year 2029 at Atonement the announcement will go out that 2030 is a Sabbatical year. We must, even though we are in captivity, store up food and not plant or harvest in this Sabbatical year. This is when we will be sealed because we will be keeping the entire fourth commandment as well as the other nine. This will be a very hard time coming immediately after the 3 ½ years of drought and famine brought on by the two witnesses.
1335 days from this Atonement brings us to Pentecost 2033 when the 144,000 will be changed and those who have died in the faith will be raised up to meet Yahovah in the clouds. Take note of John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
This is talking about the harvest of the Saints at Pentecost and it is still four months away from the Fall. This is the wheat harvest and you are to be that wheat.
I also suspect that it will be announced at this time at Atonement in 2029, by the Two Witnesses, to free the Israelites and send them back to the Land of Israel. The Beast power and all the nations of the world will have agreed to the two witnesses demands, due to suffering the 3 ½ years of drought and will actively begin to seek out the captive Israelites during these 6 months and bring them back to the Land of Israel before Passover. At Passover the Beast power will then use the Israelites who have not yet fled as the sheep for the slaughter at Passover and the two witnesses will also be killed.
Know and understand just how related the Day of Atonement is to the Day of Passover. Treat this day with utmost reverence; it is not just another Holy Day.
Triennial Torah Cycle
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found online
We are now in our 25th week of this 3 ½ year study.
The Deception of Isaac; Rebeccah spins the deception and tells Jacob to do this. Jacob then lies to his Father in verse19 and then again in verse 20 and again in verse 24. I mention this because they arrre real people just like you and me and they too sinned.
I do feel sorry for Esau here because he has been tricked this time, and seems to have greatly valued the blessing of his Father Isaac whereas before in chapter 25 Esau was willing to sell his heritage to Jacob for a bowl of soup. Now Esau is reaping the rewards of not valuing his birthright which he had sold. Although Jacob is receiving the blessing by deception, Esau had in fact sold it to Jacob.
This is the blessing Jacob received 27 And he came near and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which ???? has blessed. 28 And Elohim give you of the dew of the heavens, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those cursing you, and blessed be those blessing you!”
Much has been said on this. But I would like you to focus on the blessing Isaac gives to Esau as this one is not often talked about.
36 And ?saw said, “Was his name, then, called Ya?aqob?? For he has caught me by the heel these two times. He took my birthright, and see, now he has taken my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Then Yitsh?aq answered and said to ?saw, “See, I have made him your master, and all his brothers I have given to him as servants. And I have sustained him with grain and wine. And what, then, shall I do for you, my son?” 38 And ?saw said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me, me too, O my father!” And ?saw lifted up his voice and wept. 39 And Yitsh?aq his father answered and said to him, “See, your dwelling is of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of the heavens from above. 40 And by your sword you are to live, and serve your brother. And it shall be, when you grow restless, that you shall break his yoke from your neck.” 41 And ?saw hated Ya?aqob? because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and ?saw said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father draw near, then I am going to kill my brother Ya?aqob?.”
What the above blessing from Isaac says is this: Esau would live and die by the sword – like so many nations have done – but this will only serve to throw us off the track if we concentrate on this aspect of the ‘blessing’ alone. More importantly by far, is the fact that the Edomites would eventually REDEEM Esau’s birthright and would acquire lofty positions on the earth, which would give them control over the world’s riches – such as the banking industry, interest rates, global industrialization, etc. In this manner, Esau/Edom wields control over his brother, Jacob, [the ‘western’ Christian world, i.e., America, Great Britain & Canada, etc. – the true Israelites], while Esau sits in exalted positions of great power as ‘banker’ over Jacob’s money. Add scriptures that state Esau would be wise, proud, self confident, strong, selfish of heart, vindictive, idolatrous, superstitious, and partaking in extensive trade and commerce, with one hell of an army feared by their enemy.
To help you understand this, think of the Muslim faith and Shiria law being applied over those nations dominated by this religion.
Also see Jeremiah 49; Isaiah 11:14; Amos 9:12; Obadiah – entire chapter
“Behold, thy dwelling [SEAT OF HABITATION] shall be of the fatness [RICHNESS] of the earth, and of the dew [BOUNTY] of heaven [LOFTY PLACES] from above [EXALTED HEIGHTS MEANT FOR THE CHOSEN]; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother [Jacob and the Israelites]; and it shall come to pass that when thou shalt have the dominion [DOMINATE RULE in thy hand], that thou shalt break [REDEEM] the yoke from off thy neck.” Genesis 27:40 Joshua 24:4
“For lo, I will make thee small [few in number] among the heathen [other than Israelites], and despised among all men. Jer 49:16
When is this event of the breaking of the yoke of Israel?
Psalm 83:1 O Elohim, do not remain silent! Do not be speechless, And do not be still, O ?l! 2 For look, Your enemies make an uproar, And those hating You have lifted up their head. 3 They craftily plot against Your people, And conspire against Your treasured ones. 4 They have said, “Come, And let us wipe them out as a nation, And let the name of Yisra’?l be remembered no more.” 5 For they have conspired together with one heart; They have made a covenant against You – 6 The tents of Ed?om and the Yishma??lites, Mo’ab? and the Hag?arites, 7 Geb?al, and Ammon, and Amal?q, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tsor, 8 Ashshur also has joined with them, They have helped the children of Lot. Selah. 9 Do to them as to Mid?yan, As to Sisera, As to Yab?in at the wadi Qishon, 10 Who perished at ?ndor, Who became as dung for the ground. 11 Make their nobles like Or?b? and like Ze’?b?, And all their princes like Zeb?ah? and Tsalmunna, 12 Who have said, “Let us take possession of the pastures of Elohim For ourselves.” 13 O my Elohim, make them as whirling dust, As stubble before the wind! 14 As a fire consumes a forest, And as a flame sets mountains on fire, 15 So pursue them with Your whirlwind, And frighten them with Your storm. 16 Fill their faces with shame, And let them seek Your Name1, O ????. Footnote: 1See also 44:21-22, 74:18, Isa. 52:5, Jer. 23:26-27. 17 Let them be ashamed and alarmed forever; And let them become abashed and perish, 18 And let them know that You, Whose Name is ????, You alone are the Most High over all the earth
It is when these Arab nations join forces with Assyria that they will then break the yoke of Jacob. We read in Daniel and Revelations about these Arab nations and the deal they have made.
Daniel 7:24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings.
Revelation 17:12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
Once Esau has made the deal with the Assyrians who promise them they can have ten kingdoms these forces join together as the toes of Iron, Assyria, Germany and as clay, Arab, Muslim, to defeat the USA and UK forces. This is to happen in 2020. Once the descendant of Jacob are defeated then the world is divided up amongst these ten kings but they do not reign for long before Satan takes over from them.
Sharia (????? Šar??a; [?a?ri??a], “way” or “path”) is the sacred law of Islam. All Muslims believe Sharia is God’s law, but they have differences among themselves as to exactly what it entails. Modernists, traditionalists and fundamentalists all hold different views of Sharia, as do adherents to different schools of Islamic thought and scholarship. Different countries and cultures have varying interpretations of Sharia as well.
Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexuality, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting.
Introduction (or reintroduction) of Sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements in Muslim countries. Some Muslim minorities in Asia (e.g. India) have attained institutional recognition of Sharia to adjudicate their personal and community affairs. In Western countries, where Muslim immigration is more recent, Muslim minorities have introduced Sharia family law, for use in their own disputes, with varying degrees of success (e.g. Britain’s Muslim Arbitration Tribunal). Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (cf. Second Sudanese Civil War).
Know and understand brethren, Sharia law is coming and is going to be the law of the land in your lifetime. Public executions, stoning, and beheadings will be taking place at this time. Know and understand the times we are fast approaching.
1 Sam 9-11
In chapter 8 we read how the people had rejected Yahovah and wanted to have human king reign over them.
7 And ???? said to Shemu’?l, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them. 8 “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Mitsrayim, even to this day – forsaking Me and serving other mighty ones – so they are doing to you too.
Know and understand that by seeking a king to rule over us we are in fact rejecting Yahovah. All those things that He does for us since we came out of Egypt, we reject. This has broken His heart.
Yahovah told Samuel to anoint Saul of Benjamin. He was to be the first King and in chapter 10 we read of his appointment in chapter 10 when the air was rent for the first time in Israel by the loud cry, “God save the king!” This very same saying is said with each of Israel’s kings and monarchs and has been passed down to our own day when it said to Queen Elizabeth of Britain Long live the Queen. I direct descendant of the King David.
Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the Ammonite at Jabeshgilead , an army out of all the tribes of Israel rallied at his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek, and he led them forth a great army to battle, gaining a complete victory over the Ammonite invaders at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the universal joy occasioned by this victory he was now fully recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of Samuel “all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal.” Samuel now officially anointed him as king (11:15). Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in Israel, yet now his work in that capacity practically came to an end.
The people’s choice had won the first battle. It all looked so good having a king instead of a God. We shall now see what is to come.
But I would like to point out here and I will say this many times to come. All the Kings are appointed by Yahovah. Even when David was anointed King he would not kill Saul when he had many a chance to do so. King David respected the office of the King so much so. So when I receive endless emails ridiculing President Bush and now President Obama from many of the those who call themselves Christians or Messianic believers, I can’t help but wonder what bible they are reading from. How on earth can they justify themselves by those things they have said about Yahovah’s anointed. Yes President Obama is in that office because Yahovah has given you what you asked for and what you deserve.
It goes right back to this time when the people rejected Yahovah and wanted a change. They wanted a king like the rest of the world. Those of you who do these things and belittle the office that Yahovah has given you belittle Yahovah at the same time and you will not escape the judgment that is coming to you. Repent of this evil now while you have time. You do not have to approve of those things the King does, but you must respect the position because it is Yahovah who has placed him there at this time for His purpose.
Psalm 57 is the second in the sequence of five mikhtams here. We earlier read it along with the account mentioned in the superscription-when David “fled from Saul into the cave.” Actually, David hid in a cave on two occasions we know of-once in Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1-5), the setting of Psalm 142, and once in the oasis of En Gedi (1 Samuel 24:1-7), which is evidently the setting of this psalm. In En Gedi, David in a miraculous circumstance spared Saul when he could easily have killed him and was afterward blessed with a period of respite. This was in answer to David’s prayer recorded here (see the earlier Bible Reading Program comments on Psalm 57; 1 Samuel 24).
David cries out for mercy, trusting God will save him (Psalm 57:1-3). The imagery in verse 1 of finding refuge under God’s wings as a young bird finds protection under the wings of its mother is also found elsewhere in Psalms (17:8; 36:7; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4).
As David fervently prays for help, he is not yet out of peril from those who seek to harm him (verses 4, 6). But he sees a new day dawning (verse 8). Note the repeated refrain of praise (verses 5, 11). And indeed, God would soon rescue him, as 1 Samuel 24 shows.
The end of Psalm 57 (verses 7-11), with its exuberant expression of joy and praise, is used in Book V of the Psalter as the beginning of Psalm 108 (verses 1-5), while the end of Psalm 108 is taken from Psalm 60, the last of the sequence of miktams here.
“Deliver Me From My Enemies, O My God”
Psalm 58, the third miktam of David out of five in a row, addresses human misrule and injustice. He may have written this before he was king-while on the run from Saul, as in the preceding psalm and the one that follows. However, even while king, David could not completely control every judge under his authority and certainly not the rulers of enemy lands outside his empire.
In verse 1, the NKJV calls the offenders “silent ones,” a valid translation, because they remain silent when it comes to saying what needs to be said and rendering appropriate judgment. Verse 2 appears to say that those being addressed commit evil and violence themselves. Yet it may mean that by failing in justice, they promote these things in society.
The beginning of verse 3 says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb…” This is an odd turn of phrase in English but is clearly explained by the next line, an example of Hebrew poetry’s repetition: “…they go astray as soon as they are born”-that is, they are drawn away from God early in life.
In positions of judgment and leadership, the wicked are dangerous-compared to a cobra that can’t be mesmerized by a snake charmer (verses 4-5). David further compares them to ravenous lions and urgently calls on God to break their fangs-that is, their power to hurt people (verse 6). He also asks that they be swept away as running water and that their “arrows,” or means of dealing out destruction, be rendered useless (verse 7). In verse 8, when David asks that they melt away like a snail and that they are not brought to term like a stillborn child, it is not clear if he means the wicked themselves or their arrows of verse 8. Either way, the point is to neutralize the grave threat they pose.
In verse 9, the added italicized words “the burning” before “thorns” gives the correct sense here, as is made clear by other verses: “Twigs from wild thornbushes were used as fuel for quick heat (see 118:12; Ecc 7:6)” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 58:9). The meaning of the verse is that God’s judgment will come suddenly on the wicked.
In its note on verse 10, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The joy of the righteous comes to full expression when they see evidences of God’s justice. It is not so much the case that they are bloodthirsty [as might appear here at first glance] but rather that they delight in justice. The reign of terror must come to an end! Isaiah portrays the Lord as the Divine Warrior coming with red garments, stained by the blood of his enemies (Isa 63:1-6). Here the godly join in the victory march, as they too have been granted victory. The imagery of feet in blood portrays the victory (cf. Isa 63:1-6; Rev 14:19-20; 19:13-14), rather than the gruesome picture of people relishing the death of the wicked. The godly share together with the Lord in his triumph over evil.”
The injustice of human misrule will at last be overturned and righted when God brings His true and righteous judgment (Psalm 58:11). The message will be clear: righteousness pays; wickedness doesn’t.
Mark 4:24 – 5:34
Take Heed What You Hear (4:21-25) This week’s opening lines are most profound and something we need to pay attention to.
When we have opportunities to hear or read the Word of Yahovah Are we aware that we will be judged by how we give heed? Are we aware that the blessings we receive are proportionate to how we hear?
During His ministry, Yahshua began teaching in parables…To the public He would tell the parables – Mk 4:1-2. In private He would explain them to His disciples – Mk 4:10-12, 33-34
In “The Parable Of The Four Soils” Yahshua Illustrated how not everyone receives the Word as they should. Some seed falls on stony ground others get tangled up in the weeds and some falls on fertile ground. Yahshua ended with the cry, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” – Mk 4:9. This same warning is repeated over and over in the admonition to the 7 churches of Revelation.
After explaining the parable, Yahshua exhorted His disciples to “Take Heed What You Hear” (Mk 4:21-25).
Let’s first consider Yahshua’ words… THAT WHICH IS HIDDEN IS TO BE MADE KNOWN… Yahshua asked rhetorical questions involving a lamp – Mk 4:21. What was hidden would be revealed, what was secret should come to light – Mk 4:22. The context regards His use of parables and the ultimate intention of His teaching
Yahshua spoke publicly in parables at the time – Mk 4:11 but the meaning was explained privately – Mk 4:33-34 His teaching was meant one day to be proclaimed abroad and His disciples would be involved in publicly proclaiming it. Mt 10:27 As such they were to pay close attention to what He was saying – Mk 4:23. Yahshua intended one day for all to hear and know His teaching
TAKE HEED WHAT YOU HEAR. Yahshua charged His disciples to take heed what they hear – Mk 4:24a The importance of taking heed is repeatedly stressed – Mk 4:24b-25. “With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you” “To you who hear, more will be given” “For whoever has, to him more will be given” “But whoever does not have, even what he has will be take away from him”
This is illustrated in the parable of The Talents. Talents were given according to each person’s ability – Mt 25:15 Those who utilized their talents received more responsibility – Mt 25:20-23 The one talent man lost that which he did not utilize – Mt 25:24-28. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” – Mt 25:29. Yahshua promised more for those who take heed to what they hear, utilize what they have.
Yahshua spoke these words to prepare and motivate His disciples for their future service.
THAT WHICH WAS HIDDEN HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN. Things kept private were to be made public after His resurrection – cf. Mk 9:9. The Spirit would be given to guide the apostles into all the truth – Jn 16:12-13. They were to proclaim the gospel and His commandments to all – Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19-20. The apostles (including Paul) were faithful to their charge Ac 20:27 What was once a “mystery” has now been revealed – Ro 16:25-26; Ep 3:3-5,8-9
But TAKE HEED WHAT YOU HEAR. The need to take heed to what we hear is still the same. Consider the importance of listening carefully:
a. To be blessed – cf. Mt 13:16-17
b. To have faith – cf. Ro 1:16-17; 10:17
c. To bear fruit – cf. Lk 8:15; Col 1:6
d. To prevent apostasy – cf. He 2:1-3
e. To avoid rejection and condemnation – cf. Mt 10:14-15; Ac 13:44-49; Mt 12:41-42
The principle of measure remains the same – Mk 4:24-25 “With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you” “To you who hear, more will be given” “For whoever has, to him more will be given” “But whoever does not have, even what he has will be take away from him”
Those willing give careful heed to the Word of Yahovah, they will be richly blessed!
There is a well known maxim: “You get out of something what you put into it.” Does this not explain why many get little out of religion and the Bible in particular? They have little interest in spiritual matters, they make little effort to learn what the Bible says and their interest in spiritual things declines with time.
Yet Yahshua promises for those willing to “Take Heed What You Hear” “With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you” “To you who hear, more will be given” “For whoever has, to him more will be given”
That is why some never stagnate in their spiritual growth; why their faith is refreshed and renewed daily (cf. 2Co 4:16). And so together with Yahshua we offer the following admonition:
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mk 4:23)
I find the verse about the large herd of swine interesting. Why was there swine in the land of Israel? I will let you think on this. But I wanted to point out that the man whom Legion left afterwards wanted to go with Yahshua, but was not allowed. Instead he was told to go into the town and tell the people what happened.
This shows you that not everyone could be an Apostle. Some were chosen to do a certain job. Others were chosen to that job. Today so many people want to be the boss instead of doing the job they have at hand. Many parts to the body, not all of them are the brain. Some are the less talked about parts.
The last part of Mark this week that we need to cover is the section about the woman who touches the hem of His garment. This is a huge and great teaching and you can read it at https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/?page_id=129 Under the Shadow of His Wings. This is talking about touching the tzit tzit on the corner of His garment and how it is healing in the wings there of.
The 613 Mitzvot
We are also going to continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week and this week we shall study laws 170-176. We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
Doing Things Yahovah’s Way
It was inevitable, I suppose. Christianity had begun as a Jewish sect. Its roots were deep in the Jewish scriptures, and it’s raison d’etre was a Jewish Messiah who had fulfilled a plethora of Jewish prophecies. So when gentiles began seeing and accepting the life-saving truth of Yahshua’s mission, the question naturally arose: can gentiles be Christians without becoming Jews first? What, precisely, was the correlation between the Law of Moses and the saving grace of Yahshua?
The way the early Ekklesia dealt with the problem is recorded in Acts 15. “While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the Christians: ‘Unless you keep the ancient Jewish custom of circumcision taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’” The Torah had never tied circumcision—or any other law—to the atonement for sin. Only the shedding of blood could achieve that. Paul, being an expert in the Law of Moses, knew that, so he called them on their error. “Paul and Barnabas, disagreeing with them, argued forcefully and at length. Finally, Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted….” Phoenicia and Samaria? Antioch? These were gentile and mixed-blood territories. Laid between the lines here is a remarkable transformation of spirit. Not that long before, devout Jews like Paul and Barnabas might have avoided any and all contact with gentiles out of sheer inbred national arrogance. But now, a believer was a believer—and a brother—wherever you found him, and whoever you found him to be.
The center of the Ekklesia was still in Jerusalem, however, so that’s where they went to iron out the issue. “When they arrived in Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported on what God had been doing through their ministry.” Interesting. Yahshua had told the Apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, beginning in Jerusalem and spreading outward. But hardly anybody had left their comfort zone yet. It wasn’t until things got uncomfortable that the Christians in Jerusalem would follow Yahshua’s instructions. “But then some of the men who had been Pharisees before their conversion stood up and declared that all Gentile converts must be circumcised and be required to follow the law of Moses….” The very reason Paul had come back to Jerusalem was that “men from Judea” had come up to Antioch trying to bind the Church in Jewish religious traditions. Here we learn who had probably sent them—converted Pharisees who, unlike Paul, didn’t understand that the Law of Moses had been given for our edification, not our salvation—it was a window into the heart of God, not a doorway into His kingdom.
“So the apostles and church elders got together to decide this question. At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: ‘Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.” We saw how this happened in our previous chapter. “God, who knows people’s hearts, confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he gave him to us [Jews]. He made no distinction between us and them, for he also cleansed their hearts through faith. Why are you now questioning God’s way by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus….” The phrase “special favor” here is the Greek word charis, meaning “grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, or acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, or gratitude. It’s a favor done without expectation of return, the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to man, finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor. Charis stands in direct antithesis to erga, works, the two being mutually exclusive.” (Zodhaites) Peter’s audience thus understood that God’s grace and our works could not both be the path to salvation, so “there was no further discussion, and everyone listened as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles….”
James, ever the practical one, formulated the appropriate course of action: “When they had finished, James stood and said, ‘Brothers, listen to me. Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. And this conversion of Gentiles agrees with what the prophets predicted. For instance, it is written: “Afterward I will return, and I will restore the fallen kingdom of David. From the ruins I will rebuild it, and I will restore it, so that the rest of humanity might find Yahweh, including the Gentiles—all those I have called to be mine. This is what Yahweh says, he who made these things known long ago….’” His recommended advice to the gentiles did not absolve them from following the Torah. Unfortunately, this differentiation has been the source of confusion and misunderstanding ever since.
The idea was to make it clear that gentiles did not have to become Jews before they could be saved. Yahweh had demonstrated the point Himself by filling the fledgling gentile believers with His Holy Spirit before they’d even thought about keeping the Law of Moses. “And so my judgment is that we should stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God…” He did, however, add a few caveats: “except that we should write to them and tell them to abstain from eating meat sacrificed to idols, from sexual immorality, and from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals. For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” (Acts 15:1-21 NLT) Everything James added back in (and it wasn’t much) was directly related to the health of the congregation, whether physical or spiritual—things from the “Owner’s Manual” side of the Torah. These things are to be found in the Heart of the Torah, right in the middle of Leviticus 17-18.
This, unfortunately, is where the whole thing tends to go sideways. The things that weren’t said have been tortured, twisted, tweaked and transmogrified over the intervening years until the simple intentions of God have been all but lost. Yahweh was not throwing His Law out the window, as is the usual Christian take on this. God’s word may get misunderstood, mistranslated, and misapplied, but it is never abrogated (not by God, anyway). Even the smallest detail will remain true until it is all brought to fruition (see Matthew 5:18).
Our confusion isn’t accidental, of course. Satan has done what he could to shape and bend doctrines within the Church. But if we’d all pay closer attention to what Yahweh actually told us, there would be far less misunderstanding and far less error. At the time of Constantine (early in the fourth century) a concerted—and satanic—effort was made to remove or downplay all things Jewish from the practice of Christianity. Using this passage and others as “proof texts,” the Church systematically attacked the Torah, alternately abusing and neglecting it, burying some of its rich truths and symbols so deep they’re only just now coming back to light. It became an article of faith that the Law of Moses had been “nailed to the cross,” and therefore had no value; gentile Christians could ignore all this “Jewish” stuff, because it was outdated, obsolete, and of no further use. Nothing, my friend, could be farther from the truth.
Inadvertently contributing to our confusion is Paul’s observation that “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:27-29) This seems at first glance to be saying that there is no difference between Jews and gentiles. And there isn’t, as far as our salvation is concerned: we are all “children of God through faith in Yahshua the Messiah.” However, this truth speaks of position, not function. Only a fool would deny that there are biological differences between men and women, or societal differences between slaves and free men. In the same way, Yahweh maintains a spiritual distinction between Jew and gentile believers in the way they are to function in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Jews delivered the Messiah to a lost world; the gentiles (some of us) gratefully accepted the gift God had sent. The Jews were to be the bearers of Yahweh’s signs; gentiles were the intended audience, the readers of those signs. The Jews were to be a holy people, “set apart” from the nations by Yahweh; gentile believers were “called out” of the world for His purposes. These subtle differences—which have nothing to do with the means or reality of our salvation—were designed by Yahweh to form a complete circle, a symbiotic system in which all of the parts work together toward the goal of mankind’s perception of His plan for our reconciliation.
In short, Jews have a different job to do than gentiles. If I may wax metaphorical for a moment, in the body of believers, Christ is the head, the Brain. So perhaps we could compare the Jews to the heart, and gentiles to the lungs in this body. The heart and lungs don’t do the same things; they have separate, though related, functions, but both are necessary if the body is to survive. They both have to perform their respective functions—functions that are directed by the Brain. Now, if the heart were to conclude that because it’s soooo important, every part of the body should have to pump blood like it did, the body would be in trouble. Sure, pumping the life-blood throughout the body is an essential task, but no more so than absorbing the breath of life—the Spirit—for the body’s use. Worse, if the heart decided to start “reinterpreting” the signals coming from the Brain, the body would find itself in quite a fix. Lub-dub lub-dub is boring—I think lub dubity shamalama ding dong doink would sound better. Or if the lungs made an executive decision: exhaling is not as virtuous as inhaling, so we’re not going to do that any more. I don’t care what the Brain said to do—we’re in charge of breathing down here. As silly as it sounds, that’s all too often what we see in practice in the Body of Christ.
What was supposed to happen was a distinction of function between Jewish and gentile believers, though we are all part of the same body. Although the Church at this time was composed of both Jewish and gentile believers, it is never even suggested that the Jewish contingent drop their day-to-day observance of the Torah. But Peter’s point had been taken: “burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear” was tantamount to “questioning God’s way.” Let’s pick up the narrative in Acts 15: “Then the apostles and elders and the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision…. This is the letter they took along with them: ‘This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings! We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but they had no such instructions from us…. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these requirements: You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.’” (Acts 15:22-29 NLT)
In the end, only three words of admonition were handed down. First, “not eating food that had been sacrificed to idols.” This was not a dietary precept, but a spiritual one. Paul later pointed out that although there was nothing intrinsically evil or even different about such food, eating it could easily cause a brother of tender conscience to stumble by emboldening him to do something contrary to what his inner compass was telling him. There are obvious parallels for us today: don’t hang out in bars, even if you’re only drinking soda pop; don’t condone your boss’s dishonest business practices, even if it endangers your job; don’t do anything that might encourage a “weaker” brother to do something he would ordinarily consider sin—even if it’s never explicitly forbidden in the Bible.
Second, “not consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals” seems to be an echo of the most fundamental of the Mosaic dietary laws—a precept that had a history going all the way back to Noah’s day. As we saw in our previous chapter, the life is in the blood; therefore, it’s sacred. Not to mention toxic. I said “seems to be” because eating blood was associated with pagan religious practice. It’s possible that the elders at Jerusalem were concerned about this as much as they were the health issues.
Third (and last), they warned against “sexual immorality.” This too was intimately associated with paganism, but you don’t have to be a pagan to fall into sexual sin. As Paul later wrote: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:18-20) Though the Torah had specifically forbidden a plethora of extra-marital sexual practices (see Chapter 3 of this book), the Antioch letter doesn’t address any particular Mosaic instruction. But nobody who had the Spirit of God within them had the slightest doubt what was meant. What was given to do was the very heart of the Torah.
And what was the reaction to this letter among the gentile Christians at Antioch? “There was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.” (Acts 15:31 NLT) What did they find so encouraging? Why did they rejoice? Because, as Peter had candidly admitted, the Torah had proven impossible for the Jews to keep. So the gentile believers would not be asked to bear this burden; they wouldn’t be required to become Jews—with all of the attendant privileges and responsibilities that entailed—in order to become Christians. I find it fascinating, however, that precisely the same reaction—rejoicing, happiness, delight—is seen of those who love and study the Torah: “Blessed [i.e., happy] is the man [whose]… delight is in the law of Yahweh, and in His law [Torah] he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2) Apparently, if you’re a child of God, you’re blessed if you do try to keep the letter of the Torah, that is. The only way this could be true, of course, is if the Law was never meant to be a job by which we could earn our own salvation, but rather was a path upon which we could walk hand in hand with our Heavenly Father as He taught us about His goodness, His love, and His design for our well-being.
This all begs the question: if you’re a gentile, what’s the Law for? According to Yahshua, the whole Law was summarized in two commandments: love Yahweh, and love your fellow man. He said that if we loved Him, we would show it by keeping His commandments, and He defined that as believing in the one sent by Yahweh, i.e., Himself. (John 6:29). Acts 15 makes it clear that “keeping His commandments” is observing the Torah—for gentile believers, anyway. For the gentile, following the spirit of the Torah is what it’s all about. Sadly, most Jews don’t realize that the Torah points directly and unequivocally toward their Messiah. And most Christians don’t realize that the Torah reveals the heart of God, a heart that was demonstrated in the life of Yahshua. Both sides are prone to error because they don’t perceive the underlying meaning of the Law: it’s not an arbitrary list of rules; it’s not a method for us to achieve our own reconciliation with our Creator; and it’s certainly not supposed to be the basis of a religion designed to make us feel better about our place in the world. In tech-speak, the Torah is a “T-1 line” into the heart and mind of Almighty God. We twist it to our destruction, and we ignore it to our shame.
With that in mind, let us return to the Torah. Jewish believers should observe these precepts because they are a people set apart for the glory of Yahweh. Gentile believers should take them just as seriously because the Spirit of God dwelling within them testifies that this is what Yahshua wants us to do. But Jew or gentile, Christians are bound not by duty, but by love.
170. Not to do wrong in buying or selling (Lev. 25:14) (CCN47).
(170)Do no wrong in buying or selling. “If you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another.” (Leviticus 25:14) Because the sentiment is covered by a boatload of other Mosaic precepts (don’t steal or covet; keep honest scales, don’t move boundary markers, etc.) the rabbis aren’t exactly wrong with their reinterpretation of this mitzvot. But the context of the supporting verse reveals a meaning deeper than merely being honest in one’s business dealings. It is within the Law of Jubilee (something we’ll look at more thoroughly later in this chapter). If we look at the surrounding verses, Yahweh’s real agenda becomes clear: “In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am Yahweh your God. So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.” (Leviticus 25:13-18) Jubilee came once every fifty years (i.e., once in a lifetime, for all practical purposes). Every Israelite who had “sold” his land during the preceding half century (see #226) would get it back at Jubilee. In practice, this meant that the land was worth less and less as the year of Jubilee approached, for its lease value was related to how many crops one could raise on it. The admonition, then, is for both buyer and seller to refrain from taking opportunistic advantage of the situation—the approaching Jubilee. Buyers were to respond in love and fairness to a brother in need, and sellers were not to capitalize on their brothers’ kindness or generosity.
The Jubilee is a metaphor for the coming eternal state, a time when believers’ debts (read: sins) will be forgiven in practice as they now are in promise. Because of its symbolic nature, Jubilee was intended to be rehearsed by Israelites. For gentiles, its message is: Yahshua has provided for our redemption, though our debt was impossibly large; therefore we are to also to forgive those who “owe” us. Freely we have received; freely we should give. Don’t oppress your fellow man.
171. Not to make a loan to an Israelite on interest (Lev. 25:37) (CCN54).
(171)Do not make a loan to an Israelite on interest. “If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.” (Leviticus 25:35-38) Again, this passage is related to Jubilee—God’s quintessential picture of gracious forgiveness. Which of us has not fallen on hard times? Oh, not materially, necessarily, but spiritually we have all become debtors. Yahweh has taken pity upon us, paid off our debts, and put us on our feet. Should we not do the same thing for our brothers?
It is with deep sorrow that I must note that our entire monetary system today is based on a violation of this precept. In America, as in most of the rest of the world, money is based on debt. With little or nothing of intrinsic value to back it up, wealth is created out of thin air in tandem with loans—if every debt were paid off today, our entire money supply would cease to exist. Hardly anybody understands how our central banking boondoggle—I mean system—really works, of course; if we did, we would descend on Washington and New York en masse, pitchforks and torches in hand. Required reading: The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, by G. Edward Griffin. (Copyright 1994-2002, American Media. www.RealityZone.com)
We (or is it just me?) are entirely too reluctant to trust Yahweh with our finances. Rather than living simply and within our means, we indulge our every whim and then feverishly scheme and calculate how to make ends meet. All too often, our solutions involve short changing the charitable end of the spectrum—not just by giving less to advance Yahweh’s cause, but also oppressing our brothers by selling what we should be giving away or taking advantage of others’ misfortune by buying things cheaply. One I am personally guilty of: The house is priced under-market because the owners are getting a divorce and need a quick sale—we can make a killing here. When are we going to learn that our Father owns everything? It’s an insult to Him to doubt His willingness to meet our needs—and to demonstrate that doubt by taking advantage of our fellow man.
172. Not to borrow on interest (Deut. 23:20) (because this would cause the lender to sin) (CCN55).
(172)Do not borrow on interest (because this would cause the lender to sin). “You shall not charge interest to your brother—interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that Yahweh your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess.” (Deuteronomy 23:19-20) It’s a fine sentiment, I suppose: don’t cause your brother to stumble by offering incentive to sin. But the rabbis have missed the point. The burden is upon the lender: he must not take advantage of a brother in need by making a profit on his misfortune. If God has blessed him to the point that he has more than he needs, he is not to leverage that blessing into a growth industry.
Yahweh makes a distinction here between “brothers” and “foreigners.” Those outside the fellowship of faith are not under God’s protection—by their own choice. Yahweh understands that there is a time-value to money. But we are to conduct our business relationships with fellow believers as if we were dealing with God Himself. Would we charge Yahshua interest? Would we demand guarantees and collateral from Him? Of course not. We should be aware that He regards what we do for “His brothers” as being done for Him—personally. Remember the admonition concerning the separation of the “sheep from the goats” in Matthew 25.
In the real world, especially today, especially in America, we needn’t be “poor” to feel like we need to borrow. But it’s an illusion, for the most part. We have forgotten how to distinguish between needs and wants. If we borrow, we become debtors, and debt is a chain: one from which Yahweh would spare us. “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law…. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:8, 10)
173. Not to take part in any usurious transaction between borrower and lender, neither as a surety, nor as a witness, nor as a writer of the bond for them (Ex. 22:24) (CCN53).
(173)Do not take part in any usurious transaction between borrower and lender, neither as a surety, nor as a witness, nor as a writer of the bond for them. “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.” (Exodus 22:25-27) Although I don’t disagree with what the rabbis said here, it isn’t supported by the text, not all of it, anyway. The transaction in view is once again between the lender and the borrower (not a middleman). Yahweh is giving a real-world example of how collateral ought to work. The acceptance of a pledge is never to hinder or endanger (or as Leviticus 25 put it, oppress) the lender. A man’s coat may be the only thing of value he could leave with you to ensure that he pays his debt, but if it’s the only thing between him and pneumonia, make sure he gets it back when it gets cold. Use your imagination. I’m sure you can come up with half a dozen examples that fit our contemporary situation: a man’s car, tools, home—you get the picture. In practical terms, if you can trust his word, what good is collateral? And if you can’t, why are you expecting him to pay you back?
Again we see that the lending relationship in view is between “any of My people.” That is, if the borrower honors Yahweh, you (the God-fearing lender) ought to be able to trust him to keep his word and pay you back, for he didn’t make his promises to you as much as he made them to God Himself. If he stiffs you, he’ll answer to Yahweh—and he knows it (or ought to). Contrast this to what Solomon says about loaning money to strangers (i.e., those with whom you don’t share a familial relationship with Yahweh): “He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure.” (Proverbs 11:15) A “surety” is an old fashioned word for a guarantee. It’s true on personal, corporate, and national levels: if we guarantee the performance of those who don’t answer to Yahweh, we will suffer for it.
174. To lend to a poor person (Ex. 22:24) (even though the passage says “if you lend” it is understood as obligatory) (CCA62).
(174)Lend to a poor person. “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him: you shall not charge him interest.” (Exodus 22:25) The word “if” (Hebrew: ’im) is more positive than it may seem in the English. It means “when” or “whenever” as much as “if.” It is a given under the Law that an Israelite with means will not oppress his less fortunate brother by refusing him a timely loan, nor, as we see here, is the lender to charge interest—to make a profit on his charity. Conversely, it is also a given that a man will not borrow money if he is not in dire straits—and certainly not if he has no intention of repaying the loan. Accepting a loan under such false pretenses is tantamount to stealing (see Exodus 20:15). Bear in mind that Yahweh put mechanisms in place in Israel through which the poor could provide for themselves (see Mitzvot #41-52 in Chapter 2). And in the larger sense, Israel was promised (Deuteronomy 28:1-14, etc.) abundant temporal blessings that would make poverty in the Land an aberration rather than the status quo, if only they would heed Yahweh’s laws. In other words, this never should have been much of an issue.
175. Not to demand from a poor man repayment of his debt, when the creditor knows that he cannot pay, nor press him (Ex. 22:24) (CCN52).
(175)Do not demand from a poor man repayment of his debt, nor press him, when it becomes clear that he cannot pay. “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.” (Exodus 22:25-27) Maimonides has been caught padding the list again. We’ve already seen the supporting text of this Mitzvah in #173, and we’ve seen similar passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The bottom line here is that we are to be merciful, generous, and forgiving, for Yahweh is all of those things toward us. As far as not requiring repayment of loans, Yahweh never actually said anything about it. The closest He got was in a parable told by Yahshua (Matthew 18:21-35) in which a king forgave a gargantuan debt owed by a servant who asked for mercy, only to see him turn around and refuse to forgive a relatively small debt of a fellow servant. The point was not that the king had no right to press the first servant to repay his debts—the debt was real: somebody had to make up the shortfall—and that turned out to be the King Himself. But because the king was merciful, His servant should have been merciful as well. What made the king angry was not the debt, but the first servant’s unforgiving attitude. The carryover to our redemption and its intended effect upon our lives is self-evident. The “king” is Yahweh, and the “debt” we owe is due to our sin. Because God has forgiven us, we likewise should forgive those who have wronged us.
176. Not to take in pledge utensils used in preparing food (Deut. 24:6) (CCN58).
(176)Do not take in pledge utensils used in preparing food. “No man shall take the lower or the upper millstone in pledge, for he takes one’s living in pledge.” (Deuteronomy 24:6) Food has nothing to do with it, and the supporting verse makes that plain (at least to me). The point was that a man’s ability to earn a living was not to be infringed upon by requiring that he put up the tools of his trade as collateral. In other words, don’t take a miller’s millstone, a farmer’s ox or plow, a weaver’s loom, etc., in pledge for a loan, even if they are the only things of value a borrower may have. I get the feeling that the rabbis specified food-preparation utensils because they wanted to be able to broaden their horizons in the collateral department—thereby circumventing the clear intent of this precept.
Yahweh didn’t altogether forbid the taking of pledges to secure loans, for He wanted to protect lenders from potential abuse at the hands of shifty borrowers. At the same time, He clearly doesn’t like the concept of resorting to legal means to minimize risk. His ideal is “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no,” in other words, be as good as your word. If you borrow, pay your debts—as quickly as you can. If God has blessed you with a little more than you need to get by, don’t be afraid to “risk it” helping someone in need. Consider that the overabundance you’ve received may have been given to you for that very purpose.