News Letter 5850-018
27th day of the 4th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence
July 25, 2014
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
Next weekend I will be in Columbus, Ohio speaking about the 70 Weeks of Daniel and the 2300 Days of Hell and the Blood moons and the coming war. You need to hear this message. Everything these other ministries have been telling you about the blood moons is misleading you. Come out and learn what they mean and how they line up perfectly with the curses of Lev 26, the very thing I have been saying since 2005. And make note: There are not just four – there are two more in the Sabbatical year in 2016 that no one is talking about. No one but me.
If you are in the Churches of God and are afraid your pastor is going to put you out because you want to learn more than what they are teaching you, then you need to….you know you need to grow up, put on your big boy pants and begin to learn what they will not teach you. Are you going to follow Yehovah or men?
You are not following me. I am just sharing information.
Yehovah is looking for leaders, not people who are fearful to do what is right and will not take action because they fear what men will do to them. It is time for people to man up. So decide what you want to do. Hope to see you there. You must register so we can get the appropriate room. For directions to the hall please contact
Have you considered the event of this past week when no flights were going in or out of Ben Gurion Airport except for El Al? Have you considered what you are going to do when that airport is shut down? Are you going to walk in from Syria or Lebanon or maybe Egypt? How will you get there if no one is going to fly you there? Where will you flee to then, when your country is being attacked? Have you got plan “B” thought out or plan “C”? Do you even have a plan?
Ezekiel tells us everyone is going to be removed from their place.
Eze 20:33 As I live, says the Lord Jehovah, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, I will reign over you. 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and I will gather you out of the lands in which you are scattered among them, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord Jehovah. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who sin against Me. I will bring them out from the land where they reside, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah.
You cannot plan for this. You must pray. You must pray and obey; it is that simple.
Just Another Coincidence – NOT!
You may all be looking around and wondering what is going on. Far too many times we look at the present situation and can’t figure out why this is happening. We forget those things that recently happened and never connect the two events together.
This weeks Newsletter is going to be very simple. Just follow the headlines. Then scratch your head and say ‘Hmmmm’.
Sitting in your quiet part of the country where nothing ever happens does not exclude you from the guilt of events taking place throughout the country. Saying ‘they can do whatever they want as long as it does not bother me’ is complicity in the crime. Not taking a stand is also complicity.
In our teaching on Niddah which you can watch in our video series, we show you the 10 Virgins and explain to you what the word foolish means. It means keeping silent so that the mystery religion can thrive. Evil goes wild when good people do nothing and hide. Yes, there is coming a time when we must be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves. And that time is coming very soon, but it is not yet this time now!
Each of you have been given one, five or ten talents. How many of you have these talents buried in the closet or hidden, hoping no one will find out you keep the Sabbath or Holy Days? How many of you are investing your talent talking to others, sharing with others and supporting those who do?
You’ve got time for coffee, you’ve got time for this or that, you’ve got time to waste on this project or that one. Very few of you found the time to support our request to advertise about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. So we have not been able to do this. None of you could find a few dollars to send in to further this effort we are making. There are a handful of widows and a few elderly who send in a donation. Those who can least afford it. But the rest of you, what are you investing your talents in? It matters not to me. I have done all I can to get out this message of the coming sword. What have you done to warn others of the coming sword? Many of you have called me or written to me to let me know how much you have learned about this subject from the teachings I have done. What have you done to share this message with others? What are you going to do about it?
Remember what Ezekiel says about their blood being on your head for not warning them. Taking the information and keeping it to yourself is a selfish act. What if I had done that? Because I had the nerve to speak up, now those of you reading this newsletter have learned a great deal about Daniel and the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and how they relate to prophecy. You need to share this information and also help me to share it. Or you can find some excuse to tell Yehovah when He asks you what you did with the talents He gave you. Yes brethren, I am asking for your help now. I am not going to be asking after 2020. We will all be fleeing then. I am asking for your help now. Will you help me from now until that time when we must flee? If 1,000 people did $5 a week that would be $5,000 I could use for advertising. Do not think your small amount does not help, because it does. Please consider helping us to get this message out. If others are doing that, then help them. If they are not doing that, then please consider helping us.
I have three things for you to read and consider. How one event seemingly not related causes a series of events to take place. Abraham asked the angel if there were 10 people in Sodom would He spare the city and the angel said yes. Keep that in mind as we continue. Some people say these are just random coincidences. Maybe, maybe not. You decide.
Many of you have already read of these in the past. I will re-post them here for those who have not. Then after these, I post the most recent ones. Again, you decide if Yehovah is real or if these events are just happenstance.
Relating to Israel’s Covenant Land
Some disasters appear to be related to God’s promise to bless those who bless Israel but curse those who slight Israel .
October 30, 1991
As President George Bush, Sr. is opening the Madrid Conference to consider “Land for Peace” in Israel’s Middle East role, the “Perfect Storm” develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm travels 1,000 miles from East to West (instead of the normal West to East pattern) and crashes into the New England coast. Thirty five foot waves crash into the Kennebunkport home of President Bush.
August 23, 1992
When the Madrid Conference moves to Washington D.C. and the Peace Talks resume, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster ever to hit America, comes ashore producing an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 108,000 homeless in Florida .
January 16, 1994
President Bill Clinton meets with Syria ‘s President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva. They talk about a peace agreement with Israel that includes giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours a powerful (6.9 on the Richter scale) earthquake rocks Southern California. The Northridge earthquake becomes the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States, behind Hurricane Andrew.
January 21, 1998
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with President Clinton at the White House and is coldly received. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright refuse to have lunch with him. Shortly afterwards on that day, the Monica Lewinski scandal breaks into the mass media and begins to occupy a major portion of Clinton ‘s time.
September 28, 1998
Secretary of State Albright works on the final details of an agreement in which Israel would give up 13% of Judea and Samaria. Hurricane George, with winds of 110mph gusting up to 175mph, slams into the United States Gulf Coast. Hurricane George stalls. Clinton meets with Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House to finalize this land deal. Later, Arafat addresses the United Nations about declaring an independent Palestinian state by May 1999. Hurricane George pounds the Gulf Coast causing $1 billion in damage. At the exact time Arafat departs the country, the storm starts to dissipate.
October 15-22, 1998
Arafat and Natanyahu meet at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland. The talks are scheduled to last five days with a focus on Israel giving up 13% of Judea and Samaria. The talks are extended and conclude on October 23rd. On October 17th awesome rains and tornados hit Southern Texas. The rain and flooding in Texas continue until October 22nd and then subside. The floods ravage 25% of Texas and leave over $1 billion in damage. On October 21, Clinton declares this section of Texas a major disaster area.
November 30, 1998
Arafat comes to Washington again to meet with President Clinton to raise money for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital. A total of 42 other nations were represented in Washington. All agreed to give Arafat $3 billion in aid. Clinton promised $400 million and the European nations $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average drops 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of market capitalization were wiped out in U.S. and Europe .
December 12, 1998
Clinton lands in the Palestinian-controlled section of Israel to discuss the “land for peace” process. The House of Representatives votes four articles of impeachment against Clinton .
May 3, 1999
The day Yasser Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital the most powerful tornado storm system ever to hit the United States sweeps across Oklahoma and Kansas. Winds are clocked at 316 mph, the fastest wind speed ever recorded. The declaration is postponed to December 1999 at the request of Clinton, whose letter to Arafat encourages him in his “aspirations for his own land.” He also writes that the Palestinians have a right to “determine their own future on their own land” and that they deserve to “live free today, tomorrow and forever.”
October 11, 1999
Jewish settlers in fifteen ” West Bank ” ( Israel ) settlements are evicted from the covenant land in Israel. Dow Jones financial averages loses 5.7% in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15, the Dow lost 266 points. A hurricane slams into North Carolina. The next morning, on October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the Southwest in the fifth most powerful earthquake in the 20th century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but it was felt in three states.
Jewish families were evicted from their homes in the Gaza communities as part of Ariel Sharon’s “Disengagement” plan. This disengagement was a response to the American Foreign Policy pressure being exerted by Condoleeza Rice. As the world watched the Jews being removed from their homes, a weather system was forming in the Atlantic. This storm became Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans, Louisiana (Miss Rice’s home state) and an area the size of Britain, rendering thousands of Americans homeless and leaving thousands dead. Hurricane Katrina also spoiled the “Southern Decadence” weekend planned by the homosexual community for New Orleans and supported by the mayor of New Orleans. By September 7th, further parallels were becoming apparent. The Mayor of New Orleans, having been heavily criticized for ineffectiveness, ordered troops (local people) and police to evacuate all residents who refuse to leave. The police chief expressed reservations about tackling defiant householders, as it would be a “PR disaster.”
30 tornados and one one huge twin tornado sweep through the Midwest.
June 18, 2014
Detroit Presbyterian Churches vote to allow clergy to perform same sex marriages, the largest christian group in the country to do so.
June 18, 2014
Lightning strikes home in Detroit causing it to catch fire and blacking out a section of the city. Another lightning strike hit Warren City Hall.
June 19, 2014
President Obama addresses the gay community pledging to fight for their rights.
June 19, 2014
Severe weather from the Midwest to the East Coast. Twin tornados again in South Dakota, flash flooding in Minnesota and more tornado activity in Ohio.
June 20, 2014
Presbyterian Church to allow gay and lesbian to be Ministers.
June 26, 2014
A Judge in Indiana struck down a ban on same sex marriage calling it unconstitutional. People began to get married that same day at the court houses.
June 26, 2014
Extreme tornados ripped through central Indiana followed by flash flooding.
June 26, 2014
Western and midwest states clear the way for gay marriages. Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico.
June 26, 2014
Flash flooding in St Paul, Minnesota; Fort Worth, Texas; Pennsylvania.
Seattle, Washington hosts LGBT parade.
Wild fires begin. Currently there are over 20 wild fires in Washington and Oregon.
Wild fires in Washington burn over 100 homes.
World Pride came to Toronto Canada, June 20-29, 2014.
June 29, 2014
Heavy rains cause flash flooding in Saskatchewan. I saw this as I drove back from our meeting in Calgary. It was a solid black wall of water in front of me the whole way back. But it was always in front of me and never rained on me.
June 30, 2014
Heavy rains pound the Prairies.
July 1, 2014
Saskatchewan and Manitoba flooded out.
July 5, 2014
Tornados and hail added to Manitoba flood crisis.
July 10, 2014
300 Million Acres of Crop land flooded. Crops lost for the year.
July 11, 2014
Flood damage in excess of 200 Million
July 15, 2014
The rain just keeps on coming. More crop land lost to floods.
British Columbia wild fires are up to 55 as of today.
2,500 from Kelowna evacuated due to wild fires.
Kelowna and Kamloops, having dealt with the wild fires, is now being flooded by torrential rains.
In Tel Aviv, Israel Gay Pride Week started on June 8th 2014, with events throughout the week until Sunday, June 14th. The pride parade took place on Friday, June 13th, 2014. They did not want to hold the Parade on the Sabbath for some reason.
On 12 June 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in Gush Etzion, in the West Bank, as they were hitchhiking to their homes. The three teens were Naftali Fraenkel (16, from Nof Ayalon), Gilad Shaer (16, from Talmon), and Eyal Yifrah (19, from Elad).
The Israel Defense Forces initiated Operation Brother’s Keeper in search of the three teenagers. As part of the operation, in the following 11 days Israel arrested around 350 Palestinians, including nearly all of Hamas’ West Bank leaders. Five Palestinians were killed during the military operation.
June 15, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the teens had been kidnapped by Hamas which Hamas denied.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas maintained that as of 22 June there was no evidence that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. Hamas denied any involvement in the kidnapping.
June 16, 2014
Hamas had already started firing rockets into Israeli territory, in retaliation for the crackdown. Four rockets were fired, and met with six Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip, wounding two.
June 20, 2014
Israeli security forces killed 15-year-old West Bank resident Mohammad Dudin as they searched his family’s home for the three teens.
June 30, 2014
The Israeli army found the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers. By this point, the two sides had already begun trading regular fire on a small scale. More than 400 Palestinians had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and six others were killed. 40 rockets had already been fired into Israel.
After the bodies were found, the Israeli air force struck 34 “terror targets” in Gaza and in turn, Hamas warned that Israel had “opened the gates of Hell.”
Several jihadist groups, including one linked to al Qaida, claimed responsibility for the three murders but Netanyahu maintained that “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.”
July 2, 2014
Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was found burned alive in a Jerusalem forest, the day after the burial of the three Israeli teens. Both sides increased attacks.
July 2- July 6, 2014
In response to escalated rocket fire from Gaza, the IDF increased air strikes over the strip, killing at least nine Hamas members.
July 7, 2014
Israel announced that it has launched “Operation Protective Edge” an offensive operation that would see Gaza hit by hundreds of air strikes in the coming days.
“We are entering into a long operation. This is only the start,” a senior IDF official said, according to a report. “We are preparing to increase ground forces on Gaza border.”
An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Nir Elias
July 8, 2014
Israel gave the IDF authorization to mobilize up to 40,000 reserve troops.
The U.S. condemned Hamas’ rocket fire. “We strongly condemn the continuing rocket fire inside of Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organizations in Gaza”, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.”
July 9, 2014
Just 48 hours into “Operation Protective Edge,” the death toll in Gaza reached at least 64 people, including at least 12 children, an 80-year-old woman and one journalist. 180 rockets were fired into Israel on July 9, and the IDF had already hit 590 targets, destroying 25 houses in Gaza.
The threat of a ground attack was already looming. “We’ve decided to escalate even further our attacks on Hamas and on the terrorist organizations in Gaza,” Netanyahu said, in a security briefing. The operation will expand and continue until the fire on our communities is over and the quiet is back.”
July 11, 2014
For the first time during the clashes, Hamas fired rockets into Haifa, Israel’s largest northern city, indicating it was now using a longer-range missile. In 72 hours, the IDF had hit 750 targets in Gaza.
July 12, 2014
Within a week of the operation, the IDF had conducted at least 1,220 strikes on Gaza, targeting 632 rocket launch sites, 130 military bases, 220 terror tunnels and other sites. The death toll now surpassed 150.
The U.N. Security Council issued a statement calling “for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm and reinstitution of the November 2012 cease-fire.” While the statement did not condemn either side, it highlighted the destruction taking place in Gaza.
July 13, 2014
In less than 24 hours, the death toll had reached 166 in Gaza and 10,000 residents were forced to flee their homes. About 130 rockets were fired into Israel, bringing the total to 800 in the previous five days.
July 15, 2014
The Egyptian government proposed a cease-fire agreement, which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected. Hamas now begins calling for an end to Israel’s air, land and sea blockade in Gaza that has been in effect since 2006. The death toll has now reached 200 and Israel has its first casualty.
July 16, 2014
A five-hour cease-fire was agreed to on both sides to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza after four children were killed on a Gaza beach. The death toll had now reached over 213 Palestinians.
July 17, 2014
Israel announced it was entering phase two of “Operation Protective Edge” which consisted of a full-blown invasion of Gaza by land, air and sea to destroy Hamas’ “terror tunnels.” It is the first ground invasion in Gaza since 2008.
July 20, 2014
Rockets continue to fire into Israel, and the death toll had now surpassed 500 in Gaza. In just one day, more than 140 Palestinians were killed, including the Shajaiya massacre that killed nearly 70 people. 27 IDF soldiers have been killed.
July 22, 2014
With more than 600 dead in Gaza and at least 27 soldiers killed on the Israeli side, the conflict is escalating at a rapid and terrifying pace. More than 5,000 housing units have been struck in Gaza and since July 13, in just nine days, the number of displaced Palestinians has gone up from 10,000 to 118,300.
Despite international condemnation of both sides, cease-fire efforts have so far failed.
“A cease-fire is not near,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, a member of Netanyahu’s inner security cabinet, told Israel Army Radio. “I see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Gay Pride events are scheduled across the USA starting July 27, 2014. I cannot help but wonder what events will follow those.
The prophet Balaam could not curse Israel for Barak, but he did tell him how to defeat Israel. He told him to get Israel to sin against their God and then God Himself would destroy Israel. This then led to the Baal Peor Incident with the Moabite women. If you do not understand just what happened with the Moabite women and how this relates to the events I have just shared with you, then go to our article:
- Newsletter 5849-052 LGBT Human Rights & Ba’al Peor
and be ready to be shocked. We also explain this in our last chapter of the 2300 Days of Hell which you can watch in our media area.
The events in Gaza like you many of us are cheering on the IDF and praying they will not be hurt and they will all come home safely. But I see Judah’s sins that preceded these events and I fear this could get worse. We are already seeing Palestinian protests around the world and in Calgary they attacked and beat the handful of Israeli supporters. In Europe anti-Semitism is skyrocketing. A PA protest turned on a Synagogue and tried to harm those inside.
In the Prophecies of Abraham I explain a great deception that Satan is pulling over on, if possible, even the elect. Many of those elect believe we are in the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation when the Jews are going to be severely destroyed while the Christians are raptured out before the bad stuff comes.
In The Prophecies of Abraham we wrote to you way back in 2009 about the Arab Spring that took place in 2011. How did we know this was coming? We also wrote about the Evil that is now in Judah.
Isa 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah has fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to provoke the eyes of His glory. 9 The look of their faces witnesses against them; and they declare their sin like Sodom. They do not hide it! Woe to their soul! For they have rewarded evil to themselves.
How did we know? We knew because we read the Torah and we pray about it and we meditate on it day and night and we ask Yehovah for knowledge and understanding and wisdom. We also said on page 96 the following;
Jer 23:13 And I have seen frivolity in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to go astray. 14 I have also seen in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing; they commit adultery and walk in falsehood. They also strengthen to the hands of evildoers, so that none returns from his evil; they are all of them like Sodom to Me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.
We also told you back then about the blood moons and what they mean. Have you read The Prophecies of Abraham lately? We may not have it 100% right, but we do have a lot of it right. Go and read it again.
We have much more to go through yet, Brethren. Much more evil is yet to come our way. The 2300 Days of Hell are exactly that and they begin in the next Sabbatical cycle, so pray and obey. You cannot put away enough food or ammo to help you through what is coming.
Triennial Torah reading
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading
Gen 48 2 Sam 24 Ps 94-98 Luke 11
Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48)
Before dying, Jacob laid hands upon Joseph’s sons to bless them with the birthright, similar to the manner his father had done to him when he was young. At the same time, Jacob adopted the boys as his own sons, and thus they were to actually be considered full sons of Israel and full brothers of the others. Joseph thought that Jacob was making a mistake by placing his right hand on the younger of the two boys. But this was quite deliberate—requiring Jacob to actually cross his arms to bless them as he did.
God was using this situation to indicate that He had special plans for the descendants of the sons of Joseph, and that Ephraim would indeed be greater in wealth and power than his older brother, Manasseh. As the chapter begins, they were mentioned in order of age, “Manasseh and Ephraim” (verse 1). But a point is later made of a switch in name order. Jacob “blessed them that day, saying, ‘By you Israel will bless, saying, “May God make you as [note the order] Ephraim and Manasseh!”‘ And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh” (verses 18-20).
Furthermore, we see clarified here that the national birthright blessing of a nation and company of nations given in Genesis 35:11 did not refer to the tribes of Israel generally. Instead, Manasseh was to become the great single nation and Ephraim the company of nations. Indeed, as incredible as it sounds, Manasseh is today the United States of America—the greatest single nation the world has ever seen. And Ephraim comprises the prophesied “company of nations”—the related Commonwealth nations of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and a small segment of South Africa and other former British colonies. Prior to America’s national greatness, Britain ruled over the largest empire in the history of the world. (To learn the amazing story of how this came to be, request or download our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy.) We will see more details of the tremendous blessings that were to come upon the family of Joseph in our next reading, Genesis 49.
David Numbers Israel (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21:1-27)
The parallel accounts of David’s census give some seemingly contradictory details which, when properly understood, shed additional light on this regrettable incident in David’s life. While 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that it was Satan who moved David to take the census, 2 Samuel 24:1 attributes this to God, as a result of His anger toward Israel for some unstated reason. No doubt God allowed Satan to act, as He did with Job, for His own purposes. But why would God be upset at anyone taking a census, when He ordered them several times Himself in the past (e.g., in Numbers 1 and 26)?
Apparently there was an attitude problem here that even Joab was able to see. Perhaps David and the rest of the people were glorying unduly in their own physical might and power, as seems to be implied by 2 Samuel 24:3. In context, the previous chapter, 2 Samuel 23, dealt with the deeds of David’s mighty men, while 2 Chronicles 20 discussed wars and great deeds that had been accomplished. As we’ve seen, by the time of the census, God was clearly already angry with the Israelites for some reason—and the possibility that they had become swollen with pride and were beginning to put their trust in their own greatness (rather than giving glory to and trusting in God) seems to fit. Or maybe David was considering some unauthorized military expansion campaign, since all of those counted by David’s chief general were “valiant men who drew the sword” (2 Samuel 24:9). The NIV says Joab and the army commanders went out “to enroll the fighting men of Israel” (verse 4). One of the proposed punishments would have allowed David to go through with any such plans, but he would have spent three months losing his battles.
Joab and the army officers start by crossing the Jordan, counting the eastern tribes as they journey north, then coming back south among the western tribes, and taking nearly 10 months to do it (verses 5-8). The discrepancies in the counts may be attributable to a variety of reasons, including differences in age versus readiness to fight, counting or excluding those already in the standing army, and the fact that 1 Chronicles specifically excludes Levi and Benjamin (perhaps from Judah’s total) while 2 Samuel does not.
Following the census, David finally realizes his error, but as is usually the case with our own sins, the consequences were still something he would have to face. In this case, through the prophet Gad, God offers him a choice of consequences, all of which would affect the entire nation. This may seem unfair, but remember the whole incident was prompted because “the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.” Israel as a nation was already guilty of something, and God is dealing here with David and the nation simultaneously according to His own divine purposes in a manner that seems to have been designed to humble all concerned.
One of the differences in the two accounts is in the number of years of the proposed famine. While Chronicles says three, Samuel gives seven. One possibility is that four years of famine had already taken place, and the Chronicles account was offering three more, for a total of seven. In any case, David does not choose that option—or the option of warfare. David’s decision is implied by his confidence that God will be far more merciful than man—meaning he evidently chooses the plague. He trusts that God may be willing to not make it overly severe, or that He will perhaps cut the punishment short, which is indeed what seems to happen (2 Samuel 24:16).
As the plague is halted at Jerusalem, David pleads for mercy with God, stating that he should really be the one to suffer from the plague, and not the people. It is interesting to note that David wrote quite eloquently about sickness in some of his psalms, especially in Psalms 41, 38, 39 and 6. While many of these passages could be figurative of sin, most seem to imply a literal, dread disease that David may have had at some time in his life. It is entirely possible that he may have contracted this plague himself and that these psalms constitute prayers for deliverance from the disease, as well as the sin that brought it about.
The angel stops at the threshing floor of Ornan (or Araunah), a Jebusite, located on the top of Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), and gives a command through Gad for David to erect an altar there (1 Chronicles 21:18). David asks to purchase the site to build the altar and offer burnt offerings. Ornan offers to give David the site, and the animals for the offerings, but David states that he would not “offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” It is a valuable principle for all of us that our offerings to God of service or money require a certain amount of sacrifice from us, or they are not really sacrificial offerings.
“The Great King Above All Gods” (Psalms 95-97)
As noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Psalm 93, Psalms 95-99 are royal psalms celebrating God as King-perhaps composed for temple worship during the fall festival season. Though these psalms have no attribution in the Hebrew text of the Scriptures, the Greek Septuagint translation titles them “of David.” The New Testament confirms this attribution in the case of Psalm 95, quoting from the psalm (compare verses 7-11; Hebrews 3:7-11) and declaring it the work of the Holy Spirit (verse 7) through David (4:7).
Psalm 95 moves through three aspects of worship: celebration (verses 1-5); humility and reverence (verses 6-7); and obedience (verses 8-11). Beginning with the celebration aspect, David calls for people to praise God with shouts, thanksgiving and joyful singing (verses 1-2). The reasons for praise? God is great and above all gods (verse 3)-meaning above all false idols (see 96:4-5)-for He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, including everything that people have set up as objects of worship (95:4-5; compare 96:5). This is also the reason for obedience. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary points out that God’s role as Creator establishes His kingship. Since God “has made everything, no one may isolate a single aspect of God’s creation to be his god. The Lord rules over the seas (93:3-4) and the great mountains (90:1-2). They belong to the Lord by creative fiat. Creation and dominion are hereby established as corollary to each other” (note on 95:3-5).
In light of God being our Maker and our God, we worship and bow down before Him (verse 6). “The Hebrew word translated worship means literally ‘to prostrate oneself.’ When bow down, kneel, and worship occur together as in this verse, they amplify each other and call for a reflective, humble approach to God” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 6-7).
Verse 7 further explains the basis for honoring and obeying God: “We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” This seems a mixed metaphor, with people in a pasture. Note the unmixed metaphor in Psalm 100:3: “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” However, reversing these is justified on the basis of the whole picture of people under a king as the sheep of a shepherd being a rather common metaphor in the ancient world. “Since kings were commonly called the ‘shepherds’ of their people…their realms could be referred to as their ‘pastures’ (see Jer 25:36; 49:20; 50:45)” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 95:7). We live in the “pasture” of the earth, which was formed by God. Moreover, like the earth we ourselves are “of His hand”-made by Him and in His care.
Sheep know and follow the voice of their shepherd (John 10:3-4). Yet the nation of Israel had not done so well as the sheep of God’s flock. David urges us to hear the Shepherd’s voice (Psalm 95:7b, which tells us to not become stubborn, rebellious and wayward, as ancient Israel had become in the wilderness (verses 8-11). The New King James Version sets verses 8-11 inside quotation marks, as in these verses God is speaking within the words of the psalm, referring to Himself with “Me” and “My.”
Although the Israelites had seen God’s wonderful work (verse 9) in delivering them from Egypt by many miracles, they failed to trust Him for their daily needs of food and water.
In verse 8, the NKJV reads, “Do not harden your hearts, as in the day of rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness” (italics added), while the NIV leaves the two italicized words here untranslated: “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert” (verse 8). At their encampment at Rephidim the people complained against God and Moses because they were thirsty. God gave them water there from a rock, but Moses renamed the site Meribah, meaning “strife, quarreling, contention.” The Greek Septuagint and the New Testament translate this word as “rebellion.” Massah, meaning “testing,” is another name “given to the place where the Israelites murmured for want of water (Ex.17:7; Deut. 6:16; 9:22; 33:8); called also Meribah” (The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 824, “Massah”).
Yet it was not at this particular rebellion that God declared the older generation of Israelites would not enter His rest, as Psalm 95:11 states. Rather, this came a bit later in Numbers 14 (see verses 28-30). Here the people had refused to progress from their encampment at Kadesh to entering the Promised Land because they feared the giants (the Anakim) there and the fortified cities of the Canaanites (see Deuteronomy 1:28). It was at that time that God “took an oath, saying, ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give your fathers'” (Deuteronomy 1:35). Entry into the Promised Land equated to finding rest (see Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 12:10; 25:19; Joshua 1:13, 15). Thus, Meribah and Massah in Psalm 95, while likely alluding on one level to the specific episode at the water, was evidently meant more as a general description of the attitude of the Israelites in their wanderings. Indeed, as noted above, in translating this passage into Greek, the book of Hebrews translates these words as well-showing that they are not mainly intended as place names.
The psalmist states that although God continued to care and provide for the people, He was angry with them during the wilderness years. They never developed a heart receptive to Him or His ways (verse 10). Near the end of their 40 years of wandering, God and the people had another face-off over water at Kadesh (also renamed Meribah). Moses lost patience with the people and struck the rock twice, bringing on himself and Aaron the severe penalty of being excluded from entering the ancient Promised Land (Numbers 20:1-13; see the Bible Reading Program comments on this passage).
“Rest” in Psalm 95 is “a rich concept indicating Israel’s possession of a place with God in the earth where they are secure from all external threats and internal calamities (see Dt 3:20; 1Ki 5:4…)” (Zondervan, note on Psalm 95:11). The call to not rebel so as to enter God’s rest still applies. This is what Hebrews 3-4 explains, warning believers against falling into faithless disobedience like ancient Israel (see 3:12-13; 4:11). These New Testament chapters point out that the warning and exhortation of Psalm 95 is given not to those who failed to enter God’s rest in the time of Moses and Joshua, but rather to those long after-in a time David designated as “Today” when he was inspired to compose the psalm (see Hebrews 4:7). The applicable time called “Today” still continues, we are told (verse 8; see also 3:13). Hebrews 4:9 uses the Greek word sabbatismos-meaning Sabbath observance (resting from weekly labor), which the ancient Israelites flagrantly violated-to designate the rest God’s people are still to enter today. Moreover, the passage makes clear that this is as a type of the future rest to be experienced in God’s Kingdom-the Promised Land still to come.
To better understand how the weekly Sabbath relates to rest-past, present and future-see the free booklet Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest.
We earlier read Psalm 96 in conjunction with 1 Chronicles 16, which concerns David having the Ark of the Covenant brought to its new tabernacle in Jerusalem. The words of Psalm 96, with some alteration, appear as a significant portion of the latter half of the psalm David composed for that occasion (see 1 Chronicles 16:23-33). Portions of Psalms 105 and 106 may also be found in that psalm in 1 Chronicles 16 (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Chronicles 16:4-36; Psalm 105:1-15; 96; 106:1, 47-48).
It appears that the 1 Chronicles 16 psalm was the original composition-later divided into separate psalms, probably for temple worship. Consider that Psalm 96 seems to have been produced through editing the lyrics of 1 Chronicles 16:23-33. Note for instance the following sets of three-sing, sing, sing (verses 1-3), give, give, give (verses 7-9), and let, let, let (verses 11-13). The parallel arrangement in 1 Chronicles 16 has the words sing just once and the word let four times in a row.
It is interesting in this light to consider the first words of Psalm 96, which do not appear in 1 Chronicles 16: “Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!”-the same as Psalm 98:1 (compare also 33:3; 40:3; 144:9; 149:1). The words of Psalm 96 were probably not new when it was arranged but were being used in a new situation. The music was likely somewhat different, given the word changes. But the main point is probably that all worship songs are to be sung as new-as heartfelt communication rather than rote memorization.
We ought to consider this in singing hymns today. We should always find fresh reasons for praising God. As one commentator suggests: “A new experience of God’s blessing, a new truth discovered in the Word, a new beginning after a crisis, a new open door for service-all of these can make an old song new or give us a new song from the Lord” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Exultant-Psalms 90-150: Praising God for His Mighty Works, note on verses 1-3). The psalm further implies that the new song will be a daily expression of the good news of salvation and God’s glorious works (verses 1-3).
Psalm 96 is paired with Psalm 98 in both theme and arrangement. They begin and end quite similarly-and they both demonstrate an expanding throng of praise: 1) the worshipping congregation of Israel proclaiming God among the nations (96:1-5; 98:1-3); 2) all the nations of the earth joining in worship (96:7-10; 98:4-6); and 3) all creation rejoicing (96:11-13; 98:7-9). As we will see, each of these psalms is followed by a hymn celebrating the Lord’s reign (compare 97:1; 99:1) and its special benefits for the people of Zion (compare 97:8-12; 99:4-9). “This arrangement suggests that Ps 97 has been linked with 96 and Ps 99 with 98 to form a pair of thematic couplets-introduced by Ps 95” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 96).
Psalm 96:4 tells us that God is to be praised for His greatness and that He is to be feared-held in reverent respect and awe-“above all gods.” The other “gods” people worship are mere idols, but the true God is the Creator of the universe (verse 5)-which includes anything people might decide to worship. This same reasoning was employed in the previous psalm (95:3-5). God is surrounded by majestic honor, strength and splendor in His sanctuary-in context seeming to refer to not merely His physical house on earth but to His heavenly abode (96:6).
The three-fold call give, give, give in verses 7-8 (“ascribe” in the NIV), which does occur in 1 Chronicles 16, has a parallel in David’s words of Psalm 29:1-2. The idea is that of rendering God His due. Examples of what to render are also given here in triplet form: offering, worship and proper fear (96:8b-9). Worshipping “in the beauty of holiness” is also found in the parallel verses above.
Where 1 Chronicles 16 has the directive to “say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns'” (verse 31) as the second of its four “let” verses, it is placed before the “let” verses in Psalm 96. The pairing of this phrase with the comment on the firm establishment of the world in Psalm 96:10, demonstrating God’s present sovereignty, is also found in the introduction to the royal psalms of this section (see 93:1). This also introduces the future reign of God through Yeshua Messiah, when “He shall judge the peoples righteously” (96:10).
In verses 11-12, as noted above, the whole creation is personified as rejoicing at the establishment of that future reign (compare Romans 8:18-23). Where 1 Chronicles 16:33 mentions God as coming to judge the earth (administering His righteous rule and justice throughout it), Psalm 96:13 builds more intensity regarding this theme with the repetition of “He is coming” and the addition of the final sentence describing Christ’s coming rule. As already mentioned, a close parallel to the encouraging conclusion in verses 11-13 is found in 98:7-9.
Psalm 97 is another of the royal psalms praising God’s sovereignty. While it follows in theme from Psalm 96, it adds the benefits of God’s rule to the people of Zion (thematically parallel to Psalm 99 following Psalm 98). As with the other psalms of this section, Psalm 97 may have been composed by David, as the Septuagint attributes it.
At the outset, we again encounter the key to the royal psalms in the phrase “the LORD reigns” (verse 1; see 93:1; 96:10; 99:1). The whole earth, even to the farthest isles, can be glad because His omnipotent rule is founded on righteousness and justice (verse 2b; compare 89:14).
The statement “clouds and darkness surround Him” (Psalm 97:2a) pictures the coming judgment of God on rebellious mankind. At that time, Christ will deal with His enemies in a great display of consuming power and global upheaval (verses 3-5), as detailed in many passages (e.g., Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:14-15; Isaiah 2:12, 19; Micah 1:3-4). This will demonstrate His sovereignty as “the Lord of the whole earth” (Psalm 97:5).
Verse 6 says, “The heavens declare His righteousness.” In an ongoing sense, the heavens declare God’s power and majesty (19:1-4) as well as His establishment of cosmic order and stability. Moreover, in a future sense, the ominous signs in the heavens accompanying Christ’s return will demonstrate His intention to bring justice to the earth.
The psalm calls for shame on those who serve idols, whether literal false deities or worthless pursuits that claim their time and attention. Anyone or anything that has been idolized will ultimately be placed in submission to the true God (see Psalm 97:7). As in the previous two psalms, we are told that God is “above all gods” (verse 9; see 95:3; 96:4).
Zion (Jerusalem) in 97:8 (see also 99:2) can refer to the physical city and its inhabitants, who are glad at the message of God’s sovereignty and coming Kingdom. Jerusalem will in fact be the capital of the world during the reign of Christ. The “daughters of Judah” in 97:8 are taken to mean “villages of Judah” in the NIV, showing the rejoicing of Jerusalem and its outlying communities. In a prophetic context, “Zion” can also refer to God’s spiritual people, His people. So can the “daughters of Judah,” as the spiritual people of God are Jews in a spiritual sense (see Romans 2:25-29).
Until Christ returns, those who love God must continue to reject evil (verse 10; see also Proverbs 8:13). God’s people benefit from His protection and enlightenment-He is the foundation of their joy (Psalm 97:11-12).
As explained in the Bible Reading Program comments on Psalm 96, that psalm finds a parallel in Psalm 98. Both begin with a call for a new song of praise for the Lord (96:1; 98:1). Both progress through widening circles of praise: first the congregation of worship at the temple (96:1-5; 98:1-3); then all people on earth (96:7-10; 98:4-6); and finally all creation (96:11-13; 98:7-9). And the two psalms end with rather similar language (see 96:11-13; 98:7-9).
Another royal psalm of the set spanning 93-99, Psalm 98 also follows this thematic progression: “(1) a call to praise God as the Savior (vv. 1-3); (2) a call to praise God as the King (vv. 4-6); (3) a call to praise God as the coming Judge (vv. 7-9)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Psalm 98). As with the other psalms of this section, the Septuagint names David as the author, though this attribution is not confirmed (in fact, only two of the seven, Psalms 95 and 96, have confirmed Davidic authorship).
The end of Psalm 98:1 introduces the psalm as what some call a “Divine Warrior victory song” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, introductory note on Psalm 98). The imagery of God’s “right hand”—symbolic of favorable action—gaining victory was earlier used of His powerful deliverance of Israel from Egypt (see Exodus 15:6; compare Deuteronomy 4:34). It was God’s “right hand” that afterward delivered the Promised Land into Israel’s hands (Psalm 44:3). The reference in Psalm 98 could just as well refer to God leading Israel’s armies to victory in David’s day or later. It ultimately could also serve as an end-time prophecy of God’s future takeover of this world, as explicitly mentioned at the end of the psalm.
Verse 2 explains that “God’s saving acts in behalf of his people are also his self-revelation to the nations; in this sense God is his own evangelist (see 77:14…see also Isa 52:10)” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible, note on Psalm 98:2). The end of verse 3 will be ultimately realized at the return of Christ in power and glory at the end of the age (compare Isaiah 40:5; Luke 3:6).
Only then will the psalmist’s call for the whole earth to join in a joyous celebration of praise to the Lord, the King, be answered (see verses 4-6). Only then will the whole of creation be liberated from its current bondage to corruption (compare verses 7-8; Romans 8:21).
The psalm ends with the great announcement also made in Psalm 96:13: “He is coming to judge the earth” (98:9)—that is, to rule all nations—and His judgment or rule will be righteous and equitable, meaning fair, reasonable, impartial and just.
Luke chapter 11 opens with Yeshua praying, and as He finishes His disciples make a request that He teach them to pray also. Yeshua teaches them the “LORD’s prayer” and then goes on to explain to them about prayer in more detail.
The first explanation He gives them is about persistence in prayer. Don’t give up. Keep on asking, keep on knocking, and keep on seeking and all shall be given to that person.
Then also He compared our heavenly Father with earthly parenting. We give to our children and we are wicked. How much more, our Heavenly Father being good will give us the “Set Apart Spirit” if we but ask.
Later, Yeshua casts out a demon that was causing a man to be dumb. Some of the crowd accused Yeshua of casting out demons by Be’elzebul. Yeshua teaches them about unity and division – a house divided against itself cannot stand.
They were also seeking a sign and again Yeshua tells them no sign will be given but the sign of Yonah. He then pronounces how they are compared to historical times: Ninivah, The Queen of the South, how they will judge that generation for their hardness of heart.
Yeshua teaches on how the eye is the lamp of the body and a “good eye” enlightens the body but an “evil eye” darkens the body. These are Hebrew idioms for being generous or being stingy respectively.
For the rest of this portion, Yeshua admonishes the Scribes and Pharisees on many things so much so that they began to fiercely oppose Him and sought to catch Him and accuse Him.