News Letter 5846-054
24th day of the 11th month 5846 years after creation
The 11th Month in the first year of the third Sabbatical Year
The Third Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
January 29, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
As I begin this week’s News letter I would like to ask you all to pray for Michael Rood who as of last Shabbat was not well. Michael and I do not always agree on some topics but there are so few teachers and so many that are learning and so little time left that we can’t afford to not have them out teaching. So we need him to keep doing his part. Do keep him in your prayers.
Last week I was the last guest on Jono’s Truth2U program before he moves to his new show. On this show I talked about much of what is in this week’s News Letter. You can listen to it at http://www.truth2u.org/2011/01/joe-dumond-the-australian-floods-the-pending-world-food-crisis.html and leave a comment and let him know what you thought of the interview or this information.
Shabbat Shalom dear Joseph.
Today I just want to express my warm gratitude for your relentless work of
teaching, warning, blessing and calling! You are most welcome, brother! Thanks for your offer to let people know about the essential oils teaching from Feb. 3-6 in Selah, WA. People who are interested in Washington state or nearby location can contact Dorothy Hoffman there firstname.lastname@example.org for details. She coordinates the course.
Kind regards & Shalom from
Finished The Prophecies of Abraham late last night.
Our answer to your question on page 158 is YES, ABSOLUTELY!!
As I’ve said before, we are not of much financial use at this stage, but we have been blessed in so many other ways. If there’s ever anything you need some kind of assistance with, don’t hesitate to press on our number. We’ll gladly help if possible!
I’m gonna try to get my dad in law to read it now. I know he’s just slightly curious, but also very apposed. But he is also very able to be open minded and objective.
You have my promise, as given to you in exchange for the book way back when, that I will spread your/this message to everyone and anyone who will hear!! Unfortunatly there are extremely few to none at the moment.
Remain in Shalom. Bless you.
André & Carreen
Just taking the time to say hello.
Besides, to let you know about how good I think your book is in terms of the information given, though I also think it would need improvement in the way the data is presented.
I am still digesting the info, to find out what it is right and what is not from a Bible point of view. Most of the information given seems great, as well as confirming God’s laws. I am still debating about the jubilee as the key to explain every prophetic and chronology thing presented in the book.
About what it is not right (or absent) in the chronology chart, it seems so far I have found three minor mistakes in the book, specifically in the table charts at the end:
1. Isaac marries Rebecca in 2088 after Creation, not 2098 as the chart in the book states.
2. The chart does not states Abraham’s death in 2123 after Creation.
3. Ishmael died in 2171 after Creation, not 2172 as the chart states.
If you agree with this, I suggest to let the other brethren(or readers) know about. It is always spiritually healthy to do this kind of exercise.
About the laws of Niddah, it is quite interesting so far. Still meditating on it.
Finally, keep up the good work. Through you, our Father has helped me to become more faithfull and committed to Him.
Hugs and Shalom,
Rodrigo has valid points for the # 1 and #2 but I still maintain that Ishmael was born in 2034 after creation and then dies at 138 years old which makes the year of his death 2034 + 138 = 2172. Ooops, in Genesis 25:17 And these were the years of the life of Yishma??l: one hundred and thirty-seven years. And he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.
So 137 + 2034 = 2171 I have Ishmael as 138. This is not what Gen 25 says. So thank you Rodrigo for these three points. All of you who have a copy of the Prophecies of Abraham if you would make a note in the charts at the back of your book and correct these mistakes.
I do appreciate those who see certain corrections that need to be made. But more so I love it when someone goes through and checks every detail and every biblical reference to see if what I am saying is true or not. Rodrigo is being Berean through and through and this I appreciate more than anything else. Thank You Rodrigo.
Another letter said ‘I would like to order 2 items from you-The Chronological Order of Prophecy DVD and The Prophecies of Abraham book.
Enclosed please find enough to cover the shipping and a donation to help keep the great work that Yahushua is doing through you, going.
Once I have covered the book and DVD and shipping the rest will go towards the Farm project in the name of these generous people.
Three weeks ago I said that even touching your pets would make you unclean, then after being asked for the scripture by a reader, I had to admit the scriptures did not say that specifically. And I recanted that statement. But I still felt that your dog and cat are unclean animals even to touch. Please do not write me about this. I have two cats and we are looking after my sons black lab. We have had our share of animals.
Another email reminded me that Yeshua road a donkey on his way to the Temple at Passover.
Then this week the following article comes in. I want you to read it and keep in mind what we are told in Lev 26:21 ‘And if you walk contrary to Me, and refuse to obey Me, I shall bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins, and send wild beasts among you, which shall bereave you of your children. And I shall cut off your livestock, and make you few in number, and your highways shall be deserted.
We are in the third Sabbatical cycle and it is in this cycle that Yehshua warned us in Mathew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and reign against reign. And there shall be scarcities of food, and deadly diseases, and earthquakes in places.
If you have not yet watched the whole teaching on the Sabbatical and Jubilee years you can do so online.
Last week I showed you the food situation from the headline news. You can check the earthquake information here live and daily around the world. http://www.liss.org/
Now read of the potential for disease of at least one third of the North American population and keep in mind what Ezekiel has said in 5: 1 “And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. 3 You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. 4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.
“Thus said the Master ????, ‘This is Yerushalayim which I have set in the midst of the gentiles, with the other lands all around her.
‘But she rebelled against My right rulings, doing wrong, more than the gentiles, and My laws more than the lands all around her. For they have rejected My right-rulings, and they have not walked in My laws.’
“Therefore thus said the Master ????, ‘Because you have rebelled more than the gentiles all around you, and have not walked in My laws, nor done My right-rulings, nor even done according to the right-rulings of the gentiles all around you,’
therefore thus said the Master ????, ‘Look I Myself am against you and shall execute judgments in your midst before the eyes of the gentiles.
‘And I shall do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I never do again, because of all your abominations.
‘Therefore fathers are going to eat their sons in your midst, and sons eat their fathers. And I shall execute judgments among you and scatter all your remnant to all the winds.
‘Therefore, as I live,’ declares the Master ????, ‘because you have defiled My set-apart place with all your disgusting matters and with all your abominations, therefore I also withdraw. And My eye shall not pardon, nor shall I spare.
‘One-third of you shall die of pestilence, and be consumed with scarcity of food in your midst. And one-third shall fall by the sword all around you. And I shall scatter another third to all the winds, and draw out a sword after them.
‘And My displeasure shall be completed. And I shall bring My wrath to rest upon them, and I shall be eased. And they shall know that I, ????, have spoken it in My ardour, when I have completed My wrath upon them.
‘And I shall make you a waste and a reproach among the gentiles that are all around you, before the eyes of all who pass by.
‘And it shall be a reproach, an object of scorn, a warning, and an astonishment to the gentiles that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in displeasure and in wrath and in heated chastisements. I, ????, have spoken.
‘When I send against them the evil arrows of scarcity of food which shall be for their destruction, which I send to destroy you, I shall increase the scarcity of food upon you and cut off your supply of bread.
‘And I shall send against you scarcity of food and evil beasts, and they shall bereave you. And pestilence and blood shall pass through you, while I bring the sword against you. I, ????, have spoken.’ ”
One Third are to die of pestilence. One third and you will note as you read about your pets that it is more than one third of North Americans who own pets. But Ezekiel is not the only one who says that one third will die. I am not saying all pet owners are going to die. I am showing you though where many of the household diseases already are and why some of you are constantly sick.
• Zechariah 13:8 NKJ
And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:
• Zechariah 13:9 NKJ
I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ “
Then when you read the Torah portion of our 3 ½ years study take note if 2 Samuel 24 where David had pestilence. It was followed by 3 years of famine. When does this occur? If we lay out the life of David Chronologically, then the pestilence takes place in the middle to end of the third Sabbatical cycle and the famine at the end of the third Sabbatical cycle and into the fourth one.
Yehovah is consistent in what punishments He sends and when. He has told us way back in Lev 26 if we would only read it and believe it.
There are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog
Most owners (67 percent) own one dog . Twenty-four percent of owners own two dogs
Nine percent of owners own three or more dogs. On average, dog owners spent $225 on veterinary visits (vaccine, well visits) annually
There are approximately 93.6 million owned cats in the United States. Thirty-three percent of U.S. households (or 38.2 million) own at least one cat. Fifty-six percent of owners own more than one cat. On average, owners have two cats (2.45). Cat owners spent an average of $203 on routine veterinary visits
Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie in Your Bed Can Kill You
Jan 20, 2011 – 6:55 AM
Andrew Schneider Senior Public Health Correspondent
Medical researchers have long shown that contact with pets can often help both the physically and mentally ill. But now, veterinary scientists say sleeping with your pets increases the chances of contracting everything from parasites to the plague.
What’s a pet owner to do?
Most U.S. households have pets, and more than half of those cats and dogs are allowed to sleep in their owner’s beds, Drs. Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and Ben Sun, chief veterinarian for California’s Department of Health, say in a study to be published in next month’s issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“We wanted to raise the attention of people, as sleeping with a pet is becoming quite common, and there are risks associated with it, even if it is not very frequent,” Chomel told AOL News. “But when it occurs, especially in children or immunocompromised people, it can be very severe.”
The authors, both experts in zoonoses, which are diseases or infections transmitted from animals to humans, reported that “the risk for transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing, kissing or licking is real and has even been documented for life-threatening infections such as plague, internal parasites” and other serious diseases.
How many of us admit to others that we sleep with our furry friends? Many of us do, according to the study.
Among dog owners, 53 percent consider their dog to be a member of the family, and 56 percent of those dog owners admit they sleep with their dog next to them, the researchers reported.
We’re not just talking about teacup yorkies and chihuahuas here. Yes, the study says, most are small dogs, but 41 percent are medium-sized, and one out of three are large. Also, consider this fact, which the authors attribute to the American Kennel Club: Women were more likely than men to allow their dogs to share their beds.
As strange as it may be to canine lovers, more people have cats than dogs, and these felines also carry disease. This study and several others show that disease from cats is far more prevalent, and often more serious.
The number of cats snuggling up with their owner is far greater, which may explain the larger number of people acquiring feline-spawned diseases, Chomel explained.
Take cat scratch disease, for example. The bacterial infection, caused by Bartonella henselae, comes from infected fleas and flea feces and is transmitted to humans, often simply by a cat strolling across a food preparation area that isn’t disinfected before food is placed on it. Mostly, the victims of cat scratch disease are children, infected by the scratch, lick or bite of a cat. The pathogen can cause swelling of the lymph nodes and sometime lethal damage to the liver, kidney and spleen of humans.
The CDC estimates that more than 20,000 people can contract cat scratch disease a year, but the federal disease agency could offer no information on the number of deaths.
Risks and Benefits
The CDC reports that pets may lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and decrease feelings of loneliness, while increasing opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.
Medical studies going back at least 30 years have documented the clinical value of pets to cardiac patients, those hospitalized with mental illnesses and the elderly.
Sharing our resting hours with our pets may be a source of psychological comfort, but because pets can bring a wide range of zoonotic pathogens into our environment, sharing is also associated with risks, the authors of the current study reported.
• A 9-year-old boy from Arizona got the plague because he slept with his flea-infested cat.
• A 48-year-old man and his wife repeatedly contracted MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which their physicians eventually attributed to their dog. The animal “routinely slept in their bed and frequently licked their face,” the California experts reported.
Kissing pets can also transmit zoonoses. A Japanese woman contacted meningitis after kissing her pet’s face.
But disease can easily be transmitted by your pet kissing you. The study cited cases where a woman died of septic shock and renal failure after her cat, with whom she slept, licked open sores on her feet and toes. In another case, a 44-year-old man died of infection after his German shepherd puppy licked open abrasions on his hands.
Your pet’s food can also be a source of disease. A study published last August in the journal Pediatrics tracked an outbreak of salmonella in 79 people between 2006 and 2008 that was caused by contaminated meat in dry cat and dog food.
Half of the victims were children, who CDC investigators said “might also have played with the pet food and then put their hands — or the food itself — in their mouths.”
The disease also could have come from pets who rolled or played in their feces, where salmonella can stay alive for up to 12 weeks.
Where do our pets pick up these diseases? Fleas are a likely starting point. And most of your pets will eat the droppings of other animals.
Take a dog to any beach, park or trail through the woods almost anywhere and watch the speed at which it will find something really foul-smelling and dead in which to roll.
Cats usually do their own killing for food and fun. And just think about the infectious bugs that laced the dead and dying rodents, birds and other critters they eat or try to bring into the home.
What Can Be Done?
The two senior veterinarians say several things can be done to reduce the threat of disease. The main one is for owners to ensure the health of their pets by seeking regular professional checkups and care. Other points include:
• Persons, especially young children or immunocompromised persons, should be discouraged from sharing their bed with their pets or regularly kissing their pets.
• Any area licked by a pet, especially an open wound, should be immediately washed with soap and water.
• Pets should be kept free of parasites, especially fleas; routinely de-wormed; and regularly examined by a veterinarian.
• Preventive measures such as administering anthelmintic drugs for flatworms — and drugs for flukes, tapeworms and other parasites — to puppies or kittens within the first few weeks after birth or, even better, to their mothers during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This could help prevent most cases of human toxocariasis, which can cause severe and sometimes permanent vision problems for young children.
The risk of getting sick from being close with your pets is real, but most of the diseases they pass on to humans can be identified and eliminated by regular veterinary care.
Meanwhile, start practicing saying “Get off the bed. I mean it this time.”
I have asked you to pray for Michael Rood who has become ill this past week. Whether you agree with him or not he has done much to help bring the attention of Torah to the average Christian.
On the other hand; during the past year I have witnessed, one man who has claimed to speak in the name of Yahweh getting his authority by dreams. He has gone about condemning everyone and anyone who dared to disagree with him. His rants have become so bad and his threats so abusive, that I am told the FBI have knocked on his door. He has listed all the known Messianic teachers and why he was better than any of them. Then this week was this News Article; Clackamas deputies seek street preacher who made violent threats online
The reason I bring this up is for one reason, the coming persecution of the saints. When one demonic person misrepresents the Torah, to the world at large, the world then thinks this is the way we all are. As the authorities investigate this man they will no doubt read much about us all and wonder if we all are not the same as this potential threat to human life was. A gun totting, sacred namer, defending the USA charter of rights and amendments and using Torah only when it is in support of those things they are fighting for.
Here is one readers comment about this man. “[…] believes that God speaks through him.”
Nope, not mentally ill in the least. Believing in God is crazy enough, but to think you’re Its vessel on top of that…sheesh! It’s just a matter of time before he starts practicing what he preaches. (And by that I mean killing people; plenty of that in the Bible last time I read it.)
So you see the actions of one person and how they can reflect on us all. The public sees no difference.
When U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on January 8, 2011 along with 18 other people including a federal judge and a nine-year old girl, both of whom died for a total of 6 killed, do you know what the first email I got was?
It was from a brother who uses the sacred name and his first words were not for the little girl who had been killed or the judge or for Gabrielle Gifford, no his first words and his main concern was for the gun lobby. He said there was going to be a concerted effort again now to have guns banned. He did not care about the lives that were now wrecked nor for those who had died. He cared more for his rights to bear arms than for the victims. And this is someone who claims to be a follower of Yehovah, Yahweh or Yahuwah or whatever version of the name he supported.
Brethren I have a shock for some of you, Listen up. The USA Constitution is not Torah!!! The US charter of rights and freedoms is not Torah!! When Omri began the process that over the centuries would lead to the making of the US constitution, what did Yehovah have to say about it? You can read about it in News Letter 5843-037 1136 The Statutes of the House of Omri https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/?page_id=183 But let me give you the coles answer. He hated it!!
Those of you, who still think being American is it, think again. The Stars and Stripes will not fly over the house of Israel. Most of you need to stop thinking as Americans, or Australians or Canadians, or Britain’s or Jews or whatever nationality you just so happened to be born into; but rather begin to think of yourself as being an Israelite. Either natural born or grafted in, it makes no difference to us as a nation that keeps Torah. So many USA Christians today think that the health care bill which they fight so strongly to overturn is being Christian or standing up for the constitution is being Christian. How many of them are standing in the gap for the Torah? Are you? So many of them are becoming militant in their approach to the anything biblical and they will take up guns to defend what they believe to be right. And or they will kill you because you do not agree with their version of things.
Above I shared with you what Yehshua warned us about when He spoke about the Famines Pestilence and Earthquakes. The very next verse in Mathew 24 goes on to warn us of some other things that would come at the same time or close to the Pestilence and famine and earthquakes.
Mat 24:8 “And all these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then they shall deliver you up to affliction and kill you, and you shall be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. “And then many shall stumble, and they shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. “And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray. “And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold.
Brethren it saddens me to read how spiteful and how hateful many are to those whom they do not agree with; Things such as beards or head coverings; or conversations with Sunday keepers; or which group you happen to belong to. Or which Messianic leader you are currently following. And I am expecting a number of gun totting constitutional believing condemnations after this News Letter. But it does not change the truth. Yes it is good to have heated and passionate debates as you argue your points. This is iron sharpening iron, but when the debate is over and it has not been resolved it is necessary for you to love each other. You cannot condemn someone to hell because they do not agree with you.
We are commanded to love one another.
• John 13:34 NKJ
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
• John 13:35 NKJ
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
• John 15:12 NKJ
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
• John 15:17 NKJ
These things I command you, that you love one another.
• Romans 12:10 NKJ
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
• Romans 13:8 NKJ
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
• Galatians 5:13 NKJ
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
• Ephesians 4:2 NKJ
with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
• 1 Thessalonians 3:12 NKJ
And may Yehovah make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
• 1 Thessalonians 4:9 NKJ
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by Yehovah to love one another;
• Hebrews 10:24 NKJ
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
• 1 Peter 1:22 NKJ
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
• 1 Peter 3:8 NKJ
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender hearted, be courteous;
• 1 Peter 4:8 NKJ
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
• 1 Peter 5:14 NKJ
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Yehshua. Amen.
• 1 John 3:11 NKJ
For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
• 1 John 3:23 NKJ
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Yeshua and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
• 1 John 4:7 NKJ
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of Yehovah; and everyone who loves is born of Yehovah and knows Yehovah.
• 1 John 4:11 NKJ
Beloved, if Yehovah so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
• 1 John 4:12 NKJ
No one has seen Yehovah at any time. If we love one another, Yehovah abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
• 2 John 1:5 NKJ
And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
This lady that John is pleading with here is Israel. It is you. John is pleading with you to keep the same commandment that was given at the beginning; that we love one another. This is how we will know the Brethren, when we see them love one another despite their differences.
Why have I included all the verses that tell us to love one another, because as I read your emails and as I see those things spoken by some on various forums and in various discussions, you do not show each other you love one another now? And as Yehshua himself warned us, “And then many shall stumble, and they shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. “And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray. “And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold.
We are very near that time right now. We get another glimpse of this specific time in the parable of the wedding invitation in Mathew 22.
:2 “The reign of the heavens is like a man, a sovereign, who made a wedding feast for his son,
and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast. But they would not come.
“Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Say to those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle are slaughtered, and all is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’
“But they disregarded it and went their way – this one to his field, that one to his trade.
“And the rest, having seized his servants, insulted and killed them.
We are in these last days sending out that wedding invitation. We are inviting people to repent and begin to keep Torah and stop rebelling towards their Father. Many are rejecting this. Some of you are rejecting it. Notice the last line. “And the rest, having seized his servants, insulted and killed them. I have not shared with you all the insults I have received. I do not look forward to the time when I am telling you of those brethren who have been killed for the Torah.
Once again I am telling you this is the time we are in right now. How do I know this? Because of what it says Yehovah will do to those who seize and kill His servants.
That man I spoke of who claimed to be speaking in the name of Yahweh, as he became more strange with each posting, struck me as someone who would soon go out and shoot those who disagreed with him.
Mat 22:7 “But when the sovereign heard, he was wroth, and sent out his soldiers, destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire.
And as we have shown you in the Sabbatical cycles, we are in the third cycle and the fourth one of the sword is to come beginning in 2017 and going to 2023. We also showed you this in the teaching about the 70 Shabuwa of Daniel which shows us that in the middle of this Shabuwa, the last Shabuwa of 49 years, in the year 2020 during the Sabbatical cycle of the sword, Israel, the USA and UK would be destroyed. We also showed you with the Prophecies of Abraham and again last week with the Prophecy of Niddah; all of which point directly to the next Sabbatical cycle when Yehovah will punish Israel for her rejection of His Torah, and for killing His saints. That persecution begins in the third Sabbatical cycle which we are now in and as the parable of Mathew 22 teaches us it is about to come. Those people who are persecuting and killing those who bring the invitation are Israelites. And the curse of the sword in the fourth Sabbatical cycle is going to go to the Israelite nations.
So when I see and read about false teachers condemning the brethren and cursing them, and then I hear how they are being investigated by the FBI, or when I read the hateful emails some of you send me or when I hear the voices of those who hate this way of life, my hairs on my neck stand up. We are near that time when some of us will be killed by those who think they are doing this to the glory of god.
Joh 16:1 “These words I have spoken to you, so that you do not stumble. “They shall put you out of the congregations, but an hour is coming when everyone who kills you shall think he is rendering service to Elohim. “And this they shall do to you because they did not know the Father, nor Me.
Brethren Love one Another.
And if you think this persecution is not real then read what is already happening in Europe and remember why we are trying to build a farm in Israel now. I am looking for 318 people to write a cheque for $1500 so we can get this farm project started right away. Will you be one of these people who help to get this going? Will you write this cheque for this amount or more this week? Abraham had 318 men with him in the land. If you want to send smaller amounts that would also help.
We also need every one of you to pray about this and to tell Yehovah how you think this is a good thing to do. As the Proverbs 31 woman buys a field to provide for her family. That woman is Israel, that woman is you and me. Ask Him to help us in finding the right place and in providing the means to make it happen.
As you read below about the Jews being persecuted, those who keep Torah will also be persecuted and killed. You too will need a place you can go to in order to save your family so consider investing in the farm now so we can have it ready before the end of this Sabbatical cycle when people will be persecuted and killed for keeping Torah.
The Slow-Motion Exodus of European Jews
Posted By David J. Rusin On January 10, 2011 @ 12:01 am In Daily Mailer, FrontPage |
[This article is reprinted from Islamist Watch Blog]
Do Jews have a future in an increasingly Muslim Europe? Often explored by Daniel Pipes, this question recently drew a disconcerting answer from prominent Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein, who opined on the grim choices facing visible (e.g., Orthodox) Jews in his nation:
The former EU commissioner says there is no future for this group in the Netherlands because of “the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing.”
He feels that this group of Jews should encourage their children to emigrate to either the United States or Israel, because he has little confidence in the effectiveness of the government’s proposals for fighting anti-Semitism.
Bolkestein’s remarks echo those of Benjamin Jacobs, the country’s chief rabbi, who told Arutz Sheva in 2010 that “the future for Dutch Jewry is moving to Israel.” Indeed, some Jews are acting. The same news service reported in December that the son of Raphael Evers, another leading Dutch rabbi, “has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism”:
“It’s not that you can’t leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful,” he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.
Next consider Sweden. Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged traveling Jews to exercise “extreme caution” due to “harassment of Jewish citizens in the southern city of Malmö.” An estimated 60,000 Muslims comprise a fifth of Malmö’s population and hate crimes regularly impact the lives of its 700 remaining Jews. “The city’s synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows,” the Telegraph notes, “while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors.” With the government’s response a mix of denial and blaming the victim, many Jews are leaving Malmö — and even Sweden altogether.
Recent years also have seen increasing numbers of Jews moving to Israel from France and the UK. Will this soon be the case for Jews of other European countries as well? Given the raft of worrying tales from 2010 alone — Muslims assaulting Jews in Norway and Denmark, stone-tossing Arabs driving Jewish dancers from a stage in Germany, and a poll finding that 38% of Muslim youth in Austria agree that “Hitler had done a lot of good for the people” — the future does not look happy.
It has become fashionable to equate the plight of today’s Muslim population in Europe with that of the continent’s oppressed Jews during the 1930s. However, one can tell which group faces the real threat in modern Europe by watching migratory trends. While European governments are planning fences to keep Muslims from entering illegally, Jews are exiting in droves. People vote with their feet. The results — Muslims in, Jews out — offer critical lessons and warnings.
You may think I am alone in this thinking. If so then please read what Franklin Graham has to say about the current sad state of the USA.
Franklin Graham: Spirit of Anti-Christ Is Everywhere
Thursday, 20 Jan 2011 05:28 PM
By David A. Patten
The Rev. Franklin Graham says just mentioning the name Jesus Christ in the public square is increasingly frowned upon and warns: “The spirit of anti-Christ is everywhere.”
The Samaritan’s Purse founder and son of beloved evangelist Dr. Billy Graham voiced his dismay at the rapid secularization of society during a Tuesday chapel service at John Brown University, a private Christian university based in Siloam Springs, Ark.
Graham, who was banned from a Pentagon national day of Prayer event last year for expressing his opinions about Islam, told students: “Even in our government today, you can’t pray to Jesus in many public meetings. You can pray to God or a god. You can mention Buddha or the name of Muhammad — but you can’t pray to Jesus Christ.”
The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association criticized the recent memorial service for the Tucson shooting victims.
Unlike the memorials held after the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, he said, the Tucson program did not include an official prayer or mention of God. Graham noted gratefully, however, that President Barack Obama did quote scripture from the biblical book of Job.
The one religious dedication on the program came from a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who delivered a peroration that among other things called out to “”Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.”
Earlier this week, Graham penned an op-ed in the Washington Times saying it was “a shame” that the University of Arizona had failed to put God anywhere on its program.
“How sad,” the Graham op-ed stated. “Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she’d ever leave her bed. Or Mary Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League.”
Graham told the university students what was missing from the memorial: “There was no call for God to put His loving arms around those who were hurting,” said Graham. “Why did they leave him out? They scoff at the name of Jesus Christ.”
Graham predicted the persecution of Christians will get worse in coming years, and he encouraged students to use the new media and the Internet to spread the gospel.
“I’m going to build an army of young people,” Graham said, according to ChristianPost.com. “We’re going to find out how do you infiltrate every language of the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and do it on the Internet.”
Read more on Newsmax.com: Franklin Graham: Spirit of Anti-Christ Is Everywhere
If that is what Christians are doing to Christians, then get ready for what they will do to you who keep Torah. I find Christianity becoming more and more militant with each program I hear and from the various forums I visit and radio shows I listen to. Brethren, let it not be so with you. Love one another so that we will be recognised as followers of Yehshua and of the Nazarene walk.
And in case you have not had enough to worry about here is a web site which monitors all the disasters of the world on a daily basis. http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php
Triennial Torah cycle
We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at
Gen 48 2 Sam 24 Ps 94-98 Luke 11
This is a very important chapter in the bible. If you do not know who these people became, you will not know who the prophecies of the bible pertain to. In short Jacob gave the first born blessing to the younger son Ephraim.
So who is Manasseh and who is Ephraim today in our modern times. I would like to present you with a teaching Steven Collins did after 9/11.
EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH: ALLIES IN THE MODERN WORLD
By Steven M. Collins
This column has been stimulated by an extraordinary, even historic event. On September 11, 2001, the United States was heavily attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. The terrorists turned four hijacked airliners into flying Fuel Air Explosive bombs as they utterly destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and badly damaged the Pentagon in Washington DC. The devastation in Manhattan looks like London, Coventry, Berlin or Dresden after they were bombed in World War II! According to one article I read this week, the attack destroyed or damaged 20% of all the office space in New York City and it killed or wounded thousands of Americans! It was the costliest attack upon American soil since our nation was founded.
It now seems apparent the fourth airliner was destined to ram into the Capitol or White House, but heroic efforts by passengers on the doomed flight prevented the terrorists from hitting their target with the fourth aircraft. These passengers were told by spouses and friends via cell-phones about the other hijacked airliners rammed into the World Trade Center, so the passengers decided to sacrifice themselves to save their fellow citizens.
President Bush has rallied our nation which has not been this unified since World War II. He gave a speech to a joint session of Congress setting forth America’s determination to wage war on terrorism and those nations, which harbor terrorists. Sitting in the Congressional gallery was a single foreign head-of-state. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, was present as a symbol of the unequivocal support of the British people for America. As President Bush acknowledged Mr. Blair’s presence, he received an ovation from the assembled leadership of the American government (and American citizens watching the speech all over the nation).
Other foreign leaders could have come as well to be a part of the event, but they chose not to do so. Other nations will help America’s war on terrorism, of course, but no nation is as supportive as Great Britain. As this column is being written, the news media have shown footage of a British fleet already passing through the Suez Canal on its way to join forces with the gathering US fleet in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. The British fleet apparently consists of one jump-jet aircraft carrier, an attack submarine and eleven other warships. While other nations will join the coalition for quid-pro-quos or because of shared vital interests, the British support of America goes far deeper.
This mutual support between the British and Americans has a fundamental cause which goes much deeper than sharing a common language or culture. Both Yair Davidy (www.Britam.org) and I have identified the English and American peoples as primarily the descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, respectively. The British-American alliance is based on the fact that they are truly “brother” nations who descended from the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. By divine favor, these nations have received the lion’s share of the many birthright blessings of the Covenant God made with Abraham long ago. The bond between America and Britain is based on a blood relationship.
We must also not forget that Canada, Australia and New Zealand share the Ephraimite roots of the British. When the airliners were being hijacked and it became necessary to ground all airliners, Canadian airports freely hosted many redirected American airliners. Australia had a contingent of soldiers training in the USA, and the Australian government announced they could be deployed to the Middle East along with the American troops. The USA worked just as closely with Canada, Australia and New Zealand as it did with the British in a global alliance in World War II to liberate Europe and the rest of world from Axis domination.
Of course, America has also supported the British in their times of greatest need. The Americans rallied to the help of Great Britain in both World Wars I and II, turning the tide twice against the Axis powers. This column will demonstrate that this relationship has existed throughout history. This column will mention other instances where the tribe of Manasseh rallied to join the Ephraimites in wars to defeat a common enemy.
After the tribes of Israel were expelled from their ancient homelands in Eretz Israel, they grew mighty and possessed huge populations (Josephus documents this promise in Hosea 1:6-10 and it had been fulfilled by the 1st century AD). As documented in my book, the relocated tribes of Israel included the Scythians (known also as “Sacae,” named after Isaac their forefather), and the Parthians.
The tribe of Manasseh came to be one of the dominant tribes of the Scythians, and the Greeks called them the Massagetae. These Massagetae were located in the Caspian Sea region, and they were, I believe, the descendants of the half-tribe of Manasseh taken captive by the Assyrians in approximately 741 BC when Gilead’s tribes were taken by the Assyrians. When the Assyrian Empire fell, those Israelites who were captives were free to migrate elsewhere and they migrated toward the Caspian Sea. These related tribes were known as the Eastern Scythians/Sacae and they were led by the Massagetae. One would expect the birthright tribe of Manasseh to be one of their leading tribes.
These Massagetae were attacked by Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC in an apparent attempt to bring them under a new Persian captivity. Israelites are freedom-loving people and they fought fiercely to prevent any new captivity. Herodotus records that virtually the entire Persian Army died along with King Cyrus himself as the Massagetae gained a total victory.
It is my view that the other half of the tribe of Manasseh migrated to the Black Sea region along with several other tribes just before the final Assyrian invasion, which conquered the city of Samaria. This mass of migrating Israelites established Sacae Scythian kingdoms in the Black Sea region as well as the Kingdom of Iberia (named after Eber, the forefather of the Hebrews) in the Caucasus Mountains.
The Parthian Empire, which rivaled the Roman Empire for centuries, was founded primarily by the tribe of Ephraim. Listed below is an excerpt from one of my new books. The type-face is different and the endnotes dropped out as I “cut and pasted” this text, so the source documents are noted but the page numbers do not appear.
“…Numbers 26:35-36 records that three clans of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim were named the Bachrites, the Eranites, and the Tahanites. The Seleucid province of Bactria, which revolted along with Parthia, bore the name of one of the clans of Ephraim in a Hellenized form. An Israelite origin for Bactria is supported by an account from Richard Frye’s book, The Heritage of Persia, which states that the Bactrian language “…was related to Saka, or at least underwent strong influences from Saka tongues.” The Persian word “Saka” referred to the Sacae Scythians. The record that the Bactrians welcomed a Scythian ruler who freed them from a Greek satrap, and the fact that the Bactrians shared a linguistic heritage with the Parthians argues that the Bactrians were also Sacae (or Saka) who had descended from the ten tribes of Israel.
Henry Rawlinson, in his book Bactria, states: “there seems to be very little doubt that the population of Bactria was largely Scythian”…[and cites Justin, a classical author, who wrote] “The Bactrian Empire was founded by the Scythians.”
Numbers 26:36 also notes that another clan of the tribe of Ephraim descended from Eran and was known as the “Eranites.” A group of people known as the Eranians were present in the region of ancient Persia and Parthia. Assyria had transplanted the defenders of Samaria (an Ephraimite city) into “the cities of the Medes.” Therefore, we should expect to see Ephraimite names in the Medo-Persian region. The “Eranians” manifested the exact Hebrew name of one of the clans of Ephraim in the area of Medo-Persia. This name has survived into modern times as the English name for modern Persia is Iran. The terms “Iran” and “Eran” are interchangeable. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1943 Edition), in its Index section, simply states “Eran: see Iran.” The capital of Iran, Teheran, also preserves the name of this Ephraimite clan. This book does not assert or imply that modern Iranians are Israelites as it is clear from history that modern Iranians are principally Medo-Persian in racial origins. However, the name “Iran” is derived from the name of a clan of Ephraim, which was placed in Medo-Persian territory by the Assyrians and lived there for many centuries.
Most historical accounts assume that the name “Eran” originated from the term “Aryan.” However, historical accounts generally have not considered an Israelite alternative for the origin of the Eranians. Indeed, historical accounts seem unwilling to even look for the large masses of Israelites who were relocated into Asia. The case for an Israelite origin for the Eranians is very strong. Not only are the Eranians found in the correct geographical location where Israelite tribes and clans were placed (Medo-Persia), but there were many other ancient names in that region with an Israelite origin!”
My new book goes on to explain the Ephraimite clan of “Tahan” was known as “Dahan” by the Greco-Romans who wrote about the Parthians. The Ephraimite dominance of the Parthian Empire is clear. Josephus wrote that the ten tribes were “in Asia” and “beyond [the] Euphrates” in his lifetime. The Euphrates River was the border between the Roman and Parthian Empires then, so Josephus was designating that the ten tribes “were in Parthia.” Since Ephraim was the chief birthright tribe of the ten tribes of Israel, it is no surprise to find the Ephraimite clans in a leadership role in Parthia.
Indeed, the Greeks often wrote a “p” where we usually find a “b.” For example, the Greeks referred to the “Britannic Isles” as the “Pretannic Isles.” If we read the “P” in Parthia as a “B,” we see the word “Barthia” or “B’rithia” appear as the real name of the Parthian Empire. Herein we easily see the Hebrew word for covenant, “Berith” or “B’rit” (dare we say “Brits?”) as forming the basis for the word “Parthia.” Ephraim was the chief tribe to inherit the birthright promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. Therefore, the presence of the Hebrew word for “Covenant” is an appropriate name for an empire dominated by Ephraimites.
Many historians have commented that the Scythians and Parthians were related tribes to each other. The Parthian Empire was in direct contact and rivalry with such other empires as the Seleucid Greek Empire and, later, the Roman Empire. The Scythians were more “isolationist” and generally avoided conflict with other nations and empires to their south. The one great exception is when the Black Sea Scythians invaded and destroyed the Assyrian Empire in the late 7th century BC. When the Parthians were in danger of being defeated by either the Seleucid or Roman Empires, the Sacae of Scythia would often send armies to fight on the side of the Parthians to ensure the Seleucids and Romans were defeated. George Rawlinson’s book, The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, particularly mentions many of these instances.
Given that the Scythians were dominated by Manasseh and the Parthians by Ephraim, we can see remarkable parallels in these ancient events to those of the 20th century. Even as Manasseh came to the rescue of Ephraim when the Scythians assisted the Parthians in their ancient wars, the same thing happened as the Americans came to the rescue of the British Empire in two World Wars. In the modern world, we have recently seen the Americans and the British team up enthusiastically in the Persian Gulf War and now the new War on Terrorism. They join forces as the brothers they are whenever danger or war comes upon them. As we can see from ancient history, theirs is a natural alliance, which has occurred over and over again in history.
As I conclude this column, we again see the bonds between Ephraim and Manasseh uniting these nations when one of the brother nations is attacked. Other nations of modern Israelite will join the latest alliance yet and so will other non-Israelite nations. However, considerable wheeling and dealing and negotiating will occur before these other nations decide on their contributions to the war effort. However, Tony Blair and the British have once again implemented the blood-brother alliance of Ephraim and Manasseh. While other nations are still deliberating on what to do, the British simply say: “Here we are, what can we do to help?”
There is evidence the modern alliance of Ephraim and Manasseh goes deeper than anyone realizes or acknowledges. The nations of the European Union allege that there exists a secret, worldwide intelligence-gathering operation known as “Echelon.” In an article in my home-town newspaper, The Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (a Gannett Newspaper) on September 6th, 2001, it was noted the European Union had voted 367-159 “to adopt 44 recommendations on how to counter Echelon.” The article, with a Brussels, Belgium dateline, added that “Echelon is run by the United States in cooperation with Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”
As those who have read Yair Davidy’s book(s), or mine know (Can be ordered from www.Britam.org, or www.ChristianReality.com), the nations comprising the “Echelon” alliance are the modern nations of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Echelon appears to be a shadowy, but very real alliance of the entire House of Joseph in the modern world. Is not it interesting that without even knowing their common Israelite origins, these nations have gravitated together into a very close alliance?
As I close this column, I think again of the singular presence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Congressional Gallery as President George Bush addressed the entire government of the United States. His presence spoke volumes. He did not have to be there, but he came anyway in our time of national trouble and challenge. He came because that is what brothers do in a time of crisis.
Speaking from the standpoint of an American, I close this column with a heartfelt appreciation of our brother nation when I say: “God bless the British!”
2 Sam 24
This very mysterious chapter is a fitting climax to the story of David, because it describes the chain of events that led him to discover the site of the Temple , to the preparation for whose building his entire life had been devoted.
Rashi on I Kings 3:7 provides a detailed chronology of the last twelve years of David’s life from the birth of Solomon onwards. Solomon had been born immediately prior to Amnon’s rape of Tamar, two years after which Absolom held the sheep-shearing celebration at which he had Amnon assassinated. Thereafter Absolom spent three years in exile in Geshur before returning to Jerusalem for two years before his rebellion. This was followed by the three years of famine that were rectified through the reburial of Saul’s bones together with those of his 7 grandchildren slain by the Gibeonites (II Sam ch 21:1). This was in the tenth year after the birth of Solomon.
It was thus in the eleventh year after Solomon’s birth that David ordered his count of the population, while in the twelfth year – which was the last year of David’s life – he reorganized the priestly Temple duty-rota, after which he died. (Solomon was 12 years old when he came to the throne.)
David’s census was apparently carried out for “military” purposes since the numbers given in verse 9 are of “sword-wielding men”, but this also alludes to the “sword” of prayer. It is not clear exactly what David had in mind when he insisted on holding a census despite the fact that the Torah expressly teaches that Israel must not be counted directly in order not to suffer a plague (Exodus 30:12). From David’s later contrition for having sinned (v 10) it is clear that he knew very well that it was wrong to count the people. The fact that he was able to persuade himself to do so indicates that he allowed himself to fall prey to some kind of rationalization that justified the census. The mind can play tricks on even the greatest of people. It was evidently through this rationalization which God planted in his mind that He “incited” David to sin (v 1). It is said that He did so in retribution for David’s having introduced the same concept when he much earlier said that God had “incited” Saul against him (I Samuel 26:19). The paradox is that despite the fact that the census was a mistake and led to a terrible plague, it did, nevertheless, lead indirectly to David’s discovery of the site of the Temple in Jerusalem .
Joab was opposed to the census, arguing eloquently that Israel can be greatly blessed numerically by God without having to count them – Joab’s blessings for Israelite population growth are compared favorably with those of Moses (Deut. 1:11). Joab’s opposition to the king here is noteworthy since he actually rebelled against him at the very end of David’s life one year later. Yet in spite of his reservations, Joab journeyed around the entire Israelite settlement east and west of the River Jordan. From Jerusalem he crossed over to the east bank of the Jordan and started his mission in the city of Aro’er , the southernmost settlement of the Reubenites. There “he camped” (v 5) – i.e. he took his time, hoping all along that the king would relent. Then he worked his way up northwards through the territories of Gad and Menasheh in Gil’ad, before going up to Dan (in the north of present-day Israel), further north to the “new” settlements in Syria and the BIK’AH (valley) of Lebanon, and then westwards to the Mediterranean coast, where he counted the Israelite populations in Sidon, Tyre and all the settlements further south, returning thereafter to Jerusalem. We thus have biblical evidence of Israelite settlements in Syria and Lebanon back in the time of David.
As soon as Joab returned with his report, David was smitten with remorse and contrition for having counted Israel – because Israel are beyond the concept of number, which is finite. Putting a “number” on Israel puts finite limits on the people and their ability to receive blessing. Souls cannot be counted, because each one is totally unique and has infinite potential. Counting the people lays them open to the Evil Eye, which views abundant blessing with mean-eyed hostility.
It was the prophet Gad who brought God’s grim decree to David: until the very end of his life, David conducted himself in all his affairs in accordance with the prophets, unlike Saul, who had disobeyed them. Gad offered David three alternatives in order to expiate his sin: seven years of famine, three months of defeat in war or three days of plague. (Similarly, David had said that Saul would die in one of three ways, I Samuel 26:10). In a famous verse that is part of the Tahanun supplications in the daily prayers (v 14), David threw himself upon God’s mercy – reasoning that famine would hurt the poor more than the rich and war would hurt the weak more than the mighty, while a plague would strike indiscriminately, thus spreading the suffering more fairly (RaDaK on v 14).
“Through the very wound, God sends the medicine”. The plague was mercifully short – less than the three days originally announced by the prophet (v 15, RaDaK), and when David saw the angel with his sword drawn over Jerusalem , he prayed for compassion. According to the midrash on v 16 (BA-AM RAV, lit. “with many people”), the dead included Avishai son of Tzeruyah (Joab’s heroic brother): the loss of a sage who was the equivalent of more than half (ROV) of the Sanhedrin brought atonement (Berachos 62b). With this, the Angel stopped the slaughter – and David saw that the Angel was standing by the side of the Threshing-floor of Aravna (RaDaK on v 16). Aravna was the “Jebusite” Prince of Jerusalem – though not one of the Canaanite Jebusites, but a Philistine descendant of Avimelech in the time of Abraham. According to Metzudas David (v 16), he was a righteous convert.
Since it is prayers in the Temple that save Israel from plagues and other evils, David knew that the site at which he prayed successfully for the cessation of the plague was none other than the location of the Temple, which God had promised He would choose from among the territories of the tribes (Deut. 12:14).
Aravna was willing to GIVE David the site to build his altar together with the ox for the sacrifice and the wood to burn it (v 22) but David protested, “I shall surely ACQUIRE them from you for a PRICE and I will not offer up to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost nothing” (v 24). There is a discrepancy between the fifty shekels of SILVER mentioned as the price here and the sum of SIX HUNDRED shekels of GOLD mentioned in I Chronicles 21:25. This is resolved through the fact that David collected fifty golden shekels from each of the twelve tribes to buy the site of the Temple (“from all your tribes” Deut. 12:4; 50 X 12 = 600) while he paid for the ox and wood for his altar with fifty silver shekels (Talmud Zevachim 116b).
Just as Abraham had PURCHASED the Cave of Machpelah as the burial place of the patriarchs with GOOD MONEY, similarly David PURCHASED the site of the Temple with GOOD MONEY, which means that all those who claim that Hebron and the Temple Mount do not belong to the people of Israel are guilty of blatant slander.
“The rabbis taught that all the thousands who fell from the plague in the days of David died because they did not demand the building of the Temple . If people who had never had a Temple built or destroyed in their lifetimes fell in the plague because they had failed to demand the Temple, how much more are we, who have already had a Temple and had it destroyed, obligated to demand the rebuilding of the Temple. Therefore the elders and prophets instituted the planting of prayers three times daily in the mouths of Israel for the return of the Divine Presence and Kingship to Zion and the order of Your service to Jerusalem , Amen.” (Radak on v 25).
I would like you all to note verse 17And Dawid? spoke to ???? when he saw the messenger who was smiting the people, and said, “See, I have sinned, and I have done perversely. But these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house.”
The people being killed by the angel were referred to as sheep. During Passover the sheep are offered for the slaughter. We know there are two Passovers each year. The second one is for those who could not be at the first one due to travel. And in the Prophecies of Abraham I show you that at this second Passover Satan is going to kill many of the brethren at this second Passover.
• Psalm 44:22 NKJ
Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Also note David paid good money to buy the threshing floor where the Temple would later stand. He would not take it as a gift. He would not use something to offer to Yehovah what did not cost him anything. Brethren consider this carefully. How many of you want to go to the Farm once we have it yet will not put anything towards it. You have many excuses, but if it does not cost you anything then what value is it to you?
“Psalm 94 is a royal psalm, since the phrase ‘Judge of the earth’ (v. 2) is equivalent to ‘King’ (50:4-6). The righteous call for the divine Judge to punish evil in the world (82:8; 96:13; 98:9)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Psalm 94). It is also a lament over present conditions, wherein the psalmist-David if the Septuagint’s attribution is correct-pleads for the time of divine intervention in world affairs described in the surrounding psalms. The double repetition of statements and thoughts throughout magnifies the urgency and impact of the psalm.
The song begins by doubly stressing that vengeance belongs to God and asking that He would take action and punish the proud (verses 1-2; compare 79:10; Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19). Of course, we must understand that God’s “vengeance” is not a hateful tit-for-tat lashing out but the exercise of perfect justice tempered, as circumstances warrant, with patience and mercy.
The psalmist twice cries out with the common lament phrase “how long,” aching to know how long the world must endure wicked people perpetrating their evil ways. Verses 5-6 mention the harm they do to the weak of society. God commanded that special care be shown to those in need, but the wicked afflict and murder them! And all the while they are blasphemous in their arrogant attitude, thinking they are getting away with something despite God-as if He has no understanding of what’s going on (verses 4, 7).
But they are the ones who need to understand-that He knows exactly what is going on. He is the One who invented seeing and hearing and the means to experiencing them! And He sees and hears everything (verses 8-9). He will teach the nations a powerful lesson about who He is and His acute awareness through the correction He administers (verse 10). The thoughts of man are nothing next to what He knows and what He can bring to pass (compare verse 11).
Far better than instruction from severe correction is to be instructed from God’s law (verse 12)-as those who submit to Him are. Learning the teachings of Scripture gives us “rest”-i.e., comfort and peace-until the time that God chooses to bring His judgment on the wicked (verse 13). For through God’s Word we come to understand that He will not abandon His people (verse 14) and that just judgment will at some point return (verse 15)-in an ultimate sense when God’s Kingdom is at last established on the earth.
In verse 16, the psalmist rhetorically asks twice who will act for him against evildoers. The answer, of course, as the next few verses make clear, is God. Indeed, in verse 17 the psalmist declares that God has already helped him-otherwise he would be dead. This is true for all of us even now. Consider that if God did not restrain Satan and his demons, they would surely have already exterminated mankind, and God’s people in particular. The psalmist knows that God is there to help him even when he thinks he’s falling (verse 18). In the midst of the worry and fear that all experience, the psalmist knows that God provides him with comfort and true happiness to make it through life (verse 19).
In verse 20 the psalmist asks, “Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You?” The question is obviously rhetorical, as the answer is surely no. But whom is the psalmist talking about here? Most take the reference here to evil people in positions of power generally. That could be. Yet if the psalmist is David or one of his royal successors, he could instead be referring to himself. That is, he would be rhetorically asking, “If my rule as king were evil, could I have fellowship with You?”
Again, the answer would be no. And the fellowship he has with God would testify to the righteousness of his reign-classing him among the innocent whom the wicked oppose (see verse 21).
In verse 22, the psalmist reaffirms his confidence in God’s ongoing protection (compare verse 17). And he closes in verse 23 with the assurance that God has brought on the wicked their own iniquity and will yet bring this to fullness in final judgment. Here we see that God’s laws exact their own penalty on those who live in defiance of them. The present life of the wicked is not so rosy as it might appear at a glance. And in the end, those who persist in evil will-as is twice stated in keeping with the repetition through the psalm-be destroyed.
This then sets the stage for the Kingdom of God, wherein only the righteous may rule and flourish.
“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 Christians 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 Jesus Christ, 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 Church. 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).
“Shout Joyfully to the LORD, All the Earth” (Psalms 98-100)
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.
We start off this chapter with the Prayer to our Father which shows us how to pray. Rather than me trying to explain this I would urge you all to get a copy of the book by Nehemiah Gordon and Keith Johnson at http://www.aprayertoourfather.com/author/keith-johnson/
In verse 9 we read “And I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.
“For everyone asking receives, and he who is seeking finds, and to him who is knocking it shall be opened.
Now in verse 13 we read that it is the Father who is giving the gifts.“If you then, being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father from heaven give the Set-apart Spirit to those asking Him!”
What are the gifts that the Father is giving? It was talking about bread but it was not talking about bread. Bread represents the Torah, the Word of our Father. The Torah shows us His will. We are praying to become more like Him and to have His will, His spirit in us.
Exodus 31:3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of Elohim in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all work,
Exodus 35:31 and He has filled him with the Spirit of Elohim, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all work,
Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you accept my words, And treasure up my commands with you,
So that you make your ear attend to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment, Lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver, And search for her as hidden treasures,
Then you would understand the fear of ????, And find the knowledge of Elohim.
For ???? gives wisdom; Out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of ???? is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding1
Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of ???? shall rest upon Him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of ????,
Daniel 1:17 As for these four young men, Elohim gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. And Dani’?l had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Daniel 2:19 Then the secret was revealed to Dani’?l in a night vision, and Dani’?l blessed the Elah of the heavens.
Dani’?l responded and said, “Blessed be the Name of Elah forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His.
“And He changes the times and the seasons. He removes sovereigns and raises up sovereigns. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who possess understanding.
“He reveals deep and secret matters. He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.
“I thank You and praise You, O Elah of my fathers. You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the sovereign’s matter.”
Colossians 1:9 That is also why we, from the day we heard, have not ceased praying for you, and asking that you be filled with the knowledge of His desire in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
“For everyone asking receives, and he who is seeking finds, and to him who is knocking it shall be opened. And we ask for Knowledge and seek understanding and when we do this we will gain wisdom. And this is the spirit of Yehovah.
The last part of Chapter 11 Yehshua rails on the Scribes and Pharisees and how they today build tombs for the Prophets which their father had killed.
According to the Mosaic law, any one who touched a grave was rendered unclean ( Numbers 19:16 ). That they might not touch graves and be made unclean without knowing it, the Jews white-washed their graves and tombs once a year. But Yehshua likens a Pharisee to graves which defiled men unawares. Their hypocrisy concealed their true nature, so that men were injured and corrupted by their influence without being aware of it.
Tombs were usually dug in the rock in the sides of hills or cliffs. To build them therefore was to decorate or ornament the entrance. Though their act in building the sepulchres was a seeming honor to the prophets, Yehovah did not accept it as such. A prophet is only truly honored when his message is received and obeyed. The lawyers were not in fellowship with the prophets, but with those who murdered the prophets: hence the Saviour pictures the whole transaction from the killing of the prophets to the building of their sepulchres as one act in which all concurred, and all of which were guilty. Abbott gives the words a figurative meaning, thus: your fathers slew the prophets by violence, and you bury them by false teaching.
The 163 Mitzvot
We now 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. We shall study laws 318-324 We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
318 Not to worship an idol in the way in which it is usually worshipped (Ex. 20:5) (CCN12).
(318) Do not worship an idol in the way in which it is usually worshipped. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” (Exodus 20:4-5) We discussed the Second Commandment in Mitzvot #312 and following. There the rabbinical emphasis was on making idols; here it’s on worshipping them. What Maimonides is missing is that an “idol” can be anything that we “serve” in place of God. It doesn’t have to be a statue that we physically bow before. It can be our career, our leisure-time activities, religion, sex, power, money, drugs, or any of a thousand other things that may or may not be “bad” in themselves. It can even be our interpretation of the Torah! If it takes the place of Yahweh in our affections, it is a “graven image” that needs to be removed from our lives.
319 Not to bow down to an idol, even if that is not its mode of worship (Ex. 20:5) (CCN11).
(319) Do not bow down to an idol, even if that is not its mode of worship. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” (Exodus 20:4-5) Here’s the Second Commandment again. All these nuances that Maimonides has been listing for the last few entries are beside the point if we understand that we are to revere Yahweh alone.
The interesting thing to note is that under normal circumstances, Yahweh doesn’t even want us “bowing down” to Him! Yes, we are to recognize His suzerainty, but He would much prefer to see us walking upright with Him, being as comfortably conversant with Him as Adam was before he fell into sin. Genesis 17:1 describes the relationship Yahweh wants to share with us. He said to Abraham, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” Without losing sight of His majesty and power, we are to interact with our Maker confidently, honestly, face-to-face. But blamelessly? How is that possible? Strong’s defines tamiym as “Complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity—entirely in accord with truth and fact.” If we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that we’re sinful creatures: we are not blameless. But as with Abraham, Yahweh is willing to count our faith as righteousness. If we trust Him, we are tamiym before Him.
320 Not to prophesy in the name of an idol (Ex. 23:13; Deut. 18:20) (CCN27).
(320) Do not prophesy in the name of an idol. “And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.” (Exodus 23:13); “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
(Deuteronomy 18:20) There are two related concepts here, both important. First, because Yahweh wants His word before us at all times, there is no room for talk of “other gods.” If we think of Him as one among a pantheon, we will not comprehend His uniqueness, His holiness.
Second, if we speak of “other gods” as if they were real like Yahweh is, we are lying; and worse, we are attempting to prevent our audience from having a relationship with Yahweh—a very bad thing, worthy of the death penalty. “Speaking in the name” of something is not some esoteric religious formula, by the way. “Name” is the Hebrew word shem, meaning either one’s name, reputation, character, or renown. When one says, “So-and-so says this (or does this, or thinks this),” we are “speaking in his name.” When a Muslim shouts “Allahu akbar” (“Allah is greater”) as he fires his Kalashnikov into the air, he is “speaking in the name of another god.” Yahweh says, “That prophet shall die.”
321 Not to hearken to one who prophesies in the name of an idol (Deut. 13:4) (CCN22).
(321) Do not hearken to one who prophesies in the name of an idol. “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after Yahweh your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4) Maimonides got this one right, though his summary misses the impact of the Torah. This is where systematically removing Yahweh’s name from the Bible really becomes a problem—which is why I’ve restored Yahweh’s name in place of the title that has been systematically substituted for it, “the LORD.” If you don’t know who your God is—by name—then you’re going to be more vulnerable when somebody comes along and does some really cool signs and wonders, attributing them to “God.” Remember how Pharaoh was led astray by the “miracles” performed by his court magicians, replicating the signs Yahweh had given Moses and Aaron to do to validate their mission? Miracles can be faked. Especially today.
There’s not a lot of this sort of thing recorded in scripture, however. Most advocates of false gods are pathetically ineffectual in presenting evidence to back their claims. But in our not-so-distant future, a false prophet will arise, performing signs that will seem to prove the deity of his counterpart, a man we’ve come to know as “the Antichrist.” John explains: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 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. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” (Revelation 13:11-15) There it is: deceptive signs designed to make people worship one who is not god—the very scenario about which we were warned back in Deuteronomy. The Antichrist (the “first beast”) will try to pass himself off as the Messiah. Remarkably, the lie will work on much of the world.
322 Not to lead the children of Israel astray to idolatry (Ex. 23:13) (CCN14).
(322) Do not lead the children of Israel astray to idolatry. “In all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.” (Exodus 23:13) Nice thought. Too bad the rabbis never paid attention to their own mitzvah, leading Israel into the idolatry of pride, intellect, and pointless works designed to impress a god they don’t know and whose name they won’t utter. What the NKJV renders “be circumspect” is the Hebrew word shamar, which means keep, guard, watch, preserve, attend, observe, protect, etc. And “make no mention of” isn’t a particularly good translation either. Zakar basically means to remember, to proclaim what has been remembered, to commemorate. Moses, then, is telling his audience to carefully observe the Torah just the way Yahweh delivered it, and not to honor and memorialize a counterfeit system of “laws.” The religion of Judaism today, far from being the key to the mind of God as the rabbis contend, is the very antithesis of this mitzvah and the Torah from which it was wrested.
323 Not to entice an Israelite to idolatry (Deut. 13:12) (CCN23).
(323) Do not entice an Israelite to idolatry. “If you hear someone in one of your cities, which Yahweh your God gives you to dwell in, saying, ‘Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods”’—which you have not known—then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock—with the edge of the sword.” (Deuteronomy 13:12-15) This passage doesn’t only apply to apostate cities, but to individuals as well, as witnessed in the preceding verses (6-11). Yahweh, in His warnings to theocratic Israel designed to keep the nation pure and set apart for His purpose, was really serious about dealing with idolatry among His people. Yahweh’s Messiah would be delivered to the world through this nation. If they fell into total idolatry (like the Canaanites they were instructed to displace in the Land), the very existence of Israel would have been jeopardized. Without abridging individual choice, Yahweh had to keep His people set apart from the nations.
324 To destroy idolatry and its appurtenances (Deut. 12:2-3) (affirmative).
(324) Destroy idolatry and its appurtenances. “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship Yahweh your God with such things.” (Deuteronomy 12:2-4) Without instruction, the Israelite conquerors of Canaan might have been tempted to simply use whatever worship facilities they found, change the name of the deity from Ba’al (or Chemosh, Astarte, Molech, Dagon, or any of a dozen others) to Yahweh, and call it a day. But Yahweh (being the real God) had specified a different form of worship for His people—a system of sacrifices, holidays, and “appurtenances” that told the unfolding story of mankind’s salvation in its every detail. Every nuance of the Levitical ritual prescribed in the Torah was prophetic of the coming Messiah.
The sad history of Israel from the Conquest to their final exile can be traced back to their refusal to do what Moses instructed here. Sadder still is the adoption and assimilation of pagan practices into the liturgy of the Church—a process begun in earnest at the time of Constantine. Having seen what had happened to Israel, we should have known better. What part of “You shall not worship Yahweh your God with such things” didn’t they understand? And don’t think you’re immune to the legacy of pagan infiltration just because you’re a “Protestant.” As long as you celebrate Easter and Christmas in place of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, you remain under the indictment of this mitzvah.