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News Letter 5849-008
2nd day of the 2nd month?5849 years after the creation of Adam??
14th Day of 2nd week of Counting the Omer??????
The 2nd Month in the Fourth year of the third Sabbatical Cycle???????
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle?????????
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences?????????
April 13, 2013

Shabbat Shalom Family,
The New Moon was seen on Thursday Evening making today Shabbat the 2nd day of this 2nd month.
Here is the report form Nehemiah.

Karaite Korner Newsletter #588??New Moon Report?April 2013?Second Biblical Month??On Thursday April 11, 2013 the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted:?*from Jerusalem by Willie Ondricek at 7:17pm;?*from a second location in Jerusalem by Nehemia Gordon at 7:24pm;?*from a third location in Jerusalem by Yoel Halevi at 7:31pm. ??My photo of the new moon from Jerusalem is posted at:?https://www.facebook.com/NehemiaGordon??Nehemia Gordon?The Wandering Jew in Jerusalem

I would like to point out something once again in your bible.
Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and the night. And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.

The Moon is used to determine the months. Nott eh dark moon, because you are told right here let the LIGHTS divide the night and day and let the LIGHT be used for Seasons and Days and Years.

It is the light of the first sliver of the Sighted moon that tells us when a new month has begun. And because Yehshua is come on the Feast of Trumpets as He did when He was born on Sept 11, 3 B.C. AS you all should know the Feast of Trumpets comes on the 1st day of the Seventh Month. Because it is sighted we do not know if it will be seen on one day or the next. And because of this Yehshua said;
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the angels of Heaven, but only My Father.
He said this knowing it was a sighted moon that would determine the month He comes back in. This is a Hebraism & is used to talk about the Feast of trumpets which comes on the first day of the 7th Month. A day no one knows not even the angels in Heaven but only the Father knows.

For those keeping the Second Passover for biblical reasons, the 14th of the second month is from Sunset the 24th to Sunset the 25th when the lamb is killed. And the first Holy Day is from Sunset the 25th when the Passover is eaten until sunset the 26 when the Holy Day ends.

What are those biblical reasons you could not keep the first Passover?
The second year out from Egypt, the circumcised nation of Israel observed the Passover in the Wilderness of Sinai, but certain men were ceremonially unclean from touching a dead body. These men could not take of the Passover, and they asked Moses, ‘“Why are we kept from bringing the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel”’ (Num 9:7). The answer wasn’t obvious so Moses inquired of the Lord as to what should be done. The Lord said, Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it…according to all the statutes for the Passover they shall keep it. But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the Lord’s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. (Num 9:10-13)

Here is something else to consider this 2nd month.

Methuselah was the oldest person recorded in the Bible who died. Methuselah was 969 years, older than Noah who was 950 and Adam who was 930, as well as several others whose ages approached 900.
Methuselah’s name makes it ironic that he would be the one who lived the longest, since his name actually contains the Hebrew word for death. The name as a whole is often signified as meaning man of the dart or man of the sword. The name may well mean more.

The Hebrew names in the Bible were often significant and have meanings behind them. For example, Peleg means “division,” and Peleg lived when the earth was divided into its linguistic divisions at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10:25). Abraham means “father of a multitude,” reflecting the promise God made to Abraham (Genesis 15:5, 17:5). We could go on and on with Hebrew names that accurately describe the individuals to whom they belong.

The word muwth means “die/death” in Hebrew. The first part of Methuselah’s name means “mortal”. Taking meth/muth and combining it with selah, some have suggested that this signifies when the Flood will come. For example, a leading Hebrew scholar of the 1700s, Dr. John Gill said:
and that Enoch had a son, whose name was Methuselah, is affirmed by Eupolemus {r}, an Heathen writer; and Enoch being a prophet gave him this name under a spirit of prophecy, foretelling by it when the flood should be; for his name, according to Bochart {s}, signifies, “when he dies there shall be an emission,” or sending forth of waters upon the earth, to destroy it. . . . [Notes by Gill: {r} Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 17. p. 419. {s} Thaleg. l. 2. c. 13. col. 88. so Ainsworth.]2

He was affirming previous scholars, such as Eusebius, Samuel Bochart (French Bible scholar in the 1600s who compiled an Arabic dictionary), and Henry Ainsworth (commentator and Bible scholar [including Hebrew] of the late 1500s and early 1600s), who had said this before. Commentators Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown concur with Gill. They stated:
This name signifies, “He dieth, and the sending forth,” so that Enoch gave it as prophetical of the flood. It is computed that Methuselah died in the year of that catastrophe.3

However, this interpretation that some have suggested does not come from merely the Hebrew. The transliterated name in Greek as used in Jesus’s genealogy in Luke 3:37 is:
the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan.

The Greek from ????????? or Mathousala, according to the New Testament Greek Lexicon literally means:
“when he dies, there shall be an emission”4

This is merely reiterating what previous scholars have suggested. But this definition may be why many scholars affirm that Methuselah’s name means “when he dies it shall come” or “upon his death there will be a major change.” Therefore, they say that this may have helped signify that the Flood would come when Methuselah died.
Methuselah’s father, Enoch (not Cain’s oldest son, but rather Noah’s great-grandfather), was said to be a prophet. But considering Enoch was a prophet, could the name he gave to Methuselah also have been prophetic? Many believe so.

If you match up the ages of the patriarchs, Methuselah died the same year as the Flood. 1656 after the creation of Adam or 2181 B.C. taken from The Prophecies of Abraham.

Though some may mistakenly think Methuselah died in the Flood, this is highly unlikely. Methuselah was raised by a godly parent (Enoch) who walked with God and pleased God so that God took him away without death. In fact, Methuselah may have actually helped Noah in the construction phase of the Ark. But his death preceded the Flood.
keep in mind that it was common for prominent people to be honored with designated times of mourning after they passed (e.g., Genesis 27:41, 50:4; Deuteronomy 34:8; 2 Samuel 11:27). However, there were surely many who had mourning periods that are simply not mentioned in the Bible.

Methuselah lived longer than any other man recorded. He was the son of a Righteous man, Enoch and the Grandfather of a righteous son Noah.

Methuselah died the year of the flood and would have been mourned for 30 days as we read of in Deuteronomy38:8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.

We read in Number the law of those who touch a dead man.

11 He who touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean. But if he does not purify himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.13 Whoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Jehovah. And that soul shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still upon him. (Num 19:11-13)

And because of what we read in Genesis 7 that the flood came on the 17th day of the second month,

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, in this day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the heavens were opened up. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 In this same day, Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ark. (Gen 7:11-13)

Because of this we conclude that Methuselah died in the first month near Passover.

Lamech was born in the year 874 after Creation and died 1651 just 6 years before the Flood. What this means is that Noah was now responsible to bury His Righteous Grandfather. Surely all the honors would have been bestowed upon Methuselah for living the longest and being righteous as well. This is why Noah was unclean for the Passover in the first month. And as such would have taken part in the second Passover on the 14th of the second month.

When we use our computer programs we can check the sighted moon to see when it would occur for the year of 2181 B.C. which is the same year as the flood in 1656 after the Creation of Adam. (We are using the Sabbatical and Jubilee charts from The Prophecies of Abraham.) And because the computer program does not take into effect that there is no year zero you must then go to the year 2182 B.C. to get the right data.

IN that year, in the second month the Moon was sighted on Thursday April 4th 2181 B.C. (adjusted accordingly; go to http://www.torahcalendar.com/MOON.asp?JDN=2518113&TDAY=1)

14 days later will bring you to the 14th being on the Thursday. The High day would be on the 15th and was a Friday. Sabbath was the 16th day of this second month. The Wave Offering would have been done on the morning of the 17th Day at 9 A.M.

And on the 17th day of the Second Month the Flood came upon the earth.

In the exact same way as Yehsua raised up the dead on that Sunday morning when He ascended to Heaven with those Saints, So did Yehovah raise up these Righteous ones in the Ark again on the exact same day; Sunday.

Something for you to think about this week.

From our teaching two weeks ago I have the following comments
Thanks for your teaching today. We like it very much. I have to say I loved your testimony about your Seder meal. I would like to share one with you. I as you know got your book as a download. I found it hard to read on the laptop and so asked my husband for help turning pages an chapter’s. He ended up reading with me up to chapter 4. This is a man who doesn’t read books, he has read other than scripture only two ever. So Glory to God your book is flowing very well and is successfully easy to read and get excited by. Thank you again for your diligent works.
Tina
England

Thanks Grandpa Joe,
After reading the testimonies I too want to thank you as I prayed on the 7th day but mainly for our two sons, Samuel Amos & Joseph Reuben who have lost their childhood trust in Yeshua. My husband is saved and has gradually started observing Sabbath & giving up certain foods but had not celebrated any feasts.

When my friends & I got together to organise Pesach I offered my home hoping my husband would join in because he seemed to be more open than previous years. As the time approached he started to get very negative especially when he saw the shofar & the basins for foot washing etc etc. I got a word from one of the group that the Lord had told her not to attend. I wondered if this was because of my husband’s negativity & I knew how much it meant to the others (all women) so I told him if it did not feel right then to go & visit our neighbour whom he is friend’s with. He didn’t want to impose on our neighbour so just remained angry. I thought ‘how could something that felt so right could suddenly be so wrong?’

As the participants started to arrive my husband’s mood started to change & soon he was asked to sound the shofar & to my amazement he obliged gladly as he did with much through the night & he really got to understand all of scripture through this & saw the benefit of this. Now we feel even more closer together because of our deeper understanding together. We celebrated 28yrs of marriage 2 days before & I started celebrating Pesach when we moved to our current city 9yrs ago when I took up an invitation.

So thanks again Grandpa Joe for your promptings which I reposted to many friends also. Hopefully our sons will join us also next year.
And who knows- maybe next year in Jerusalem!!!

Yvonne
Australia

A gentleman from Ontario has now finished reading “Remembering the Sabbatical Years of 2016” and had this to say.
Shalom Joe,
I have read the Sabbath 2016 book and found it immensely interesting and informative! We are truly blessed to have your research skills, your historical interests and writing ability to share what you are learning! Now we just need teachers who grab the baton and are able to help spread the new insights to any who will listen! We need to make several power point presentations so that we can be organized in our presentations and help others see what has been revealed in these last days!

One observation on this first book is that I found the discussion of the “error” in chronology lengthy and wonder if people will plug through this detailed study.

I am just about finished the Daniel book and find it even more fascinating due to the refreshing newness of the insight. Again, this faces strong headwinds due the years of intrenched wrong understandings.

Also, you were going to get me a couple Prophesies and Sabbath books for me to take to Uganda.
David
Ontario
I had asked David to read the newest book we are still working on which we shared with you last week one chapter. David was referring to the chapter in 2 Kings about the 480 years, which we explain at length. It is complicated and shows you how to understand this erroneous point.

And we are working on the Power Point Presentations which we will share at Sukkot this year. We hope to have an announcement about that very soon. AS of this posting all the details were not available. Once the power point presentations are available then those who want them to teach can have them along with the books which explain them in detail. Which is what Remembering the Sabbatical Years of 2016 does. You all need to get this book and share it with your families. It is written so they can understand it. Just go to the web site and order it or if you have 10 or more write me and we can help you on the shipping.

Last week we shared with you one chapter from our upcoming book showing you exactly what Daniel 9:24-27 really does say. And it has nothing to do with anything remotely close to what many of you have been following and believing in; and that is Daniels Timeline. The response has been good.

“Just WOW this week’s teaching. Not half way through but have to say. WOW”
Tina
England

We have now completed two weeks of counting the Omer. This week the reading on the Wednesday and Thursday of the Omer represents this year 2013 and next year 2014 in the Jubilee cycle. We are to be counting where we are in the Jubilee cycle each year. And when we count the Omer for Shavuot we also count the year in which we are in the Sabbatical cycle.

The 50 days leading up to Pentecost are an annual reminder of just exactly where we are in the Jubilee cycle. The Last Jubilee year was 1996 and the next Jubilee year to come will be in 2045. That makes 2013 the eighteenth day in this count and 2014 the nineteenth day.

If we use the psalms that are read on these days for the 18th (2013) and 19th (2014)day of Counting the Omer and apply them to the matching years we have a very interesting revelation. Considering the teaching we have shared with you about the Terror of Abraham when he fell asleep and the Parable of Mathew 22 which tells of the coming persecution, these next psalms in counting of the Omer are sobering to the times we are approaching. If my understanding is correct then we can expect 400 days of persecution which would take us into the 2015 which matches the up to the 20th day of counting the Omer. Turbulent times are approaching.

The Year in which Yehovah made the Covenant with Abraham was in the 5th year of the 3rd Sabbatical cycle. That year matches up with 2014 next year. That is the 19th day. And it was at Passover when this covenant was made. This is why I plan to be in Israel at Passover at the secret place where Isaac was offered and Yehshua was killed at Passover in 2014. Yehovah willing.

Here are the readings for the coming week. Scan down and read what is said for the 18th and 19th and 20th days.
The entire list of Psalms for Counting the Omer can be found in the Appendix of the new book Remembering the Sabbatical Years of 2016. Go to the Web site and order a copy today. You can order 10 or more through me to save on shipping charges outside the USA. And inside the USA too.

WEEK THREE | 3 ????

Day Fifteen | Safety In the Law Of Yehovah | Psalm 119:113-120

Today is the first day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the fifteenth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

113 I have hated doubting thoughts, but I have loved Your Torah. (Psalm 119:113)
114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I have waited for Your Word. (Psalm 119:114)
115 Turn away from me, you evil-doers, for I observe the commands of my Elohim! (Psalm 119:115)
116 Support me according to Your Word, that I might live; and put me not to shame because of my expectation. (Psalm 119:116)
117 Sustain me, that I might be saved, and always look to Your laws. (Psalm 119:117)
118 You have made light of all those who stray from Your laws, for falsehood is their deceit. (Psalm 119:118)
119 You have made to cease all the wrong of the earth, like dross; therefore I have loved Your witnesses. (Psalm 119:119)
120 My flesh has trembled for fear of You, and I am in awe of Your right-rulings. (Psalm 119:120)

Day Sixteen | Obedience To the Law of Yehovah | Psalm 119:121-128

Today is the second day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the sixteenth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

121 I have done right-ruling and righteousness; leave me not to my oppressors. (Psalm 119:121)
122 Guarantee Your servant’s well-being; let not the proud oppress me. (Psalm 119:122)
123 My eyes have pined away for Your deliverance, and for the Word of Your righteousness. (Psalm 119:123)
124 Do with Your servant according to Your kindness, and teach me Your laws. (Psalm 119:124)
125 I am Your servant—make me understand, that I might know Your witnesses. (Psalm 119:125)
126 It is time for ???? to act! For they have broken Your Torah. (Psalm 119:126)
127 Therefore I have loved Your commands more than gold, even fine gold! (Psalm 119:127)
128 Therefore all Your orders I count as right; I have hated every false way. (Psalm 119:128)

Day Seventeen | Desire To Obey the Law of Yehovah | Psalm 119:129-136
Today is the third day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the seventeenth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

129 Your witnesses are wonders; so my being observes them. (Psalm 119:129)
130 The opening up of Your words gives light, giving understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
131 I have opened my mouth and panted, for I have longed for Your commands. (Psalm 119:131)
132 Turn to me and show me favor, according to Your right-ruling, toward those who love Your Name. (Psalm 119:132)
133 Establish my footsteps by Your Word, and let no wickedness have rule over me. (Psalm 119:133)
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I might guard Your orders. (Psalm 119:134)
135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your laws. (Psalm 119:135)
136 Streams of water have run down from my eyes, because they did not guard Your Torah. (Psalm 119:136)

This is the Year of 2013 as we count the Years of the Sabbatical Cycle.
Day Eighteen | The Justice of the Law of Yehovah | Psalm 119:137-144

Today is the fourth day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the eighteenth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

137 Righteous are You, O ????, and Your right-rulings are straight. (Psalm 119:137)
138 You have commanded Your witnesses in righteousness and truth, exceedingly. (Psalm 119:138)
139 My ardor has consumed me, for my adversaries have forgotten Your words. (Psalm 119:139)
140 Your Word is tried, exceedingly; and Your servant has loved it. (Psalm 119:140)
141 I am small and despised; I have not forgotten Your orders. (Psalm 119:141)
142 Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth. (Psalm 119:142)
143 Distress and anguish have found me; Your commands are my delight. (Psalm 119:143)
144 The righteousness of Your witnesses is forever. Make me understand, that I might live. (Psalm 119:144)

This is the Year of 2014 as we count the Years of the Sabbatical Cycle
Day Nineteen | Prayer For Deliverance | Psalm 119:145-152

Today is the fifth day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the nineteenth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

145 I have called with all my heart. Answer me, O ????! I observe Your laws. (Psalm 119:145)
146 I have called upon You. Save me, that I might guard Your witnesses. (Psalm 119:146)
147 I rise before dawn, and cry for help. I have waited for Your Word. (Psalm 119:147)
148 My eyes have gone before the night watches, to study Your Word. (Psalm 119:148)
149 Hear my voice according to Your kindness; O ????, revive me according to Your right-ruling. (Psalm 119:149)
150 Those who pursue mischief have drawn near; they have been far from Your Torah. (Psalm 119:50)
151 You are near, O ????, and all Your commands are truth. (Psalm 119:51)
152 Of old I have known Your witnesses, that You have founded them forever. (Psalm 119:52)

Day Twenty | Plea For Salvation | Psalm 119:153-160

Today is the sixth day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the twentieth day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

153 See my affliction and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your Torah. (Psalm 119:153)
154 Plead my cause and redeem me. Revive me according to Your Word. (Psalm 119:154)
155 Deliverance is far from the wrong ones, for they have not sought Your laws. (Psalm 119:155)
156 Your compassions are many, O ????. Revive me according to Your right-rulings. (Psalm 119:156)
157 My persecutors and adversaries are many; I have not turned aside from Your witnesses. (Psalm 119:157)
158 I saw traitors and was grieved, because they did not guard Your Word. (Psalm 119:158)
159 See how I have loved Your orders, ????. Revive me according to Your kindness. (Psalm 119:159)
160 The sum of Your Word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever. (Psalm 119:160)

Day Twenty-One | Dedication To the Law of Yehovah | Psalm 119:161-168

Today is the seventh day of the third week of seven weeks. Today is the twenty-first day of the counting of fifty days from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath. Today is Sabbath, the third Sabbath of seven Sabbaths. Today completes the third week of seven weeks.

1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5)
6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6)
7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)

161 Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, but at Your Word my heart stood in awe. (Psalm 119:161)
162 I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure. (Psalm 119:162)
163 I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved. (Psalm 119:163)
164 I have praised You seven times a day, because of Your righteous right-rulings. (Psalm 119:164)
165 Great peace have those loving Your Torah, and for them there is no stumbling-block. (Psalm 119:165)
166 ????, I have waited for Your deliverance, and I have done Your commands. (Psalm 119:166)
167 My being has guarded Your witnesses, and I love them exceedingly. (Psalm 119:167)
168 I have guarded Your orders and Your witnesses, for all my ways are before You. (Psalm 119:168)

We have written to you in previous News Letters about the bankruptcy of Cities and States and how with them your pensions will also disappear. Here is some more in this regards.
California Cities Go Bankrupt
TheTrumpet.com | April 4?
A Federal ruling on April 1 has ensured the city of Stockton is eligible for bankruptcy protection. The debt-laden city has failed to carry its financial burden since June 2012 when it collapsed under its crippling debts.
Back in June, as the city worked to try and minimize its payments, and draw in more revenue, it didn’t touch pension plans. The California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers) is the city’s largest financial obligation, coming in at $900 million.
Back in 2007, Stockton’s creditors insured $165 million in bonds, just to keep up the Calpers payments. As a result of these “patch-up” solutions, the city of Stockton now owes Calpers about $900 million to cover these promises.
If the city of Stockton, which holds the second-highest crime rate in the
U.S., was willing to cut its police force by 25 percent in order to pay off debts, how much will it cut pensions? There may also be implications that spread from Stockton to other cities across the state.
As Stockton is a sign of where things are heading for California, so California is a sign of how the U.S. manages to pay for pensions. It doesn’t. Calpers is a $225 billion system that is underfunded by $87 billion. There are more payments due to retirees than there is money to spend.
Systems as well-intentioned as?the pension plans are fundamentally flawed because they are put in place by the governments of man. As we see the current city, state and national governments fail, we can rest assured that a perfect system is soon on the way and will bring joy to the lives of all people!

Once again I ask you all. If you planning on living off your retirement savings plan and it is managed by your government then you are playing Russian roulette with you future income.
Also in the news has been the new strain of Bird Flu.
“ a new strain of bird flu that has emerged in China in the last two months. It has already killed nine of the 16 people who’ve gotten it, over 50% mortality rate that keeps public health officials up at night.”
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2013/04/05/us-watching-chinese-bird-flu-outbreak/2056577/
This past week I was sent an article that Bill Cloud sent out. I have not had any issues with Mr. Cloud that I am aware of. But this article struck me. He has said those things I have been saying but in a gentler way. And he also has seen the damage done by those teaching The Daniel Timeline lie. Even though it is now impossible for this teaching to work just from the numbers it supports, there are still some who are clinging to it. So this week I tip my hat to Bill Cloud for this and share it with you.
Where is Your Focus?
Shalom to all. In my last communication, as you may recall, my topic addressed being a servant as opposed to being a survivor. I asked the question, “Which are you?” As I tried to make clear, I was and continue to be concerned about the way some are choosing to respond to all the troubling news facing us in these last days. It seemed to me that, for awhile, there were almost daily prognostications about the future that, intentionally or unintentionally, provoked some hasty conclusions about if we need to flee, where we need run or move to, etc. All this chatter and some of the reactions to it, in my opinion, had the potential to tamper with our focus and undermine our mission as a light to the nations. For instance, I received a letter asking me where I was going to flee to on March 23rd. When I inquired as to why I should be prepared to flee on that day, the answer was, “Because that is when the abomination of desolation is to occur!” As it turned out, that didn’t happen. This kind of reaction to what was merely a possibility (and there were many more like it) troubled me and this is why I wrote the article.
Many of you responded to the article with very encouraging and supportive messages, some even thankful for the article because it helped them to, according to their own words, refocus on the right things. On the other hand, there were a few who took exception to the article, feeling that I was implying they lacked faith if they took measures to prepare for hard times. They thought that, perhaps, I had caused confusion because Scripture is replete with warnings to prepare for things that are coming upon the world and it seemed I was saying that we needn’t do that. So, for the sake of those who misunderstood my point, I wanted to try and clarify a few things.
First, we all sense something is building and all the signs seem to say, it’s not good, which means we all need to be on high alert. Yet, I’m struggling with the notion that the possibilities and the “what ifs” are the things we should be consumed with and focused upon. George Custer got himself and 200 other men killed because he was focused on what he thought was going to happen (a great victory and the glory that goes with it) rather than focusing on what was materializing right in front of him – namely, five thousand or more highly agitated Sioux and Cheyenne warriors charging at him. My point is his lack of focus on the right thing prompted him to act hastily – even foolishly – and he ended up doing the wrong thing at great cost to him and others. We must not make that kind of mistake in these last days – many in darkness are depending upon me and you being true to our mission.
So what are we to focus on? Well, I don’t think it should be on all the evil surrounding us. Yes, I believe that we are to be aware of what is going on and, yes, I believe God foretold us of these things that we might be prepared. However, the preparation should be with His purposes in mind, not ours necessarily. In other words, I don’t believe He told us of these things in advance that we might be transfixed on what the Adversary is doing through governments, industries and individuals. Rather, I believe He revealed to us what the Adversary would do so that when we see these things come to pass, we would be provoked to set our gaze upon Him and follow His agenda; in short, the darkness is used to provoke us to look to the Light and be the light.
Consider that Peter was able to defy the laws of nature as long as he kept his eyes on Y’shua but as soon as he got his eyes on the storm swirling around him, he began to sink. He knew the waves were there when he got out of the boat but it didn’t matter when his focus was upon the Master. This is the point I was trying to make in the last article; we need to stay focused on the Messiah and His agenda in spite of these troubling circumstances we now face. Some would say, “Isn’t His agenda to call us out of the nations and gather us all to Him?” Yes, but He hasn’t returned yet and, in the meantime, He said, “Occupy (do business) until I come.” He did not say, “Occupy until things get uncomfortable” or “until you think my return is close.” With all due respect, it seems to me that the latter misinterpretation is what some – I stress some – seem to be applying to the current situation with their words and actions.
Consider that in just the last couple of months, there has been quite a stir about the possibility of altars being built, flights into the wilderness, the abomination of desolation taking place and other types of end-time scenarios. As it turned out, none of these possibilities materialized, yet, we spent an incredible amount of time arguing, debating and, sometimes, planning for the certainty of these things. I am not suggesting that these things won’t happen in the future and I’m not suggesting that it is wrong to discuss these things. I’m not attacking those who raised the possibility of certain events taking place and what you might have to do if they did. To their credit, one group at the center of some of this chatter conceded that their observations and “what ifs” turned out to be nothing – at least for now.
On the other hand, I am raising the alarm about our tendency, as a people, to overreact to some of these things and, in the process, forget who we are and why we are. I am bothered by what discussing these things – in some cases predicting these things – prompted many people to do or not do. By that I mean, through all this discussion about the beginning of the Tribulation and our flight into the wilderness were we being a light to a dark and frightened world? Or were we too concerned about being right in our predictions and the dire ramifications for the rest of the world that we began to focus more on self? We can be confident that all that has been written – the good and the bad – will come to pass and all in fulfillment of the Father’s will and in His time. In the interim, He still expects us to be salt and light.
When God raised up Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, He called him “my servant.” Yet, it was this “servant” who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and carried the Jewish captives into Babylon; this included Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. For them, there was no place to hide but even in captivity, in the darkest of circumstances, these men served the Creator by being light. In fact, I recommend to you that, had they not been in captivity, the king of Babylon may never have acknowledged the God of Israel as the “most High God” (Dan. 3:26). I’m certainly not suggesting that God intends for all of us to go into captivity but I am arguing that all things – good and bad – serve His purposes. So then, at the end of days, when the Beast of Revelation rises to power and subjugates the earth, even that will be in accordance with the Father’s will.
“And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the harlot. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.” – Revelation 17:16-17
Notice, the ten kings destroying the harlot and giving their power to the Beast is because God put it in their hearts to do it. So, consider the potential irony: as all these end-time events are coming to pass, the Beast and his minions will be, ultimately and unwittingly, acting in accordance with God’s will. On the other hand, should our focus be placed on the Beast and what the Adversary is doing and not the Messiah and His agenda, His own people would fail to act in accordance with His will. Remember, His agenda is not that we should seek to survive but that we would overcome the world. Our mission is to be light and our instructions are to “Occupy (do my business) until I come.”
Fleeing Into the Wilderness
One of the issues raised in response to my last article was, “What about those instances when God tells people to flee or to prepare for an impending disaster, like Lot and Noah?” In fact, didn’t Y’shua hint at this when He said the days of His coming would be likened to the days of Noah and Lot (Lk. 17:26-30)? Yes, it is true that men have been warned, at times, to flee or prepare for coming destruction but consider a few things about these examples. First, what was Lot doing in Sodom in the first place? What had led him there? I argue that carnal inclinations – preferring the land that looked more fertile – are what took him to Sodom. How did he act when he got there? Well, it is obvious that his family did not fare well spiritually and it could be argued that preferring to live in the fertile plain cost Lot most of his family. I would further suggest that Lot may have been spared from destruction, not because of his own righteousness but, because of Abraham’s righteousness. So then, why was it necessary to compel Lot to flee Sodom? Is it is possible the angels had to do that because he shouldn’t have been there in the first place?
Where Noah is concerned, yes, he built an ark at the command of the LORD. Yet, Scripture is just as clear that, while he was preparing he was also preaching righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). It seems to me that, in order to be a preacher of righteousness he had to be able to engage people – unrighteous people at that. How effective a preacher was he? Not very effective at all if you are looking for immediate results, but as I pointed out last time, his effectiveness should be viewed long-term. His obedience to God’s purpose was responsible for the preservation of lives of people he would never meet – people like you and me. My point is he built an ark because God commanded him to, not because he was frightened of what was going on around him and that would include the nefillim of his day.
Okay, but what about all those prophecies concerning the wilderness and fleeing into the wilderness? There is no doubt about it: Scripture teaches that, one day, His people will go into the wilderness just like the generation that left Egypt went into the wilderness. Here are just a few verses that speak of this truth.
“I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.” – Ezekiel 20:34-35
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.” – Hosea 2:14-15
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.” – Revelation 12:6
As I said, these are just a few verses that speak to this issue but, in these few instances, there is something I want you to take note of. God said “I will bring you” and “I will allure her.” If the flight into the wilderness is to follow the pattern of the first Exodus, then I submit to the reader that, when He brought them out the first time, they did not have to guess whether the timing was right. In other words there was no ambiguity about when they were to leave Egypt – they knew it was time because He was bringing them out with great and unmistakable signs and wonders. I suggest that, in the future, when He brings His people out of the nations and allures His people into the wilderness, no one will have to question if it is really the time because when it happens, as it is written, “You shall know that I am the LORD.”
Also, I’d like to point out that the woman flees to a place that is “prepared by God” – in other words, not by man. To be fair, there are many ways we could look at this because God does work through people. Still, the main point is all that is determined to happen will be in accordance with His will and in His time – not man’s timing or planning. “There is a way that seems right to man but the end thereof is destruction” – that truth is not applied exclusively to those in the world; that goes for us too. Another thing to consider is, when Israel left Egypt the first time, they did so “with a high hand” (Ex. 14:8) which is to say, according to rabbinical writings anyway, with dancing, celebration and pageantry. In other words, they gathered their belongings, loaded up their wagons and their animals and walked – danced and paraded – out of Egypt – they apparently didn’t run from Pharaoh in the middle of the night. If the first Exodus establishes the pattern, then what does this say for the future Exodus?
That question brings me back to this point: the woman goes into the wilderness to the place that God has prepared for her and, according to the text, she flies there “on the wings of a great eagle” (Rev. 12:14). Of course, it was upon “eagles’ wings” that God brought Israel to Him in the wilderness at Sinai (Ex. 19:4) – do you see the connection between the two? Eagles’ wings take His people into the wilderness then and in the future. If eagles’ wings factor so prominently into the first Exodus and, apparently, the last-day flight into the wilderness, what should I make of this Scripture?
“But they who wait (longing patiently) for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Here is what I am driving at: in response to those who brought up the issue of what Scripture has to say about His people going into the wilderness, there is no doubt that Scripture does foretell of such. However, I think it is important to read all that the Scripture has to say on the subject. When this wilderness event happens, the entire world will know that “I am the LORD” because He will be the One to lead His people out of the nations and into the wilderness. As far as I’m concerned, there is a big difference between someone fleeing somewhere because they think it is time and the Creator leading His people into the wilderness because it is time. It is imperative that we learn to “wait” patiently on Him and, as we wait, to be faithful to fulfill His purpose in our lives.
Once Again: Servant or Survivor?
Alright, let’s set the wilderness issue aside for a moment and simply address the wisdom of preparation in advance of hard times and, maybe, the prudence of escaping to a safe, isolated place that is “off the grid.” First of all, I do not think that taking measures to provide for and protect your family in the face of uncertain times is wrong or shows lack of faith. To the contrary, to ignore these things and do nothing is foolhardy. It could be likened to the foolish virgins who refused to attain an ample supply of oil until it was too late to join the wedding party. I have taken measures to provide for my family in the event of a catastrophe or economic upheaval because that is my responsibility as a husband and a father. As I pointed out in the previous article, that is what the ant does – he stores up in the summer because he knows that winter is coming. However, as I also pointed out in the previous article, he does this so that he can continue being an ant. My preparation is so that I can, hopefully, continue doing what I’m supposed to be doing – being salt and light – but my confidence for the future is in the One who can do what I am unable to do or plan for.
In other words, please do not confuse wise preparation with fearful self-preservation. That was and is my point. It is not a lack of faith in God that prompts me to store up provisions so that I may continue to function in my purpose, yet, it may be a lack of faith in Him to think that my plans and provisions are what will see me through the crisis. This latter position is the mindset I take issue with. The question was raised, “But can’t I be both a servant and a survivor?” My answer would be, “Yes,” it is possible to be both but I adamantly believe it will depend on your motive. Are you seeking to save your life? Or are you, for His sake and purposes, willing to lay your life down? The answer to that question is the key to answering whether we can be both servants and survivors. Y’shua said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sakewill find it” (Mt 16:25).
There you have it: sometimes a servant can be a survivor but, on the other hand, sometimes servants simply overcome, which we are also called to do. What I mean is, did Paul or Stephen survive or did they overcome? In the last days, Scripture make it clear that Messiah calls us to overcome but does He call us to survive? He says, “Those who endure to the end will be saved” but does that mean they survive in the way that many are seeking to? It is not for me to say what God intends for each and everyone one of us other than to say, Scripture is clear we are to be servants and follow the path He has set before us. Consider the conversation between Peter and the LORD when Y’shua asked him, three times, if he loved Him.
“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Y’shua said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’ This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God. And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Y’shua loved following them … and when Peter saw him, he said to Y’shua, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Y’shua said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’ ” (John 21:17-22)
The point here is, one survived (the one we presume to be John) but the other (Peter) did not. Yet, that was not the most important issue. What mattered most was that they were both servants willing to follow Him. Thus, we learn that some who serve will survive; the three Hebrews of Daniel 3 are a great example of this. Their survival, however, was not dependant on their plans and provisions but on their willingness to serve the Creator to the death if necessary. In the last days, it appears that there will be those who survive and for the same reasons – because they are servants.
“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie – behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” – Revelation 3:8-10
To the congregation of brotherly love, Y’shua says that, even though they are weary, they have persevered; they have been faithful to His Word and have not denied His authority. Because of this, He promised to “keep” – literally “guard” – them from the time of trial coming upon the whole world. It would seem then that these people survive what is coming but it is because, and I stress this, they have been faithful servants. They, apparently, did not seek to save their own lives. Might it be that these are the same type of people spoken of elsewhere in the Revelation?
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.” – Revelation 12:11
Again, the Bible seems to indicate that there will, indeed, be survivors but, also, it seems to make clear it is because they didn’t seek to save their life but were quite willing to lose it. I suggest that it is because their focus is not on what the Adversary is doing or will do but upon the Messiah and His purposes. When we are focused on Him and follow Him, then we are truly His servants – “take up your cross and follow me.” As such, we are able to overcome and, as we see with Peter, overcoming – not necessarily surviving – is what we are called to. Can I be a servant and a survivor? Yes, sometimes it works out that way but sometimes servants don’t survive – they simply overcome. The greatest example we have is Messiah’s willingness to sacrifice everything that the will of the Father might be done – “not my will but yours be done.”
I realize that what I write here is not the final word on the issue because I am not the final authority on the issue – I’m just sharing what’s on my heart and exploring what the Scripture has to say on the subject. I realize that what the Father is speaking to me concerning the path to my future may not line up exactly with what He is speaking to you about the path to your future. Still, I think we must all agree that being a Servant and an Overcomer is what we are all called to. So, whether that path takes you to an isolated and safe place or not, the point is that we walk the path set before us faithfully, patiently and humbly. As we do that, we should be cognizant of the fact that the Messiah requires of us that we be salt and light. Let us, therefore, strive to be servants rather than survivors and if we should survive, all the better. If that is not the case – if we are called but to overcome – what will matter is that we followed Him! What will account for more is to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Blessings and shalom.

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at?https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

13/04/2013 Deut 13 1 Chron 12-13 Phillip 3-4

A Dreamer of Dreams (Deuteronomy 13)
Moses continues warning against the danger of pagan worship. God commanded that everyone who would try to introduce Israel to the worship of other gods had to be killed—including one’s brother, son, daughter, wife or close friend—”so all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you” (Deuteronomy 13:6-11). Today, the death penalty is not being carried out, of course, by spiritual Israel—the Church. Nevertheless, the principle of spiritual and, if need be, physical separation from wrong influences still applies. Christ clearly told His disciples: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37-38). Christ expects His disciples to choose between Him and their relatives when it comes to conflict in worship and true Christian living. We are to leave every form of paganism, and we are not to allow anyone to entice us to return to it.

In addition, Israel was admonished to not be deceived even by a prophet or a dreamer whose prophecies or dreams came true—if his goal was to influence others to worship pagan gods (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). Rather, such a prophet was to be killed too. Isaiah later gives us the way to discern a false prophet or teacher: “To the law and to the testimony [i.e., Holy Scripture]! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Sometimes false prophets will arise, prophesying events that do come to pass so as to “test” us in order to “know” whether we really love God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3). In fact, in a few years from now, a powerful religious figure will appear on the world scene, called the “lawless one” or “false prophet,” who will perform “signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Satan will give him the power to do so; and by those signs he will deceive the multitudes (Revelation 19:20; see our free booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled). Also, at that time, “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Therefore, signs and wonders are no proof that the person performing them is from God. Yet, unless we have received the “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) and are seriously committed to God’s way of life, we too can become deceived by those mighty signs, believing that, because of them, the religious message of the “prophet” or “dreamer” must be believed—and followed.

1 Chronicles 12

David’s Harem Grows; Alliance with Phoenicia and a Royal Palace
(1 Chronicles 14; 2 Samuel 5:11-25; 1 Chronicles 3:5-9; Psalm 30)
As time draws on, David’s kingdom increases in fame throughout the region due to God’s blessing and unification of all Israel. But again, one of David’s weaknesses is exposed in that he takes to himself yet more wives. The account in 1 Chronicles 3:5-9 lists the children born to David in Jerusalem. Four sons are born by Bathsheba (including Solomon). Nine sons are born to his other wives. There are also other sons and daughters born to David’s concubines.

Hiram, King of Tyre, a powerful city-state on the Mediterranean coast north of Israel and center of the Phoenician Empire, shows great respect by sending builders and materials to help build a palace for David at Jerusalem. This demonstrates David’s growing prominence—that the ruler of the Phoenician Empire, which dominated ancient maritime commerce, would seek to cement an alliance with Israel through such projects. The Philistines, on the other hand, regarded David’s strength as a threat to their nation. Here, David’s real strength is shown as he once again seeks God first for instruction in regard to the Philistines. After defeating the Philistines, David burns the idols that are left behind. Once again, God is with him in defeating his enemies.

1 Chronicles 13

Psalm 30 is written by David in his dedication of the palace built for him in Jerusalem. In these verses, David recounts both the dark times and the bright times. This chapter can be a testimony for us today. All of us have experienced troubling times in our lives in which we cried out to God for His intervention. Though we never deserve it, and cannot earn it, God has constantly shown us His endless grace and mercy. Individually, it would be helpful to record some of our own trials and remember how God has always delivered us when we have sought Him, as David did, with all our heart. Can God look upon each of us and say, “I have found _______ a man/woman after My own heart, who will do all My will”? We have a great advantage today, as we can strive to emulate the positive qualities of a man like King David and also learn not to repeat his mistakes.
Let’s follow the example of David and give thanks to God forever!

Phillipians 3

All For Christ—3:1-11
(1) Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you {is} not tedious, but for you {it is} safe. (2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! (3) For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, (4) though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: (5) circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, {of} the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; (6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (7) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (8) But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which {is} from the law, but that which {is} through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (11) if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

1. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. He encourages them to rejoice in the Lord. “In the Lord” marks the true ground for rejoicing and is to be contrasted with “confidence in the flesh” (verse 3). For me to write the same things to you {is} not tedious, but for you {it is} safe. The “same things” to which Paul is referring is probably found in 1:27-30. There he warns the Philippians to stand against opponents. Now he issues the same warnings against another set of opponents. The word translated “tedious” also means “slothful.” In other words, Paul was not being slothful by repeating the same things over and over again, but was doing so for their own good. He wasn’t just an old negative preacher, born in the kickative mood; he was, instead, a conscientious servant who was not going to fail to warn the Philippians concerning the problems they faced.
2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!. These are very strong words addressed toward the Judaizers. The Jews referred to the Gentiles as “dogs” and Paul hurls this name back at them. As evil workers, their motives and actions are base. They are the kind of people who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). Furthermore, their circumcision (peritome), something the Judaizers took great pride in and were trying to bind on the Gentiles, was nothing other than mutilation (katatome). Changing the prefix of their favorite word, Paul stigmatized these people as the “mutilation party.” They were not the true circumcision at all!

3. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,. In the Old Testament, circumcision was a symbol of faithfulness. The Judaizers were arguing that in order to be faithful to God one needed to be circumcised in his flesh. Paul is saying that under Christ circumcision of the flesh has nothing to do with one’s faithfulness to the Lord. In the New Testament, faithfulness is to be judged solely by one’s reliance on Christ. Consequently, those who are obedient to Christ are the true circumcision or faithful. This expression is used in other places: “For he is not a Jew who {is one} outwardly, nor {is} that circumcision {which is} outward in the flesh; but {he is} a Jew who {is one} inwardly, and circumcision {is that} of the heart, in the Spirit, {and} not in the letter; whose praise {is} not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28,29).

4. Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:. Here Paul argues that if anyone with a Jewish background had a right to have confidence in the flesh, it was him. Nevertheless, he disclaimed all such confidence (verses 3,7), and every Judaizer was bound to do the same (cf. II Corinthians 11:22,23).

5. Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, {of} the tribe of Benjamin,. The fact that he was circumcised on the eighth day in strict conformity to the law shows that he was neither a heathen or Ishmaelite, but was born of law-observing Jewish parents. (Converts to Judaism were circumcised in maturity and Ishmaelites in their thirteenth year.) He was a descendent of the patriarch Israel, or Jacob. Therefore, he could trace his genealogy back as far as any other Jew. The tribe of which he was a member was not one of the tribes that apostatized in the time of Rehoboam, but maintained its allegiance to Judah. A Hebrew of the Hebrews;. Even though Paul was a Jew, he could have been a child of Greek-speaking Jews. But this was not the case. His parents were Hebrews who had retained their native tongue and customs (cf. II Corinthians 11:22; Acts 6:1). Concerning the law, a Pharisee;. Paul had been a member of what he called “the strictest sect of our religion” (Acts 26:5).

6. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church;. Paul had not just been a follower of Judaism, but he was very zealous in persecuting those who he thought believed and taught things contrary to the law of Moses. Concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Paul was not saying he had not violated the law and therefore was not a sinner; to do so would be a contradiction of what he taught elsewhere (Romans 3:9,10,19,20,23; Galatians 3:10,11; 3:12). It seems evident then that he is saying that his observance of the law was so strict that in the eyes of men he was held blameless.

7. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Having found the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), he now counted all the things associated with his Jewish heritage as loss.

8. But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,. Not only did he consider all things associated with his Jewish heritage as loss, but also all other things that could come between him and his Lord, such as material possessions, the esteem of his fellow men, family acceptance, etc. Everything pales in significance to his relationship with Jesus Christ his Lord. For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. Not only did he consider all as loss for the knowledge of Christ, he actually lost them. When he embraced Christianity, he gave up or lost all things that stood between him and his Lord. The word translated “rubbish” can mean excrement or what is thrown away from the table. Everything he gave up he considered so worthless as to be considered “dung,” as this word is translated in the KJV.

9. And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which {is} from the law, but that which {is} through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;. Any righteousness that Paul had as a Jew (through the perfect keeping of the law) was imaginary. But now, in connection with Christ, he had a righteousness that was given to him by God as a result of his faith in Christ (Romans 3:22).

10. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,. The knowledge of Christ that Paul is here writing of is not mere intellectual recognition. It is, instead, a personal, intimate, trusting, loving relationship with the living Christ. The power of His resurrection probably speaks to its redemptive effect. By His resurrection He was made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). As such, He is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). As Jesus suffered for righteousness’ sake while on earth, all who know Him, walk with Him, and follow His example will also suffer for righteousness’ sake (cf. 1:21; 4:13; Galatians 2:20; II Corinthians 2:14). This is what Paul is referring to when he mentions the “fellowship of His sufferings.” The death Paul wanted to be conformed to was the Lord’s pouring Himself out unto death, which was comprised of an entire earthly life of denying self in order to serve others.

11. If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Paul’s goal was the “resurrection from the dead.” Obviously, the apostle is not referring to the general resurrection of all the dead, but to the resurrection of the righteous to eternal life (cf. Luke 20:35; 14:14).

Pressing Toward The Goal—3:12-16
(12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing {I do}, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (15) Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (16) Nevertheless, to {the degree} that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

12. Not that I have already attained,. Salvation in heaven is in the future. True, there is a sense in which we are saved now (from past sins), but eternal salvation is something yet to be obtained. (The idea of “Once saved, always saved,” is simply not taught in the Bible.) Or am already perfected;. Paul says he had not yet reached a state of perfection. Only when he receives the crown of righteousness will he have been made perfect (II Timothy 4:7,8). (The idea that one would be perfectly holy in this life is not taught in the Bible.) But I press on,. The verb “press” in the Greek indicates the intense action of a runner in a stadium. Paul was intensely running toward a fixed goal. That I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. The Lord seized Paul to serve Him and go to heaven. Paul was determined to seize that for which the Lord seized him.

13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;. Again, he repeats that he had not yet laid hold of all those things for which the Lord had laid hold on him, but in order to attain it, he made it the one supreme end of his life. But one thing {I do}, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,. Forgetting all earthly aspirations, honors, and desires, he pressed ahead to obtain his goal.

14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. With heaven as his goal and eternal life his prize, Paul pressed onward and upward: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1,2).

15. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;. To be intensely engaged in the spiritual race is the mind-set of which Paul here writes. This, then, is the sign of a mature Christian. And if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Paul has just articulated the principle (i.e., we are still far from perfect, but in Christ we ought to be striving for perfection). In the meantime, it seems that he is saying that if there is some minor differences on the specific application of this principle to a particular situation, then, as one continues to mature in Christ, the correct application will be revealed. The ability to make the correct application is called “wisdom.” Wisdom comes from a study of God’s word (cf. Proverbs 8:33; 9:8; II Timothy 3:15; Colossians 3:16) and prayer (James 1:5). Either way, the revealing of the right application is from God.

16. Nevertheless, to {the degree} that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Whatever we have already learned, let us walk in light of that knowledge. We must remember that our religion does not consist so much of precept upon precept, as it does upon the application of various principles taught throughout the Scriptures. Spiritual maturity is a process, and the more spiritually mature we are, the more enlightened we become, and the more enlightened we become, the more spiritually mature we are—“For everyone who partakes {only} of milk {is} unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, {that is,} those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13,14). If this is fully understood, then there will be less problems among Christians. What do we mean? Sometimes folks think they know more than they do and, therefore, think they are spiritually mature. Consequently, they make their conscience the standard for judging everyone else. In doing so, they are proving themselves to be “babes” who are still thinking carnally (cf. I Corinthians 3:1-5). Speaking to the spiritually mature Christian in Romans 14, as he does here, Paul warned against receiving a spiritually immature Christian into the fellowship if he engages in disputes over doubtful things (Romans 14:1). He then goes on to write of the “law of liberty” that is to be applied by the mature Christian. Let each of us who thinks himself to be mature spiritually be determined to learn all the truth we can, weigh all the difficulties, look upon every side of the question, teach others what we learn, sacrifice no truth, but be patient and forebearing in teaching it, and give the other person time to grow or mature. This, we think, is what Paul is teaching in these passages.

Our Citizenship In Heaven—3:17-21 (17) Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, {that they are} the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) whose end {is} destruction, whose god {is their} belly, and {whose} glory {is} in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things. (20) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

17. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. Paul and others, who imitate Christ (I Corinthians 11:1), are themselves to be imitated. This is not said in any self-asserting, self-confident, egotistical spirit. However, neither is he filled with false modesty. He recognized that to the extent that he and others (like Timothy and Epaphroditus) patterned their lives after Christ’s it was worthy of imitation (cf. I Corinthians 2:16). What a wonderful learning experience it is for us to have those around us who are imitators of Christ who we can, in turn, imitate.

18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, {that they are} the enemies of the cross of Christ:. Paul appears to be writing of those Peter mentions in II Peter 2:1-22 and Jude identifies in Jude 1-16. These kinds of folks are not to be imitated. The message of the cross is humiliation. The gospel calls on all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) and humbly submit to Jesus Christ as Lord of one’s life. In contrast, these enemies of the cross “allure through the lusts of the flesh” (II Peter 2:18). Their’s was a feel-good religion that promised liberty but actually retangled them and those that heard them into bondage to sin (II Peter 2:19). No doubt, the pagan philosophies prevalent at that time provided the “great swelling words of emptiness” (II Peter 2:18) that deluded these people and their converts. Paul’s sorrow about all this may have been in the fact that these errorists sheltered themselves under his own teaching about the liberty we have in Christ and the superiority of the gospel of Christ over the law of Moses. These, Peter wrote, had wrested some things Paul had written in his epistles to their own destruction (II Peter 3:15-17).

19. Whose end {is} destruction,. The unrepentant end result of these “ungodly men” who turn “the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jude 4) is the destruction that consists of eternal misery in hell. Whose god {is their} belly,. If Paul is using “belly” literally, then he has in mind gluttony. Probably, he is using this term metaphorically, which would include gluttony and every other appetite driven sin (e.g., fornication, drunkenness, etc., cf. Galatians 5:19-21; II Timothy 3:2-4). And {whose} glory {is} in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things. Instead of being ashamed of their carnality, these “lovers of themselves” (II Timothy 3:2) were so depraved and perverted that they took pride in their shameful conduct (cf. I Corinthians 5:1,2). In minding earthly things, they had given themselves over to “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (I John 2:16). We are reminded of Romans 8:5,6, which says: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those {who live} according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded {is} death, but to be spiritually minded {is} life and peace.”

20. For our citizenship is in heaven,. In contrast to those who set their minds on earthly things, the spiritually minded set their things on the things that are above (Colossians 3:1,2). The commonwealth to which we belong, and this is the meaning of the word translated “citizenship,” is the New Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26; Ephesians 2:19; Hebrews 11:13-16; 12:22; Revelation 3:12; 21:3). As citizens of this heavenly commonwealth, we, as resident aliens here on earth, must be constantly moving spiritually toward our heavenly home. This, as Paul has already pointed out to us, is the goal of every maturing Christian. From which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,. In John 14:2,3, our Lord said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if {it were} not {so}, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, {there} you may be also.” Therefore, the true Christian eagerly awaits the Lord’s return with great expectation. The goal toward which we are all eagerly running (eternal salvation in heaven) is dependent upon the Lord’s return (Hebrews 9:28). Therefore, with great anticipation we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

21. Who will transform our lowly body. Paul is referring to what the Lord will do to those who are raised to eternal life. Our earthly mortal body that goes down to the grave he calls our “lowly body” or, as some other translations say, “vile body” or “the body of our humiliation.” It is this body that is subject to all the earthly woes of weariness, pain, sickness, sorrow, tears, sin, etc., and finally the corruption of death. The fleshly body must be turned into a spiritual body so that our immortal souls will have a fit habitation in which to live in the spiritual realm of heaven. Such a transformed body will be free from all the woes that we are subject to during our earthly state (Revelation 21:4; cf. I Corinthians 15:35-58; II Corinthians 5:1-5). That it may be conformed to His glorious body,. The resurrected body of the faithful Christian will be conformed to the Lord’s glorified body. Now, we don’t know just what this body will be like, but when the Lord returns for us, we shall be like Him (I John 3:2). According to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. The word translated “working” is used only of superhuman power, whether of God or the devil. By virtue of the fact that the Lord is able to bring all things in subjection to Himself, He has the power to raise us incorruptibly, conforming us to the body of His glory (cf. I Corinthians 15:27,28).

Phillipians 4

(1) Therefore, my beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
1. Therefore, my beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown,. This is the concluding remark of the entire third chapter, and not just verses 17-21. These are not words of flattery, but sincere love. They are similar to I Thessalonians 2:19,20, where Paul says: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.” The word translated “crown” is stephanos, and signifies the wreath worn by the victor, not the king. So stand fast in the Lord, beloved. With these words, Paul is encouraging the Philippians to be faithful. Again, he calls them his beloved.

Be United, Joyful, And In Prayer – 4:2-7 (2) I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. (3) And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names (are) in the Book of Life. (4) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord (is) at hand. (6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

2. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. These two women, as indicated by verse 3, had been quite energetic in the work of the gospel. Unfortunately, there were some long standing differences between these two. It was not doctrinal, as Paul did not take sides, but he instructed them both to be of the same mind in the Lord (cf. notes on 2:2).

3. And I urge you also, true companion,. Who does Paul have in mind here? Who is this true companion or “genuine yokefellow”? Some have suggested that Paul is addressing this statement to Epaphroditus, the bearer of this epistle (2:25), or to Timothy, the co-author of the letter. When one takes into consideration that Euodia means “long journey” and Syntyche means “happy chance,” it seems more likely that Paul has in mind a member of the Philippian church named Syzygus, which means “true companion.” Help these women. The Greek word for “help” literally means “to take hold together with one.” Like Barnabas, whose name means “son of consolation,” Paul believed that Syzygus was one who lived up to his name. Paul wanted him to be a true friend to these two women by helping them to settle their difference once and for all. Who labored with me in the gospel,. The word “labored” is a strong word indicating that Euodia and Syntyche had “striven” together with Paul for the sake of the gospel. With Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names (are) in the Book of Life. There were others at Philippi who had energetically cooperated with Paul in the Lord’s work, one of who was named Clement. Paul considers these all to be faithful brethren whose names are written in the book of life (cf. Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Ezekiel 13:9). This expression is also used seven times in Revelation. It designates the register of those whose “citizenship is in heaven” (3:20).

4. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!. The word “always” indicates the Christian is to rejoice even when beset by afflictions (1:28-30). Joy ought to be present in the lives of all who enjoy all the spiritual blessings that are “in the Lord.”

5. Let your gentleness be known to all men. We have no exact English equivalent for the Greek word translated “gentleness.” It means “yieldingness, sweet forbearance, fairness,” etc. It’s the quality of one who is considerate to another. One who has this quality does not demand that he be able to exercise his rights but unselfishly yields to the rights of others. This loving consideration and kindness is to be exhibited to “all men,” not just the church. Nevertheless, only a perverted mind would think the Christian’s gentleness somehow forced him to yield truth to error, right to wrong, or virtue to vice and crime. The Lord (is) at hand. Some think this expression is a reference to the Lord’s second coming. It seems to me to refer to our special relationship with the Lord and the fact that He knows our circumstances and will defend us from our enemies.

6. Be anxious for nothing. In connection to what he has already written, and what he is going to write, Paul is saying that the Christian – the one who trusts the Lord and is aware of His presence – ought not to be anxious about promoting his own interests. He ought not to “worry” or be “fearful” about the future. Instead, he ought to be willing to make his perceived needs known to the Lord in prayer and then be willing to trust that His response to us will be the correct one. But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;. We are reminded of I Peter 5:7, which says, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” “Prayer” and “supplication” are often found together in the Bible, as in Ephesians 6:18; I Timothy 2:1; and 5:5. “Prayer” is more general but “supplication” conveys the idea of asking God to supply specific needs. “Thanksgiving” emphasizes that prayer and supplication ought to always be accompanied by an appreciation for God’s blessings. Being truly thankful of what He has done for us in the past will help us not to be anxious about the future.

7. And the peace of God,. The kind of dependence we have been talking about – the kind that trusts God – snuffs out anxiety and produces a mind at peace, the very antithesis of the troubled, fretful, fearful, apprehensive mind. Which surpasses all understanding,. Probably, the meaning here is that the peace of God is beyond all that the mere reason of man can do to relieve anxiety. Will guard your hearts and minds. “Hearts” and “minds” are used here interchangeably, and designate the sources of the thoughts. The Greek word for “guard” is a military term, signifying a sentinel who keeps guard over a castle or camp, or a well-garrisoned stronghold (cf. Isaiah 26:1-3). Therefore, the mind of the Christian who trusts in the Lord is a well-garrisoned stronghold, and no matter what assaults are coming from the outside, on the inside there is peace. Through Christ Jesus. All this takes place as a result of our connection with Jesus Christ.

Meditate On These Things – 4:8,9
(8) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things (are) just, whatever things (are) pure, whatever things (are) lovely, whatever things (are) of good report, if (there is) any virtue and if (there is) anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. (9) The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

8. Finally, brethren,. Paul now specifies six motives which all who seek maturity should keep constantly in mind. Whatever things are true,. This is not just truth in speech; not in discharge of social trusts; it is truth in itself and for its own sake. It is truth as an achievement of the mind, truth as a rule of conduct, covering all possible spheres and relationships in which one can stand. Whatever things are noble,. The word “noble” in the Greek is semna, which was used in classical Greek as an epithet of the gods, meaning “venerable” or “reverend.” It conveys the idea of a dignity and majesty that inspires reverence and relates to either persons or deeds. The KJV translates it as “honest.” Whatever things (are) just,. The Greek word for “just” is dikaios, which conveys righteous conduct and has to do with doing good or positive goodness. Doing justly is the duty of every Christian. Whatever things (are) pure,. Hagnos, the Greek word translated “pure,” literally means that which is untainted. It here designates right conduct in the sense of abstaining from evil – negative goodness. Whatever things (are) lovely,. Prosphiles, the Greek word rendered “lovely,” refers to that which is acceptable, agreeable, or pleasing. Whatever things (are) of good report,. Here Paul is writing of things so excellent and good that to name them is a good or “fair-sounding” thing. If (there is) any virtue. The word “virtue,” here and in II Peter 1:5, means moral courage or integrity. Whatever the circumstances a Christian finds himself in, if he has virtue, he will be compelled to do what is right. And if (there is) anything praiseworthy. The Christian ought to be ready to praise anything and everything worthy of commendation. The standard the world would use for this would be much different than the standard the Philippians would use. —meditate on these things. The meditation prescribed here is not Eastern, New Age meditation, which is an emptying of the mind; instead, it means to give oneself over to careful reflection (i.e., letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom, Colossians 3:16). The meditation (or filling the mind) of which Paul here speaks will enable the Christian to do the will of the Lord in all things.

9. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do,. The first two verbs refer to his conduct as an instructor when he preached to the Philippians. From him they both “learned ” and “received” the word of the Lord. The last two verbs refer to his private conduct. The Philippians had heard from others and seen with their own eyes how Paul essentially practiced what he preached. And the God of peace will be with you. If the Philippians would do what Paul had said, the God of peace, who brings peace, would be with them. To enjoy this relationship, not only does the Christian need to let his requests be made known to the Lord by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving (4:6,7), but he must also endeavor to obey the divine will. As works without prayer are in vain, so prayer without works is also vain (cf. Hebrews 13:20; I Thessalonians 5:23).

Philippian Generosity – 4:10-20 (10) But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. (11) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: (12) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (14) Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. (15) Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. (16) For even in Thessalonica you sent (aid) once and again for my necessities. (17) Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. (18) Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things (which were sent) from you, a sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. (19) And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (20) Now to our God and Father (be) glory forever and ever. Amen.

10. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly. Not only did Paul feel grateful to the Philippians for their kindness toward him but, above all, to the gracious Lord who made this kindness possible. The effect of such gratitude was great joy. That now at last your care for me has flourished again;. The Philippians’ contribution to his support had finally arrived, and not a moment too soon. The word translated “flourished again” means literally “have made the dry tree to flourish.” Though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. The fact that their support was late in arriving was not because they were not concerned for him. The lack of opportunity (cf. Galatians 6:10) may have been from a lack of means or the lack of a messenger.

11. Not that I speak in regard to need,. Paul’s joy was not because he was short of means and their contribution had taken care of his needs, although this was apparently the case, but because of the flourishing of their thoughtfulness toward him once again. In other words, his joy is not selfish, but derives solely from his thoughts of them and the “proof” of their godly care for him. For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:. Paul is saying that he had learned by the teaching of the Holy Spirit and by divine providence to be content in whatever state he found himself (cf. Hebrews 5:8). Autarkes, the Greek word for “content,” appears only here in the New Testament. The word literally means “sufficient for one’s self, strong enough to need no aid or support.” It was a familiar word in Stoic egotism. Paul did not claim his self-sufficiency originated with himself, or that it had anything to do with his own wisdom or power. He was independent of circumstances, thus self-sufficient, because of his trust in and dependence on the Lord.

12. I know how to be abased,. The Greek word for “abased” means “to make low, to reduce to meaner circumstances.” The apostle had learned to accept his abased circumstances in a gracious, uncomplaining spirit (cf. II Corinthians 4:8; 6:9,10). And I know how to abound. The Greek word for “abound” means “to have in abundance.” Paul, as a faithful Christian, did not let poverty degrade him nor prosperity exalt him. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Whether full or hungry, prosperous or poor, Paul had learned to conduct himself as a trusting, loving disciple of the Lord.

13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This is not some PMA proof-text, as many try to make it. In other words, this is not a faith in faith statement. It is, instead, a statement of faith in Christ that says in all the circumstances of life Paul was convinced that he could bear fruit to the glory of God through the strength the Lord gave him.

14. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. In declaring his dependence upon the Lord, the apostle was careful not to disparage the Philippians’ gift. God was doing His part and the Philippians were doing their part, and the latter as a result of the grace of God (cf. II Corinthians 8:1-4).

15. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. In those early days of preaching the gospel in Europe, when he departed from Macedonia (Acts 17:14), no church other than the Philippian church had fellowship with him. This is not to be confused with the fellowship they had with him when he was at Corinth, where he subsequently went after leaving Macedonia (Acts 17:15-34; 18:1), in which other churches were involved (II Corinthians 11:8,9). In this particular case, only the Philippians were involved. The words translated “giving and receiving” are a business term referring to the credit and debit side of the ledger. The Philippians were greatly indebted to Paul since it was through his preaching and teaching that they had been brought to Christ and nurtured in the faith. Thus the apostle had certain credits on their ledger that they were obligated to honor. He referred to a similar matter in I Corinthians 9:11, “If we have sown spiritual things for you, (is it) a great thing if we reap your material things?” This responsibility is included in the “all good things” of Galatians 6:6, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”

16. For even in Thessalonica you sent (aid) once and again for my necessities. Not only had they supported him when he left Philippi, but also in his first gospel effort after Philippi when he established a church at Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-4). Their affection for Paul and their appreciation for the work he was doing prompted them to keep up with his needs, sending support to him in Thessalonica more than once. This support was in addition to what he was able to supply for himself from his own labor (I Thessalonians 2:9, II Thessalonians 3:7-9).

17. Not that I seek the gift,. Paul was not preaching the gospel to make money, or out of covetousness. He certainly did not deny the usefulness of their support, making it possible for him to preach the gospel; but he wanted to emphasize that his interest in such support involved no self-seeking or selfishness on his part. But I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. The not/but construction emphasizes the latter at the expense of the first. In other words, Paul was indeed grateful for their gift, which was useful in the furtherance of the gospel; but his chief concern had to do with the good it did those who gave it. The phrase “to your account” is taken from commercial dealings, which literally means “interest which may accumulate to your account.” This reminds us of the following passages: “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God (is) not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, (in that) you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:9,10); “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (Let them) do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life ” (I Timothy 6:17-19). In the gift the Philippians sent Paul, they laid up for themselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). The principle to which the apostle appeals is the fact that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

18. Indeed I have all and abound. “I have” is the regular expression found in the papyri to indicate the receipt of what is due. The Philippians had paid the debt they owed Paul “in full.” I am full,. He was lacking nothing concerning his physical needs. having received from Epaphroditus the things (which were sent) from you,. “The things” Epaphroditus delivered to Paul probably included clothes and other necessities, as well as money. Epaphroditus must have been loaded down by the generosity of the Philippians. A sweet smelling aroma,. The reference is to the odor of the sacrifices offered to God under the Old Testa ment. Like these sacrifices, the gift of the Philippians to Paul was considered as sweet-smelling in God’s presence (cf. II Corinthians 2:15,16; Ephesians 5:2). An acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. What the Philippians were doing for Paul, they were doing for the Lord (Matthew 25:40). Therefore, it is designated as an acceptable, well-pleasing sacrifice to God. Their care for Paul was an act of worship rendered to God. When a Christian does anything to help another person, prompted by his love for the Lord and the recipient of his good work, he worships God, offering Him a well-pleasing, acceptable sacrifice. “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

19. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. The Philippians were generous in their gift to Paul from their limited means, but they were going to receive back from the unlimited storehouse of God’s blessings! Anything a Christian gives in support of the gospel, motivated by love, will yield a rich return far beyond one’s finite ability to understand (cf. Luke 16:9-12).

20. Now to our God and Father (be) glory forever and ever. When one considers the wonderful richness of God’s blessings, praise cannot be repressed. Amen. The “amen” is a fitting conclusion. As the lips shut themselves, the heart once again surveys the facts and adds, “So be it.”
Greeting And Blessing – 4:21-23
(21) Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. (22) All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. (23) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

21. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. Paul wanted his greetings to go to each member of the Philippian church. The brethren who are with me greet you. This probably denotes Paul’s co-workers mentioned in 1:14 and 2:19.

22. All the saints greet you,. All the Christians at Rome not mentioned above extend their greetings. But especially those who are of Caesar’s household. It would be encouraging for the Philippians to know that there were now saints in Nero’s household. The term could refer to his kinsmen, but probably refers to servants holding more or less important positions in the imperial household. Furthermore, the fact of these conversions testifies to the unwearied effort and influence of the apostle. who was willing to use every opportunity to preach and teach the gospel.

23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. This epistle closes with the recognition of Jesus Christ as the means of divine grace, and the invoking of this grace on the Philippians. Amen.

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