News Letter 5859-017
The 7th Year of the 4th Sabbatical Cycle
The 28th year of the 120th Jubilee Cycle
The 5th day of the 5th month 5859 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Sabbatical Cycle after the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Sword, Famines, and Pestilence
June 24, 2023
Shabbat Shalom to the Royal Family of Yehovah,
When I do get free time, I am being asked questions by those in that area about the things I have presented and how those things challenge the many false teaching they have accepted. So we spend a lot of time going over and over teachings with each group helping them to understand. They are excited, but I am exhausted.
Now while I have the internet working I am rushing to get this Newsletter complete and being asked questions by those around me about this and that. We need teachers. We need many more teachers who know Torah.
Even as I say that I am going after false teachers this week once again. There are many of them and we have also had to deal with people sending out emails and lashon harah against us and our teachings.
We are in the process of switching from one account to another based on our own web site. James has been working away on this for the past couple months and we were about to begin the process of switching things over one step at a time but decided to wait until I got home to work out the bugs with James together. It could take a month to complete and there will be some hiccups along the way. IN fact as I go to post this we had a major setback, which has caused James to have to redo a number of things. Do keep him in your prayers. Right after I arrived in the Philippines, our one server, locked both James and me out of their account. The one we use to send out our emails. So we have been forced to deal with this while I am traveling and it has been very frustrating.
This means that once we make the switch there will be automatic emails that go out. This is meant to go to new people who sign up for the Newsletter in order to introduce them to all our products. Yes, this means you will also get them even though you got them before on the old system. Sorry. Please bear with us and pray we can make it all work so that as more people join us, they can learn where to start.
Many of the things you take for granted involve a great deal of work on James’s and my part to make them work seamlessly. Hours and hours of teaching videos to learn how to do these things. All of this is on top of our normal editing and writing of the book. We have also produced a new power point for our tour of the Philippines. And I hope we can record it at some point and share it with all of you.
Again I am asking for your patience as we work through this changeover during the next month which I will be doing while on tour.
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We just got back on this week and we look forward to stirring things up once again.
The Shmita Year of 2023
Brethren find a way to obey. Stop finding excuses why you can’t do this or that.
If you just discovered this was the Shmita year, then stock up now for the remainder of the year. Don’t plant or harvest this year. Obey Yehovah.
The Shmita Year of 2023
Aviv 1 on February 21/22, 2023 began the 7th Year of Rest. You can prove this by understanding that 2 King 19:29 spoke about a 49th and 50th-year land rest. Knowing this was 701 and 700 BC, you can then count by 7 or 49 and land on every Sabbatical year or every Jubilee in history. All of our proof’s line up with this understanding.
We want to encourage you to watch and share this video of our teaching at GLC about the Sabbatical Year.
In this Sabbatical year, you are:
- Not to Plant
- Not to Harvest
- Stock up on Food in the 6th year
- Forgive Debts
- Read the Torah Out Loud on the 1st day of Sukkot.
These are the basic rules that you are to keep in order to be blessed by Yehovah. As of this writing, it is not too late to stock up for the year.
There are 365 days in the year. Let’s just say there are 400 days, in case there is an Adar Bet next year. You can buy 400 Cans of Soup to have one meal of soup each day during the year. One can of soup costs about $2, so for $800 you have a year’s supply of soup. But if you are not going to eat soup every day then take out half and buy canned beans, vegetables and fruits.
You can do this. Do not say you can’t do this. Find the will to find a way to get this done. Find excuses as to why you will obey. We are coming into the 5th curse over the next 7 years. That curse is famine and it will be so bad that people will eat their own children. So stock up on food now so you can obey Yehovah. And extra food will be a welcome blessing later.
Brethren, this is not that hard to do. What it takes is the willpower to do it: that and a little planning. You can buy meat throughout the year. It is not a ban on meat. You can also eat anything that grows of itself during the year. But do not plan on living off of those things that come from the ground. It they fail then you have no food. Stock up now, and if something grows, they are a bonus, but they are also free game for the neighbours and the animals. So they might eat it before you do. Plan ahead and stock up now. You still have time to get it done.
I received this email this week and want to share it and answer it with you all.
Message: Hello Joseph
I was wondering – are we allowed to still buy “old stock” from the store up to 22 Feb 2023? Most products have Production dates and Sell by dates on them. I am staying away from fresh vegetables and fruit but if I can see on a canned item or on frozen vegetables that the Production date in well outside of the beginning of the Shmita year, I am allowed to buy it?
As you might know, we (South Africa) are sometimes without power for up to 8 hours, sometimes more, a day. I therefore did not invest in an extra freezer or fridge for we are expecting the collapse of the grid any day and all those frozen things will have to be thrown away. I have stocked up for the Shmita year, but still have this impression on my spirit that I have to keep doing it for as long as I can – especially canned goods.
Personally I do not see why I can’t, because it is old stock. Nowhere do I read in the Torah that you are not allowed to buy the old stock in the Shmita year (provided of course that you can find a Production date on the can/container that is well outside the beginning of our Shmita year. But, my understanding of it may be wrong, so I would really appreciate your input.
As I always do here is my standard answer as to what you are to do during the Sabbatical year.
- Not to Plant
- Not to Harvest
- Stock up on Food in the 6th year
- Forgive Debts
- Read the Torah Out Loud on the 1st day of Sukkot.
Each person is different. Each person has a different culture they live in. Some do not have electric power. Some are called and discover this information and the sabbatical year has already begun. Yehovah has called each of us from the walk we are in. Different races, different problems. But He HAS called you to begin NOW to obey. So, start to obey from that point on with all your might and all your ability. But Start!!!
Joe Dumond Rules
In answer to Melanie, these are now what I do. They are not written in Torah. This would come under Joe Dumond rules, which must be changed when found to be out of alignment with Yehovah’s Laws. Each of you will develop you own rules for you and your family. I might not agree with them but so long as we are all keeping the 5 rules of the Shmita year then do not judge others who are trying to obey. Let Yehovah judge them. Let Yehovah bless them according to what they do right and what they do wrong. But do not let us go around attacking each other, and especially those who are trying.
I have stocked up my food for the upcoming year. Here in Ontario, Canada, I will use Shavuot as another one of my benchmarks. I will explain in a moment.
Here in Ontario, I will continue to buy and eat apples that were grown in Ontario up until about Shavuot 2023. This means any apples marked as product of Ontario would have been grown and harvested in 2022. New Apples will not be available from Ontario until some time in the summer of 2023. So my cut off date will be Shavuot 2023. Potatoes grown here in Canada either from Ontario or Prince Edward Island, the main place potatoes are grown in Canada will not come on the market until about August. Again, I can use last years stocks up until my cut off date of Shavuot 2023.
Here in Ontario, our lettuce and most fresh fruit and vegetables comes from around the world and take about 7 days to go from being picked to the store. So for me, as of Passover 2023, I will not be eating any fresh greens from the stores. I will eat only what I have already bought before that date which is now passed. Most canned fruits and vegetables are from last years harvest. So canned goods I will continue to stock up on. I believe I will finish this the week after the Days of Unleavened Bread. I know there is no yeast in them, but I have had many problems to resolve with my wife about storing food here in the apartment, which is forcing me to be very precise in all I do.
Now if I am going to use Shavuot as my cut off date for those things grown here in Ontario, then next year when the Sabbatical Year ends at Aviv in 2024, then I also will continue to not eat those things grown in Ontario, until they come into season here locally. For example, I will wait until August before eating Apples again. I will wait until August before I eat new potatoes.
After Aviv 1 in 2024, when fresh strawberries begin to arrive on the store shelves in Ontario I will wait until around the 1st of the second month before I eat them. I am doing this because the shelve life is about a week or two. So if I wait until the 1st of the 2nd month, then those fresh products will have been harvested in 2024 after Aviv, when we can then again harvest. In the past I have waited and to set the date at Shavuot.
Here is an example from the Bible you need to understand and once you do then can decide what to do for yourself. It is upon this understanding that I set the date for myself of Shavuot.
Lev 25:20 And if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow nor gather in our increase!
Lev 25:21 Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.
Lev 25:22 And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat of old fruit until the ninth year; until its fruits come in, you shall eat the old fruit.
The Barley was sown around Sukkot in the fall. It is harvested after Passover. In a Sabbatical year you could not harvest the barley in the Sabbatical Year. You would not be able to plant in the Sabbatical year in the fall. This then meant you would not have a barley crop the year after the Sabbatical year at Passover. This is now the 8th year. In the fall around Sukkkot in the 8th year, you could plant but would not be able to harvest until Passover in the 9th year.
What ever the crop or food you are desiring to plant or harvest, in what ever part of the world you you live in, you must plant and harvest according to the Sabbatical Year rules from Aviv to Aviv.
So each person must figure out when Strawberries are planted and harvested according to this understanding. When Potatoes are planted according to this understanding. Our society does not obey Yehovah. So each of us must read the labels and decide if this is kosher or not. To this day, I do not drink any wine harvested in the year 2016 or 2009 both Sabbatical years I have kept.
We all must obey. Do the best you can and pray Yehovah helps you to understand and to be able to obey.
If you want to use aquaponics or soilless planting then you must decide if this is kosher or not. I am not going to come up with an entire Targum or set of Tamudic do’s and don’ts. Read the rules or read Lev 25 and then you decide. You are called to be a King and Priest in the Kingdom of Yehovah. As a King and Preist you must uphold the Law of Yehovah and enforce it. As a King or Priest in the Kingdom, is what you are going to do, upholding those laws? Is what you are going to do pleasing to Yehovah? You must decide. I am not your judge.
Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings,
Php 2:15 so that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Among these you shine as lights in the world,
Php 2:16 holding forth the Word of Life, so that I may rejoice with you in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain nor labored in vain.
Some are asking how to do you travel? When you go to someones home what do you do? YOU can assume that those people are obeying Yehovah and you eat. Or you can pull out your own food from your purse and eat it in front of them. Again I am not your judge. You must decide what to do.
Joshua crossed the Jordan in the 50th year. He did not plant anything the year before or this year. And yet he ate everything they captured from the cities of the Caananites. They did not obey Yehovah. Joshua ate their food.
There is not commandment telling you you cannot eat. I have given you Joe Dumond rules above. They are not Yehovah’s rules. You must decide what you are going to do.
We made our first presentation on Shabbat at a Christian Church with many pastors from other churches listening in.
After the teaching many of the brethren came up on the stage to see up close all 120 Jubilee Cycles.
After speaking from about 10 AM until 2 PM we then headed over to a Messianic Group who were counting this Sabbath as day 42 in counting the Omer. So I changed my teaching and explained the meaning of the wave sheaf day and the 8th day. I did this because a man had recently lost family members and was wondering when they would be raised up.
In Whiterock Hotel Subic Bay
While we are here we are pointing out the role of the Filipino in the end days. Here is part of what we are presenting.
We also have three video promotions you can use and share. Please do share them and help us to spread the message. These videos should also give you some idea at all we have been up to since we arrived here.
This next video will show you all the places we have traveled to and if you look on a map you can see that the travel time between each place is quite long due to traffic and mountains and construction.
We have been in Manila this past week and have had some very important high level meetings that are producing fruit. That is all I can say about them for now. But I am excited at all that is happening and the momentum that is still growing. We are on the verge of some big things here. Just watch and pray for our efforts.
We read through the entire Torah along with the Prophets and the New Testament, once over the course of 3 1/2 years. Or according to the Sabbatical Cycle which means we read it all twice over a 7 year period. This allows us to cover more in-depth rather than being rushed to cover as much as is covered on an annual basis. We allow all to comment and take part in the discussions.
Septennial Torah Portion
If you go to Torah Portion at our archived section, you can then go to the 7th year which is the 7th year of the Sabbatical Cycle, the one we are in now, as we state at the top of every News Letter. There you can scroll down to the proper date, and see that this Shabbat we could very well be midrashing about:
1 Corinthians 12
If you missed last week’s exciting discoveries as we studied that section you can go and watch past Shabbats on our media section.
Spokesman Club Manual
At our most recent leadership meeting we discussed how it was going in relationship to letting others speak at sightedmoon.com on Shabbat.
We had a wide range of discussions on it. On the whole, meetings are now too long, is the one complaint I am hearing. We still want to do the midrash and the Torah studies.
Some only want to come and have me teach. This puts a lot of pressure on me to prepare a sermon each and every week. My goal here at sightedmoon.com is to teach people the torah and how the Jubilee Cycles along with the Holy days teach you the plan of salvation. Another goal I have is to have people capable of teaching these things to others.
In order to do the second goal we must have a place for people to practice and fail at giving teachings. This is also why we allow and encourage midrashes. So people know how to argue in love about the many and various false teachings they are going to be presented. Iron sharpening Iron.
I have asked Shane Diltz to help me by looking after this aspect of sightedmoon.com. He organizes the speakers and makes sure their subject is kosher.
Many years ago while I was attending the WWCG, they had this program to teach you how to speak. After our meeting I went out and found it on line. I want to encourage you all to go through it and do each step in the speaking program. Practice on your spouse or on your dog or cat. But practice before you come to give your presentation to us. Practice.
Your goal is to teach us the subject on your heart and to do so in 15 Minutes 20 Minutes TOPS. Going forward we will shut you down after so many minutes. We may give you a one minute warning. But we will shut you down. We want you to learn how to pack your presentation in small but powerful punches. We want you to learn. And we are going to allow you to do so at sightedmoon.com.
Please do look over the manual. Prepare your subject according to one of the learning courses and practice. We look forward to your presentation and growth.
Many of the fonts do not transfer over well, so I will give you the link to the manual and you can read it on the original site. https://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getacmanuals&InfoID=1397922400&page=&return=bklets
There are many people in need of fellowship and who are sitting at home on the Sabbath with no one to talk to or debate with. I want to encourage all of you to join us on Shabbat, and to invite others to come and join us as well. If the time is not convenient then you can listen to the teaching and the midrash after on our YouTube channel.
What are we doing and why do we teach this way?
We are going to discuss both sides of an issue and then let you choose. It is the work of the Ruach (Spirit) to direct and to teach you.
The medieval commentator Rashi wrote that the Hebrew word for wrestle (avek) implies that Jacob was “tied”, for the same word is used to describe knotted fringes in a Jewish prayer shawl, the tzitzityot. Rashi says, “thus is the manner of two people who struggle to overthrow each other, that one embraces the other and knots him with his arms”.
Our intellectual wrestling has been replaced by a different kind of struggle. We are Wrestling with Yehovah as we grapple with His Word. It is an intimate act, symbolizing a relationship in which Yehovah and I and you are bound together. My wrestling is a struggle to discover what Yehovah expects of us, and we are “tied” to the One who assists us in that struggle.
Today, many say Israel means “Champion of God”, or better — the “Wrestler of God”.
Our Torah sessions each Shabbat teaches you and encourages you to constantly challenge, question, argue against, as well as view alternative views and explanations of the Word. In other words, we are to “wrestle with the Word” to get to the truth. Jews worldwide believe that you need to wrestle with the Word and constantly challenge Dogma, Theology, and views or else you will never get to the Truth.
We are not like most churches where “The preacher talks and everyone listens.” We encourage everyone to participate, to question and to contribute what they know on the subject being discussed. We want you to be a champion wrestler of the Word of Yehovah. We want you to wear the title of Israel, knowing that you not only know but are capable of explaining why you know the Torah to be true with logic and facts.
We have a few rules though. Let others talk and listen. There is no discussion about UFO’s Nephilim, Vaccines or conspiracy-type subjects. We have people from around the world with different world views. Not everyone cares who is the President of any particular country. Treat each other with respect as Fellow wrestlers of the word. Some of our subjects are hard to understand and require you to be mature and if you do not know, then listen to gain knowledge and understanding and hopefully wisdom. The very things you are commanded to ask Yehovah for and He gives to those who ask.
Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.
We hope you can invite those who want to keep Torah to come and join us by hitting the link below. It is almost like a Torah teaching fellowship talk show with people from around the world taking part and sharing their insights and understandings.
We start off with some music and then some prayers and it’s as though you were sitting around the kitchen back in Newfoundland having a cup of coffee and all of us enjoying each other’s company. I hope you will grace us with your company someday.
Sabbath services begin at 12:30 PM EDT where we will be doing prayers songs and teaching from this hour.
Shabbat Services will begin at about 1:15 pm Eastern.
On the Holy Day, Shavuot, we will be having two meetings. One at 10 AM Eastern and the afternoon will be 2 PM Eastern. Look forward to seeing you all there.
We look forward to you joining our family and getting to know us as we get to know you.
Joseph Dumond is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
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New Crescent Moon 5th Month
New Crescent Moon 5th Month
The New Crescent Moon to begin the 5th month of this Sabbatical year was Monday evening after sunset. It is a 30 day month so whether or not it is seen does not matter. There are only 29 or 30 days in each month. It was in fact seen in Israel.
In order to understand the meaning of No Man Can Know The Day Or The Hour, please go out and try to sight the moon on both Sunday and Monday evenings after sunset. This would be the 29th and the 30th day of this 4th month. Predict who is going to see it first and where. Make it into a family contest. And as you DO this you will begin to understand why no man can know the day or the hour, which is speaking about the Feast of Trumpets which is the only Holy Day that comes on the first day of the month. Once you understand how to sight the moon, you will then be able to know exactly when the Messiah is going to come. He will come on the day and hour no one can know, the Feast of Trumpets.
Please also order our book from Amazon.com and read all about this subject in It Was A Riddle Not A Command. We explain this subject in great detail.
We have been warning the brethren here in the Philippines to begin to practice fog netting and collecting the rain water from the condensation at night. Few are taking me seriously.
But with the following report, I am hoping they do.
We have the advantage of knowing that in just 3 years, the two witnesses will be here and they will cause the rain to stop everywhere around the world. NO RAIN for 3 1/2 years anywhere on earth. As you can read in Rev 16 it is definitely going to get hotter and hotter, which is exactly what this El Nino is causing to happen. Are we watching the right things?
Rev 16:8 And the fourth messenger did pour out his vial upon the sun, and there was given to him to scorch men with fire,
Rev 16:9 and men were scorched with great heat, and they did speak evil of the name of God, who hath authority over these plagues, and they did not reform—to give to Him glory.
After three years of La Niña in the South Pacific supressing the effects of global warming, the ENSO system is now turning towards El Niño conditions, which do the exact opposite. According to the worlds meteorological agencies, this El Niño is shaping up to become a potential record breaker – and not in a good way. So, what’s happening and what can we expect?
The first curse of the Egyptians was the water was turned to blood, which is what Algae blooms are. This first curse is to begin in 2024-2025.
Keeping Shabbat Holy
Keeping Shabbat Holy
In Exodus 19 and 20 we read about Yehovah coming down on Mount Sinai in spectacular form on the 49th day of counting the Omer. He then begins to speak so that the entire nation heard His voice. Once Yehovah had spoken the ten commandments, then the people feared and Moses says the following:
Exo 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled, and stood afar off.
Exo 20:19 And they said to Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Exo 20:20 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear, for God has come to test you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin.
Exo 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
The Sabbath is a TEST!
The Sabbath is a test? How is it a test?
We have been sharing this scripture in all of our presentations here in the Philippines. Yehshua spoke these words to the Pharisees who were looking for and expecting the Messiah. Today we can say the same thing. All Christians are looking for and expecting the Messiah. But….
Joh 5:46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me.
Joh 5:47 But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My Words?
Everyone claims to love Jesus and believes in Him, but all Christians do not know the books of Moses and as such they do not know Yehshua, because Moses wrote about Yehshua. He did so in the Holy Days of Leviticus 23. And having done away with the “Old Testament” they have thrown out the information that tells them how to know and love Yehshua.
In Matthew 25, five of the foolish virgins are about to be told I never knew you. He does not know them because they do not know Yehshua. Where do you stand in this scenario? Do you know Him? Do you DO the Holy Days which show you all about Him? Or do you not keep any of the Holy Days at all? Just by answering these three questions, you will know what Yehshua is going to say to you very soon. He will let those who know Him enter into the wedding or tell many I never knew you.
The Sabbath and Holy Days are a test.
Eze 20:1 And it happened in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth of the month, some of the elders of Israel came to ask of Jehovah, and sat before me.
Eze 20:2 And came the Word of Jehovah to me, saying,
Eze 20:3 Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Have you come to ask of Me? As I live, says the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you.
Eze 20:4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers.
Eze 20:5 And say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: In the day that I chose Israel, and lifted up My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt; when I lifted up My hand to them, saying, I am Jehovah your God;
Eze 20:6 in the day that I lifted up My hand to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
Eze 20:7 then I said to them, Let each man throw away the abominations of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am Jehovah your God.
Eze 20:8 But they rebelled against Me and would not listen to Me. They did not each man throw away the abominations of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. And I said, I will pour out My fury against them to fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
Eze 20:9 But I worked for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the nations among whom they were, for I made Myself known to them in their eyes, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
Eze 20:10 And I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
Eze 20:11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
Eze 20:12 And also I gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sets them apart.
Eze 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. And they greatly profaned My sabbaths. And I said, I will pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to destroy them.
Eze 20:14 But I worked for My name’s sake, so that it should not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I brought them out.
Eze 20:15 And also I lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey; it is the glory of all lands;
Eze 20:16 because they despised My judgments and walked not in My sabbaths; and they profaned My sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
Eze 20:17 But My eye spared them from destroying them, nor did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
Eze 20:18 But I said to their sons in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols.
Eze 20:19 I am Jehovah your God. Walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them,
Eze 20:20 and keep My sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Jehovah your God.
Eze 20:21 But the sons rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes, nor kept My judgments to do them; the judgments which, if a man do, he shall even live in them; they profaned My sabbaths and I said I would pour out My fury on them, to fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness.
Eze 20:22 But I withdrew My hand and worked for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the eyes of the nations, from whom I brought them out in their eyes.
Eze 20:23 I also lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations and scatter them through the lands,
Eze 20:24 because they had not done My judgments, but had despised My sabbaths and had profaned My sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
The Sabbath is a test and it is also a sign between us and Yehovah. We are told that judgment begins at the house of Yehovah (1 Peter 4:17). Many times people think of this judgment as condemnation. But it’s a process of evaluation, of learning, of growing, of learning how to walk with Yehovah. We are His people and He is showing us through His Holy Days and His laws how we can be part of His family.
“I will test them …”
Before Isreal even arrived at Mount Sinai, and right after they crossed the Red Sea, Yehovah said something we all need to be aware of.
Exo 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 16:2 And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
Exo 16:3 And the sons of Israel said to them, O that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Exo 16:4 Then Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from the heavens for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain amount every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My Law or not.
Exo 16:5 And on the sixth day it shall happen, they shall prepare what they bring in. And it shall be twice as much as they gather day by day.
Yehovah was going to put Israel to a test! On what? “Whether they will walk in My law or not.” The fact that Yehovah here announced that He would test whether the Israelites would obey His laws—several weeks before He inscribed the Ten Commandments in stone at Mount Sinai—tells us that His divine laws already existed (compare Exodus 16:28; Genesis 26:5). He would soon reveal them anew at Mount Sinai.
Exo 16:13 And it happened at evening, the quails came up and covered the camp. And in the morning the dew lay all around the host.
Exo 16:14 And when the layer of dew had gone up, behold, there was a small round thing upon the face of the wilderness, small as the hoar-frost upon the ground.
Exo 16:15 And when the sons of Israel saw, they said each one to his brother, What is that? For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which Jehovah has given you to eat.
Exo 16:16 This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded: Each man gather of it according to his eating, an omer for a head, according to the number of your souls. Each one shall take for those who are in his camp.
Exo 16:17 And the sons of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, and some less.
Exo 16:18 And when they measured with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little lacked nothing. They gathered each one according to his eating.
Exo 16:19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it until the morning.
Exo 16:20 But they did not listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning. And it became rotten with maggots, and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
Exo 16:21 And they gathered it every morning, each man according to his eating. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
Exo 16:22 And it happened, on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
Exo 16:23 And he said to them, This is that which Jehovah has said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath to Jehovah. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil. And that which remains over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Exo 16:24 And they laid it up until the morning, as Moses said. And it did not stink, neither was there any worm in it.
Exo 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that today. For today is a sabbath to Jehovah. Today you shall not find it in the field.
Exo 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Exo 16:27 And it happened some of the people went out on the seventh day in order to gather. And they did not find any.
Exo 16:28 And Jehovah said to Moses, How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My Laws?
Exo 16:29 See, because Jehovah has given you the sabbath, therefore He gives you the bread of two days on the sixth day. Each one stay in his place. Let not any one go out of his place on the seventh day.
Exo 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Yehovah chose which day was the Sabbath. Not the people. He did this for 40 years by having no Manna on the weekly Sabbath. 40 years x 52 weeks in a year is 2080 times in which they got to see exactly when the Sabbath was. Manna was provided every day but one, which was the 7th day, or Saturday.
If they gathered too much manna on each of the other days of the week it would stink. But they were allowed to gather twice as much only the 6th day, Friday in preparation for the weekly Sabbath. We are to prepare our meals on Friday. What ever we want to eat on the Sabbath, we are to make and have ready on the Friday, the day before. It is called the preparation day.
Exo 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger within your gates.
Exo 20:11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.
No one is to work for you on the Sabbath. Let me say this loud and clear.
NO ONE IS TO WORK FOR YOU ON THE SABBATH!!!
NO ONE! You do not hire staff to serve or cook your food on the Sabbath. You do not use non-believers on the Sabbath because they don’t believe. You do not go out to a restaurant on the Sabbath to eat. You do not go shopping on the Sabbath. You do not buy gas on the Sabbath. You get everything ready the day before. Fill your tanks before you have to drive to services.
If you have to clean your assembly, then do it on the preparation day. Let everyone, including your wife, your husband, your children, and your staff, have the day off. They should not have to work for you because you’re wealthy or because they are not believers. Yehovah said for everyone, including the animals, to rest.
Here in the Philippines, I have seen it many times—those claiming to have the truth use those of lower status to work for them on the Sabbath. You want the blessings. You want to be blessed by Yehovah, but because you are continuing to sin in this manner, He is not going to bless you. Still, unless you repent and do so immediately, you will reap the curses and are no different than anyone else. Yet, you are different because you do know, and in knowing, you still sin. Be very careful; Yehovah is not going to be mocked.
Let’s notice several important points in these verses:
“Remember the Sabbath day …” The Sabbath is something to remember. Many assume this is the first time Yehovah expected anyone to observe the Sabbath day. But the fact that He commanded the Sabbath to be remembered should help us to realize that it already existed before the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Indeed, He had revealed it to the Israelites earlier, in Exodus 16. But its origins go much further back, as we will see. It is in that regard that the Sabbath was to be observed as a remembrance—a memorial of something of great importance.
“… To keep it holy.” The Sabbath is to be kept holy. Holy means set apart for Yehovah‘s use and purpose rather than our own.
“… The seventh day is the Sabbath …” The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week (observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, as the Bible counts time; compare Leviticus 23:32). Most people go to church on Sunday—which is the first day of the week, as shown by most calendars and almost any encyclopedia.
“… of Jehovah your God. “ The Sabbath belongs to Yehovah, not to the Jewish people, as many people assume.
“In it you shall do no work …” One aspect of keeping the Sabbath holy is to do no regular work on that day.
“… You, nor your son, nor your daughter …” The Sabbath is to be kept by all members of the household, as well as employees and guests. Even animals were given the day to rest.
“… For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” Here is what the Sabbath memorializes. It is linked to Yehovah’s creative acts in Genesis 1, thus pointing to Him as the true God, the Creator, as distinct from the false gods of human invention. After creating Adam and Eve on the sixth day, Yehovah rested on the seventh day (Genesis 1:27-2:3). He instituted the Sabbath at that time in the presence of the first two human beings—long before there was a nation of Israel or a people known as the Jews. And, in resting on that first Sabbath, Yehovah set us an example to emulate.
” Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.” Again we see that God established the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Hallow means to make holy. By definition, God alone can make things holy, dedicating them for His use. Man cannot make anything holy, nor can he make unholy anything God has made holy—an important consideration when we examine whether we should still observe the Sabbath and, if so, on which day.
A Test of Faith
Every week, year in and year out, Yehovah is testing mankind, and He is testing you. Will you pass His test? Will you do everything in your power to make the Sabbath a rest for you and all those around you? Will your staff have the Sabbath off? Will the food and anything else be prepared on the Friday?
You claim to be followers of Yehshua, will you be the light, will you be the example this world needs and keep Holy The Sabbath? Or are you going to fail this weekly test and suffer the curses along with the rest of the world?
Immediately after giving them the Ten Commandments, Yehovah said:
“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!”
Deu 5:23 And it happened when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, for the mountain burned with fire, you came near me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders,
Deu 5:24 and you said, Behold! Jehovah our God has revealed His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire. We have seen today that God talks with man yet he still lives.
Deu 5:25 Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of Jehovah our God any more, then we shall die.
Deu 5:26 For who of all flesh has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Deu 5:27 You go near and hear all that Jehovah our God shall say. And you speak to us all that Jehovah our God shall speak to you, and we will hear and act.
Deu 5:28 And Jehovah heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And Jehovah said to me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken.
Deu 5:29 Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their sons forever!
Deu 4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as Jehovah my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it.
Deu 4:6 And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Deu 4:7 For who is a great nation whose God is coming near to them, as Jehovah our God is, in all our calling on Him?
Deu 4:8 And who is a great nation whose statutes and judgments are so righteous as all this Law which I set before you today?
Deu 7:12 And it shall be, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, Jehovah your God shall keep to you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.
Deu 7:13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your land, your grain, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle, and the flocks of your sheep, in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you.
Deu 7:14 You shall be blessed above all people. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle.
Deu 7:15 And Jehovah will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt which you know upon you. But He will lay them upon all who hate you.
Deu 28:1 And it will be, if you shall listen carefully to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you today, Jehovah your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth.
Deu 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on you and overtake you, if you will listen to the voice of Jehovah your God.
Deu 28:3 You shall be blessed in the city, and be blessed in the field.
Deu 28:4 The fruit of your body shall be blessed, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep.
Deu 28:5 Your basket and your store shall be blessed.
Deu 28:6 You shall be blessed when you come in, and blessed when you go out.
Deu 28:7 Jehovah shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be stricken before your face. They shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways.
Deu 28:8 Jehovah shall command the blessing on you in your storehouses, and all that you set your hand to. And He shall bless you in the land which Jehovah your God gives you.
Deu 28:9 Jehovah shall establish you a holy people to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of Jehovah your God and walk in His ways.
Deu 28:10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of Jehovah, and they shall be afraid of you.
Deu 28:11 And Jehovah shall prosper you in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which Jehovah swore to your fathers to give you.
Deu 28:12 Jehovah shall open to you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall loan to many nations, and you shall not borrow.
Deu 28:13 And Jehovah shall make you the head, and not the tail. And you shall be always above, and you shall not be beneath, if you listen to the commandments of Jehovah your God, which I command you today, to observe and to do them.
Deu 28:14 And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right hand or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Yehovah wanted Israel and all of mankind to have a heart of obedience, to recognize that His laws are an expression of His holy, righteous, loving character
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God.
1Jn 4:8 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
He wants us to recognize that His laws reveal a way of life based on love (Leviticus 19:18; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; 2 John 1:6) and that by living that law they would develop character like His.
Lev 19:16 You shall not go as a slanderer among your people; (Lashon Harah)
Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law.
Rom 13:9 For: “Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not lust;” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Rom 13:10 Love works no ill to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.
Gal 5:14 For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
2Jn 1:5 And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
The Sabbath would be a sign that those who kept it would be Yehovah’s people. Those who want to be grafted into Isreal must also keep this sign and pass this test to remain in His grace.
Exo 31:12 And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying,
Exo 31:13 Speak also to the sons of Israel, saying, Truly you shall keep My sabbaths. For it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I am Jehovah who sanctifies you.
Exo 31:14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it isholy to you. Everyone that defiles it shall surely be put to death. For whoever does any work in it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
Exo 31:15 Six days may work be done, but on the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to Jehovah. Whoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Exo 31:16 Therefore the sons of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever. For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.
Failing the Test
We have already quoted Ezekiel showing you how Israel failed the Sabbath test over and over again until finally Yehovah removed them from the land. We are right now on the cusp of the second greater Exodus. One in which the Philippines plays a major role. Are we going to be recorded as those who would not keep the Sabbath and after seeing the mighty miracles of Yehovah not obey Him?
Is the Sabbath important to Yehovah? He specifically stated that one of the Israelites’ most flagrant sins that led to their national downfall and captivity was profaning the Sabbath.
Eze 22:26 Her priests have broken My Law and have defiled My holy things. They have put no difference between the holy and the common, and have not taught between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am defiled among them.
Jer 17:21 So says Jehovah, Take heed to yourselves, and carry no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem.
Jer 17:22 Nor carry out a burden from your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers.
Jer 17:23 But they did not obey, nor bowed down their ear, but made their neck stiff, so that they might not hear nor receive instruction.
Jer 17:24 And it shall be, if you carefully listen to Me, says Jehovah, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy, to do no work in it;
Jer 17:25 then kings and rulers sitting on the throne of David shall enter into the gates of this city, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their rulers, the men of Judah, and the people of Jerusalem. And this city shall remain forever.
Jer 17:26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and grain offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of Jehovah.
Jer 17:27 But if you will not listen to me to keep the Sabbath day holy, and not to carry a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it will not be put out.
Why Are the Sabbaths So Important to Yehovah?
As we have already quoted, Yehshua tells us in John 5:46 that if you want to know Him, then you must also understand the five books of Moses. But because Christianity refuses to read those books or obey them, they do not and cannot know Yehshua, because wrote about or explained the heart of Yehovah.
Here is the one verse which the Jews have no idea what it means nor do Christians and yet it is the one verse that explains the heart of Yehovah.
Lev 23:36 Seven days you shall offer a fire offering to Jehovah. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you. And you shall offer a fire offering to Jehovah. It is a solemn assembly. And you shall do no work of labor.
Once you understand that all the Holy Days, the moedim, the sacred times of appointments all point to the 8th Day, Shemini Atzeret, and Yehovah’s overwhelming desire to dwell with mankind here on earth, then you will understand how all the Holy Days explain His plan of salvation. By keeping them, we express to Him our desire to learn His plan and be part of it.
Heb 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you will hear His voice,
Heb 3:8 do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness,
Heb 3:9 when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years.
Heb 3:10 Therefore I was grieved with that generation and said, They always err in their heart, and they have not known My ways.
Heb 3:11 So I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.”
Heb 3:12 Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through thedeceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
Heb 3:15 while it is said, “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
Heb 3:16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke; however, not all who came out of Egypt by Moses.
Heb 3:17 But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?
Heb 3:18 And to whom did He swear that they shouldnot enter into His rest, but to those who did not believe?
Heb 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Heb 4:1 Therefore, a promise being left to enter into His rest, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For also we have had the gospel preached, as well as them. But the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we who have believed do enter into the rest, as He said, “I have sworn in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest;” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Heb 4:4 For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested the seventh day from all His works.”
Heb 4:5 And in this place again, “They shall not enter into My rest.”
Heb 4:6 Since then it remains that some must enter into it, and since they to whom it was first preached did not enter in because of unbelief,
Heb 4:7 He again marks out a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” (after so long a time). Even as it is said, “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 So then there remains a rest to the people of God.
Heb 4:10 For he who has entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
Heb 4:11 Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief.
This rest is shown to us every week by the Saturday Sabbath. It is a weekly example of the rest Yehovah wants all of us to enter into. That is the 7th millennium which begins in 2045. He wants us to enter that rest by practicing weekly the Sabbath and the Holy Days.
Israel failed this test. Are you also going to fail this test now that you have been told these truths?
In Isaiah, Yehovah tells us that our sins have separated us from Him.
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing.
Notice what Yehovah says about us in Chapter 58. If we will humble ourselves before Him.
Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Isa 58:2 Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and one who did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in drawing near to God.
Isa 58:3 They say, Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and crush all your laborers.
Isa 58:4 Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness; you shall not fast as you do today, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast and a day pleasing to Jehovah?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed ones go free, and that you break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, and that you should bring home the wandering poor? When will you see the naked and cover him; and you will not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall your light break out as the dawn, and your health shall spring out quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Jehovah shall gather you.
Isa 58:9 Then you shall call, and Jehovah shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take the yoke away from among you, the pointing of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
Isa 58:11 And Jehovah shall always guide you and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones fat; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
Isa 58:12 And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Pay close attention to the last two verse in this chapter. Does this sound like the Sabbath is done away?
Isa 58:13 If you turn your foot because of the Sabbath, from doing what you please on My holy days, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Jehovah, honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,
Isa 58:14 then you shall delight yourself in Jehovah; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed yourself with the inheritance of Jacob your father. For the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.
Why is the Sabbath important to Yehovah? Because He wants us to have a proper, loving relationship with Him. To do that we must spend time with Him. He wants us to surrender one of our most precious possessions—our time—so He can teach us through His Word, the Bible, the Torah. He wants the Sabbath to be a time and a way to ” then you shall delight yourself in Jehovah”
These Are Divine Appointments
Lev 23:2 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, The feasts of Jehovah, which you shall proclaim, holy convocations, even these are My appointed feasts.
These are His feasts, His “sacred assemblies.” Most people would not miss a doctor’s appointment, but think nothing of missing a divine appointment with the creator of the universe.
The Hebrew word moed, the plural form here translated “appointed feasts,” means “appointed time” or “meeting” (Lawrence Richards, Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, 1985, “Feast/Festival”). The word assemblies is translated from the plural form of miqra, denoting a summoned gathering. In other words, Yehovah says His Sabbath is a divine appointment that He commands His people to keep through their gathering before Him to build their relationship with Him and other believers.
Heb 10:24 and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works,
Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Notice that He is the one who sets the appointment, not us. He is the one who determines the time—His weekly Sabbath and annual festivals.
That raises an interesting question: If we don’t come before Him at the time He commands, either by not coming at all or coming on a different day, are we really keeping an appointment with Him?
If someone makes arrangements to meet with you next Wednesday but decides to show up on Thursday instead, would you think he had kept the appointment? Of course not. So why should we think Yehovah would find it acceptable if we decide to assemble on a day different from the one He commands?
Will you pass the test? Are you willing to surrender a portion of your time to build the kind of relationship God wants to enjoy with you?
There are many churches today who say the commandments are done away. Yet in the very last book of the Bible, it says something different to what the churches are saying.
Rev 22:12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according as his work is.
Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they who do His commandments, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and they may enter in by the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 But outside are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and makes a lie.
Rev 22:16 I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify these things to you over the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright and Morning Star.
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let the one hearing say, Come! And let the one who is thirsty come. And he willing, let him take of the Water of Life freely.
Rev 22:18 For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book.
Rev 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.
Rev 22:20 He who testifies these things says, Yes, I am coming quickly, Amen. Yes, come, Lord Jesus.
Rev 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.
Will you now pass the Test?
9th of Av
Lamentations & the 9th of Av
Let me share with you a little bit about a certain prophet named, Zechariah.
He was the Grandson of the priest Iddo,
Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the Word of Jehovah came to Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
This was October–November 520 BC. Then again in the same year in the 11th month, Zechariah has this other prophetic vision.
Zec 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, it is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the Word of Jehovah came to Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:8 I watched by night. And behold! a Man riding on a red horse, and He stood among the myrtle trees in the ravine. And behind Him were red, sorrel and white horses.
Zec 1:9 Then I said, O my lord, what are these? And the angel who talked with me said to me, I will show you what these are.
Zec 1:10 And the Man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are those whom Jehovah has sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
Zec 1:11 And they answered the Angel of Jehovah who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sits still and is at peace.
Zec 1:12 Then the Angel of Jehovah answered and said, O Jehovah of Hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah against which You have cursed these seventy years?
This is now 18 years after Babylon fell to Cyrus in 538 BC ending the 70-year captivity.
In Ezra, we read of the return from Babylon.
Ezr 2:1 And these are the sons of the province who went up out of the captivity, of those who had been exiled, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled to Babylon. And these came again to Jerusalem and Judah, each one to his city.
Ezr 2:2 These are the ones who came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. This is the number of the men of the people of the sons of Israel:
We read how Iddo, Zechariah’s grandfather was amongst those who first came back from the 70 years of captivity according to Nehemiah.
Neh 12:1 And these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Neh 12:2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Neh 12:3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,
Neh 12:4 Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah,
Neh 12:5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,
Neh 12:6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Neh 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.
Neh 12:12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: from the house of Seraiah was Meraiah; from Jeremiah, Hananiah;
Neh 12:13 from Ezra, Meshullam; from Amariah, Jehohanan;
Neh 12:14 from Melicu, Jonathan; from Shebaniah, Joseph;
Neh 12:15 from Harim, Adna; from Meraioth, Helkai;
Neh 12:16 from Iddo, Zechariah; from Ginnethon, Meshullam;
Neh 12:17 from Abijah, Zichri; from Miniamin of Moadiah, Piltai;
Neh 12:18 from Bilgah, Shammua; from Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
Neh 12:19 and from Joiarib, Mattenai; from Jedaiah, Uzzi;
Neh 12:20 from Sallai, Kallai; from Amok, Eber;
Neh 12:21 from Hilkiah, Hashabiah; from Jedaiah, Nethaneel.
Zerubbabel’s Aliyah took place in 538 BC
The second wave of aliyah, known as Zerubbabel’s Aliyah, was led by Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, the grandson of Jeconiah, king of Judah, and a descendant of the house of David as well as Joshua the son of Jehozadak who was appointed as high priest (Kohen Gadol), in 538 BCE.
According to the account in the Book of Ezra, 42,360, not including servants or handmaids, made aliyah in this wave to Jerusalem and Judah. Among them, there were 24,144 ordinary men (57.12%) and 12,452 women and children (29.46%). There were also 4,289 priests (10.15%), 74 generic Levites (0.18%), 128 Singers (0.3%), 139 Gatekeepers (0.33%) (Singers and gatekeepers were specific roles of Levites in the holy temple in Jerusalem that had been passed from one generation to another), 392 Nethinim (0.93%), and 652 people who could not tell their fathers’ houses and their ancestry (1.54%). 90 other people (0.21%) appear to have joined in, to complete that count of 42,360. In addition 7,337 servants and handmaids joined in, boosting the population to 49,697. They also brought up their working animals: 736 horses (one for about every 68 people), 246 mules (one for every 202 people), 435 camels (one per 114 people), and 6,720 donkeys (one for every 7 people). A smaller portion of this wave of aliyah was well-born, possibly one-sixth of the returnees, whereas the rest were of a lower class and poor. The returnees in this aliyah were of the Tribe of Judah, Tribe of Levi and the Tribe of Benjamin, and settled in their cities and places from before the destruction of the first temple, Solomon’s Temple, as many of them kept scribed documents indicating their land tenure status of land ownership in various places.
Due to the return of many single men, and the lack of Jewish single women, a phenomenon of mixed marriages with alien women developed. This wave of aliyahhad been on good terms with the Persian government, which allowed them religious autonomy. However, the economic situation was not well – there was a lack of infrastructures due to the consecutive ruins in the aftermath of the destruction of the First Temple, taxes and many housing needs, as well as consecutive years of harsh drought and other natural disasters that hit the land of Israel. At those times the Jews reinstituted the sacrificial offerings to God with the re-establishment of the altar in 538 BCE (כ”ה בכסלו, שנת ג’רכ”ב). This event was prior to the reconstruction of the newly emerging temple in Jerusalem, which restored the status of Jerusalem as the heart and soul of the Jewish people. The Samaritans made proposals for co-operation in the work, but their proposals were declined. Consequently the Jews suffered some harassment at the hands of the Samaritans. Despite the disruptions and delays the returnees managed to complete the construction of the holy temple in Jerusalem in 516 BCE.
The First Aliyah
Sheshbazzar’s aliyah (those claiming that Zerubbabel and Sheshbazzar were the same person, associate Sheshbazzar’s aliyah with Zerubbabel’s Aliyah), had occurred near after Cyrus’s Decree, in 538 BCE. Approximately 1,000 young Jews made aliya in what became known as Sheshbazzar’s Aliyah, out of the notion to redeem the land of Israel from its ruins and to re-establish the holy temple on the Temple Mount. This aliyah was named after its leader Sheshbazzar because most scholars have agreed that he is a descendant of the house of Jeconiah, king of Judah.
The Book of Ezra depicts Sheshbazzar’s Aliyah as a consent and encouragement of the Persian King Cyrus:
7 And King Cyrus took out all the vessels of the House of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of Jerusalem and had placed them in the temple of his god;
8 Now Cyrus, the king of Persia, took them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and he counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah…
11 All the vessels of silver and gold were five thousand, four hundred; Sheshbazzar brought up [ He’ela / Aliyah ] everything when the exiles were brought up [ He’alot / Aliyah ] from Babylon to Jerusalem.
— Book of Ezra 1:7–8,11
The third aliyah was led by Ezra the scribe, in 458 BCE. Around 5,000 Jews were in this wave of returnees.
The fourth aliyah was led by Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah, in 445 BCE. Prior to that, he served as the royal cupbearer to the king of Persia and as Man of the Great Assembly. It is not clear how many returnees joined him, but the Book of Nehemiah depicts a strong army escort supplied by the king.
The time for these 4 Aliyahs takes place over a 93-year period of time.
Zechariah’s grandfather returned from Babylon, in Zerubbabel’s Aliyah in the year 538 BC. This was the year after the 70 years of captivity had ended. Zerubbbebal would have been a young grandson of Iddo in this Aliya.
Just imagine how exciting this would have been for them. This is going to be the story of some of you after 70 Jubilee Cycles have ended you will be in Jerusalem for the 7th Millennium of Rest. Think about you and your children and grandchildren making this Aliyah.
Zechariah’s name means Yehovah Remembers. Zechariah’s name was appropriate to the purpose of his prophecies. His book brims over with the hope that Yehovah would remember His promises to His people, even after all the time they spent outside the land. The prophet used a simple structure of eight visions (Zechariah 1:1–6:15), four messages (7:1–8:23), and two oracles (9:1–14:21) to anticipate the completion of the temple and, ultimately, the future reign of the Messiah from Jerusalem. Like many of the prophets, Zechariah saw isolated snapshots of the future; therefore, certain events that seem to occur one right after the other in Zechariah’s prophecy actually often have generations or even millennia between them.
The book of Zechariah contains the clearest and the largest number of messianic (about the Messiah) passages among the Minor Prophets. In that respect, it’s possible to think of the book of Zechariah as a kind of miniature book of Isaiah. Zechariah pictures Christ in both His first coming (Zechariah 9:9) and His second coming (9:10–10:12). Jesus will come, according to Zechariah, as Savior, Judge, and ultimately, as the righteous King ruling His people from Jerusalem (14:8–9).
Let’s now read about the joyful coming of our King according to Zechariah.
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your King comes to you. He is righteous and victorious, meek and riding on an ass, even on a colt, the son of an ass.
Zec 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem. And the battle bow shall be cut off, and He shall speak peace to the nations; and His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Zec 9:11 You also, by the blood of Your covenant I have freed Your prisoners out of the pit in which is no water.
Zec 9:12 Turn to the stronghold, prisoners of hope; even today I declare that I will return to you double.
Zec 9:13 For I have bent Judah for me as a bow; I filled it with Ephraim, and I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you as the sword of a mighty man.
The Lord Will Save His People
Zec 9:14 And Jehovah shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth like the lightning; and the Lord Jehovah shall blow the ram’s horn, and shall go out with the windstorms of the south.
Zec 9:15 Jehovah of Hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour and trample the slingstones. And they shall drink and be boisterous, as through wine. And they shall be filled like a bowl, and like the corners of the altar.
Zec 9:16 And Jehovah their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people; for they are as stones of a crown, lifted up as a banner over His land.
Zec 9:17 For how great is its goodness and how great its beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.
Zec 10:1 Ask rain from Jehovah in the time of the latter rain. Jehovah shall make storm clouds, and He gives them showers of rain, grass to everyone in the field.
Zec 10:2 For the family idols speak iniquity, and the diviners have seen a lie and have told false dreams. They comfort in vain; therefore they wandered like a flock; they were troubled because there was no shepherd.
Zec 10:3 My anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the he-goats; for Jehovah of Hosts has visited His flock the house of Judah, and has made them as His beautiful horse in battle.
Zec 10:4 Out of Him came the cornerstone; out of Him the nail; out of Him the battle bow; out of Him every oppressor together.
Zec 10:5 And they shall be like mighty ones who trample the mud of the streets in the battle. And they shall fight because Jehovah is with them, and they shall make the riders on horses ashamed.
Zec 10:6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will return to save them; for I have pity on them. And they shall be as though I had not cast them off; for I am Jehovah their God, and I will answer them.
Zec 10:7 And Ephraim shall be like a mighty one, and their heart shall rejoice as by wine. And their sons shall see and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in Jehovah.
Zec 10:8 I will hiss for them and gather them; for I have redeemed them. And they shall be many as they were many.
Zec 10:9 And I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember Me in the distances; and they shall live with their sons and return.
Zec 10:10 I will return them out of the land of Egypt, and I will gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; for room shall not be found for them.
Zec 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea of distress, and shall strike the waves in the sea; and all the depths of the Nile shall dry up. And the pride of Assyria shall be humbled, and the scepter of Egypt shall move away.
Zec 10:12 And I will strengthen them in Jehovah; and they shall walk up and down in His name, says Jehovah.
For those of you who do not know or realize, these scriptures you just read are almost the same as we read in Isaiah.
Isa 11:11 And it shall be in that day, the Lord shall again set His hand, the second time, to recover the remnant of His people that remains, from Assyria and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Ethiopia, and from Persia, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the coasts of the sea.
I share all of this in order to now share the following.
Zec 7:1 And it happened in the fourth year of King Darius, the Word of Jehovah came to Zechariah in the fourth of the ninth month, in Chislev.
He was given this prophecy on December 7, 518 BC.
Zec 8:19 So says Jehovah of Hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah for joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.
The fast of the 4th month is 17 of Tammuz.
The fast of Tammuz, according to Rabbi Akiva’s interpretation, is the fast mentioned in the Book of Zechariah as “the fast of the fourth [month]” (Zechariah 8:19). This refers to Tammuz, which is the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar.
According to the Mishnah, five calamities befell the Jewish people on this day:
Moses broke the two tablets of stone on Mount Sinai;
The daily tamid offering ceased to be brought;
During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the city walls were breached, leading to the destruction of the Second Temple on Tisha B’Av;
Prior to Bar Kokhba’s revolt, Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll;
An idol was erected in the Temple.
The Babylonian Talmud places the second and fifth tragedies in the First Temple period.
The Book of Jeremiah (39.2, 52.6–7) states that the walls of Jerusalem during the First Temple were breached on the 9th of Tammuz. Accordingly, the Babylonian Talmud dates the third tragedy (breach of Jerusalem’s walls) to the Second Temple period. However, the Jerusalem Talmud (Taanit IV, 5) states that in both eras the walls were breached on 17th Tammuz, and that the text in Jeremiah 39 is explained by stating that the Biblical record was “distorted”, apparently due to the troubled times.
The Seventeenth of Tammuz occurs forty days after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Moses ascended Mount Sinai on Shavuot and remained there for forty days. The Children of Israel made the Golden Calf on the afternoon of the sixteenth of Tammuz when it seemed that Moses was not coming down when promised. Moses descended the next day (forty days by his count), saw that the Israelites were violating many of the laws he had received from God, and smashed the tablets.
We just counted the days from when Moses went up the Mountain. He came down on the 23rd day of the month according to our understanding. As you read this remember when Zechariah is writing this.Almost 600 years before the second Temple is destroyed.
The fast of the 5th month is 9 Av.
According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting:
The Twelve Spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the “Promised Land”. For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. The midrash quotes God as saying about this event, “You cried before me pointlessly, I will fix for you [this day as a day of] crying for the generations”,alluding to the future misfortunes which occurred on the same date.
The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, and the population of the Kingdom of Judah was sent into the Babylonian exile. According to the Bible, the First Temple’s destruction began on the 7th of Av (2 Kings 25:8) and continued until the 10th (Jeremiah 52:12). According to the Talmud, the actual destruction of the Temple began on the Ninth of Av, and it continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land.
The Romans subsequently crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 500,000 Jewish civilians (approximately 580,000) on August 4, 135 CE.
Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Roman commander Quintus Tineius Rufus plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, in 135 CE.
Over time, Tisha B’Av has come to be a Jewish day of mourning, not only for these events, but also for later tragedies which occurred on or near the 9th of Av. References to some of these events appear in liturgy composed for Tisha B’Av (see below).
The First Crusade officially commenced on August 15, 1096 (Av 24, AM 4856), killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and destroying Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland.
The Jews were expelled from England on July 18, 1290 (Av 9, AM 5050).
The Jews were expelled from France on July 22, 1306 (Av 10, AM 5066).
The Jews were expelled from Spain on July 31, 1492 (Av 7, AM 5252).
Germany entered World War I on August 1–2, 1914 (Av 9–10, AM 5674), which caused massive upheaval in European Jewry and whose aftermath led to the Holocaust.
On August 2, 1941 (Av 9, AM 5701), SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution.” As a result, the Holocaust began during which almost one third of the world’s Jewish population perished.
On July 23, 1942 (Av 9, AM 5702), began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka.
The AMIA bombing, of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killed 85 and injured 300 on July 18, 1994 (10 Av, AM 5754).
The 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza.
While the Holocaust spanned a number of years, most religious communities use Tisha B’Av to mourn its 6,000,000 Jewish victims, in addition to or instead of the secular Holocaust Memorial Days. On Tisha B’Av, communities which otherwise do not modify the traditional prayer liturgy have added the recitation of special kinnot related to the Holocaust.
The fast of the 7th month
The fast of the 7th month is Tzom Gedalia (usually observed on 3 Tishrei) although Yom Kippur also falls in the 7th month.
When Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, conquered Jerusalem, he killed or exiled most of its inhabitants and appointed Gedaliah as governor of the now-Babylonian of province of Yehud.
However, Baalis, king of Ammon, was hostile and envious of the Judean remnant and sent a Judean, Yishmael Ben Netaniah, who was descended from the royal family of Judea, to assassinate Gedaliah. In the seventh month (Tishrei) of 582/1 BCE (some four to five years following the destruction of the Temple, although the exact year is unclear and subject to dispute; others claim the assassination took place in the same year as the destruction), a group of Jews led by Yishmael came to Gedaliah in the town of Mitzpa and were received cordially. Gedaliah had been warned of his guest’s murderous intent, but refused to believe his informants, believing their report was mere slander. Yishmael murdered Gedaliah, together with most of the Jews who had joined him and many Babylonians whom the Babylonian king had left with Gedaliah. The remaining Jews feared the vengeance of the Babylonian king (in view of the fact that the king’s chosen ruler, Gedaliah, had been killed by a Jew) and fled to Egypt.
The events are recounted briefly in the Hebrew Bible in 2 Kings 25:25–26:
But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldeans that were with him at Mitzpah. And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces, arose, and came to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.
A fuller account is in Jeremiah chapter 41, where the murder of a group of envoys and the kidnapping of the gubernatorial staff and family are also related:
In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. As they ate bread together there at Mizpah, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and ten men with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam son Shaphan with the sword and killed him, because the king of Babylon had appointed him governor in the land. Ishmael also killed all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldean soldiers who happened to be there.
This fast of the 7th month that they claim is because of the assassination of Gedalia, strikes me as being very weak.
There is the Day of Atonement which is a very specific fast day and I would contend it is the Day of Atonement that Zechariah is speaking about which will be turned into the day of Rejoicing in the 7th Millennium. Consider the events of this day and what it is about. Once they are completed in 2033 Satan will be locked away and Peace will then be on this earth.
The fast of the 10th month is the 10th of Tevet.
The fasting is in mourning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia—an event that began on that date and ultimately culminated in the destruction of Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple), downfall of the Kingdom of Judah, and the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people.
According to II Kings, on the 10th day of the 10th month (Tevet),[note 2] in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign (588 BCE), Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, began the siege of Jerusalem. Eighteen months later, on the 9th of Tammuz at the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign[note 3] (586 BCE), he broke through the city walls, later the Romans would similarly break through the walls of Jerusalem on the 17th of Tammuz. The siege ended with the destruction of the Temple three weeks later, on the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the end of the first Kingdoms and the elite of Judah taken in exile to Babylon. The tenth of Tevet is part of the cycle of three fasts connected with these events.
These fasts commemorate events leading up to the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Zechariah is saying that when the Temple is rebuilt, these days of mourning will become days of celebration.
But today, in 2023, we are still going to read Lamentations which Jeremiah wrote after the destruction of the First Temple. It is not a commanded fast in Leviticus 23. You are free to choose what you want to do. Zechariah prophesied about this day and how it would be a day of rejoicing.
It is my opinion that to understand how great that rejoicing will be we must understand how sad this day is. Marking this day by fasting then also helps us to watch for the event that will be extremely joyful to happen on this day yet in the future. Near Future.
How Lonely Sits the City
Lam 1:1 How alone sits the city that was full of people! She has become like a widow, once great among the nations, a noblewoman among the nations, but nowhas become a tribute-payer.
Lam 1:2 She bitterly weeps in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers, she has none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt deceitfully with her; they became her enemies.
Lam 1:3 Judah went into captivity because of affliction, and from great slavery. She dwells among the nations; she finds no rest; all her pursuers have overtaken her between the narrows.
Lam 1:4 The roads of Zion mourn without any going to the appointed feasts. All her gates are deserted; her priests sigh; her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.
Lam 1:5 Her enemies have become as chief; her haters are at ease; for Jehovah has afflicted her for the multitude of her sins. Her children have gone, captive before the enemy.
Lam 1:6 And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty has departed. Her rulers have become like bucks: they find no pasture, and they have gone without strength before the pursuer.
Lam 1:7 In the days of her affliction and her wandering Jerusalem remembered all her desirable things from previous days; when her people fell into the hand of the foe; and there is no ally for her. The foes saw her; they laughed at her annihilation.
Lam 1:8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned, therefore she has been removed. All knowing her despise her because they saw her nakedness; yea, she sighs and turns backward.
Lam 1:9 Her uncleanness is in her skirts; she did not remember her end, and has gone down astoundingly. There is no comforter for her. O Jehovah, behold my affliction, for the enemy has magnified himself.
Lam 1:10 The enemy has spread out his hand upon all her desirable things; for she has seen the nations enter her holy place, whom You commanded that they should not enter into Your congregation.
Lam 1:11 All her people sigh; they seek bread. They have given their desirable things for food to relieve the soul. See, O Jehovah, and look on me, for I have become vile.
Lam 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which is done to me, with which Jehovah has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.
Lam 1:13 From above He has sent fire into my bones and it has laid them low. He has spread a net for my feet; He has turned me back; He has made me amazed and faint all the day.
Lam 1:14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by His hand; they intertwine; they rise on my neck. He has made my strength to falter; Jehovah has delivered me into their hands. I am not able to rise up.
Lam 1:15 Jehovah has trampled all my mighty ones in my midst; He has called a gathering against me to crush my young men. Jehovah has trod the virgin daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.
Lam 1:16 For these I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water, because the comforter who could refresh my soul is far from me. My sons are desolated because the enemy prevails.
Lam 1:17 Zion spreads forth her hands; none iscomforting to me; Jehovah has commanded concerning Jacob that his enemies should be all around him; Jerusalem has become as an impure thing among them.
Lam 1:18 Jehovah is righteous, for I have rebelled against His command. I beseech you, all peoples, hear and behold my sorrow. My virgins and my young men went into exile.
Lam 1:19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me; my priests and my elders expired in the city while they sought food for them to bring back their life.
Lam 1:20 Behold, O Jehovah, for I am in trouble; my inward parts ferment; my heart is turned within me, for I have grievously rebelled. On the outside the sword bereaves; in the house it is as death.
Lam 1:21 They hear that I sigh; there is none to comfort me. All my enemies have heard my evil; they are glad that You have done it. You will bring the day that You have called, and they shall be like me.
Lam 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before You; and do to them as You have done to me for all my transgressions. For my sighs are many, and my heart isfaint.
The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity
Lam 2:1 How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger! He cast down the beauty of Israel from the heavens to the earth and remembered not His footstool in the day of His anger.
Lam 2:2 The Lord swallowed up all the dwelling-places of Jacob and has not pitied. In His wrath He has thrown down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground. He has defiled the kingdom and its rulers.
Lam 2:3 He has cut off all the horn of Israel in His fierce anger; He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy, and He burned against Jacob like flaming fire which devours all around.
Lam 2:4 He has bent His bow like an enemy; He stood with His right hand like an adversary, and killed all who were desirable to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion. He poured out His fury like fire.
Lam 2:5 Jehovah was like an enemy; He swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all her palaces, anddestroyed His strongholds. And He has increased mourning and weeping in the daughter of Judah.
Lam 2:6 And He violated His booth like a garden, anddestroyed His meeting places. Jehovah caused the meeting places and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and He despised the king and the priest in the fury of His anger.
Lam 2:7 Jehovah has cast off His altar; He rejected His sanctuary; He has given up the walls of her palaces into the hater’s hand. They gave a noise in the house of Jehovah, as a day of meeting.
Lam 2:8 Jehovah purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He has stretched out a line; He has not withdrawn His hand from swallowing, and He made rampart and wall lament; they languish together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates have sunk in the ground; He has destroyed and broken her bars. Her kings and her rulers are among the nations. The Law is no more; also her prophets also find no vision from Jehovah.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground and are silent; they send up dust on their heads; they gird on sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 My eyes fail with tears; my inward parts ferment; my liver is poured on the ground for the ruin of the daughter of my people, in that the children and the babies faint in the streets of the city.
Lam 2:12 They say to their mothers, Where are grain and wine? In their fainting they are like the wounded in the streets of the city, in their pouring out their lives to their mothers’ bosom.
Lam 2:13 What can I testify for you? What thing shall I compare to you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to you, so that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your break is great like the sea! Who can heal you?
Lam 2:14 Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you, and they have not uncovered your iniquity, to turn away your captivity; but they have seen false oracles and seductions for you.
Lam 2:15 All who pass by clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city which they called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?
Lam 2:16 All your enemies have opened their mouth against you; they hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up. Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen.
Lam 2:17 Jehovah has done what He has purposed; He has fulfilled His Word which He commanded from the days of old. He has thrown down and not pitied. And He caused your hater to rejoice over you; He has set up the horn of your foes.
Lam 2:18 Their heart cried to Jehovah. O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a torrent day and night; give yourself no rest. Let not the daughter of your eye cease.
Lam 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night. At the beginning of the watches, pour out your heart like water before the face of Jehovah. Lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your children who are faint for hunger in the head of every street.
Lam 2:20 Behold, O Jehovah, and consider to whom You have done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, children of tender care? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the holy place of the Lord?
Lam 2:21 Young and old lie on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men have fallen by the sword. You have killed them in the day of Your anger; You have killed and not pitied.
Lam 2:22 You have called as in a solemn day my terrors all around, and there was not an escaped one or a survivor in the day of Jehovah’s anger. Those whom I have nursed and multiplied, my enemy has consumed.
Great Is Your Faithfulness
Lam 3:1 I the man have seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
Lam 3:2 He has led me and made me go in darkness and not into light.
Lam 3:3 Surely He turned against me; He turns His hand all the day.
Lam 3:4 He has wasted my flesh and my skin; He has broken my bones.
Lam 3:5 He built against me and has circled me with bitterness and hardship.
Lam 3:6 He has made me live in dark places, like the dead of old.
Lam 3:7 He has set a fence around me and I cannot go out; He has made my bronze chain heavy.
Lam 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer.
Lam 3:9 He walled up my ways with cut stone; my paths are crooked.
Lam 3:10 He was a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in secret places.
Lam 3:11 He has turned my ways aside and torn me in pieces. He made me desolate.
Lam 3:12 He has bent His bow and set me as a mark for the arrow.
Lam 3:13 He has caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my inward parts.
Lam 3:14 I was a mockery to all my people, their song all the day.
Lam 3:15 He has filled me with bitterness and made me drunk with wormwood.
Lam 3:16 He also broke my teeth with gravel; He has covered me in the ashes.
Lam 3:17 And You cast off my soul from peace; I have forgotten blessedness.
Lam 3:18 And I said, My strength and my hope from Jehovah are gone.
Lam 3:19 Remember my affliction and my wandering, aswormwood and bitterness.
Lam 3:20 My soul vividly remembers and bows down on me.
Lam 3:21 I recall this to my mind; therefore I hope.
Lam 3:22 It is by Jehovah’s kindnesses that we are not destroyed, because His mercies never fail.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lam 3:24 Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.
Lam 3:25 Jehovah is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
Lam 3:26 It is good that one should hope for the salvation of Jehovah, even in silence.
Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lam 3:28 He sits alone and keeps silence because He laid it on him.
Lam 3:29 He puts his mouth in the dust, if perhaps there may be hope.
Lam 3:30 He gives his cheek to Him who strikes him; he is filled with reproach.
Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever;
Lam 3:32 for though He causes grief, yet He will have pity according to the multitude of His kindnesses.
Lam 3:33 For He does not afflict from His heart, nor does He grieve the sons of men;
Lam 3:34 to crush all the prisoners of the earth under His feet;
Lam 3:35 to turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High;
Lam 3:36 to pervert a man in his cause. This, Jehovah does not see.
Lam 3:37 Who is this who speaks, and it occurs, whenthe Lord does not command it?
Lam 3:38 From the mouth of the Most High does not go out the evil and the good.
Lam 3:39 What? Should mankind complain, a living man, because of his sins?
Lam 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Jehovah.
Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart and hands to God in Heaven.
Lam 3:42 We have sinned and have rebelled; You have not forgiven.
Lam 3:43 You have wrapped Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain; You have not pitied.
Lam 3:44 You have wrapped Yourself with a cloud from any prayer passing through.
Lam 3:45 You have made us as the sweepings and garbage in the midst of the peoples.
Lam 3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
Lam 3:47 Fear and a pit have come to us, shame and ruin.
Lam 3:48 Streams of water run down my eye for the ruin of the daughter of my people.
Lam 3:49 My eye flows out and does not cease, from there being no intermission,
Lam 3:50 until Jehovah shall look down and behold from Heaven.
Lam 3:51 My eye pains my soul because of all the daughters of my city.
Lam 3:52 My haters have hunted me, like a bird, without cause.
Lam 3:53 They have cut off my life in the pit, and cast a stone at me.
Lam 3:54 Waters flowed over my head; then I said, I am cut off.
Lam 3:55 I called on Your name, O Jehovah, out of the lowest pit.
Lam 3:56 You have heard my voice; do not hide Your ear at my relief, at my cry for help.
Lam 3:57 You drew near in the day that I called on You; You said, Fear not.
Lam 3:58 O Lord, You strove for the causes of my soul; You redeemed my life.
Lam 3:59 O Jehovah, You have seen my wrong; judge my cause.
Lam 3:60 You have seen all their vengeance, all their plots against me.
Lam 3:61 You have heard their reproach, O Jehovah, all their plots against me;
Lam 3:62 the lips of those who rose up against me, and their scheming against me all the day.
Lam 3:63 Behold their sitting down and their rising up; I am their song.
Lam 3:64 You will return to them a recompense, O Jehovah, according to the work of their hands.
Lam 3:65 You will give them dullness of heart, Your curse on them.
Lam 3:66 Pursue and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of Jehovah.
The Holy Stones Lie Scattered
Lam 4:1 How the gold has become dim; the fine gold has changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.
Lam 4:2 The precious sons of Zion are weighed against pure gold; how they are counted as earthen vessels, the work of a potter’s hand!
Lam 4:3 Even the jackals draw out the breast; they suckle their young ones. The daughter of my people iscruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
Lam 4:4 The suckling’s tongue cleaves to his palate in thirst; the young children ask bread; there is no breaking to them.
Lam 4:5 Those who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets; those reared in scarlet embrace dunghills.
Lam 4:6 And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is heaped more than the sin of Sodom, overthrown as ina moment, and no hands spun on her.
Lam 4:7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, whiter than milk; they were redder of bone than corals; their cuttings as lapis lazuli, azure blue.
Lam 4:8 Their appearance is blacker than soot; they are not recognized in the streets; their skin has shriveled on their bones; it is dried up; it has become like wood.
Lam 4:9 Better are the ones slain by the sword than the ones slain by hunger; those who pine away, pierced because the fruits of my fields failed.
Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitying women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the ruin of the daughter of my people.
Lam 4:11 Jehovah has fulfilled His fury; He has poured out His fierce anger, and has kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured its foundations.
Lam 4:12 The kings of the earth, and all the people of the world, would not have believed that the foe and the hater would go into Jerusalem’s gates.
Lam 4:13 For the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, shedding the blood of the just in her midst,
Lam 4:14 they reeled blind in the streets; they are defiled with blood, so that not any can touch their clothes.
Lam 4:15 They cried to them, Depart! Unclean! Depart, depart! Touch not! Indeed they fled and reeled; they said among the nations, They will not continue to live there.
Lam 4:16 The face of Jehovah has shared them out; He will no longer look on them; they did not respect the persons of the priests; they did not favor the elders.
Lam 4:17 While we are, our eyes fail, for our help is vain; in our watching we have watched for a nation; it does not save.
Lam 4:18 They hunted our steps from going in our streets; our end was near, our days were fulfilled, for our end has come.
Lam 4:19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens; they pursued us on the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
Lam 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed ofJehovah, was taken in their pits; of whom we said, In His shadow we shall live among the nations.
Lam 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, who lives in the land of Uz. The cup also shall pass through unto you; you shall be drunken and stripped naked.
Lam 4:22 The punishment of your iniquity is fulfilled, O daughter of Zion; He will exile you no more. He will visit your iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will expose your sins.
Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord
Lam 5:1 Remember, O Jehovah, what has been to us; look down and see our shame.
Lam 5:2 Our inheritance has turned to aliens, our houses to foreigners.
Lam 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless; our mothers areas widows.
Lam 5:4 We have drunk our water for silver; our wood comes for a price.
Lam 5:5 We are pursued on our necks; we grow weary; rest is not given to us.
Lam 5:6 We have given the hand to Egypt, to Assyria, to be satisfied with bread.
Lam 5:7 Our fathers have sinned and are not; we have borne their iniquities.
Lam 5:8 Servants rule over us; there is no rescuer out of their hand.
Lam 5:9 We bring in our bread with our souls, because of the sword of the wilderness.
Lam 5:10 Our skin is hot like an oven because of the fever heat of famine.
Lam 5:11 They raped the women in Zion, virgins in the cities of Judah.
Lam 5:12 Rulers were hanged by the hand; the faces of elders were not honored.
Lam 5:13 They took the young men to grind, and the youths stumbled at the wood.
Lam 5:14 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.
Lam 5:15 The joy of our heart has ceased; our dance has turned into mourning.
Lam 5:16 The crown has fallen from our head. Woe now to us! For we have sinned.
Lam 5:17 Our heart is faint for this; our eyes are dim for these things.
Lam 5:18 On the mountain of Zion is laid waste, the foxes walk on it.
Lam 5:19 You, O Jehovah, remain forever; Your throne to generation and generation.
Lam 5:20 Why do You forget us forever and forsake us the length of days?
Lam 5:21 Return us to You, O Jehovah, and we will turn; renew our days as of old,
Lam 5:22 unless You have utterly rejected us; You are very angry against us.
5th Curse Famine
The 5th curse is set to begin in 2024. I want you all to be aware of it and to get serious about your repentance to Yehovah. Only He can save you. So as I prepare the Lamentations article I wanted to also look at recent famines which many of you may not know about.
During the 20th century, an estimated 70 to 120 million people died from famines across the world, of whom over half died in China, with an estimated 30 million dying during the famine of 1958–1961, up to 10 million in the Chinese famine of 1928–1930, and over two million in the Chinese famine of 1942–1943, and millions more lost in famines in North and East China. The USSR lost 8 million claimed by the Soviet famine of 1932–33, over a million in both the Soviet famine of 1946–1947 and Siege of Leningrad, the 5 million in the Russian famine of 1921–1922, and other famines. Java suffered 2.5 million deaths under Japanese occupation during World War Two. The other most notable famine of the century was the Bengal famine of 1943, resulting both from the Japanese occupation of Burma, resulting in an influx of refugees, and blocking Burmese grain imports and a failure of the Bengali provincial Government to declare a famine, and fund relief, the imposition of grain and transport embargoes by the neighbouring provincial administrations, to prevent their own stocks being transferred to Bengal, the failure to implement India wide rationing by the central Delhi authority, hoarding and profiteering by merchants, medieval land management practices, an Axis powers denial program that confiscated boats once used to transport grain, a Delhi administration that prioritised supplying, and offering medical treatment to the British Indian Army, War workers, and Civil servants, over the populace at large, incompetence and ignorance, and an Imperial War Cabinet initially leaving the issue to the Colonial administration to resolve, than to the original local crop failures, and blights.
A few of the great famines of the late 20th century were: the Biafran famine in the 1960s, the Khmer Rouge-caused famine in Cambodia in the 1970s, the North Korean famine of the 1990s, and the Ethiopian famine of 1983–1985. Approximately 3 million died as a consequence of the Second Congo War.
The latter event was reported on television reports around the world, carrying footage of starving Ethiopians whose plight was centered around a feeding station near the town of Korem. This stimulated the first mass movements to end famine across the world.
BBC newsreader Michael Buerk gave moving commentary of the tragedy on 23 October 1984, which he described as a “biblical famine”. This prompted the Band Aid single, which was organized by Bob Geldof and featured more than 20 pop stars. The Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia raised even more funds for the cause. Hundreds of thousands of people died within one year as a result of the famine, but the publicity Live Aid generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa.
Some of the famines of the 20th century served the geopolitical purposes of governments, including traumatizing and replacing distrusted ethnic populations in strategically important regions, rendering regions vulnerable to invasion difficult to govern by an enemy power and shifting the burden of food shortage onto regions where the distress of the population posed a lesser risk of catastrophic regime de-legitimation.
Until 2017, worldwide deaths from famine had been falling dramatically. The World Peace Foundation reported that from the 1870s to the 1970s, great famines killed an average of 928,000 people a year. Since 1980, annual deaths had dropped to an average of 75,000, less than 10% of what they had been until the 1970s. That reduction was achieved despite the approximately 150,000 lives lost in the 2011 Somalia famine. Yet in 2017, the UN officially declared famine had returned to Africa, with about 20 million people at risk of death from starvation in the northern part of Nigeria, in South Sudan, in Yemen, and in Somalia.
On 20 April 2021, hundreds of aid organisations from around the world wrote an open letter to The Guardian newspaper, warning that millions of people in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria, Haiti, Central African Republic, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Sudan faced starvation. Organisations including the International Council of Voluntary Agencies and the World Food Programme said: “Girls and boys, men and women, are being starved by conflict and violence; by inequality; by the impacts of climate change; by the loss of land, jobs of prospects; by a fight against Covid-19 that has left them even further behind.” The groups warned that funding had dwindled, while money alone would not be enough by itself. Governments should step in to end conflicts and ensure humanitarian access, they said. “If no action is taken, lives will be lost. The responsibility to address this lies with states”, they added.
In November 2021, the World Food Programme reported that 45 million people were “teetering on the very edge of famine” in 43 countries, and that the slightest shock would push them over the precipice. This number had risen from 42 million earlier in 2021, and from 27 million in 2019. The slightest shock — be it extreme weather linked to climate change, conflict, or the deadly interplay of both hunger drivers — could push tens of millions of people into irreversible peril, a prospect the agency had been warning of for more than a year. Afghanistan was becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with the country’s needs surpassing those of the other worst-hit countries — Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and even Yemen.