News Letter 5847-017
7th day of the 4th month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.
July 9, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Family,
In the News this week we have some interesting things to consider.
The Real Ramifications of the Unraveling NA TO Alliance
By Jeremiah Jacques
The ongoing involvement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya’s civil war has revealed the alliance to be an increasingly imbalanced and fictitious military organization.
NATO started off strong enough. In the Cold War’s aftermath, the organization was dubbed “the most successful alliance in history” because it had prevented the Russian Army from crossing into Western Europe. The organization has defined security in the Western Hemisphere for around 60 years, but the last few of those years have revealed deep fissures in its integrity.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on June 10 that NATO risks “collective military irrelevance” because most of its members put so little toward defense spending that the organization is not even able to defeat a tin-pot dictator like Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi. The heart of NATO’s problem, according to Gates, is a staggering imbalance in the defense contributions of the member states.
“The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country—yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference,” Gates said in Brussels earlier this month.
While all 28 NATO members voted in favor of the Libyan operation, less than one third of those countries have participated in the strike mission. Gates explained the imbalance, saying “many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can’t. The military capabilities simply aren’t there.”
Even some of the nations that are contributing to the campaign, like France and Britain, are quickly exhausting their munitions supplies.
As if this article was not enough, then we read in the Telegraph who comes to the rescue; none other than Germany.
Germany Replenishes NATO’s Arsenal
NATO has turned to Germany to replenish its arsenal of bombs and missiles in a bid to keep the coalition together for the campaign against Col. Muammar Qadhafi’s regime. With the number of “smart” bombs dropped on Libya estimated at more than 2,000, some NATO allies have seen their stocks dramatically depleted.
Both Denmark and Norway are understood to have asked for more bombs through the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency and the German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere has granted permission to release stocks.
“Germany has expressed its general willingness to make available precision weaponry components,” a German Defense Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. The move is politically sensitive as Berlin opposed the fighting having abstained from UN Resolution 1973 authorizing force to be used to protect Libyan citizens from Colonel Qadhafi’s forces. Guido Westerwelle, the country’s foreign minister, has criticized the mission.
But NATO sources said the move showed that the Germans were now “keen to make the point that they are part of the team.” However it was unlikely that the weapons would be a “freebie” and the Berlin government would probably charge their allies. Despite having only six F16 jets each, Denmark has managed to drop more than 500 bombs and Norway has launched 350 during the 100-day campaign.
By comparison the RAF, which carries a more sophisticated array of smart bombs and missiles, has dropped 480 precision munitions with a force of six Typhoons and 12 Tornado GR4s.
July 4, 2011
After previous requests, Germany has now agreed to supply military vehicles to Saudi Arabia. – Reuters
Germany is ready to sell more than 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia in a multi-billion euro deal after the government’s security council gave its stamp of approval last week, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday
I find it extremely interesting to note that with the exception of the USA many of the other NATO countries are already exhausting their weaponry arsenals; showing the weak underbelly of the EU with no formal army to speak of. But then again the USA is in severe debt and wants out of all the conflicts she is now in.
On the other hand I also note that the Germans are all too ready to sell the needed arsenals to the NATO allies. This tells us that Germany has a military building industry already working and producing armaments. But also the leading and most technically sophisticated. This is greatly confirmed by the sale to Saudi Arabia. It also shows you that Germany is not depleting any arsenals it may have built up. On the contrary, it is building up and strengthening it military manufacturing machine and doing it in front of everyone and with their approval. And on top of all of this Germany is not crippled by debt like the USA is.
Watch Germany….we still maintain they are the Assyrians of biblical prophecy and it will be these Assyrians of this 21st century who will lead a horde of Muslims as we are told in Psalm 83 against Israel, the USA and UK countries, in the very near future. In fact last week in the 70 weeks Prophecy of Daniel we showed you it was to be in 2020.
I have had in the back of my mind this week’s subject for some time. And then a few weeks ago I was asked a question and forgot to answer it in the emails.
Last week I mentioned that “We have been asking you to join us in building a farm in Israel and in Jordan where the brethren would be welcome and able to stay and farm during these coming years of great trouble. Yet unless we keep saying this to you, most of you do not help to make it a reality. It will not happen overnight and it will not happen unless you step up and make it happen.”
I then went on to say “Before you can come to this farm we have to buy it. And with the current Israeli laws we will have to have another farm in Jordan. Then we will have to plant the crops and fruit trees which need time to grow. Then we also have to prepare it the farm for people to come and stay there from all around the world. We will have to let the land rest during the Sabbatical year in 2016-2017 and in order to do this we need to have been working the land before this date and we have to plan for this important Sabbatical year before it comes. Before we can do any of this we have to raise the money to buy it. And we need to buy it before the currency you send us is worthless.
We also need to plant teachers in Asia and to plant the seeds in that part of the world at the same time as the world descends into chaos. We have been talking to people to help us in this endeavor or sending out missionaries to the gentile nations just as we are told to do in Mathew 22; But not to Judah.
We need all of you to begin to send in your gifts each month regularly if you feel this is something we need to act on.”
I then went on to tell you how the Sabbatical cycles have shown us the prophetic events and the order they are to come. I did not brag how I was able to say these things, but how Yehovah had already shown them to us.
I want to apologize if at any time I have written and spoken that gives the impression I am the one figuring these things out. Those who know me know how dumb I am. But in all cases concerning the Sabbatical Years and The Prophecies of Abraham it has been revealed by the Holy Spirit at different times and on many strange occasions. I do not brag about myself but I do brag about what I see Yehovah doing. So if I sound like I am bragging myself up, then I do apologize; it is not me but it is Yehovah who is showing these things to us and I want to brag about Him and what He is doing. I say this in light of the email I am about to share which confirms why this week’s News Letter is from above and not from me.
Just wanted to inter jet one thing. I know that you have some truth. There are many out there who does. Who have been given the position of leadership, to share the Torah truth of this Time, in which we live. But also there are many who are in error in some areas. The Scripture says that He (Yahuah) will come Himself and search out and find His sheep and bring them to Himself to be a Sheppard to them. Leading them into green pastures. In other words, He will guide them into green pastures where they need to be fed. You and many others like you are just that Green fields. He is leading us to where we can receive the conformation, information, and instructions, that we each need at the proper time. You and none of the others are the True Sheppard over the flock. You all are hired men, to help in guiding the sheep, in some degree. So, I say this in love, to you to be careful how you word your comments in re-guarding yourself. Pride comes before a fall.
In His Service
Brethren I am not hired. I do not get on cent for doing what I do. No one is paying me to share what I share with you each week. I do this out of the love I have for Yehovah’s Torah and out of amazement at the accuracy of His word. I am not a hired servant.
Now based on this email and those things I said last which I have restated above, and because of the email which prompted this week’s News Letter let’s once again look at Mathew 22
Mat 22:1 And ????? responded and spoke to them again by parables and said, 2 “The reign of the heavens is like a man, a sovereign, who made a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast. But they would not come. 4 “Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Say to those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle are slaughtered, and all is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ 5 “But they disregarded it and went their way – this one to his field, that one to his trade. 6 “And the rest, having seized his servants, insulted and killed them. 7 “But when the sovereign heard, he was wroth, and sent out his soldiers, destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire. 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast, indeed, is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 ‘Therefore go into the street corners, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 “And those servants went out into the street corners and gathered all whom they found, both wicked and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “And when the sovereign came in to view the guests, he saw there a man who had not put on a wedding garment, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 “Then the sovereign said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him out into the outer darkness – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”1 Footnote:1See 20:16.
Each year we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles which is a rehearsal of the coming wedding between Israel and the Messiah. You can learn more about this feast at http://www.ucg.org/booklet/gods-holy-day-plan-promise-hope-all-mankind/feast-tabernacles-jesus-christ-reigns-over-all-e/ but you can learn more about this wedding at Rebecca at the well ministries http://www.rebeccaatthewell.org/index.html I urge you to study both of them, but just listen to the explanation as you click on Rebecca’s site.
In Mathew 22 we have been invited to the wedding. It is Israel who is invited and yet we read that they refuse to come. Unbelievably they not only refused to come and went back to their line of work; they also killed those sent to invite them.
This is the very stage we are in right now. You, yes you have been invited to the wedding, to be a part of the bride. Yes you have been invited, yet many ignore this invitation and want nothing to do with it; too busy with the new house or addition or trying to survive the financial collapse they are caught in; Hung up on the cares of this world. Soon we will see those who are invited killing those who teach this message of the Torah. This is to happen during this current Sabbatical cycle. We know this because of what happens in the next Sabbatical cycle which is the cycle of war.
We are currently in the third Sabbatical cycle. The fourth Sabbatical cycle is of war. We have shown you in our Study of The Prophecy of Niddah which you can read at:
- Newsletter 5846-052 The Prophecy of Niddah
that during the next Sabbatical cycle, the 4th one which has the curse of war on it also matches the time of Niddah which is when Israel has her period when her young men die in war.
Both the Prophecy of Niddah and the Sabbatical cycles match up during this next Sabbatical cycle.
Last week we also showed you how the 70 weeks of Daniel’s Prophecy also matches up with this same Sabbatical cycle of war when Israel would be cut off in the middle of this last Shabuwah.
You have three prophetic teachings all pointing to this fourth Sabbatical cycle and warning us of what is directly in front of us. And now we are looking at this prophecy in Mathew which tells us that once the messengers are killed the King will send his armies to kill those who refused the invitation and killed the messengers. Those who did this are Israelites. These Israelites are those who live in the USA and UK and her commonwealth.
I want to now focus on the next part of this parable in Mathew.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast, indeed, is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 ‘Therefore go into the street corners, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 “And those servants went out into the street corners and gathered all whom they found, both wicked and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Once we are done with Israel who refuses to come to the wedding then we are to go to the rest of the world and invite everyone and anyone to come.
In verse 10 the word gathered has a connotation of being hospitable to those we meet and lead.
But then it goes on to say both the wicked and the good are invited in order to fill the wedding hall. Yet even the good of Israel did not come let alone the wicked.
We are now looking into the preparations for this time. That is as I mentioned last week of sending out missionaries to various parts of the world to raise up teachers who will spread this invitation in those countries. These teachers will instruct these potential wedding guest and brethren about the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Sabbatical years. These teachers will instruct these people enough of the Torah so that when the King comes in during the Wedding He does not find one of our guests who have not put on the robes of righteousness as we are told in Psalm 119:172 All your commandments are righteousness. But the King Yehovah will find some who will not put on this righteousness.
Just like you brethren, these people will need some time to digest what they learn and time to put it into practice on a daily level. To walk out their faith as you have. But in order to have the time to do so they need to be instructed and given the time to grow.
Many of you, and I do mean many of you have commented on the teachings you have learned here at Sightedmoon.com.
Teachings based on the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles and what they mean. Yehovah has blessed you in being able to understand them and it is He who has revealed them to us at this time.
Many of you have learned many things and told me that of all the teachers out there we have been closest to being spot on. The Prophecies of Abraham and the DVD on the Sabbatical cycles is scaring people with the accuracy that is shown to you in them. But no one else is teaching these truths anywhere. No One!!!
Here is one letter I received this week whom I had instructed to re read The Prophecies of Abraham a second and third time to glean even more information;
Thank you Joseph, I will go back and read… it is hard to find the time, but will do it. As I believe you are more on top than any other so far, as HE showed me the Feast days as well back in 1992. I provide studies for those interested…
The One New Man Resource Center
Va Beach, Va.
This is the reason I want to have men I can count on to share this message of the Sabbatical and Jubilee teachings to the rest of the world. I cannot do it alone. I cannot do it by myself. I need your help. I need to be able to count on your support and having my back as it were. Right now I do not see it nor feel it. And yet we must go forward and do this job.
Imagine these people in the third world during the coming famine having food and water because they kept the Sabbatical years from Aviv to Aviv as scripture shows us and then they receive the blessings as Yehovah has promised. Imagine just how awesome that will be during these end times.
Now you know the two things that are on my heart to do. One is to create a farm in Israel and the other in Jordan. And the
second urgency is to teach the Sabbatical and Jubilee teachings to the rest of the world. Will you help me?
If you live in these countries and are willing to host me or teachers I send please contact me. If you live there in Asia or India or Pakistan or Africa or Europe and South America or those Arab countries and want to learn so that you can go out and teach then please contact me.
Now having said that I need you now to listen up; Some of you have contacted me and asked me about the investing you were going to do in your various businesses and wanted to know if this was a good idea in light of the prophetic teachings I have been sharing. You made those investments. Now I need your help financially.
Almost all of you have benefited from this news letter since it came out in 2007 and have been sharing it with many others. I also need your help now. I have been timid about asking for money knowing how hard you work for it like I do. Yes I work from 4 AM to 7 Pm every day and then I work on the News letter after this. I have also taken on another job moving equipment at night to raise more money.
This week I have news from Iran of two men on trial for teaching others about Christianity.
and another one you can read about at http://www.en-hrana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=418:yazd-university-student-arrested-for-preaching-christianity&catid=11:students&Itemid=14
Now let us once again look at tithing the subject you all hate to discuss.
I have said in the past that tithing was for the Levitical Priesthood in order to feed them and take care of the Temple. They were to use this money to then teach the people the Torah each Sabbath. But we now do not have a Temple now nor do we have Levitical priesthood to serve at the Temple.
Yet we can read where Abraham gave 10% to Melchezedek.
Gen 14:18 And Malkitsed?eq sovereign of Shal?m brought out bread and wine. Now he was the priest of the Most High ?l. 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Ab?ram of the Most High ?l, Possessor of the heavens and earth. 20 “And blessed be the Most High ?l who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all.
Abraham’s tenth was only in the nature of a voluntary (free will) offering of thanksgiving to Yehovah for the deliverance of his people from captivity.
If tithing were an inexorable law intended for all peoples and for all periods of time as many preachers state, (and we are going to be talking about these shepherds who fleece the flocks today) this procedure of Jacob is truly a paradoxical case. This is because Jacob put the word “IF” into his contract he was making with God. That “IF” made the contract to be contingent on God performing something for Jacob. Jacob’s use of the word “IF” takes his contract away from being in the category of a well known universal law. No one treats known laws in such a fashion. That would be like a person saying to God: “If you bless my business during the first six days of the week, then I will close it and rest on the Sabbath.” One does not slight the laws of God by putting the word “IF” at the beginning of them. But it would not be wrong to think in that fashion if a voluntary thanksgiving offering were under consideration. The “IF” in the vow makes the tenth that Jacob said he would pay to be a free will offering and his promise was even conditional.
About three months after Passover and the Exodus at Mount Sinai, the Old Covenant with the Ten Commandments was first given to the Israelites (Exodus chapter 20). It also embraced many other laws recorded in four chapters—unto the end of Exodus chapter 23. These were laws of the Old Covenant which Israel promised to observe (Exodus 24:3–8). These four chapters contained nothing less than the basic constitution which was intended to govern Israel. The Bible calls the contents of those four chapters the Book of the Covenant. Remarkably, there is not one hint of tithing as a requirement in this basic teaching of the Old Covenant. Some might consider this an oversight on Moses’ part because there surely was a need to finance the new national existence of Israel.
True enough, Moses was well aware that the accumulation of revenues was needed to perform the Old Covenant requirements that had been recently ordained at Mount Sinai. Tithing, however, was not the method that Moses used at this early period. He had another way of securing the necessary funds to operate the civil and religious institutions associated with the new nation of Israel. Moses simply asked for some free will offerings. When Moses petitioned Israel for money to build the Tabernacle, here is what happened:
“Men and women, as many as were willing hearted, brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold and … the children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord … They brought yet unto him [Moses] free offerings every morning … the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
• Exodus 35:22, 29; 36:3, 7 [italics mine]
The Israelites had taken much spoil from the Egyptians. When it became necessary to raise funds to build the Tabernacle, Moses asked the Israelites to give free will offerings from these and other possessions. The Old Covenant society which Moses established at Mount Sinai, whether religious or secular, was supported solely (at first) by free will contributions. This is precisely the way the early Christians financed their activities (we will see this later). There was no law of tithing that was being applied in the building of the holy sanctuary (the Tabernacle). As a matter of fact, tithing was not understood as a necessary thing by Moses until almost a year later (Leviticus 27:30–33).
In concluding this historical survey, it should be noted that for the first two thousand and five hundred years of human history (as recorded in the biblical narrative) the only two instances of tithing were involving free will offerings of Abraham and Jacob. And even in the first period of the Exodus, Moses only required free will contributions from the Israelites. But true enough, a year passed in the Wilderness, then Moses saw the need for a law of tithing. Let us now look in the next chapter at the laws that Moses ordained for Israel.
If you want to learn more about Tithing and why you should not be doing it as a law you can go to http://www.askelm.com/tithing/thi005.htm
So now let’s look at the famous scripture which is read out in all the churches at least once every two months.
Mal 3:7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My laws and did not guard them. Turn back to Me, and I shall turn back to you,” said ???? of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what shall we turn back?’ 8 “Would a man rob Elohim? Yet you are robbing Me! But you said, ‘In what have we robbed You?’ In the tithe and the offering! 9 “You have cursed Me with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this nation, all of it! 10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, and let there be food in My house. And please prove Me in this,” said ???? of hosts, “whether I do not open for you the windows of the heavens, and shall pour out for you boundless blessing! 11 “And I shall rebuke the devourer for you, so that it does not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor does the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” said ???? of hosts. 12 “And all nations shall call you blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” said ???? of hosts.
Know and understand that Malachi was looking at the empty store rooms in the Temple. Malachi was talking about food not money. Times were very hard at this time. We have a parallel account of the events of this time because Nehemiah was a contemporary of Malachi.
Read what is written in Neh 5:1 And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their brothers, the Yehud?im. 2 And there were some who were saying, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many. Let us get grain for them, and eat, and live.” 3 And there were some who were saying, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses. Let us buy grain because of the scarcity of food.” 4 And there were those who were saying, “We have borrowed silver for the sovereign’s tax on our lands and vineyards. 5 “And now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. And see, we are subjecting our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been subjected, and there is no power in our hands, for other men have our lands and vineyards.” 6 And it was very displeasing to me when I heard their outcry and these words. 7 And my heart ruled over me, and I strove with the nobles and with the deputy rulers, and said to them, “You are exacting interest, each one from his brother.” And I called a great assembly against them, 8 and said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our brothers, the Yehud?im, who were sold to the gentiles. And you even sell your brothers! Or should they be sold to us?” And they were silent and found not a word to say. 9 I also said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our Elohim because of the reproach of the gentiles, our enemies? 10 “And also, I, my brothers and my servants, am lending them silver and grain. Please, let us leave off this interest!11 “Please, give back to them, even today, their lands, their vineyards, their olive-trees, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the silver and of the grain, and of the new wine, and of the oil, that you have taken from them.”
The People of Judah had come back from the captivity and were starving and had sold all they had and were then selling themselves as slaves in order to survive.
We next read in Nehemiah what Malachi was writing about. That the Temple treasuries of Grain were empty and this forced the Levites to go back to their own fields in order to survive to the neglect of the Temple.
Neh 13:10 And I learned that the portions for the L?wites had not been given them, for each of the L?wites and the singers who did the work had gone back to his field. 11 Then I contended with the deputy rulers, and said, “Why is the House of Elohim forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their place. 12 And all Yehud?ah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse.
Nehemiah in both cases of which we cite goes to the leaders of the society and tells them to release the Jewish Brethren from slavery and give them a start on some land and then he says to them to restore the tithes of the land to the Temple so the priest could do what they had to do and these leaders did so.
Many Pastors and Priests want to use the law of tithing to support their church and their causes and television programs and yet at the same time they will not teach and they will not obey the same laws that are well documented in the old testament to keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Sabbatical years. They choose what laws they want to keep. Naturally they choose the ones that involve money.
Having now explained this to you, as briefly as I could, let me now plead my case. As I have said we are told in Mathew 22 that we are to soon be going into the rest of the world to teach the gentiles the Torah.
We also need to raise money for the Farm in Israel. Some say this is my own wish, and yet it is what I have been showing you all of this past year. There are other leaders who are very interested in this and many of you have also agreed that this is something we must do. Some have sent in as much as $2500 to support this effort. Others are already living in Israel ready to help us.
One question I have been asked is going to be again shown to you today. That is why should we go to Israel and have a farm there when it is going to have a war very soon. The Answer is as Yehovah well show you, because He said to do so.
So let me make this arrangement with you.
As Malachi has suggested, let each of us test Yehovah in this thing. Nowhere else has Yehovah said to test Him in such a thing as far as I know.
So now let us test Him in this matter and see if it is His will and see if He does not reach down and pour each of you out a blessing that there will not be words enough to thank Him for it.
And as we say this you need to be mindful that starting at Aviv 2012 will be the year to share your tithe with the Levite and the widow and the poor. It is a 3rd year tithe to the poor. Keep in mind what we showed you about the widow last week.
For one year send in a gift offering; One that comes from your heart, and not a commanded tithe, and do this for one year. If we use the tithe as our example then if you make $500 a week, send in $50 a week which is $200 a month. Choose a percentage that works for you and stick with it for one year.
If at the end of that year, that is by this time, one year from now, you have not been blessed by Yehovah, and only you can decide, then I will return everything you have sent in. This means I will not be able to do anything until after this time next year.
For those who have already sent in contributions to the Farm, I will and I am doing the same thing for you. I will not spend a penny of it until after this time one year from now.
In the first week of the fourth Month in 5848, that is around July 1st Week 2012, I will tell you how much has been collected and raised. I will then ask you to write me and tell me if you want your money back if Yehovah has not blessed you as that is what this test is about.
If just 1000 people were to send in $200 a month for 12 months we would raise 2.4 Million. Some can do more and some can do less, but each can do what they have on their heart. There are over 10,000 that get this News letter but statistics show that only about 10% actually support their ministries.
I am praying that you will support these efforts to raise the funds for the farm and to raise the funds to send out Missionaries to the world. I am praying that once you see the blessings for doing this you will continue to support this effort so we can send out more Missionaries in the future, as the farm should be self sufficient. I look forward to telling you as Moses did to stop we have too much.
As of right now we have raised in US Funds $2989. In Canadian funds which are what all other currencies are changed into, we have raised, $11, 215. And we have already forwarded $3000 to the brethren who have been searching for possible farms for us in Israel.
Those cost that I have incurred while maintaining this Web site and in doing this Ministry have been borne by me. Nor do I collect a salary for doing what I do. It is all on my own time. And on that note I want you to know we have successfully moved one of our web sites out of the USA and to another country in preparations of what is coming to the USA so that you will still be able to access this web site when things are getting bad. This has cost me over $900, and will be a monthly expense from now on.
You now know how we are doing and where we are at. I can update you every couple of months. You need to pray about this and take Yehovah up on this challenge the same as Malachi has said and I too am going to be praying about this.
You can send cheques or money drafts and some have even sent cash which I do not recommend, made out to
Joseph F Dumond
14 Willow Cres.
Canada L9V 1A5
If you want to pay by PayPal write me and I will tell you how we can do this. When you send a donation please include your email address so I can add you to the Farm supporters list.
This past weekend I wrote the following because I had not the time to respond to a question someone had asked me.
Shabbat Shalom Glen, first of all please forgive me. When I got your first email which I did read I set it aside as it required more time to give you a proper answer. I was going to get back to it as soon as I answered all the quick and easy emails, but when I did finish with them another bunch came in and yours once again got pushed aside and this was repeated a number of times. On top of this there has been a great deal going on behind the scenes that has consumed much of my time.
I was looking for your email and another one that came at that same time to see if I could answer them last night. I could not find them. So I do apologize. But I have just found it now written on July 18.
Thank you for reminding me and please do not stop asking if I do not always respond. Sometimes I just get too busy.
I came across the scriptures in the old testament in Ezekiel, specifically all of chapter 34, which deals with what God will do to the “shepherds ” or pastors and priests of the day. He will pass judgment on them and not allow them to “feed” the flock or nurture them any longer as HE (GOD) will be the sheep’s shepherd and bring them from ALL the places of the earth to the land in Israel that HE will protect and nurture them at. The reason I bring this up is that this chapter seems to be telling us that HE and ONLY HE will gather us up to bring us to the land of Israel when it is time to go . I do not see that he says that WE must bring ourselves there to be ready to receive him. Please comment on this for me as I am somewhat confused in this matter . I have been contributing to the farm project as I strongly believe in very much of what you say on many things of the bible and have faith in YOU as you are of GOD and have much truth that you are disseminating . This is why I am ASKING YOU to clarify this for me. Thanks, from your brother [name withheld] NH USA. Please Keep up the GREAT work!!!
Lets look at this in detail;
Eze 34:1 And the word of ???? came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Yisra’?l, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master ???? to the shepherds, “Woe to the shepherds1 of Yisra’?l who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? Footnote: 1See Jer. 10:21.
Note that Ezekiel wrote this after Israel, the ten northern tribes, had been taken into captivity in 723 BC. Now let’s look at Jeremiah 10:21
Jer 10:18 For thus said ????, “See, at this time I am hurling out the inhabitants of the land, and shall distress them, so that they feel it.”19 Woe to me for my breaking! My wound is grievous, but I say, “This is my sickness, and I bear it. 20 “My tent has been ravaged, and all my cords have been broken. My children have gone from me, and they are no more. There is no one to pitch my tent any more, or to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds have become brutish, and they have not sought ????. Therefore they did not understand, and all their flock scattered.1” Footnote: 1See 2:8, 12:10-11, 50:6-7, Ezek.34:1-23, 2 Tim. 4:3-4, 2 Peter 2:1-22. 22 See, it has come, the voice of a report, and a great shaking out of the land of the north, to make the cities of Yehud?ah a waste, a habitation of jackals.
Jeremiah spoke during the time when Judah was being taken into captivity in 586 BC. Here it is Yehovah that is crying out that His wound is grievous and His heart is broken and that there is no one to set up His tabernacle, His tent. Why is there no one to do this, because He has punished the people of Judah for their sins which the shepherds have been teaching them, by bringing in false teachings and twisting the scriptures to say what they wanted them to say. It is the very same thing today in all the Christian Churches.
Jer 2:8 “The priests did not say, ‘Where is ?????’ And those who handle the Torah did not know Me, and the shepherds1 transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Ba?al, and walked after matters that did not profit. Footnote: 1See 10:21, 12:10-11, 50:6-7.
Note; this teaching of Ba’al will be mentioned a number of times. It behooves us to learn what it is and to stay clear of it. You can gain some understanding but not all from an article I did.
- Newsletter 5845-038 The Doctrine of Balaam
It has much to do with the mixing of seed, the mixing of two doctrines, the mixing of Torah with pagan teachings thinking they are one and the same. This is what you learn when you go to any Christian church today. Torah mixed with and explained by Ba’al doctrines, the mixing of two different seed; the wheat with the tares.
Jer 12:10 “Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion become a deserted wilderness.1 Footnote: 1See 10:21. 11 “They have laid it waste – a waste, it mourns to Me. All the land is laid waste, because no one takes it to heart.
Note; Jeremiah 12:11 is speaking to me that the land mourns because no one is keeping the Sabbatical years and letting the land rest. No one cares about the land or takes it to heart the importance of the Sabbatical and Jubilee year teachings. Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the esteem that is to be revealed in us. 19 For the intense longing1 of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Elohim. Footnote: 1Lit. anxiously looking with outstretched head. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not from choice, but because of Him who subjected it, in anticipation, 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage to corruption into the esteemed freedom of the children of Elohim. 22 For we know that all the creation groans together, and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only so, but even we ourselves who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we ourselves also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
And if we read 2 Chronicles we will see that one of the very reasons that Judah went into exile in 586 BC was for not keeping the Sabbatical years. The shepherds were not teaching it and did not think it was important.
2Ch 36:20 And those who escaped from the sword he exiled to Bab?el, where they became servants to him and his sons until the reign of the reign of Persia, 21 in order to fill the word of ???? by the mouth of Yirmeyahu, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay waste she kept Sabbath, until seventy years were completed.
So now even in our time now the land mourns for the sons of Righteousness to be revealed because they will keep the Sabbath, and the Holy Days, and they will let the land rest properly at the right time so that the earth no longer mourns.
Jer 12:12 “The ravagers have come on all the bare heights in the wilderness, for the sword of ???? is devouring from one end of the land to the other end of the land. There is no peace to any flesh. 13 “They have sown wheat but reaped thorns, they have exhausted themselves – they do not profit. And they shall be ashamed of your harvest because of the burning displeasure of ????.”
Again we see this very thing today on the nightly news. The farmers plant their crops only to see them destroyed by floods or drought. The people are becoming weary because of the tornados and floods and heat and hurricanes and financial distress and locusts or plagues of mice and worry. There is no peace for any flesh. Why? WHY, WHY???
You are told exactly why in Lev 26. You are told the curses you will receive for not keeping the Sabbatical years and you’re given an exact order as to how they will be given to you.
It is because the shepherds who are also today called Pastors which is what Pastor means, a shepherd, they have done away with the law. For the majority of Christianity the law is nailed to the Cross-tree. Then there are those Messianics who have come to learn Torah and there are also the Jews themselves who study the Torah and have it mixed with and replaced it with the Talmud who do not keep the Sabbatical years; coming up with excuses why they will not keep it and those that do, keep it are on the wrong year. Which is the same as keeping the Saturday Sabbath on Sunday; it is just the wrong day, plain and simple. The Christians do not keep any of the Sabbaths, nor the Holy Days let alone the Sabbatical years. The SDA keep the Sabbath, sort of, but will not keep the Holy Days and have no clue about the Sabbatical years, and their leaders will not listen to this teaching from me nor anyone else. Like the Jews who have replaced the Torah with the Talmud, the SDA’s have replaced the bible with the writings of Ellen G White, the Mormon have replaced the bible with their own version and so have the Jehovah Witnesses. They all have to stop mixing the truth of Torah with their own perverted teachings if they want to understand. But while they are in these groups, they will never see just how far from the Truth of Torah they have gone. Not until the go back and read it and it alone.
Jer 50:4 “In those days and at that time,” declares ????, “the children of Yisra’?l shall come, they and the children of Yehud?ah together, weeping as they come, and seek ???? their Elohim. 5 “They shall ask the way to Tsiyon, their faces toward it, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to ????, in an everlasting covenant, never to be forgotten.’ 6 “My people have been wandering1 sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. Footnote: 1Or lost, or straying, or perishing. 7 “All who found them have devoured them. And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty, because they have sinned against ????, the Home of righteousness, and the Expectation of their fathers: ????.’
This takes place just before and during the Great tribulation as Israel realizes her sins while in captivity. This is the second Exodus. The Two witnesses will have continued to announce the truth and called them to repent and return. These two witnesses will have a ministry and will need to have support to keep it going during these trying times. The people that return will once again learn to keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Lev 23 and will learn about the Sabbatical years which are the sign with which Yehovah seals us. This is the Mark of Yehovah, while the Mark of the Beast is any other holy day and any other Sabbath other than the one Yehovah has said to keep in Lev 23, and Lev 25. See article on:
- Newsletter 5843-029 The Mark of the Beast and the Mark of Yahweh.
2Ti 4:1 In the sight of Elohim and the Master ????? Messiah, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His reign, I earnestly charge you: 2 Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove,1 warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. Footnote: 1Or: confute, or prove them wrong. 3 For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear,1 Footnote: 1Isa. 30:10, Jer. 5:31, Rom. 16:18. 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. 5 But you be sober in all matters, suffer hardships, do the work of an evangelist, accomplish your service completely.
What Paul is telling Timothy here is so true, so unbelievably true. We are to PROCLAIM the Word, To be URGENT about it. URGENT both in season and out of season. We are to reprove which comes from G1651 ???????? elegcho? el-eng’-kho
Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.
We are to rebuke those teachings that are false and using the scriptures do so convincingly.
We are to shout out the warnings for not keeping the Torah to those who will listen. And we are to appeal to those who resist the teachings of the Torah by showing them the scriptures which correct the wrong teachings Pastors and Priests have been teaching the people.
And when I do it, and when you do it too, we are called arrogant and rude for pointing out those things that they practice that are wrong.
Indeed now today you have whole teachings and groups who follow the myths of the suns spots and of mysterious planets that are to strike the earth. They conjure up conspiracy teachings about every conceivable thing and every political leader, looking at every cloud and calling it a chem. trail, not giving ear to sound doctrine but running flat out after myths and looking for those teachers who teach these things and not the Torah which is exactly what their perverted heart desires. They do not want the truth, but love the mysterious gossip of intrigue. They shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.
Now read what Peter has to say;
2Pe 2:1 But there also came to be false prophets1 among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, and deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Footnote: 1See Mt. 7:15-23 v. 7-8, and again v. 21. 2 And many shall follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, 3 and in greed, with fabricated words, they shall use you for gain. From of old their judgment does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber.
You can see so many televangelists who do this very thing; destructive heresies, denying the Torah and especially the Sabbath and Holy Days. I think of the many mega churches throughout the USA who have their own private jets and stay in the most expensive places; the Benny Hinns of this world.
2Pe 2:4 For if Elohim did not spare the messengers who sinned, but sent them to Tartaros, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be kept for judgment, 5 and did not spare the world of old, but preserved Noah?, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others, bringing in the flood on the world of the wicked, 6 and having reduced to ashes the cities of Sed?om and Amorah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly, 7 and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behaviour of the lawless1 Footnote: 1The Greek word here, and in 3:17, is athesmos (not the usual one, anomos) but it also means “lawless.” 8 (for day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous being by seeing and hearing their lawless works),
Here once again we are confronted with the question ‘What then is righteousness and how do I attain it?’ The answer is found in Psa 119:171 My lips pour forth praise, For You teach me Your laws. 172 My tongue sings of Your word, For all Your commands are righteousness.
So by keeping the commandments, by keeping the Sabbaths, Plural as found in Lev 23 and by keeping the Sabbatical years as told to us in Lev 25, by keeping the laws, we will be considered righteous. The things Abraham did were counted as righteousness and yet he still lied on at least two occasions.
But we are warned in Ezekiel that if we do not have the righteousness of Noah Job and Daniel we and our children will perish. This is extremely important that we work with our faith towards being righteous. The curses found in Ezekiel 14 are the exact same ones we are warned about in Lev 26 for not keeping the Sabbatical years. Compare them.
Eze 14:12 And the word of ???? came again to me, saying, 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me to commit a trespass, and I shall stretch out My hand against it, and cut off its supply of bread and send scarcity of food on it, and cut off man and beast from it, 14 even though these three men, Noah?, Dani’?l, and Iyob?, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” declares the Master ????. 15 “If I cause an evil beast to pass through the land, and it shall bereave it, and it shall be a wasteland, so that no man passes through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” declares the Master ????, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land be a wasteland. 17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and I shall say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I shall cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Master ????, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, for they alone would be delivered. 19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and I shall pour out My wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah?, Dani’?l, and Iyob? were in it, as I live,” declares the Master ????, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver their own lives by their righteousness.” 21 For thus said the Master ????, “How much more it shall be when I send My four evil judgments on Yerushalayim: the sword and scarcity of food and evil beasts and pestilence, to cut off man and beast from it? 22 “But see, there shall be left in it a remnant who are brought out, both sons and daughters. See, they are coming out to you, and you shall see their ways and their deeds, and shall be comforted concerning the evil which I have brought upon Yerushalayim – all that I have brought upon it. 23 “And they shall comfort you, when you see their ways and their deeds. And you shall know that it was not for naught that I have done whatever I did in it,” declares the Master ????.
Returning to Peter we read;
2Pe 2:9 then ???? knows how to rescue the reverent ones from trial and to keep the unrighteous unto the day of judgment, to be punished, 10 and most of all those walking after the flesh in filthy lust and despising authority – bold, headstrong, speaking evil of esteemed ones, (Far too many of you speak evil of your very own leaders as we warned against doing last week)11 whereas messengers who are greater in strength and power do not bring a slanderous accusation against them before the Master. 12 But these, like natural unreasoning beasts, having been born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheme that which they do not know, shall be destroyed in their destruction, 13 being about to receive the wages of unrighteousness, deeming indulgence in the day of pleasure, spots and blemishes, revelling in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes filled with an adulteress, and unable to cease from sin, enticing unstable beings, having a heart trained in greed, children of a curse,
Gay Pride has swept many of the major cites of the world. Toronto Canada just had a huge parade, one of the biggest in the world. Our Mayor would not join in any of the festivities and the homosexuals gave him a very hard time trying to coerce, intimidate, shame and bully him into joining there parade to give it some sort of justification but he did not. Indeed New York just approved gay marriage and even Jerusalem now has a gay pride parade each year. It is even against the law to speak out against such things here in Canada and it is called a hate crime if you do.
2Pe 2:15 having left the right way they went astray, having followed the way of Bil?am the son of Be?or, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16 but he was rebuked for his transgression: a dumb donkey speaking with the voice of a man restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are fountains without water, clouds driven by a storm, to whom the blackest darkness is kept forever. 18 For speaking arrogant nonsense, they entice – through the lusts of the flesh, through indecencies – the ones who have indeed escaped from those living in delusion, 19 promising them freedom, though themselves being slaves of corruption – for one is a slave to whatever overcomes him. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Master and Saviour ????? Messiah, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the set-apart command1 delivered unto them. Footnote: 1The singular “command” often means “commands” – see 1 Tim. 6:14, Dt. 17:20, Ps. 19:8. 22 For them the proverb has proved true, “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “A washed sow returns to her rolling in the mud.”
We have today many Shepherds who teach the sheep that being unrighteous is OK. That being a sinner is OK. Come as you are and do not change, they say. We love you just as you are. In order to justify the gay cause they promote gay clergy and gay pastors. And these Shepherds do not keep Torah nor even know the simplest of understandings let alone the deeper ones. Their minds think they are good, but the scriptures shows them they are not so they do away with the scriptures and tell nice little antidotes and stories that pull on the heart strings but never teach the truth of Torah.
OK so we have now only covered the first two verses of Ezekiel 34 and it only took 19 pages to get this far. Let’s carry on;
Eze 34:3 “You eat the fat and you put on the wool. You slaughter the fatlings – you do not feed the flock. 4 “You have not strengthened the weak, nor have you healed the sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back the straying, nor sought what was lost; but you have ruled them with might and harshness.
So many people say to me how starved they are for the Truth of Torah and how little they are learning at their own church.
These same groups collect the tithes and offerings and preach on this subject repeatedly eating the fat and taking the wool, but none of them heal the sick or help those who are hurting. Nor do they go after those who have left and help them to overcome those things that lead them away. But they do have a heavy hand for judgment until they themselves are judged and found wanting. Only then do they teach mercy and forgiveness.
Eze 34:5 “And they were scattered because there was no shepherd. And they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill. And My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
You have heard of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. In 723 they went into captivity and later liberated but no one brought them back to the Land. No one came looking for them over the next 2700 years to tell them the truths of the scriptures and they ended up in every conceivable religion and pagan teaching that could be imagined. Only Yehshua came to the lost House of Israel and it was to them He sent His apostles. No one else has gone looking for them. But now in these last days they are hearing His voice and answering the call to come home.
Now because of this, because these shepherds did not feed the sheep the truth, but took advantage of them and did not care for them, now these shepherds are about to be told what they will get.
Eze 34:7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of ????: 8 “As I live,” declares the Master ????, “because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, from not having a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock,” 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of ????! 10 ‘Thus said the Master ????, “See, I am against the shepherds, and shall require My flock at their hand, and shall make them cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more. And I shall deliver My flock from their mouths, and they shall no longer be food for them.”
Yehovah is going to remove His sheep from these evil shepherds. Note it well, it is the evil shepherds that Yehovah is speaking to and not all shepherds in general. Although all shepherds ought to pay close attention here.
Eze 34:11 ‘For thus said the Master ????, “See, I Myself shall search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so I shall seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered in a day of cloud and thick darkness.
Each of us was not looking for the truth when it hit us over the head. Yehovah moved in such a way that He caught our
attention. No man calls you. No man gets the credit for your awakening as some try to count the numbers they bring to Christ. No it is Yehovah that called each and every one of you in many different ways. Those not called argue and fight against those Yehovah set up to sound the warning and to plant the seeds. They are not calling, but Yehovah is.
Mat 24:37 “And as the days of Noah?, so also shall the coming of the Son of Ad?am be. 38 “For as they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah? entered into the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also shall the coming of the Son of Ad?am be. 40 “Then two shall be in the field, the one is taken and the one is left. 41 “Two shall be grinding at the mill, one is taken and one is left.42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.
Take note of the word taken and left.
The word taken is G3880 ???????????? paralambano? par-al-am-ban’-o
From G3844 and G2983; to receive near, that is, associate with oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by analogy to assume an office; figuratively to learn: – receive, take (unto, with).
The word left is G863 ???????? aphie?mi af-ee’-ay-mee
From G575 and ?????? hie?mi (to send; an intensive form of ?????? eimi (to go)); to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.
Joh 15:12 “This is My command, that you love one another, as I have loved you.1 Footnote: 1See 13:34, 15:17. 13 “No one has greater love than this: that one should lay down his life for his friends. 14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you. 17 “These words I command you, so that you love one another.1 Footnote: 1See 13:34, 15:12. 18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, for that reason the world hates you. 20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they shall persecute you too. If they have guarded My Word, they would guard yours too. 21 “But all this they shall do to you because of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.23 “He who hates Me hates My Father as well.
Joh 6:43 Then ????? answered and said to them, “Do not grumble with one another. 44 “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I shall raise him up in the last day.45 “It has been written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by ????.’ Everyone, then, who has heard from the Father, and learned, comes to Me.
Joh 6:60 Therefore many of His taught ones having heard, said, “This word is hard, who is able to hear it?” 61 But ????? knowing within Himself that His taught ones were grumbling about this, said to them, “Does this make you stumble? 62 “What if you see the Son of Ad?am going up where He was before? 63 “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh does not profit at all. The words that I speak to you are Spirit and are life.1 Footnote: 1See v. 68, and 1 Cor. 15:45. Word and Spirit are in unity. 64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For ????? knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would deliver Him up. 65 And He said, “Because of this I have said to you that no one is able to come to Me unless it has been given to him by My Father.” 66 From then on many of His taught ones withdrew and were not walking with Him any more.
It is Yehovah who will look for the sheep all around the world to where they have been scattered. It is He who calls you and it is up to you whether or not you will answer that calling. But it is Yehovah that is the one looking for those lost sheep. And not one will be lost, not one grain of seed will be lost as we are told in Amos.
The sheep hear the teaching of those who are sharing His truths. This is how they hear His voice. Through the written word of Torah and they search for it but do not hear it until someone brings it into their hearing. Like some of you have said about what you have learned at this web site. You have heard good teachings by men sent from Yehovah, you check the scriptures to see if they are true and you learn more from them. It is Yehovah speaking to you through men that He has instructed.
Amo 9:8 “Look, the eyes of the Master ???? are on the sinful reign1, and I shall destroy it from the face of the earth, except that, I do not completely destroy the house of Ya?aqob?,” declares ????. Footnote: 1Isa. 34:2, Jer. 30:11, Jer. 46:28, Dan. 2:44, Zeph. 3:8, Hag. 2:22, Lk. 4:5-6. 9 “For look, I am commanding, and I shall sift the house of Yisra’?l among all the gentiles, as one sifts1 with a sieve, yet not a grain falls to the ground. Footnote: 1Or Shake – shakes. 10 “All the sinners of My people are going to die by the sword, those who are saying, ‘Evil does not overtake us nor meet us.’ 11 “In that day I shall raise up the booth of Dawid? which has fallen down. And I shall repair its breaches and raise up its ruins. And I shall build it as in the days of old, 12 so that they possess the remnant of Ed?om1, and all the gentiles on whom My Name is called2,” declares ???? who does this. Footnotes: 1The vowels which the Massoretes added later on makes this read Ed?om, but it was probably a mistake. It should be Ad?am, meaning mankind. 2Acts 15:16-17. 13 “Look, the days are coming,” declares ????, “that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed. And the mountains shall drip new wine, and all the hills melt. 14 “And I shall turn back the captivity of My people Yisra’?l. And they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them. And they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them, and shall make gardens and eat their fruit.15 “And I shall plant them on their own soil, and not uproot them any more from their own soil I have given them,” said ???? your Elohim!
Take special note here, that once Yehovah plants you back in the land, as long as you are keeping Torah, he will not remove you from that land. From your own land. Note this in your mind and think about it.
Eze 34:13 “And I shall bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the lands, and shall bring them to their own land. And I shall feed them on the mountains of Yisra’?l, in the valleys, and in all the dwellings of the land. 14 “In good pasture I shall feed them, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Yisra’?l. They shall lie there in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Yisra’?l. 15 “I shall feed My flock and make them lie down,” declares the Master ????. 16 “I shall seek out the lost and bring back the strayed. And I shall bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick, but the fat and the strong I shall destroy. I shall feed them with right-ruling.”
Right here once again you are told that Yehovah will feed you and take care of you in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. No it says He will do this in Israel; in the Land of Israel. If we are keeping the Sabbath from Sunset to Sunset; if we are keeping the Holy Days of Lev 23 and not adding to them as Judah now does with Chanukah and Purim or as the Christians do with Christmas and Easter, and who also do not keep the Sabbath or Holy Days; if we would only keep the Sabbatical years which the earth mourns for us the sons of righteousness to keep, then Yehovah will bless us and there will not be enough room for all the blessings. And this is also our challenge to you about supporting our efforts with you gifts for the next year.
How many Shepherds tell you these things about the Holy Days and Sabbatical years let alone the Sabbath? How many are willing to send you back your donations with no questions asked?
Eze 34:17 ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus said the Master ????, “See, I am judging between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. 18 “Is it not enough for you to have eaten up the good pasture, and the rest of your pasture you trample with your feet. Or that you should drink of the clear waters, and the rest you muddy with your feet? 19 “And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have muddied with your feet.” 20 ‘Therefore thus said the Master ???? to them, “See, I Myself shall judge between fat and lean sheep. 21 “Because you have pushed with flank and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad, 22 therefore I shall save My flock, and let them no longer be a prey. And I shall judge between sheep and sheep.
All too often the stronger oppress the weaker—the “fat” sheep take advantage of the “lean sheep”
Eze 34:23 “And I shall raise up over them one shepherd, My servant Dawid?, and he shall feed them. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 “And I, ????, shall be their Elohim, and My servant Dawid? a prince in their midst. I, ????, have spoken. 25 “And I shall make a covenant of peace with them, and make evil beasts cease from the land. And they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. 26 “And I shall make them and the places all around My hill a blessing, and shall cause showers to come down in their season – showers of blessing they are. 27 “And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit and the earth yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land. And they shall know that I am ????, when I have broken the bars of their yoke. And I shall deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them, 28 and they shall no longer be a prey for the gentiles, and the beast of the earth shall not devour them. And they shall dwell safely, with no one to make them afraid. 29 “And I shall raise up for them a planting place of name, and they shall no longer be consumed by hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the gentiles any more. 30 “And they shall know that I, ???? their Elohim, am with them, and that they, the house of Yisra’?l, are My people,” declares the Master ????.’ ” 31 “And you, My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your Elohim,” declares the Master ????.’ “
In verse 29 is peculiar phrase;
And I shall raise up for them a planting place of name
And I will raise upH6965 for them a plantH4302 of renown,H8034
H4302 ???? mat?t?a?? mat-taw’
From H5193; something planted, that is, the place (a garden or vineyard), or the thing (a plant, figuratively of men); by implication the act, planting: – plant (-ation, -ing).
H8034 ??? she?m shame
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: – + base, [in-] fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report.
This verse ties back into verse 26 And I shall make them and the places all around My hill a blessing,
The Hill being spoken of is the Temple mount in the City of David. The Planting place is the planting of men around that Temple Mount and even the word ‘name’ gives us a clue as to what is being spoken of. Shem means name and Shem the son of Noah was the ruler of The City of Peace, Jeru Salem. We read of him in Genesis as Melchezedek. It was Shem who went after Nimrod, captured him and in a court case over 10 years won and had him executed and sent his body parts to all the other city states as a warning of his apostasy.
Shem ruled from Jerusalem which later became known as Jebus and then the City of David.
Now let’s once again look at the question which began this study in the first place.
‘The reason I bring this up is that this chapter seems to be telling us that HE and ONLY HE will gather us up to bring us to the land of Israel when it is time to go . I do not see that he says that WE must bring ourselves there to be ready to receive him. Please comment on this for me as I am somewhat confused in this matter.’
The first part of his question is whether or not Yehovah is going to use people to do His will.
The answer is yes categorically Yehovah uses real people to do His bidding. People just like you and me; Some to do the actual work and others to encourage them and support them in these efforts. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Actually He only organised the work, may labours actually did the work.
Let’s just take a look at Isa 21:1 The burden of the wilderness of the sea. `Like hurricanes in the south for passing through, From the wilderness it hath come, From a fearful land. 2 A hard vision hath been declared to me, The treacherous dealer is dealing treacherously, And the destroyer is destroying. Go up, O Elam, besiege, O Media, All its sighing I have caused to cease. 3 Therefore filled have been my loins with great pain, Pangs have seized me as pangs of a travailing woman, I have been bent down by hearing, I have been troubled by seeing. 4 Wandered hath my heart, trembling hath terrified me, The twilight of my desire He hath made a fear to me, 5 Arrange the table, watch in the watch-tower, Eat, drink, rise, ye heads, anoint the shield, 6 For thus said the Lord unto me: `Go, station the watchman, That which he seeth let him declare.’ 7 And he hath seen a chariot–a couple of horsemen, The rider of an ass, the rider of a camel, And he hath given attention–He hath increased attention! 8 And he crieth–a lion, `On a watch-tower my lord, I am standing continually by day, And on my ward I am stationed whole nights. 9 And lo, this, the chariot of a man is coming, A couple of horsemen.’ And he answereth and saith: `Fallen, fallen hath Babylon, And all the graven images of her gods He hath broken to the earth.10 O my threshing, and the son of my floor, That which I heard from Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel, I have declared to you!’
Yehovah has commanded Elam and Media to go up and then we get news from the watchmen that Babylon is fallen.
Again in Isaiah we read how it will be Media that destroys Babylon.
Isa 13:1 The message concerning Bab?el which Yeshayahu son of Amots saw. 2 “Lift up a banner on the high mountain, raise your voice to them; wave your hand, let them enter the gates of the nobles. 3 “I have commanded My set-apart ones; I have also called My mighty men for My displeasure, My proudly exulting ones.” 4 The noise of an uproar in the mountains, like that of many people! A noise of uproar of the reigns of gentiles gathered together! ???? of hosts is gathering an army for battle. 5 They are coming from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, even ???? and His weapons of displeasure, to destroy all the earth.
6 Howl, for the day of ???? is near! It comes as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore all hands go limp, every man’s heart melts, 8 and they shall be afraid. Pangs and sorrows take hold of them, they are in pain as a woman in labour; they are amazed at one another, their faces aflame! 9 See, the day of ???? is coming, fierce, with wrath and heat of displeasure, to lay the earth waste, and destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations do not give off their light. The sun shall be dark at its rising, and the moon not send out its light. 11 “And I shall punish the world for its evil, and the wrong for their crookedness, and shall put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and lay low the pride of the ruthless. 12 “I shall make mortal man scarcer than fine gold, and mankind scarcer than the gold of Ophir. 13 “So I shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth shall shake from her place, in the wrath of ???? of hosts and in the day of the heat of His displeasure. 14 “And it shall be as the hunted gazelle, and as a sheep that no man takes up – every man turns to his own people, and everyone flees to his own land. 15 “Whoever is found is thrust through, and everyone taken falls by the sword. 16 “And their children are dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses plundered and their wives ravished.
17 “See, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who do not regard silver, and as for gold, they do not delight in it.
18 “And bows dash the young to pieces, and they have no compassion on the fruit of the womb, their eye spare no children. 19 “And Bab?el, the splendour of reigns, the comeliness of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when Elohim overthrew Sed?om and Amorah. 20 “She shall never be inhabited, nor be settled from generation to generation; nor shall the Arab?ian pitch tents there, nor shepherds rest their flocks there. 21 “But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be filled with owls. And ostriches shall dwell there, and wild goats frolic there.22 “And hyenas shall cry in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant palaces. And her time is near to come, and her days are not drawn out.”
The Medes are today known as Iran, and this is why I keep saying that they will develop and use the Nuclear missiles they now have on Rome. The word bow here is what launches the arrows or in this case the missiles.
Yet throughout the scriptures we read and in revelation we read how Yehovah is going to destroy Babylon. Well He does this by using men to do His will.
We could list many other instances where Yehovah did great things through the deeds of mere men. Moses crossing the Red Sea, David killing of Goliath, The Miracles of D-Day and crossing the English Channel, in a fog to conceal the surprise attack, the Miracle of Johnathan climbing up the back side of mountain to surprise and defeat the Philistine army. And you can no doubt think of many other good examples.
Yehovah uses people to do His will.
Even in Ezekiel we are told how Yehovah sends certain ones to tell the people what to do.
Eze 3:1 And He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find, eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Yisra’?l.” 2 And I opened my mouth, and He fed me the scroll. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I am giving you.” And I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth1. Footnote: 1Ps. 19:10, Ps. 119:103, Rev. 10:9-10. 4 And He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Yisra’?l, and you shall speak to them with My words. 5 “For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and of difficult language, but to the house of Yisra’?l, 6 not to many people of foreign speech and of difficult language, whose words you do not understand. If I had rather sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 “But the house of Yisra’?l is going to refuse to listen to you, for they refuse to listen to Me. For all the house of Yisra’?l are hard of head, and hard of heart. 8 “See, I shall make your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. 9 “Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I shall make your forehead. Do not be afraid of them, nor be discouraged at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” 10 And He said to me, “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 “And go! Come to the exiles, to the children of your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master ????,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
Eze 3:16 And it came to be at the end of seven days that the word of ???? came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Yisra’?l. And you shall hear a word from My mouth, and shall warn them from Me. 18 “When I say to the wrong1, ‘You shall certainly die,’ and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. Footnote: 1This passage is almost the same as in 18:20-32 and 33:8-20. 19 “But if you have warned the wrong and he does not turn from his wrong, nor from his wrong way, he shall die in his crookedness, and you have delivered your being. 20 “And when a righteous one turns from his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, when I have put a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you did not warn him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done is not remembered, and his blood I require at your hand. 21 “But if you have warned the righteous one that the righteous should not sin, and he did not sin, he shall certainly live because he has been warned, and you have delivered your being.”
When Ezekiel first began no one knew who he was. How could they? Yet Yehovah made Him a watchman to the House of Israel, again working with a man.
Now as to the second part of his question I believe I have, sorry actually Yehovah has answered that part above in Ezekiel 34:13. Go back and read this section again.
Now you can see how just one question can create a great study. I do hope this helps to answer Glens questions and explain why I am doing those things I see in scriptures that we are to do. I also hope this answer helps many others to join us in these efforts.
We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies which you can follow at
Ex 23 Isaiah 30-33 Psalm 139 John 11
Exo 23:1 “Do not bring a false report. Do not put your hand with the wrong to be a malicious witness.
Many of you continue to spread about gossip and support false witnesses in the conspiracy teachings you are promoting. You were not there and did not see it firsthand. Especially all those supposedly secret meetings in back rooms.
Read this command before you press forward on the next conspiracy theory.
I also want to point out that here in exodus we have the first mentioning of the Sabbatical years and they are compared to the weekly Sabbath.
Exo 23:10 “And for six years you are to sow your land, and shall gather its increase, 11 but the seventh year you are to let it rest, and shall leave it, and the poor of your people shall eat. And what they leave, the beasts of the field eat. Do the same with your vineyard and your oliveyard. 12 “Six days you are to do your work, and on the seventh day you rest, in order that your ox and your donkey might rest, and the son of your female servant and the sojourner be refreshed.
I have talked a lot in this News letter about obeying the commandments, in particular the Sabbath and Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Sabbatical years of Lev 25.
As we read this chapter of Exodus 23 we see the command to destroy all pagan worship items. And when we do this Yehovah says;
Exo 23:25 “And you shall serve ???? your Elohim, and He shall bless your bread and your water. And I shall remove sickness from your midst. 26 “None shall miscarry or be barren in your land. I shall fill the number of your days.
We also read here that Israel was not to make a covenant with those in the land. Yet this is what they did by deception with the Gibionites.
Exo 23:32 “Do not make a covenant with them nor with their mighty ones.
Yet this is what Joshua did in Joshua 9.
Because of the threats against them from the Assyrian Empire to the north, Israel and Judah sought help from the empire to the south—Egypt. Hoshea of Israel had sought help from So, king of Egypt (2 Kings 17:4)—to no avail. Judah apparently did so during Hezekiah’s reign, as described by the Assyrian general who attacked Jerusalem (Isaiah 36:6). And they did not seek God’s counsel in the matter.
Isaiah is told to write the message from God on a scroll—”that it may be for time to come, forever and ever” (verse 8). Yes, it was a message for Isaiah’s day. But it is one for our day too—the very reason we are reading it right now! The people didn’t want to hear God’s commandments (verse 9). They didn’t want to hear any warning message (verse 10). In fact, they demanded that their religious leaders tell them only the things they wanted to hear.
It is the same today. People do not like correction and rebuke, as needful as they are: “It’s dangerous for a patient to ask [his or] her doctor only for good news. Once a serious illness is diagnosed it can be treated. If that same illness is simply denied, it is likely to kill. It’s the same with God’s words through the prophets. Their warnings may not be pleasant. But only if we listen and take them to heart is there hope” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verse 10).
Despite the rebellion of the people, God will at last humble them and bring them to repentance—offering them salvation at the return of Jesus Christ. And they will at last flourish.
In Isaiah 11:9, God said of the millennial rule of Jesus Christ, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” And now we get a glimpse of how this will be ensured. God says: “Your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (29:20-21).
What this is saying is that godly teachers will no longer be persecuted and driven into a corner—out of sight and ignored. Instead, people will generally welcome God’s guidance. Moreover, it is stated that when people start to veer out of line from God’s law, a voice will remind them of what they should do. (We will consider what this means in a moment.) The voices will be those of their teachers, whom they will at times actually see. And amazingly, the teachers, the priesthood of that time, will be the glorified followers of Jesus Christ from this age—at last made perfect to rule with Him over all nations.
Now, what are we to make of this instructive intervention? It clearly does not refer simply to general instruction. A word “behind” someone implies that he is caught in some action. So does that mean people will be completely prevented from sinning every time they start to entertain a wrong thought? That just does not make any sense. People will still have to choose the right way and then exercise the character to do right and think right continually, for they must develop holy righteous character through this process. It is most likely that people will be allowed to make mistakes in order to learn from them—perhaps even commit crimes like lying and stealing. Where there are flesh-and-blood human beings, there are a host of problems. And no doubt, there will be even then.
Yet imagine if a person were about to commit a serious violent crime against another person—rape or murder for instance. Surely the incidence of such attempts would be diminished through general righteous instruction. But that alone would not utterly eliminate impulsive actions. God, however, says that people will not be allowed to hurt or destroy in all of His Kingdom. The answer? They will hear a word behind them—to mercifully guide them into right thinking if they will be so led. And if not, they will be restrained and perhaps punished. God’s saints, the “policemen” of the world to come, will not allow people to afflict terrible atrocities on one another. Such evil is allowed today because this is not God’s world. The Kingdom age is a different story—for then it will be God’s world.
We can perhaps also envision people who go through a period of drifting from God and His ways. Eventually, such people may need to be directly confronted by their teachers. The fact is that we don’t really know how often such intervention will be required. It will probably be reserved for drastic situations rather than as a matter of course. On the other hand, people seeing their glorified teachers and receiving general instruction from them will likely be more commonplace.
If you commit to God now and remain faithful to Him, yours will be one of the voices providing guidance and direction to human beings in that amazing time to come.
Finally, God states that He will be the One to destroy the Assyrians, not Egypt (verse 31). This is apparently part of the prophecy of end-time events, of which the destruction of Sennacherib’s army in Isaiah’s day was a forerunner. Notice the reference to Tophet in verse 33. “Tophet, located south of Jerusalem, was the place where the valleys of Hinnom and Kidron met. It was probably a deep, wide pit containing a bonfire of blazing wood, where children had at times been burned to death as offerings to pagan deities (2 Kin. 23:10; Jer. 7:32, 32; 19:6, 11-14). The area has filled in significantly through the centuries” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Isaiah 30:33).
It is interesting to note that God says Tophet was prepared for the ruler of Assyria—here a reference to the end-time European dictator known as “the Beast” in Revelation. God said in Joel 3 that the destruction on His enemies at the end would occur in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is often identified with the Kidron Valley (see highlights on Joel 3). And Jesus used Gehenna (Gai Hinnom—the “Valley of Hinnom” outside Jerusalem where trash was burned) to represent the coming “lake of fire,” which, according to the book of Revelation, will burn up the wicked. In Revelation 19:20, we learn that the Beast and his accomplice the False Prophet will be cast into the “lake of fire,” which appears to be a reference to this place of Tophet, where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet. Christ will evidently ignite Hinnom (Isaiah 30:33) and will perhaps keep it burning throughout the Millennium, since Satan (the ultimate ruler of Assyria) is cast into the lake of fire where the Beast and False Prophet were cast—and he is cast there at the end of the thousand years (Revelation 20:10). Thus it is a fire in the same place if not the very same fire. This fire will eventually engulf and purify the entire earth, burning up all the incorrigibly wicked (compare verses 13-15; 21:8; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Malachi 4:1, 3).
Chapter 31 restates much of the theme of chapter 30: The people were looking to Egypt for help instead of looking to God. And ultimately Assyria would fall, but not because of Egypt. This was true of the destruction that came upon Sennacherib’s army in Isaiah’s day. And it will also be true of what happens at the return of Jesus Christ—when He destroys the armies of the nations, including Assyria, that come against Him.
Indeed, this is all primarily an end-time prophecy, since chapter 32 carries right on from God’s victory. The king who would reign in righteousness was not a reference to Hezekiah, who already sat on the throne of Judah. Rather, this speaks of the reign of the Messiah. Verses 5-8 describe how, under His righteous rule, there will be no more labeling of right as wrong and wrong as right. Everything will be seen for what it truly is. Evil will be decried and judged, and good will at last be exalted.
Verse 10 says, “In a year and some days…” The King James Version has “many days and years.” The literal wording is “days upon a year” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 10). If it really does mean a year and some days, this was perhaps a reference by Isaiah to the coming destruction of Sennacherib in 701 B.C. The women and daughters of verses 9-11 are possibly understood to mean “the cities and villages of Judea” (note on verses 9-20). Many of them will be ravaged and destroyed. Jerusalem will not be: “Not Jerusalem itself, but other cities destroyed by Sennacherib in his march… However, the prophecy, in its full accomplishment, refers to the utter desolation of Judea and its capital [Jerusalem] by Rome [soon after Christ’s first coming], and subsequently [by the end-time resurrection of Rome—the final Assyria and Babylon], previous to the second coming of the King (Ps. 118:26; Luke 13:35; 19:38); ‘the joyous city’ is in this view, Jerusalem” (note on verse 13).
But the days of trouble will not last forever. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles, Peter cited the book of Joel to explain what was occurring (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32). Of course, prophecies of God pouring out His Spirit were not limited to Joel. Isaiah 32:15, for instance, also describes this outpouring—though, as with Joel, its ultimate fulfillment is yet to occur, when God’s Spirit is available to all mankind (see also Isaiah 44:3; Proverbs 1:23; Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:10).
It is this outpouring of God’s Spirit, in concert with the direct rule of Jesus Christ, that will at last bring peace to the world. For God’s Spirit (Isaiah 32:15) enables righteousness (verse 16)—the keeping of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:172). And the keeping of God’s commandments results in peace (Isaiah 32:17)—which Jesus Himself will maintain throughout His rule (verse 18).
This “woe differs from the others in that it is addressed to Assyria, not to Judah [that is, it starts out that way]. By focusing exclusively on Assyria’s defeat and Judah’s salvation, the prophecy magnifies Judah’s exalted King (vv. 3, 5, 10). This woe oracle consists of an introduction of the main themes of the oracle (vv. 1-6); an emphasis on Judah’s need for salvation and the LORD’s provision of that need (vv. 7-13), and its spiritual impact on sinners (vv. 14-16); and a conclusion showing the majestic King in His beauty (vv. 17-24)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on chap. 33).
In verse 7, we see how the hopes of the ambassadors for peace have been dashed. How often this has been true—particularly of Jerusalem. This ancient city’s name means “Possession of Peace.” But of all the war-wracked and violent places on the earth, Jerusalem has been one of the worst. Thankfully, God will at last intervene for His people. He will defeat the enemies of peace and establish it permanently. Jesus will reign in Jerusalem—a “quiet home.” It will at long last live up to its name and truly be the city of peace.
Incidentally, many believe that America’s Founding Fathers considered verse 22 as part of their justification for establishing three separate branches of government in the United States—the judicial, legislative and executive branches.
In Psalm 139 David acknowledges, in great wonder and awe, God’s omniscient care in guiding his life and expresses his solidarity with God against the wicked.
God has searched within David and his life and knows everything there is to know about him. He carefully investigates each facet of David’s life to discern all his actions-from when he gets up in the morning to when he goes to bed at night (verses 1-2a). God is thus familiar with all David’s patterns, habits, preferences and ways of doing things. Moreover, God looks penetratingly into David’s heart to discern his inner motives and secret thoughts (verse 2b). In fact, God knows David so well that He anticipates his words before they are spoken (verse 4). God has an exhaustive knowledge of David-just as He has of us (see Hebrews 4:13).
The beginning of Psalm 139:3 is variously translated: “Thou compassest [i.e., encompass] my path” (KJV); “You comprehend my path” (NKJV); “You discern my going out” (NIV); “You search out my path” (NRSV); “You sift my path” (J.P. Green’s Literal Translation). The latter is probably the correct sense (Strong’s No. 2219). The Expositor’s Bible Commentary renders the phrase as “You have winnowed me” (note on verses 1-6). The idea is apparently that God sifts all our actions, “putting them through a sieve, as it were, so as to discover every detail about them, what has motivated them, what effect they have upon me and upon others, in fact, everything conceivable about them” (George Knight, Psalms, Vol. 2, The Daily Study Bible Series, comments on verses 1-6 ).
Yet the purpose of God’s intimate knowledge of His servants is not to play “gotcha” and condemn us. Rather, as verse 5 makes plain, God’s intention is to protect and guard us-to keep and hold onto us, to steady and guide us, as the objects of His care. God’s all-knowing understanding and concern is just too mind-boggling for David to take in (verse 6).
In verses 7-12, David remarks on the fact that there is nowhere he can go to be out from under God’s watchful oversight-for God is everywhere (omnipresent) through His infinite Spirit (see verse 7). There is no way to be concealed from Him. He can see and reach everywhere, all the time, day and night, light or dark. For some this might seem a negative thing-that is, there is no escape! But David clearly did not mean it that way, for he says that no matter where he is, God will lead him and uphold him (verse 10). He is greatly encouraged by the fact that God is all-seeing and all-knowing. Incidentally, the word “hell” in verse 8 is translated from the Hebrew sheol, meaning pit or grave, thus explaining David’s statement about making his “bed” there (i.e., his deathbed). So nothing, not even the grave, will separate us from God’s caring oversight of our lives-for His intervening hand will lead us even from death (compare Romans 8:35-39).
In verses 13-16 of Psalm 139, David reflects on the fact that God’s care in his life was there from its very beginning, acknowledging God’s oversight in his conception and prenatal development. Where the NKJV says that God “covered” David in his mother’s womb (verse 13), other translations render this “knit me together” (NIV) or “wove me.” The Hebrew here literally means entwined, implying weaving but perhaps the weaving of a fence or cover of protection (Strong’s No. 5526). In any case, David praises the miracle of life and birth of which he is the product (verses 14-15).
In this he remarks that God saw him “made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth” (verse 15). The location here is not meant literally, but is rather a metaphor for a dark, mysterious, unsearchable and unfathomable place. Such is God’s workshop in the cells of the human embryo within the womb! The unformed “substance” in the next verse is a reference to the embryo.
In the latter part of verse 16 David says that all the days prepared for him were written in God’s book before these days
commenced. What does this mean? Some would use this verse to argue that every day of David’s life was completely mapped out in advance-and to argue that the same applies to us. This, however, violates the principle of free will and choice-which we find repeatedly in Scripture (compare Deuteronomy 30:19). Furthermore, “all…the days” does not have to mean each and every day but could mean the days taken as a whole-a lifetime. Based on this, others might argue that the verse means merely that David’s lifespan was generally predetermined from his genetics since conception. While possible, is seems likely that more is intended.
Commentaries typically maintain that David used the metaphor of a book to portray God’s exquisitely detailed plans for each person-plans He has in mind before a person’s birth. Elements of David’s life, at least in a general sense (particularly his reign over Israel), seems to have been plotted out by God ahead of time (while still allowing David free will as to whether to serve God or reject Him). And this plan may have been written in an actual spiritual record, rather than this signifying a mere metaphor. David in another psalm remarked that his tears were written in God’s book (Psalm 56:8), which seems to be the same as the book of remembrance for those who fear God in Malachi 3:16. This may or may not be synonymous with another book David mentions, the book of the living (69:28), apparently equivalent to the Book of Life, God’s heavenly registry of the righteous (see Exodus 32:32-33; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15, 17; 22:19). David’s reference in Psalm 139 could also be to the “Scripture of Truth,” the Bible of heaven as it were, wherein a lengthy prophecy of the future was already inscribed before it was given to Daniel to write down in his own book as God’s written revelation to us (see Daniel 10:21).
The theme of one’s purpose in life is a key topic in the Bible. Note what God announced to the Jewish nation in exile: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Indeed, David remarks in the next verse of Psalm 139 on how precious and countless are God’s thoughts toward him (verses 17-18).
The end of verse 18 then states, “When I awake, I am still with you.” Perhaps the point is that David is amazed to consider that every day he wakes, he is still in God’s care-returning to the thought at the beginning of the psalm of God observing His “sitting down and…rising up” (verse 2). Yet some suggest that he is speaking in a future tense of his resurrection-remarking in the context of verse 16 that after the passing of his days, he will awake from death and even still be with God.
Enraptured as he is with God’s intimate and all-seeing care in his life-demonstrative of God’s care for all His servants-David still can’t help but think about the wicked who, despite God’s wonderful intentions over which he’s been musing, still cause trouble for him and all of God’s people (as highlighted in the next five psalms). As he closes Psalm 139, David expresses the wish that God would justly deal with this outstanding problem. God has, in fact, already pronounced a death sentence in His law against the bloodthirsty and the blasphemous. David is here supporting the carrying out of that sentence (verses 19-20).
David then unequivocally declares that he hates those who hate God and rebel against Him, loathing them and hating them with a perfect or complete hatred (verses 21-22). Many today are disturbed at such language in light of Jesus Christ’s instruction in the New Testament: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you in and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Indeed, caring for one’s enemy was also an Old Testament directive (compare Exodus 23:4-5; Proverbs 25:21).
But we should consider a number of factors here. First, as in other psalms, the hatred David is speaking of in Psalm 139 should be understood primarily in the sense of rejection and strong aversion. Note his words in verse 19 calling on the bloodthirsty to get away from him. That is, David wants nothing to do with them. He won’t support them or make common cause with them. He will not befriend them or accept their friendship, for he counts them as his enemies (verse 22). This is a second point to emphasize. David’s hatred here does not equate to personally taking vengeance or even mistreatment on a personal level. It equates to counting the wicked as his enemies. He opposes them. If they are God’s enemies, then they are his enemies. That brings us to a third factor to note here. David is not declaring hatred for those who merely bear him personal ill will, but for those who hate and rise up against God. Of course, those who bore David animosity usually did so on the basis of opposition to God and His law-yet it was this rather than personal hurt that was the basis for David’s declared hatred against them. In essence, David was declaring his complete solidarity with God against God’s enemies.
None of this, by the way, precludes following the New Testament instruction to pray for one’s persecutors and to do good to them. Even given the strong words David spoke, he still could and may well have followed what Christ would later explain-as he clearly did in his dealings with Saul. Indeed, we should be careful to not misconstrue Christ’s teaching in this regard. Consider that praying for one’s persecutors obviously does not mean praying for their success in persecution. It primarily means praying for their long-term well-being, realizing that God intends to eventually lead them to repentance. It may include praying that He will lead them to repent soon -at least of their present antagonism and offending behavior. Barring that outcome, praying for enemies could even mean asking God to exercise judgment on them to stop them from their evil and greater guilt. Doing good to persecutors, loving our enemies, does not mean supporting them in their evil plans or making common cause with them. Recall what Jehu the seer said to King Jehoshaphat of Judah for his joint operations with evil King Ahab of Israel : “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you” (2 Chronicles 19:2). As is stated here, we are not to “love” the haters of God in this sense. Rather, we are to oppose them.
David ends with a prayer that God will search his heart and investigate his anxieties to see “if there is any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:24). Some commentators relate his request to his declared abhorrence of God’s enemies-the idea being that he is asking God to search his heart to see if his expressed thoughts are the product of a righteous stand with God or born out of personal concerns. Other commentators understand the verse as a general request that God examine him for any wickedness-that is, having discussed wickedness in others, that God check to see if there is wickedness to be dealt with in him. David deeply desires to be led out of wickedness and, as he says in verse 24, into the way that leads to everlasting life.
As a final note, if the first part of the superscription of this psalm, “To the Chief Musician,” actually belongs to the previous psalm as a postscript, then the same phrase at the beginning of the superscription of the next psalm may actually be the postscript of this psalm.
As I read John I found this verse a bit interesting.
Joh 11:25 ????? said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he dies, he shall live.
How is Yehshua the resurrection?
Rev 1:16 And in His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword,1 and His face was as the sun shining in its strength. Footnote: 1See 2:16, Isa.49:2, Heb. 4:12. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead, and He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last,18 and the living One. And I became dead, and see, I am living forever and ever. Am?n. And I possess the keys of the grave and of death.
Yehshua holds the keys to the resurrection; he holds the keys to the grave and He decides who will live or die and remain dead.
The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection in Yehshua’s day so this answer that Yehshua gave was very shocking to them.
Mat 22:31 “And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by Elohim, saying, 32 ‘I am the Elohim of Ab?raham, and the Elohim of Yitsh?aq, and the Elohim of Ya?aqob?’? Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living.”
Luke says it even better; Even Moses understood that there was a resurrection.
Luk 20:37 “But that the dead are raised, even Mosheh showed at the bush when he called ???? ‘the Elohim of Ab?raham, and the Elohim of Yitsh?aq, and the Elohim of Ya?aqob?.’
But hold on one second, Yehshua said when He was instructing Nicodemus that no one had gone to heaven except the son of man who came down from heaven. What does this mean?
Joh 3:1 And there was a man of the Pharisees, Nak?dimon was his name, a ruler of the Yehud?im. 2 This one came to ????? by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from Elohim, for no one is able to do these signs You do if Elohim is not with him.” 3 ????? answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he is unable to see1 the reign of Elohim.” Footnote: 1Or perceive. 4 Nak?dimon said to Him, “How is a man able to be born when he is old? Is he able to enter into his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” 5 ????? answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he is unable to enter into the reign of Elohim. 6 “That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You have to be born from above.’ 8 “The Spirit1 breathes where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” Footnote: 1Or wind. 9 Nak?dimon answered and said to Him, “How is it possible for this to take place?” 10 ????? answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Yisra’?l, and do not know this? 11 “Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak what We know and witness what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 “If you do not believe when I spoke to you about earthly matters, how are you going to believe when I speak to you about the heavenly matters? 13 “And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Ad?am. 14 “And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Ad?am has to be lifted up, 15 so that whoever is believing in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life. 16 “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only brought-forth Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but possess everlasting life. 17 “For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged, but he who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only brought-forth Son of Elohim.
And yet when we read Revelation we see that there are people in heaven.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones – and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them – and the lives of those who had been beheaded because of the witness they bore to ????? and because of the Word of Elohim, and who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive his mark upon their foreheads or upon their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years 5 (and the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended) – this is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The explanation of all of this is revealed in the Spring Holy Days; particularly the wave Sheaf and wave Loaf offering. To learn more about this most remarkable teaching read:
- Newsletter 5842-018 Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning
As we read John 11 I am reminded of the Article of Joseph of Arimathea which you can also read at:
- Newsletter 5843-046 Joseph of Arimathea
and it is a multi section article. But I wanted to show you what happened to Mary and Martha and Lazarus which is not written in your scriptures.
And I read this article I can see just how it also ties in with those things I have said here above about supporting the farm and the supporting the sending out of Missionaries. Each person you are about to read about did not know if their life was going to be taken at any moment. All hell was breaking out. They had no clue until they arrived and only then did they see the great miracle that had taken place.
AS we look at what is happening to us at this very moment, we do not realize what Yehovah is doing with us. It is only when we look back that see the mighty work He did. The Israelites had no clue who Moses was. They had no idea what was happening as they stood by the Red Sea and saw Pharaoh’s army come through the wadi towards them. It was only when they and we look back that we see how great a miracle took place that day. But up until that moment they were all afraid for their lives. Think on these things as you go forward doing His will and as you read the article I am about to share with you.
http://www.biblesearchers.com/hebrewchurch/primitive/primitive6.shtml Although I am going to copy this page here, I urge you to read it at the site where the pictures and maps are available to you. But for your own edification I urge you to read the article about Joseph of Arimathea first and then this one as it is better this way.
What you are about to read is that Joseph of Arimathea plus
1. Mary Cleopas was present yet Cleopas who was walking with Luke 6-7 years earlier is absent.
2. Mary Salome and Sarah handmaiden
3. Lazarus, who became bishop of Marseilles
4. Mary Magdalene
5. Martha with Marcella her handmaid
6. Maximinus – ‘Rich young Ruler’ became the paranymphos of Mary Magdalene – went to Maximinus, France
7. Trophimus – became the paranymphos of Martha’s – went to Arles, France
8. Clemon – the convert of Barnabus, Clementos Romanus visiting with Peter and Joseph in Caesarea who became the third Bishop of Rome
9. Eutropius, who later went to Orange
10. Sidonius – “Man born blind”, called St. Restitutes, who later went to Aix, France
11. Martian, who later went to Limogenes, France
12. Saturinus, who later went to Toulouse, Toulouse.
Were all placed in a boat with no oars by Shual who would later become The Apostle Paul, and sent out into the Mediterranean Sea to die, but by a great Miracle were brought to Marseilles France where they then made their way to Britain and began to spread the gospel. This all took place about 36 AD. It is a great read and I urge you all to do so.
We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 472-478
We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
(472)Bring the first fruits to the Sanctuary. “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahweh your God.” (Exodus 23:19) Each of the three annual gatherings came at a time of agricultural significance. At the Feast of Firstfruits in the spring, the barley harvest was just beginning. Seven weeks later, the same thing was true of the wheat harvest, celebrated at the Feast of Weeks. And the Feast of Tabernacles (a.k.a. Ingathering) came at the end of the growing season, when the harvests of field, orchard, and vineyard were complete. In arranging things this way, Yahweh was encouraging His people to acknowledge His bountiful provision—both before and after they received it. It’s easy enough to be thankful when the harvest is already in the barn, but God’s precepts emphasize showing gratitude before the crop has come in—Firstfruits. Thankfulness before the fact is evidence of faith.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only crop on God’s mind, of course. People are the fruit of God’s field. Yahshua Himself was the “firstfruits” of the harvest of mankind, proving it by His resurrection on the Feast of Firstfruits and His subsequent ascension to the “house of Yahweh our God” in Heaven. Today, Yahweh is looking for evidence of our faith, manifested in thankfulness for our secure eternal destinies—now, while we’re still growing in the field, rooted in these mortal bodies. We will join our Messiah at the harvest—coming soon to a world near you.
(473)The flesh of a sin-offering and guilt-offering shall be eaten. “Then Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. They shall eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them….” (Exodus 29:32-33) The ordinary sin offering (chata’t) and guilt offering (asham) are not in view here. (We’ll discuss both of these in detail later in this chapter.) Rather, the entire 29th chapter of Exodus describes how the priests, beginning with Aaron and his sons, were to be consecrated, or set-apart, for Yahweh’s service. The chapter begins, “This is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests.” Eating the flesh of a sacrifice is the least of it—it’s like saying the recipe for baking a cake consisted of licking the spatula you used to apply the frosting.
The symbolism is so rich, I could ramble on for pages describing the process in detail, but let’s confine ourselves to the high points. The consecration of the priests involved several elements: “one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil,” (verse 2) as well as clean water, the priestly garments (see Mitzvah 372), special anointing oil (see Mitzvah #436), and the big altar that stood outside the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting. See Mitzvah #471 for the symbolic significance of the various sacrificial items. First the priests were ceremonially washed and clothed, a picture of receiving imputed righteousness. The first thing sacrificed was the bull—specifically called a “sin offering,” and indicative of the forsaking of worldly power and pride and the false beliefs that inevitably spring from them. Next was one of the two rams, said to be a “burnt offering,” indicative of judgment (which is essentially the separation of good from evil, the valuable from the worthless, or the living from the dead). Both the bull and first ram were completely consumed in the flames.
The second ram (the “ram of consecration”) was then slain. A bit of its blood was applied to the priests’ right earlobe, thumb, and big toe, signifying that whatever the priest heard (which would, of course, include what he said), what he did, and where he walked, were all consecrated to Yahweh. The entrails and fatty parts were “waved” before Yahweh and then burnt, along with the bread and oil part of the rite. Only then were the edible parts of the second ram waved before Yahweh in consecration. Surprisingly (perhaps), this meat was not to be roasted with fire, but was to be boiled instead—no judgment was implied here; duly consecrated priests (a group ultimately including all believers) were not “appointed unto wrath,” nor are we if we are Yahweh’s children.
There is a great deal more to the process of consecrating the priests for Yahweh’s service than my quick survey covers. As I read Exodus 29, I can’t help but conclude that either God is skillfully weaving an intricate tapestry of symbol and metaphor fraught with redemptive significance for all mankind, or He is an obsessive-compulsive micromanaging control freak who enjoys watching people struggle under a mountain of pointless minutiae. There is no middle ground. The problem for “observant” Jews is that because they have rejected the Object of Yahweh’s symbolism, they are stuck with the unlikely and unattractive alternative.
(474)One not of the seed of Aaron shall not eat the flesh of the holy sacrifices. “…But an outsider shall not eat them, because they are holy.” (Exodus 29:33) In the immediate context, one could easily come to the same conclusion Maimonides did. But the word translated “outsider” here (or worse, “layman” in the NASB) is actually the verb zur, meaning to be alienated, to turn aside, to be a stranger, a foreigner, or an enemy. The implications are eye-opening, if only we’ll accept the Messianic symbolism discussed in the previous mitzvah. Christ has made it possible for all of us to be “consecrated priests” of Yahweh, to talk face to face with God Almighty and intercede on behalf of our fellow believers—and thus be eligible to “eat the flesh of the holy sacrifice,” that is, benefit from Yahshua’s atoning sacrifice. As He Himself explained (without really explaining), “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58) “Outsiders,” on the other hand, have no such life in them: they are alienated from Yahweh.
LEVITICAL OFFERINGS: FIVE CATEGORIES
The first seven chapters of Leviticus describe in detail five types of offerings: the burnt offering or olah (Mitzvah #475), the grain offering or minha (#476), the peace offering or selem (#494), the sin offering or chata’t (#491), and the trespass or guilt offering, the asham (#493). I’ll provide a summary of all five sacrificial types at the end of this chapter. They are similar, but not identical, and described but not explained, making them all but incomprehensible to the average layman. And since they can’t be literally performed today (for lack of a priesthood and temple), they present one of the greatest temptations in the entire Bible: to skip over them as quickly as possible. But hopefully, with a little prayerful analysis, we will begin to see them as five distinct facets on the brilliant diamond of God’s grace.
(475)Observe the procedure of the burnt-offering. “When any one of you brings an offering to Yahweh, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before Yahweh.” (Leviticus 1:2-3) The burnt offering (Hebrew: olah) was a subset of the larger concept of an “offering” (Hebrew: qorban), denoting a gift made to deity. The olah was completely voluntary, and, depending on the wealth of the giver, could be a bull, ram, goat, young pigeons, or turtledoves. The quadrupeds had to be males, and unblemished—a clear indication that the Messiah’s sacrifice is in view. (Young birds are notoriously hard to differentiate by sex, so Yahweh didn’t require it.) The giver “identified” with the animal by placing his hand on its head. The killing of the sacrificial animal was then done, but not by the priest (as was the usual practice)—it was done by the worshipper, who then skinned it, cut it up, and washed the parts in water. The priest sprinkled the blood all around the altar, placed the sacrifice on the altar, and burned it completely—no meat was eaten by priest or worshipper.
The Torah does not overtly explain why the olah would be offered up. It is not meant as atonement for sin, for other types of qorban accomplished that. Although sometimes offered when a petition was made for Yahweh’s intervention (as in Judges 21:4), that was more properly the role of the peace offering. The burnt offering was, rather, a pure expression of homage to Yahweh, often given in an overflowing of joyful celebration. (A good example is in I Samuel 6:14, when the relieved Israelites got the Ark of the Covenant back from the pesky Philistines who had captured it.) This translates today into the spiritual sacrifice of ourselves to Yahweh, as Paul points out: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [i.e., test, examine, recognize as genuine] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) Remember, the worshipper prepared the olah. If we are to “die” to the world in homage to Yahweh, it must be by our own hand.
(476)Observe the procedure of the meal-offering. “When anyone offers a grain offering to Yahweh, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to Yahweh.” (Leviticus 2:1-2) The grain offering, or minha (from the Hebrew consonant root mnh, meaning “to give”) was part of the daily life of Israel. It was offered at many of the Feasts of Yahweh and as part of the tithe. “Fine” flour was specified, meaning that no chaff or bran was to be present, a reference to the separation of the valuable from the worthless in our lives—the essence of judgment. The grain could presumably be either wheat or barley—whatever was growing at the time. It could be presented to the priests as raw grain or as cakes or wafers, baked or fried in a pan or oven. But in every case, the minha had frankincense sprinkled upon it, and it was prepared with oil, either mixed in or poured over it. The frankincense, you’ll recall, indicates purity through sacrifice (see Mitzvah #430), and the oil represents the Holy Spirit (see Zechariah 4). Neither leaven nor honey were to be used (see Mitzvah #477), but the minha was to be salted (see Mitzvah #478). After a token amount of grain was burned upon the altar as an offering to Yahweh, the rest of the minha was to serve as food for the priests.
Grain speaks of God’s provision for us—blessings that just “pop up out of the ground” on our behalf. Atonement is not in view with this offering, because no blood is being shed. But judgment is, not only in the burning of a handful of the grain, but also in the fact that the chaff is separated out from the flour. I can only deduce that the judgment being spoken of is that of our works: what did we do with the opportunities and resources Yahweh provided, and what was our motivation for performing these works? Three times in the second chapter of Leviticus, the portion of the minha to be burned on the altar was called “a memorial.” Since all of the frankincense was to be sprinkled on this portion, it is clear that the object of the “memorial” was to be the Messiah, whose death provided “purity through sacrifice” to us. One gets the distinct impression, however, that Yahshua’s sacrificial death on the altar of Calvary is only a “sweet aroma to Yahweh” if we avail ourselves of the redemption it provides—if it has become a memorial to us of God’s undying love. It is only under that condition that our works have any potential value to Yahweh, any basis for qualitative judgment. The works of the unredeemed, even the “best” of them, are nothing but filthy rags to Yahweh.
(477)Do not offer up leaven or honey. “No grain offering which you bring to Yahweh shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to Yahweh made by fire.” (Leviticus 2:11) Then as now, bread was usually baked with leaven, or yeast, to make it rise and soften its texture. There was no prohibition against this in the Torah’s dietary laws (see Chapter 5). Nor was there any dietary problem with honey, recognized as a familiar and healthful natural sweetener since the days of the Patriarchs (e.g. Genesis 43:11), and probably back to Adam. It’s easy enough to see why leaven was prohibited from inclusion with grain offerings: it was a fermenting agent made from soured barley bran or vetch. Not only was it “rotten” (in the technical sense), but a little bit would spread throughout the dough, affecting the entire loaf. Thus it was a natural metaphor for sin and its effect on the lives of men.
But honey is another matter. It is never spoken of as a negative thing in Scripture, but always as something sweet, healthful, and good. In an extreme contrast to the connotation of our mitzvah, honey is even used as a metaphor for the sweetness of the Word of God: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding. Therefore I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:103-104) Why then was it prohibited from being offered up by fire to Yahweh? We must remind ourselves that good things were not offered up because they were good. The Levitical offerings were not a means of appeasement. Even though the things sacrificed necessarily had some intrinsic value, they were not offered to placate or “buy off” an angry God, nor were they a bribe to induce Him to grant our wishes. Rather, they were primarily a picture of the sacrifice He would make on our behalf—a rehearsal (on some level) of the death of the Messiah for our transgressions. Each sacrifice in the Torah reflected that prophetic fact in some way. His blood would be shed, so bulls and rams were slain in anticipation of that event. There would be no sin in the Sacrifice, so leaven was ruled out. And honey? Honey is pleasant and sweet, a delight to the taste. Christ’s sacrifice, by contrast, was marked by sorrow and bitterness, pain and suffering. Honey was not descriptive of Messiah’s first-century mission, so it was not to be offered.
(478)Every sacrifice is to be salted. “Every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.” (Leviticus 2:13) Salt (Hebrew: melach) is another of the substances common to man that took on symbolic significance in the Torah. We know it best as a flavor enhancer and preservative, which is primarily why Yahshua described his followers as “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), rhetorically asking, “What good are you if you don’t do what salt does—making the world a better place?” But salt also has negative, destructive uses. It has the ability to make land barren and infertile—worthless for any productive purpose (cf. Judges 9:45). Indeed, Israel’s fields were sowed with salt by Hadrian in 135 A.D. in his effort to permanently sever the Jews’ ties to the Land in the wake of Rabbi Akiba’s disastrous endorsement of Bar Kochba as Israel’s Messiah. Preservation or destruction—the choice is ours to make, and we are reminded of this by adding salt to every grain sacrifice. (Salt is not specifically mentioned in reference to sacrifices other than the minha.)
This dual potential was (perhaps) the origin of yet another metaphorical use for salt. A “covenant of salt” (the brit melach—mentioned in Numbers 18:19 and II Chronicles 13:5) confirmed a relationship using salt as a symbol of its permanence and binding nature—and the damage that would result if the covenant was broken. A covenant of salt was characterized as perpetual, irrevocable, and serious. One type of salt covenant bound a subject to his king. The phrase melach hekal melachna’ meant “to be under obligation,” literally, to “eat salt of the palace.” This implied the subject’s solemn oath of loyalty to the interests of the king, since he was in the king’s debt. So when Yahweh commanded that “with all of your offerings you shall offer salt,” He was telling us that because every Levitical grain sacrifice was a reflection of His own commitment to His provision of redemption of mankind, the addition of salt duly demonstrated our obligation to be loyal and thankful.