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News Letter 5848-035?
17th day of the 8th month?5848 years after the creation of Adam???
The 8th Month in the Third year of the third Sabbatical Cycle???
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle???
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences???
This is also the end of the Thirty-first week of this the Third Tithe Year for the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow
Deuteronomy 26:12?We are now just 4 years & 4 months from the Sabbatical year in 2016?
November 3, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

We have a new way to share information about the Prophecies of Abraham. You can go to this link http://www.book2look.de/book/6kCXmCUbOq&euid=&ruid=&referURL=book2look.com/ibiblet.aspx and post your views of the book and what you learned from it. It could help someone else to make a decision to start to read it.

Or you can post that link to your group or web provider and get others to think about it or talk about. You can also twitter it if you want. Please help us get this message of the Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles out there to the world. We each can do a little.

We have just gotten word from Boaz, that the Farm in Israel has now planted the last grape vine. Just fewer than 3000 vines were planted. And in order to get it done in time Tommy Waller of http://www.hayovel.com sent some people down to help get them in the ground. We hope to have pictures and a complete story for you at http://www.shefaisrael.com/index.html

Look under the agriculture section for updates this weekend.

Ezekiel 36:34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’
We have just received this update from Rinah and Boaz and I am sticking it in here. I am not able to share the pictures of the grapes in long rows in the desert sand. It is an awesome picture though.

Here is what Rinah has sent me.

“And I will turn back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the cities which are desolate, and they shall live in them. And they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine. They shall also make gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, says HASHEM your God.” Amos 9:14, 15

Dear Joseph,

It is with great joy and very tired muscles that we, Rinah and Boaz, are grateful to announce that with the help of the people from Sighted Moon and others, we have brought to fruition the planting of the long awaited vineyard in the desert wasteland of the Negev Highlands in Israel. We are thankful to be called as co-workers with HASHEM the G-d of Israel.

The wilderness and the desert shall be glad for them; and the Arava shall rejoice and blossom as the Havatzelet. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the honor of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of HASHEM and the majesty of our Elohim.” Is.35:1, 2

The vineyard consists of four varieties of grapes – Chardonnay and Viognier which are white varieties and Shiraz (or Syrah) and Merlot which are red varieties. With planting completed we have enough warm sunny days left in the year for the root systems to establish themselves before going into winter hibernation. In March of 2013 they will awake from their sleep and start a full years growing season. Before the start of the growing season the vine will have to be pruned for the first time. This will take place from the end of January – exact dates later – and there will be opportunities for people wanting to come and work with us during the pruning. It is thought that it will span a period of two weeks so those interested, please contact us.

At this point we would like to personally thank Joe Dumond for his faithfulness in hearing from and seeking the will of the Almighty. The way we came together and made this work was done only in the Throne room of Heaven and the Almighty HASHEM has to get all the praise and honor for bringing this miracle about.

A special word of thanks to Tommy Waller and his ‘angels’ from HaYovel that came down and really got ‘stuck in’ and helped to get us ahead of the game – blessings guys and we hope to see you again next year!

Another special word of thanks has to go to Ray Collins for the way he has selflessly given of himself for nearly two months working like a Trojan – without his willing and able hands this work would not have been completed.

To these great examples of faithful servants and men of faith – Thank you, Thank you and Thank you!

It is important to remember that although the work has begun, this is exactly what it is a beginning and not an ending. The Almighty has started a great work here. He has given us the task of ensuring that this vineyard continues to grow and flourish as a witness to His faithfulness to us as His Children of the Promise. As we, Rinah and Boaz, fulfill our destiny by taking our inheritance in the Land and putting it to work for the Almighty’s glory, we will need your continued support with both prayers and financial contributions to further the work that has just begun.

To date 10 dunam (4.5 acre) have been planted and we plan to take it to another 10 dunam next year. This will then be a very viable small winery catering for local tourism, supplying wine to local restaurants as well as exporting overseas. At full production it is expected that the vineyard should produce between 20,000 to 25,000 bottles of wine a year.

There are various options available for investors and donors at all levels.

1: Prayer for the success of the project – this is the largest of the investments required

2: The existing vines need to be maintained

3: New vines and trellising has to be purchased for next year

4: Additions need to be made to the irrigation system for the enlarged land.

5: A winery needs to be established and all the relative equipment and expertise needs to be acquired.

Those wanting to be active participants can contact us directly here in Israel 0r Joe Dumond in Canada at www.sightedmoon.com.

Thank for all your support, love and prayers

Boaz and Rinah

Brethren you can make this happen. YOu can make it possible for another 10 Dunam to be planted in 2013. With your help we can plant another vineyard next year. Again we are doing this to conduct a very visible example of Yehovah’s blessing on us for keeping the Sabbatical year. It is the same as keeping the Sabbath. But if you keep the Sabbath on the wrong day you miss out on the blessing. If you keep in on the right day, it is my strong belief that Yehovah will bless you. It is the same with the Sabbatical years. And now look at what He has done already. The Wallers of Hayovel go about the State of Israel pruning and harvesting grapes for many farmers. Just imagine what will happen when they see the results of these grapes. One section owned by Boaz keeping the Sabbatical year in 2014 Tishri to Tishri, and our 10% section keeping the Sabbatical year 2016 Aviv to Aviv. We have contacted the Magazine Israel Today to show them although they have not returned our calls. This will be watched and screened by many in Israel. This is already growing into something huge. Will you consider helping us to add to this.

Each harvest we will gain back the money we have invested maybe not all in one year, but in time it will all come back. We can then use this on other farms or in expanding this one. The hard part is now in getting started. Some of you continue to support us. Thank you. Some of you have stopped. Thank you for what you have already done. Many of you are waiting and watching. Now is the time to step up and help. $10, $20, $50 or more, it all helps no matter the currency. It was your $40,000 that made this possible. It was Boaz and Rinah agreeing to key demands for the Sabbatical year of 2016 for our investment that also made this work. Please consider doing this one more time these next couple of months. Help us to plant 10 more Dunam. 10% of which will be leased to us until 2045, the Year of the Jubilee. Yes many things are to happen during this time. But we will still be living on this earth after this time too. Show Yehovah your faith in this by putting your money where it can be seen by the world. Faith is not just something you confess, it is also an action word. It is something you do, it is your actions that show your faith. Here is one great opportunity to show your faith to the world.

Also plan on coming to ISrael and staying here at the farm in 2013 to prune the vines and to pull the weeds. And to witness the blessing of Yehovah for yourself. We are thinking about including this farm in our tour next year. Although we have made no plans yet.

Any gifts you want to give can be made out to me Joseph Dumond in a cheque or Money Order. Mail them to 14 Willow Cres. Orangeville Ontario Canada L9W 6L4. (Note we have a New Postal code Number) We will then invest this in the farm to help build our representation in this grand demonstration of the Sabbatical year. Please be a part of it. If you already are then please continue to be a part of it. And Thank you. For those of you doing the math…. 20,000 bottles of wine sell for about $100 each. If we can double that to 40,000 bottles of wine you can see the potential here. We have a 10% stake in this thus far. Well you help make this a reality?

I also want to Thank Boaz and Rinah for conducting this grand experiment and for working with me on this. We do not agree in all our belief’s, but we both do love Yehovah; Hashem, and we both want to obey Him. Boaz has read my claims about the Sabbatical year and finds it very persuasive. So thank you both for this blessing to us to be able to help do this.

Also a very special thank you to Ray Collins for all the effort he has put into this. I do not have the words to express my thanks of your part here. I am so pleased Yehovah chose you to come and do this. A Stubborn Irishman was the perfect choice. Thank you.

Think about this verse as you ponder what we are doing.
Ezekiel 36:8 ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.

There is not much more to mention to you about the great hurricane called Sandy that slammed into the northeastern USA this week. Here in Ontario my son lost his roof and has water damage. He lives in Sarnia Ontario. But as I write this millions in the USA still have no power after one week.

Amos 6:3 has something to say though. : “You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.”

Here is the news headlines as we go into this weekend;
‘We Need Food, We Need Clothing’ Staten Island residents launch desperate plea for assistance

November 2, 2012 – NEW YORK – The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food, and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough. “We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!” Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power.

Gasoline shortages in northeast U.S. highlights how quickly modern societies will unravel following disasters
November 2, 2012 – NEW YORK – Widespread gas shortages stirred fears among residents and disrupted some rescue and emergency services on Thursday as the New York region struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy after being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. Tiny increments of progress — some subway and bus lines were back in service — were overshadowed by new estimates of the storm’s financial cost, struggles to restore power, and by the discovery of more bodies in flooded communities. The lines of cars waiting for gas at a Sunoco here ran in three directions: a mile-long line up the Garden State Parkway, a half-mile line along Vauxhall Road, and another, including a fleet of mail trucks that needed to refuel before resuming their rounds, snaking through a back entrance. The scene was being replayed across the state as drivers waited in lines that ran hundreds of vehicles deep, requiring state troopers and local police to protect against exploding tempers. “I’ve been pumping gas for 36 hours, I pumped 1,500 gallons,” said Abhishek Soni, the owner of an Exxon in Montclair, where disputes on the line Wednesday night had become so heated that Mr. Soni called the police and turned off the pumps for 45 minutes to restore calm.

We had a few people this year on the tour with us who lived in the area of this Hurricane Sandy. I have only heard from one of them. Darlene Hart of New Jersey, has shown us the video of her home. It was flooded up to just under 2 feet inside the entire house. Her boat was washed away and her deck in the back had been lifted and moved. Most of her furniture is ruined. ALthough we can all sit back and point fingers we do need to keep in mind we have brethren in the middle of these disasters and we need to keep them in our prayers.

Darlene and her husband will not be staying in their home for some time now. And they have a lot of work to do to fix the damage. So please do keep her in your prayers.

We can tell you once again about The Prophecies of Abraham, or we could tell you again about the curses of the Sabbatical cycles and that this storm that just past is going to be the norm. We could tell you about the cyclones that continue to slam into Asia as we write.

I am already going blue in the face. Few are listening. It is only when this actually hits your property that people pay attention. It is only when your food supply rots from no electricity for a few weeks that people start to think. It is only when they realize they can’t travel because they can’t get gas or there is no electricity to pump the gas that people see they are trapped in the place they are at and have no heat. It is only when you realize your water supply is not guaranteed if you live in the city that you become concerned about what you will do for water.

Too many say they will wait on the Lord and He will protect them. Everything I have read in the scriptures tells me that we must do all we can and then He will take care of the rest. Nothing tells me or shows me that we are to sit on our butts and do nothing.

I would urge you all to watch the following series that was on the History Channel.

It will show you the things you have not even considered. some things that are now being seen on the streets of New York.

We all need to pray to Yehovah for protection and inspiration as to what we need to do. Stop and think what is going on in the USA right now. Hurricanes strike the whole of the East coast and all along the south. Both the Atlantic and the Gulf and reach as far in as the Mississippi and the Great lakes. Floods hit the Mississippi area just a few years ago. Drought is now still affecting the middle of the USA. Tornadoes continue to threaten the so-called Bible belt. Wild fires and earthquakes have been hitting the south and the western USA.

Does any one consider that maybe your being punished for not keeping the Sabbath, the Holy Days of Lev 23 and the Sabbatical years? Are you telling people about this if you know this? And this does not just apply to the USA. It is a worldwide phenomenon. But do people get it yet? I know they don’t and so you can bank on a bigger disaster soon to come some where in the USA. 70 people died as a result of this storm, many more will also die in the next one. Are you ready?

Friends of mine who are believers and teachers have one option for some of you to consider. Here is the portable non-gas electric source you can have available. When you write them let them know you heard about it here at Sightedmoon.com.

The web site was not working when I tried it. So here is the Facebook link. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Power-Backup/411750468879798 And yes this is trying to help brethren sell a product that brethren may need.

CANADIAN POWER BACKUP press release
Mass power outages are eminent.

Gas generators are noisy, fumy, and need regular tune-ups and repairs. You definitely can’t use them inside and when you can’t get gas, you are out of power again.

We at Canadian Power Backup have partnered with AEB (American Energy Backup) to provide safe, quiet and affordable energy packs that can supply you with emergency power without any hassle or extra costs.

With our Mini Ox Power Plant, or our Contractor Ox, you can have all the reassurance of backup power stored safely away in your closet, basement, or utility room. Once the Ox is charged, you just have to plug in your power cord and connect whatever electrical appliances that you need at the time. There isn’t any need for gas or tune-ups. There is no need for maintenance. It is safe for indoor use and will last for days, depending the size and type of appliances you use.

Sound too simple? Well it is. You can’t overcharge the pack or drain it too far. All the safety features ensure a long life for this system. It would take you years of daily use to wear these units out.

So what if the power is out for more than 4 or 5 days and your ox is running low of power and you are unable to recharge it in your 110 outlet in your house? Well, we have that covered with a 135 watt solar panel kit that will recharge your Ox in 12 to 14 hours, or you can just leave your solar panels plugged into your Ox and use it while it is charging. It operates as an excellent solar energy converter.

It would be life threatening for many people with electronic medical devises that cannot be without power for hours. Even to just simply have a light and TV in the middle of a mass power outage is a great comfort to many elderly people. Think of all who would be stuck in high rise apartment building that would be unable to contact family or friends. Or if you live in the country, you will need power for well or sump pumps.

Let us help you to be prepared for the next big storm. Call Canadian Power Backup at 519-379-4200 or go to our website at www.canadianpowerbackup.ca

I also want you all to keep in mind that Ray Collins has been in Israel working on the farm since before the Feast. He is due to come home to New England very soon. I forget where exactly. Keep him in your prayers, as I do not know what condition his property will be in after this hurricane.

Here is another email I received for you to consider.

The first rule of thinking Hebraically is that there is always more than one correct answer. I believe that Yahweh is speaking many things through this particular storm. Yahweh is always speaking. The question is, “Are we listening to His set-apart voice?” Some more connections that I think are equally significant are as follows,

1) This Storm fell on the 21st anniversary of the so called “perfect” storm. (Exactly three Sabbath / Shmitah (seven) year cycles later.)

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Perfect_Storm )

2) That particular storm washed away the Bush vacation home in Maine, directly after he spoke at the Madrid Conference, advocating a two state solution for Yisrael, and that Jerusalem be a protected world heritage site.

( http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/10/could-sandy-be-a-sign-from-god-2487558.html )

3) The USA Presidential election is this coming Tuesday and for the first time in American history both the Republican and Democratic parties have incorporated the two state solution for Yisrael, (and that Jerusalem be a protected world heritage site), into their official party platforms. This is the second major storm this year (2012) that has landed on a multiple of seven, anniversary date, which has directly interfered with the American Presidential election. i.e. Katrina 2005 – Isaac 2012 = 7 years to the exact date.
( http://www.groundzeromedia.org/deus-irae-the-angel-that-rides-the-whirlwind/ )

4) Starting on the eve of feast of the trumpets of judgment, (Yom Teruah), the 2008 Presidential election saw the perfect economic storm hit, directly preceding the election of the new President. Four years later, all the variable weather conditions came together perfectly to create an economically devastating “natural” storm, directly before the Presidential election.

5) This storm is already estimated to be the most costliest in US history. I have heard early estimates that the cost of recovery will exceed $50 Billion dollars.

( http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121030/cost-sandy-cleanup-may-hit-50-billion )

6) Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic rabbi out of New Jersey, America, shares a message called “the Harbinger”. This prophetic message details eerily amazing parallels how the warnings of perilous judgment that befell the ten tribes of N. Yisrael are presently, systematically repeating themselves in the exact providentially, foretold sequence in the United States.

( http://www.theharbinger-jonathancahn.com/ )

Jonathan points out that…

New York was the original capital city when America was first founded as a constitutional republic.

George Washington was sworn in as the first President at the very same ground zero New York, NY, where 9/11,/2001 took place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_inauguration

In other words, it is at the very foundations, where the united States of America was originally founded as a Constitutional nation, that Yahweh has been sending His harbingers of the final perilous judgment that is soon coming!

7) The following is a couple possible interpretations of “Sandy” from the Hebrew aleph-beyt.

S = Shiyn – Devouring / Destroying
A = Aleph – The Strong Leader
N = Nun – The Seed
D = Dalet – The Door / The Entrance
Y = Yod – The Strong Right Hand / Yahoshua

This could read, “Yahweh is devouring / destroying the economic / military leader of the world. His seed is about to make His / their grand re-entrance into the world, revealing His sovereign right hand of judgment.”

In the Hebrew thought process, it is just as legitimate to in interpret the meaning by reversing the order.

Backwards this would read, “The righteous Judge is at the door. The seed of the god this age will be completely devoured.”

8) “Coincidentally”, this is the second time in 21 years that this storm has completely ruined the pagan holiday of Halloween. Most notably, it is the New England / North Eastern area of the United States that celebrates this Satanic high holy day with the highest regard. Messianic believers everywhere should have nothing to do with this holiday, in any way, shape or form. The Scriptures declare that it is an abomination to Yahweh. There is nothing innocent about partaking in the festivities of a Satanic high holy day.

This is a time for great reflection and sobriety for Yahweh’s people of every nation, creed, tongue and Messianic persuasion all over the world. This is a time for genuine fasting, humility, repentance and crying out to Heaven for mercy. It is most unfortunate that most “believers” will never make the connections stated herein, to their own detriment and peril. Every believer in Yahoshua must leave behind all their “secret” sins immediately and put their complete trust in Yahweh alone. Regardless of the outcome of the election, Yahweh is our only hope, not any man.

The beginning of the great tribulation is very close at hand (March 2013?), the return of the Messiah is nearer than most would dare to believe, and most of us are still harboring bitterness and unforgiveness, grumbling and complaining attitudes, and judging the speck in our brothers eye, while we still have a log in our own eye, which needs to be repented of / removed, immediately. Our hypocritical judgments must cease right now, as we are all guilty of the very same sins that we are accusing one another of. Time is growing short, the hour is at hand…

Yahweh is speaking to all of us through a storm called Sandy…

Is anybody listening?

We will continue to share some of the letters we have received from those who joined us in Israel for Sukkot this year.

Goeiemiddag Josef (good afternoon Joseph)

I just felt the need to keep your Afrikaans going:-) since you are such
a able and willing student.

Herewith my experience of our recent Sukkot tour in Israel. I tried to
give a broader feeling of what the tour entailed, though probably a book
won’t be enough. I truly hope that someone may be blessed by it as I
was when you posted that letters by a South African lady some time ago
(if I remember correctly, her name was Heather?). I really experienced
a bit of Israel then. We had no idea back then that it would be us who
could share this awesome time with others. We truly were blessed by our
Father.

I just wanted to share with you that as we waited at the airport due to
a delayed flight, a Jewish lady from the States sat next to me. We
watched a baby crawling all over the place and we shared a smile as we
watched him. She started conversation and it was not long before we
found ourselves talking about Yahovah. She called HIM G-d of course.
She told me that it was HIS will to bring all of us together in
harmony. I agreed to that and somehow I shared that we celebrated
Sukkot there in Israel. She was really astonished:-) We just casually
continued and I mentioned something from Torah. She asked me..”you know
Torah?’ I said yes as if it was the most natural thing to answer in the
positive. She asked again:” you do Torah, you keep Shabbat?” I said
yes again. She asked: “from sunset to sunset or the day only?” I
answered from sunset to sunset. Then she smiled. She then continued to
ask whether we ate kosher and my reply was once again affirmative. I
told her what our surname was and she immediately said: “but then you
are Jewish. You can convert and make aliyah you know?” I replied that
I did know but will wait on YHVH for the right time.

She then had to leave as they called out her flight number. As she got
up she said: “you know, you know so much already, you should teach that
to others”. She then took off with us sincerely blessing each other.

When she had gone, I sat if stunned. I thought…”Abba, I already had
the time of my life here in Israel and now to experience first hand that
YOU are so actively working in the hearts of both Ephraim and Yehuda to
desire being restored as one House, YOU have blessed me right to the
end. All glory and honor and praise to YOUR NAME”.

I then realized how true it is that we should share that which is a
common factor among ourselves (and in this case, it was knowledge of
Torah), rather than trying to convince another of our beliefs in a
limited time. Both this lady and myself were blessed by this
conversation and we both have a story to share where ever we go.

I trust that all is well at your end and that you will continue in truth
in all matters.

Shalom in Yahovah, our Elohim

Gina Steynberg
SUKKOT 2012 IN ISRAEL

When I first heard about the Sukkot tour in Israel in one of Joe Dumond’s newsletters, I had no idea that I would be granted the opportunity to partake in it. Our Heavenly Father provided a miracle and we as a family of 5 members were all able to go. I was so grateful that for once in our lives, we would be able to stand as a family before YHVH in Jerusalem.

I was eager to know what the tour would entail and what I needed to do to ensure that I got the most out of this experience. I went to Avi ben Mordechai’s website and read all I could on how to prepare. I found that we would do a lot of walking and encouraged my family to get fit for the tour. Was I ever glad I did that!

After a pleasant flight (my childrens’ first in their lives) Avi and Dina picked us up from the airport and welcomed us to their home and later on, put up with our tour group for 2 weeks. They were amazing. It is one thing being responsible for a group during the day and afterwards going home and getting some well-deserved rest from the day’s activities, but it is quite something else being responsible for everyone’s welfare even at all hours. They have shown true Torah-hearts by being able to do so.

The group accepted one another right away and it was more of a concern to get all to sleep than to encourage ‘reaching out’ to one another. We all felt that we were brought together for a purpose. There were those skilled in humor and also those who were quiet most of the time, but had so much to share about their journey in the Torah-life. Everyone was unique and we could see Shaul’s reference to the body of Messiah consisting of many parts but being one.

From the very beginning of the tour, Avi gave descriptions of important places and historical occurrences and this continued all along the journey. I was grateful for my voice recorder because it was just too much to remember. At each of the archaeological sites we visited, I was just amazed at the man’s knowledge and knew there was even more that could be shared if time allowed. Also his enthusiasm for his work and especially for sharing the Torah and the rest of the Bible on location, made a great impression on me. My Bible became alive….I would never choose another tour guide if I were ever granted another opportunity to go to Israel.

Every day’s activities and schedule proved to be better than the day before and one of the highlights had to be the jeep trip. There is just something about being in an open vehicle in the open air…Every place we visited was special and I’m so glad we never visited any churches! To end the tour with the walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel, was definitely a memory to cherish. What an awesome opportunity we had to do a mikvah as well – and that in the Gihon spring (the source of living waters)!

We will never be the same after this wonderful tour where Avi made it so alive that it is our inheritance that he was showing us. Truly a thought to cherish. That probably explains the longing in our hearts to return “home” as soon as possible.

Brethren did you see what Gina wrote? She and her family came to Israel because of a series of letters that one Heather Tidbury wrote about her time in Israel last year. So I shared this letter with Heather and here is what she had to say. Each of us can help others by the things we write and share. Those of you who have not written to me to share your memories, you still have time to do so. Do it now before you forget it all.

Shalom Joe

What a lovely letter! Thanku so much for sending it on to me. What a blessing for the whole family to have been able to go!

I just relived the whole experience again by reading her account, and the other letters included inyour newsletter this week. My goodness, yes, i can just see my friend, Avi getting all excited and enacting some of the passages from Scripture exactly on location! i remember just how thrilling that was for me at the time when we were on tour.

From her greeting to you in Afrikaans, i gather that Gina is also South African. i will attempt to contact her also on the address at the top of her letter. How nice if we were close enough to meet!

Thanku for this week’s letter concentrating on how to keep Shabbat. It does get a bit isolated here for me sometimes, and so I do appreciate the technology that makes it possible to link with others across the world.

Bless you Joe

met baie liefde
Heather

Last week we talked to you about how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. It too was a subject at our assembly on Shabbat last week.

Here are some of the comments I received on this subject this week.

Shalom Joseph!

I would like to thank you for this awesome teaching on how to keep the Sabbath Holy. It was timely and an enlightenment for me. Although I do observe the Shabbat, I don’t have a local congregation nearby. Moreover, my health doesn’t enable me to drive 2 hours to either Montreal or Quebec to attend a “Church of God” assembly, and the only Messianic congregation in this province is located in Montreal, of which I just found out they don’t believe in the deity of our Messiah anymore. So as you can imagine, I’m alone for Shabbat and rely on “online” Shabbat services via El Shaddai Ministries with Mark Biltz and Ascension Ministries with Norm Franz for my teachings. Although they do teach on the feasts, I never had an in-depth teaching like this one (for the weekly Shabbat).

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been really blessed by this newsletter and will be keeping forthcoming Shabbats on an entirely “new level” from now on.

Blessings in Yehovah!!

Gloria

Well Joe, here is another you hit on the head.

I thank you for the time and effort you put into each newsletter, thank you for continuing your faithfulness to the Father, Joe.

Today as I write it’s the end of Sabbath and I’m still reading your email, as I went to Sabbath service this morn is was there til about 3:00. This restaurant and eating out thing just keeps coming up. I am in accord with you that we should abstain from making purchases or eating out on Shabbat unless necessary. We need to try our best to be prepared for the Shabbat. Yes things happen and I don’t believe Abba is a tyrant, He is merciful and allows grace for certain things. But I don’t believe going out to eat every week after Shabbat service is one of them.

Abba has shown His grace to me and my husband many times on the very subject of eating out on Shabbat. We have been traveling and sometimes will come into town at the start of Sabbath or way into Sabbath because of road work, extra stops on the road or simply bad or lack of timing properly. Abba has put my favorite restaurant right next to the place I would be staying, or there would be a store very close to the location were there was nothing else. I would know that it is His doing, He is providing for His child. But in every instance, when I have eaten out on Shabbat or shopped at a store, unless very special circumstances, it has not gone well. Our service has been horrid, the food just was not right, we didn’t receive our discounts, which we usually received, and we have even been over charged for food; one time up to 25 dollars over charged.

I truly believe we have to like little children as our Messiah indicated to us, if we read the word of Yah plainly He tells us what to do and things go well with us. Once we believe we know better or “this is what it really, really means” then that’s when we get into trouble. If we remember the word says He makes the wise foolish. So we must not be so wise that we make excuses or rationalizations about the word of Yah and we have to take the examples from scripture, as they are there for us, so we will not make the same mistakes the children of Israel made.

So as you found the Jubilees and how we are still to do them inside the land or outside. The Jubilees still have meaning. It was because of not doing them that the children of Israel were kicked out of the land and it was not until the land had it’s full rest that Israel was allowed to return. I believe that as the example of the Jubilees is there for us so is the story of the gates being closed for Shabbat that no one would be buying and selling at this most holy appointed time.

And yes we fall short and we repent and get up and continue to walk, but going out to eat every week and making others serve and or wait on you I do believe is wrong. Sometimes onegs or a Sabbath meal together is a little bit of work, but I believe it is a type of service unto our Father in Heaven, and you don’t have to go over board nor should one or two people be the ones burdened to bring everything every week. But I believe this type of fellowship and service of hospitality towards one another would be acceptable unto our Lord.

Just my two cents, Joe, and I truly enjoy your writings and how you stand up for the word. You are stubborn when it comes to the word of Yah, as I am, for we both want to do the will of Yah and be pleasing in His sight. We had to stand up for what we believe and walk as He would have us walk, because once we start down the slippery slope of rationalizations and excuses ha satan will have his foot hold to move in on our life.

So I look forward to hearing from you next week, and come Nov well again send in some gift offerings for we believe in the work the Father has given you.

Yah bless and keep you
Yah make His face to shine upon you
and may He grant you His Shalome

Patti & Andy

Another reader sent in this note;

Joe – in talking about “7’s”, years ago Jim Rector did a teaching that included the concept of the 6th month of Abba’s calendar as being a month of preparation, for the holy days in the 7th month. This continues to be a blessing for me as i follow his admonition.

B’Shalom, Sandie B.

I also received an email from a friend in Nova Scotia.

You kinda did say fun on the Sabbath is forbidden. You wrote:“So buying and selling is clearly forbidden on the Sabbath. Going to restaurants and shopping malls and grocery stores is no way to keep the Sabbath holy.”??Of course this is true as we don’t want others (store clerks, waiters) serving us on Sabbath. But then you write: “The Sabbath is a day of rest and prayer and worship. Not a day for doing our own pleasures:” Then you quote Isa 58:13 which is taken out of context and is not dealing with the weekly Sabbath but speaks of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.??Then you added: “So keeping the Sabbath day holy not only means that we aren’t to buy or sell, but also means that we are to refrain from our own pleasures such as sporting events, television, movies, etc. Also we are not even to speak our own words! Even our speech should be about Yahweh and His word.”??A person’s pleasure might be playing with their kids, strolling in the woods, throwing the football around, picnicking in the park, golfing, tennis, reading, chatting with neighbours or maybe watching TV. Different people relax or unwind in various ways. Younger people do more physical activities and older folks (like us) might sit around and chew the fat.??Finally you write: “So, in summary we can see that Yahweh wants us to keep His Sabbath Holy by not working, buying, selling, causing others to work for us, speaking idle or vain words or doing our own pleasures on the Sabbath.”??If you believe this then that would mean everything I mentioned above including picnicking in the park or chatting with neighbours is forbidden on the weekly Sabbath. Just remember Yahshua’s words, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mr 2:27). I know you spend time with Jews and Messianic Jews because we can learn so much from them and they are our beloved brothers. But, we must always go to the scriptures for clarity in all things and we too can sometimes be a teacher to them using Yahshua as our example.??David Smith?Nova Scotia

I have to disagree with this brother. Yes the first part of Isaiah 58 is talking about the Day of Atonement. But it is speaking of the Sabbath in verse 13. I do not agree that it is ok to do sporting events or golfing on Shabbat. Nor should we be talking about work or weather talk on Shabbat. That is talking about nothing. We should be focusing on learning the Torah. Coming to deeper understandings and growing in the Knowledge and understanding of Yehovah which then leads to wisdom which we are to pursue.

Playing with the kids and going for walks or picnics and playing catch with the kids on Shabbat is perfectly fine to do. I am not saying not to do these things. Watching a movie that is teaching you about Torah or Watching TV which is also teaching you about Torah is also fine. But we all must choose the standards we are to live by on this. Going Golfing on Shabbat and having to pay for the green fees, is not something I would condone.

Leaning across the fence and arguing over the next president or the latest government policies is not edifying on Shabbat; if is not in relation to prophecy. So I do not take part in that. Talking about my job every week is not edifying to Yehovah so I do not talk about it unless to say about certain blessings.

We can nit pick this to death if wanted to. But each must decide if the things they choose to do on Shabbat is edifying or not towards the name of Yehovah. Can we not find things that pertain to him for just one day a week after He has blessed us for the other six? I think we can. Take the focus off of us and put it all on our future Husband. Dolt over Him for just one day. Just one and see how you are blessed for doing so.

IN Israel this Sukkot I had a great pleasure of many people from around the world. One of the things that has always floored me and humbles me to know that people are learning and growing and prospering from those things taught here at Sightedmoon.com. It does amaze me.

At Sukkot I had three people, one form Thailand and another from South Africa and another from North America all comment how blessed they were for having read the articles we were doing on the Ten Commandments. My good friend from Thailand, Maria-Louis even had copies of these commandments and used them to teach her children and grandchildren. Turely humbling to know this.

I have a few people who help me in many ways in doing research and hosting discussion groups on Face Book and just helping me by talking some things out. This summer I have concentrated on getting the newest book on the Sabbatical and Jubilee written and edited. It has taken much longer than I had expected. My spelling and grammar do give my editor fits sometimes.

One of the people I have asked to help in writing and researching this series on the Ten Commandments has been Lora Skeahan, who hosted me to speak down in Texas this past January. She has done an excellent job with very little input from me. And when ever I do suggest to her to come from this angle she whole heartedly does so and never argues back. I am deeply grateful to her and Charlie for their help and moral support and ears when I have needed an ear. Lora has also helped in some of the research for the upcoming book.

I have asked Lora to continue to write for me as I re-edit the new book again and get it ready for publishing, and because many considered the things she was bringing to the table about the commandments exceptional.

I have also asked her to stretch her understanding by approaching some of the upcoming commandments from a fresh position. This is going to challenge her. And I hope you the readers as well.

This week we continue to study out the Ten Commandments by looking at the sixth one.

The Sixth Commandment

The Sixth Commandment as it is written, “You do not murder.” Exodus 20:13

For this commandment, we will present many scriptures to help us understand just what Yehovah is instructing us not to engage in. The reason all of these will be presented here, is that most of us do not receive this teaching and instruction by our parents or our churches and assemblies as we grow up and learn the ten commandments.

As we read this commandment not to murder, many of us are left thinking that this commandment means something it doesn’t, or doesn’t mean something it does and no one bothers to truly explain it to Yehovah’s children and sons. To add to the lack of understanding and confusion many of us were led away from the Old Testament and told and taught that the Words of Yehovah have been done away with or no longer apply. Therefore, even a simple one line instruction that is part of the Ten Words is left to us without complete understanding. As we have stated previously in these studies of the Ten Commandments, the “Ten Words” are the “skeleton” or the “summary” of all the Words. Have you ever wondered… “why ten?” Let us take a moment to discuss this because it helps us with our context and audience for the Ten Commandments in relation to all of the Torah – the teaching and instruction of Yehovah.

Ten and tithe in the Hebrew writing consists of the same three letters. When reading the Bible, whether we read “ten” or whether we read “tithe” is the result of someone who came before us and placed different vowels in between those three letter. The ten commandments are the “tithe portion” of the Words of the Torah. They are the best portion… but they are not all the portion. The tithe portion was given to the Nation of Israel. A set apart instruction for a set apart people, a people who are kings and priests. But just as our Messiah spoke to us…”upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” in Matthew 22:40, once these commandments are understood and written upon the hearts of men and women of Faith, all righteousness may follow.

It is important to talk about the context of this commandment also, in other words: to whom are the commandments addressed here. The command to not murder is a “personal” command to individuals, not governments. Yehovah gives instruction on His Government elsewhere in the Torah, but again, the Ten Words are the tithe portion. Individuals make up governments, but Yehovah sets up His government with other instructions located elsewhere in the Torah. We discuss many times how the first four commandments are given to tell us how to relate to, worship, and love Yehovah. The remaining six instructs us how to love, relate to our fellow man. Can a government commit adultery or does a government have father and mother? The answer to those questions are “no” and so we must look at these commandments as individual commandments from Yehovah to us as individual men and women. To add weight to this point, consider that we are still in the diaspora (as we are scattered to the four winds and living under secular governments everywhere), yet we must still as individuals, keep and observe Yehovah’s commandments wherever we live and in our everyday lives.

These commandments are to the heart of each of us, to speak to our hearts, to be written on our hearts, and to conform us unto righteousness. In discussing this commandment to not murder with one another and our children then, does this commandment have anything to do with capital punishment? The answer is “no.” Yehovah instructs us on capital punishment elsewhere in His Torah. Does this commandment have to do with war? Again, the answer is “no,” He likewise instructs on the aspects of war elsewhere. Both of those topics are covered elsewhere in the Torah and it is important to make that distinction in our teachings. Much of the secular world does not understand this because they do not read and study His Word.

A primary question with this commandment is “is this commandment about killing or murder.” And no, they are not the same thing. For many years, the translators caused this verse to read “thou shalt not kill” and in so doing, opened the door for scoffers and rebellions persons to mocking the ways of Yehovah and the faith of many. In this discussion we will spend some time on this aspect of the commandment because we need to teach our children these things when they are young. We need to be learning these things (what the scripture truly says, not teachings and traditions of men) for ourselves as adults and parents so that we can save the children from being scoffed at by this unbelieving world. There is little more discouraging for a young person to have great faith and great joy, only to go out and then not have all the answers and to have their faith mocked by others. Granted for adults this may not be a huge problem because we have developed confidence and “tough skin” but we owe it to our children to teach them and give them as much “correct” information as we can out of our love for their walk of faith and to not allow them to stumble.

So we are going to dive into this commandment with no fear and attempt to discuss these matters in such a way as to prevent the continued confusion of these concepts for all of you reading this. At least you will have these concepts together here in one place so as to refer to in you own study if more question remain after reading. So here is the Hebrew word in our instruction: “You do not murder (ratsach)”

ratsach {raw-tsakh’} a primitive root; TWOT – 2208; v AV – slayer 16, murderer 14, kill 5, murder 3, slain 3, manslayer 2, killing 1, slayer + 0310 1, slayeth 1, death 1; 47 1) to murder, slay, kill 1a) (Qal) to murder, slay 1a1) premeditated 1a2) accidental 1a3) as avenger 1a4) slayer (intentional) (participle) 1b) (Niphal) to be slain 1c) (Piel) 1c1) to murder, assassinate 1c2) murderer, assassin (participle)(subst) 1d) (Pual) to be killed

If we could see the word picture produced by the letters we would see: the head of a man, then a form of a man lying down as in waiting or hunting, then a fence. And so it is no surprise that this word is trying to convey to us the idea of “planning, premeditation, and intent” The “thought” to do something first arises in the mind, hence the letter “r” which is the picture of a head of a man. The “ts” is the tsade letter and depicts someone actually lying in wait for another person. The picture of lying in wait for someone is there in the second letter, and then the fence or border letter could represent entrapment or something after that manner. All the letters together paint the picture for us what Yehovah is saying, “Do not set out to take the life of your fellow man.” Do not plan and lie in wait to take the life of another. Obviously… this is wickedness and does not in any way reflect a person in covenant with Yehovah. He tells us plainly that we are created in His Image. Murder is a direct transgression against Yehovah. He is the creator of life and only He may take it.

To further explain His commandment, Yehovah gives us specific conditions and scenarios in His Torah to help us understand “as individuals” and also to help us as a group determine whether or not someone is guilty of murder (ratsach), and requires punishment as a way to keep wickedness out of His Kingdom. We are going to cover some other words that are very often interchanged in translations as associated with death of another by the hand of mankind in many different scenarios. This may not be very fun and can take some work to differentiate and understand… but it is very important to determine, for the sake of more complete understanding and for teaching our children.

Before going on further in this discussion we need to cover another word that turns up many many times separately AND together with this Hebrew word for murder. That is the Hebrew word nakah – which means “to strike”

To Smite
nakah {naw-kaw’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1364; v AV – smite 348, slay 92, kill 20, beat 9, slaughter 5, stricken 3, given 3, wounded 3, strike 2, stripes 2, misc 13; 500 1) to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill 1a) (Niphal) to be stricken or smitten 1b) (Pual) to be stricken or smitten 1c) (Hiphil) 1c1) to smite, strike, beat, scourge, clap, applaud, give a thrust 1c2) to smite, kill, slay (man or beast) 1c3) to smite, attack, attack and destroy, conquer, subjugate, ravage 1c4) to smite, chastise, send judgment upon, punish, destroy 1d) (Hophal) to be smitten 1d1) to receive a blow 1d2) to be wounded 1d3) to be beaten 1d4) to be (fatally) smitten, be killed, be slain 1d5) to be attacked and captured 1d6) to be smitten (with disease) 1d7) to be blighted (of plants)

Does the sixth commandment read “you do not smite (nakah)”? It does not. Parents spank their children in discipline and even Yehovah smites His own in times of correction and/or divine judgment. Here are a couple of examples of Yehovah “smiting” (nakah) His creation, and then an excerpt from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament concerning this word nakah, which is NOT murder.

And Yehovah smelled a soothing fragrance, and Yehovah said in His heart, “Never again shall I curse the ground because of man, although the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and never again smite all living, as I have done…” Genesis 8:21
“And I shall stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I shall do in its midst. And after that he shall let you go.” Exodus 3:20

The verb naka is often used for “hitting” or “smiting” an object with one, non-fatal strike. A man may “smite” an animal such as an ass (Numbers 22:23, 25, 27). He may “hit” a person on the cheek (Psalm 3;7; Lam 3:30) or in the eye (Exodus 21:26). Exodus records that Moses’ rod “struck” the river (Ex 7:17), the dust (Ex 8:16), and a rock (Ex 17:6). One may be the target of a flying object such as a stone from a sling, an arrow, or a spear. The root naka may also refer to being “smitten in conscience” as David was when he cut off Saul;s skirt in 1 Sam 24:5, and to the “clapping” of hands before a king in 2 Kings 11:12.

Naka is also found in passages which describe the beating of some object. A man may receive a “beating” by another in a fight (Ex 2:11, 13; Deut 25:11). Nehemiah “beat” some of the Jewish people for marrying foreign women (Neh 13:25). In Song of Solomon, the bride, searching for her lover through the streets of the city, is beaten by the watchmen (Song 5:7). The Tanak instructions allowed scourging for certain offenses (Deut 25:2-3). Jeremiah the prophet, however, was beaten by authorities although he was innocent. So also was the Suffering Servant who gave his “back to the smiter” (Isa 50:6, Mt 26:67). Proverbs notes the importance of beating for the sake of acquiring wisdom and discipline.

“Beat a scoffer, and the simple is made wise; and reprove one who has understanding, and he discerns knowledge.” Proverbs 19:25
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod, he does not die. Beat him with a rod and deliver his being from the grave.” Proverbs 23:13-14

Ex 21:18-19 “And when men strive together, and one smites the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but is confined to his bed, if he rises again and walks about outside with his staff, then he who smote him shall be innocent. He only pays for lost time and sees to it that he is completely healed.” So we see here, that the sin is not in the smiting (nakah), but in the actual causing of the death of another is where the sixth commandment comes in.

BUT certainly… if we lie in wait or plan to smite (nakah) someone else such that they die – then we have engaged in murder (ratsach) and have broken the commandment. Now we can move on to some of the other verses in Torah to help us understand the commandment.

“He who strikes (nakah) a man so that he dies shall certainly be put to death (muwth)” Exodus 21:12
“BUT if he did not lie in wait (tsadah), but Elohim delivered him into his hand, then I shall appoint for you a place where he is to flee.” Ex 21:13

So plainly we see, smiting is not murdering, although smiting may result in someone’s death. What must be determined at that point, is whether the death was intentional or accidental and there are instructions and details for us on these matters as well in Yehovah’s instructions.

tsadah {tsaw-daw’} a primitive root; TWOT – 1877,1878; v AV – wait 1, hunt 1, destroyed 1; 3 1) (Qal) to lie in wait 2) to lay waste 2a) (Niphal) to be laid waste

“BUT when a man acts presumptuously against his neighbour, to kill him (harag) by treachery, you are to take him even from My altar to die (muwth).” Ex 21:14

Let us move on to some of the other terms associated with murder (ratsah): harag and muwth.

Harag – to slay. This word is very interesting and to understand this word is so very helpful when teaching about the sixth commandment. Let us do the hard part first and look at the Hebrew word and Strong’s definition.
harag {haw-rag’} a primitive root; TWOT – 514; v AV – slay 100, kill 24, kill… 3, murderer 2, destroyed 1, murder 1, out of hand 1, made 1, put 1, slain 31, slayer 1, surely 1; 167 1) to kill, slay, murder, destroy, murderer, slayer, out of hand 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to kill, slay 1a2) to destroy, ruin 1b) (Niphal) to be killed 1c) (Pual) to be killed, be slain

On the surface, one would say, “how is this any different from murder in our commandment?” and certainly they look much alike. However, this word is used when a death is related to JUDICIAL matters. Completely different from murder – which is a one on one personal matter of someone planning to take the life of his brother. Most believers are aware of the instructions we are given, that if broken, are to result in stoning or death. So here is where this word “harag” comes into play. Yes, a person is purposefully “put to death” but it is a result of justice being handed out.

Again, from the TWOT:
The root of the word harag includes the ideas of murder and judicial execution, as well as the killing of animals. The first use of the word (Gen 4:8) reports Cain’s crime, shedding Abel’s blood which “cried to God,” i.e. for vengeance. David ordered the execution of the murderers of Isbosheth (II Sam 4:11-12). The same word is used for both murder and judicial execution in agreement with the command of Genesis 9:6 where we read: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood is shed, for in the image of Elohim has He made man.”

The murderer is to be executed on the grounds that failure to do so signifies consent to the crime and breaks the covenant with God. Furthermore it denies God’s image in man. Certainly, this word would be used in an instance when we need to “take someone’s life” in an act of self defense if we are being attacked. Very often, this word is used in scripture when we are reading of violent killing of men by other men as in war.

Certainly a person can slay another person without the intent to cause their death. We could receive a report that “so and so had been slain.” What does this mean? Only that someone is dead. We know nothing about what “caused” the death or by what means. A child diving into a pool and hits their head is slain, but it was an accident. Likewise two children could be playing catch and the baseball hits one of them just right in the nose such that he is slain, but it was an accident or unintentional.

To “be put to death” is muwth. This is an act of just punishment for an action of transgression of moral law. This is not the word for kill. Remember our word in our commandment is ratsach. Therefore when a secular society talks about putting manslayers to death, this is not murder and is not breaking a moral commandment. In fact if we are not holding others accountable for murder against the image of God, we are breaking His Covenant as we read earlier.

To smite is not to kill and to kill is not to murder. We may smite someone in violence or in self defense and not cause their death. We see a difference in the instruction concerning smiting one’s father or mother. In the following instruction we see that we are not allowed to even smite father or mother or we shall be put to death if we do.

“And he who smites his father or his mother shall certainly be put to death.” Ex 21:15. Did you see that? No one died here, but the one who simply smites the parent is to be put to death as punishment. And following in verse 17 we see the teachings of Yeshua from the spirit of the Torah right here in the letter of the Torah: “And he who curses his father or his mother shall certainly be put to death.” Ex 21:17

The punishment is the very same for cursing parents or for smiting them. Isn’t this exactly what Yeshua spoke of when He was teaching? He explained the instructions that they were to be in the heart and in the intention.

Numbers 35

The entire chapter 35 of Numbers give great instruction and guidance on how we are to handle incidents of when a life is taken by one of our community or society members. These guidelines were instituted by Yehovah for a Nation under His government given by divine order. Today, all Israel is scattered to the four corners of the earth and are all living in and under secular man-instituted governments but the instructions are still divine and expand our understanding of how Yehovah views things that happen as we live in this vessel.

Yehovah set up by divine order sanctuary cities, or cities of refuge. They were located in the cities in which the Levites were to live, and were there to make available a place for persons to go to if they became involved in the taking of a life.

“These six cities are for refuge for the children of Israel, and for the sojourner, and for the settler in their midst, for anyone who accidentally kills (nakah) someone to flee there.

But if he has smitten (nakah) him with an instrument of iron, so that he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death.
Now we should ask why Yehovah would say this. One could surmise that if you are striking someone with iron, plainly because the instrument is of such hardness as to destroy whatever it does strike, there is little defense to say you did not intend harm on purpose to that person. Further support is given in the next verse…

“And if he has smitten him with a stone in the hand, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death.
Or if he has smitten him with a wooden instrument that could kill, and he does die, he is a murderer. The murderer shall certainly be put to death.

The revenger of blood himself puts the murderer to death. When he meets him, he puts him to death.
A revenger of blood is referring to a kinsmen redeemer, kinfolk, brother, uncle, father, cousin, next of kin of the victim.

And if he thrusts him through in hatred, or throws an object at him while lying in wait, so that he dies, or in enmity he smites him with his hand so that he dies, the one who smote him shall certainly be put to death, for he is a muderer.

Are we talking about the avenger of blood here… no, we are still talking about the person who has committed the act of violence.

V 20 cont’d “The revenger of blood puts the murderer to death when he meets him.”

But if he pushes him suddenly without enmity, or throws an object at him without lying in wait, or uses a stone, by which a man could die, throwing it at him without seeing him, so that he dies, while he was not his enemy or seeking his harm,
Then the congregation shall judge between him who killed someone and the revenger of blood, according to these right-rulings.
And the congregation shall rescue the one who killed someone from the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall return him to the city of refuge where had fled, and he shall remain there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the set-apart oil.

But if the one who killed someone at any time goes outside the limits of the city of refuge where he fled, and the revenger of blood finds him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the revenger of blood kills him who killed someone, he is not guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest.

But after the death of the high priest he who killed someone is to return to the land of his possession.
And these shall be for a law of right-ruling to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Whoever kills someone has to be put to death as a murderer by the mouth of witnesses, but only one witness does not bear witness against someone to die.
And take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall certainly be put to death.
And take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge to return to dwell in the land before the death of the priest.
And do not profane the land where you are, for blood profanes the land, and the land is not pardoned for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.
And do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell, for I, YHWH, am dwelling in the midst of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 19:3-6
“Prepare a way for yourself, and divide into three parts the border of your land which YHWH your Elohim is giving you to inherit, that anyone who killed someone shall flee there.

And this is the matter of the one who killed someone who flees there and live: He who smites his neighbour unintentionally, not having hated him in time past, even he who goes to the forest with his neighbour to cut timber, and his hand swings a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbour so that he dies – let him flee to one of these cities and live, lest the revenger of blood, while his displeasure is hot, pursue the one who killed someone and overtake him, because the way is long, and shall smite him, though he was not worthy of death, since he had not hated him before.”

In matters of home defense, scripture is clear:
“If the thief is found breaking in, and he is smitten so the he dies, there is no guilt for his bloodshed.” Exodus 22:2

Killing or slaying is not always murder. Murder is always killing or slaying. Murder is an action that results in the taking of a life with causing a death being the intent of the action. As covenant keepers, we are commanded not to murder.

In moving toward the teachings of our Master Yeshua in the Apostolic writings, there is a link provided to visit on the web that has done an excellent job in breaking down His teaching on the Spirit of this instruction also. In other words, how Yeshua relates murder to the heart of a man, and how a man is to prevent all matters of the soul that may result in wickedness or breaking of the commandments. Rather than retyping an additional teaching, please click on the link and be blessed.

https://sites.google.com/site/christadelphianinfo/articles/christianliving/murder

1 John 3:15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

What is John speaking of here?

We read in Leviticus that if you see your brother sinning and do not correct him then it is the same as if you hated him.

Leviticus 19:17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.

This Brethren is what I was doing concerning eating out on the Sabbath. I was standing up and telling you it was wrong. If I did not do that I would be the same as hating you and also of murdering you.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart,…. Although no hatred may be expressed either by words or deeds, yet being in the heart is a breach of the sixth command, see Matthew 5:21; and of this a man may be guilty, when he does not attempt to save the life of his neighbour, either by bearing a testimony for him, or by delivering from danger, as preserving him from drowning, from wild beasts and thieves, as in Leviticus 19:16; or when he does not reprove him for sin, as in the next clause, but suffers him to go on in it to his ruin, either of which by interpretation is an hatred of him:

thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, for any sin committed by him, though secretly, yet known; which rebuke should be private, and repeated as may be found necessary, and given gently in meekness and tenderness:

and not suffer sin upon him; unconvinced of, unrepented of and persisted in, which may prove of fatal consequence to him; and therefore to let him alone, and go on in it without telling him of it, and reproving him for it, would be so far from acting the kind and friendly part, and showing him love and respect, that it would be an evidence of hating him at heart, at least it might be strongly suspected: or, “and not bear sin for him” (a); become a partner with him in his sin, and so become liable to bear punishment for it; which is a strong reason for reproving sin, in a proper manner, lest we should be partakers of other men’s sins; see 1 Timothy 5:20.

Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

1 John 2:9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

1 John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

If you see your brother sinning, you have an obligation to tell him of his sin privately. If he repents then forgive him and move on. But if you choose to do nothing then it is the same as if you have murdered him; which is what John is telling us.

Again the commandment in You shall not murder. If you let your brother continue in his sin He will die for it and you will be guilty of letting him continue and as such will be guilty of murder.

Evil thrives when good people do nothing.
So stop doing nothing and saying as long as it does not harm me then I am fine with it. Again get off you butt and tell people. You are commanded not only to keep the commandments, but also to guard them, which means you defend them when others break them. This means you must take action. Evil thrives when good people do nothing.

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

03/11/2012 Num 26 Amos 6-9 Lam 4-5 1 Cor. 6

Israel Numbered on the Plains of Moab (Numbers 26)
The terrible plague of the previous chapter marked a turning point for Israel. The first generation that had come out of Egypt is now gone and God requires another census, which Moses and Eleazar (Aaron’s son and successor) undertake: “But among these [whom they counted] there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai [in the first census]. For the Lord had said of them, ‘They shall surely die in the wilderness.’ So there was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun” (verses 64-65).

The numbering is, in part, for inheritance purposes, as tribal inheritance will be according to the principle of “share, and share alike,” with every tribe receiving proportions commensurate with their numbers (verse 54). Since someone is sure to say one piece of land is better than another, it is to be divided up by the casting of lots (verses 55-56).

A comparison of this census with the first one at Sinai is rather interesting. When the Israelites were delivered from slavery, the tribe of Simeon comprised 59,300 men of fighting age (1:22-23). Yet 40 years later, when Israel is about to enter the Promised Land, the Simeonites have only 22,200 men (26:4, 14)—a 62.5 percent drop in population, in contrast with an average 6.5 percent growth for the rest of Israel (even though four other tribes had shrunk slightly). What had happened? Though there could be another explanation, it is possible, as many have surmised, that a great number of Simeonites (known for their fiery temperament), along with groups from other tribes, left the mass of the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering. If so, where would they have gone? Since Jacob had prophesied that Simeon would be “scattered” among the tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:5-7), these early emigrants would probably have gone to the same place that other Israelites would go much later—Northwest Europe—paving the way for subsequent migrations (see our article about The 300 Spartans).

Interestingly, before the Romans invaded Britain centuries later, there was a Celtic clan living in what is now southwest England and Wales known as the Simonii, a name that may derive from the Simeonites.

Amos
Israel’s Prosperity and Pride; Opposition of Amaziah the Priest (Amos 6-7)
As chapter 6 begins, those of Zion (i.e., Jerusalem) and Samaria, the capitals of Judah and Israel, are warned together. The wealthy of both lands were overcome with pride in their possessions and indifference to the issues that really count (6: 6)—caring “nothing for the affliction of their fellow Israelites, though it was their transgressions that had caused it” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 4-6). Increasingly, it is becoming the same today. Amos told his audience to look at certain foreign cities. “It was the boast of Israel’s elite that no other nation was greater than they were. Their boast came back upon their own heads, for just as Calneh [the capital of a small kingdom in northern Syria], Hamath [an important central Syrian city north of Damascus], and Gath [one of the five main Philistine cities] were subjected to Assyrian rule, so Israel would be subjugated by the Assyrians” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 2).

The paraphrase of verse 3 in the New Living Translation makes the situation very plain: “You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.”

Of the references to Lo Debar and Karnaim, the Nelson Study Bible states, “Israel’s pride in its military strength would be its downfall. Lo Debar was a city east of the Jordan that Israel regained from Syria when Assyria crippled the strength of Damascus. Karnaim, a city east of the Jordan near the farthest limits of Israelite possession, was also regained when Assyria weakened Syria. God’s punishment of Israel would fit its sin of pride. As the Israelites reckoned that they had extended their borders by their own military strength, God would allow them to be harassed and defeated from border to border” (note on verses 13-14)—ironically, by the very same enemy that previously enabled their growth.

In chapter 7, God showed Amos three visions.
Locusts (7:1-3): They were to come after the king’s reaping. The king apparently took the first harvest of hay as a tax. If the locusts came after that, the people would have nothing. This could utterly destroy the Israelites, a fact that induced Amos to pray for them. “One function of the prophet was to serve as intercessor for the people before God. Amos prayed that the vision decreed in heaven might be halted before it was accomplished on earth. The basis of Amos’s petition lay in the true assessment of Israel’s position. They were not large and strong, as they thought; rather they were small and weak. In response to Amos’s intercession, and out of His own love for Israel God stayed His decree” (note on verses 2-3).

Fire (verses 4-6): This is an all-consuming fire that was to dry up all water—even the springs from underground—thus destroying the land beyond hope. Again Amos prays—and again God relents. Thus, we again see God willing to change His mind—just as He did when Moses interceded for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 32:9-14; Numbers 14:11-20).

Plumb line (verses 7-9): “The plumb line is a simple but basic builder’s tool. A weight attached to a line was held against a wall to measure its vertical trueness…. When God measured the morality of Israel’s society, it was shown to be so far from true that the whole construction had to be torn down” (Bible Reader’s Companion, caption of illustration for verses 7-9). “Unlike the first two visions, God did not give Amos opportunity to intercede, nor did He relent. These judgments would be executed. The plumb line of God’s revelation in the law had been set in the midst of…Israel for many generations. Now God would stretch a plumb line to demonstrate how ‘crooked’ the people’s observance of His commands had been” (Nelson, note on verses 7-9).

God proclaims through Amos that He will bring “the sword against the house of Jeroboam” (verse 9). “Jeroboam may refer to Jeroboam I, the first king of Israel, who instituted idolatry in the northern kingdom (see 1 Kin. 12:25-33), or to Jeroboam II, the monarch during the time of these prophecies [given through Amos]. If it is Jeroboam I, then the house of Jeroboam is a metaphor for the nation. If it is Jeroboam II, then the prophecy specifically concerns the royal household” (note on Amos 7:7-9). If it was a prophecy against the ruling king, then it was not specifically about him but about, as it says, his dynasty, since we know that Jeroboam II did not die by the sword but that his son Zechariah was assassinated just six months after taking the throne (see 2 Kings 15:8-10). It seems more likely, however, that Jeroboam I was in mind as a metaphor for rebellious Israel in general since the destruction mentioned did not come in the days of Jeroboam II or his son. Moreover, the prophecy of destruction is probably dual, mainly concerning that of the end time.

Amos’ message upset Amaziah. He was the priest of Bethel and would not have taken kindly to Amos’ prophecies against the worship center he presided over (Amos 7:9; 5:5-6). As Amos’ name meant “Burden” or “Burden-Bearer,” it is interesting to note that, though using a different Hebrew word, Amaziah complained to King Jeroboam, “The land is not able to bear all of his words” (7:10). Insidiously, Amaziah twisted the prophet’s words. Amos never said that Jeroboam II himself would die by the sword, as Amaziah reported (verse 11). Worse still, Amaziah imputed motives to Amos that he didn’t have—claiming Amos was behind a conspiracy against the king (verse 10). We should let this be a lesson for us. When seeing what others do or listening to what they say, it’s very easy to let our imaginations take over from fact, imagining what the motive might be, often on the basis of our evaluation of the other person’s character. But to act on this assumption as if it were fact puts us on dangerous ground spiritually.
Amaziah then addressed Amos. He seemed to recognize him as a “seer” (verse 12), a term used even of Samuel (1 Samuel 9:9, 19), but ignored Amos’ message except for its “seditious” elements. As a national official, Amaziah ordered Amos out of the country (Amos 7:12). The inviolability of Bethel, in his eyes, lay in its royal sanction (verse 13). Thus, this religious leader chose loyalty to the king over loyalty to God. And, of course, for Amaziah to submit to God’s true religion would have meant that he could no longer have been priest of Bethel—with all of the power and prestige of this position. No doubt, this played a part in his rejection of God’s servant.

Amos responded to Amaziah by telling him that it was the great God who had called him to prophesy. And now Amaziah’s own family would suffer the consequences of his sins.

Harvest of Judgment and Future Restoration (Amos 8-9)
Two more visions are related in the book.
The basket of summer fruit (Amos 8): Israel was ripe for punishment and it would come quickly. Again, Amos enumerates the Israelites’ sins: their inhumanity, their dishonest business practices and their injustice. But now he adds another matter—their careless approach to the Sabbath. Instead of keeping the Sabbath as holy time (compare Exodus 20:10-11; Isaiah 58:13), they were busy planning what they would do when it ended. “You can’t wait for the Sabbath to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless” (Amos 8:5, New Living Translation). Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), and, despite those who try to do away with God’s commandments, His Sabbath law is binding on Christians today. Keeping the Sabbath is more than staying home from work and just going to church services for an hour or two. The Sabbath is an entire day—from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset—that God declared to be holy. Whenever that time comes to us, we are in holy time. It is God’s time, not ours. He commands us to keep it holy. To profane it is a sin.

In verse 11, God says He will send a famine of hearing His words. Shockingly, the only thing that could rescue the Israelites at this point—i.e., God’s truth, if they would only heed it—is taken away from them. That this is an end-time prophecy can be seen in the heavenly signs of verse 9. As God’s “two witnesses” will be proclaiming God’s words publicly for three and a half years leading up to Christ’s return (see Revelation 11:1-13), it seems evident that the famine of the Word would precede their preaching. Putting other verses together, it is also evident that the two witnesses begin their preaching at the same time the Great Tribulation befalls Israel. Thus, it appears that the famine of the Word will occur prior to the Tribulation, when destruction and captivity is imminent. Still, it may be that the famine of the Word does run through the Tribulation, since it may not be so easy for the captive Israelites to hear the message of the two witnesses. In any case, with the coming famine of God’s Word in mind, His servants today should have the same urgent mindset that Jesus Christ had in His human ministry. He told His disciples, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

The Lord standing by the altar (Amos 9): “The people would have expected a vision of God by the altar to mean that He intended good for them, blessing them with His presence. Instead God would start at the altar, commanding that the destruction of the sinful nation begin there” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse 1). If this meaning is correct, then the verse is parallel with Ezekiel 9:6, where God says that destruction will begin at His sanctuary. However, it may be that the altar of Amos 9:1 is the pagan altar of Bethel—perhaps indicating that false worship is to be destroyed. Or the altar image may symbolize God making a “sacrifice” of many people (compare Isaiah 34:6; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 39:17-20). In any case, this vision does not bode well for the Israelites.

God even seems to say that He will slay Israel to the last man (Amos 9:1), finding them no matter where they go (verses 2-4). Yet He clarifies that a remnant of Israel would survive, passing through the nations as grain is sifted through a sieve (verses 8-9). While the political entity of Israel is destroyed, the Israelites are not utterly obliterated as a people. This, we should note, is an end-time prophecy, referring to the final captivity of Israel. However, for Israel to even exist in the end time, the exact same “sifting” process must have occurred in the wake of Israel’s ancient captivity, making this prophecy dual in its fulfillment. The northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by Assyria, but the “lost ten tribes” survived, being “sifted” through the nations, later to emerge as modern peoples in Northwest Europe. In fact, the United States and Britain are the principal nations of Israel today (see The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy for more detailed information). We would do well, then, to take warning.
Amos’ prophecy ends with a picture of the wonderful restoration of Israel under the rule of Jesus Christ. The “lost ten tribes” will return to their homeland, and the land will flourish as never before. “Israelite farmers plowed at the beginning of the rainy season, from mid-October. They harvested the grain crop—first barley, then wheat—from late March to early June. For the plowman to overtake the reaper would mean such an abundant harvest that it would last all summer and would not be gathered until the plowing had started again. Grapes were harvested from mid-summer to early fall. The grain crop was sown after the plowing in late fall. For the treader of grapes to overtake him who sows seed would mean the grape harvest would be so abundant that it would be extended for several weeks. The harvest of grapes would be so great that it would seem as though the mountains and hills themselves were flowing with rivers of sweet wine” (Nelson, note on verse 13). The Jewish resettlement of the Holy Land in the 20th century has certainly not fulfilled these verses. They describe the time following Christ’s return, when Israel will never be uprooted again (verse 15).

Lamentations
The Horror of Jerusalem’s Affliction (Lamentations 4)
Lamentations 4 gives graphic descriptions of the result of a long siege. Children are starving (verse 4), the noble and genteel have lost their arrogance (verses 5, 8), and the dead are better off than the others (verse 9). Most horrible of all is the cannibalism that is described in verse 10. One can only imagine the horrors that were taking place. Jeremiah witnessed them in graphic detail, and God did too. The sorrow and anguish of even the most sinful and evil human being is not lost to God’s knowledge and enduring love. Hope is always extended—hope that the excruciating experiences will cause a stubborn and unyielding people to make lasting and permanent changes in all they think and do.

Some have objected to the wording of verse 1—”How the gold has become dim!”—because gold does not tarnish. However, “since the second line refers to the destroyed temple, we can easily see a reference to its gold-covered panels and golden vessels so covered with dust that their value is no longer discernible” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 1-2). Moreover, the gold and stones of the temple are also used here to typify God’s people—who were far more valuable than the physical temple (see verse 2). Yet they are discarded as broken pottery.

The siege of Jerusalem was so severe that no one was exempt, even those who were considered to be especially holy—the Nazirites, who were specially consecrated to God (verses 7-8; see Numbers 6:1-21). Interesting to note here is the skin color of these people. There are some today who argue that the ancient Israelites and Jews were black, brown or olive in color. Yet Lamentations 4:7 describes those in good health among them as “brighter than snow and whiter than milk…more ruddy in body than rubies.” Chambers Concise Dictionary defines “ruddy” as “red; reddish; of the colour of healthy skin in white-skinned peoples” (1988). King David was also described as “ruddy and of a fair countenance” (1 Samuel 17:42, KJV). This is not the red of Native Americans but of Caucasian peoples with “ruby-red cheeks.” Consider that the Jews of today are also white. The phrase “like sapphire in their appearance” in Lamentations 4:7 must denote shiny skin as opposed to bluish coloring. The fact that the ancient Israelites were white supports the identification of northwest Europeans as their descendants (see our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy for more on this identification). Yet in the terrible siege conditions the skin of the people, even the Nazirites, has become black and dry (verse 8) from malnourishment and lack of water.

Verses 13-20 describe the culpability of a corrupt religious leadership. “The guilt of prophets and priests was incurred in a variety of ways. They incited the leadership to resist Babylon and so brought disaster on the city. They also were responsible for the death of at least one prophet whose message was like that of Jeremiah (Jer. 26:20-23). Finally, Ezek. 22:1-22 shows that the concept of ‘bloodguilt’ was quite broad, and included acts which threatened the well-being and thus shortened the lifespan of another. The active hostility of the religious leadership to Jeremiah and their indifference to the needs of common men, as well as their destructive meddling in politics, all contributed to the corruption of Jewish society and made judgment inevitable” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Lamentations 4:13-16). The religious leadership of the nations of Israel in the end time will be likewise culpable.

In verse 17, the people have watched for a nation that could not save them. In Jeremiah’s day, this referred to the Jews looking to Egypt for deliverance—a deliverance that never came. Even some time after Jerusalem’s fall, the Jewish remnant in the Holy Land will, as we will see, seek refuge in Egypt against God’s command—and suffer the consequences.

In verse 20, we see that the people looked to their Davidic king as their life breath. For besides looking to their king as their deliverer, they considered the Davidic dynasty as inviolable. While this was true in the sense that the dynasty would not end, it was not true in the sense of trusting any particular king as being unassailable. That was clearly a foolish conclusion considering what had happened to previous Davidic rulers. And indeed, a worse fate befell Zedekiah and his sons. Moreover, as we know, God was in the process of removing the Davidic dynasty from the nation of Judah. Living under a divinely established king did not immunize them against needing to fear and obey God individually—anymore than living in nations blessed by God today guarantees that everything will always go well, either for the nations or its citizens individually. Focusing upon being part of a “chosen” group takes one’s eyes off of personal responsibility.

The chapter ends with a surprising reference to Edom, the perennial enemy of Israel. The Edomites routinely rejoiced over calamity that came upon God’s people. Indeed, as other passages show, this enmity will persist to the very end of the age. Edom will even be part of the forces arrayed against Israel at that time. In verses 21-22, God basically says to Edom, “Rejoice while you can—you’re next!”

Yet, as verse 22 states, Zion’s punishment will be accomplished. This was not ultimately fulfilled in Jeremiah’s day. The punishment of Zion was not yet over. It was finished for that moment, but destruction would happen again more than six centuries later under the Roman armies. Israel is still rebellious and is not yet turned to God. Scripture indicates a final great punishment for Israel as the return of Christ draws near. How difficult it seems to be for mankind to learn and to change. In fact, it takes a miracle and direct intervention by God through the gift of His Holy Spirit. Israel will undergo the terrible Great Tribulation that lies ahead, but God will draw the line before complete destruction has occurred. And when He intervenes on Israel’s behalf, He will judge Israel’s enemies.

“Turn Us Back to You, O LORD” (Lamentations 5)
“The final dirge (5:1-22) is a cry for relief. This poem is not an acrostic, and the use of some 45 Hebrew words ending in u bolsters the sense of lament. The poet cries out to God to act in view of the dread conditions of His people” (Bible Reader’s Companion, chapters 4-5 summary).

Verse 6 mentions the people giving their hand to the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Yet the Assyrian Empire had long before fallen to the Babylonians. The reference may be to the sin of past generations, as verse 7 notes that their “fathers sinned.” Yet it may also indicate events of the end time, when Assyria will again be a dominant power—a major component in the Babylonian empire of the last days.

In verse 16, we find the people full of remorse over their sin. Things seem hopeless indeed. But all is not lost, as we see in the last verses of the chapter. The writer, probably Jeremiah, recognizes on behalf of the people that “God’s eternal rule and reign are a hope and support during the bleakest moments of suffering and despair (see Ps. 80:1, 2; 89:3, 4; 103:19)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Lamentations 5:19).

Yet, as verse 20 asks, why must deliverance be so long away? None of the prophets could have foreseen centuries and millennia passing before God brings this evil age to an end. The history of the Jews tells of the plaintive condition that these people of God—the survivors of Jerusalem, we might say—have lived under for such a very long time. History does not record any other single small group of people who have been hounded and persecuted from place to place almost all over the world—while yet waiting for their God to rescue them. The final chapter of Lamentations is the cry of human beings about to return to their God in the full understanding of their sin and God’s great mercy and love toward them.

The plea of verse 21, “Turn us back to You, O LORD,” is a recognition of the fact that God Himself must lead us to repentance. As Jesus Christ explained, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). Acts 5:31 states that God must “grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (NASB). And 2 Timothy 2:25 confirms that God must “grant…repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (NASB). He must remove the spiritual blindness that has come upon all human beings through the deceptive efforts of Satan the devil and their own corrupted human nature (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Revelation 12:9; Romans 7:15-23). God must reveal to us His truth, and help us to see the error of our ways. We will never come to fully realize our depraved condition apart from God’s revelation.

The final verse of Lamentations seems an odd statement and quite a down note to end on. Yet it does make sense in context—and is not so negative after all. The people, through Jeremiah most likely, have acknowledged their sins and the fact that their punishment was deserved. Now they ask for God to give them repentance—to help them turn their lives around. To that they essentially add: “…unless you really have utterly rejected us.” But it is already recognized in the book that this is not the case (see 3:31)—which means that the final addendum is, in effect, saying, “…unless, contrary to what You have promised, You really have utterly rejected us.” Yet rather than doubting God, as it might seem, this statement implies trust that He will act to defend His integrity. In that sense, the statement is intended to prod Him to fulfill His promises to restore Israel. Ultimately, He surely will.

1 Corinthians 6

In this chapter, Paul opens with a lot of instruction concerning judgments in the assembly and what seems to be small contentions between the members. Are they taking their petty differences to be decided upon “outside” to the secular courts? That is what is sounds like. Paul says this is to their shame and rightly so. The wisest people should be among the assembly members, and we, as believers, as to be able to judge or at least appoint judges among us… to decide these matters.

It is a strange thought today, of having a courts system within a church isn’t it? But it should not be so. Paul right here in 1 Corinthians is saying to appoint judges within the assembly to judge the matters between believers. We do not take these things outside to the secular world. But we do not do this today.

Paul points out two very pertinent points also. First of all, our Master taught us certain things about being wronged, ie turn the other cheek. Therefore, Paul states, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” as opposed to taking one another to the secular courts. And secondly…. Why in the world are there these things going on within the Body in the first place! Why are these things happening between brothers? Quite frankly, the persons doing these things shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim!

Paul implores these Corinthians concerning their bodies and how all the things they used to do and be engaged in, they are now delivered from in Messiah. Especially the transgression of whoring and sinning against one’s own body. It also sounds as though partying and drunkenness was an issue with them. “Do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your won? For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.”

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