News Letter 5851-011
4th day of the 3rd month 5851 years after the creation of Adam
The 3rd Month in the Sixth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence
The Year of the Tithe for the Widows, Orphans & Levites
The 49th day of Counting the Omer
May 23, 2015
Shabbat Shalom Followers of the Ancient Paths,
“CGI to Keep Sighted Moon to begin Month”
Welcome to the 49th day of Counting the Omer. Each year we are to count from the morrow after the sickle was put to the grain. Each and every year the sickle is put to the grain the evening before the Sunday that falls during the Days of Unleavened Brea, never the Sunday outside the Days of Unleavened Bread, as some suppose this year.
Last Sabbath I went to the CGI group in Toronto to present why Passover is on the 15th of the 1st month and not the 14th. I was asked to come and present, but very quickly found out I was being controlled by the person leading the group. He only wanted me to answer his questions about Ben Ha Arbayim. I had sent him and the group the article about this very thing.
So I objected and told him I was invited to present in order to show when Passover is. After a few exchanges I was allowed 15 minutes to present my case. I had to go quickly.
Once I finished on time, all that I had presented was rejected so they could hold to their current 14th position. The group was mixed on all the discussions going back and forth but they struck me as they wanted to hold on to the 14th tradition. So be it.
Here are my notes that I was only allowed to partially present.
Thank the group for coming and for allowing me to share the little I know.
In everything I do, I argue passionately for my position because I have presented it as if in a court of law. Which is the court of Yehovah. You Brethren are the Jury and you must decide what the facts are. You must do your own research and stop following the leaders.
You will stand alone before the Throne of Yehovah. So you need to know your facts or you will be told, be gone I never knew you.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
— Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945
“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.”
“Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
–Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923
“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them. ”
The questions are:
When is Passover?
Is it at the beginning of the 14th or is it at the beginning of the 15th?
What did Yehshua keep at the beginning of the 14th?
What is between the evenings?
Did Yehshua change the Passover from the 15th to a New Testament meaning of the 14th ?
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.
Mal 3:6 For I am Jehovah, I change not. Because of this you sons of Jacob are not destroyed.
Yet all the churches of God say Jesus did change the Passover. Which one is telling the bigger lie that all the people have believed?
What does the Apostle John say about the when the Passover was? He was a Jew and the one Yehshua loved the most. He was also an eyewitness.
Joh_12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was (who had died, whom He raised from the dead).
We then read how supper was made for him that sixth day before Passover and then on the next day this great crowd gathered to meet Him.
Joh 12:12 On the next day, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, a great crowd who had come to the Feast
Passover is on the 15 and we now count back 6 days to arrive at the 9th , 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, which is 6 days before. The Next day is when He rode the ass into Jerusalem, fulfilling the Lamb being taken and examined from the 10th day until the 14th day for any blemishes.
Joh_13:1 And before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come when He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own in the world, He loved them to the end.
Take note of the very time John is writing about here in chapter 13. Supper had ended. And it was before the Passover.
Joh 13:2 And when supper had ended, the Devil now having put into the heart of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon to betray Him,
Joh 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and went to God,
Joh 13:4 He rose up from supper and laid aside His garments. And He took a towel and girded Himself.
Joh 13:5 After that He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
Joh_18:28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the praetorium. And it was early. And they did not go into the praetorium, that they should not be defiled, and that they might eat the Passover.
Joh_18:39 But you have a custom that I should release one to you at the Passover. Then do you desire that I release to you the king of the Jews?
Joh_19:14 And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, Behold your king!
Yehshua could not be our Passover lamb if Passover was actually at the beginning of the 14th. because we have just read that Yehshua was killed on the Preparation day of Passover, which is the 14th. He also was examined from the 10th day until the 14th day as the lamb was.
1Co_5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
BUT…. After the meeting, the sermon was given and the Pastor said 6 times that the CGI should now be keeping the Sighted Moon to begin the month. He said it 6 times. I could not believe it. So after, when we had questions and answers, I asked a very pointed question. I asked;
Is CGI going to sight the moon from their headquarters or from Jerusalem?
The response was an affirmative answer saying they would be sighting the moon right here in Toronto.
I sat down and said, “Wow”. So although there is still some confusion, we now have one Church of God group stating that they will now begin to sight the moon to begin the months. This means that they will have to start the counting to the Holy Days as well by the sighted moon.
We will see this fall what they do next.
“New Moon of 3rd Month Sighted”
Third New Moon Sighted in Israel
The Hebrew Month begins Tuesday evening, May 19, 2015
On Tuesday May 19, 2015, the new moon was sighted from Israel. The moon was first sighted:
*at 7:48 pm from the mountains of Meron by David Cachicas;
*at 7:48 pm from Jerusalem (Old City Walls) by Klaus Bindernowski;
*at 7:51 pm from Kiryat Ata by Yoel Halevi;
*at 7:59 pm from Jerusalem by Gil Ashendorf;
*at 8:00 pm from Givat Zeev by Willie Ondricek and family.
“Sevening Ourselves to Our Husband Yehovah”
Each year when we count the Omer we are to also keep in mind where we are in the Jubilee Cycle. On the day that corresponds with the Year in the Jubilee Cycle we make special note of it. This year the 20th day matched up with this the 20th year in this 120th Jubilee Cycle.
We have now counted 7 Sabbaths since the Wave Sheaf day during the days of Unleavened Bread. Why do we do this? Why do we count 7 Sabbaths? Why didn’t Yehovah tell us to keep Shavuot on the 5th day of the 3rd month?
Why did Joshua have to circle Jericho 7 times? Why didn’t he do this for all the cities?
I found the following question and answer at Chabad.org
What is the reason for the bride walking around the groom seven times under the Chuppah (wedding canopy)? Is it an indication of a husband’s power over his wife?
Quite the opposite. The bride, by circling the groom, expresses her awesome power over him.
The seven circuits are reminiscent of the biblical story of Joshua leading theIsraelites into the Promised Land. They came to Jericho, a city known as the key to the land – if they could conquer it, the land would be theirs. But Jericho was protected by a big wall. There seemed to be no way in.
God commanded the Israelites to walk around the walls seven times. As soon as they did, a miracle happened – the walls came tumbling down and they were able to conquer the city.
Similarly, every man has a wall built around his heart. Men are taught to hide their feelings, to create an impression of impenetrability, to make it seem that they have it all figured out. Men create elaborate defenses to hide any sign of weakness or vulnerability, and fiercely guard their deepest secret – that inside they are sensitive and meek, simple and soft.
But a wise woman can pierce this defensive wall. If she surrounds her husband with the protective aura of her love, if she envelops him with affection, and if she makes him feel that he is the anchor, the center, the focal point of her life, then he can feel safe and comfortable. When that happens, the walls protecting his heart come tumbling down. Then she has conquered him – all of him.
Once you find a good man, encircle him with your love, and he’ll be all yours.
Even here they have recorded that the 7 times a women encircles a man comes from the events of Jericho.
Brethren, when you read your bibles take a step back and look at things with bigger eyes.
Yehovah had redeemed Israel at Passover and paid for them with the first born of Egypt.
He then brought them to Mount Sinai and on Shavuot in 1379 BC Yehovah proposed to Israel.
Exo 19:15 And he said to the people, Be ready for the third day. Do not approach a woman. 16 And it happened on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the voice of the trumpet was exceedingly loud, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the lower part of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it, because Jehovah came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. 20 And Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And Jehovah called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
Ex 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled, and stood afar off. 19 And they said to Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said to the people, Do not fear, for God has come to test you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. 22 And Jehovah said to Moses, So you shall say to the sons of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from the heavens.
Over two million people heard Yehovah state the 10 Commandments with His own voice. It is always good to go over what Yehovah actually spoke at this time of year.
Exo 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
Exo 20:4 You shall not make to yourselves any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me,6 and showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.
Exo 20:7 You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain. For Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.
Exo 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. You shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger within your gates. 11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it.
Exo 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long upon the land which Jehovah your God gives you.
Exo 20:13 You shall not kill.
Exo 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 You shall not steal.
Exo 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Two weeks ago we explained how the last 5 commandments are the same as leprosy.
Israel agreed to these commandments of Yehovah and said that they would obey.
Exo 19:5 And now if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all the nations; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which Jehovah commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together and said, All that Jehovah has spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people to Jehovah. 9 And Jehovah said to Moses, Lo, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever. And Moses told the words of the people to Jehovah.
Exo 24:1 And He said to Moses, Come up to Jehovah, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And bow yourselves afar off. 2 And Moses alone shall come near Jehovah, but they shall not come near. Neither shall the people go up with him. 3 And Moses came and told the people all the Words of Jehovah, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, All the words which Jehovah has said, we will do.
Exo 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the Words of Jehovah, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, All the words which Jehovah has said, we will do. 4 And Moses wrote all the Words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar below the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the sons of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bulls to Jehovah. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, All that Jehovah has said we will do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah has made with you concerning all these words. 9 And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. 10 And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as the essence of the heavens for clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the sons of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank. 12 And Jehovah said to Moses, Come up to Me in the mountain, and be there. And I will give you tablets of stone, and the Law, and commandments which I have written, so that you may teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his attendant Joshua. And Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, You stay here for us until we come again to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has any matters to do, let him come to them. 15 And Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. 16 And the glory of Jehovah abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of Jehovah was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mountain. And Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights.
We gave our word. We made an Oath that we would obey. When we seven ourselves, we are in fact oathing ourselves once again. By counting the 7 Sabbaths of Shavuot we oath ourselves to Yehovah. By counting the 7 days of the week to the Sabbath we again oath ourselves. By counting the 7 years of the Shmitah cycle and also of the Jubilee cycle we again oath ourselves to Yehovah.
Once a Marriage Ketuba, or contract or covenant is made then the Groom goes away and prepares His house for the bride. Our Groom was and is Yehovah.
He had prepared our place and was bringing us to it. A land flowing with Milk and Honey.
Eze 20:4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers. 5 And say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: In the day that I chose Israel, and lifted up My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt; when I lifted up My hand to them, saying, I am Jehovah your God; 6 in the day that I lifted up My hand to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 7 then I said to them, Let each man throw away the abominations of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am Jehovah your God. 8 But they rebelled against Me and would not listen to Me. They did not each man throw away the abominations of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. And I said, I will pour out My fury against them to fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I worked for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the nations among whom they were, for I made Myself known to them in their eyes, by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
We read in Numbers when the spies went up to the land two years after they left Egypt and they reported the land was filled with milk and honey.
Num 13:23 And they came to the valley of Eshcol and cut from there a branch with one cluster of grapes. And they carried it between two men upon a staff, and some of the pomegranates and of the figs. 24 The place was called the valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes which the sons of Israel cut down from there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. 26 And they left and came to Moses and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh. And they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him and said, We came to the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey. And this is the fruit of it.
Yehovah our Groom had prepared this land for us and it was flowing with milk and honey. But just was we were about to cross that threshold into the Land we rebelled and would not go for fear of the giants. And for that we had to wait another 40 years. Only then did Joshua and the Children of Israel cross the Jordan River, the threshold of the Promised land. They were now in the Beit, the house of Yehovah.
It is at this time that we see Israel circle around Jericho 7 times. As already mentioned, this is Israel circling her Groom 7 times in silence. Once they did this then Yehovah gave them the land as was symbolic of the walls of Jericho falling down before them.
Yes, we were married to Yehovah. He wanted to give us the world, but…we rebelled as you all know. And then Yehovah gave us, the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel a Bill of Divorce. He did not give one to Judah, but He did give one to us. You cannot give a bill of divorce if you’re not married.
Isa 50:1 So says Jehovah, Where is your mother’s bill of divorce, whom I have put away? Or to which of My creditors have I sold you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, and your mother is put away for your sins.
Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes for which backsliding Israel committed adultery, I sent her away and gave a bill of divorce to her, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she went and whored, she also.
We are then sent into captivity and dispersed throughout the world. This is the same story told in the book of Hosea. But Yehovah tells us something in Jeremiah.
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, 32 not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Jehovah; 33 but this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, says Jehovah, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 And they shall no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.
Yehovah was and is our Husband. There is hope for us after all. Yehovah wants us to come back. This then is shown to us in the book of Acts. The giving of the Holy Spirit also took place on the Feast of Shavuot.
Act 2:1 And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And dwelling at Jerusalem there were Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. 6 But this sound occurring, the multitude came together and were confounded, because they each heard them speaking in his own dialect. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, Behold, are not these who speak all Galileans? 8 And how do we each hear in our own dialect in which we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking the great things of God in our own languages. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying to one another, What does this mean?
The Holy Spirit and the ten Commandments are the very character of Yehovah. It is who He is. It is who we must become.
Joh 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
The very same Commandments spoken by Yehovah at Mount Sinai.
Joh 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him. 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My Words, and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
In these last days we are now once again seeing the pouring out on all flesh the Holy Spirit. So many have been called in these last ten years, and all of them coming to seek the love of Yehovah as John has stated. We show Yehovah our love by keeping and obeying the commandments of Mount Sinai. Our Ketuba which we must keep if we are going to have any hope of going across that threshold into the land of Milk and Honey.
Joe 2:25 And I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the locust larvae, and the stripping locust, and the cutting locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of Jehovah your God, who has dealt with you wonderfully; and My people shall never be ashamed. 27 And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Jehovah your God, and no one else; and My people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions. 29 And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave women in those days.
Each year as we walk once again this path of Righteousness as Psalm 23:3 says, as we keep this Feast of Shavuot at the proper time of our wedding renewal and we once again go over the covenant we agreed to keep, we rewrite it on our hearts, as we want to obey and we strive to do all He has commanded us.
Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man.
And yet some of you will still object to all of this saying, you do not have to keep the Sababth or the Holy Days or the Sabbatical years.
Yet we are told in Deuteronomy that we must keep these things in the land of our diaspora when it will not be as easy as it would have been had we done in the land of milk and honey. We must keep them where ever we are in order to be brought back now to the land of Milk and Honey. Read it for yourself.
Deu 30:1 And it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and when you shall call them to mind among all the nations where Jehovah your God has driven you, 2 and shall return to Jehovah your God and shall obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, with all your heart, and with all your soul, 3 then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity. And He will have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where Jehovah your God has scattered you. 4 If you are driven out into the outermost parts of the heavens, Jehovah your God will gather you from there, and He will bring you from there. 5 And Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. And He will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. 6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
You want to go to the Land that Yehovah has prepared for you? Then you must obey. Since we have been out of the land it has turned into a desert. But since Judah has gone back it has blossomed into a beautiful land. It will do the same for you once you return, but in order to return you must obey the agreement of the Ketubah or you will not be brought back.
Eze 20:38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who sin against Me. I will bring them out from the land where they reside, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah.
You are sinning when you do not keep the Seventh Day Saturday Sabbath.
You are sinning when you do not keep the Holy Days at the appointed times.
You are sinning when you refuse to keep the Sabbatical year.
No matter who you are, Yehovah is going to remove you from your place, no matter where you live. Those who rebel and sin and will not keep the covenant will not come into the land. They will die along the way.
This Shavuot review our Ketubah. Begin to practice the laws of the Kingdom you want to be in. And thank Yehovah for not leaving us in our sins and ignorance.
“Counting the Omer”
SHAVUOT | FEAST OF PENTECOST
This Feast of the fiftieth day has been a many-sided one and as a consequence, has been called by many names.266 The names are as follows:
- Chag Ha-Shavuot or H?ag Shabu’ot (Feast of Weeks)
- Azeret shel Pesah (Closing Season Of the Passover)
- Y om ha-Bikkurim (Day of the First-Fruits)
- Feast of Shabua or H?agga di-Shebu’aya
- H?ag ha-K?az?ir (Feast of Harvest)
- Azeret (Closing Festival)
Day Fifty | Praise Yehovah! | Psalm 150:1-6
Today is the fiftieth and final day of the counting from the day of the waving of the Omer on the morrow after the Sabbath. Today is the morrow of the seventh Sabbath, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, or the Day of First-Fruits.
1 Elohim does favor us and bless us. Cause His face to shine upon us. Selah. (Psalm 67:1)
2 For Your way to be known on earth, Your deliverance among all nations. (Psalm 67:2)
3 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim, let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:3)
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You judge the peoples uprightly, and lead the nations on earth. Selah. (Psalm 67:4)
5 Let the peoples praise You, O Elohim; let all the peoples praise You. (Psalm 67:5) 6 The earth shall give her increase; Elohim, our own Elohim, blesses us! (Psalm 67:6) 7 Elohim blesses us! And all the ends of the earth fear Him! (Psalm 67:7)
1 Praise Yah! Praise El in His set-apart place. Praise Him in His mighty expanse! (Psalm 150:1)
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! (Psalm 150:2) 3 Praise Him with the blowing of the ram’s horn. Praise Him with the harp and lyre! (Psalm 150:3)
4 Praise Him with tambourine and dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! (Psalm 150:4)
5 Praise Him with sounding cymbals. Praise Him with resounding cymbals! (Psalm 150:5)
6 Let all that have breath praise Yah. Praise Yah! (Psalm 150:6)
“Triennial Torah Reading”
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah Reading
23/05/2015 Lev 4 Jeremiah 24-25 Prov 16 Acts 13
Sin Offerings (Leviticus 4)
As we’ve already seen, “in the Burnt-offering and other sweet-savour offerings, the offerer came as a worshipper, to give in his offering, which represented himself, something sweet and pleasant to [the Eternal]. In the Sin and Trespass-offerings, which were not of a sweet savour, the offerer came as a convicted sinner, to receive in his offering, which represented himself, the judgment due to his sin or trespass…. In the one case the offering was accepted to shew that the offerer was accepted of the Lord; and the total consumption of the offering on the altar shewed God’s acceptance of, and satisfaction in, the offerer. In the other case the offering was cast out, and burnt, not on God’s table, the altar, but in the wilderness without the camp; to shew that the offerer in his offering endures the judgment of God, and is cast out of His presence as accursed…. And yet the Sin-offering needed to be ‘without blemish,’ as much as the Burnt-offering…. A part indeed, ‘the fat,’ was burnt on the altar, to shew that the offering , though made a sin-bearer, was in itself perfect…. ‘The fat,’ as we have already seen in the other offerings, represents the general health and energy of the whole body. Its being burnt to God was the appointed proof that the victim offered for sin was yet in itself acceptable” (Jukes, pp. 142-143, 146, 165).
There were different regulations for the sin offering depending on who the offerer was. If the sin being atoned for was that of the entire congregation or the priesthood, the blood of a sacrificial bull was to be brought inside the Holy Place and sprinkled on the altar of incense. This was not necessary in the case of a civil ruler or common person. One guilty individual would not necessarily upset the entire spiritual life of the nation. But sin among all the people or the priests would. And, thus, the incense altar, which represented the prayers of God’s people ascending up to His throne and therefore their contact with Him, had to itself be purified of the taint of sin. It should also be recognized that when the sacrifice was not for themselves, the priests were to eat part of it. They were, thus, satisfied when the demands of divine judgment were met and the spiritual life of the nation preserved. But when a priest was atoning for his own sin, the whole animal was to be burnt outside the camp—for no one was allowed to profit from his own sin.
Special sin offerings for priest and congregation were sacrificed on the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 16:11-19, 27). The only differences were that on Atonement the animal for the whole congregation was specified as a goat (goats being used as a sin offering for the congregation in other special circumstances as well) and, on that one day only, the blood was taken beyond the altar of incense into the Most Holy Place.
Clearly Yeshua Messiah fulfilled the sin offering by dying in our place. But there is a sense in which this offering is also fulfilled in us—in a secondary way. Jukes explains: “God forbid I should be mistaken upon this point, as though I thought that the saint could atone for himself or others…. Still, there is a sense and measure in which the Sin-offering has its counterpart in us, as bearing on our self-sacrifice: there is a sense in which the Messiahian may bear sin, and suffer its judgment in his mortal flesh…. Messiah’s death in the flesh for sin is made our example: we too must also, yea therefore, die with Him…. The saint, as having been judged in the person of Messiah, and knowing that for him Messiah has borne the cross, follows on by that cross to judge and mortify all that he finds in himself still contrary to his Lord. The flesh in him is contrary to that Holy One [compare Romans 7:18, 23]: the flesh in him therefore must die…. God’s truth is, that so far from ‘the flesh’ or ‘old man’ being saved from death by the cross, it is by it devoted to death and to be crucified [Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20]; and that Messiah’s death, instead of being a kind of indulgence for sin, or a reprieve of the life of the flesh, the life of the old man, is to His members the seal that their flesh must die, and that sin with its lusts and affections must be mortified [Colossians 3:5]” (pp. 204-206).
Seventy Years; Judgment on the Nations (Jeremiah 25)
This chapter of Jeremiah was written either just before or just after Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah—following the battle of Carchemish—and made Jehoiakim swear allegiance to him. Since mention is made of the “first year of Nebuchadnezzar,” it seems most likely to refer to the period following his accession to the throne of Babylon in September of 605 B.C.—which occurred just after the invasion of Judah. If so, then Nebuchadnezzar basically came and went. It does not appear that he wrought any real damage on Judah at this time. Most likely, with Egypt in retreat, Jehoiakim switched allegiances rather quickly—giving up the temple treasures and prisoners mentioned in Daniel 1 without any resistance.
Yet Jeremiah views what has transpired as a turning point—the beginning of the fulfillment of what he has proclaimed at God’s behest for 23 years, in conjunction with other prophets, since the beginning of his ministry (see Jeremiah 25:3). At that earlier time, he had proclaimed that destruction would come on Judah from “the north…all the families of the north” (1:14-15). Now, he makes it clear that this refers to the Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar (25:8-9).
Verses 11-14, relating to the “seventy years,” have been a source of confusion to many. It seems to say that Babylon would fall in 70 years, and that this would be the same period as Judah’s desolation. Jeremiah later writes to captives, telling them that God would cause them to return to the Promised Land “after seventy years are completed at Babylon” (29:10). According to 2 Chronicles 36:20-23, the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. began the 70 years of desolation in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy. Daniel and Zechariah apparently understood it this way too (Daniel 9:2; Zechariah 1:12).
So where is the difficulty? Jeremiah gave his prophecy around the time that the initial deportation of Jews (such as Daniel) occurred, in 605 B.C. But ancient Babylon fell to Cyrus of Persia in 539 B.C., just 66 years later. And in that first year of Cyrus, he issues a decree allowing the Jews to return to the Promised Land—again in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Ezra 1:1). Nothing significant appears to have happened in 535 B.C., 70 years after Jeremiah gave this prophecy. Furthermore, it seems strange that punishment was supposedly to come on Babylon in 535 B.C. when the Babylonian Empire ended four years earlier, in 539 B.C.
How, then, do we resolve this? We must realize that Jeremiah was foretelling two distinct things, each lasting 70 years but not necessarily the same 70 years. They are linked together because the accomplishment of the one is necessary for the fulfillment of the other. Jeremiah 25:11 mentions: 1) the desolation of Judah; and 2) the duration of the Babylonian Empire. Verses 8-10 describe the first element. Verse 11 is the transitional verse, which includes both elements. And verses 12-14 amplify the second element, explaining that Babylon will be destroyed at the end of its imperial reign.
How long did the Babylonian Empire last? While the last pockets of Assyrian resistance were eliminated in the 605 Battle of Carchemish, the Assyrian Empire really came to an end with the fall of Haran to Babylonian-led forces in 609 (this was the defeat of the army that had fled Nineveh at its fall three years earlier in 612). Starting in 609, Babylon turned from battling the Assyrians themselves to subduing all the former Assyrian territories, beginning with the land of Armenia. Thus, the Babylonian Empire began in 609 B.C. It then lasted 70 years, until the conquest of Cyrus in 539 B.C. So this 70-year period had already begun when Jeremiah prophesied. Notice that he didn’t say otherwise.
The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, including the temple of God, and took the bulk of the population captive in 586 B.C. This accomplished its desolation, which Jeremiah foretold. As mentioned, the fall of Babylon to Cyrus in 539 enabled the return of the Jews to the Promised Land. But the repopulation of the land took place over time. It is significant to note that 70 years from 586 B.C. brings us to 516 B.C., the time the temple reconstruction begun under Zerubbabel was completed. The mirth and gladness of verse 10—repeated from 7:34 and 16:9—found greatest expression during the annual festivals, which were observed in the presence of the temple. Thus, the restoration of the temple brought an end to the 70-year desolation Jeremiah prophesied. (See also Jeremiah 33:10-11, where the return of the voice of joy and gladness, and of bride and bridegroom, is associated with bringing “the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.”)
Moving on in chapter 25, notice the reference in verse 13 to prophecies against the nations recorded in the book of Jeremiah. It may simply refer to what follows beginning in verse 15. But it could also refer to chapters 46-51. Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary notes regarding 25:13: “It follows from this, that the prophecies against foreign nations (chs. 46-51) must have been already written. Hence LXX [the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures] inserts here those prophecies. But if they had followed immediately (vs. 13), there would have been no propriety in the observation in the verse. The very wording of the reference shows that they existed in some other part of the book, and not in the immediate context. It was in this very year, the fourth year of Jehoiakim (ch. 36:1, 2), that Jeremiah was directed to write in a regular book for the first time all that he had prophesied against Judah and foreign ‘nations’ from the beginning of his ministry. Probably, at a subsequent time, when he completed the whole work, including chs. 46-51, Jeremiah himself inserted the clause, ‘all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.’ The prophecies in question may have been repeated, as others in Jeremiah, more than once; so in the original smaller collection they may have stood in an earlier position; and in the fuller subsequent collection, in their later and present position.”
Starting in Jeremiah 25:15 and continuing to the end of the chapter, God pronounces judgment on the nations. Notice that He begins with Jerusalem and Judah—”put first: for ‘judgment begins at the house of God’; they being most guilty whose religious privileges are greatest (I Pet. 4:17 [compare Ezekiel 9:6])” (JFB Commentary, note on Jeremiah 25:18). Yet in fairness, judgment is brought on all nations (see especially verse 29).
In verse 26, the name Sheshach refers to Babylon (see Jeremiah 51:41). Various explanations have been given for it. One is that it was written according to a code wherein the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is expressed by the last, etc., so that the word Sheshach would exactly correspond to Babel. However, it seems unnecessary to conceal the word Babel here since the word Babylon is given in close context in both places. Others translate the word as meaning “Bronze-Gated” or “House of a Prince.” And there are still other explanations (see JFB, note on 25:26; Alfred Jones, “Sheshach,” Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, 1997). Perhaps the most likely meaning is “thy fine linen” (The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon, Strong No. 8347, on-line at bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/ Hebrew). This would seem to tie in with the description of end-time Babylon in Revelation 18:16: “that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls.”
The prophecy of judgment on the nations in Jeremiah 25 applied in part to what happened in ancient times. All of those mentioned in verses 17-25 fell to Babylon. Then, as in verse 26, Babylon fell after them. But this scenario will be repeated in the last days. Indeed, it is clear from verses 31-33 that a final fulfillment of this prophecy will come in the end time, when a large percentage of mankind will be destroyed during the Day of the Lord (compare Isaiah 66:16).
First Part of Major Solomonic Collection Cont’d (Proverbs 14)
- Self-Protective and Self-Destructive Behavior (14:1-3)
“TYPE: INCLUSIO” (The New American Commentary). “Verses 1 and 3 go together as signaled by the repetition of ‘wise’ and ‘fool/foolish’; the difference between the two [types of people] is explained in verse 2” (The NIV Application Commentary, note on verses 1-7). Verses 1 and 3 show that the wise will ultimately benefit from their right choices but the foolish ultimately hurt themselves and those close to them. Verse 2 shows that what makes the difference is one’s attitude toward God. It also makes clear that how one lives shows whether one properly reveres God or not.
Verse 1 is paraphrased in the New Century Version (NCV) as: “A wise woman strengthens her family, but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does.”
In the NIV, verse 3 opens with the words, “A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back….” The NCV has “Fools will be punished for their proud words….” However, the Jewish Soncino Commentary points out: “The word [translated ‘rod’] is found again only in Isa. [11:]1, where it signifies a new branch growing from the trunk of a tree. If rod was intended, as a symbol of punishment, another Hebrew word, shebet, would have been more appropriate. It is better, therefore, to translate: ‘a branch (producing) pride.’ From the fool’s mouth issues haughty speech which has the effect of getting him into trouble” (note on verse 3). In either case, the implication is that the emergence of pride is ultimately self-destructive—especially given the contrast in the verse in which the wise are preserved by their own carefully chosen words.
- A Worthwhile Investment (14:4)
“TYPE: SINGLE BICOLON PROVERB” (NAC). Where the KJV has “crib,” the NIV has “manger” and the NKJV has “trough”—the object here being the feed-trough for oxen. Soncino comments: “This animal was employed for ploughing and threshing the corn [i.e., grain] (Deut. [22:]20, [25:]4). The point of the verse is neither the importance of agricultural work…nor the value of work as opposed to slothfulness…. As sometimes happens with a proverb, the abstract thought is presented by means of a concrete example. So here, the ox is used as an illustration. Having no ox is, from one point of view, an advantage because a man is then freed from attending to its care; but as against that there is the great advantage of having an ox for the provision of essential food. Consequently, the disadvantage of having to look after the animal is far outweighed by the benefits which accrue from its employment in the field” (note on verse 4).
The New American Commentary takes it a step further: “The point is that one must make an investment (obtain and feed the oxen) to get a large return” (note on verse 4).
- Look Who’s Talking (14:5-7)
“TYPE: THEMATIC….One should evaluate what a person says on the basis of his or her overall credibility (v. 5). Similarly, one should not expect to get sound advice from a person who shows no respect for the precepts of wisdom (vv. 6-7). In short, the character of the speaker serves as a warning about whether his words are true or wise” (NAC).
Verse 5 is similar to verse 25.
The counsel in verse 7 does not mean we must immediately leave a room if a foolish person is in it. The point is that we should not associate with foolish people as much as is reasonable—and certainly not look to them for guidance. “Once again, the proverbs recognize that the company one keeps will have its influence. Taken together [with related proverbs], one can learn better alone than with the help of a fool” (NIV Application Commentary, note on verse 7; compare 13:20).
- Appearance and Reality (14:8-15)
“TYPE: CHIASMUS….Life is often deceptive, and the text here implicitly exhorts readers not to be taken in by appearances [or how things might seem]…This series of proverbs is a carefully balanced chiasmus [or concentric arrangement]:
“The meaning of ‘the folly of fools is deception’ (v. 8 [NIV]) is not immediately evident, but the parallel in v. 15 implies that the naiveté of fools is in view” (NAC). Verse 15 shows that the simple are gullible while the wise proceed cautiously—to borrow from a modern proverb, they look before they leap. On the word in verse 8 translated “deceit” or “deception” (NIV), Soncino notes: “The verb from which this noun is derived, means ‘to mislead'” (note on verse 8). The NRSV renders the verse this way: “It is the wisdom of the clever to understand where they go, but the folly of fools misleads.” The wise know that things are not always as they seem.
“Verses 10, 13 likewise observe that no one knows the inner life of another’s heart and that the appearance of happiness can be deceptive” (NAC).
Verse 9 is somewhat difficult to translate and the King James and New King James are probably incorrect here. The NIV has a likelier rendering: “Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.” Thus, “verse 9 states that the wicked believe they can avoid making restitution, but v. 14 [in concentric parallel] gives assurance of divine retribution. In other words, the appearance of getting away with a crime is belied by a justice that is not obvious or quick but is certain.
“In vv. 11-12, at the heart of the chiasmus, the apparent success of the wicked is short-lived…. The message of the whole is to avoid a superficial analysis of the lessons of life” (NAC).
Verse 12, repeated in 16:25, is crucial to always keep in mind. People the world over often act according to what they personally think is right—but not according to the way of life God reveals in His Word. Thus they all march headlong down the broad road to destruction (compare Matthew 7:13)—in dire need of true education and God’s salvation. We must be sure to always look at things through the godly lens of Scripture and not mere human reason, living by faith and not by sight (compare Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7).
- A Patient Spirit (14:16-17)
“TYPE:…THEMATIC” (NAC). As pointed out in verse 15, a wise man thinks before he acts. Contributing to his reasoned patience is, as verse 16 notes, a healthy fear of the consequences of evil. This contrasts with the foolish self-confidence behind rashness and impulsive anger.
- A Crown of Wisdom, An Inheritance of Folly (14:18-24)
TYPE: INCLUSIO, CHIASMUS, PARALLEL PROVERBS. “This text promises that the righteous will be crowned with wisdom and see fools bow before them. The passage also gives a few specific guidelines for right behavior, including compassion and personal diligence” (NAC).
Verses 18 and 24 are tied together through the wise receiving a crown or reward and the foolish inheriting only folly. The NIV captures the sense of verse 24: “The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.” This is not a promise of wealth for the godly in this age. It merely expresses the principle that wealth is gained and sustained through wisdom and prudence, while the foolishness of fools leads to an outcome of more foolishness. Of course, the godly will be richly rewarded in the ages to come.
“Verses 20-23 fall between these verses and are themselves bound together in a complex manner. Verses 20 and 23 both deal with wealth and poverty, and vv. 21-22 both contrast those who are kind with those who plot evil. Viewed in this manner, vv. 20-23 are in a chiastic pattern. On the other hand, vv. 20-21 both concern the different ways a ‘neighbor’ is treated, and vv. 22-23 both concern the respective gain or loss that comes to the good/diligent as opposed to the evil/lazy. Viewed in this manner, vv. 20-23 are two sets of parallel proverbs. Both the chiasmus and the parallel pattern may be viewed as follows:
“The full text deals with the recompense that accompanies wisdom or folly. Ethical issues here [that impact the outcome] include concern for the poor, diligence in work, and integrity in dealing with others” (NAC, note on verses 18-24).
Treatment of the poor (verses 20-21) is revisited in verse 31. In verse 20 the many friends of the rich are not true friends that can be counted on. Thus the New Living Translation rendering: “…the rich have many ‘friends.'” These are mostly parasitical, seeking handouts, personal advancement or notoriety through association.
- An Honest Witness (14:25)
“TYPE: SINGLE BICOLON PROVERB” (NAC). As earlier noted, this verse is similar to verse 5.
- The Fear of the Lord (14:26-27)
“TYPE: THEMATIC” (NAC). These proverbs focus on the fear of the Lord—the proper reverence and awe of God in His holiness and power through which the whole book of Proverbs is to be viewed and comprehended (compare 1:7). This perspective will protect us and our loved ones we influence, preserving us through various trials and keeping us from falling away to ultimate destruction. We will note more about this when we come to Proverbs 19:23.
- National Security (14:28-35)
“TYPE: INCLUSIO [POSSIBLE CHIASM]….The health and well-being of a nation depends upon both the ruler and the governed. A ruler must be fair and above all must respect the rights of his people. The people, on the other hand, must have virtue in their lives or they will bring society into chaos. No government can succeed without the people, and no people can thrive if corruption and evil abound. The inclusio here is formed by v. 28, which describes a king’s need for a sizable populace, and v. 35, which obliquely asserts a king’s need for capable servants” (NAC).
In its note on verses 28-35, The NIV Application Commentary sees a possible chiasm here, based on the terms used:
Verse 29, which contrasts impulsiveness with patience, is followed by verse 30, which contrasts a sound heart or “a heart at peace” (NIV) with envy. Both verses show reasoned calm to be superior to uncontrolled emotion. In the latter verse, this calm is healthful while negative emotion is actually destructive to the body—facts borne out in modern medical science.
Verse 31, similar to verse 21, warns the powerful, such as national rulers, from oppressing the poor. To oppress the poor is to reproach God, since He has commanded that the poor be treated well. Those who honor God will obey Him in proper treatment of those in need. There may even be a hint here of Yeshua’ later teaching that as we treat people, so we treat Him (compare Matthew 25:31-46)—a principle more evident in Proverbs 19:17. See also 17:5.
Proverbs 14:32 says that the righteous has a refuge in death. Note again the refuge in the fear of the Lord in verse 26. While the wicked are swept away when calamity comes, the righteous ever have the refuge of God—even in death, showing hope beyond the grave (compare Isaiah 57:1-2). This is true in both an individual and collective sense.
The first colon of Proverbs 14:34 is inscribed above the entrance to a prominent American building—Los Angeles City Hall. That great city, and the nation at large—indeed all the world—would do well to heed this saying on the importance of the citizenry living according to God’s standard of righteousness and not descending into sin. Verses 34 and 35 are both linked by the theme of shame among those governed. “A people may wish for good character qualities in their leaders, but they ought to hold themselves to the same high standards. This may be a jab at the common assumption that honest and forthright character is always a good idea for someone else” (NIV Application Commentary, note on verse 35). Indeed, every person’s character contributes to the character of the whole community, so we should each take this as a personal responsibility.
At the Assembly at Antioch, many were gathered and they were fasting and prayer. During this time the Set apart Spirit gave them instruction to separate Sha’ul and Barnabah for a special work and to send them out. So they did.
They went out to Seleukeia and then sailed to Cyprus. Having come to Salamis, the proclaimed the Word of Elohim in the congregations of the Yehudim. They passed through all the islands of Paphos and came across a magician name Bar-Yehoshua who was with the pro-consul Sergius Paulus who called for Sha’ul and Barnabah for he wanted to hear the Word of Elohim. The magician came against them and tried to turn them away. Sha’ul was able to blind this man in his rebuke of him and his ‘wiles of the wicked one’
The proconsul thus believed.
After this and some travel, they came to a Sabbath assembly in Antioch to Pisidia. After hearing the reading of the Torah and Prophets, the people were invited to speak to offer any encouragement they may have for the people. At this Sha’ul stood up and spoke. He spoke of the history of the People of Israel, followers of Elohim, the seed of Abraham and told them that their promised Seed had come in Messiah Yeshua. He gave testimony of the Psalms and the death, burial, and resurrection of the Moshiach.
After the meeting, the Yehudim left but the gentiles begged for Sha’ul to stay and come and speak to them the next Sabbath day. The next Sabbath brought enormous crowds to hear what Sha’ul had to say. The Yehudim became jealous and begin to persecute and speak against them. After stirring up many people against them, they chased them out of their city. Sha’ul and Barnabah left there and continued on their way, teaching and bringing many ‘into the Light’ of salvation and faith.