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News Letter 5847-051
16th day of the 12th month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 12th Month in the Second year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences.
March 10, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
We are looking for Brethren who are willing to host in the New York, New Jersey and Boston Area. If you would like me to present the Sabbatical and Jubilee teachings and the Prophecies they reveal to your group or a number of groups then let me know or you can write Judith at dennisdenx8@yahoo.com or Lora at lorna-40@live.com

This Sunday March 11, 2012 I will be speaking at the Honey & Locust Internet Cafe and Specialty Book Store in Sarnia Ontario at http://honeyandlocust.com/ I will be concluding the series by explaining the Prophecies in the Law of Niddah and the 70 Shabua and how this all points to WAR and what it means to each person here.

Honey & Locust Internet Cafe and Specialty Book Store
180 Front Street North
Sarnia Ontario
Canada N7T 5S3
519-491-2588

The Last two week we covered the basics of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years and the Prophecies of Abraham. This week we will add to these the teachings of the 70 Shabua and the The Porphecies in the law of Niddah. These two are as up to date as possible and those who have heard them before have not hear what is now being explained. The meetings go from between 10 AM-12 and then from 1-4PM this Sunday. If you’re in Michigan then come on over. Sarnia is just on the other side of the Bridge at Port Huron.

On March 16 Next Friday evening at 7 PM and again on Shabbat March 17 starting at 12 noon. I will be speaking with the Brethren just outside London Kentucky. http://www.devotedtoyahveh.com/
The congregations address is
Yah’s Messianic Fellowship
2240 KY 1527 Gray, Ky.
PO Box 425 Heidrick, Ky. 40949

Our leader is Michael Jackson(Mike). His #is 606-622-4102 if you would like to speak with him. You are scheduled for 7 p.m Friday the 16th and we will start at 12 on Shabbat. We will break somewhere 3-5 for Oneg and then continue after that time.

I advise you to google map 2240 Highway 1527 Gray Ky to find this place easily.

As you are driving south on I-75 you would exit at mile marker 29 toward Corbin/Barbourville. Should be a Cracker Barrel on your right as you exit. You will go to the light and turn left. You will pass a shopping area then it kind of clears out to country. Go approximately 17 miles. Not sure which way the marker #’s are running but you will turn left onto 1527 just past mile marker 16. We are the second building on the left.

We are a mixture of Torah/Israel lovers from various backgrounds and levels of learning. But we have a great fellowship and hopefully our only goal is to learn and to please our Father.

On March 24, 2012 I will be up in Sunridge Ontario speaking. If you in this area and want to join us please contact Kevin or Kathryn Preston by phone as we are almost as capacity now.
Kevin and Kathryn Preston
Phone: 7052230118
Address: 23 Strong Joly Road, Sundridge

Directions: we are now bypassed by the four-lane highway (11), thus you take the exit for Sundridge/Parry Sound (Hwy124); as you go North on the Sundridge via, and are going past Sundridge, turn right at Union Street and continue to the stop sign. Turn left at the stop sign - onto Forest Lake Road and continue about 3 kms (you will pass our infamous township dump) once past the dump you will go around a bend and at the bottom of the hill there is a road - (Boundary or Joly Township) it only turns to the left and we are at the top of the hill just after you turn onto that road - 23 Strong Joly Road.

We also will be in California at the club house at the
Tammaron Moble Home Park
14610 Mono Way
Sonora, Calif 95370
On the May 19th weekend. There is plenty of parking and there is no cost to anyone to do it there…seating is limited to 55 people….the contact will be John & Lonnie Nelson 209-586-3708…since it is a Sabbath we will be asking for everyone to bring something to share for a late lunch early dinner maybe around four or so and some type of snack to share like muffins, cookies or something for a break.

If you’re anywhere near any of these meetings do make the effort to come out and hear what is being shared. There is no cost and the amount of information you gain is priceless. And if you’re considering hosting me teach about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years then let us know ASAP so we can plan it and make it happen.

From Last week’s News Letter we have the following emails and posts;
Something interesting i discovered some time ago in the Aramaic NT, Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Corinthians 5:6-8 our translations) The Aramaic - Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the leaven of sincerity and truth. (I Corinthians 5:6-8) Not all leaven is bad as we see in Mat 13:33. We are to put out old leaven, malice and wickedness, but we are to let sincerity and truth grow/spread (as does se’or) within us. (Don’t stop reading yet!)

The usage of the term “old leaven” fascinates me. What does it mean? I have never done sour dough lumps for a long length of time. Am wondering if it renews for about a year, then you must start anew, with a new “lump”. When they talked of “leaven” in those days they were talking about the “lump” of fermented dough they put into the new bread-to-be. That is what “se’or” was/is. Not the yeast we today buy in packets. (But i do think we should put those out at this time, they are today’s se’or for most of we bread makers.)

Another interesting point is that they would need to start new “se’or” each year because they would have got rid of that fermenting lump. So how did they do that? Several possibilities, but we know that yeast spores are carried by the air/ wind, if you may, the “ruach”, (what gems might we find in that fact?) and they would enter unprotected, unfermented dough, or a sourdough like mixture, and spread in that medium. i read once it takes about a week (7 days:)) for that process to happen. i tried it many years ago, my dough ended up going bad. Need to do that experiment again. There are so many lessons we can learn just from the process, as it would have been done at that time.

So i can see the possibility of the Aramaic version as teaching for that week that we do not put se’or in the bread we make, we use up the old lump before the feast. Then we can start with a “new lump”, new fermenting agent after those 7 days. Another lesson i see is to be careful what we let in out lives, as we are careful in making our bread.

Do a study of how fermentation/yeast works. You will find it is alive and it spreads. That is not true of the other leavening agents we have in our day. And you cannot get the true lesson by “putting out” these agents. As i said above, the leavening agent is a fermenting agent, and it is pictured by the leavened “lump”. “Barm” would be another term to check. Consider a deeper study of how and why “se’or” works, what is the lesson, not what the finished product looks like (you know Greek vs Hebrew reasoning :) . Baking powder and soda do “puff up”, as does yeast/se’or, but they do not spread/grow on their own. ( if you don’t get them mixed evenly in the batter, you have an uneaven/lumpy finished product.) There is the lesson, the spreading. When i first came to realize that yeast works differently than baking powder and soda, there wasn’t much info on the net. Now there is a lot that points to a more correct understanding of what Abba had in mind. And there are many other facets i haven’t addressed here.

As a side note - Devorah from kulturedkaraite pointed out to me that the usage of leaven and leavened is only used in the context of grain products (i think she also refrains from beer and grain alcohols at this time) in scripture. I looked up all the references and found more correctly that it has to do with baked grain products. So even though term “bread” is attached to haMatzot when it isn’t in the text, we know flour is meant, and that produces breads of different types.

One last point, one year at Sukkot a nurse brought out that if we would go without “yeast” products for about a week every year, we would have much fewer problems with yeast infections that so many deal with. How wise is our Abba. He knows all. :) He gives us lots of “perks” as we follow His instructions.

Shabbat Shalom, sandie b. in AZ

I have never deleavened my home, so this is of ultimate interest to me…as I thought it was something that we just did in our hearts and lives.
Thanks Joseph. Pamala Davida Lindaman

Thank you Joe, Why should Christians celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

The apostle Paul told Christians to keep this festival. What does the Feast of Unleavened Bread mean for Christians today?

Answer:God instituted the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, which immediately follows the Passover (Leviticus 23:6-8). Historically it commemorated the ancient Israelites fleeing from slavery in Egypt in such haste that they didn’t have time to leaven their bread or let it rise (Exodus 12:33-34).

God commanded the Israelites to keep this festival by removing leaven (such as yeast) out of their homes for seven days and to avoid eating any leavened foods during this time. The first and last days of this weeklong festival are set apart as holy convocations—annual Sabbaths—days devoted to rest and meeting together to be taught and to worship God.

Jesus identified leaven as a symbol of sin (Matthew 16:6-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1). Members of the Church started by Christ continued to celebrate this festival by putting leaven out of their homes for the week as a symbol of the sinless lives and attitudes God desires of His people. Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, even commanded the Church members in Corinth, “Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

After accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, we must follow His example in living a life of righteousness, striving to keep sin out of our life.

It was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that Jesus was raised from the dead—a vital factor for us to be delivered out of sin and on the path to God’s Kingdom. Christians who celebrate this festival see that its meaning leads directly to the meaning of the third festival of God, the Feast of Pentecost.
Charles Paul

This week in the news was more from Europe about the strange animal births and deaths.
http://www.expatica.com/de/news/german-news/820-german-farms-hit-by-schmallenberg–virus-institute_212243.html
More than 800 German farms have been hit by a new livestock disease that causes deformities in animals at birth, agriculture authorities said Friday.
Most of the 820 farms where the so-called Schmallenberg virus has been detected raise sheep, but cattle and goats are also affected, the Friedrich Loeffler Federal Research Institute of Animal Health said.

On February 1, the institute said that 186 farms in Germany had been hit, up from 51 five days earlier.
Believed to be carried by gnats and named after the German town where it was first detected, Schmallenberg causes fever and diarrhoea in adult livestock and cannot be transmitted from one animal to another, experts say.

It can however be transmitted to sheep, goat and cow embryos, leading to stillbirths or deformities causing death soon after birth.
The institute said it believed the first infections dated to mid-2011 and stressed that the virus was not transmissible to humans.
The virus, first identified in November, has been detected in Belgium, Britain, The Netherlands, Italy and France.

We had reported this a couple of weeks ago, I think.
http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/food-chain-unraveling-livestock-plagues-hit-u-s-nepal-and-uk-mystery-virus-killing-numerous-animals/#comment-50427
Food-chain unraveling: Livestock plagues hit U.S., Nepal, and UK, mystery virus killing numerous animals

Make sure you watch the video at the bottom of this report about the horses dying off.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/07/03/2012/131788/Unsettled-weather-causes-feed-prices-to-soar.htm But it’s the country’s southern states that are really burning up.right now. Something like 80% of the state of Rio Grande do Sul’s counties are under a state of emergency from the lack of rain. Rio Grande do Sul is the third largest soybean producing state. Up in number-two bean producer Paraná, occasional rains have just not been enough. Corn has been a lot harder hit than soybeans so far, say Paraná producers—but soybean yield losses there were reported at ten percent on Sunday.

Brethren I do hope you all realize we are in the third Sabbatical cycle. The Curses for that cycle are found in;
Lev 26:21 ‘And if you walk contrary to Me, and refuse to obey Me, I shall bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins,
Lev 26:22 and send wild beasts among you, which shall bereave you of your children. And I shall cut off your livestock, and make you few in number, and your highways shall be deserted.

In the DVD I warned you all that the wild beast to be looking for were like the fleas and micro organisms that carry the diseases. Gnats are wild beasts but not one we used to be afraid of. And just like in the case of Noah and Yehovah waiting as absolutely as long as possible He is now holding back as long as He possibly can before He has to let His judgements come. He is waiting for each of us to do our part and warn the rest of the brethren about the curses of the Sabbatical cycles for not keeping the Sabbatical years. The next one begins at Aviv in 2016. Just 4 years from now.

Help us to warn the rest of the brethren. Invite me to speak on this with your group. Invite me to speak at your conferences. Help me to share this warning. It is not just another dog and pony show.

Two weeks ago we showed you a documentary that showed just how hungry the children were in Detroit area. It even showed you a little girl whose mother had cooked rats so they could eat. And you also saw the city of Detroit being decimated by the lack of tax income it needs to survive and maintain police and fire departments; water and sewer and garbage maintenance and just the basics of running a city. It could not do it and the city buildings and the houses were being abandoned and then ransacked and then demolished.

Here is a report showing the food for the needy in crisis in Hawaii but it also shows the growing number that is not able to feed themselves. http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/councilman-warns-food-emergency.html#.T1UCBQB3FiE.facebook

In the state of California, one in four children lives in poverty and just over 24 percent of children are enrolled in free and reduced lunch programs at school. About 14 percent receive food stamps while, according to a 2011 study by California Food Policy Advocates, participation in summer lunch programs has decreased by roughly 50 percent between 2002 and 2010 due to federal budget cuts. African-American, Latino and Native American children are among the hardest hit by hunger and poverty-related disparities.
http://newamericamedia.org/2011/12/teachers-struggle-to-feed-hungry-students-in-order-to-teach.php

22 percent of children under the age of 18 in Louisiana are struggling with hunger.
The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011,” also reveals that there are children struggling with hunger in every county in America. Nationally, while one in six Americans overall is food-insecure, the rate for children is much higher: Nearly one in four children is food-insecure.
http://www.louisianaweekly.com/new-study-highlights-la-s-growing-hunger-crisis/

I had the great pleasure this week of talking to some very new brethren to this way of life. New people are springing up everywhere. They are waking up in the pews of all the different churches they now sleep in and saying there has to be something more.

They begin to search and Yehovah guides them to the Hebraic teachers. Their souls come back to live and are revived or resuscitated having once been dead by going to the Sunday dead head teachers. But they come back to life learning the Hebraic Roots of Yehshua.

There are thousands of other new Brethren still asleep in a pew at a church near you and they are waiting for you to come and wake them up somehow. So start to make some noise. Do not keep silent any longer. Because all of those who do not get wakened up by someone will die in the coming war. They are waiting for you.

These New People then somehow find their way to my site and love what they are reading. I am amazed and humbled at what Yehovah has done with me over these years. But now these New people need to be taught the truth and not to go and follow some man again; but the truth from the scriptures. Make an ad in the paper, talk about it loudly at the coffee shops. Make some noise and let them know you are there.

We need more teachers. The Group in Sarnia has told me how much they need someone to teach on a regular basis. At that meeting I also met others from other areas who need teachers who want to share the truths of Torah. The harvest is fast becoming ripe the labours are few. Study hard brethren, we need you now not later.

This week I have to say something that is going to upset many of you. There is no nice way to say it. I have put off talking about it for so long as I never felt qualified to speak about it.

I am sharing this because it is now time to deleaven our homes as we spoke to you last week about, but as we do that we also need to deleaven our minds and soul.

We are commanded to go and tell our brother when we see him sinning in both the Torah and Brit Chadasha, New Covenant.
We read in Lev 19 and Mathew something that is related but not obviously so.
Lev 19:17 ‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Reprove your neighbour, for certain, and bear no sin because of him.

Mat 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, would he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains, going to seek the one that is straying? 13 “And if he should find it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 “Thus it is not the desire of your Father who is in the heavens that one of these little ones should be lost. 15 “And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him, between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 “But if he does not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established.’ 17 “And if he refuses to hear them, say it to the assembly. And if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you like a gentile and a tax collector.

Let us now read in Clarks commentary what these two verses actually mean.

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible http://bible.cc/leviticus/19-17.htm
Thou shalt not hate thy brother - Thou shalt not only not do him any kind of evil, but thou shalt harbor no hatred in thy heart towards him. On the contrary, thou shalt love him as thyself, Leviticus 19:18. Many persons suppose, from misunderstanding our Lord’s words, John 13:34, A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another, etc., that loving our neighbor as ourselves was first instituted under the Gospel. This verse shows the opinion to be unfounded: but to love another as Christ has loved us, i. e., to lay down our lives for each other, is certainly a new commandment; we have it simply on the authority of Jesus Christ alone.

And not suffer sin upon him - If thou see him sin, or know him to be addicted to any thing by which the safety of his soul is endangered, thou shalt mildly and affectionately reprove him, and by no means permit him to go on without counsel and advice in a way that is leading him to perdition. In a multitude of cases timely reproof has been the means of saving the soul. Speak to him privately if possible; if not, write to him in such a way that himself alone shall see it.

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

If we do not tell our Brother of their sins when we see it, it is the same as hating our Brother and walking in darkness and the same as if we had murdered him.

In the 613 Mitzvot this command to warn your Brother is found in Mitzvot #30
We studied this on our News letters as we looked at each of the 613 laws. http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah

(30) Do not cherish hatred in your heart. “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” (Leviticus 19:17) Could it be that the rabbis actually got one right? This is apparently a no-brainer, the converse of #26, “You shall love your neighbor as you do yourself.” But look at what follows: it almost sounds like a contradiction: “You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.” In light of this close contextual connection, we shouldn’t automatically assume Moses has moved on to a different subject. Actually, I believe the second phrase defines what it is to “hate your brother.” And the truth that emerges if we make this connection has stunning relevance for us today: we are not to be tolerant of false teaching, but are rather to “rebuke” those in error—to neglect this correction is to hate our brother. Remember the rabbinical mitzvah (#27) that said Do not stand by idly when a human life is in danger? This is the practical outworking of the principal: if your brother is in spiritual error, if he espouses doctrines that Yahweh’s Word says will kill him in the end, then to withhold rebuke and admonition is to hate him. By tolerating his heresy, you are sending him to hell, like indulging a diabetic’s sweet tooth.

What does it mean to “bear” sin? The Hebrew word is nasa, meaning to lift, or carry. It is “used in reference to the bearing of guilt or punishment for sin” leading to the “representative or substitutionary bearing of one person’s guilt by another.” (B&C) Yahweh did not want false teaching tolerated in Israel because the guilt—and thus the punishment—incurred would eventually be borne by the entire nation. He would have spared them that pain. He would spare us that pain.

This ought to shed new light on Yahshua’s confirmation of the principle that loving Yahweh and our fellow man is the path to life. “One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: ‘Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?’ Jesus replied, ‘What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?’ The man answered, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘Right!’ Jesus told him. ‘Do this and you will live!’” (Luke 10:25-28 NLT) Friends don’t let friends fall prey to false teaching.

Knowing this now and taking on the name of our Father as His children then brings on a whole new understanding of the Commandment in Exodus 20.

Exo 20:7 “You do not bring the Name of יהוה your Elohim to naught, for יהוה does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.
The word naught is Strongs # H7723 שׁו שׁואo shâv’ shav shawv, shav
From the same as H7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjectively), uselessness (as deceptive, objectively; also adverbially in vain): - false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity.
H7722 שׁאה שׁואה שׁוא shô’ shô’âh shô’âh sho, sho-aw’, sho-aw’
From an unused root meaning to rush over; a tempest; by implication devastation: - desolate (-ion), destroy, destruction, storm, wasteness.

You are not to be called the Children of Yehovah and use His name by allowing sin to prevail or not be addressed. And it is this very sin that we want to deleaven now.

We read in Ezekiel 18:4 The Soul who sins shall die
It does not go to hell or purgatory. The Soul that sins dies; plain and simple.

In case you missed it in verse 4, Yehovah repeats it again in Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die.

Many Christians will then retort they are New Testament believers. We can read then what Paul said in Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death

Knowing that the wages of Sin is death and that this means that our very soul too can die; then it behooves us to learn exactly what is Sin?

1Jn 3:4 Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
I had this news letter almost done. The I began to hear a series of audios on the radio from Chuck Swindel about Marriage. I do not always agree with Chuck but this week I found his messages very useful. And as death came knocking to our door this week, I may not have had time to complete this article as I wanted. I know I have left many things out. So please do listen to Chucks teaching about Marriage and purge out the leaven that is destroying your marriage. http://www.insight.org/topical/marriage

At this same time Focus on the Family had a series on marriage as well. It was almost as if the Holy Spirit was confirming that this was the subject we needed to discuss this week as we deleaven our homes and lives. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.aspx?ID={22DFE82D-46B8-41E4-A986-521A1391F26F} And http://www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.aspx?ID={16E0A456-F4F2-4ED1-922A-93D3AC764124}
Last week I mentioned about the secret sin of lusting after sex. I have in the past related this to the wolf licking the hunter’s knife hidden in the snow.

The hunter will coat the knife in blood and then freeze it and repeat this building up a thick layer of blood on the knife. And then place the knife in the snow so the wolf will find it.

The wolf then begins to lick it, ever checking to see if anyone is coming. After a while the wolf loses all concerns about who is watching as he ravishes his lust of the blood by licking it feverishly. All the time the wolf is cutting his own tongue on the knife and it is after a while his own blood that he is licking up.

The Wolf then slowly bleeds to death and is found by the hunter dead not far from the knife with his tongues sliced to pieces.

Those of you, either men or women who are addicted to sex are this same wolf. You are about to die a slow agonizing death, but have no clue it is coming. Although I am talking about all men and women, I am mostly talking to those who are already married and not so much to those who are single. To those looking outside the marriage to have your sexual lusts filled.
Dr Dobson of Focus on the Family did a study a number of years ago and discovered that 80% of all men in all churches are addicted to some sort of pornography. From just looking at the playboy magazine to those who are going out and having affairs or paying for prostitutes. These are those men sitting in your own assembly and fellowship right now. These are not counting the men who are in the world and do not care. No this is talking about the church going supposedly moral men that read the bible. And since this survey, the internet has come on strong and made porn even more available and easily hidden. Hence our secret sins.

Many of the men reading this News letter are addicted to porn. Many of the women reading this News letter have no Clue. Or do and do not want to confront it.

So I have now just outed almost all of the men and they all want to kill me. And I have also just placed all the women in an uncomfortable position. What to do?

As you all just read, to know that someone is doing something evil and to do nothing is to hate your brother.

So ladies now it is time to understand and not to get pissed off and hate your husband and to give him the cold shoulder to show him just how disgusted with him you are. Even if you are justifiably so.

Yes we are going to talk straight up here so be forewarned. This is not for the Victorian attitudes who lived over 100 years ago. This is for today and how to help each other make it into the Kingdom.

One of the things I have complained about all my spiritual life is the fact that my spouse was not in the faith. Sometimes it was my badge of honour showing me to be the poor martyr. Other times it was for my own pity party.
People who were divorced once or even twice had the gall to want to give me advice on how to fix my marriage. Some of those who were divorced 7 times thought they had all the answers.

Brethren I have managed to be married now for over 34 years with all the roller coaster rides that come with it. So I am not about to take advice from someone who has not lasted past the 7 year itch point. I have done so many of the wrong things and learned how to fix it that I have gained an education at the school of hard knocks that I am not proud of; But I have learned.

So when I see brethren with a mate in the faith and both of them walking this road together I have to admit I am at first jealous. But after a while I get to see just how much these two brethren in the same faith fight and fight worst than I ever did. And that makes me furious. They have no clue what it is that I deal with and what they already have and are wasting away bickering.

So now for some straight talk. If you’re not mature enough to read on then don’t. If you have it all figured out then you do not need to. But for some of you with a spouse in the faith, you do need to read this.

I have said in all my presentations I am not here to make friends. So if you hate me then pick a number, the list just grows. But if these things I am about to say can help to save your marriage then it is worth the hate mails I am about to get because of this.
First of all you all made a covenant to be married for life. Period. Sickness and in health good times and in bad. Period. NO excuses no escape clause. No ya butts.

So it did not turn out so good for you. It has not worked out to be the princess in the castle with a fairy god-mother to grant your every wish.

Why? Each of you will point the finger at the spouse in a heartbeat. It is because they did this or that and you will never admit that the whole thing is your own fault. Nor will you ever forgive them for what they did to you.

Need I remind you of what it says in;

Mat 18:21 Then Kĕpha came to Him and said, “Master, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 יהושע said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 “Because of this the reign of the heavens is like a certain man, a sovereign who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 “And when he had begun to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents, 25 but as he was unable to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 “Then the servant fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I shall pay you all.’ 27 “And the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 “And that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred pieces of money. And he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 “Then his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I shall pay you all.’ 30 “But he would not, and went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 “And when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were deeply grieved, and came and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 “Then his master called him and said to him, ‘Wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt seeing you begged me. 33 ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, as I also had compassion on you?’ 34 “And his master was wroth, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So also My heavenly Father shall do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

When I was a kid Grandma had these long pieces of fly paper that she would catch all the house flies with. When I asked her about it she always laughed and said you can catch more flies with honey than you can a fly swatter. With that she would send me out to hunt flies with the fly swatter. I did not get it then but I get it now.

I have in the past told you here and on the Truth2U radio programs to get the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emmerson Eggrichs. http://loveandrespect.com/

If you want your husband to love you then respect him. And Husbands if you want your wife to respect you then love her.

It is exactly that simple.

But both the wife and the husband are built with a mental capacity that fights this information and will not do it no matter what.

Each spouse will say out loud or in their hearts; “I am not going to do a damn thing for that idiot until they first love/respect me.” Depending on who is speaking.

Then fine, stay fighting in your present condition and both you and your spouse will die in the coming war.

It is time to grow up brethren. Time is about to run out and you must grow up today or you will not make it. If you do not become the mature one here right now then your spouse will not make it. Which one of you is the mature one; if it is you then you get to start this healing process.

I had a lady with her husband call me one day to thank me for saving their marriage. I asked how I did that. They said it was because of the article Confessions of a sex addict. By reading that I had outed the husband whom the wife confronted. http://www.sightedmoon.com/?page_id=85

She could not understand why her husband was addicted to sex and porn when she was in her own words “a Babe”. She was built like what most men dream about and yet this man still went to look for sex elsewhere. Why?

All men are stimulated through the eyes. This is exactly why women have to wear the Burqa in Middle Eastern countries; because the men can’t or won’t control their lusting eyes.
A speculative and unattested etymology connects b-r-q-ʿ with the Arabic root r-q-ʿ, which means “to patch up” or “to sew up”. The objection to this etymology is that it assumes a pattern b-f-ʿ-l that adds b- to a root f-ʿ-l. The face-veil portion is usually a rectangular piece of semi-transparent cloth whose top side is sewn to corresponding portion of the head-scarf, so that the veil hangs down loose from the scarf, and it can be turned up if the woman wishes to reveal her face (otherwise the whole face would be covered). In other cases, the niqāb part can be a side-attached cloth that covers the face below the eyes’ region. acording to the persian writer[3] burqa is arabisized word of purda or pardah ,(Arabic do not have “P” in their language so a Persian word purde should be arabisized as burqa) Purde in persian meaning “curtain” or covering also means hidden or secret. in persian language , purda or parde is generaly refered to all kind of curtains[1] specially a kind of curtain that is covering all half part of ladies from head to breast.in persian parde also means covering and also means niqāb , covers. The face-veil portion is also called purdah ([pərd̪aː]), meaning “curtain”[4]

When I came into the Hebraic Roots movement in 2005 I saw women who at services would cover their hair and put on a blue jean type dress that went from neck to ankle. It seemed to me to be like Mennonite women. In their pursuit to be modest they have created something else.

Then when I saw them at home they dressed normal. I thought they were hypocrites.

Men like to look upon beautiful things. And Yehovah made women to be beautiful. IN fact Adam was so enamored with Eve that all he could say was WOW. And this is why wowmen are called so today.

So if Yehovah called this good then why in His heavenly name are we always trying to hide it? It is because the men crave it and do not know how to train their eyes not to lust. So instead of training the men, the men then force the women to cover up and dress down, by wearing something compared to a canvas tarp. I have seen men who make their wives dress this way. I have also seen some women who are so beaten up emotional that they will not and do not interact with any man in a conversation. I call this mental wife abuse.

I have also seen many beautiful women who do dress modestly and look great. Their husbands walk in and are proud to have them on their arms. They have dressed nice to make their husbands proud. The husband opens the car door and treats her like a queen and not a sack of potatoes.

Guess what the side benefit is of dressing up for you man? They will be looking at home to have their sexual desires met. But you women must be willing to provide this and not use it as a weapon in the battle of the sexes. Keep in mind what Grandma said about honey.

I have an image of my wife from over 30 years ago in my mind and I can remember it as if it was yesterday.

I had driven home from working out of town all week and as the sun was setting that Friday night (this was before I knew about Shabbat) I could see her standing in the doorway with the orange glow of the sun setting on her. She was wearing mid thigh length fur coat and I was getting mad because I knew we could not afford a fur coat. But she was beautiful as I walked up to the door. As I opened the door I was about to begin to argue with her about it when she stepped back and opened up the fur coat to show me all the curves of her beautiful body. She was stunning!!!!

I do not need to explain any more than that. I forgot all about the fur coat and I have never forgotten that day or that mental picture. Men are visual in how they are stimulated. Whatever my wife wanted that weekend I did like a young puppy eager to please it’s owner.

Honey; Ladies always remember the honey. If you do then you can help your husband stop looking at the porn sites. He will not want to or need to escape the nagging at home, instead he will want to be at home.

I have a couple of articles to help you to understand this process.

Women if you want your husband to love you then you have to respect him with your mind and body and actions. No more rolling the eyes or slamming doors or giving him the silent treatment.

Husbands if you want your wife to respect you then you have to love her and listen to her and spend time with her doing things that you consider a waste of time. Just spend time sitting with her and listening.

Which ever one starts to do their part first after a while the other one will begin to do their part.

Ladies do you want to do an experiment? Go up to your husband and whisper in his ear just how much you respect something that he did recently and then go into the other room and wait. You will not be able to count to 100 before he comes in to get some more of this respect thing. We thrive on it and when we do not get it we fight over it.

On the job most fights happen when one man does not treat another with respect. We will tolerate almost any other bad behaviour, but disrespect us and we will punch each other’s lights out.

And when we do not get respect at home we go to the strip clubs where we get it from those who use this simple trick to get our money and we gladly give it to these women because they are making us feel important. So why not do the exact same thing at home to get the love you desire and need from your husband. Once you stroke his ego he will begin to clean the rooms and get all those chores done that you used to nag about. Just tell him how much you admire the hard work he does for the family on an ongoing basis with no one thanking him for it.

Want to go on that cruise? Tell him how great he has been at something. Want to be loved by him then do the same thing. Tell him how much you appreciate what he said the other day and then remember what he said.

Want to be left alone night after night and ignored and despised, then keep on nagging and belittling him with your eye rolling and slamming doors. As Dr. Phil says “Hows that working out for ya?”

Husband want to make love to your wife like you used to when you were first married. Turn off the TV and talk to her. Listen and do not fix anything. Take her to the girly movie. Try picking up the clothes and putting them away. Take her for a walk every night and listen to her tell you about her day. And keep your mouth shut. Do not spoil it by talking.

Do I profess to have it all figured out. Not at all. But some things I do and I continue to work on the other areas.
http://www.porn-free.org/freedom_journey.htm
http://www.porn-free.org/eyes.htm
Train Eyes
Previous page in Freedom Journey: Break Secrecy
Our eyes are powerful receptors that can quickly corrupt our thoughts with evil. If we fill our eyes with porn, the images become the memories we lust over. We can be porn addicts long after we stop looking at porn! Jesus explained, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” (Luke 11:34-36 NKJV). When we look at evil things with our eyes, our minds are filled with that evil and our reflection of Jesus is obscured.
High standards: Consider God’s standard for his own eyes. Habakkuk said of God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13 NKJV). As God’s adopted sons in Christ (Romans 8:14-17), we are called to his standard of purity for our eyes. Peter wrote, “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15 NKJV). Since God commands us to be holy, we really have no excuse for filling our eyes with evil. Disobeying God with our eyes is tantamount to pride, i.e. that we think we know better than God. When we allow pride to creep into our life, we cut ourselves off from God’s help. James 4:6-7 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (NKJV). We need God’s help in order to walk in freedom!
Television, movies, magazines and computers can easily fill our eyes and ears with unlimited depictions of evil. These depictions cause memories that will hinder or block our progress toward obeying God. We must shut them off! Isaiah said, “…[He]who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (Isaiah 33:15-16 NKJV). If we want to live in God’s favor and blessing, we will have to remove the sources of evil we are viewing.
Change our plans: We can eliminate many temptations by simply not planning to do things that will feed our lusts. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Each of us has certain triggers that can lead us into addictive behavior. The key is to recognize the triggers and avoid them ahead of time. Some examples:
• If you know you’ll be alone tonight and will be able to surf for porn on the net, invite a friend over so you don’t have the opportunity to get into trouble.
• If you are headed to the beach and are prone to lusting after people in swimsuits, try going when there will be few people, or leave your glasses at home (if you wear glasses), or just stay home.
• If you lust over the magazine covers at the supermarket checkout area, pick something to focus your eyes on in the checkout area that will keep you from looking at the magazine covers.
• If you are tempted by the magazine rack at the convenience store check-out counter, go to an alternate store that doesn’t display the magazines where you’ll be tempted (or doesn’t have the magazines at all)
• If you are falling because of porn solicitations on email, switch your email account to a different provider.
• If lunches with your attractive co-worker are causing adulterous thoughts, stop having lunch with him/her and/or invite others to go with you.
• If your drive home from work takes you by an adult video store that you frequent, change your route home to avoid going near the store.
• If your wallet is enabling you to visit massage parlors and/or prostitutes, leave it home or carry only a little cash (and no ATM or credit cards)
Change our viewing habits: This area may be painful for us to bring under control. Entertainment has become a pillar of our world culture. Doing without it may seem Spartan, but we must ask ourselves how much our purity is worth to us. The underlying question is, are we ready to bring our entertainment habits into submission to God? James 4:7 commands us to “submit to God” and to “resist the devil.” If we fail to bring our entertainment habits into submission, this could be the stumbling block that keeps us in addiction. Before reading through our suggestions, we encourage you to ask God to convict you of the entertainment sources that need to be reduced or removed from your life.
These are merely suggestions – they won’t influence your salvation with God, because your salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. These measures will help you close potential doors of temptation. Though implementing such measures may not be easy, God will help you do them.
Television
Reduce or eliminate cable television options: It’s a challenge to find wholesome programs on television. The abundance of cable channels seems to only increase the chances of falling to temptation. Many cable companies offer porn as well as movie channels that feature less explicit sexual depictions. I encourage people to reduce their cable service to exclude the movie and porn channels at a minimum. In our home, we cancelled our cable service and bought a basic TV antenna. The reception isn’t that great, so we don’t watch much TV as a result. At first we missed having all the things to watch, but later we found other things to do with our time. We’ve noticed that the lack of TV has helped keep our thoughts cleaner and has increased the peace in our home. When we do watch an occasional program, we find that our minds have been re-sensitized for purity. Program content and even the commercials often are promoting some worldly value that doesn’t line up with following God. This further strengthens our resolve to continue to reduce our “TV intake.”
Don’t stay up late watching TV alone: Staying up late watching TV is asking for trouble. Late night TV offers some more risqué themes, along with the phone chat advertisements, Psychic hotlines and other solicitations. When we’re tired, we have a tendency to let our spiritual guard down. We’re more susceptible to getting in to trouble. For example, one of my accountability partners was falling to sexual temptation by watching HBO and Cinemax after his wife went to bed each night. He finally mustered the courage to explain to her that he was being tempted by the HBO and Cinemax. They agreed to reduce their cable service to exclude those channels. He also committed to not watching TV after she went to bed. The results were that he no longer fell to sexual temptation in that area and he started getting a better night’s sleep.
Don’t channel surf: I like the fishing analogy of trolling to illustrate the danger of channel surfing. Certain types of fish are best caught by driving your boat very slowly with the hooked bait trolling in the water. Channel surfing is like trolling in that we’re moving slowly through the channels looking for something interesting. With the many channels out there, we’re almost guaranteed to find something juicy to feed our eyes on. Even without cable television, I find flipping through the channels dangerous. Whether it’s somebody shooting another person or two people having sex, or some other sin depiction, I’m better off going to the program guide instead of flipping through the channels.
Movies
The “adults only” lie: In A Way of Escape, Dr. Neil Anderson pointed out that many people are buying into the adults only lie. It goes something like this: “I am old enough to handle the mature subject theme of what I am watching.” Though we may understand the “mature theme” better than a younger person, our minds are still affected negatively. In fact, our understanding of what is going on may make the damage even deeper in our minds than in a child’s. A friend of mine adopted a movie/TV policy for his family that I think is a good safeguard addressing the adults only lie. They agreed that if a program was not suitable for the kids, the parents wouldn’t watch it either. I encourage you to adopt the same policy in your home.
My wife and I decided to stop seeing rated “R” movies several years ago. At first, it was difficult to give up the action-packed kind of movies I loved. I had to die to that hunger for violent entertainment. The pangs slowly subsided. As we went to see the “PG” rated movies, we noticed more and more objectionable elements in them as well. After seeing a few things that really bothered our consciences, we agreed to read a Christian movie review before going to see any movie. Armed with the truth about the things we wanted to see, we decided not to go to many of movies we read the reviews on. Even when we did go to the movies, the graphic previews of other movies gave us some bad feelings. We’re at the point now that we hardly ever go to the movies. Some of the benefits are that we have saved some money, we have more time together as a family and our thoughts are less cluttered with worldly themes like violence and sex sin.
Consider shredding your movie card: While some people may not find it hard to stop going to the movies, I’m guessing that many people will have difficulty surrendering their movie rental cards to God. The movie rental stores are usually mirror images of the movie theaters with an added temptation: the video covers. After God brought me out of sex addiction, I began to notice how sexually explicit many of the video covers were in the rental store. It was like 7 out 10 covers featured some type of sexual theme. Like channel surfing, walking around the movie rental store was trolling for trouble. I realized that this was a not a good place for me to be spending time looking around. The clincher was that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find wholesome movies to rent. Some places were courting the homosexual audience with “alternative lifestyle” rental sections and the porn audience with soft core porn themes. As a result, my wife and I decided to shred our “Blockbuster” rental card as a sacrifice to God and a step towards purity. It was a painful few weeks after we shredded our movie card. We found other things to do and now don’t miss our Blockbuster days.
Read a Christian movie review before deciding to go: Christian movie reviews will help arm you with truth regarding the movie you want to see. As I mentioned above, we found the reviews helpful in weeding out the bad movies. Focus on the Family’s Unplugged site provides helpful Christian reviews of movies, television and music.
Computers
Get a filtered service provider: Whether you’re free or addicted, filtered internet service makes good sense. There are increasingly easy ways to end up at porn sites on the net. A filtered provider removes many of these avenues to porn. There are several providers offering inexpensive filtered service ranging from free to $19 per month. How much is your visual purity worth to you? If you signup for one of these services, be sure to give your password to a friend, so you are not tempted to take a peek. See our filters page for suggested sources.
Set up PC Accountability: This is a great tool to help you stay off tempting websites. Covenant Eyes offers a monthly service where a list of every website you visit is emailed to your accountability partner automatically.
Other ideas:
• Ask a friend to check your computer files at random times each month
• Don’t surf the net alone
• Keep the door open when you’re surfing the net
• Keep the computer monitor viewable from doorway of your computer room
• Minimize open searches on search engines: Search engines are powerful tools for finding information, but can be dangerous for pulling up unwanted sites featuring porn and other sin themes. Find a Christian search engine if possible for the searches that you have to do.
• Stay away from personal ads and chat rooms
Magazines / Print material
Communicate with your spouse or roommate: Tell your spouse/roommate about any of their magazines that are causing you to fall to temptation. You may ask them to secure or discard the magazines so that you won’t see them. Examples: women’s glamour magazines, Victoria’s Secret catalogues, clothing catalogues, porn, etc.
Reduce/eliminate hobby magazines with sexual overtones: Hobby magazines for men often feature sexy girls in the advertisements and subject articles. Sex sells, especially to men. How important is your hobby? Is it more important than your journey to freedom from sexual addiction?
The above measures may seem extreme, but I propose that we have to do some extreme things to reverse the effects of the extreme things we’ve viewed. It takes strength and determination to resist the flow of our worldly culture and live as a “counter-culture” Christian. God will help us do this and realize the benefits of keeping our eyes in purity. One of the biggest benefits of keeping our eyes pure will be realized in our thoughts. We’ll have less temptations for our minds to dwell on and fantasize about.
Personal Application Questions
• Please take an inventory of the things you’re viewing that are sources of sexual temptation and other sinful depictions.
• Next to each item, please write the reasons why you are viewing those sources.
• Go to the Lord in prayer with your list. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the sinful things you have allowed your eyes to see. Ask the Lord to strengthen your resolve to die to pleasures associated with each item on your list. Ask the Lord to begin the purification process of all the memories of the evil things you have seen. Ask the Lord to strengthen you to train your eyes to look away from temptation sources.
• Please write down the actions you will take to eliminate or minimize your exposure to visual temptations.
Next Page: Control Thoughts

http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/living-ephesians-5-wives-respect-your-husband-1384728.html
My husband, Ron, admits that he used to be a jerk, but I discovered a secret formula that turned him into a loving husband: I started treating him like a VIP. Ron always wanted me to respect him, but I thought he had to earn it and I had to feel it, before I could do it. Wrong.

We women are very good at pointing out our husbands’ faults and failures and punishing them for not meeting our needs, but that only leads to discontent and distance in our marriages. We all know that yelling, nagging, and belittling are disrespectful and ineffective. So I’m suggesting a radical concept: Treat him like a king, and eventually, he will begin to treat you like a queen.

Instead of waiting for him to earn your respect, behave respectfully and watch him grow into the man God designed him to be.

Twenty five years ago, our marriage was on the brink of divorce. I was controlling, critical and disrespectful so Ron was defensive and angry. We were both Christians but neither of us was living a sprit-filled life. I was letting my emotions determine my actions and thought it was Ron’s job to make me happy. But through a series of miracles (read my book for the whole story) we made a decision to rebuild our marriage.

We went to a Christian counselor who read Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” and said “Nancy, the only way you will win Ron back and stay married is if you begin to respect your husband.”

I knew he was right so I swallowed hard and came up with a plan. Here are three of the ways I began to respect Ron: They are easy to remember because they spell out the goal — to treat him like a V.I.P.

Respect him Verbally, Intellectually, and Physically.

Verbally

Cut out (ok…cut back) complaining and add in compliments.

If you want to have a peaceful, happy marriage, learn the art of the compliment. Compliments are like magnets and the more you compliment your husband the more he will be attracted to you. Begin to notice when he does it right and verbally encourage him by complimenting him at least once a day. If you are having a hard time thinking of anything to admire, consider these categories: physical traits, mental skills, financial strengths, spiritual growth, or healthy relationships with others (children, parents, or friends).

You may be asking “Hey, why should I compliment him when he NEVER compliments me?” Because, if you want your marriage to grow and bloom, you’ll have to water it with kindness and encouragement. Then, as he sees your sincere efforts, he will begin to change too. Don’t give up.

If you do need to bring up a difficult issue, place it between two compliments, also known as a “Compliment Sandwich.” Here’s an example, “Honey, I know how hard you work for our money and that Sally’s braces will be expensive, but I need your decision before her appointment tomorrow. I hope we can do this for her, but if you want to wait, I trust your judgment. What should I tell the orthodontist? ”

Intellectually

Men like to solve problems and fix things. So appeal to his intelligence by asking him to help you solve a problem. Instead of saying “This garage is a mess, clean up your camping stuff!” Try, “I’d like your help with something. Could you figure out a storage system for all the camping supplies?”

Don’t imply that he isn’t smart. Instead of saying “I think you are wrong about…” Say, “I’m confused about…please explain it again” (Remember to keep your tone of voice sarcasm-free.)

Request his help on Spiritual matters too. Ask him to explain a passage of Scripture or ask him to pray for you when you are going through a difficult time. If your husband is not the spiritual leader in your home, continue to pray for him and ask him if there is anything you are doing that is hindering his relationship with God.

Men don’t give a lot of weight to feelings — show them facts and they’ll be more likely to listen. For example: if he wants to buy a car that you think is too expensive, don’t launch into a hissy-fit, write out your monthly expenses and ask him what other things should be cut out in order to buy his car. Let the facts speak for you.

When you cannot reach an agreement, instead of trying to wear him down by nagging or crying say, “Is that your final decision or can I still try to convince you?” If it’s his final decision, then honor it. It’s freeing — let him carry the responsibility of your family.

Physically

Physically — ask what he would like you to do and then, do it. Find out what his top three needs are. Ron likes the laundry done, physical intimacy a least twice a week (guaranteed) and he likes me to keep my “girly-make-up stuff” off of the bathroom counter. If these top needs are met, he’s content and easy to get along with. I know it sounds simple, but each of us have different things that make us feel loved and appreciated. You won’t know what he wants unless you ask him.

Be aware of your body language. You can communicate disrespect by rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, or slamming doors. Reflect your new decision to respect your husband in your heart, mind, and body.

Change your attitude and actions

Respect is both a verb and a noun: an action and an attitude so begin today to respect your husband in thought, word, and deed. He will be more willing and able to give you the love and affection you need if he is respected and admired. When I began to respect my husband, he was skeptical at first. However as he saw that I was committed to change, he began to treat me differently — lovingly. We now teach at couples’ events, helping others discover the blessings of true love in action.

Ask the Lord to strengthen you as you obey His word.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Adapted from Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage (Kregel Publications 2004)

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

10/03/2012 Lev 19 Ezek 10-13 Acts 28

Leviticus 19

Various Holiness Precepts (Leviticus 19)
Parts of this chapter sound like they came from the New Testament. Indeed, in it we find the Old Testament statement of the second great commandment, as defined by Jesus Christ (verse 18; compare Matthew 22:37-40). The chapter opens with an explicit statement of the purpose for what has gone before and of what is to follow: Because God is holy, so must His people be also. This chapter will continue with sundry laws designed to maintain holy relationships with God and men.

The first two laws hew straight to a fundamental necessity for right relationships: reverence. Reverence is the high respect paid by one individual to another, with special attention to submissive behavior. God commands reverence for parents, the teachers of their children, and the observation of all of His Sabbaths, which are teaching occasions between Him, our spiritual Parent, and us, His children. He further enjoins reverence for Himself by again prohibiting idolatry. When children revere their parents and God—heeding their instruction—right relationships based on mutual respect and honor are produced, and a whole multitude of blessings follow.

The regulation concerning peace (or fellowship) offerings again addresses the relationship between God and Israel. God has produced peace and fellowship between Himself and Israel, and that fellowship, symbolized by the peace offerings, must be respected. Thus, peace offerings are not to be treated in a common manner just because they were widely shared among family members. It was very important to remember that, as the family feasted on the offering, God also had His part in it and dined with the family. With such an honored guest in fellowship, care needed to be taken to ensure decorum and respect.

The laws concerning gleanings may not seem like a holiness issue, but they do constitute one, for, as already mentioned, the fundamental idea behind holiness is separation. Here God sets apart a certain portion of a harvest for the poor. In effect, a certain portion was holy to the poor and reserved for their use. Notice, however, that those who received this set-aside portion were still required to work for it. Unlike too many modern welfare systems, the recipients of God’s generosity toward them still had to gather their food from the fields and vineyards themselves. This was consistent with the biblical principle Paul later expressed so succinctly: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The law was just to all concerned. It was generous toward the poor, but also fair to the property owners—since God was the one who promised to bless their crops if they would obey Him. By enacting this law, God ensured that He provided for the destitute among His people—and made all Israel participants in that provision.

Attention to truth and justice is prominently addressed. When a people separate themselves to truth and justice, they are unified and blessed with peace. God’s priestly nation Israel needed to be just such a people if they were to serve as examples to the rest of the world. A major part of doing justice is to never allow your brother to continue in sin. Such “tolerance” will destroy your brother and, eventually, your community and nation. It is not “broadminded” or “big-hearted” to allow sin to continue (compare 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 6)—it is foolishness and dangerous to all around! Remember, sin affects everything. When a brother is sinning, we must make an effort to restore him spiritually (Ga1atians 6:1-2)—in humility, but with open rebuke if necessary (Proverbs 27:5).

Toward the close of the chapter, God addresses blood, divination and soothsaying, hair, beards, body piercing, tattoos, prostitution and Sabbaths. Why? What do all these have in common? Much. All these prohibitions concern pagan practices. Blood consumption was a part of Canaanite worship, as were divination and soothsaying (that is, prognostication based on pagan practices). Shaving around the sides of the head refers to certain tonsures or hairstyles laden with pagan sun symbolism(this practice of tonsure was widely practiced by the Roman Catholic clergy during the Dark and Middle Ages, and still is to some degree today). Trimming of the beard in a certain style was also part of pagan worship. Body piercing and tattoos served to mark a person as the worshiper of a particular god, but God desires that we honor and glorify Him through the clean presentation of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20). And, as noted earlier, ritual prostitution was a ubiquitous feature of Canaanite religion.

Ezekiel 10-13

The Departure of God’s Glory (Ezekiel 10)
The vision of chapters 8 and 9 continues in chapter 10. Here we have a lesson from God of considerable importance to us. For us to continue as God’s chosen people, He must actually dwell or live among us. The people of Israel came to understand this following their Exodus from Egypt. In Exodus 25:8 God instructed Moses, “Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” It was God’s intent at that time that He would dwell in the midst of the 12 tribes of Israel in the tabernacle made of goatskins. And His presence was evident in the pillar of cloud illuminated by the divine glory filling the tabernacle (see Exodus 40:34-35). As explained in previous comments, rabbis later designated this glory by the term shekinah, meaning “indwelling.”

God’s glory later came to dwell in the temple built by Solomon after his fervent and humble prayer (2 Chronicles 6-7). God chose to allow His presence—again evident through the radiance and splendor of His glory—to remain in the temple for centuries. Yet after the Jews had proven their determination to continue in false, idolatrous worship, the presence of God did eventually leave the Jerusalem temple prior to its looting and destruction by the Babylonians. Even when the second temple was rebuilt in its place after the return from Jewish exile, God’s glory did not occupy it. Moreover, there is no record of the shimmering, luminous glory ever again occupying an earthly building. However, centuries later the shepherds saw the glory appear in the sky as angels announced the birth of the Savior (Luke 2:9). Indeed, the coming of Christ in the flesh was, in essence, God coming to dwell with human beings (John 1:1, 14; Matthew 1:23). And after His death and resurrection, He would again do so through the Holy Spirit.

Later, Stephen proclaimed the truth that God no longer dwells in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48). As the apostle Paul explained, God’s temple is now His Church, the people whom He dwells in through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16). And the initial giving of the Spirit to the Church was accompanied by the miraculous signs of wind and fire, reminiscent of the glory of Ezekiel’s vision (see Acts 2).

On the night before His death, Jesus relayed some very important guidelines for God dwelling in His people through the Holy Spirit: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to Him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). Notice: in order for the Father and Jesus Christ to dwell with a person, that person must be obeying Christ’s words. The apostle Paul repeats essentially the same principle in 2 Corinthians 6:16: “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you [Christians] are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’”

But Paul goes on to follow this with a warning from God: “Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (verse 17). God dwelling among a people or in the heart and mind of a person is conditional upon that people or person being submissive and obedient to God. The presence of any idol or unclean worship will cause God to withdraw His presence. This is one of the most important lessons God is using Ezekiel to teach us in this chapter.

Ezekiel 10 begins with the image of the living cherubim carrying God’s throne. God gives the order to the man in linen to gather coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city of Jerusalem (verses 1-3). This symbolizes that God has now judged the city and it is to be punished and burned, as when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire and brimstone (see Genesis 19:24-25). Yet as we’ve seen, the punishment on Jerusalem is representative of punishment to befall all of Israel (Ezekiel 9:9-10).

The glory or presence of God then begins to move. The step-by-step exit from Jerusalem is recorded for us. As the glory of God moved from the Holy of Holies to the threshold or entryway of the temple (9:3; 10:4), we see that the living cherubim carrying the mobile throne were waiting outside the temple on the south side (verse 3). The entire house and courtyard were filled with the surrounding cloud and brightness (verse 4). Then, apparently after God assigned the man in linen and the executioners their jobs, He left the temple threshold and ascended His mobile throne above the living cherubim, not returning to the physical Holy of Holies within the temple (verse 18). The cherubim may have moved to meet Him as we see them hovering, with Him above them, at the east gate of the temple (verse 19).
The east gate is probably the one referred to as “the gates of righteousness” and “the gate of the LORD” in Psalm 118:19-20 and the “everlasting doors” in Psalm 24:7, 9. It is called the “Sun gate” in a Talmudic passage (Erubin 5:22c) because the sun would shine through it in the morning. Also through this gate traditionally entered the king and the ark in the sacred processions.

In the next chapter, we will see that when the glory of God leaves the temple through the east gate, it proceeds to the mountain on the east side of Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 11:23)—after which it presumably ascends to heaven. This path is opposite to the one Jesus Christ will take when He returns to the earth in power and glory in the future. For at that time He will first descend to the Mount of Olives and then, sometime later following the construction of the millennial temple, enter Jerusalem through the east gate, accompanied by the glory of God (Ezekiel 43:1-5; Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:9-12; Matthew 24:27). Indeed, a principal theme in this vision and the whole of the book of Ezekiel is the departure and eventual return of God’s glory to Jerusalem.

The description of the cherubim takes up a lot of Ezekiel 10, paralleling material from chapter 1. Ezekiel describes the transportation system of God’s throne almost exactly as he saw it earlier. His word picture of the cherubim, wheels rotating within each other with eyes apparently on the rims, the shimmering light in various colors, and the four faces of a cherub, man, lion, and eagle are almost identical to the previous account. This reveals that he was seeing the same God and the same throne. Since all of the faces are the same as those in chapter 1 with the exception of the “face of a cherub,” it is obvious that this face is the same as the face of the ox (1:10).

Another detail to note is that where the wheels are called “Wheel” in the New King James Version of verse 13, others translate the word here as “whirling” or “spinning.” The sound of the cherubim wings became very loud as the throne of God moved out of the temple. It could be heard even in the “outer court” (verse 5). This may symbolize God leaving Jerusalem in a public way, having the fact perceived or loudly proclaimed.

God had in fact prophesied the departure of His glory well in advance. Back in Deuteronomy 31:17-18, He had warned: “Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’” In Hosea 9:12, God proclaimed, “Woe to them when I depart from them!”

In all these warnings, Ezekiel included, we should recognize that God was not only talking about the ancient destruction He brought on His people. He is also talking about the future—of nations today and of us individually. All of us have a choice before us of whether to be faithful to God or to reject Him. The apostle Paul taught that the greatest mystery of all time is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Jesus Christ living in us through His Spirit is the most wonderful thing a human being can experience in this life. Yet one of the main lessons from Ezekiel is that God stays only where He is wanted and obeyed. This is true of nations, this is true of church fellowships, and this is true of every individual.

God withdrawing is never what He wants—it is people who force it on Him. Whenever His place of dwelling—whether a person, a church or religious organization or an entire nation—is filled with objects of false worship or idols, there is no more room for Him. After all, His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14) and He will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8). Satan has organized society so that God is squeezed out—we now have no time for Him. Christ illustrated this in the parable of the sower with the new plants being choked by the thorns (see Matthew 13:7, 22). As individuals we often fill our lives with economic pressure, constant entertainment and various pursuits—and then we wonder why God is not truly manifested and working in our lives. The book of Hebrews warns us not to neglect so great a salvation as that which has been offered to us (2:1-3)—yet we at times come to the realization that we are doing just that. As Paul said to all of us, “It is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11). May studying God’s message through Ezekiel aid us in doing just that.

Meat in a Cauldron; A Heart of Flesh (Ezekiel 11)
Ezekiel 11 concludes the vision that started in chapter 8. Ezekiel is now shown a group of 25 men that may or may not be the same as the group of 25 sun worshipers in 8:16. Those here are designated as “princes of the people” (11:1)—possibly civil leaders as this term “denotes public and political officials often serving in judicial, military, or royal posts (see 2 Sam. 8:15-18; 20:23-26)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Ezekiel 11:1-2). However, leading priests were “princes of the sanctuary” (Isaiah 43:28). Perhaps these are religious leaders who are also acting as civil leaders—or maybe just as ringleaders among the people in evil pursuits.

The Jaazaniah of Ezekiel 11:1 is the son of Azzur, not Shaphan as in 8:11. Again, perhaps the meaning of the name, “God Hears” or “God Hearkens,” is significant: “Azur means ‘help.’ He [Jaazaniah] and Pelatiah (’God delivers’), son of Benaiah (’God builds’), are singled out…because their names ought to have reminded them that ‘God’ would have ‘heard’ had they sought His ‘help’ to ‘deliver’ and ‘build’ them up. But neglecting this, they incurred the heavier judgment by the very relation in which they stood to God” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on verse 1).

God told Ezekiel that these men were plotting evil and giving wicked advice in Jerusalem. Remember that Jerusalem in this vision, while pointing literally to the city of Ezekiel’s time on one level, is also intended to represent all of Israel and Judah in the end time, just prior to Christ’s return (compare 9:9-10; 11; 15-21).

Verse 3, which relates the wicked advice given, is clearer in the earlier King James Version than in the New King James: “It [presumably calamity] is not near; let us build houses” (KJV). Perhaps better still, the NIV has, “Will it not soon be time to build houses?” What about the rest of the verse? The New Living Translation renders it, “Our city is like an iron pot. Inside it we will be like meat—safe from all harm.”

In Ezekiel’s day, this directly contradicted the warnings he and Jeremiah had been giving. As leaders, those making these claims should have heeded the threat posed by Babylon and leveled with the people. Yet, instead, they are shown wickedly promoting a false sense of security. Evidently, they themselves were living in denial—confident that even if they came under attack, the walls of Jerusalem and the presence of God’s temple would protect them from harm just like a cooking pot protects the meat inside from the flames of fire outside. Of course, this was foolishness—especially as God had sent such dire warnings through His true servants. The leaders had a responsibility to heed and spread the warning themselves. But they failed miserably in this respect, even going in the exact opposite, quite evil direction by saying all would be well. The same thing often happens among our national leaders today—and will in fact get far worse as the end of the age approaches.

God places the blame for the great number of deaths in the city on the shoulders of the leaders (11:6)—as He earlier placed it on the shoulders of the religious leaders (8:17; see also 9:9). This could mean that the high murder rate is due to a failure to honor and teach God’s laws. Or it could refer to the deaths that have already come as punishment for the people’s sins—the leaders being culpable for failing to properly acknowledge God and educate the nations in His ways and for giving a false sense of security, for not warning the people. When Ezekiel received this vision, the leaders already bore responsibility for the two previous attacks on Judah that left many dead in 605 and 597 B.C.—just as they would be responsible for the terrible slaughter that would follow. The same will be true of leaders in the end time.

In this light, God then uses the cooking pot analogy against them. He agrees that the city is a cooking pot of meat—only it is a pot of dead meat! The corpses of the slain are the meat, being cooked, so to speak (verse 7). Yet this would not include the particular leaders being addressed. They would indeed be killed, but not before they see the full calamity being brought. God says that the city would not be their cauldron. Rather, they would be run out of it and given into foreign hands, to be executed outside of Israel (verses 8-11).

Notice that Israel is again identified with Jerusalem here, which may point to an end-time fulfillment. However, Israel also designates the Promised Land (compare verse 17) and these verses could conceivably apply to what happened to certain leaders in Ezekiel’s own day. Notice what later occurred after Jerusalem’s fall to the Babylonians: “And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest…an officer who had charge of the men of war, five men of the king’s close associates who were found in the city, the chief recruiting officer of the army…and 60 men of the people of the land who were found in the city… [and] brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah [in Syria]. Then the king of Babylon struck them and put them to death” (2 Kings 25:18-21).

Whoever the 25 leaders are intended to portray, through judgment they would finally come to see the reality of God—that is, of the true God, whom they had denied by not heeding His law and by corrupting His worship with pagan customs and concepts (Ezekiel 11:12).

In verse 13, Ezekiel sees Pelatiah (mentioned in verse 1) die and cries out, asking if God will even leave a remnant. Perhaps Pelatiah is the first of the 25 leaders to fall in the vision. Or, just the opposite, maybe Ezekiel saw the other 24 killed and Pelatiah is the last. And it could be that his name, again meaning “God Delivers” or “Delivered of God,” is significant—that is, if he is not delivered, will anyone be?

Starting in verse 14, God responds to Ezekiel by giving him a wonderful message of comfort and hope. Verse 15 may be slightly mistranslated in the New King James Version. The picture seems to be that the Jews of Jerusalem are saying that all of Israel in exile—the scattered northern tribes and the Jews in Babylon—have been carried far away from God (through virtue of being far from Jerusalem). Consequently, the Jews of Jerusalem see the Promised Land as belonging solely to them. However, the reality is that those with such a mindset in Jerusalem are going to be destroyed while those in exile will ultimately be given the land (verse 17). Yet this would not happen until later generations.

Indeed, even the Jewish return from exile at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah would not fulfill this passage, as it is “all the house of Israel in its entirety” (verse 15) that is to be given the land of Israel and, at that time, they are shown to be repentant and spiritually converted (verses 18-20), signifying the period of Jesus Christ’s future reign on earth—as described in Isaiah 11 and many other passages. During the centuries of scattering, God says that He Himself would serve as a “little sanctuary” among the people (Ezekiel 11:16), perhaps indicating, as explained in the comments on chapter 9, the Church of God—referred to in Scripture as the “little flock” and the “body of Christ.”

When the captives of Israel and Judah are at long last brought back to the Promised Land in the future, they will purge it of all abominations (verse 18). God then gives hope for a beautiful future of reconciliation with Him for all Israel. The final message of Ezekiel 11 tells us much about God’s great mercy and compassion. In the depth of their sins, while they still practiced idolatry, God promises these people that one day in the future they will be given an opportunity to repent, return to their land and make a new covenant with Him. This covenant will be different from their past experience because God will cause the “stony” (stubborn and hard) heart of evil and rebellion to be removed from them and will replace it with a heart of “flesh”—one that is soft, malleable, emotionally tender and responsive. In other words, He will give them His Spirit, the indwelling presence of His glory, and cause them to desire to obey His laws (verses 19-20). Again, we see a marvelous consistency between the messages of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament about God’s plan for mankind—contrary to what today’s counterfeit Christianity would have us believe. (See the Bible Reading Program comments on Jeremiah 31 for a fuller explanation of the New Covenant that God will make with Israel and Judah.)

Even then, verse 21 of Ezekiel 11 cautions that there will yet be those who refuse to obey God and their heart will desire detestable things. Justice will be meted out to them as they deserve.

Finally, Ezekiel sees the glory of God depart from Jerusalem (verses 22-23). In His vision He is transported back to the exiles in Babylonia. And thus his vision comes to an end, whereupon he reports all he has seen to the exiles—starting, no doubt, with those elders who were then seated with him in his house, where he had actually been all along (see 8:1).

Deportation and Devastation—Soon (Ezekiel 12)
Chapter 12 begins a new section in the book of Ezekiel. This new series of messages, extending to the end of Ezekiel 19, apparently follows soon after the vision of chapters 8-11: “Ezekiel always gave specific dates for new visions or oracles. Since no new chronological notice was given, and since the speeches of chapters 12-19 were closely related thematically to the foregoing vision, it can be assumed that these messages were uttered shortly after Ezekiel’s explanation of the vision in chapters 8-11″ (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 1-2).

Thus, the exiles had watched Ezekiel’s symbolic acts and heard the rarely spoken prophecies of this normally mute man of God for more than a year. They had seen his acts with their eyes and heard his words with their ears, but it had no impact on them; in fact, they rejected God’s message (12:2). Other prophets experienced the same reaction (see Isaiah 6:9-10; Jeremiah 5:21).

The exiles did not grasp the seriousness of Ezekiel’s messages. They still believed they would be allowed to return to their land in the near future because Jerusalem still stood and most of the Jewish people continued in the land. Surely, it was only a matter of a little more time before they would be permitted to go back home. Throughout chapters 12-19, several reasons are presented as to why they believe this way. In chapter 12, it is apparent that the people either don’t believe prophecy or reason that even if judgment really is going to come on their homeland, it won’t happen in their lifetime. It just doesn’t seem possible to them—but, of course, it should have.
“Ezekiel’s next visual demonstration [of the process of deportation] warned the captives already in Babylon that they should not expect a quick return to Jerusalem. He had already shown that the city would soon fall ([chapters] 4; 5); those not killed would be led into exile. These exiles should have understood Ezekiel’s meaning, for they had done what he was displaying only six years before, when they had been brought into exile” (The Nelson Study Bible, note on 12:3-7).

After pantomiming Jerusalem’s siege, lying on one side and then the other over the course of 430 days, and shaving all his hair, Ezekiel was no doubt drawing larger numbers of onlookers. For this next demonstration he probably packed a bedroll, water container, staff and a few clothes. He was to pack them outside his dwelling during the day with people watching him. “In the evening he would dig a hole through the mud-brick wall of his house. Leaving through the hole, Ezekiel carried his bag like an exile (vv. 4b-6a). Next he would cover his face [essentially blindfolded so he couldn’t see where he was going] (v. 6b) and go to another place while all the people watched. Ezekiel’s act was a sign that God would bring additional exiles to Babylon (v. 6c)” (Expositor’s, note on verses 3-7).

The onlookers asked what this meant, and God told Ezekiel to respond that besides the rest of the nation, it particularly concerned the “prince,” the ruler, in Jerusalem (verses 8-14). Indeed, leaving through a hole in the wall by night indicated a secret escape. This is exactly what the nobles and political leaders of Jerusalem tried to do six years later during the siege of 586 B.C. They attempted to escape and run but were caught by the Babylonians. King Zedekiah was blinded and carried off to Babylon where he would die (see 2 Kings 25:1-7; Jeremiah 52:1-11). The rest of the nation was also carried away captive, just as God foretold through Ezekiel.

God is clear as to the reason for allowing many of them to go on living. Despite the judgment He is bringing, this is another example of His great mercy. While enslaved, they will come to acknowledge their sinful ways and come to better understand Him (Ezekiel 12:15-16). “They will know that I am the LORD,” He states repeatedly. This will also serve as a powerful witness to all mankind. God wants to emphasize that no one should think He wasn’t strong enough to prevent the calamity that came upon His nation. Rather, their downfall was due to His power, a fulfillment of the curse He promised. God understands human nature and the depth of evil to which people can sink. People need to know who God is—including what He stands for, His likes and dislikes, His expectations—before they can learn to properly worship Him. And for those who refuse to heed Him initially, they will ultimately come to know Him in a more ominous way—through judgment.

Using the family analogy He inspires in the New Testament, God has expectations for His household, like any wise father does. Even a physical family fairs poorly without mature household rules. On the other hand, proper parental guidance helps children succeed in life. Said succinctly, fatherly love includes laws—not harsh, not without mercy, but rather rules that protect his children from harming themselves and others. How does a wise father ensure that his children respect his rules for their good? He disciplines them. So it is with our heavenly Father’s approach to His children (see Hebrews 12:5-11).

In verses 17-18 of Ezekiel 12, God gives the prophet another pantomime to perform. Ezekiel is instructed to tremble and shake as he ate his food and shudder in fear as he drank water. This would test his acting ability, but the message from God is clear: This is what the nation is going to experience. He then explains that this is to serve as punishment for the incessant violence between people (verse 19)—which probably includes not just physical but emotional violence as well (compare Malachi 2:16).

In verse 20, the chilling warning of Ezekiel 6:6 is reiterated: The inhabited cities are to be laid waste. Many elements in chapters 12-19 hearken back to points made in the earlier chapters of Ezekiel. Recall that in those earlier chapters, Jerusalem was often used to represent the whole house of Israel in the end time. The same can be said of this section. While the message is obviously directed to Ezekiel’s immediate audience, there are, as we will see, indications throughout the section that the message is for all of Israel—and more specifically, since the northern tribes did not receive Ezekiel’s message in ancient times, for Israel’s descendants in the last days.

In verse 6 of chapter 12, Ezekiel was to be a sign to the “house of Israel.” Yet in verses 8-9, this could conceivably be limited to the Jews in captivity, as God asks, “Has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’” However, we could perhaps imagine people of the modern nations descended from Israel reading Ezekiel’s prophecy and also wondering the same thing—and Ezekiel answering them through this preserved written record rather than his ancient utterances. In verse 10, God says, “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them.” This verse might seem limited to the Jews of ancient Judah. But, while it clearly does apply to them, it may also have a broader meaning. Again, we have clear precedent in the preceding chapters of Ezekiel for understanding the ancient destruction and captivity of Jerusalem and Judah as typical of punishment that is to befall all of Israel in the end time. The end-time Jewish monarch resides among the Israelites (as we will see more about in Ezekiel 17).

It only makes sense to see Ezekiel’s warning of deportation as applying to not only the Jews still in Judah when he spoke, but also to all Israel and Judah at the end of this present evil age. As other prophecies also show, the cities of the modern Israelite nations are going to be destroyed and the survivors will be marched off into foreign slavery. And again, violence among the people is part of the reason for this punishment. God must be grieved continually at the terrible murders and violent crime that are so common in the lands of modern-day Israel. How we are repeating the experience of our ancestors! At times it seems that the only lesson we learn from history is that men do not learn lessons from history.

In verse 22, God quotes a proverb of the people: “The days are prolonged, and every vision fails.” A “proverb” is a popular saying summing up some common wisdom. But this wasn’t wise at all. Such statements are still common today: “People have been saying that for centuries and it hasn’t happened yet.” And the Bible warned of the pervasiveness of such sentiments in the end time: “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts [physical wants], and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

“The belief the proverb [in Ezekiel] expresses is, simply, that the message of judgment delivered by Ezekiel and other prophets like Isaiah simply was not true. The argument underlying it is basically, ‘It hasn’t happened yet—so it can’t happen!’ That notion is foolish, whether it’s held by a Californian living in an earthquake zone, or a non-Christian hearing about Christ’s Second Coming! God’s patience in delaying judgment is evidence of grace, not evidence no judgment lies ahead!” (Lawrence Richards, The Bible Reader’s Companion, 1991, note on 12:22).

Others accepted that Ezekiel’s warning was true and inspired, but believed it concerned the distant future and not the here and now (verse 27). This is also true of many believers in the end time. Jesus warned of Christians who would adopt the attitude of “My master is delaying his coming” (Matthew 24:48). Even many who believe Christ’s coming is relatively soon lose any sense of urgency regarding it—seeing it as still far enough off not to concern them. “Maybe someday. But not now. Maybe someone. But not us. God’s response through Ezekiel was, ‘Not someone…you!’ And, ‘Not someday…soon!’ The attitude of the people of Ezekiel’s day is still pervasive in the church. Only if we truly believed judgment was coming to us and soon would we break the bondage of our materialism, and live completely for the Lord” (note on Ezekiel 12:26-28).

Once God accomplishes His proclaimed punishment, no one will be able to contradict it! There were false prophets in Jerusalem with whom Jeremiah was contending at this time (Jeremiah 28:1-5). There will also be false teachers and prophets in the end time. Even though they persuade many people with their words, God’s Word stands sure and will pass the test of time. The chapter ends with this message: “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done.’” In less than six years from this prophecy Jerusalem would fall to Nebuchadnezzar and be destroyed.

Similarly, the judgments of the end time are coming swiftly. We don’t know how long. But we know they are coming soon. At some point in the not-too-distant future, what the apostle John foresaw will come to pass: “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever…that there should be delay no longer” (Revelation 10:5-6). Until then, the end for each of us could be minutes or even seconds away, as we are all mortal and subject to death. So we should live each day with that reality in mind—and direct our lives accordingly.

False Prophets and Prophetesses (Ezekiel 13)
This oracle is a poignant summation of false prophets and prophetesses, serving as a vivid warning for everyone. The first point—and perhaps the most crucial—that God makes is that these people send themselves. He did not and does not send them. They follow their own heart and appoint themselves, although they typically claim a special “anointing” or calling of God. Have we not seen many do this in our own time? Self-appointed ministers, prophets and evangelists have been a curse to the Church and to the world for thousands of years. Indeed, Satan the devil, the father of lies (John 8:44), has ministers who masquerade as ministers of righteousness (1 Corinthians 11:14-15). The Bible lists the righteous characteristics of God’s true servants (e.g., Exodus 18:21; Titus 1; 1 Timothy 3). False ministers or prophets can give the appearance of godliness, but, as Jesus Christ warned, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and will be revealed in time by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-16).

Notice that in Ezekiel’s account they begin by saying, “Hear the word of the LORD!” (verse 2). They feign righteousness and pretend to have a legitimate message from God. This provides an opportunity for examining one of their most revealing fruits—that is, the truth of what they say. Too often, people focus on charisma and personality rather than on substance. God specifically addresses the issue of a person who “packages” himself in strong appeal—even performing “miracles!”—in Deuteronomy 13. Focus on his message, God says, for he likely is leading you away from God’s Word and law (verses 1-4). God adds through Isaiah: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word [God’s Word], it is because there is no light [no truth] in them” (Isaiah 8:20). A false minister will often use the Bible, just as Satan used Scripture in tempting Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:3, 6). But the discerning Christian meticulously checks the preacher’s words against the Bible (Acts 17:11).

Again, what these men described in Ezekiel 13 have to say comes from their own reasoning—not from God. The Almighty states clearly the truth of the matter: the foolish prophets follow their own spirit and have seen nothing. The word “foolish,” nabal in Hebrew, “implied more than our concept of stupidity. It was a broad term that encompassed spiritual and moral insensitivity contrary to the nature of a wise man. The word was used to describe people who blasphemed (Ps 74:18), who were arrogant (1 Sam 25:25), who were atheistic (Ps 14:1), and who lacked self-discipline and humility. Ezekiel described the basic cause of their foolishness as their reliance on their own hearts and failure to seek God’s revelation (cf. Jer 23:16-22; ch. 29)” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on verses 1-7).

All the while that Jeremiah and Ezekiel were preaching God’s warning to the Jews—these self-appointed false prophets were proclaiming a different message. Their message was that God would not punish, things were going well and would continue, and there is no need to listen to these two prophets. This is a pattern we see repeated in Scriptural history. The sorcerers of Egypt tried to discredit the warnings that God gave through Moses. Others opposed Joshua, Nehemiah, many if not all prophets we have record of, and later Christ and the apostles. In the time of the end, God will have His two witnesses preaching a final warning (Revelation 11), but Satan will have the Beast and False Prophet who will deceive by miracles (Revelation 13:14). And until then we must expect that false prophets will always be with us. The apostle Peter warns us, “There were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1).

God’s description of them in Ezekiel 13 is very appropriate for any time, but especially the end time before Christ returns. Indeed, the “day of the LORD” is explicitly mentioned in verse 5. While this term may in some sense signify times of God’s triumph against His enemies in the past, it mainly denotes the final triumph of God at the end of the age, when He pours out His wrath on a cataclysmic scale never before seen. We should understand that the calamity of Ezekiel and Jeremiah’s day was a forerunner of the world-shaking events that will accompany the time of the end.

God says the false preachers are “like foxes in the deserts” (Ezekiel 13:4) or, as the NIV renders it, “jackals among ruins.” “They scavenged for themselves while causing, ignoring, and profiting from the human wreckage surrounding them. They were racketeers instead of reformers” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 2-4). These false prophets found themselves a place to prosper among people who were in the process of decaying. The reason they were accepted among the remnant of the people was that there was a foreboding atmosphere, and the people wanted to hear optimism. People prefer to hear good news or a soft, easy message—one that makes them feel good (see 2 Timothy 4:3-4). This is why so many churches today preach a “feel-good” message instead of a call to repentance. Reader boards or signs on churches often proclaim that churches are “empowering” or “uplifting” or “celebrating” people. Building a following and making people feel good about themselves is apparently the most important goal.

God describes the job of a true prophet or minister as figuratively going up into gaps in a wall to rebuild and repair it so that people are protected (compare Ezekiel 22:30; Psalm 106:23). This can be understood as the responsibility to warn people of their spiritual gaps—areas in which they are disobeying God and need to change. It can also refer to the nourishing care of a pastor, who prays for, listens to and counsels his congregants, helping to heal wounds in their lives (see 1 Thessalonians 2:7). Christians, being human, will make mistakes. When they know they have, they need help and encouragement to overcome the results of their errors. A true minister is there for them, neither judging nor whitewashing them for what they did, but rather helping to build them back up spiritually. In essence, the requirement is to do what needs to be done in the service of God and others. True prophets would have seen the need to warn the people of the coming danger and show them what was required to avert it. A true watchman operates on the principle of 1 John 3:17: “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” One who knows the truth has a responsibility to provide warning and direction for those who don’t.

Instead of protecting and caring for the people, these charlatans seduce the people with false assurances of “‘Peace!’ when there is no peace” (verse 10), a message decried earlier in the book of Jeremiah (6:14; 8:11). Instead of giving the people the truth, which will always stand firm, these false teachers were giving them lies, which can never stand under the weight of testing. The people thought they were doing a good job—creating, in a figurative sense, a solid wall firmly cemented together—because of what they were told by men who claimed to be God’s representatives. A more accurate figure of what they were doing, however, was piling stones into a heap and having the false teachers put a layer of plaster or whitewash over them, so that it looked solid. When the day of testing comes, the lack of strength in the wall will become evident (Ezekiel 13:10-16).

The false claim of being God’s instruments wasn’t limited to men. In this message God specifically includes women who are false prophetesses (verse 17). God says they “hunt souls” (verse 18) or, rather, “‘lives’—the whole person; the idea [the word soul often connotes today] of disembodied spirits was completely alien to Jewish thinking” (Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible, note on verse 18; compare 18:4, 20). Essentially, the goal of these women is to trap or ensnare people.

The prophetesses are portrayed as fortunetellers or witches. Notice this paraphrase in the Contemporary English Version: “Tell them they’re doomed! They wear magic charms on their wrists and scarves on their heads, then trick others into believing they can predict the future. They won’t get away with telling those lies. They charge my people a few handfuls of barley and a couple pieces of bread, and then give messages that are insulting to me. They use lies to sentence the innocent to death and to help the guilty go free. And my people believe them!… They do things I would never do. They lie to good people and encourage them to do wrong, and they convince the wicked to keep sinning and ruin their lives” (Ezekiel 13:18-19, 22).

The grain here, however, may be more significant than just payment: “Hittite practices and later Syrian rituals demonstrate that divination was carried out with barley bread either as part of the pagan sacrificial ritual or as a means of determining whether the victim would live or die. The prophetesses, therefore, profaned God by misrepresentation” (Expositor’s, note on verses 17-19).

Even though witchcraft was forbidden in the covenant God made with His people (Leviticus 19:26), it was practiced, and primarily by women—just as in Egypt and Babylon. “Despite the strong warnings of the Law, the people turned more and more to these occultists during the days preceding Jerusalem’s fall” (Word in Life Bible, note on Ezekiel 13:18-19). Witchcraft and other forms of occultism are certainly on the rise in our day as well—and their popularity will likely further increase as times worsen.

Yet it should also be recognized that these women probably symbolized the penetration of the Babylonian Mystery religions into the worship of the true God. Veils or scarves were worn by pagan temple prostitutes as part of their garb when they were working to ensnare a customer. Once taken, the victim was then enticed further with occult mysteries. In this sense, pagan religion, harlotry and witchcraft or sorcery all went together in an unholy mixture.

In prophecies of the end time, this false religious system that sprang from Babylon is actually portrayed as a temple prostitute involved in harlotry and sorcery, condemning God’s faithful servants to death: “[Concerning] the great harlot…the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication… The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet… And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints… [By her] sorcery all the nations were deceived” (Revelation 17:1-6; 18:23). The same system is referred to in Nahum 3:4 as the “seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries” or, as the King James Version has it, “the mistress of witchcraft.”

Today, this great false mystery system masquerades as the world religion known as Christianity. Its many false churches throughout the nations of modern Israel may well be pictured by the women in Ezekiel 13.

God ends this prophecy against the false teachers by stating that He will deliver His people from them. In ancient times, that was accomplished to a certain extent by the destruction of Judah and the Jews being taken into captivity. Most of the ruling politicians and religious leaders were killed by the Babylonians, while most of those who were still trying to obey God were among those who were spared and taken to Babylon. This group formed the core of the faithful community in exile, later members of which would return to Jerusalem decades afterward with Zerubbabel or with Ezra to rebuild the temple.

Of course, the heart of Babylon was not an ideal place to escape from pagan religion—and many Jews succumbed to its enticements either completely or in part, with various Babylonian ideas and concepts entering into the practice and beliefs of Judaism just as other erroneous pagan concepts later would enter Christianity. Again, we should understand that the ancient destruction of Judah was merely a forerunner of the greater calamity that still is yet to come—to be followed by the ultimate deliverance of Israel and all mankind from the evils of all false religion into the glorious light of God’s wonderful truth.

Acts 28

We ended last week with the ship, crew, and Sha’ul finally coming upon land in a sort of shipwreck. They discovered they were on the island called Melite. They were greeted and cared for graciously by the people who lived on the island. They built fires and warmed them, for it was still raining. As Sha’ul was adding wood to his fire, a snake came out due to the heat and bit him! When the people of the island saw this they exclaimed, “This man is certainly a murdered, whom, though saved from the sea, still right-ruling does not allow to live.”

When after a time Sha’ul did not get sick and die, they determined he must be a mighty one (a god) because he was immune to the adder venom. Shortly thereafter (perhaps until the next daylight), the chief of the island named Poplius allowed them to stay in his home for three days. It just so happened also, that Poplius’ father was ill and suffering from dysentery and inflammation. Sha’ul went to him, laid hands upon him and prayed, and he was healed. When the people of the island heard of this, they all came to Sha’ul for healing and were healed.

The people of the island showed them great respect and sent them off sailing eventually with many supplies to meet their needs. After three months they eventually boarded an Alexandrian ship that had stopped there at the island to winter whose figurehead was “Twin Brothers.” (or Sons of Zeus, or Castor and Pollux) They sailed and then stopped at Syracuse for three days and sailed again and came to Rheguim. After a day there they sailed and came to Puteoli, where there were “brothers” there. They stayed with the brothers for seven days and then set final sail for Rome. When they arrived in Rome, the Captain delivered all the prisoners except for Sha’ul who he allowed to stay by himself with a personal soldier guarding him.

After three days of Sha’ul staying back in the area where the soldier was guarding him, he began to speak to the people around (who were of the Jewish belief). He explained to them how it was that he had come to be in the position he now found himself. How he had been falsely accused and he was found guilty of nothing by the Roman courts and they had determined to let him go. There was no cause found to put him to death. But the Jews at Jerusalem would have nothing of it and he was forced to appeal to Caesar. He also let it be clear that the reason for all of this predicament was his testimony concerning “the expectation” meaning specifically the resurrection of the dead.

They let it be known that they had heard nothing of this. They had no letters, were not aware, were left out of any decisions, and had heard nothing wicked about Sha’ul at all. They had heard, though, about ‘the Sect” that Sha’ul was noted to now be a part of and they asked him intently to share with them the facts of the truth concerning “the Sect”. And having appointed him a day, many came to him where he was staying, to whom he was explaining, earnestly witnessing about the reign of Elohim, and persuading them concerning Yahshua from both the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets, from morning until evening.

Some believed, but some did not and they began disagreeing amongst one another. To which Sa’ul said, “The Set-apart Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “Hearing you shall hear but by no means understand, and seeing you shall see but by no means perceive, for the heart of this people has become thickened, and with their ears they heard heavily, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes an hear with their ear, an understand with their heart, and turn back, and I should heal them.” Isaiah 6:9-10.

Therefore Sha’ul proclaimed that this Word of Elohim will no go until the Gentiles and they shall hear! Sha’ul stayed there in Rome in his own rented house awaiting trial and he received all who came to him. He continued proclaiming the reign of Elohim and teaching about the Master Yahshua Messiah with all boldness, unhindered.

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