News Letter 5847-052
23th 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 17, 2012
Shabbat Shalom Brethren and Family,
When the New Moon is sited in about one weeks time you will be able to see the New Crescent and the Jupiter and Venus will have just moved above Jupiter. All of this is taking place in the constellation of Ares the Ram which represents Yehshua. It is very interesting for this time of year.
Before you leave this next note, make sure you see what has happened at the US border below.
On March 16 this 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.
I was supposed to be in Gray, Kentucky as you read this, but……
I left the house this morning at 2 AM to drive the 12 hours to Gray Kentucky. But 10 hours later I am now back home. Let me explain.
I came to the US Canada border and it was very busy this morning. More than I expected. Many people being searched.
The usual questions with the usual responses were not good enough this morning. I was sent to the side where the car was searched and I had to go into the office to be asked many more questions.
They could not understand that I worked construction full time and yet I was going to Gray KY to give a lecture on Bible Prophecy. They could not understand why I had to take Friday off of work to drive down to Gary KY. When they asked if got paid for this and I said no, I do it for free, then I got even more questions and more investigations.
They saw that I had been to the US over 10 times this year already and wanted to know why. I told them. Again the concern about me working construction and taking time off work to speak in the states for free.
When they asked about the books in the car I told them I do sell them and the DVD’s. And this I am not allowed to do as a Canadian in the US. In order for me to sell books in the US, I need a green card. And with that they turned me around and sent me back home, not allowing me to speak to the groups coming to Gray Kentucky this Friday evening and Saturday.
So for those of you who were looking forward to meeting me this evening I do apologise. But we are working on doing a skype or some sort of webinar meeting where I can still present the whole teaching of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.
Each and every meeting I have done without exception has been met with some technical challenges that almost derailed the meeting. IN every case we were not successful at recording the third presentation which is the conclusion to the whole presentation.
Last week in Sarnia the Most of Honey and Locust Book store hired a professional to record it and even they had camera malfunction while we were speaking, but they quickly went out and got another one and kept recording with an I-phone.
So this problem with US Homeland security is just another attempt to stop this message from being heard.
If you have not yet read The Prophecies of Abraham or watched the DVD or the other presentations that we have on the site then do so as quickly as possible.
War is coming to the USA and I show you 6 proofs from your own bible to prove it to you. Those who see it are shocked and stunned and saddened to know just how close we are to this very dark time we are about to enter.
If you can get a group together in your house then we will skype this teaching to you if we have to. But we need more people talking about it and explaining it. So help me to make this happen.
Again I apologise to those in Gray this weekend and for my not being allowed to be there.
I think this is about to open an huge door in fact. We just have to get the bugs out. Maybe instead of me traveling everywhere, I am supposed to just skype to small groups all around the world. It would save time and money and I could do shorter sessions instead of one large one that is a 9 hour teaching. This could be a good thing.
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
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 weeks News Letter I have the following responses;
Shalom Joseph. It took a great deal of courage to write the things you wrote in this edition of your newsletter. Focusing on helps for marriages is a thorny issue but one that desperately needs to be addressed. If a marriage is not functioning well, it is nearly impossible to manage any kind of ministry which thing every person should have of one sort or another. Thank you for addressing the hard issues.
Another wrote in to say;
Many thanks for all your weekly news letters. I have learnt much from them and have sent extracts or complete newsletters to many of my friends. Keep up the good work. I still don’t know how you manage to write such long newsletters filled with such wisdom every week and get other things done as well.
South Africa, Bashewa Agricultural Holdings
Due to the fact that so many are dealing with and dying from cancer I am going to share what someone sent me right after I came home from my sister-in-laws funeral.
Johns Hopkins Update
AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (’TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY …
Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:
1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer
cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have
multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients
that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after
treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the
cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable
2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a
3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer
cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and
4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has
nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic,
but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing
diet to eat more adequately and healthy, 4-5 times/day
and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system.
6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing
cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells
in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc., and can
cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars
and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often
reduce tumor size.
However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.
9. When the body has too much toxic burden from
chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either
compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb
to various kinds of infections and complications.
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to
mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.
Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.
11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer
cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.
*CANCER CELLS FEED ON:
a. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made
with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute
would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small
amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in
color Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.
b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the
gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.
c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based
diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little other meat,
like chicken. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.
d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole
grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into
an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked
food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live
enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to
cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance
growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building
healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most
vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw
vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at
temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C)..
e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high
caffeine Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer
fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or
filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap
water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.
12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of
digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the
intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.
13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By
refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes
to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the
body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
14. Some supplements build up the immune system
(IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals,
EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy
cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known
to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s
normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or
15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.
A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior
be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put
the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to
have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated
environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to
get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
1. No plastic containers in micro.
2. No water bottles in freezer.
3. No plastic wrap in microwave..
Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc, should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.
This past week my sister-in-law died. She is just another one in a growing list of people who passed away this past month.
Her death makes my whole family and extended family look at life and wonder what it is all about. What happens after this life? Is she in Heaven; I hope she is not in Purgatory; I know she is not in Hell; What happens when you die? They all say.
In the news of late have been the deaths of some famous people. I won’t mention them by name here and add to their fame, but Brethren, my Family in the faith, are you aware of the names of the Saints that have died lately? I am not going to list them all in case I leave some one out, but I am going to name one that has had an effect on my life and yours.
I began to write this News letter out of anger when I first started. I was mad that my Church of God brethren had the nerve to ask me not to come back. Me!! I was a good person. So I began the web site the very same week I was asked to leave. That was back in July of 2006.
Since then I have had my share of hateful emails from those who call themselves followers of god and also followers of Yahweh. And they would get to me after a while. Even another one this past week.
But at some point this Saint wrote me as have others to tell me how much my News Letters meant to her. They were a breath of fresh air she would say.
This lady had worked the office in Australia for the Church of God Australia. She later worked with Fred Coulter and his ministry. And then she began to read the News letter’s at Sightedmoon.com and then she began to write.
Her encouragement always came when I was about to quit. I did not need this flack I was getting and I felt no one was hearing me and so I was about to give up many times. And almost every time I was about to quit, this ladies email would come along to encourage me and to tell me how much a certain news letter had touched her.
Brethren had it not been for her I think I would have stopped this a number of years ago. Had I stopped when I wanted to, you would not be reading the Prophecies of Abraham today. You would not be learning the many things the bible has to say about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years; At least not from this site.
You would not know about the Prophecy in the Law of Niddah which this same lady inspired me to look at as we discussed the subject. That led me into an even deeper study of the 70 Shabua. And these two subjects are the climatic teachings I am doing in my speaking engagements now.
How different things would have been had this elderly lady from Australia not had the wit and charm and desire to write and tell me to keep going. This Saint is Wendy McNamara and not too many people knew her or were aware of her death over a month ago. She died from cancer.
Another lady who died many years ago before I had ever thought of starting the web site said to me the things I was talking about had to be said and to keep telling people until they heard it. I wrote about her in one of my early Newsletters.
I could go to the scriptures and pull up many stories of how the little things that people did led to bigger successes of others. Do not think for a moment that you do not count; that you living in the corner of the world where you are does not matter and there is nothing you can do. The person you encourage could go on to do great things. That little boy or that little girl you talk to and tell them nothing is impossible could be inspired because of your choice words. Just as I was by Wendy’s encouraging emails.
When a Saint dies does anyone notice? Most assuredly the one who created them Knows. If He knows all the hairs on your head then He knows who you are and what He has planned for you to do.
Mat 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the being. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both being and body in Gehenna. 29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground without your Father. 30 “And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “So do not fear, you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 “Everyone, therefore, who shall confess Me before men, him I shall also confess before My Father who is in the heavens. 33 “But whoever shall deny Me before men, him I shall also deny before My Father who is in the heavens.
At the funeral of my sister-in-law the questions were asked by me as I heard the sermon by the Anglican minister. He stated she was in heaven right now looking down on us here. I had to wonder how that would suck to be in such an awesome place and to always be looking down here where everyone is so hurting. It would make them so sad I thought to see how we are hurting.
Another person speaks of the rapture that we are going to be in. I have to ask then if these people are in heaven why would they come back down to be raised up first before those in the rapture?
Another wonders if they are going to hell. Everyone thinks they are going to heaven and no one ever says may they have peace in purgatory.
The minister talks of the dead already in heaven and then quotes from Ezekiel about the dead bones coming back to life. Does this mean those who were in heaven have to give that up and then go back into their former bodies that just came back to life?
Yes Brethren when you go to any funeral there are so many false teachings that it makes you want to puke. Yet none of these people will bother to look into the only source that tells them. Instead they rely on the man of the cloth, the Catholic or Anglican Priest or Baptist Pastor who is supposed to know these things. They only know the doctrines that their association has taught them; but not what Yehovah says in His word.
Two weeks ago a lady told me about those who were going to hell. When I told her she too was going to hell when she died she was very offended. She argued for a bit and then left the meeting and never came back. How much garbage do you carry with you today brethren? Do you understand the plan of Yehovah? Is He going to leave any behind so Satan can claim victory over even one?
Do you under the stories of the constellation that explain this?
The stories of the little bear and the great bear which Yehovah speaks about in Job? Do you understand and know about the meaning of the constellation of the Good Ship Argo?
Do you know and understand about the wave offering and how it depicts the first resurrection of Saints? Before this ceremony became a reality no one had gone up to heaven! Do you know this?
Joh 3:11 “Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak what We know and witness what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 “If you do not believe when I spoke to you about earthly matters, how are you going to believe when I speak to you about the heavenly matters?13 “And no one has gone up into the heaven except He who came down from the heaven – the Son of Aḏam.
No Enoch did not go up to Heaven; if he did then Yehshua is a liar.
But on that day after the Messiah came out of the grave having been in there for 3 days and 3 nights, on this first day of the week when He told Mary Madelyn not to touch Him as he had not yet ascended to heaven. It was on this first day when the wave offering is made that Yehshua who was the wave offering went before Yehovah and he brought with Him an example of those who had already believed.
Joh 20:15 יהושע said to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek?” Thinking He was the gardener, she said to Him, “Master, if You have carried Him away, say to me where You put Him, and I shall take Him away.” 16 יהושע said to her, “Miryam!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 יהושע said to her, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim.’ ”
Paul spoke of the First Fruits that went with Him.
1Co 15:14 And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is empty, and your belief also empty, 15 and we are also found false witnesses of Elohim, because we have witnessed of Elohim that He raised up Messiah, whom He did not raise up, if then the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then neither Messiah has been raised. 17 And if Messiah has not been raised, your belief is to no purpose, you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished. 19 If in this life only we have expectation in Messiah, we are of all men the most wretched.20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Aḏam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah . 23 And each in his own order: Messiah the first-fruits, then those who are of Messiah at His coming,24 then the end, when He delivers up the reign to Elohim the Father, when He has brought to naught all rule and all authority and power.
Do you see what Paul just said?
Yehshua is the first Fruit of those who are asleep. This is the barley wave offering and is also the little bear or little Dipper depicting the first crop of saints to be raised from the grave on this so special day. Before this day no one went to heaven. All were dead and asleep in the grave. Moses, Elijah and Enoch were all dead in the grave.
This is when the dead came out of the grave in Mathew after Yehshua rose first and they walked into Jerusalem.
Mat 27:50 And יהושע cried out again with a loud voice, and gave up His spirit. 51 And see, the veil of the Dwelling Place was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the set-apart city and appeared to many.
The Saints came out ‘coming out of the tombs after His resurrection’ after the Messiah was resurrected. They came back to life that Saturday evening when Yehshua came back to life. This is so amazing as it had never happened before.
Eph 4:8 That is why it says, “When He went up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” 9 But what does “He went up” mean, except that He also first went down into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who went down is also the One who went up far above all the heavens, to fill all.
Those who are dead are captive; they are captives of Satan whose only tool to scare people to obey him is through death. And once you commit sin you are a prisoner of sin and when you die you are a captive of Satan. But the Saints Yehshua has rescued as we have just read.
At the first wave offering Yehshua went into the grave and then came up and brought the Saints with Him out of captivity. And they went with Him to Heaven. Not everyone who had died went, but only those Saints did. And not all of them for Paul also says that King David was with them even at that time and this was after the Resurrection.
This is why this time of year is so precious. It shows us that the dead will rise to be with the Messiah if we are guarding the commandments and doing them. If we do not then we will remain dead but not for ever.
The next wave offering is at Pentecost and it is the one with the wheat offering. Not Barley this time. We are to be the wheat. And it is at this time in the near future that the wheat cakes or two loaves will be raised up and waved before Yehovah. This is when all those Saints from the time of Messiah will then be raised up, those who are dead first and then those of us who alive at that time.
1Th 4:13 Now, brothers, we do not wish you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you be sad as others who have no expectation. 14 For if we believe that יהושע died and rose again, so also Elohim shall bring with Him those who sleep1 in יהושע. Footnote: 1An euphemism for death, a typical Hebrew word for it. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Master, that we, the living who are left over at the coming of the Master shall in no way go before those who are asleep. 16 Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. 17 Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air – and so we shall always be with the Master. 18 So, then, encourage one another with these words.
This is not the rapture; it is the second wave offering of Pentecost and it is just for those people who keep and kept the commandments. It is not for all mankind. This resurrection at this Feast of Pentecost is explained by understanding the Great Bear or as we know it today the Big Dipper.
But what about the rest of mankind who never knew the Messiah or had a chance to learn about Him? This is explained by the Fall Feast of Sukkot. It is the harvest of all the rest of the fruit. It is the harvest of all the rest of Mankind at that time. And the constellation of the good ship Argo also helps in explaining this.
In his first inspired sermon after receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the apostle Peter summed up God’s instruction for mankind: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).
But what are these “times of refreshing” and “times of restoration” of which Peter spoke?
God’s plan for mankind involves restoration. The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the restoration process, which will start with the return of Jesus Christ, pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and the banishment of Satan, depicted by the Day of Atonement. Once these events have taken place, as represented by the previous Holy Days, the foundation is in place for the restoration of the creation to peace and harmony with God.
The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, which begins with an annual Holy Day (Leviticus 23:34-35), pictures the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ over the earth after His second coming (see Revelation 20:4). This period is often called the Millennium, which simply means “1,000 years.”
That age to come, a wonderful “rest” following the hardships of the present age, is symbolized every seven days by the weekly Sabbath (Hebrews 4:1-11) and every year by the Feast of Tabernacles. Also called the Feast of Ingathering (Exodus 23:), it celebrates the great harvest of humanity when all people who are alive on earth will learn God’s ways. Humanity will at last be restored to a right relationship with God (Isaiah 11:9-10).
In the beginning, God created mankind to cooperate with Him in a beautiful relationship characterized by love, peace and obedience to His laws. At the completion of His creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:3). This time of peace and harmony abruptly ended because of Satan’s deception and man’s disobedience (Genesis 3:1-6). Disobedience cut mankind off from God’s way (verses 21-24). The Bible describes the tragic result: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:).
This broken relationship between God and man has continued through history to our time. Paul reflected on this state: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:).
Paul knew that the breach created by man’s disobedience is healed through Jesus Christ: “For since by man [Adam] came death, by Man [Christ] also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
We have the first wave offering when the Saints who lived up to the time of Yehshua were raised up. We have the second wave offering of Pentecost when the next group of Saints who have lived since Messiah will then be raised up. And we have the Feast of Sukkot which shows us when the rest of mankind will be raised up at the end of the 7th Millennium.
This is the Great News that needs to be shared at these funerals. Not the dreaded end of life that is now taught there.
I know some of you still hurt from the lost of a loved one recently. Some of you are trying to be strong and live your life. It is OK to go and cry and have a good long cry. You will not see them for a long time. But know they will be raised up at some time. And if you want to be there with them when it happens then keep the commandments and study the Holy Days and pray.
The meaning of the wave offering at Passover is so huge when you grasp it. This year as you keep Passover and think of your loved ones who have already died, think on these truths. And rejoice this Passover as you come to know the truth of the Plan of Yehovah.
Here are some more articles that may help you to understand this overall plan of Yehovah.
Brethren I have just come to understand something I had never seen before this week. I would like to share with you a prophecy that Yehshua shared just before He died and how it is for us in this last Jubilee cycle.
So many times we read over something and never see what is being said in it.
Mat 26:36 Then יהושע came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the taught ones, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Kĕpha and the two sons of Zaḇdai, and He began to be grieved and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My being is exceedingly grieved, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 39 And going forward a little, He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I desire, but as You desire.” 40 And He came to the taught ones and found them asleep, and said to Kĕpha, “So, were you not able to watch with Me one hour? 41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again He went away, a second time, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is impossible for this to pass unless I drink it, let Your desire be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His taught ones and said to them, “Still sleeping and taking rest? See, the hour has come near, and the Son of Aḏam is delivered up into the hands of sinners. 46 “Rise, let us go. See, he who delivers Me up has come near.” 47 And while He was still speaking, see, Yehuḏah, one of the twelve, with a large crowd with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 And he who was delivering Him up gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, it is He, seize Him.” 49 And going straight up to יהושע he said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And יהושע said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on יהושע and seized Him.
I have been to this garden called Gethsemane many times. I have stayed there and prayed there and cried there. I have brought brethren up to it many times to show them the secrets it reveals.
This is also called Golgotha and The Mount of Offence and the Mount of Olives and is part of the Mountains of Mariah.
So let us begin to examine this event in Yehshua’s life and take special note of what we are being told. We begin with the word Gethsemane; what does it mean?
G1068 Γεθσημανῆ Gethsēmanē gheth-say-man-ay’
Of Chaldee origin (compare [H1660] and [H8081]); oil press; Gethsemane, a garden near Jerusalem: - Gethsemane.
H1660 גּת gath gath
Probably from H5059 (in the sense of treading out grapes); a wine press (or vat for holding the grapes in pressing them): - (wine-) press (fat).
H8081 שׁמן shemen sheh’-men
From H8080; grease, especially liquid (as from the olive, often perfumed); figuratively richness: - anointing, X fat (things), X fruitful, oil ([-ed]), ointment, olive, + pine.
You can easily see where the word Gath Sheh Men formed the modern word Gethsemane. The Mount of Olives is covered in Olive trees or used to be and at the top of this Mount in the place known as the garden of Gethsemane they would squeeze out the olive oil by applying pressure to the olives.
To this day there is an ancient Olive oil press complete with stone and basin. It is right beside the fountain and is so peaceful and quite. This same fountain today is right along the rows of Olive and Orange Trees along with pomegranate and Lemon trees as well as Almond trees.
An Olive press is used to extract the olive oil from the fruit. The finest olive oil is produced by either just using the weight of the beam to squeeze out the oil or by adding one stone to it. This oil was used for anointing the Kings and High Priests. After so much time has passed another heavier stone is used to squeeze out even more oil. It is this oil that is used for the lighting of the Menorah; The Menorah which made to look like an almond tree. Then again after some time is passed another heavier stone still is added to squeeze the last of the olive oil out.
All of this took place at this garden of Gethsemane on top of the Mount of Olive. And it was in this very quiet and serene garden that we read about Yehshua praying just before the events that would lead to His death that same day on the 14th of Nisan.
Marks accounts of this event are the same as Mathews and John does not add any more to it. We can learn a little more from Luke.
Luk 22:39 And coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, according to usage, and His taught ones also followed Him. 40 And coming to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you do not enter into trial.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying, 42 saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.” 43 And there appeared a messenger from heaven to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He was praying more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And rising up from prayer, and coming to His taught ones, He found them sleeping from grief. 46 And He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into trial.” 47 And while He was still speaking, see: a crowd! And he who was called Yehuḏah, one of the twelve, was going before them and came near to יהושע to kiss Him. 48 And יהושע said to him, “Yehuḏah, do you deliver up the Son of Aḏam with a kiss?”
In Luke Yehshua tells His disciples to pray they do not fall into trial or temptation.
He then takes Peter John and James off to pray and tell them to watch with Him. ‘Stay here and watch with Me’
They were commanded to watch; that is be on guard. This is the same command we have today to guard the Torah and to keep it. But at this time Yehshua knew Judas was coming and it was for him that they were to watch for.
Yehshua then went to pray and it was this first prayer that is represented by the first squeezing of the Olive fruit. Yehshua was under stress and praying that what was about to come not have to come to Him.
Mathew 26: 39 And going forward a little, He fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I desire, but as You desire.”
What I have come to understand brethren, is that this first prayer is symbolic of the first curse of Leviticus 26; the curse of Terror. Yehshua said ‘He began to be grieved and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My being is exceedingly grieved, even to death.’
There are five curse in Lev 26 and the first one was about the Terror to come.
His being; His body was grieved even unto death. Even unto death - This denotes extreme sorrow and agony.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, 5 so we, the many, are one body in Messiah, and members each one of one another.
We are the body of Yehshua and it us that are grieved even unto death. I am speaking of this the last Jubilee cycle of this age. We are living it and as part of His body we feel the deep hurt and despair about what is coming. Those who see it and understand the curses of Lev 26 are moved to action and go out to warn everyone they can. We are moved in grief and despair.
We are to become like Yehshua.
Php 2:1 If, then, there is any encouragement in Messiah, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, one in being and of purpose, 3 doing none at all through selfishness or self-conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each one should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 For, let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah יהושע, 6 who, being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a matter to be grasped,7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men.
But just like Yehshua when we go to the brethren we find them all asleep. And we rebuke them to wake up and watch and to look at the signs all around us of the coming trouble and to warn them again to pray.
40 And He came to the taught ones and found them asleep, and said to Kĕpha, “So, were you not able to watch with Me one hour? 41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again He went away, a second time, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is impossible for this to pass unless I drink it, let Your desire be done.”
This second time praying is then likened to the second stone being placed on the olives to create even more pressure and to squeeze even more oil out of them.
It is also likened to the second curse of drought in Leviticus 26. The second time Yehshua prayed the second time He was vexed about what was coming is just like the second curse of Lev 26. It is our second time to pray and return to Yehovah but when we come to the brethren to warn them we again find them all sleeping and not watching.
Yehshua asked again if this was possible to not have the coming events take place. If there was some other way, but if not then to let His will be done. But the Apostles just like the brethren today do not see the grave danger right in front of them because they have fallen asleep.
42 Again He went away, a second time, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is impossible for this to pass unless I drink it, let Your desire be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 And He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His taught ones and said to them, “Still sleeping and taking rest? See, the hour has come near, and the Son of Aḏam is delivered up into the hands of sinners.
It is during this third time that Yehshua went to pray that we read of in Luke of His sweat turning to blood due to His extreme anguish.
41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying, 42 saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.” 43 And there appeared a messenger from heaven to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He was praying more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And rising up from prayer, and coming to His taught ones, He found them sleeping from grief. 46 And He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into trial.” 47 And while He was still speaking, see: a crowd! And he who was called Yehuḏah, one of the twelve, was going before them and came near to יהושע to kiss Him. 48 And יהושע said to him, “Yehuḏah, do you deliver up the Son of Aḏam with a kiss?”
This too is likened to the third stone being added to the Olive press to again squeeze out even more of the rest of the olive oil. It is also likened to us today in this the third and last sabbatical cycle that we have to warn the brethren of what is coming.
It was after this third prayer sweating blood that Yehshua again found the disciples sleeping and as He rebuked them that He was betrayed and arrested and began the beatings and trial and the nailing to the tree and the stoning until He died on that tree.
In this third Sabbatical cycle we continue to warn and tell people of the curses that are all around us; of the massive increase in earthquakes, and the growing food crisis and the lurking pestilence outbreak that WHO is expecting at anytime; H1N1 and H5N1 Swine and Bird flu. But the brethren are still sleepy eyed and do not get it.
And it will be while we are in this third curse warning the brethren that we will be arrested. We are to watch for the one like Judas who is coming. He is coming from the brethren.
The fourth curse of Lev 26 is the coming war and this is represented by the torture and execution of Yehshua. He is grieved because He knows His bride, Israel will have to go through this severe trial and be as Daniel 9 says, be as if they never were. They, we, will be so utterly destroyed and devastated that little trace of us will be found. And just like Yehshua whom we are to be just like, we Israel, all twelve tribes will be destroyed and killed. We will be so devastated that few of us will be left. A tenth.
At Noon when the sun is the highest is when on this day it became the darkest as darkness fell on the land. Consider this which is part of the fourth curse in Lev 26 and then consider the darkness from the following scriptures on judgment.
Isa 5:30 And in that day they shall growl over it as with the growling of the sea. And one shall look at the earth, and see, darkness and distress! And light shall be darkened by the clouds.
Isa 13:9 See, the day of יהוה is coming, fierce, with wrath and heat of displeasure, to lay the earth waste, and destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations do not give off their light. The sun shall be dark at its rising, and the moon not send out its light. 11 “And I shall punish the world for its evil, and the wrong for their crookedness, and shall put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and lay low the pride of the ruthless. 12 “I shall make mortal man scarcer than fine gold, and mankind scarcer than the gold of Ophir.
Joe 2:1 Blow a ram’s horn in Tsiyon, and sound an alarm in My set-apart mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble, for the day of יהוה is coming, for it is near:2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains – a people many and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor shall there ever be again after them, to the years of many generations.
Amo 5:20 Is not the day of יהוה darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
Zep 1:14 Near is the great day of יהוה, near and hurrying greatly, the noise of the day of יהוה. Let the mighty man then bitterly cry out! 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and trouble, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 a day of ram’s horn and alarm – against the walled cities and against the corner towers.
2Pe 2:4 For if Elohim did not spare the messengers who sinned, but sent them to Tartaros, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be kept for judgment,
Joh 3:19 “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. 20 “For everyone who is practising evil matters hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Jud 1:6 And the messengers who did not keep their own principality, but left their own dwelling, He has kept in everlasting shackles under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Abraham also witnessed this great darkness when he made the covenant with Yehovah and he was terrified of it. All of this is pointing to the destruction of the USA and UK commonwealth countries.
When Yehshua was placed in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights it is compared to the 5th curse of Lev 26 when those of us who do survive this terrible war that is about to come will wake up and find ourselves in captivity. Being in the grave is likened to those who are dead. They are held captive by Satan.
But we all know Yehshua conquered the grave and rose from it. This is our only hope and we all need to pray like our very lives depended on it. We need to pray so hard and be so concerned that blood will drip from us, due to the anguish we feel for what is about to come. So many are about to die in the coming war which starts in just 5 years time.
Something else to consider as we study these events that led up the crucifixion of Yehshua; just before He was arrested the apostles fought. Peter took the sword and cut off the ear of the High Priests servant. We are also told that we would be betrayed by a kiss from someone who was a part of us. What this means is still up for discussion. I do not know at this time. But it does continue to add to the teaching we have been doing about the coming persecution of the Saints before the Sabbatical cycle of war begins. We have determined that time to be sometime in 2014 based on the covenant Yehovah made with Abraham and the warning of Yehovah gave to Abraham of the 400 years of persecution on his descendants that the time this was given was the year that matches our time of 2014 today.
So brethren as you keep this Passover season, think on this and warn those you can about the 4th curse of war when Israel; the USA and UK and her commonwealth along with the State of Israel will be utterly destroyed. Utterly!! Do we get it yet?
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at http://www.sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf
17/03/2012 Lev 20 Ezek 14-16 James 1-2:13
Come Out From Among Them and Be Separate! (Leviticus 20)
God’s purpose was to bring Israel into the Land of Promise—and He would do just that. But the land was filled with people who practiced abominable wickedness. Because Israel was a carnal people, not having the Holy Spirit, and because they had been raised in an oppressive pagan culture, they would be tempted to syncretize and “borrow” pagan elements in their worship of God. This, of course, was completely unacceptable to God.
One of the practices of the people of Canaan was child sacrifice. Children, most often the firstborn, were burned alive to the false god Molech in the belief that their innocence and sinlessness would appease him and make the prayers the children supposedly brought before him more acceptable (hence the mention of mediums and familiar spirits, which were other forms of communication with a god). While it may seem incredible to us that anyone could be seduced into such horrific practice, Israel would not have found it unthinkable—it was simply one of many religious practices of the day. God, however, found it utterly loathsome! So, He unambiguously condemns child sacrifice in the first seven verses of the chapter. The penalty for such conduct was death, and the executioners were to be the people, not the state. This crime was so appalling that God wanted the entire community involved in its eradication. And notice, God directly connects holiness and sanctification not with such abhorrent practices, but with conscientious obedience to His laws.
This chapter also contains a repetition of the laws of sexual morality, albeit in a condensed form. The laws regarding sexual relations are repeated, but the emphasis is on the punishment and the enormity of the crime. Once again, notice the connection between sin and the defilement of the land.
Notice also that the dietary laws of clean and unclean meats are mentioned and specifically connected to holiness—that is, separation from the people of the surrounding lands. The dietary laws, too, were given primarily for holiness purposes rather than physical health. Indeed, the dietary laws do have many health benefits, and no doubt God so intended them; but their primary purpose is stated as being for holiness. By creating such dietary laws, God added a dimension to daily living that constantly reminded the Israelites that they were to continue to be separate from the people of the world, and the laws created a significant frustration to fellowship with non-Israelites. Does God want such a distinct separation between Christians and the world? Yes! Notice what the apostle Paul wrote: “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you 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.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
Idols in the Heart; Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness (Ezekiel 14-15)
As chapter 14 opens, “some of the elders of Israel”—leaders among the Jewish exile—come to see Ezekiel. The Interpreter’s Bible gives this description: “We may begin by imagining the scene. The prophet is sitting in his house when the leading men of the community enter… Quietly and reverently the visitors take their seats on the ground before him at his request. Their whole attitude is one of deference to the man of God. Then their spokesman steps forward and reveals the errand on which they have come. There is some event—we are not told what it is—on which they would have the prophet throw light, some difficulty in which they need his advice. So they wait for an oracle… When it comes the insincerity of the men before him is mercilessly exposed. It pierces through their deferential exterior to what is in their hearts… These men profess one allegiance with their lips while their hearts cling tenaciously to quite another. They have not the slightest intention of accepting an oracle from Ezekiel unless it chimes in with what they have already made up their minds to do” (note on chapter 14). Thus, they were hypocrites.
God reveals to Ezekiel what these men are really about, explaining that they have “set up idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity” (verse 3). This does not mean they were literally worshiping idols. Rather, they set up idols in their hearts. This could certainly include devotion to pagan gods. But, as the New Testament explains, mere “covetousness…is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5; compare Ephesians 5:5). Essentially, anything that people set up in their affections and devotions as taking priority above the true God is an idol in the heart—be it a pagan deity, false ideology, money, personal prestige, selfish pursuits, allegiance to other people or some cause, an addiction, etc. Indeed, these leaders, who are shown to represent all Israel, each had a “multitude of…idols” that “estranged” them from God (Ezekiel 14:4-5).
“Should I be inquired of at all by them?” the Lord asks (verse 3). He tells Ezekiel to state that those who have idols in their heart will receive an answer according to their idols (verse 4)—that is, appropriate to their idolatrous spiritual condition. As Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (NIV). James adds in the same vein, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). God isn’t about to give counsel to people regarding every this or that they might seek Him about if their whole life is oriented against Him and His way. His response to any such inquirer is going to be the same: Repent!—and then we can talk (compare Ezekiel 14:6). This sharp response is intended to “seize” people “by their heart”—a wayward heart in need of dire warning (verse 5).
The same applies to “anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel” (verse 7). Note here that while Ezekiel was proclaiming this warning to Jewish leaders in Babylonia, the wording of verse 7 speaks not of the exiles, but of strangers dwelling with Israel in Israel’s land. It should be clear, then, that this prophecy was meant to apply to more than Ezekiel’s immediate audience. “House of Israel” in this passage can easily refer to all 12 tribes of Israel in our own day. Indeed, the principles of the prophecy are universal.
Those guilty of idolatrous rebellion in the heart who seek God’s counsel for the wrong reasons—demanding a certain answer, refusing to repent—will receive His answer in the form of severe judgment to serve as a wakeup call to them and others (verses 7-8). A wise father does not respond to a child’s brusque demand for some benefit—even if the father would dearly like to him to have it. Likewise, God knows that showering benefits on those in a surly and ungrateful frame of mind will only hurt them. And it would certainly set a terrible example for everyone else.
Verse 9 states, “And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the LORD have induced that prophet, and I will…destroy him.” In place of “induced,” other translations have “deceived,” “seduced,” “enticed” or “persuaded.” What this verse seems to be saying is that if one of the above-mentioned people with idolatrous hearts manages to entice or persuade a religious teacher representing God to give a false message—to tell the inquirer what he wants to hear—that circumstance is ultimately from God, as He allows it as a test for that teacher and as a means to give the people over to false teachers as they desire. Furthermore, it also provides an opportunity for God to bring judgment on both prophet and inquirer as a lesson to everyone—the goal of which is actually to lead the people to repentance and deliverance (verses 10-11).
Starting in verse 12, Ezekiel receives another message from God. It is unclear if it was given in the same context as the early part of the chapter or at a later time. The subject is a land that sins against God by “persistent unfaithfulness” (verse 13). His judgment will bring it to ruin. The end of the chapter makes it clear that this message concerns the ancient fall of Jerusalem and that it was intended for the Jews already in captivity. Yet it likely has a broader, dual application, as so many of Ezekiel’s prophecies do—applying also to all Israel in the last days.
In this section God separately lists four punishments: famine (verse 13); wild beasts (verse 15); the sword of warfare (verse 17); and pestilence (verse 19). In each case, He states that even if three men, “Noah, Daniel, and Job,” were in the land, “they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness” (verse 14). “The allusion is to Abraham’s intercession for Sodom (Gen. 18). God promised to spare the wicked cities of the plain if only 10 righteous men could be found within them (v. 32). The story generated the belief that God would not judge if a few righteous men could be found to pray for the rest. But the presence of three of history’s most righteous men could not save Judah” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Ezekiel 14:12-20).
The righteousness of Noah delivered him and seven of his family, but could not preserve the rest of humanity from the Flood (Genesis 6:9). Job was spared from death, but was unable to save the lives of his children even though he was a man of outstanding integrity. Daniel was spared when he refused to defile himself with Nebuchadnezzar’s food, and he rose to prominence and saw to the promotion of his friends after he interpreted the king’s dream—but though by this time he had become a high official in Babylonia, he was unable to end the Jewish exile or to prevent more Jews from joining it. “Though his prophecies mostly were later than those of Ezekiel, his fame for piety and wisdom was already established, and the events recorded in Daniel 1 [and] 2 had transpired. The Jews would naturally, in their fallen condition, pride themselves on one who reflected such glory on his nation at the heathen capital, and would build vain hopes (here set aside) on his influence in averting ruin from them” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on Ezekiel 14:14).
Note that “Daniel was already a legend in his own time…! This supports the traditional view that the Book of Daniel was written in the time of the Exile, not the second century B.C. as critics claim” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verses 12-20). It should be pointed out that some commentators think the name in this chapter should be rendered not Daniel but Dan-El, referring supposedly to a now-unknown person. But that conclusion, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary explains, is not justified (see footnote on verse 14).
God then makes a cumulative argument in verse 21. “If Noah, Daniel, Job, could not deliver the land, when deserving only one judgment [of four], ‘how much more’ when all four judgments combined are justly to visit the land for sin, shall these three righteous men not deliver it” (JFB Commentary, note on verses 15-21).
“But to vindicate his justice before the exiles, the Lord would spare a small remnant of unrepentant Hebrews and send them into exile in Babylonia (v. 22). Some commentators view this remnant as a righteous remnant, but the context and the consistent use of the term ‘actions’ (alilah) in an evil sense throughout the O[ld] T[estament] when referring to mankind argues for an unrighteous remnant. This was strictly a manifestation of God’s grace. When these unrighteous people would go into exile in Babylonia, the exiles already in Babylonia would observe their deeds and see how wicked the Judeans had become. Through this the exiles would be consoled that God was perfectly just in his judgment on Jerusalem (vv. 22-23). As the exiles saw that the Judge of all the earth did right (Gen 18:25), they would be comforted in their sorrow over what had happened to Jerusalem” (Expositor’s, note on Ezekiel 14:21-23).
And again, Jerusalem here is probably also typical of the nations of modern Israel, which has likewise proved persistently unfaithful.
The Wood of the Vine (Ezekiel 14-15)
On the night before His death, at His final Passover with His disciples, Jesus told this gathered group that would form the core of His Church, spiritual Israel: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire” (John 15:1-6).
When Jesus said these words He may very well have been thinking of the 15th chapter of Ezekiel. Many times in the Prophets and Writings sections of the Bible, God had referred to Israel as His vine or vineyard. The “Song of the Vineyard” in Isaiah 5:1-7 describes how God cultivated Israel in order to produce fruit. Jesus used the same imagery in the parable of Mark 12:1-12. An examination of these and other references shows that Israel was a cultivated vine, not a wild one. God had lavished His care on it. He had planted, fertilized, watered and protected it. But it failed to respond and produce fruit. Instead, God’s message through Ezekiel is that Israel went back to being a wild vine “among the trees of the forest”—that is, figuratively, the nations. So Israel was not content to be close to God. They wanted to fit in with all the other nations around them. That’s why they adopted the religions and customs of other nations.
God states that apart from her spiritual mission, Israel has no significance and no hope for survival. Without God, as Jesus told the disciples, no person or nation can produce fruit that is pleasing to Him.
The Jews had evidently come to think that because Israel was God’s chosen people, Jerusalem would not be allowed to fall into gentile hands. After all, God had compared Israel to the choicest vine (Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 2:21). However, as this parable goes on to show, the only value of a vine is in bearing fruit. The vine now referred to is, again, the kind that grows wild in the forest—the fruit of which is typically small, bitter and useless. Israel had become such a vine. Its fruitless condition actually made it less valuable than other nations.
So what purpose could it serve? The wood of a grapevine is worthless. It is too thin and flexible for making any useful items—it can neither support weight nor supply strength. Old vines were dried and burned as fuel. John the Baptist carried this message as a foundational part of his call to repentance: “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:9).
Since Israel was not producing fruit, it could no longer be viewed as a choice vine. Both ends of the vine that made up the 12 tribes of Israel had already been consumed in the destruction of the northern kingdom, the Assyrian ravaging of Judah soon afterward, and the recent deportations of Jews to Babylon in 605 and 597 B.C. All that remained at the time of this message was Jerusalem and the rest of the kingdom of Judah. Jerusalem and the remainder of the Jews were now surrounded by gentile nations, since the other tribes were all gone.
God says that they are now sentenced to be burned. Jerusalem had escaped twice from the fire of Nebuchadnezzar, but it wouldn’t survive the third time. They had “persisted in unfaithfulness,” a phrase tying this prophecy to the previous one (see 14:13). Their lack of repentance was the reason God would not spare the city.
The lesson for all of us today is sobering. We must stay close to God the Father and Jesus Christ so that we can produce fruit. The modern nations of Israel should certainly take warning—but all Christians should also consider the lesson and take heed. The Church of God today, as stated earlier, is spiritual Israel. Galatians 6:16 refers to it as “the Israel of God.” In Romans 2:29 the apostle Paul tells us that “he is a Jew who is one inwardly.” Those of spiritual Israel are now being judged as to how much fruit God is able to produce through us. Judgment is now upon the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). We are to spiritually come out of the world (the wild) and not return to it—being instead a people cultivated by God to produce much good fruit, setting the example of persistent faithfulness.
Rescued Child Turned Murderous Harlot (Ezekiel 16)
Ezekiel 16 shows God as a devoted, loving, generous, ideal husband married to an adulterous wife, reminiscent of other passages such as Jeremiah 3 and Hosea 1-3. Here the wife is Jerusalem, representative of the Jewish nation, the remnant of Israel. At Mount Sinai, God was married to the entire nation of Israel. The city of Jerusalem was then no part of this union. Later, however, the city was incorporated into the nation and its divine covenant relationship as the capital of all 12 tribes and center of true worship. Later still, the kingdom of Israel split into north and south—Israel in the north (symbolized in this chapter by its capital Samaria) and Judah in the south (symbolized by its capital Jerusalem). God eventually put away the apostate northern kingdom of Israel—sending its people into captivity. This left Judah as the remnant of Israel still in covenant with God. Yet Judah now stood even guiltier than the northern kingdom.
God tells Ezekiel to “make Jerusalem see her abominable conduct” (verse 2, NIV) and later in the chapter warns of coming invasion. This is perhaps an indication that Ezekiel’s message reached the citizens of Jerusalem before its destruction. The prophet could have sent them a letter, as Jeremiah, who was in Jerusalem at the time, sent a letter to the captives in Babylon (see Jeremiah 29). Yet, as with other prophecies in this section, it also seems likely that the message of Ezekiel 16 was intended for Judah and Israel in the end time—to reach them through Ezekiel’s book being part of Scripture and through God’s true servants in the last days announcing the warnings contained within it.
In verse 3, God’s message to Jerusalem begins, “Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.” Jerusalem was originally a city of Canaan, populated during the Israelite conquest of the land by one of the Canaanite tribes, the Jebusites (Joshua 15:8, 63). The Amorites and Hittites were two leading Canaanite tribes (see Genesis 10:15-16; Deuteronomy 7:1). Their names were sometimes used generically of all Canaanites (see Genesis 15:16; Amos 2:10; Joshua 1:4). However, we should note that “the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites” were specifically grouped together as inhabiting the mountain region (Numbers 13:29), where Jerusalem was built.
Yet we should also consider Jerusalem as representative of the nation of Israel—of which, as mentioned, Judah was now the remnant. The mention of heritage then becomes a snub and rebuke. While the nation’s forebears—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—sojourned in the same highlands of Canaan, they were not physically of Canaanite descent. Neither did they adopt Canaan’s spiritual traditions. But their descendants, who later settled in Canaan, did. The Israelites thus became cultural descendants of the Canaanites. Jerusalem, corrupted with paganism and all manner of immorality, effectively reverted to its Canaanite parentage.
God recounts the life of Israel and Israelite Jerusalem as a tragic allegory. Three stages of life are presented: 1) a foundering, helpless, outcast baby who is rescued (verses 1-7); 2) the grown maiden who is betrothed and married to the one who saved her (verses 8-14); and 3) the wife who has turned into a harlot and baby murderer (verses 15-34).
She starts as a totally neglected newborn infant, deprived of all the care needed for survival. This baby was not “rubbed with salt” (verse 4), an ancient custom done to harden and strengthen an infant’s body. The Soncino Commentary explains: “As soon as the navel is cut, the midwife rubs the child all over with salt, water and oil, and tightly swathes it in clothes for seven days; at the end of that time she removes the dirty clothes, washes the child and anoints it, and then wraps it up again for seven days—and so on till the 40th day” (note on verse 4).
This vulnerable child is abandoned in the open field and despised. This was the condition of Israel as the people grew into a nation in Egypt—despised slaves (see Exodus 1). The Pharaoh had commanded the death of all boy babies, which eventually would have led to the extinction of the nation. God rescued them as they were “struggling.” The Revised English Bible has “kicking helplessly,” and the Jewish Tanakh translates this as “wallowing.” The Israelites were doomed to die in their own blood, but God provided them a savior in Moses, who led them out of Egypt. However, the imagery in Ezekiel 16 could also apply to the early years of the city of Jerusalem: “She was a foundering city, uncared for by…Israel in the conquest of the land, for the Hebrews failed to conquer the city of Jebus (Josh 15:63). In fact, they allowed this city to lie as an unwanted child throughout the period of the Judges (vv. 4-5). It was a widespread custom in the ancient Near East to eliminate unwanted children (esp[ecially] girls) by exposing them” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, note on Ezekiel 16:4-5).
Under God’s direction this child “grew, matured and became very beautiful” but was “naked and bare” (verse 7). Israel was physically developed in numbers while in Egypt, but was lacking in true religion and morality. When the end of the period prophesied to Abraham about his descendants becoming slaves and then being delivered (Genesis 15:13-16) came to an end, God says that Israel was “old enough for love” (verse 8, NIV) or ready to enter into a relationship with Him. He says that he then spread his “wing” (NKJV) or the corner of his garment (NIV) over her. To spread a garment over a woman was an idiom for betrothal (Ruth 3:9). As noted earlier, Israel was married to God at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-20).
God then recalls that he clothed and decorated her like royalty. Most of the symbols mentioned—embroidered cloth, leather sandals, silk and costly garments—were also used in the tabernacle. The fine linen referred to the righteousness symbolized by the law God gave to Israel, which He had not given to any other nation. This was the same material used to clothe the priests (Exodus 39:1-2). God spared nothing in making His bride the showcase of nations. She is described as being decorated with costly jewels, gold and silver. These items are also used later in the Bible to describe the character of true followers of God (Malachi 3:17; 1 Corinthians 3:12; Revelation 3:18). God says that she rose to be a queen among the nations.
Again, the imagery can also apply to the city of Jerusalem itself: “The Lord visited Jerusalem and claimed her in marriage by spreading his garment over her (v. 8; cf. Ruth 3:9). He entered into a marriage covenant with Jerusalem [by incorporating it into His relationship with His people] (cf. Prov 2:17; Mal 2:14) as described in Psalm 132:13-17. She became the Lord’s city where he dwelt when David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and purchased the threshing floor of Arunah, the Jebusite (2 Sam 6; 24), in preparation for the temple’s construction. As a groom to his bride, God lavished marriage gifts on Jerusalem (vv. 10-13; cf. Gen 24:53; Ps 45:13-15; Isa 61:10): ornaments, cleansing, anointing, costly garments, jewelry, a crown, and fine foods. She was made exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty under the reigns of David and Solomon. Her fame and beauty became renowned throughout the ancient Near East as the capital of the leading nation of that day (v. 14; 1 Kings 10; Lam 2:15)” (Expositor’s, note on verses 8-14).
How could God be married to Israel on the one hand and to Jerusalem in another sense? The New Testament affords us a parallel. Spiritual Israel, the Church of God, is the New Covenant Bride of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-32; Revelation 19:7-9). Yet in Revelation 21:2 and verses 9-10, it appears that the coming New Jerusalem is the Bride. This makes sense when we realize that the New Jerusalem will be the eternal home of the glorified Church and that, even now, it is the place where Christians’ citizenship resides. For this reason, the Church is sometimes referred to as Jerusalem or Zion in prophecy.
Continuing in Ezekiel 16, how soon the Israelites forgot God! They became worshipers of idols. God says they played the harlot with all passers-by (verses 15, 25), entering into relationships with foreign nations and foreign gods. They built pagan shrines on every street, as Jeremiah also attested (Jeremiah 11:13). Translated literally, God says to the nation: “Thou…hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms” (Ezekiel 16:25, KJV). God laments the fact the people took the gold, silver and jewelry He gave them and used it to make “male images” (verse 17). The Tanakh version has, “You took your beautiful things, made of the gold and silver that I had given you, and you made yourself phallic images and fornicated with them.” This is rather graphic imagery, showing God’s utter disgust with the nation. Representations of the male member were rather common in ancient Middle Eastern paganism, including not just explicit statuary but also large-scale symbolic representations such as upright stones, pillars, obelisks and slender temple towers.
It might be surprising to learn that, even today, the nations of Israel are still polluted with pagan shrines and even phallic imagery. The world religion known as Christianity is essentially a modern form of Baalism—with its churches topped with steeples, spires or bell towers. One source explains: “There is evidence that the spires of our churches owe their existence to the uprights or obelisks outside the temples of former ages… There are still in existence today remarkable specimens of original phallic symbols…steeples on our churches…and obelisks” (S. Brown, Sex Worship and Symbolism in Primitive Races, 1916). McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature confirms that “even the spires of churches are symbols retained from the old phallic worship” (1895, “Phallus”). In his book Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism, Thomas Inman writes that ancient fertility rites and phallic worship resulted in the setting up of various architectural structures such “as we now see towers or spires before our churches, and minarets before mosques” (1915, p. XXII).
As mentioned, ancient Israel and Judah gave the precious things of God to pagan idols. The most precious thing they offered was their children, whom God called His children: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols” (verses 20-21, NIV). Just as God condemned idolatry, He also condemned human sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21). Ahaz was probably the king who introduced child sacrifice in Judah with the offering of his own son (2 Kings 16:3). Manasseh also sacrificed one of his sons (2 Kings 21:6). The total number of children destroyed by this practice before Josiah put a stop to it (2 Kings 23:10) is unknown. In all this, the nation failed to remember that it and its capital began as an outcast, dying infant rescued by God (Ezekiel 16:22). The people expressed no heart of feeling about their own children—God’s children.
Today millions of innocent babies are killed every year before they have a chance to live outside their mother’s womb. In almost every case, the reason for this heinous practice is “convenience”—the children sacrificed to the false gods of sexual hedonism and selfishness. Of course, the majority of children are not so murdered. But most who live are “offered” over to this world’s false religious system and perverted values, thereby setting them on a path leading ultimately to death.
When God punished Israel and Judah in relatively minor ways it apparently did little good. They had forgotten that their very existence was due to God’s care for them. They refused to learn from the curse that came from their sin. Instead they sinned more—thinking the cure for the curse was to increase their distance from God by drawing closer to other nations. God viewed Israel’s idolatry as encompassing more than just their adoption of other nations’ religious practices. “By making alliances with foreign powers, they came also under the influence of their ideas and customs” (Soncino, note on verse 26). God’s true followers must never “copy the behavior and customs of this world” (Romans 12:2, Living Bible). We are to come out and be separate (Revelation 18:4).
God continues to describe the nation as an adulterous wife who even bribed strangers to consort with her. He foretells the destruction of the nation in the sight of all the nations with whom she had played the harlot—at the hands of these same nations (Ezekiel 16:37, 39). Jerusalem will be judged as a woman who has broken wedlock or shed blood, the penalty for which was violent death (verse 38). Interestingly, the former allies mentioned included not just the Chaldeans (verse 29) but also the Assyrians (verse 28). The fact that all such former allies would come against the nation perhaps suggests an end-time parallel since the Assyrians, their empire gone when Ezekiel wrote, will rise to prominence again in the last days in conjunction with the Chaldeans.
Again, the root cause of all the calamities goes back to the nation’s forgetfulness and ingratitude (verse 43). In Deuteronomy 8:10-11 God warned: “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD… Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments.” Prosperity is often a greater temptation for evil than adversity is. In adverse times people often engage in soul-searching and turn to God. Prosperous times result in arrogance and self-reliance.
Worse Than Samaria and Sodom (Ezekiel 16)
In the next section of Ezekiel 16, verses 44-59, Jerusalem is declared to be worse than Samaria and even than Sodom—which are declared to be her “sisters.” For some, this is strong evidence that “Jerusalem” in this chapter refers exclusively to the city of Jerusalem and the southern kingdom of Judah—not in any sense to the nation of Israel as a whole. For why would Jerusalem represent all Israel when it is said to be sister to Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel? But consider again that in Ezekiel’s time Judah was the remnant of Israel (Israel being the name of the nation in covenant with God). The northern tribes, symbolized by Samaria, had once been part of that relationship but were no longer. Thus, when the chapter describes the allegorical history of Jerusalem, it is giving the history of the whole covenant nation (and the city’s part in that history).
God again refers to Jerusalem as a Canaanite daughter (verse 45). The analogy of Samaria and Sodom being Jerusalem’s “sisters” is fairly easy to follow when considering the cities themselves. Sodom was a Canaanite city (Genesis 10:19). And archaeology has revealed that Samaria was originally a Canaanite settlement. The Hebrew phrases translated “your elder sister” and “your younger sister” (Ezekiel 16:46) “mean literally ‘your great sister’ and ‘your small sister,’ respectively. Though these two constructions are idiomatic for ‘older’ (greater) and ‘younger’ (smaller), Ezekiel used the idioms properly within the figure, but with an emphasis on the literal meaning of the words. The play on the idioms stresses that Samaria was greater than Jerusalem and Sodom smaller than Jerusalem” (Expositor’s, footnote on verse 46). The term “daughters” refers either to the other towns included in the territories of the major cities mentioned or simply the individual citizens.
But again, the cities are also representative of the national populations over which they ruled. Jerusalem was, again, symbolic of Israel—in Ezekiel’s day of Israel’s remnant, Judah. Samaria stood for the former northern kingdom, cut off from Judah and now gone. It is easy to see the peoples of the northern and southern kingdoms as “sisters,” as they shared the same Israelite ethnic heritage. But Sodom did not share in that heritage. Some have suggested that the reference perhaps concerns the fact that the Ammonites and Moabites descended from Abraham’s nephew Lot and his daughters, who dwelt in Sodom for some time. These people, however, had no physical kinship with the people of Sodom. But there was a cultural relationship, as Lot and his daughters were influenced by Sodom’s ways. The Ammonites and Moabites later embraced Canaanite religion and had an influence on the people of Israel and Judah. In any case, there was certainly a spiritual kinship between the people of Sodom, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The wealth and prosperity of Sodom had plunged it into such spiritual laxity that the people fell headlong into an utter rejection of morality and restraint (verses 49-50). Crowds tried to gang-rape men visiting the town or young women who lived there (Genesis 19). Yet according to God’s judgment, Sodom wasn’t as evil as Judah. Judah had become so depraved that it allowed homosexual prostitution at the temple as a form of worship. Moreover, the real measuring stick here was accountability. As Jesus Christ stated, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). The people of Jerusalem and Judah—the center of true worship—because they should have known better, were much more accountable for their wicked conduct than the pagans of Sodom who were totally cut off from God. Likewise, the northern tribes were more accountable than Sodom, but not as accountable as the Jews, who had more access to God’s truth.
Despite the terrible record of idolatry and evil, God—in His incredible mercy—promises a time of forgiveness and restoration in the future. Verses 53-55: “When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.” This may refer in part to the return of Israel and Judah to the Holy Land at the time of Christ’s return. However, Sodom was utterly destroyed and seemingly has no descendants to return—unless the Ammonites and Moabites are meant, as some have suggested. The prophecy seems to point mainly to the time when all those who died in ancient times are resurrected to life again 1,000 years after Christ returns (see Revelation 20:5). Paralleling the above verses in Ezekiel, Jesus told Jews of His day, “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:24).
Yet God would provide atonement upon repentance. He had decreed in His covenant with Israel that He would be faithful to all He had promised, which included restoration (Leviticus 26:40-45). In the relationship at the restoration of the future, all must become Jews spiritually (see Romans 2:28-29), and all peoples will come under the rule of Jerusalem—symbolically making them her daughters. This relationship was not promised in the covenant at Sinai (Ezekiel 16:61). But it will be part of the New Covenant (verse 62).
Ezekiel 16 contains some important lessons for all Christians. In the allegorical account of how God rescued the outcast child Israel from certain death, and made her His nation and His wife, there is a personal message for each one of us. God has by intention called the weak of the world (1 Corinthians 1:26) and every one of us was lost in our sins and on the path to eternal death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). We have all gone through the rescuing process just like ancient Israel. They were a nation in bondage, as we all are in bondage to Satan’s society before God calls us (Galatians 4:3). They were given life when they were almost dead—the same process that Paul describes for all Christians in Ephesians 2:1. We now have a choice of whether to remain faithful to God or commit spiritual adultery with the world around us and its evil ways. Let us remain vigilant and stay the course. And on the occasions when we fail in this and sin, we should remember that God is always there to forgive if we will repent.
James 1 – 2:13
Starting a new book this week friends – the letter written by James. James, in Hebrew is Ya’aqob and there is evidence that this Ya’aqob (James) is the brother of Yehshua. James the son of Zebdee was killed by Herod in 62 AD and this letter in our Messianic Scriptures today was written later than this. James was the head of the assembly in Jerusalem and had seen and talked with the risen Messiah. And yet, with all this, in v. 1:1 what does he say concerning himself?
“Ya’aqob, a servant of Elohim and of the Master Yehshua Messiah…” He is addressing his letter to “the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion” this means more than “Jews” as most commentators express in their exposition of this epistle. The Tribe of Judah was “one” of the twelve tribes, there were eleven others and James is writing to ALL twelve.
James begins with a theme of joy and keeping that joy even during times of trial. When trials come, a temptation of the flesh arises and these trials produce perfecting of the spirit. Knowing this then, remain in joy even through the trials and prove the Faith received by reacting and handling these trials in perfection. When we feel as though we need wisdom for handling certain matters, pray to receive wisdom from Elohim and it shall be given. He goes on to warn us not to pray for wisdom having doubts but believe wholeheartedly for answer to whatever we ask.
The rich shall fade away in all their ways like the flower and grass under the hot sun. Blessed are those who endure trials, for they are proved and will receive the crown of life that is promised to them who love our Master.
Do not say “I am enticed by Elohim.” Elohim entices no man for He Himself is not enticed by any evil matter. The enticement comes from each of our own desires and we are drawn away and trapped by them. The desire, if entertained, implants and is conceived within. It gives birth and is sin, and when sin has been accomplished brings forth death.
What comes from heaven is every good gift, every perfect gift, all light from the Father of lights. In Him there is no shadow of turning and with Whom, there is no change. He purposed to bring us forth by the Word of Truth to be a kind of first fruits. So James advises us to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of Elohim. Receive with meekness the implanted Word which is able to save. Become doers of the Word and not hearers only.
Hearers are as one who has looked into a mirror and when they walked away, they forgot the vision. But one who looks into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it (doing what it commands) does not forget. This one shall be blessed in the doing of the commands which are righteousness.
A religious person who does not bridle the tongue is worthless.
Clean and undefiled religion before the Elohim and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Do not hold the belief of Yeshua with partiality, giving attention and favor to those dressed in robes and gold while displacing the poor and unkempt. In doing this you have discriminated among the brethren and become judges, and not judges only but judges with wicked thoughts.
Has not Elohim chosen the poor of this world, rich in belief and heirs of the reign, which He promised to those who love Him? Showing respect for the rich and disrespect for the poor is sin and transgression of the Torah. We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. Showing partiality is transgression of the Torah and when one transgresses in one point, they are guilty of all.
Compassion boasts over judgment.