The 2nd Year of the 4th Sabbatical Cycle
The 23rd year of the 120th Jubilee Cycle
The 3rd day of the 8th month 5854 years after the creation of Adam
The 8th Month in the Second year of the Fourth Sabbatical Cycle
The 4th Sabbatical Cycle after the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Sword, Famines, and Pestilence
October 13, 2018
Shabbat Shalom to the Royal Family of Yehovah,
The New Crescent Moon of the 8th Month
The new moon was sighted from Israel this evening on October 10, 2018!
* From Jerusalem at 6:45pm by Devorah Gordon, Nehemia Gordon, and Gil Ashendorf.
* From Ir Ovot at 6:28pm by Ross Nichols and Mikhael Chen.
* From Eilat at 6:30pm by Lukas Michael Schneider and Anabelle Santos.
* From Tiberias by Maureen Chkolnik at 6:32pm, followed later by Dennis Chkolnik.
As Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the month) begins the evening the new moon is sighted, the first day of this month is from sunset September 10, 2018 – sunset September 11, 2018. The photos at the top of this report were taken by Ross Nichols and Michael Schneider from their observation points this evening.
Against All Odds
October 7, 1978, was the year I married my high school sweetheart. We had both graduated from high school the year before and had no direction for our lives. We had met in Grade 11 four years earlier.
Upon graduating I had a job that was three hours away and Barbara’s parents were encouraging her to see other people. So I strongly encouraged Barbara to apply for a dental college that was closer to where I was working and away from her parents for that first year after High School. She did.
I had boxes for end tables and a crate for a coffee table. I had found a couch which the dogs slept on in someone’s garage who was throwing it out and my bed was a mattress on the floor. I felt very good in our two bedroom apartment. I also had a 1969 Plymouth Fury and it was a dream of a car. What more could a guy want? I had a car and a job and an apartment.
I had a job straight out of high school and had saved enough to buy her a wedding ring. So by December 1977, I had my plan in place. I bought her a long winter coat and I placed the ring in the pocket and gave her the coat for Christmas that same year.
I had not asked her Fathers permission. I just did it. And when she pulled the ring out on Christmas day in front of her family I asked her to marry me. And she said yes. The family that was there was a gasp and completely caught off guard.
Her dad said it was customary for the boy to ask the Father first. They felt their daughter could have done better than a hill billy farm boy, that had no college or university education. They might have been right, but not in my eyes. Barbara accepted the ring and said a very loud Yes!
The following year we were married on October 7, 1978.
We headed for Niagara Falls to begin our Honeymoon and then went to Miami and took a cruise for 4 days.
While in Niagara falls that year I kept asking Barb why was it so crowded everywhere we went and there were Jews everywhere. It was so strange to see. Little did I know at this time but it was approaching the Holy Days that year.
It would be another 4 years before I would be called by Yehovah and begin to keep the Sabbath and Holy days beginning in 1982. The fall Feasts would almost always land on our anniversary date. This soon became an issue and to solve it I forced my family to come to the various Feast sites around North America and the world. Keyword was “Forced”.
The weeks leading up to each Feast were fraught with fighting. And it would peak the day we were to leave. It would then take until about the 3rd or 4th day before things returned to a good time for all. And then it was time to go home again.
We attended in Niagara Falls for many years and then Boston, Bahamas and St. Petersburg Florida.
In the Bahamas, Hurricane Hugo went around us and then slammed into the Carolinas and while in Florida Hurrican Daniel was about to come ashore while we were camped in an RV on the beach. It changed directions and came ashore in Miami doing a lot of damage. We had no clue how serious hurricanes were at this time nor any clue about the storm surges. No clue.
In 1980 I began to work on pipelines out of town and would come home about once or twice a month. In 1981 and again in 1982 we had our first Daughter and then our first son. Our second son would not arrive until 1990.
We bought our first house in 1981 and even though we paid it off in just 5 years Barbara and I fought over the amount of money I was tithing or spending on the Feasts each year. But I tithed faithfully to the church at this time and to ourselves for the Feast each year and yet we still paid off our house in 5 years and we never really lacked anything. My income kept increasing with each job I was now doing. I was good at my work and I was becoming in demand by other companies. So I continued to work out of town and to keep the Sabbath and Holy Days.
My in-laws were telling Barbara she could do much better and that they would help her in looking after the kids while she got a divorce. This fight kept coming up until it was the main subject each time I came home. So I stayed away longer to avoid the fighting. This only made things worse.
After hearing this for so long I went to my Father-in-law and told him was going to take the family and move as far away as possible unless they stopped undermining me and telling my wife she could do better. They would never see the Grand-kids again if this continued. It then and only then did it stop.
It was also during these years that at every Feast site my wife would attend, she would reluctantly come out for a meal with some people who had become friends. I would scan them carefully not wanting to submit her to some Jesus freaks or holy rollers. I wanted her to meet normal people so she would think I was normal as well.
But it was a sure fired bet each Feast that someone would rise up and try to convert my wife. Each one of them had the secret scriptures so that they knew they could convert her. But what none of these self-righteous ones understood was the fact that I would have to live with the mess that they had now created for the next month and up to six month later and sometimes even years later it would be thrown back in my face. The harm done every time was very upsetting to my wife and then to me.
At first, I was hoping it would work. But quickly and I mean quickly, I found out just how bad it made the entire feast. The fighting was on and she wanted to go home and we had three or more days of the feast to ENDURE both each other and the brethren that thought they knew better.
It would be years before I understood this verse in John.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him:
Here are couple more.
Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
2 Cor 3:15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
The veil over my wife’s eyes has not been removed and until she turns to Yehovah it will remain no matter how many of you think you have the secret bullet to “FIX HER”. Each and every time you do unrepairable damage to my relationship with my spouse. You make their hearts even harder. Not just you but the things I said, did as well.
People must learn to respect the borders of other families. To keep off the fences and not to cross over them. Only Yehovah can remove the veil that keeps them from seeing the truths you and I now understand. Never forget that you too were the same not to long ago and could not see these things either. Yehovah has performed a miracle by opening your eyes. Wait on Yehovah to open the eyes of those He is calling and do not try to be Yehovah and do it yourself. It always leads to ruin when you do it.
I have been the recipient of other people mistakes each time they practiced being Yehovah on my wife. And now after 36 years many of those mistake others did as well as those I also made are often thrown back in my face today.
Even on this most recent trip to Israel, someone felt they could say the magic words to my daughter and convert her. Stay on your own side of the fence and respect my family on this side. Don’t try to convert them for me. Stop trying to be God and let Yehovah do it in His own time.
Far too many “brethren” are quick to offer unsolicited advice. If you remember our teaching on Balaam, the unsolicited advice always came from Satan. People just want to solve other peoples problems when they can’t solve their own.
So many times good-hearted brethren would quote to me this one scripture over and over.
2 Cor 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Deuteronomy 22:10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
Were they truly being good-hearted or were they doing Satans work for him? I feel they were working on behalf of Satan. Yes, the brethren do work for him from time to time. Yehshua even told Peter to get behind me Satan.
Mat 16:22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Once people began to tell me not to be unequally yoked then getting a divorce was much easier to accept. You start to look for potential mates in the same faith. You begin to lust after other women. In fact, I watched as one pastor and one sister both of whom were married to unconverted mates, get divorced and marry each other in order to be equally yoked. They ended up fighting a lot over other things that all marriages need to work out.
Here is a scripture that should be in the bible. The Grass ain’t greener on the other side of the fence even though some tell you it is.
Yehovah is testing you. He is testing your resolve to keep your word. he is testing those around you to see who is going to pray for you and who is going to give you bad advice that you did not ask for.
As people told me I could get a divorce because I was unequally yoked, the greater our fights were and the more attractive others in the faith became. Then I found this verse and it hit me very hard. Why was Yehovah not answering my prayers about calling my wife? I would cry this prayer over and over and nothing happened. read this verse very carefully every one of you.
Malachi 2:13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
When you are not faithful to the spouse that you made a COVENANT with, the very same covenant Yehovah has made with Israel, a marriage covenant, then Yehovah stops hearing your prayers.
Go ahead and read it over and over. Do you want to know why your prayers are not answered? You have been faithless with your spouse and invited violence upon your garments.
Why you and not them?
So why has Yehovah not called your spouse or mine at this time? Why do our parents or our children not understand the things we say?
I do not have an answer for that. I am not Yehovah.
But I do know in my case I had to prove everything I was learning to make sure it was true and to prove it to my wife when she asked. I began to write them down with scriptures and that then turned into short articles all of which was just for me. It would be years later in 2006 when I would be forced to begin my own website and to then share all my teachings. This turned into sightedmoon.com today.
Now looking back with 40 years of hindsight to look through…I can see Yehovah used my unconverted wife to shape me and make me into the person who has to prove everything as if in a court of law. Because my wife and my family doubted everything I was telling them, I had to prove all things beyond all doubts. Had my wife joined me in this walk, way back then, I would not have been forced to search so deep and the sightedmoon.com website would never have been born.
1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Revelation 1:6 who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father — to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen.
Revelation 5:10 You have made them into a kingdom, priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
You have been called for a purpose and for a reason. To be a King and or Preist in the Kingdom of Yehovah. Not everyone is called at this time.
There are three Chags each year. The first is Passover and the second is Shavuot and the third is Sukkot.
The first Chag and what it represents, took place in reality when Yehshua came out of the grave and the Saints at that time all who had lived before came to life and walked into Jerusalem.
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Some of these Saints are now the 24 elders in heaven. The word elders meens ancestor.
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
That was the first wave offering and the second wave offering takes place at Shavuot and is the wheat which we are striving to be a part of. You and I are growing and learning to be those Kings and Priests that Yehovah is calling, that Yehovah is choosing. We are those that He has removed the veils from our eyes. He is the one who chooses. We get to choose by answering that calling.
Then those who refuse to obey and those who will not answer that calling are dealt with in the final resurrection at the end of the 7th Millennium.
Rev 20:1 The Thousand Years
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
The Defeat of Satan
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Take notice of what you are told in Rev 20:12 And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
1 Cor 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!
Paul is quoting Daniel 7:21
As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
Yehshua also said we would be judging in Mat 19:28
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
This last verse resonates with many of us as we have lost many family members for His name’s sake.
Mat 10:28 is very tough for us to take in but we must keep growing.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Not Peace, but a Sword
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Brethren it is my 40th wedding anniversary and I never thought it would happen. It is beyond all odds. But each one of you has also been called beyond all odds and with no hope of making it. Each of us has lost loved ones or fallen back into our former sins with no hope. When I get down, when my sins overcome me, or my loss of family grieves me I think of this verse in Isaiah.
Isaiah 49:14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
Each of us called at this time are written in the palms of Yehovah. Our unconverted spouses, even though we love them, are called for another job Yehovah has set for them. They will come at the third Chag of Sukkot at the end of the 7th Millennium. We must be content with that. Never stop praying for them. Never stop loving them. Who knows, maybe Yehovah will remove their veils as well.
But until that time, stop playing god and stop trying to convert your loved ones or the loved ones of the brethren you know. Stop causing harm to those brethren by you crossing that fence thinking you can convert them when in fact you are disrespecting them and the calling that Yehovah has given them. It is because of my wife that sightedmoon.com exists today. And I thank her and Yehovah’s wisdom for that.
My Wife and I are now 40 years married in spite of my inlaws and in spite of the good intentions of the brethren.
I want to thank each and every one of you who has donated to sightedmoon.com these past 13 years. To those who have given $5 and to those who have given up to $10,000. Those who thought of us when each of the Holy Days came and those who think of us each month with a regular donation. Some of the donations go to cover the ongoing cost of maintaining this website and the email list. The past 6 months have seen us supporting the work that is ongoing in the Philippines with advertising and sponsoring the events that Aike has been doing in Mindanao and having great success. We have also helped Telesphore in Burundi Africa this past year a few times but as much as we would like to have been able to help him and the people he is teaching.
As Sukkot was coming to a close this year, James headed back over to Burundi for two weeks to teach as many of those he could in the very short time he had to be there.
Please read what James is telling us and we once again ask you to help us to achieve our goals in this area of the world.
I would like you all to read once again Isaiah 11:11
In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
These are the nations that Yehovah is going to bring back the remnant of Israel from. The second Exodus as some are calling it.
I did not choose which nations I would speak in. Doors opened and I step through them. The Philippines is the Isles of the Sea that Isaiah is talking about. And Pathros is said to be the ends of the Nile.
The Nile River begins just south of the Equator, flows northward through Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zaire, the Sahara Desert, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea, Burundi, and Rwanda and ends at the Mediterranean Sea after flowing through the Nile River Delta. The Nile River is the longest river in the world, approximately 4,258 miles in length.
The exact source of the Nile River is disputed. The Nile’s two major tributaries are the White Nile and the Blue Nile. While the Blue Nile, which originates at Lake Tana in Ethiopia, contains most of the sediment and water that will flow into the Nile, the White Nile is considered to be the Nile River’s prime stream and headwaters. The Nile is also fed by the Atbara river, which originates in the highlands of Ethiopia.
Experts believe that the true source of the Nile River is either the Ruvyironza River in Burundi, or the Nyabarongo River in Rwanda. Both rivers are feeder rivers for the Kagera River, which is itself the longest feeder river for Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, and the beginning point of the Nile River. Because the Nile’s source remains unknown, the exact length of the Nile, from its source to its end at the Mediterranean sea, is also unable to be determined.
Here is some more about Pathros.
Pathros is regularly associated with Egypt (Heb., Mits·ra?yim). (Eze 30:13, 14) Most scholars connect the name Pathros with an Egyptian expression meaning “Land of the South” and evidently referring to Upper Egypt. Upper Egypt generally designates the region of the Nile Valley running from a point somewhat S of Memphis on up (south) to Syene (modern Aswan) at the first cataract of the Nile. The text at Isaiah 11:11, which foretells the return of Israelite exiles from ‘Egypt (Mizraim), Pathros and Cush,’ would seem to corroborate the placing of Pathros somewhere in Upper Egypt, with Cush (Ethiopia) bordering it on the S. An Assyrian inscription of King Esar-haddon gives a similar lineup, referring to “Egypt (Musur), Paturisi and Nubia [Kusu, or Cush].”?—Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. Pritchard, 1974, p. 290.
Ezekiel 29:14 calls Pathros “the land of their [the Egyptians’] origin.” The traditional Egyptian view, as recounted by Herodotus (II, 4, 15, 99), apparently corroborates this, as it makes Upper Egypt, and particularly the region of Thebes, the seat of the first Egyptian kingdom, under a king whom Herodotus calls Menes, a name not found in Egyptian records. Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.E.) records a similar view. (Diodorus of Sicily, I, 45, 1) The Egyptian tradition set forth by these Greek historians may be a feeble echo of the true history presented in the Bible regarding Mizraim (whose name came to stand for Egypt) and his descendants, including Pathrusim.?—Ge 10:13, 14.
Following the desolation of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, a remnant of the Jews fled into Egypt. Among the places listed in which they dwelt are Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph (all cities of Lower Egypt), and “the land of Pathros.” (Jer 44:1) Here they engaged in idolatrous worship, resulting in Jehovah’s condemnation of them and the warning of a coming conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. (Jer 44:15, 26-30) Papyrus evidence of the fifth century B.C.E. shows a Jewish colony situated all the way at the southern end of ancient Egypt at Elephantine by Syene.
So it would seem Yehovah has led us to two of the end time nations where the remnants of Israel will be gathered.
We are in need of your help in preparing the people that they might obey Yehovah. I will not send James there until we have the money on hand to complete the work and do it properly and at the same time we have other obligations to maintain in the Philippines as well. If you have not already begun to support this web site, we ask that you now consider doing so. You can see what we are doing and the efforts we have put forward.
Thank you for considering this work. Please go to the donation page or you can send a cheque or money order to
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Day One Report – Burundi 2018
Well, it was one hell of a long flight getting here. For the three weeks leading up to this trip, I had planned on spending a considerable amount of time working on some new lessons that I could teach while in Burundi. You know the old saying, “We make plans and YHVH laughs!” Well, this time was no different, and despite my best efforts I only managed to put together maybe a dozen or so topics including two, Grace and Under the Law, that they have been having the most difficulty dealing with in Africa.
So the week before I had to leave I had more than my share of issues to deal with. So now I took only the last Shabbat before I left for Africa and the following Sunday and composed what I hope to be one of my most exciting teachings, dealing with Torah.
In Burundi, now, Bishop Telesphore exclaimed to me while driving in from the airport how Burundi is just going Torah crazy. I, of course, had to ask what he was referring to and he mentioned that the word, that being the Torah, in general, is the topic on most if not all of his 230+ churches, but that they are so hungry for more, that his life has become nothing more than a flash of activity trying to minister to everyone and still look after his own family.
Exciting news of course and the more we discussed the experiences of the past year since I was last here, the more excited we both became for the next two weeks, and his plans on how best to cover as many people as possible and I mean mostly the leaders but not exclusively just them. Next week we have a four-day seminar where I will be covering many topics which I will cover in detail at some point but not yet. I do have to teach on “Grace” and of course the issue with Paul and “Under the Law” where they are still having to struggle with these church nightmares of misinterpretation and not looking at the context before people open their mouth.
In the meantime, I will be going around to many of the local only churches, and if you had visited here you would understand why I say only local because it takes forever to get anywhere due to traffic and roads in the country. So to maximize my time we decided to best just deal with as many pastors as possible and then whoever shows up. I have to admit this trip I feel more excited than usual like something big is about to happen. Only time will tell.
I know that Joe would like to have this report go on for pages, but I have only slept maybe a few hours in the last 4 days so I am closing the laptop and turning in for an early night. Talk more soon.
Report Day #2 – Burundi
Sorry, the internet is really bad as you well know it can be here so pics may have to wait but I will keep trying to send out some.
Well after sleeping for more than 12 hours I awoke with lots of energy and very excited about todays lessons. Before anyone asks me, yes once I get back I will be doing my best to record all of the messages that I teach here and put them up online for you to listen. Thank you goes out to those who have supported this effort here in Burundi. No matter how many times I come here I can never get over how much the people are starving to learn more about the Bible.
Today’s lessons were on Grace and Under the Law. Of course, I had created a new teaching just before I left regarding the function and purpose of Torah and its role in our lives according to recent study and books I read. And of course, once you start down one of these subjects you will or at least should find that they all overlap which was very difficult not to rabbit trail down and off topic.
What would normally be a topic riddled with controversy and argument back home, was received with open arms and welcomed. As I opened up as many scriptures as possible without taking forever, which can happen when using a translator. But I digress. I spoke On Grace like I mentioned before, and you expect a bit of resistance or discussion but there is none here only open ears and hearts. I guess when your life is pretty simple as they are here, there is not much to get in the way of past christian doctrine to fight with.
I also went into detail as to Paul’s teachings on “Under The Law”, one of my favorites. I never finished it but with all the talk about Grace and other Torah subjects, they were more than on board with the message and understood the simplicity of being obedient to Torah. Again it is such a sigh of relief when you can just teach and not have people getting up in your face over past doctrine issues.
Once done for the day Bishop Telesphore and I went for lunch, and then I drilled him on what I had spoken on that morning. I wanted to make sure that he really got the message. He mentioned that just the other day he ran into some Korean people trying to teach on the Tabernacle and he had to step in and correct them in many areas because their teaching was very flawed as he said. I taught on the tabernacle last year and how it correlates to the feasts and many other things in scripture. He was so excited to be sharing with them and they left thanking him for correcting them on their error. Again, totally amazing when the ego does not come into play. Aside from the heat and smell over here I could see sticking around to teach more long term and really get into some serious depth with these people.
After simplifying “Grace” and how it came into play in the Bible, and then discussing “Law” once again with Telesphore, we ate our lunch and I returned back to the hotel to write this email and prepare more for tomorrow. We will be heading back to the same church once again to go in depth about Torah and its function in the Bible and our lives, the role, purpose, and weight it should hold in one’s lives. I think it will be another full house. Until tomorrow. Take care.
From Burundi, James Relf
Report Day #3 – Burundi
Its hard to believe that it is already going to be starting Shabbat. Today was an amazing day once again as I returned to the same church I taught in yesterday, Today was all about Torah, and of course, you can’t teach about Torah without going into the commandments which then eventually leads to Shabbat. I was amazed at how fast this day went speaking for close to two hours before we had to leave.
What I did not realize at first was that this church was doing the Sunday thing, playing church, and had no idea about the Sabbath. As the eyes on me went from what is this guy going to talk about to please don’t stop talking, I could see it on their faces the deeper I dug into the many purposes of Torah. I think the most important one that hit them was about a relationship and the marriage that took place between Israel and YHVH.
I went through each aspect in the Torah that had to do with the marriage between Israel and YHVH, and their pens could not write fast enough. I could tell I had hit the spot and YHVH was using me to jump start this crowd. While I have seen this before, there was a hunger that I have not seen. Slowly and going over each step in Exodus, reading the different stages and explaining what everything meant, when I got to the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20, the pens stopped for a moment. It was like they were hearing it all for the first time and I was the one that got to turn on the light bulb. What a privilege!
I expressed YHVH name, and went through it in detail and explained the first commandment, 2nd commandment, third commandment, then I hit them with the Sabbath. I went through the laws concerning the day and why it is so significant for them. Then I realized this was something they never had in their years coming to church. Then I understood what was missing here.
Over lunch I spoke with Telesphore and Elaina about what they have found is the most important aspect they have found so far since I introduced them to Torah and what they have seen in Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania and even Kenya. It was a relationship with YHVH. The whole purpose for us to learn Torah and His Word was to develop a relationship with our creator. If we have a deep relationship with YHVH we are less likely to be the ones that do something to hurt HIM, by breaking His commandments. For many years before I came here, I have now been told that many people have been church hopping, which is not uncommon in North America, we go until we find the right flavour of a message that makes us feel comfortable. Well not here. They have been waiting for answers and since the Pastors do not study the Torah it only makes sense that they would not know about such a thing or that it was even possible.
So getting back to the service. After I was done explaining everything about the Sabbath, I was only halfway through my teaching on Torah, but my time had run out. So I sat down after thanking them. Then the Pastor got up and requested if I could to answer some questions. Of course! So back I went to the front and spoke again about when Sabbath started once again, covering the laws for keeping it properly. At one point Telesphore got up to assist in the answer because he could answer it quicker not needing a translator, and while he was speaking I heard a voice in my head start saying something about why Pastors work on Shabbat and none else. The next thing I heard was a question regarding why the Pastor was allowed to teach but not them. Too cool.
So I went into a bit about the Levites working on Sabbath, Yeshua teaching in the temple on Sabbath and a bit more where I felt lead to speak about and the whole place went nuts, in a good way. Everyone was excited and up on their feet, as the Pastor announced that Sabbath service would be held tomorrow on the Sabbath and not on Sunday from now on. This was what they had been waiting for and seeking, the relationship that had been missing from their lives. We take too much for granted in North America and sometimes I don’t think we even consider what is at stake and how privileged we are to have so much. My final words to them and I wish I had more time, was to make sure that the rest of the teaching would be given to their Pastor and he would finish what I started. The mantle was now handed down much like Moses handing down to Joshua. My work here was down for now.
I guess the real purpose of this work here is not just to teach them the contents of the Bible but to open the hearts to the relationship that David had and so many of us do not understand is possible with our Father in Heaven. When these people see that this is possible, the rest although will not be easy, but the walls are down and the heart is open to accept more. No more fighting about what day, no more hopping from church to church looking for the right place to go to church, now its personal and in a world where there is so little, to be able to offer them so much, is truly a miracle in the making.
Praise Yahweh! If the rest of the trip is anything like so far has been then I eagerly wait until tomorrow when I am allowed to speak once more for my Father and on Sabbath to boot. I hope those people who read this can now see the work that lays ahead and that everyone who stepped up to help and support this effort can now understand how vital it is that this work continues They are just plain old, hungry for Truth and His name is YHVH our Elohim.
May YHVH grant you all a wonderful Sabbath, I know mine will be.
Pastor James Relf
P.S. The image is of myself of course and Edmond my faithful translator. The Poster is from eriktology.net, the Noon Samek poster, which not only shows all the letter of Hebrew in Paleo but also the Noon Samek represents the Burning bush, snake on a pole and also Messiah if I am not mistaken. I simply used it to break down “TORAH” and show them what it means. Plus it looks nice.
Report Day #4 – Burundi
I went back to a familiar church today, last year when I was here they had not finished the main wall of the church. The front wall was completed but they also raised the roof (see picture) to let in more air, but this time there was no air flow especially with three churches crammed in there for my meeting. The people were as always more than welcoming and ready to learn. Telesphore wanted me to speak about Torah and clarify about Grace and also add in some about keeping the Sabbath. While most here were already keeping the Sabbath I did not feel like I need to really go into a great amount of detail about it but in the end, I still covered some of the aspects and importance of keeping the Sabbath. You know they are so hungry when they hang on every word you say and they look concerned when you stop. Again a big problem when you only have so much time and too much to cover.
The problem that I have found at each place that I visit is that there is just not enough time to cover everything that should be taught. I mean even if I had a couple of weeks, which might be enough to cover the basics of the basics, it is a lot to throw at people and to expect them to remember everything in only a few sittings while it took me years to learn it all. I still struggle with it all. Despite my efforts in teaching I sometimes still feel inadequate to do this work.
So as per our request at the end of the service I have been asked to return back on Tuesday morning to teach them on the Feasts of YHVH, Sighting the new Moon, and I will of course because it fits right in with discussions about the Sabbatical years. They have put in a special request to know and be taught everything about the Tabernacle of Moshe and that is my favourite subject, but to give the level of detail they would like would take me another week to go over everything and I don’t know if these people are ready for that information. I will have to pray and see what I am lead to on.
On my return trip back to the hotel I had a good amount of time to speak with Ellena, Telesphore’s wife, since Telesphore stayed behind to discuss things with the Pastor of the church and other matters. She of course has many questions as I know from spend time with her while she was in Israel with us last year. Her passion to learn and ask the tough questions has not diminished in any way from last year and she drilled me for information once again regarding Torah. She is seeking a deeper relationship with YHVH, like many of us and would ask questions about King David, Torah, Tabernacle, and many other topics. Good thing we happened to have Edward the translator in the car with us so he could translate. While she is learning English, when she gets excited she speaks very fast Kirundi, and of course, I do not understand. It was an eye opening trip.
Near the end of the journey, through some very bad traffic, we got talking about the trials of YHVH and how they help us to be more like the Messiah’s life, in other words, prepare for the Kingdom. We spoke on putting other’s first and the needs of others, and I found myself saying things I was myself was not yet ready to accept. When they brought up the question of wether or not I would come for a couple of years and stay to teach, because there is so much to learn, in my mind I questioned myself and wether or not I was ready to put myself aside to do the work I am sure I have been preparing myself for my whole life.
Since I started this walk 33 years ago I knew deep inside that I would go to Africa. That feeling has never left. Yet each time I come here, with this trip being the exception, I see the place and yes it is not the most beautiful, or cleanest city, better than Cairo, and I guess that does bother me. Sure anyone could endure for a couple of weeks to do something for YHVH, but is it really a sacrifice, is it really serving him know that I would be going home to something better. I guess I have always known that to truly serve one must put oneself aside and look at the work only. I am sure Yeshua’s disciples did not turn down going to places or talking to certain people because it was not the most favourable location.
Burundi is full of hungry people who want to know the truth of YHVH and compared to North America where they have been spoon fed this message their whole lives, while many of the people here simply have been struggling to survive each day are now seeking Him. I guess I have much to think on the remainder of my trip. Of course staying here would require some help to do just that. The visa aspect never an issue with one phone call to the President and that would all be taken care of, and housing would be taken care of by Telesphore, (just no air conditioning) and very simple food. Life still requires that I pay some bills and unless YHVH steps up to help with that then this may prove more difficult. I am not saying yes at this point, or no, I need to do some praying about this matter and I would appreciate some help with all those out there who would like to pray and possible assist in this endeavour. I do know one thing, we will not get far unless I can get about $1500US to improve Telesphore truck first.
For now, finish what I came here to do and then more prayer. We shall see what tomorrow brings but I think tomorrow is a quiet day for me which is fine and give me time to prepare for next week. Until then, thanks for reading.
Report Day #5 – Burundi
No this is not another update because I did not teach today, but Telesphore and I did manage to sit down and talk about a longer stay possibly beginning of the year, but nothing is set. I still have to discuss with Toni and we still need to see if people will get behind this.
Tomorrow after I teach at this new location, we will be going to see a few places, small but its only going to be me there, and we are already discussing material that would be covered if this is done. Our plan is that we will cover all 17 provinces of Burundi, but instead of going to every church, we would arrange to meet a group of Pastors from local churches to one location where they would be taught from Monday to Sabbath. A total of 11 teachings will be covered, yes including New moon, Feasts and Sabbatical years, again all foundational stuff. Nothing advanced because they are just not ready for any of that anywhere.
Telesphore has been approached many times over the past six months by other church pastors from other countries to come and preach, and he has turned them all away. When they ask why he explains that he now only teaches the whole Bible including Torah and the Feasts, he has been ridiculed by them as a hypocrite and legalistic. He told me over lunch today and just laughed about it saying he for the first time in years including his wife, are actually starting to see change in the people who celebrate Sabbath and the feasts even though they do not yet really understand it all. At least they are trying.
This is why we need this to work so that I can complete the work of training up the Pastors so that they will at least have their head on straight and all be moving in the same direction. The amount of work ahead is a bit scary but I fell that this is the right direction to go in and take.
Next, we will be doing some calculations for the finance to see how this is all going to work out. I will be in touch with you again soon as we gather the info.
Today has been an interesting day as I saw first hand the enemy at work or so it appeared. I was to teach today not more than 10 minutes from downtown and at the last minute while waiting for Telesphore, along walked Edmond. Let me start from the beginning.
On Sabbath I spoke at one of the previous churches, I had attended and when it all ended a request had been put forth for me to return on Tuesday. On Monday I assumed that I would not be teaching and as usual with Telesphore he assured me that, no I would be teaching just outside of the city. No big deal, but when I started to try and decide what I should be teaching on with this relatively new group, that’s when everything started going wrong. When I needed to use the internet, the internet when down, when I went to use the printer, they were out of paper, when I tried to call Telesphore to get material ready his phone was shut off or unreachable. So I went to bed stressed about the next day thinking of what I could do to prepare for the meeting.
Next morning, actually I never slept the whole night trying to figure out what I should do about long-term relocation to Burundi for teaching, what was I going to teach, what would I teach on Tuesday, basically I stressed myself out and did not sleep. By 5:30 I just got up and stayed up. Fortunately, this morning despite not sleeping I did not have a headache and felt fine. So once they appeared on the desk downstairs I got my pages ready and printed, after they resupplied, and then spent the next three hours going over what feels like over a hundred scriptures on Salvation. As the time ticked away, I sat on the balcony reading and looking at everything for this basic foundational teaching, and enjoying every minute as well. I felt so calm sitting there in the cooler morning air just after the rain, with the painters painting the roof right next door and the smell of paint fumes wafting my direction, I was determined not to let anything stop me until I looked up all my references.
9:15 am and I finished the last scripture and knew my subject for the morning. I was sure that this was going to be the message and it was pretty good considering what it took to complete it on time. I then packed up my bag and water for the day, and heading downstairs, knowing that I would still have to wait for Telesphore because he is rarely on time. At 9:30 Edmond my translator and friend showed up and told me he had a message from Telesphore and that I would not be going.
Apparently, each time I come to the country he has to inform the security council of where I will be teaching and they intern tell him if it is safe to proceed to said location. It appears that this particular area was part of the area where all the chaos started in 2015 during the election and the security council were still having issues with them so it was best if I did not go. I agreed and thought this was a wonderful provision by YHVH to take care of me like this.
So Edmond and I sat there as the clouds opened and flooded the streets, like a mini monsoon had hit, and I went over the whole teaching that we would now be teaching to the church on Tuesday instead of what they had requested, which in my opinion felt was a bit over their head as they were just starting to learn about and walk in obedience with the Sabbath. With everything, I take this work very serious since I know the scripture warms about teachers who take it too lightly and without regard for those whom they are teaching. I felt that something closer to their level would be more appropriate so I will be covering the topic of Salvation with the intent of looking at it from all angles to make them think and regard this with the utmost respect that this walk deserves.
Time went by, and finally, Telesphore showed up just around 2 pm, with a good report about this day teaching to this group. I was also informed that I would be seeing many of the officials on Friday this week when up to 50 head pastors and bishops would be attending to learn more from me about Torah. So despite all the actions to stop this message and me from teaching, I will be teaching it tomorrow and also seeing the leaders from the area anyway.
As per your request, I did manage to go and look at a few places, and I found it interesting that each house kept getting bigger and bigger until I was looking at a 4 bedroom house with three bathrooms, two kitchens, and who knows how many other rooms. Like I need something like that, come on! We also started around $500 US and they went up to 850 per month I believe for everything except internet. I think after speaking with Telesphore we both decided that a budge of around $500 / month would be pretty accurate and doable. Again that only covers the roof over my head and bed, we still have to consider food, travel, internet, lodgings while on the road, printing, I think. So for a better expense report, that will have to wait a bit more. Doing what I can to find into his schedule.
Report Day #6 – Burundi
What a glorious day, no really! It was sunny and warm but not to hot, yet I still sweated very much while teaching. What do you expect its Africa and I was inside a mud brick church with a metal roof. It could have been worse, I could have been out in the sun teaching and that would have been very hot.
I went back to the same church as on Sabbath again to do some follow up teachings. While I have many ideas and subject to choose from and all of theirs were great but since they had just started keep Sabbath, learning about the Tabernacle or Priestly garments, I thought might not be a good idea. And last night while sleeping I had this idea of continuing where I left off about salvation and how it works. For many of the people then, when asked, not many could in any way prove or even say they were saved because they had not idea what it meant. I also found out the for many, salvation, works, grace, and faith was not something they had even heard of before and that left me shocked.
I am not sure if I should blame the Pastors or blame those who came before them (other white men from North America). This is the state of the people over here no matter where you go. They are so happen when someone can open the Bible and lead them through a subject from start to finish. Or for that matter even know what they were actually speaking about. Again, today I had about 8 Pastors from the area and on Friday this week will be instructing around fifty Pastors and leaders from different congregations and faiths who have heard about me and the material I have been talking about.
The truth is folks, is this country is starving and not only for food but also knowledge of the Word of YHVH. I showed them today how to prove the Yeshua is the Messiah leading them back through the Word and you should have seen there faces. It was like they won the lottery or something. I have been extremely blessed during this trip with good health, weather and the opportunity to teach the hungry. I have today been invited to teach to the churches in Mumbi, and Uganda as well. That of course only happen if this door stays open and for a longer stay then just two weeks.
So in light of that idea, Telesphore and I have cooked up a plan to have me come and stay for minimum 6 months to a year. That way we can hit all the leaders from the 240 plus churches he manages, and possible do some teaching in some surrounding countries as well to take the message of Torah outside of Burundi. We would be setting up 6 primary locations around Burundi, with one in the city here, and five elsewhere, and then use those locations to hit all surrounding Pastors. Quite doable according to Telesphore. We would teach the first two weeks of each month out at a teaching centre and then do follow up for the remaining two weeks as well as hit a few local churches as well. All the while building a solid foundation based on nothing but the Word of YHVH. A financial breakdown to follow soon.
The first pic was from Sabbath, a packed house. Bottom two are from today, not as many but just as hungry and also during the week so not as many available. Still an awesome day.
Thanks again to everyone who helped to support this mission. Unfortunately, this work has just begun.
Report Day #7 – Burundi
Today was beautiful as we travelled up the mountains alongside the lake here in Burundi. I cannot pronounce the name of this place, but once we left the main road it was a pretty much climb for about 5 miles over some of the roughest roads I have been on. The blessing was that I was not squished in the back seat with 4 adult Pastors. Remember folks this vehicle that we are driving around belongs to Bishop Telesphore and as you will see from a few images, the windshield has so many cracks in it, it is held together by stickers and tape. The tires are bald, the image is the best one on the truck and there are no more shocks left in it. So travel on these type of roads, which is pretty much most of them, you come out feeling like an over shaken martini. My biggest fear is hitting my head on the roof and handle above the door, which I have done many times already. This is basically a Toyota 4×4 and not meant to carry as many as we have even today, 10 people crammed in it to head back down the mountain. Lots of fun, but we could use some help to get a few repairs made on it.
Next the church again another mud brick building, again very fine with me, but this one had no power and whence we got to the top of the mountain, the rain started shortly after I started speaking once again, 5th time this trip, and never stopped until I stopped speaking and sat down. Which meant that it was very dark inside the church and difficult to read my notes and Bible. I spoke once again on Salvation as per Telesphore’s request and then one of the other Pastors got up and spoke a bit as well on the name of Yeshua and breaking down idols if I got the correct interpretation. I did have this little tiny girl keep walking around in the aisle who was so cute that I had to take her picture. She had to be about maybe 1 or two.
It just about kills me to see these people sitting here freezing, not cold for me, wrapped in rags and hungry for the truth. When I was about to leave I had many of them come up to me and ask me to return with more teachings. Again, not sure when and if that will happen and that is the problem that I am dealing with. I almost feel, well almost is an understatement, when I have to come in give them a portion of truth and then walk away when I know they are hungry. It does not seem fair. And when I see the Pastor sitting there writing down everything I say, which is fine, but it also tells me he, who I leading a few churches around the area, is clueless to the truth and that up till then they had been fed catholic nonsense and that the Old Testament was no longer worth reading. Makes me mad!
The harvest is so ripe over here I am sure that YHVH is losing some because there are not enough people to pull it in. Not sure if I mentioned it before but currently Telesphore has been Turing down Pastors who want to come and teach, and when he questions them about teaching Torah, then all say the same thing, its done away with. So he has turned them all away. No more will we mislead the people of Burundi that are under his churches. Encouraging yes, but the amount of work is huge. But we have a plan that we think might work.
Tomorrow I will be addressing about ten big leaders in the city who have been coming to Telesphore and asking questions, and while he has been doing a good job, they want to hear it from the one who has been teaching this truth. Then on Friday, I address another 50 pastors, again with teaching and questions after, and as much as I would love to stay and chat I have to prepare for tomorrow and get before the Father for guidance.
Thank you all for your support in this ministry.
Budget for 6 Months Teaching – Burundi
Burundi Torah Ministries
6 training centres
60 students each center for 10 days
$5 x 60 students x 10 days = 3000 USD per training.
$3000 x 6 =18,000.00 usd for all the training for 6 months.
House rent for James
500 USD per Monthe
3000 USD per 6 Months
Guard for James’s house
50 USD a Month
300 USD per 6 Months
Water bill & power bill
100 USD a Month
600 USD per Month
Hotel in countryside for James, Telesphore & translator + food
30 USD x 3 personnes x10 jours =900 USD
$ 900 x 6 Months =5400 USD
Fuel for vehicle
100 USD x6 Months = 600 USD
Unexpected cost 10%
Another day closer to leaving and I feel sometimes as if I have only added one drop to the bucket of water. Today was great as I returned to one of my favourite churches in the city of Burundi up on the hill. It has a great view of the city but I can see more erosion leading up to it and given a few more years and the whole church might just roll off the hill. Who knows?
Today was a bit different as I was to speak with about 12 younger pastors who have been questions some of the material from the past two years. Also, I found out that only about half of them were even keeping the Sabbath, so that was one thing that I had to resolve as well. First up, though was many questions regarding the Sabbatical years and yes Joe, even I was surprised by home much of it I remembered. I wanted to keep my answers simple but you know how one topic leads into another and of course its easier to explain if they know something else, so what should have taken maybe 10 minutes took close to an hour but I ended up covering much more in order for them to understand why they needed to keep the Sabbatical years in the first part.