News Letter 5847-015
22nd day of the 3rd month 5847 years after the creation of Adam
The 3rd 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.
June 25, 2011
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
This week we had some interesting emails. One thanking me for reminding them to thank others….
Shalom Joe, …. wow does that showing gratitude in thanking folk ever work? I mean, I always used to thank folk, shopping, check out chicks, and definitely any male who opens – or holds open a door for me – with all this women’s lib crap; I take it as a personal positive step in reaffirming appreciation for the good manners and grace of such gentlemen. But…….. have been making sure I do it more often… the smiles and delight that are shown back… it’s just so inspiring. I never ceased to be amazed and do always appreciate what Abba inspires you to teach us all… thank you so much. Australia
Another email which is learning and teaching their assembly in Pakistan if I have the right person here.
Shalom Shalom SIR ,
Thank you very much for your News letter , which is always helping me to learn more and more about The Scriptures , and its always been a Great Honor and Blessing for me and for my Congregation ( The Congregation who are waiting to learn more from you and want to be your permanent students ) as i always share these News letters with them also , looking forward to start our learning from you SIR with your precious teachings and especially The Sabbatical Cycle ,
Blessings and Shalom Pakistan.
It is now less than four months to the Feast of Sukkot. Many of you have been asking about the site in Jerusalem. For those who want to come to Jerusalem and scout out the land you can do so at this Feast by registering at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/LChaim-Ephraim-Succot-Festival/111663428916937 with L’chaim Ephraim.
If you want the pages of your bible to come alive then you need to see Our Fathers House and where He calls home and how it has been over run. May He guide you this year to come home and learn Torah at His feet.
If you are not going to Israel for the Feast this year please do go with some other group. You can look in google under Church of God feast 2011or Sukkot 2011. After each one type in the name of the state or large city to see what is close to you which you can go to. Always write and check to see if you can attend. If at all possible do not stay at home by yourself. Do go and attend with some group.
You are commanded to dwell in booths.
Lev 23:39 ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the fruit of the land, observe the festival of ???? for seven days. On the first day is a rest, and on the eighth day a rest. 40 ‘And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of good trees, branches of palm trees, twigs of leafy trees, and willows of the stream, and shall rejoice before ???? your Elohim for seven days. 41 ‘And you shall observe it as a festival to ???? for seven days in the year – a law forever in your generations. Observe it in the seventh month. 42 ‘Dwell in booths for seven days; all who are native Yisra’?lites dwell in booths, 43 so that your generations know that I made the children of Yisra’?l dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am ???? your Elohim.’ ”
This past week i once again had the great privledge to be able to talk to Jono on truth2u.org about the living with the Unconverted mate. But we were really talking about the love and respect found in the marriage and when it is not found the problems that then come from it. You can listen to this show at http://www.truth2u.org/2011/06/joe-dumond-living-with-an-unconverted-mate-part-2.html and I once again urge you to leave your comments about this subject with truth2U so that it might help others who are dealing with the same struggle.
For some time now I have been telling you that the USA and UK will be destroyed in 2020. I have explained why, many times before, but have had little in news stories to support this view or show how it could be accomplished; until now.
How is it possible for the great army of the USA and UK to be defeated? Exactly how could that ever happen. Prophecy shows this will be the case, but how will it happen is left untold.
It is happening right now right before our eyes and many of you have not seen it. So this week I will share with you the one two punch that is going to be the combination that will lead up to the knockout punch of 2020.
Here’s a statement with prophetic reverberations. It was uttered by America’s top military officer, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to students at Fort Bliss back in March: “I actually think the biggest threat to our national security is our national debt” (emphasis mine).
Militaries cost money, and none more than America’s. The U.S. has spent more on defence than any nation in history: close to a billion dollars a day, every day, for over six decades—more than the rest of the world combined.
But the times they are a changin’. America is getting crushed by debt, and such spending is simply no longer sustainable. And while this reality has hardly slowed the current U.S. administration from continuing to spend itself sick virtually everywhere else, the one area it seems eager to make cutbacks is within the military.
As a result, the nation’s best war leaders are being forced to divert more and more of their energies into “boosting efficiency” and cutting costs.
What will be the effect on history’s most powerful military?
Admiral Mullen is one of many observers who fear the possibilities. But biblical prophecy gives us the answer.
The truth is that the defence budget getting squashed by a bloated debt is only a symptom of a far greater problem.
In the past two years, more than 30 defence-related programs have been “cancelled, capped or ended,” Defence Secretary Robert Gates recently acknowledged. Among them: plans for a long-range bomber; the F-22 program; the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk; two Pentagon agencies.
The nation’s nuclear stockpiles are to be reduced by 30 percent; the missiles, subs and bombers used to deliver them, halved. The ranks of admirals and generals have been thinned. Hundreds of military bases have closed.
Earlier this year, Secretary Gates announced $78 billion more in long-term military spending cuts and an additional $100 billion in reallocations. The Navy axed the U.S. Second Fleet, which trains all strike groups before deployment. The Army cancelled a missile system. The Air Force consolidated three numbered Air Force staffs. The Marine Corps got rid of its expeditionary fighting vehicle. The Army and Marines agreed to shrink their numbers.
Then in April, President Obama set a target to slash an additional $400 billion in defence spending over the next 12 years on top of the cuts already planned. And to replace Gates as defence secretary next month, he chose Leon Panetta—the man who oversaw the last major round of defence cuts during the Clinton administration. It appears the president made this choice because he needs a good pitchman for further cuts.
Even as the world grows more volatile, more explosive, less predictable—even as other major nations deliberately, substantially boost their defence spending—America has passed the apex of its power militarily.
And economic constraints are certain to accelerate its descent. In fact, the armed forces are getting dragged down by the same millstone that is pulling the nation under: entitlements.
Even if the defence budget remained level, rapidly rising personnel and health-care costs are swallowing an ever larger percentage of defence-allocated dollars. As Secretary Gates recently pointed out, the military’s healthcare costs alone have soared from $19 billion just a decade ago to $52.5 billion today.
“The whole thing is being driven by the U.S. defence budget and the deficiencies in the American budget as a whole,” says defence analyst Charles Heyman. As politicians and military commanders face off, he says, “The politicians are always going to be right because they hold the purse strings. At some stage in the next 18 months to two years we’re going to see a real axe taken to the American defence budget.” A real axe? Already, the 18 combat divisions the Army had in the 1980s now stand at 10. The Navy’s 600 ships have been reduced to less than half that—fewer than at any time since the First World War. The Air Force’s tactical air wings have dropped from 37 to 20. Its planes are now fewer and older than at any time in its history. “The useful life of the tanks, artillery, planes, ships and missiles that date to the Reagan build-up is ending, and the cost of replacing them is now far greater than it was back then,” writes former Army officer Jeff Lukens. “Many of the Army’s weapons have already missed several rounds of modernization. Many of its soldiers are on their fourth or fifth tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. And the Army Reserves have been on repeated deployments overseas since 9/11 as well.”
Being a superpower is incredibly expensive. And America is about to find itself priced out of the market.
As the U.S. struggles to determine the best uses for its dwindling resources, one area it is scrutinizing intensely is Europe. For decades it has committed itself to helping defend the Continent and devote resources to the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. In recent years, though, America has grown insistent that Europe step up and take responsibility for its own defence. It has been taking steps to draw down its forces there; base closures on the Continent have saved the Army $8.6 billion in the past eight years. Of the 213,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe in 1989, only about 42,000 remain. Plans are to shrink that number to 37,000 by 2015—and many wonder whether that reduced force will survive future trimming.
Even as Robert Gates has been overseeing America’s defence cuts, he has been vigorously lecturing Europe about how it needs to boost its military spending and upgrade its war-making capability.
For students of biblical prophecy, this is bitterly ironic. Why?
Because of what Scripture reveals to be, in fact, the biggest threat to America’s national security! That is, a militarily dominant, unified European superstate!
We have now read about the cuts the USA is making because of the huge debt they have and we have shown you that the US Government has repeatedly asked for increases in the amount of debt they are legally allowed to have. And they are asking congress yet again for more increases as they no longer can pay the interest let alone pay the debt down. August comes another deadline for the US’s national debt.
At the same time they have been involved in the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war and now they have entered into the Libyan war. From the USA government site we can see just how much this has cost.
With enactment of the sixth FY2011 Continuing Resolution through March 18, 2011, (H.J.Res.
48/P.L. 112-6) Congress has approved a total of $1.283 trillion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This estimate assumes that the current CR level continues through the rest of the year and that agencies allocate reductions proportionately.
Of this $1.283 trillion total, CRS estimates that Iraq will receive about $806 billion (63%), OEF $444 billion (35%) and enhanced base security about $29 billion (2%), with about $5 billion that CRS cannot allocate (1/2%). About 94% of the funds are for DOD, 5% for foreign aid programs and diplomatic operations, and 1% for medical care for veterans.
Between FY2009 and FY2010, average monthly DOD spending for Afghanistan grew from $4.4 billion to $6.7 billion a month, a 50% increase while average troop strength almost doubled from 44,000 to 84,000 as part of the troop surge announced by the President last year. Troop strength in Afghanistan is expected to average 102,000 in FY2011. DOD’s plans call for troop levels to fall by less than 4,000 in FY2012 unless the President decides otherwise as part of his decision to “begin transition to Afghan security lead in early 2011. . . [to a ] a responsible, conditions-based U.S. troop reduction in July 2011.” At the same time, the President announced a long-term U.S. commitment to a NATO summit goal of “a path to complete transition by the end of 2014.” It is currently unclear how quickly or slowly troop levels will fall this summer or in later years to meet these goals.
While spending on Afghanistan grew between FY2010 and FY2011, DOD’s average spending in Iraq fell from $7.9 billion to $6.2 billion or by about 20% while troop strength dropped from 141,000 to 96,000, by about one-third, as the U.S. withdrawal continues. Troop strength in Iraq is projected to average 43,000 in FY2011 and to fall to 4,450 in FY2012 with all troops out of Iraq by December 2011 according to the U.S. security agreement with Iraq.
On March 18th, 2011, the sixth FY2011 Continuing Resolution was enacted (H.J.Res. 48/P.L. 111-6). In the case of DOD’s war funding, the current CR, H.R. 1, and S.Amdt. 149 to H.R. 1 all set DOD’s war funding at close to the FY2011 request. For State Department diplomatic operations and foreign aid, the current CR could reduce funding by about $1 billion below the FY2011 request of $7.6 billion. VA medical spending is likely to match the request.
CRS has lowered its previous estimate of war funding in FY2010 to $165 billion because DOD spent about $3 billion less than anticipated, transferring $885 million of war funds to its base budget and allowing some $2 billion in funding to lapse and be returned to the Treasury. Congress also included about $5 billion in non-war programs in funding designated as for “Other Contingency Operations.” Although DOD’s FY2012 request of $118 billion fell in proportion to the 25% fall in troop levels from 212,000 in FY2011 to 158,000 in FY2012, this funding could be more than necessary in light of recent experience and potential troop decreases. If the overall war FY2012 request of $132 billion is enacted, war funding since the 9/11 attacks would reach $1.415 trillion.
According to CBO’s latest projection, war costs for FY2012-FY2021 could total another $496 billion if troop levels fell from 180,000 in FY2011 to 45,000 by FY2015 and remained at that level through FY2021. Under that scenario, war costs through FY2021 would total $1.8 trillion.
So far war funding since the 9/11 attacks would reach $1.415 trillion by 2012.
In the Daily mail of UK the Libyan war cost the US 2 Million per day.
The billion dollar war? Libyan campaign breaks Pentagon estimates costing U.S. taxpayers $2 million a day
June 9, 2011
The first curse of Terror is read in Lev 26 and we now see the cost of this curse has taken on the US tax payers.
Lev 26:14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not do all these commands, 15 and if you reject My laws, or if your being loathes My right-rulings, so that you do not do all My commands, but break My covenant, 16 I also do this to you: And I shall appoint sudden alarm over you, wasting disease and inflammation, destroying the eyes, and consuming the life. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 ‘And I shall set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies. And those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
Now that the USA in going into the double dip recession or as some are calling it the Great Depression you can see just how bad this debt and these wars are having on the US economy. Some are even saying the US is already defaulting. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/china-ratings-house-says-us-defaulting-report-054309883.html
With all this pressure on the US budget then the next news article is of supreme importance. Each individual news story by itself may not seem to important, but when you look at them all in relationship to each other, sometimes they are stunning. I have been reviewing the rise of Adolf Hitler to power and how he got Germany out of the great depression. Many seemingly insignificant events by themselves were noted, but when they all came together it had a devastating result.
Europe Doesn’t Have the Firepower
Now that they are involved in Libya, Europeans have discovered that they do not have the means to achieve their ambitions. And without the backing of military means, EU diplomacy will not be credible in a strategic region for Europe. This is the logic behind the need for common defence programs.
It was an American who spilled the beans. The reason why a majority of European countries are not participating in air support operations for the Libyan uprising is not because they disagree in principle with this strategy, but as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently pointed out, because their military budgets are too limited.
What the boss of the Pentagon said was true, but it was not the whole truth. Not only do many EU countries lack any real military capacity— they have relied on America since the beginning of the Cold War, and the disappearance of the Soviet threat has only led them to further reduce their military spending—but even the major European powers, even Paris and London, have only a very limited capacity to project military force.
France and Great Britain have the firepower to take charge of the Libyan operation, but as they are already committed elsewhere, and in particular in Afghanistan, they are hampered by dwindling stocks of munitions and a lack of men and equipment at a time when these problems will certainly be made worse by budgetary difficulties.
No doubt this news is likely to solicit a chorus of approval from those Europeans who believe that their countries have no business being involved in Kabul, Misrata or Abidjan. But if we look beyond the debate on the legitimacy of these military campaigns, it is clear that any power that deprives itself of military means is condemned to accept that it will have no political existence. …
To be heard and carry weight in the international arena, it must have the necessary capacity to take action or react to events, and there are two reasons why this is particularly true for the European Union at the start of the 21st century.
The first of these is that even those Europeans who believed that military dependence on the United States was the best means of guaranteeing cohesion among the Western powers were obliged to revise their position when the Americans did not lift a finger to provide support for Georgia in its conflict with Russia. In August 2008, the most Atlanticist Europeans suddenly discovered that America was prepared to prioritize the stabilization of its relations with Moscow over one of its most faithful European allies and assert its own interest to the detriment of a solidarity that Europe had believed to be unshakable.
As a result, even Poland embraced the idea of a common European foreign and defense policy and this development was all the more timely inasmuch as it was immediately followed by the crash on Wall Street. Having already decided that it was not going to allow a minor European conflict to undermine its international interests, America was obliged to inject so much public money into measures to rescue its economy that even the Pentagon had to participate in the drive to shore up federal finances.
The United States is no longer willing to fund European defense, and there is hardly any reason to expect that this will change anytime soon. That was the perfectly explicit sense of Robert Gates’s message, which is already evident in the Americans’ deliberate strategy of leaving Europeans in the front line in Libya. Now that they have been forced to shoulder most of the burden of this operation, European states must be aware that they will have to increase military spending, especially in the context of the Arab Spring and a prolonged period of instability in a region that extends from Rabat to Sana’a.
We can now read from the world news that Europe is waking up to the fact that they have to make an army for the European nation if they want to impose the dictates of the European Union on other parts of the world. We know the US cannot afford to police the world any longer.
As I review the history that lead to Hitler’s rise to power out the ruins of the Great Depression I see so many similarities that it makes me shudder.
In the years ahead watch Europe begin to developed and build their own tanks and planes and military vehicles which will give thousands jobs and income. This will help the Europeans out of the great financial troubles they are now in.
We have been telling you about the severe weather in the USA and Australia for some time now and how it all has to do with the curses of Lev 26 for not keeping the Sabbatical years. Finally the United Kingdom is waking up to the fact that something ain’t right anymore. And also I learned this week that New Zealand has had tornadoes as well which you can read about at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/8489144/Tornado-hits-New-Zealands-biggest-city.html
Warning: Extreme Weather Ahead
Tornados, wildfires, droughts and floods were once seen as freak conditions. But the environmental disasters now striking the world are shocking signs of “global weirding.”
Drought zones have been declared across much of England and Wales, yet Scotland has just registered its wettest-ever May. The warmest British spring in 100 years followed one of the coldest UK winters in 300 years. June in London has been colder than March. February was warm enough to strip on Snowdon, but last Saturday it snowed there.
Welcome to the climate rollercoaster, or what is being coined the “new normal” of weather.
What was, until quite recently, predictable, temperate, mild and equable British weather, guaranteed to be warmish and wettish, ensuring green lawns in August, now sees the seasons reversed and temperature and rainfall records broken almost every year. When Kent receives as much rain (4 mm) in May as Timbuktu, Manchester has more sunshine than Marbella, and soils in southern England are drier than those in Egypt, something is happening.
Sober government scientists at the center for hydrology and ecology are openly using words like “remarkable,” “unprecedented” and “shocking” to describe the recent physical state of Britain this year, but the extremes we are experiencing in 2011 are nothing to the scale of what has been taking place elsewhere recently.
Last year, more than 2 million square kilometers of eastern Europe and Russia scorched. An extra 50,000 people died, … crops were devastated and hundreds of giant wildfires broke out.
The price of wheat and other foods rose as two thirds of the continent experienced its hottest summer in around 500 years.
This year, it’s western Europe’s turn for a mega heat wave. … Vast areas of Europe have received less than half the rainfall they would normally get, … temperatures have been off the scale for the time of year, nuclear power stations have been in danger of having to be shut down because they need so much river water to cool them, and boats along many of Europe’s main rivers have been grounded because of low flows.
But for real extremes in 2011, look to Australia, China and the southern U.S. these past few months. In Queeensland, Australia, an area the size of Germany and France was flooded in December and January in what was called the country’s “worst natural disaster.” … In China, a “once in a 100 years” drought in southern and central regions has this year dried up hundreds of reservoirs, rivers and water courses, evaporating drinking supplies and stirring up political tensions.
Meanwhile, North America’s most deadly and destructive tornado season ever saw 600 “twisters” in April alone, and 138 people killed in Joplin, Missouri, by a mile-wide whirlwind.
Arizonans were this week fighting some of the largest wildfires they have known, and the greatest flood in recorded U.S. history is occurring along sections of the Missouri river. This is all taking place during a deepening drought in Texas and other southern states—the eighth year of “exceptional” drought there in the past 12 years.
Wherever you look, the climate appears to be in overdrive, with stronger weather patterns gripping large areas for longer and events veering between extremes.
Skeptics argue that there have always been droughts and floods, freak weather, heat waves and temperature extremes, but what concerns most climate scientists and observers is that the extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, their intensity is growing and the trends all suggest long-term change.
Killer droughts and heat waves, deeper snowfalls, more wide spread floods, heavier rains, and temperature extremes are now the “new normal,” says Nikhil da Victoria Lobo of the giant insurance firm Swiss Re, which last month estimated losses from natural disasters have risen from about $25 billion a year in the 1980s to $130 billion a year today.
“Globally, what we’re seeing is more volatility,” he says. “It is abundantly clear that weather-related disasters have been increasing and this increase cannot be explained fully by better ways of counting them,” says Steve Jenning. …
“I think that global ‘weirding’ is the best way to describe what we’re seeing. We are used to certain conditions and there’s a lot going on these days that is not what we’re used to, that is outside our current frame of reference,” says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.
Then on top of all of this you can go and read how the mice are eating the winter wheat in Australia in this article about the mouse plague they are having. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/17/3247081.htm Once again Australia is having another biblical size plague and yet they are not turning back to Yehovah. What is it going to take? What does Yehovah have to do or send to get their attention? A biblical size earthquake… tsunami, more devastating crops losses? What will it take for you to return to Yehovah? Yes you yourself?
Brethren I again urge you to consider and weigh the consequences of not obeying the commandments. The next Sabbatical year is 2016-2017 Aviv to Aviv. The fourth curse is to come in 2017 and goes until 2023.
When Yehovah says HE is going to send a sword against you it means He is going to bring war to you. And this time He is going to come Himself. During this time we will have pestilence especially in the cities as the social system breaks down. And famine will then be here. Do you really want to try and survive in this? Is this where you are going to store your food where looters can come and rob you?
Lev 26:23 ‘And if you are not instructed by Me by these, but walk contrary to Me, 24 then I also shall walk contrary to you, and I Myself shall smite you seven times for your sins. 25 ‘And I shall bring against you a sword executing the vengeance of My covenant, and you shall gather together in your cities, and I shall send pestilence among you, and you shall be given into the hand of the enemy. 26 ‘When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back to you your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
With just 5 years left until this time is here, have you made any plans? Where does the bible say you are to go? Have you invested in that place?
We have been raising the money to purchase a farm in Israel for the brethren. Yes I know full well all the obstacles, but I also believe in Yehovah to open the doors. Are you betting on your own plans, or will you help to bring something about for the betterment of the brethren?
We need to have something set up before the Sabbatical year in 2016 when we can’t plant or harvest. This means we have just 3 years to get this going. Our first goal is to raise the funds to purchase a moshav or farm. Are you going to help us to prepare or are you stocking up your own shelves with food that will be for the armies that invade your home?
In recent weeks we have been showing you the proof’s that you can use to know when the Sabbatical years were and as such when they will be in the future.
This past winter I received what I am now going to share with you. It is a list of coins that were manufactured to commemorate the Shmitta also called the Geulah year. Before I could share these additional years of Geulah which we did not have historical references to, I had to first educate you all on how the year of Shmitta had been changed. It was changed from the 1st of Nisan to the 1st of the 7th month of Tishri. We explained this in great detail in the following teachings;
http://www.yahweh.org/publications/sjc/sj12Chap.pdf The Seleucid Era in Judaea
http://www.yahweh.org/publications/sjc/sj13Chap.pdf The Siege of Bethzura and Jerusalem
http://www.yahweh.org/publications/sjc/sj14Chap.pdf John Hyrcanus’s siege of Ptolemy in the fortress of Dagon
Knowing this information above and how the Pharisees changed the start of the year and along with the geonim of the middle ages which we have already shown to you. Once you have proven the historically recorded years of the Shmitta as we have been asking you to prove, then the following information on ancient coins that recorded the Shmitta will be most helpful.
The dates on the coins are based on the teachings of the Mishnah and Zukerman chronology, which are off by 1 ½ years. So when you add 1 ½ years to each of the dates for the coins you will be at the same Sabbatical year that matches all known and recorded historical years.
I had to show you these teachings as I have in the previous Newsletters before I could explain this to you or you would not understand.
So now please add this to your library of the Sabbatical years. http://www.uhl.ac/blog/?m=200804#post-521
I am thinking about commissioning the Royal Canadian Mint to mint a pure gold and pure silver coin for the coming Geulah year of 2016-2017 or 5852. On it I would have the three wheat sheaf’s surrounded by an olive branch with the 13 berries and 13 leaves and on the other side the two palm trees with the year. On the other coin would be the harp of David and on the back the Menorah with the year of the Geulah 5852.
Triennial Torah Cycle
We now return to our 3 1/2 year Torah studies
25/06/2011 Ex 21 Isaiah 24-27 Ps 135 John 9
When God gave the Ten Commandments, “He added no more” (Deuteronomy 5:22). It was a complete spiritual law. Still, God knew that for a physical nation, there would have to be a civil administration with much more detail about what constituted crime and what judgments to execute against specific violations. He had already given capital punishment in Noah’s day. It is not known if He had related any other judgments at that time, although it seems likely that He would have. Frankly, judgments were needed because God knew people would not remain chaste and law abiding (see Exodus 22:16). He knew that they would take advantage of others wrongly (22:25)-and He provided for these eventualities. The judgments exist because of human failings. Penalties would not be needed if people always obeyed. But they don’t-and this could wreak havoc in a national setting. So besides the tablets of the Ten Commandments, God here gives Moses the judgments. These judgments were based on God’s law of love and pertained to relationships between the people.
God allowed slavery, but in a much different way than one may perceive today. An Israelite may have become a slave due to poverty, debt or crime. After six years of servitude, God commanded that he be given freedom and help to reestablish himself so as to better avoid getting in the same situation again (Deuteronomy 15:12-15). Israelite slavery was similar to a state of indentured servitude. The purpose was not intended to be heavily punitive. The intention was to enable a person to make a new start and help him succeed in life. God also gave laws regulating the treatment of slaves. In fact, it was expected that some would be treated so well that they would want to stay with their masters even after the time came for them to be set free (verses 16-18).
It was a capital crime to curse or hit one’s parents. This judgment was based on the Fifth Commandment, “Honor your father and mother.” While the punishment may seem cruel and unusual to our 21st-century minds, its intent was that Israel not raise a nation of rebellious children, as we see so frequently today in our supposedly enlightened societies. This law, like many others, acted as a safeguard for society as a whole. If a rebellious child showed so little respect for authority that he would lash out and strike his own mother or father, there would be little to prevent him from striking out and injuring or killing others. Thus this law helped remove those who scorned authority and lacked the will or desire for self-control before they became too great a threat to innocent people around them. When this law was enforced, society as a whole was kept safe from young, out-of-control thugs who had chosen to live in a way that made them a danger to everyone else.
The words “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” were not intended to encourage vengeful feelings. Nor were they to be taken literally (although “life for life” and “stripe for stripe” could be literal). The principle was that the punishment should fit the crime and not go beyond it. On occasion, capital punishment had to be imposed. But in other cases, we read that there were various ways the guilty party could be redeemed.
God’s laws are not given as a burden to His people. On the contrary, they are imposed to prevent problems from occurring. All people shared a responsibility in both preventing and solving problems. We will be reading much more about God’s laws, comprising commandments, statutes, judgments and ordinances. God revealed them to define what He means by love. Love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10).
Take a look at Joh 10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 “The doorkeeper opens for him, and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 “And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 “And they shall by no means follow a stranger, but shall flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 ????? used this figure of speech, but they did not know what He had been saying to them. 7 ????? therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture. 10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to slaughter, and to destroy. I have come that they might possess life, and that they might possess it beyond measure. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 “But the hireling, and not being a shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. And the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. 13 “Now the hireling flees because he is a hireling and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd.1 And I know Mine, and Mine know Me, Footnote: 1Ezek. 34:11-12, Heb. 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25, 1 Peter 5:4. 15 even as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold – I have to bring them as well, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one shepherd.1 Footnote: 1Ezek. 34:23, Ezek. 37:24. 17 “Because of this the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, in order to receive it again.Joh 10:18 “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to receive it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
We have some huge teachings here in the Exodus 21:6 then his master shall bring him before Elohim, and shall bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl. And he shall serve him forever.
Yehshua is the door as we have just read in John.
Are you aware that the town of Silwan where Yehshua was nailed to the tree means pillar or post as in a door.
When we are nailed to the door we are in fact committing ourselves for ever to Yehshua. Like when you place a Mezuzah on your door. You are saying you are in covenant with the Creator of the Universe.
When an important person comes to your home in ancient days an animal was sacrificed at the threshold of the door. The threshold was considered sacred. You were to step over it and never on it.
Today when you come to the threshold of a country they give the dignitaries the red carpet treatment. It comes from this
offering of the animal at the threshold of your doorway.
Now consider the fact that Yehshua was sacrificed at the door or the entrance to the east side of the Temple as the Lamb. It
was His blood that shed at the door to Yehovah’s house. Even the two door posts were made from Olive trees or the two witnesses.
In Eze 46:1 ‘Thus said the Master ????, “The gate of the inner courtyard facing east is shut the six days of work, but on the Sabbath it is opened, and on the day of the New Moon it is opened. 2 “And the prince shall enter by way of the porch of that gate from the outside, and he shall stand by the post. And the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. And he shall bow himself at the threshold of the gate, and shall go out, but the gate is not shut until evening. 3 “And the people of the land shall also bow themselves at the entrance to this gate before ????, on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons. 4 “And the burnt offering which the prince brings to ???? on the Sabbath day is six lambs, perfect ones, and a ram, a perfect one. 5 “And the grain offering is one ?phah for a ram, and the grain offering for the lambs, a gift of his hand, and a hin of oil for an ?phah. 6 “And on the day of the New Moon: a young bull, a perfect one, six lambs, and a ram, they should be perfect.
This is all symbolic of the 7th Millennium when the door will be open and not shut. It is shut for the other six days of work.
Yehshua is to be king during this 7th Millennium and He is the door by which we must enter and cross over the threshold. It is His blood that has made the carpet red for our coming.
Even in the Prodigal son of Luk 15:23 ‘And bring the fattened calf here and slaughter it, and let us eat and rejoice,
When this calf is killed it is done at the threshold of the door. The son is being given the red carpet treatment. The older brother never got this treatment because he was already in the house with the father.
Again look back in Exo 29:10 “And you shall bring near the bull before the Tent of Meeting, and Aharon and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull. 11 “And you shall slaughter the bull before ????, by the door of the Tent of Meeting, 12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the base of the altar.
So now when the slave has his ear pierced at the door on the threshold he bleeds. And his blood is on the covenant and he then becomes part of the house of Yehovah.
Yehshua was killed on the Mount of Olives and He was the Lamb that was killed at the Door of Temple for us the slaves whose ears will be pierced at the door and our blood shed. This takes place at the end the sixth day or the sixth millennium.
Now go back to the Exodus;
Exo 12:23 “And ???? shall pass on to smite the Mitsrites, and shall see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and ???? shall pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.
Yehovah has said that He would Passover the Threshold, not the House but the threshold to protect us.
Zec 12:2 “See, I am making Yerushalayim a cup of reeling to all the people all around, and also against Yehud?ah it is in the siege against Yerushalayim.
The word cup here means H5592 ?? saph saf
From H5605, in its original sense of containing; a vestibule (as a limit); also a dish (for holding blood or wine): – bason, bowl, cup, door (post), gate, post, threshold.
Jerusalem is the door of the threshold we are to cross over. It is here that much blood will be spilled.
Isaiah 24-27 is often referred to as the “little Apocalypse” or the “Isaiah Apocalypse.” That’s because it describes, in broad, general terms, the great cosmic events that will mark the end of the age—as described in the book of Revelation.
Verse 5 of chapter 24 mentions the breaking of the “everlasting covenant.” And the implication is that all the earth’s inhabitants are part of this covenant arrangement. Yet when did God make a covenant with all humanity? Says The Bible Reader’s Companion: “Many see this as a reference to God’s covenant with Noah, never again to destroy the Earth by a flood (cf. Gen. 9:11-17). That covenant also implies human moral responsibility, for it makes man responsible to God to account for shed blood (9:4-6). Thus the laws and statutes here are not those of the O[ld] T[estament] law [that is, the totality of specific obligations given to Israel under the Sinai Covenant]. They are natural moral laws, expressed in human conscience, which God has imbedded in human nature, to which Paul refers in Rom. 2:12-16)” (note on verse 5).
The Nelson Study Bible comments: “The usual language concerning a breach of the covenant is applied more generally to the wicked nations. Perhaps these words speak of that innate sense of right and wrong—the conscience—that God has given to all humankind, but which everyone violates (Rom. 1:18-32; compare Acts 24:16)” (verse 5).
Actually, God did give laws at the time of Adam, but man rejected them—and, as a consequence, God destroyed mankind except for Noah and his family. Noah understood God’s laws and passed them on. But man has transgressed them and changed them to suit himself. And, as mentioned, man as a whole has violated the wonderful gift of conscience that God has given to every person. The earth is defiled by all of this—especially, as stated, by the innocent blood shed on it. So it lies under a curse. And God will bring great havoc on the world.
Some, we should note, misquote this section of the Bible, using it to “prove” that the returning Christ totally destroys the earth and all life on it—and that His thousand-year reign that follows is then over a desolate, uninhabited earth. In support of this wrong teaching, they cite the first half of verse 6, which speaks of the scorching of the earth’s inhabitants. But they leave out the end of the verse—”and few men are left.” Here is a classic illustration of using the Bible to prove an already preconceived idea instead of allowing Scripture to interpret itself. For reading all of verse 6 shows that mankind, though greatly diminished by end-time plague and war, isn’t totally destroyed. Clearly, there will still be people left alive.
Verse 16 gives the impression of people rejoicing in song, while the prophet is bemoaning the “treacherous dealers,” perhaps referring to false messiahs or the False Prophet (see Matthew 24:24; Revelation 16:13).
Then a mighty earthquake is described. Cataclysmic events befall the planet, and the “windows from on high are open” (Isaiah 24:18-20)—apparently picturing the great upheaval and hail to come at the end (compare Revelation 8:8-11; 11:19; 16:18-21). Then there is mention of the “host of exalted ones,” in addition to the kings of the earth, being punished and imprisoned for many days, which could include the human armies that assail Christ at His return as well as Satan and His demons (verses 21-22; compare Revelation 19:20-20:3).
The chapter concludes with the reign of the Lord in Zion (verse 23; compare Revelation 21:22-25).
In Isaiah 25, following the destruction of His enemies, God provides a marvelous feast for the whole earth—a wonderful world of plenty for those who are ruled by Jesus Christ. This is what is pictured each year by God’s great fall festival, the Feast of Tabernacles (see Leviticus 23:33-43; Deuteronomy 16:13-15). As was mentioned in our highlights on Isaiah 4, the reign of Christ over all nations will be like one long, expanding Feast of Tabernacles—during which more and more people will submit their lives to God until the actual Feast of Tabernacles is observed by all peoples (see Zechariah 14:16).
God will remove the veil of spiritual blindness that now lies over all nations (verse 7). The apostle Paul mentions it in 2 Corinthians 4: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this world [Satan the devil] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (verses 3-4). In the wonderful world that is coming, Satan, who “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), will be bound in prison (20:1-3)—and all nations will finally see. Not immediately of course. While some people will recognize right away that Christ has liberated them, for others it will take longer. But eventually, through a program of education directed by Christ and the resurrected saints, the true knowledge of God will come to fill the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).
Yet for the present age, the veil remains. Even now, though, God lifts the veil for each person whom He calls to be part of the firstfruits of salvation. Rending and opening the spiritual veil, allowing access to God and His spiritual knowledge, has been made possible through the rending of Christ’s body and His resultant death, all of which was symbolized by God’s tearing of the veil in the temple at the very moment He died (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 10:20).
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul discusses the subject of the resurrection and concludes that when we have received immortality, “then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory'” (verse 54). That saying is found here—in Isaiah 25:8.
Chapter 26 is a song about the end time. “In that day” (verse 1) means the Day of the Lord—but the bright part of it beyond the gloom. Salvation is at last coming to God’s people, which will lead to the salvation of all people.
Several themes are addressed. The chapter begins by emphasizing righteousness and trust in God. Look again at verse 3. What a wonderful promise this is. If we trust in God, come what may, we will have perfect peace—inner peace of mind or, as Paul puts it, “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
The chapter goes on to address the punishment and reform of the wicked.
Verse 19 describes the resurrection. “Some argue that this is a figurative application of the idea of resurrection. But there could have been no figure of speech if no belief that ‘their bodies will rise’ existed in ancient Israel. And what a wonder this is. Storms of judgment may sweep over our earth. Wars may devastate, and disease may ravage. Famines may decimate the land, while starvation stalks our families. There are indeed dread fates that are to be feared. But these are not history’s last words! At the end of history—both the history of nations, and the personal history of each individual—the shout of God’s promise echoes. ‘Your dead will live; their bodies will rise!’ What a truth to hold fast in troubled times” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on verse 19).
Verses 20-21 mention God directing His people to take refuge “until the indignation is past.” This ties in with other verses related to a place of protection for some of God’s saints during the final days before Christ’s return (see Zephaniah 2:1-3; Revelation 12:14). God will also preserve alive a remnant of the physical descendants of Israel.
Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1) is mentioned in several places in Scripture (compare Job 41; Psalm 74:14; 104:26). It may be a literal sea creature, but here, as in other places, it is apparently a reference to Satan, the serpent and dragon of Revelation 12, and the “beast from the sea” (Revelation 13), the resurgent gentile empire of the last days, the heads of which are portrayed as emerging from Satan (12:3; 13:1-2). It is the constellation of the great dragon in the sky.
Finally, God turns to the wonderful restoration of national Israel that’s coming. His vineyard was forsaken (Isaiah 5:1-5). But now He will tend it again (27:2-4). The great trumpet will call the exiles of Israel to return to the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their emaciated and war-ravaged population, dwindled down to a small fraction of their former numbers, will again begin to blossom and grow (verse 6)—in the very best environment possible.
Psalms 135-137 form the concluding section of what some Jewish traditions label the Great Hallel (or “Praise”)-following the beginning section, the songs of ascents (120-134). As noted in the Bible Reading Program’s introduction to the Great Hallel and songs of ascents, some traditions list the Great Hallel as Psalms 120-136, while others confine it to only Psalm 136.
Psalm 135, an unattributed psalm of praise for the one true Creator God in contrast to worthless idols, is well placed after Psalm 134, the concluding song of ascents. Recall its closing statement about “the LORD who made heaven and earth” (verse 3), repeating wording used in other songs of ascents (see 121:2; 124:8). Indeed, Psalm 134 introduces Psalm 135 in other ways too, as we will see. And we should also note that Psalm 135 repeats themes and language from another Hallel collection, the Egyptian Hallel (113-118). An apparent quotation of Jeremiah 10:13 (and 51:16) in Psalm 135:7, combined with clear indications that this song was intended for temple worship, has led many to conclude that the psalm was written after the Jewish exile in Babylon.
However, it is possible that the repeated verse in Jeremiah was quoted from Psalm 135.
The psalm opens with five calls to praise the Lord (verses 1-3) and closes with five calls to bless the Lord (verses 19-21)-continuing from Psalm 134’s repeated call to bless the Lord (verses 1-2).
Verse 1 of Psalm 135 is basically identical to the opening verse of the Egyptian Hallel, 113:1, except that the second and third lines are transposed. The next verse (135:2), wherein the call to praise God is given to those who “stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,” continues thematically from, again, the first two verses of 134. Here it is evident that festival worship is still in mind, as in the songs of ascents. Moreover, God’s “house” also signified His holy nation of Israel (compare verse 4). And of course, we today should further understand God’s “house” to represent His Church, His spiritual nation, as well as His eternal Kingdom and family. The description of Israel as a “special treasure” (verse 4; compare Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2) applies in a higher sense to God’s spiritually elect people (compare Malachi 3:16-17).
Note in Psalm 135:3 the use of the terms “good” and “pleasant,” as in Psalm 133:1, where these terms describe the unity of God’s people. Here in Psalm 135, the word good applies to God as a cause for praise. Yet it is not entirely clear what the word pleasant refers to, whether to God (in which case the translation should be “for He is pleasant”) or to singing praises or to God’s name (in line with the NKJV translation of “for it is pleasant”). If God is intended, the idea would be that God is pleasing to experience (compare the use of both words in 147:1). The praising of God’s name is also paralleled in the opening of Psalm 113 (verse 2).
Verses 5-7 of Psalm 135 constitute a stanza about God as Sovereign Creator. God doing as He pleases in verse 6 is reminiscent of Psalm 115:3 in the Egyptian Hallel-especially as a section of Psalm 115 is worded much the same as a later section of this song. Psalm 135:7, as already mentioned, may have been taken from Jeremiah 10:13, part of a passage wherein God is shown by His power in creation to be superior to futile idols (see verses 11-16). Yet as also mentioned, it could be the other way around-that these words, found in Jeremiah 51:13 as well, were quoted from Psalm 135.
The next stanza, verses 8-12, presents God as Israel’s Deliverer. It is interesting to note that praise for God as Creator followed by praise for Him as Deliverer is also found in the next psalm, Psalm 136. Indeed, the language about destroying the firstborn of Egypt, the slaying of Kings Sihon and Og, and Israel receiving its land as a heritage is essentially found there also (compare 135:8-12; 136:10-22).
Through God’s mighty acts and intervention, His “name” and “fame” (zeker, “remembrance”) endure for all time (verse 13). Indeed, even though people often forget to consider God and His directives, most people understand on some level that He exists. Moreover, God’s name will live forever as generations pass on the story of His saving acts, as those who love Him continue to praise Him, and as He completes His great plan of salvation-bringing all mankind into a relationship with Him (and ultimately removing those who reject Him). God’s judgment and mercy in dealing with His people is the subject of verse 14.
The words of verses 15-18 are very close to those found in Psalm 115:4-8. The common assumption is that the passage in Psalm 135 is taken from Psalm 115, though the reverse could be true.
Interestingly, Psalm 115 addressed Israel, the house of Aaron (the priesthood), and all those who fear the Lord (verses 9-11) and noted that God would bless each of these three groups (verses 12-13). Psalm 118, another psalm of the Egyptian Hallel, called on each of these three groups to declare that God’s mercy or unfailing love endures forever (verses 2-4). And now in Psalm 135, we see each of these groups called on to, in turn, bless the Lord-with the addition of addressing a fourth group, the house of Levi, thus distinguishing all those involved in the temple service or perhaps the non-priestly Levitical choir, as it may be that different choirs sang different stanzas of this song. In all likelihood the final declaration of blessing in verse 21 and the concluding Hallelujah (“Praise the LORD”) were sung by all.
Note also here that as God blessed His people from Zion (134:3), so His people are to bless Him from Zion (135:21). Again, the focus here is on worship at Jerusalem, where God dwells, making this a song of Zion. Besides the obvious meaning, again tying this song to temple festival worship and the songs of ascents, we should also understand Zion in the broader sense of representing God’s nation, His Church, His millennial capital, His Kingdom, and His heavenly city. These are all to resound with praise for the Eternal God
So many times we all read the scriptures and never see what they mean. Then one day as we read them again a light goes off. We see the meaning of the verse or the teaching and we can see just how far from the truth we were.
As I work on this week’s Torah portion. I had no idea what each reading had in store.
This past winter a lady had a dream about me and wrote me to tell me. I do not believe in the many dreams people have. Some are so crazy. But this lady was a trusted friend.
She told me all the leaders of the tribes of Israel were gathered in Israel for some meeting except me. Others began to ask where I was and why I was not there. The lady spoke up and said I was in the outer court yard and I was coming but I could not find the door.
Brethren the outer court yard is where the Offerings were made; the sacrifices. Our study this week about the Door and the servant having an awl put through his ear at the door has great and significant meaning to me. And now as we read the accounts of John 9 and How Yehshua healed the blind man, which led up to Yehshua saying that He is the door in chapter 10, has humbled me once again.
Joh 10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 “The doorkeeper opens for him, and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Yehshua said that He is the “door of the sheep”. What did He mean? Well, a sheepfold during Yeshshua’s time had no door which could be opened and closed. The door of the sheepfold was just an opening. In this kind of sheepfold, after the sheep had entered it, the shepherd would sleep at the entrance. The shepherd became, effectively, the “door” of the sheepfold. Yehshua was our threshold which we are to step over with respect. Stepping on that threshold was an act of war.
With all of this in mind let us once again look at the constellation of cancer.
The Witness of the Stars
E. W. Bullinger
The Third Book
(His Second Coming)
“The glory that should follow”
Cancer (the Crab)
With regard to the sign of CANCER, one thing is certain, that we have not got the original picture, or anything like it.
It does not agree with the names either of its three constellations which have come down to us, or of its stars.
In the ancient Denderah Zodiac it is represented as a Scarabaeus, or sacred beetle. * In the Zodiac of Esneh and in a Hindu Zodiac (400 BC) it is the same.
* The Scarabaeus, passing its early existence as a worm of the earth, and thence issuing as a winged denizen of heaven, was held sacred by the Egyptians as an emblem of the resurrection of the body.
According to the Greeks, Jupiter placed this Crab amongst the signs of the Zodiac.
In Sir William Jones’s Oriental Zodiac we meet with a crab, and an Egyptian Zodiac found at Rome bears also the crab in this sign.
The more ancient Egyptians placed Hermanubis, or Hermes, with the head of an ibis or hawk, as the symbol of the sign now allotted to CANCER.
The Denderah name is Klaria, or the cattle-folds, and in this name we have the key to the meaning of the sign, and to the subject of this chapter.
The Arabic name is Al Sartan, which means who holds or binds, and may be from the Hebrew to bind together (Gen 49:11). [This is most appropriate after having read John 9 that we then find in Joh 10:28 “And I give them everlasting life, and they shall by no means ever perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. ]
There is no ancient Hebrew word known for the crab. It was classed with many other unclean creatues, and would be included in the general term “vermin.”
The Syriac, Sartano, means the same. The Greek name is Karkinos, which means holding or encircling, as does the Latin, Cancer, and hence is applied to the crab. In the word Khan, we have the traveller’s rest or inn; while Ker or Cer is the Arabic for encircling. The ancient Akkadian name of the month is Su-kul-na, the seizer or possessor of seed.
[This ties right into the original meaning of the word sheepfold which was an encirclement with a doorway.]
The sign contains 83 stars, one of which is of the 3rd magnitude, and seven are of the 4th magnitude, and the remainder of inferior magnitudes.
In the centre of the Sign there is a remarkably bright cluster of stars, so bright that they can be sometimes seen with the naked eye. It looks like a comet, and is made up of a great multitude of stars. Modern astronomers have called it the Beehive. But its ancient name has come down to us as Praesepe, which means a multitude, offspring.
The brightest star, ? (in the tail), is called Tegmine, holding. The star ? (or ?1 and ?2), in the lower large claw, is called Acubene, which, in Hebrew and Arabic, means the sheltering or hiding-place. Another is named Ma’alaph (Arabic), assembled thousands; Al Himarein (Arabic), the kids or lambs.
[Isa 32:1 See, a sovereign shall reign in righteousness, and rulers rule in right-ruling. 2 And each one shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a shelter from the downpour, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 3 And the eyes of those who see are not dim, and the ears of those who hear listen.4 And the heart of the rash understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers hurries to speak plainly.]
North and south of the nebula Praesepe are two stars, which Orientalists speak of by a name evidently of some antiquity. Asellus means an Ass, and one was called Asellus Boreas, the northern Ass; while the other, Asellus Australis, is the southern Ass. *
* The Ass was the emblem of Typhon, the king who smites or is smitten.
This connects it with the Tribe of Issachar, who is said to have borne upon the Tribal standard the sign of two asses.
This is doubtless the reference in Jacob’s blessing (Gen 49:11, RV):
“Issachar is a strong ass,
Couching down between the sheepfolds;
And he saw a resting-place that it was good;
And the land that it was pleasant;
And he bowed his shoulder to bear,
And became a servant under task work.”
Have we not here the gathering up of the teaching of this sign–
Messiah’s redeemed possessions held fast.
Here we come to the completion of His work. In CANCER we see it with reference to His redeemed, and in the next (the last) Sign, LEO, with reference to His enemies.
The three constellations develop the truth. What is now called Ursa Minor is the Lesser Flock; Ursa Major gives us The Sheepfold and the Sheep; while Argo, The Ship, shows the travellers and the pilgrims brought safely home–all conflict over.
To accomplish this, we see the true Issachar bowing his shoulder to bear. He could say, “My soul is bowed down” (Psa 57:6). He became a servant, and humbled Himself to death. He undertook the mighty task of saving His people from their sins. “Their Redeemer is strong” (Jer 50:34); for help was laid on “One that was mighty” (Psa 89:19). And His redeemed shall come to a resting-place that is good, and to a land that is pleasant. No earthly Khan on earth affords them a home. They look for a heavenly home, and in the many mansions of the Father’s house they shall find eternal rest.
Here we see that sheltering home to which the names of these stars point; where the assembled thousands (Ma’alaph) shall be received into the true Klaria, even the “everlasting habitations.”
The teaching about this sheep fold of Cancer the encirclement of the sheep is not complete unless we also look at;
Ursa Major (the Great Bear)
Of these it is written–
“But in Mount Zion there shall be those that escape,
And it shall be holy:
And the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”
Obadiah 17-19, RV
It is a large and important constellation, containing 87 stars, of which one is of the 1st magnitude, four of the 2nd, three of the 3rd, ten of the 4th, etc. It always presents a splendid appearance, and is perhaps, therefore, the best known of all the constellations.
In the Book of Job (9:9, and 38:31,32) it is mentioned under the name of Ash. “Canst thou guide Ash and her offspring?” which is rendered in the AV, “Arcturus and his sons,” and in the RV, “The Bear with her train” (marg., “sons”). The Arabs still call it Al Naish, or Annaish, the assembled together, as sheep in a fold. The ancient Jewish commentators interpreted Ash as the seven stars of this constellation. They are called by others Septentriones, which thus became the Latin word for North.
The brightest star, ? (in the back), is named Dubhe, which, as we have seen, means a herd of animals, or a flock, and gives its name to the whole constellation.
The star ? (below it) is named Merach (Hebrew), the flock (Arabic, purchased).
The star ? (on the left of ?) is called Phaeda, or Phacda, meaning visited, guarded, or numbered, as a flock; for His sheep, like the stars, are both numbered and named. (See Psalm 147:4)
The star ? is called Alioth, a name we have had in Auriga, meaning a she goat.
The star ? (in the middle of the tail) is called Mizar, separate or small, and close to it Al Cor, the Lamb.
The star ? (at the end of the so-called tail) is named Benet Naish (Arabic), the daughters of the assembly. It is also called Al Kaid, the assembled.
The star ? (in its right foot) is called Talitha.
The names of other stars all give the same testimony: El Alcola (Arabic), the sheepfold (as in Psa 95:7; and 100:3); Cab’d al Asad, multitude, many assembled; Annaish, the assembled; Megrez, separated, as the flock in the fold; El Kaphrah, protected, covered (Heb. redeemed and ransomed); Dubheh Lachar (Arabic), the latter herd or flock; Helike (so called by HOMER in the Iliad), company of travellers; Amaza (Greek), coming and going; Calisto, the sheepfold set or appointed.
There is not one discordant voice in the rich abundance of this testimony. We have nothing to do here with the Grecian myths about bears or wild boars. We see only the innumerable seed gathered by Him who scattered (Jer 31:10).
Many are the Scriptures we might quote which speak of this gathering and assembling of the long scatterd flock. It is written as plainly in the Book, as it is in the heavens. The prophecies of this gathering are as conspicuous in the Word of God as the “Seven Stars” in the sky. It is difficult even to make a selection from the wealth of such promises; but few are more beautiful than that in Ezekiel 34:12-16:
“As a shepherd seeketh out his flock
In the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered;
So will I seek out my sheep,
And will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
And I will bring them out from the people,
And gather them from the countries,
And will bring them to their own land,
And feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers
And in all the inhabited places of the country.
I will feed them in a good pasture,
And upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be:
There shall they lie in a good fold,
And in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
I will feed my flock,
And I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD (Adonai Jehovah).
I will seek that which was lost,
And bring again that which was driven away,
And will bind up that which was broken,
And will strengthen that which was sick:
But I will destroy the fat and the strong;
I will feed them with judgment.”
It is of this judgment with which this book, and indeed the whole Revelation, ends, in the next and final chapter.
The whole story of Shavuot points to this time when the second of the wave offerings is taken up; the wheat and presented to Yehovah. This is shown to us in the Big dipper each night along with the stars of cancer. May your eyes be opened to learn the same old truths that have long ago been hidden in religiosity.
The 613 Mitzvot
We now continue to study the 613 laws of Torah which we can read at http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm
We are doing 7 laws each week. We shall study laws 458-464
We also have commentary, with editing from me, again from http://theownersmanual.net/The_Owners_Manual_02_The_Law_of_Love.Torah
(458) Do not destroy anything of the Sanctuary, of synagogues, or of houses of study, nor erase the holy names (of G-d); nor may sacred scriptures be destroyed. Do not destroy objects bearing or associated with His Name. “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship Yahweh your God with such things.” (Deuteronomy 12:2-4) The rabbis have made two critical errors here, both of which negate their mitzvah. The first is an error of basic logic. They’re saying, “If Y demands that action A must be done to object X, then the converse of action A must be done to Y. Huh? One example: it’s like saying that since the mayor says the fire chief’s car should be painted red, then the mayor’s car must be painted green. This kind of logic is known in theological circles as “idiotic.” The two premises aren’t remotely related. I realize that this is the same convoluted reasoning process the rabbis routinely used from the days of Akiba forward, but that doesn’t make it right. Remember, the mark of a great rabbi was that he could “prove” from scripture that reptiles were clean animals—in other words, they had to be clever enough to defend any position they wanted to, right or wrong.
The second error is taking the passage out of context. Moses delivered this precept as the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, a place whose “iniquity was full” with idolatrous practices. Knowing human nature, Yahweh didn’t want His people exposed to the hellish worship practices of the Canaanites—to Ba’al, Ishtar, Molech, Chemosh, Dagon, or anybody else. Failing to clean out the Land would have been like trying to set up a Sunday school class in a barroom or a pornographic book store: an uphill battle—one no one should have to fight. The Land was, rather, to be set apart to Yahweh for the benefit of His chosen people exclusively. God had told them a generation before this, “You shall have no other gods before me… I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:3, 5)
Tracey Rich of Judaism 101 writes, “Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.” Their hearts may be in the right place, but their brains have slipped out of gear. They’ve failed to notice that the entire Torah fairly screams the name of Yahweh.
From the grand sweep of the service, furnishings, and layout of the tabernacle to tiny little details like the single blue thread in
the tsitzit, every facet of Israelite life was to be a memorial of Yahweh or a prophecy of His Messiah. When He allowed His temple to be torn down by heathens, Yahweh was in fact making His name unavailable to the people who had already refused to use it. And when Akiba’s blasphemous backing of Bar Kochba got Israel thrown out of Judea entirely, the process was completed, for Jerusalem was literally the “place where Yahweh your God chooses to make His name abide.” (Deuteronomy 12:11) Proof? The map of the valleys of old Jerusalem forms a Paleo-Hebrew letter, a yod, the initial letter of Yahweh’s self revealed name!
By legalistically refraining from writing Yahweh’s name for fear of misusing it (and systematically substituting a title—“the Lord”—for it in speech), the Jews ran afoul of the warning of Jeremiah 23:26-27. “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.” For who? Ba’al means “Lord.” The children of Israel forgot the name of Yahweh because they started calling Him “the Lord” instead. And we Christians have followed these lying prophets by perpetuating the error in virtually every English translation of the scriptures on the market today.
This chapter and the next will zero in on the one issue that most fundamentally separates Orthodox Judaism from Christianity: the sacrifices. As we shall see (and indeed, have already seen) the Torah is chock full of rules and regulations about precisely how to perform sacrificial rites to Yahweh—not just one kind of offering, but dozens, each with its own unique characteristics and requirements. Either Yahweh was totally fixated on sacrifices and offerings, or He was trying to teach us something very important.
Nobody performs these sacrifices today—nobody. Even Jews who claim to be “Torah observant” are total failures at keeping the mitzvot listed in this chapter. Why? First, they can’t be performed without a sanctuary in Israel—a tabernacle or temple in the “place where Yahweh chooses,” which we now know to be Jerusalem. Second, there are no qualified priests to administer them. The Jews haven’t made systematic sacrifices as described in the Torah since the Romans tore down Herod’s temple in 70 A.D. Bar Kochba—Rabbi Akiba’s false Messiah—attempted to reinstitute them, but his rebellion was crushed in 135 and both men were slain. In point of fact, the most significant Levitical sacrifice of all, that made on the Day of Atonement, has not been properly performed since before the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar tore down Solomon’s temple in 586 B.C. That’s when the Ark of the Covenant—essential for the rite—disappeared from the Holy of Holies. (It was probably secreted away by the Prophet Jeremiah.)
The Jews aren’t stupid, of course. They know there’s a whole body of Law that can’t be kept. How do they deal with it? Some (very few) “hold their breath,” waiting expectantly for the day when the temple and its service can be restored. Judaism 101 reports: “Do Jews want to resume sacrifices? Orthodox Jews do. There are several places in our daily prayer services where we pray for the restoration of the Temple and the resumption of its rituals, including the rituals of sacrifice.” So there is an undercurrent of frustration among Orthodox Jews who know that the way things are is not really the way they’re supposed to be. Something’s wrong; they just don’t know what it is. Again, Judaism 101 explains how they deal with it: “How do Jews obtain forgiveness without sacrifices? Forgiveness is obtained through repentance, prayer and good deeds. In Jewish practice, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices…. But isn’t a blood sacrifice required in order to obtain forgiveness? No. Although animal sacrifice is one means of obtaining forgiveness, there are non-animal offerings as well, and there are other means for obtaining forgiveness that do not involve sacrifices at all.” Tracey Rich is confused here. Yes, there are non-animal offerings, but none of them are designed to atone for sin, even temporarily. They express thankfulness and accompany petitions. For the remission of sin, however, anything less than the shedding of innocent blood is smoke and mirrors, wishful thinking—and more to the point, contrary to what Yahweh ordained. Atonement requires innocent blood, which in turn requires a temple and a priesthood, which do not exist today. Orthodox Jews today are between a rock and a hard place.
They are counting on Malachi 3:1. “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [adown: ruler or master], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says Yahweh of hosts….” Yes, they know that Messiah is coming, and that Elijah (see Malachi 4:5) will precede Him, and that the temple will stand during His reign (though they don’t see the significance in the fact that all these things defined Yahshua’s first-century advent). What I can’t figure out is how devout Jews can be so excited about verse 1, and be in such denial concerning verse 2: “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.” In other words, He will separate the good from the worthless, making everything pure and clean (because as of now, it’s corrupt and filthy). It won’t be a pleasant experience. The coming purification process will shake Israel to her very foundations. Yahweh gave us so much data on this, it took me half a dozen chapters in Future History to describe what will happen. “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to Yahweh an offering in righteousness.” The reason (one of them) that the privilege of sacrifice and offering has been taken away from Israel is that the “sons of Levi,” i.e., the priests, are in need of cleansing and purification. God is blatantly stating that the present Jewish method for dealing with the Torah—trying to obtain forgiveness through “repentance, prayer and good deeds”—is skewed and corrupted. But it won’t be this way forever. The Messiah will “purify the sons of Levi.” “Then [and only then] the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:1-4) The last nine chapters of the Book of Ezekiel describe the “purified” Israel, its renewed temple and priesthood. It bears no resemblance to what goes on in Judaism today.
And what about Christians? We tend to make totally different blunders. Christians all too often assume that since Yahshua fulfilled the Law, it has nothing to teach them. The Torah’s precepts need not be followed, so we can ignore it with impunity. At first glance, passages like this one from Hebrews seem to support that view, but what’s really being said is quite different. “If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.” This is all the further some of us get: the Old Covenant is faulty. “But God himself found fault with the old one when he said: ‘The day will come, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They did not remain faithful to my covenant, so I turned my back on them, says Yahweh….” We need to ask ourselves, was God surprised, shocked, and dismayed by this development, or is it more likely that He knew precisely what He was doing, unfolding His plan of redemption in stages—like asking Israel to master arithmetic before tackling calculus?
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says Yahweh: I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their family, saying, ‘You should know Yahweh.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will already know me. And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins….” This is the heart of the issue, the definition of the New Covenant: coming to really understand the mind of God, to be one with it, to be so familiar with what our Father thinks that doing His will becomes second nature. A schoolchild learns his A-B-Cs. A young musician practices his scales until he’s blue in the face. Why? So they can utilize these tools without having to think about them. Did Shakespeare agonize over how to form an “A” with his pen? Did Bach have to calculate how many sharps there are in the key of A? Actually, at one time, they did, but we remember their subsequent works because they got beyond these “laws.” Their words and music reflect their “understanding” and “knowledge,” that is, their utter and complete familiarity with the “laws” of their craft. So don’t misapply the word “obsolete” in the next verse: “When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and ready to be put aside.” (Hebrews 8:7-13 NLT) The word translated “obsolete” (Greek palaioo) means: “pertaining to a point of time preceding another point of time, with an interval of considerable length—‘of long ago.’” (Louw & Nida) The Old Covenant is only “obsolete” as musical notes became obsolete to Bach and the English alphabet became so to Shakespeare—something that was learned long ago, now moved to the background of the subconscious, as natural as breathing.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews (I assume it’s Paul, though I can’t be dogmatic) now uses the symbols latent in the Old Covenant to illuminate Christ’s role as revealed in the New Covenant. “Now in that first covenant between God and Israel, there were regulations for worship and a sacred tent here on earth. There were two rooms in this tent….” He goes on to describe what was found in the Holy Place and beyond the veil in the Most Holy Place. “When these things were all in place, the priests went in and out of the first room regularly as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest goes into the Most Holy Place, and only once a year [on the Day of Atonement], and always with blood, which he offers to God to cover his own sins and the sins the people have committed in ignorance….” Paul has pointed out the fatal flaw in Orthodox Judaism: our sins cannot be covered by “repentance, prayer or good deeds” (though these are all good things, efficacious in maintaining open lines of communication with our God). Atonement can only be achieved through the shedding of innocent blood. Yahweh was very clear about this.
“By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the Most Holy Place was not open to the people as long as the first room and the entire system it represents were still in use.” (Hebrews 9:1-2, 6-8 NLT) In the previous chapter, we discussed the temple furnishings, and how each piece instructed us how to approach the Almighty. Here we see that the “first room,” the Holy Place, represents the Law. The things done there had to be repeated over and over again throughout the year. The Holy Place—the Law—was a passageway through which one had to pass to reach the heart of the sanctuary. But in the Most Holy Place, the sacrifice was “permanent,” that is, it was done only once during the year. (Note that this demonstrates the progressive nature of the seven feast of Yahweh: the annual cycle, beginning in the spring, is a calendar marking the seven most significant events in God’s plan of redemption, just as the Temple’s layout, furnishings, and service symbolized His plan in non-chronological terms.)
The inner room, the Most Holy Place, represents the grace of the New Covenant—God’s permanent, once-and-for-all-time provision of atonement for our sin. It is the place where we can commune directly with Yahweh—it’s no longer off-limits since the veil forbidding access was torn into two pieces at Christ’s crucifixion. The Law (the Holy Place) was never the final destination, though until Yahshua finished His work, it was as far as we could go. The High Priest alone was authorized to proceed further.
And He did. “So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world. Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place, but not the blood of goats and calves. He took his own blood, and with it he secured our salvation forever…. How did Yahshua enter the Most Holy Place? By serving as our great High Priest in the heavenly Temple—after His crucifixion and after His ascension. Christ’s excursion into the heavenly Temple’s Most Holy Place was an exercise in the realization of Yahweh’s Old-Covenant symbols. Note first that He had to pass through the Holy Place to get there—that is, the Law had to be fulfilled in all its detail. All of its symbols and metaphors had to come to fruition in the life and work of the Messiah.
Second, innocent blood had to be shed and sprinkled upon the mercy seat. “Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ritual defilement. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Annual atonement was a metaphor involving an annual sacrifice—the blood of an innocent, flawless animal. But the reality—perfect, permanent atonement—would require a perfect, eternal Sacrifice: Immanuel Himself. “That is why He is the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, so that all who are invited can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:11-15 NLT)
The Greek word translated “covenant” above, and “will” in the paragraph below, is diatheke, meaning: “a disposition or arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid; the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will—a compact or covenant.” (S) It is an agreement between two parties, one that has legal standing. It promises certain things, and may in turn impose certain conditions. The first “arrangement” between Yahweh and Israel—the Law—was defined by the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 28 (and elsewhere): if Israel would keep Yahweh’s commandments, all these good things would happen to them; but if they did not, all these bad things would happen to them instead. The history of Israel proves that either they did not keep Yahweh’s covenant or God is a liar, for the curses of Deuteronomy 28 have followed them like a shadow for three millennia. People who contend that they are keeping the Law are deceiving themselves. Man has proven himself to be unable or unwilling to keep the conditions of the first covenant. So Yahweh changed the requirements of His covenant the second time around: this time, the “conditions” of the covenant would be met by His Messiah alone, not by us. Bear in mind that the two-room layout of the sanctuary demonstrates that both these covenants, Law and Grace, were part of Yahweh’s plan from the very beginning. Grace is not a desperate attempt on God’s part to salvage a failed covenant of Law.
“Now when someone dies and leaves a will, no one gets anything until it is proved that the person who wrote the will is dead. The will goes into effect only after the death of the person who wrote it. While the person is still alive, no one can use the will to get any of the things promised to them. That is why blood was required under the first covenant as a proof of death.” The “estate” of the animal being sacrificed wasn’t the one going through “probate” under the Law. The sacrifice of innocent beasts was only done to demonstrate that the One leaving the will would Himself have to die in order for us to benefit from His will. The deaths of sacrificial animals merely confirmed the covenant: “For after Moses had given the people all of God’s laws, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s laws and all the people, using branches of hyssop bushes and scarlet wool. Then he said, ‘This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.’ And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the sacred tent and on everything used for worship. In fact, we can say that according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by sprinkling with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” The reason everything in the Tabernacle was sprinkled with sacrificial blood was that everything in the Tabernacle was symbolic of the Messiah: His life, His mission, and His identity. “That is why the earthly tent and everything in it—which were copies of things in heaven—had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.” (Hebrews 9:16-23 NLT)
“For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven.” (Hebrews 9:24) Not to mention the fact that because Yahshua was born of the kingly tribe of Judah (not the priestly tribe of Levi), He would have been violating the Torah if He had ventured inside the earthly Temple, thus disqualifying Himself as our sinless Savior. The Babylonian Talmud, seeing the possibilities inherent in this fictitious scenario (and needing a plausible alternative explanation for the miraculous life of Yahshua) would have you believe this fanciful prevarication: “Now, there was in the Temple a stone on which was engraved the Tetragrammaton [YHWH] or Schem Hamphorasch, that is to say, the Ineffable Name of God; this stone had been found by King David when the foundations of the Temple were being prepared and was deposited by him in the Holy of Holies. Jeschu [Yahshua], knowing this, came from Galilee and, penetrating into the Holy of Holies, read the Ineffable name, which he transcribed on to a piece of parchment and concealed in an incision under his skin. By this means he was able to work miracles and to persuade the people that he was the son of God foretold by Isaiah. With the aid of Judas, the Sages of the Synagogue succeeding in capturing Jeschu, who was then led before the Great and Little Sanhedrim, by whom he was condemned to be stoned to death and finally hanged. Such is the story of Christ according to the Jewish Kabbalists (treatise Sabbath, folio 104, treatise Sanhedrim, folio 107, and Sota, folio 47).” Oh really? All He had to do to see the “Ineffable Name of God” was to write His own name: Yahshua means “Yahweh is salvation.” Rabbinic fables notwithstanding, there is no possibility that Yahshua ever “penetrated into the Holy of Holies” of Herod’s Temple, or used Yahweh’s name as some sort of magic charm.
“Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, He would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by His sacrificial death for us.” Because of the repetitive nature of the temple sacrifices, it would be easy to misconstrue them as the appeasement of a bloodthirsty God. They are nothing of the sort, but without the fulfillment of their “types” by the Messiah, we might never have been clear on that point. Here we are seeing the fundamental difference between appeasement and redemption. Christ didn’t so much atone for our “sins” (plural, like paying the fines for a stack of parking tickets) as He atoned for our “sin”—our systemic falling short of God’s standard, the prodigal experience of our race. His death makes possible our reconciliation with a holy God, if only we’ll turn around and go home. It doesn’t matter whether we’ve fallen only once in our lifetime or a billion times—one perfect sacrifice is sufficient. “And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for Him. (Hebrews 9:25-28 NLT) Yahshua did what can be done to atone for our sins when last He walked the earth. By the time He returns, every human being on the planet will have chosen whether to accept His grace or reject it. Those who are “eagerly waiting for Him,” as I am, have nothing to fear from the coming judgment.
(459) Sanctify the firstling of clean cattle and offer it up. “Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.’” (Exodus 13:1 2); “All the firstborn males that come from your herd and your flock you shall sanctify to Yahweh your God; you shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. You and your household shall eat it before Yahweh your God year by year in the place which Yahweh chooses.” (Deuteronomy 15:19-20) Why was Yahweh so preoccupied with the firstborn—and especially firstborn males? At first, this seems rather odd, since when choosing men for special anointing, He almost never selected the firstborn of a family—Moses and David are typical examples of last-born leaders. In God’s economy, the firstborn signified sacrifice, not service. But culturally, the firstborn son would normally become the head of the family, inheriting authority and a double portion of the father’s estate. This explains why the firstborn of Egypt, from Pharaoh’s eldest son on down, were the objects of the tenth and ultimate plague—the Passover. Authority belongs to Yahweh alone.
When the firstborn is first born, he or she is necessarily an “only begotten” child—the most precious thing in the world to the parents (or at least that’s God’s pattern—in these Last Days, natural love is becoming increasingly rare). The child is Yahweh’s object lesson at this point. Full of promise and potential, the firstborn is the focus of the parents’ devotion, attention, and love. This precept, then, was designed to teach us about the nature of the sacrifice Yahweh was planning to make on our behalf—sending His own “firstborn” son, Yahshua, to a sacrificial death so that we might live. It’s the ultimate expression of love.
The object lesson continues. Yahweh is not a bloodthirsty God: although firstborn Israelite children were to be considered His property (because His firstborn would be sacrificed on their behalf), they were to be redeemed—bought back—not sacrificed. Clean animals, however, were to be slain; no “benefit” was to be derived from them (work, fleece, etc.) other than life itself. The owner of the animal and his family were to eat the meat of the sacrifice. That is why Yahshua “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” (Matthew 26:26-28) The death of Yahweh’s Firstborn is life for us, if only we will “take, eat.”
(460) Slay the Paschal lamb. “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” (Exodus 12:3-6) Forget the fact that Jews today don’t do this, but substitute an alternate ritual—one with an entirely different meaning—for their Passover observance. In reality, this is a detailed prophecy of the coming of their Messiah. On Nisan 10, 31 A.D. Yahshua entered the “household” of Israel. This was the date of His “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. “On the fourteenth day of the same month,” the “Lamb of God” (as John the Baptist had identified Yahshua) was slain. His death came “at twilight,” just as required by the prophecy, and the “whole assembly” was responsible.”
(461) Eat the flesh of the Paschal sacrifice on the night of the fifteenth of Nissan. “Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:8) The “fifteenth of Nisan,” which was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, began at sundown on the “day” of Passover. That is, the lamb that had been killed at “twilight” (see Mitzvah #460) had to be prepared and be roasting over the fire by the time three stars could be seen in the night sky—only a few hours later. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a designated Sabbath, so all the work had to be finished before the sun went down. This is a continuation of the Passover prophecy. The Lamb of God, Yahshua, had been slain on the afternoon of the Passover. By sundown, His body had been laid in a tomb, and His soul was enduring judgment (symbolized by roasting the Paschal lamb in fire) on our behalf. The bitter agony suffered by the incarnate God as He endured our punishment is reflected in the bitter herbs accompanying the meal. The unleavened bread speaks of the result of His ordeal: all of our sin (represented by leaven, or yeast) has been removed from our lives. And the Sabbath designation tells us that we can’t work for that which Yahshua was accomplishing through all of this. All we can do is accept it—“eat the flesh on that night,” assimilate Christ into our lives. In light of the historical facts, it seems to me that today’s Jews have to work really hard to miss the meaning of these things. Every facet of Passover Law has seen Messianic fulfillment.
(462) Do not eat the flesh of the Paschal lamb raw or sodden. “Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.” (Exodus 12:9) The Passover Lamb—the whole thing—was to be “roasted in fire,” not prepared in any other manner. Fire represents judgment. The heart of the symbolism is separation: fire is used to purify or “prove” metals. Heated to its melting temperature, gold separates from the dross that contaminates it, leaving only pure and valuable metal. Thus the judgment Yahshua endured for our sakes makes us pure and undefiled, able to stand guiltless before our God.
It seems to me that the instruction to roast the whole lamb—“its head with its legs and its entrails”—is there to prophesy what would really happen to Yahshua: His whole being—body, soul and spirit—was separated from the Father as He bore our sins to sheol. Yahweh knew that heresies would arise that denied this. Docetism, for example, claimed that Yahshua only appeared to have a body—that He wasn’t really God incarnate, and therefore didn’t really suffer on the cross, nor was His bodily resurrection real. Arianism, on the other hand, claimed that Yahshua was really a created being, hence His Spirit could not have undergone judgment on our behalf. Yahweh begs to differ: the entire lamb was roasted.
(463) Do not leave any portion of the flesh of the Paschal sacrifice until the morning unconsumed. “You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.” (Exodus 12:10) There are no “left-overs” with the Passover meal. Whatever isn’t utilized during the allotted time is to be consumed by fire. That is to say, we have a limited window of opportunity to receive the benefit of Christ’s sacrifice. The Passover meal is the Feast of Unleavened Bread—that is, it represents the removal of sin from our lives. If we choose not to partake of God’s grace when it’s available, we are wasting the sacrifice of the Son of God, saying, in effect, “Your sacrifice and gracious provision are insignificant trash to me—worthy only to be consigned to the flames.” Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah: “‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2) The Passover meal—the opportunity to partake of God’s grace—won’t last forever.
(464) Do not give the flesh of the Paschal lamb to an Israelite who had become an apostate. “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it….All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” (Exodus 12:43-45, 47-49) Maimonides’ ban on apostate Jews isn’t even hinted at in the actual text. In fact, Yahweh insists that “all the congregation of Israel shall keep it,” and I’ll guarantee that there were a few closet rebels among God’s chosen. If the symbolism of the Torah is not taken into account, the actual precept makes very little sense: Any male who hasn’t had the foreskin of his penis removed may not eat lamb with flat bread and bitter herbs on the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan. Huh? Like most everything in the Torah, the symbols must be worked out to understand what Yahweh was trying to teach us. We’ve been discussing Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the past few mitzvot. The sacrifice of the Messiah and the subsequent removal of our sins are the only possible meaning. But what does circumcision mean? If you’ll recall, we discussed this at length back in the first chapter (Mitzvah #17). There, I defined the term: “Circumcision signified that the barrier of sin that separated us from Yahweh had been removed, cut off, destroyed—a process that involved blood and pain, but one that made us available for God’s use.”
Putting the symbols together then, we see that in order for us to be reconciled to God (and spared an encounter with the destroyer—cf. Exodus 12:23), we must partake of the sacrifice Yahweh Himself provided, one whose blood has been smeared on the doorpost and lintel of our dwelling place—the cross of Calvary. We must do this during the window of opportunity God has specified—“Now is the day of salvation,” for we never know how much longer our mortal lives will last. No one whose sin has not been “removed, cut off, and destroyed” will benefit from the sacrifice of Yahweh’s Messiah, though one need not be born an Israelite to be reconciled to God through His death, burial, and resurrection.