News Letter 5856-043
The 4th Year of the 4th Sabbatical Cycle
The 25th year of the 120th Jubilee Cycle
The 4th day of the 11th month 5856 years after the creation of Adam
The 4th Sabbatical Cycle after the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Middle of the 70th Jubilee Since Yehovah told Moses To go Get His People
The Sabbatical Cycle of Sword, Famines, and Pestilence
December 19, 2020
Shabbat Shalom to the Royal Family of Yehovah,
Shabbat Zoom Meeting
There are many people in need of fellowship and who are sitting at home on Sabbath with no one to talk to or debate with. I want to encourage all of you to join us on Shabbat at 12:30 PM Eastern Time Zone, and to invite others to come and join us as well. If the time is not convenient then you can listen to the teaching and the midrash after on our youtube channel.
We hope you can invite those who want to keep Torah to come and join us by hitting the link below. It is almost like a Torah teaching fellowship talk show with people from around the world taking part and sharing their insights and understandings.
We start of with some music and then some prayers and it as though you were sitting around the kitchen back in Newfoundland having a cup of coffee and all of enjoying each others company. I hope you will grace us with your company some day.
Sabbath Dec 19, 2020, will be a 1 PM Eastern.
Joseph Dumond is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Joseph Dumond’s Personal Meeting Room
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On Tuesday evening December 15, 2020, the new crescent moon was not able to be seen. This means that this 10th month is now a 30 day month by default. There are no 31 day months in the Hebrew calendar. At Sunset Wednesday will begin the1st day of the 11th month.
This now makes this Sabbath the 3rd day.
It is when you go out and look for the moon that you come to learn this simple rule in Hebrew. It is an action language and you must do things to begin to understand. The Hebrew expression that no man can know the day or the hour is a Hebrew expression that tells you the very day our Messiah was born and the very day He is going to come again. But you will never understand this if you never go and look for the new crescent moon and if you do not keep the Holy Days. It is a language that is understood by doing.
If you do not know what I am talking about then order our book It Was A Riddle Not A Command to learn more about this awesome subject. And while you wait for the book, go and look for the moon Tuesday evening.
When is OK to talk about other people?
When non-observant people talk about how difficult it is to observe Jewish law, they usually mention the difficulty of observing Shabbat or keeping kosher or other similarly detailed rituals. Yet the laws that are most difficult to keep, that are most commonly violated even by observant Jews, are the laws regarding improper speech. This is a very important area of Jewish law; entire books have been written on the subject.
The Power of Speech
Judaism is intensely aware of the power of speech and of the harm that can be done through speech. The rabbis note that the universe itself was created through speech. Of the 43 sins enumerated in the Al Cheitconfession recited on Yom Kippur, 11 are sins committed through speech. The Talmud tells that the tongue is an instrument so dangerous that it must be kept hidden from view, behind two protective walls (the mouth and teeth) to prevent its misuse.
The harm done by speech is even worse than the harm done by stealing or by cheating someone financially: money lost can be repaid, but the harm done by speech can never be repaired. For this reason, some sources indicate that there is no forgiveness for lashon ha-ra (disparaging speech). This is probably hyperbole, but it illustrates the seriousness of improper speech. A Chasidic tale vividly illustrates the danger of improper speech: A man went about the community telling malicious lies about the rabbi. Later, he realized the wrong he had done, and began to feel remorse. He went to the rabbi and begged his forgiveness, saying he would do anything he could to make amends. The rabbi told the man, “Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds.” The man thought this was a strange request, but it was a simple enough task, and he did it gladly. When he returned to tell the rabbi that he had done it, the rabbi said, “Now, go and gather the feathers. Because you can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can recollect the feathers.”
Speech has been compared to an arrow: once the words are released, like an arrow, they cannot be recalled, the harm they do cannot be stopped, and the harm they do cannot always be predicted, for words like arrows often go astray.
There are two mitzvot in the Torah that specifically address improper speech: Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people (Lev. 19:16), and ye shall not wrong one another (Lev. 25:17, which according to tradition refers to wronging a person with speech).
Tale-bearing is, essentially, any gossip. The Hebrew word for tale-bearer is “rakhil” (Reish-Kaf-Yod-Lamed), which is related to a word meaning trader or merchant. The idea is that a tale-bearer is like a merchant, but he deals in information instead of goods. In our modern “Information Age,” the idea of information as a product has become more clear than ever before, yet it is present even here in the Torah.
It is a violation of this mitzvah to say anything about another person, even it is true, even if it is not negative, even if it is not secret, even if it hurts no one, even if the person himself would tell the same thing if asked! It is said that the telling of gossip leads to bloodshed, which is why the next words in the Torah are “you shall not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is shed.” The story of Do’eig the Edomite (I Samuel Chs. 21-22) is often used to illustrate the harm that can be done by tale-bearing. Do’eig saw Achimelekh the Kohein give David bread and a sword, a completely innocent act intended to aid a leading member of Saul’s court. Do’eig reported this to Saul. Do’eig’s story was completely true, not negative, not secret, and Achimelekh would have told Saul exactly the same thing if asked (in fact, he did so later). Yet Saul misinterpreted this tale as proof that Achimelekh was supporting David in a rebellion, and proceeded to slaughter all but one of the kohanim at Nob.
The person who listens to gossip is even worse than the person who tells it, because no harm could be done by gossip if no one listened to it. It has been said that lashon ha-ra (disparaging speech) kills three: the person who speaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. (Talmud Arachin 15b).
In Jewish law, all things are considered to be secret unless a person specifically says otherwise. For this reason, you will note that in the Torah, G-d constantly says to Moses, “Speak to the Children of Israel, saying:” or “Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them:” If G-d did not specifically say this to Moses, Moses would be forbidden to repeat his words! Nor is there any time-limit on secrets. The Talmud tells the story of a student who revealed a secret that he had heard 22 years earlier, and he was immediately banished from the house of study! (Talmud Sanhedrin 31a)
The gravest of these sins of tale-bearing is lashon ha-ra (literally, “the evil tongue”), which involves discrediting a person or saying negative things about a person, even if those negative things are true. Indeed, true statements are even more damaging than false ones, because you can’t defend yourself by disproving the negative statement if it’s true! Some sources indicate that lashon ha-ra is equal in seriousness to murder, idol worship, and incest/adultery (the only three sins that you may not violate even to save a life).
It is forbidden to even imply or suggest negative things about a person. It is forbidden to say negative things about a person, even in jest. It is likewise considered a “shade of lashon ha-ra” to say positive things about a person in the presence of his enemies, because this will encourage his enemies to say negative things to contradict you!
One who tells disparaging things that are false is referred to as a motzi sheim ra, that is, one who spreads a bad report. This is considered the lowest of the low.
It is generally not a sin to repeat things that have been told “in the presence of three persons.” The idea is that if it is told in the presence of three persons, it is already public knowledge, and no harm can come of retelling it. However, even in this case, you should not repeat it if you know you will be spreading the gossip further.
When Tale-Bearing is Allowed
There are a few exceptional circumstances when tale-bearing is allowed, or even required. Most notably, tale-bearing is required in a Jewish court of law, because it is a mitzvah to give testimony and that mitzvah overrides the general prohibition against tale-bearing. Thus, a person is required to reveal information, even if it is something that was explicitly told in confidence, even if it will harm a person, in a Jewish court of law.
A person is also required to reveal information to protect a person from immediate, serious harm. For example, if a person hears that others are plotting to kill someone, he is required to reveal this information. That is another reason why the commandment not to go about as a tale-bearer is juxtaposed with “you shall not stand aside while your fellow’s blood is shed.”
In limited circumstances, one is also permitted to reveal information if someone is entering into a relationship that he would not enter if he knew certain information. For example, it may be permissible to tell a person that his prospective business partner is untrustworthy, or that a prospective spouse has a disease. This exception is subject to significant and complex limitations; however, if those limitations are satisfied, the person with the information is required to reveal it.
In all of these exceptions, a person is not permitted to reveal information if the same objective could be fulfilled without revealing information. For example, if you could talk a person out of marrying for reasons other than the disease, you may not reveal the disease.
Violence flares in Washington as far-right Trump supporters clash with counter-protesters
Four people reportedly stabbed and 23 arrested in the aftermath of a march to denounce Joe Biden’s election victory
05:53 UTC Sunday, 13 December 2020
Violence has broken out in the streets of Washington DC after far-right groups clashed with counter-protesters in the aftermath of a march by conservatives protesting against US president-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
The trouble flared as darkness fell and crowds began to disperse in the wake of a largely peaceful demonstration on Saturday by Trump supporters who allege without evidence that the 3 November election was tainted by fraud.
Groups of pro-Trump Proud Boys protesters and Antifa counterprotesters brawled in the city’s downtown streets and although police used pepper spray on members of both sides, the rivals regrouped and violence continued sporadically.
Four people were taken to hospital with stab wounds with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to the Washington Post, which quoted DC fire spokesman, Doug Buchanan. Police said 23 people were arrested.
An estimated 200 members of the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group, had joined the marches earlier on Saturday near the Trump hotel in the capital. Mixing with church groups who urged the faithful to participate in “Jericho Marches” and prayer rallies for the defeated president, the Proud Boys contingent wore combat fatigues and ballistic vests, carried helmets and flashed hand signals used by white nationalists.
They shouted insults at rival Antifa protesters and burned Black Lives Matters flags but police succeeded in keeping the factions apart until the evening
Protests also took place in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona, where Trump’s campaign has sought to overturn vote counts.
Local media in the Washington state capital of Olympia reported that one person was shot and three arrested after clashes between pro- and anti-Trump protest groups.
More than 50 federal and state court rulings have upheld Biden’s victory. The US supreme court on Friday rejected a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by Trump seeking to throw out voting results in four states.
“Whatever the ruling was yesterday … everybody take a deep, deep breath,” retired army general Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, told protesters in front of the supreme court, referring to the court’s refusal to hear the Texas case.
Flynn who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with the former Russian ambassador, spoke in his first public address since Trump pardoned him in November.
“My charge to you is to go back to where you are from” and make demands, Flynn told the crowd, without being more specific. The US constitution is “not about collective liberty it is about individual liberties, and they designed it that way”, he said.
Trump has refused to concede defeat, alleging without evidence that he was denied victory by massive fraud. On his way to Andrews air force base and then to the annual Army-Navy football game in New York, Trump made three passes in the Marine One helicopter over the cheering protesters.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump’s supporters carrying flags and signs made their way in small knots toward Congress and the supreme court through downtown Washington, which was closed to traffic by police vehicles and dump trucks.
Few of the marchers wore masks, despite soaring Covid-19 deaths and cases, defying a mayoral directive for them to be worn outside. Several thousand people rallied in Washington, fewer than during a similar protest last month.
As some in the crowd echoed far right conspiracy theories about the election, a truck-pulled trailer flew Trump 2020 flags and a sign reading “Trump Unity” while blaring the country song “God Bless the USA”.
“It’s clear the election has been stolen,” said Mark Paul Jones of Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, who sported a tricorner revolutionary war-era hat as he walked toward the supreme court with his wife.
Some protesters referenced the biblical miracle of the battle of Jericho, in which the walls of the city crumbled after soldiers and priests blowing horns marched around it.
In his speech, Flynn told the protesters they were all standing inside Jericho after breaching its walls.
Ron Hazard of Morristown, New Jersey, was one of five people who stopped at the justice department to blow shofars – a ram’s horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies – to bring down “the spiritual walls of corruption”.
“We believe what is going on in this county is an important thing. It’s a balance between biblical values and anti-biblical values,” Hazard said.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.
Many that I see in these reports are red white and blue Trump Republican supporters. And they said in the reports that they see this as a 1776 moment when they need to rise up and retake power to protect the constitution.
Then we had Alex Jones telling the crowds that Biden had to go one way or the other. Mixed in with these pro-Trump rallies who are inciting for a revolution, are many Christian groups. And some of them blowing the shofars.
They are calling for blood in the streets. Civil War.
The Courts have ruled in favour of Biden. The popular vote has ruled in favour of Biden. The Electoral Colledge has voted in favour of Biden.
Is President Trump rallying the people for re-election in 4 years’ time?
What do I know about American politics? But here is what I do know about what is about to happen. You are called to be Ambassadors of His Kingdom. Start to act like it.
Lev 26 tells us that in this 4th Sabbatical cycle of this final 120th Jubilee that in the middle of this same 70th Jubilee since the Exodus, that Israel would be destroyed and be as if they never were. They will be so defeated they will seem as if they never were here. And the few that survive will be taken into captivity.
Knowing that 2020 is the middle of this Jubilee cycle and that COVID 19 has wreaked havoc around the world and that 235 million are on the brink of starvation, do you think you had better repent and prepare to obey our King rather than get involved in the stupid matters of the world that are nothing but a waste of time?
America’s expenditure on covid-19 equals the combined GDP of 135 nations.
BY CHRISTOPHER EAMES • DECEMBER 15
Four trillion dollars—that’s how much the United States has spent on its coronavirus response this year, up through the end of October. Four trillion is one of those numbers that is hard to wrap your head around. Most people, including our leaders, simply cannot grasp how gigantic that sum is.
So let’s try breaking it down.
Adjusting for historical inflation, $4 trillion is equal to the cost of all U.S. wars combined with the exception of World War ii. That means Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Vietnam, Korea, World War i, the Civil War, the American Revolution, and all the others in between—combined; the U.S. has spent the equivalent in less than one year.
Or you could consider the price in terms of gross domestic product. U.S. coronavirus spending is greater than the GDP of any nation on Earth with the exception of the top three: America, China and Japan (barely). It’s greater than the GDP of the entire continent of South America. It’s greater than the combined continents of Africa and Oceania; than the GDP of the Middle East and North Africa combined. It’s equivalent to the combined GDP of the lowest 135 countries in the world. $4 trillion—aimed at alleviating the effects of less than one year of coronavirus, in just one country.
What could you do with $4 trillion? The Panama Canal was the most expensive construction project in American history to that point. Adjusting the amount spent to current values: With $4 trillion, America could build the Panama Canal 425 times over.
In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire. Some criticized the purchase as a waste of money. Adjusting the purchase price for inflation, with the equivalent spending, you could buy Alaska 30,000 times over!
What about within the time frame of one year? If we spread it out from the first confirmed U.S. coronavirus case (January 20) to the start of October (when we hit $4 trillion), that averages to roughly $15.7 billion per day. That’s two Panama Canals, every single day. That’s an American Revolution every four hours. The Louisiana Purchase every half hour. Buying Alaska every 10 minutes—for over nine months. That is sickening.
America has now spent $4 trillion, in less than a year, to fight a virus that doesn’t even rank in the top three pandemics of the past century. Can we begin to fathom the magnitude of this spending?
And this, of course, is just the money being spent. This doesn’t even take into account the sheer nationwide losses this year from shuttered businesses.
And the situation across the Atlantic is much the same. The United Kingdom is approaching $700 billion in its own attempt to deal with coronavirus. For a population one-fifth the size of America’s, the figures aren’t far behind.
What is that money being spent on? Did you know that of that $4 trillion, only 16 percent went to actually fighting the virus itself? Most of it—$2.3 trillion—went to businesses that, in large part, were not required to show if they were impacted by the virus or lockdown.
We’ve never dealt with a virus this way. Gone, apparently, are the days of quarantining the sick and letting the healthy work. (In the upside-down world of today, the solution seems to be quarantining the healthy and sending the sick into nursing homes.)
Even during the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed some 50 million people worldwide, the healthy were allowed to work. No work meant no food. The choice for heads of households was the possibility of catching the flu and possibly dying—or starvation for themselves and their families.
But coronavirus is no Spanish flu. Coronavirus is a disease in which 99.9 percent of people who get it survive.
What, then, is all this spending for?
Many of us have had friends and family die of coronavirus. But we’ve also had friends and family die of the flu and pneumonia. Half of the entire population of the UK is projected to get cancer in their lifetimes. We don’t bankroll for these things. They are hardly mentioned. Do these deaths not matter?
Already around the world, economic effects are beginning to bite. More people in Japan committed suicide last month than died of coronavirus in the entire year. Based on the economic fallout, Australia is predicting more suicides per year than current coronavirus deaths. Nobody knows how many suicides or drug overdoses have already taken place in the United States. And this is the result of the present economic lockdown, before the $4 trillion in artificially injected spending has begun to come due. A projected 270 million are facing starvation worldwide as a combined result of unprecedented lockdowns and diverted national spending.
Who are we saving exactly?
$4 trillion is close to the total U.S. national debt when George W. Bush first took office. Four terms (16 years) later, when Donald Trump took office, America’s debt was $20 trillion. Only four years later, it stands at $27.5 trillion.
There is no intention of paying off that debt. Even if we did, those are physically impossible figures to manage. To pay off just the current $27.5 trillion debt would take more than a year of pouring every single cent of our $21 trillion gross domestic product into it. (And in the time you’ve taken to read to this point, we’ve added another $10 million to the national debt.)
Have you noticed that no one seems to even discuss the debt anymore? We are apparently living in a Willy Wonka world where our leaders believe they can simply spend imaginary money—printed or borrowed—with impunity. Who talks about fiscal responsibility anymore? If you are a good Democrat, if you are a good Republican, you don’t dare question the spending. Actually, you bay for more! In the words of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “If everything we do saves just one life ….”
It used to be that the Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility, the party of Scrooges keeping spending in check. That’s what we heard all the way through the Obama presidency—outrage (and justified) over the spending. But this present spending has taken place under a Republican presidency, and with a Republican Senate. If anything, it is the Republicans condemning the Democrats for stonewalling spending, and not allowing more! What has happened?
Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (New King James Version). We are not good men. We are not wise men. We are a ship of fools.
Proverbs 22:7 says, “[T]he borrower is slave to the lender” (New International Version).
What our leaders have done this year has enslaved future generations. You know your children will not be able to pay this off. If you are an American, you currently have $12,000 of the 2020 coronavirus spending over your head. That’s what one single year of spending on one single thing has bestowed upon you, your family, your children’s children. Perhaps you don’t see it in that light. But that’s how lender nations see it. That’s how hostile powers see it. All debts come due. And 6,000 years of human history show us that if countries are unable to pay with money, there are other, more sinister means.
You can be assured that this spending will catch up with us. It always does. 2020 has seen the United States reach an unprecedented spending milestone in its history. There is no going back. These are not economic numbers that simply go away. Those are numbers that start world wars.
Our leaders have no future vision. We have the national spirit summed up in Isaiah 22:13: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (nkjv). And tomorrow, we as a nation will die.
That chapter in Isaiah happens to be an end-time prophecy.
Lev 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Lev 26:26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
Lev 26:27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Now that you have read this report, please also watch this Thursday report from CNN. The US death toll is now over 307, 000. Unemployment is not going away.
The death toll in the USA is like a 9/11 each and every day now. 9/11 stunned the world and now everyone is numb to it. But few see the side effects of COVID.
Worldwide there are now 74 million cases of COVID 19 and 1.65 million deaths.
Congress tried to put the finishing touches on a coronavirus relief deal Thursday as Washington drew closer to letting the government shut down and allowing millions to lose unemployment benefits.
Leaders on Capitol Hill say they have come close to an agreement on sending $900 billion in aid to Americans. Lawmakers have run short on time to pass a government funding and pandemic rescue package before federal funding lapses at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday.
That is another Trillion dollars adding to the already 4 Trillion spent this year alone. At some point, it is going to have to be paid back. Get ready!
I Will Send Evil
Last week we concluded our article with the final few paragraphs. Read them once again as we begin this weeks teaching.
The job of the prophet is to pray for the people. He is also to warn them to return to the Torah. And here Yehovah is telling Jeremiah not to pray for those people. He is not going to listen to hIs prayers. The reason is because the people are not trying to return to the covenant.
So, today when you pray as a prophet, (anyone who teaches or speaks the Torah is a prophet) if those you pray for are not going to obey then what happens? I think you know. Now think on a greater scale. Not just for one man but for the entire nation.
Mat 12:39 But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the proclaiming of Jonah, and behold, One greater than Jonah is here.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the Judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, One greater than Solomon is here.
Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walks through dry places seeking rest, and finds none.
Mat 12:44 Then he said, I will return into my house from where I came out. And when he has come, he finds it empty, swept, and decorated.
Mat 12:45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and live there. And the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so it also shall be to this evil generation.
We are in the last days when the spirit of Elijah would be on the earth. That spirit is telling the nations to return to the Sabbath, and the Holy Days, and the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. That spirit is telling the people of those nations to produce fruits of the spirit and to love one another. No one listens, no one repents.
Read again Rev 9 and know that the one that comes out of the bottomless pit, does not come out alone.
Rev 9:11And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in Greek his name is Apollyon.
Look at this last Jubilee Cycle once again. You should be able to prove that 2045 is the next Jubilee year. The 120th one since Adam. This is the start of the 7th Millennium of Rest spoken of in Hebrews 4. This is also the 70th Jubilee spoken of in Daniel 9.
Now you must fit in the remaining 24 years that lead up to 2045 the following.
- Unless those were cut short no flesh would be saved alive.
- The 3 1/2 years of the Final Great Tribulation.
- The 31/2 years of the Two Witnesses.
- The 2300 days or 6 1/4 years of Daniel 8. The judgment upon the House of Israel in the Last days that begins in the middle of that 70th Jubilee.
- Luke says as it was in the Days of Noah and as it was in the Days of Lot so shall it be in the last days. Both of those events took place in the 4th and 3rd year of the 6th Sabbatical Cycle.
You can try to fit all of this in the remaining 24 years any way you want. But there is only one way you can have these blocks of time start in the middle of the Jubilee cycle and end as in the days of Noah in the 6th Sabbatical Cycle.
There is only one way.
Pray for those who lead and teach you the truths of the Torah. Pray for your families to be strong in the Torah and to remain righteous. Heal those who are going to obey. Pray for those Yehovah is still calling to be found or to find this truth.
Put the armour of Yehovah on your family and on those who teach you. Notice you are to pray for the Saints. So do that!
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Therefore stand, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
Eph 6:15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Eph 6:16 Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,
Eph 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Eph 6:19 And pray for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in bonds; so that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
With the understanding, you have, of exactly where we are in the last days and that Satan is being set loose, as well as the facts about the USA debt that has ballooned in just this one year, what should you be doing? The world is racing to the edge of a huge cliff and they are not slowing down. The national debt of whatever country you are in is going to send many out from the housing they now have and at the same time, they will have to scramble to find food.
I know we have been talking about Satan and demons and healing and putting on the armour of Yehovah. Now we have to go a bit deeper and understand who is this Satan that is now about to destroy us.
I would like you all to listen to the podcast from Nehemia and Keith Hebrew Gospel Pearls #9 (Matthew 4:1-11). It has some remarkable information that I am going to extrapolate below.
Mat 4:1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit up into the wilderness, to be tempted by the Devil.
Mat 4:2And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterwards hungry.
Mat 4:3And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Mat 4:5Then the Devil took Him up into the holy city and set Him upon a pinnacle of the Temple.
Mat 4:6And he said to Him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down. For it is written, “He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone.”
Mat 4:7Jesus said to him, It is written again, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
Mat 4:8Again, the Devil took Him up into a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
Mat 4:9And he said to Him, All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”
Mat 4:11Then the Devil left him. And behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
In Matthew 4:1 the word Devil is in the greek the following.
From G1225; a traducer; specifically Satan (compare [H7854]): – false accuser, devil, slanderer.
From H7853; an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch enemy of good: – adversary, Satan, withstand.
A primitive root; to attack, (figuratively) accuse: – (be an) adversary, resist.
In the Hebrew Matthew this word diablos is written as haSatan with the definite article “the” preceding it. The Satan. We get the word diabolical from this greek word diablos. Luke 4:2 and Matt 4:1 both use the same word which is translated as “the Devil”. In Hebrew you do not use ha before a proper name. In Greek you can but not Hebrew.
So the fact that it’s haSatan tells you that Satan is not his name, Satan is his title. Satan is a title if it says, “haSatan” here in the Hebrew.
Job 1:6 And a day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah. And Satan also came among them.
In Hebrew Satan is written as ha Satan with the hey preceding the title Saw tan.
Youngs Literal translation has it as “the adversary”.
Job 1:6 And the day is, that sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah, and there doth come also the Adversary in their midst.
Let me quote Nehemia here, who says;
So the linguistic explanation – you’ll find this in Gesenius, the Hebrew grammar, Muraoka, which is a wonderful Hebrew grammar also explains this – is that it means “a certain”. If you identify a character with “ha” and he hasn’t been seen before in the story, in the scene, then it means “a certain Satan”, which is how I would translate it here.
Here, let’s read it. “Then Yeshua was taken by the Holy Spirit to the desert to be tested,” it says, and we’ll get to that, “by a certain Satan.” But Satan can’t be his name or you wouldn’t say, “haSatan”. For personal names of people, or individuals, that’s not how it works.
I want to go back to the Satan thing. There’s a second possible way of reading this. If it says, “haSatan”, it could be like, “haElohim”. When you say, “haElohim”, “the Elohim”, you don’t mean a certain Elohim, a certain God – usually, you might, in some cases – what you mean is, Elohim par excellence, right? You mean the with a capital G, God. And so it could be “the Satan”. In other words, it is possible that the author of this text believed there was a certain angel who was the enemy, because Satan means “enemy” or “adversary”. And that it was Enemy with a capital E, or in the JPS, they’ll often have Adversary with a capital A, “the Adversary”. That is, he is the Satan par excellence. That is a possible interpretation here.
What’s interesting is when he addresses him in verse 10 – and I know I’m jumping ahead – he calls him “haSatan”, right? Satan is still not his name. So whether it’s haSatan, the Satan with a capital S, Satan par excellence, meaning the angel with the title “Satan”, or it’s a certain Satan, because there could be many angels called Satan, or many entities called Satan, that have that title. It’s clearly not his name, which it has become in English, and it became in English probably because interestingly in the Greek they transliterated often. If you look in the Greek text of the New Testament… let’s just do this on the spot here.
If we look at Mark 8:33 Yehshua calls Peter Satan, or does he. Notice the two different translations of the same word.
Mar 8:33 But when He had turned around and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Go behind Me, Satan! For you do not mind the things of God, but of the things of men.
Mar 8:33 and he, having turned, and having looked on his disciples, rebuked Peter, saying, `Get behind me, Adversary, because thou dost not mind the things of God, but the things of men.’
Now, is Peter Satan? No, it means, “enemy”. It means “adversary” here. It never loses its literal meaning.
Satan is not God’s enemy. Satan works for God. You see that in Job.
Job 1:6And a day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah. And Satan also came among them.
Job 1:7And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you set your heart against My servant Job, because there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil?
Job 1:9And Satan answered Jehovah and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?
Job 1:10Have You not made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have increased in the land.
Job 1:11But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.
Job 1:12And Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only do not lay your hand upon him. And Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.
Youngs Literal Translation has Satan as the Adversary in each of the places Satan is used.
Job 1:6 And the day is, that sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah, and there doth come also the Adversary in their midst.
Job 1:7 And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, `Whence comest thou?’ And the Adversary answereth Jehovah and saith, `From going to and fro in the land, and from walking up and down on it.’
Job 1:8 And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, `Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job because there is none like him in the land, a man perfect and upright, fearing God, and turning aside from evil?’
Job 1:9 And the Adversary answereth Jehovah and saith, `For nought is Job fearing God?
Job 1:10 Hast not Thou made a hedge for him, and for his house, and for all that he hath–round about?
Job 1:11 The work of his hands Thou hast blessed, and his substance hath spread in the land, and yet, put forth, I pray Thee, Thy hand, and strike against anything that he hath–if not: to Thy face he doth bless Thee!’
Job 1:12 And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, `Lo, all that he hath is in thy hand, only unto him put not forth thy hand.’ And the Adversary goeth out from the presence of Jehovah.
The first time we see this word Satan used in the bible is in
Num 22:22And God’s anger was kindled because he went. And the Angel of Jehovah stood in the way as an enemy against him. And he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants with him.
The word translated here as enemy is the word Satan. The Angel of Yehovah was a Satan to Balaam.
Then the angel himself says he was a Satan to Balaam.
Num 22:32And the Angel of Jehovah said to him, Why have you beaten your ass these three times? Behold! I went out to be an enemy to you, because your way is perverse before Me.
The word enemy is Satan or adversary. Here you can read it in the YLT.
Num 22:32 and the messenger of Jehovah saith unto him, `Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? lo, I–I have come out for an adversary, for thy way hath been perverse before me,
We also read in;
2Sa 19:22 And David said, What do I have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be my foes today? Shall there be any man put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?
The word translated as foes is the word Satan or Adversary.
This next section comes from Nehemia and Keiths exchange on this subject. Hebrew Gospel Pearls #9 (Matthew 4:1-11)
So this satan is not Yehovah’s enemy, he’s actually man’s enemy. He’s there to test man, to incite man to sin.
Okay, 2 Samuel 24, and there we actually won’t see Satan, interestingly. All right, 24:1, and then we’re going to compare that with 1 Chronicles 21:1, which tell the exact same story about David counting the people of Israel. And in verse 24:1 of 2 Samuel it says, “The anger of Yehovah continued to burn against Israel, and He incited David against them, saying, ‘Go count Israel and Judah.’” Who’s the “He” here? Pretty clear in the context, it’s Yehovah, or you could say it’s the anger of Yehovah maybe, personified. But it’s Yehovah. 1 Chronicles 21:1, you could translate it, “A satan stood against Israel, and he incited David to count Israel.” So who stood against Israel in 1 Chronicles 21:1? Satan. But in 2 Samuel 24:1 it’s Yehovah that is inciting Israel.
And what’s going on here? First of all, it’s a play on words. The word “to incite” is “vayaset”, which is from a different root, but it sounds like “satan”. And so 1 Chronicles 21:1 is explaining to us, essentially, that God tested or incited David, basically put him into a test, because He had this anger against Israel. And how did he do it? He sent his pit bull, a satan, “satan”. We actually have someone we know that this was explained to them, and they misunderstood. They thought, “Is Nehemia saying that Satan is God?” No! [laughing] Satan is God’s angel that He’s using for this particular purpose, to incite Israel. I don’t think that’s contrary to what we read in the Gospel of Matthew, both in Hebrew or Greek, or in Luke, right?
In other words, Satan here isn’t coming, the Devil, the Diabolos, the satan, a satan, whichever one it is, isn’t coming here out of his own power to test Yeshua. Quite the contrary. It says, “Then Yeshua was led out by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” And then Luke 4:1, “Yeshua followed the Holy Spirit and returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness where for 40 days he was tempted by the Devil.”
So it’s not inconsistent. It’s the same message there, that this is something that the Holy Spirit, that God… You know, I would understand “Holy Spirit” as the way you experience God. Let’s not get into that whole theology for now. We will at some point.
But it’s God Himself who’s bringing Yeshua to be tempted here, or the Holy Spirit that’s bringing Yeshua to be tempted here, by the Devil. So the Devil’s doesn’t have this power independent of God. He does not have that power.
Keith: So can you do us a favor? For those that are listening, this is one of the things I used to love about the tap-tap. I use to love this, Nehemia. Could you do us a favor? Can you take that three-letter root for Satan and give us the first time that those three letters show up in the Tanakh? And I think it’s going to be some time in Genesis, I think around the issue of the well?
Nehemia: Yes, that’s actually really interesting. So we have satan as a verb, satan as a noun, and then we have “sitna”, which can mean “enmity”, or in one case it might mean “accusation”. So there’s this beautiful passage in Genesis 26, and what I love about it, it’s a very mundane passage, right? It’s about a quarrel between Isaac and these Philistine shepherds. And he digs these different wells, and verse 18 says, “Isaac dug anew the wells which had been dug in the days of his father, Abraham, and which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham’s death.” Now, why did they stop them up? Because there was a limited amount of water and a limited amount of grazing area. They don’t want these other sheep coming in and grazing in the same area where they’re grazing.
It goes on, “And he gave them the same names that his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants digging in the brook found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen saying, ‘The water is ours.’ He named that well ‘Essec’, because they contended with him.” In Hebrew it’s a play on words – “essec” because of “hitasku”, “they had contended with him”. So the first one was called “essec”. And when they dug another well, they disputed over that one, also. So he named it Sitna, and it doesn’t tell us why he named it Sitna. It says, “yarivu”, “they quarreled”, they had a dispute with him. They called it Sitna, and “sitna” means “enmity” or “hatred” or “enemy” from the word “enemy, satan”. There was a well called Sitna. Is that a well you would have wanted to have a drink from, the well of Sitna? [laughing]
Keith: But why did I ask you to do that? I’m talking about that three-letter root of that word, “sitna”, and the three-letter root of the word “Satan”. The reason I’m asking you that question, to look at that, is I’m still back to starting out when your cousin says, “theSatan”, the understanding of what the word means, being adversary, one who accuses, one who stands against. It seems like that’s certainly the Jewish understanding of who the adversary or what the adversary is.
Nehemia: Well, that’s linguistically what it means. And so imagine this. If you went today and there was a well named Sitna and you knew it was from the root of the word “Satan”, you probably wouldn’t want to drink from it if you were a good Christian, because you might think… I mean, they literally have a phrase, “Speak of the Devil and he will come,” right? And so what we can see here is when he’s calling this well Sitna, there’s no concept in his mind whatsoever that, “Oh, well this will bring a certain angel that causes trouble called Satan.” He’s not afraid of Satan. He’s calling this Sitna not because of something spiritual, but because of something very physical and immediate, that there was a quarrel, a fight, and there was an enmity over this well. Let me just read the last one. “He moved from there and dug yet another well and they did quarrel over it, so he called it “Rekhovot”, which means “broad and wide”, saying, “Now at least Yehovah has granted us ample space to increase in the land,” and really, “He has broadened our space to increase in the land.”
Okay, so getting back to satan, “satan” means “enmity”. We have another use of the word “sitna” which appears in a much later period, and that is in Ezra 4:6. Ezra 4:6, “In the reign of Achashverosh at the start of his reign they drew up a sitna against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.” These are the enemies of Israel. They don’t want the Jews to rebuild the Temple, so they draw up… and it says, “katvu sitna”, “they wrote a sitna”. “Sitna” is a letter of enmity, but it may also at this point have taken on the meaning of “accusation”, or that might be part of the connotation here. Because the letter wasn’t just a letter from an enemy, it was saying, “Hey, these guys – you can’t let them build the Temple, they’ll rebel against you.”
So there’s a connotation here of accusation, and the Rabbis ran with that to the point where they talk about Satan. Satan, they refer to as “katēgōr”, that is the prosecuting attorney. And it literally is the term for a prosecutor. There’s the defense attorney and there’s a prosecutor. And so in Rabbinical thought, satan is not just the enemy, which he is, and an adversary, which he is, but he’s also the prosecutor standing before God and doing kind of what he did in the story of Job saying, “Well, okay, he serves you but you only did good to him. Now, harm him and see what happens.” But katēgōr – and it’s actually a Greek word, it’s the Greek word for “a prosecutor”, it’s like you would say in America, the “District Attorney” – the katēgōr, the enemy. God is sitting on His throne and there are two different angels before Him. There’s the accuser, and then there’s the defense attorney. And we actually have that in Zechariah 3:1, and there, Joshua the High Priest, or Yehoshua, “Then he showed Yehoshua, the High Priest, standing before the malach Yehovah, the angel of Yehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand as an enemy against him, as a satan against him…” which might mean, “as an accuseragainst him.”
So, the JPS and the NIV both translate “to accuse him.” That is a possibility here, that it means “enemy,” but it also means “accuser”. And in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 we’re not seeing it in the sense of accuser, I think we’re seeing it in the sense of he’s coming to do the test, similar to what we saw in 1 Chronicles 21. But there is that understanding in Judaism, and it comes from this place in the Tanakh, that satan is not only an enemy, he can also be an accuser, just as we have a letter of accusation by the enemies of Israel.
In Zechariah 3:2 it goes on, it says, “Yehovah said to Satan,‘Yehovah rebuke you, Satan. Yehovah has chosen Jerusalem. Rebuke you. Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’” And the image we have there is that Satan comes as the accuser, as the enemy to say, “Hey, you’ve got to punish Jerusalem.” And who stands in Israel’s defense? Yehovah does.
There’s no intercessor there. There’s no intermediary. Yehovah stands up and He says, “I rebuke you, Satan. You’re accusing, I’m going to defend Israel. The Judge Himself defends Israel.” So this whole scene with Satan is absolutely fascinating, what we have in Matthew. We didn’t get past verse 1. [laughing]
Keith: No, no, no. Wait, I’ve got three things in verse 1, and the next one’s going to cause there to be a short circuit for you. Your cousin caught it, and I don’t know if you caught it. So we went to the end of the verse, talking about the personification of theSatan. Excellent information. I don’t know, just before I go on, do we want to do anything regarding sort of how that began to grow, and how, in Christianity today, we have this idea that you mentioned earlier, but biblically, where do we get this idea of God and Satan being in a war against each other? In other words, is there something that we can go to that would give confirmation for the idea that there’s a battle between the two?
Nehemia: Look, I’ll state the obvious, the elephant in the room. There was a religion at the time called Zoroastrianism. And the Zoroastrians, they traced themselves back to a man named Zoroaster who they believed was a prophet, some time around 600 BC, some people say 1000 BC. We don’t really know. Zoroaster founded this religion which says there are two powers in the universe, a good god and an evil god. The good god was called Ahura Mazda, and the evil god was called Angra Mainyu, and at the beginning of existence, the two didn’t know each other existed. One was in the realm above and one was in the realm below. Obviously, the evil one was in the realm below. I say “obviously”, because some of that’s carried over. And each one is gathering followers so that they could have a final battle, and some scholars today say that Zoroastrianism isn’t a dualistic religion, as I would say, that there’s two gods. They say, “No, there’s only one god,” because in the end, in the final days, Ahura Mazda, the good god will defeat Angra Mainyu, the evil god.” You know, it’s like in that movie back from the 80s, “There will be only one! [laughing] Only one will remain.”
And so there’s the good god and the evil god, and the good god controls over the realm of the spirit, and the evil god is below, in hell, and they’re both trying to gather followers, and this is referred to in the Tanakh. Most people don’t realize, but the Tanakh actually talks about this.
By the way, we talked about this in our book, “A Prayer to Our Father,” when we were dealing… I don’t remember what the context was.
Keith: We were dealing with it as it pertains to, “Lead us not into the hands of a test.”
Nehemia: Ah, okay.
Nehemia: So Isaiah 45:1 says, “Thus says Yehovah to His anointed,” that is, “His Mashiach,” it says there, “to Cyrus.” Who was Cyrus? Cyrus is a Persian King who, sometime around 538 BC, or maybe 516 BC, issued a decree saying that the Jews could go back to the land of Israel and rebuild the Temple. So Isaiah lives around 700 BC, around 140 years before Cyrus, before this particular event of Cyrus. Cyrus hasn’t even been born, his father hasn’t been born, his grandfather probably hasn’t been born. “Thus says Yehovah to His anointed,” to Cyrus, “whose right hand He has grasped, treading down nations before him.” So basically, it’s saying here that God is going to give an empire to Cyrus. He’s going to give an empire with treasures and wealth. And He says in verse 3… Why is He doing this? Why is He giving an empire to Cyrus? Which He does; the Persian Empire under Cyrus conquers the Babylonian Empire. “So that you may know that it is I, Yehovah, the God of Israel who call you by name.”
This is actually an incredible scene here. Isaiah is speaking a prophesy 140 years approximately before it will be fulfilled, calling a specific person in the future by name, and telling him, “The proof that Yehovah is the true God is that He foretold the coming of this man by name.” He says, “So that you may know that it is I, Yehovah, the God of Israel who call you by name.” Not for you, because you’re a righteous man. But why? Verse 4, “For the sake of My servant Jacob, Israel, My chosen one, I call you by name. I hail you by title, though you have not known Me.”
What does it mean, “he has not known Him?” Isn’t Cyrus a good Jew, or a convert, or a follower of the God of Israel? No, Cyrus doesn’t even know who God is. He believes in Ahura Mazda, whose enemy is Angra Mainyu. He believes in the good god, who’s the enemy of the bad god. He believes in the bad god, he just doesn’t follow him.
Verse 5, “I am Yehovah and there is none else. Besides Me, there is no Elohim, there is no God.” Why is He telling this to Cyrus? Because Cyrus believes there are two gods. “I gird you,” meaning, “I put armor on you,” “though you have not known Me.” And then He says, “so that they may know from the east to the west,” and literally it says, “from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting, that there is none but Me. I am Yehovah and there is none else.”
And then, this is one of the most important passages in the Tanakh, and we have to understand it in the Zoroastrian context. They believed all the good in the universe came from Ahura Mazda, the good god, and all the evil, all the suffering, all the starvation, all the envy, everything bad in the universe was created by Angra Mainyu, the evil god.
And here, in direct response to that, Yehovah says, “I form light…” I’ll read it in Hebrew. “Yotzer ohr,” “I am He who creates light,” “uvoreh choshesh,” “who forms light and creates darkness.” “Oseh shalom,” “who makes peace” “uvoreh ra,” “and He who creates evil.” It says in Isaiah 45:7 in the Hebrew that Yehovah creates evil and He says, “Ani Yehovah oseh khol eleh,” “I am Yehovah who does all these things.”
Why is He telling Cyrus that? Because Cyrus believes all of the suffering and evil and mean-spiritedness and everything bad in the universe is not the creation of the good god, it’s the creation of the bad god. And Yehovah says, “I create everything.”
Keith: So Nehemia, one of the things that was so powerful about us doing that book together was when we got to the section, this idea of God’s kingdom. And we’ll get to that later, hopefully if we get to pass the pilot episodes. But the thing that changes it for me – and it changed me radically – was when I first became a part of the Christian understanding, I understood that there was the one that was going to tempt me, he was called “the Devil”, and the one that was going to bless me, and that was God.
And then I get to this passage in Matthew, and of course, as I was saying earlier, there are some things that change. One of the things that changes is, what is the role of the Satan? Is this like a movie where, “Co-starring Yehovah and Satan, also starring Yeshua”?
Nehemia: Well, it’s interesting that you say “co-starring”, because our format for movies and for television is, you have the protagonist and the antagonist. The protagonist is good, and the antagonist is bad. And then they have this sub-genre where sometimes the protagonist is the bad guy, right? But what you’re saying is, that format is the way that many people look at God’s role in history, that God is the good one, and then there’s an evil one, there’s the antagonist.
Keith: So Isaiah changes the game for me, when all of a sudden in my English Bible it won’t say, “He creates evil.” In Hebrew it says, “He creates evil.” Now, I don’t know, with the tap-tap, if you can give a couple of English versions, maybe the NIV would be one?
Nehemia: Oh, yeah. They completely whitewash it.
Keith: Could you give us a couple of English versions that take that same phrase that you just gave us, but they change that word “evil” to something else.
Nehemia: Oh, they completely whitewash it, because they don’t want to say that God creates evil. So the JPS from 1985, “I form light and create darkness. I make weal and create woe.” I don’t even know what “weal and woe” are! [laughing] And then here, NIV has, “I bring prosperity.” Whoo, prosperity! He even makes peace, literally. “I bring prosperity and create disaster.” Well, that’s already a little bit more dangerous. God creates disaster? What’s going on there? And the King James says, “I make peace and create evil.” The King James isn’t afraid to say it! It’s saying what is actually there. You know, King James gets a bad rap, sometimes, it’ll have what’s closest to the actual Hebrew.
Keith: Got to like that KJV. [laughing]
Nehemia: Yeah. Well, okay. But the new King James, which is just supposed to be updating the language of the King James, it’s supposed to be doing nothing else. “I make peace and create calamity.” God is Calamity Jane. Like really, what? And then, here the NET says, “The one who brings about peace and creates calamity.” Then they have a long note to say, “Yeah, actually God creates evil.” Wow.
Keith: So here’s what I wanted to bring up. We’re in a world-wide pandemic right now, and still as we watch this episode right now, if you’re in 2020, unless it’s 2050 and you’re watching this, during 2020 we were in a worldwide pandemic. And the first time that this became real to me was when I was in Israel. And what I’ve always said, Nehemia, whenever I go to Israel, I always feel like I’m prepared for what’s coming. This is what’s happened for me every time I go – I learn something in Israel that prepares me for the future.
But the one thing that happened for me when I got to Israel is I felt in my spirit very strongly that this pandemic that’s called the Coronavirus, they say, “We don’t know about this one,” is that this virus that we’re presently living within, it isn’t as if Yehovah is up in heaven and asking the angels to take the virus and to put it in their science lab to figure out what this is. Where did it come from? And we have all sorts of political issues, what we call it. But would it be fair to say that we have examples of pestilence, not coming from some evil source, but that God Himself, Yehovah Himself, sometimes… say, “Sometimes…”
Keith: …will allow things to happen not so that we get confused about where it comes from, but understanding He is the one, He is the source who not only is aware of it, but He can stop it or allow it. So for me, what happened in Israel was, I said something, and I hope people don’t take this as offensive – this Coronavirus, it’s come from above, it’s here on earth to get people to a place where they will come to God in humility, where they will kneel before Him. He says, “If I should send this, and if I should do that. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, turn and seek My face, turn from their evil ways, I will heal.” And so for me, Nehemia, personally, I have had no problem praying to Him to stop this virus, praying to Him to intervene in this virus, and at the same time saying, “Father, I know that any time something like this happens at this level, it’s not something outside of Your will, or something outside of Your ability, it’s something that He will use for His glory.” So that’s about as far as I wanted to say about that.
Nehemia: What you’re actually raising is the question of suffering in the universe – why do bad things happen to good people? It’s what they call “theodicy”, I don’t know that we have to get into that today. I want to read a passage that is quoted by my cousin in the book The Bible, the Talmud and the New Testament, and he’s quoting the Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 10A. And it’s this encounter between the Roman Consul, Quintus Tineius Rufus around the year 127 AD, and Rabbi Akiva. He was the Roman ruler or governor over Judah, and they call him in the Talmud, “Turnus Rufus”. It says, “Turnus Rufus asked Rabbi Akiva…” and this is a Greek or Roman, a Latin pagan who doesn’t understand the God of the Jews. He said, “If your God loves the poor, why does he not provide for them?” Rabbi Akiva said to him, “So that through them we will be saved from the punishment of Gehenna.” That itself is profound. I don’t know if we have time to get into it. What he’s basically saying is, by helping the poor, we have an opportunity to do righteousness in the world. I’m not sure I agree with Rabbi Akiva, but let’s read on.
“Turnus Rufus said to him, ‘On the contrary. It is this that condemns you to Gehenna. I will tell you in a parable to what this can be compared. It is like an earthly king who has become angered with his servant and put him in prison, and he commanded that he should not be given food or water. And one man went and gave him food and water. When the king hears, would he not be angry with the man? And you are called servants. It is written, ‘For the children of Israel are my servants.’” So in other words, the king, God in this case, has condemned people to poverty, and by giving them charity, from the Roman perspective, you’re defying the will of the gods. That’s how the Romans thought of giving charity.
The Jewish perspective is, “No, this is righteousness.” “Rabbi Akiva said to him, ‘I will tell you in a parable to what this could be compared. It is like an earthly king who became angered with his son and put him in prison.’” So in Rabbi Akiva’s parable, the poor are like children of God. “And put him in prison and he commanded that he should not be given food or water. And one man went and gave him food and water. When the king heard, would he not send him a present? And we are called sons, as is written, ‘You are the sons of Yehovah, your God,’” Deuteronomy 14:1.
So there we have this very brief historical encounter where they’re struggling with the question of good and evil in the universe.
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1 Samuel 16:13-14 (MKJV)
13 And Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of Jehovah came on David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
14 But the spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah terrified him.
The word evil is rah and is explained as follows.
From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun: – adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, X great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief, (-vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st) wretchedness, wrong. [Including feminine ra’ah; as adjective or noun.]
Again in Samuel Yehovah becomes the enemy of Saul.
1Sa 28:16 And Samuel said, Why then do you ask me, since Jehovah has left you and has become your enemy?
From H5782; a foe (as watchful for mischief): – enemy.
What is this that I am pointing out to you?
Back in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They chose this way of life over the Tree of Life. They could have chosen either one but they listened to the voice of deception and chose to learn about evil and good. And for the past 5856 years, we have been doing that.
In the book of Job, the enemy, Ha Satan, the Satan, could not do anything to Job except what Yehovah allowed Him to do. Pay attention.
Now read once again Lev 26.
Blessings for Obedience
Lev 26:1 You shall make no idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not set up any image of stone in your land in order to bow down to it. For I amJehovah your God.
Lev 26:2 You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah.
Lev 26:3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them,
Lev 26:4 then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. And you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. And I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7 And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8 And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight. And your enemies shall fall by the sword in front of you.
Lev 26:9 For I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish My covenant with you.
Lev 26:10 And you shall eat of the old provision, and clear away the old because of the new.
Lev 26:11 And I will set My tabernacle among you. And My soul shall not abhor you.
Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.
Lev 26:13 I am Jehovah your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from being their bondmen. And I have broken the bonds of your yoke, and made you go upright.
In all of the above promises, Yehovah is the one who is going to do these things for us IF, If you walk in His statutes and keep His commandments and do them, and if we keep His Sabbaths and revere HIs sanctuary.
But if we will not keep His Sabbath, and if we will not keep HIs commandments, nor HIs Statutes and if we do not revere His Sanctuary nor His name, then the following will come upon us.
Punishment for Disobedience
Lev 26:14 But if you will not listen to Me, and will not do all these commandments,
Lev 26:15 and if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul hates My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, so that you break My covenant;
Lev 26:16 I will also do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, consumption, and burning fever, consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17 And I will set My face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies. They that hate you shall reign over you. And you shall flee when none pursues you.
Lev 26:18 And if you will not yet listen to Me for all this, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Lev 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heaven like iron and your earth like bronze.
Lev 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain. For your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the field yield their fruits.
Lev 26:21 And if you walk contrary to Me, and will not listen to Me, I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins.
Lev 26:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, who shall bereave you. And I will destroy your cattle, and make you few. And your highways shall be deserted.
Lev 26:23 And if you will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will still walk contrary to Me,
Lev 26:24 then I will walk contrary to you and will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword on you that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant. And when you are gathered inside your cities, I will send the plague among you. And you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Lev 26:26 When I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight. And you shall eat and not be satisfied.
Lev 26:27 And if you will not for all of this listen to Me, but will walk contrary to Me,
Lev 26:28 then I will walk contrary to you also in fury. And I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Lev 26:29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters you shall eat.
Lev 26:30 And I will destroy your high places and cut down your images, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and My soul shall despise you.
Lev 26:31 And I will make your cities waste and cause your sanctuaries to be deserted. And I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors.
Lev 26:32 And I will turn the land into wasteland. And your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
Lev 26:33 And I will scatter you among the nations, and will draw out a sword after you. And your land shall be waste, and your cities waste.
Lev 26:34 Then shall the land enjoy its sabbaths, as long as it lies waste, and you are in your enemies’ land; then shall the land rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
Lev 26:35 As long as it lies waste it shall rest, because it did not rest in your sabbaths when you lived on it.
Lev 26:36 And on those of you that are left I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them, and they shall flee as if fleeing from a sword. And they shall fall when none pursues.
Lev 26:37 And they shall fall on one another, as if it were before a sword, when none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
Lev 26:38 And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
Lev 26:39 And they that are left of you shall putrefy in their iniquity in the lands of your enemies. And also they shall putrefy with them in the iniquities of their fathers.
It is Yehovah who is going to do all these things to us if we do not obey. Yehovah, not some boggy man of our imaginations. Yehovah is going to do it. Yehovah is going to be our enemy and He is going to bring this evil upon us. Yehovah will be haSatan to us for not obeying.
Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in Greek his name is Apollyon.
Abaddon] Properly an abstract noun, “destruction,” but used apparently in the sense of “Hell” in Job 26:6, &c. But
Apollyon] is a participle, “destroying,” and so “Destroyer.”
Isa 45:4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even entitled you. I have named you, though you have not known me.
Isa 45:5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else, no God besides Me; I clothed you, though you have not known Me;
Isa 45:6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and to the sunset, that there is none besides Me. I amJehovah, and there is none else;
Isa 45:7 forming the light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil. I Jehovah do all these things.
Isa 41:8 But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, My friend;
Isa 41:9 whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called you from its sides. And I said to you, You areMy servant; I have chosen you, and not cast you away.
Isa 41:10 Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will make you strong; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.
Isa 41:11 Behold, all those who were angered against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing. And those who fight with you shall perish.
It is not Mother Nature, it is not some mysterious men working in some back room with a secret plan, it is not, your Government plotting to destroy you. And it is not the Devil that is coming against you. If you will not obey Yehovah and keep His commandments and revere His name, then He is going to come against you. Yehovah will be your adversary.
There is only one God and His name is Yehovah. If we obey Him and keep His commandments and His statutes and revere Him and His Holy Place, then He will protect us and keep us in the palm of His hand, away from the harm that is coming. We have nothing to fear, He is with us. If we obey.