The Sabbatical Years are not just for when you’re in The Land of Israel

James Relf

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Published: Mar 13, 2014 - (5856)
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News Letter 5849-057
12th day of the 13th month 5849 years after the creation of Adam
The 13th Month in the Fourth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences

March 15, 2014


Shabbat Shalom,


We now have just four weeks until Passover. Have you begun preparing yet? Have you begun to deleaven your homes yet?


Daniel’s Time Line Begins today on Purim!

The last 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s Timeline is to begin today on Purim. This is when the 2300 days begins according to those who are pushing the Daniel Timeline Lie. So, in order for it to be true here are some questions anyone believing it MUST consider:

Where is the temple?
Where is the altar?
Where is the tribulation?
Where are the two witnesses?
Why have those teaching this not, NOT! sold their homes and left the country?

How many of you still hold on to this false teaching despite us telling you for years that it is not true?
How many of you are now still looking for the Messiah in 2017?

Where are the apologies from those pushing this erroneous and false teaching?
Why are you still following them? Why?

Now what are you going to do and who are you going to follow?  Isn’t it time that you begin to READ your own Bible and SEARCH it like a Berean? Is it time to stop following men and turn now and follow Yehovah and Him alone?

PURIM 2014

These are pictures from the Purim festivities in Tel Aviv in 2013 – from cross-dressing to those dressed like they are partaking in Mardi Gras and/or the walking Zombies. How is any of this uplifting to Yehovah? The plain truth is, it’s not. I just wanted to share these with you. I could have shared many more.

Is this what you gave up Christmas and Easter and Hallowe’en for, so you could keep other Jewish holidays not found in Lev 23?  Purim has become the Jewish Hallowe’en because Yehovah does not tell us how to keep it, therefore you can do what ever you like.

Today, March 15th, is the day some who call themselves Torah-observant will be keeping Purim. Purim is considered a “commandment” by some – but it is only commanded by Esther and Mordecai in the book of Esther.

Est 9:1  And in the twelfth month, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and his order came to be done, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them; though it was turned around, so that the Jews had rule over the ones who hated them. 2  The Jews gathered themselves in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, in order to lay hand on any who sought their harm. And no man could withstand them, for the fear of them fell on all people. 3  And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants and the governors and officers of the king helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell on them. 4  For Mordecai was great in the house of the king, and his fame went throughout all the provinces. For this man Mordecai was going on and growing greater. 5  And the Jews struck all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would to those who hated them. 6  And in Shushan the palace the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. 7  And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 8  and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9  and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, 10  they killed the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not lay their hands on the spoil. 11  On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. 12  And the king said to Esther the queen, The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? And what is your petition, that it may be granted you? Or what further request do you have? And it shall be done. 13  Then Esther said, If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the wooden gallows. 14  And the king commanded it to be done. And the order was given at Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 15  For the Jews in Shushan gathered themselves on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men at Shushan. But they did not lay their hands on the spoil. 16  But the rest of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered themselves and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their foes. But they did not lay their hands on the spoil. 17  And on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day of the same, they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 18  But the Jews at Shushan gathered on the thirteenth of it and on the fourteenth of it. And on the fifteenth of the same, they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19  Therefore the Jews of the villages, who lived in the un-walled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and a day of sending portions to one another. 20  And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, near and far, 21  to establish among them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 22  as the days in which the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned to them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions to one another, and gifts to the poor. 23  And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written to them 24  because Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, the lot, to finish them and to destroy them. 25  But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked plot which he had plotted against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the wooden gallows. 26  Therefore, they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore, for all the words of this letter, and which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come to them, 27  the Jews ordained, and took on them and on their seed, and on all such as joined themselves to them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their time every year, 28  and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, and these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed. 29  And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purim. 30  And he sent the letters to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31  in order to confirm these days of Purim in their set times, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had ordered them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed the matters of the fastings and of their cry.

As you have just read, it was Mordecai who “declared” this on the 14th day of the month of Adar. Some (at that time) were keeping the 13th and 14th as you just read; others kept this from the 13th up to the 15th. In order to settle this, we need only go to the book of Leviticus and read what it says to do and what dates it instructs us to observe this “feast.” But alas, there are no instructions in Leviticus regarding this “feast!” None at all, as a matter of fact.

Mordecai has done exactly what Yehovah said not to do. He has “added to” Torah.

Deu 4:2  You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commands of Jehovah your God which I command you.

Deu 12:32  All the things I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.

Pro 30:6  Do not add to His Words, lest He reprove you and you be found a liar.

Jos 1:7  Only be strong and very courageous so that you may be careful to do according to all the Law which My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. 8  This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely.

Rev 22:18  For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book. 19  And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.

Many people will justify defying these warnings from Yehovah in order to look and feel more “Jewish.”

Do they not know and do they not understand that the Sabbath is a test commandment? And with every multiple-choice test you are given, there will be wrong answers that sound right to choose from. Purim is one of those wrong answers!

Please note in Exodus 16 below that the 15th of the 2nd month is, in fact, the dates Yehovah instructed that the “second” Passover could be held on IF one was unable to make the Passover for specific reasons only. Consider this as you read these events:

Exo 16:1  And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 2  And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3  And the sons of Israel said to them, O that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

4  Then Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from the heavens for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain amount every day,

“…that I may test them, whether they will walk in My Laws or not.”

Exo 16:5  And on the sixth day it shall happen, they shall prepare what they bring in. And it shall be twice as much as they gather day by day. 6  And Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, At evening, then you shall know that Jehovah has brought you out from the land of Egypt. 7  And in the morning, then you shall see the glory of Jehovah. For He hears your murmurings against Jehovah. And what are we, that you murmur against us? 8  And Moses said, You will see when Jehovah shall give you flesh to eat in the evening and bread to the full in the morning, when Jehovah hears your murmurings which you murmur against Him. And what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah. 9  And Moses spoke to Aaron, Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, Come near before Jehovah. For He has heard your murmurings. 10  And it happened as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, they turned toward the wilderness. And behold! The glory of Jehovah appeared in the cloud! 11  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12  I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel. Speak to them, saying, You shall eat flesh at evening, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am Jehovah your God. 13  And it happened at evening, the quails came up and covered the camp. And in the morning the dew lay all around the host. 14  And when the layer of dew had gone up, behold, there was a small round thing upon the face of the wilderness, small as the hoar-frost upon the ground. 15  And when the sons of Israel saw, they said each one to his brother, What is that? For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which Jehovah has given you to eat. 16  This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded: Each man gather of it according to his eating, an omer for a head, according to the number of your souls. Each one shall take for those who are in his camp. 17  And the sons of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, and some less. 18  And when they measured with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little lacked nothing. They gathered each one according to his eating. 19  And Moses said, Let no man leave of it until the morning.

20  “But they did not listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning. And it became rotten with maggots, and stank.”

And Moses was angry with them. 21  And they gathered it every morning, each man according to his eating. And when the sun became hot, it melted. 22  And it happened, on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23  And he said to them, This is that which Jehovah has said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath to Jehovah. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil. And that which remains over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24  And they laid it up until the morning, as Moses said. And it did not stink, neither was there any worm in it. 25  And Moses said, Eat that today. For today is a sabbath to Jehovah. Today you shall not find it in the field. 26  Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 27  And it happened some of the people went out on the seventh day in order to gather. And they did not find any. 28  And Jehovah said to Moses,

“How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My Laws?”

Exo 16:29  See, because Jehovah has given you the sabbath, therefore He gives you the bread of two days on the sixth day. Each one stay in his place. Let not any one go out of his place on the seventh day. 30  So the people rested on the seventh day. 31  And the house of Israel called the name of it Manna. And it was like coriander seed, white. And the taste of it was like wafers with honey. 32  And Moses said, This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded: Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations, so that you may see the bread with which I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. 33  And Moses said to Aaron, Take a pot and put an omer full of manna in it, and lay it up before Jehovah, to be kept for your generations. 34  As Jehovah commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35  And the sons of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to a land in which people lived. They ate manna until they came into the borders of the land of Canaan. 36  And an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

Exodus 16 is also a clear example of what to do for the Sabbatical year as you will see here:

The Sabbath is a test commandment. Those breaking it, by adding to it or taking away from it, upset Yehovah. How long will they refuse to keep the commandments and obey Yehovah? Compare what you just read with what Abraham did:

Gen 26:2  And Jehovah appeared to him and said, Do not go down into Egypt. Live in the land which I shall tell you of. 3  Reside in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. For to you and to your seed I will give all these lands; and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4  And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, 5  because

“Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My Laws.”

Deu 5:29  Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their sons forever!

I do not understand why people must pollute the commandment of Yehovah by adding to it. Purim and Chanukah are “added to” Torah and any other “holy” day they come up with. Purim and Chanukah are not a sign between Israel and Yehovah. By adding to it, you make the Torah stink and crawl with maggots. Do you not see the pictures I have posted above from the Purim parade in 2013 in Tel Aviv? Stop polluting the truth with lies!

Exo 31:12  And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying, 13  Speak also to the sons of Israel, saying, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths. For it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I am Jehovah who sanctifies you. 14  You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone that defiles it shall surely be put to death. For whoever does any work in it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Yehovah Himself, by His own voice, gave us the Sabbath and the Holy Days. He then tells us exactly when they are and how to keep them in Leviticus 23. And the first Appointed Time was the weekly Sabbath.

Lev 23:1  And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 2  Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, The feasts of Jehovah, which you shall proclaim, holy convocations, even these are My appointed feasts. 3  Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It is a sabbath to Jehovah in all your dwellings.

The Sabbath and the Holy Days are a sign between Yehovah and His people. It is His “mark” upon us. Satan, too, has a mark that he places on man. Satan’s “mark” is any other “holiday” not found in Lev 23. By adding to Yehovah’s Holy Days, you have polluted them. You have rebelled against the MOST HIGH! Do you not see this?

Eze 20:10  And I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11  And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. 12  And also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sets them apart. 13  But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. And they greatly profaned My Sabbaths. And I said, I will pour out My fury on them in the wilderness to destroy them.

To consider Purim and Chanukah in the same light, as being a commandment from Yehovah, is polluting the Truth of Yehovah. Many of your leaders now tell you or teach you many Messianic prophecies found in Chanukah and Purim – not differentiating between the Holy and the common, or as the Scripture calls it, the Holy and the profane.

Eze 22:8  You have despised My holy things, and have profaned My Sabbaths.

Eze 22:26  Her priests have broken My Law and have defiled My holy things. They have put no difference between the holy and the common, and have not taught between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am defiled among them.

Read what the JPS version says and know it is more than just breaking the Sabbath by adding to it:

Eze 22:26  Her priests have done violence to My law, and have profaned My holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and the common, neither have they taught difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

With just a few years left before the time when Yehovah sends His sword against us for our rebellion against His Torah and Sabbaths, it is now time to repent and return to the PURE and non-mixed Truth of the Torah and do those things alone. It is time to begin doing so now!

Apocryphal Books

There are also people who call themselves “Hebrew Roots” and “Torah-observant” teachers who are now claiming that you do not have to keep the Holy Days except for when you are “in the land” of Israel. They claim that you do not need to keep them outside of The Land and they themselves will not be keeping them while outside (dispersed from) The Land of Israel.

I have found over the years that many people who come in like gang-busters and are all excited about the “new truths” they learn are only then led astray by exploring the Apocryphal books, often coming up with all kinds of ideas about the calendar and many other things. But have they not considered the reason these books are APOCRYPHA in the first place? They are filled with errors – that is why they are not found in the Bible. Yet many brethren are taken out by these false books. The book of Enoch and the current book of Yasher, The “Lost Books of Eden” are among them and the list goes on and on. Most of these books were written in the 200 BC to 200 CE era and yet people will use them to overrule what Moses wrote in the 1300 BC era; words which he received directly from Yehovah.

Are these not the same people we find running for cover when they see a jet stream in the sky? People who will believe anything and everything except for the Truth.

For people who become sincere students of the Bible, this “Book of Books” is all about discerning the difference between truth and lies. Yehshua prayed to the Father before He was crucified. He said:

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John:17:17).

Yehshua also said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John:14:6)

The Bible is a book about truth—and it reveals the earmarks of counterfeits of the truth. The books of Enoch and Yahsher and the Dead Sea Scroll and all the other Apocryphal books are not the books of Truth, so why do you allow your minds to be mixed up with these counterfeits?

We hope to have more to say about this sad state of affairs in the weeks to come.

I have now been teaching about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years since 2005, having learned of them just before Passover in 2005. Ten years have now passed and I have heard every excuse people come up with in order not to keep them.

In our book Remembering the Sabbatical Years of 2016, I address all of these excuses and provide the Biblical answers why you need to keep them. I also provide you with a lot of information as to how these things were changed, as well as when and by whom.  I also show you all the historical and Biblical verses that tell us of the Sabbatical years as recorded in history. Each of you should have this book. All of you should be shouting out the joy of knowing these truths that have been hidden from us these past 2000 years!

One of the truths I had not considered in my book is the subject we are now about to share with you. It was written by Judith Dennis, a friend who is telling everyone about the Sabbatical years and has proven them for herself.


The Sabbatical Years are not just for when you’re in the land of Israel

  by: Judith Dennis

One of the most misleading statements people make regarding where the Sabbath Year is to be kept is their assumption that it is only to be kept while “in the land,” specifically, the land of Israel.

After a careful look through a couple of Scriptures, I would like to now show you how that is not, in fact, the case.

Our first Scripture comes out of Deuteronomy chapter 30. Let us break these verses down one at a time and let them speak for themselves:

Deu 30:1  And it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and when you shall call them to mind among all the nations where Jehovah your God has driven you,

Deu 30:1  And it shall come to pass,H1961 whenH3588 allH3605 theseH428 thingsH1697 are comeH935 uponH5921 thee, the blessingH1293 and the curse,H7045 whichH834 I have setH5414 beforeH6440 thee, and thou shalt callH7725 them toH413 mindH3824 among allH3605 the nations,H1471 whitherH834 H8033 the LORDH3068 thy GodH430 hath drivenH5080 thee,

Where are the people this verse is describing? Are they “in the land” or are they still in the dispersion/captivity? Obviously, just as it tells us, they are dispersed – having been driven out by Yehovah Himself due to their disobedience to Torah.

What have these people experienced while dispersed? Both blessings (always from obedience) and curses (always from disobedience).

One of the most obvious words used in the text is “call” as in call to mind. It is the Hebrew word “shoob” which always means to repent, to turn back. (see H7725).

An additional meaning is the word “circumcise” as in “circumcising our hearts.” This is such an important word as it shows what we must do to begin our (re) turn back to Yehovah!

H7725     ?????      shu?b        shoob

A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again: –  ([break, build, circumcise, dig, do anything, do evil, feed, lay down, lie down, lodge, make, rejoice, send, take, weep]) X again, (cause to) answer (+ again), X in any case (wise), X at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call [to mind], carry again (back), cease, X certainly, come again (back) X consider, + continually, convert, deliver (again), + deny, draw back, fetch home again, X fro, get [oneself] (back) again, X give (again), go again (back, home), [go] out, hinder, let, [see] more, X needs, be past, X pay, pervert, pull in again, put (again, up again), recall, recompense, recover, refresh, relieve, render (again), X repent, requite, rescue, restore, retrieve, (cause to, make to) return, reverse, reward, + say nay, send back, set again, slide back, still, X surely, take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again, self again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw.

Returning to our text, let us go on to the next verse:

Deu 30:2  and shall return to Jehovah your God and shall obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, with all your heart, and with all your soul,

Deu 30:2  And shalt returnH7725 untoH5704 the LORDH3068 thy God,H430 and shalt obeyH8085 his voiceH6963 according to allH3605 thatH834 IH595 commandH6680 thee this day,H3117 thouH859 and thy children,H1121 with allH3605 thine heart,H3824 and with allH3605 thy soul;H5315

Is this verse not the perfect description of what the previous verse says must be done? Here is the definition of what “shoob” truly means. With all thine heart and with all thy soul we must return to Yehovah; after both the blessings and curses have come upon us in the dispersion/captivity.

Please note where it says:

“…and shall obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day…”

This means all of the Commandments and, for the sake of this article, we will specify the Sabbaths; including both the weekly Sabbath as well as the Feasts given in Leviticus chapter 23.
That means ONLY those included there – not adding to them regardless of how “Scriptural” you may think they are- i.e. Hanukkah and Purim.
However, more specifically, it also includes the 7 year Land Sabbaths and Jubilee Year. The question is, are ALL of the Sabbaths ONLY for in the Land of Israel? Certainly not. If so, we can all stop “rehearsing” them here in our dispersion. They are all included in the 4th Commandment and all must be rehearsed together, no matter where we are. We are to obey His voice in ALL of the lands which we currently reside in!

Deu 30:3  then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity. And He will have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where Jehovah your God has scattered you.

Deu 30:3  That then the LORDH3068 thy GodH430 will turnH7725 (H853) thy captivity,H7622 and have compassionH7355 upon thee, and will returnH7725 and gatherH6908 thee from allH4480 H3605 the nations,H5971 whitherH834 H8033 the LORDH3068 thy GodH430 hath scatteredH6327 thee.

Again, I wish to reiterate that they are still dispersed/in captivity. This is extremely important, as you now see.


              After obedience in the Nations where we have been scattered/dispersed to!

AFTER we prove that we will obey His voice in all that He Commanded with all of our heart, THEN Yehovah will turn us back from captivity. Not before!
The condition to getting back to our homeland will be, according to Dt. ch. 30, obedience while in the lands in which we were dispersed to. Plain and simple. How can anyone read that and see it any differently? Who is your interpreter? Man or the Ruach?

Deu 30:4  If you are driven out into the outermost parts of the heavens, Jehovah your God will gather you from there, and He will bring you from there. 5  And Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. And He will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers.

Deu 30:4  IfH518 any of thine beH1961 driven outH5080 unto the outmostH7097 parts of heaven,H8064 from thenceH4480 H8033 will the LORDH3068 thy GodH430 gatherH6908 thee, and from thenceH4480 H8033 will he fetchH3947 thee:

Deu 30:5  And the LORDH3068 thy GodH430 will bringH935 thee intoH413 the landH776 whichH834 thy fathersH1 possessed,H3423 and thou shalt possessH3423 it; and he will do thee good,H3190 and multiplyH7235 thee above thy fathers.H4480 H1

So, do we have any other Scriptures that say the same thing as Deuteronomy has just explained to us? Yes, we do. And whereas Deuteronomy was a “before” picture, looking forward – the next verse is an “after” picture, looking back after having been disobedient to Torah and just returning to The Land.

The next place we find any mention of the exact same principle is in the book of Nehemiah chapter 1.

There we read:

Neh 1:6  let Your ear now be open, and Your eyes open, so that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the sons of Israel Your servants, and confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7  We have acted very wickedly against You, and have not kept the commandments nor the statutes nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8  I pray You, remember the Word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations, 9  but if you turn to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though you were cast out to the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather you from there and will bring you to the place that I have chosen to set My name there.

Neh 1:6  Let thine earH241 nowH4994 beH1961 attentive,H7183 and thine eyesH5869 open,H6605 that thou mayest hearH8085 H413 the prayerH8605 of thy servant,H5650 whichH834 IH595 prayH6419 beforeH6440 thee now,H3117 dayH3119 and night,H3915 forH5921 the childrenH1121 of IsraelH3478 thy servants,H5650 and confessH3034 H5921 the sinsH2403 of the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 whichH834 we have sinnedH2398 against thee: both IH589 and my father’sH1 houseH1004 have sinned.H2398

Neh 1:7  We have dealt very corruptlyH2254 H2254 against thee, and have notH3808 keptH8104 (H853) the commandments,H4687 nor the statutes,H2706 nor the judgments,H4941 whichH834 thou commandedstH6680 (H853) thy servantH5650 Moses.H4872

Neh 1:8  Remember,H2142 I beseechH4994 thee,(H853) the wordH1697 thatH834 thou commandedstH6680 (H853) thy servantH5650 Moses,H4872 saying,H559 If yeH859 transgress,H4603 IH589 will scatter you abroadH6327 (H853) among the nations:H5971

Neh 1:9  But if ye turnH7725 untoH413 me, and keepH8104 my commandments,H4687 and doH6213 them; thoughH518 there wereH1961 of you cast outH5080 unto the uttermost partH7097 of the heaven,H8064 yet will I gatherH6908 them from thence,H4480 H8033 and will bringH935 them untoH413 the placeH4725 thatH834 I have chosenH977 to setH7931 (H853) my nameH8034 there.H8033

Here we can see that Ezra and Nehemiah have brought the people back to Jerusalem only to find it in deplorable condition. They believed Yehovah would help them repair His City and thus began the difficult task of doing what must be done first, even to this day. Repentance. For restoration can only come after repentance has taken place.

These verses show us the very same principle that our verse in Deuteronomy did only they are saying it from the perspective of having been dispersed for disobedience. Now they could remove their corruptions and repent of their disobedience and be restored along with Jerusalem.

What an amazing picture we have of how seriously Yehovah takes obedience both inside AND outside the land! Obedience will keep us there, disobedience will remove us out of it only to struggle amongst the heathen out in the Nations until our punishment is complete.

So the question remains: Is the “land Sabbath” for only while we are IN the land of Israel?  No, it absolutely is not for just when you are in the land. It is for everywhere in the entire world. And in the Scriptures we find hard evidence of that. In order to enjoy the amazing blessing of living in our Homeland, we must obey now His Commands outside of our Homeland. Perhaps this will, in turn, make us long for being back there even more and also make us more willing to obey it once we get there.

This is an amazing promise for us as we approach the halfway mark into this final Jubilee Cycle! The next curse to come upon us is the curse of War. That will begin in 2017.

In conclusion, I would share:

ALL of Yehovah’s Feasts are about rehearsals, we know this.

If Dt. ch. 30 and Nehemiah chapter 1 are correct, (and we know they are) then this is what it appears to be telling us:

While outside of the land, if we will obey and DO all of Torah, we will receive the blessing of being restored to the land. But first, we will have many rehearsals before we get restored. That serves the purpose of making us want to finally “put on the show” rather than just rehearsing it again year after year.

If, after we are restored to the land, we do not obey all of Torah, we will be dispersed again and be forced to obey Yehovah in the midst of the heathen; something that is much more difficult to do.

That is why these verses specify “When you come into the land.” Because once there, the length of our stay depends upon our obedience to the Torah- specifically the Land Sabbaths and Jubilee’s. It is not about doing these things ONLY while in the land, it is about doing them consistently wherever we are. If not, we are removed. Again.

The next Sabbath Year will begin at Aviv 1, 2016 and run to Aviv 1, 2017. This will be one of our last opportunities to prove to Yehovah that we are serious about the knowledge and wisdom we have received regarding the Sabbatical and Jubilee Cycles. To obey this command while still outside the land will be of the utmost importance. The cycle that comes after war will be captivity and it begins because we loose the war in this 4th Sabbatical cycle starting in 2017. The curse of captivity goes from 2024 to 2030.

We have one opportunity left to prove our obedience, submission and our love for our Creator to His commands, statutes and judgments. With all of my heart, I earnestly desire to obey this command. Many of us are already preparing for 2016 by coming up with ideas on how and what to store for that year of land rest. For many of us, this will be our first “opportunity” to do so having just begun to learn of it in the past few years.

The concept of storing up for it follows the pattern of the weekly Sabbath. We are to store up/prepare for Sabbath on the 6th day just as the Israelites did while in the Wilderness with the manna that Yehovah provided. Therefore, beginning on Aviv 1, 2015, we will commence our storing up and continue until we feel we have adequately done all we can do.

Will you also join us in this? Will you also choose the blessing over the curse? Will you now begin to obey Yehovah and keep this commandment of not planting and not harvesting in this upcoming Sabbatical year?

If you would like more information, it may be found at these links:

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We encourage anyone who is interested to come and join in on our conversations and learn along with us!


Triennial Tanach Cycle

15/03/2014      Gen 29      1 Sam 14-15    Ps 63   Mark 6:33 – 7:23


Laban’s Deception (Genesis 29:1-30:24)

Jacob’s arrival in Padan Aram gives us a revealing look at him. From his conversation with the shepherds gathered at the well, we may observe that Jacob was polite, sociable and knowledgeable of the business of herding. Jacob’s life “in tents” was not cloistered—he was, as previously stated, civilized and refined, and most likely skilled in the family business. Moreover, Jacob was no pampered weakling. For when he saw Rachel, he went and rolled the stone off of the mouth of the well—and well stones were massive circular stones of considerable weight. Also, notice verse 10’s triple reference to “Laban, his mother’s brother.” Some commentators have taken this pointed emphasis to indicate that Jacob’s mind at this point may have been more on attempting to ingratiate himself into the favor of Laban through a favorable report from Rachel, and less on the woman herself. Of course, the tenderness of verse 11 should demonstrate a genuineness of feeling regarding his meeting up with close relatives. That is only natural. Still, putting all the evidence together, it would appear that Jacob is a cultured, sociable, business-savvy and physically imposing man who, though at least sometimes genuine in feeling, is not always genuine in his dealings with others—that he is often looking for a way to further his own ends.

God is about to embark on a long course of knocking Jacob down to a more humble self-appraisal—using Laban as a significant tool in the process. Jacob may have been a smooth operator in Canaan, able to run the family business and outwit his elder brother, but he can in no way compare to the devious Laban. Jacob has unknowingly met his match. When Rachel brought her father the news of Jacob’s arrival, Laban ran to meet him—perhaps naturally happy to see a visiting relative (verses 13-14) but also, knowing the type of person Laban is, surely thinking back on the gifts that were given for his sister Rebekah (24:30). Jacob stayed with Laban for a month, and during that month two things happened: Jacob fell in love with the beautiful Rachel, and Laban observed it. Now Laban had a way to get Jacob into his service; he may have even begun planning something when Jacob “told Laban all these things” (verse 13), which no doubt included the reason for his journey to Haran.

Sensing his opportunity, Laban asked an apparently magnanimous question: “Shall you serve me for nothing because you are family? Name your wages” (compare verse 15). Jacob asked for Rachel, as Laban had no doubt anticipated. Laban set Rachel’s price at seven years’ service, which Jacob happily rendered. But on the wedding night, Laban substituted Leah for Rachel. Jacob’s senses and wits may have been dulled by festive drinking (perhaps urged on all the more by Laban). Jacob was further blinded by the darkness of the nuptial tent—darkness probably arranged as part of Laban’s conspiracy, which appears to have involved Zilpah (verse 24). Leah herself must have kept silent, probably on orders from her father. In any event it is clear that Jacob did not realize he had slept with the wrong woman until the morning (verse 25). Laban’s reply when an angry Jacob confronted him: “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.” Firstborn—the word must have been like a dagger in Jacob’s ears, for in his own family, as we earlier read, Jacob had contrived to gain for himself the birthright and blessings that normally would have gone to his own fraternal twin brother, Esau, the firstborn. Jacob’s deviousness was now coming back to haunt him. For committing to another seven years’ service Jacob obtained Rachel the following week, but the die was now cast for a divided, unhappy household. Jacob was reaping what he had sown.

Jacob’s Dysfunctional Family (Genesis 29:1-30:24)

Jacob’s competition with Esau had brought near-open warfare to Isaac’s household. Now Jacob would live the remainder of his life eating the bitter fruits of his ways. Leah and Rachel vied with each other for the affection of Jacob. Jacob loved Rachel deeply but he lacked love for Leah. Where the New King James Version says Leah was “unloved” (29:31), the old King James Version has “hated.” The Nelson Study Bible says that “hated” is the literal translation. According to New Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies, the Hebrew word here “sometimes means only a less degree of love and regard; to be cold and indifferent to, to show less favor to” (p. 209). In any case Leah was second-rate in Jacob’s eyes, a very difficult position for any woman. Because Jacob treated Leah this way, God blessed her with children (which would seem to indicate that, in God’s eyes, Leah was not principally at fault in the whole mess—her father having forced her into it). In the meantime Rachel was barren and very frustrated in general. She felt betrayed by her father and resentful of her sister, whom she no doubt viewed as an unwelcome interloper in her marriage. Between these two squabbling women, and their maids, Jacob would father 12 sons and a daughter. The sons of the various wives and concubines would likewise squabble and fight. Jacob’s house was in constant turmoil—a classic picture of the dysfunctional family.

Part of the dysfunction in Jacob’s family may have had its roots a generation earlier in Isaac and Rebekah, who fell into a devastating pitfall in parenting—favoritism within the family. Isaac greatly favored Esau; Rebekah favored Jacob. This divided affection produced an unhealthy atmosphere of competition, mistrust, double-dealing, disrespect and lingering resentment. The two sons of Isaac and Rebekah were the unwitting victims, and Jacob likewise repeated the error in his own family: Rachel was favored over Leah, Joseph over his brethren, then later Benjamin over his brethren. Of course this is a lot more understandable in Jacob’s case, since he had not wanted to marry Leah in the first place. Still, she was his wife and they had children together—so he should have done his best to show them all love and affection.

God later gave the following law to Israel: “Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive” (Leviticus 18:18). It does not appear that God had revealed this to be sin to those of Jacob’s day. But Jacob’s life demonstrated the great need for the revelation of this law.


Jonathan’s Bold Attack (1 Samuel 14:1-23)

Saul’s son Jonathan recruits his armor-bearer for a courageous attack on a group of Philistines. He has faith that God can back them up, and asks God to reveal through specifically requested circumstances whether He will, in fact, do so. The two men kill 20 Philistines, sending panic throughout the Philistine ranks, which is aggravated by an earthquake. The rest of Saul’s army discovers that Jonathan is missing, and that the Philistines are in disarray and retreat, and begins to pursue them. They are joined by Hebrews who were already in the Philistine camp, probably as mercenaries or volunteers trying to get in good with the occupational forces (not unlike what David pretended to do in 1 Samuel 27), and by others who were hiding in the caves and rocks nearby (verses 21-22; 13:6).

Eli’s great-grandson Ahijah is mentioned here wearing the priestly ephod (verse 3). It is not clear from this passage whether Ahijah himself was a priest in Shiloh at the time, indicating the city was still functioning in some religious capacity, or whether, as seems more likely, this is just referring back to Eli as having been the priest in Shiloh. Ahijah was probably serving as priest elsewhere.

In verse 18, Saul tells Ahijah to bring to him the ark of God, which is still in the house of Abinadab in Kirjath Jearim. However, the account here does not state that it was actually brought at this time. In fact, Saul’s request is interrupted and the fighting soon ends with Israel victorious, the request for the ark now apparently moot. (This appears to be another example of Saul’s impatience—not waiting to receive the instructions he sought from God before heading off to battle, verse 19.) Furthermore, when David later has the ark brought to Jerusalem, it is brought from Abinadab’s house—there being no mention anywhere in Scripture that it had ever been moved from there.

Before leaving this account, it will no doubt come as news to many that Jonathan’s strategy was actually employed within the last century. Werner Keller writes in The Bible As History: “One example, unique in its way, shows how accurate the Bible can be even in the smallest details and how reliable its dates and information. We owe to Major Vivian Gilbert, a British army officer, this description of a truly remarkable occurrence. Writing in his reminiscences he says, ‘In the First World War a brigade major in Allenby’s army in Palestine was on one occasion searching his Bible with the light of a candle, looking for a certain name. His brigade had received orders to take a village that stood on a rocky prominence on the other side of a deep valley. It was called Michmash and the name seemed somehow familiar.

“‘Eventually he found it in I Sam. 13 and read there: ‘And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.’ It then went on to tell how Jonathan and his armour-bearer crossed over during the night ‘to the Philistines’ garrison’ on the other side, and how they passed two sharp rocks: ‘there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez and the name of the other Seneh’ (I Sam. 144). They clambered up the cliff and overpowered the garrison, ‘within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough.’ The main body of the enemy awakened by the mêlée thought they were surrounded by Saul’s troops and ‘melted away and they went on beating down one another’ (I Sam. 1414-16). Thereupon Saul attacked with his whole force and beat the enemy. ‘So the Lord saved Israel that day.’

“‘The brigade major reflected that there must still be this narrow passage through the rocks, between the two spurs, and at the end of it the ‘half acre of land.’ He woke the commander and they read the passage through together once more. Patrols were sent out. They found the pass, which was thinly held by the Turks, and which led past two jagged rocks—obviously Bozez and Seneh. Up on top, beside Michmash, they could see by the light of the moon a small flat field. The brigadier altered his plan of attack. Instead of deploying the whole brigade he sent one company through the pass under cover of darkness. The few Turks whom they met were overpowered without a sound, the cliffs were scaled, and shortly before daybreak the company had taken up a position on ‘the half acre of land.’ The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought that they were being surrounded by Allenby’s army. They were all killed or taken prisoner.

“‘And so,’ concludes Major Gilbert, ‘after thousands of years British troops successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan'” (1981, pp. 182-183). What a surprising confirmation of Scripture! In the face of this and other proofs of the Bible, let us not doubt the reliability of God’s Word.


The War With Amalek (1 Samuel 15)

God had given instructions through Moses that the attack on Israel by Amalek during the first weeks of their journey from Egypt (see Exodus 17:8-16) should be avenged (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Israel has finally grown strong enough to do this, and Samuel instructs Saul to carry out the mission. The destruction is to be complete, including the animals.

The Kenites had a generally peaceful relationship with Israel. Moses’ father-in-law is called a Kenite (Judges 1:16). Jael, who killed Sisera in the days of Deborah the judge (Judges 4:11, 17-22), was married to a Kenite. And apparently there had been other favorable encounters with Israel, prompting Saul to encourage them to escape before the fighting starts (1 Samuel 15:6).

Saul carries out a successful attack on the Amalekites. But he is “unwilling to utterly destroy them,” leaving alive their king and the best of the livestock (verse 9). Interestingly, Saul maintains that he has obeyed God (verse 20). He does blame the people for keeping the livestock. Yet this was in his power. He could have ordered the livestock destroyed. But it evidently made sense to him to preserve the livestock for sacrificing to God. And the statement that this was Saul’s reason was apparently not a lie—as lying is not what Samuel criticizes him for (though Saul’s apparent self-deception that he had obeyed God in the matter would fall under the category of lying).

Samuel’s answer in verses 22-23 is an important one for us today. Obedience supersedes any attempt to honor God. And He cannot be honored with disobedience. If God has forbidden something, we cannot honor Him with that thing. Yet people try to do this all the time in the world around us. For instance, God says not to use pagan worship methods in an attempt to honor Him (see Deuteronomy 12:29-32). But people use holidays that originated in paganism, like Christmas and Easter, in an attempt to do just that. Some people even think this is obedience to God. But it isn’t. No matter how sincere, this is actually dishonoring God because it is disobeying Him. When people knowingly do this, it is rebellion and, as Samuel told Saul, is on par with witchcraft and idolatry. If you want to truly honor God, then do what He says—obey Him. (To learn more about the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter, request or download our free booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep?)

Although God had already stated that Saul’s dynasty would not continue (1 Samuel 13:13-14), this latest act of rebellion causes Saul himself to be rejected as king. God will anoint someone else instead. Samuel refuses to have anything more to do with Saul, but Saul persuades Samuel to honor him one more time before the elders. Samuel finishes the execution God had ordered Saul to fulfill. And then he returns home, never to go to see Saul again—although Saul will later come to see him one last time in pursuing David (see 19:18-24).

In its introductory note on Psalm 63, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says, “In spirit it is close to Psalm 42:1-2 [given the reference to thirsting for God and longing to be in His presence] and fits well with Psalms 61 and 62 as a collection of psalms bound by a common concern for closeness and fellowship with the Lord.”

According to its superscription, Psalm 63 was written when David “was in the wilderness of Judah”-and verse 6 tells us that people were then seeking to kill him. The setting is likely when he was living in the Judean wilderness while on the run from Saul, and we earlier read this psalm in that context (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Samuel 23:1-14; Psalm 63). It is possible, however, that it was written much later, when David fled during Absalom’s rebellion and stayed for a brief period in the wilderness (see 2 Samuel 25:23-28; 16:2, 14; 17:16, 29). Advocates of this view cite David’s reference to himself in Psalm 63:11 as king. Yet, as was pointed out in the earlier Bible Reading Program comments, even as Saul pursued him, David knew he was the rightful king, having already been anointed so by Samuel. Moreover, he was looking to the future in this verse.

At the opening of the song, David expresses his faith in God and how earnestly he desires to be in His presence. The NKJV translation of the second line of verse 1 reads, “Early will I seek You,” while the NIV reads, “Earnestly I seek you” (as does Green’s Literal Translation). The Jewish Tanakh just has “I search for you.” Expositor’s explains that the phrase “earnestly I seek” (NIV) is derived from a root word related to the word for “dawn.” This relatedness “gave rise to the tradition of treating Psalm 63 as a morning psalm with the translation ‘early will I seek You’ [but] The NIV correctly emphasizes the eagerness rather than the time of the ‘seeking,’ as the verb [elsewhere] denotes a diligent search for godly wisdom as most important to life (cf. Prov. 2:1-4; 8:17-21)” (footnote on Psalm 63:1, emphasis added).

It is also interesting in verse 1 to note the parallelism of “soul thirsts” and “flesh longs” or “body longs” (NIV). Expositor’s states: “The longing for God consumes the whole being. The NIV rendering ‘soul…body’ reflects the M[asoretic] T[ext], but it should be remembered that the Hebrew for ‘soul’ (nepesh) signifies one’s whole being, as does ‘body’ (lit[erally], ‘flesh’; cf. 84:2)” (same footnote). Note that the word “soul” or nephesh here does not refer to some inner immortal spirit personage, as many today imagine, but the whole living being. While other verses do refer to a spiritual component within human beings-which together with the workings of the physical brain forms the human mind-that spirit is not conscious apart from the body. This is why a future resurrection is required for an awakening of consciousness.

David compares his longing to enter the sanctuary of God with his continuing thirst for water in the desert, again recalling Psalm 42. God’s lovingkindness (hesed, also meaning loyal love, covenant faithfulness or mercy) is “better than life” (verse 3), so David finds great satisfaction in praising and blessing Him (verse 5).

David refers to his meditations during the “night watches.” Among the ancient Israelites, the night was divided into three watches of four hours each, and at times David focused his thoughts on God to pass sleepless hours (verse 6). Because God had helped him in the past (verse 7), David trusts that he will continue to remain sheltered under God’s wings (as in 61:4) and even rejoice there (63:7). And he will go forward with God as a little child whose parent holds his hand while walking to keep him from falling (verse 8).

David declares that his enemies will not succeed in killing him because they will die instead (verses 9-10). Everyone who “swears by” God (verse 11)-in this broad context meaning that they live by promissory commitment to God and follow through (see Deuteronomy 6:13)-will receive honor. But those who live by deceit-including those who are hypocritical in their faith-will be silenced.


Mark 6:33 – 7:23

Yeshua is longing to have some alone time, but is so moved by the masses of people who are in such great need of a shepherd to care for them, teach them, lead them, and heal them that He continues in giving them His time and care.

When the hour was late, His disciples suggested sending the people away so that they could get something to eat. Yeshua’s response to them surprised them. He said, “you feed them.” Astonished… they did not understand what He was saying to them.

They feed the five thousand men with their families on five loaves of bread and two fish. Yeshua sends His disciples out on the water in the boat while He dismissed the crowd and then He goes away by Himself to pray on the mountain. During the night, the disciples encountered strong winds and difficulty rowing the boat. Yeshua is seen by His disciples walking on the water but they thought He was a phantom and were afraid. When He spoke to them, He calmed them but they marveled at Him because of His ability to walk on the water.

As they reached the opposite shore early the next morning, the crowd recognized Him right away and brought all their sick and He healed them all.

The Pharisees and some scribes noticed that Yeshua’s disciples were not holding to the “traditions” by washing. These were rules made by the elders, not Elohim and they questioned Yeshua and were giving Him a hard time. Yeshua reprimands them for their vain worship in that they hold and teach their own traditions and abandon the teachings of YHWH. He specifically notes what they teach concerning what is righteous in dealing with parental respect and how they steal from the parents to obtain gifts from people.

He taught the crowd that what comes out of us is what defiles us, not what goes in. For it is what goes out that comes from the heart and can determine the condition of the heart whether it be good or evil.