DEVARIM (DEUTERONOMY) 3:23 – 7:11 - VA’ETCHANAN – & I SOUGHT FAVOUR

The name of this week’s Torah portion is – וָאֶתְחַנַּן – ‘vaetḥanan’ – And I sought favour. The root word used here is חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour and here it is written in the Hithpael form, which expresses a reflexive action of the Qal form (most frequently used verb pattern. It expresses the “simple” or “casual” action of the root in the active voice) or Piel form (usually expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action); and so here we find Mosheh earnestly ‘seeking favour, imploring favour and being loathsome’. He was pleading with יהוה as he humbled himself before יהוה, having let go of any pride and begged!

And in verse 24 – 25 Mosheh declares the mighty power, presence and works of יהוה, that he – a servant of the Most High – has personally witnessed and expresses his intense desire to go into the Promised Land.

Tehillah/Psalm 106:2-3 “Who does relate the mighty acts of יהוה? Or declare all His praise? 3 Blessed are those who guard right-ruling, who do righteousness at all times!

Mosheh was seeking favour from יהוה, who had begun to show Mosheh His might and in a sense Mosheh had the earnest desire to see the fullness of the deliverance of יהוה, by bringing Yisra’ĕl into the Promised Land, yet it was not to be!

Verse 26 we see that Mosheh writes that at this earnest plea to enter the promised Land, יהוה quickly silenced him and told him not to speak any more about the matter, and when we see the phrase, “… but יהוה was enraged with me…”, we can also recognise the sober reminder that we serve a Mighty Elohim who we must hear and obey and recognise when no is no! The word translated as ‘enraged, angry, wroth’ is the Hebrew root word עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 meaning, to pass over, through or by, to pass on’, and while it certainly can be used as a word to express being wroth so as to ‘overlook’ a request and not listen to a matter, the form it is written in simply renders it as the fact that  יהוה passed over Mosheh and his request, and when we understand the great shadow picture that this represents then we clearly understand that with Mosheh not entering in to the Promised Land and Yehoshua leading the nation in, we are given a great picture of the work of Messiah, as being the Living Torah (Word made flesh) that would die, and rise again to be the One who will cause us to enter in!

Verse 27 – Mosheh is told to go up to the top of Pisgah and lift his eyes and look, west, north, south and then east.

Pisgah - פִּסְגָּה  - Strong’s H6449 means, cleft and is a mountain in Mo’aḇ and it comes from the primitive root word פָּסַג pasag – Strong’s H6448 which means, to pass between, go through’.  What Mosheh had done and all that he had worked for was not in vain. He would not cross the Yardĕn, yet he would ‘cross over’ so to speak and see יהוה – for his job was done! He would however get an opportunity to look with his eyes, and each direction represents for us a great significant spiritual meaning that would certainly have comforted Mosheh:

Westwardיָמָּה  – ‘yamah’- from the word יָם yam – Strong’s H3220 meaning, sea, west – this would be a great reminder where they had come from and how they had been delivered by the Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arm of יהוה, and in the Hebraic mind-set the sea was often seen and the deep abyss or unknown and often represented a picture of the depths of She’ol (grave) and we further understand the concept of being delivered from death as we have been rescued from the ‘deep waters’:

Tehillah/Psalm 69:14-15 “Rescue me out of the mire, and let me not sink. Let me be rescued from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. 15 Let not a flood of waters overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up, nor let the pit shut its mouth on me.

Looking westward would be a joyful reminder of how they had been rescued out of the deep waters of slavery and bondage!

Northward – צָפֹנָה – tsaphonah – from the word צָפוֹן tsaphon – Strong’s H6828 meaning, north, northern and comes from the primitive root word צָפַן tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 meaning, to hide, treasure up, ambush, conceal, treasured. This looking northward would picture the remnant of the northern tribes that would remain faithful and treasure up the truth.

Southwardתֵימָנָה teymanah – from the word בֵּימָן teyman – Strong’s H8486 meaning, south, south wind, southward and is derived from the word יָמִין yamin – Strong’s H3225 meaning, right hand. The Right Hand of Elohim is a title for יהושע, who is the fullness of the Torah – for that is why He came – to fully meet its requirements that we may walk in Him – the Living Torah – and live! This would be encouraging to Mosheh as he would recognise that all that he had worked for would be fully accomplished by the Right Hand of יהוה.

Eastwardמִזְרָחָה mizraḥah from the word מִזְרָח mizraḥ – Strong’s H4217 meaning, place of sunrise, east, eastern, place of breaking forth, and comes from the primitive root word זָרַח zaraḥ – Strong’s H2224 meaning, to rise, come forth, arise.

The east also speaks of ancient and would be a reminder of the clear promise given and covenant made with Aḇraham, which would be fulfilled in Messiah – the second Aḏam!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 41:2 “Who raised up the righteous one from the east, called him to His foot, gave the nations before him, and made sovereigns submit to him? He gave them as the dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow.

That which Mosheh would look toward would be fulfilled in Messiah, and we can learn a great lesson here in that the Torah (Mosheh) is our trainer unto Messiah:

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24-25 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief. 25 And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.

The term ‘we are no longer under a trainer’ does not imply that we do not need to follow the Torah, but rather that we now have no excuse not to follow the Torah, as it ‘trains’ us unto Messiah, equipping us to fully walk in Messiah – The Living Torah, and without the Torah we would have no ‘trainer’ as it were. Sadly many misinterpret these verses and think that the Torah is no longer applicable, yet this is not so! We need the Torah to show us our need for a Saviour and without the Torah we have no means of having ‘faith’ being established in doing the good works prepared beforehand for us.

Mosheh was about to die and Yehoshua would lead Yisra’ĕl into the Promised Land, and what we must recognise is that the clear instructions given to Yehoshua as recorded in Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8, was to meditate day and night on the Torah in order to be successful and prosperous. This is a further proof that pictures how Messiah did not come to destroy the Torah but rather to fulfil it:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5: 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.

The Greek word here for ‘complete’ is πληρόω plēroō – Strong’s G4137 meaning, ‘to make full, complete, accomplish’. And this means in essence to fully meet what is required and not to finish and be done with!!!! The people who think that the Torah has been done away with actually, “THINK NOT”!!! They do not understand what messiah is saying here – He is telling us clearly that the Torah has not been done away with – on the contrary, what He is saying is that He came to fully meet its requirements and these requirements of Torah are still applicable as He made it clear that not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Torah until all is done – until heaven and earth pass away! Now heaven and earth are still around and so is the Torah!!!

Verse 28 – Command Yehoshua

Mosheh was now commanded to strengthen Yehoshua and make him brave.

The word used for ‘command’ is צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 meaning, to lay charge (upon), give charge (to), command, and order, appoint, commission. Mosheh needed to commission Yehoshua and make him aware of his responsibilities and cause him to be strengthened with the command to lead.

The two words used here in this verse are two words that we see being frequently repeated to Yehoshua and are two words that we must recognise and be encouraged by.

The word for ‘strengthen’ is חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, and take hold ofand can have the concept of ‘grasp between your ears’.

The word used for the phrase, ‘make him brave’, is the root word - אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.

Be strong and courageous is a term we have come to know, especially when we reflect on the book of Yehoshua – well it is these two words that are being used each time - חָזַק ḥazaq and אָמֵץ amats

What we can learn from this is that for us to be ‘strong and courageous’ in Messiah, we need to ‘grow firm’ in the Torah and have the commands of Elohim fastened upon our hearts as we take hold of the Truth and walk in it with boldness, being fully alert and steadfast in walking in the Truth. And it is through the ‘command/s’ of the Torah (Mosheh) that we are commissioned, appointed and strengthened ‘in’ Messiah!

Yehoshua needed to be made brave and assured by Mosheh, and what we must recognise is that bravery comes from an awareness of who one is, what is expected of you and what is at stake; whereas any uncertainty will breed fear, and so it is critical for us to know our identity in the Living Torah – יהושע Messiah! The Torah alone cannot take you in to the Promised Land – it is The Torah with the Spirit – that which יהושע came to reveal and show us through His life, death and resurrection.

What we can also learn from Mosheh going up Pisgah and looking in all directions is that we are too able to learn and see through the Torah, where we have come from and that we are a treasured possession held firm in the Right Hand of Elohim who is coming for us again, and the way for us to keep our eyes in focus on the sure and blessed hope we have in Messiah is to ‘stand’ in Him – ‘in the cleft’ of the Rock so to speak – for this will keep us encouraged and strengthened to remain steadfast and awake!

Just as Yehoshua needed to be strengthened by Mosheh, so too do we see how יהושע, when being led into the Wilderness to be tempted for 40 days – He too was strengthened to not fall prey to the temptations of the devil by being alert and awake to the Torah, as He quoted all of His responses to the temptations from the Torah.

We need to be strengthened in the Torah and hold fast to the witness of Messiah, so that we are able to be overcomers in Messiah – because the enemy is on the warpath against the remnant:

Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.

CHAPTER 4

And now Yisra’ĕl listen! This is a very urgent call to hear, and in one aspect could be rendered – “This time listen Yisra’ĕl”. Yisra’ĕl had hardened their hearts all too often and now it was time to open up their ears and listen! The time for fooling around and doing their own thing was over – it was time to pay attention! This is also very much alive for us today – for NOW it is certainly time for ALL Yisra’ĕl to LISTEN! The word for ‘listen’ is שָׁמַע shama – Strong’s H8085 which does not just simply carry the meaning “to hear”, but rather to ‘listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’.

So when we hear the words, ‘he who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says’, we are able to clearly see that it is only those who are truly standing on their feet (that is those who are faithfully obeying and walking in the commands) that will have ears to hear. Any disobedience to the commands or any rejection to walking according to the Torah of Elohim will result in one being deaf to the Spirit, and so be unable to be led forth in the Truth!

Those who have ears, as they stand firm on their feet, will hear the clear instructions and guard to do them.

Who is it that is to be ‘listening’? – Yisra’ĕl!!! These words are very similar to the words we find in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:1 “But now hear, O Ya’aqoḇ My servant, and Yisra’ĕl whom I have chosen.

Please see the sermon notes on a message called, “NOW HEAR – YOU CHOSEN SERVANTS OF יהוה (Yeshayahu 44)” under the ‘sermons 2012/2013’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012-2013/198-now-hear-you-chosen-servants-of-isaiah-44

What are we to be listening to?

1 – Laws – חֻקִּים plural of the word for law - חֹק ḥoq – Strong’s H2706 meaning, something prescribed or owed, boundary, allotment, portion, ordinance, statute. This word comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 which means, to cut, inscribe, hack, engrave, decree, carve, sceptre, lawgiver’.

2 – Right-Rulings - מִּשְׁפָּטִים mishpatim plural of H4941 מִּשְׁפָּטִ mishpat which means right-ruling or judgement and are the ‘legal procedures’ or firm rulings that are non-negotiable. It is through these mishpatim that community is to be ruled and how any issues that may arise would be dealt with in a prescribed way that is just and fair. These are what we could call the ‘social laws’ that clearly teach us how to get on with each other and how we are to behave and how we are to live according to how we have been created to be in יהושע.

Tehillah/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; kindness and truth go before Your face.

Tehillah/Psalm 97:2 “Clouds and darkness all around Him, righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of His throne.

Listening in the Hebrew mind implies obedience and so as we listen to the laws and right-rulings of Elohim we are to obey them – Hear and Do!!!

Mosheh tells us to listen to these that he is teaching us to do, so that we live and possess that which has been promised!

The root word for ‘teaching’ is לָמַד lamaḏ – Strong’s H3925 which means, to exercise in, learn, accept, instruct, train. It is these laws and right-rulings of Mosheh that we are to ‘exercise in’ and learn, accept and becomes fluent in as we diligently train ourselves to be true set-apart people!

We do not learn for nothing – we learn and are taught – TO DO! The word for ‘to do’ is from the Hebrew word  עָשָׂה  asah – Strong’s H6213 meaning, to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute and can also mean, celebrate, which I think is very fitting.

As it is truly a great ‘joy’ TO DO the laws and right-rulings as prescribed! So many today think that it is a huge burden to do what is commanded, yet that is so far from the truth – when we diligently observe and guard to do all He commands us to do – it is a great joy and a delight and not heavy at all! The perfect Torah of freedom is like a mirror for us – and in looking intently into it we are able to see if we are in fact listening and doing or not:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:22-25 “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.

We ‘guard to do’ all He commands in order that we may live and take possession of that which יהוה has planned for us.

Verse 2 – Do not add or take away

One of the most important verses that sadly has been grossly ignored for centuries – all as a result of people not listening attentively!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:32 “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:6 “Do not add to His Words, Lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:18-19 “For I witness to everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, Elohim shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the set-apart city, which are written in this Book.

What we have seen through history is that man has in many ways ‘added to’ or ‘taken away’ from the Word. Rabbinic Judaism has in a sense ‘added’ to the Word by the addition of their ‘oral torah’ and Christianity has in a sense ‘taken away’ from the Word by teaching that the Torah is no longer applicable for daily living and have stricken the Appointed Times of יהוה from their calendars and have ‘added’ their own concoction of pagan rooted festivals as their form of worship!

The reason we are not to add or take away is clear – SO AS TO GUARD THE COMMANDS OF יהוה!

When anyone starts to add or subtract from the Word, then the ability to be diligently obedient is weakened dramatically!

The word used for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 meaning, keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.  We are to exercise great care over His Torah! When used in combination with other verbs the meaning is ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc.  Another aspect of this word carries the meaning of having to guard carefully and tend to or ‘take care of’. When one takes care of a valued possession then the utmost diligence is exercised in ensuring that it is protected at all costs and it is taken care of through the correct maintenance and observance of its functional requirements to keep it in tact; and as it is with the Torah – we must guard it in our hearts and exercise it diligently, keeping ourselves free from the clutter or weeds of wickedness. Aḏam was commanded to ‘guard’ (Shamar) the garden which carried with it great responsibility and the need to be watchful and at work; and we are to guard the good deposit in the soil of our hearts as we do all that we are commanded, nurturing the very growth that the Good Seed of His Living Word produces in our lives!

The word for ‘commands’ is מִצְוֹתַ  - ‘mitsvot’ – and is the plural of the word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordain’.

The primary difference we see between the חֻקָּה ḥuqqah (laws/statutes) and מִצְוָה mitzvah (commands) is that His laws (ḥuqqah) are rulings that remain in effect permanently and we are to continually walk in His Right-rulings for set-apart living; whereas His commands (mitzvah) are those rules which apply to specific situations and are tailored for each unique situation in determining the correct action to be taken in a specific circumstance and so we ‘guard’ those carefully to know how to respond and take action for any given situation we may find ourselves in. We as his called out and chosen, royal priesthood must be a hearing people who not only hear, but also do and what we must understand is that in the Hebraic mind-set we come to realise that the ideal of ‘hearing’ the commands and laws will and should naturally cause us to want to walk in them and guard them.

Verse 3 – Mosheh reminds us of the incident of Ba’al Peʽor and all those who were destroyed as a result of following Ba’al Peʽor as recorded in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 25:

Ba’al Peʽor was a Mo’aḇite ‘mighty one’, which service included sexually immoral acts. The name Ba’al means ‘husband, land owner’ and its general meaning and term as used in pagan idolatry and worship is ‘lord’, which may be a little shocking to you if you have never realised this – the term lord is an inherited term from pagan worship used for thousands of years. פְּעוֹר Peʽor – Strong’s H6465 was the name of a mountain in Moab. This name comes from the word פָּעַר pa’ar – Strong’s H6473 which is a verb meaning ‘open wide’ and so in essence Ba’al Peʽor can be accurately rendered as ‘lord of the opening’ or the ‘lord that opens wide’. We know that יהושע says that wide is the way that leads to destruction and many find it!!!

The occurrences of this verb ‘pa’ar’, to ‘open wide’, indicate adjunction with the strong passion or feeling, usually not very positive and described the wide opening of the mouth, hence alluding to other body cavities! Hoshěa remarks on the Ba’al Peʽor event (Hoshěa/Hosea 9:10) and it is clear that the Yisra’ĕlites defiled themselves with abundant fornication and sexual perversion as the Ba’al worship rites were celebrated by the grossest obscenity. So here we can translate that being joined to Ba’al Peʽor meant being led on the wide path of destruction. We are to be the joined body of Messiah – joined to Messiah יהושע – being led in His narrow way!

Verse 4 – You who are clinging to יהוה are alive!

We see a clear and distinct difference in the result between those who follow יהוה completely as opposed to those who do not! Verse 1 we are told to listen to His laws, and do them so that we live, and in ‘listening and doing correctly’ we are not to add or take away, so that we can guard the commands. Then we are reminded of what happened to those who did not HEAR-GUARD-DO – they were destroyed! And now here in verse 4 we are reassured that holding on to the Truth with your all results in life – for those who are clinging to יהוה are alive today – every one!

This is a very comforting passage as it reassures the faithful servant of the Most High that in clinging to the Truth with your all is worth it!

The root word for ‘clinging’ here is the Hebrew word דָּבֵק  daḇeq – Strong’s H1695 meaning, a clinging, cleaving, hold fast’ and comes from the primitive root word דָּבַק  daḇaq – Strong’s H1692 which means, to cling, cleave, keep close, stick to, follow closely, stay with, joined to, joined together.

In Scripture the idea or understanding of ‘clinging’ is often used in the context of cleaving to someone in affection and loyalty and we see a couple of examples of this word being used in:

Berěshith/Genesis 2:24 “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Ruth 1:14 “And they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 20:2Then all the men of Yisra’ĕl deserted Dawiḏ, to follow Sheḇa the son of Biḵri. But the men of Yehuḏah, from the Yardĕn as far as Yerushalayim, clung to their sovereign.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:20 “Fear יהוה your Elohim. Serve Him, and cling to Him, and swear by His Name.

We are to ‘cling’ to יהוה as we ‘fear’ Him, ‘serve’ Him and ‘swear’ by His Name!

Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.

If we truly love יהוה, then we will cling to Him – if we are not clinging to Him, then our love is not real!

Romiyim/Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.

Clinging to יהוה is not just a stiff literal obedience; but it also involves an earnest seeking of His face, in doing our utmost to know Him and therefore embrace His commands as that which separates us and identifies us as His. It is not a matter of “I have go to obey”, but rather it is a “I get the privilege to obey and show my love

If one tries to do things their own way then they are unable to cling to יהוה!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 13:4 “Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him.

To cling to Him takes strong hands – hands that will not let go under any circumstance; and in Scripture we see that one’s hands speak of that which we do – that is our work and the only way to do the good works that have been prepared for us as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, is to walk after יהוה and fear Him and serve Him – and in order to do this faithfully, calls for us to hold on very tightly to His Word and not let go by any means. His Word is what equips us to work and His joy is our strength!

Please see the sermon notes on a message called, “HOW STRONG ARE YOUR HANDS (2Chronicles 15)” under the ‘sermons 2012/2013’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012-2013/199-how-strong-are-your-hands-2-chronicles-15

Another vital aspect of understanding our need to cling to יהוה, is grasping the clear reality that we are His Bride, and His alone. Clinging to Him can in many ways picture for us our earnest desire to hold fast to Him and please Him alone, especially when we see how this word is used in referencing how a husband will ‘cleave’ to his wife! Our clinging to Him, is not only an urgent and desperate need to hold fast to His commands, but is also a wholehearted commitment of practical devotion to the One who loves us and the One we love! If you are ‘clinging’ to יהוה in an ardent love, then your eyes will not wander to another, and your will fix your eyes on the Beloved, seeking to continually please Him. Clinging to Him is a love response of complete obedience, not simply out of required duty, but also out of a diligent expression of surrender and devoted love, that we should never let go of!

The ancient pictographic script gives us a wonderful picture of holding firm to the commands of our beloved King, as we, His Dwelling Place, adhere to Him forever!

In the ancient pictographic alphabet the word דָּבַק daḇaq – Strong’s H1692 is written as:

quphbeitdalet

Dalet - דָּ:

In the ancient script this letter is pictured as dalet, which is a ‘tent door. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access. We also recognise that יהושע Messiah is The Door, and whoever enters through Him, shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.

The commands are also commanded to be put on our doorposts as a continual reminder that we are to guard His commands, as we go out and come in, submitting under the authority of The Door, through which we have been given access to being built up as a spiritual House for Elohim.

Beyt – בַ:

In the ancient script this letter is pictured as beit, pictured as a ‘tent floor plan’, and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents ‘family’ and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself. We, as living stones are built up in the Master, and are the Dwelling Place of Elohim.

Quph - ק:

In the ancient script this letter is pictured as quph, a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. This can very well picture for us ‘consistency’ in guarding the commands without compromise, as we do not neglect to adhere to the commands of the House!

As we consider this word דָּבַק daḇaq – Strong’s H1692 which means, to cling, cleave, keep close, stick to, follow closely, stay with, joined to, joined together, in the ancient lettering, we can clearly recognise how we are to be steadfast in our complete commitment in guarding the rules of the House, so to speak!

Verse 5

Mosheh tells us that he has taught us laws and right-rulings – to do in the land we are to possess! What this is actually saying to us today is that while we recognise that the Torah alone does not deliver us, we know  that deliverance/salvation is a free gift of Elohim, given to us through the Blood of Messiah; yet what they Torah does do is this – it prepares us to gain access to the Promises and as we carefully follow the principles laid out very clearly for us to do then we can harness the full potential of all the promises that are yes and Aměn in Messiah! Gaining access to the land can be a metaphor of the richest blessings that are lavished upon us in Messiah; and in our diligent observance of the instructions (Torah) of יהוה we can find the true fullness of these promises as they cause us to be able to not only guard His promises but also experience them in our daily lives; and in guarding to do all HE has commanded us to do is the great blessing of knowing what is to come!

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.

Verse 6 – guard & do = wisdom and understanding!

We have looked at what ‘Guard’ and ‘do’ means; and here in this verse we see that to guard and do is our ‘wisdom’ and ‘understanding’!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:15-16 “To do right-ruling is joy to the righteous, but ruin to the workers of wickedness. 16 A man who strays from the way of understanding, rests in the assembly of the dead.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

Wisdom in Hebrew is the word חָכְמָה ḥoḵmah – Strong’s H2451 meaning, wisdom, skill and is from the primitive root word חָכַם ḥaḵam – Strong’s H2449 meaning, to be wise, skilful, make wise.

The Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ is חָכְמָה ḥoḵmah – Strong’s H2451 meaning, wisdom, skill, which comes from the primitive root verb חָכַם ḥaḵam – Strong’s H2449 meaning, to be wise, skilful, make wise. Meleḵ

In the ancient pictographic alphabet, this Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ - חָכְמָה ḥoḵmah – Strong’s H2451 looks like this:

heymemkaphchet

etחָ:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!

Kaph - כְ:

The ancient form of this letter is kaph - meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!

Mem - מָ:

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’.

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

As we consider these pictographic letters that render for us the term for ‘wisdom’ we are able to clearly see that wisdom entails a separation, as pictured through the tent wall. We can render the meaning of the construction of this word, in terms of true wisdom, as meaning:

We are built up in the Master as we separate ourselves from the world as we submit under the hand of our Master and do what His Word instructs as it washes us, and enables us to lift our hands to Him in continual praise!

Wisdom, at its core, speaks of one’s ability to clearly separate the good from the bad, right from wrong, left and right, and up and down; and this we are to be able to do as we exercise true discipline – the discipline of separation!

Wisdom is often used in the context of a skilled workman that has been equipped by the Spirit of Elohim:

Shemoth/Exodus 28:3 “And you, speak to all the wise of heart, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, and they shall make the garments of Aharon, to set him apart, for him to serve as priest to Me.

Wisdom in the ancient text can speak of a clear separation by the washing of one’s hands; and as we consider the design of the Tabernacle, we need to be reminded that the bronze laver was used for the serving priests to wash their hands and feet; and clearly pictures for us how we are to be continually washing our work and walk through being immersed in the Word that transforms us!

Understanding’, in Hebrew, is the word בִּינָה biynah – Strong’s H998 meaning, an understanding, consideration, discernment and comes from the primitive root word בִּין bin – Strong’s H995 which means, to discern, act wisely, clever, diligently consider’.

When we can understand the meaning of these words then we can clearly see that without guarding and doing what is required of us, we would not be able to or be equipped to display any wisdom or understanding, but instead we would be shown up as fools drowning in our own folly!

We are to study carefully and carry out what is required of us, according to the commands we are to guard and do – for then we will become fully functional in Messiah and have the skill and discernment necessary to stand and fight the good fight of faith!

 

Iyoḇ/Job 28:28 “And He said to man, ‘See, the fear of יהוה, that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding.’

The fear of יהוה is often not understood and as a result many sadly stray from walking in the wisdom that His Torah brings.

Please see sermon notes on a message called, “THOSE FEARING ELOHIM, LISTEN!” (an overview of what ‘fearing Elohim’ means) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/192-those-fearing-elohim-listen

 

Ya’aqoḇ/James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good behaviour his works in meekness of wisdom.”

Ya’aqoḇ asks this simple question and then says that we are to show the wisdom and understanding that the Torah brings as we guard to do all the clear commands of Elohim, through our ‘good behaviour of good works’.

Please see sermon notes on a message called, “WHO IS WISE AND UNDERSTANDING?” (1 Samuel 25) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/202-who-is-wise-and-understanding-1-samuel-25

In this verse 6 of Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4 we are told that we shall guard and do the commands before the eyes of the peoples – being obedient is no undercover assignment!!!

When we truly begin to guard and protect the commands of Elohim by diligently observing them with joy and great care we will certainly take ownership of them and the more important it will become to us. There are many today who are seeking ways to find ‘shortcuts’ so to speak and are always looking for ways to not do the clear commands, as they try to reason away the need to diligently guard them through a number of vain excuses. Instead of trying to do this we ought to ask ourselves how much do we love יהוה! Complete surrender is called for and this means to accept what his Word says and guarding to do it, even if it does not always make sense – the understanding comes in the doing!

Please see sermon notes on a message called, “WISDOM vs. FOLLY – WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO?” (Proverbs 9) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/189-wisdom-vs-folly-who-are-you-listening-to-proverbs-9

This verse 6 verse makes it clear – when we guard and do the commands of Elohim – it will will be our wisdom and understanding before the eyes of the peoples – and as they hear these laws they will actually recognise that we are a great wise and understanding nation!

 

Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 8: 20-23 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities, 21 and the inhabitants of the one go to another, saying, “Let us earnestly go and pray before יהוה, and seek יהוה of hosts. I myself am going.” 22 ‘And many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek יהוה of hosts in Yerushalayim, and to pray before יהוה.’ 23 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all languages of the nations take hold, yea, they shall take hold of the edge of the garment of a man, a Yehuḏite, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you.” ’

Verse 7-8

These are such powerful verses as Mosheh makes it clear that we truly are a set-apart people who serve a Set-Apart Elohim – and Elohim who is near to us and answers us when we call on Him – an Elohim who has given us such great laws and right-rulings – ALL the Torah that has been set before us! When I read this verse I cannot help but recognise that the laws and right-rulings – the entire Torah is Good and it is a great blessing to us, as it sets us apart from all other nations!

Tehillah/Psalm 145:18 “יהוה is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.

Who has יהוה? Who has the Torah? WE DO – We who are guarding and doing His laws and righteous right-rulings!

 

Verse 9 – Guard yourself – guard your life!

There is a huge emphasis placed here on ‘guarding’ – in fact we see the root word שָׁמַר shamar being used basically twice in a row!!! The first word in this verse is רַק raq – Strong’s H7535 which means, only, altogether, surely, alone, except, and the strong emphasis is being placed here in telling us that the ONLY thing you should be doing and concerned about is guarding yourself and guarding your life. This word is an adverb with restrictive force, emphasising that that which it is connected to must be the only thing that you are to be doing!!!!

The first ‘shamar’ – הִשָּׁמֶר – is written as a verb in the ‘niphal’ form which expresses the meaning of shamar as ‘to be on one’s guard, take heed, take care, beware, to keep oneself, refrain, abstain’. The second ‘shamar’ – וּשְׁמֹר – is written as a verb in the ‘qal active’ form which expresses the meaning of shamar as, ‘to keep, have charge of, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life, watch, watchman, to watch for, wait for, observe, to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory), perform (vow), preserve

What this expresses here is that you must exercise great care to keep watch over your soul!

That which we are to ‘guard’ is our ‘life’ – נַפְשְׁךָ – which is from the Hebrew root word נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315 meaning, soul, living being, life, person, desire, appetite, passion, emotion’.

In other words when we dig deeper we see how we are to guard every aspect of our lives – our emotions, passions, desires and appetites, ensuring that they are always in line with the Living Word and not according to the lusts of the flesh!

Mosheh is instructing Yisra’ĕl here that it is vitally important that they guard diligently, and the word diligently also places emphasis on the intensity of our alertness, as it is the Hebrew word מְאֹד meoḏ – Strong’s H3966 and means, ‘muchness, force, speedily, utterly, abundance, exceedingly, great, and might as in strength’. This word is mainly used in Scripture as an adverb in expressing the idea of exceeding to the highest point!

Guarding our lives is a very active, alert and assertive expression of our faithfulness to the Covenants of Promise.

The reason I am emphasising this is because it needs to be!!! It is time for the set-apart people of Elohim to ‘wake up’ and start ‘guarding’ their lives with their all – for if we do not then we are in great danger of forgetting the Words of יהוה and are at risk of turning away from the Truth!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1-4 “Because of this we have to pay more attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through messengers proved to be firm, and every transgression and disobedience received a right reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a deliverance, which first began to be spoken by the Master, and was confirmed to us by those that heard, 4 Elohim also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Set-apart Spirit, distributed according to His own desire?

These verses in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4 are vital for us to grasp in order that we be truly built up in Messiah and be the True Set-Apart Dwelling Place of Elohim as it is clear in Scripture ‘how’ a house is built and filled:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

The way to guard the commands is to instil them upon our children and the way to not forget is to teach others!

Verse 10 – hear and fear

Hearing His Words will cause us to stand in reverent awe of יהוה, and those who ‘shut their ears’ to the hearing of the Torah are sadly unable to truly express the reverence due to our Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!

Ěḵah/Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!

Luqas/Luke 1:50 “And His compassion is from generation to generation, to those who fear Him.

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:5 “And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our Elohim, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!

Please see the sermon notes on a message called, “REVERENCE WITH CONTENTMENT” (Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/200-reverence-with-contentment-do-you-have-it-1-timothy-6

The main emphasis on this chapter is certainly the need to be a hearing, guarding and doing people – in fact you cannot hear and guard without doing! Those who think that they do not have to ‘do’ shall not be declared right!

Romiyim/Romans 2:13 “For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be declared right.

Verse 15-19 – Dangers of not guarding

Mosheh made it clear to us that when יהוה spoke out of the midst of the fire – we heard only a voice of words and saw NO FORM!!! The danger of not diligently guarding the Words of יהוה, is that various forms of corrupt worship is formed and shaped! We are clearly told to not make any image or form and bow down to it. When we think of this warning given in these verses, we can see today how the warning was not taken to heart, as we know that many of the Baḇelonian deities that are worshipped are in the form of ‘bulls, lions and eagles’! And before you try to excuse that away as being no more – you do not have to look too far to see these same images and forms being ‘worshipped’ and used as a means of bringing people collectively together! Bulls, lions and eagles are still very much a part of man-driven forms of worship today! Many advertising campaigns and slogans, as well as country flags and insignia carry the images and forms of the beast of the earth and winged birds. The fish symbol is one of the main symbols used within many denominations of Christianity, which is rooted in the false pagan worship of Dagon the fish deity of the Philistines!

Many today display the ‘fish’ symbol on their cars and recon that it is because they are called ‘fishers of men’, yet what most Christians do not realise is that with Augustine’s attempt at justifying the adoption of a pagan symbol and ‘Christianising’ pagan practices, he claimed that the ‘fish’ represented Messiah and began to be called ICHTHYS (ICHTHUS) – which is ‘FISH’ in order to identify Him with Dagon. Ichtus or ‘fish’ was one of the names of Bacchus, which was simply another name for Tammuz, the sun-deity.

This passage in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4 makes it clear that יהוה will not accept any attempt at trying to make any form or image be related to Himself. The fish symbol has also be rendered as having the letters HIS inscribed in them, which is short for Ichtus, yet they falsify this clear pagan rooted worship by claiming it means, “In His Service” – well you have to ask yourself, “In whose service are these false worshippers?”

NO IMAGES – that means NO IMAGES – we will expand on this in the next chapter!

Verse 19 – יהוה has taken you and brought you out!

The word used here for ‘taken’ is the root word לָקַח laqaḥ - Strong’s H3947 which means, to take, to take from, take out of, to take and carry along, to take in marriage, fetch, and this is vital for us to understand in that this word expresses that which יהוה, as Yisra’ĕl’s Husband, has done in fetching His Bride and taking Her to Himself, by extending His Hand in marriage to us!

The root word used for ‘brought’ is יָצָא  yatsa – Strong’s H3318 which means, to go or come out and here it is written in the ‘Hiphil’ form which usually expresses a ‘causative action’ of a simple verb and so can be rendered as, to cause to go out or come out, to deliver, to lead out’. What is interesting to note is that this being taken and brought out can also give the picture of being ‘snatched’ or taken as a Bride and this is possibly יהוה’s most  frequent description of His relationship to Yisra’ĕl, His Bride!!!

It is יהוה who has caused us to be brought out of an iron furnace, in order to take us to Himself as a His Bride – He gave His all for us!!!

Kěpha Aleph 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.

It was יהוה who brought Aḇraham out:

Berěshith/Genesis 15:7 “And He said to him, “I am יהוה, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.

And He brought us out!

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:13 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from being their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:12 “be on guard, lest you forget יהוה who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage.

 

We are warned continually to guard the commands and guard ourselves:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:14 “that you guard the command spotlessly, blamelessly, until the appearing of our Master יהושע Messiah

Yoḥanan Aleph/ 1 John 2:3-4 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we guard His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:10 “Because you have guarded My Word of endurance, I also shall guard you from the hour of trial which shall come upon all the world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

 

Verse 24יהוה is a consuming fire and a jealous Ěl!

Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.

It is through the consuming fire of His refined Word that He will establish and build His Bride and only those who worship in Spirit and in Truth and have put away all idol worship shall come through the fire unharmed!

 

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, receiving an unshakeable reign, let us hold the favour, through which we serve Elohim pleasingly with reverence and awe, 29 for indeed, our Elohim is a consuming fire.

You do not want to be on the wrong side of יהוה

Naḥum/Nahum 1:2 “יהוה is a jealous and revenging Ěl, יהוה is a revenger and a possessor of wrath. יהוהtakes vengeance on His adversaries, and He watches for His enemies.

 

When we do not guard His commands and do not impress them upon our children and form falsified images to provoke Elohim then Mosheh makes it clear in verse 26 that he (Mosheh) shall call the heavens and the earth to witness against us! What he is saying here is that the Torah will witness against us, if we are found to be acting corruptly and stray from His commands.

 

In verse 27 יהוה says that He would scatter Yisra’ĕl among the nations, and there would remain a remnant! Hoshěa is a great book that deals with this, and the promise of the return of the faithful remnant! What we can also learn from this verse is that we need to realise that we will always be a minority, no matter where we go!!! It is a narrow path, few find it and broad is the way that leads to destruction – so let us not lose heart because we are a minority!!!

Verse 28

Serving mighty ones – the work of men’s hands – wood and stone!

This too is a danger of not guarding the commands and what we must recognise today is that ‘paper money’ or notes are made from trees (wood) and coins are made from minerals (stone) and both have ‘images’ on them! This verse can also apply to many other things, even ‘mental images’ that are made, especially like the nations who ‘worry about tomorrow’! And here Mosheh gives us the clear litmus test – Can it hear? Can it smell? Can it eat?

Tehillah/Psalm 135:15-18 “The idols of the gentiles are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; 17 they have ears, but they do not hear; also there is no breath in their mouth. 18 Those making them become like them, everyone who is trusting in them.

Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 2:18-19 “Of what use shall a carved image be? For its maker has carved it: a moulded image and teacher of falsehood! For the maker trusts what he has made: to make dumb idols! 19 “Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ to silent stone, ‘Arise!’ Is it a teacher? See, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no spirit at all inside it.

Ma’asei/Acts 17:29 “Now then, since we are the offspring of Elohim, we should not think that the Elohim is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by the skill and thought of man.

 

Romiyim/Romans 1:20-25 “For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and Mightiness, for them to be without excuse, 21 because, although they knew Elohim, they did not esteem Him as Elohim, nor gave thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their undiscerning heart was darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the esteem of the incorruptible Elohim into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds and of four-footed beasts and of reptiles. 24 Therefore Elohim gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts, to disrespect their bodies among themselves, 25 who changed the truth of Elohim into the falsehood, and worshipped and served what was created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Aměn.

 

Sadly, as we look back at our history we can see from Scripture that this worship of moulded and formed images is exactly what Yisra’ĕl did; and in verse 29 Mosheh already prophesies that it is from these scattered places of inherited corrupt worship of false images that a remnant will SEEK יהוה with their all and they will find Him.

The root word for ‘seek’ here is the Hebrew word  בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, to seek, aim, search, look, inquire, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!

For more on the intensity in which we are to be ‘seeking Elohim, please see sermon notes on a message called,

STRONG COURAGE AMIDST PERILOUS TIMES’ (Tehillim/Psalm 27) under the ‘sermons 2012/2013’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012-2013/163-strong-courage-amidst-perilous-times-psalm-27

What we certainly see happening in these last days is a return by the remnant – returning to hear His voice – hearing and obeying as we recognise that our fathers have inherited lies and we are now asking for the ancient paths where the good way is so that we can walk in it!

This chapter repeatedly expresses our need to guard and not drift from true obedience:

Please see sermon notes on a message called, “DANGERS OF DRIFTING” (Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 2:1-4) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/201-dangers-of-drifting-hebrews-2-1-4

 

Verse 41-43 – 3 cities of refuge for the man-slayer to flee to

These were cities that one who unknowingly murdered his neighbour could flee to and live. The details of these cities and how long a man-slayer was to remain there is explained in Bemiḏbar/Numbers 35.

This was the first of the cities that was allocated on the east side of the Yardĕn for the 2 ½ tribes that had already been allotted their portion. The one who had fled to one of these cities because he had killed another by mistake or by accident, would be rescued from the hand of the revenger of blood and he would remain in that city until the death of the high priest who had been anointed with oil!

יהושע Messiah is our High Priest and we see a twofold work of Messiah here in that HE is our Refuge to whom we run to, and by His death we are ‘released’ from being in danger of the revenger of blood taking vengeance upon us for our sin; and at the same time because He was raised and lives forever, we have a High Priest who intercedes constantly for us and we are therefore required to ‘remain’ in Him forever – for He will never die!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:6 “As He also says in another place, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq

יהושע Messiah, our High Priest was “anointed with oil” as we know that ‘oil’ is symbolic of the Spirit – and on the day that Messiah stood up to read in the congregation He read from Yeshayahu:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Master יהוה is upon Me, because יהוה has anointed Me to bring good news to the meek. He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn, 3 to appoint unto those who mourn in Tsiyon: to give them embellishment for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And they shall be called trees of righteousness, a planting of יהוה, to be adorned.

Ma’asei/Acts 10:37-38 “You know what word came to be throughout all Yehuḏah, beginning from Galil after the immersion which Yoḥanan proclaimed: 38 how Elohim did anoint יהושע of Natsareth with the Set-apart Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for Elohim was with Him.

 

What we must understand from these cities of Refuge, is that we have Messiah our High Priest in whom we can run to and find safety, and because He lives forever we are ‘bound’ to Him in love forever. If anyone moves out of the ‘boundaries’ (that is the Torah) of Him, as representing for us our place of refuge, then they risk the danger of being slain by the revenger of blood.

In one sense we can see that יהושע is both the place of refuge to those who call upon His Name and abide in Him, while He is a revenger of blood that will take vengeance on all who are not found in Him on the Day He returns and treads the winepress in His wrath!!!

Those who claim that the Torah is no longer valid and say that this Torah command has been done away with are in fact nullifying the True protection that is available in Messiah and are wilfully placing themselves outside of the safety of Messiah from being their refuge and will therefore be executed in His wrath.

When we understand more and more how alive the Torah is for us, we clearly see how the boundaries of the Torah are good for us and keep us safe from the coming wrath of Elohim – we must stay in Him or else!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.

Notice it is the ‘righteous’ that run into it and not the unrighteous/lawless!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 61:3 “For You have been my refuge, a strong tower in the face of the enemy.

These were the names of the 3 cities of refuge east of the Yardĕn:

For the Re’uḇĕnites: בֶּצֶר Betser – Strong’s H1221 which means, fortress, remote fortress, and comes from the root verb בָּצַר batsar – Strong’s H1219 which means, to cut off, make inaccessible, enclose, fortify. We recognise that this being a city of refuge speaks a great deal of how we can find a secure refuge in our Master and King, our strong tower!

We are also able to recognise who our refuge is in, as we understand that רְאוּבֵן Re’uḇĕn – Strong’s H7205 means ‘behold a son’. Messiah, the Son of Aḏam, is our refuge!

For the Gaḏites: רָאמוֹת Ramoth – Strong’s H7216 which means, heights, and this was in גִּלְעָד Gilaḏ – Strong’s H1568 which means, rocky region, which comes from the root גָּלַע gala – Strong’s H1566 which means, exposed, laid bare, to disclose oneself. From this we can and must learn how we are to come to our Master and confess our sins so that He can cleanse us form all unrighteousness:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:19 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

גָּד  Gaḏ – Strong’s H1410 means, ‘a troop, as in a group of soldiers or a collection of people’ as well as ‘fortune’. Gaḏ can have both a positive and a negative connotation to it as we also know that while Gad is the name of one of the sons of Ya’aqoḇ, it was also the name of a Kenaʽanite deity of ‘luck’ and was an ancient Mitsrian deity of the ‘sun’ tracing its roots back to Nimrod worship; however from us understanding that our refuge is in our King, we can see it here as being the troop or gathering of the people of Messiah!

For the Menashshites: גּוֹלָן Golan – Strong’s H1474 which means, their captivity, their rejoicing, which was in Bashan - בָּשָׁן - Strong’s H1316 meaning, soft and smooth ground as well as fruitful.  

מְנַשֶּׁה  Menashsheh – Strong’s H4519 means, ‘forgetting, cause to forget’, and here we are able to see joyful assurance we have in our Master, who causes is to forget our captivity, as He is the One who cleanses us from sin, and causes us to be a fruitful people, bearing the fruit of righteousness, as we guard His commands and stay in Him!

CHAPTER 5

Mosheh called ALL Yisra’ĕl! These laws and right-rulings are not only for Yehuḏah (Judah) and Binyamin (Benjamin), which makes up the southern two tribes; but it is for ALL Yisra’ĕl – all 12 tribes – to all those scattered in the dispersion!

All Scripture is for ALL Yisra’ĕl and Ya’aqoḇ expressed this too when he wrote to us ALL:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:1 “Ya’aqoḇ, a servant of Elohim and of the Master יהושע Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion: Greetings.

Once again this chapter begins with the emphasis on us ‘hearing – guarding and doing’, because we are a Covenant people made by Elohim and sealed in the Blood of Messiah:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.

Now that we have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah – we must guard to do all that is written in His Word!

The Greek word for ‘brought’ is γίνομαι  ginomai – Strong’s G1096 and means, to come into being, to happen, to cause to become. Here we see in the Greek that the theme of being ‘brought’ out, as discussed earlier, continuing as a clear description of the relationship יהוה has with His Bride!

Verse 3 – Elohim of the Living

Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:32 “I am the Elohim of Aḇraham, and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ’? Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living.

The words of יהושע here are in line with that which Mosheh was declaring – יהוה is a Covenant keeping Elohim and His Covenant is alive and is for us who are alive today! There is nothing ‘old’ about His Covenant and sadly the misinterpreted terms of ‘old’ and ‘new’ covenant  has hindered so many from grasping the need to hear the words of this very living covenant, that was renewed in the Blood of Messiah.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 8:8 “For finding fault with them, He says, “See, the days are coming,” says יהוה, “when I shall conclude with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah a renewed covenant.

This verse makes it clear – יהוה shall conclude (that is to fully complete) with ALL Yisra’ĕl – the 2 houses – Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah – a RENEWED covenant!

יהוה does not break covenant – but we did and He has renewed it!!!

The Greek word used here for ‘renewed’, which is often translated as ‘new’, is καινός  kainos – Strong’s G2537 which means, new, fresh, of a new kind, unprecedented. What we must understand here is that in the Greek this word does not mean ‘new’ as in ‘brand new’ and never having existed, but rather that it is ‘new’ in its quality and not in its time!

The Greek word νέος  neos – Strong’s G3501 means, new, young and this word expresses that which is ‘new’ in time and reflects that which could be described as ‘brand new’ and not having been before; whereas kainos denotes that which is not new in time, but is new as to the form or quality. Neos represents something as being chronologically

new. It denotes that which just came into being, whereas kainos denotes that which is qualitatively new or different. It denotes that which is not necessarily new in time, but that which has existed for some time. Then a change occurs in its

quality or character, however slight, that makes it different, qualitatively, from what it was before. This difference in quality makes it new in the sense of kainos. This difference makes it new, not in time, but in quality. In other words, something could be a hundred years old and acquire a new and different quality, and it would be considered new in the sense of kainos.

I hope that you are understanding this, as it is vitally important for us to understand that the Covenant that we have been brought near to by the Blood for Messiah is a kainos covenant, in that it is from of old, but has a new quality in that it is now not with the blood of bulls and goats, but rather the covenant that יהוה made with Yisra’ĕl is kainos through the Blood of Messiah – and this was His Promise to us!

This verse in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews is a quote from Yirmeyahu and it is always good to look at the original quote:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:31 “See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah

The Hebrew root word used here for ‘new’ is  חָדַשׁ ḥadash – Strong’s H2318 which means, to renew, repair, restore, restored, and this should make it very clear and plain in understanding that יהוה is saying that He would ‘renew, restore, repair’ His covenant with his Bride who broke it – and He would renew it is His own Blood!

To illustrate the validity of what I am saying, we know that a derivative of this word is the word used for month - חֹדֶשׁ ḥodesh – Strong’s H2320 which also gives reference to the moon – which ‘renews’ itself each month – for there is one moon and it renews each month in its cycle and it is not a ‘brand new’ moon that has never been before!

Now that we have established the fact that the Covenant that יהוה made with Yisra’ĕl has been restored in the Blood of Messiah, we can clearly see why we are to be a hearing, guarding and doing people!

One thing that you must also take note of is that יהוה makes it clear who His Covenant is with – Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah – not with Christianity, nor with any falsified denomination that tries to claim what is not theirs!!!

As we are grafted in to Yisra’ĕl, let us hear as Yisra’ĕl should!

Let us now look at the TEN WORDS that were spoken to ALL of Yisra’ĕl and heard by ALL of Yisra’ĕl:

Verse 6-21 – THE TEN WORDS

What is commonly termed ‘The 10 commandments’ are better understood for the Hebraic perspective of ‘The 10 Words’ as they are in fact called in Scripture – these are the ‘literal words’ that Elohim spoke to a nation whom He betrothed, Yisra’ĕl! If we want to get to know our Maker, Redeemer, King and Judge then we best hear these words and obey them, for then we will get to know what He is like. These Ten words spoken at Mount Sinai were an outline for the marriage and this was the Bridegroom declaring His vows and intentions to His Bride that if she kept them she would be kept by Him in total safety. After Yisra’ĕl had heard then words they asked Mosheh to speak to them and trembled in fear that if they heard יהוה speak anymore they might die, and so what must be very clear here is that יהוה’s instructions do not stop after these 10 words – NO – Mosheh went up the mountain and received further instructions that he came and taught Yisra’ĕl over the next year that they remained at Mount Sinai.

Let us look at these Words of our Bridegroom given to us His Bride:

1 - Verse 6-7 – I AM יהוה your Elohim – have no other mighty ones against His face!

This is where the 10 Words or 10 Commandments begin – and this is vital for us to understand – We must know who it is who has redeemed us – it begins by knowing who He is – that it is יהוה who delivered us and brought us out of Mitsrayim and bondage to slavery with His Mighty Outstretched Arm! Sadly the church misses this as the beginning of what they teach as the 10 commandments – they start with have no other mighty ones before me – but before who??? Before יהוה – that is His Name!!!

Tehillah/Psalm 81:10 “I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim; open your mouth wide, and I fill it.

Are we standing before our maker with our mouths open wide that He can fill us with His Good Word – The Bread of Life?

Coming before Him reflects our commitment to loving-commitment and truth which are forever before His face!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 8:5-6 “For even if there are so-called mighty ones, whether in heaven or on earth – as there are many mighty ones and many masters – 6 for us there is one Elohim, the Father, from whom all came and for whom we live, and one Master יהושע Messiah, through whom all came and through whom we live.

We must not have any other ‘mighty-ones against His face – there must be nothing else that we have in our lives that we set up as mighty ones – there is only one Elohim – one Saviour – One Redeemer – and it is to Him and Him alone that we must look!

2- Verse 8-10 – Don’t make images/carvings and bow down to them – or else!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 9:20 “And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship the demons, and idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood, which are neither able to see, nor to hear, nor to walk.

יהוה is a Jealous Elohim:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10:22 “Do we provoke the Master to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

And He says that He will visit the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the 3rd and 4th generations of THOSE WHO HATE HIM!

Yoḥanan/John 15:23-24 “He who hates Me hates My Father as well. 24 “If I did not do among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin. But now they have both seen and have hated both Me and My Father

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

He shows loving-commitment to 1000’s (generations) of THOSE WHO LOVE HIM!

Yoḥanan Bet/2 John 1:6 “And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:4-5 “The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected1 in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Yeḥezqěl 18 tells us clearly that the soul that sins dies – however we have the ability to break any curse of disobedience of our Fathers that inherited lies, by loving Him in obeying His commands and teach our children likewise. His loving-commitment in never ending to those who love Him and as He says that He shows His loving-commitment to thousands of generations – think about that for a moment – there has not been a 100 generations. From Aḏam to יהושע were 42 – very interesting when you consider that there was also 42 stops from the exodus out of Mitsrayim to the Promised Land. This is pure evidence that there is absolutely no expiry date on the Love יהוה has for His called out children who obey Him!

3 - Verse 11 – Do not bring His Name to naught!

His Name is mentioned a little under 7000 times in the Tanak (O.T.) – and yet they managed over the centuries to bring his Name to naught by not speaking it and replacing it with foreign titles and references.

Do not bring His Name to nought!

All of us need to understand that in English, substituting the Name of יהוה with ‘LORD’ or ‘Lord’, as has been done in most translations, is in violation of and is against all Scripture!!!

Why do I make such a rash statement that it is truly a violation against the commands of the Word? Listen, it is very clear that to substitute The Name is firstly a transgression of the Third Commandment. He first tells them very clearly that He is יהוה their Elohim and here in this the Third  of the Ten Words/Commands, which you can find repeated in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 5:11, in which יהוה clearly states that we are to not bring His Name to naught, for He does not leave anyone who does this unpunished!!! I do not think that most people realise just how serious this is. Bringing it to naught means exactly what it says – to bring it or reduce it to nothing. In other words to bring it to nought means to simply not speak it, or rather to let it not be heard on our lips! To bring it to nought also means we are not to falsify His Name. Now as you have seen His Name explained to you above, you can clearly do the maths yourself – the Name of יהוה has, through deliberate translational error, been falsified and as a result of this, we as recipients of this error have been erroneously taught to not speak His Name and so break His Third Command by bringing His very Set Apart Name to nought!

Changing the Name of יהוה in to a generic term or title is also a transgression of the command given in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4:2, which is repeated in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:32 and Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:6, as well as in Ḥazon/Revelations 22:18-19, and that is simply this: We are not to add to the Word or to take away from the Word! Do not add and do not take away. It is very straightforward and clear, so much so that יהוה reminded us 4 times in Scripture this very important instruction. In Yirmeyahu/ Jeremiah 23:36 יהוה reproves the prophets for having changed the Words of the Living Elohim! And I ask you today, if the prophets of old were doing it, then why do we not believe today that the translators did it? It is not a matter of whether we believe it or not – the proof of it is before our very eyes and history records it for us!

At this point I would like to bring a very important Scripture to your attention, one that you may have not reckoned as applicable to you when using the titles that we have been accustomed through training to using in reference to יהוה:

Shemoth/Exodus 23:13 And in all that I have said to you take heed. And make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, let it not be heard from your mouth.

This is, once again, a very clear instruction – no names (inclusive of titles as I would understand) of other ‘mighty ones’ or ‘gods’ are to be heard from our mouths! Ok, so what does that have to do with using the titles that we have used for centuries? Let me spell it out for you - ‘Lord’ is not an innocent title. The title, ‘lord’ can be traced back to the Roman house-deity, and even further back to the name of what or who? To the name of an Etruscan sovereign, known as ‘Larth’! This is one of the roots of the term we know today as ‘lord’. You see in those days, sovereigns were seen as deities, or ‘mighty ones’ or ‘gods’ and were called and even named ‘lord’. To substitute the name ‘Lord’ for יהוה is also therefore a transgression against this clear command we see in the above verse.

The point that I am trying to make here is that our Creator has a Name and we have seen what that is and How He clearly communicate that through Mosheh at first and then declared it directly to the Yisra’ĕlites at Mount Sinai, and as we can see in the Tanak that His Name is mentioned 6823 times. The Tanak, what we have commonly called the Old Testament, is made up of the Torah = Teaching, the Neḇi’im = Prophets and the Kethuḇim = Writings, that is the T-N-K, hence the term Tanak).  Why I am stressing this is simply for the fact that His Name is fundamental to us in being identified with Him as His children, as His chosen, royal and set apart people, for it is He who ‘causes us to be’ and it is by His Name that all men are saved – no other name or title saves – please understand this. I am so thankful for translations that have restored the Name of the Almighty. I currently am using the Scriptures translation from the ISR – Institute for Scripture Research, for they have restored the original names transliterated for us into English as read and spoken in Hebrew. The restoration of the Name requires no justification, for it was men who decided to delete His Name and replace it with what was, in their view, more appropriate. What we must understand is that to nullify His Name by replacing it with other names and titles was and is in error against the very Words of יהוה Himself when speaking to Moshe in Shemoth/Exodus 3:15, “This is My Name forever, and this is My remembrance to all generations.” He was speaking about His four lettered Name, יהוה.

 

Why was His Name brought to nought?

You may wonder why all of this is a big deal, and hopefully by now you understand that it is in fact a very big deal. We need to speak His true Name. We are commanded to call upon His Name. But why has His Name been taken off of the lips of His children? Well we do know that by the time יהושע had been born, the actual saying of the Name had been expressly prohibited, whereby only the ‘high priest’ that was in office was permitted, in accordance to man-made traditions and laws, to speak the Name of the Almighty, and that he was only allowed to do only once a year on the Day of Atonement in the ‘Most Set-Apart Place’. Anyone else who was found to speak His Name would be severely punished, even unto death by means of stoning! We will look at the effects of this as it took place during and after the ministry of יהושע later in the book, but for now I just want you to understand in a better way where the speaking of His Name was in fact ‘lost’ from the lips of His called out ones.

As you know, Israel was instructed, before entering in to the Promised Land, to totally destroy all the enemies that יהוה would deliver up before them. They were to destroy people, livestock and all objects of worship, altars Asherah poles. They were to burn, smash, tear down, and destroy everything that had anything to do with the pagan worship that was present in Canaan. Why? So that nothing would in any way cause them to inquire or seek after how their enemy’s mysterious worship was done and cause them to follow those practices in worshipping יהוה their Elohim.

Now we all know that Israel did not fully accomplish this task and as years went by they were, in fact, drawn in to intermarrying much of these pagan practices into their lives.

Without going into details of the spilt of Israel into two houses, namely Israel and Yehuḏah, we do know that during the Babylonian captivity, Yehuḏah had certainly learnt much of the system of Babylonian sun worship and had brought some of that with them and the rabbi’s had adopted much of this secret mysticism or so called ‘dark secrets’ into what became the form of worship as practiced by the Pharisees which are today known as orthodox Jews in what is called ‘kabalism/ kabbalah’ today – Jewish Mysticism.

It was after the coming out of Babylon that such a high reverence for the Name caused the Pharisees to make it unlawful to pronounce the Name, whereby only the high priest would be allowed to on the Day of Atonement in the Holy of Holies, once a year! Those responsible for preserving the texts and copying it, the Massorettes , adopted the same approach in adding the vowels of Adonai, which means ‘master’ or ‘lord’, so that whenever the Name of יהוה was read, it would not be pronounced as it should but rather Adonai would be said. Orthodox Jews are brought up strictly in this regard to not say the Name, as they are taught that it is the greatest sin to speak the Name and they would be so trained to immediately say ‘Adonai’ whenever יהוה was read in the text.

This same practice had been adopted by the western culture when translating the text into Greek and then later into English, where every time the Name of the Almighty appeared was substituted with ‘Lord’ with a capital ‘L’ or ‘God’ with a capital ‘G’ and even ‘LORD’ using all capitals.

As one studies these facts it is pretty clear that these translations have in fact done what is commanded not to do – to bring the Name to naught.

I found a very interesting text in Jeremiah which clearly shows that it is יהוה Himself who preserves His Name and will not allow His Name to be spoken from the lips of those who are in rebellion and walk in disobedience to His Word

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 44: 26 “Therefore hear the word of יהוה, all Yehuḏah who are dwelling in the land of Mitsrayim, ‘See I have sworn by My great Name,’ declares יהוה, ‘My Name shall no longer be called upon by the mouth of any man of Yehuḏah in all the land of Mitsrayim, saying, “As the Master יהוה lives…

Here Yehuḏah (Judah) were in rebellion and the women had also told Ezekiel while in Egypt that they would continue to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven as it went well with them when they did so and went bad whenever they would follow יהוה. They were worshipping the ‘gods’ of the pagan nations and יהוה then removed His Name from their lips!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 12:16-17 "And it shall be, if they learn well the ways of My people, to swear by My Name, 'As יהוה lives,' as they taught My people to swear by Ba'al, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. But if they do not obey, I shall pluck up, pluck up and destroy that nation, declares יהוה."

From the above verse it is clear that the priests had taught the people of Elohim to swear by Ba’al. Ba’al means ‘lord’ and so besides getting the people to call upon other gods, they had also taught they to call upon a title and not the Name of the Almighty! The promise is very clear – if they would repent and learn again to speak and call upon the Name of יהוה then they would be established – if not they would be destroyed! This is a clear message for us today – we need to stop calling upon a title and even titles that are given to false gods and call upon the true name of Our Maker, which is יהוה.

In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 16:19-21 יהוה makes it clear that in the last days the nations will come and acknowledge the lies they have been taught and turn back to Truth and it will be יהוה who will cause them to know that His Name is יהוה.

Praise יהוה that He is doing exactly just that – causing us to know that His Name is יהוה – may we never bring it to nought again!

I am truly hoping that by now you have firmly understood that the Name of our Creator is not ‘Lord’, ‘God’ or any other name that has been used, but is יהוה which he tells us in Shemoth/Exodus 3:15 “And Elohim said further to Moshe, “Thus you are to say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, יהוה Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Aḇraham, the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and this is My remembrance to all generations.

4 - Verse 12-15 – The Sabbath Day

The Sabbath – a much contested debate among so many that rationalise their opinionated view and standpoint to the point where they will simply not look at the Truth of the Word. As we look at the topic of Sabbath, my hope is that the clarity of the Truth of the Written Word of Elohim is made abundantly clear and in the process enables many to have the veil of lies stripped away so that they can truly walk set-apart lives unto יהוה.

To start off I would like to look at just what the Word Sabbath actually means as we look at the Hebrew word and its root meaning:

Sabbath Definition:

The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary tells us that the word ‘sabbath’ is the middle English form from the Anglo-French and Old English which is from the Latin ‘sabbatum’, which is derived from the Greek ‘sabbaton’ coming originally from the Hebrew ‘shabbāth’ and its literal meaning means rest.

The dictionary goes on to say the following:

1     a      the seventh day of the week observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a day of rest and worship by Jews and some Christians

     b      Sunday observed among Christians as a day of rest and worship

2           a time of rest

According to the definition above we can see two conflicting arguments as to which day is Sabbath and what determines the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week being observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening by both Jew and Christian, yet at the same time it also states ‘Sunday observance’ as the Sabbath and can this be correct?

Well what we ought to determine firstly is the root of the word ‘Sabbath’ in its original form and then determine the numbering of the days of the week and when a day starts to get the fuller picture to become clear.

In the account given to us in Berěshith/Genesis 2 on creation we do not see the specific word ‘the shabbâthשַׁבָּת (Strong’s H7676) being used, however we do see the root from which the word is derived in chapter 2:2-3:

Berěshith/Genesis 2:2-3 “And on the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘seventh’ is שְּׁבִיעִיStrong’s H7637shâbiy`iy which simply means seventh. What seventh? The word for ‘day’ in Hebrew is ‘yôm(Strong’s H3117). Elohim completed His work on the 7th day and then rested on it the Hebrew word for ‘rested’ used here in verse 3 is ‘shâbathשָׁבַת (Strong’s H7673) meaning ‘rest’ – that is to desist from exertion.

The difference between H7676 and H7673 is that H7676 is the intensive form coming from H7673 which means to rest or observe and the intensive form of H7676 refers specifically to ‘the’ Sabbath as in ‘the’ 7th day of the week.

It was on this very day – the 7th day of the week that Elohim set-apart one day from the others and very specifically He blessed this 7th day to be a day of rest in Him. This has greater implications for us as we understand how the creation week itself gives us great insight in His redemptive plan and appointed times and so to misunderstand or incorrectly recognise the 7th day as a clear marker for us could be detrimental to us knowing Him and walking fully in Him.

As we can see from Scripture, Elohim blessed and set apart the 7th day, not the 1st or 2nd or 3rd etc. – He blessed the 7th day and set it (7th day) apart from the rest.

When does a day begin?

The beginning of a day has caused many debates and so again as we look at the word we can gain a better perspective from this. From my understanding and study it is clear to me as well as for many believing folk that the day begins at sunset and ends the following sunset which in turn starts a new day. Why do I say this? Well in terms once again of correct Sabbath observance as well as the observance of His Appointed Times the start and end of a day is vital. Although even among ‘Torah observant’ followers there seems to be differences in regards to the beginning of the day, I firmly believe that a new day begins at sunset.

The majority of the world today has accepted midnight as being the beginning of a 24 hour period/day. The common calendar used by the world today as a means of communication is calculated with a day beginning and ending at midnight. The midnight to midnight system came from pagan Rome along with many other inherited customs of today.

Historically it is easy to see how various cultures determined the start of their day in various ways. For example the Mitsrians (Egyptians) and Babylonians reckoned it from sunrise to sunrise; the Umbrians from noon to noon; the Athenians, Numidians, and Phoenicians reckoned a day from evening to evening (sunset to sunset). The Hebrews also started their day at sunset (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 2, p. 702).

It is vital that we learn correct Scriptural principles of counting time according to יהוה’s established timetable so that we faithfully follow יהוה’s calendar in observing His Sabbaths and His Appointed Times. We cannot simply just go by man’s erroneous time tables that are not in line with the Word of Elohim, and end up being ‘sincerely wrong’ and worship in vain. We just have to go back to the ‘golden calf’ incident and Mount Sinai to be reminded of how the adopted pagan practices of worship being used as a means of worship unto יהוה was abominable in His eyes and so it is that we need to get our timing correct according to His reckoning of time and not man’s!

As one looks at the word day there can be great confusion as many differing dictionaries that seemingly contradict each other as various definitions include and are not limited to:

  • A 24 hour period including day and night
  • ‘Daylight’ – known as the time between the rising and setting of the sun
  • The time (24 hours) it takes for the earth to revolve on its own axis
  • The civil or legal day is from midnight to midnight; the astronomical day from noon to noon.

For our purposes in the presentation of the topic of the Sabbath and when it is etc. we are specifically referring to a 24-hour calendar day in order to diligently observe and keep the ordinances and instructions of יהוה correctly

What comes first, Scripturally?

I must make it very clear that in order to determine the Truth we must always go back to the Truth, for when you know the Truth then the Truth will set you free, free from misunderstanding and confusion and free from man’s attempts at changing the Creator’s reckoning of time! So then as we are defining according to Scripture when a day begins, we need to determine what comes first!

Scripture says that Elohim called the light DAY, and the darkness he called NIGHT. At creation the night or darkness preceded the light or day, demonstrating for us clearly that it comes first in the creative order: 

Berěshith/Genesis 1:2-3 "And the earth came to be formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters. 3 And Elohim said, “Let light come to be,” and light came to be.

From this above Scripture we can clearly see that DARKNESS was already present and came first on the first day of creation and darkness also came first on each day that followed. The Spirit of Elohim moved in the darkness to create light. It is apparent to us that the day begins with darkness as we read the repeated phrase in the Creation account of, And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day’ and the second day etc.

The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is עֶרֶב  ‘ereḇ’ (Strong’s H6153) and means ‘dusk, evening, night’ It is important to understand this phraseology as it shows us that as יהוה was creating the world He was also creating time and its proper determination. Each period of 24-hours had an evening and a morning. The hours of darkness, called evening, came first; the hours of daylight, called morning, came second.

Before we look at some more Scriptural evidence I would just like to share how the validity of this Truth was confirmed to me one evening when I went outside and looked up into the heavens. It was a perfect evening with no clouds and I marvelled at the work of His hands as I gazed upon the great array of stars. I must admit that living in suburbia one does not get the fullness of all the stars as the suburban lights reflect much of the beauty of all the stars away. But as I was standing and looking up and talking to יהוה, a profound revelation was revealed to me and bore great witness as to His ordained timing with regards to a day. I thought of how Aḇraham must have looked up and saw many more stars than I could see and received the Covenant Promise of a bountiful harvest, and it struck me very clearly that we have the awesome privilege to start each day in the darkness looking up at the stars and be constantly reminded of a sure Covenant. We get to start each day being reassured of a Blessed hope that even though we face ‘dark’ times, the promises of His Word are yes and Aměn in Messiah who has called us out of darkness (ignorance) into His Marvellous Light (Knowledge). I had certainly not doubted the start of the day before, but this night clearly confirmed all that I had already believed and witnessed in Scripture.

 

Let us now look a little more at what Scripture says regarding the beginning or the ending of the day:

 

In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23: 32 we see the instruction regarding Yom Kippur/ The Day of Atonement as being regarded as a Sabbath for us:

It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.

As we know that Yom Kippur is kept on the 10th of the 7th month:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה.

 This is not in contradiction with each other but rather Scripture clarifies for us the beginning and ending of that day of Atonement… on the 9th day ‘at evening’ – that is when the 9th day ends at sunset you begin to keep this Appointed Time of יהוה from evening to evening – that is from the end of day 9 and the start of day 10 (at erev/sunset/dusk) until the end of day 10 which is also at even/dusk/sunset!

 

Other examples of Scripture revealing to us that the day ends/begins at sunset is the often repeated instructions regarding when one who had become unclean due to various reasons as laid out in Torah as to when they would again be regarded as clean – ‘unclean until evening’ is a phrase we in the Torah, as it was clear that as the new day begins at evening it represented a new beginning, a renewal and refreshing.

Here is an example to show when the person would be considered unclean, note Wayyiqra/Leviticus 22:6-7, "the being who has touched it shall be unclean until evening, and does not eat the set-apart offerings, but shall bathe his body in water. 7 ‘And when the sun goes down he shall be clean, and afterward eat the set-apart offerings, because it is his food.

Please notice very carefully that the Scripture does not say a person shall be unclean until midnight or until sunrise. Days according to Scripture change at sunset, not midnight or at sunrise.

Anyone touching an unclean thing would be considered unclean until even, when the sun had set, which started a new day. Then he would be considered clean again. He was not unclean until midnight or dawn, but until sundown, when a new day began at the start of evening.

To prepare for the time of cleansing, one was to wash and cleanse oneself while the sun was still up, and after sunset there would be sufficient light for him to find his way back to the camp (during the dusk period).

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23:10-11 gives us two definite points of time: "When there is any man among you who is not clean because of an emission in the night, then he shall go outside the camp. Let him not come into the midst of the camp. 11 “And it shall be, when evening comes, that he bathes with water. And when the sun sets let him come into the midst of the camp."

Notice that the unclean man was to wash himself as sundown approached in anticipation of the new day. Then after the sun had set he was free to return to the camp, clean once more because the new day had arrived with sunset.

Notice carefully at the first part of Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 23 above, beginning with verse l0, where the rite of cleansing was for " because of an emission in the night " Now if a new day begins at sunrise, it would be perfectly logical and acceptable for the unclean man to return to camp at dawn right. But יהוה said he was to wait: "And it shall be, when evening comes, that he bathes with water. And when the sun sets let him come into the midst of the camp." 

Do you see clearly what the timing of a day is – the start and end is at sunset!

In Shophetim/Judges 14 we see another example of the beginning and ending of a day when Shimshon (Samson) set forth a riddle in 14:12 giving 7 days for the men of the city to solve the riddle. In verse 18 the men of the city came to him on the 7th day before the sun went down and answered, solving the riddle just in time!

The conclusion of the matter of the beginning and ending of a day is Scripturally clear, of which there are even more evidences to show, but for purposes of this chapter in regards to the Sabbath, I merely want to establish the clarity of when a 24 hour day begins and ends and that is at sunset.

We know for sure that we are keeping the same timing for the Sabbath of יהוה at the same time the men of old kept it as taught by יהוה to Aḏam, Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, Ya’aqoḇ and Mosheh!

Great now we have established the start and end of a day and that Sabbath is day 7, so now let us look at the importance regarding the Sabbath and the instructions we have in Scripture regarding the Sabbath – that is the 7th day of the week.

 

The importance of Sabbath:

Why is the Sabbath so important you may ask and does it really matter which day is the Sabbath? Well to answer that bluntly – yes it does matter – it matters a great deal and it is of vital importance for us and that is what I want us to look at – the Truth and validity of the importance of the Sabbath.

We have seen that יהוה had set the Sabbath apart already in the Creation week and this stands firm forever as we, each week, get to ‘rehearse’ by remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath as it foreshadows our reign with Him.

But just how important is the Sabbath? What is the significance of us getting it right? For many it seemingly does not matter which day is the Sabbath as they erroneously regard ‘every day’ as a Sabbath, but is that what Scripture says? No – Scripture is clear that it is the 7th day, not the 1st or 2nd or 3rd or any other day but the 7th! In the hearing of the Ten Words, commonly known today as the Ten Commandments, it is clear that the Sabbath is set-apart from the rest of the week and the direct command is to remember it and to set it apart. Set the whole day apart not just some of it but the whole day as in a whole 24 hour period or rather from sunset to sunset! Look at the following verses from the account of the hearing of the 10 Words:

 

Shemoth/Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. 9 Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

As you will notice that in terms of the Ten Words, commonly known to us as the ‘Ten Commandments’ – this 4th commandment regarding the Sabbath is the longest of the 10. Longest of the 10 spoken to an entire nation! In the original King James translation into English this command contained 97 words – and that in itself ought to tell us the significance of this day! This was and always is to be a day of rest and a day set-apart unto Elohim.

No work is to be done on this day – no work for you, or your servants or your animals or for any ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’ within your gates. This is a day of rest form your weekly labour – that is that which earns you your wages and keep! This is a day set-apart for us to ‘rest’ in Him, יהוה our Elohim and as we see from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2 in speaking of His Appointed Times and set-apart gatherings, we see clearly the first of these is in fact the weekly Sabbath:

Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these: 3 ‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to יהוה in all your dwellings.

Sabbath is a day of rest from your daily work, but that does not mean you hide out and sleep it away – no – it is to be proclaimed as a set-apart gathering. That means we, as the body of Messiah, are to have a set-apart gathering unto יהוה in all our dwellings. Where two or three are ‘gathered’ there He is in the midst of them! This is a day when we get to spend intimate quality time with our Maker and as His Bride we get to engage in fellowship together as a Bride who is preparing herself with her betrothed Husband.

Set-Apart Gatherings:

Let us look briefly at these terms to get a clearer understanding of what is commanded of us:

1 – Set-Apart:

Hebrew Word:  קֹדֶש- qoḏesh/ko-desh – Strong’s H6944 – and it means apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה. The word is really self-explanatory and carries with it great weight in its identification of truly setting something or someone apart from another with a clear distinction of being marked as separate and apart from the rest. The equivalent Greek word for ‘qoḏesh’ is ‘hagios’, and in essence means ‘seperation’. In most cases the term ‘set-apart’ or ‘qoḏesh’ is used in a positive sense, a good sense in terms of being set-apart for good use or set-apart unto יהוה, describing the nature of a believer living a set-apart life having thrown off the things of the flesh that hinder and walking set-apart according to the spirit. However set-apart can also be used in a negative sense too in that just as much as someone or something can be set-apart unto יהוה so can someone or something be set-apart unto evil and wicked cultic prostitution.

Understanding that ‘qoḏesh’ and ‘hagios’ both mean set-apart we must ask ourselves where the term in English ‘holy’ comes from and is this a correct term?

 

Holy – a term used frequently in ‘Christian’ language is used by many as a means for speaking of being ‘qoḏesh’ or ‘hagios’ and for most this is used simply because they have been taught that the word ‘holy’ means set-apart. However when you dig a little further into the root of a word to understand its intended meaning, then certainly more surfaces than what many would care to consider. According to G. Jobes, Dictionary of Mythology and Folklore and Symbols, page 781 for the word ‘Holy’ it says: In practically all languages, the word for holy has been derived from the ‘divinely honoured sun’. What is also interesting to discover is that the word ‘HOLI’ refers to “the Great Hindu festival and is a spring festival celebration held in honour of Krishna, as the spring sun-god… a personified woman called ‘Holi’ … Holi also tried to kill the babe Krishna…”

According to the Strong’s Concordance we find the G1506 – a word that refers to being judges by the sunlight and comes from the word ‘heile’ (which is the sun’s ray). And this root form is very similar and almost identical to the German and Dutch equivalents of the English ‘holy’, realising that many of our English words today are in fact from German and Dutch descent. There is just too must similarity for us to not recognise and acknowledge the reference to the sun and the worship of sun-gods. For instance the word ‘halo’ in referring to the ‘ring’ above a ‘saint’s’ head starts to make a clearer picture of deliberate sun-worship as it represents the ‘sun-disk’. The German and Dutch word for ‘holy’ is ‘heilig’ derived from the word ‘heil’. Now you have to just ask yourself who or what is ‘Heil’. Heil was a saxon idol!!! How disturbing this becomes for us when we recognise that in fact the lies we have inherited in accepting words and names that have their root in pagan worship as clearly the origin of heil or heilig shows and reveals to us how mixed many of our ancestors worship was as many of our German and Dutch ancestors were calling or referring to the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim by the name of their ancient idols that they worshipped. This is shocking know, but do the math and see that it is clear that we cannot and should not be referring to Elohim by any other names or titles other than that which He Himself has given us in Scripture – original Scripture as given in the Hebrew language!!! Satan’s plan is to redirect any form of worship toward Elohim back to him and sadly many, and I mean many are falling to his trickery, hence the need for writing this book among many others that are exposing the lies in order to set captives free and allow the very Truth of the Living Elohim to set free the prisoners who are in darkness (ignorance).

Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel chapter 8 tells us how Elohim in fact shows the prophet the very abominations of mixed sun-worship that was going on in the Temple. Many images are made as supposed pictures of Messiah and Mary and many other apostles and prophets with a sun-disc behind their heads in a wicked attempt at identifying them with sun-worship.

It is clear that when we see the overriding evidence that is available for us all to see as to just where the word for ‘holy’ comes from and what its derivatives actually refer to then we must take action in not using this very pagan rooted word in referring to the Spirit of Elohim or any other aspects of set-apart living, for if we do we are simply in great error and are giving homage to the Sun, which no matter how sincere is may be … it is sincerely wrong and an abomination in the eyes of יהוה. יהוה makes it very clear for us that we are not to adopt the worship practices and forms of the pagan nations and apply their forms and practices unto Him. He has given us His instructions in His Torah and we are not to add or take away from them!

Sacred is another word frequently used in Christianity in its attempt at referring to that which is ‘set-apart’ – ‘qodesh’ in Hebrew and ‘hagios’ in Greek. Interestingly you will find that this word, sacred, is in fact not seen in the King James Version but it used in later translations of the Scriptural text. Many words in English as I have said are traced back to Germanic and Dutch roots, and many also come from Latin and some even earlier languages known as Sanskrit. The word ‘sacred’ is traced back to the Sanskrit ‘Sakra’. Indra was one of the twelve forms of sun-deity and he was also known as Sakra and in the twelfth form he is known as Mitra – the origin of the Roman Mithras who was associated with sun-deity and apparently became the Sun-deity known as ‘Sol Invictus’ – the unconquered Sun-deity. Wow, many of you are thinking that this sounds much like the Roman Catholic Church – and you are right – Mithras was worshipped by the first Pope – Constantine who sought a way of blending the Truth with pagan worship as a means to gain the control of the world – he birthed Christianity giving it all its pagan rooted forms of worship – and it is time for the children of Elohim to come out of this wicked whore!

I encourage you to test all that you read as you go through this book, as it becomes very evident that we are to have a speech renewed and a pure tongue restored as we strip away pagan rooted words linked to pagan sun-deity worship. Therefore we cannot use the terms ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ when referring to that which is ‘set-apart’ and separated unto Elohim. Therefore know that in referring to the Spirit of Elohim – the Ruach haQodesh – we cannot and must not use the pagan terminology of ‘Holy’ Spirit but rather ‘Set-Apart’ Spirit of Elohim.

We are to live set-apart lives – separated unto Elohim. We are to set-apart and treat as separate the Sabbath – set-apart from the rest, let us look at the term gathering;

 

2 – Gatherings:

Hebrew word: מִקְרָא - miqra’ – Strong’s H4744, meaning: assembly/ group/ convocation/ a collective of people gathered for a purpose/a calling together

What we must realise here is that the Sabbath is a set-apart day from the rest; and it is a day of gathering together as His body. We are to come together to worship our Elohim. We are to collectively set-apart the Sabbath as we set-aside our own desires and pleasures and work that takes up our time for the previous 6 days and delight ourselves as one in Him. Many today do not see the need for gathering and claim that they are happy to ‘keep’ Sabbath on their own. As well and easy as this sounds – according to the Word of Elohim this is not Scriptural – we are required to gather. And it is more than just gathering and having a kind of social – it is a gathering especially set-apart unto spending the day in fellowship in the Word. There is not too much I can say to add to the simplicity of understanding this term – the Sabbath is a set-apart ‘gathering’, and this happens in the world today in the form of gathering in various size groups that יהוה establishes and builds. When one thinks of the term gathering, one automatically can see the picture of more than just one or two people – it speaks of a body of believers coming together in obedience to Scripture.

I must admit that churches have had a seemingly good way of gathering a crowd – sadly though it is not on the correct day and what is even worse – each one attending feels good about themselves that they gave up an hour or two!!!

We as children of the Living Elohim are to gather – and gather for His Sabbath.

Here at ‘At the Foot of the Covenant Ministries’ we gather in our home, firstly on the evening of Sabbath (that is Friday night for those who still have not understood when a day starts and then more specifically when Sabbath starts) for a time of worship followed by teaching in the Word and fellowship. Then on the morning (Saturday) we gather from 10:00am for more worship and then sit together and go through our weekly Torah portion together with the relevant writings form the Prophets and rest of the Tanak (O.T.) and Renewed Writings (N.T.). We enjoy a ‘bring and share’ lunch together and end the day late in the afternoon having truly set-apart the Sabbath and ‘gathered’ together having immersed ourselves in the wonder and joy of His Word that strengthens us and builds us up in the faith, maturing us in Him. Gathering is critical to the life of the Body of Messiah.

Ok, so now we have looked at when a day begins and which of these days is in fact the Sabbath of Elohim and that we are to proclaim the Sabbath as set-apart gatherings; now let us look a little more at just what the importance of this is for us and just what Scripture instructs us with in regards to His Sabbaths.

The Sabbath is a sign

Why the Sabbath is of utmost importance to us, and what we are to quickly realise is that our sign or mark of our worship unto יהוה our Elohim is in fact our remembering to ‘keep’ His Sabbath. Sabbath observance is key to worship, in fact it is our definitive sign that sets us apart from others.

Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, to know that I AM יהוה who sets them apart!

Shemoth/Exodus 31:16-17 “And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. 17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

We as his children are to ‘guard’ and ‘observe’ the Sabbath for all time! יהוה makes it very clear in the above two passages that the Sabbath is in fact the sign that we are His!!! How awesome is that! His Sabbath is a sign of His power to create and His power to redeem. In the Scriptures, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.

Elohim's sign, the Sabbath, represents His mighty power to rule as Creator and Saviour, and it is a sign forever between us as children of Yisra’ĕl and Elohim!!!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:9 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim.

You cannot get any clearer than this verse, although it has sadly been twisted into teaching that this Sabbath rest being spoken of only refers to the millennial reign. The Greek word used here for ‘Sabbath-keeping’ is:

Strong’s G4520σαββατισμός  ‘sabbatismos – which literally means ‘a Sabbath keeping’ or ‘Sabbath observance’ and is very clear in its instruction for us today that to keep Sabbath is still of vital importance – after all it is an everlasting sign for us – a sign that will prove to be a critical dividing factor in showing who truly worships Elohim and who does not! The weekly Sabbath-keeping is for us not only a sign, but it is also the first of His commanded Appointed times according to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:1-2. יהוה has given us this day as a sign of His everlasting covenant and what we must therefore also realise is that the enemy will always have a counterfeit sign in seeking any means at luring people into the delusion of false worship, making people believe that they are in fact worshipping the Creator when clearly they are in error by having the wrong ‘sign’ of their worship.

I have taken an excerpt from the book Fossilized Customs by Lew White showing some quotes by various theologians and preachers of the past:

(From pages 86 & 87 Fossilized Customs – sixth edition)

Below are quotes from theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations who have been very open in ADMITTING that there is no Scriptural authority for observing Sun-day as a Sabbath:

ANGLICAN / EPISCOPAL

Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp. 334, 336:

“And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded

to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day . . . The reason we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.”

T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18, 1884:

“I have repeatedly offered $1000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy’. The Catholic Church says: ‘NO. By my divine power I abolish

the Sabbath day, and command you to keep holy the first day of the week’. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.”

Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, pp. 52, 63, 65:

“There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday . . . Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters . . . The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”

Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday:

“We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church.”

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before the New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner, Nov. 16, 1893:

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not. To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . Never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history. . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”

William Owen Carver, The Lord’s Day In Our Day:

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.”

Dr. R.W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton & Mains), p. 127-129:

“It is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath . . . The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday . . . There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Timothy Dwight, Theology; Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258:

The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824, vol. 1, no. 7, p. 164:

“’But’, say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day’. Where? When? And by whom? No man can tell. NO; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again; for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that

august personage changed it who changes times and laws EX OFFICIO– I think his name is DOCTOR ANTICHRIST.”

First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19:

“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just proceeding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”

LUTHERAN

The Sunday Problem, a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36:

“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.”

Augsburg Confession of Faith., art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Henry Jacobs, ed. (1911), p. 63:

“They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, as having been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!”

Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church, Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186:

“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine Command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.”

John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday:

“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel . . . These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in

the New Testament to that effect.”

METHODIST

John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25, vol. 1, p. 221:

“But, the Moral Law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken . . . Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the

nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”

DWIGHT L. MOODY D.L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting, pp. 7, 48:

“The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember’, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”

PRESBYTERIAN

T.C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp. 474:

“The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue-the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution. Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole Moral Law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand . . . The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”

(Taken from Fossilized Customs by Lew White – sixth edition pages 86-87)

Ok, I am sure that if you had never read or heard of any of these clear confessions before, then you may be a little stunned to say the least… and you should be! So why then is there still such a fight and struggle to simply follow the Truth of Scripture? The enemy wants control and so through the paganised programme of Christianity, which has syncretised Truth with sun-worship, has in fact drawn many to take on the ‘mark of the beast’.

The papacy has declared that Sun-day observance is her ‘mark’ of Authority. Now for many people reading this, the common error often too quickly jumped too is in declaring that they are not Catholic so it does not apply to them. The plain truth is that the Catholic Church is the mother of Christianity – she is the whore who has made the nations drunk with here maddening adulteries and has brought forth many children – consisting of the 1000’s of denominations that exist within Christianity today and the sign or mark of the authority and worship of the whore and the Beast is none other than sun-day observance.

One only has to look around the Vatican website at the Catechisms to see how man has deliberately changed the Word of Elohim to suite his own agenda and have power and control over man – and the sign of this authority has been established by the institution of Sun-day observance that according to traditions of man now instituted as law has replaced the Sabbath, listen to this quote from the Catholic Catechisms, # 2190:

 

2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

WHERE DOES IT SAY THIS IN SCRIPTURE??? NOWHERE – YOU WILL NOT FIND THIS ANYWHERE IN THE WORD OF ELOHIM – WHY? BECAUSE HIS SABBATH HAS NEVER CHANGED AND NEVER WILL!

Some more quotes taken from the Vatican website in their catechisms regarding the Sabbath and what they call the Lord’s Day (Bearing in mind that we dealt with what ‘Lord’ means in Chapter 1 – it means Ba’al):

 

(Copied and pasted directly from the website: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7O.HTM)

106 St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead.

108 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88.

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.

109 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 122, 4.

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."

Notice this last statement (109) by St. Thomas Aquinas – ‘Sunday observance as a sign’.

But wait a minute – יהוה has given us a sign – His Sabbath – so who is man to change that?  – the Word is clear – do not add or take away – man has clearly taken away and added in this one severe change of what יהוה has instituted from the Creation week as a perpetual sign of His everlasting Covenant with His children.

What we need to understand is that there is a clear wrestle for worship – Satan wants man to worship him and will stop at nothing in doing everything he can to achieve this. What each person needs to ask themselves is simply this: “Who am I worshipping?” And this will become clear by the ‘sign’ or ‘mark’ of their worship and that is in keeping the Sabbath of יהוה or in subjecting themselves to Sun-day observance (which is ‘the dare of the Church’)!

For unity in the Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine, while bowing down to the sun and praying to the sun-deity Mithras, saw and image in the sky as he looked up – that image was the “cross” – which happened as the light of the sunrise defrags and causes the light to be ‘split’ – yet he saw this as a sign of how he would be able to gain control over the world through religion and thus he declared ‘Christianity’ to be the state religion and while he continue to worship the sun, moon and starts he declared that everyone was to give honour to ‘Sol Dies’ or ‘Sol Invictus’, which means ‘the unconquered sun/ unconquerable sun’. This decree was made under a penalty of death for all who refused to bow down to the ‘sun’. Many true believers did flee while most submitted to this new religious system in fear of their lives.

In the formulation of this decree it was declared that all ‘Christians’ must now worship on the ‘Day of the Sun’ and anyone who was found to be ‘keeping’ what he called the ‘Jewish’ Sabbath would be put to death!!!

Hence Constantine initiated a change in times and commanded appointments for which Scripture warns us would happen:

Dani’ěl/Daniel 7:25 “and it speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.

The ‘it’ in this verse is referring to the 4th beast as described in Dani’ěl 7. It speaks blasphemy against the Most High, and intends to change appointed times and law. Intends to change – that is that despite man’s efforts at changing any of the Creator’s times, they will never succeed – they may follow their own schedule – yet the one that matters and is of utmost importance is our Creator’s Appointed Times which we will look at in another chapter, whilst also understanding that His Sabbath is critical in this topic. To ‘change law’ is simply to become ‘lawless’ as changing ‘law’ leads to lawlessness and it is the lawless that will be judged!

‘Mark’ on the hand and/or forehead

Ḥazon/Revelation 13:16 “And he causes all, both small and great, and rich and poor, and free and slave, to be given a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads.

What is this ‘mark’ being spoken of here?

There are so many theories and much guess work in this, however as one looks at Scripture the reality of what this mark is becomes clear. I have just discussed how the Sabbath is a ‘sign’ between us and יהוה, and also how the catholic church are very vocal in their arrogant declaration in saying that they changed the Sabbath to Sun-day worship and the mere fact that people observe this is proof of their ecclesiastical power:

The Convert’s catechism of Catholic Doctrine” pg. 50, third edition tells us more of where the Sunday Sabbath came from. “We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

 

Who changed the day, Elohim or man? We find this answer declared by Cardinal Gibbons, “The Catholic church by virtue of her divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.

 

“A doctrinal Catechism” by Stephen Keenan, pg. 174 tells us that the Universal Church authorities was asked, “Have you any other way of proving that the church (RC) has power to institute festivals of precept?  They responded with,  “Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her- she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority.

 

So on one hand you have the Catholic Church declaring her authority in the fact that she claims to have the authority to ‘change’ Scripture. יהוה makes it very clear in Scripture that HE does not change!!! The dilemma that those who claim to worship the Creator are faced with is whether they will follow man or follow the Truth – the unchangeable Word of Elohim – will they accept the Truth or the Dare?

Let us look at the true understanding of the right hand and the forehead:

The ‘mark of the beast’ described in Ḥazon/Revelation is not a visible mark – but rather it is an “action”. To have the mark received on the right hand means that it is ‘performed’ – in other words an action is performed but does not necessarily mean that the person believes it to be the right thing to do as they may just be ‘going with the flow’ in ignorance. To have the mark upon the ‘forehead’ represents ones intellect and cognitive decision making process where one chooses to accept the action of submission to an authority that they follow. To receive the ‘mark’ on the forehead then implies that the action is performed without any regret or remorse – like a whore without shame and therefore indicates that the person performing the action is in full agreement with the act.

So in line of what we are discussing here in regards to worship, it is clear that the one who actively performs the agreed submission to the decrees of the one they worship will reveal whose mark or sign they have upon their right hands and foreheads.

If one chooses to ‘work’ on the Sabbath and observe sun-day worship then they must realise that they are taking on the mark of the beast upon their right hand and when they do this willingly and are in agreement with all the decrees of man in following the lies that the Sabbath is done away with or changed then they are taking the mark upon their forehead.

Right hand” implies work and “forehead” implies a clear conscious choice.

When you willingly choose to walk in obedience to the commands of the Creator and remember to keep the True Sabbath and do not work on the Sabbath and willing choose to ‘delight’ in the Sabbath then we are ‘marked’ by יהוה.

The Sabbath in יהוה’s set-apart day for us to come together and delight in Him and not do our own pleasure nor even think our own thoughts:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Ya’aqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!

One other aspect that we are to recognise with regards to the Sabbath is the fact that we are told to remember that we were slaves in Mitsrayim and were ‘brought out’ by a strong Hand and an outstretched Arm – and therefore we are commanded to PERFORM the SABBATH! Each week we get to perform the Sabbath and remember that we have been delivered from slavery – if we neglect the Sabbath, we will quickly forget that we were delivered from bondage and may find ourselves in a place of uncertainty and despair, being enslaved all over again to the corruption of the flesh. The Sabbath is a reminder of our continued entering into the rest and completed work of our Creator, as we recognise that we have all because of Him and nothing is of our own working – but all is from Him!

5 - Verse 16 – Respect your father and your mother

This command has a promise attached,

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Master, for this is right. 2 “Respect your father and mother,” which is the first command with promise, 3 in order that it might be well with you, and you might live long on the earth.

The Pharisees quickly tried to find a loophole to their responsibility in respecting and taking care of their parents and were rebuked sternly by as they quickly created a tradition that gave them a way out from keeping the commands!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:4-6 “For Elohim has commanded, saying, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated,” 6 is certainly released from respecting his father or mother.’ So you have nullified the command of Elohim by your tradition.

Nullified the command of Elohim by your tradition – boy has that happened far too much – in fact just once is too much but today the church and rabbinic Judaism is all about traditions that they hold fast to while excusing their way out of obeying the commands of Elohim!

Another aspect of this command is that the word ‘respect’ is the Hebrew word כַּבֵּד kebeḏ – Strong’s H3513 meaning, honour, heavy, made heavyand so what we must recognise in the context of hearing and guarding to do all His commands is that when we are told to ‘respect’ our parents, what is in effect being told to us is that we must carefully consider and ‘give weight to’ what our parents have done! If we do not acknowledge the inherited lies of our fathers then we would be unable to learn to guard to do all the commands and so we must weigh up the consequences of the inherited lies and mistakes and be careful to not follow in the same mistakes, and guard the Truth in order that we may live long in the land which יהוה is giving us, and not be kept out or expelled as our forefathers were.

6 - Verse 17 – Do not commit murder

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:21-26 “You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders shall be liable to judgment. 22 “But I say to you that whoever is wroth with his brother without a cause shall be liable to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raka!’ shall be liable to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to fire of Gehenna. 23 “If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go, first make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 “Be well-minded with your opponent, promptly, while you are on the way with him, lest your opponent deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 “Truly, I say to you, you shall by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.”

7 - Verse 18 – Do not commit adultery

The technical meaning here includes only intimacy involving a married woman, because it represents idolatry, which is spiritual adultery, for the emphasis as these laws were given was that Yisra’ĕl is יהוה’s wife and can belong to no one else.  These two uses of the term are almost interchangeable in Scripture, partly because pagan worship so often included sexual relations with priests and temple prostitutes. Adultery, figuratively, also means to "adulterate" the Word of יהוה, or teach it falsely.  Loosening the meaning of His commands leads others into idolatry.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:27-32 “You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 “But I say to you that everyone looking at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 “And if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is better for you that one of your members perish, than for your entire body to be thrown into Gehenna. 30 “And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you. For it is better for you that one of your members perish, than for your entire body to be thrown into Gehenna. 31 “And it has been said, ‘Whoever puts away his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 “But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery.

Do not commit adultery by whoring after the world and its desires:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.

Becoming a friend of the world is an action of committing adultery against Elohim to whom we have been betrothed!

8 - Verse 19 – Do not steal

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:28 “Let him who stole steal no more, but rather let him labour, working with his hands what is good, so that he has somewhat to share with those in need.

Stealing implies illegally taking that which is not yours. This can be in terms of physical goods such as a thief or robber would do by breaking in and stealing. It can also speak of stealing that which you cannot see physically, for example people’s joy or their reputation and even steal their ideas and concepts and take credit for it. We can also steal time and resources away from יהוה when we ‘rob’ Him in not paying tithes and giving what is due as well as neglecting to keep His Feast days and Sabbaths as set-apart.

Stop stealing by working with your hands what is good – do what you are required to do according to His Word and steal no more!

9 - Verse 20 – Do not bear false witness against your neighbour

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil. 32 And be kind towards one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as Elohim also forgave you in Messiah.

Tehillah/Psalm 101:5-7 “Him who secretly slanders his neighbour I cut off; I do not tolerate one who has a haughty look and a proud heart. 6 My eyes are on the trustworthy of the land, to dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He serves me. 7 He who practises deceit does not dwell in my house; he who speaks lies does not stand in my presence.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:11 “Brothers, do not speak against one another. He that speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah but a judge.

10 - Verse 21 – Do not covet

The Hebrew word for ‘covet’ is חָמַד ḥamad – Strong’s H2530 meaning, to desire, take pleasure in, covet, lust

Romiyim/Romans 7:7 “What, then, shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Let it not be! However, I did not know sin except through the Torah. For also the covetousness I knew not if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.

Qolasim/Colossians 3:5 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: whoring, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and greed of gain, which is idolatry.

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:6-10 “But reverence with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought naught into the world, and it is impossible to take any out. 8 When we have food and covering, we shall be satisfied with these. 9 But those wishing to be rich fall into trial and a snare, and into many foolish and injurious lusts which plunge men in ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some, by longing for it, have strayed from the belief, and pierced themselves through with many pains. 11 But you, O man of Elohim, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, reverence, belief, love, endurance, meekness.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:5 “Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you,

Miḵah/Micah 2:1-2 “Woe to those plotting wickedness, and working out evil upon their beds! In the light of the morning they practise it, because it is in the might of their hand. 2 And they coveted fields and seized them, also houses, and took them away. And they oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:8-9 “They were like well-fed horses, every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. 9 “Would I not punish them for this?” declares יהוה. “And would I not revenge Myself on such a nation as this?

Luqas/Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, “Mind, and beware of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the excess of his possessions.

These were the 10 Words that ALL Yisra’ĕl physically heard יהוה speak, and then they said to Mosheh that if they heard anymore they would die and they told Mosheh to go near and hear all that יהוה would say to him, and whatever he hears and speaks, they shall hear from Mosheh and do it!

Verse 29 expresses what יהוה desires from us – the heart to fear Him and guard His commands, so it will go well with us. If we live by His rules, we will be safe and secure – for HE longs to bless and guard us and show favour to us and give us His immeasurable shalom, yet when we harden our hearts to hearing then we put ourselves in a place of not being able to fully receive what is freely available to all who hear, guard and do by faith!

CHAPTER 6

The Torah teaches us to fear יהוה and it teaches us therefore to guard ALL His laws and commands – and so we are to be a continual hearing, guarding and doing people. Although this may sound very repetitive – and it is – because we need to hear it over and over so as to get it!

 

Verse 4 – Our Elohim is יהוה – listen and pay attention Yisra’ĕl – there is no other – He is One and He is the Only One!

There is to be nothing that comes before Him! And this is what all these commands have been building up toward – the fact that there is only One Elohim and His Name is יהוה.

Verse 5 – Love יהוה with your all!

The greatest commandment!

Marqos/Mark 12:28-30 “And one of the scribes coming near, hearing them reasoning together, knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first command of all?” 29 And יהושע answered him, “The first of all the commands is, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl, יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one. 30 ‘And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first command.

This command is a command to full commitment and complete surrender:

Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.

 

Love יהוה with ALL your HEART: the word for ‘heart’ here is לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 meaning, heart, inner man, will, mind.

Love יהוה with ALL your BEING: the word for ‘being’ is the root word נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315 meaning, a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion’.  

Love יהוה with ALL your MIGHT: the word for ‘might’ is the word מְאֹד meo – Strong’s H3966 which carries the meaning of, ‘muchness, abundance, diligently, exceedingly, excessive, fully, immense’. (Loving Him with all that is within me)

What is being declared here in expressing these 3 areas is that we are to love יהוה with all that is within us – in word and deed – with our thoughts and emotions, and with the full intensity of giving our all, without compromise and no holding back on our true obedience!!!

Once again this is where everything we have done so far in this Torah portion builds up to – in recognising that all we are and all we have must be given unto יהוה, representing a totally surrendered life of obedience that is expressed in diligently guarding to do ALL that our ONE Elohim has commanded us to!

Belief alone is not enough!!! There are many today who say that all you have to do is believe – and this is not so. Ya’aqoḇ addresses this issue very clearly:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:18-20 “But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works. 19 You believe that Elohim is one. You do well. The demons also believe – and shudder! 20 But do you wish to know, O foolish man, that the belief without the works is dead?

Even the demons ‘believe’ that יהוה is One - and they are not saved!!! The demons believe and acknowledge that there is no other Elohim, yet they do not ‘love’ Elohim, as clearly seen by their ‘lack of obedience’! So many today have been misguided into thinking that there ‘belief alone will save them’ – what does Ya’aqoḇ say?

Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:14 “My brothers, what use is it for anyone to say he has belief but does not have works? This belief is unable to save him.

It is not enough to ‘just believe’ and be saved – that is clear as we read Ya’aqoḇ’s words through the understanding of the clear words in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

The daily declaration of a true set-apart child of Elohim is to confess that there is no other mighty ones beside Elohim and we prove our belief by guarding to do all the Elohim has commanded. Those who claim that the Torah is no longer applicable are no different to demons who ‘just believe’!!!

Verse 6

These Words are to be in our hearts – in other words they are to be on our mind – we are to be meditating day and night upon His Torah! Dawiḏ says of the ‘blessed’ man:

Tehillah/Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.

Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:11 “I have treasured up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:97 “O how I love Your Torah! It is my study all day long.

Studying the Torah is an expression of the love we have for יהוה and His instructions. Studying will cause us to have his word in our ‘heart’!

Tehillah/Psalm 49:3 “My mouth speaks wisdom, and the meditation of my heart brings understanding.

This command to have His Words in our heart is a call to action – a call to meditating on His Word – a call to studying His Word and a call to making every effort to get His Word ‘in’ as we eat daily of our lawful bread!

If we do not get the Word ‘in’ our heart then we will be unable to do what verse 7 commands us to:

Verse 7

We are to ‘impress’ them upon our children – and the word for ‘impress’ is שָׁנַן shanan – Strong’s H8150 which means, sharpen, pierce, teach diligently. How can one ‘sharpen’ or ‘teach’ our children ‘diligently’ if we are not equipped to teach??? We have a huge responsibility to teach the next generation, and our task is to teach them how it relates to them – that is why we are told to speak of them (commands) when we sit, walk, lie down and rise up.

With our everyday life we are to ‘pierce’ our children with the Truth – getting it inside of them for if we do so correctly then they will not depart from the good way!

This similar language is seen being repeated in Mishlĕ/Proverbs:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:20-24 “My son, watch over your father’s command, And do not forsake the Torah of your mother. 21 Bind them on your heart always; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you are walking about, it leads you; When you lie down, it guards you. And when you have woken up, It talks to you. 23 For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life, 24 To guard you against an evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a strange woman.

I have highlighted verse 22 here from Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6, as the clear wording given here should naturally cause us to turn back to this Torah portion given in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6, helping us with the clear wisdom of acknowledging our need to meditate day and night on the Torah!

When we walk about, lie down and get up! Our whole life!!!

1 - When we walk about the Torah leads us, and the word ‘lead’ in the Hebrew is the root word נָחָה naḥah – Strong’s H5148 which means,to lead, guide, bring forth, govern. His presence leads us and guides us and governs us on the way! This word is also used in:

Tehillah/Psalm 5:8 “O יהוה, lead me in Your righteousness because of those watching me; make Your way straight before my face.

Tehillah/Psalm 23:3 “He turns back my being; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

Tehillah/Psalm 27:11 “Teach me Your way, O יהוה, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

Tehillah/Psalm 31:3 “For You are my rock and my stronghold; for Your Name’s sake lead me and guide me.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:11 “Then יהוה would guide you continually, and satisfy your being in drought, and strengthen your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

2 – When we lie down – the Torah guards us!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you need not be afraid. And you shall lie down and your sleep shall be sweet.

We can go and lie down peacefully each day, knowing that as we stay in our Master, that our Elohim never slumbers nor sleeps, and He constantly watches over us.

3 – When you have woken up – the Torah talks to you!

When you are meditating on the Torah day and night, then His Word will constantly be in your thoughts and even when you wake up you will find that the Word is speaking tenderly to you! It is a joy to often wake up with a rejoicing worship song in your head, or a portion of Scripture that comes to remembrance and ushers in the waking up with the promise of assurance and peace. I often say that if you are not reading, studying and meditating on the Word of Elohim, then it will not ‘talk to you’ when you wake up, and if you are waking up very grumpy and moody, then perhaps you need to spend more time in the Word! That which we put in and treasure up within us, will be brought forth in what we say and do!

Luqas/Luke 6:45 “The good man brings forth what is good out of the good treasure of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of the wicked treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.

If the good treasure of the Word of Elohim is in our hearts then our mouths will overflow and bring forth that which is good, and thus be able to teach our children well – if not then our children run the risk of being taught wickedness!!!

We need to know the Scriptures well so that we are able to teach our children what is best in each and every situation.

We are to teach our children where we comes from, how we are to walk daily in obedience, as well as about life and death as we diligently prepare them in every way!

Verse 8

Bind them as a sign on your hand  - and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes!

What we see very clearly in the Torah is that we are ‘marked’ by the Torah – or at least we should be!

As I have already discussed under the Sabbath, that the Sabbath shall be a sign between us and  יהוה forever (Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 20:12&20); and what we can also see from Shemoth/Exodus 13:9&16 we are told that The Feast of Pěsaḥ/Passover and Matzot (Unleavened bread) shall be a sign for us – where…:

Shemoth/Exodus 13:9 “And it shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, that the Torah of יהוה is to be in your mouth, for with a strong hand יהוה has brought you out of Mitsrayim.

Shemoth/Exodus 13:16 “And it shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand יהוה brought us out of Mitsrayim.

What we see from all these accounts we see that the Sabbath is a sign that it is יהוה who sets us apart, and that we will know that יהוה is Elohim and there is no other! Pěsaḥ and Matzot is a sign for us to remember that the Torah is to be in our mouth and that יהוה brought us out of Mitsrayim! And from here in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy we are further told that we are to bind His words on us as a sign! Observance of His Sabbath and Appointed Times marks us, and our ability to bind His Word on our hand and be as frontlets between our eyes every single day will be how we are able to faithfully guard His Word diligently!

As discussed already that the hand speaks of our work and between our eyes speaks of our conscious choice and cognitive thinking – we are to be a people meditating day and night on His Torah?

The root word for ‘bind’ is קָשַׁר qashar – Strong’s H7194 and means, to bind, league together, knit, tied and the idea here is that we are to have His Word ‘knit’ and interwoven into our lives, so much so that when others look at us they should see the Torah that is written upon our hearts and is in our mouths – to do it – in other words we become a ‘letter’ of the Truth!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:2-3You are our letter, having been written in our hearts, known and read by all men, 3 making it obvious that you are a letter of Messiah, served by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living Elohim, not on tablets of stone but on fleshly tablets of the heart.

When the Torah in as frontlets between the eyes – then we can begin to understand more clearly how the Torah is a lamp and light for our daily walk:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Are you ‘shining’ the Light of the Truth? Can people see that you are ‘marked’ by the Truth, or do you hide it through compromise?

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:20-23 “My son, watch over your father’s command, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you are walking about, it leads you; when you lie down, it guards you. And when you have woken up, it talks to you. 23 For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life.

The word for bind here is also קָשַׁר qashar and the idea of having to tie them around our neck is the idea of putting on the yoke of יהושע Messiah – The Living Torah – that we may be led forth in Truth:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.

Binding the Torah on our hand and letting it be that which guides our every step as it lights the way will cause us to ‘enter in and possess’ all that has been promised and is yes and Aměn in Messiah!

Verse 9 – put them on your doorposts

Writing the commands on our doorpost is a sure sign to all that enter your house that the rule of your house is the Torah! This is also a great reminder for us each time we go out or come in that the Torah is to be upon the doorposts of our hearts and so putting them on our homes is a physical and literal way of causing to be reminded of who we are and to whom we belong, just as we wear tzitzit on the edges of our garments to remind us of all the commands and that we are to guard to do them and not search after our own hearts and eyes, after which we went whoring!

Having the commands on our doorposts or gates where we enter in is a reminder to us that יהושע Messiah – The Living Torah – is the Door and that He stands at the door and knocks:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:20 “See, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

In Shemoth/Exodus we also see that the blood of the lamb was to be on the doorposts of the houses where they would eat the Pěsaḥ Meal:

Shemoth/Exodus 12:7 “And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

Now we know that this is a shadow picture of the Blood of Messiah – The Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, and the question we need to ask ourselves is this – Are we ready for dinner??? He is coming again and when He does – will He find faith (active faith) as we have His yoke leading us and bound to our hand, and our homes ruled according to His Torah?

Besides the simple obedience to this command – putting the 10 Words on the doorposts and lintel of our homes looks awesome and certainly does stir the interest of strangers! Having said that though, we must also be careful to not only have an outward ‘show’ while the inside is rotten!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:26 “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is worthless.

What we see being described in this chapter is the practical ways of guarding, or rather helping us to remember to guard the commands.

Verse 13

We have already mentioned what it means to fear יהוה (please follow link to sermon notes on this, which you can find under chapter 4:6 of this commentary).

We are to serve יהוה and for more on that please see the sermon notes on a message called, “TALENTED SERVANTS SERVE” (Matthew 24:14-30) at:

http://atfotc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=197:talented-servants-serve-matthew-24-14-30&catid=14&Itemid=325

Seven in Hebrew is the primitive root word - שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 and from this word we get the denominative verb - שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 which means, to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’.

An ‘oath’ is typically and obligation taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you.

To “swear” in Scripture (which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa) was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act. Occasionally we see in Scripture that one ‘swore’ that he freely acknowledged a truth and would continue to acknowledge it in the future by sticking to what he has heard.

In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, that what was said would be accomplished.

This is vital for us to grasp, as we see in the world today how so many ‘break their word’ so easily and brush it off without any regard for the consequences of makes rash promises and vows.

What we are to recognize is that the one we make a promise to is in a sense ‘incomplete’ until we fulfill the vow – and so too are we, as we have ‘by our words’ bound ourselves to another and therefore are required to follow through or else we are rendered as not having completed our work and are ‘incomplete’.

When we ‘swear by His Name’ we are identifying ourselves with His character and His clear standards as prescribed in the Torah and therefore יהושע warns us that we are not to ‘swear FALSELY’!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:33 “Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:12 “And do not swear falsely by My Name and so profane the Name of your Elohim. I am יהוה.

To not swear falsely in יהוה's Name is a very serious instruction as many do this as they pass off their own agendas and ideas as that of יהוה. It also speaks of not fulfilling something that we have declared to complete; and now we have all said we will follow His commands and obey them as we have dedicated our lives to following Messiah and therefore we must be careful not to be found faltering in our commitment, for this would be an example of ‘swearing falsely’ in His Name when we fail to do that which we have committed to doing and being marked and sealed as a set-apart nation unto Him!

Messiah reiterates this command by saying we should not swear falsely by anything, but rather let our yes be yes and our no be no as anything beyond this is form the evil one!!! He was not saying that we cannot swear or make an oath – He was saying that we should not do it falsely!!! Do not give your word and then break it!

If we are to be a light to the nations and ‘living letters’ of Messiah, then we had better be careful to ensure that we speak the Truth and follow through on our commitments, which ought to always be for His purposes!

Verse 16 – do not try יהוה

At Massah our ancestors ‘tried’ יהוה and contented with Mosheh as recorded in Shemoth/Exodus 17:1-7, and wanted their own way. Many are making the same mistake today in that they say that they ‘trust in’ יהוה, while they contend with His Torah (Mosheh), and this we must not do. Making the false assumption that the Torah is no longer valid is a very serious offense of ‘testing’   יהוה.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:7 “יהושע said to him, “It has also been written, ‘You shall not try יהוה your Elohim.’”

This was the response of יהושע to the devil when the devil tried to ‘use’ the Word as a means to ‘try/test/twist’ Messiah! When men twist the Word of יהוה to suite themselves they need to hear these words of Messiah – do not try יהוה!!!

Verse 18 – do what is right and good in the eyes of יהוה

The Hebrew word for ‘right’ here is יָשָׁר yashar - Strong’s H3477. The word ‘yashar’ means right, straight, upright and righteous. The Book of Yasher commonly known to us as ‘Jasher’ means the book of the ‘upright/straight’ or the Book of the ‘Righteous’.

We, as children of Elohim are called to walk upright and straight, called to walk and do what is ‘right’ in the eyes of יהוה – called to do what is ‘yashar’ – called to walk in righteousness and that is to walk in His Torah!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:28 “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death

Proverbs tells us that there is a way that seems ‘yashar/ right to man – but that only leads to death – too many want to follow their own way of what they determine as living right according to their own man-made standards yet will sadly only find that any other way other than that of the Torah of Elohim simply leads to destruction! Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many walk thereon – there are many ways of man – yet narrow is the path to life and few find it – that path is ‘in’ Messiah as we walk according to His instructions – The Torah which is life!

Tehillah/Psalm 7:10 “My shield is upon Elohim, who saves the upright in heart.

It is the upright in heart that Elohim saves! But just what does it mean to walk upright or ‘yashar’?

 

The root of ‘yashar’ is employed in at least 3 ways:

A – Literally – As it means to go straight or direct in the way. The root meaning of Torah comes from the Hebrew word ‘Horah’ which means ‘to direct’ or ‘to teach’ and is derived from the stem word ‘yara’ which means ‘to shoot’ or ‘to throw’.

In other words it means that you aim or point in the right direction and you move in that direction. So to walk upright or straight is to walk in the direction you have set your eyes upon and as those who ‘stay in’ Him we fix our eyes on יהושע Messiah and constantly walk straight! The more intensive form of ‘yashar’ means to ‘make’ a straight way and that is to make a direct and level way that is free from obstacles as they would do in the days past when they would prepare the way to receive a royal visitor – making a level path for them to travel upon. In other words the intensive form of doing what is right in His eyes carriers with it great action and dedicated commitment in all we do:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:6 “Know Him in all your ways, and He makes all your paths straight.

When we acknowledge Him in all our ways – guess what – He makes our paths straight that we can walk in the Torah of Freedom! But we have a part to play – our faith walk cannot be without works!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of יהוה; make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim.

In the Wilderness’ – as we know Bemiḏbar means ‘in the Wilderness’ and it literally means for us, ‘the place of words or speaking’. In other words the Wilderness in a time for us to listen and hear His voice – hear His instructions – Hear – guard and do! Hoshěa 2:14 tells us that He is alluring her (His Bride) into the Wilderness and shall speak to her heart – a place of listening! It is through the Wilderness journey, on our way to the Promise from exile, where He instructs us that we are able to make level paths and be a prepared Bride for His return!

Make straight – make yashar’ in the desert a highway for our Elohim! We are to be making a straight way – literally getting our lives into living upright in His eyes for our King is coming – will He find faith – faith that is active and alive and upright?

B – Ethically – Uprightness speaks ethically of the manner of life as a characteristic quality of the blameless and discerning follower of יהזשע:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:5 “The righteousness of the perfect makes his way straight, But by his own wrongness the wrong one falls.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:128 “Therefore all Your orders I count as right; I have hated every false way.

One who walks in righteousness makes his way straight and in doing so all the commands or orders we count as right – as ‘yashar’ – and in the process we hate every false way! You see until you have repented of all falsehood and false ways of worship you cannot walk fully straight as you will always find yourself ‘hanging on’ to something of the past falsehood – let go – repent and walk upright!

C – As an idiomatic expression with eyes – that is we see the word ‘right’ or ‘yashar’ being used as an expression with ‘eyes’ as in to be right in the eyes of a person simply means to have approval of the person by keeping their instructions! To do what is right – ‘ha yashar’ in the eyes of יהוה is linked with obedience to His commands and Covenant:

Shemoth/Exodus 15:26 “And He said, “If you diligently obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim and do what is right in His eyes, and shall listen to His commands and shall guard all His laws, I shall bring on you none of the diseases I brought on the Mitsrites, for I am יהוה who heals you.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 13:18 “when you obey the voice of יהוה your Elohim, to guard all His commands which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.

 Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:17-18 “Diligently guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim, and His witnesses, and His laws which He has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the eyes of יהוה, that it might be well with you, and you shall go in and possess the good land of which יהוה swore to your fathers

What we can clearly see here is that to do what is right in His eyes – that is the eyes of  יהוה is simply to do His commands and guard to keep them diligently!  To not do so is to not walk right and therefore only walk by what is right in one’s own eyes only to find that the path of self is destructive unto death!

A life of faith begins with obedience!

The Hebrew word for ‘good’ is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well.

Sounds all good – yet as we study further into the Hebraic mind-set in regards to this word we get a fuller understanding of what טוֹב toḇ means. To do that it does help to look at the ancient script and get a wider perspective of the true meaning of this word.

In the ancient script - טוֹב toḇ - is pictured as:

beitwawtet

Tet – ט:

The original pictograph for this letter is tet, a container made of wicker or clay. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are basket, contain, store and clay.

Waw - וֹ:

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope form slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

Beyt - ב:

The ancient script has this letter as beit, which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.

טוֹב toḇ -beitwawtet  -  we see that we as clay vessels are made secure through the Blood of Messiah that holds for us a secure covenant promise of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most High – where He that is Good  - The Potter - may dwell with those He created and called by name!

As we look at these letters we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב toḇ News’!

The way we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim is by being secured by the peg! Listen to what it says in:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:22-24 “And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. 23 ‘And I shall fasten him like a peg in a steadfast place, and he shall become a throne of esteem to his father’s house. 24 ‘And they shall hang on him all the weight of his father’s house, the offspring and the offshoots, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the jars.

We know that this is a great picture of how through יהושע Messiah we are fastened in a steadfast place!

Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

This again is a wonderful promise given amidst a time of bondage due – that a peg is given in His set-apart place – a great picture of the loving-commitment and compassion יהוה has for His called out nation, that while the ‘House of Elohim’ had been neglected and broken down He would bring the necessary means to ‘secure’ His covenanted people to His House that he builds by His design! It is through the work of Messiah, who has become the very ‘peg’ that secures us and adds us, the clay vessels, to His House!

The Word of Elohim made flesh – The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah came down and secured for us the ability to be made into the House that He Elohim shall dwell in forever!

His House/Dwelling Place is built by His design and His plan and so when we see how that we are the ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most High, then we are able to get a clearer understanding that we are built up according to His plans as instructed in His Torah that was given through Mosheh and revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah. Just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be built exactly according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain of the true heavenly Tabernacle, so too do we need to recognise that the only way we can be built up into being the True Dwelling Place of Elohim is through carefully following His instructions as we walk in and stay in Messiah – The Living Torah.

In the true understanding of this word   טוֹב toḇ we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this why it was ‘good’. When something is working properly we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So טוֹב toḇ in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’ when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!

As we guard to do all His commands and do what is right and good – then we will be a functioning people, able to faithfully declare the praises of יהוה, shine His Light and be able to possess all that He has planned for us!

Verse 25 sums up all that we have been discussing, and is possibly one of my most favourite verses, fro it truly declares what righteousness is for us – TO GUARD TO DO ALL THIS COMMAND BEFORE יהוה, and as we can see in verse 24 – IT IS GOOD FOR US!!! Doing His commands and walking in the True Fear of יהוה will keep us alive in Him!

 

CHAPTER 7

Before Yisra’ĕl could take full possession of the Promised Land they had to destroy 7 nations that were greater and mightier as them, as יהוה would deliver them up before Yisra’ĕlYisra’ĕl still had a great part to play in possessing that which יהוה had promised and had given. And this still speaks very clearly to us today in that we too, as children of Yisra’ĕl, grafted in to the covenants of Promise by the Blood of יהושע, have to defeat and destroy these very same nations, spiritually and metaphorically speaking in order for us to enter in to our spiritual position and possession. 

As we look at the 7 nations and what they represent for us today, we are able to see that they clearly represent for us those things that we need to defeat, and be equipped to conquer that which stands against us in our set-apart walk. And so when we begin to look at the significance of each one of these 7 ‘stronger’ nations we can begin to understand that which we are to war against and destroy, as we engage in daily spiritual warfare, defeating those things that often are keeping us from fully walking in and embracing the Promises of Elohim!

So we need to conquer Kenaʽan in our lives and drive out all the inhabitants – that is we are to drive out these things which may have had residence over our lives, and for some they may in fact still do, and the only way to effectively deal with them is to drive them out. This is not just a ‘one way we could do it’ approach if we do not happen to come up with a better way to do it ourselves, NO – this is the only way – because יהוה has commanded it! Conquering Kenaʽan is not easy and it is not for the fainthearted – as we continue to walk in the Promises of Elohim we must realise that it is a road of battles, battles that we can overcome as יהוה delivers our enemies up before us in order that we may utterly destroy them! As we look intently in to the mirror of the Word we get to see what needs to be dealt with and through His Word He delivers up that which we need to destroy. Yisra’ĕl was not just handed over the Land – they had battles to fight – with sword and shield!

And so too do we today – sword and shield – that is the Word and by faith – in other words – faith in the Word – that is active faith in the Living Word – a faith in Elohim that works and does the good works prepared in advance for us to do – that is to walk in His instructions (Torah) as we ‘work out’ our salvation with fear and trembling, obeying His every Word as we take ground little by little! Yisra’ĕl won battles when they obeyed the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts – יהוה of Hosts is His Name! And so too do we need to obey Him as we walk in יהושע Messiah and tear down strongholds and destroy sin. For this we must not hesitate – do not hesitate to clear out sin in your life! Often some sin is only revealed as you look intently into His Word and by His instructions you recognise that there is sin, which is lawlessness, in your life and so He delivers it up before you in order that YOU destroy it! The bottom line is this “DESTROY OR BE DESTROYED!

We MUST drive out – it is a command! Every bit of sin/lawlessness must be slaughtered – not a single sin is to be tolerated – so from the perspective of Yisra’ĕl here it was an attitude of ‘off with their heads’ and ‘a spear through their hearts’ – they were all to die! Sin is our enemy and it must be killed – יהושע has paid the price for our sin and so in Him we have the ability to destroy that which He has delivered us from and that which through the Word He exposes in our lives. Sin is our enemy and as the Word tells us that sin is lawlessness and therefore – lawless living styles must be destroyed!

Romiyim/Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, 8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.

Before we look at each of these nations I want to drive home the necessity of destroying that which is not of Elohim in your life, and in order to do that let us briefly look at the strong words used here in these passages – strong active words:

We see the following words being used:

1 - Break down – H5422 נָתַץ ‘nathats’ – means ‘break down, pull down, demolish, i.e., make physical impact on an object which results in its destruction, shatter, tear down’. This word is used in respect to their altars

2 – Smash – H7665  שָׁבַרshaḇar  - means ‘break in pieces, crush, shatter’. This is what they were to do to the pillars

3 - Cut Down – H1438 גָּדַעgada’ means ‘cut down, chop, break down, cast down’.

4 – Burn – H8313 – שָׂרַף  ‘saraph’ – means, to burn, burn up completely.

At this point you may be asking why am I giving all these Hebrew words, for you know what destroy means – well the reason for all the words is merely to emphasise the strength of action required in dealing with that that must be destroyed, for too many today take a half-hearted approach at trying to deal with sin and continually fail in walking in victory as the sin ends up destroying them because they didn’t take the necessary action required!

They were to utterly destroy the enemy and anything that would resemble or cause remembrance of them by not only destroying the people but also all their altars and images etc. – in other words they had to ‘clean house’.

We must not have anything before יהוה that is in His eyes an abomination – no matter how much you may like it – If it is an abomination unto יהוה it must be an abomination unto you! How many of you still have things in your home that must go? Things like ‘crosses and hearts’ and imagery that is so easily portrayed as acceptable today, especially in Christianity, yet have its roots in pagan idolatry – must be destroyed! If you don’t destroy them they will destroy you!

And so now as we look at the 7 nations that occupied the Promised Land – the 7 nations that needed to be destroyed, may we be encouraged to take action in our determined walk of living set-apart as a people of Elohim, as His treasured possession!

The Kenaʽanites as a whole represents that which may not always be blatantly pagan, however it is not of the Kingdom of Elohim – it represents for us the things of the world in general.

Let’s now look at each nation and the significance of their name and what meaning it may carry for us today and what spirit each one often carries with it:

1 – Ḥittitesחִתִּי Ḥitti  - Strong’s H2850 - meaning “sons of Ḥeth” or “terror”. So the name carries also the meaning of fear, and the effects of fear imposed by the enemy can be terror, being tormented, depression and deceit. What we must do in conquering the enemy is clear - we must first conquer fear. The Ḥittites speak of that which uses deceit into causing us to be afraid and terrorise us into doing what they want or they motivate people to follow through fear tactics! The church has certainly succeeded in many ways in this regard as it has motivated people to follow the broad path of Christianity by using the prospect of escaping hellfire and judgement if they do not, and so they teach and give a gross picture of many who will be poked forever by a hot fork – this is a lie – read Revelation and see what happens – those who are not written in the Book of Life are thrown into the fire and are consumed – gone forever – this is the second death. Death is death – how can you be dead and still be ‘alive’ being ‘punished through eternal punishment!!! Terror is used as a tactic. Deceit is also a major part of what this nation represents and we know just how the Church has turned the favour or ‘grace’ of Elohim into a licence to sin or be lawless – they have distorted the ‘Besorah’, which is the “Good News’ for a false grace ‘gospel’ – where gospel actually means to place one under a spell and in so doing they teach people to search the Word to see what they can get out of it as opposed to seeking what Elohim requires of them!

So we must conquer fear of the enemy by walking in the Truth by faith in Elohim! What ‘fears’ do you have – fear of failure – fear of lack – fear of others? Be strong and courageous as you put your trust in יהוה!!!

2 – Girgashites – גִּרְגָּשִׁי  Girgashi  - Strong’s H1622 – means “dwelling on a clayey soil” or ‘clay dwellers’ or ‘unsure foundation’. They can also give us the picture of one who is elusive – one who ducks and dives and avoids the Truth in every way as they do not have a sure foundation! They will avoid the Truth and use shaky foundations as their reality and attempt to retain their authority through mysteries and mysticism which only reveals cracks later on. In these last days where truth twisting deception is ever increasing and the pressure to follow traditions of men is being enforced, we must be careful and responsible for the Truth that יהוה has given us and stay firm on our sure solid foundation and Rock – יהושע Messiah. On clayey soil – they are those who focus on earthliness and therefore walk by what they can see and have no belief in what cannot be seen.

We are to walk by faith and not by sight as our faith is on a rock solid foundation. Girgashites are analytical people who base their life decisions on the pros and cons that their minds are able to perceive and rely solely on human wisdom and do their own will based on what their mind perceives is best for them. We are to rely on יהוה and set our eyes on that which is to come! Girgashites represents those who are fruitless, and are drawn away and enticed and represents those who are part of the great falling away! Do not be enticed or drawn away by lust of the flesh!

How sure are your foundations in Messiah? Do you rely too much on the flesh and are you enticed and drawn away by earthly pleasures that only drain you and deplete you of your faith? Destroy any unsure foundations and lust for pleasure in the flesh!!!

 3 – Amorites – אֱמֹרִי  Emori – Strong’s H567 - meaning  cave dwellersand comes from the word אָמַר amar – Strong’s H559 which means, utter, say, speak and can represent for us as meaning “boasters”. The Amorites, or Emori, were the biggest and strongest people in Kenaʽan. They were the ‘mountain people’ which speaks of the heights and give a picture of the tall ones or renowned ones – people who love self-exaltation. They are the prominent speakers or rather the ‘big mouths’ and ‘know it all’s’. They desire knowledge just to be superior to others and we know that ‘just’ knowledge without true application simply puffs up and pride becomes the result. Isn’t pride the strongest of strongholds within each of us? Love builds up and love for Elohim is to guard to do all He commands – so love in action that builds is the correct application of knowledge. Watch out for the ‘smooth talkers’ and the big talkers!

Amorites is a picture also of those who are arrogant and boastful in their speech, which always challenge everyone and want the last say and simply speaks of a form of rebellion.

How is your speech? Do you always want to be right, because you think you know it all? Kill any pride that may set in, quickly before it takes root!

4 – Kenaʽanites – כְּנַעֲנִי Kena’ani – Strong’s H3669 – and from its roots can mean, ‘zealous, lowlands people, brought down, defeated or made low’. It represents for us a resorting to a low life in respect to addictions and perversions and exaggerations. Seḏom and Amorah are portrayed as Kenaʽanite cities and we know all the low life stuff that went on there! This also pictures for us the battle against depression and anxiety and hopelessness. Are you struggling with anxiety and have little hope? Destroy it with faith in the One who knows what you need and do not worry – throw off anxiety and keep your eyes fixed on the Blessed hope we have in Messiah! They also represent those who seek to gain something for themselves by means of being people pleasers. They are people pleasers and will resort to very low and degrading means in order to do that. Herod’s daughter ‘danced’ here way to receiving what she wanted in getting Yoḥanan the immerser head cut off, by pleasing the fleshly sense of Herod. She ‘prostituted herself to get her way and this is what this spirit will do – cause you to resort to low life actions in order to get what you want as well as to please others as you do not want to feel out! We are to please Elohim not be man-pleasers!

5 – Perizzites – פְּרִזִּי  Perizzi  – Strong’s H6522 – means ‘belonging to a village’ or ‘rustic village’ and can mean ‘having a breach in the wall’. In understanding village as being a small place we get the picture here of having a limited vision, laziness or low self-esteem and no ‘boundaries’. The effects of this can result in isolation, division, separation, independence and becoming disconnected. Many who carry this spirit are divisive and do not want any form of confrontation. They will also struggle to submit to any form of authority and will strive to do their own thing. This is not the design of Elohim for His body – we are to be knitted together in unity in Him and when there is a breach in the wall – that is when someone has let their guard down and fallen into sin they should not isolate themselves and run away but should seek refuge with the rest of the body. We are to be repairers of breaches and restore honesty and justice in our relationships and our boundaries have fallen for us in pleasant places – that is we have His Torah to walk in and we must remain in the pleasant boundaries of His Torah!

6 – Ḥiwwitesחִוִּי Ḥivvi Strong’s H2340 – meaning villagers” and were known as “the dwellers of the high placewhose capital was on Mt. Ba’al Hermon (Strong’s H1179, meaning lord of destruction). We must tear down the high places of false worship in our hearts.

7 - Yeḇusites יְבוּסִי  Yeḇusi  – Strong’s H2983 - sons of YebusStrong’s H2982, which comes from the word בּוּס  bus – Strong’s H947 meaning ‘threshing, trample, trodden down, desecrate and utterly reject. This speaks plainly to rebellion and what it brings about in people. These are the threshers – those who are supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff – but here we get the picture of the suppression of spiritual authority in fellow believers – in other words they refuse to submit to authority that יהוה has ordained and reject instruction from those whom יהוה has called to speak His Word. They represent those who will always criticise and break down all forms of community advancement and adherence to Torah principles. How are you at submitting to authority, especially authority of those that יהוה has appointed? We would do well to not rebel – we know what happened in the Wilderness!!!

All of these nations represent a whole, hence the number 7 and represent a body and one may ask why drive out the whole body – why did Yisra’ĕl have to drive them all out? Well simply because they do not line up with the Torah – they may have a lot to offer, yet their lives did not match up to the plumb line of the Word and if left alone they would cause Yisra’ĕl to stumble – which is exactly what happened! These nations were more powerful and were tightly knit together, however we too are a body that is to be in unity in Messiah and we can, together, overcome them! No matter how perfect the enemies systems may seem to be – let me remind you that there is no eternal covenant in them! There are many large and seemingly powerful church institutions and denominations – yet let us be reminded that there is no covenant with the church or Christianity – the Eternal Covenant is with Yisra’ĕl, and all who are grafted in to the Covenants of Promise through the Blood of Messiah are grafted in to Yisra’ĕl!

We must lay claim to the Torah now while we eagerly await our return to the Land when Messiah Himself takes us there; and for now He has given us His Word to possess (guard and do) and in hearing, guarding and doing His Word we are to totally dispossess the rights of the enemy from having any impact on our lives!

The message is very straight forward – you got to destroy all sin and compromise, rebellion and pride, fear, apostasy, divisiveness and defilement! Often our lives get entangled in the Kenaʽanite addictions through compromise as convictions are often cast aside in order to please other. Listen we must be willing to ‘cut off’ all relationships with anything or anyone that promotes or harbours any wickedness of the Kenaʽanites – or else we will not possess and they will become a thorn in the flesh.

What we must recognise, as we see in this chapter 7:6 is that we are a set-apart people, chosen and treasured above all other peoples and therefore we ought to live like it!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. 11 Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

Verse 7-8 makes it clear to us that it is not because we were more numerous than the others that He chose us – יהוה chose us because He loves us and because He guards the oath sworn to our fathers – now let us too GUARD HIS COMMANDS! This command to ‘guard’ is repeated over and over and over – WHY? Because it must keep ringing in our ears – so that we hear and obey!

HEAR – GUARD – DO!

Shalom!