SHEMOTH (EXODUS) 18:1-20:26 – YITHRO – HIS EXCELLENCY

CHAPTER 18

יִתְרוֹ Yithro – Strong’s H3503 means, His excellency or his abundance, and was the name and/or title attributed to Mosheh’s father-in-law.

This chapter emphasises the ‘father-in-law’ of Mosheh and the advice that was given by him to Mosheh. 13 times in this chapter of 27 verses we see the clear reference to Yithro (Jethro) being the father-in-law of Mosheh, and the repetition of this may simply be to highlight for us that Yithro was in fact a man who walked according to the instructions of Elohim and put his faith in the Elohim of Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ, and so being a father-in-law of Mosheh, could this also possibly be seen as being related as one who was ‘in-covenant’ with יהוה. Why I say this is because the word used here for in-law is H2860 חֹתֵן ḥothen – ‘father-in-law’ or better understood literally as ‘wife’s father’. In the Arabic language ḥathan means “to circumcise,” and ḥothen means “a circumciser”, hence father-in-law, with reference to circumcision performed on young men just before marriage. In Shemoth/Exodus 4:25- 26 we see the term ‘ḥoten’ being used by Tsipporah after she circumcised her son and said to Mosheh, You are a bridegroom (ḥoten) of blood to me.  

What we can certainly pick up from Yithro is that he knew who the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl was and acknowledged that יהוה was above all! Yithro was the priest of Miḏyan - מִדְיָן - Strong’s H4080Miḏyan was a region which is located in the north of the Arabian Peninsula and was the territory where the son of Aḇraham and Qeturah settled and means, ‘strife’. While Yithro was not from the line of Yitsḥaq, he was a descendant of Aḇraham, and clearly shows an active and obedient lifestyle toward יהוה, the Elohim of Aḇraham! He was the ‘priest’ of Miḏyan and the Hebrew word for ‘priest’ is כֹּהֵן Kohen – Strong’s H3548 which means, priest, chief minister, officer, chief ruler, and so was a very powerful man who understood proper leadership, which made him able to come and bring good advice to Mosheh. He also would have understood certain sacrificial requirements that he could teach Aharon and Mosheh.

Verses 2-5Tsipporah and two sons brought back.

Mosheh had originally set on bringing his family to Mitsrayim (Shemoth/Exodus 4:20), however he possibly sent them back due to the pressure of his duties that lay ahead and now after the deliverance of Yisra’ĕl and the great victory Yisra’ĕl had encountered over Pharaoh and Mitsrayim, Mosheh is encamped at the place where he originally encountered יהוה at the ‘burning bush’ while tending sheep. When he saw the burning bush he was tending Yithro’s sheep and now back at the same place Mosheh was now tending the sheep of יהוה. A position he was in, as a ‘shepherd’, because he had been taught how to shepherd and tend sheep by Yithro!

This would not have been too far for Yithro to travel and he certainly would want to hear first-hand all the Truth that יהוה had done, for I am sure that there were many stories in the region!

In verse 2 we see the term ‘sent back’ which is from the Hebrew word שִׁלּוּחִים shilluḥim – Strong’s H7964 which means, a sending away or parting gift’ and can also carry the meaning of, divorce, and comes from the primitive root verb שָׁלַח shalaḥ - Strong’s H7971 which means, to send, bid farewell, let go, put forth, stretch out, direct, urgently send’. Could this in one way be a picture or shadow type of יהושע taking back His divorced wife? And could the picture of these two sons, being brought to Mosheh, also be a shadow picture of the two houses of Yisra’ĕl coming back to their Father? Gĕreshom - גֵּרְשׁוֹן  - Strong’s H1648 means ‘in exile or ‘foreigner in a strange land’, which comes from the primitive root verb גָּרַשׁ garash – Strong’s H1644 which means, to drive out, cast out, dismissed, driven away, divorced, expelled and the name of Mosheh’s other son was Eliʽezer - אֱלִיעֶזֶר  - Strong’s H461 which means “El has been my help’ or ‘El supported me’, and comes from the two words: אֵל el – Strong’s H410 which means, Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One; and עֵזֶר ezer – Strong’s H5828 which means, a help, helper, one who helps. The proclamation of the names of Mosheh’s two sons speak great volumes – we who were once strangers from the covenants of promise are now brought near by the Blood of Messiah and have been grafted in and He is our peace and has made both one, having broken down the partition of the barrier:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-22!!!

 Yithro came out to meet Mosheh at Rephiḏim, which we looked at in the last Torah portion (see previous notes). We see a great deal of respect shown by both Mosheh to Yithro and vice versa – Mosheh went out to meet Yithro which showed a great sign of nomadic hospitality, which is still observed today in many parts where one does not wait for the guests to arrive before greeting them.

Mosheh knew he was coming, as a messenger must have been sent by Yithro informing Mosheh of their arrival; and Mosheh goes out to meet him. He was also eager, I am sure, to see his wife and sons but he went out to meet Yithro as he saw Yithro as his superior, and as his father and teacher. If you remember Mosheh also asked Yithro for permission to go to Mitsrayim, even after the burning bush experience – a sure sign of respect and humility of a man who knew what submission to authority meant!

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:32 “Rise up before the grey-headed. And you shall favour the face of an old man, and shall fear your Elohim. I am יהוה.

Mosheh did ‘rise up’ before the grey-headed and favoured the face of Yithro – showing a great reverence and fear for Elohim, even though he too was possibly grey-headed himself at 80 years of age!!!

They went into the tent is a profound statement showing a symbolic reference to the teaching or studying of Torah and meeting in יהוה’s presence. Yithro was a descendant of Miḏyan, who was a son of Aḇraham with his wife, Qeturah, which he took after the death of Sarah. So we see that Yithro was ‘Semitic’ as well coming from the line of Shĕm and it was widely understood that ‘Shĕm’s tents are where the ways of יהוה was learned’! By taking Yithro into the tent Mosheh was showing that he too was still willing to learn, even at 80 years of age, being teachable and this is where Yithro came to teach him something about leadership!

Verse 8 – Mosheh told Yithro all that יהוה had done, even though Yithro had ‘heard’ about it – he now had the first hand witness and testimony and not mere hearsay or gossip. This speaks a great deal for us too – we have Mosheh (The Torah) as a first-hand testimony and witness and we should not simply take the ‘hearsay’ or twisted ‘gossip’ that is erroneously being taught, which many sadly are doing and are rejecting to come into the tent of teaching and hear the words of Mosheh – that is the Torah (instructions and witnesses of יהוה).

Verse 9-11 - Yithro rejoiced at the words he heard from Mosheh and praised יהוה and acknowledged the greatness of Elohim that there were no other mighty ones beside Him!!! Here is a priest of Miḏyan, who by all accounts we can recognise that he had returned to the ways of Shĕm and his forefather Aḇraham which he was now an in-law of Mosheh or better understood as one who was in-covenant wit Mosheh by faith and he now had definitive proof that יהוה truly is Elohim at the witness and testimony of Mosheh!

Those today who reject Mosheh (The Torah) and are unwilling to come into the ‘tent’ of the presence of  יהוה (that is wherever He has caused His name to be remembered –– being His body assembling together to hear the Torah, which happens on Shabbat - which we will look at in chapter 20 of this portion!)

Verse 12 – Yithro brought ascending offerings!

Yithro brings an ascending offering and other slaughtering’s – how did he know what to do? How did he have the insight unless he was taught in the ways of יהוה and studied His Torah? Here we see Yisra’ĕl having been brought out of slavery and possibly had not done any ascending offerings or slaughtering’s to יהוה since the days of Yosĕph when the family of Ya’aqoḇ was brought to Mitsrayim, as we can see by how many instructions were given with regard to the Pěsaḥ Lamb – these were bricklayers not farmers who were not accustomed to slaughtering’s! Aharon was there and no doubt watching very carefully as he would soon be the officiator of the offerings to come!

By eating bread together with Yithro in the presence of יהוה we can see the confirmation that Yithro had in fact come into covenant relationship with יהוה.

Verse 13-27 – YITHRO’S ADVICE

Verse 13 – the next day Mosheh sat to rightly rule – from morning until evening. It may be possible that Mosheh had celebrated the Sabbath Yithro and others as it states here that the next day he went about his work or rightly ruling the people. They had not yet been given the Torah and Yisra’ĕl had been used to being slaves and being told what to do – so the people would have been coming to Mosheh with a question on almost any matter that they did not know how to deal with – now that they were ‘free’ they did not know how to make decisions for themselves.

Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.

Meditating on the Torah day and night should be our delight, now that we have been set free from slavery and bondage to man!!! No longer do we need to walk in the wrong counsel of twisted and manipulative dogmas – for we have Mosheh (The Torah) to consult – day and night!

As wonderful as this is for us today on a metaphorical level, there is much we can learn from these events on a physical and practical lesson too. In the remaining verse we see the advice given by Yithro to Mosheh – advice that was taken to heart and followed and brought a welcome relief.

Verse 14-15 – Yithro could not believe just how busy Mosheh was in having to answer every matter from morning till night. Yithro was not asking why Mosheh was not relaxing but rather why was no one else helping him judge – this was not a task that he should be doing alone! Mosheh’s answer was to simply say, “Because they come to me to seek Elohim”. These people needed to be equipped on how to go about getting matters resolved and even learn how to seek Elohim themselves. So many today are no different – all they want is for someone else to tell them what to do and will not take any responsibility in making decisions and face the consequences of the decisions they make – it is easier to blame someone else when they give you wrong advice or guidance – or so they think! We must never make people dependant on us for their decision making as that will just drain you mentally and physically, however we are to help people learn to seek יהוה, and teach them to be led by יהוה through His Word, and trust in יהוה for all their needs!

Why are you doing it alone? This is the same question that may need to be asked in our day as the sad reality that has been engrained into our western way of thinking is that the pastor/priest will tell you what to do and so many have not learnt to govern themselves according to the standards of the Torah simply because of a lack of correct teaching and equipping. In one sense those that are supposed to be teaching have done so erroneously with muddied water teaching, while on the other hand, most are reluctant to have to think for themselves and so place this burden on to someone in leadership.

Mosheh was the man for the job and now he had to realise that he needed some help and he needed to seek out able men who could assist him. Yithro began to teach Mosheh good leadership skills that would facilitate a way to educate יהוה’s people on how to self-govern themselves by teaching them how to walk in the living principles and how to discern the way of living set-apart lives through obeying יהוה’s instructions by distinguishing between set-apart and the profane, clean and unclean and observing His Sabbath/Feast days.

Yithro tells Mosheh that he should seek for men that were after יהוה’s heart – men who had the fear of יהוה and trusted יהוה and hated unjust gain.

Verse 21 – able men who fear Elohim, men of truth, men who hate unfair gain!

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:1-13 “Trustworthy is the word: If a man longs for the position of an overseer, he desires a good work. 2 An overseer, then, should be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, sensible, orderly, kind to strangers, able to teach, 3 not given to wine, no brawler, but gentle, not quarrelsome, no lover of money, 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all reverence, 5 for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he look after the assembly of Elohim? 6 Not a new convert, lest he become puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment of the devil. 7 And he should even have a good witness from those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise attendants are to be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy gain, 9 holding to the secret of the belief with a clean conscience. 10 And let these also be proved first, then let them serve, if they are unreprovable. 11 Wives in the same way: reverent, not false accusers, sober, trustworthy in every way. 12 Let attendants be the husbands of only one wife, ruling children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as attendants gain good standing for themselves, and much boldness in the belief that is in Messiah יהושע.

Titos/Titus 1:7-9 “For an overseer has to be unreprovable, as a managing one of Elohim, not self-pleasing, not wroth, not given to wine, no brawler, not greedy for filthy gain, 8 but kind to strangers, a lover of what is good, sensible, righteous, set-apart, self-controlled, 9 clinging to the trustworthy word, according to the teaching, in order to be able both to encourage by sound teaching, and to reprove those who oppose it.

The above two passages are very clear as to the qualities of a man who is to be set over others in leadership as an overseer or attendant. One thing we must never forget is that in understanding true leadership according to Messiah – it is through serving others not dictating over others in an autocratic way which the world teaches. Being an overseer requires true humility of laying one’s life down for the sake of the body and willing to serve in Truth and with sound teaching able to stand firm and encourage as well as reprove when necessary!

Mosheh was to look for ‘able’ men – this is not simply men who might look the part on the outside – but men who have proven themselves trustworthy and are able to stand strong in the height of adversity, resist temptation to bribery and also be able to handle any criticism that certainly comes with the job of being a judge as people generally resent being ruled over.

The word for ‘able’ here in the Hebrew is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’. There are many today who desire the position of overseer in the kingdom, and ought to be in the position given the length of time they have been walking according to the Torah, yet sadly the fruit of their lives proves otherwise and they are simply not qualified according to that which Yithro told Mosheh to seek out, and by which Sha’ul lays out plainly for us in the above mentioned passages. Appointment of overseers was not to be done without careful thought and knowledge of the person in question.

In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols the word for ‘able’ - חַיִל ḥayil was written as follows:

lamedyadchet

chet    - this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or 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’. A wall is also built up by stones, which can also picture for us as living stones being built up in Messiah!

yad    - this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!

lamed      - this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!

When we see these letters in the ancient script being used to describe someone who is considered ‘able’ we can certainly glean from this the following:

THE ONE WHO DESIRES TO BE AN ABLE OVERSEER IN THE BODY OF MESSIAH IS ONE WHO TRULY REPRESENTS THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN SEPARATED AS LIVING STONES, AND SUBMITTED TO DOING THE WORK OF OBEDIENT SERVICE, BEING LED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF OUR GOOD SHEPHERD, AND EQUIPPED TO TEACH AND LEAD OTHERS TO MATURITY IN MESSIAH!

Yithro told Mosheh to seek out ‘able’ men – men who ‘fearיהוה and the Hebrew word translated as ‘fear’ is יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3373 meaning, to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect, and also is used as an adjective to describe one who is wise, and therefore giving us the better meaning of, to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, and respect.

Tehillah/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His kindness.

Here are a couple of well-known verses that make it very clear for us:

Tehillah/Psalm 111:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, all those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.

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

The able and fearing men, needed to be ‘men of truth’, and the Hebrew word for ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means,truth, firmness, faithfulness, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.

Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!

When a true servant who fears יהוה, serves in perfection and in truth, then the putting away of the falsehood that had been inherited from the past is done with urgency and without hesitation!!!

Able, fearing and truthful men, who ‘hate unfair gain’:

The Hebrew word translated as ‘hate’ is שָׂנֵא sane – Strong’s H8130 which means, to hate, detest, turn against. And the Hebrew word translated as ‘unfair gain’ is בֶּצַע betsa – Strong’s H1215 which means, gain made by violence, unjust gain or profit, dishonest gain and is also understood as covetousness. What we see here is that an able, fearing man of truth must hate covetousness and turn against any such gain that is unjust and dishonest!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:16A leader who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but the hater of greed prolongs his days.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:15-16 “He who walks righteously and speaks what is straight, he who rejects the gain of oppressions, who keeps his hands from accepting bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil – 16 he shall inhabit the heights; strongholds of rocks be his refuge. His bread shall be given him, his water be steadfast.

These appointed leaders would ‘rightly rule’ the people, and this Hebrew word translated as ‘rightly rule’ is שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’, and they would rightly rule and govern according to the clear instructions and right-rulings of the One True Judge – יהוה our Elohim! To rightly rule the people of Elohim, one needs wisdom and understanding from Elohim, and this is what Shelomoh asked יהוה for in:

Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 1:10Now give me wisdom and knowledge, so that I go out and come in before this people. For who is able to rightly rule this great people of Yours?

Up until this point there was no organisational structure so to speak in Yisra’ĕl and most were possibly very reluctant to be told what to do, and so order needed to be established, as יהוה is certainly and Elohim of order and He used Yithro wisely to get Mosheh to put some clear lines of communication and organisation in place that would be beneficial to the entire nation that would be effective in controlling the break out of and strife and contentions and make them responsible for one another and make everyone accountable to someone close to him. 

Yithro showed great wisdom hear and in verse 23 he tells Mosheh to test that which he was been advised on by checking with יהוה, as Yithro clearly understood that he cannot give advice contrary to the will of יהוה, and Mosheh shows us that he was a great listener and can certainly tell us what to do as he too did what he was told – a great attribute of a great leader! What we can take from this chapter is certainly the great qualities of leadership, advice, humility, hospitality, submission and eagerness to do all that is according to the will of יהוה.

Yithro means “His excellency” and is very fitting for he was used in a mighty way by יהוה, to not only teach Mosheh how to be a good shepherd while he looked after Yithro’s sheep for 40 years and sat under the teaching of the Torah that clearly Yithro displays as having great knowledge of but also at this point by calling the nation of Yisra’ĕl to walk in the spirit of excellency with the Torah (Mosheh) as its foundation. Mosheh had learnt a great deal from this man who lived according to the standards of excellency that is called for set-apart children of the Most High and so just as Dawiḏ was brought from shepherding sheep to shepherding Yisra’ĕl, so too was Mosheh and was now given greater instruction on how to do this effectively and not be worn out!

Tehillah/Psalm 78:71 “He brought him in from tending the ewes, to shepherd Yaʽaqoḇ His people, and Yisra’ĕl His inheritance.

CHAPTER 19

Yisra’ĕl arrived at Mount Sinai in the 3rd month/renewal after they had left Mitsrayim and here we see the events unfold at their next stop:

Stop 11- Wilderness of Sinaiמִדְבַּר סִינַי  – made up of the two words:  מִדְבָּר miḏbar – Strong’s H4057 meaning, ‘wilderness, desert’ and can also mean ‘mouth’, and the word סִינַי Sinai H5514 means, thorny”. The Hebrew word for ‘in the wilderness’ is  בְּמִדְבַּרBemiḏbar, and it is in the Wilderness that יהוה is able to speak clearly to us and reveal His good, pleasing and perfect will.

This word מִדְבָּר miḏbar comes from the primitive root - דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’ and a derivative of this word is also translated as ‘speech, word, commandment/s, message’.

The meaning of Bemiḏbar as mentioned means ‘in the wilderness’ and the literal meaning of this actually carries the concept of ‘The place of words’ or ‘The place of speaking’. What we learn straight away from the setting here is this: ‘IT IS TIME TO LISTEN!’ It is here, in the wilderness, where Yisra’ĕl learnt to hear the ‘voice’ of יהוה and be in the necessary place to listen to what was spoken through Mosheh.

The 5th book of the Torah (Deuteronomy), which is called “DEḆARIM” – דְּבָרִים –, is the plural of the word דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697. The Word of Elohim (which includes the collection of all His instructions contained throughout the Scriptures) is that which washes us, teaches us, and trains us in righteousness and causes us to be a people who have ears to hear the very Word that has been made abundantly available to us by the Blood of Messiah!!!

As we consider this word - דְּבָרִים Deḇarim- plural of the word דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697, in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise the importance of the Word of Elohim, and how it is His Word that prepares us as His ready Bride!

In the ancient script the word דְּבָרִים Deḇarim, looks like this:

memyadreshbeitdalet

Dalet – דְּ:

The ancient script has this letter as dalet and is pictured as 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 of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access, showing us the importance of the Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה. Therefore our need to gather as we are commanded to, is the starting point for us to embrace, learn and understand what His Word teaches and instructs us to do.

Beyt - בָ:

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. We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!

Reshרִ:

The ancient script has this letter as resh and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. It means ‘top’, as in the top or head of a body, and ‘chief’, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!

Yod – י:

The ancient script has this letter as yad which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!

Mem – ם:

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.

Water is also a very clear picture for us of that which washes or cleanses us, as we understand from the picture of the bronze laver in the Tabernacle that was used to clean the priests, and was made from the bronze mirrors that was used by the women who worshipped at the Door of the Tabernacle. As we look into the mirror of the Word of Elohim, we are to allow it to cleanse us and cause us to remember how we are to look, speak and act, in complete adherence to His clear words of instructions contained therein!

As we consider the very powerful word - דְּבָרִים Deḇarim – in the ancient pictographic text, we are able to grasp a fuller understanding of the importance of the Words of Elohim, and we are able to see from the collection of these letters the following:

AS WE COME TO THE DOOR (MESSIAH), AND GUARD HIS APPOINTED TIMES/FEASTS THAT ARE COMMANDED FOR THE HOUSE/DWELLING PLACE OF ELOHIM, WE SUBMIT UNDER THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE/BODY, FOR IT IS BY HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND THAT WE ARE DELIVERED OUT OF THE NATIONS AND CLEANSED TO BE A SET-APART BRIDE, THAT SUBMITS TO THE COMPLETE AUTHORITY OF THE WORDS OF OUR MASTER AND KING!

The reason for me highlighting this word in the ancient pictographic lettering is to highlight how important it is for us to have ears to hear the Word of Elohim!

Many important events occurred at Mt Sinai:

Shemoth/Exodus 19 we see Yisra’ĕl move from Rephiḏim to Sinai and as we all know this is where the Torah was given. They spent at least a year here hearing the Torah. In Chapter 19 they (the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl) collectively said we do in accepting the marriage covenant with יהוה, before even hearing any of the conditions of the marriage covenant. This is the Hebrew mind-set as opposed to the Greco-Western mind-set. We choose to obey יהוה and all His Torah, even though we may not understand everything, but are willing to be taught and walk in it, guarding to do all that is written therein. We do not need bullet pointed agendas and lengthy explanations as to why we should or shouldn’t – we learn in the doing!

It was at the "thorny place" that they received the Torah, which was meant to "prick" their hearts in advance to keep their minds off their greedy desires.

This chapter is a wonderful picture of the announcing of a betrothal taking place.

Verse 3 – Mosheh goes up to Elohim and receives the words he was to speak to Yisra’ĕl from יהוה, a clear shadow picture of יהושע being our Mediator of the Covenant.

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah יהושע,

Verse 4You have seen what I have done!!!

Yisra’ĕl – you have seen that יהוה your Elohim is your Saviour, Redeemer and Deliverer!!! You have seen what Elohim did to Mitsrayim and how you were delivered on eagle’s wings!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:31 “but those who wait on יהוה renew their strength, they raise up the wing like eagles, they run and are not weary, they walk and do not faint.

Yisra’ĕl had made it to the mountain of יהוה – they had been kept strengthened as they waited on יהוה – being here at this mountain was now a time to realise and recognise that they have seen the mighty hand of Elohim deliver them from bondage and now in the Wilderness at the Mountain of Elohim – it was time to listen!

Verse 5 – Hear – Guard – Do!!!

If you will diligently obey My voice – if you will listen very carefully (as you hear… if you will really listen…) and guard My Covenant… then you will be my treasured possession!!!!

HearGuardDo or hear, listen and keep – to leave any of these out would keep us form fully receiving the gifts He has to give us through His Torah (instructions). The emphasis in the Hebrew here is placed on ability to hear and obey and we see the root word H8085 שָׁמַע shama used twice in a rowwhich means to ‘hear, listen and obey’. The structure is as follows:

אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ im-shamua tishmeu, which literally translates as: “If hearing, you shall hear” and this reminds me of how often we see the term being used in Ḥazon/Revelation to the assemblies: He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says.

The call here is to hear the depths of what is being spoken – hear the spirit that lies behind the letter! Now if people are not even listening to the letter, how are they ever going to hear what the Spirit says!!!

If we hear and obey the first time, then we will be able to keep hearing and grow in our obedience. Having come out of Mitsrayim, Yisra’ĕl were now challenged to do what they were not necessarily accustomed to doing, and that was to listen carefully to instructions of Elohim without the drowning noise of compromise and twisted truths.

So many people today claim to ‘hear the Spirit’ yet what they are hearing does not necessarily line up with the Word of Elohim, nor can that which they hear be tested and validated as true, according to the Word. Many today are claiming to receive knowledge simply ‘by revelation of the spirit’ alone, while that which they are ‘hearing’ does not always agree with the Word of Elohim and this we are seeing more and more, and what we take note of here in this call to hear, being given to a Bride that is betrothed to Elohim, is that if we diligently hear His voice… then we will be His called out Bride!

We are to diligently obey the voice of יהוה!

The Hebrew word for ‘voice’ is קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 which means, sound, voice, noise, thunder, proclamation, and comes from an unused root meaning, to call aloud. What is clear to us is that the VOICE of יהוה has been spoken and leaves the choice up to each individual of whether they will hear it or not – and by hearing I mean to hear it and respond to it by guarding to do what He commands!

In the ancient pictographic script the word קוֹל qol – Strong’s H6963 looks like this:

lamedwawquph

Quph – ק:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as quph – which is a picture of ‘the sun at the 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. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’.

 

Waw/Vav – וֹ:

This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as waw, which is 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 from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.

 

Lamed - לֵ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.

 

These letters combined can give the understanding of:

GATHERING TO THE SECURE STAFF OF THE GOOD ETERNAL SHEPHERD

When the shepherd called the sheep they swiftly came to him. The staff of the shepherd was his tool of authority. With it he would direct, discipline and protect the flock.

Our Good Shepherd’s voice has gone out and, by His Word that does not return empty, He has secured for us the ability to be brought back under His Authority, by His own Blood; and therefore we, as true set-apart children of Light, respond correctly as we hear His voice, submit to His Authority, take His easy yoke and guard His Torah and gather together, as we should on His Sabbaths and Feasts!

If you do not do this then you clearly have misunderstood or do not know the power of His Voice.

The voice of יהוה – is the voice of our Good Shepherd – ‘are you listening – are you following?

Yoḥanan/John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

As we embrace this 7th month and His Feasts and hear the voice of יהוה, as given through His Torah and commands, I ask you, “how are you responding?

He who has an ear let Him hear and know the Voice of the Good Shepherd and follow!

If you are not hearing and obeying as you should then you are putting yourself at risk of being cut off!

As people who attentively listen to the voice of Elohim and obey His Word, we learn how we are to guard His Covenant! With proper hearing comes the responsibility of a proper guarding, which is ‘TO DO’ what has been commanded, lest we are cut off and separated with those who have ears but are not hearing, as they clearly do not guard to do what the Word commands!

With proper hearing and diligent obeying comes the responsibility of guarding the Covenant!

The Hebrew root word that is used here for ‘guard’ is שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 and carries the meaning, keep watch’,  ‘observe’, ‘perform’, ‘protect’, ‘pay attention’, and the basic idea of the root of this word isto exercise great care over’.

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.

What is interesting in taking note of is the frequent use of the word שָׁמַר shamar in the Torah. It is used 139 times in the Torah – 15 times in Berěshith/Genesis, 24 times in Shemoth/Exodus; 16 times in Bemiḏbar/Numbers and 65 times in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy!!!

With Deḇarim being seen as the ‘second reading of the Torah’ as it was the instructions given to the new generation, we can see why the greater emphasis on the use of שָׁמַר shamar to the generation that was about to enter into the Promised Land!

The Hebrew root word that is translated here as ‘covenant’ is the word בְּרִיתִיberiythiy, which literally translates as ‘My Covenant’ and comes from the noun בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 which means, covenant, confederacy, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance, agreement. What we find in Scripture is that there are alliances or agreements made between men as well as ordinances between a king and his subjects and pledges between man and man, or alliances of friendship such as in the case of Dawiḏ and Yehonathan!

Primarily we take note that this term is used to describe the agreement or constitution that is established between Elohim and man, and such ordinances are accompanied by a sign or pledge.

This noun is believed to come from the root verb בָּרָה barah – Strong’s H1262 which means, to eat, choose, which gives us a better understanding in terms of a ‘Covenant Meal’ where eating together establishes the covenant between the parties!

 

For more on this please see the article called, ‘UNDERSTANDING COVENANT!’ which can be found on our website (http://atfotc.com) under the articles menu or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/653-understanding-covenant

 

This promise to be a covenant people was made clear to the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl as they stood at Mount Sinai and were about to enter into the Marriage Covenant and become the Bride of יהוה!

The Hebrew word for covenantבְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 in the ancient text, looks like this:

tawyadreshbeit

Beyt - בְּ:

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. We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!

 

Reshרִ:

The ancient script has this letter as resh and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. It means ‘top’, as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!

 

Yod – י:

The ancient script has this letter as yad which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!

 

Taw – ת

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

As we consider this word for ‘covenant’ - בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 – in the ancient pictographic text then we are able to understand the clear assurance that we have, as the House or Dwelling Place of Elohim!

 

THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE HAS BY HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND SECURED FOR US AN EVERLASTING COVENANT BY SEALING IT IN HIS OWN BLOOD!

 

While we certainly recognise and understand that there are many facets to the Covenant that our Creator has made and established with His chosen and called out priesthood, we recognise that our Master and Elohim does not break Covenant and He remains lovingly-committed to His ‘Covenants of Promise’ with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ.

As a covenant people of Elohim, we are to guard to do all His commands as we express our love to Him in complete loving-commitment to the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into!

The reward of listening attentively and guarding that which you hear through the doing comes with the wonderful promise of being a treasured possession.

The term ‘treasured possession’ in Hebrew comes from the root word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459– meaning valued possession or property. This could also be expressed as My uniquely valued and guarded treasure above all the nations! How awesome is that!!! A hearing, guarding and doing people are the uniquely valued and guarded treasure of יהוה’s! That is to say that He holds us firmly in His hand and never takes His eyes off of us and He guards us continually so as to never let us go, for we are extremely valued and precious to Him. When outsiders look at us they may see it as being locked away in a box, thinking that we ‘have to do’ things that are not required by them and claim erroneously that we have lost our right s and are ‘under law’ so to speak – but it is not so – we are kept secure and safe and are a prized possession. Do what He says, and you will be glad you did.

This unique Hebrew word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 carries a great wealth of insight and instruction as well as an assured confidence that we can have in our Master and Elohim, who has chosen us to be His own. The Hebrew word is only used 8 times in the Tanak and is a word that is used to clearly highlight Elohim’s appointed and established Covenants of Promise and about the people who take them seriously.

There is no one specific English word that can be substituted for this very complex, yet simple and clear, word.

This word is defined as a noun referring to possession or property; and not just any property but more specifically the uniquely valued property and peculiar treasure. This word is always used in the context of a royal treasure; and more specifically, the treasure of a king. Both metaphorically and literally we acknowledge that the King of Scripture is יהושע Messiah and His ‘segullah’ is His ‘covenant people’!!!

In the ancient pictographic script the root word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning valued possession or property looks like this:

heylamedgimelsamek

Samek - סְ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is ‘a thorn’ and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flocks in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that ‘in Him’ we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.

 

Gimel – גֻ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as gimel, which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of ‘a gathering of people’, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk’!

 

Lamed - לַ:

The ancient script has this letter as lamed, and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, which can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can also speak of ‘authority’ or ‘a yoke’ that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to ‘bring back by Authority’.

 

Hey – הָ:

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 completely submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

 

In terms of these pictographic letters forming the word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning valued possession or property, we are able to see the privilege of being the סְגֻלָּה segullah of the Good Shepherd!

As the segullah of Elohim:

WE ARE SHIELDED AND PROTECTED IN OUR WALK AS WE SUBMIT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE ONE WHO IS TO BE PRAISED!

There is a wealth of revelation in the understanding of what it means to be the segullah of Elohim and when we see this pictures it helps us recognise the sure promise of protection that the segullah of Elohim has, while at the same time realising the responsibility that our walk in Him carries, so that we remain His סְגֻלָּה segullah!

For more on this word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 and the Scriptural uses of this term please see the notes of the message called, “SEGULLAH – TREASURED POSSESSION!” which can be found on our site (http://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2015/2016 menu or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2015-2016/640-segullah-treasured-possession

Overcomers are His ‘segullah’!!!

Romiyim/Romans 8:37 “But in all this we are more than overcomers through Him who loved us.

The Greek word that is translated here as ‘more than overcomers’ is ὑπερνικάω hupernikaō – Strong’s G5245 which means, to be more than conqueror, overwhelmingly conquer, to gain a surpassing victory. This word is only used here in the Renewed writings and comes from tow root words: 1) ὑπέρ huper – Strong’s G5228 which is a primitive preposition that can mean, over, beyond, on behalf of, for the sake of, concerning, exceed, more so, more than, and 2) νικάω nikaō – Strong’s G3528 which means, to conquer, prevail, overcome, victorious, which comes from the root word νίκη nikē – Strong’s G3529 which means, victory.

The word νικάω nikaō – Strong’s G3528 is translated as ‘overcomes’ in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:7-8The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.   

This root word for ‘overcomes’ is also used in the messages given to each of the seven assemblies in Ḥazon/Revelation, teaching us to be overcomers and hold fats to the sure promises we have in our Master!

To those in Ephesos:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim.”

To those in Smurna:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death.

To those in Pergamos:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I shall give him a white stone, and on the stone a renewed Name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

To those in Thyatira:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:26And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations

To those in Sardis:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.

To those in Philadelphia:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:12He who overcomes, I shall make him a supporting post in the Dwelling Place of My Elohim, and he shall by no means go out. And I shall write on him the Name of My Elohim and the name of the city of My Elohim, the renewed Yerushalayim, which comes down out of the heaven from My Elohim, and My renewed Name.

To those in Laodikeia:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:21To him who overcomes I shall give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

One can be greatly encouraged as we see the collective blessing of overcoming the pressures and trials that we face, for those who overcome will get to eat of the tree of life and the second death will have no power over them as they have access back to the tree of life! Overcomers get to eat of the hidden manna and authority over the nations will be given to them for they will be able to rightly rule with proper discernment! Overcomers shall be dressed in white robes and have assurance that their names will never be blotted out and will become supporting posts in the Dwelling Place of Elohim and be given to sit with the Master on His Throne!

This in itself ought to be sufficient encouragement to endure and overcome!

Romiyim/Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.

Our active belief – that is our – HEARING, GUARDING and DOING of His commands, causes us to be overcomers, and therefore become His treasured possession, assured of everlasting life!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim.

Sha’ul is referring to this verse in Shemoth/Exodus 19:5 in his letter to Titos as we see in him speaking of Messiah in:

Titos/Titus 2:14 “who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.

This Greek word used here for ‘possession’ is περιούσιος periousios – Strong’s G4041 meaning, peculiar and speaks of that which is one’s own, or belonging to one’s possessions. This is the only time this word is used in the renewed writings (N.T.) and it is the word used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.) as the equivalent to the Hebrew word segullah. This Greek word περιούσιος periousios is a compound of two words:

1 - περί peri – Strong’s G4012 which is a preposition meaning, about, concerning, around’ and denotes a place, cause or subject, and

2 - εἰμί eimi – Strong’s G1510 which is a prolonged form of a primary verb that means, I exist, I am, it is I and so by understanding that we are the treasured possession and chosen elect of the I AM – the Most High – and that we are a purchased people, we in turn see our need to be ardent for good works unto Him who causes us to exist and be, and to whom we belong!

As we walk in obedience to the commands we see in Deḇarim as part of the blessings for obedience that His good ‘treasure’ of the heavens is opened to us:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28:12יהוה opens to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. And you shall lend to many nations, but you do not borrow.

This word for ‘treasure’ is אוֹצָר otsar – Strong’s H214 which means, storehouse, treasury, armoury and comes from the root verb אָצַר atsar – Strong’s H686 meaning, to lay up, store up, appointed.

This root verb is used in:

Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 13:13And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemyah the priest and Tsaḏoq the scribe, and Peḏayah of the Lěwites. And next to them was Ḥanan son of Zakkur, son of Mattanyah. For they were reckoned trustworthy, and it was on them to distribute to their brothers.

Neḥemyah appointed as treasurers trustworthy men who would guard the duty and when we look at these names we see a powerful description of a true treasurer of the Word of Elohim:

שֶׁלֶמְיָה Shelemyah – Strong’s H8018 means, repaid by יהוה’ who was the priest and צָדוֹק Tsaḏoq – Strong’s H6659 which means, righteouswho was the ‘scribe’ which is the verb סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 which means, ‘to score with a mark as a tally or record, to inscribe, to count, declare, number, tell’; and he was the son of מַתַּנְיָה Mattanyah – Strong’s H4983 which means, gift of Yah’. Those who have counted the cost and received the gift of Elohim that He paid in His own Blood, and are willing to declare His Good News are able to be appointed as trustworthy treasurers of His treasure –and what is His treasure?

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:6 “And He shall be the trustworthiness of your times, a wealth of deliverance, wisdom and knowledge. The fear of יהוה – that is His treasure.

Verse 6 – reign of priests and a set-apart nation

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10But 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.

Set-Apart nation implies just what it says – we are to be in a league of our own – so different from the world that it is clearly seen!!! This can only happen if we actually hear-guard and do all He commands us to, without debating and reasoning why we should not as the world does! The Hebrew word for ‘set-apart’ is קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 meaning, ‘consecrated, set-apart’ which comes from the root קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, set-apart, consecrated, dedicated – and that is what we have been called to be!!!

The Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏeshStrong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:

shindaletquph

 Quph – קֹ:

This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as quph , and is 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 and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.

Dalet – דֶ:

This is the letter ‘dalet’ which 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. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him! The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!

Shin - שׁ:

This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as shin, which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’  on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.

 

Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏeshStrong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning: CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!

 

Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath!

Set-apartness in the Greek is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying’. In English, to ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’. We, as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim; and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah and as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession.

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

Being set-apart requires the ability to be a people who judge themselves according to יהוה’s standard and be able to discern between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the common. Our ability in being ready to hear from יהוה, we must recognise that our minds must be renewed as we set things apart in our minds as well, no longer conformed to the standards of the world – for now we live according to the highest standard – יהוה’s.  Those who refuse to judge themselves or be judged by the Word can by definition never be set apart as it is clear that their ears are not open to hear and are as Yeshayahu says – hearing yet not perceiving!  As יהוה prepared to bring His bride to be into the covenant of betrothal at Mount Sinai, He wanted Yisra’ĕl her to have no doubt in their minds that He loves no one but her as His treasured possession – bought at a price. He came to Mitsrayim to call unto Himself His Bride and destroyed before Her face all other false mighty ones and delivered Her at took her into the Wilderness to speak His commitment of love to Her!

Being set-apart has to do with separation and that is exactly what we have been called to do – be separated from that which is of the world:

Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.

To be set-apart we must not be found to be whoring after the nations as Yisra’ĕl did and were vomited out by the land! The word used here for whoring is πορνεία porneia – Strong’s G4202 meaning, ‘fornication, immorality, sexual immorality’ and comes from the word which means harlot, prostitute and we get our English word ‘pornography’ from this word.

 

Priests – we are not only a set-apart nation we are a priesthood – a royal priesthood and that carries great responsibility – we are to be the salt and the light – leading people back to יהוה, teaching His ways by living as children of light! We are His ambassadors – His officers – His priests – a people equipped for temple service – that is to serve the body – the Temple of Elohim! And in the Temple there are various duties to which there are different gifting and skills – and this is how we are to function as one together in unity in Messiah, as His body we recognise that we are set-apart for service and we offer our lives daily as living sacrifices ready to serve in the capacity or function He has called each one to do, and so as each part does its work, so too do we then as a nation/body in unity, can and are able to truly shine the brilliant light of His presence!

Verse 8 – We shall do

All the people answered together – they were a nation united together as one body and they in essence said as one – the “I DO” that is declared in a marriage declaration by an accepting spouse. Yisra’ĕl had now said yes to יהוה, and they said yes before they even knew what the conditions of the marriage covenant would be. They had listened carefully and had accepted that which יהוה had spoken through Mosheh and Mosheh went back to יהוה and gave Him the response of Yisra’ĕl. The Hebrew root word translated as ‘together’ is יַחַד yaḥaḏ – Strong’s H3162 meaning, unitedness, alike, one accord, unity, which comes from the root יָחַד yaḥad – Strong’s H3161 meaning, to be united, be joined.

We are to be in complete unity in making our praise unto our Master and Elohim:

Tehillah/Psalm 34:3 “Oh, make יהוה great with me, And let us exalt His Name together.

In unity and in one accord! Under times of intense persecutions the early believers were in unity, making bold their boastful praise:

Ma’asei/Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, continuing with one mind in the Set-apart Place, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising Elohim and having favour with all the people. And the Master added to the assembly those who were being saved, day by day.

A royal priesthood – being betrothed and about to receive great instructions – would they continue to hear, guard and do? As we all know from Scripture Yisra’ĕl did not continue to hear, guard and do and as a result we see the words as spoken in:

Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.

We must realise that when we say ‘I do’ or ‘I shall do’ we must remain steadfast to our vow to Elohim or else He will reject us as priests for Him.

Verse 10-11 – on the third day!

Yisra’ĕl was told to go and get cleaned up – their garments needed to be washed and they were to be spotless and ready on the third day when יהוה would come down before the eyes of all. The garments of Elohim are white and so should ours be too:

Dani’ěl/Daniel 7:9I was looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days was seated. His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool, His throne was flames of fire, its wheels burning fire.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1: 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Yisra’ĕl had to cleanse themselves – they had been on the road for 3 almost 50 days and had to get rid of the ‘dust of Mitsrayim’. There was a wedding announcement taking place and the Bride had to dress herself in White! What is very significant for us is the clear prophetic language used here:

Two days to get ready and by the third day they had better be prepared! יהושע Messiah, our Pěsaḥ Lamb came in the flesh on the fourth (4th) day and gave His life for us that we may be clothed in Him and be cleansed form all sin. He has given us 2 days – that is day 5 and day 6 to get ready after which He is coming again on the third day (that is the 7th) where every eye will see Him to take up His ready and prepared Bride!

Kěpha urges us to not let one matter be hidden form us – and that is that with יהוה one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (Kěpha Bět/ 2Peter 3:8).

In Creation Week, it was on the 4th day that יהוה made the two lights two rule over day and night. Light on the 4th day was not ‘created’ but rather given its function as light was from the beginning when He spoke light into existence. It was however His plan that on the 4th day that Light would come and separate the day from the night and separate light from darkness. This is precisely what happened as it was in the 4th Millennium that יהושע Messiah, the Light of the world came to separate the light from the darkness and becoming our Pěsaḥ Lamb offered up for us that we may receive His righteousness and continue in it through obedience and He has given Yisra’ĕl – His called out nation two days to get ready and be prepared for His coming – that is the 5th (5000) and the 6th (6000) day/millennia and on the 7th day/7th Millennium He is coming again and we better be dressed in His brilliant garments of righteousness:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.

Ḥazon/Revelation 15:4Who shall not fear You, O יהוה, and esteem Your Name? Because You alone are kind. Because all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousnesses have been made manifest.

On the third day, Yosĕph had let his brothers out of a Mitsrian prison. On the third day, Yonah was ejected from the great fish. The "third day" is the time for resurrection, not only for יהושע, for we too shall be raised up:

Hoshěa/Hosea 6:1-2 “Come, and let us turn back to יהוה. For He has torn but He does heal us, He has stricken but He binds us up. 2 ‘After two days He shall revive us, on the third day He shall raise us up, so that we live before Him.

This clearly speaking of the third millennium from the time of the call for preparation after he prophesied, when both the House of Yisra’ĕl would be re-gathered to the Land, and the first resurrection of the righteous would take place.

Verse 13-25 – When the Yoḇel sounds long

The First Trumpet – this was an announcing of a betrothal and when they hear the Yoḇel – they had better be ready – The Bride must prepare herself!

This is the first Shavuot!

At Shaḇuoth the shofar/trumpet is blown and is typically called the ‘first shofar’ and we know also that the ‘last shofar’ is blown on the Feast of Yom Kippur, still to come later in the year.

The ‘first’ of these ‘last trumpets’ is blown on the 1st of the 7th month, known as “Yom Teruah”, yet after 10 days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur there will be the sounding of the other trumpets, ending with the 7th trumpet/shofar – that is the last trumpet/last shofar, on Yom Kippur, on the 10th of the 7th month, and is also described in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “See, I speak a secret to you: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

So Shaḇuoth and the ‘first shofar’ or trumpet is connected with the marriage union between יהוה and His people! And this is why I say this – for a Hebrew marriage consists typically of two stages, listen to this Scripture:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:7And who is the man who is engaged to a woman and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘engaged’ is אָרַשׂ arasStrong’s H781 and means, to betroth, engaged, carries with it the meaning of betrothal in regards to the bride price having already been paid. This is also known as the pledge to marry, i.e. the active voice or announcement of attaching a young woman for marriage to a man, with a financial exchange occurring between the parties’ families. This is when the Bride says, “yes” to the proposal and receives the marriage contract – known as the “Ketuḇah” and in so doing this she binds herself to her husband. This is considered as a legally binding contract that one cannot be divorced from except by death or adultery, and the parties – although not yet living together, they are legally married. The betrothal/ engagement is announced with the sound of a shofar. Now at Mount Sinai on Shaḇuoth when the Ten Words were spoken – they heard the sound of the shofar – the very voice of Elohim – the sound of the first shofar announcing the marriage between Elohim and His people and He issued the Marriage contract – the Ten Words written on Tablets of stone. The Bride price had been paid – the Bride said yes and Yisra’ĕl was now legally married on Shaḇuoth. Take a look at:

Shemoth/Exodus 19: 8 “And all the people answered together and said, “All that יהוה has spoken we shall do.” So Mosheh brought back the words of the people to יהוה.

This is so amazing, as Moshe acts like a marriage counsellor, and the people say in effect as one body, “I do”. It is important to remember that this is done before the Ten Words or contract is even given!!! The Hebrew mind-set chooses to obey יהוה no matter what, even before He has told them what He expects they say they will obey – that is faith and trust in יהוה’s ability to lead them into His promises – we shall do whatever you tell us to, “I do”. Just as a Bride to be says yes when her husband proposes after which the legalities of the marriage are dealt with.

This acceptance was then announced with the ‘first shofar’ in

Shemoth/Exodus 19: 16-19 “And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And a voice of a shophar was very strong, and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Mosheh brought the people out of the camp to meet with Elohim, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was in smoke, all of it, because יהוה descended upon it in fire. And its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and all the mountain trembled exceedingly. 

 19 And when a voice of the shophar sounded long and became very strong, Mosheh spoke, and Elohim answered him by voice.

Twice they heard the voice or sound of the shofar/ram’s horn. The wedding was now announced and then the terms of the marriage are given in the form of the Ten Words! Yisra’ĕl was now engaged or betrothed and was now seen as legally married!!! When we say yes to יהושע, there is a trumpet sound of victory and we become betrothed to Him and now walk in His Torah, Commands, marriage contract that is now written on our hearts!

At Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement, when the last shofar is blown, is typically called “the wedding ceremony of the Messiah” or rather the final announcement of the wedding ceremony to take place, as Messiah comes to fetch His ready and prepared Bride. The marriage is then consummated and the wedding Feast begins at the Feast of Sukkot – on the 15th of the 7th month!!!

Now to understand this a little better, after the first step or stage in the Hebrew marriage process – the ‘engagement’ or betrothal, the bride, who is now legally married, goes home to her father’s house and prepares her wedding gown!!!

The bridegroom goes to his father’s house and prepares a dwelling for them. Only, and only, when the bridegroom’s father is satisfied that the bride and the bridegroom are both ready does he then give, ‘with a shofar blast’, his son permission to go and fetch his bride. Just imagine as the bridegroom, longing for his bride, making all the necessary preparation – eagerly waits for the sound of the last shofar!! When he hears this the son then goes, running I am sure, to the home of the bride’s parents and ‘lifts her up in the airand ‘takes her’ to his father’s house where the second stage of the marriage covenant is going to be taken.

This is called in Hebrew לָקַחlaqaḥ – Strong’s H3947 which means ‘to take/ to fetch/ to lay hold of/ marry or take a wife’ and נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means ‘to lift up or carry away’ for he takes her and lifts her up – ‘laqaḥ nasa’. This ‘lift up and take’ is passive on the part of the bride, as the bride cannot lift herself up and take herself to her husband’s house – the bridegroom has to physically lift up and take his bride – the action is on the part of the bridegroom. How awesome is this picture we have here as you think how excited the bridegroom and bride would be when that shofar / trumpet is blown. The bride would be ready in her wedding gown, all clean and spotless and the groom would be running to fetch his long awaited bride and as he comes to her he then with such joy and excitement lifts her into his arms and takes her home!!!

Now listen to this – The Great Feast of Yom Kippur text in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.), speaking of יהושע coming for us, His Bride, when He comes out of the Most Set-Apart Place on Yom Kippur is:

Tas‘loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. 17 Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air – and so we shall always be with the Master. 18 So, then, encourage one another with these words.

Notice here in this passage the words ‘caught away together’ – and in Greek it is ‘harpazo hama’ made up of the two words: ἁρπάζω – Strong’s G726 – harpazo meaning,caught upand ἅμα – Strong’s G260 – hama meaning,together, and this clearly corresponds with the Hebrew terms, ‘laqaḥ’ and ‘nasa’. The Bride will be taken and lifted up by the Bridegroom and so the second part of the marriage will take place when Messiah comes again and lift us up and takes us with Him to the great Wedding Feast. He is coming for His Bride who has made herself ready – He is not coming for part of His Bride – then coming for the rest – He is coming for His ready Bride! This is NOT a rapture Scripture!!! This is our Husband coming for His ready Bride to take her to the wedding feast – after Tribulation at His second coming!

We are now living in the season between the first shofar and the last shofar, which is at the second coming of the Messiah (on Yom Kippur!). We have been betrothed to One Husband – the Messiah and we who are ‘in Him’ are legally married as we eagerly await His soon return from the Father’s house in heaven – when the Father sees that the Bride is ready and the time has come to sound the last shofar; and Yom Teruah heralds the beginning of this time of announcing the coming of our Master, when the Trumpets begin to sound, with the last shofar being blown on Yom Kippur, 10 days after the ‘first’ of the ‘last trumpets’ has been blown!!!

So today we are to realise and recognise that we are His Bride and are betrothed – that is that we are legally married and this day is the day when the ‘aras’ (the pledging/engagement/betrothal) took place at Mount Sinai, which Yisra’ĕl broke by adulterating herself with foreign mighty ones. And now through the Blood of Messiah, Our Kinsman Redeemer, we have been redeemed from sin – paid for, in order that the marriage could be renewed, restored, repaired and redeemed through His sacrifice for our sins. At Shaḇuoth the very contract or ‘Ketuḇah’ – His Torah is no longer written by His finger on stone tablets but now, written by His Very Set-Apart Spirit on our hearts! How awesome is that!!! As we eagerly look forward to the last trumpet blast – let us make ourselves ready by walking in His Torah given to us by His Spirit on this day of Shaḇuoth. We walk in His marriage contract out of love, we are not saved by it, for He has already saved us by grace through faith and paid the betrothal price with His own Blood, and now we live out the married life as a faithful Bride right here and now in the season between the first and last shofar, declaring our true and total devotion to our Bridegroom, keeping the marriage pure in preparation for His soon return, when our salvation will be made complete.

From Matzot to Shaḇuoth – Counting of the Omer:

In understanding the season and journey that Yisra’ĕl had taken from their Exodus to the time of being betrothed we see a number of steps that occur from the time of the barley harvest to the wheat harvest at Shaḇuoth when two loaves of Bread are waved before יהוה, symbolising the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl prepared and brought before Him. Below are 10 steps in the process of making bread that carries great insight for us as His Body being set-apart unto Him.

10 steps:

1 – SOWING OR PLANTING: The Hebrew term used for sowing or planting also carries with it the meaning of ‘scattering’ – picture as a farmer ‘scatters his seed’. The ancient practice of scattering was called to ‘broadcast’ the seed from a bag that was hung over ones shoulder. We as a people of Elohim have been scattered over the whole earth and long to be replanted, if you will, into our native soil. I am sure we are all aware of the sowing and reaping principle – nothing can be reaped from what was not sown and you cannot reap something different from what has been sown – you reap what you sow – be it attitudes, thoughts, actions or even priorities – do not expect to get something out from that which you did not sow!

You want an intimate growing relationship with יהוה - then sow the time and effort in seeking Him! יהוה scattered Yisra’ĕl and we get a greater understanding of this from the book of Hoshěa which I encourage you to read. Scattered but watched over – for this scattered seed will bring in a bountiful harvest for reaping!

2 – GROWING: There is always a season or period between sowing and reaping – it never happens immediately. It is during this time where growth occurs and this season of growth is a time in a sense for us to think about what was done wrong and how we can do better. One of the keys to overcoming the period of growth or period of ‘exile’ if you will, is simply just that – grow and grow and grow – and to grow we have to realise that we have inherited some lies – ok more than just some – a whole lot!!! But in realising this we also begin to grow and realise and know יהוה’s power and more importantly – His NAME!!! To ‘know’ is to walk in His Torah – for as Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3 says that we know that we know Him when we guard His commands! And as love for יהוה and one another grows through obediently guarding his commands we can ‘outgrow’ our ‘exile’ from the Promised Land – the more the world grows dim before our eyes and has no effect on pulling us away from obedience and therefore be ready to be lifted up when He comes and be replanted where we belong – together with Him in His Land!!!

3 – REAPING: This reaping process is simply separating the harvest from the field that it grew in. Grain must be reaped or else it cannot be used. We too, just as Aḇraham, may have to be reaped out of our circumstances and even our families. Grain when reaped is gathered into storehouses – and this is a wonderful picture of what we see happening more and more in these last days – pretty much the equivalent of Him gathering or assembling His grain into communities – because to put is plainly – a single kernel of grain cannot make much bread - and certainly not enough for an offering unto יהוה! Once gathered together this is when the real preparation begins – say what – yes this is when it begins! What has erroneously been taught in the church today is that this is the final stage for those blinded hopefuls and they do not realise what lies ahead in the process of making bread! This is only the beginning and the next steps are what shape us into what we need to become in order to be presented to יהוה as a prepared Bride! This is His storehouse or rather one of His storehouses where He will gather together much grain – grain that is ready to be prepared to be made into an acceptable offering of bread unto  יהוה!

4 – THRESHING: Ouch – the sound of this word already makes you realise why the church chooses to stop blindly at reaping, and why they developed a false rapture teaching that sadly for them seemingly removes them from the rest of the bread making process! Admittedly most would prefer to stay at the reaping stage – sitting quietly in a barn being no use to anyone at all and it is easy to understand why – nobody likes to be ‘threshed’. It almost sounds like ‘thrashing’ and guess what – it is!!! Boy – many who have left the reaping stage into threshing or thrashing soon want to jump back to the safe old barn of no good premature stop! The Hebrew word for ‘teach’ literally means to ‘prod with a stick’ and so it is with threshing – which is simply the applying of pressure to grain – be it from beating it or grinding it or letting heavy animals trample on it – with the purpose in mind to loosen the shells and separate the grain from the chaff – or the stalks from the husks – which is still pretty much useless at this stage. It is the stalk that represents that which attached us to the field that we came out of and we do not want that to be an ingredient in the bread!!! Most of what we bring in from the field – be it dogmas of Rome, doctrines of man, theologies, misguided moral codes and even wrong priorities that we have picked up along the way – is no longer useful to us once we have grown enough and been separated from the system – threshed out in other words – not always painless I might add – and are now threshed out enough to begin studying the Torah. The omer basket is filled with kernels and each one has a husk that has to be removed. All too often though we don’t want this to happen as we can so often find ourselves hiding from one another behind the husks so to speak – those very things that need to go! We cannot be a part of the bread of we hang on to the ‘hull’ – the ‘hull’ is the outer part of a seed or fruit. We must begin to be honest and give an account for ourselves and ask, “What am I still attached to that is useless to the Kingdom?In this threshing process we must allow other trusted brothers and sisters in the body to ‘loosen’ our kernels – after all in the process of making bread it is people who do the job!!! Each of us is responsible to help one another in these processes – and is a great honour and privilege that requires faithfulness and trustworthiness! For we are in effect taking what ‘protects’ people into our hands and whatever we learn about them in the process must be used to help them and build them – not harm or destroy them! We need to be ‘threshed’ out of the field from which we have come from and we must realise that we cannot keep holding on to those things that previously shaped our thinking, especially when it contradicts the Torah! All we can do is repent, which is a critical step in being able to move on – threshing is a must – not easy but a must – those husks and hulls must be loosened off of us and we need to let go of those things that we thought gave us security as we realise that in our vulnerable state our only security is in יהוה!

5 – WINNOWING: Another step in the process, that involves a ‘fork’ that looks like a rake. The threshed grain is thrown up into the air in order to expose it to the wind which will blow away the lightweight particles and the heavier – that is the more important – will be left behind! This process worked better on a hill top and so you find many threshing floors being on higher ground to allow this process to take place after threshing.

This process reflects to us an elevating of one another – lifting one another up in prayer and edifying each other up into the presence of the Almighty where the ‘wind’ or Ruach blow away the unneeded stuff in our lives as we immerse in His presence – letting that which is useless be blown away and what will simply be left is better refined kernels with no chaff! Sha’ul said to the Corinthians that he desires that they all speak in tongues but he would rather prefer that they all prophesy – why? Because prophesy builds up the body – tongues is for the individual unless there is an interpretation for the body but prophesy in itself is there to edify others – edify the body and in so doing elevates others to a place where the Spirit can remove the chaff!

6 – PARCHING: After being separated from the lighter elements – all that airy fairy fluffy junk that just clogs up our lives and is actually of no use – all the ‘hot puffed up air’ so to speak – once that is gone guess what? The heat is turned up!!! What – seriously? Yes – it gets hotter! Once we are a taught people who have been elevated we can be exposed to things that we would never have considered before. It is interesting to note at this stage that is would be useless to ‘parch’ a single kernel – so we are all parched together! No one has to go through this alone! This is not a ‘burning’ of the grain but rather a process of removing moisture from the kernels and makes the grain even lighter, and what this pictures for us is that at this stage we begin to give less weight to the ‘me, myself and mine’ attitude and rather consider what is best for one another and the whole bread, so to speak! You know it is so difficult to ‘give up’ individual rights – but we can when we are in it together! Parching may cause tears – in fact more often than not it will as one lets go off selfishness and pride – the removal of moisture!

7 – CRUSHING: Come on Craig, crushing… when does it stop? This is even a scarier process I know! In Ancient times all bread was what you would call, ‘stone ground’. In fact at many archaeological sites many ancient ‘millstones’ were found. A millstone is where two huge concrete stones are used from crushing – grains were crushed between two stones – the two stone of a millstone picture the two stone tablets upon which the Torah was written. The kernels are not destroyed in this process – far from it – they in fact now become very useful and fully useable – for now all the kernels have actually become part of one flour mix – inseparable – a picture of a people with the same purpose. It is at this stage where we can safely say that a bird cannot come and snatch away a single kernel as there is no way to identify the part of a single kernel as they are now so mingled and mixed in together. You see it is like this – as we obey the Torah, love יהוה and love one another – what happens? We become inseparable and become as one!

8 – SIFTING: In the 2nd Temple times the wheat for the offering at Shavuot was sifted 13 times!!! Each times becoming finer and finer! 13 is the numerical value for the Hebrew אֶחָד eḥad – Strong’s H259 – meaning, ‘one or unified and יהושע Himself prayed that we would be one! The closer we get together through obedient living and fellowship, the more refined we become. Those who are crushed with us are our true neighbours!!! One thing we must realise is simply that if I do not bring my part and am causing disruption in the body causing the refining of the body to stumble then as it is sifted again I may just be sifted out!!!

9 – TESTING: Then comes the testing – as a body or as a loaf! The Temple treasurer would come at this stage and plunge his hands into the refined flour and it needed to be so fine that no flour was to be seen on his arms. In fact they were so strict that if any adhered to his flesh it would have to be sifted again. This although seemingly a strict procedure pictures for us that we are in this together – it is not a case of ‘well that is their problem’ or ‘it is someone else’s problem’ – no – until all of us are sufficiently refined together none of us can become the bread – this is everyone’s responsibility to become a part! If you do not bring your part into the body or for sake of this teaching the loaf and the batch is failing the test due to your inconsistency then you may, as I have said, be simply sifted out. Satan is the one who desires to sift us out – he asked יהושע if he could sift Kěpha! Let us be careful that we are not sifted out by continually failing the tests!

10 – BAKING: Once tested it can now be baked and presented fresh unto יהוה as the first fruit of wheat. It is at the feast of Shavuot leavened bread – why? Because it has been permeated with the Kingdom:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:33 “Another parable He spoke to them, “The reign of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until all was leavened.

This bread is leavened with the Kingdom – not with sin as leaven represents for us at this feast we are in of Unleavened Bread.

At Shaḇuoth 2 loaves are presented representing the 2 houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah which once were scattered but now are being brought back and the promise of this is seen in the fulfilment of both these first fruit offerings of the barley and the wheat.

Verse 16

On the morning of the 3rd day there was thunders and lightning, and the sound of the shofar was very strong, so much so that the people trembled!

This was not a man that was sounding this ‘voice of a shofar’ that clearly resembled the sound of a shofar being blown – yet stronger than any sound that a man or multiple men could blast! Great noise, flashing lights and a very loud siren can often get people attention – and so too here we see that these lightnings, thunders and the sound of a shofar was so great that the entire camp was awakened to it and they all trembled. This was such a trembling and fearsome sound that no one could approach this mountain in a casual manner! This sis once again a vital lesson for us, in understanding the Mighty Power of our Elohim and the greatness of His Voice, for we cannot be ‘casual’ in our drawing near to Elohim, but do so with reverence, respect and great awe of who He is:

Tehillah/Psalm 24:3-4 “Who does go up into the mountain of יהוה? And who does stand in His set-apart place? 4 He who has innocent hands and a clean heart, who did not bring his life to naught, and did not swear deceivingly.

Obedient hands, an undefiled heart and no deceitful words – that is who may ascend the mountain of יהוה!

So many today will swear that they follow the Master and walk in His Torah, while their actions show a clear breaking of obedience when they compromise in the smallest things – and that is deceit!

The mountains trembled greatly!

Can you for a moment try to imagine the awesome yet very frightening scenes of this great day – the mountains shook – there were thunders and lightnings – fire and smoke and the mountain trembled exceedingly.

May we be reminded that when He comes again for His prepared Bride that not only will the mountains tremble but the earth and the heavens will be shaken! 

The Hebrew word translated as ‘trembled’ is חָרַד ḥaraḏ – Strong’s H2729 which means, trembling, to be terrified, frightened, afraid, and we see this word being used in speaking of how a backsliding Ephrayim will come trembling at the voice of Elohim, when He calls like a lion, in:

Hoshěa/Hosea 11:10-11Let them follow יהוה. Like a lion He roars. When He roars, then sons shall tremble from the west. 11 “They shall tremble like a bird from Mitsrayim, and like a dove from the land of Ashshur. And I shall let them dwell in their own houses,” declares יהוה.

It was here at this ‘trembling mountain’ that a ‘trembling people’ would hear the Voice of יהוה, and be taught the clear instructions for set-apart living!

A derivative of this word חָרַד ḥaraḏ is the word חֲרֹד Ḥaroḏ – Strong’s H2730, which was a fountain that Giḏ’on came and camped at:

Shophetim/Judges 7:1 “And Yerubbaʽal, that is Giḏ’on, and all the people who were with him rose up early and encamped by the fountain of Ḥaroḏ, so that the camp of Miḏyan was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

In this verse we see the 3rd time in Scripture where the Hebrew word מוֹרֶה Moreh – Strong’s H4176 which means, teacher, being used, and this is a great encouragement for us, especially when we understand the full story of Giḏ’on, who overcame huge terrifying obstacles and frightening enemies, as he fixed his eyes and trust on יהוה. Here we recognise that in the face of danger and terrifying circumstances, which in Scripture is often represented as coming from the north, we are able to face the battles and struggles as long as we have the hill of Moreh in our sights – meaning that we have our eyes on our Mighty Teacher and His clear instructions that gives us confidence and faith to stand and fight the good fight of faith!

We have a Teacher of Righteousness – and as good, faithful students we must take careful heed to hear, guard and do all He teaches us through His Word – then we will be equipped to face the tough battles in life!

It was here at Mount Sinai that Yisra’ĕl would hear the Voice of the Good Teacher and if they diligently guarded to do all that they would hear, then they too would be able to face the battles that lay ahead in their Wilderness journey to the promised Land!

As we consider our ability to draw near to Elohim, by the Blood of Messiah, Listen to the following Scripture:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:18-29For you have not drawn near to a mountain touched and scorched with fire, and to blackness, and darkness and storm, 19 and a sound of a trumpet, and a voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that no further Word should be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot through with an arrow.” 21 And so fearsome was the sight that Mosheh said, “I exceedingly fear and tremble.” 22 But you have drawn near to Mount Tsiyon and to the city of the living Elohim, to the heavenly Yerushalayim, to myriads of messengers, 23 to the entire gathering and assembly of the first-born having been enrolled in heaven, and to Elohim the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to יהושע the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better than the blood of Heḇel. 25 Take heed not to refuse the One speaking. For if those did not escape who refused the warning on earth, much less we who turn away from Him from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 And this, “Yet once more,” makes clear the removal of what is shaken – as having been made – so that the unshaken matters might remain. 28 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.

The message is clear – we have not drawn near to a mountain where man trembled at the sound of the voice of Elohim – we have come to Mount Tsiyon – to our perfect Mediator or a renewed covenant, and therefore are called to take heed to the words of the Covenant, for Elohim is once again coming with much shaking, and with much fire – a fire and shaking that will not only cause one mountain to tremble, but the entire heavens and earth!

Verse 21-22

Mosheh is commanded to warn the people to not overstep the boundary of breaking through to the mountain, lest they fall and die! Here we once again see how urgent it is for us, a preparing Bride, to listen to the words of Mosheh (that is the Torah of Mosheh), and let them teach us how we are to draw near to Elohim and live set-apart lives!

The command is given here for the priests to be set-apart before they are able to come near to יהוה, and teaches us the vital lesson for us today, as a royal priesthood we cannot just come into the presence of יהוה any which way we feel. We need to be setting ourselves apart, and living set-apart lives amidst a world that is corrupt and crooked, keeping our hands obedient to his instructions, keeping our hearts undefiled from the lusts of the flesh and keeping our speech pure and clean, without deceit.

CHAPTER 20 – 10 WORDS OF LOVE!

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 2-3 – 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 so 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 4-6 – Don’t make images/carvings and bow down to them – or else!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 9:20And 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 15:23-24He 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 4:4Adulterers 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 1:6And 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 2:4-5The 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/Ezekiel 18 clearly tells us 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 Adam to יהושע were 42 – very interesting when you consider that there were 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 7 – 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.

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!!!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘naught’ is שָׁוְא shav – Strong’s H7723 and means, falsehood, lies, emptiness, worthlessness, and therefore we must not falsify or render worthless His set-apart Name!

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 Baḇelonian 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 Baḇelon 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 Yirmeyahu, while in Mitsrayim, 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! 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.

We are also given further insight into the revelation of the Great I AM as we see being displayed or spoken through the ancient pictographic script, which renders the Name of יהוה as follows:

heywaw heyyad

Yod – י

In the Ancient Script this is the letter ‘yad or yod’ which is pictured as - yad - which is the picture of an arm and hand and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’ from the primary functions of the arm and hand and also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. This also reveals to us a stretched out arm and hand.

 

Hey - ה

The ancient script has this letter as hey and is pictured as a man standing with his arms raised up and out as if pointing to something, and in essence carries the meaning of ‘behold’ as in when looking at something very great. It can also have the meaning to ‘breath’ or ‘sigh’ as when looking at a great sight and having your breath taken away so to speak! It also has the meaning of revelation or to reveal something by pointing it out.

Waw - ו

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, 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 from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

In the pictographic representation of the Name of Elohim we are able to clearly see how He, the All Existing One, revealed Himself to His Creation through His Outstretched Arm and Hand. The two pictures of the man and the peg in between them also gives us insight as to how He would come and reveals Himself in the form of a man and secure the Covenants of promise, and in this we are able to see the two comings of Messiah.

 

BEHOLD THE OUTSTRETCHED ARM OF THE ALL EXISTING ONE SHALL COME AND SECURE HIS COVENANT AND REDEEM US IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH HIS HOUSE FOR WHICH HE IS COMING AGAIN!

 

Shemoth/Exodus 6:6 “Say, therefore, to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am יהוה, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed?

When Messiah came many did not believe and were unable to recognise the Arm of יהוה:

Yoḥanan/John 12:37-40But though He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Yeshayahu the prophet might be filled, which he spoke, “יהוה, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed?” 39 Because of this they were unable to believe, because again Yeshayahu said: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I should heal them.

This Yeshayahu said when he saw the esteem of יהוה and spoke of Him!

It is this Arm of יהוה that shepherds the flock of Yisra’ĕl!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:10-11 “See, the Master יהוה comes with a strong hand, and His arm rules for Him. See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. 11 He feeds His flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom, gently leading those who are with young.

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.

For a more in-depth study on the correct pronunciation of the Name of יהוה (YAHWEH) please the article titled, Grammatical study from Scripture on confirming the pronunciation of the Name of יהוה, which can be viewed from our site (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘articles’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/678-grammatical-study-from-scripture-on-confirming-the-pronunciation-of-the-name-of

This article will help the reader understand the correct transliteration and pronunciation of the Name of the Most High!

יהוה (YAHWEH) is His Name forever, by which He is to be remembered from generation to generation! That is very simple and easy enough for a child to understand, yet sadly why has it been ‘forgotten’ or rather ‘hidden’ or ‘suppressed’?

4 - Verse 8-11 – 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 so that we can be very clear going forward into seeing the Truth from the dare!

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 shabbâth שַׁבָּת -Strong’s H7676 being used, however we do see the root from which the word is derived in chapter 2:2-3:

Berěshith/Genesis 2:2-3And 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 שְּׁבִיעִי shâḇiy`iyStrong’s H7637 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 שָׁבַת shâḇathStrong’s H7673) meaning ‘rest’ – that is to desist from exertion – or to desist from the normal day to day workings.

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 – a day to desist from the workings of the week and observe His Day that He has set-apart in order for us to delight in Him and find rest and refreshing in Him, together as a Bride! 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 Adam. Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, Ya’aqoḇ and Moshe!

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-deshStrong’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 ‘separation’. 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 much 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 just have to 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’ – ‘qoḏesh’ 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 Ruaḥ haQôḏesh – 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 miqraStrong’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 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 and 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 20:12And 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 4:9So 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 G4520σαββατισμόςsabbatismos – 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:

 

(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 Savior 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 7:25and 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 13:16And 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 necessarily a visible mark alone – 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!

For more on the Sabbath please see an article I did called, ‘RESPONSE TO AN ATTACK ON SABBATH OBSERVANCE!’ which can be found under the ‘articles’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/2012-04-19-08-30-28/view/485-response-to-attack-on-sabbath-observance

5 - Verse 12 – 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 כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour and it is from this root verb that we get the noun that is translated as ‘esteem’ which is כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 which means, honour, esteem, reverence, splendid and 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.

We also take note of the clear respect and esteem that we are to give our Father who is in the Heavens!

Mal’aḵi/Malachi 1:6A son esteems his father, and a servant his master. And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? said יהוה of hosts to you priests who despise My Name. But you asked, ‘In what way have we despised Your Name?’

יהוה is making a clear statement that the hearers would be able to identify with and not be able to deny its truth and then asks: “And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear?

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘esteems’ is the root verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 and he noun that is translated as ‘esteem’ is כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519.

The verb כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה and this word is used in the 10 Words (Commandments) where we are told to ‘respect’ our parents; and so what is, in effect, being told to us here is that we must carefully consider and ‘give weight to’ the Word of Elohim 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 for disobedience and a lack of faith!

A son treats his father with much respect and considers him to be very important. The opposite of this is to treat ‘lightly’ and give no honour to the instructions and discipline of a father. This question that יהוה was asking of Yehuḏah was clear- “If I am the Father then where is My esteem?

This is a question of identity! The Hebrew word translated as ‘if’ is אִם im – Strong’s H518 which is a conditional participle or primary conjunction which renders, if, though, either, neither, when, whenever. The basic meaning is “if” and this meaning can be seen in most of its occurrences and is usually occurs in conditional clauses, which we are able to see very clearly here! If He is the Father… where then is His esteem? Many people want to be identified as being children of The Most High yet they give no weight to His commands and cast aside the need to obey His Torah and instructions and in the process are unable to properly praise His Name!

Lots of people today will even recite the words that our Master and Elohim taught as a pattern of how we ought to pray yet their lawlessness and compromised lifestyles reveal that they are not sons or daughters of Elohim. Many will recite the following: Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart – yet are not bringing esteem to His Name as they do not take Him serious enough and have no clue what His word teaches about set-apartness! Yisra’ĕl had no clue about how they were despising the Name of יהוה which is to be esteemed! They did not see their compromised and corrupt worship and festivals as wrong, simply because the priesthood had been corrupted and no proper Torah was being taught. Blemished offerings were being brought and they even called the Table of יהוה despicable!

When we consider this Hebrew word for ‘esteem’ - כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ – Strong’s H3519 in the ancient script we gain further insight in the revelation of the esteem of יהוה.

In the ancient pictographic script the word כָּבוֹד kaḇoḏ looks like this:

daletwawbeitkaph

Kaph - כָּ:

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, and can also speak of a covering, as in the covering of a hand.

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, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.

Waw וֹ:

The ancient pictographic form of this letter is waw, which is a peg or ‘tent peg’ or nail, 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 from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

Daletד:

The ancient script has this letter as dalet and is pictured as 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.

When we look at these pictographic letters for ‘esteem’ we are able to see some wonderful insight into the esteem of יהוה being revealed to us. The collective rendering of these pictographic letters can give us the meaning:

The covering of the House that has been secured and entrance given!

We also take note that we are able to recognise that the esteem we are to give to Elohim, and Elohim alone, is because He is the builder of the House! By His Hand He has built us and by His Mighty Saving Hand He has secured for us an entrance into His presence, as we are built up in Him who is greater than the House!

For the builder of the House is greater that the House! We are the dwelling Place and He is the Master Builder who covers us as we take our stand upon Him, our Rock and Refuge!

6 - Verse 13 – 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 14 – 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.

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

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4Adulterers 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!

The Hebrew root word for ‘commit adultery’ is נָאַף naaph – Strong’s H5003 which means, to commit adultery, adulterer, adulterers, adulteress and figuratively this word renders the meaning of, idolatrous worship.

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.

8 - Verse 15 – Do not steal

The Hebrew word used here for ‘steal’ comes from the root verb גָּנַב ganaḇ – Strong’s H1589 which means, to steal, kidnap, be stolen, take without consent and it is from this root verb that we get the Hebrew word that is used for ‘thief’ which is גַּנָּב gannaḇ – Strong’s H1590.

An adulterer is likened to a thief in that he takes that which is not his to take! If we go after that which Torah forbids, and we take hold of that which is clearly commanded against, we are considered as a thief and an adulterer!

The Greek word used in the LXX for ‘steal’ is κλέπτω kleptō – Strong’s G2813 which means, steal, commit theft, and is used in:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:28-29 “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. 29 Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers.

It is from this Greek word that we get the English word ‘kleptomania’ which is a persistent neurotic impulse to steal especially without any economic motive.

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 16 – Do not bear false witness against your neighbour

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘false’ comes from the root word שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies, and this comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, to do or deal falsely, lie’.  

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:19A false witness breathing out lies, and one who causes strife among brothers.

This verse from Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6 forms part of a list of 6 things that יהוה hates and the phrase. ‘A false witness breathing out lies’ is written in the Hebrew as follows:  יָפִיחַ כְּזָבִים עֵד שָׁקֶר – ‘yaphiyḥa k’zaḇiym eḏ shaqer.

This could literally be rendered as ‘a false testimony that is spoken by lying’ or, ‘the breath of lies that witness falsely’. This phrase comes from the following root words: 1) פּוּחַ puaḥ - Strong’s H6315 which means, to breathe, blow, speak, utter, puff, snort. This word is used 15 times in the Tanak and primarily the verb means to ‘breath, blow’ in the negatives sense of “to utter” lies or be utterly deceitful. 2) כָּזָב kazaḇ - Strong’s H3577 which means, a lie, falsehood, deceptive thing, deception, and comes from the primitive root verb כָּזַב kazaḇ - Strong’s H3576 which means, to lie, be a liar, fail, told lies, deceive, disappoint’. 3) עֵד e – Strong’s H5707 meaning, a witness, evidence’ and comes from the root word עוּד uḏ/ooḏ – Strong’s H5749, which means, to return, go about, repeat, do again, encircle, supports. 4) שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies, and comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, to do or deal falsely, lie’.

We are to be a good and truthful witness of Messiah as we speak Truth and walk in the Truth. Any departure from this clear standard of thinking, walking and speaking truth will render one as being a false witness breathing out lies.

Many want to give testimonies of how Elohim has done great things for them, while the Truth is not in them, as they have disregarded His Torah! This is a huge warning against the lawless who assume to bear the witness of Elohim in their lives, and this יהוה hates!

We are to hold fast and possess the witness of יהושע Messiah AND guard the commands of Elohim! Possessing a witness of Messiah without guarding the commands of Elohim, will render your witness false, for your witness does not breathe out life, but rather lies!

We are to be ambassadors of the coming reign, and in doing so we are to bear witness of His Truth in our lives! The question is – are you a true witness or are you a false one? While many claim to know Elohim and claim to walk in His Torah, their daily lives may often render them being a false witness, as they conform to the world and fall prey to the influence of others! Have you found yourself telling others that you are a taught one or follower of Messiah, while you are in fact compromising in your walk – for then you are a false witness breathing out lies – and this is an abomination to יהוה. We are also to be on guard about bearing false witness against our neighbour! Do not speak lies about another – do not gossip and slander another – for if you do you are being a false witness that is breathing out lies!

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.

The Greek word used here for ‘slander’ is the noun βλασφημία blasphēmia – Strong’s G988 which means, slander, abusive language, blasphemy, and comes from the adjective βλάσφημος blasphēmos – Strong’s G989 means, slanderous, speaking evil, abusive, reproachful, reviler. You do not have to look too far to see many evil speaking and abusive slanderers! What is very sad is that you will even find people like this among claiming believers!

When understanding that ‘blasphemy’ speaks of a clear irreverence toward Elohim, we must recognise the danger of speaking against our brothers, who are a part of the Bride of Elohim, lest we find that we are being found to show little respect toward the body of Messiah!

Sha’ul makes it clear to Titos that he was to remind those he taught to not be slanderers!

Titos/Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 not to slander anyone, not to be quarrelsome, to be gentle, showing all meekness to all men.

The Greek word used here for ‘slander’ is the verb βλασφημέω blasphēmeō – Strong’s G987 which means, to slander, speak lightly or profanely of set apart things, hurl abuse, dishonour.

The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ‘slander’ as:

1) “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation”, and 2) “a false and defamatory oral statement about a person”

 

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 4:11Brothers, 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 16 – Do not covet

The Hebrew word for ‘covet’ is חָמַד ḥamaḏ – 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.

The Greek word translated as ‘covet’ is ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō – Strong’s G1937 which means, desire, covet, lust, seek that which is forbidden:

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.

How many of you have found yourself looking at or seeking things that you know you should not! This can cause sin, and bring a breach in the wall which can affect the entire assembly!!!

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 2:1-2Woe 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.

Verse 18-19 – The first Trumpet sounded

Yisra’ĕl stood at the foot of the mountain and they saw the thunders and lightning and they heard the voice of the shofar and the mountain was smoking – picture this for a moment and try to imagine this magnificent occasion – this was so intense that they trembled in the presence of The Almighty and stood at a distance and they asked Mosheh to speak to them as they were afraid if they heard the voice of Elohim anymore they would die! They were witnessing what Aḇraham had seen and now they were seeing the Covenant being established with them as a nation – they were not just hearers but they saw the sound of His voice and they in a sense ‘saw’ themselves obeying these very words – that is how intense this occasion was – these were not harsh or burdensome words – yet when they heard it they acknowledged and agreed to Mosheh that they will do whatever else he speaks to them!

The word was not up in heaven or beyond the sea – it was right here with them. These 10 Words that they had just heard summarise the two greatest commands – Love יהוה and our neighbour and all the other commands flow from these very words they heard from יהוה and summarise all that they would still hear Mosheh speak to them over the next year!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:18-29For you have not drawn near to a mountain touched and scorched with fire, and to blackness, and darkness and storm, 19 and a sound of a trumpet, and a voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that no further Word should be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot through with an arrow.” 21 And so fearsome was the sight that Mosheh said, “I exceedingly fear and tremble.” 22 But you have drawn near to Mount Tsiyon and to the city of the living Elohim, to the heavenly Yerushalayim, to myriads of messengers, 23 to the entire gathering and assembly of the first-born having been enrolled in heaven, and to Elohim the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to יהושע the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaks better than the blood of Heḇel. 25 Take heed not to refuse the One speaking. For if those did not escape who refused the warning on earth, much less we who turn away from Him from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 And this, “Yet once more,” makes clear the removal of what is shaken – as having been made – so that the unshaken matters might remain. 28 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.

 

Verse 20 – Do not fear – He has come to prove you!

Mosheh encourages Yisra’ĕl to not be afraid as the Word of Elohim is for their good in order to prove them and refine them! Ya’aqoḇ/James tells us that the proving of our faith works endurance and we must endure perfectly in order to be made complete and not lack anything! So they stood and waited as Mosheh went and drew near to Elohim in the thick darkness. Fear but do not fear!!! Let His Words prove you so that His fear – that is that which comes forth from His gut – His Torah and His character. For more on this please see the sermon notes on a message called, “Those fearing Elohim listen!” which is available from our site (www.atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu, at the following link:

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

We are to take heed of His Words lest we die!!!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the being. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both being and body in Gehenna.

To prove you:

The other reason for the Wilderness journey is to ‘prove us’. The word for ‘prove’ is נָסָה nasah – Strong’s H5254 which means, to test, try, proved

Dawiḏ called upon Elohim to prove him and know his heart –and this is the kind of boldness and humility we need to have!

Tehillah/Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, O יהוה, and prove me; try my kidneys and my heart.

Most people today do not want to be examined as they certainly have a lot of junk to hide. The Word ‘proves’ us and we need it to so that we can get all the ‘dross’ out of us and be brought forth and refined silver.

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

Tehillah/Psalm  66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.

Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 13:9And I shall bring the third into fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My Name, and I shall answer them. I shall say, ‘This is My people,’ while they say, ‘יהוה is my Elohim.’

It is through His ‘proving and trying’ us that we shall remember what He has done and learn to call upon His Name! The reason why His Name was “forgotten” and not called upon is simply because the pride of men’s hearts chose not to ‘remember’ the Wilderness!

He proves us in order to see what is upon our hearts – now we know what is supposed to be upon our hearts – His Torah – yet if so many are not guarding and doing His Torah, then it is obvious that His Word is not on their heart!

Are we guarding his commands or not – that is what the proving of יהוה establishes very clearly!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 17:3A refining pot is for silver and a furnace for gold, but יהוה tries the hearts.

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:7in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:2-4My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. 4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.

So many allow the pride of life to cause them to avoid any form of proving and testing of their hearts by Elohim through His Word, and in the process deceive themselves into one of the most claimed phrases that is used to justify their rebellion and lawlessness, and that is that many say, “Oh but HE knows my heart”. What many do not realise here is that what they are saying is very true indeed, yet they are not saying it with the mind-set of humility and submission to do what His Word commands but rather they use it as a twisted means of thinking that whatever they do is ok, as they assume that יהוה will accept their Torahless lifestyle! This following verse is the answer to all those who arrogantly use the pathetic excuse of their lack of obedience to his commands of … He knows my heart:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it? 10 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

Now to the lawless (those who claim that the Torah is no longer applicable) I say – you are absolutely correct in saying that יהוה knows your heart – and that being the case I would urge you to seriously consider the implications of that very truth! He tries our hearts to see if we guard His commands or not – and to the lawless He will say:

Luqas/Luke 13:27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.

We need to seek His Way and learn to hear His instructions and guard to do them. So many today plainly say no, just as the rebellious that went before us, when they were told to ask for the ‘ancient way’:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus said יהוה, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We do not walk in it.’

How sad it is that we see so many stubborn and prideful people simple saying the same thing… “We do not walk in it”.

Look at the verse that follows:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:17-19 “And I raised up watchmen over you, and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the ram’s horn!’ But they said, ‘We do not listen.’ 18 “Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is upon them! 19 “Hear, O earth! See, I am bringing evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to My words, nor My Torah – and they rejected it.

There are many denominations in Christianity today who will ‘recite’ the Laws of יהוה as a religious duty, while they clearly do not walk in them; and they lay claim to the Covenant Promises while they do not walk in the conditions of the Covenant – and יהוה says to them:

Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, Or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction And cast My Words behind you?

Simply ‘reciting’ His commands while not walking in them is WRONG… His commands are to be in our hearts (which He tries to see if we guard them) and mouths in order to do it! For many it is simply only upon their lips and is far from their hearts – and His refining Word will prove it!

Marqos/Mark 7:6 “And He answering, said to them, “Well did Yeshayahu prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

The way to guard against pride is to humble ourselves under the teaching of our Master and Saviour and follow in His steps, guarding His commands!

Verse 23 – do not make idols of silver and gold!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:14-16Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.

Sadly they did not heed this command as we will see in a few chapters time with the golden calf that Aharon made!

This also speaks of what you spend your money on – what you idolize and ‘cover/make’ with gold and silver. Think about how many people go crazy for the latest fashions or trends and just have to have the latest or they feel out – that is simply idols made with silver and gold.

Verse 24 – Altar of earth

Make a slaughter place of earth – this carries great significance I believe in referring to us today as His Hěḵal/Temple. Man was made from the earth and Tehillah/Psalm 103:14 tells us that Elohim remembers that we are ‘dust’ or earth! We are built up in Him as His Temple and we offer our bodies as living sacrifices daily, giving our all as an ascending offering – that is a whole burnt offering! The second part of this verse carries powerful insight for us – for the promise is for יהוה to come and bless us. It is when we gather for His Shabbat – which we in effect make a slaughter place of earth – all of us coming together as one and offer up a praise offering and every place where He causes His Name to be remembered He will come and bless us!!! Where His Name is remembered - Aharon was instructed on how to bless the children of Yisra’ĕl and put the Name of יהוה on His people that He may come and bless (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 6:23-27). Now understanding this then that He comes to bless us as we gather in His presence – we see that the command for Shabbat is to ‘remember’ – this is where He causes His Name to be remembered as we delight in Him and do not do our own pleasures. Shabbat is a set-apart gathering we are not to miss!!!

Verse 25 – do not use a chisel

We are all living stones being built together in Messiah and so I find this very powerful in making sure we do not add or take away from His clear instructions! We must not use a chisel on the slaughter place of stone – that is to say we must not use man’s dogmas, theologies and doctrines to shape our coming together and learning. We need to humble ourselves as little children and sit at His feet and let faith be built from the proper hearing of His Word. We can glean much from commentaries – like this one for example – yet this is also birthed out of gathering by faith and gaining great insight together as the Spirit teaches us, as we each bring our part as we are not trying to shape our worship and obedience with traditions that may chip off much needed insight. יהוה is the Potter and we are the clay – let us not try to be a potter for we will only lead others astray and have a slaughter place built by man’s hands which is not pleasing to Him – let us do it His way and watch the beauty of being built up together as one!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘chisel’ is חֶרֶב ḥereḇ - Strong’s H2719 which means, a sword, axe, tool for cutting stone, knife and here it is written as חַרְבְּךָḥarbeḵa which is translated as ‘your chisel’, highlighting for us here that the instruction is very clear – do not use ‘your’ chisel on it. The ‘sword’ we are to use is יהוה’s Word and not man-made tools! Using a chisel on the slaughter place would profane the slaughter place and render it as an unacceptable platform to offer the prescribed slaughterings! This teaches us the clear lesson of how we, in be a daily living offering unto Elohim, are not to allow any man-made chisels, so to speak, to be used to shape our thinking and ways, for then our worship will be rendered as something profane rather than a proper praise!

The Hebrew word used for ‘profanecomes from the root verb חלל ḥālal - Strong’s H2490 (chalal – with a ch.. sound as in loch) and means, ‘to bore or pierce through or kill or wound or defile, to profane, pollute or make common’.

What does it mean to profane? The word profane means ‘to treat something set-apart with abuse, irreverence or contempt’. In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:16 Ěsaw is described as being ‘a profane one’ for selling his birthright for a single meal!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘profane one’ is βέβηλος bebēlos – Strong’s G952 which means, profane person and was used to describe a person who had been barred from the threshold or entrance of a temple as this word comes from the base of the word βάσις basis – Strong’s G939 which means, foot, a walk, stepping, walking and the root word βηλός bēlos which means, threshold.

The image which the word βέβηλος bebēlos – Strong’s G952, meaning ‘profane person’, pictures for us, especially when we see that it is derived from βηλός bēlos which means threshold, is that of a spot that is trodden or trampled upon and the idea of this representing a profane one highlights for us a picture of one who has no regard for proper order and tramples underfoot any authority that ought to be submitted to. This Greek word that is translated as ‘profane one’ is βέβηλος bebēlos – Strong’s G952 is used 6 times in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) and the first time we see this being used in the LXX is in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 10:10 “so as to make a distinction between the set-apart and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean

These were part of the clear commands that were given by יהוה to Aharon, after his two sons who had brought strange fire before יהוה and were killed!

What is very interesting to me is that the word for praise in Hebrew is הללhalal - Strong’s H1984 (with a soft sound as in ha) and in essence carries the meaning, ‘to shine, be boastful, give praise’.

These two words differ with a slight difference is the stroke of the pen by means of a little tiny gap! In Praise the letter ה (hey) is used and in profane the letter ח (ḥet) is used. Similar looking letters at a glance and hence the words, even at a glance, may seem to be the same, while they are the total opposite of each other and the difference in the written form is but a tiny little gap on the top left corner of the first letter! This may sound a little pedantic to some of you, but for me it makes me realise just how fine line it is between pure worship and profanity!

praise vs profane

Let me tell you why I find this very interesting in the closeness of these words – we see in the world today that there are many who claim to be born again believers of the Almighty yet in their worship they are offering profane worship and they cannot distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! The ‘church’ today is profaning the Name of יהוה and have not only brought His Name to nought but have profaned it by treating it with abuse, irreverence and contempt!

Verse 26 – do not make steps

Pagan altars were on high place and the priests would have to climb up to the altar using steps and many times sexual acts were performed on these altars as they exposed themselves before all who participated in worship.

Their dress in those days was also what we call today dresses and going up steps would cause those looking on to see up their skirts so to speak. Nakedness in Scripture also refers to a lack of righteousness or rather a picture of doing lawlessness which is sin! Another application of this verse for us today is that we are not to have ‘step programs’ – by that I mean this – All too often we hear messages or sermons about 6 steps to… or 7 steps to a better you or 10 steps to… etc.

All methods used by the ‘chisel’ of man to tickle ears and draw a crowd – what they do not realise is this – their nakedness will be exposed – that is that there is a day coming when their lack of righteousness will be exposed before all!!!

With these two clear instructions given here in Shemoth/Exodus 20 regarding no chisel to be used on the Slaughter –Place and no steps to be made to lead up to it, we are able to clearly see the great provision that has been given to us by יהוה, in giving us a bold and clear access to His Presence through the Blood of Messiah!

The nation of Yisra’ĕl had just heard the thundering voice of the Almighty Elohim of Hosts, and in hearing it they trembled so much so that they feared for their lives, and asked Mosheh to hear for them, so that they could live, and they promised to do all he would command them! While understanding this, we are able to see the flow of Scripture in the clear graphic teaching of how we are now able to approach and hear the Word of Elohim, as given through Mosheh (The Torah)! This slaughter-place would be the shadow picture of the slaughter-place of Elohim in the heavens, upon which our Master and Messiah went and put His own blood upon to atone for us and redeem us back unto Himself as a chosen and set-apart people!

Now that we have been redeemed by the Blood of Messiah, which the blood of bulls and goats could never do, we are able and equipped to live our lives daily as a ‘living sacrifice’, for we who are set upon the ‘Rock’ and built up in Him, are able to draw near to Him with a clear conscience, and hear His voice (through His Word) in order that our belief may be strengthened in Him, being fully equipped, through our hearing, to guard to do all that He commands us to do!

The picture of no chisel and no steps, reminds us of the very clear fact that the sacrifice that was done for us could never be done by the hands of men, but only be done form that which is from above! יהוה Himself took on the form of the flesh in order to redeem us back to Himself, having become a complete sacrifice in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah our Rock and Redeemer, done with the hands (that is the workings) from above! Those who refuse to acknowledge that יהוה is our Messiah, are unable to see the true slaughter-place work that has been done from above, giving us access to His presence, for the veil has been taken away! What is interesting to take note of, in the context of slaughter places, is that the slaughter-place in the Temple that Yeḥezqěl saw, regarding that which is still to come in the Millennium Reign, is that the Slaughter-Place which he saw had steps leading up to it! Now while you may ask why, let me explain this clear and simple truth! There is steps in that future temple as this is a temple form above, and not made by the hands of man, therefore these ‘steps’ in the temple Yeḥezqěl saw, speak of the complete sinless workings of our great Master, Redeemer and King, showing us a very clear and simply lesson – we cannot provide for our own redemption! We cannot ‘make’ our own cleansing from sin! It is only by the mighty workings of the Right Hand of Elohim, which has been revealed to us in the form of Messiah, that we are now able to become ‘living sacrifices, and therefore ‘work out’ our own deliverance each and every day, as we follow His way and not the falsified ways of man-made theologies, traditions and lies!

יהושע Messiah took our shame and bore upon Himself our nakedness and sin, as He was stripped of all His garments and beating, spat upon and whipped to a bloody state, being hung naked and beaten on a pole for all to see! Some may be offended at this, yet we need to recognise that He, who knew no sin, became sin for us, and all our ‘nakedness and shame’ was exposed on Him, who was lifted up for our sins!  Through this redemptive act of the greatest love of all, we who turn to The Master, who was raised from the dead and ascended into the Heavenly Tabernacle and stands in continual intercession for us and High Priest forever, have had the veil removed and are now enabled to be fully clothed in His righteousness, and be kept from our nakedness being exposed – as long as we walk in Him and stay in Him by guarding to do all He has commanded us to! He has provided for us a Way of Set-Apartness, through His life, death and resurrection, in order that we may hear His voice and obey His Torah! Any other way is no way at all; and is simply man-made steps that will be proven false and have their shame and nakedness exposed when he comes again to judge!

We are to remain dressed in righteousness which is to guard to do all we have been commanded to do!!! Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone doing righteousness has been born of Him.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

We have been given righteous garments to wear – His Righteousness he has given to us – and we keep them clean and prepare ourselves by obeying His commands – walking in love for Him!

In speaking of a wife/bride of noble character, in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31, we are told in verse 22 how she is dressed:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:22She shall make tapestry for herself; she is dressed in fine linen and purple.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘dressed’ is לְבוּשׁ leush – Strong’s H3830 which means, garment, clothing, apparel, raiment, put on and the Hebrew word used here for ‘fine linen’ is שֵׁשׁ shesh’ - Strong’s H8336 and the Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘fine linen’ is the noun βύσσος bussos – Strong’s G1040 and from this word we get the adjective βύσσινος bussinos – Strong’s G1039 which is used in reference to the ‘fine linen’ that the Bride of the Lamb is given to be dressed in, in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.

The Greek word that is translated as ‘dressed’ here in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 is περιβάλλω periballō – Strong’s G4016 which means, put on, clothe, wrap around, throw around, and this word is also translated as ‘dressed’ in the following verses:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.

This was to the assembly in Sardis, who were told to ‘wake up and repent’.

Ḥazon/Revelation 4:4And around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes. And they had crowns of gold on their heads.

Ḥazon/Revelation 7:9After this I looked and saw a great crowd which no one was able to count, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands

The reason for me highlighting the various Greek and Hebrew words, in terms of being dressed, is to make it abundantly clear that Scripture teaches us what the correct dress code is for anyone who hear the call and invitation to come!

Those who refuse the call and make vain excuses are not dressed and worthy of the call, for only the remnant few who has not defiled their garments will be chosen!

This verse in Shemoth/Exodus also proves that Dawiḏ did not ‘dance naked’ as many erroneously teach – as he would have been going against the very instructions we see here. He was wearing a linen shoulder garment (Read Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6). He simply would have taken His ‘outer garments’ off – that is His royal robes and danced with the people. This certainly would have usually been uncommon for a king to dance with the subjects and be as one of them!

I see a wonderful shadow picture here of Messiah who too came down and dwelt among us and took off His royal robes and emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men (Pilipiyim/Philippians 2:7).

Let us continue to be clothed in Him throwing off all that entangles and be found to be a bride ready for Her coming King as we hear-guard and do all His commands!!!

Shalom!