8th of the 10th month 2016/2017
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ declares the Master יהוה, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wrong, but that the wrong turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Yisra’ĕl?’”
Yeḥezqěl prophesied from the 5th year of the exile of the second last king of Yehuḏah and he was exiled along with the choicest people of the land and while much of his prophesies were given while the Temple still stood his target audience was the House of Yisra’ĕl who had been exiled 130 years earlier. The book of Yeḥezqěl speaks of יהוה’s plan to restore His chosen people despite their horrific rebellion and backsliding and clearly calls them to turn back from their wickedness and evil ways and do right and righteousness so that they may live! The call to return to obedience is a recurring theme or rather message that is given throughout Scripture and is sadly one that is not being taken serious enough as many are stubbornly continuing in their evil ways, backsliding from steadfastness and set-apartness as opposed to the need to come out the wicked ways of unrighteousness and be separate. This call to turn back from evil ways is still being called for today, yet who has ears to hear?
In a message called ‘RETURN, O BACKLSIDING YISRA’ĔL!’ I want us to take a look at the Word of Elohim that given through another prophet who had to endure much ridicule and persecution for his steadfast ability at calling the backsliding back to righteousness. Please turn with me to Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3 (Read).
The prophesies of Yirmeyahu began almost a 100 years or so after the fall of the northern kingdom of Yisra’ĕl, just after the widespread reforms that Yoshiyahu, the 15th king of the House of Yehuḏah, had made and lasted through to the exile of the House of Yehuḏah and therefore prophesised for over 50 years, calling people to turn from their wicked and backsliding ways and return to יהוה!
In this Chapter 3 of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah we are clearly able to see the very loud call for the backsliding children of Yisra’ĕl to return to יהוה and focuses on a divorced bride being called to return and be cleaned up by Her Husband who will heal and restore her! As we go through this chapter we will certainly be able to pick up how ‘alive’ this same call to return is today, yet as I have mentioned, most are not hearing as they have easily turned away their ears from hearing the Torah of Elohim and are being tickled in their hearing with myths as they are falling away from the belief and paying attention to misleading spirits and teachings of demons and speaking lies in hypocrisy! This call to return is one that must be heard and correctly responded to!
In verse 1 we see יהוה setting forth a very clear question that relates to the instructions given in the Torah, as we see in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:4 “then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled, for that would be an abomination before יהוה. And do not bring sin on the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you as an inheritance.”
When a woman had been divorced and sent away and she became another man’s wife and was also given a written certificate of divorce and sent away she was not permitted to come back to the first husband, for that would bring defilement upon the land. In this chapter we are given the clear picture of how the House of Yisra’ĕl had been given a certificate of divorce for committing adultery, yet the House of Yehuḏah had acted more treacherously and went and committed whoring too!
The call given to a backsliding Yisra’ĕl is certainly within the legal parameters of the Torah as she had not been joined in marriage to another; and while she had certainly whored, she was not ‘divorced again’ and ‘sent away’ by another husband, which would have made her unable to return to her first Husband, but could in actual fact be taken up again by Her first Husband. In the book of Hoshěa/Hosea we see how Hoshěa was told to go and take himself a woman of whoring! This highlights for us that there is a difference between whoring with other men and committing to them in marriage. Yisra’ĕl had never married another but had certainly flirted and whored with many and kept moving swiftly from one to another, worshipping anything and everything. The House of Yisra’ĕl had not been issued with a ‘second certificate of divorce’ and therefore Elohim is well within His own commands to take back His divorced bride who had gone whoring after others. In Hoshěa/Hosea 1:10 we are able to see this promise given to a numerous people who were once not the people of Elohim, as they had been born out of whoring, that they would now be called the sons of the living Elohim, highlighting how He will once again take up the House of Yisra’ĕl as His wife again!
He also made this possible through His life, death and resurrection, which brought about the establishment of His covenant with us being instituted with his own blood and not that of bulls and goats!
The clear question that is asked in verse 1 is whether a whoring people would return to יהוה.
The children of Yisra’ĕl are likened to grains of sand and the image we get here is that if any of us is defiled then יהוה cannot draw near to His Dwelling Place in us, however the call to return and be cleansed from defilement is given!
We are called to draw near to Elohim and cleanse our ways, which has been made possible through the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:7-8 “So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. 8 Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”
In verse 2 of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3 the message of יהוה to a whoring people is that they must open up their eyes and see the junk that they are doing! This call has not changed! If only most would open up their eyes and see what nonsense they are getting up to and recognise that what they are doing is a polluted defilement of the Truth and not the Truth itself, despite their vain reasoning for thinking it is so! Many have been blinded by traditions that have caused them to not see the depravity of their false worship and here in this call it is clear – open your eyes and see what nonsense you have been getting up to!!! How frustrating it is when most do not want to do this as they can never admit that they were wrong and stubbornly keep their ears closed to hearing the Torah of Elohim and so continue on their corrupted worship practices that are an abomination to יהוה.
יהוה says to lift up their eyes and see and then asks: ‘where have you not lain with men?’ This highlights that there is not a place where they have actually been found to be true but rather that all that they have done is whored and defiled themselves and the land in every way!
The Hebrew word that is translated in verse 1 as ‘committed whoring’ is זָנִית – zaniyth which comes from the root word זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 which means, ‘be a harlot, commit fornication, adulterous, prostitute, unfaithful’.
We must take note that many of the uses of this word זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 are figurative and describe Yisra’ĕl’s unfaithfulness to יהוה and her “whoring” with pagan nations and this root word is translated as ‘whore’ in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 23:27 “For a whore is a deep pit, and a strange woman is a narrow well.”
Shelomoh is warning against the luring of what the world has to offer, and no matter how pretty it seems do not desire it. The world may have a lot to offer as its pit is very deep, yet what it has to offer is not good as it leads to death and we are called to walk in wisdom and not keep company with those who whore, as we see Shelomoh telling us in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:3 “He who loves wisdom gladdens his father, but a companion of whores destroys wealth.”
A companion of whores destroys wealth!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘companion’ comes from the root רָעָה ra’ah – Strong’s H7462 which means, ‘to associate with, cultivate, companion’. This implies making friendship with that which is not of Elohim as we take note that the word for ‘whores’ in Hebrew comes from the root word זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181. Associating with those who are unfaithful will cause you to destroy the wealth of wisdom that you may have had when properly seeking Elohim by guarding righteousness and therefore we must recognise the clear danger that Shelomoh is highlighting for us here by warning us against making friendship with the world!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.”
In verse 2 יהוה makes it clear that by their whorings they had made the land unclean and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘unclean’ comes from the root verb חָנֵף ḥaneph – Strong’s H2610 which means, ‘to be polluted or profane, turn to lawlessness’! Turning to lawlessness defiles!!! This root word חָנֵף ḥaneph – Strong’s H2610 is translated as ‘defiled’ in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24:5 “For the earth has been defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the Torot, changed the law, broken the everlasting covenant.”
Those who have ‘changed the law’ and transgressed against the Torah of Elohim cause defilement! This verse is a very clear statement against the lawlessness of the world and its effect! This verse stresses the fact that the earth lies defiled because of its inhabitants that have transgressed against the Torah of Elohim and have changed the Torah and broken the everlasting covenant! the word translated as ‘broken’ is פָּרַר parar – Strong’s H6565 which means, ‘to break, frustrate, annul, nullify, make ineffectual, split, divide’. I hope this makes the picture clear as to why the earth is already in such a defiled state and not functioning according to the Creator’s design – it is because man has turned to lawlessness and made the Torah of Elohim ineffectual as a means to govern His creation – and this is why it lies defiled! When the Torah is disregarded and thrown out as the primary instructions for living then the result is only one of a devastating defilement that is decaying; and this principle that is being pictured here for the earth, applies to our individual lives too – for when we break the Torah and change His Torah by substituting it with tradition, we defile ourselves, and render our garments of unrighteousness as garments of decay.
Verse 3 highlights for us the clear effects of lawlessness and whoring! Ample warning was clearly given in the Torah, as we see in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:16-17 “Guard yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other mighty ones and bow down to them. 17 ‘Then the displeasure of יהוה shall burn against you, and He shall shut up the heavens, and there be no rain, and the land not give its increase. And you shall perish quickly from the good land which יהוה is giving you.”
Here we can see in the Torah of Mosheh the clear warning for disobedience! Just a couple of verses before these we see the blessing for obedience:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:13-14 “And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commands which I command you today, to love יהוה your Elohim and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being, 14 then I shall give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, and you shall gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil.”
The result of whoring being spoken of here in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:3 is clear – there will be no abundant showers of rain and no latter rain! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘latter rain’ is מַלְקוֹשׁ malqosh – Strong’s H4456 which means, ‘latter rain, spring rain’ and is understood as being the rains that come in late Spring in order to strengthen and mature the crops. This word comes from the root verb לָקַשׁ laqash – Strong’s H3953 which means, ‘to take the second crop, to take everything, to glean the harvest’ and a promise of provision and blessing that is given for obedience!
If His commands were guarded then יהוה would send both the EARLY rain and the LATTER rain!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘early rain’ is the word יוֹרֶה yoreh – Strong’s H3138 which is the active participle of the word יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 which means, ‘to throw or shoot, direct, instruct, teach, teacher’. The Hebrew word יוֹרֶה yoreh – Strong’s H3138 is translated as ‘watering’ in Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3. The early and latter rains are a frequent theme we see be repeated throughout Scripture and teaches us that without the early and latter rains there can be no harvest! What we recognise from the early and latter rain is that with the first coming of Messiah we can recognise that He came to ‘teach and instruct’ us and with His second coming, ‘as the latter rain’, He is coming to take up a harvest of souls – He is coming to reap, and He is coming on the clouds!!!
Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:23 “And you children of Tsiyon, be glad and rejoice in יהוה your Elohim, for He shall give you the Teacher of Righteousness, and cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.”
The word used for both ‘teacher’ and ‘former rain’ is the word מוֹרֶה moreh – Strong’s H4175 which means both, ‘teacher’ and ‘rain’ and comes from the word יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 from which we get the term ‘early rain’.
Ok, so I have highlighted the clear picture of rain and the early and later rains which are both essential for a strong and mature harvest. It is with this is mind that I want to us to consider the need for us to understand how important יהוה’s rain is for us, and when I say that I mean, His teaching and instruction; for without it we are not able to be made strong and mature in יהושע Messiah, who is both our Teacher of righteousness and the ‘gatherer of the after crop’!
Those who whore have no teacher that will comes and nourish them as the Good teacher will clearly rebuke the rebellious who have whored and reject them by declaring that He does not know them, despite their vain attempts at declaring that they did much in His Name, when what they did was mere acts of lawlessness as they disregarded His Torah!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
In verse 3 we are told that those who whored refused to be ashamed and are therefore a clear picture of people who walk in stubborn pride! So many today refuse to acknowledge that they have inherited lies and futile traditions that have nullified the commands of Elohim for vain traditions of man that are falsely taught as teachings!
Many are called but few are chosen! While the call has gone out to all, so many refuse the call, and we see Shelomoh telling us, in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:24 “Because I called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one inclined”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘refused’ is מָאֵן maen – Strong’s H3985 which means, ‘to refuse, absolutely refuse’, and represents an intentional action as opposed to one of ignorance. So many today willingly refuse to hear the Truth that we as ambassadors of the Coming Reign are proclaiming together with His Spirit, calling people to come out and be separate! Pharaoh refused to let Yisra’ĕl go; Eḏom refused to give Yisra’ĕl passage through its borders; Yisra’ĕl refused to listen to the voice of Shemuʼěl the prophet when they demanded to have a king!
Yisra’ĕl refused to repent and refused to receive instruction, and so what we can clearly see from the use of this word is that those who ‘refuse’ the call of Elohim to come out and be separate simply reveal a hardness of heart and that they are stiff-necked and unwilling to submit to the Master and King of all creation, showing that they are not worthy of the call!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:25-26 “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.”
The Greek word used here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews for ‘refuse’ is παραιτέομαι paraiteomai – Strong’s G3868 which means, ‘to have nothing to do with, excuse, refuse, reject’, and this word is used in this Parable recorded of in Luqas/Luke, which speaks of a certain man who gave a supper and invited many and sent his servant to those who had been invited to come for the supper was now ready, and we see some of the responses to the invite, this word παραιτέομαι paraiteomai – Strong’s G3868 being used 3 times in:
Luqas/Luke 14:18-19 “But one by one they all began making excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I need to go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. I ask you to have me excused.’”
Excuses to be excused!!! I find this a very powerful and sobering lesson being given here in terms of what excuses actually represent – and that is that they represent an intentional refusal to submit to the call of Elohim. So many today make a wide range of excuses as to why they cannot do what is required in the Word, and will even justify these excuses in their own minds as being a valid reason, when in fact it is nothing more than a deliberate refusal to obey!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘ashamed’ comes from the root verb כָּלַם kalam – Strong’s H3637 which means, ‘to be humiliated, ashamed, brought to dishonour, disgraced, rebuked, embarrassed, insulted’.
Today there are so many who are refusing to be ashamed of their lawlessness and resist being rebuked and brought to dishonour for their abominable acts of false worship as they hold so tightly to their vain traditions and reuse to change their ways! יהוה resists the proud but gives favour to the humble!!!
Despite the depravity of the whorings of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah we see the heart of a compassionate father making a clear appeal for the backsliding children to return, along with a stern warning for not responding to the call to return!
In verse 6 יהוה asks Yirmeyahu if he has seen what backsliding Yisra’ĕl has done!
The Hebrew word used for ‘backsliding’ is מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah – Strong’s H4878 which means, ‘turning back, apostasy, faithless, faithlessness, waywardness, backsliding’, and comes from the root word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’. And so we see that while שׁוּב shuḇ speaks of a repentance and a turning back to Elohim, we see the opposite in the word מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah which expresses a turning away from Elohim.
מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah can also be understood as, ‘the state of rebellion against authority’, and as a result of this rebellion against authority there is a break in a previous relationship bond, which is a figurative extension of turning aside off of a correct path!
We clearly see this in Yisra’ĕl’s backsliding that caused יהוה to issue a certificate of divorce, as we read in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Yisra’ĕl had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Yehuḏah did not fear, but went and committed whoring too.”
The House of Yisra’ĕl, also referred to in Scripture metaphorically as Ephrayim, had turned aside from the correct path of complete obedience and set-apartness, by adulterating herself with the nations – and this brought about a break in the marriage bond with יהוה.
This word מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah is used 12 times in Scripture. Twice it is used in Hoshěa/Hosea, 9 times in the book of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah, and once in Mishlĕ/Proverbs:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:32 “For the turning away of the simple kills them, and the complacency of fools destroys them.”
Here the word מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah is translated as ‘turning away’. The LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) uses the word ἀδικέω adikeō – Strong’s G91 which means, ‘do wrong, be an offender, to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin, to have violated the laws in some way, to hurt, damage or harm’. We see this word being used in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:11-12 “He who does wrong, let him do more wrong; he who is filthy, let him be more filthy; he who is righteous, let him be more righteous; he who is set-apart, let him be more set-apart. 12 “And see, I am coming speedily, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according to his work.”
In Sha’ul’s letter to the believers in Colossae, he told them to bear with one another, and to put on love and to let the Word dwell in them richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing with pleasure in their hearts to the Master in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs, and whatever they do in word or deed, to do all in the Name of the Master יהושע. He then clearly instructed that proper submission and obedience should be observed by all – wives to their husbands, children to their parents and servants to their masters, and then writes in:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:23-25 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Master and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Master you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Master, Messiah, you serve. 25 But he who does wrong shall be repaid for the wrong which he has done, and there is no partiality.”
Why I am mentioning these verses is simply to highlight the need for us to walk in love, as we guard to obey all the commands of Elohim and not turn away from doing what He has commanded us to. Those who hear, guard and do will be rewarded by the Master, while the wrong will be repaid and there is no partiality with Elohim! Justification for compromise will not get the wrong to escape the just reward for compromise and complacency! Rejecting any authority of Elohim is a form of backsliding, and to refuse to submit to walking as a body together in unity, by each one doing whatever seems right in their own eyes is also a form of backsliding! יהושע Messiah is our King, and His Kingdom has rules (His Torah) and His Kingdom has order, by which He has appointed some to teach and equip the body unto maturity, and any refusal to submit to the teaching and the admonishing of each other through the wisdom of Elohim will simply reveal one as being ‘simple’!
The Hebrew word for ‘simple’ in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:32 is פֶּתִי pethi – Strong’s H6612 which means, ‘open minded, foolish, simple, naïve’, which comes from the root verb פָּתָה pathah – Strong’s H6601 and means ‘easily deceived, enticed, to be simple or to be in a state of holding a wrong view about a situation’. The message here is clear – do not be deceived or enticed into holding a wrong view about any situation. In Hoshěa/Hosea 7 Ephrayim is referred to having become a simple dove:
Hoshěa/Hosea 7:11 “And Ephrayim has become a simple dove without heart, they have called on Mitsrayim, they have gone to Ashshur.”
Here Ephrayim is symbolically used in referencing the House of Yisra’ĕl’ that had gone astray and been enticed by the nations! Ephrayim was easily deceived and enticed into a mode of pagan influenced worship. It also means to be naïve – and boy, how many today are so naïve about the corrupted practice of Christianity as an assumed means of pure worship, when it is nothing more than a man-made twisted blend of truth and pagan influence; which according to Torah is clearly an abomination in the eyes of יהוה.
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:7 יהוה says that after all the whoring that Yisra’ĕl had done He called her to return to Him but she would not and her treacherous sister Yehuḏah saw it! In verse 8, which I highlighted already, we are told that יהוה issued the House of Yisra’ĕl a divorce certificate and put her away, yet even after seeing this Yehuḏah did not learn to fear יהוה and went and committed whoring too! They did not learn from the clear punishment that Yisra’ĕl had received! Isn’t that the mind-set of so many today? They refuse to learn from the accounts we are given in Scripture as warnings for us and do not think that what has happened in the past can happen to them and so are living under a false grace banner that claims lawlessness and whoring is an acceptable practice and that יהוה will never reject them!
In fact the picture we have here in this chapter is how more depraved and treacherous Yehuḏah had become after Yisra’ĕl was divorced! Yehuḏah had not turned to יהוה with all their heart, but turned to him falsely!
This is the picture of many lukewarm believers today as they are turning falsely to Elohim
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘falsely’ in verse 10 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’.
Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14 “Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.”
Through the false and misleading messages we see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood; a falsehood that has been so ingrained in them as we are able to see through the mirror of the example given to us in Yirmeyahu being a clear reflection of the state of falsehood that prevails on the earth today!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 9:3-6 “And they bend their tongue like a bow. Falsehood, and not truth, prevails on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they have not known Me,” declares יהוה. 4 “Let everyone beware of his neighbour and not trust any brother. For every brother catches by the heel, and every neighbour walks with slanderers. 5 “And everyone deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood, and have wearied themselves to crook. 6 “You live in the midst of deceit; through deceit they have refused to know Me,” declares יהוה.”
Falsehood prevails on the earth! This could be a clear description of the wicked and deceitful generation that we live in the midst of today! Just as Yirmeyahu lived in the midst of deceit so we recognise how similar the days are that we are living in now.
So many people today find themselves unable to truly love the Torah as they do not hate and utterly detest falsehood!
Yehuḏah had acted so falsely that her treacherous behaviour made the backsliding Yisra’ĕl look righteous!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘treacherous’ is בָּגַד bagaḏ – Strong’s H898 which means, ‘to act or deal treacherously, act deceitfully, faithless, transgressor’ and this verb is used to denote unfaithfulness in several different relationships; and it is used in connection with unfaithfulness in marriage – and more specifically how Yisra’ĕl had acted treacherously toward Elohim:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:20 “But indeed as a wife betrays her husband, so have you betrayed Me, O house of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה.”
This word בָּגַד bagaḏ also carries the literal meaning of ‘to cover (with a garment)’, bringing about the figurative meaning of ‘acting covertly’. And today this is how we see so many that have transgressed the Covenant, acting covertly – and that is through the cover up of lies and the dogmas and traditions of man, that so many hold fast to while forsaking true obedience to the commands of Elohim.
The whore and strange woman catches many in her deep pit and narrow well and makes more and more people become treacherous as they end up betraying the One True Husband by not keeping their eyes fixed on the Truth but rather fall for the trap of the whore’s deep pit that leads to death!
In verse 12 Yirmeyahu is instructed to go and proclaim to a backsliding Yisra’ĕl that they should return to יהוה, the lovingly-committed Elohim who does not bear a grudge forever! This is a clear picture of His compassion and mercy!
Verse 13 makes it clear what the conditions of their return are: They were to acknowledge their crookedness!
The Hebrew word used here in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:13 for ‘crookedness’ is עָוֹן avon – Strong’s H5771 meaning, ‘iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity, blame, perversity, depravity’, which comes from the root verb עָוָה avah – Strong’s H5753 which means, ‘to twist, bend, distort, make crooked, pervert’.
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1 we are told that Yisra’ĕl was loaded with crookedness, and were a sinning nation who had acted corruptly and did not understand! They had ears that did not hear due to a hard and rebellious heart!
The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) for ‘crookedness’ in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:30 is the noun ἀδικία adikia – Strong’s G93 which means, ‘unrighteousness, iniquity, wrong, deed violating law and justice’ and as an adjective speaks of one who is wicked and unjust. This Greek word is used in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:17 “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death.”
Here it is translated as ‘unrighteousness’, and why I am highlighting this here is to point out that ‘unrighteousness’ is ‘sin’, which is the Greek word is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, ‘sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong’, and also carries the meaning of, ‘wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim’. I am sure some of you know where I am going with this!
Ok… unrighteousness is sin – ἀδικία adikia is ἁμαρτία hamartia – that is pretty clear! Yet we also know from:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
Sin is lawlessness!!! The Greek word for ‘lawlessness is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 meaning, ‘lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness’ and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, ‘lawless or without law, transgressors’.
This verse spells it out very plainly for those who seem to miss the fact that to not walk in the Torah is sin! It is as though Yoḥanan was spelling out this fact very bluntly and straightforward for those who struggle with a Greek mind-set and see no need to walk in the Torah – well right here in the Greek it is clear – If you are lawless (that is to walk contrary to the Torah) then you are indeed sinning!
Sin is lawlessness – ἁμαρτία hamartia is ἀνομία anomia! With this in mind we see clearly that with ‘unrighteousness’ being ‘sin’, that ‘unrighteousness’ is ‘lawlessness’ – ἀδικία adikia is ἀνομία anomia!!!
When one turns from righteousness – that is to walk in the commands of Elohim – and walks in unrighteousness – that is to walk lawless and be without obedience to the Torah and commands of Elohim – he is sinning and shall die, for the being that sins dies!!! This is exactly what Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18 warns us about!
Again the call to return is given to the backsliding children in verse 14 with the clear promise that those who return will have Elohim rule over them and appoint shepherds to look after His flock!
In Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4 we are clearly told that our Master and Elohim has appointed some to teach and equip His body unto maturity and so we see that the responsibility of the backsliding who acknowledge their crookedness and return to Elohim, must submit to those whom He has appointed to teach and instruct in righteousness! In returning from backsliding it is clear that everyone can no longer do what is right in their own eyes but must submit to the rule and authority of Elohim and His Word and submit to being taught knowledge and understanding by those He appoints!
This text given here in Yirmeyahu also picture the fulfilment of our Master and Elohim taking His returned Bride to Tsiyon and establishing His reign! We then see in verse 16 that it will no longer be said, ‘The Ark of the covenant of יהוה’ and that it would not even come to heart nor would it be made again! What is being said here? Well, we know that the Ark of the Covenant of יהוה represented the very presence of Elohim who dwells between the Keruḇim and with it not being mentioned nor built again highlights for us the fact that יהוה Himself will be in the midst of His people and therefore no ark would be sought after for His very presence will be visible to all who are with Him!
This is a great verse to highlight the clear fact that the Ark of Elohim will not be built again, despite the many claims that it will! Verse 18 is also a great verse that should silence any false teachings that claim that all believers must return to Yehuḏah, especially as we see many organisations today that are trying to bridge the gap for Christians to return to Yehuḏah, yet here we see that the House of Yehuḏah shall go the House of Yisra’ĕl and both will come together out of captivity!
In verse 19 we are told that יהוה said, ‘call Me, ‘My Father’ and do not turn away from Me’
It is by the Spirit of Elohim that we are able to cry out, My Father!
Romiyim/Romans 8:14-15 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Here we are able to see a very important key in Scripture as we acknowledge who our Father is! Is it not of יהושע that the prophet said that He would be known as “the everlasting Father” or “Father of continuity”?
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.”
This ‘Son’ that was given to us is called both Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity. This Son – will be called ‘Elohim’. He will also be called ‘Father of continuity/Everlasting Father’ which in Hebrew is the term אֲבִי עַד – ‘Aḇi aḏ’ and is from the two words: אָב Aḇ – Strong’s H1 which means ‘Father’, and aḇi means, ‘my father’. The other word עַד aḏ – Strong’s H5703 means, ‘perpetuity, everlasting, continually ,eternal’.
This is clear – The Child born to us has the Name ‘Everlasting Father’, which is literally rendered as ‘My Father forever’ There is also the thought that this word for אֲבִי (aḇi) here is a shortened form of אֲבִיָּה Aḇiyah – Strong’s H29 which means, ‘Yah is my father’, as it is possible in the structure of these two nouns coming together in the construct state for the letter ‘hey’ – ה – to fall away, and this being the case it would render the clear reference to Messiah being called ‘Yah the Everlasting Father’!
When one looks at this term in the ancient pictographic lettering we see a powerful picture that reveals to us how THE FATHER has revealed Himself to us!
The term אֲבִי עַד – ‘aḇi aḏ’, which proclaims, “My Eternal Father” or “My Father Everlasting” looks like this in the ancient pictographic script:
The two words individually look like this:
MY Father – אֲבִי aḇi:
Aleph – אֲ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Beyt – בִ:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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.
Yod – יִ:
The ancient script has this letter as 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!
In its root form the ancient script represents this word as meaning the strength of the House, which can represent that which upholds the house such as tent poles, or the father who upholds the family, and is the strength of the family. The addition of the ‘yod’ makes this word become personal as it renders the father as being ‘my’ father, and emphasises how it is the Father who works my deliverance by His own outstretched arm and hand.
Eternal – עַד aḏ:
Ayin – עַ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’. as the eye is the ‘window of knowledge’.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as 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.
Combined these two letters mean, ‘see the door’.
When we understand this wording in terms of who the DOOR is, we are able to see that this wording is making it clear to us that our:
ETERNAL FATHER HAS STRETCHED OUT HIS ARM AND HAND, and WE SEE HIM AS THE DOOR, WHICH IS MESSIAH!
We take note that when Kěpha made the bold statement of who Messiah is, when he said that He is the Son of the Living Elohim, that Messiah said that Kěpha did not say this by himself but by the Spirit! Sha’ul tells us in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 12:3 that no one can say that יהושע is Master except by the Set-Apart Spirit! The confession that יהושע is the Son of Elohim is not a confession that there are two, but that this Master and Saviour is The One from above who came in the form of the flesh and is the first born of the exact image and full representation of Elohim. The role of the Son is vital in restoring the image and likeness of Elohim that was corrupted in man and what we take note of is that after the Millennial Reign we are given another clear statement that shows that the Son is the Father!
The role of the Son is vital in restoring the image and likeness of Elohim that was corrupted in man and what we take note of is that after the Millennial Reign we are given another clear statement that shows that the Son is the Father! We have already mentioned the verse from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9 that states a Son will be born unto us and shall be called Everlasting Father (The Son will be called the Father)! Now take a look at the following verse:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6-7 “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment. 7 “The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.”
Why I have quoted both verse 6 and 7 here is to highlight for us who it is who is speaking! Bear in mind that this last book of Scripture in called Ḥazon/Revelation as it is the clear revelation of Messiah – it is a book that reveals to us the clear identity of who our Master, Elohim and Saviour is!
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, Beginning and End,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:10-11 “I came to be in the Spirit on the Day of יהוה, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the First and the Last,” and, “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven assemblies of Asia – to Ephesos, and to Smurna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodikeia.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:17-18 “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead, and He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last, 18 and the living One. And I became dead, and see, I am living forever and ever. Aměn. And I possess the keys of the grave and of death.”
The reason for me quoting the above verses from Ḥazon/Revelation 1 is to simply establish who is speaking in Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6-7! We are able to clearly see that the Aleph and Taw is the First and the Last, the Beginning and End. The First and Last is the Living One who became dead and lives forever! The First and Last is יהוה, as He makes this clear in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
The First and Last who ‘became dead’ and lives forever is יהושע Messiah, and it is יהושע Messiah who is speaking to Yoḥanan in Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6-7! For further proof that this is יהושע speaking, we take note that He is the One who gives of the fountain of living water:
Yoḥanan/John 4:10 “יהושע answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Yoḥanan/John 4:13-14 “יהושע answered and said to her, “Everyone drinking of this water shall thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Yoḥanan/John 7:37 “And on the last day, the great day of the festival, יהושע stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink.”
I do hope that you are able to recognise the clear evidence that it is our Master יהושע Messiah, The Son of Elohim that is speaking in Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6-7! With the ‘Son’ speaking, please take note again of what He says in verse 7:
“The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.”
He will be Elohim and Father to the one who overcomes!!! The Son will be the Father!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. 18 “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.”
יהוה the Almighty says that He will be a Father to us and we will be sons and daughters to Him!
Please take note that when יהושע Messiah is speaking in Ḥazon/Revelation 21 He is speaking from the throne that is in the renewed Yerushalayim that comes down out of the heaven and the former heaven and earth had passed away!
The role of the Son is no longer needed in the Renewed Heaven and earth, as the perfect image and likeness of Elohim has been restored, and the Son who was born unto us in the perfect image and exact representation of Elohim is called ‘Everlasting Father’.
A returning remnant empowered by the spirit of Elohim confesses and acknowledges their crookedness and is able to call upon and serve the Father in Spirit and in Truth. So many are still blinded by traditions that have put a veil over the revealed identity of our Master, Elohim and Saviour and many have been led astray by a strong spirit of delusion.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:1-6 “Beloved ones, do not believe every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of Elohim, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the anti-messiah which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world. 4 You are of Elohim, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world, therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of Elohim – the one knowing Elohim hears us. He who is not of Elohim does not hear us. By this we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the delusion.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘delusion’ comes from the word πλάνη plane – Strong’s G4106 meaning, ‘wandering, deception, error, deluding, deceitful’ and is simply understood in the Greek as ‘wandering out of the right way’ which is figuratively used to describe being in error!
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:23 we are told that delusion comes from the high hills and the noisy throng of the mountains!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘delusion’ is a word we have already discussed and is translated as ‘falsely’ in verse 10, which is the word שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, ‘deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies’.
The high hills are the places were the false mighty ones of the nations were worshipped and is the places where Yisra’ĕl whored after other false mighty ones and so we can see here the picture of falsehood that carries a spirit of delusion. Especially when a big noise is being made on the hills so to speak! In today’s terms this can picture the big show that many are putting on in order to attract their victims and herein lays the warning against falsehood and the string delusion of lawlessness that is being widely accepted by a backsliding and stubborn people who refuse to submit and obey the Torah of Elohim!
Once again in verse 22 we see the call to RETURN being given to the backsliding children!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘return’ comes from the root word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, which we already discussed as being the root from which we get the word for ‘backsliding’ which is מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah – Strong’s H4878.
Let me just run through a few verses that contain the Hebrew word for ‘backsliding’ – מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 2:19 “Your own evil instructs you, and your backslidings reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter that you have forsaken יהוה your Elohim, and that My fear is not in you,” declares the Master יהוה of hosts.”
Next are 4 verses from the chapter that we have read:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:6 “And יהוה said to me in the days of Yoshiyahu the sovereign, “Have you seen what backsliding Yisra’ĕl has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there committed whoring.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:11 “And יהוה said to me, “Backsliding Yisra’ĕl has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Yehuḏah.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:12 “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, O backsliding Yisra’ĕl,’ declares יהוה, ‘I shall not look on you in displeasure, for I am kind,’ declares יהוה, ‘and I do not bear a grudge forever.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:22 “Return, O backsliding children, I shall make your backslidings cease.” “See, we have come to You, for You are יהוה our Elohim.”
A few more examples:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:6 “Therefore a lion from the forest shall smite them, a wolf of the deserts ravage them. A leopard is watching over their cities, whoever comes out of them is torn in pieces. For their transgressions have been many, their backslidings have been numerous.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:5 “Why then has this people, Yerushalayim, turned away in a continual backsliding? They cling to deceit, they refuse to turn back.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 14:7 “O יהוה, though our crookednesses witness against us, act, for Your Name’s sake. For our backslidings have been many, we have sinned against You.”
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:4 “I shall heal their backsliding, I shall love them spontaneously, for My displeasure has turned away from him.”
As we read these verses together, in establishing the clear pattern of warning against backsliding, we are able to see the promise of healing from any such backsliding, and that is given to those who return to יהוה. The Hebrew word for ‘return’ is the root word
שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, which we have already mentioned as being the root from which מְשׁוּבָה meshuḇah comes from.
In the ancient pictographic letters שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 looks like this:
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , 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.
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying down of 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’.
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , 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.
When we understand the combination of these pictures as rendering a returning or recalling to mind, we are able to recognise that the teeth, which speaks of a ‘pressing’, and the picture of the peg that secures, and the house which speaks of dwelling, we are able to understand this representing the following:
‘THE SECURE DWELLING PLACE THAT IS TO BE RETURNED TO’.
This word in the ancient form represents for us a:
‘RETURNING TO THE SECURE HOUSE WHERE WE ARE FED, AS WE MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF THE HOUSE’.
In a clear and wise call to return being given to a people who had backslidden and strayed from following יהוה, Shelomoh says in:
Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 30:9 “For if you turn back to יהוה, your brothers and your children shall be shown compassion by their captors, even to return to this land. For יהוה your Elohim shows favour and compassion, and does not turn His face from you if you turn back to Him.”
As we carefully consider the words that we have read from Hoshěa/Hosea, Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah and Mishlĕ/Proverbs, in regards to the very real and present dangers of what backsliding and complacency does, let us be on guard to ensure that we are like 5 wise maidens/virgins who have not only trimmed their lamps (which all 10 had done) but also have our lamps filled with oil and are walking in the Spirit as we hear, guard and do His Torah, keeping our garments of righteousness clean in living completely set-apart lives unto the Master, as we cling to Him and His Word.
In the call for a backsliding people to return we must also recognise the responsibility of those who have truly returned; and that is that repentance and forgiveness is what we, as children of the Most High, are to be proclaiming in the Name of יהושע Messiah, as we can see from the words of our Master that He spoke to His taught ones when He appeared to them after His resurrection, in:
Luqas/Luke 24:45-47 “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning at Yerushalayim.”
This Chapter 3 of Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah has a twofold message… firstly it is a call for a backsliding Yisra’ĕl to return and secondly it is a reminder that we who are clinging to the Truth and have returned from our backsliding ways are to call other backsliders to return!
RETURN, O BACKLSIDING YISRA’ĔL!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!