Month 7:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:184 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50 - Teshuvah 37/39
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 8 October 2016
Shabbat Shuvah 2016
The Final Chance for Repentance
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and mishpachah and to the last sabbath before Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonements) which is traditionally known as Shabbat Shuvah or the 'Sabbath of Repentance'. Irrespective of what tradition may decree, we know that because this is the Year of Yovel (Jubilee) and that the Mishpatim Yahweh (Judgments of Yahweh) are to be executed this year (ending next spring in 2017 ), that this Shabbat Shuvah will be unlike any other in our lifetime save for those who witness the final Shabbat Shuvah when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns. This being so, I am accutely conscious of the need to hear Yahweh's Davar (Word) for the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) clearly today.
The Call to Repentance
A season of soul-searching, such as this time of the year requires of us prior to Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonements), makes great demands on us in terms of both time, energy and absolute self-honesty if we mean what we profess. You'd think, with the world ready to go to nuclear war at any moment, that believers everywhere would start an earnest repentance, but it just isn't happening. People are just carrying on as normal as though their little patch is going to be perpetually immune from the consequences of the deadly games being played by our leaders and their globalist controllers. Most Christians and Messianics simply aren't aware that a major judgment is imminent and have made no, or inadequate, preparations. And if they were aware, they would likely conclude that they are not part of the problem and will therefore be protected and provided for as though Yahweh writes a blank cheque (check) for nominal believers. It is for this reason that we must call everybody to repentance, not just for their vitally important eternal salvation, but for their continued existence on this physical plane. Yahweh is trying to wake people up but nobody is listening.
Pre-Revolutionary Russia Like Today
We are living in a time where, as Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov put it, "fatal poverty and fatalistic wealth" have become "fantastically interwoven" . As I compare the semi-feudalism and corruption of Tsarist Russia at the turn of the 20th century with the West today a century later, I see astonishing parallels. We are little different. And Tsarist Russia, as we know, catalysed by the Great War of 1914-18, exploded in revolution; and that is exactly what the élites are trying to foment today. But instead of a brutal and bloody régime change in one country (Russia), they want it globally. In their world there will be no place for exiles to hide because the USSR will be everywhere.
Our Imperial Rulers
In July of 1906 the Czar unconstututionally dissolved the Russian Parliament (Duma) and ruled by decree. There are ominous signs that the current American 'Czar', Barack Hussein Obama, would like to do the same and may well be planning to do so. A Third World War would certainly be a good pretext for him - and as for ruling by decree, he has been getting plenty of practice with his avalanche of Presidential or Executive Decrees . Both the United States and the Europen Union have been ruled as virtual semi-absolutist monarchies for some time now with parliaments or senates simply rubber-stamping the Emperors' commands in token democracies. Their excuse? Necessity! But as William Pitt once said:
Biblical Justice Explained
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the arguments of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
Central to the Bible revelation is the concept of justice. Philosophically-speaking, justice may be understood as fairness, correct treatment, or equitable distribution of resources. But the Bible teaching on justice is far more than that, far more than a mathematical distribution of goods. For the Bible says that justice is a chief attribute of Elohim (God) tied inextricably to His mercy and grounded in the relationship between Yahweh and humanity. From the time of the wilderness wandering when the Israelite people were given ethical mitzvot (commandments) about the treatment of widows, the practice of justice has been clearly understood as the mission of those true talmidim (disciples) who say they follow Yahweh.
The Israelite Judges
The Bible is packed with examples of men and women who brought justice to situations of oppression and injustice. From Deborah, the neviah (prophetess) and shafat (judge) who administered justice, to the 8th century nevi'im (prophets) who called Israel and Judah to act justly toward the poor and oppressed, to Yah'shua (Jesus) who demonstrated the centrality of justice through His words and actions, biblical images of justice offer us a window to Elohim's (God's) response to injustice.
The Response of the Powerful to Law
Unfortunately, powerful men have always scorned rules and laws, more so Yahweh's own Torah. Why do they scorn such laws? Because these laws get in the way of their lust for more and more power and money. Such leaders, if I may borrow Peter Hitchens' penetrating conclusion, "believe themselves to be exempt from the normal laws of life because of their special goodness" . This is as true of national governments as of institutions in general and of churches and messianic assemblies in particular.
Human Laws vs. Torah
Yahweh has determined all the laws we need and it is astonishing that they may be compressed into such a slim volume as the Bible. The laws of the European Union, as of October 2016, occupy all the book cases of a small library. And it is becoming that way in the USA too. Edmund Burke concluded:
"Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon the will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less there is within, the more there must be without."
For every one "thou shalt not" mitzvah (commandment) in the Torah that governments have rejected, a thousand more regulations have appeared in our national laws. And that is why our law books are so enormous - so enormous, in fact, that no one person could ever know them. Indeed, a vast bureaucracy has had to be created, an army of lawyers, who alone troll through this ocean of stiffling rules making sense of them for the rest of us. A true theocracy require few lawyers - democracies require legions of them, which is why the profession has become such a lucrative business milking the ordainary man and woman.
Righteousness and Justice
Yahweh's torot (laws) are so few because sedaqa or 'righteousness' and mishpat or justice are both legal terms. Words like 'morality' and 'righteousness' are so taboo in our liberal society because they have been stripped away from mishpat. Sedaqa is a word that alike refers to both ethical and moral standards of equality of all people before Yahweh's Law.
Justice and Chaaracter
Biblical justice is rooted in Yahweh's character:
The Commandment to be Just
"Yahweh-Elohim will be exalted by His justice, and the qadosh (holy, set-apart) Elohim (God) will show himself qadosh (holy, set-apart) by His righteousness" (Isa.5:16, NIV).
"He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful Elohim (God) who does no wrong, upright and just is He" (Deut.32:4, NIV).
Accordingly, Yahweh demands justice of His followers too:
The Measure of Justice in a Community
"Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land Yahweh your Elohim (God) is giving you" (Deut.16:20, NIV).
And a central concept in Yahweh's Torah is that the justice of a community is measured by their treatment of the poor and oppressed:
Justice and Repentance
"Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow" (Isa.1:16-17, NIV).
"'What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?' declares the Master, Yahweh-Elohim" (Isa.3:15, NIV).
Although the message of justice is woven throughout the Bible, the nevi'im (prophets) especially issued a strong call for the covenant community to recognise Elohim (God) as the Elohim (God) of justice and to make teshuvah (repent) of their injustice. Their primary message can be summarised in the words of Micah 6:8:
Man's Laws Always Result in Tyrrany
"What does Yahweh require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim (God)?" (Mic.6:8, NRSV).
The Yovel or Jubilee mitzvah (commandment) of Leviticus 25 reflects Israel's understanding of Yahweh's demands for justice in the midst of an unjust society. It is far more radical than liberalism or socialism which, without Elohim (God), both become totalitarian and tyrranical. Look at out so-called 'liberal' and 'social democratic' West today! It matters not whether your politics are 'left', 'right' or 'centre' because under man's laws, authoritarianism, totalitarianism and tyrrany are always the result. Man's laws are, in any case, irrelevent, for Yahweh's laws obtain both in heaven and on earth, and when mankind ignores them, Yahweh is forced by His character, which demands justice and righteousness, to pass judgment and execute it.
The Divine Economic Restructuring of Society at the Yovel
The researh work of Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn and others had established beyond controversy that every time a Sabbatical or Jubilee Year comes along, mankind is required by Yahweh to allow fields to go fallow, debts are to be cancelled and indentured servants are to be set free - and when they fail to do this, judgment always comes and economies take a downturn. That is why we are at such a terrible place today because mankind has failed to meet His obligations. All debts should be cancelled, thus eliminating the 'need' for a financial collapse. If governments were righteousness they would cancell all outstanding debts by Aviv 1 next year. Thus every 50 years in Israel, when these laws were being observed, there was a massive economic restructuring of society. Undergirding the Yovel (Jubilee) year is the biblical principle of redress that corrects past wrongs to approximate equality and restores the human communmity to wholeness.
The Justice and Swiftness of Yahweh's Laws
You might understandably be mistaken in concluding that Yahweh's system is a combination of capitalism and socialism. In a way it is, only it is theocratic, not democratic. Yahweh laws are set in stone and are unnegotiable, because they are perfect and not in any need of modification. When Torah was being lived as it was supposed to be, there were no prisons in the land. Justice was meeted out in the spot, fixed reparations were made and fixed punishments were given. Indentured service (wrongly called 'slavery') allowed you to work off your debt to a Master for a maximum of six years. You also had to be treated decently, fairly and kindly. There was no taxpayer-funded prison system which releases even more hardened criminals into society after they have served their terms. And, yes, there was the death penalty for premeditated murder and rape, and a solution in the form of cities of refuge for accidental homicide. The victims could also forgive if they so chose. Man's laws have not improved on Yahweh's - they have simply made things worse.
The British System of Law
Though far from perfect, there can be no doubt that the system of law originated in England and transported to America and elsewhere (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, etc.) - based as it is upon liberty - is the best there is outside of Torah itself, being as it is strongly influenced by Torah in the first place. This system or tradition has been all but destroyed by the Obama's of this century along with their mirror images in the European Union, most of whom are closet communists in rebellion against Elohim (God). As a result EU countries, and increasingly North America and elsewhere, are losing - or have already lost - habeas corpus (the right of each citizen to report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court), the presumption of innocence, and trial by jury. Once these have been swept away we will live in a world without liberty, where governments arbitrarily decide what 'rights' you can have instead of Yahweh the Creator Himself.
The Communisation of the West
Indeed, we are entering an epoch where there is neither common sense nor the ability to communicate rationally any more. Our language has been stripped of meaning because all 'thinking' is now done in the guts. Indeed, our thinking has been effectively taken away from us, where up equals down, black is white, and right is wrong. The laws that are being put in place are in effect enshrining a kind of lawlessness, contradictory though that may sound. Take the word 'toleration' as a good example. What does that even mean anymore? Peter Hitchens analyses what's happening today and how we are evolving into communist states:
"The 'essentially tolerant values of the majority' are the essential social liberalism of the intolerant élite. 'Security through strong community action', on the other hand, is authoritarianism justified by the general will. The adherence to 'economic opportunity' and 'proper shares of economic success' is a reassertion of economic and social egalitarianism, the very policy that has done so much to promote crime and disorder in the first place...These are people who would rather infringe the freedom of others than change their minds...
"The paradox is this: the more harshly we treat wrongdoers and the greater power of the state to punish and pursue them, the more we preserve liberty for the enormous majority who keep to the laws. A society that clearly and decisively punishes wicked actions will have no need to document, restrict or spy on the many millions who do not do such actions.
"Conversely, the more generously and considerately we create safeguards for transgressors, the fewer freedoms will remain for those who behave themselves. The more we treat crime as the symptom of a social and economic disease, requiring treatment rather than penalties, the more the state will need to become an apparatus of repression. The more the police are required to treat individual offenders with care and consideration, the more the law-abiding population will have to be restrained by the authorities from taking actions in their own defence. The less free ordinary citizens are to use their initiative in dealing with wrongdoers, the more they will yearn to do so. The more bureaucratic and formal the criminal justice system becomes, the less use it will be against the disorderly and disobedient" .
That is why our governments are so paralysed and unable to do anything about the anarchy in the West. The élites know this, and intended this to happen; by deliberatelty fostering chaos they know that they can step in, as the nazis did in 1933, offering order and prosperity in exchange for the loss of even more freedom - anything to get peace back again to society.
Collective Responsibility in the Totalitarian State
How did all of this happen? By the overturning of Biblical law in favour of godless, oppressive and murderous communism. We are entering into a communist era, not by violent revolution (the Soviet model), but by stealth and gradual incrementation. We have been boiled alive like the proverbial frog in the saucepan. The thing is, the majority are chosing it, believing its false promises of a Utopia of 'something for nothing' (price tag: your freedom) which always descends into hell. As the nation as a whole makes this choice, so all of its citizens become collectively accountable before Yahweh because of its disobedience. As a result, the minority must suffer along with the majority. The majority who vote in a tyrant are placing that self same tyrant over the minority, just as those who are righteous vote in a righteous government bring blessings to the minority wicked without their knowing why.
Start Sowing Seeds of Righteousness
The navi (prophet) Hosea relayed the Davar Elohim (Word of God) to a people in a spiritual state of deprivation not unlike that which pertains today, and this is what he said:
Break Up the Fallow Ground
"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast ahavah (love); break up your fallow ground; it is time to seek Yahweh, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have ploughed wickedness, you have repeated injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in power and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall rise against your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed...at dawn the king...shall be utterly cut off" (Hos.10:14a,15b, NRSV).
The majority have chosen, of their own free will, a wicked set of leaders in the nations because they themselves are wicked and unrepentant. They have eaten the fruit of lies which they themselves have earned through their foolishness, they tolerate injustice and are trusting in the power of their militaries. Therefore there is only one tiqveh (hope), only one recourse, if war is to be avoided and the nations are not to be destroyed, or their leaders be "utterly cut off (killed)". They must "break up [their] fallow (hard) ground", meaning they must break up the hardness of their fallow hearts.
An Inability to Love
A hard heart cannot love and cannot, in most instances, even receive that ahavah (love). Therefore, in order to be saved and for righteousness, common sense and justice to return to a nation, the people must be prepared to break their hearts:
Death to Relationships
"Yahweh is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Ps.34:18, NKJV).
A hard and calloused heart will block all relationship with Yahweh and with other people. What are the causes of that hard-heartedness? They are too numerous to list but basically any kind of sinning which does not lead to repentance and reformation leads to hard-heartedness - sins like anger, woundedness, bitterness and unforgiveness. These things lead to superficiality in relationships, an inability to empathise, and a corruption of the motives we have for doing things. Such people become manipulative, deceitful, proud and unresponsive to the Davar Elohim (Word of God). Such a soul finds it difficult to hear His Davar (Word). Such a soul actively resists His Davar (Word). Like a layer of rock under the shallow soil, where the rain cannot penetrate, ahavah (love) and emet (truth) will fail to penetrate such a heart and affect its actions. Thus a hard heart is deadly, because sin is petrified there, and as the Davar (Word) says, "the wages paid by sin, you see, are death" (Rom.6:23, KNT).
Why We are on the Brink of War Again
The reason our nations are on the brink of war again and are led by wicked men and women is because hearts have grown hard and cold. And the reason hearts have grown hard and cold is because of sin. Once more man is in rebellion against Elohim (God) and is reaping his reward. You reap what you sow no matter how much you may try to blame your hard-heartedness on your circumstances or on others. War is the result of blame-shifting. Inner war of soul which spills into marriage wars, family wars and finally wars between nations. Shalom (peace) follows those who accept accountabilty and own up to their own sinning.
Steps to Changing Your Heart
So how do you break up fallow ground? How do you change a hardened heart? You start with your will. You make a simple choice. You decide. Your decision is to soften, in spite of the way you feel, the things you remember, or have chosen to forget. That decision in Hebrew is called making teshuvah or repenting! To repent is a changing of the mind, it is a turning of the will, in the opposite direction. It's a 180 degree turn-about. The power of the will to make teshuvah (repent) is astonishing because it does something amazing: it opens the door to Elohim (God)!. And when you open the door to Elohim (God) you are opening the door to the healing and transformation of your heart. You open the door so that Yahweh can rain His ahavah (love) upon you and remove bitterness, unforgiveness, anger and hatred or any other sin that is hardening your heart. Do you want to love? Do you want to be loved? But doubt because your heart is hard? Try making teshuvah (repentance)! Test Yahweh's power and will to heal and change you!
Willing to Mourn
'Oh, but what's the catch?!' you may ask. The answer to that is, first of all, you must be willing to mourn. Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
The Messianic Prophecy
"Blessed are those who mourn" (Matt.5:4, NIV).
What does that great messianic prophecy in the Book of Isaiah say?
The Necessity of the Softening Process
"The Ruach (Spirit) of Yahweh-Elohim is upon Me (Yah'shua/Jesus), because Yahweh has anointed Me; He has sent Me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners: to proclaim the Year of Yahweh's favour, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim (God); to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion - to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, to display His glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastation of many generations" (Is.61:1-4, NRSV).
Mourning is a part of repentance but it is also a part of restoration. You have to become one of the avelim - one of the mourners - for teshuvah (repentance) to be made complete, because sorrow at sin is a part of the softening process that allows ahavah (love) to come in.
A Failure to Ever Wash
"Ashrey (blessed, happy) are the avelim (the ones mourning), for they shall be comforted" (Mt.5:4, OJB).
Making teshuvah (repentance) will open you to the realm of tears so that the pain and bitterness can pour out of you. Many are scared of that part of the process of cleansing and yet it is this which transforms relationships. Ahavah (love) will enter in and remain in your life - Yahweh's ahavah (love) first and most of all, which created and maintains the ahavah (love) between people. Making teshuvah (repenting) is supposed to be part of the Torah lifestyle, to enable us to live and walk in ahavah (love), which is why it is such an important part of the Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Imagine a person who never washed body or clothes - that is what a life without teshuvah (repentance) looks like too.
Harvesting the 900,000
Now we know, because Yahweh has told us, that the majority is not going to make teshuvah (repent) and that is why the Mishpatim Yahweh or Judgments of the Most High have to fall on the world at this time. Maybe some nations will be exceptions, let us pray so, but until there is mass national repentance, death and destruction are coming. However, this does not mean that we should sit idly back and do nothing - there are still individual souls ready to be plucked out of the fire, who need to hear the Besorah (Gospel) or Good News to whom we should, and must, witness! There are always souls to harvest for the King and the Kingdom! And we ourselves have a concrete goal of 900,000 souls that we know are Remnant material who are a part of us, and we of them, many of who are unsaved and many who simply need discipling in the fullness of Yahweh's Derech (Way). The rest our are own children whom we have been called to raise in the Derech Mashiach (Way of the Master)! All these are around us or will soon be around us. We need to receive them and bring them home.
Tomorrow evening at sunset Yom haKippurim (the Day of Atonements) begins when we shall be fasting. The following morning and mid-afternoon we shall assemble again. It is for us to complete our individual, family and congregational repentances so that we may both receive comfort and renewal as well as escape the terrible judgments that are waiting to be unleashed. May Yahweh bless you all as we come fasting and in a spirit of teshuvah (repentance) and prayer to receive whatever it is He desires of us is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
 Counting the Sabbatical (Sh'mittah) and Jubilee (Yovel) from autumn (fall) to autumn (fall), which is the erroneous practice of modern Judaism and of most Messianic congregations, did not start until Herod the Great took control of Jerusalem. Prior to this major change, the counting was always from the New Year (Aviv 1) in the spring to the following New Year even if (in the case of the Yovel) it was announced the autumn (fall) before to enable the complex financial and agricultural arrangements to be made involving the transfer of heriditary property and removal of livestock. It is for this reason that popular Messianic Jewish writers like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn have got their predictions about the collapse wrong.
 Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: 1982), p.26
 A law issued by the head of state which has the force of law
 Peter Hitchens, A Brief History of Crime (Grove Atlantis Ltd., London: 2003), p.3
 Peter Hitchens, ibid., pp.8-9
 David Noel Freedman (Ed.), Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan: 2000)
 George Whitten, Choose Repentance! (Worthy News Brief, October 7, 2016)