Sermons Series 3:170, 6 September 2008
Teshuvah 2008 I
Repentance from Sin and the Absalom Factor
Main Themes: Teshuvah, repentance, sin, Absalom
Minor Themes: Pride, flesh, defining good and evil, Judas, David, Nathan, the pet lamb, ten commandments, humility, anah, kana, shachah, prostration
Parable of the Pet Lamb
A very long time ago a story is told of a king who stole the wife of one of his army captains (2 Sam.12:1-13). You all know the story. And you all know how the prophet Nathan, under the unction of the Ruach haQodesh, revealed the king's sin by telling the story of a pet lamb. In this memorable and heart-wrenching account the picture is painted of a rich man who owns a considerable amount of livestock. When a visitor comes, instead of slaughtering one of his own animals, he steals and kills the poor man's one and only lamb. Moreover, this owner loved this lamb so much that he treated it like a member of his own family.
Those of you have children who love pets, and those of you who were once children who loved pets, will be able to instantly relate to this tale. The king, who had once been a shepherd, certainly could. Indeed his heart was so enraged at the wickedness and despicableness of the crime that he judged that the rich man should forfeit his life for what he had done. Upon realising all of a sudden, and no doubt in a moment of deafening silence, that he, the king, was the very rich man of the parable whom he had condemned to execution, the thunder-struck king repented.
Introduction to Teshuvah
Brethren and sisters, this is the sixth day of a protracted period of time which Yahweh has ordained each year wherein every man and women of Messianic Israel should repent. This neither means that we should artifically concoct some ritualistic fervour in which we put on a theatrical display of repentance nor does it mean we should quietly tiptoe our way through it in the hope that Yahweh will not notice that we are there. In this season, during which two of the seven festivals of Yahweh are ordained to prepare us for the Second Coming and Judgment of the Messiah, which will happen during this autumnal or fall season this year or in a year to come, we are to make a concerted effort to look back through the twelve months of the previous year to see if there is any repentance or teshuvah that we should have done, but have not done, so that we can take concrete steps under the anointing of the Ruach specicially sent to us at this time for that purpose. To fail to accomplish this divine commandment will have, as its baneful effect, a cementing of sin in a matrix of ever hardened pride that will, if not dealt with, force Yahweh to take more drastic measures in time to break into those who claim to be His talmidim or disciples. This is our opportunity to make this business easier on both ourselves and upon those whose lives we impact by our very existence.
Pride, the Root Sin
We deal at this season with the root cause of sin which is the chief sin, namely, pride. It is the worst sin because it is what caused the malakim or angels to rebel from Yahweh in the first place and to initiate millennia of suffering and death for billions of people. All sin is rooted in pride, and all repenting demands that we confront it.
Godly vs. Fleshy Sorrow
Indeed it is pride that prevents us from asking for Yahweh's forgiveness in the first place. And it does so because it knows, being the fleshy power of the devil that it is, that true repentance - godly repentance - produces a sorrow that is much deeper than remorse (the sense of regret at being 'found out') because godly sorrow, as opposed to fleshy sorrow, leads to proper repentance. And when a man or woman truly repents of sin, he or she will go through a process identical to the king who was exposed in the depths of his heart for the theft and murder that he committed in stealing that pet lamb. For teshuvah is not some religious exercise, it is not just going through the motions, because repentance means a complete change of mind that leads to a complete change of that facet of our lifestyle that led us to sin in the first place. It means nothing less than a revolution in behaviour and personality. Indeed, it demands a permanent change of character. And the only way this can happen, the only way we can avoid a plastic, outward, showy type of repentance that skirts the core of the sin nature, is if it is accomplished by a revelation to the soul of our sin by the Ruach haQodesh.
Revelation to the Soul
When this happens, the symptoms are unmistakable - for not only does this revelation provoke a profound, heartfelt sorrow for the sins of the past, but it effects a complete change of mind, of attitude, of direction and purpose in life. It dismisses all demonic rationales like "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" and demands - no matter how young or old you are, no matter how unseasoned or seasoned, experienced or inexperienced, no matter whether your position is high like a king or low like a servant - that your whole soul's reaction is not unlike tasting something rotten in your mouth, spitting it out with such revulsion that you know you will never allow that rottenness into your mouth again.
The Sinner's Manual of Repentance
The sinner's Manual of Repentance is to be found in the king's own 51st psalm. Study it often during this Teshuvah season, and ask Yahweh to reveal its height and depths to your soul. For if you learn the lesson which it conveys - both in your mind and your heart - you will have obtained one of the grand keys to the spiritual life and access to a vibrant relationship with our Heavenly Father, Yahweh-Elohim. These, then, are the inspired words of that king, whose name was David, that will furnish us with the true pattern of repentance:
"Have mercy upon me, O Elohim, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight -- that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Ruach haQodesh from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation (Yah'shua), and uphold me by Your generous Ruach. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from bloodshed, O Elohim, the Elohim of my salvation (Yah'shua), and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Yahweh, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The [inward] sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart -- these, O Elohim, You will not despise" (Ps.51:1-17, NKJV).
The Threefold Path of Teshuvah
This beautiful psalm - this revelation of the Father's heart - instructs us in the threefold path of true teshuvah or repentance. And the three parts are as follows:
1. Accept responsibility for your sin and acknowledge the offense against Yahweh (vv.1-2):
2. Repent by saying you are sorry, first, to Yahweh, and then to any offended human parties, ask forgiveness of both, and offer restitution to the injured party or parties (vv.3-4); and
3. Change your lifestyle so that that sin is avoided in the future (vv.10-11), and once repented of, do not commit that sin again:
"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Heb.10:26, NKJV).
Strengthen the Inner Man
If this does not frighten you, it should, because it means we cannot play around at repenting, endlessly invoking the cleansing blood of the Messiah Yah'shua - it is not a limitless resource to be used casually. Once genuine repentance has been given, work must be done to strengthen your inner man - your ruach or spirit. To do this, pray and study the Bible to increase your knowledge and to continuously transform your character in faith: and you will know that this process is in action, that the living Ruach is moving in you to change you, by an observable and experiencable increase in grace, love, gentleness, temperance, patience, modesty, forgiveness, charity, truth, cheerfulness, and so forth. If we excuse ourselves, saying such things like 'I am impatient by nature', or 'gentleness is not my way', or 'I was made intemperant', then we are evidencing a lack of true repentance and demonstrating that our ruling nature is that satanic power called PRIDE. And if we are evidencing that, then we are evidencing a fatal spiritual condition that will ultimately ruin us and make us children of perdition if we don't urgently do something about it.
Is Repentance Degrading?
In the minds of a lot of people repentance has only negative connotations. Many think it is degrading, not worthy of them or their dignity. These are the thoughts of the deadly sin of pride. This is the philosophy of the flesh and of the unsaved. This is the religion of the sons and daughters of damnation, of those who do not know - or who refuse to know - their Creator. These are they who neither know nor understand in their souls the terrible price that Messiah Yah'shua paid for their sin, nor of His goodness and loving kindness in being the substitute punishment for the sins we deserve to pay for and ultimately die for. They have not understood in their beings - or perhaps once did, rebelled amd forgot - that Yah'shua is our Cohen Gadol or High Priest, and that His perfect blood is the covering or atonement for the sins of the world, which is the first lesson the the Seven Festivals of Yahweh that we learn at Pesach or Passover.
Come in Remembrance
They, like us, must come to remember - and then continually remember - that the Messiah died personally for our sins. And to this end, Yahweh has commanded all believers to fast one day every year during the Sixth Moed of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, so that we may not only know the awfulness of sin when we afflict our bodies by denying them of food, but more improtantly the hell Yah'shua went through in the depths of His being to spare us the just punishment of our sins. So important is this memorial that we are to stop every other activity for it, just as the first messianic believers did 30 years after Yah'shua's death (Ac.27:9). We shall speak more of these things when Yom Kippur comes our way in a very short time.
If 2 Samuel 12 gives us a live example of sin and repentance, and if Psalm 51 tells us of the steps to repentance, then Isaiah 58 tells us how not to fabricate our repentance. It tells how ancient Israel abused Yom Kippur and indeed the weekly Sabbath too. Please take a look at it afterwards as we do not have time to make a study of it today.
Rescuing the Straying Sheep
It is in the nature of the fallen human condition to stray. We need to remember that. We need never assume that we are immune from wandering because like sheep, we tend to stray from the Shepherd of our souls and beyond the safety fence of Torah. The good news is that no matter how far we stray from the Good Shepherd and the Good Pasture, Yahweh will wait for us to return through teshuvah. And whilst repentance can, and should, take place at any time of the year, this particular season confers certain advantages to the soul desiring to repent because of an abundance of the gift of grace supplied liberally by the Master for such as those of us who desire wholeheartedly to come home to Him.
Repentance is Coming Home
My wife once said that a true marriage in Yah'shua is a home-coming of hearts. It is no different in our allegorical marriage relationship with the Messiah. There is a place called Home in the spiritual, and that place is Yah'shua, and we can never find rest or repose until we have made that home-coming. Teshuvah is about coming home, not about punishment. And it is precisely a home-coming and not about punishment because Yah'shua became our punishment at Calvary to make that home-coming sweet and joyous, not something to be dreaded and avoided. Only the enemy of your souls wants you to view teshuvah as something terrible, something negative, something frightening. And that is why so many people stay away from Home, from our loving Father, because they have believed the lie of the devil that Yahweh is some vengeful Being who wants only to make us miserable. They have totally misjudged Him.
The Hardest Part is Starting
The hardest part of repentance is making the first steps - getting the process underway. Once there is some spiritual momentum, it is easier for the Ruach to nudge us down the correct corridors and to the doors through which we must go. It is when we stand and do nothing, like pillars of salt somehow terrified of what may follow, that nothing is achieved. And one good way of starting, which is an old Jewish custom, is to contact family members, friends and coworkers and to ask forgiveness for anything we may have done to wrong them over the past year. This may start very general and unconcrete but once the motion has begun, Yahweh will reveal the concrete. And remember that this is an ongoing process - you can't accomplish it in one hour or one day.
The Pattern for Your Whole Life
Teshuvah is a pattern for the whole of life and is so important that Yah'shua said, most emphatically, that if we do not forgive the wrongs done to us by others, He will not forgive us for our sins. Forgiving others freely, not harbouring grudges or bitterness against people, then becomes one of the most important habits we must acquire in mortality, because without this entrenched habit and of spontaneous and natural heart-forgiveness of others, our eternal destiny lies in jeapardy. If you fear going to hell about anything, make it this: an unwillingness to forgive others their wrongs committed against us.
The Consequences of Unrepented Sin
There should be no need for me to tell anyone why sinning is not a good idea but in case there is anyone is in need of instruction in this basic truth, may I remind you what Scripture tells us:
"Evil pursues sinners" (Prov.13:21, NKJV).
This is not some abstract thing like 'fate', for 'fate' is a non-existent pagan concept. If you sin, evil will haunt you. This evil will not, as most conclude, be the action of the Creator. It will come because you have left an open door to your soul for malevolent forces to exploit and afflict you. Whether you care to admit they exist or not, you will unavoidably experience their effects and actions, which are evil. This is an easily testable truth though I do not recommend you play around with such a dangerous testng. The wise man hedges his bets and pursues what is in the best interests of his soul.
Perhaps you are a reckless daredevil who thinks it is 'fun' to tempt such powers by endulging in sin under the guise of non-existant 'fate'. If that is your desposition, Yahweh has another dire warning for you:
"The soul who sins shall die" (Ezek.18:20, NKJV).
Gambling with Your Life
Is anybody really so stupid that they would gamble with their very lives? Sadly, yes, there are stupid people. Worse, it is the natural disposition and condition of the unsaved soul. Whether you actively pursue sin or simply allow it to pursue you makes no difference in the long run because the soul who sins shall die. There's a simple law which the Creator has established, so simple that a child can understand it, and those who ignore it are counted as fools:
"The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezek.18:20, NKJV).
Who Defines Good and Evil?
Put in simple English, Yahweh is saying that "a good man will be rewarded for doing good, and en evil man for the evil he does" (Ezek.18:20, TEV). The thing is, what is counted as "good" and what is counted as "evil"? The fleshy nature invents its own 'goodness' and 'evil' - and so deceptive is this fleshy nature that what we may consider to be good may very well turn out to be evil in Yahweh's eyes. How can we be sure of the difference? There is only one way - get acquainted with Yahweh's Commandments, His Mitzvot: study His Torah diligently. And if you feel that something in His Torah is evil which He says is good, then the evil is in you, not in Yahweh or His Torah. Then you have something to repent of, even if you do not understand it, for Yahweh does not give the understanding before the acceptance of His Word in faith. Remember, seeking for understanding before you will do it is the Greek way of thinking - you must think like the Hebrews. First believe, then do, and so the understanding will follow. This is an important key for true teshuvah.
When the Lie Becomes Intolerable
So we have learned two cardinal truths in two short scriptures easily memorised: "Evil pursues sinners" and "the soul who sins shall die". When evil pursues us in one or more of its many forms, and when the soul dies spiritually, you'll know about it one way or another. You may deceive yourself for a while with the lie that 'all is well' until such a lie becomes intolerable and unberable and you are forced to deal with reality. And dealing with reality is part and parcel of Yahweh's business.
Many are the convoluted thinking processes and heart-justifications the soul will engage in before it will repent, though - sadly - because the flesh is highly stubborn. It resists righteousness because it knows that it must die if true life is to take a hold of our being. So what does the fleshy soul-nature do? It indulges in a hefty dollop of self-righteousness and vanity.
Absalom the Self-Righteous One
A scriptural example comes to mind. Once upon a time there was a king's son who said in the conceit of his darkened heart:
"Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice" (2 Sam.15:4, NKJV)..
How noble-sounding that is, is it not? Do not such sentiments attract us? On the surface this sounds pretty good but the heart of this young prince was not good. Indeed, this man became responsible for a violent civil war that not only resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of men, leaving children fatherless and wives husbandless, but it caused no small amount of sorrow and suffering to his father, the king, who had previously learned the lesson of sin the hard way when the prophet Nathan had related, under the inspiration of the Ruach, the story of the stolen pet lamb and its murdered owner.
The Flesh's Grandiose Promises
The fleshy nature, my friends, is like the politician running for office who makes some grandiose campaign promises to all who will listen to him yet predictably fail to deliver on these promises. The author of these grandiose promises to bring justice to the land was Absalom, the son of David. He, like modern politicians, failed to deliver the goods but nonetheless did a good job in impressing the gullible people.
Pride's Grand Designs
Our fleshy nature, whose origin is hell, is no different. It is full of grand designs without substance, of promises that are not kept, of noble sentiments that are revealed to be nothing but wind. Absalom, indeed, built a conspiracy against his own father and his own family, wreacking havoc. Absalom is the perfect example of prideful youth thinking it knows better yet barely concealing a satanic agenda to do harm to the very people who love him and seek his well-being. This is far worse than the prodigal son claiming his inheritance before his father has died or the right of the firstborn which does not belong to him precisely because he does not have the interest of those whom the firstborn presides over and takes care of at heart. His interest is in his own belly and the lust of his own eyes.
Sin Starts Small
You do not have to be especially wicked to be an Absalom. You do not have to be an adulterer and murderer as he was. All you have to do is submit to the flesh and send the spiritual man or woman packing. Evil will follow you soon enough, however 'minor' your early transgressions may be - and you will not easily be able to prevent yourself from committing progressively greater and greater sins as you acquire a taste for wickedness. Satan always starts his campaign of attrition in small increments, increasing the temptations and dark prizes once you have taken the bait for the smaller ones. It has always been that way. But however far advanced along the road of sin you may be, the price for Return is the same: repentance.
Notice, if you will, whom Absalom targets - the malcontents, the disaffected, those with grievances. The fleshy man or woman always makes common cause with the likes of these because they are the only ones who will respond to the guiles of the flesh...because that is what they live in themselves. They plot and make promises they cannot keep.
The Truth About Absalom's Promises
It is important that you know - and preferably learn the lesson sooner rather than later - that the 'Absalom' which is your fleshy nature can never deliver on its campaign promises to solve your problems but will instead end up getting you out of the orbit of the spiritual where true solutions lie. There are three fundamental reasons why:
1. 'Absalom' doesn't really care about you, only about himself, because his fundamental nature is self-centred and satanic. He will use you to achieve his own ambitions. He does, however, need you and his other pre-packaged followers in order to validate himself and his cause because he is fundamentally insecure. He lacks real (if any) faith in Yahweh to elevate him to the place he wants to be, so he uses you. Should he obtain what he seeks, he will soon forget and dump you and reneg on the promises that he has made. The 'Absalom' nature doesn't necessarily start by plotting - that's a later development after jockeying for position by less devious means fails. Plotting and rebellion take place further down the line when it becomes clear to 'Absalom' that his less drastic methods aren't working, or aren't getting him where he wants to be fast enough.
2. 'Absalom' simply doesn't have the goods because whatever he has promised, he cannot deliver on. He may promise you deeper life, deeper teaching, an open-door policy to hear your concerns, to do you justice, better domestic or church policy, or true revelation, life to alieviate boredom, adventure in place of mediocrity but he cannot deliver on it. Why is that? He doesn't have the goods himself. If he did, it would be apparent to all. Instead what you will see and hear from him are promises not results. He attempts to climb his way to the top by discrediting others. If he were truly chosen and gifted by Elohim, those gifts would propel him into a place of genuine influence for good and not into a spirit of disobedience and rebellion.This false spirit always leads to rebellion against Torah and against true authority, whether in the home, the local assembly or in ones personal relationship with Yahweh. Because 'Absalom' cannot succeed, he will cling to the coat-tails of others who show loyalty to him, however misguided.
3. Absalom is doomed to failure, sooner or later. Anything birthed from the dishonest workings of Absalom - whether in the personal, domestic, ecclesiastical or political sphere - will suffer failure. This is Yahweh's law of sowing and reaping.
Caught by the Head
Gordon Whyte, in a study study on Absalom 1, notes that Absalom's end came to him in a most revealing way. You will recall that as he was fleeing from the battlefield on the back of a mule, his head got caught in a forked limb of a terebinth tree where he was left dangling until he was executed by Joab and ten young armour bearers for his treason against his father, the king (2 Sam.18:9-15). Whyte correctly observes that the word 'head' stands for authority and leadership (Yah'shua being the head of the messianic community, the husband the head of his wife, the father the head of his children). Absalom had rebelled against his father, David - his lawful head - and presumptuously set himself up as the head of Israel, abusing some of his father's wives also, and so by his head he was judged.
Counterfeit Father of Peace
There are some important things I want you to note here as you consider how the Absalom spirit operates. Firstly, Absalom's name, is a compound of abba, meaning 'father', and shalom meaning 'peace'. His name means 'father of godly peace'. As should be obvious, he did not live up to his own name but became the very opposite. Instead of shalom he brought distress, division, death, civil disobedience and war. Instead of being a true abba he became a rebellious son. Though in his vanity and self-deceit he set up a pillar for himself in his lifetime as a memorial (2 Sam.18:18), he would be remembered only in infamy. He never did become a father because he had no sons. He had no worthy memorial, no increase. His name was blotted out save as a warning to others of what not to do.
Ten Commandment-Representative Executioners
Secondly, he was killed by ten young men. This son of disobedience was struck down by ten people representing the Ten Commandments, all of which he broke! He broke the first commandment - his god was his own lust. He broke the second commandment - he set up a pillar as a graven image of himself. He broke the third commandment - by taking the Name of Yahweh in vain, claiming to be a righteous elohim or judge in Israel. He broke the fourth commandment - by profaning the sabbath rest of the nation, destroying its peace. He broke the fifth commandment - by dishonouring his father and defiling his father's wives in full public view. He broke the sixth commandment - by committing murder. He broke the seventh commandment - by committing adultery with some of his father's wives. He broke the eighth commandment - by stealing his father's reputation, kingdom and divine appointments, as well as some of the people's loyalty. He broke the ninth commandment - by deceiving all those he made promises to of a better and more just world for them. And he broke the tenth commandment - by coveting a nation which was not given to him by Yahweh.
A Presumptuous King Without the Gifts
And please remember this when considering Absalom's end and all the commandments he ended up breaking - it all began because he wanted some influence over people and, realising he did not have the gifts to accomplish his ends, nor the righteousness of heart to do what was right, he began a career of lying and deception. It all ended with him dangling helplessly in the branch of a terebinth tree, his glory cut down, and the truth of his total vulnerability exposed to all. In the end he was cut down by ten armour-bearers, not even fully fledged soldiers. And so it is that the ungodly meet their inglorious and undignified end.
Repentance Was Possible
Abasalom could have repented at any point in his dark career if he had wanted, just as Judas could have. But he stubbornly pursed his appointment with death and destruction to the end. In truth he had crossed some lines which under the Old Covenent meant his certain execution anyway. The grace which exists under the New today did not exist back then though we know from the biblical record that his father David would have spared him out of a misplaced sense of sentimentality - and in this David erred, more than once. It was one of his major weaknesses. For I do not believe Absalom would have repented, any more than I think Judas would have - they were quite simply too much in love with themselves. Their self-righteousness was allowed to mature into its full satanic blooming. It was a good thing that Absalom had no sons for they might well have followed in their evil father's footsteps.
Make a Committment to Turn
Brethren and sisters, at this time of the year Yahweh wants you to make a very definite committment to 'turn' - to make teshuvah or repentance - knowing that all of Messianic Israel is doing it and that you are all engaged in the same goal. You are not being personally singled out because everyone is. And it is Yahweh who is doing the singling out. It is the singling-out season.
Ten Concrete Things to Do
As Absalom broke all ten commandments, and therefore the Two Great Commandments which summarise them - to love Yahweh-Elohim with all your might, strength and soul and to love your neighbour as yourself - so there are ten concrete things that Scripture tells us to do when it comes to teshuvah.
- 1. To be introspective and prayerful (Ps.139:3);
- 2. To humble our hearts (Ps.34:18);
- 3. To forgive others the wrongs they have done to us (Mt.6:12-15);
- 4. To apologise to all whom Yahweh shows a need to do so (Mt.5:33);
- 5. To accept the blame and responsibility for what Yahweh shows us as a result of #1 & #4;
- 6. To be remorseful for discovered sin (2 Cor.7:10);
- 7. To be willing to suffer the consequences of sin (2 Sam.12:13-14);
- 8. To confess before Yahweh and sometimes before other people (Jas.5:16);
- 9. To make reconcilliation and restitution with Yahweh and with those we have sinned against (Jer.31:34; Ac.13:28; Lk.19:8; 3:9-13); and
- 10. To not repeat the sin (1 Ki.8:35; 2 Chr.6:26; Ezek.33:11-20; Jn.8:11).
I would like, if I may, to focus on one or two of these before we end today, starting with the second one which is to be humble. I am never entirely sure that people understand what it means to be 'humble', at least not in the biblical sense. In Hebrew there are two words for humility: anah and kana and they are slightly different.
The first - anah - means to 'be humbled' and has, as its physical image, being on bended knees. When you are on bended knees, especially before a king or a conqueror, you are focussed on the person you have bended your knee to, not yourself. This is the image behind the scriptural concept of humility. Thus symbolically you could say that Israel was 'humbled' or 'on bended knees' before their Egyptian overlords though this would be an example of being 'extremly humbled', for which we have our own English word, 'humiliation'. Oppression, affliction and slavery would be examples of extreme anah.
Anah can be imposed from without by others or we can impose it on ourselves. The former is a sin, the latter is a commandment. And when Yahweh does anah on us, even though we may not like it, it is definitely for our good. Yahweh instructs Israel to never do anah to a widow or an orphan (Ex.22:22-23). Those who are vulnerable in society must never lose their freedom or dignity just because they are poor or unprotected by a husband or a father. And they must especially be protected from predatory men. Similarly, Israelite men are commanded not to do anah to single or married women, meaning they should not entice or force them into fornication or adultery because this is an act of theft from the women's father or husband, quite apart from being an abuse of the woman. Such a wicked man is claiming mastery when it has not been given him. By exploiting his superior power, he is humiliating the more vulnerable gender. He is, in effect, making them 'repent' for his own sin whether it be fornication, adultery or rape. He is humiliating them.
A man, though, may, and should on occasion, anah himself as David did:
"My clothing was sackcloth; I did anah my soul (humbled myself) with fasting" (Ps.35:13, NKJV).
We are commanded to anah, 'humble' or 'afflict' our souls at Yom Kippur, as I have already mentioned (Lev.16:19-21; 23:27-32 Num.29:7). Though the Torah does not say that this includes fasting, this is how the relevent passages have been interpreted, especially in the light of Psalm 35:13. Fasting certainly does have the desired effect of humbling and silencing the flesh, and enabling more effective prayer.
"During the first century, one of the main issues dividing the different sects of Judaism was what needed to be done to earn the arrival of the messiah. Some sects believed all the Jewish people needed to demonstrate certain kinds or amounts of humility and obedience. Other sects believed they should withdraw from the larger Jewish community to live as a distinct group with specific kinds of humility and obedience. All believed that the messiah, after arriving, would exalt himself and the Jewish people.
"Yeshua entered this theologically charged atmosphere with a different answer: the arrival of messiah is an unearned gift by the grace of God, and he came (this time) not to exalt himself or the Jewish people but to give freedom from slavery to sin to the humble.
"It was not a new idea that only the humble would enter God's Kingdom (Psalm 37:11, Matthew 5:5 and 18:4), nor that God forgives the humble (Psalm 76:9 and 149:4, Luke 18:14) or will lift them up (Psalm 147:6, Matthew 23:12, 1 Peter 5:6). But all the first century Jewish sects were taken by surprise when God's Kingdom arrived before people were properly humble." 2
But Yahweh did not come to exalt any racial group of people but rather to exalt His Son!
"Secular language normally thinks of humility in terms of emphasizing one's weaknesses, or downplaying one's strengths. Neither is relevant to the scriptural concept of humility. Any definition of humility that begins, 'Humility is seeing yourself as...' is wrong. Scripturally, humility is not seeing yourself at all because you are looking at God." 3
And that, really, is the key to repentance: the point is, when a soul makes teshuvah it is not looking at it's own lack of righteousness, which everybody who has the Ruach knows, but at the set-apartness of Yahweh-Elohim! Our eyes are to be on Yah'shua, not on our own navels. And that was the fundamental difference between David and Absalom - David had his eyes on Yahweh and His righteousness whereas Absalom had his on his ambition for self-sovereignty. David knew he was nothing without Yahweh - Absalom didn't even consider Yahweh and sought to establish his power by his own guile and deception. He proved by his soul's disposition that he neither loved Yahweh, his father nor the people he sought to lord it over.
There was no anah in Abslaom and he certainly never welcomed or accepted it as Yah'shua did and as those who are the true servants of Yahweh are expected to:
"Surely He (the Messiah) has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by Elohim, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth" (Isa.53:4-7, NKJV).
This anah or humility is not something to be avoided, terrible though it is, because it reflects a constructive and salvational principle of life in the Messiah. When we truly love Yahweh and follow the Messiah, we are embracing such anah as Yahweh deems necessary for us, in to effect His salvational purposes. We must learn to think as Yahweh does, not as the first century Jews did, of even as the 21st century Jews still do and not a few messianics who have missed the whole point:
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yah'shua, who, being in the form of Elohim, did not consider it robbery to be equal with Elohim, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself (made Himself anah) and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore Elohim also has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yah'shua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yah'shua the Messiah is Master, to the glory of Elohim the Father" (Phil.2:5-11, NKJV).
When we are making teshuvah we are seeking to be released from sin to an end, and that end is that we should be to have the same mind as was in Yah'shua which is to accept anah for the glory of the Father, Yahweh. For it is by this means that souls are drawn to the living Messiah who suffered the ultimate anah by becoming an atonement for sin. A humble focus on Yahweh, by means of bent knees, is still the way to enter the Kingdom of Elohim because this anah constitutes true repentance, inasmuch as it also accompanied by the experience of divine forgiveness and of being used by Yahweh to His glory.
We will not, however, have a true and complete picture of humility and repentance until we have also understood the other Hebrew word, kana. It literally translates as 'subdue' or 'bring low' and is a much stronger word than anah. "Does Yahweh require even more??" you may be asking yourself and by now you already have a good idea of what the answer is going to be. Kana is used of nations subdued and conquered by Israel and Judah, and even when Israel's and Judah's enemies conquered and subdued them. Kana means total subjugation, a word completely alien to the modern liberal western mindset...which is why so few Westerners actually know Yahweh and why they only experience a fraction of His love and grace.
Yahweh expects our teshuvah or repentance to be accompanied by both anah (humility) and kana (subjugation) - and especially a subdued heart:
"...if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled (kana - subdued, subjugated), and they accept their guilt -- then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember" (Lev.26:41-42, NKJV).
'Humble' is far too mild an English translation of the Hebrew kana. Sorry, brethren and sisters, humililty is not enough:
"If My people who are called by My Name (Yahweh) will humble (kana - subdue, subjugate) themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chr.7:14, NKJV).
When you think of the English word 'humble', what sort of picture does it conjure up in your mind? How do you view 'humility'? To be humble, according to the dictionary, is to be conscious of ones failings, to be unpretentious and lowly in heart, all of which are acccurate descriptions. There is no doubt that we are commanded to be humble. However, there is no precise Hebrew word that accurately reflects what we mean by that in English except for shafel (to make low - Jer.13:18; Is.2:9) which is very rare. An even stronger word is rafas (Prov.6:3) which literally means to 'trample on self'. The closest Hebrew word to our 'humility' is anavah which incorporates within it the sense of 'gentleness' in addition to that of 'affliction' (Prov.15:33; 18:12; 22:4). As should by now be coming clear, when the Hebrews speak of 'humility' they are speaking primarily of self-abasement.
"So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, 'Yahweh is righteous.' Now when Yahweh saw that they humbled (kana - subdued, subjugated) themselves, the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, saying, 'They have humbled (kana - subdued, subjugated) themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance... When he humbled (kana - subdued, subjugated) himself, the wrath of Yahweh turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah" (2 Chron.12:6-7,12, NKJV).
How else did the ancients demonstrate that they had subdued themselves?
"So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning ('walking softly'). And the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'See how Ahab has humbled (kana) himself before Me? Because he has humbled (kana) himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house" (1 Kings 21:27-29, NKJV).
Yet how presumptuous of modern man to 'reinterpet' what he thinks 'God' wants of him! Has Yahweh changed? Have we become so much more superior to the ancients that Yahweh is now expected to have a more 'softly, softly' approach with us? Does Yahweh say to Himself: "Oh look, see how much more enlightened these Christians and Messianics are than my servants of old. I must obviously not hold them to the same standards as I did anciently. I am much kinder and more sensitive now"? Do you believe that? Have you ever entertained such thoughts in your heart? If you have, you are the victim of your own conceit and pride and must repent! Do you really think we are 'extra special' today? Do you think we have evolved into some new species called Homo spiritualis? No! We are no different from the ancients! We still sin in exactly the same way that they did and Yahweh has not relaxed His standards or expectations. If you believe He has you are under a major delusion.
Of course, if we say and expect these things, we open ourselves up to the charge of being 'cultic' by our luke-warm, liberal, liver-bellied and sugar-lipped accusers whose garment is sin and whose heart is most definitely not circumcised. Many modern believers are intimidated by these self-appointed 'paragons of virtue' who set themselves up as the new gods of Christianity and of Messianism. Will you believe them and their fleshy standards or will you believe the witness of the Most High? Now I agree, Ahab was not the best example, so how about Josiah?
"Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that [Josiah] tore his clothes... 'Thus says Yahweh-Elohim of Israel: 'Concerning the words which you have heard -- because your heart was tender, and you humbled (kana - subdued, subjugated) yourself before Yahweh when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,' says Yahweh'" (2 Kings 22:11,18-19, NKJV).
Now we have the complete picture for true teshuvah:
2. Kana or subdued, subjugated (submitted or surrendered completely);
3. Tearing of clothes (removal of all projections of pride and self-righteousness);
4. Weeping (godly sorrow)
These four elements constituted true teshuvah or repentance - a soft heart, total surrender, removal of projections of pride and godly sorrow - gained Josiah access to the Throne of Grace and to pardon as representative of the people.
There is a great need for our people - and all believers in general - to have a better understanding of kana. We need to ask ourselves the questions: What is a subdued soul? What does it mean to be so subjugated that there is no room for rebellion? What is the condition of the heart when it is thus so totally conquered that it has fully yielded its will to the Father in Heaven? How close or far away are we to that condition? These, I suggest, must be amongst the questions we must ask ourselves during this Teshuvah season and to which I will doubtless be returning.
If you are now wondering the true extent of godly humility and the true extent of ungodly pride, then I cannot finish today without sharing one more word with you that I am pretty sure you will not like. It is shachah which means 'bowed down' or 'prostrate'. If kneeling offends your pride then I guarantee prostration will offend it even more.
English Bible translations, embarrassed by so 'undignified' an act of contrition and reverence, commonplace though it was anciently, have decided to render the Hebrew word shachah as the more neutral 'worship'.
Before I get into this may I first of all say that shachah has absolutely nothing to do with the modern charismatic blasphemy of 'falling backwards' or being supposedly 'slain in the Spirit' (slain by a demon would be more accurate).
Shachah does not, moreover, always mean 'face down on the earth'. When that ultimate act of contrition takes place, the word artzah is usually added, meaning 'to the earth'.
There are six recorded incidences of bowing down to indicate submission in the Tanakh (Old Testament) that show us a not only acceptable, but also desirable, practice because it shows humility, respect and, in certain relationships, proper submission:
1. Abraham before the leaders of Hebron (Gen.23:7-12);
2. Joseph and his family before his uncle Esau (Gen.33:3-7);
3. Moses before his father-in-law Jethro (Ex.18:7);
4. Ruth before her future husband Boaz (Ruth 2:10);
5. David before his best friend Prince Jonathan (1 Sam.20:41) and King Saul (1 Sam.24:8);
6. Abigail before her future husband David (1 Sam.25:23); and
7. The prophet Nathan before King David (1 Ki.1:23).
These prostrations and signs of respect were given before those in a position of higher authority: wives before husbands and men before their elders and seniors. However, bowing was also done to those of lower social standing if they were guests in ones home. Abraham and Lot both did this to their guests before they knew who they were (Gen.18:2-3; 19:1-2). And it goes without saying that it is entirely proper to bow down before Yahweh in prayer.
Bowing is still common in Japan, and is to be praised, and was also common in Europe until modern times. In Norway is was common, as also in Germany, to slightly bow before guests with a click of the heels, which I have had the pleasurable occasion to experience and imitate. I like to greet guests to my home in this manner, especially older people.
Sadly, this practice had not only nearly totally disappeared by the first century but even earlier during the Babylonian exile. Though it is true such practices can become mererly ritualistic and devoid of any real intent that does not mean they should be discontinued. I have spoken of this in the past, with little result, but I feel strongly led to bring it up again in the context of this the Teshuvah season. If we are serious about a full restoration of Messianic Israel and if we are serious about wanting the fullness of the first century gifts, then we ought to be focussing on anah, kana and shachah by means of which the human heart makes itself into a vessel fit to receive the King's spiritual gifts.
Conclusion and Summary
Yahweh can no faster fill a soul than a heart empties itself of pride and shows the proper humility and respect both toward Deity as well as to others. We are the children of Abraham by descent or by adoption (Gal.3:7), but either way the men are to imitate their illustrious father, doing the "works of Abraham" (Jn.8:39), as the women are to imitate his wife, Sarah (1 Pet.3:5-6).
The whole life of a Christian or Messianic should be one of repentance and this season of teshuvah is to especially remind us of that and encourage us to make things right with Yahweh if we have wandered away from Him. Let, us then, summarise what is expected of us:
- 1. First you must truly want to repent. You must avoid that caricature of repentance that is merely a cover for sorrow over consequences. This is called 'worldly sorrow' and "it leads only to death" (2 Cor.7:10). Esau is given as an example of false repentance. He was rejected because he did not really want to change his mind (Heb.12:15-17);
- 2. Then you must ask Yahweh to search your heart to show you your sins as He sees them. You must call them by their names -- even write down a list of them as Yahweh searches your heart. Then add to the list your 'problems' and ask Yahweh whether you should not call them sins, rather than problems. Take time in quietness to let Yahweh speak to your heart;
- 3. All the time your focus must not be on your sins but on your Saviour, on what your sins cost Him and with what love He paid for them. Don't focus on the grime, but on the Gospel;
- 4. As far as you are able you must refuse to go on practicing the sins (Matthew 3:7-8). At the very least, this means removing yourself as much as possible from places of temptation (Prov.4:14-17). If your sin was against other people, then you must go to them and ask their forgiveness (Matt.5:23-24). If the sin involves stealing, then restitution must be made (Lk.19:8). Forgiveness will not happen until these take place; and
- 5. Finally ask Yahweh to change your heart with an infusion of His righteousness. This is the good news: that we do not have power to transform ourselves, but Yahweh does. We do not have the power to be a holy, truly repent person. Only Father working through the Cross can change us -- and He desires to do so.
Remember, that repentance is not something we do by ourselves but is something that Elohim must do in us and that is only possible if Yah'shua is IN us! If you have never received Yah'shua as your master and deliverer that you have never experienced true repentance. Begin by renewing your relationship with Him and then ask Him to grant you repentance:
"And a servant of the Master must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if Elohim perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim.2:24-26, NKJV).
"When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified Elohim, saying, 'Then Elohim has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life" (Acts 11:18, NKJV).
Remember, that true repentance and life are inseparable and since Yahweh, through Yah'shua, is the only One who can grant life, then in a very real way only He can grant repentance too. Repentance must therefore be done in His strength and enabling.
Yahweh loves you. He wants you to be free, whole and full to overflowing with His resurrection life. Only Yah'shua can accomplish that but you must open the door of repentance - teshuvah - to enable Him to do this marvelous work and a wonder in you. This requires the absolute marriage of truth to love because love cannot redeem you without truth. It is only by being confronted with Truth that repentance is possible, because without the contrast between the flesh and the Ruach, there can be no awareness of sin:
"Truth is the skeleton - strong and alive, and gives structure, shape and support to the body. But without Love, it's dead, and isn't going anywhere. Love is the muscles - that give the body softness, and animates it. But without the Truth, its skeleton, it would just be a big ball of mush, and wouldn't be going anywhere either. Truth is male and Love is female, for the woman clings to her husband like the muscles cling to the skeleton. And it's in their attachment, their echad 'oneness', that they can move together. And in the Skeleton, the Truth, blood cells are made. And life is in the blood (Lev.17:11). Life comes from Yah'shua, the Truth (Jn.14:6)." 4
May we all receive a special anointing of the Ruach to lead us to an even greater repentance, so that we may truly celebrate this Sukkot, to the glory of Yahweh, as we come home to Him. This is my prayer in Yah'shua's Name. Amen.
 Errol Müller, The Mystical Rites of Our Creator (White Stone Communications, Lake Worth, FL: 1999), pp.195-196
 What is Repentance and How Do I Do It?
Gordon Whyte, Absalom (Private Blog: 2008)
Anah in 'P'nei Adonai - Resourses for Walking in the Presence of God'
Ella Oakman, Reminiscences (Private Blog: 2007), adapted.
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 6 September 2008
Last updated on 6 September 2008
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