The Clarion, Sept. 2023
It’s amazing how fast time goes. It seems like it was just yesterday that the year began, and now we will be entering into Autumn. Soon the holiday season will be upon us. Psalm 90 which is a prayer of Moses says this, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God. You return man to the dust and say, “Return, you children of men. For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a night watch in the night time. You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a dream, like renewed grass in the morning: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it fades and withers…The years of our life are seventy, and if by reason of strength eighty; yet their length is toil and sorrow, for they soon end, and we fly away…So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Yes, it is a sobering thought, but it teaches us to appreciate life.
Ephesians 5:13-16 says, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.” So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
Colossians 4:2-6, “Continue in prayer, and be watchful with thanksgiving, while praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Messiah, for which I am also in chains, that I may reveal it clearly, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone.”
As we see the time go by, and our lives are fleeting, we need to consider not only our length of days, but our opportunities to advance the kingdom. It’s time for us to be saving up our treasures in heaven and not on this earth.
Egypt: The Patriarchs Part 3
We have been looking closely into the relationship between Egypt and Israel. We stopped last month with Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, and so we want to continue looking at this story. I think you will find it very interesting.
Genesis 41:33-37 tells us what Joseph’s plan would be to bring the people through the famine. “So now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and appoint him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him take a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt as a tax in the seven years of abundance. Then have them collect all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and have them guard it. Let the food be used as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.” Now the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.”’
We know that the Holy Spirit is the giver of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment.
Isaiah 11:2 says, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.”
We find in Acts 6:3, that the apostles also needed to choose wise men. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.” Genesis 41:38-44 continues to say, “Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom there is a divine spirit?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people shall be obedient to you; only regarding the throne will I be greater than you.” Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put the gold necklace around his neck. And he had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed ahead of him, “Bow the knee!” And he placed him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
It is believed that the Pharaoh who would have made Joseph second over Egypt would have been the Pharaoh Sesostris I. So we see here that Joseph was elevated to second-in-command and all Egypt bowed down before him. We see this in the Esther story with Haman
Esther 3:1-2 says, “After these events King Ahasuerus honored Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and promoted him and established his authority over all the officials who were with him. All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded regarding him.”
When reading the Scriptures on Joseph we can only conclude that God had His hand on Joseph’s life. Every event, good or bad, was all directed by God to prepare Joseph for a time like this. We see the same thing with Queen Esther and you will find that to be true with anyone who walks with God. Genesis 41:45 continues to say, “Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
Scholars have tried to determine the meaning of this name. The best they came up with was “revealer of hidden things,” but others say it means, “sustainer of life,” which is more in line with his mission. What is interesting is that Pharoah gives Joseph Asenath for his wife. You see that enath ending of her name is in his. Asenath means “she who belongs to Neith (goddess).” So who was this Asenath and who was her father Potiphera, priest of On? The city of On was northwest of Cairo. It was a cultic center of the sun-god Re (Jeremiah 43:13). The city had outstanding architectural features with columns and colonnades. Potiphera’s name means “He whom RE has given.’ The Father, being a priest, would have had the title, “Greatest of seers.” So Joseph would have married into elite Egyptian nobility. We know that it was common to have your name changed when in a foreign land, Daniel was changed to Belteshazzar, Hananiah to Shadrach, Mishael to Meshach, and Azariah to Abed-nego. Esther was changed from Hadassah. Gen 41:50-52 says, “Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh; “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all of my father’s household.” And he named the second Ephraim; “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” We know that Joseph was a godly man and he would have raised his children with the belief that there was only One True God. If this was not true Jacob would not have included these children in his blessing. Genesis 48:5-6a says, “Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. But your children that you have fathered after them shall be yours.”
Genesis 41: 53-57 goes on to say, “When the seven years of plenty which had taken place in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” When the famine was spread over the entire face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Then the people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.”
Wait! Did we just read that Joseph sold them their own grain? Was that what he told Pharaoh in the beginning when he told him the plan? They already gave the gain as a tax and now they have to buy their own grain back? I can see charging the people who came from other places, but not the people who already gave of their own crop. We will continue to look into this as we go. Now let’s continue with the story. In Genesis 42:1-5 we see that Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy some food. Genesis 42: 6-9 says, “Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. He said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land.”
Let’s look at these dreams of Joseph.
Genesis 37:5-8 tells us about Joseph’s 1st dream. “Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf stood up and also remained standing; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.” Genesis 37: 9-11 goes on to tell us his 2nd dream, “ Then he had yet another dream, and informed his brothers of it, and said, “Behold, I have had yet another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” He also told it to his father as well as to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Am I and your mother and your brothers actually going to come to bow down to the ground before you?” And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”
Next month we are going to bring all this together and unravel the Joseph story
Kids Corner: THE TABERNACLE
T M L S O E S I L C N L P W A H
H E X A B T H E A R K I A T L O
E R W C E I E P M D T T N E T L
H C X R L B E O P V A F S N A Y
O Y H I L U P L S Z B N A C R O
L S I F S L O E T U E C A O O F
Y E G I S L I S A C R L R M F H
P A H C H S T K N u N O O M S O
L T P E O S F I D r A U N A L L
A J R S W H F Z K t C D S N A I
C O I U B O H V E a L T S D U E
E V E C R V I J B i E I T M G S
Q I S A E E M A N N A O A E H S
O I T O A L A V E R P I F N T O
W L C N D S v e i l Z L F T E R
A N G E L W I N G S I H Q S R P
Aaron’s staff Altar of Incense Altar of Slaughter Angel wings Bells Bulls Cloud Curtain High Priest Holy of Holies Lampstand Laver
Manna Mercy Seat Oil Pans Poles Sacrifices Sheep Shovels
Showbread Tabernacle Ten commandments The Ark The Holy Place Veil
Hebrew Corner: Stephen the First Martyr.
Acts 6: 8-12, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council.”
The Apostle Paul was a member of the Synagogue of the Freedmen. These men were mainly freed slaves or prisoners of Rome, and after they were freed settled in Jerusalem. Stephen was put on trial because he spoke out about Yeshua being the Messiah. Many false witnesses spoke out against Stephen. Stephen was not against the Temple, nor the Torah, nor Judaism. Stephen went through the whole history of the Patriarchs and Moses, and yet, they could not see that he was not speaking to them about anything different than what they believed. It seems that the more he spoke the more they grew angry. Then he said this in Acts 7: 51-53, “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, and you have now become betrayers and murderers of Him; you who received the Law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
So many people today do not receive the truth, because they are not taught the truth. According to statistics, we have many pastors today who do not even believe, let alone live, by what they are preaching, and when you speak to them about the Scriptures, they too, get angry. These men did not believe Stephen, and they dragged him out of the courtroom and stoned him. It was like in the old west when people thought you were guilty they took the law into their own hands and hung you. One witness pushed him over the precipice, and another threw a heavy boulder on his chest. This is what their anger and hatred did to Stephen. Acts 7:59-60 says, “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Yeshua receive my spirit!” Then he fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.”
As Saul of Tarsus stood holding their cloaks Stephen died in the arms of the Messiah. The first of many who would die for the truth of the Gospel.
We are first introduced to Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18. Abraham’s nephew Lot was taken captive during a war amongst several kings. When receiving the news, Abraham and his men went to rescue Lot. “After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Then Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”’ So people ask, “Who is this Melchizedek?” Hebrews 7:1-4 says this, “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!”
Let’s take a closer look. Let’s start with the fact that he was a priest of God, but not any priest for he was without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Now let’s start at the beginning. What we know is this, the Angel of Light, the Shining One, yes, Lucifer was the first high priest who stood before God. Ezekiel 28:12-19 says this, “Son of man, take up a song of mourning over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”
What Scripture is telling that he wore the Breastplate as we read in Exodus 28:15-20, “You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skilled embroiderer; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of violet, purple, and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen you shall make it. It shall be square and folded double, a span in length and a span in width. And you shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree.”
Remember, Moses was to build the Tabernacle with all of its vessels and furnishings, and even garments, according to the heavenly pattern he saw. So the Shining one fell and Melchizedek took his place. The Scripture says that he was without father or mother or genealogy or beginning or end which would describe an angel. You see with God there is no time. The angels were created before the foundation of the world. They were created to be immortal, and much like Adam, who also had no mother or father or genealogy, and would have lived forever except he sinned and the result of that was death. Many people think that Melchizedek was Yeshua because of Hebrews 5: 8-10 which says this about Yeshua, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” And again in Psalm 110:4, “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Yeshua was made a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, instead of the order of Levi, because we are talking about heavenly things. God resided in the earthly tabernacle, the Mishkan, where earthly people ministered, and so God chose the tribe of Levi to be its priests. Yeshua came down to earth momentarily, but then He ascended back to His Father, in which time God appointed Him to be the High Priest who stood before Him, thus replacing Melchizedek. Now let’s continue with the story. “Then Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Melchizedek brings out bread and wine. Where else do we see this in scripture? Well let’s put this in context. Abraham won a great battle. He saved many people. For you to totally get the picture, let’s jump to Yeshua and then go back. Matthew 26: 26-29 says this, “Now while they were eating, Yeshua took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it with you, new, in My Father’s kingdom.”
Yeshua was partaking in the Passover Seder which happens to have bread (unleavened) and wine. This of course was before a great victory (on the cross) to save a people. Melchizedek, who was the king of Jerusalem, (of which one day Yeshua will sit on the throne of King David and rule and reign for one thousand years in Jerusalem, Revelation 20) was showing Abraham something very remarkable. In John 8:56 Yeshua gives the people a great revelation. “Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” Now let’s go back to after the war of the kings where God says this to Abraham, in Genesis 15:13-14, “Then God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.” God shows Abraham another revelation, that his people will be enslaved in a foreign land but He will set them free. Now we know that Moses was told to keep the first Passover, and they too had a great victory. Finally Abraham tithed a tenth, not in money, but in the spoils of war to Melchizedek, because he was a king, and also, he was a high priest of the Most High God, so in tribute, Abraham tithed. Again a foreshadowing of the Aaronic priesthood who also received tithes back in its day. So many times God gives a foreshadowing of things to come, and if we are paying attention to it we will see God’s revelation before us, Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Peter 3:3-4, Luke 21:25-26, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3. We must know the signs of the time.
The Death Sentence
Many states today still have the death sentence. Many people are still in favor of it for crimes of murder. Though many of our Supreme Court Justices are not in favor of it, because they cite that an innocent person may die by mistake. They have softened their stance over the years, and they believe that, well, if it is a brutal killing maybe. They have also been concerned that dying by the electric chair is brutal, or even by injections can be brutal if the person dies slowly, of course, none of this takes into consideration how the victim died, and the fear and anguish he suffered. Years ago we would hang a person for stealing a horse. Today, in many states and cities, they can steal all they want, and it is well with the souls of our DA’s. We want to take a closer look into this, and see exactly what the Scriptures speak to us about this topic, but we will have to take the long way around. We know that all crime is sinful. The Ten Commandments tell us this in Exodus 20:13-17,
“You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Many people do not believe that they have to keep the Commandments, but Yeshua, not only believed in keeping the Commandments, but He even expounded on the Commandments as He tells us this in
Matthew 5: 21-22, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Come to good terms with your accuser quickly, while you are with him on the way to court, so that your accuser will not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will not be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last penny.”
Yeshua says this because the spirit of anger and rage, bitterness and unforgiveness are all the same spirit as murder. He also says to quickly make things right between you and your brother, neighbor or friend. Also this is in Matthew 5:27-30, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Yeshua tells us that coveting is a serious matter, that all you have to do is to look with lust. You see that coveting and lust are the same spirit as adultery. Yeshua even adds this in verses 31-32, “Now it was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away is to give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
This verse is completely ignored!
Yeshua goes on to say this in Matthew 5:33-37, “ Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, take no oath at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you take an oath by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.”
God takes vows very seriously and we should too. We see Yeshua saying this right after He speaks about divorce. In Exodus 19:5-8 God makes a covenant with His people, asking His Bride if she would follow the marriage vows, and they said this, “Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.”
Today we are swearing to all kinds of things using God’s name in vain, swearing by heaven and this is totally against God.
1 Peter 2:9-12 tells us that we too, like Israel, have been called to enter into that marriage agreement. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God on the day of visitation.”
In Matthew 5: 43-48 Yeshua says this, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the Gentiles, do they not do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Once again Yeshua tells us about hate which is murder and He tells us that even our enemies, those who cause our lives to be difficult, those who persecute, and murder us, are to be forgiven and loved. Paul also tells us in Galatians 5:19-21 this, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
These are just a few examples, but Yeshua made it quite clear in Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished! Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
You see breaking one of God’s commandments is breaking the covenant. Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. Yes, the death sentence will be pronounced by God, who is the judge over all things. People think that just because Yeshua died for our sins that they can now live how they want, or that they do not need to repent of their sins, but this is not true. Yeshua did not abolish the law. He made the way for us to repent, which means to turn back from your sin, and become righteous in God’s eyes. Paul tells us in Romans 2:1-13 “Therefore you have no excuse, you foolish person, everyone of you who passes judgment; for in that matter in which you judge someone else, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, you foolish person who passes judgment on those who practice such things, and yet does them as well, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will repay each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life; but to those who are self-serving and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, He will give wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of mankind who does evil, for the Jew first and also for the Greek, but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who does what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified.”
There has been a lot of wrong teaching over the years, and it is time that we begin to live according to God’s Word. He is holy and we are to be holy, 1 Peter 1:16. Holiness is in the keeping of that which sets us apart from the world and that is keeping the Commandments of God and walking in His ways. The Bible was written for those who intend on walking in God’s ways, not for those who have no intention of doing so. Over and over again God makes it clear that He is the Righteous Judge, and He will judge accordingly. Sin separates us from God and if we continue in sin Hebrews 10:26-31 says this, “ For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has ignored the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severe punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.”
And again in Romans 14:10-12, “But as for you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you as well, why do you regard your brother or sister with contempt? For we will all appear before the judgment seat of God. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, to Me every knee will bow, And every tongue will give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Yes, there is a death sentence to all who refuse to repent of their sins, and turn to God, the Righteous Judge, for we will all stand before Him one day.
Dr. Chemo Super Hero And Friends
The Clarion, Aug. 2023
Well, Summer is going by so quickly, it’s like the clouds that keep rolling on by. This is just how life is, it just keeps moving along.
Psalm 37:23-26 tells us, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging for bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.”
We hope that you will have a great rest of the Summer, praising the Lord for each day. Here is one of our Sandigram’s. They are a great witnessing tool, and feel free to print off a copy or two and hand them out to your neighbors or friends, even your co-workers.
The Wings of the Wind
Lord, let me ride on the wings of the wind as I soar to Thee. Along the way, let me sit on a cloud as I look in wonderment at the beauty of the sky. Look down upon me and bless me as I lift up my praises to Thee. As I ride on the wings of the wind, fill my heart with joy as the excitement swells within my soul as I reach Thee.
Sandigram/The Robin/copyright 2010
As our study continues with Israel’s time in Egypt, we hope that you enjoy the next several months. This study is full of interesting thoughts and connections in God’s Word.
Egypt: The Patriarchs Part 2
Last month we read about Abraham and his journey to Egypt. Now we want to move forward with Isaac.
Genesis 26 :1-6 says this, “Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Live for a time in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed Me and fulfilled his duty to Me, and kept My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. So Isaac lived in Gerar”
Why did God not allow Isaac to go into Egypt and yet He allowed Abraham?
Maybe because his children had been born and Jacob was to go into Egypt later in his life. So this takes us to Isaac’s son Jacob, who will take a journey into Egypt, because of famine in the land. While Abraham was in Egypt during the 4th Dynasty, his grandson Jacob did not migrate there till the 12th Dynasty.
So who were the Hyksos? According to the Harper Atlas of the Bible, these were foreign rulers and the name Hyksos, in Egyptian means Chiefs of foreign countries. They were Semitic people and they had more in common with the Hebrews than the Egyptians, maybe this is why Abraham felt comfortable in going to Egypt at the time of the famine. From the time of Abraham to Jacob, a growing number of Semitic foreigners from Canaan lived in Egyptian society, from the poor to the rich. They attached themselves to large households or served in temples and in their administrations. During an excavation one large Egyptian household contained the names of 79 domestic servants, over half of them being with Semitic names such as Jacob, Issachar, and Asher. During the 13 Dynasty the population grew and we find Semitic names, and at least one had a Semitic name Pharoah Khendjer, ( Semitic: Hanzir meaning boar). During the century 1750-1650 BC one or more West Semitic chiefs became part of the East Delta, the so-called name of the 16th Dynasty.
From almost the beginning of the Middle Kingdom people from Canaan were infiltrating the eastern Nile Delta and King Amenemhet I built a wall to keep “Asiatic” out of the country. Through excavation the eastern Nile Delta shows that at the end of the Middle Kingdom, in the period known as the Second Intermediate Period, Canaanites who had lived in the region had expanded and taken over much of the eastern Nile Delta, essentially conquering Egypt from within. Egyptian text refer to them as heqau khasut which means “rulers of foreign lands,” a term that the Greek historians such as the Third-Century BCE priest Manetho, corrupted into “Hyksos.” Manetho explains that Dynasties 14, 15, 16 were all Hyksos dynasties. The Hyksos kings adopted Egyptian royal style and retained a basic Egyptian bureaucracy as they welcomed fellow-foreigners into the administration as they transitioned into the 14th Dynasty worshiping their pagan gods as they ruled from canaan and out of this, the Egyptians were determined to keep such invaders at bay and so was born the Egyptian empire in the Levant. So let’s look at the Joseph story beginning at his sale into slavery. The brothers of Joseph hated him because he was Jacob’s favorite and their father gave them no attention whatsoever. Genesis 37:21-28 tells us this, “So they plotted to kill him. But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands by saying, “Let’s not take his life.” Then Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—so that later he might rescue him out of their hands, to return him to his father. So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the multicolored tunic that was on him; and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it. Then they sat down to eat a meal. But as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying labdanum resin, balsam, and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt. And Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, and let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him out and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. So they brought Joseph into Egypt.”
We see here that this Ishmaelite caravan (remember Ishmael was Abraham’s first son and his mother was Egyptian) was carrying labdanum resin, balsam and myrrh on their way down to Egypt, and what does Jacob tell his sons to take back to this man that they did not realize was Joseph? Genesis 43:11 tells us, “Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a gift, a little balsam and a little honey, labdanum resin and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.” (So we know that Israel prospered with the export of these items, though some have been lost over the years, but are now once again beginning to be produced.) But as we read carefully Genesis 37:28, it was some Midianite traders who got to Joseph first, and pulled him out of the pit. Abraham had more sons than just Isaac (by Sarah) and Ishmael (by Hagar). He also had six sons by Keturah, his wife after the death of Sarah: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah (Genesis 25:2). The Midianites were the descendants of Midian and therefore children of Abraham. They settled in “the land of the east” (Genesis 25:6). We will see how the Midianite play a role once again in the time of Moses. The sum of twenty shekels is correctly written in the Bible for they have found legal tablets from the city of Mari that this was the price for a slave. But the Scriptures make it sound like the Midianite traders were the ones who sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites and not the brothers. Let’s look again at Genesis 37:28 along with 29-30. “Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him out and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. So they brought Joseph into Egypt. “29-30” Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments. He returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where am I to go?”
Yes, the brothers put him in the well, but they did not sell him, even though most of them wanted to. The story continues in Genesis 39:1-2, “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.”
We saw earlier in this article that many people found themselves in Egypt as servants to royalty and to the very rich. Now we know that Joseph finds himself in prison over the lie of Potiphar’s wife. Genesis 39: 21-23 says, “ But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison. And the warden of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The warden of the prison did not supervise anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and, the Lord made whatever he did prosper.”
Here we get insight into how the Egyptian prison system worked. They have discovered records from ancient prison registers and they had a director, who was the captain of the guards and keepers or wardens. Prisoners were filed under seven listings from name and sex and their time spent right up to discharge , which closed their case. We learn of butlers and cup holders who held prominent roles in the courts of Pharaoh. Nehemiah 1:1 says, “ Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa (Shushan) the capital. Nehemiah 2:1 says this, “And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I picked up the wine and gave it to the king.” We see Nehemiah was a cup holder for the king.
Joseph was forgotten by the baker and cupholder till one night Pharaoh had a dream. Genesis 41:14-32 tells us that Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams.
We will continue to look closer into Joseph next month.
How many words can you make out of the word
We found 40 words.
Hebrew Corner: The Apostles Teachings
After Yeshua ascended back to heaven, the apostles were now on their own.
Acts 2: 42-47 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The body of believers had a real sense of community. We must remember that all the believers were Jewish, and they believed in hospitality. Don’t forget Abraham as we read in Genesis 18:2-5, “When he raised his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed down to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, so that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do as you have said.”
Hebrews 13:1-2 says, “Let love of the brothers and sisters continue. Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
1 Peter 4:9 tells us, “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”
But they did not only share with each other, and were hospitable, but they devoted themselves to the apostles teachings. There is a book called the Didache, that is strongly believed to have been written by the apostles which was used as a catechism book for new believers. Of course there were the writings, and the Scriptures itself which were all part of their teachings. But this is like the “How to do it” book. Our Bible study on Elementary Principle is a great study for new believers or old, with the Didache written into it. We think you will enjoy it and find many things interesting as the apostles believed it to be.
Fanning The Flame
We want to look at Timothy. Timothy had a Jewish mother and a Greek father. In families today, so many children have parents of different backgrounds. The Apostle Paul loved Timothy whom he called his son. This is what discipleship is all about. So often today our children are not disciplined, there are, so many children who come from single parent homes, or broken homes. Paul took Timothy under his wing and taught him everything he needed to know. I’m sure that Timothy’s father taught him many things for life, but Timothy had a heart for God and he wanted to go into the mission field.
Let’s read from 2 Timothy 1: 3-4, “Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.”
Just think how Timothy must have felt when he read this, knowing that Paul was not only thinking of him, but praying for him and not once in a while but all the time? Here was Paul, whom Timothy looked up to, reading that Paul missed him and was thankful for him. Children and young adults need this today in their lives. There is so much out there to influence our children, and if we do not invest not only our time, but our heartfelt thanks and appreciation of our children, they will go and seek it out somewhere other than their families. With the internet and social media in particular they are constantly being bombarded with people influencing them from all directions. Even in our schools today they are being pulled in so many directions.
Paul continues to say this in verse 5, “That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you!”
Paul reminds Timothy that it was his mother and grandmother who taught him about faith, not by word, but by example. Yeshua did the same with His disciples as we read in Matthew 4:18-22,“ Now as Yeshua was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” He took these fishermen and by His example, taught them to go out into the world and catch souls for the kingdom. But Paul did not stop at reminding Timothy of his faith, no, he told him that he must pay close attention to his life.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 goes on to say, “And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
Paul tells Timothy to fan the flames that burn in his heart for God and His kingdom. We must always keep the fire going in our hearts for God, because if we don’t, we will become nothing but ashes, dead in the grave, cold in our hearts. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, “Therefore I run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as to avoid hitting air; but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
Paul goes on to say in 2 Timothy 2: 2-7 this, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Discipline helps fan the flame. It keeps you going forward. It keeps you from falling back into old ways and habits. Paul tells Timothy this in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.”
It takes work to be a disciple of Yeshua. We are to let our light shine before men continually. We must follow Yeshua’s example in all things and we too, must fan the flames to keep that light shining before men. We are God’s soldiers fighting the battle, no matter if we are pastors or teachers or lay people living out our lives for God. We all are in the mission field gathering in the harvest, no matter if it is at work, or at the marketplace, or in our families. Our faith must keep us in the faith and so we too, must fan the flames to keep before us the purpose to which we were called. Salvation is not exclusive, but inclusive. We are all to be fishers of those in the sea called this world. Let’s take Paul’s advice to Timothy.