Thoughts for the Sabbath of 2017 April 8

Do you know what Faith Harvest Israel was thinking on this Sabbath?

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Thoughts for the Sabbath of
2017 April 8

Yahuah Hayah's Presence

(Please note: This sermon can be directly accessed on the Internet at http://www.honorhislaw.com/Sabbath20170408.htm)

Hi! I'm Pastor Floyd! I wish I had a photograph of you, too, so that I could visualize to whom I am talking! But Yahuah Hayah, the Self-Existent, Eternal I AM, the Creator of the universe and King over it, knows who you are; and that's all that matters!

At this point in your participation in the service, I recommend that you go to Sabbath Ritual and participate in the prayer in which we like to engage each week, as I do each morning, to avail ourselves of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) "Power of Agreement" (Matthew 18:19) for the basic things that all of us must have each day of our lives! Although repetitious and time-consuming, doing that will bless you, the fellowship and all of His children in the universe! It is what I call "getting prayed up"!

As for the thoughts that Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) gave me for this Sabbath, in His Holy Bible, He wrote, through His psalmist: "Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me. (Psalm 23:4) And, when He was about to bring Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) home, to be with Him, Yeshua said: I am with you always! (Matthew 28:20)

So, when Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said, "I am with you always! (Matthew 28:20), we are obliged, if we value Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) words in His Holy Bible, to receive Yeshua's words as those of the Father, Whom also, we can be assured by that word, is with us "always"!

When does anyone ever "walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death"? In fact, what is that valley?

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) prayed, to His Father in Heaven, in regard to His disciples: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil! (John 17:15) In that simple prayer, He acknowledged that in "the world" is "evil"! So those of us who must make our way in "the world" are surrounded by people who, wanting to do evil, are walking in the death that evil brings! So those of us who are surrounded by that death are, indeed, walking "through the Valley of the Shadow of Death"! For, in the world, death is all around us.

But we for whom Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) is our "Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1) need not fear that death: for His presence is ever with us, the protection of His "rod" (Verse 4) and the guidance of His "staff" (Verse 4) being of great "comfort" (Verse 4) to us.

There is a traditional way people have in which to characterized God by saying that He is "omniscient" (all knowing), "omnipotent" (all powerful) and "omnipresent" (ever present)! At the moment I am wanting to focus on the last of those three supreme attributes of Yahuah Hayah, the Creator and Lord God over all the universe - His omnipresence!

The reason I want to focus on Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) presence is that I have now completed reading Bart Ehrman's wonderful book, Misquoting Jesus, in which he has skillfully shared, with us, his beloved neighbors, the academic world inhabited by people who have dedicated themselves to the field of "textual criticism" - specifically the texts of the ancient manuscriptus from which we, Yahuah's followers have obtained our beloved bible!

In the course of reading this particular book by Ehrman (he has written many), I met a "soul-mate" - an author who has revealed himself, to me, through his writing, as "my kind of guy"!

By using that expression I mean that Ehrman demonstrates, in his writing, a wonderful sensitivity to where his reader is probably coming from, which is not surprising, in that his work in studying the manuscripts of the New Testament and other writings of the church fathers in antiquity has required that he understand from where they were coming, when they advanced their ideas about Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) and His ministry through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ)!

Rather than be judgmental concerning a writer's ideas, Brother Ehrman graciously allows, time and again, for what the writer believed because of what he had been taught from other writings available to him and from the religious debates going on in his locale and time! And Ehrman's work has acquainted him well with the manuscripts available to each of the bible's writers and with the issues being debated at that time, so that all of us can see and appreciate what had influenced the writer's thinking!

Such graciousness is, veritably, a requirement for anyone who does work in the field of textual criticism; for being "hard and fast" concerning any belief would tear a person to pieces, while he is trying to deal with the astonishing diversity of ideas that is the reality of our bible's background and the making of the approximately five thousand seven hundred copies of copies of copies of manuscripts relating to what has comprised our bible!

Ehrman's work in Misquoting Jesus is that of acquainting the reader with that astounding diversity, much of it coming from copyist's errors and deliberate changes, which over the centuries has determined what we have now been given in the various translations of the manuscripts that we now possess!

The result of one's working to learn the reality of our bible's background and development is to realize that with the bible's "autographs" or original writings no longer being in existence and with the writings we do have being mistake-and-change-ridden copies of copies of copies that were made over the sixteen centuries prior to the inventing of the printing press, we have, in the bible, a veritable miracle wrought by the hand of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) through all the children of His who had a part, however flawed, in bringing the bible to us!

The trouble is that, unless one is willing to concede the miraculous nature of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible, seeing only His "word" through prophets and apostles having been lost in antiquity and copies of its various books being full of presumably human errors and alterations, he is likely to throw up his hands, asking: "What is there left to believe?

One fundamental consideration that I have used with chronic disbelievers is the awesome nature of the universe, which, if one considers it in the right light, establishes a Creator! For to believe that the entire amazing and meticulously structured universe simply banged into existence without a Designer's hand being behind whatever phenomena accompanied the creation is the worst kind of belief, necesarily requiring a "leap of faith" far more ridiculous than that which supports the necessity for an awesomely intelligent Creator!

What one of us, Yahuah Hayah's precocious children, has ever created a living cell with all the complexity of which that astonishing organism is comprised, let alone has flung galaxies into their places and is keeping them there? To use Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) words to Job: "Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the Earth? " (Job 38:4)

My reasoning for accepting the claims of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible that He has spoken to His children through His prophets is that, having "created man in His own image" (Genesis 1:27), our sociability - that is, our pleasure in relating with each other and sharing with our neighbor what is going on with us and our love for or caring about the welfare of our neighbor - had to come from somewhere! And why would such a caring not come from the Creator Who made us to be that way?

Going one step further is to ask: Why would the Creator not be that way Himself? Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in Heaven give good things to them who ask Him? (Matthew 7:11)

In my view, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) loving regard for His children is the strongest reason why He said, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ): I am with you always! (Matthew 28:20), "22 The glory that Thou gavest Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as We are one 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one." (John 17:22 and 23), and "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)

To be "one" with another is to share with the other the same interests, ideas and activities and, one might say, even experience a spiritual resonance with that neighbor, which gets back to my faith in Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) everlasting presence with His children, even as they forgot much and changed much in their writing about what He did through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) while He was with them and even as scribes were careless in their making of new copies of the original books or supposed that their own words might improve on what the original author wrote or upon what the last scribe wrote.

The bottom line is that, with all the diversity of opinion concerning what Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) has done through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) or through any other of His children, He has been with us. His promise concerning ha Kodesh Ruach, His "Spirit of truth" (John 15:17) is "that He may abide with you for ever"! (Verse 13) And "for ever" is a long time! He will be there, always, to encourage you with Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) truth, whenever you "hearken diligently unto the voice of Yahuah, thy God, to observe to do all His commandments" (Deuteronomy 28:1), whereupon "all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee" (Verse 2); "and the truth shall make you free"! (John 8:32)

That "still small voice" (1st Kings 19:12) has been ever with us, encouraging us to do, say or write the right thing, the thing that glorifies Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) and His life, love, goodness, word, judgment, joy and peace! He said, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ):

If I be lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all men unto Me. (John 12:32)

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) reference to being "lifted up" was, obviously, His anticipation of being crucified, when He would be lifted up while nailed to a cross, which would, He knew, be a demonstration of the most heinous and unjust violence ever to be committed against a man; and that despicable abuse, He knew, would "purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (Hebrews 9:14), even as "sacrifices [of lambs] could not make him who did the service perfect as pertaining to the conscience" (Verse 9) but did go a ways to do that, to where Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) promise through Yeshua through Moses was that "it shall be forgiven him". (Numbers 15:28)

Yeshua ha Mawshiyach's being "lifted up", then, caused "sinners" (Matthew 9:13) to "repent" (Matthew 4:17) or "think differently" (Strong: Greek: 3340) about "sin" (1st John 3:4), which is "the transgression of the law"! (Verse 4) He said:

I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance! (Matthew 9:13)

Brother Ehrman would call what I have been doing by quoting scripture to make a case for our acceptance of a worthy idea - in this instance, the fact and benefit that I am believing about Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) everlasting presence - using the bible "devotionally" or without reference to the textual criticism by which scholars have decided what they believe more closely approximates what really took place historically and what really was written concerning it.

But, from reading Brother Ehrman's book entitled Jesus Interrupted, I have learned, also, that precious little is known about what really happened, considering that the earliest biblical writings that took place did so decades after Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) had come and gone insofar as His physical presence among the children of Israel was concerned and after a bewildering array of claims and counter claims had been made concerning His life and teaching and after an oral tradition about Him had developed from the standpoint of each claimant or groups of claimants, to where the gospels and acts of the apostles, the authors of which are not even known, except maybe for Luke, are works embracing divergent views of What and Who He really was and what He actually claimed Himself about What and Who He was and is to this day, in Heaven, presumably at the right hand of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), the Father!

But, again, with respect to my faith concerning all of this, the impossibility of knowing anything for sure about anything in the bible makes all the more miraculous the book that has been given us as Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible, to where in Brother Ehrman's own words:

"The bible is the most significant book in the history of our civilization" and "coming to understand what it actually is and is not is one of the most important intellectual endeavors that anyone in our society can embark upon." Jesus Interrupted, Preface

But I must say that from reading two of Brother Ehrman's books, by now, I do not believe he is allowing for what I believe has caused the bible to be what he concedes that it is - "the most significant book in the history of our civilization"; for one must ask what has caused it to be so significant that it stands so high in so many people's regard for it.

I, of course, submit that it has been Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) everlasting presence among His children that has caused this book about Himself to emerge as a work capable of generating such an high interest in it; and I submit that the world's present agony is based upon His church's failure to generate enough interest in it for the people of the world to keep the commandments of His Torah, Law and Covenant through Moses! He commanded, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), His disciples:

19Go ... and teach all nations ... 20... to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19 and 20)

What Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) commanded the children of Israel was to keep Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Torah, Law and Covenant through Moses! He said: "46 He wrote of Me! 47 If ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5:46 and 47)

But, again, according to Brother Ehrman, my making such arguments by freely quoting relevant parts of scripture is the "devotional" use of the bible, not its history as textual critics would have us understand it.

But in defense of the "devotional" use of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible, I would argue that He was present in those who wrote whatever they did so that you and I could have these useful references from what Brother Ehrman allows is so significant a book! And I believe Yahuah is with me now, as I use them to make my argument for our reliance upon His everlasting presence among and in the spirits of His beloved children, whether they are listening to Him or not!

It is significant, to me, that, in the same breath that Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) commanded His disciples to "teach all nations", he included "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"! (Matthew 28:19) In other words, His disciples were to recognize that in the teaching of "all nations" baptism would ensue! And what is the baptism of Yeshua ha Mawshiyach? John the Baptist said:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance! But He Who cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear! He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire! (Matthew 3:11)

Then Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) came along and said virtually the same thing:

John truly baptized with water! But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence! (Acts 1:5)

So Yeshua ha Mawshiyach baptizes with ha Kodesh Ruach; and why am I not surprised? He said:

15If ye love Me, keep My commandments! 16And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, 17even the Spirit of truth! (John 14:15 to 17)

So the everlasting presence of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) in our spirits is accomplished through ha Kodesh Ruach, His "Spirit of truth"! And are we surprised? Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said: "God is a Spirit! And they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth!" (John 4:24)

So - Yes! - Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) is "with you always" (Matthew 28:20); but He is that through the functioning of ha Kodesh Ruach, His Holy Spirit, about Whom Brother Ehrman and his fellow textual critics do not talk, except as they find how many have written about Him over the centuries and tell us what they did write; and I praise Yahuah for the part of those writings that have come down to us to tell us, in confirmation of His voice in our spirits, the everlasting part He is to play in the life of each one of us.

I pray that this information I have given you is true in Yahuah Hayah's sight, that it can be stored in your spirit for great and beneficial use to you as the days go by and that we might hear from you now and then as you find it working its wonders in your life!

Father, by my "faith in God" (Mark 11:22), I "speak" (Mark 11:23), to Your children, and command that they be given the knowledge and understanding of You and Your truth by which to hearken well to Your voice in their spirits, by which they can be guided into the truth that You have brought down to us in Your book, the Holy Bible, despite the difficulties we have had in preserving it.

I rejoice (John 15:11) that you are faithful to fulfill your children's powerful use of their "dominion ... over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth"! (Genesis 1:28) I know you answered this prayer, in ha Kodesh Ruach, your Holy Spirit, the moment I said it; so I "believe" I "receive" (Mark 11:24), even now, a family of brothers and sisters who are rejoicing over the wonderful blessings and eternal life in Your awesome presence that Your word of truth in their heart provides along with what of it we know from your Holy Bible!

I pray that Yahuah Hayah shall bless you mightily, throughout the coming week, and that you will realize in your heart how important you are to the ministry that He has given to Faith Harvest Israel to see that His truth is learned, believed and carried out by all His children throughout the world, so many of whom are in such desperate need of it, not to mention our ministry of practical helps for the disadvantaged!

Amen! Alleluia!

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