Thoughts for the Sabbath of 2017 August 5

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

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Thoughts for the Sabbath of
2017 August 5

Our Good Shepherd

(Please note: This sermon can be directly accessed on the Internet at

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 throughout His Creation! It is what I call "getting prayed up"!

As for the thoughts that Yahuah Hayah gave me for this Sabbath, Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said:

11 I am the Good Shepherd! The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep! 12 But he who is an hireling and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and fleeth! And the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the Good Shepherd and know My sheep and am known of Mine. 15 As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life, for the sheep. 16 Other sheep I have, who are not of this fold: them also I must bring! And they shall hear My voice! And there shall be one fold and one shepherd! (John 10:11 to 16)

The pastor of a church I attend lent me a book on the 23rd Psalm written by an author who himself had been a shepherd and knew what the good shepherd had to do to keep his flock well. His account of the constant attendance required of the good shepherd to keep his flock fed and protected was a revelation to me of how our Good Shepherd, Who of course is Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), must ever be with us, watching to see how we are and guiding us to where good pasture is to keep us fed and comfortable!

The good shepherd also had to prepare the pasture, removing from it, ahead of time, poisonous weeds, to keep the flock safe from that harm! And, with his flock once in the pasture, the good shepherd then had to keep a watchful eye for preditors, which would wait for opportunity to strike the sheep and take one for his own feeding.

David knew about this part of shepherding, having told King Saul: "34 Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion and a bear and took a lamb out of the flock! 35 And I went out, after him, and smote him and delivered it out of his mouth! And, when he arose against me, I caught him, by his beard, and smote him and slew him. (1st Samual 17:34 and 35)

I am sure that his experience in being a shepherd prepared David well for the kingship that Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) eventually gave him and caused him to be a most beloved king, for the loving care with which he looked after his subjects, exactly as he had diligently looked after his father's flock of sheep!

But David was a human shepherd and subject to the temptation to sin, to which he succombed, when he saw Bathsheba from "the roof of the king’s house ... washing herself and the woman was very beautiful to look upon". (2nd Samuel 11:2) But Bathsheba was "the wife of Uriah, the Hittite"! (Verse 3) Regardless, 4 "David sent messengers and took her; and she came in, unto him, and he lay with her; 5 and the woman conceived and sent and told David and said, I am with child!" (Verses 4 and 5)

So David committed adultery, for which Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) brought him sharply to task! And the aftermath of that sin brought David endless misery, as the consequences for it unfolded before him, which caused him to write:

1 Have mercy, upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness, according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions! 2 Wash me throughly, from mine iniquity, and cleanse me, from my sin! 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions! And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightest be justified, when Thou speakest, and be clear, when Thou judgest! (Psalm 51:1 to 4)

That is the plight of the human shepherd, for whom keeping himself well is challenge enough! But he has all his sheep for whom to care; and, as Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said: "With men this is impossible! But with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) Looking after ourselves as God's sheep is, indeed, "impossible"! But for Yeshua, our Good Shepherd, looking after each one of us is not only possible but guaranteed, when we accept Him as our Shepherd and look to Him for that care!

But next door to the author of the book on the 23rd Psalm was a careless shepherd, one who had no regard for his sheep; and his sheep showed, in their sorrowful faces and starved, emaciated and disease-ridden bodies, the result of their master's carelessness! And the author of the book saw, in that sad spectacle, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) children of the world, who look to Satan for their well being, only to find themselves abandoned, destitude and without hope! Yet their choice of the wrong shepherd goes on, their believing that he is the only choice, having accepted his lie that "there is no God". (Psalm 14:1)

The sheep in this author's book had no choice in who was their shepherd; but we do have that choice; and why we insist on the wrong choice is a wonder to me; yet I have "been there; done that" and know what it was that made me look everywhere except in the right place for my shepherd.

When I went to college, an English teacher taught that the words we use only have the meaning we attach to them, as we use them. A red apple sweet to the taste is one thing to one person, while a green apple that gives its user a stomach ache is quite something else to another person, so that no word can have any fixed meaning! Satan came along and showed me that, if no word can have a fixed meaning, the bible, which relies on words, cannot give any fixed truth and is, therefore, useless!

Thirty years later, when I had bowed my knee and submitted to the God Who had healed my back and was healing others who were attending a certain ministry, the God Whose Spirit was evident in the songs of praise to Him being sung by those who were attending, showed me that He was the One Who had given us words and that they indeed had the meanings that He had attached to them, so that we could hear and then speak His truth!

For thirty years of my adult life I had floundered without a truth on which I could rely, having accepted Satan's lie that truth does not exist!

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) spoke of "these little ones who believe in Me"! (Matthew 18:6) And in my father's and mother's godly home I had been one of those little ones believing in Yeshua, calling Him "Jesus", as was the custome in our home.

But Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) reference to "these little ones" was contained in a warning! He said:

Whoso shall offend one of these little ones whio believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea! (Matthew 18:6)

So I pity the English teacher who taught me "semantics" or "the study of meanings" (online Merriam-Webster), whose claim for the lack of fixed meanings for words derailed my faith in the value of the bible for thirty years, until thoroughly humbled, I could receive Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) truth about such matters.

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said: "I am the Good Shepherd! The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep!" The author of the book on Psalm 23 showed how he had to give his life for his sheep in the constant vigilance he had to maintain to remain aware of all that was happening to his sheep so that he could remedy each problem that arose for them.

But we know, of course, that Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) was making reference to His literally laying down His life for the sheep - His giving up His life by letting His enemies torture and kill Him and for what reason?

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) laying down His life for His sheep would have to have been for a good reason, obviously; He would not have laid it down foolishly or for nothing! What did it take to cause the Son of God to lay down His life for His sheep?

The willingness of Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) children to sin and thereby lose their place in Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) kingdom is why Yeshua laid down His life; but what is the connection between His laying down His life and the saving of His sheep's places in His Father's kingdom?

Obviously, an important connection exists between Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) laying down His life and His children's places in His Father's kingdom; or Yeshua would not have suffered such a terrible thing to happen to Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed: "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass, from Me: nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39)

So what was it that made that terrible "cup" sufficiently important for Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) to drink it?

Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) laying down His life was going to make it possible for Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) children to be restored to their places in His kingdom! But, for that to happen, those children would have to understand what Yeshua's torture and death had to do with their place in Yahuah's kingdom.

Knowing this, Satan, the enemy of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), of Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) and of all us, their beloved children, has done his level best to bring confusion to our understanding of Yeshua's torture and death at the hands of His enemies; because, if we don't understand why He did allow that to happen, we will not take advantage of it; and its usefulness to us will have been lost! He will have died in vain!

To a tragic degree, this losing of the value of Yeshua's sacrifice of Himself has been lost, where Satan has been permitted to muddy the water of understanding concerning that critical event; and the work of Faith Harvest Israel for all these years has been to clear the mud out of that water and give to our members the clearest understanding possible of our Good Shepherd's giving "His life for the sheep"! (John 10:11)

If understanding His laying down His life was to be so important, one would think that Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) would have given considerable attention to that matter; and He did! The night He knew that His enemies would be coming for Him, He said, to His disciples, of the wine that He had given them: "This is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins!" (Matthew 26:28)

"The remission of sins", then, would be the object or purpose of Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) laying down His life! And most believing people or "Christians" understand this; but the question arises: What has "the remission of sins" got to do with His laying down His life?

To help His disciples understand the connection between His laying down His life and "the remission of sins" that He said it was for, Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) had told His disciples earlier that He was "come to call ... sinners to repentance"! (Matthew 9:13) So in some way Yeshua's laying down His life would "call ... sinners to repentance"! But how?

The horrendous sinning of wicked men would be how the innocent Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) would be tortured and killed for no reason! With that having taken place, the sensibilities of people having seen it or heard of it would be terribly violated! And they would realize that sin does terrible things even to God! So their consciences would be sensitized to sin as being something to avoid, which would require that they understand what sin is!

Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) wrote, through His faithful apostle: "Sin is the transgression of the Law!" (1st John 3:4) So to avoid sin, one must "keep", "observe" or put a value on Yahuah's Torah or Law! That is what "repentance" is about; "repent" (Matthew 4:17) means "to think differently"! (Strong: Greek: 3340)

So Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) would lay down His life to "call sinners to repentance" or cause them "to think differently" about keeping, observing or putting a value on the commandments of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Torah or Law! And that would restore them to their places in His kingdom! For He said, in His Torah:

It shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Yahuah, our God (Deuteronomy 6:25)

And Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) gave "righteousness" (Matthew 5:20) as Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) requirement to "enter into the kingdom of Heaven"! (Verse 20)

So in the understanding Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) taught of His own self sacrifice it was to get Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) children back into keeping, observing or putting a value on the commandments of Yahuah's Torah or Law!

In contrast to this teaching by Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible contains another teaching, this one by Paul, who also spoke of "the remission of sins" (Romans 3:25); but this remission presumably is obtained by "faith in His blood" (Verse 25), Paul's teaching elsewhere that we are "justified by His blood". (Romans 5:9) In other words, the mere fact of Yeshua's blood being shed justified all, the only requirement being that one have "faith in" that blood's having done that.

Absent from Paul's teaching is any requirement that one repent or think differently about keeping, observing or putting a value on the commandments of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Torah or Law; fcr no need for that exists, according to Paul. On the contrary, he made it clear that his followers were to have nothing to do with Yahuah's law, having taught:

1 Ye could not be justified by the law of Moses! (Acts 13:39)

2 The righteousness of God without the law is manifested. (Romans 3:21)

3 A man is justified, by faith, without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28)

4 Ye are not under the law. (Romans 6:14)

5 Ye ... are become dead to the law. (Romans 7:4)

6 We are delivered from the law. (Romans 7:6)

7 2 If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing! 3 For I testify, again, to every man who is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you; whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace! (Galatians 5:2 to 4)

8 Ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:18)

9 6 [As] touching the righteousness that is in the law, [I am] blameless! 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ! (including “the righteousness that is in the law”) 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss (including “the righteousness that is in the law”) for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things (including “the righteousness that is in the law”) and do count them but dung!” (Philippians 3:6 to 8)

10 13 You, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross! (Colossians 2:13 and 14)

In sharp contrast to this blasphemy by Paul is Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) having said, of Moses: "46 He wrote of Me!" So, 47 if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5:46 and 47) So, while Yeshua's words "magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21), Paul's words diminish the law and make it dishonorable! Yeshua said:

2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do! (Matthew 23:2 and 3)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint, anise and cummin and have omitted the weightier matters of the law - judgment, mercy and faith! These ought ye to have done and not to leave the other undone! (Matthew 23:23)

We have the Emperor Constantine's bible scholars to thank for including Paul's writings in Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible; and the Roman Catholic Church, which descended from Constantine, has always been a strong exponent of Paul, from which the Protestant church got its regard for Paul, considering his writings to be "the word of God" along with the rest of the bible, which has created the confusion that Satan contrived to create, to make null and void what Yahuah endeavored to accomplish among His children by sending Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) to lay down His life as their "Good Shepherd"!

To repeat Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach's (the Messiah's or Christ's) warning: There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, who shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect!" (Matthew 24:24) How more "deceived" can an "elect" get than to include the writings of the false prophet in Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah's (I AM's) Holy Bible and call them "the word of God"?

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 of You by which to understand and appreciate why You sent Your Son into the world and what they are supposed to do about 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 truth about You that Yeshua revealed in laying down His Life as their Good Shepherd!

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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