The Feasts, Sabbaths, and Sabbatical Year
These holidays with their past and future meanings are discussed in detail in other posts such as Coca Cola and the Santa Claus Suit. Sufficient for me to say here is that YHWH took the keeping of His rest days and years, and celebrations so seriously He sent the Israelites into captivity for seventy years when they failed to obey the Laws pertaining to them. In addition the man found collecting firewood on the Sabbath in the wilderness was put to death as the Law prescribed (EX. 31:4, NUM. 15:32-36).
Yet look at the state of these special days now. The Church has no idea of their true meanings. Substituted for them are ancient Roman and pagan feast days called by the names of gods. Even our days of the week and months are named for gods and goddesses, as a quick look in a good dictionary will reveal. Deliberately failing to keep YHWH’s Sabbaths, like adultery, rape, murder, homosexuality, bestiality, and witchcraft, is a sin unto death. No truer words are ever spoken when overwork is described as working oneself to death. How many heart attacks occur in those whose hearts are not right with YHWH regarding resting each Sabbath day (or at least one day a week)?
There is to be no interest charged among YHWH’s people (EXODUS 22:5). Father knew this practice led to huge debt within a nation, culminating–as we see happening currently worldwide–in the economic collapse of it, widespread unemployment, rampant inflation, spiraling prices, dissatisfaction among the populace, out of control crime, and eventual anarchy.
The Jews were expelled from country after country for their practice of usury. They mistakenly thought they alone were YHWH’s chosen so were permitted to lend to the goyim* on interest. Little did they know the curse was in fact on them by charging interest to the descendants of the ten lost Israelite tribes of the former northern kingdom.
Not only must we refrain from lending on interest, we are forbidden to be in debt at all (DEUT. 15:6, PRO. 22:26) for it also attracts a curse, often of poverty, failed businesses, and economic depression as described above. Usurers were also put to death (EZE. 16:13).
I once received a phone call from a telemarketer canvassing about housing loans.
“No, thank you, I’m a Christian and I never get into debt. It’s a sin,” I told the caller.
A shocked reply came back, “I’m a Christian too, but I’ve never heard that. As a matter of fact my boss is my pastor.”
I quoted some relevant Scriptures to him and offered many more for my Christian brother to search out himself.
“No, no,” he said, and rang off, clearly agitated. I’ve often wondered what happened with that situation once that man could no longer plead ignorance before the righteous Judge.
Circumcision of Baby Boys
According to GENESIS 17:10-12, 14 we must circumcise baby boys on the eighth day as a sign of the covenant between us and our Heavenly Father. Sadly, it has only been in the last generation that this duty has been neglected. See Be Circumcised, Was Titus Compelled or Not? and Circumcision and Ear Piercing.
A Childless Widow to Marry Her Brother-in-Law
Another Law in DEUTERONOMY 25:7-10 states that if a man dies without children, leaving a wife, one of his brothers, or the next kinsman that may lawfully marry her, must marry the widow to raise up the first son as the dead man’s child. In the Church, all men are brothers so the widow would be free to marry any Christian man. In any case in the next Scripture permission is given, albeit reluctantly, for the brother of this woman’s dead husband to release the widow.
It would be a simple matter for the first son of such a coupling to be named for the dead husband, but it is doubtful today this Law would apply as there is no land allotment for sons. Like the Laws of slavery, it may no longer be applicable. And in Australia at least all children of a marriage must take at birth the father’s name by Australian law. So even if it was undertaken according to the Word, it would have to be unofficial. If the situation arises, the will of YHWH should be sought.
Recompense and Punishment
Jails in ancient Israel were unlike whose we have today. They were to hold accused persons until a suitable punishment could be meted out. Punishments were rendered according to the Law: capital punishment for murder, rape, adultery, witchcraft, homosexuality, bestiality, and Sabbath breaking; a thief had to repay the amount he had stolen plus more, even to the point of becoming his victim’s slave; deliberate sin was punished by the guilty being ‘cut off’ or cast out, perhaps sent to live in a desert area. There were also public beatings. Somewhat removed from our politically correct wrist slappings of today!
Tempered by grace, criminals who had not committed deliberate sin or one unto death could be given one chance but with counselling. Perhaps there are mitigating circumstances. If so, how can he or she be assisted to live a righteous life? Along with community service or help to repay the theft, the perpetrator could be ordered to attend church and a Bible study for a period of time. A second offense, of course, deserves the required penalty.
What about the death penalty? One who has committed evil deserving of such should be removed permanently from society to cleanse it and prevent re-offense by the guilty party. Appropriate spiritual guidance should first be administered to them for the salvation of their soul should they choose that way.
*Goyim is the Hebrew word for Gentiles. Singular: Goy.