I think we can all agree that most, if not all, of us began our journey with the Scriptures as they were written in English. The only exception that I will use is the name of our Messiah. Names are to transliterated not translated and therefore if the proper name can be found, it should be used and therefore since God defined the name of His Son as Yeshua, that is the name I will use. In the English text it is endered Joshua, Jehoshua or Jeshua, even in the New Testament. (see Heb 4:8 … same name translated as Jesus, but from the beginning has always been Joshua, Jehoshua or Jeshua so this begs the question, why change the appearance of His name since Joshua is the prophetic picture of our Deliverer at His coming)
Every Bible worth its weight contains a ‘cliff notes’ version of a Concordance and sadly the 1998 version of the Scriptures does not, therefore, the reason I still continue to use the KJV / NKJV alongside it. So all the Scripture references given here are from the NKJV. Also, explanatory notes are great but they are far from being useful in determining the meaning of many of the passages that are used by Christian doctrine that distorts the Gospel Message and the true purpose of the Word of God putting on flesh.
I have also found that constantly referring back to the Hebrew or the Greek when discussing Scripture with my family and friends to be a total turn off. They don’t want to deal with foreign languages; they only want to deal with what is in front of them, their English bibles. So shouldn’t we first, with love and compassion, be able to show them the discrepancies in English first before we even think to go off into foreign territory?
Now there is another English tool that we can use here in America and that is the first English dictionary written for America and adopted by the US Congress for use in Congress as well as all schools of learning, the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary. It is a great tool if one takes the time to use it along with the ‘cliff notes’ Concordance and is available for free at books.google.com. Take for example the word ‘repent’ which has been watered down by Christian doctrine. How did America’s founding fathers and early American preachers define this word?
“repent: to remember with sorrow [et. repair] Jer viii.”
So we see that repent means to be sorrowful of something that is in need of repair. And according to Mr. Webster and the American government, we need to read Jer 8 to understand what repent means. OK, let’s read Jer 8
Jer 8:1 “At that time,” says the LORD, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves.
Jer 8:2 They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth.
Jer 8:3 Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the LORD of hosts.
Jer 8:4 “Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Will they fall and not rise? Will one turn away and not return?
Jer 8:5 Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return.
Jer 8:6 I listened and heard, But they do not speak aright. No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his own course, As the horse rushes into the battle.
Jer 8:7 “Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.
Jer 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
Jer 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?
Jer 8:10 Therefore I will give their wives to others, And their fields to those who will inherit them; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is given to covetousness; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.
Jer 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.
Jer 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment They shall be cast down,” says the LORD.
Jer 8:13 “I will surely consume them,” says the LORD. “No grapes shall be on the vine, Nor figs on the fig tree, And the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.” ‘ “
Jer 8:14 “Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, And let us enter the fortified cities, And let us be silent there. For the LORD our God has put us to silence And given us water of gall to drink, Because we have sinned against the LORD.
Jer 8:15 “We looked for peace, but no good came; And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
Jer 8:16 The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan. The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones; For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it, The city and those who dwell in it.”
Jer 8:17 “For behold, I will send serpents among you, Vipers which cannot be charmed, And they shall bite you,” says the LORD.
Jer 8:18 I would comfort myself in sorrow; My heart is faint in me.
Jer 8:19 Listen! The voice, The cry of the daughter of My people— From a far country: “Is not the LORD in Zion? Is not her King in her?” “Why have they provoked Me to anger With their carved images— With foreign idols?”
Jer 8:20 “The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!”
Jer 8:21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; Astonishment has taken hold of me.
Jer 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery For the health of the daughter of my people?
Clearly the context of repent is to seek forgiveness in returning to the Law of God. In doing this, one turns their back on sin and moves forward by walking in His righteousness path rather than continuing to backslide away from the righteous path He laid out for us in His Law. And who does God blame for this backsliding? Everyone, even the prophet, the priest who continues to preach and teach falsehood as truth and especially the scribes who put His Word to pen, those who add to His words and take away from His words. So we must be careful when reading. If something is in italics, it is an addition and we must make sure that addition compliments what He says or if it changes the context of what He says so it seems to stand out on its own, not conforming to everything that is said around it.
Then there is the preacher or teacher who presumes to change the definition of a word. Take for instance the word ‘backslide’ used in Jer 8. I recently heard a local Baptist preacher say (and I am paraphrasing here for time and space), “I know the bible defines ‘backsliding’ as this, but I tell you it means this”. So now this preacher has just taken the authority away from our Creator to define His own words giving the impression that our Creator is not capable of giving us a proper definition of ‘backslide’ for today’s times. How arrogant and puffed up! To assume we know better than the Creator of our language, the English language! What did Webster have to say of ‘backslide(ing, er)’?
“to fall off, to apostatize, an apostate, one who neglects his vows of obedience and falls into sin, Jer v(5). 6
Let’s read it in context of what He says it to mean by backing up to Jer 5 verse 4.
Jer 5:4 Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD, The judgment of their God.
Jer 5:5 I will go to the great men and speak to them, For they have known the way of the LORD, The judgment of their God.” But these have altogether broken the yoke And burst the bonds.
Jer 5:6 Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, A wolf of the deserts shall destroy them; A leopard will watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces, Because their transgressions are many; Their backslidings have increased.
We see this defined by Paul in Rm 8 when he alludes to the backslider as one who is carnally minded, one who doe snot seek the Law of God, but rather seeks to find God on his own terms and in his own way..
Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
The ‘cliff notes’ version of the Concordance in my KJV refers us to Jer 3 and Prov 14 to understand what backslide (ing, er) means, so let’s test it.
Jer 3:19 “But I said: ‘How can I put you among the children And give you a pleasant land, A beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?’ “And I said: ‘You shall call Me, “My Father,” And not turn away from Me.’
Jer 3:20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says the LORD.
Jer 3:21 A voice was heard on the desolate heights, Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel. For they have perverted their way; They have forgotten the LORD their God.
Jer 3:22 “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” “Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God.
Jer 3:23 Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, And from the multitude of mountains; Truly, in the LORD our God Is the salvation of Israel.
Jer 3:24 For shame has devoured The labor of our fathers from our youth— Their flocks and their herds, Their sons and their daughters.
Jer 3:25 We lie down in our shame, And our reproach covers us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, We and our fathers, From our youth even to this day, And have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”
Pro 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.
Pro 14:9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.
Pro 14:10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.
Pro 14:11 The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish.
Pro 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Pro 14:13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.
Pro 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.
Pro 14:15 The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.
Pro 14:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.
Now take notice of Prov 14:12 & 14, this is directly related to what Paul said in Rm 8. The one who God calls ‘good’ (wise) is one who is satisfied with the rules given from our Creator above. They see no need to add to or take away from His Word in order to build themselves up and create their own way to the Creator.
As Paul also states in his epistle to the Romans, not all are called for the same purpose, but all are members of the same body.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
Therefore some are given to the study the Scriptures from a Hebrew or Greek perspective and others are given to the study from an English only perspective. I fully enjoy studying from all perspectives, but I understand that not all are called to do so and therefore, we must respect each ones individual calling in the body of Messiah and give our brethren and sisters in Messiah who are called to the study of His Scriptures from the English perspective their due respect as it does have its place in the body of Mashiach and His vision for the gathering of His lost sheep.
So as Paul and Peter called us to do, let us be prepared to give an answer, an answer in a language in which the one we are speaking to understands lest His words are brought to nothing but gibberish to the ones they are spoken to.
1Co 14:6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?
1Co 14:7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?
1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
1Co 14:9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
1Pe 3:13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED.”
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
1Pe 3:19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
1Pe 3:20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
And now that one has a foundational understanding of repentance in light of backsliding according to an American founding era father in our English language, let’s move this into the context of His feast days. While Christendom has replaced all but Pentecost with ones of her own, and since these words cannot be found in the ‘cliff notes’ Concordance but being such important times, one would think they should be included, what hath Mr. Webster to say of the Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas?
CHRIST’MAS, n. [Christ and mass. Sax Aiassn, a holy day or feast ; D. hersmis.] The festival of the christian church served annually on the 25th day of ,December, in memory of the birth of Christ, and celebrated by a particular church service. The festival includes twelve days.
E’ ASTER, n. [Sax. easter ; G. ostem ; supposed to be from Eostre, the goddess of love or Venus of the north, in honor of whom a festival was celebrated by our pagan ancestors, in April ; whence this month was called Eostermonath. Eoster is supposed by Beda and others to be the Astarte of the Sidonians. See Beda, Cluver, and the authorities cited by Cluver, and by Jamieson, under Paysyad.]
A festival of the christian church observed in commemoration of our Savior’s resurrection. It answers to the pascha or passover of the Hebrews, and most nations still give it this name, pascha, pask, paque.
Now considering that it was the false worship of God that continued to get Israel in trouble by continually replacing His instructions for worship of Him, with their own definition of worship, how does Mr. Webster define obedience to God?
DISOBE’DIENCE, n. [dis and obedience.] Neglect or refusal to obey ; violation of a command or prohibition ; the omission of that which is commanded to be done, the doing of that which is forbid ; breach of duty prescribed by authority. By one man*s disobedience, many were made sinners. Rom. v.
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no Law.
So even Mr. Webster knew that without God’s Law, there is nothing to accuse one of even being a sinner, so God’s Law must therefore be active at all times and for all times for all peoples of the world as Mr. Webster shows us in his reference to Scripture in defining what defines sin is. So again Mr. Webster displays the need to let Scripture define what the words in Scripture mean, therefore since Mr. Webster does not reference Scripture in his definitions of Easter or Christmas, but rightly defines them as things that were added as a “REPLACMENT OF” and as an “ADDITION TO” what God had commanded, therefore these Christian days of celebration have no biblical foundation from which one can gleam the purpose of these times set aside for worship of the Creator by early Roman Christendom. Neither do they lead us to any Scriptural authority from God for enjoining them to His Name. And the fact that even Webster attaches Easter to pagan sun god worship should bring trembling to every American Christian who thinks to continue in the practice of such a tainted celebration that is so dearly beloved by pagan sun god worshipers to this very day!
But what of the Sabbath? Does Mr. Webster reference Scripture for either the seventh day or the first day?
SAB’BATH,n, [Heb, to cease, to rest] 1. the day which God appointed to be observed by the Jews as a day of rest from all secular labor or emplymens, and to be kept holy and consecrated to His service and worship. This was originally the seventh day of the week, the day on which God rested from the work of creation; and this day is still observed by the Jews and some Christians, as the sabbath. But the Christian church very early begun and still continue to observe the first day of the week, in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ on that day, by which the work of redemption was completed. Hence it is called the Lord’s day. The heathern nations in the north of Europe dedicated this day to the sun, and hence their Christian descendants continue to call the day Sunday. Nut in the United States, Christians have to a great extent disregarded the heathen name and adopted the Jewish name sabbath. 2. Intermission of pain or sorrow; time of rest. 3. The sabbatical year among the Israelites. Lev xxv.
Although Webster does not include Gen 2:1-4, he does direct us to it being the source and definition of the Sabbath. But much to our dismay, Webster while pointing us to Lev 25, he leaves out Lev 23 in regards to the 4th commandment (Ex 20:8-11). But what is revealing is the fact that Sunday has always been associated with pagan sun god worship, so to disregard the seventh day in lieu of the first day, one has replaced the meaning of the resurrection of Messiah, as a sign of restoration, with the worship of the created flesh who was resurrected. But of course one would have to believe that Yeshua did not fulfill the Jonah prophecy by raising before the first day of the week, on His Sabbath Day, but rather stayed in the grave longer than the time He was prophesied to be in the grave in order to bring forth a new command related to an eight day week as is promoted in Christian doctrine. The eighth day according to God’s Word is always in reference to the duration of time for a festival or the number of days after a child’s birth, his eighth day of life. But the eighth day is never used in the context of the counting of a period of time regarding the time set aside for a completed ‘week’ that God defined for us in Gen 1 -2:4 in determining the counting of time regarding days, weeks and years.
It is in Yeshua’s resurrection on the seventh day that the promise of the eternal Sabbath rest was fulfilled. Therefore, to change the seventh day Sabbath to any other day of the week changes the meaning of eternal sabbath rest as beginning on the seventh day as He gave it to us in the beginning. A change from the seventh day denies the fulfillment of the prophecy of His resurrection, thereby denying Him and replacing Him with some other false deity that is said to have risen on the first day of the week. Yeshua never commanded us to worship either He or the Father on the first day of the week and Yeshua never uttered a word to us to honor His upcoming resurrection with a separate day of worship called the ‘Lord’s day’ or the ‘Eighth day’. Quite the contrary, Yeshua stated this in regards to His return to gather us so that we may enter into the eternal Sabbath with Him,
Mat 24:20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
If the seventh day Sabbath was not to be continued, why does He tell us to pray we won’t have to take flight away from the adversary on the Sabbath as if He expected that we would still be honoring the Creator and His Word, by continuing to observe His 4th commandment regarding the seventh day of the week?
And what of the promise of Is 56?
1 Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” 3 Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying, “The LORD has utterly separated me from His people” … 6 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant— 7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Or the warnings of Ezekiel 20 and 22?
20:11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. [see Ex 31:13-17]
22:26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
Or how about the reiterating of the covenant of promise in Zach 2?
10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
No, we do not need to use foreign languages to restore the Gospel message of Yeshua the Messiah, we simply need to understand and use our own English language and everything past that is merely for our personal understanding for whatever further purpose He has called us to serve.
Shabbat Shalom! May your journey in, through and of His Word in our English language be blessed and fruitful!