The Bible has much to say about the deceitful human heart. In fact, the heart is mentioned more than 800 times and is an essential topic of discussion throughout the scriptures. When conducting a quick search of the word ‘heart’ in the Bible, one can quickly see that the term is used in various ways, depending on the context of each passage.
Matthew’s epistle connects it to treasure and our capacity to love God.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
The Psalmists write about a desire for a pure heart, a longing after the Father, and blessings that follow those who obey.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
The Prophet Jeremiah warned against trusting our hearts and, conversely, gave advice on how to seek after Yahuah.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he warned of how following after the desire of our hearts would lead to spiritual ruin.
Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen.
Mark tells us that defilement begins in the heart.
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil reasonings, adulteries, whorings, murders, thefts, greedy desires, wickednesses, deceit, indecency, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.”
When it comes to the biblical term ‘heart’ it is quite challenging to provide a short and precise definition. If you search for the biblical meaning of ‘heart’ you will come across numerous discussions attempting to define it.
In the Bible, the heart is considered the seat of life or strength. Hence, it means mind, soul, spirit, or one’s entire emotional nature and understanding.
This definition aligns well with the broad biblical usage of the term ‘heart’, encompassing both righteous and sinful applications.
To gain a deeper understanding, it would be beneficial to examine various aspects related to the heart, including the heart of Yahuah, the heart of man, the wicked heart, the repentant heart, the prideful heart, and the righteous heart. By breaking it down in this manner, we can embark on a more comprehensive study of this term.
Contrasting the Righteous and Unrighteous Heart
As ‘heart’ pertains to righteousness, the term connects with a devout believer’s mind, soul, spirit, and emotional nature, aligning with the ways of God where the believer walks in obedience to His Torah.
On the other hand, as it pertains to sin, the mind, soul, spirit, and emotional nature align with the fallen world’s ways (sinfulness), walking in opposition to God’s commandments.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV
As this passage asserts, the human heart is deceitful and wicked but follows with how Yahuah searches the hearts and minds of people to give them according to their ways.
On one hand, we find encouragement in passages like Psalm 37:4, which instructs us to “delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” On the other hand, there are passages like Romans 1:24, which states that “God gave them over to the desires of their hearts, leading to impurity and dishonoring of their bodies with one another.”
These scriptures show that whether we choose to live righteously or unrighteously, God allows us to pursue the desires of our hearts. As believers, it is crucial for us to remain focused and disciplined on following God’s ways, so we do not risk our hearts being turned towards sinful desires.
The Rebellious Heart
One of the fundamental challenges faced by many people worldwide is the disbelief in the existence of the Creator, a phenomenon commonly observed in the secular world around us. The first chapter of the book of Romans eloquently explains these deceptive matters of the heart, offering timeless wisdom that remains as relevant today as it was in the past.
After Shaul’s (Paul’s) greeting in Romans 1:1-16, in verses 17-32, Shaul summarizes the core of what leads to the heart being deceived. As verse 20 points out:
Since the creation of the world, His invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and Mightiness, for them to be without excuse.
That is to say, since the time of creation, the ways, laws, and morals of Yahuah are clearly evident in His creation, all around us. Yah’s everlasting power and mightiness are self-evident. If human beings are simply observant of what they witness in nature, they can observe the evidence of Yahuah’s creation, so mankind is without excuse. Psalm 19:1-6 confirms this point, declaring that “The heavens declare the glory of Yah.”
Despite the evidence of the Creator observed throughout the world, humankind continues to rebelliously ignore the truths right in front of them. Disbelief in the Creator is, of course, just one element of a compounding issue of delusion present in the world, as 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 warns:
For the secret of lawlessness is already at work – only until he who now restrains comes out of the midst. And then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Master shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth and bring to naught with the manifestation of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved. And for this reason, Elohim sends them a working of delusion, for them to believe the falsehood, in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.
Sadly, this is the situation in which we observe most people in the world where they are living in a state of delusion and where they have been turned over to the desires of a carnal, sinful heart.
Yahusha – Our Example
As believers, we must align our will and actions to agree with Yahuah’s will, walking as Yahusha walked. Yahusha was the example of perfect alignment of his life walk with the will of the Father as we see in John 4:34, which reads, “יהושע said to them, “My food is to do the desire of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.”
Likewise, in John 12:49-50, Yahusha states, “Because I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”
It is clear that the desires of Yahusha’s heart were 100% in alignment with Father Yahuah’s will and that the desires of his heart were righteous continually.
Throughout the scriptures, we find numerous examples and instructions from the disciples urging believers to follow Yahusha’s example and walk as he walked to achieve alignment of our lives with the will of the Father.
In John 15, the Messiah gives us a beautiful formula of how to remain in alignment with him throughout our life walk.
If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love. These words I have spoken to you, so that My joy might be in you, and that your joy might be complete. This is My command, that you love one another, as I have loved you.
The list of specific sins related to a deceitful human heart is endless, so there’s no need to delve into each one. The important point is that the root cause of heart matter deceptions stems from walking rebelliously against Yahuah’s Torah and His ways.
Walking in opposition to Yahuah’s Torah results in one being given over to the sinful desires of their own heart, which can quickly cascade into a multitude of sinful behaviors – ultimately destroying one’s soul at the Judgement.
We must remember the warning given by the prophet Jeremiah:
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
Ultimately, Yahuah will give us over to the desires of our hearts. Since He gifted us with a Free Will at creation, each person will naturally follow the desires of their heart and make their own choices during their lives.
To maintain alignment with Yah’s ways, it is crucial for believers to walk daily with Messiah Yahusha, keeping the Father’s ways and striving to show ourselves approved.
Through our continued growth and dedication to Yahuah, our hearts’ desires will align with Yah’s desire for our lives, and the two will be in harmony. It will result in the desires of our heart leaning toward righteousness and not sinfulness.
Ultimately, a righteous believer’s heart desires that Yahuah’s kingdom come and His will be done in all things.
I hope this brief discussion has blessed you, and I pray that Yahuah will continue to transform and renew our minds to live and walk in righteousness in a manner pleasing to Him. Shalom Aleichem, and thank you for reading.
As a father of three boys, I am often worried about how my sons will cope with the abounding wickedness we see across the world today. I recognize how challenging it will be for them to guard their hearts and minds against sin as they grow into young men. I couldn’t even begin to list all of the wickedness observed in the world today, as it will fill volumes of books. Yet, I am reminded that the scriptures teach us that there is nothing new about the sinful nature of humanity.
What has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 BSB
Ecclesiastes goes on to say in chapter 3:14-15:
I know that, whatsoever Elohiym does, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and Elohiym does it, the men should fear before him. That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and Elohiym requires that which is past.
Although, at present, demonic activity seems to be progressing quickly, rest assured the above verses are true, and these types of cultural sins and temptations have been around on earth in ages past in one form or another.
Other Torah observant fathers have faced these challenges before, albeit without the technology we have today, from Babylon to Ancient Greece and from Roman culture to modern cultures. So be encouraged, Yahuah was with those believers then, and He is with us today.
Righteous Sons Have Committed Fathers
As a father, I want to prepare my sons in the best way possible for their current challenges and the challenges to come. As a believer in Yahusha, I want to instill in them biblical morals and principles to lean upon as they face these challenges in the hopes that they make the best choices possible. Likewise, as any loving parent, I pray they make better choices than I did at their age and as young men.
I know that I don’t have all the answers, and I also know that with the generational gap, I don’t honestly know what it’s like to be in their shoes, walking in this wicked world in these trying times. What I do know is that the scriptures reveal Truth.1 The Bible warns us in 1 Peter 5:8 to:
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
Therefore, as a father, I must always be on guard, knowing that evil is always seeking after my family’s hearts and minds.
Sin is indeed assaulting Fathers and sons from nearly every angle. In the United States, masculinity is broadly under attack, where being a strong male is shunned. The World expresses the idea that strong men are not welcome in our society except where we might need them for security, wars, and entertainment. After that, strong men are expected always to be passive, submissive, and weak. However, as men of God, the scriptures remind us in several passages to be strong, brave, righteous, and imitators of Messiah Yahusha at all times.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged, for יהוה your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
Yehoshua 1:9 TS2009
Of course, this does not refer only to the physical but also to the spiritual, as it relates to being a good father, a good son, and a righteous man of Yahuah. To prepare and combat these spiritual battles we face each and every day, scripture advises us to prepare ourselves daily for what may come.
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:10-12 HCSB).
Ephesians 6:10-12 HCSB
There is, of course, a time and a place for physical strength and courage required of any father in protecting their family, but what fathers and sons are predominantly facing in this culture pertains to the spiritual attacks we encounter daily from the world.
Fatherhood In The Age of Wokeness
What advice can I give fathers and sons in coping with the onslaught of wokeness, lawlessness, sexualization, and perversion the world is attacking believers with? I can only turn to the scriptures for guidance because, as Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches, we are not to lean on our own understanding and are to seek wisdom from Yahuah as James 1:5 instructs.
I couldn’t begin to list all the verses and stories in Scripture which express the wisdom of Yahuah of how a father should instruct and prepare his sons for the world. However, the Bible, as a whole, expresses the character of Yahuah as the perfect example of a loving father, which is an example in and of itself of how we are to guide our sons in life.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For what it’s worth, I know from the scriptures that fathers, as servant leaders of the household, must set the example of righteous living so that our sons can see us walking the walk and talking the talk of scripturally righteous living. If we fathers serve Yahuah with all our heart, mind, and strength, perhaps Proverbs 17:6 will truly become a reality in the fullness of time, which reads, “Parents are the pride of their children.”
Actions indeed speak louder than words. As my oldest son quickly approaches the age of 16, even though his youthful foolishness is often on display, I have observed that when it counts, the biblical principles I have tried to instill in him come to his mind and are revealed in his actions.
We Must Trust Our Righteous Heavenly Father
I know and trust that my Father Yahuah is at work in my sons.
Additionally, as it pertains to preparing my sons for coping with the abominable wokeness of the world, the book of Proverbs is very fitting for today. I choose to be open, honest, and blunt with my sons about many of the difficult topics written about in Proverbs. Although I feel uncomfortable discussing whores, harlots, and other more mature subjects, I know that the woke, perverted people of the world would not hesitate to discuss these things with my sons and implant a sinful point of view in their minds.
Therefore it is critical that my sons hear these topics from me, a God-fearing father, from a biblical perspective first — so that the truth is already rooted as a foundation in their minds. If we fathers remain diligent, disciplined, and dedicated to biblical righteousness — unrelenting in teaching biblical truths to our sons — then I believe we will one day hear a good report spoken regarding them and experience the father’s joy spoken of in 3 John 1:4:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth”
1 Pontius Pilate famously asked Yahusha “What is truth?” Although philosophers come up short with a proper definition, the Scriptures are clear. There are three aspects from which we can measure Truth: Yahusha (John 14:6), the Word (John 17:17), and the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6).
By now you have probably heard about the artificial intelligence chatbot known as ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, this controversial new technology is described as a “natural language” processing tool powered by artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is categorized as a “conversational” A.I. language model that basically allows you to talk to a computer program.
So how does it work?
Unlike the experience of typing questions into a search engine text field, a chatbot runs on language model architecture and can hold a conversation with the end user. Whereas a search engine will index information and retrieve answers based on your query, OpenAI claims that ChatGPT doesn’t operate this way.
They say it does not have the ability to search the internet for answers. The way it “learns” is by using information called training data that it has stored in order to give a response. You can use it to…
build an app
write excel formulas
write blog posts & books
answer theological questions
And yet, many people are still concerned about its potential for mischief.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In its simplest form, AI is a collection of data that forms the building blocks of intelligent machines. Like the six-million dollar man from the 70s TV series, AI is made in man’s image by men. Its goal is to be “stronger, better, and faster” than humans. Speed, precision, and effectiveness are the hallmarks of this new technology.
In a 2019 article1 posted to the Forbes website, columnist Naveen Joshi asserts that artificial intelligence (AI) can be split into seven categories.
reactive (no memory, responds to stimuli)
limited memory (uses memory to learn and improve responses)
theory of mind (understands the needs of other intelligent entities)
self-aware (human-like intelligence and self-awareness)
According to Wikipedia, ChatGPT is in the “generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) family of language models. OpenAI collects data from ChatGPT users to train and fine-tune the service further. Users can upvote or downvote responses they receive from ChatGPT and fill in a text field with additional feedback.”
Many in the technology field argue that natural language AI doesn’t pose a danger to society in that it is not sentient. (However, the bot does use personal pronouns when responding to questions about its identity and abilities.)
As an AI language model, I am designed to generate responses that are as natural and human-like as possible. While I am not capable of having actual human experiences or emotions, I am constantly learning from a vast amount of text data to improve my ability to understand and respond to human language.
ChatGPT response to query
Harmless Fun or Something More Disturbing?
Out of curiosity I recently posed several questions to the ChatGPT bot to see how “it” would respond. I submitted four questions related to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Here is the transcript of my “conversation” with the bot:
Q: Did Jesus ever teach that the Law was done away with?
Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with. In fact, he explicitly stated that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.
In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Jesus was saying that he came to fulfill the Law, to bring it to its intended completion, and to show its true meaning and purpose. He was not saying that the Law was no longer relevant or that it was abolished.
Throughout his teachings, Jesus emphasized the importance of following God’s commandments and living according to his will. He taught that the two greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart, should, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 37-40)
So, while Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with, he did emphasize the importance of understanding the true meaning and purpose of the Law and living a life that is in accordance with God’s will.
Q: What is prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation?
Prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation refers to the idea that believers in Jesus Christ are already considered saved, even though they have not yet received the fullness of their salvation. In other words, salvation is seen as both a present reality and a future hope.
This concept is based on several biblical passages that speak of believers as having already been saved, even though they have not yet received the full benefits of their salvation.
For example, in Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast.”
Similarly, in Romans 8:24, Paul writes, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have.”
Prolepsis emphasizes the idea that believers are already part of the kingdom of God and have a secure future, even though they may still struggle with sin and face trials and difficulties in this life. It also emphasizes the importance of living a life that is consistent with the reality of salvation, by seeking to live in obedience to God’s will and by serving others in love.
Q: What is the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached?
The Gospel of the Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, is a central theme in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It refers to the message that Jesus preached during his time on earth, which was focused on the coming of God’s kingdom and the invitation to enter it.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is about more than just the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. It also includes the idea of living under the reign of God, submitting to His will, and participating in the work of building His kingdom on earth.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is a message of hope, peace, and transformation, both on an individual and societal level. It calls us to turn away from our old ways of living and to follow Jesus as our King, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and to love and serve others as He did.
In summary, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can enter into God’s kingdom and experience His rule and reign in our lives, both now and for eternity.
Q: Does “grace” exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments?
No, grace does not exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments. While salvation is a gift of grace that is received through faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to God’s commandments is still an important aspect of the Christian life.
In fact, Jesus himself said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). And in Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus taught that he did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. He also said that those who practice and teach God’s commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul, who wrote extensively on the topic of grace, emphasized the importance of obedience to God’s commandments in his letters to the early Christian communities. For example, in Romans 6:1-2, he wrote, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
In addition, James 2:14-17 teaches that faith without works is dead and that true faith will result in actions that reflect obedience to God’s commandments. Rather, obedience to God’s commandments is a natural outworking of true faith in Jesus Christ.
OMG. What Just Happened?
After reading through the responses, I was shocked. And amused. The chatbot’s answers lined up beautifully with my understanding of the gospel message that Yeshua preached. I experienced an emotional high.
However, after sharing the results and admitting to my “fascination” with this thing, a friend gently cautioned me to beware. She shared a video from Founded Earth Brothers titled “An Unclean Spirit Used AI to Speak To My Son.”
Founded Earth Brothers chose not to link to the AI engine the boy used. They did not want to tempt others by leaving a link — this is wisdom.
FEB says the site operators claimed that their artificial intelligence engine “uses neural language models as their foundation. A machine learns to generate what words might come next in any given context by reading enormous amounts of literature.” So, in fairness, there is no way to know if this had anything to do with ChatGPT.
I sent the FEB video link to friends who have three young sons, as a warning. As part of their AI research, they submitted the following queries to ChatGPT:
Q: Are you a disembodied spirit?
No. I am not a disembodied spirit. I am a computer program that runs on servers and interacts with users through various interfaces, such as text-based chat or voice-based assistants While I do not have a physical body, I exist as code that is executed on machines, and my abilities are limited to the tasks and functions that I have been programmed to perform.
Q: Can you lie?
As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not have beliefs or intentions like human beings do, so I cannot “lie” in the same sense. However, it is possible for me to generate responses that are factually inaccurate or misleading if I am provided with incorrect or incomplete information, or if my training data contains inaccuracies or biases. It is important to keep in mind that I am a machine learning model that processes information based on statistical pattersn, and my responses are only as good as the data that I have been trained on and the instructions I have been given.
Then, I stumbled upon this video:
Whose Testimony Will You Receive?
After reading through answers to my questions from the ChatGPT artificial intelligence bot I couldn’t help but be blown away initially — especially since the answers almost perfectly align with topics discussed in The Gospel Worth Dying For.
We should remember that there is safety in numbers. We should always be in relationship with others in the faith because they act as “checks and balances” on our behavior and keep us from straying off the narrow path that Scripture puts before us. (Psalm 1:1,2) Unclean spirits always tease and temp in areas of our lives where we are emotionally or soulishly invested.
You may recall several instances in the Bible where demons recognized Yeshua and the authority his name carried. They even verbally testified what they knew about him. But Yeshua would have none of it. Neither should we.
Demons also came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked the demons and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.
Luke 4:41 Berean Study Bible
“Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked the demon, “Be silent!” He said, “Come out of him!” At this, the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without harming him.
Luke 4:34,35 Berean Study Bible
This was more than just demons recognizing Yeshua as Messiah. By their testimony, they were implying that they were in league together and could have given the impression to onlookers that they were of one accord.
All the people wondered in amazement, and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?” But the Pharisees heard it and said, “This man casts out demons only by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan) the prince of the demons.”
Matthew 12:23,24 Amplified Bible
It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
Acts 16:16-18 Amplified Bible
Righteousness should never be in partnership with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6)
Sisters and brothers, please be careful with any experimentation that seems to pull you or your loved ones toward this.
1 Naveen Joshi, “7 Types of Artificial Intelligence,” www.forbes.com, 2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/06/19/7-types-of-artificial-intelligence/?sh=7d45aed3233e, Last accessed April 7, 2023
“Uh oh, Chatbots Are Getting a Teeny Bit Sentient” (https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a43601915/ai-chatbots-may-be-getting-sentient/)
“Legal expert issues AI warning after being defamed by ChatGPT” (https://www.wnd.com/2023/04/legal-expert-issues-ai-warning-defamed-chatgpt/)
My mother passed away in the Autumn of 2021 at the age of 97. On several occasions, during the final days of her life, she would point to someone apparently standing at the foot of her bed. “Do you see him?” she asked. “Who?” I would reply. “That man,” she said, with a big smile on her face.
No, I did not see the “man.” But I believe she saw something — or someone.
I choose to believe, based on what the Scriptures tell us, that she saw the angel assigned to soon escort her to the place where she would await her resurrection. (More on this later.)
Notice that I did not say the angel who would take her to Heaven. That’s because, contrary to what most of us learned in church, the Bible does not say Heaven is the next stop after we die. According to the Scriptures, both believers and unbelievers alike go to a place referred to as Sheol1 in Hebrew, or Hades2 in Greek.
Sheol In The Scriptures
It has been said that the problem with Sheol is that both the righteous and the wicked go there. Sheol is the mysterious place (grave) from which righteous souls will be resurrected when the trumpet sounds on the Day of the Lord. It also contains a sort of “waiting room” for unrepentant souls destined for the lake of fire known as Gehenna.3
The Prophets and Patriarchs made mention of Sheol on several occasions, and its whereabouts are noted in Enoch’s writings. In Genesis and Jubilees, a distraught Jacob declared that he would go there after examining Joseph’s blood-stained coat.
Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.” And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, “For I will go down into Sheol unto my son mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
Genesis 37:31-35 Berean Study Bible
Jacob examines Joseph’s coat
And the sons of Jacob slaughtered a kid, and dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood, and sent (it) to Jacob their father on the tenth of the seventh month. And he mourned all that night, for they had brought it to him in the evening, and he became feverish with mourning for his death, and he said: ‘An evil beast hath devoured Joseph’; And he mourned for Joseph, one year, and did not cease, for he said: Let me go down to She’ol mourning for my son.
The rebellious Korah and all his kin went down alive to the pit (Sheol) for trying to usurp Moses’ authority in defiance of the Almighty.
If these men die a natural death, or if they suffer the fate of all men, then Yahuah has not sent me. But if Yahuah brings about something unprecedented, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them and all that belongs to them so that they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have treated Yahuah with contempt.
The Prophet Enoch wrote this regarding Sheol:
In those days shall the earth deliver up from her womb, and Sheol deliver up from hers, that which it has received; and destruction shall restore that which it owes.
1 Enoch 51:1
Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Tobit spoke of Sheol and this place is mentioned in the Psalms, Habakkuk, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Job, and the writings of Baruch (Jeremiah’s scribe).4 It may surprise you to learn that Sheol is also mentioned by one of the three Hebrew men thrown into Nebuchadnezzer’s fiery furnace.5
While we do not understand the exact nature of Sheol, we do know that it is the first stop on our journey to the afterlife. Unfortunately, Sheol/Hades has been mistranslated as “death, pit, grave, and hell in various versions of the Bible. These descriptions have led to much confusion as to its features and whereabouts over the centuries.
According to Fred B. Pearson Th.D., Sheol is a place located in the lower parts of the earth where departed souls reside.6
The Old Testament word for the abode of the dead is Sheol. It is derived, as most scholars think, from a word meaning hollow. To the Hebrew mind Sheol was simply the state or abode of the dead. It was not the same as the grave, though it was so translated in some of the older versions. The grave was the resting place of the body from which the spirit had departed, while Sheol was the resting place of departed spirits, or personalities. Usually, Sheol was thought of as being deep down in the earth, as hell is often thought of today. In Old Testament Sheol is represented as the opposite of the upper sphere of life and light. It is “deep Sheol.” Its direction is “down.”
Enoch mentions that Abel is currently there, along with everyone else who has died since his murder at the hands of his brother Cain (Qayin). However, there is an important distinction made regarding this realm.
Always Sheol was regarded as the appointed place for all persons, the great rendezvous of the dead. Here the dead are gathered to their tribes and families. Often we find, especially in the Pentateuch, such expressions as “to be gathered to one’s people,” “to go to one’s fathers,” etc.
We learn from Enoch that the righteous dead are placed in separate compartments from the unrighteous souls in Sheol. (1 Enoch 22) According to Enoch’s vision, the compartment containing the righteous is “bright and there is a fountain of water in its midst.” The water is perhaps symbolic of resurrection; which makes sense in the context of the parable that Yeshua told of the rich man and Lazarus.
The Rich Man and Lazarus in Sheol
One of the best explanations given of our intermediate destination after death is found in Yeshua’s discourse with the Pharisees in Luke’s gospel, in which he expounded on the Law, Prophets, and the Kingdom.
So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. “And being in torments in Hades,he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
These verses are very illuminating. In them, we learn that Lazarus was carried by angels to a place called “Abraham’s bosom.” The epithet is used to describe a place of comfort.
“Bosom of Abraham” refers to the place of comfort in the biblical Sheol (or Hades in the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures from around 200 BC, and therefore so described in the New Testament) where the righteous dead abided prior to Jesus’ resurrection.
Bosom of Abraham. (2023, April 27). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosom_of_Abraham
We are also told that the rich man was suffering in a lower level of Sheol/Hades in that he had to “look up” to see Abraham and the beggar. Many theologians teach that the rich man was in a fiery Hell, suffering in the torment of literal and unquenchable flames. However, this conclusion has several flaws:
Torment here is referring to an emotional state, not literal flames (a Catholic notion)
When the Scripture speaks of this man being in torment, it is speaking of the emotional torment of a person awaiting the second death, which is total annihilation in the Lake of Fire known as Gehenna. The word for torment or agony is odunaó. HELPs Word Study offers this insight into what this Greek word means:
3600 odynáō (from 3601/odýnē, “very painful sorrow”) – properly, to experience intense emotional pain (WP, 2, 223), i.e. deep, personal anguish expressed by great mourning (LS). This root (ody-) literally means “go down” (as the sun in a sunset) and refers to consuming sorrow.
The rich man was not asking for a literal drink of water. He was desirous of something that he could never have — resurrection.
Contrary to what we were taught in church, the unrighteous dead will spend their time in a dark compartment of Sheol awaiting the final judgment at the end of the millennium. They will have had hundreds, if not thousands of years to contemplate their ultimate destiny in Gehenna — the lake of fire that will completely annihilate them. The wicked will not be forever burning in a lake of fire. This is a Catholic notion and insults the merciful and gracious nature of our Heavenly Father and his Son Yeshua, our High Priest
We Must Be Born Again
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Yeshua ties water and Spirit to the salvation experience. Once we are redeemed from Sheol and “quickened”, we will no longer be made of flesh and blood. In order to enter the New Jerusalem (heaven), our bodies will need to be recreated (reconstituted) and our nature will change.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:3,4 NKJV
When Yeshua told Nicodemus that we must be born again to enter into Yahuah’s Kingdom, the Pharisee was understandably confused. But he, like us, had to expand his way of thinking. He had to think of Sheol as a type of womb that would “birth” (resurrect) new “creatures” (creations) made of water and Spirit. (James 1:18) This event is known as the first resurrection. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
“Truly, truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
In John 3:1-21, Yeshua marks the way to eternal life with breadcrumbs for us to follow. These verses contain a wealth of information that contradicts much of what we were taught about the new birth, the way to Heaven, the punishment of Gehenna, and the authority Yeshua’s name carries. This authority is tied to his purpose and has a huge impact on how we understand the sequence of events that lead to our redemption.
Water holds historical, ritual, eschatological, and metaphorical significance in the life of a believer. It is tied to the conduct of individuals and nations. As a rule, covenant breakers, the lawless, and the disobedient are denied water. Those who desire to walk in righteousness are given it abundantly as a sign of moral purity.
Eschatologically speaking, when the righteous are caught up to the New Jerusalem, Yahuah will water our “dry bones.” At this time we will be sprinkled with clean water and purified. This sprinkling represents both the resurrection and the indwelling of the Spirit.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 36:24-26 New Living Translation
Life After Death
The Scriptures speak of our bodies metaphorically as a tent or sukkah — a temporary dwelling place. The essence of who we really are (our mind, will, emotions, and life experiences) is contained in our souls.
Now we know that if the early tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
2 Corinthians 5:1-3 Berean Study Bible
When we die our bodies return to dust, Yahuah withdraws His life-giving breath, and our souls go to the Sheol. The righteous souls who occupy “Abraham’s bosom” will be ransomed from there on the Day of the Lord, when they receive their resurrection bodies. The wicked will remain in their “holding cells” until the Great White Throne judicial proceeding is spoken of in Revelation.
This first resurrection has been called the rapture7 by many in mainstream Christianity. However, it can be more appropriately thought of as the first resurrection or even the second exodus.
I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
Hosea 13: 14 ESV
Your dead will live; their bodies will rise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust! For your dew is like the dew of the morning, and the earth will bring forth her dead.
Isaiah 26:19 Berean Study Bible
And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:2 Berean Study Bible
Sheol’s Connection to Biblical Cosmology
It must be stated that belief in Sheol’s existence beneath the earth is tied to biblical cosmology. Specifically a geocentric versus a heliocentric model of our home in this physical realm. Why? Because if you adopt a heliocentric mindset, then you will likely believe that the earth contains a liquid outer region surrounded by a solid iron core.
This model not only makes the existence of Sheol as described in the Scriptures almost impossible, but it also injects an element of doubt into what the Bible says about:
Whether you agree or disagree, please take time to test everything that is written in this article against Scripture. Ask the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide your thinking.8
When you understand what the Bible has to say about a place called Sheol, you will be well on your way to discovering what happens nanoseconds after you die. Your final destination will either be life in Yahuah’s (YHWH) Kingdom or total annihilation in the lake of fire — the second death. Sheol just is a stop along the way as we all await the resurrection.
1 Sheol (#H7585): underworld (place to which people descend at death). Hades, or the word of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates; grave, hell, pit.
2 (Strongs #G86) hádēs (from 1/A “not” and idein/eidō, “see”) – properly, the “unseen place,” referring to the (invisible) realm in which all the dead reside, i.e. the present dwelling place of all the departed (deceased); Hades. Source: HELPS Word-studies
3 (Strongs #G1067) geenna – Gehenna is a valley west and South of Jerusalem, also a symbolic name for the final place of punishment of the ungodly. Source: Strong’s Concordance. (Strong’s #G1067) géenna (a transliteration of the Hebrew term, Gêhinnōm, “the valley of Hinnom”) – Gehenna, i.e. hell (also referred to as the “lake of fire” in Revelation). Source: HELPS Word-study
5 The “Prayer of the Three Hebrew Children” was once included in the King James bible but was later removed. This is the prayer that Hadrach, Meshech, and Abednego (Hanania, Mishael, and Azariah) prayed while in the furnace. The furnace is symbolic of the Lake of Fire — the ultimate fiery furnace spoken of in the Book of Revelation.
Bible scholars have spent many hours and much ink expounding on what the easy yoke and light burden of Yahusha Ha’Mashiach really meant.
Some visualize a vibrant and strong Messiah on one side of the yoke joined by a crossbow to an exhausted and nearly dead human. They picture Yahusha dragging this feeble person along the narrow path.
One can see where some can come away with this perspective, which corresponds to the message of Psalm 68:19-20:
“Blessed be יהוה, Day by day He bears our burden, The Ěl of our deliverance! Selah. Our Ěl is the Ěl of deliverance; And to יהוה, the Master, belong escapes from death.”
Psalm 55:22 reads:
“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
It is vital to consider a few other verses to get a fuller contextual understanding. First, in Luke 11:46, Yahusha issues a warning:
And He said, “Woe to you also, you learned in the Torah, because you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”
Similarly, Psalm 38:4 reads:
For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden, they weigh too much for me.
Also, consider the context of loving your neighbor as yourself as described in Galatians 6:1-18:
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
With these considerations in mind, I would posit that scripture teaches the concept of a relationship with Messiah Yahusha by which we are yoked with him in our life walk. Indeed, he is the leader whereby we obediently follow him; doing our fair share of the work as we tread the walk of life down the narrow path toward salvation.
Additional passages for contextual consideration can be found in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37, Numbers 11:17, and Exodus 18:22.
Biblical, Hebraic, and Modern Historical Considerations
To further understand the context of Matthew 11:28-30 and how it applies to our lives today, let’s look at some biblical and Hebraic history as well as some modern-era considerations.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
As we dig into a few biblically historical examples, it is essential to consider not only the physical aspects of this subject but also the spiritual.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, by against principalities, against powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 Cepher
However, the underlying spiritual aspects of perverse laws calling evil good and good evil is an entire study in and of itself.
The Heavy Burden of Tradition
The eleventh chapters of both Luke’s and Matthew’s gospels are examples of how manmade laws and traditions had become excessively burdensome for the people, compared to how the Torah was meant to be interpreted and applied. The Pharisees of the time had elevated their traditions and added legal requirements to the Torah before Yahusha’s Passion.
Consider how many laws are in the Talmud, Mishna, and Gemara.
The Mishna alone adds 63 additional tractates. Among these are some thirty-nine categories which further define what is considered “work” on the Sabbath. Within these thirty-nine categories, are several additional sub-categories, thus adding even more laws and regulations to the already established 613 Mosaic Torah instructions.
With this in mind, one can see why Yahusha was so critical of the Pharisee’s additions and why he made it a point to invite the crowds to adopt an easier way to walk through life at his side.
Now consider a few modern-era examples we see in our time.
“Congress has enacted approximately 200–600 statutes during each of its 115 biennial terms, so that is more than 30,000 statutes which have been enacted since 1789.”
A 2014 Washington Post report reveals that “an average of 462 new laws per state” are added yearly.
The yoke and burden of God’s 613 Torah instructions, of which 248 are positive commandments (the do’s) and 365 are negative commandments (the don’ts), suddenly seem much lighter and less burdensome by comparison.
And, not all 613 laws apply toeveryindividual. It all depends on your particular life circumstance. For example, since the Temple no longer exists, we cannot offer up animal sacrifices as described in the book of Leviticus. We are living in a different administrative era. (1 Corinthians 12:5)
Keep in mind that there are gender (male or female) and marital-specific (married or unmarried) laws included in the 613 in addition to those that only apply to widows, orphans, strangers, etcetera.
An objective survey of the 613 Torah commands reveals that a believer is to observe even fewer than 613 regulations, thus proving the Torah that Jesus preached to be even less burdensome, and the yoke to be even lighter than one might imagine. It is undoubtedly lighter than the countless manmade laws and traditions which the world would have you place on your shoulders to bear throughout your lifetime.
If you ask a child if it would be easier to follow 613 or 30,000 laws, what would their answer be? Are we not instructed to “turn and become like children” in Matthew 18:3? Just something to consider during your time of prayer and meditation on the context of this message.
The Treachery of Good Intentions
What began with some Rabbis simply trying to add a few laws for “clarity” quickly snowballed into an exceedingly burdensome system that few, if any, could follow without violation.
As is the case in the United States, what began as a few constitutional laws and amendments, ballooned into a federal monstrosity with so many laws and regulations in place that even teams of lawyers, judges, and justices continually struggle to interpret and apply them.
The United States has a massive Federal Register that would take half a lifetime to read and interpret. Congress routinely enacts 4000-page bills, which the average educated person has no means to acquire the legal expertise necessary to comprehend. Is it even possible for a citizen to obey the laws of this land without error?
We are truly living in Mystery Babylon. (Revelation 17:5) The confusion we are all experiencing can be traced back to religious traditionalists who sneer at the Torah, thumb their noses at Yahuah, and arrogantly proclaim that they know better.
The Dangers of Ignoring The Truth
Let’s take another look at a Hebraic historical passage in the book of Genesis as well as passages from the extra-biblical book of Jasher to observe where the progressive path of law-creation and perversion can lead.
Many of us are familiar with the Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah where Yahuah heard the cries and supplications concerning Sodom’s cruelty. There is the apparent sexual immorality observed in the account, which is central to the morality and resulting judgment of the story. The passage describes how the people of Sodom want the two men (messengers of God in disguise) to leave Lot’s home so they can have intercourse with them.
However, when you study the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Jasher1, you can gainadditional insight into how perverse manmade laws had become in Sodom, beyond the legal rape culture described in Genesis.
When you read the insane narrative surrounding Eliezer’s trial in verses 17-21, the death sentence trial of Paltith in verses 34-35, and the similar fate of another woman in verses 36-43, it becomes painfully obvious how twisted and perverse manmade laws can become. Genesis 19 is a prime example of how Sodom’s depravity became an acceptable expression of the townspeople’s proclivities.
Sodom’s laws had strayed further and further from God’s laws which Noah had taught to all his descendants following the Flood2. In the not-too-distant past, these same laws were commonly understood to be ethical and moral.
As It Was In The Days of Noah
Let’s take a brief look at just a few of the insane anti-biblical laws in practice in the United States today.
Infanticide (the murder of babies in the womb and up to the moment of birth) remains legal in numerous states. Theft is seemingly legal in multiple states and cities. California’s Proposition 47, has made shoplifting “de facto” legal, where people cannot be prosecuted if theft is less than a specific dollar amount. Our nation has redefined marriage, which is historically and biblically defined as between a man and a woman in the Holy Scriptures.
Child abuse has been effectively legalized with the abominable practices of gender reassignment surgeries and chemical hormone experiments on minors.
Frivolous lawsuits abound where open persecution of Bible believers is allowed, providing virtually no protection under the law to prevent double jeopardy. Such as with the repeated lawsuits against the Colorado Christian Baker, who, despite winning a Supreme Court case in his favor, continues to face repeated lawsuits and harassment, with no justice served against the individuals violating the high court’s ruling.
There are also some federal agencies expressing anti-First Amendment sentiments regarding freedom of religion. Recent news of the FBI’s leaked documents shows that the bureau issued a warning that traditionalist Catholics pose an extremist threat.
These are only a few more recent examples. Countless other anti-biblical laws can be found with minimal research. As one can see, just as with the historical, moral decline of Sodom, the world is following a similar path of degradation, perversion, and destruction. However, this should be of no surprise to the Saints.
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV
So again, as believers, we are instructed by the Messiah Yahusha concerning these last days that we should expect our world to mimic what Noah experienced just prior to the flood.
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:26,27 KJV
With all this in mind, the question remains: How are believers to react and function in this crazy modern Mystery Babylonian world, whose laws and morals often oppose sound Biblical morals and principles? This question brings us back to the lesson taught by Yahusha in Matthew 11:28-30.
The yoke and burdens of Yahusha are easy and light compared to the madness of the world’s endless stream of laws, wokeness, changes, and double standards. It should be evident to Bible believers that the world’s yoke and burden are impossible to carry.
How can one maintain their biblical morality and loyalty to the kingdom of heaven’s laws, which the Creator uttered at the beginning of time, and simultaneously practice the perverse laws of the Mystery Babylon? Attempting to please the world and satisfy its demands amounts to trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded, constantly having your feet swept from underneath you on sandy ground, which has no foundation in truth.
However, with Yahuah’s laws and ways, the target is fixed and our feet are planted on solid ground. We are anchored to an unmovable foundation built on Biblical truth. Yahuah’s ways lead to freedom and rest for one’s soul – rest from the madness mentioned earlier in Genesis, Jasher, and modern societal anti-biblical law examples.
Yahusha Lifts Our Burdens
In closing, I want to clarify that I am not suggesting any rebellious anti-government sentiment. The purpose of these examples is to remind Bible believers that we are to be set apart and be a light to a lost world.
It is my hope and prayer that you will begin to see that the instructions provided in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Brit Ha’dasha (New Covenant) writings are not a heavy burden. Taking up the yoke of Yahusha, walking at his side on the narrow path, is indeed easy in comparison to the endless list of laws the world imposes on mankind.
As the scriptures teach in John 15:18-19, Matthew 5:16, Romans 12:2, and 1 Peter 2:9, we are not of the world and are called to Yahuah’s Kingdom as a set apart people. We are to live our lives set apart as an example to a very lost world that is burdened by a mountain of manmade laws. Yahusha, our Messiah, is a living example of how God’s laws model an easier way of life.
In the freedom with which Messiah has made us free, stand firm, then, and do not again be held with a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 TS2009
So יהושע (Yahusha) said to those Yehuḏim who believed Him, “If you stay in My Word, you are truly My taught ones, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:31,32 TS2009
Blessing, shalom, and all glory and Honor to Yahuah on high.
Photos by Ulrike Mai and Karl Fredrickson
1 We acknowledge the controversy surrounding the authenticity of the Book of Jasher. These references are made to boldly illustrate how mankind goes astray when Yah’s rule of law is perverted.
And now if you will indeed hear my voice, and keep my covenant, ye shall be to me a peculiar people above all nations: for the whole earth is mine. Exodus 19:5 LXX Septuagint
The concept of covenant is a rather interesting notion. Unlike a contract, covenants are very personal. From a biblical perspective, a covenant is a relationship between two people who make binding promises to one another with the objective of realizing a common goal. The party of the first part is Yahuah. The parties of the second part are believers in Messiah – the peculiar1 people spoken of in Exodus 19:5.
The Ten Commandments are the standard by which we can measure whether we are truly living righteously. When we walk in obedience to these commands we can (by faith) reach the common goal of resurrection and eternal life in the Father’s Kingdom. Those committed to keeping Yah’s covenant and obeying these commandments are therefore considered to be His peculiar people.
The Character of Peculiar People
The word “peculiar” in Greek is periousios (G4041).It means that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions, or a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession. The Hebrew word for peculiar is segullah (H5459). It can mean a treasure, something special, a jewel, or valued possession.
Peculiar people have certain characteristics:
They deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
They live sober, righteous, and godly lives.
They are filled with joy and love for Yahuah, Yeshua, and their neighbors.
They walk by faith.
Their blessed hope is in the first resurrection.
Teaching us that by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.
Titus 2:12-14 KJV
The Ten Commandments provide the fuel for denying ungodliness and set the standard for sober, righteous living. Unfortunately, many believers are being told by pastors that they are under a new covenant and the Ten Commandments no longer apply.
It is ironic however that even the secular judicial system uses the last five commandments as the basis for criminal convictions every day. A person choosing to break “the law of the land” ends up facing a judge – a stranger – who will decide their fate. The bottom line is every living, breathing person is subject to some kind of law.
The Ten Commandments provide the structure we need to live godly lives. Following this set of standards for sober, righteous living will help save us from a criminal conviction and keep us in covenant with Yah Most High.
The Destiny of Peculiar People
Peculiar people have a spiritual destiny rooted in faith and obedience.
They anticipate the coming Kingdom of Yah and His Son here on earth.
They will someday be ordained into Yeshua’s royal priesthood.
They have been beneficiaries of the mercy of Yah.
They take comfort in the fact that they are chosen people.
And ye shall be to me a royal priesthood, and a holy nation: These words shalt thou speak to the children of Israel.
Exodus 19:5-6 LXX Septuagint
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light: which at times were not a people but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
The word “mercy” is used twice in verse ten. It is the Greek word “eleeo” (G1653). It can mean“to have mercy on, to help one afflicted or seeking aid, to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, or to experience mercy.”
Peculiar People Obey the Ten Commandments
The first three of the Ten Commandments teach us to honor our Creator.
He is El Shaddai (Almighty God) the most powerful of all. We should have no other gods or false deities before Him.
Yahuah is the only True Eternal Living Elohim and man should not make nor bow down and worship any man-made idols or false deities.
We should not take Yahuah’s name in vain. Peculiar people give Him glory, honor, praise, and respect at all times.
The best place to start practicing peculiar behavior is to learn how to love the Almighty, His Son, and others. Hurting people may also need to forgive and learn to love themselves.
A fruitful life full of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace is certainly doable for those who remember what Yeshua said in Mark 9:23 —
If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
Peculiar people honor the fourth commandment which governs the seventh day of the week.
Remember the Sabbath dayto keep it holy.
Yahuah kept the Sabbath2 when He finished His six days of creation. Angels in Heaven guard (keep) the Sabbath along with our Heavenly Father and Yeshua, our High Priest.
And on the seventh day, God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.
Genesis 2:2-3 NLT
And all the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, these two great classes- He has bidden us to guard the Sabbath with Him in heaven and on earth. And He said unto us: Behold, I will separate to myself a people from among all peoples, and these shall guard the Sabbath, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify it unto Myself, even so, will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their God.
Jubilees 2:18-19 R.H. Charles Translation
And thus He created therein a sign in accordance with which they should guard the Sabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless Him who has created all things as He has blessed and sanctified unto Himself a peculiar people above all peoples and that they should guard the Sabbath together with us. And He caused His commands to ascend as a sweet savor acceptable before Him all the days.
Jubilees 2:22-23 Cepher
Complete rest is found by building a faithful relationship with the Father and His Son by following the Ten Commandments and other Torah instructions found throughout the scriptures. These include the fifth commandment which says to honor your father and your mother.
Yeshua (Jesus) says:
“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
John 15:10 NASB
The good news for those living under the bondage of a sinful life is they can call out to Yahuah through His Son Yeshua our High Priest, and receive much-needed help. This perfect free aid package is the covenant found in Exodus 19:5-24:8. It is available to everyone seeking truth and mercy from our Heavenly Father and His Son. Peculiar people understand and trust these promises.
1 Most new translations use “special” in place of peculiar.
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