Deuteronomy 30—”Return to Me!”

Deuteronomy 30:1, It shall come to pass. This is an end time prophecy concerning the people of YHVH.

Deuteronomy 30:1–5; 31:16, Returning to Elohim. Israel’s departure from her covenantal agreements with YHVH was assured. Moses prophesied it. But repentance (verse 2) was always an option—an open door of return back to right relationship with YHVH. Have you repented of straying from his Torah-commands whether out of ignorance or purposely?

Deuteronomy 30:2, You will return unto YHVH. The word return is shuv/CUA, which means “to come back, turn back.” Bear in mind that one cannot turn back to what one never had in the first place. This prophecy says that those who YHVH has scattered because of their disobedience to his Torah-covenants will return to him. To whom is this referring? In Hosea 3:4–5, we find similar language:

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek YHVH their Elohim, and David their king; and shall fear YHVH and his goodness in the latter days. (emphasis added)

Relate this to Revelation 18:4 and Malachi 4:4–6 along with Jeremiah 16:19 (read verses 15–21 for context).

Let us not forget that, “Ideal repentance is motivated by the desire to return to [Elohim], not because one seeks to rid oneself of suffering, and benefit from Divine blessings” (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash p, 1091).

With all your heart. Moses makes the heart of man a major focal point in this chapter (see also vv. 6, 10, 17. The subject here is about returning to Elohim after having turned away from him, but this can only happen when the heart of man is willing disposed to do so, and not a minute before that. Repentance is all conditional on the heart of each individual person.

This scriptural passage presents the view that if YHVH’s people will return to him with all their heart and soul from the places he has scattered them because of their disobedience and that of their forefathers (v. 2) that he will begin to gather them together in their foreign lands (vv. 3–4). Eventually this will result in his people returning to the promised land of their inheritance (v. 5). In the process, after his people have inclined their hearts to following YHVH, he will respond by circumcising their hearts and that of their children to love him more, so they can walk in harmony with him by keeping his Torah commands, so he can bless them. This is all predicated upon his people making a choice to obey him (v. 19). Once the choice is made, he will pour out his grace upon his people, so they can continue to obey him with all their hearts. 

Deuteronomy 30:3, From all the nations to which YHVH … has scattered you. The Scriptures over and over again record that the house of Israel (Ephraim) would be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Ezek 34:6, 12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52), and that YHVH will regather them in the end times and return them to the land of Israel (Deut 30:3–5). Deuteronomy 32:26 says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash comments, “This refers to the exile of the ten tribes who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again.

On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men. …” the same Chumash states, “This is a reference to the exile of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.” It goes on to say that though nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely, YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it” (pp. 1105–1106). 

Nineteenth orthodox Jewish scholar S. R. Hirsch in his commentary on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner …,” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner ….” He, too, relates this fate to the Ten Tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (p. 650). 

Some in the Christians deny that these Scriptures passages pertain to the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and instead insist that they are speaking about Judah (the Jews) only. They insist that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel starting in 1948 is the fulfillment of these prophecies and the ten tribes of Israel are lost forever. How can this a correct understanding in light of the Scriptures and the Jewish sages interpretations of those scriptures that states again and again that the ten tribes will return at the end of the age to be reunited with the Jews under the reign of Messiah Son of David (Ezek 37:15–28)?

Deuteronomy 30:6, Circumcise your heart.Obedience to YHVH is all about the heart, all about love and relationship between him and us. Are his commandments too difficult to keep? (See verses 11–14.) Ultimately obedience is about our making choices. What are those choices and what are both the long-term and short-term results of those choices? (Compare verses 29:27–28; 30:9, 20 with 30:15–16, and relate this to what Yeshua told the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19:16–19.)

Deuteronomy 30:6, Will circumcise your heart…and of your seed. This is a prophecy concerning the Renewed Covenant, to which Jeremiah makes reference (Jer 31:31, 33) as does Ezekiel (Ezek 36:26–27), and the writer of Hebrews (Heb 8:8).

 

For a spiritual breakthrough in your life: Break up the fallow ground of your heart…

Psalm 51:17, Sacrifices…broken spirit…contrite heart. Broken is the Hebrew word shobar meaning “to burst, break (down, off, in pieces, up), bring to birth, breach” and refers to a one’s personal spirit that YHVH has broken into or breached. This is necessary if there is to be a breakthrough in one’s spiritual life. 

The fallow ground of one’s heart must be broken up or tilled for righteousness to occur as one seeks YHVH (Hos 10:12). 

The hard and carnal heart of each person must be circumcised (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4; Col 2:11). This occurs through repentance from sin as this psalm explains. 

It is then that not only one receives salvation, but joy comes with that salvation (v. 12) along with gladness (v. 8). Why? Because YHVH has lovingly purged and cleansed us of our sins and blotted our past sins out (vv. 1, 2, 9) and the guilt therefrom (v. 14) and has us whiter than snow (v. 7). 

When does this happen? Only when we acknowledge our sins (v. 3), and not until then. This freedom from sin and spiritual heart, mind, and emotional cleansing only occurs when we humble ourselves, allow the light of YHVH’s truth (v. 6) to shine into deep and dark areas of our lives, and to expose the sin that lies therein (v. 3b). 

This process all starts when we allow YHVH to break open the fallow ground of our hard, stoney and sinful hearts (v. 17). When this happens, the good seed of his Word can fall onto the fertile soil of our lives like rain on parched ground resulting in a rich harvest (Matt 13:23) of spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22–25). So repent of sin!

 

Prepare for the fall feasts: Repent of sin! Here’s how…

Psalm 51:17, Sacrifices…broken spirit…contrite heart. Broken is the Hebrew word shobar meaning “to burst, break (down, off, in pieces, up), bring to birth, breach” and refers to a one’s personal spirit that YHVH has broken into or breached. This is necessary if there is to be a breakthrough in one’s spiritual life. 

The fallow ground of one’s heart must be broken up or tilled for righteousness to occur as one seeks YHVH (Hos 10:12). 

The hard and carnal heart of each person must be circumcised (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4; Col 2:11). This occurs through repentance from sin as this psalm explains. 

It is then that not only one receives salvation, but joy comes with that salvation (v. 12) along with gladness (v. 8). Why? Because YHVH has lovingly purged and cleansed us of our sins and blotted our past sins out (vv. 1, 2, 9) and the guilt therefrom (v. 14) and has us whiter than snow (v. 7). 

When does this happen? Only when we acknowledge our sins (v. 3), and not until then. This freedom from sin and spiritual heart, mind, and emotional cleansing only occurs when we humble ourselves, allow the light of YHVH’s truth (v. 6) to shine into deep and dark areas of our lives, and to expose the sin that lies therein (v. 3b). 

This process all starts when we allow YHVH to break open the fallow ground of our hard, stoney and sinful hearts (v. 17). When this happens, the good seed of his Word can fall onto the fertile soil of our lives like rain on parched ground resulting in a rich harvest (Matt 13:23) of spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22–25). So repent of sin!

 

What Is True Biblical Repentance?

It is time to start preparing for the fall biblical festivals of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and the Eighth Day (Shemini Atzeret). These fall biblical festivals prophetically represent the events surrounding the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah and the establishment of his eternal kingdom on this earth. The feasts are the steps in the plan of redemption, salvation, sanctification and the glorification of man. When Yeshua returns, he will bring spiritual rewards with him including the reward of eternal life for his righteous saints. Are you ready to meet him?

As we head into the fall festival season, it is time to take serious stock of our lives and to eliminate the sin therein.

We are currently in the sixth month of the biblical year, which is the time to prepare for the seventh month when the fall feasts occur. Preparing involves repenting of sin. Repentance is not a popular subject, and therefore is not taught about much in the modern church. So what is true biblical repentance? The article below will answer this question.

There is no salvation without true repentance!

What would you hear if you were to ask the average Christian to summarize the basic gospel message in one sentence? You might hear something like “Jesus loves you and has wonderful plan for your life.” Or you might hear, “Jesus died for your sins, so that you might go to heaven.” Some of the more “modern and progressive” or so-called “seeker friendly” Christians might say, “Come to Jesus and he’ll improve your self-esteem,” or “If you want good health and lots of wealth, come to Jesus.” But how does the Bible summarize the gospel message? That’s a question that almost nobody asks and no one knows or preaches about, even though the answer should be obvious to anyone who has read the Gospels. The truth is shocking and radically different from what most modern Christians think!

Matthew in his Gospel after describing the circumstances around the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, opens up by introducing the ministry of John the Baptist, the anointed prophet from heaven who came to prepare the way for the Messiah. The Gospel writers summarizes the preaching of John as “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2). In the next chapter after his brief introduction to John’s ministry, Matthew then brings Yeshua the Messiah onto the scene. After Yeshua’s temptation in the wilderness, Matthew records, “From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt 4:17). Mark in his gospel records the same event as follows: “Now after John was put in prison, Yeshua came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15). Finally, on the day of Pentecost after being pricked in their hearts byu Peter’s convicting sermon, the crowd asked the apostle what they should do next. His answer was, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). A central and recurring theme in all of these passages is the idea of repentance from sin—a biblical concept that is understood by few modern Christians, and a message that is seldom preached in modern pulpits anymore. All of this is in spite of the fact that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews refers to “repentance from dead works” as “one of the [six] elementary principles of Messiah [or the gospel message]” (Heb 6:1-3).

So what is repentance? How does Scripture define repentance? It is a Hebraic concept, so we must go back to the Hebrew Scriptures to discover the answer. 

Hebrew Word Definitions

There are two biblical Hebrew words that together present the complete picture of what true biblical-based repentance is. The first word is nacham meaning “to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (The TWOT), the origin of the root of this word seems to reflect the idea of “breathing deeply,” hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or comfort. The root occurs in the Ugaritic … and is found in Old Testament (OT or Tanakh) proper names such as Nehemiah, Nahum and Menehem. The Greek Septuagint (or lxx) translates the Hebrew word nacham by the two Greek words metanoeo and metamelomai. The Greek word metanoeo means “to change one’s mind, that is, to repent or to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.” Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says this of nacham

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The Ability to Repent—A Gift from Elohim?

2 Timothy 2:25–26, Grant them repentance.This verse indicates that sinful humans can’t even repent of sin properly on their own strength. Repentance is a gift that YHVH grants to those who have a heart for it—that they will come to their senses and turn from falling prey to the snares of the devil that have bound them in sin. Moreover, verse 25 indicates that YHVH may or may not grant people this gift. 

Elsewhere we read that YHVH is not willing that anyone should perish, but desires that all men everywhere come to repentance (Acts 17:30; 2 Pet 3:9). From these scriptures, we may conclude that whether YHVH grants the gift of repentance or not depends on whether a person is sick enough of his sin to cry out to YHVH for help in desperation for deliverance. 

This gift of repentance can occur at the beginning of one’s spiritual walk as they are coming to faith, or later down the road when one is repenting of reoccurring sin that, in their own strength, they feel powerless to overcome. 

This gift comes as a result of trusting YHVH completely and not relying on one’s own strength to overcome sin. Faith in Elohim and humility on the part of the sinner is the key that unlocks access to the gift of repentance.

 

Examine Yourself Before Taking Communion at Passover

1 Corinthians 11:23, This is my body. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua (Heb 10:10).When we eat the bread of communion, we are “eating” Yeshua who is the incarnate and Living Torah Word of Elohim (John 1:14). We are announcing that Yeshua is the spiritual bread of life from heaven that leads to eternal life (John 6:48–51), and we are announcing our desire to live by the totality of his Word (Matt 4:4). 

The bread symbolizing the body of Yeshua was unleavened, which is a picture of Yeshua’s sinless life. By eating this bread, we declare our faith in his sinless life by which he was able to pay for our sins. We also declare our identification with his sinlessness as an example for us to follow.

Yeshua took the unleavened bread and broke it signifying our deliverance from our sin nature by the breaking or death of his sinless body. The unleavened bread broken during the Passover meal speaks of our deliverance from the power of sin by the death of our old man. The rite of baptism is a picture of this (Rom 6:4–13). This paves the way for us to live a sanctified (sin-free) life.

We become unleavened or sinless (known as sanctification) because Yeshua our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7). Our body of sin died with Yeshua when we were baptized making us unleavened (or sanctified, Rom 6:6). Let us therefore live in accordance with the new man, or new spiritual creation we have become through Yeshua (1 Cor 5:8; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20). When we eat the unleavened bread at the communion part of the Passover service, we remember that we are sanctified by grace and that the power of sin (or Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4 cp. John 14:15) has been broken in our lives.

In the first Passover, the children of Israel were delivered from the penalty of their sins by the blood of the lamb on the door, which pointed forward prophetically to Yeshua’s sin-atoning death on the cross. But when they ate the unleavened bread, this speaks of their being delivered from their slavery to sin and oppression in Egypt. They were now to leave Egypt (a spiritual picture of the old man and life) and go toward the Promised Land (a spiritual picture of the new man) taking with them, on their knees, the dough of the unleavened bread. This points to the fact that the redeemed saints are to walk in the newness of a spiritually unleavened or sanctified life as pictured by their eating the communion bread. When we eat the bread of communion, we memorialize the events surrounding the Exodus, and recognize the present reality of freedom from sin in our own lives.

1 Corinthians 11:25, My blood. By the blood of Yeshua we are redeemed, liberated or released from the bondage of sin (Matt 26:28; Rom 3:25; Eph 1:17; Col 1:14; Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:18; Rev 5:9) and from sin’s death penalty claim on us (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4) brought on by our disobedience to YHVH’s instructions in righteousness, the Torah (which defines sin, 1 John 3:4). His blood also sanctifies (or separates, Heb 9:13–14; 13:12) us from past sin (Rom 3:25) or Continue reading


 

The Florida School Massacre—My Response

YHVH has blessed my wife and I with four beautiful, healthy children. There’s no way for me to even remotely imagine losing a single one for any reason, much less at the hands of a deranged murderer.

“YHVH Elohim, have mercy on the parents, spouses, children, families and friends of those who were murdered. May beauty come from these ashes and out of the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, may people’s hearts be stirred to look heavenward toward you. Help them to seek and to find you, so they can experience the love, peace, joy, mercy and forgiveness that comes only from you. Instead of being angry at you, may they be angry at the sinfulness of fallen humanity that has willfully separated itself from you and now is reaping the consequences of its actions. May this reality cause many to turn to Yeshua the Messiah and to fall repentantly at the foot of his cross in search of redemption from their sins. May they find there the river of life that comes from you as they surrender themselves to your path of spiritual light and righteousness as revealed in your Word, the Bible. Amein.”

In response to the Florida school massacre, I received this note from Jennifer S.

In light of the recent violent shooting, about 20 years ago, I wrote a simple comment in our local newspaper…it was 7 words. “”God out, guns in. Think about it.”” I guess it must have been in response to the Columbine shooting. There were lots of positive comments that came in response to that brief offering. But now, it is ever more relevant today than it was then!  Now that all the so-called “experts” have spoken, this is what needs to be said: If young people were learning “thou shall not kill”, etc., and “bless those who persecute you, pray for those who despitefully use you, do good to them who hate you”, as well as, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”…there would not be so much extreme violence.

To the list of the reasons behind the increase in mass shooting in the U.S. I would add several other causes.

On that list would NOT be the mindless, mass hysterical response of the leftists that the government needs to confiscate and ban guns. Just ask people who have lived in countries where guns have been confiscated and banned how this has worked out for them! On the other hand, a couple of countries come to mind where the citizens either are Continue reading