SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
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Compiled by JS Lowther
ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
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Reforming of the Church
According to Scripture
Understanding and Defining Reformation
Remembering that chapters are a modern addition to the Scripture, and that just prior to this portion of Leviticus we are going to read, YHWH GOD had just proclaimed his morality concerning servitude, bondage and employment in relationship to the Ethno-State of Israel, which firmly established power in the hand of the Nation of Israel as a Ethnic people to never loose their land by any higher authority of government, as God’s perfect law has as part of it’s intention that land was family owned forever, the ancestral land could be leased but it could not even be sold, a child of Israel’s land was theirs, given by God, won by war, tribaly divided by lot and possessed successively by families according to inheritance; beside this nor could an Ethnic Israelite ever be enslaved to there own people but always it was their Right guaranteed to them by Almighty God to be freed and allowed to be redeemed by their own family and people. And yet to establish the Ethno State firmly, all strangers who dwelt in the land and were not literal son of Israel were in fact allowed to be purchased as perpetual slaves and even to be inherited by ones children. Upon this sentiment the following proceeds:
Lev_26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Lev 26:2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Lev 26:3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Lev 26:4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Lev 26:5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Lev 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
Lev 26:7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
Lev 26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
Lev 26:10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
Lev 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Notice how YHWH has established his Law against idolatry, in relation to this 1st and 2nd commandment he establishes the necessity of Sabbath worship and his sanctuary’s reverence and that is the ballast and catalyst of blessings in that those principles of society teach the following verse 3 “ If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them…” by their establishment, and from the establishment of YHWH Alone Worship, Idolatry is condemned, Sabbatical worship is established by YHWH’s own Law, and the Sanctuary, which is God’s seat of Worship, Law and Order to aid the inheritance in civil and ecclesiastical sanctification. True Worship according to a True and exact reading of the Law kept our people from bondage, and established the Nation and Church (Ecclesia) by God’s design in the hand of ethnic Israel and not a foreign people. In this notion this portion of blessings for walking with God is ended with the next verse:
Lev_26:13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
And the Curses then are explained:
Lev 26:14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
Lev 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
Lev 26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
Lev 26:18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
Lev 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Lev 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
Lev 26:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
Lev 26:22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
Lev_26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Notice the words of this place in scripture, in God’s holy Law at this stopping point:
And if ye will not be reformed… Then will I also walk contrary unto you…
The Reform YHWH God was looking for was a return to the walk he has with his Church before the contrary rebellion, “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them…”. The contrary walk was away from God’s Law, away from His Statutes and Judgments, a reform which would keep His sabbaths, and reverence His sanctuary, and thereby shatter and tear down all Idols in place of YHWH Alone, which would in fact, when walking in that direction with God, establish the Nation, and by implementing the laws of the prior chapter 25 in relation to inheritance and bondage it would repeal the God ordained bondage given to other peoples over Israel and of the wicked of the children of Israel who ruled with rigor over their own brothers, and the Land would be established in the hand of the people by God’s Law once again; within this frame work True Reformation is made solely by the Law of God, which by course and of course but be preceded by Faith in the God who gave the Law by HIS WORD, thus establishing the Reform to be in fact by Faith Alone in it’s origin. This is Biblical Reformed Theology.
Though when we often hear about Reform and Reformation our mind is taken to Men who are considered as part of the Protestant Reformation and those even preceding the actual event, these men were undoubtedly vessels of God indeed being used to reform the people of God, such as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale who reformed the church by giving the people legible scripture illegally, so that the common Englishman could read God’s word with out a second language, this was a reform needed in the church, Martin Luther who raised the great questions against the absolute authority of the Catholic Church was of course a man we acknowledge as a great reformer, turning the eyes of the common German and European to lost concepts shrouded in false Sacramentology of Catholic doctrines such as Faith alone truths which came from the word of God for Salvation, as sola Scriptora or Scripture alone as the Christian’s absolute authority beyond the Church. These where men of Faith and they seem to be men who strove to to Reform a system which in it’s day was an Empire, and the empire was not interested in being changed. The great principles of Reformation while they are biblically derived are not complete in their sentiment, nor are they complete in a compare to the scriptures, as it pertains to Faith in the Word of God, particularly as it relates to the reform the LORD has called us to in Leviticus 26.
If the protestant reformation was the beginning of a reformation as per Lev_26:23 The Reformation was never finished, And of course nor can it be finished until ‘he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1Jn_ 3:2), Yet according to the hope we find in the Scriptures we can reform, and we are called to it. Those of us who see the hypocrisy, and inconsistencies of the Reformed Theologies of our day, particularly as it pertains to application of the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. In That All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:15-17) By this standard The Church is in need of the simplicity of this Reform, and to apply it in an unrestricted way, un-burdened and marred with the baggage of ‘Orthodox Traditional Christianisms’, For we as His people who are to be called by his name, desiring to be called the Sons of God are called to Reform as has been since the garden, and seen in the Law of God just read.
In this portion of the blessings and cursing of the Torah we are offered a clear and cohesive understanding of YHWH God’s Cognition on the subject of Reform and how it is by His establishment as God Alone, and by his Law Alone and his personal actions towards those who will not Reform their ways by his Law he offers patient punishment until the point is made.
Defining the words of Reform
Consider the Original texts on this subject:
The Hebrew word translated reformed here is the word YaXaR/יסר
(H3256– A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct: – bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach.)
Looking at verse 18 “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
The word YaXaR is again seen as punishment, and as such it reads “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will reform you seven times more for your sins.”
In the Greek LXX: the word Paideu / παιδευ is seen which is commonly translated correction or instruction.
In both Hebrew and Greek, the idea of ‘correct-ing, ion ‘ is offered.
The Idea in both verses, as well as in the context of the chapter and surrounding chapters is Correction.
Going Deeper into the language:
In the Hebrew the root word of YaXaR is XaR/ סר (Just remove the prefixed Y)
(H5493- A primitive root; to turn off (literally or figuratively): – be [-head], bring, call back, decline, depart, eschew, get [you], go (aside), X grievous, lay away (by), leave undone, be past, pluck away, put (away, down), rebel, remove (to and fro), revolt, X be sour, take (away, off), turn (aside, away, in), withdraw, be without.)
We see in verse 18 the Idea of Punishment to Reform or Correct, the turning in another way and the removal of the part which is contrary to the Lord. Thus two aspects of Reform is mentioned, that of it being done in hearing as is said in “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me…”, and as well as that which is in response to the things done in verse 23 “if ye will not be reformed by me by these things…”. YHWH calls, and YHWH handles when he is desiring a change. When we speak of Re-formation in the English we are communicating that which is to be re-shaped into a new form, this concept is alive and well in the Hebrew construct through the Scriptural testimony:
XaR is used time and again in the simple Idea or ‘removal or taking away, Consider these examples from the Hebrew Scriptures for an understanding:
Noah’s removing the door of the Ark (Gen_8:13), it is used of Lot’s turning the direction of his angelic visitors in to his home when they were come to violent and homosexual Sodom (Gen_19:3), as well it is used of Jacob when he removed his sheep and goats from the herd of his deceptive uncle Laban’s flock (Gen_30:35).
Our word of focus YaXaR as well is offered to us in the life of a man who is not in his beginnings renown for his Faith,
Consider the Reform of Moses:
Moses was raised in the sin of Egypt, yet when Moses turned aside to see, when Moses removed to see, then God spoke to him and in Exo_3:4 we are told that:
When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
Exo 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Exo 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
This was Moses Reformation, he was immediately drawn to see God and he submitted to His will, even if it was as illogical to the human comprehension as taking ones shoe off in the wilderness, because the bush talking to you said to do it! Yet Moses is found with his shoes off hiding his face from the God of His also reformed father Abraham and listening despite the command which will soon call him to stand before the most powerful man in the world to demand his Bound brethren to be let go, and if this is not amazing enough, Moses knew the people of Pharaoh house and some of them knew him, and for this Egyptian step-prince to stand before the king of most of the known world and identify with the servant class in the form of a demand for those in bondage to be release is an immense act of Faith by True Reformation, Correction, a Removal and Turning aside of a Man to the calling of God.
It was Moses who became Reformed, the great Law giver of Israel, the man chosen by God to lead his people from bondage to form a New Nation in fulfillment of the Promises made by YHWH to Abraham, Moses Faith was so great that he is elevated to a status that sets the mark for the Coming of Christ, Deu_18:15-19
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me… a prophecy that is recounted in Joh_1:45; Act_3:22-23, Act_7:37 and more
And while before leaving the subject of faith, we must consider Consider Abram or Abraham:
Seemingly, because of the greatness of Abraham’s Faith and as it was thought by YHWH as Abraham’s Righteousness, we are never told of Abraham’s correction moment in the way we see other reforms, throughout scripture, the word XaR or Paidue (παιδευ) is not used to convey Abraham’s Calling.
Abraham is called from his fathers house where Joshua says (Jos_24:2) …even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor…served other gods; Abram him self in the canon of Scripture is never guilty of this, though the house he was raised in was obviously had some form of hybrid YHWH worship, Abraham himself for seemingly his accounted Faith in YHWH was sufficient to allow for God to forgive him of his Adamic error, for when we first find Abram he is just another name on a genealogy; yet when we are introduced to Abram he is spoken to by YHWH (Gen_12:1) to become a Great Nation.
Consider how Abraham’s genetic fathers, were given the land of Haran (Haran is Abram’s genealogical inheritance, while Nahor or Terah has sojourned to Ur of the Chaldees where Abram and his brother’s were born, it was Terah who sought to live in Canaan, and as the family is moving along the Euphrates river to eventually arrive at Canaan they would pass through and stay in there old home Haran, where Terah would die (Gen_11:31-32). Yet in all this Abram, perhaps from his great great grand father Shem or Noah him self, as the time line tells us they were indeed contemporaries, was impressed upon by the knowledge of YHWH contained in what part’s of Genesis were contemplated to that point as well as the cultural heritage relayed to the son’s of Adam which defined there morality and customs of their people, Abram believed in that one most high God as the one true God, despite all the thoughts around him Abram had Faith in that God’s revealed person and word and it was thought by YHWH as Righteous. It was by Faith alone in that one LORD of Abram’s life, and the relevance of that Word meant more than all else, regardless of what point I Abraham’s life we consider his Righteousness by Faith, uncircumcised or circumcised it was his Faith in the Word which YHWH thought upon (as the word ‘counted’ in the Hebrew text is often translated ‘thought or devise’), and in this way we have an ensample:
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (Gal 3:7)
This is the Faith we need to begin this journey, Faith like our Father Abraham, to begin and turn towards our God to walk with him again and not contrary to him takes the ready heart before one step is made, in this way our beginning point is like Abraham’s, we put our Faith, our belief, and our trust in the Word YHWH has reveled for his people to reform, before we can walk we are called to say Amen to the totality of the Word of God, starting in this present age with the reality ofJoh_1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
This total Word has no other starting point than at the excepting of the word of God by faith into your heart if you do not have it there, I speak to those who call them selves christians and those who do not alike, for there are many who claim Faith in Christ Jesus who do not acknowledge the power of the Total Word of God received by faith, not a feeling inside, not an undefined happiness, but a confidence in knowing this Word, these Scriptures this Testament has life in him and that life is the light of men.
Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (have Faith, Trust) on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This is our starting point for True Reformation, that in Fact the Word of God which contains God’s Law, the WORD which was with God from the beginning, the WORD which made all things by it’s breath, was made flesh in the man Jesus Christ. And for this very hollistic reason, contained in the totality of the Scriptures …there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Act 4:12
This is a life brightening Word of Reconciliation, John 1:1 is not just a poetic hyperbole(y) it is establishing our walk by faith in the Word of God, and teaching us that we have an example in the man Jesus Christ. By our faith in who John says he truly is, according to his testimony we are lead to one path for Reformation, Consider the impact John teaches us in 1Jn_2:1-6 has on the contrary walking against God and his commandments in Leviticus 26 and the holistic application of the Word’s Incarnation in the person of Jesus the Christ:
..sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
And how did Christ Walk in compare to Leviticus 26?
1Pe_2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
It is time for True Repentance, It’s time for True Reformation!
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
The Men of Scripture who had heard the Word of God and Reformed, Corrected, turned and removed them selves to bow in faith by hearing the word, which as well as those who had been punished by a Holy God and corrected and they took heed and turned from their wicked way would be too great to mention as the entirety of the bible is full of the lives of men who are in that very position, even the greatest of the Sons of Men are men of Reform, and the bible is written to this one point, and Christianity as it is taught by Faith in the Revealed Word of the Holy God shows that a life of Resurrection is the lot of the sons of Adam, men called to strive for the perfection of Christ, to walk as he walked, and as part of that walk they will stumble under the weight of the Cross, but it is the lot of the Sons of God:
Gal_2:20 for we are crucified with Christ: nevertheless we live; yet not we, but Christ liveth in us: and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave himself for us.
Gal_5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
It’s time to believe the Total Word By Faith!
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