I have often wondered if I should speak the things shown to me, or if I should remain silent. I was reading the following in Ezekiel 3:17-21. It is the reason for this letter. After I completed it, I thought perhaps there might be others in similar situations to myself, hence the reason why I am sharing it here. This letter was modified slightly from the original one so it is non identifying.
7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
I pray the following is of use for others. Feel free to copy it and modify it for your own circumstances. The letter uses the word God and Jesus instead of Elohim and Yahshua as many people are simply not familiar with the original names.
I was wanting to discuss with you the possibility of adjusting my working hours so that I would be able to keep the appointed times provided by our Father. At present I am not able to keep them as I understand we should.
I thought perhaps, I might explain some background information, so you understand the request in full and do not have a partial picture. You may already know of the appointed times listed in Leviticus 23 which were given to Israel include:
- The Sabbath
- The appointed time of unleavened bread
- The appointed time of first fruits
- The appointed time of harvest (sometimes know as pentecost or the appointed time of weeks)
- The appointed time of trumpets.
- The day of atonement.
- The appointed time of ingathering (sometimes known as booths or tabernacles)
Who Is Israel?
In the scriptures we are told that these are the appointed times of Israel. We learn in Romans who Israel is. We learn that Israel is not the nation we know today, but Israel are those who follow God and love Him.
6 However, it is not as though God’s word has failed [coming to nothing]. For not all who are descended from Israel (Jacob) are [the true] Israel;
7 and they are not all the children of Abraham because they are his descendants [by blood], but [the promise was]: “Your descendants will be named through Isaac”.
8 That is, it is not the children of the body [Abraham’s natural descendants] who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are counted as [Abraham’s true] descendants.
Jacob was the son of Isaac and Isaac was the son of Abram. Here we learn that Israel is not from the physical descendants of Abraham. We learn that Israel would come through Isaac. That is, it came through Jacob by a promise, not through his flesh.
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a Man [came and] wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 When the Man saw that He had not prevailed against Jacob, He touched his hip joint; and Jacob’s hip was dislocated as he wrestled with Him.
26 Then He said, “Let Me go, for day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing on me.”
27 So He asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”
28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”
Who are the children of the promise?
So the question is raised, who are the children of the promise we read about in Romans 9? Who are Abrahams descendants? In Galatians 3 we are told that those who belong the Messiah are the children of the promise. These are the descendants of Abraham. Not physically. Spiritually.
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
27 For all of you who were baptised into the Messiah have clothed yourselves with the Messiah.
28 There is [now no distinction in regard to salvation] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you [who believe] are all one in Jesus the Messiah.
29 And if you belong to the Messiah [if you are in Him], then you are Abraham’s descendants, and [spiritual] heirs according to the promise.
What was the promise?
The promise he gave us was that of eternal life.
1 John 2:25
25 This is the promise which He Himself promised us—eternal life.
And this is reflected in 2 Peter where we learn that He does not want any to perish. He wishes they would all have eternal life.
The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
So we should be able to agree that the appointed times above were given to Israel, and Israel are those who believe and follow Jesus. To these people the promise of eternal life has been made.
To follow Jesus we need to walk as He walked. Walking as He walked means we need to keep His appointed times and His Sabbaths as He did also. We need to love the Father and love one another as He loves us. These are the two commandments on which the ten were written.
So what does that mean today?
This brings me to a prophecy written in Amos 8. In this chapter we read of Amos being given vision from God. In it we see a basket of fruit. We see that this fruit is ripe for harvesting. Of note in other scriptures we see that His appointed time has a time of first fruits and a time appointed for harvest as well (look above at the appointed times listed in Leviticus 23).
The appointed time of harvest is a time set aside time for gathering of the fruit (the people of God). In Amos 8 we learn of the situation the world shall find itself in during this time. Importantly we read of why this has occurred. The same time is a time for the sentencing of man. Man decided that it was better that he should conduct business upon His new moons and upon His Sabbaths, rather than spending the time with Him. It is a picture of a people who have left God and have gone there own ways instead.
In Amos 8 we read:
1 Thus the Lord God showed me [a vision], and behold, there was a basket of [overripe] summer fruit.
2 And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”
Then the Lord said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer [for the nation is ripe for judgment].
3 In that day, the songs of the palace shall turn to wailing,” says the Lord God. “There will be many dead bodies; in [sacred] silence they will throw them everywhere.”
Then He tells us why these things shall be so:
4 Hear this, you who trample down the needy, and do away with the poor of the land,
“When will the New Moon [appointed time] be over
So that we may sell grain,
And the Sabbath ended so that we may open the wheat market,
Making the ephah [measure] smaller and the shekel bigger [that is, selling less for a higher price]
And to cheat by falsifying the scales,
6 So that we may buy the poor [as slaves] for silver
And the needy for a pair of sandals,
And that we may sell the leftovers of the wheat [as if it were a good grade of grain]?”
He then goes on to explain to them why He shall do the things which are about to take place. He tells us He swore an oath to Israel that He shall not forget the rebellion shown to Him. He then turns the appointed times of the people (not of Him) into mourning and He removes the His word from all who did not want to hear.
7 God has sworn [an oath] by the pride of Jacob (Israel), (his people)
“Surely I shall never forget [nor leave unpunished] any of their [rebellious] acts.
8 “Because of this [coming judgment] will the land not quake?
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
Indeed, all of it shall rise up like the Nile,
And it will be tossed around [from the impact of judgment]
And [afterward] subside again like the Nile of Egypt.
9 “It shall come about in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I shall cause the sun to go down at noon,
And I shall darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 “And I shall turn your appointed times into mourning (the appointed times of the people, not of God)
And all your songs into dirges (funeral poems to be sung);
And I shall cause sackcloth to be put on everyone’s loins
And baldness on every head [shaved for mourning].
And I shall make that time like a time of mourning for an only son [who has died],
And the end of it shall be like a bitter day.
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“When I will send hunger over the land,
Not hunger for bread or a thirst for water,
But rather [a hunger] for hearing the words of God.
12 “People shall stagger from sea to sea
And from the north even to the east;
They will roam here and there to seek the word of God,
But they will not find it.
13 “In that day the beautiful virgins
And young men shall faint from thirst.
14 “Those who swear by the sin of Samaria or Ashimah (a pagan goddess),
Who say, ‘By the life of your god [the golden calf], O Dan!’
And [swear], ‘By the life of the way of [idolatrous] Beersheba,’
They shall fall and not rise again.”
We see this reflected in Matthew 21 where Jesus cleansed the temple throwing out those who may the appointed time a time for business.
12 And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice].
13 Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
Both Matthew 21 and Amos 8 speak of a time we are coming closer to everyday. God provides us all with the opportunity to choose. To choose which path we shall follow.
He tells us to keep the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15).
He tells us to keep the Passover (Exodus 12:14, 24, Exodus 23:14-15, Deuteronomy 16:1).
He tells us to keep the appointed time of Unleavened Bread (of which first fruits is a part of) (Exodus 12:15-19).
He tells us to keep the appointed time of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24, Numbers 29:1-6
He tells us to keep the appointed time of Harvest (Exodus 23:16-17, Deuteronomy 16:10).
He tells us to keep the appointed time of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29-34, 23:26-32).
He tells us to observe the appointed time of ingathering (Exodus 23:16-17, Deuteronomy 16:13).
The day of trumpets was a day of warning. This day falls upon the first day of the seventh new moon. We see this warning in Joel 2:1 and in Zephaniah 1:14-17. It is a time of tribulation for the people.
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
1 The great day of the Lord is near;
It is near and hastens quickly.
The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
15 That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of trumpet and alarm
Against the fortified cities
And against the high towers.
17 “I will bring distress upon men,
And they shall walk like blind men,
Because they have sinned against the Lord;
Their blood shall be poured out like dust,
And their flesh like refuse.”
The Day of Atonement
The day of Atonement was the day all were to come before God to ask for forgiveness of our sins. It is the day in which Atonement for our sins is made. It is the last day in which this can be done. This day is so important that scripture warns us of what the result will be for those who do not observe it, but instead follow there own will. This is the tenth day of the seventh new moon.
26 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the appointed time of Atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble yourselves and present an offering by fire to the Lord.
28 You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God.
29 If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people.
30 If there is any person who does any work on this same day, I will destroy that person from among his people.
31 You shall do no work at all [on that day]. It is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be.
32 It is to be to you a Sabbath of complete rest, and you shall humble yourselves. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening you shall keep your Sabbath.”
Rejection of His word
God is a loving Father who cares for His people, wanting none to perish. For this reason He tells us what will occur if we hear the truth and reject it.
He explains that the sacrifice of His Son is no longer available to atone for, that is to cover our sins. In scripture we read this is Hebrews 10. Here we see the result of continuing to sin after we have heard the truth according to His word. The people choose to set aside the Law provided by Moses and instead make that which is clean, unclean. Grace is no longer available to them at that time, as they have rejected Him.
26 For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate],
27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God].
28 Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law provided by Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
The temple within our hearts
Revelation 8 speaks of events which are going to take place in the future. In this chapter we see the appointed time of Trumpets occurring first, which is then followed by the appointed time of atonement. In scripture the appointed time of trumpets occurs of the first day of the seventh new moon. The appointed time of atonement then occurs upon the tenth day of the same month. From the 9th day at even, until the tenth day at even. This day is to be a day of rest.
The day of atonement is a day of Judgement. It is a day when the people of God come together to seek forgiveness for their sins in prayer. It is the day which atonement is made to cover the sins of these people. This is done in the temple of God, in the most holy place. That temple we see in Heaven is the same temple we have today. The temple within our hearts.
1 Corinthians 3:16
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Atonement for His people
The atonement was made with the blood of the lamb. The blood of the lamb came from Jesus who is the one who atones for our sins. The blood of the lamb covers those seeking forgiveness. In scripture we are told that this day is a day which all must observe, otherwise there is no atonement to be made. This is the day which the people of God are sealed with the mark of God.
1 After this I saw four angels stationed at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the rising of the sun, holding the seal of the living God; and with a loud voice he called out to the four angels to whom it was granted [to have authority and power] to harm the earth and the sea,
3 saying, “Do not harm the earth nor the sea nor the trees until we seal (the mark) of the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
4 And I heard how many were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand; [twelve thousand] sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.
We are told in His word what that mark is. The mark is located in the same place as the mark of the beast. The mark is a sign which is upon the hand and the forehead of the people. The mark of God is understanding His commandments (forehead) and doing them (hand). It is loving our fellow man (forehead) and helping them (hand). The rain is His truth. The truth was provided to those in His word as it is being provided to those today who have ears to hear.
13 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.
18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
On the day of atonement the fire comes from the altar and the censor full of fire is cast down to the earth. The fire is judgement as we see in the story of Lot. This is the day that the people of God are marked so no harm comes to them from Him. We learn that fire is what is kept for the day of judgement and comes from the fire of the altar. We see this in 2 Peter 3:7.
2 Peter 3:7
7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.
The similarities of the day of atonement and Revelation 8
In Revelation 8 we read of the day iof trumpets and the day of atonement. The similarity between Revelation 8:1-6 and Leviticus 16:12-16 is beyond question. I will bold some sections so you can see the parallels between these scriptures:
1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 Then another angel, havinga golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded:And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
12 Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before God, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil.
13 And he shall put the incense on the firebefore God, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die.
14 He shall takesome of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.
He then tells us that this day shall be a permanent statute for us:
29 This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month you shall humble yourselves and not do any work, whether the native-born or the stranger who lives temporarily among you;
30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
31 It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves; it is a permanent statute.
34 This shall be a permanent statute for you, so that atonement may be made for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year.” So he did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Trumpets and the Wormwood
When the censor is thrown to the earth we start to see the trumpets of Revelation taking place. This is the fire thrown from the altar.
7 The first [angel] sounded [his trumpet], and there was [a storm of] hail and fire, mixed with blood, and it was hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded [his trumpet], and something like a great mountain blazing with fire was hurled into the sea; and a third of the sea was turned to blood;
9 and a third of the living creatures that were in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded [his trumpet], and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch [flashing across the sky], and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of [fresh] waters. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the waters, because they had become bitter (toxic).
We are told that the name of the star which strikes the earth is called wormwood. This is very significant if you look to find out what wormwood is and also how the scriptures use it.
You may have heard of the alcoholic drink “absinthe” a green coloured beverage that is illegal in some countries. Absinthe has a history in Eastern Europe and France; it was used as a stimulant mainly by artists, for example painter Vincent van Gogh. The story goes that he was drinking absinthe when he lopped off his ear.
The name of this plant occurs in many old writings; Egyptian, Roman and Christian. It’s sometimes called a poison, sometimes a medicinal herb of value. Its Latin name, Artemisa absinthium, tells us that it was named after the goddess Artemis, who was the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology – very telling when we look at how it is used in this section of scripture.
The intensely bitter, tonic and stimulant qualities have caused wormwood not only to be an ingredient in traditional medicinal preparations, but also to be used in various liqueurs, of which absinthe is the chief. The basis of absinthe is extracted from wormwood. Wormwood, is employed in making this liqueur, bears also the name ‘Wermuth’ – preserver of the mind (People cannot see outside). It was about twice the strength of any other spirit (more than two-thirds alcohol).
Being drunk with Wormwood
In Scripture we see a woman who is represented as the beast being drunk with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus:
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints (God’s people), and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus [who were martyred]. When I saw her, I wondered in amazement
We learn about what Wormwood is as scripture refers to it as well:
1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom [godly wisdom learned by costly experience],
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may exercise discrimination and discretion (good judgment),
And your lips may reserve knowledge and answer wisely [to temptation].
3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey [like a honeycomb]
And her speech is smoother than oil;
4 But in the end she is bitter like [the extract of] WORMWOOD,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
Her steps take hold of Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)
Wormwood is the result of rejecting His commandments and not walking with Him
Wormwood comes from this woman. The woman teaches her own law, and disposes of the Law of God and has all drunk with bitter waters, which He tells us is wormwood.
13 Then God said, “Because they have turned away from My law which I set before them, and have not listened to and obeyed My voice nor walked in accordance with it,
14 but have walked stubbornly after their [own] heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,”
15 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with WORMWOOD and give them bitter and poisonous water to drink.
16 “I will [also] scatter them among nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them.”
So it is those who are wilfully ignoring His Law who will reap the results of the wormwood. The wormwood comes with His fire. And so we read of the final result of the day of atonement in Revelation 22:10-11. It explains that at the day of atonement we are left in the condition He found us upon in this day. Either wrong, filthy, righteous or holy.
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time [of their fulfillment] is near.
11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy (vile, impure), still be filthy; and the one who is righteous (just, upright), still be righteous; and the one who is holy, still be holy.”
So where does that leave us today? Are we Christ Centred?
So it was a long time to get through that. I pray that you understood the things I spoke of. This brings me to the subject which I raised initially about not being allowed to keep the appointed times of God. We may say that we are Christ-Centred and worship him according to Biblical principles.
But what is being “Christ-Centered”? What are the Biblical principles we have learnt about in this letter? I personally understand that we should be walking in the way in which Jesus walked. We walk as He did. We do as He did. We love as He did. He told us (as written above) in Jermemiah 9:13 that walking as He did is to walk in His Law.
We read in 1 John 2:6
1 John 2:6
6 Whoever says he lives in Christ ought to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.
The appointed times
Jesus followed the appointed times and loved others. We should walk as He did. This is why I am asking the following: Should not the workplace allow those who would like the the opportunity to walk as He did to do so? Even if these things conflict with the activities of the workplace – that is they conflict with the things of man.
Presently this is where I am being held back from. I am being only being allowed to observe His appointed times as long as they do not conflict with the workplace times. I am being prevented from walking as He did. Whose path are we following when we do this?
There comes a time when we all need to decide. Do we follow man or do we follow God? Which direction shall we walk? Shall we be Christ-Centred and follow Biblical principles or shall we follow the appointed times of man?
So this is not my request alone. It is the request of our Father. The one who loves us all.
The request is: If a staff member wishes to keep the appointed times which He has provided for us, they are allowed to do so without persecution or judgement such that the staff member is able to walk as He walked. The appointed times He has provided us with in Leviticus 23.
I pray that you make your decision based upon His word He provided us with. I pray that we shall find ourselves in the third which is refined and not in the two thirds which is cut off by the fire.
8 “It will come about in all the land,”
“Two parts in it will be cut off and perish,
But the third will be left alive.
9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will listen and answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘Yahuwah is our Elohim.’”