Category Archives: 40 Days of Repentance

Day 3 – 40 Days of Repentance

Goodnes of God LeadsYoutoRepentance

 

By Julia Johnson – Bney Yosef North America [reprinted with permission]

Recently, while pondering the upcoming 40 Days of Repentance, I was reminded of II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray, and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I shall hear from the heavens and forgive their sins and heal their land.”

As I walk out this new journey of discovery, I know now more than ever that I have been called by Yahweh to be among His set apart people, His congregation of priests. As I have come into this truth, I must admit that a spirit of pride overtook me. “I” have been chosen, “I” have been set apart. Yahweh, has chosen to open “my” eyes to His truth in these last days. As I look back on those days of early discovery and how I must have come across to family and friends as I tried to explain this new walk, I know that I appeared arrogant. Oh, God, forgive me!

It would appear that the first step in repentance is to humble ourselves. What does that mean for me today? The dictionary defines humble as “being in submission, subdued, prostrate, bowed down, reduced in importance.” So, how does my life reflect humbleness? For me, the phrase “not my will, but Yours be done” comes to mind. This is no longer MY life. Well, yes, it is, but I no longer live my life for my desires, my wishes, my dreams. Now, I live my life for the Kingdom. It is my desire and hope that this is reflected in the choices I make … choices that others see.

The next step is to pray. Can one pray without being humble? I am reminded of the Pharisee who stood on the street corner, head held high, praying in a loud voice so all could hear and see and the woman who went into her closet where no one could see or hear to cry out to Yahweh. I am also reminded that prayer is a conversation. And a conversation is two-way. Do I approach the King of Kings in humbleness, giving thanks for all He has done for me or do I only come with my list of “requests”? Do I take the time to sit before Him in quietness and wait for Him to speak to me? Do I seek His face and not the works of His hands? As He reveals the evilness in my heart, do I quickly ask for forgiveness and turn from those things or do I defend my rights, my freedom to “follow my heart”? Oh, Abba, forgive me when I have done that, for I can see now that my heart is deceitful and wicked. Oh that He would give me a new heart, His heart. That, I believe is now a “work in progress” for me.

Yahweh has promised that IF we will do these things, He will hear, forgive our sin and heal our land. As His chosen people, we are called to “stand in the gap” for the world that surrounds us. Will you join me during this time to cry out to our gracious Father in humility? To spend time at His feet listening for His voice? To cry out in deep sorrow for the way each of us has “followed our own heart” doing what is good in our own eyes? To cry out for the people around us that walk in such flagrant sin? To acknowledge that only Yahweh can heal us and our land.

40 Days of Repentance. The courts are in session. Will you accept the challenge?

-Julia Johnson

Day 1, 40 Days of Repentance

From Bney Yosef North America (I copied and pasted from email, as their website was down for maintenance.)40 days of repentance byna website

40 Days of Repentance                                                                                                                    —The Season of Teshuvah 

  This season of repentance begins on the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul, the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar.  This is a time to blow the shofar (ram’s horn) and seek YHVH in sincere repentance. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.”  (Haggai 1:7)

Tradition says the name Elul spelled in Hebrew Alef-Lamed-Vav-Lamed is an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my Beloved’s  and my Beloved is mine” from Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) 6:3. The word Elul can be traced back to the Akkadian word for harvest. A root of this word Elul could be “search” in Aramaic. Thus we have this month of searching our souls.

In Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:29 we find the 10th of Tishri (the seventh  month on the Hebrew calendar) is the Day  of Atonement. This is 40 days from the first of Elul. There is an ancient tradition that the King would take off His Royal garments and come out to the people in the field to meet with them during this month of Elul. Then, with the month ending, He would return to His courts as the 10 Days of Awe lead us to the Day day of Atonement. During Elul, there are 30 days of the King coming to your home, your place of work, your business, and where you hang out. This can be a time when  we recognize that we have fallen short in our love for our brothers and , or lack in Good deeds. As we examine ourselves, we may find we are living two lives: one spiritual, and one carnal.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,”  (Matthew 6:14)

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  (Mark 11:25)

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  (Luke 6:37)

  The pattern of repentance, or “teshuvah” in Hebrew, as we lead up to the Day of Atonement is more than simply a tradition of  “New Year Resolutions.” Repenting is the act of stopping, turning around, and moving in the other direction toward Elohim our King.  This Season of Teshuva in the month of Tishri is the new year in Hebrew thought. Leviticus 25 explains it as the time of release that happens each year on the Day of Atonement. Every seventh year begins the Shmitah, or Sabbatical Year, which is a sabbath rest for the land. Every fiftieth year is the Yovel, or Jubilee, the release of all debt and the return to ancestral inheritance are in this month. But resolutions do not bring the heart change that we need. King David gives us a look at this in the pattern revealed in Tehillim (Psalms) 51.

1)  We need His Mercy

2)  Identify our sin

3)  Recognize who we sinned against

4)  Know who we are

5)  Ask for cleansing

6)  Rejoice in His work

7)  Ask for renewal

8)  Let Joy and a willing spirit return to you.

  “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.”  (Deuteronomy 30:1-3)

This season is the time for us to take stock and actively seek forgiveness.

Day 8 We and our fathers have sinned.

EusebiusThe highly regarded church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea,  served as counselor to  Emperor of Rome, Constantine, who, as we shall soon see,  would turn the world upside down by claiming to be converted to Christianity and then legislating antisemitism with stringent laws forbidding  Christian interaction with Jews.

Eusebius’ thick volumes demonstrate fourth-century Christian identity confusion and its (mis)justification to render the Jews as worthless and cut off from God.  Continue reading Day 8 We and our fathers have sinned.

Day 5 We and our fathers have sinned.

Tertullian
Tertullian courtesy Wikipedia

 

Tertullian , a prolific writer and supposedly first to use the term “Trinity,”  is known as the “founder of Western theology.”  Like Justin Martyr, he argued that the Gentiles had been chosen by God to replace the Jews because they were worthier and more honorable. In De Oratione, he wrote that ‘though Israel may wash all its members every day, it is never clean. Its hands … are always stained, covered forever with the blood of the prophets and of our Lord himself.’

Origen of Alexandria, one of the most distinguished of the church fathers,  declared Jews dangerous enemies of Christians. He writes  (240 CE) that the Jews “have committed the most abominable of crimes” in conspiring against Christ, and for that reason “the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election”.

Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage and preeminent Latin writer who was himself persecuted by Emperor Valarian and eventually beheaded in Rome, in 248 CE wrote:

“I have endeavoured to show that the Jews, according to what had before been foretold, had departed from God, and had lost God’s favour, which had been given them in past time, and had been promised them for the future; while the Christians had succeeded to their place, deserving well of the Lord by faith, and coming out of all nations and from the whole world. ” 

Today, Day 5, we repent of the sins of judging our brother and withholding mercy.

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)

Father, we ask You to forgive these early church fathers for taking Your place as Judge and to forgive us where we are guilty. Help us to be as willing as You are to extend mercy, for Your glory, in Yeshua’s name we pray.

Related Scripture:

For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.  Isaiah 33:22 ESV

There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?  James 4:12 ESV

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 KJV

 

Day 4 We and our fathers have sinned.

IrenaeusIrenaeus, (130-202 CE) a Greek clerk noted for counseling and helping to expand Christian communities, pressed Justin Martyr’s declarations, which we saw yesterday, into what became known as “supercessionism” or replacement theology. He espoused the  view that the Christian church was the “true” or “spiritual Israel with Christians replacing the Jewish people as the chosen people. Intrinsic to his writing is that the surest source of Christian guidance is the church of Rome,[3]

“The Jews have rejected the Son of God and cast Him out of the vineyard when they slew Him. Therefore, God has justly rejected them and has given to the Gentiles outside the vineyard the fruits of its cultivation.” (Iranaeus, Against Heresies (Book IV, Chapter 36)

It is written:

Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Rom 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
Rom 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Rom 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
Rom 11:23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
Rom 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Rom 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Rom 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
Rom 11:27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Rom 11:28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rom 11:30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,
Rom 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Today, Abba, we repent for the harm the church fathers have done in trying to come to terms with their identity. We repent for our own pride, arrogance. and wrangling for the best seats in the Kingdom. Grant us humility and mercy to remember that “we see in a glass darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV) and help us, as we go about Your kingdom business, to honor and prefer others. Heal the Jewish wound, grant them the ability to forgive us, and cleanse ALL of Your people of  iniquity for Your glory in Yeshua’s name.

 

 

 

 

Day 3 We and our fathers have sinned.

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 ESV)

Perhaps we have not considered the “iniquity of the fathers” concerning antisemitism.  Continue reading Day 3 We and our fathers have sinned.

Day 2 We and our fathers have sinned.

According to Andrew White, author of Father Forgive , page 66, Ignatius of Antioch wrote that  anyone who eats the Passover with the Jews was in league with those responsible for killing Jesus. In letters to several Christian communities, Ignatius refers to Jews in a very derogatory way, at one point declaring it is “monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism” (To the Magnesians 10:3).

Since we are focusing these 40 days on attitudes, we choose to forgive our forefathers for their failings and search our lives to see where we have used our tongues (or pens) to “set on fire the course of hell.”  Like Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel, we humbly approach God to beseech Him to forgive us and change us as a people.

God is love

Father, today, on Day 2, we ask you to forgive us and our forefathers for lack of understanding Your word, for lack of understanding the height and width and depth of Your love and Your kingdom, and for failing to ask You for the grace to extend it to our neighbors.

Forgive us, Abba, for counting Your feasts a “strange thing.”

In addition, we ask You to heal the wounds of the Jewish people that we have caused and to help us to unite as brothers. Abba, we ask You to forgive those whose tongues were weapons against the Jews and those who believed their hurtful words. Forgive us where we have made proclamations that did not align with Scripture and where our words have been arrows and darts that caused great harm.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  (Psalm 19:14)

Related Scripture:

[Exo 12:47-50 ESV]  47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” 50 All the people of Israel did just as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron.

[1Co 5:7-8 ESV] 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

[Eph 2:11-13 ESV] 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands– 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

[Jhn 20:22-23 ESV] 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

[Hos 8:11-12 ESV] 11 Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, they have become to him altars for sinning. 12 Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing.

[Jas 3:5-6 ESV] 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

[Ezr 9:7 ESV] 7 From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today.

[Neh 9:16-17 ESV] 16 “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

[Dan 9:8 ESV] 8 To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.