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The Ten Words
The Ten Words of LIFE
Forgiveness
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"Then Peter came up and said to him, 'Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Yeshua said to him, 'I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times'... So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Matthew 18:21-22, 35

"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him." Luke 17:3-4

Bob recently wrote to ask, "I am having a very difficult time dealing with total forgiveness. For 2000 years it has been documented that we have been fighting Muslim Extremists. Most prominent today is ISIS. I do not know how to forgive someone who will go to any lengths to kill me or my family. They obviously are also tying to destroy the concept of the one and only god I believe in. I keep reading your comments that you are sinning as well as the sinner if you do not forgive. Any suggestions?"

As seen in the article What Is Sin? (click on highlighted words to view content), sin is only applicable to those within YHVH's Kingdom. According to the words of Yeshua above, the forgiveness scripture speaks of is also only offered to the brethren of the Kingdom of YHVH - not the world. Perfect love in defined in 1John 3:16 - "By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers" - not the world. In response, most Christians will then point to the parable of the Good Samaritan:

"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? How do you read it?' And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." And Yeshus said to him, 'You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live'. But the lawyer, desiring to justify himself, said to Yeshua, 'And who is my neighbor'?" Luke 10:25-28

To properly understand the words of scripture, we must always consider the context they are presented in, the context of the Hebrew perspective they are presented from and the audience they are presented to. In the passage from Matthew at the start of this article, the audience Yeshua is speaking to are the disciples, those of the Kingdom of YHVH. Why are they considered part of the Kingdom? Because they keep the Ten Words of Life. The audience Yeshua was speaking to in the passage from Luke was a lawyer. Lawyers in Yeshua's day were not like the contemporary attorneys we deal with in today's culture. They, along with scribes, were the primary arbiters of the Pharisaical Orthodoxy - scholars and teachers skilled in the ways of the Torah of Moses. Most are not aware that the issues being discussed in this passage are literally taken from Torah - not some "new" revelation (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18). They and the Pharisees were not members of the Kingdom of YHVH because they were continually attempting to circumvent the Words of YHVH to accommodate their own agenda (Mark 7:6-13, Matthew 23:13). Yeshua had studied the Pharisees and knew of their intense distain for Samaritans (John 8:48), thus the need for the lawyer to "justify himself" before this Rabbi. This is precisely why Yeshua chose to answer this lawyer with the parable of the Samaritan.

Good Samaritan
...the good Samaritan
Most in Western cultures do not appreciate or understand who Samaritans are. They are not considered Gentiles in the general use of the term as Christianity has been prone to teach. One of the consequences of the Assyrian invasion of Israel in 722 BC involved the settling of Israel by Assyrians who intermarried with those Israelites choosing to stay in their devastated country. This group settled in the then capital of Israel, Samaria, and brought with them Assyrian gods and cultic practices. But the people of the Middle East were and are, above everything else, highly superstitious. Conquering peoples constantly feared that the local gods would wreak vengeance on them. Therefore, just in case, they would adopt the local god or gods into their religion and cultic practices. Within a short time, the Assyrians in Samaria were worshipping YHVH as well as their own gods and within a couple of centuries, subsequent generations were worshipping YHVH exclusively by keeping His Words. The Samaritans began to be considered non-Hebrew because of their blood being part Assyrian even though they adopted almost all of the Hebrew Torah and practices. Unlike the religious Pharisees, however, they believed only the Pentateuch to be sacred, rejecting the "oral Torah" (Talmud) and building their own temple on Mount Gerizim (the mount of blessing) where they could sacrifice to YHVH outside of the temple in Jerusalem until this temple was destroyed in 129 BC by John Hyrcanus. Deprived of their temple, the Samaritans nevertheless continued to worship on their sacred mountain right down to the present time (there are only about 600 Samaritans left in the world and still in Israel, decimated by inbreeding). The religious Pharisaical leaders frowned on the Samaritans, denying that a non-Hebrew had any right to be included among the chosen people (in spite of the clear instructions of Leviticus 19:34) and angered that the Samaritans would dare to sacrifice to YHVH outside of Jerusalem. Thus was formed the only major schism in the Hebrew family: the schism between the religious Pharisees and the Samaritans. Which is why Yeshua approached the Samaritan woman at the well in the manner He did, making the distinction between one flesh and marriage - she knew and embraced Torah and He spoke to her from that perspective. He was not rewriting scripture.

In spite of Christianity's attempt to center this parable and Yeshua's words from John around an elevated sense of emotional concern for everyone on the planet, from Yeshua's non-religious Hebraic perspective the primary subject of His parable was addressing just who were to be considered members of YHVH's family - who were the "neighbors" of Leviticus 19:18. Yeshua was illustrating that whoever keeps the Words of the Father through their actions is a member of His Family. Thus, to love your "neighbor" as you would yourself is to not let factious, religious strife keep one from aiding a family member in need. With this parable, Yeshua was upholding what He had already previously affirmed to the lawyer was the way to find Life - that to keep YHVH's Words was more than proclamation and ritual. To keep His Words is to become obedient to the Essence of YHVH's Nature in those Words by not allowing another member of His Family to be neglected (Galatians 6:10). Yeshua's comment in John 13:34-35 was a further endorsement among the twelve that what they had witnessed in His Life was the restored behavior of the Kingdom they were to exhibit toward one another - which would distinguish them from the rest of the world and be a proclamation that the promised redemption of the Kingdom YHVH had occurred. YHVH's family of Israel are not a people of definers of religion but a people of witnesses to His love for His Family. Scripture shows us the Hebrew has always had the ability to keep the Words of the Father. YHVH's Presence was manifested to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel immediately after their separation from the Garden. Keeping His Words brings those of His Family into His Presence - but, until Yeshua restored the Kingdom, they had only been able to come into His Presence externally.

Christians can not be considered "brethren of YHVH's Kingdom" any more than Islamists because they break the first of the Ten Words of the Father by worshipping "Jesus" as a god. (see what is Scriptural Salvation).

"You shall have no other gods beside Me." Exodus 20:3

???Questions???
Please feel free to email them to me at harold@hethathasanear.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.
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