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Harvest Times in Israel

The agricultural year in Israel begins in the autumn (after the harvest festival of Tabernacles) with plowing and sowing. Harvests in Israel begin in spring in the month of Adar (February/March). The following harvest times in ancient Israel are obtained from the Readers Digest book entitled Jesus and His Times, pages 100-101.

Months Weather Crops & activity
Tishri 7th month(Sep/Oct) First rains Plowing begins
Heshvan 8th month(Oct/Nov)   Plowing / grain planting
Kislev 9th month(Nov/Dec)   Grain planting continues
Teveth 10th month(Dec/Jan) Main rains  
Sebat 11th month (Jan/Feb)    
Adar 12th month (Feb/Mar) Spring rains Almond in bloom / flax harvest
Aviv 1st month (Mar/Apr)   Barley harvest begins
2nd month (Apr/May)   Barley harvest completed
3rd month (May/Jun) Dry season Wheat harvest begins
4th month (Jun/Jul)   Wheat harvest completed / first figs
Av 5th month (Jul/Aug) Summer heat Vintage (grape harvest) begins
Elul 6th month (Aug/Sep)   Date harvest / summer figs

From the above, one can see that the harvest season in ancient Israel began in Adar (Feb/March) and continued by stages into autumn. The barley harvest began in March-April: the first sheaf being cut and waived in the middle of Aviv, which could be any time between 21st March and the middle of April. It is the same in modern Israel.

Lesson 1
Lawlessness (Sin)

1. What is Sin?

By way of definition we may say that sin is a godless attitude of mind which manifests itself in disobedience of the commandments of YaHuWaH the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. The Bible says simply:

1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Torah:
for sin is the transgression of the Torah."

In other words when a person violates one or more of the Almighty's commandments, then that person is sinning, whether he/she knows it or not.

2. Purpose of the Torah

One purpose of the Torah, the 'Law', is to reveal our love toward YaHuWaH . Obedience is the evidence of love. As we obey YaHuWaH we show our love for Him. The giving of the Ten Commandments, the Ordinances, and Dietary Instructions (the Torah) was the terms of a marriage contract between YaHuWaH and anyone who would willingly join themselves unto Him.

At Mt. Sinai, the nation of Israel agreed to keep the commandments and instructions given by YaHuWaH. In turn, YaHuWaH agreed to bless Israel and anyone who would join himself of free will unto Israel.

In Hebrew the word 'Torah' means 'the Instructions'. English translators have applied the harsh word 'Law' improperly to the Torah. YaHuWaH 's commandments are not grievous, but the loving care of a Husband for His wife, designed to nurture and protect her.

3. Types of Lawlessness

Sin is lawlessness. Sin is breaking divine law, negating the Torah, violating our marriage vow with YaHuWaH. From the Biblical viewpoint lawlessness, disobedience and sin are three words meaning the same thing. The two words 'sin' and 'disobedience' are interchangeable. Broadly speaking, sin may be divided into two categories:

  1. Obvious Sins
    These are the all too evident sins of blasphemy, deceit, theft, violence, rape, sodomy, adultery, murder, etc.
  2. Not so Obvious Sins
    Then we have the socially acceptable sins such as unbelief, covetousness, ingratitude, envy, pride and Sabbath-breaking.

All these sins are really expressions of rebellion against the Almighty's law. The spirit of rebellion was first manifest in the mind of Satan, the first sinner ever to be.

4. All of us are Born with a Lawless Nature

Yes, it is a tragic truth: We have all sinned, and we have all sinned repeatedly. What's more, the human mind is naturally antagonistic towards the Almighty's Torah and instinctively seeks to reject it. This is a far more serious problem than people realize.

The spiritual mirror the Creator uses to show a sinner his/her sinful condition is His Torah. But the human heart (mind) is at war with the Torah of YaHuWaH. It is not naturally subject to the Torah of YaHuWaH, neither indeed can be. By the divine standard the human heart is sick! Such is the inspired assessment of the human mind: and before the reader can ever hope to make any spiritual progress in life, that ego-shattering divine diagnosis must be recognized for what it is - the truth! Are you willing to acknowledge that fact?

5. Effects of Lawlessness (Sin)

Individual lawlessness produces guilt, pain, mental disorders, family break upheavals, disease and finally death. On the national and international scale, lawlessness repels the Spirit of YaHuWaH and results in all kinds of social, political and natural calamity: poverty, vandalism, revolution, war, freak weather conditions, famine, disease, epidemics, earthquakes, and disasters of all kinds: disasters which most people believe happen 'purely by chance.'

The truth is, few things happen 'purely by chance.' For everything there is a cause; and that cause is more often than not linked to moral degeneracy.

Read Deuteronomy Chapter 28 where the amazing link between a nation's moral behavior and its welfare is explained in detail.

6. YAHUSHUA the Messiah, the only Remedy for Sin

Lawlessness (sin) cannot be pampered, educated or somehow coaxed to quietly go away or even to change its nature. For sin is an incurable spiritual malady: a moral form of AIDS with which Satan has infected mankind.

Indeed, sin must needs be totally rooted out of the human mind, else it will destroy civilization. Sin is not just another social problem. Sin is a spiritual problem and nothing short of a spiritual cure will get rid of it. YaHuWaH the Almighty Elohim of Israel must either overcome and annihilate sin, or sin will overrun the universe.

YaHuWaH 's agent for the annihilation of sin and the salvation of mankind is none other than His only begotten Son YAHUSHUA. YAHUSHUA conquers sin in the believer by creating in him/her a new mind, a new outlook, a new person. The old sinful mind is not somehow patched up and coaxed along.

No, it is confronted, slain and buried. In its place is put a new mind, a new outlook, a new person, a new creation. And this new creature or convert (which could be you!) is born to move in accordance with the requirements of the Father's Torah.

Believe it or not, that is the reason why YAHUSHUA the Messiah came to this earth. He came to make His followers obedient to His Father's Torah. To be sure, He came to save mankind from the consequences of sin - which is eternal death. But over and above that initial task, His main reason for coming to earth was to empower the repentant believer to be obedient to His Father's law.

YAHUSHUA the Savior came to save us from our sins: and to write His Father's Torah on the tablets of our hearts and minds.

Jesus is the MODIFIED Greek form of the Savior's Name.

7. The Law cannot Save the Sinner

You will have noticed at point 6 that salvation comes through YAHUSHUA the Messiah. In other words, YaHuWaH 's Torah, perfect though it is, cannot save a single sinner. It cannot force a person to be obedient. No law can.

Like a sacred signpost on the highway of life the Torah of the Most High can only point the way to life. It has no more power to change a sinner's character than a traffic sign has to move a motorist to his destination.

The Torah can only illuminate the way to right and wrong. That is all it can and was designed to do.

The purpose of YaHuWaH 's Torah, in short, is to define sin, to make the sinner aware of what is wrong and what is right; and to point the way to salvation - to YAHUSHUA!

Some well-meaning believers have completely misunderstood the role of YaHuWaH 's law in the great Plan of Salvation. They have incorrectly assumed that after the death of YAHUSHUA the Torah of YaHuWaH became obsolete. Nothing is further from the truth.

8. Summary

  • Sin (lawlessness) is an inherent anti-YaHuWaH attitude which manifests itself in disobedience of one or more of the commandments of YaHuWaH.
  • Sin results in guilt, disease, disorder and disasters of all kinds.
  • There is no man-made remedy for sin. It is fatal.
  • YaHuWaH 's Torah, perfect and holy though it is, is unable to save the sinner. Its primary purpose is to define sin and to point the sinner to YAHUSHUA the Messiah.
  • Sin can only be overcome by the power of the Almighty YaHuWaH of Israel as administered through His Son: whose ultimate objective is to write His Father's Torah on the mind of all true believers. That is why He came to earth in the first place: to save His people from their sins.
  • In short: salvation comes through YAHUSHUA the Messiah.

Do you think you have the courage to acknowledge and accept the truth of this first lesson? If you do, then this Course is most certainly for you.