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The Sabbath Service in Yeshua’s Day

As we have already seen, we are told to walk even as Yeshua walked.

Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:6
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

We have also seen that the term walk just as he walked refers to the halacha of the Nazarene sect. It means we should strive to live our lives the way Yeshua lived His, and to do everything the way He did.

About worshiping the way Yeshua worshiped, we have already seen that Yeshua’s custom was to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and participate in the Sabbath service.

Luqa (Luke) 4:16
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

Our goal in this chapter is to learn what kind of Sabbath service Yeshua preferred, so we can recreate it for ourselves and our children. However, that is not easy. We cannot simply practice the modern rabbinical Sabbath service because as we said earlier, Rabban Gamaliel II fixed the wording of the prayers after the Romans destroyed the second temple (in 70 CE). In making the language of the prayers fixed, Rabban Gamaliel II effectively remade the traditional prayers into the kind of worship Yeshua spoke strongly against. He called such fixed prayers “vain repetition”, and said that only “the heathen” practiced it.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 6:7-8
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

When we read the historical record in Talmud, we get the sense that there was a lot of variance in synagogue services in the Second Temple period. Yet apart from indicating a lack of general agreement, the Talmud does not tell us how the synagogue services were practiced. And, on top of that lack of information, we also have to remember that the Talmud was redacted (i.e., censored) by Judah HaNasi circa 200-220 CE. During that time he probably removed everything dealing with Yeshua, Shaul, and the rest of the apostles. Yet even with this lack of information there is still a way to rediscover what kind of synagogue services Yeshua liked to attend. This method involves comparing the modern synagogue service and the historical record in the Talmud with what Scripture scholars call the Law of First Mention.

The Law of First Mention

The Law of First Mention tells us that the first time we see something in Scripture, it sets the standard (or the example) for everything else that follows. For example, although Israel would later have four wives, we know that Yahweh’s ideal is lifetime monogamy, because that is the example set by Adam and Havvah (“Eve”).

B’reisheet (Genesis) 3:20
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Havvah [Eve], because she was the mother of all living.

This is the rule Jezebel and her feminist friends break whenever they try to tell us that women can be apostles, and serve in leadership. Their heresy is essentially to suggest that the old ways Yahweh established are bad, and their new ways are better. However, this violates Jeremiah 6:16, and many other passages.

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 6:16
16 Thus says Yahweh:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

So what does the Law of First Mention have to say with regard to the worship of Elohim?

The Law of First Mention and the Worship of Elohim

In the beginning, prayers were generally short, and not formulaic. No one read them from a book. Instead, they came from the heart. This explains why Yeshua spoke ill of vain repetitions. Further, while it might surprise some, Yahweh only commands two prayers in the whole Torah. The first one is the High Priest’s confession of Israel’s sins over the scapegoat, in Leviticus 16:21.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 16:21
21 “Aharon shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.”

While Yahweh does tell the High Priest to make this prayer, He never says what to say. Rather, the High Priest was to confess Israel’s sin from his heart. Since this is the first commanded prayer, the rule then becomes that prayers should come from the heart (and not from a book).

The only other prayer Yahweh commands in the Torah is Deuteronomy 26:5-15, where He has us confess our guilt (and give sincere thanks) when we tithe under the Levitical system. Because Yahweh specifies the words, some might see this rote prayer. However, others feel Yahweh’s purpose is more to show us the kind of gratitude that should tumble from our lips when we have an opportunity to support His kingdom, because of the great mercy He took on us, and our ancestors.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:5-15
5 “And you shall answer and say before Yahweh your Elohim: ‘My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous…”
6 But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us.
7 Then we cried out to Yahweh Elohim of our fathers, and Yahweh heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression.
8 So Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.
9 He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”;
10 and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Yahweh, have given me.’ “Then you shall set it before Yahweh your Elohim, and worship before Yahweh your Elohim.
11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Yahweh your Elohim has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.
12 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled,
13 then you shall say before Yahweh your Elohim: ‘I have removed the set-apart tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.
14 I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh my Elohim, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.
15 Look down from Your set-apart habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, “a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘”

So which point of view is right? Clearly we should say the words Yahweh tells us to speak. However, we also should not mouth empty words. Rather, we should be filled with gratitude for all He has done for us. Therefore we should be eager to help build His kingdom.

However, that notwithstanding, our Jewish brothers have an old joke which says that any time you ask two Jews a question, you will get at least three opinions. Further, the debate as to whether we should pray by rote or not was very much alive in Yeshua’s time.

The Debate: By Heart Vs Fixed

Earlier we saw that the Men of the Great Synagogue had either composed or compiled certain prayers that were used during the Second Temple period.

It has also been stated: R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: The Men of the Great Synagogue instituted for Israel blessings and prayers, sanctifications and habdalahs.
[Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 33a, Soncino]

However, we also saw a controversy in the Babylonian Talmud over whether or not prayers should be said by rote, and in a compulsory way (making the prayers what they called a “fixed task”).

R. ELIEZER SAYS: HE WHO MAKES HIS PRAYER A FIXED TASK etc. What is meant by a FIXED TASK? R. Jacob b. Idi said in the name of R. Oshaiah: Anyone whose prayer is like a heavy burden on him. The Rabbis say: Whoever does not say it in the manner of supplication. Rabbah and R. Joseph both say: Whoever is not able to insert something fresh in it. R. Zera said: I can insert something fresh, but I am afraid to do so for fear I should become confused.
[Babylonian Talmud, Berachot 29b, Soncino]

Two Prayers: the Shema, and the Amidah

We will give the lyrics later, but in the first century, the synagogue service was much less scripted. The people would sing the Shema (probably with the Ve’ahavta), and the worship leader would improvise an Amidah prayer. Then came the Torah and Prophetic portions. The Hallel Psalms (113-118) were often sung on the new moon days and the feasts. Altogether it was a shorter, simpler, and less formal service than the modern scripted rabbinic synagogue service.

The Shema With Ve’ahavta

The Shema is the first of the two main prayers. It is normally said from memory. Although Yeshua objected to rote prayers in other places, He probably had no objection to saying the Shema from memory, since it is a Scripture quote. (While the Shema is technically Deuteronomy 6:4, the Ve’ahavta [verses 5-9] is usually said along with it.)

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-9
4 “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is one!
5 You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Yeshua referred to the Shema as the “first and great commandment.”

Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:35-40
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Torah?”
37 Yeshua said to him, “‘You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 On these two commandments hang all the Torah and the Prophets.”

The Amidah as a Guideline

The Amidah has several names. It is also called the Shemonei Esrei (Eighteen) because it was originally a series of eighteen blessings, although the Orthodox later added a nineteenth (which we will discuss separately). However, it is often referred to simply as “the Prayer” (התפילה) because it is so central to Jewish worship from the Second Temple era on.

The Hebrew word Omed (עוֹמֵד) means “standing”, and the name Amidah (תפילת העמידה) means, “(the prayer) that comes from standing”, which is the Standing Prayer.

We will talk about the words of the Amidah in another place, but the main thing to know here is that the practice has changed since the first century. Today, a rabbinic worshiper says the Amidah silently to himself (although it can later be spoken aloud, as a group). However, in contrast, in the first century it was only spoken aloud by the chazzan (worship leader), and the congregation would respond “Amein!” after each of the eighteen benedictions. Most importantly, when the chazzan was learned in the Scriptures, he would say it by rote. Rather, he would improvise his prayers in each of the eighteen major benediction themes. That way he was not praying a rote prayer, but was praying by heart. It was felt that this made it much more of a “live” service, and this “live” aspect is what is lacking when saying the Amidah by rote.

Like Father, Like Son

One point of interest is that while Rabban Gamaliel II was the one to fix the language of the Amidah and make it compulsory three times daily, his father Rabbi Gamaliel I had wanted to make the Amidah obligatory (by rote) twice a day. In this passage, the Amidah (or the Standing Prayer) is called the Tefillah.

It is related that a certain disciple came before R. Joshua and asked him, Is the evening Tefillah compulsory or optional? He replied: It is optional. He then presented himself before Rabban Gamaliel and asked him: Is the evening Tefillah compulsory or optional? He replied: It is compulsory.
[Talmud Tractate Berakhot 27b]

About the Amidah, Yeshua only said that whenever we stand praying (i.e., when we say the Standing Prayer), we must forgive, so that we also can be forgiven. This shows us that the point is not how many times a day we say the Amidah by rote. Rather, what matters is that we have the right heart attitude of humility and forgiveness when we pray it.

Marqaus (Mark) 11:25-26
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Those who pray the Amidah by rote will argue that it can be somewhat hypnotic to say the Amidah by rote, as if that was a good thing (and it is not). What Yeshua seems to have believed is that such hypnotic trances can never replace prayers from the heart, because hypnotic prayer does not induce humility or forgiveness in us. Thus rote prayer is a kind of a clever forgery.

Answering Jewish Questions

The first century synagogue service was much shorter than the services of today. It was also said more from the heart. It consisted of the Shema, the Amidah (or a variant which the chazzan improvised), plus the Torah and Prophetic portions. The Psalms were also likely sung in Hebrew, as many of them had been put to music. In general, the first century synagogue is thought to have been simpler, and much less stylized.

In contrast, today’s rabbinic synagogue services are probably much more stylistic and complex. The advent of the printing press has made it possible for the rabbis to add a great many more formulaic prayers, and special rules for almost every occasion. (The sense one gets is that one allegedly has to follow all of these special rabbinical rules to gain Elohim’s favor.)

Many of the prayers and songs have been influenced by the Cabala, and they are unclean. For one example, the song “Shalom Aleichem” is a beautiful song which has the congregants praying to messengers (angels), rather than Elohim (which is forbidden). For these reasons and more, we choose to pattern our siddur (songbook) and our services after the style of service Yeshua followed in the first century.

If you get visitors who come from a rabbinic background, be prepared to answer many questions about why our synagogue services look so different than the modern rabbinic synagogue services. Understand that rabbinic Judaism is all about imitating their most famous rabbis and following their lead. Your visitors may have an intense desire to know why our services do not follow their traditions. The simplest and most direct answer is usually, “We are seeking to imitate our one-and-only Rabbi, Yeshua, and we believe this is how He walked in the first century (or in the Second Temple period).” This is also the most satisfying answer to the Jewish mind, except you should also be prepared for an onslaught of questions challenging the validity of Yeshua’s traditions. It is important not to take offense at this, but rather to realize that to be challenged by questions is an authentic Jewish response. (Jews have a desire to stress-test everything with questions and logical arguments. They will normally test and challenge everything until all of their questions are answered, trying to see if they can break your ideas. If they can break them, they will reject them. Further, if you do not defend your ideas in love they will reject you as not being sincere.) This process might at first seem rather bewildering to the average convert from Christianity (as we tend to shun argument). However, we can engage them in loving dialogue. This is all part of how our Jewish brothers test ideas, and it is also one reason why our Jewish brothers are so smart, and so successful in business, is that they are not afraid to contend for what they believe.

Yeshua, Shaul, and Yehudah (Jude) were not afraid to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. As Jews they stood their ground, and stood strong in their faith, because they were strong in their faith. Unlike many Ephraimites, they did not take offense or break fellowship just because someone asked them to explain or defend their faith.

About Psalms, Songs, and Poetry

The modern rabbinic synagogue service can have many more songs than there were in the first century. The issue is not the number of songs: the issue is that some have clean lyrics, and some do not. Those that are taken directly from Scripture and put to music are always safe to sing. Other lyrics need to be evaluated.

In general, it is good to sing clean songs in the assembly. As we saw in earlier chapters, Yaakov (James) likened the synagogue service to the Tabernacle of David, in which all kinds of new songs were sung.

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:15-21
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek Yahweh, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says Yahweh who does all these things.’
18 “Known to Elohim from eternity are all His works.
19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are (re)turning to Elohim,
20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

We do not know exactly what songs were sung in Yeshua’s time, except that the Psalms were probably sung (in Hebrew). The Shema might also be sung, because it does not change.

The Torah portion and the Prophetic portion are often read as Hebraic poetry, which does not necessarily rhyme, but it follows a certain pattern (called trope) that makes it much easier to listen to. When all is done with the correct kavanah (כַּוָּנָה, intention), it can create a very powerful, satisfying, and immersive experience. That is our goal.

Ordered Relational Fellowship

In the Ephraimite movement today it is common for Ephraimites to sit in a circle, and take turns reading from the Torah. It is also common for Ephraimites to join their hands and form a prayer circle. Such prayer circles are straight out of Wicca (witchcraft). (I know this because I was searching for truth in all the wrong places before Elohim called me to repentance.) You can search the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, and you will never find Yahweh commanding a prayer circle. Jews simply do not do this. Only the Babylonian Christian Church makes use of the Wiccan prayer circle.

Historically, in Israel, Elohim typically calls one man to lead. He can have many helpers, but they all need to be ordered in a spiritual-military fashion, because we are told that Israel is called to Yahweh’s service as the armies of the living Elohim.

Shemote (Exodus) 6:26
6 These are the same Aharon and Moshe to whom Yahweh said, “Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.”

Just as Israel was ordered by tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands, Yeshua also had His disciples order the people by groups of fifty.

Luqa (Luke) 9:14
14 For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.”

Notice He does not make them join hands in a (Wiccan) prayer circle. Instead, it is more of an army structure. What this means is that you will need to serve the people and their needs, but it is not supposed to be a “headless” organization (as many Messianics attempt to make it).

In the Renewed Covenant, Elohim can call groups of men to lead together (such as the apostles, and also elders). However, it is not “rule by committee”, or even majority rule. Rather, there must be order among them, according to their priestly order (i.e., the Melchizedekian order). In the case of congregational elders, the one who served the most should be the leader. And in the case of the separated priesthood, they are to be ordered according to the classic Israelite beit din model (which we discuss in Torah Government and Acts 15 Order). Notice that Yaakov (James) was the nasi (prince, or president) of the beit din (court), which is why the other apostles “went in to see” Yaakov.

Ma’asei (Acts) 21:18
18 On the following day Shaul went in with us to [see] Yaakov, and all the elders were present.

Rebuking the Roaring Lion

While Sabbath and festivals should be a time of great joy for everyone, in general the worship service of Elohim is also very serious, and it is to be conducted as a solemn assembly.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:3
3 “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a set-apart rehearsal. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.”

It is good to have feasting and dancing, but especially as a shepherd, you need to remain focused and present in His Spirit, to protect against the lion and the wolf. The Adversary will not be happy that you have decided to serve Elohim, and He will try to sabotage your assembly if he can.

Kepha (Peter) warns us to be sober, and to be vigilant, because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking someone he may devour.

Kepha Aleph (1 Peter) 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

If you would serve the body as a congregational leader, Satan has you in his sights. He has no intention of sparing you or your sheep, and you can expect him to test you and your assembly on a regular basis.

The job is also made much harder because most of your people will be works-in-progress. Most of them will need loving and delicate correction on a regular basis so that they might be presented perfect in Messiah Yeshua.

Qolossim (Colossians) 1:28
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Messiah Yeshua.

The main thing is to love your people as a father loves his own children. If you love them, and they know it, then they will usually receive your correction, because they know it comes from a place of love. Yet everyone needs to be made aware that our job is to present everyone perfect in Messiah Yeshua, and the Day of Judgment is approaching (and there is no time for foolishness).

Show, Tell, and Judge

Each time you meet, there should be time for the people to share how the Spirit is edifying them. You want to encourage this kind of sharing (for those who are real about it). There should be a time for anyone who wants to sing a psalm (especially in Hebrew), or who has a teaching, or a tongue, or a revelation, or an interpretation. Think of it similar to “show and tell” in grade school, except that they need to coordinate this with you in advance, so that all things are done in an orderly fashion, and for edification.

Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 14:26
26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

This also calls for great wisdom, and discernment. There are many unclean spirits that will try to enter into your assembly, hiding behind (or in) your people. While you do not want to quench the operation of the Spirit, you also cannot afford to allow foolishness or unclean spirits to operate in the assembly. If someone is not truly clean and grounded in the Spirit, use your best judgment in allowing him or her to speak (or not). This is why we are ordered as a spiritual-military order, is that you and your fellow elders will need to exercise this authority lovingly on a regular basis.

One thing that can help tremendously is if you have any members of your assembly who have the prophetic gift, and especially the gift of spiritual discernment. If you have brothers or sisters with a gift of discernment, they can help you recognize any unclean spirits who are trying to work their way into the assembly.

Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 14:27-33
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the assembly, and let him speak to himself and to Elohim.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For Elohim is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints.

We discuss this in more detail in “About Speaking in Tongues”, and also in “Judges and Judicial Authority.” Both of these studies are found in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 1. In those studies we show that there can be both male and female prophetesses. Genuine prophets and prophetesses may speak in the assembly, but it is important to deny those who are not genuine. We cover the details of this in “Gender Roles in the Kingdom” in Covenant Relationships, but we will also cover the basics here.

Banishing Ahab and Jezebel

As we show in other places, separated priests can either be married or not. However, congregational leaders are normally married, because a big part of their job is to provide a good example to the flock about how to raise one’s family in the faith.

The way Elohim made us, there is a natural order in which the husband takes the lead role, and his wife helps and supports him. Because wives often see things from a different angle, it is in any husband’s best interest to listen carefully to her.

As the man, you will need to take matters to the council of elders (and the council of elders will need to go to Elohim together in prayer), but an elder should listen closely to his wife before approaching the council (or Elohim). A husband should honor his wife as the weaker vessel, so that his prayers may not be hindered.

Kepha Aleph (1 Peter) 3:7
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

In Covenant Relationships, in “Gender Roles in the Kingdom”, we explain that when men and women stick to their Elohim-given roles, and everyone does their best (with love and respect), everything works well (both in the home and in the assembly). In this natural order the man leads, while his wife helps and supports him. The reason we bring this up is that it will be the man who is the one to stand up and teach theology in the assembly.

The wife may stand up and teach theology to other women, and also to children. However, women should never stand up and teach theology to men. This is because while women can serve in the kingship (i.e., in government), and as prophetesses, the priesthood has always been exclusively male. When a woman wants to be a priest, it is a sure sign that an unclean spirit is present, because it goes against the natural order. (See also, “Junia: Woman Apostle or Courier?”, in Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 3.)

In Nazarene Scripture Studies, Volume 5, in the study, “The Ahab and Jezebel Spirits”, we show that roughly one in seven brothers and sisters think it is fine for a woman to stand up and teach men theology. About one in seven brothers and sisters will also support a woman in trying to control or train her man (especially by withholding marital relations). Ironically, when these women seek leadership roles, very often they perform quite well, and seem to get good results. However, if you encounter Ahab or Jezebel in your assembly you must put them out, both to protect the people, and to avoid the wrath of Yahweh-Yeshua.

Hitgalut (Revelation) 2:18-23
18 “And to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of Elohim, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the assemblies shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”

Speaking in Turn

Although Ahab and Jezebel (and other evil spirits) must be put outside, you will likely have some brothers and sisters who have the genuine gift of prophecy, which in this context means that they speak according to the Spirit. If a sister has a clean spirit, and also has the gift of prophecy, even though she may not teach men, she may prophesy in turn, and also judge the other prophets.

Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 14:29-33
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For Elohim is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints.

In Covenant Relationships, in “Gender Roles in the Kingdom”, we explain that as Shaul continues writing in verse 34, he ridicules a quotation from a Corinthian writer, who asserts that women must never speak in the assembly. Shaul responds by asking him if the word of Elohim came originally from him, or if he is the only one who heard this commandment, because the Torah never says for women to be completely silent (and in the Torah, women do speak in turn). Only, they should be careful to speak in turn (just as the men also should be careful to speak in turn), so that everything may be done decently and in order.

Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 14:34-40
34 [Quoting] “Let your women keep silent in the assemblies, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the Torah also says.
35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in the assembly.” [End quote.]
36 Oy! Did the word of Elohim come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?
37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of Yahweh [rather than such a man’s opinions].
38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Even though Jezebel is a false prophetess, she is still a prophetess, and she can put on a very convincing act. The situation can be even more confusing when men with an Ahab Spirit support her. Because Jezebel and Ahab are such common spirits, we must always be on our guard against them.

However, good believing sisters do not typically like Jezebel, because she overturns the natural order. So if the women in your congregation complain that a “power sister” wants to stand up and teach men, or that she is upsetting the natural order of the congregation, then it is important to take counsel, and see how order can be re-established, so that the set-apartness of the sanctuary is maintained.

In another place we will put together some suggestions for possible synagogue schedules, but ultimately the schedule you follow should result from seeking Elohim’s face. Ask Him how you should order your meeting, so that the Spirit can flow freely, and make it a solemn-yet-upbuilding and joyful time for all. And it is fine if your meeting looks a little bit different than other synagogues, as there was some variation among synagogues in Yeshua’s day.

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