Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Chronicles-Part 4

2 Chr 16.1-14 tells us about a treaty that Asa makes with Ben-Hadad of Syria. Baasha (he that seeks or lays waste), King of Israel, had come up against Judah and built up Ramah. This would block a main route into Judah that would stop people from coming to Jerusalem for the festivals and other reasons. Baasha hoped hoped this would put military and economic pressure on Judah, forcing Asa to give Baasha what he wanted.

So Asa brought Ben-Hadad treasure so that he would withdraw his support of Baasha (v 3). Asa seems to have forgotten that he had a covenant with Yehovah. He didn’t need one with Ben-Hadad. But Asa’s plan was successful and came against the cities of Israel. When Baasha heard this, he stopped working on Ramah. However, Yehovah sent word to Asa through Hannani the Prophet and rebuked Asa for relying on the king of Syria (v 7). Not much is known about him but he had a son who was a prophet also (1 Kings 16.1, 7; 2 Chre 19.2). This rebuke from Yehovah was something Asa did not expect, after all, his plan worked.

He believed his main enemy was Israel and got the help he needed from Syria. But, this is not what the Lord saw. The bigger enemy was Syria and Yehovah wanted to give him a victory over them. When he compromised, he became blind, and that is true with us also. Yehovah wanted Asa to remember the victories he gave in the past (v 7-10). Yehovah looks for ways to help his people and those who are in faith. What Asa did was to show Yehovah he did not trust him to defend Judah. As a result, Asa would have wars and no protection.

But Asa rejected the message of Hanani and put him in prison. He also harassed others who knew what Asa did was wrong (v 10). So Asa became diseased in his feet and (some say it was gout in his feet for putting the feet of Hanani in stocks) it was severe. And yet, he did not seek the Lord, but his doctors. He refused to trust or rely on the Lord. Now, the Scriptures have a lot of good things to say about doctors (Col 4.14; Acts 28.9; Jam 5.14-15; 1 Tim 5.23) but it is not right to seek medical help instead of the Lord. God can move through a doctor for our healing, so we should do both. Asa died in the forty-first year of his reign and he had a great burial and funeral (v 13-14). They made a great fire for him, and this was customary (Jer 34.5). This was not a cremation, but it was done to honor Asa (2 Chr 21.19).

2 Chr 17.1-19 begins to tell us about the reign of Yehoshaphat (Yehovah is judge), the son of Asa, and how he pleased the Lord. He followed the example of his father David (v 3) and fortified himself against Israel (ten northern tribes). He removed the idolatrous bamot (high places) and the Asherim and in 1 Kings 22.43 it says he did not remove the high places, but these are the ones dedicated to Yehovah, not idolatry. He should have removed them also because the Temple had been built and when that happened, no more bamot were allowed as before. 2 Chr 20.33 says the same thing because the people had not yet directed their hearts to Yehovah (to offer korbanat only in Jerusalem-Deut 12.5).

In the Mishnah, Kodashim 14.4-8 explains the relationship between the Temple and the high places dedicated to Yehovah. It says, “Before the tabernacle was set up, the high places were permitted and the altar service was fulfilled by the first born. But after the tabernacle was set up, the high places were forbidden, and the altar service was fulfilled by the priests; the Most Holy Things (Kodshai Kodashim) were consumed withing the curtains, and the Lesser Holy Things (Kodshai Kelim) throughout the camp of Israel.”

“After they came to Gilgal the high places were again permitted; the Most Holy Things could be eaten only within the curtains but the Lesser Holy Things in any place. After they came to Shiloh the high places were forbidden. There was no roof-beam there, below was a house of stone and above were hangings, and this was the ‘resting place.’ The Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains, and the Lesser Holy Things and the Second Tithe (Maaser Sheni) in any place within sight of Shiloh.”

After they came to Nob and to Gibeon the high places were permitted; the Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy Things throughout the cities of Israel. After they came to Jerusalem the high places were forbidden and never again permitted; and this was the ‘inheritance.’ The Most Holy Things were consumed within the curtains and the Lesser Holy Things and the Second Tithe within the wall of Jerusalem.”

Yehoshaphat also sent five princes, along with nine Levites, to teach Judah from the Torah, how to worship and obey the Lord (v 7-9). As a result, the fear (awe) of Yehovah came upon all the kingdoms that were around Judah and they made no war against Yehoshaphat. Even the Philistines brought gifts and silver to Yehoshpaphat and Arabians brought flocks (v 10-11). Yehoshaphat grew greater and greater and he built defenses and storage facilities in Judah in case of war (v 12-13). All of them were ready to fight when the king needed them. In addition, there was a militia who were also ready (v 14-19).

In 2 Chr 18-1-7 we learn that Yehoshaphat enters into an alliance with King Ahab (Ahav meaning “brother father”) in the north when his son Joram marries the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel named Athaliah. We will see that she is not much different than her infamous parents. Ahab now wants Yehoshaphat to go up with him against Ramoth-Gilead (“heights of Gilead”). The king of Syria had promised to return certain cities in exchange for mercy after he was defeated in battle. Ben-Hadad failed to return Ramoth-Gilead because it was in a strategic position (1 Kings 20.34), and it was a city of refuge (Josh 20.8).

So Yehoshaphat wanted to seek the Lord about this (v 4-6), so Ahab assembled false prophets but Yehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of Yehovah yet in the land (remember, Ahab and Jezebel were persecuting the true prophets of Yehovah). Ahab said, Yes” but he said the prophet hated him because he never prophesied anything good. His name was Micaiah (“Who is like Yah”).

2 Chr 18.8-11 says the false prophets prophesied in the name of Yehovah (Matt 7.22), and these were not pagan pagan prophets, and they said Ahab should go up and fight, and he would succeed. Ahab knew that Micaiah was a true prophet of God, and in 2 Chr 18.12-22 it says that Micaiah is consulted, and he tells them “go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand.” He said this sarcastically but Ahab knew did not say, “Thus says Yehovah” so he knew he wasn’t serious. Ahab then tells him to speak to him only what Yehovah tells him.

So Micaiah tells him that he saw Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep with no shepherd, and Yehovah said “These have no master.” Then Micaiah tells him he was given insight into the heavenly realm and that Ahab’s prophets were inspired by lying spirits (v 22). He saw the Lord sitting on his throne and all the armies of heaven were around him. He asks, “Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel to go up andd fall at Ramoth-Gilead?” And one said this and another said that, but then a spirit came forward and stood before Yehovah and said, “I will entice him.” and Yehovah asked, “How” and the spirit said that he would go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord told him to go and entice him, and prevail. So Micaiah says that Yehovah has put a deceiving spirit into the moths of all his prophets because the Lord has proclaimed “disaster against you (v 18-23).”

Spiritually, just because someone says they are of the Lord doesn’t mean they are. Matt 7.21-23 tells us that there will be many who claim to have prophesied in the name of the Lord but the Lord never knew them. They were “lawless” or “Torah-less. This brings us up to the subject of “revivals.” Psa 119.154 says, “revive me according to your word (“davar”, another name for the Torah). There are also false revivals which are “not according to your word (Torah).” We should judge any “revival” by the standard, “Is this according to God’s word (Torah).” Any revival in the Scriptures always brought the people back to the Torah (2 Kings 22.1-20; 2 Chr 29 and 30 for instance). False revivals will quote 2 Chr 7.14 but that verse is calling the people to repent and come back to the Torah. God will forgive their sin, and sin is defined by the Torah (Rom 3.20; 1 John 3.4). If the “revival” does not call people back to a Torah-based faith in Yeshua (Sabbath, biblical kosher, no idolatry or idolatrous holidays, etc) it is a false revival and just the work of man.

2 Chr 18.23 tells us that Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah (international trader) came forward and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of Yehovah pass from me to speak to you?” Evidently, Zedekiah thought he had the Ruach Ha Kodesh, but he really didn’t. This is just like the prophets of today. When they are defeated they get angry. So Ahab put Micaiah in prison and to keep him there till Ahab got back from the battle (v 26), and Micaiah tells Ahab that if he returns from battle then Yehovah did not speak to him (in 2 Chr 18.16).

In 2 Chr 18.28-34 Ahab goes to battle, along with Yehoshaphat. Why Yehoshaphat went along after hearing all this is very curious, especially after a defeat was predicted. And Ahab, knowing the prophecy of Micaiah, decided to disguise himself and thought this would protect him Yehoshaphat would be the only identifiable king on the battlefield, and why he went along with this also is very, very curious. But this would not save Ahab.

Ben-Hadad tells his army to fight with no one small or great, but only with the King of Israel. Ahab’s previous mercy to Ben-Hadad in 1 Kings 20.31-34 will not be reciprocated. He will return evil for good, but God was directing Ben-Hadad in this. So when the battle started, Yehoshaphat noticed the enemy was coming after him because he was the only one dressed as a king. He cries out to Yehovah in v 31 and the Lord diverted their hearts away from him.

Now, a certain archer drew his bow and shot a random arrow and it struck Ahab between his armor. God directed the arrow to hit Ahab. Man cannot hide from the judgment of God even though he thinks he can. Micaiah obeyed the Lord and ended up in prison, but that was better off than a king he did not obey the Lord. Ahab propped himself up in his chariot with the help of the “shalish.” The shalish is a third man in a chariot, along with the driver. To Ahab’s credit, he stayed propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians until sunset, when he died.

2 Chr 19.1-11 tells us that Yehoshaphat returns after the battle, showing Yehovah’s mercy even to those who use bad judgment. However, Yehu, the son of Hanani the prophet, rebuked Yehoshaphat for helping Ahab, saying, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from Yehovah? But there is some good in you for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.” He had zeal for Yehovah but the wrath of Yehovah would come in the coming war with the Ammonites and Moabites and the death of his great-grandsons by Ahab’s daughter Athaliah.

Yehoshaphat responded by instituting reforms (v 6-10). He appointed judges in Judah and admonished them to remember they were judging for Yehovah, not man. These verses are included here and not in Kings because they served as an example to the leaders who were coming back to rebuild Judah and Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Without the Torah and those who judged righteously, the nation would not prosper and survive.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Chronicles-Part 3

In the book, “Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions” by Roland Devaux, there is a great description of who the Givorah (mistress, great lady) in the courts of Judah really was, and what they really did. Devaux spells it “g’birah” but we will use “givorah” to simplify it. Also, his spelling of the king’s names will be different than what we would use, but we will keep Devaux’s spellings. In a subsection called “The Great Lady” on p.117-119 Devaux says, “On the other hand, at the court of Judah, official rank was accorded to the givorah. In ordinary speech the word means ‘mistress’ as opposed to servant, and corresponds to ‘adon’, ‘lord’, the feminine of which is not used in Hebrew (2 Kings 5.3; Isa 24.2; Psa 123.2; Prov 30.23). In 1 Kings 11.19 it is applied the the Pharaoh’s wife and consort, but it is never used of the wife of a king of Judah; under Asa, the givorah is his grandmother Maakah (1 Kings 15.13; 2 Chr 15.6). The givorah carried into captivity in Jer 29.2 is the king’s mother, according to the parallel in 2 Kings 24.15. The sons of the givorah mentioned in 2 Kings 10.13 along with the sons of the king must be distinct from them; they are the sons of the queen-mother (and therefore the king’s brothers). In Jer 13.18 the king and the givorah are Joiakin and his mother. Etymology and usage suggest that the title should be rendered as Great Lady.”

“This title implied a certain dignity and special powers. Bathsheba was certainly givorah under Solomon; he receives her with great honor and seats her on his right (1 Kings 2.19). The power of the Great Lady did not proceed merely from the influence of a mother over a son, as with Bathsheba; it was more extensive, and for abusing it, Maakah was deprived by Asa of her dignity of Great Lady (1 Kings 15.13). This authority of the queen-mother explains how Athaliah could so easily seize power on the death of Ochoziah (2 Kings 11.1); the queen-mother had an official position in the kingdom, and hence the Nooks of Kings always mentions the name of the king’s mother in the introduction to each reign in Judah-except in the cases of Joram and Achaz, where no woman is named, and of Asa, where his grandmother’s name takes the place of his mother’s. It is possible that the Great Lady was accorded her rank on the accession of her son, which would explain the career of Hamital, wife of Josias, who was queen-mother under Joachaz, was set aside under Joiaqim and Joiakin, and returned under Sedecias, the brother of Joachaz (2 Kings 23.31,36; 24.8,18). It is also possible that the mother became givorah as soon as her son was designated heir to the throne, as is suggested by 2 Chr 11.22-22. The story of Bathsheba does not enable us us to decide this point, since Solomon’s sacring took place immediately after his nomination; but it does at least prove that before his nomination Solomon’s mother had not the dignity which she subsequently enjoyed (cf. 1 Kings 1.15-16,31 and 2.13-19). Bathsheba was the first Great Lady in Israel. On the other hand it seems that the Great Lady could keep her position after her son’s death; Maakah, wife of Roboam, was still givorah under her grandson Asa, after the short reign of her son Abiyyam (1 Kings 15.13). From the same passage we see the the givorah could be dismissed by the king: Maakah had favoured the cult of Asherah.”

“Hittite parallels may help to elucidate this rather complicated question. The tavannana was the lawful queen, the mother of the heir-apparent, and played an important part in policy and religion. If she survived the king she retained the same position during the reign of her son (or sons, if two brothers succeeded to the throne); and only on her death did the dignity pass to her daughter-in-law, the wife of the reigniong king. Like Maakah, she could be dismissed for a serious offence against the king or the state; but, as in Judah, this seems to habe been exceptional. The queen-mother must have held a similar position un Ugarit, where several letters are addressed to the king’s mother, also called the ‘adath’, which is feminine of ‘adon’, and therefore the equivalent of givorah. The Akkadian texts of Ras Shamra indicate that this queen-mother intervened in political affairs, and they also mention a Great Lady of Amurru. For Assyria the evidence is less clear, but we should remember the part played by the queens Sammuramat and Naqi’a during the reigns of their husbands and then their sons. This tradition is preserved in the Greek legends of Semiramis and Nitokris. One may allso point to the in fluence of Ada-guppi, the mother of Nabonidus.”

“There is no direct evidence of the existence of a Great Lady in the northern kingdom. In the introductions to the reigns in Israel, the name of the king’s mother is never given. 2 Kings 10.13 mentions a givorah who can only be Jezebe, but the word is put in the mouth of the princes of Judah. The institution, moreover, presupposes a dynastic stability which was not usually found in the kingdom of Israel. But we must draw attention to a rare term, which is perhaps the Israelite equivalent of the givorah of Judah. In Psa 45.10, the ‘shegal’ is mentioned as standing on the right hand of the king; she is not classed with the other women of the harem, for she is the queen consort. Now, Psa 45 has been interpreted as a wedding-hymn composed for a king of Israel. It is also very tempting to restore the word shegal at the end of Judges 5.30 in the Hymn of Devorah, in place of the impossible shalal, ‘booty.’. The word is parallel to Sisera, and would denote the queen or queen-mother, cf. v. 28. Once again, the Hymn of Deborah is a composition of northern Israel. The only other examples of the term in the Old Testament, Neh 2.6 (the queen of Persia) and Dan 5.2,3,23 (the Aramaic plural form: the wives of Balthazar) do not prove that the word was an official term in Judah before the exile.”

Rehoboam did evil because he did not set his heart to seek Yehovah, he had a heart problem. He did not even have the relationship with God that his father Solomon had. His heart was the root of his problems. There is more detail about Rehoboam here than in First Kings because Rehoboam is a pattern of what repentance and God’s mercy can do for the returning exiles, to encourage them.

As we have said before, Chronicles was one book and it is a retelling of Israel’s monarchy in light of the return from Babylonian exile. The message is, despite experiencing God’s punishment through exile, Yehovah is still with his people and has not rejected them after their exile. Whatever happened to their ancestors did not change the fact that Yehovah is Israel’s God and they have hope for the future.

2 Chr 13.1-22 tells us about the rise of Abijah in Judah, and his mother’s name (the givorah) was Micaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. He only reigned three years. The armies of Abijah and Jeroboam got ready for war, and Abijah gives an appeal to Jeroboam and Israel. He says the dynasty of David is the only true kingship to rule over the tribes, including the northern tribes. God promised this in a covenant and it was ratified in blood and salt (Lev 2.13).

But Jeroboam was accused of rebellion by Abijah, but that was not the whole story. He did rebel, but he was provoked by Rehoboam, along with the ten northern tribes, and Jeroboam was ungodly, but so is Abijah (1 Kings 15.3). Abijah compared the faithfulness of the southern tribes with the unfaithfulness of Jeroboam and Israel. He said if you fight against Abijah, you fight against the Lord. But Jeroboam did not listen and caused an ambush during negotiations for peace. Now Abijah had an army in front and in the rear, so they cried out to the Lord.

As the men of Judah shouted, God routed Jeroboam. Judah won because they depended on the Lord, and they even captured Bethel where the golden calves were (1 Kings 12.28-33). These false gods could not defend their own place of worship. This war ended Jeroboam’s threat and the Lord struck him and he died.

Abijah grew stronger but he was not Torah observant. He walked is all the sins of his father, and he was not loyal to God (1 Kings 15.3). The lesson here is just because you have a great victory does not mean your life before God is faithful. We should never trust in past victories.

Now we come to 1 Chr 14.1-15 and the reign of Asa. He is the great-grandson of Solomon and replaces Abijah, and he was more like David than his father was (1 Kings 15.11). He began to come against the paganism and idolatry in his realm. He banished the male cult prostitutes, or state-sanctioned homosexuality (1 Kings 14.24, 15.12). He also removed his grandmother Maacah from being the givorah because she made an obscene image of Asherah (1 Kings 15.13). He removed the bamot (high places) for idolatry, but not the ones dedicated to Yehovah (2 Chr 14.3, 15.14). Asa followed Yehovah (1 Kings 15.14) and God gave his kingdom peace. He concentrated on building defenses for Judah (2 Chr 14.7-8).

This account in Chronicles is included here, and not in Kings, because those returning from exile needed encouragement. They needed to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its defenses and the writers wanted to show that they would have success if they followed Yehovah, like Asa did.

But, an army from Ethiopia came out against Judah and posed a great threat. Judah had an army of 580,000 (2 Chr 14.8) but the Ethiopians had twice that many. Asa knew that whether he was strong or weak, it had nothing to do with the Lord’s power because he was unlimited. This battle belonged to the Lord. So he cries out to God and said, “Do not let man prevail against you” and Yehovah gave him a great victory. They not only won, but became rich in the process.

2 Chr 15.1-19 tells us about a great revival in Judah. Azariah was a lesser known prophet in Judah, but God gave him a word for Asa and he came to deliver it. Asa and Judah have just won a great victory and it would be easy to get complacent and think they would always enjoy God’s favor, but the “key” is living in God’s favor. He is told that if he seeks God, he will “let” you find him. Yehovah will not hide himself from a seeking heart (Deut 4.29; Jer 29.13; Matt 7.7).

We should remember that the opposite is just as true. If we don’t seek him, we will not find him. In a way, we get what we want from him. If we don’t want to keep the Torah, then we will be with people who don’t want to keep it either. He gives the heart that rejects his ways what it desires, even eternally. When people hate to hear the Scriptures quoted to them, or don’t want to hear what King David had to say, then God will send to where the Scriptures aren’t quoted and where King David isn’t going to be.

Then the Lord says that Israel (in the time of the Judges) did not have the true God, they were without a teaching priest and without the Torah (2 Chr 15.3), but they sought the Lord in their distress, and he let them find him. This was written in Chronicles to remind those returning to the land from Babylon that Israel has been at a low point before, but Yehovah always restored them. So they were to be strong. for there is a reward for their work. That is the message here.

So Asa cleanses the land and gathers Judah, Benjamin and any others together from Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon who had defected from Israel because they knew God was with Asa. They gathered in Jerusalem in the third month (probably around Shavuot) and they entered into a covenant with Yehovah and ratified it with korbanot, and this covenant was connected to the covenant at Sinai (Exo 24.7-8). everyone in Judah rejoiced and swore this oath with a sincere heart.

So Yehovah gave them rest on all sides. He removed Maacah from being queen mother (the givorah) because of her idolatry. He cut down, crushed and burned the “horrid image” she had and burned it in the brook Kidron. He brought into the Temple the dedicated things of his father, and his own dedicated things of silver, gold and utensils. And there was no more war until Asa’s thirty-fifth year, but there will be skirmishes with Baasha, the king of Israel, all their days.

In Part 4 we will pick up in 2 CHr 16.1-14.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Chronicles-Part 2

2 Chr 8.1-18 tells us that after twenty years the kingdom of Solomon was secure. It took seven years to build the Temple and thirteen years to build his palace. He also built cities which Huram (Hiram) gave back to him because they were unsuitable for him (1 Kings 9.11). He captured Hamath-zobal, built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he built in Hamath. He strengthened upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon in the border with the Philitines. He fortified many cities and storage cities, cities for his chariots and horsemen in Israel, Jerusalem and in all the land.

Solomon also raised forced laborers from the descendants of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites that remained in the land under his rule. However, he did not make the children of Israel work as forced laborers because they were the warriors, captains and commanders and they managed the forced labor.

Solomon also married the daughter of Pharaoh Horemheb. She was a pagan and her house may have been in the area of Golgotha because many Egyptian artifacts were found there outside the city gates. This marriage was not to the credit of Solomon and it marked the beginning of Solomon’s decline. He moved her because he did not think it was proper far a pagan to be in a place that had a kedusha on it (his palace).

Solomon administered the korbanot according to the Torah and also made sure the priestly divisions were there for the Temple services (avodah). He was also involved in sea trade, which was unusual for the people of Israel. Huram supplied the ships and seamen because the Israelites were not known as sailors or had the skills. With this ability, Solomon was able to go to Ophir and obtain 450 talents of gold. Nobody knows where Ophir was but there are several candidates for it like India or Arabia.

2 Chr 9.1-31 tells us about the visit of the Queen of Sheba and more of Solomon’s achievements. Sheba is where Yemen is today and was a wealthy kingdom at the time. It was about 1500 miles south of Israel and probably came to negotiate a treaty as a part of a trade delegation. She tested him with hard questions, having heard of his wisdom.

After seeing the splendor and luxury of everything that Solomon had built, she was left “breathless” (v 4). She saw his ministers and what they wore and his stairway (2 Kings 11.11-19). Now, she was accustomed to luxury but she had not seen anything like this. Yeshua used this queen as an example of someone who seeks the Lord and wants answers. She came from a great distance, through hardship and dangers, to get to Solomon and have her questions answered. She had gifts to offer and came to question and learn. She saw the riches of the king and did not leave right away. She also told the king everything that was on her heart.

In 2 Chr 9.11 we find that Solomon built steps, or raised pavements with beautiful designs, for the Temple and the king’s palace from “algum.” This is spelled “almug” in 1 Kings 10.11-12 and this was an aromatic wood. We also learn that Solomon obtained 666 talents of gold every year in 2 Chr 9.13. He is the only other person in Scripture associated with this number. It is the number “of a man” in Rev 13.18 (in Greek, which is related to the False Messiah. Now, if 666 is the number “of a man” (in Greek) could that be alluding to Solomon in Rev 13.18? We are not saying he is the False Messiah but it could be alluding to the fact that the False Messiah may start out as a wise and good king, who then turns from Yehovah to idolatry. This verse is also telling us that Solomon was not following the instructions (Torah) in Deut 17.14-20 about multiplying gold and silver to himself. Now, it is true, that God said he would bless Solomon with riches because he didn’t ask for them in 2 Chr 1.11, but Solomon allowed himself to be corrupted by them.

Solomon also had a very interesting throne that alludes to Jewish eschatology. It was ivory overlaid with gold and there were six steps that led to the throne. The two arms had two lions standing by them, and twelve lions were standing on the six steps, six on each side. The six steps that led to the throne alludes to the 6000 years that will lead to the throne of Messiah in the Messianic Kingdom. The lions standing next to the arms allude to the kingly tribe of Judah and royal power and strength. The twelve lions represent the twelve tribes he rules over.

Solomon was greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom and he died after ruling forty years, and the golden age of Israel comes to an end. Powers in the north and south are rising and Israel is in the middle, which makes it the battle ground.

Some scholars believe that he began to rule when he was only twenty, and that means he did not live a very long life. David was seventy when he died. Yehovah said in 1 Kings 3.4 that if Solomon walked in God’s ways he would lengthen his days. When we look at what Solomon did in his life in regards to multiplying wives, gold, silver and horses to himself, along with his idolatrous practices, it is no wonder why he died relatively young.

There are scholars who say Solomon died in unbelief, while others say he repented at the end of his life and wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. The book explains how he had experienced just about everything you could experience and how empty and vain it all was. His conclusion, “when all has been heard is; fear God and keep the commandments, because this applies to everyone.” In any case, we learn that material wealth and grandeur damaged Solomon and the people of Israel, and rebellion was underneath and at work, ready to break out after his death.

2 Chr 10.1-19 introduces us to Solomon’s son Rehoboam (people are enlarged). All the people came to Jerusalem to make him king. Jeroboam (the people contend) was told by a prophet that he was going to rule over a portion of a divided Israel (1 Kings 11.26-40). So, he was interested in who the successor was going to be.

The people complained about the heavy taxation and forced servitude during Solomon’s reign, but they should have been complaining about the idolatry he placed among them, but they don’t. God warned Israel about what a king would do in 1 Sam 8.10-18. The elders made a serious mistake by not demanding spiritual reforms from Rehoboam. It looks like idolatry and the rebellion of Solomon against the Lord and the Torah didn’t bother them.

So Rehoboam listened to the older elders who served Solomon, and they told him to be kinder to the people than his father was, but he rejected their advice. Then he listened to the younger advisors and he took their advice to make their burdens heavier. These younger advisors may have been some of David’s other sons (like Jerimoth in 11.18), or his friends. This is like today when we go “advice shopping.” We ask different people until we find someone who tells us what we want to hear. These “advisors” were people who grew up with Rehoboam (v 10) and were about as spoiled as Rehoboam was. They were surrounded by luxury and remained hardened to the complaints of the people. Young people never listen to the advice of the elders even today. So, Rehoboam did not listen to the people and showed himself to be an unwise ruler. However, this series of events was from Yehovah (v 15).

In 1 Kings 11.29-43 it tells us about a prophecy to Jeroboam. He would be given ten tribes to rule over because of what Solomon had done. Solomon tries to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt until the death of Solomon. Israel is now in rebellion and the people reject the dynasty of David.

2 Chr 11.1-12 tells us that Shemaiah gave a prophecy that avoided a civil war. He told the two remaining tribes of Judah and Benjamin to stand down and not go to war against the ten northern tribes with Jeroboam. He told them that these events were “from me” so they listened to the Word of Yehovah in this matter through Shemaiah, and built cities for defense in Judah.

2 Chr 11.13-17 tells us that the priests and Levites in the land stood with Rehoboam from all their districts, and the Temple was in the south as well. As a result, Jeroboam appoints false priests in the high places for idolatry in Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12.31, 13.33; 2 Chr 13.4-12). What Jeroboam did is called “Replacement Theology” because he replaced the true place of worship, the true priesthood with others who were not Levites, and the true time of worship with other festivals. That is exactly what Christianity, Judaism, Messianic Judaism, the Hebrew Roots Movement and the Sacred Name Movement has done, along with all the other religions and denominations all over the world. It is Replacement Theology.

In 2 Chr 11.18-23 Rehoboam marries Mahalath (lyre), the daughter of Jerimoth (elevation), an unknown son of David, and Abihail (might), the daughter of Eliab (God is my father), David’s brother. He had eighteen wives and ten concubines. evidently he did not learn from the mistakes of his father. He had fewer wives that Solomon because he could not support anymore since the kingdom was divided now, but his behavior broke the Torah command in Deut 17.17. He also appointed Abijah (my father is Yehovah), the son of Maacah (crushed) to be his successor (v 22). He also dispersed his sons throughout the kingdom so that they would not form an alliance against Abijah.

In 2 Chr 12.1-6 it tells us about Rehoboam and his people and how they turned away from the Torah and was chastised by Yehovah. Shishak, the Pharaoh of Egypt, came against Jerusalem with people without number. Josephus says it was about 100,000 infantry. He was taking advantage of the civil unrest in Israel (2 Chr 10.16). He took the fortress at Sukkot first and cut off any help. He then used it as a base to come against Jerusalem.

Then Shemaiah the prophet came again and he spoke to all the princes of Judah because they were gathered in Jerusalem because of Shishak. They were told that they had forsaken the Lord, so he forsook them to Shishak. As a result, they repented and humbled themselves and the Lord said he would not destroy Jerusalem, but allow Shishak some success. Judah would become servants of Egypt (pay tribute) so that they would learn the difference in serving Yehovah, and from serving the kingdoms of this world.

Some deliverance was given to Judah but Shishak took away the treasures of the Temple, the king’s palace and the golden shields Solomon had made. Rehoboam replaced these shields with shields of bronze, trying to keep up appearances. The golden shields were worth millions in today’s money and now Egypt had them. How many times have we masqueraded around with cheaper spiritual substitutes and imitations of the real “gold” that we could have had from Yehovah?

Rehoboam had more humbling to do, even after 2 Chr 12.6-8. God knew there was more work to be done. After this, Yehovah turned away so as to not destroy him completely, and conditions were good in Judah. So Rehoboam, because of God’s mercy, survived Shishak and reigned for seventeen years in Jerusalem. Then it mentions his mother Naamah (pleasant) the Ammonitess, a non-Jew. She was one of the many wives of Solomon. Now, here is an important concept that we are going to discuss. In the southern kingdom of Judah, the mother of the king was “Queen Mother” and not the wife of the king. She was called the “Givorah” or “Great Lady” and dominated the king’s harem, acted as an advisor to her son the king and had immeasurable influence in society. In Part 3 we will look into this concept a little deeper.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Chronicles-Part 1

As we have said before, this book was originally one book called the “Divrei Ha Yamim” and this book starts out with the confirmation of Solomon and his kingdom, and how he became well settled and established. His reign will be a picture of the Messianic Kingdom under Yeshua at the high point (2 Chr 1.1-2). Solomon meets Yehovah at Gibeon where the Mishkan was, with all the Kahal (congregation), at the altar made by Bezaleel (Exo 31.2, 1 Chr 16.39-40). Much of the information in this book was covered in Kings so we will not spend as much time covering the same material.

The Mishkan and the Ark was brought to Shilah by Joshua (Josh 18). When Eli was high priest, the Ark was captured and the Mishkan vandalized (1 Sam 4, Psa 78.60-64; Jer 7.12, 26.9). The Ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Sam 7.1-2). Saul restored the Mishkan at Nob (1 Sam 21) and then eventually moved it to Gibeon (1 Chr 16.39-40). David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent called the “Ohel David” or the “Tent of David” (2 Sam 6.17; 2 Chr 1.4).

There are several reasons why David did not bring the Mishkan from Gibeon to Jerusalem. First, he may have thought that if the Mishkan was in Jerusalem, the people would not see any need for a Temple. In the past, the Mishkan was only moved when necessary. David was now focused on the Temple and was moving away from having a continuing Mishkan, and this was by Yehovha’s design. David apparently had no word from the Lord to move it.

So, Solomon and the kahal (assembly) came before Yehovah and Solomon offered a thousand “Olot” (burnt offerings) on the Altar of Bronze, the same altar used in the wilderness. That night, Yehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream and the Lord wanted Solomon to ask him for anything. So Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge so that he could lead the people, and he receives more than he ever expected.

However, he did not ask for the deep communion with Yehovah that his father had, and this would have been better for him in the long run. Solomon fell away at the end of his life (1 Kings 11.1-11) and this shows us that SOlomon lacked something. On the other hand, many believe that Solomon repented from his sins and wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes as a result, which is entirely possible. In the end, did Solomon waste all these gifts from God? Instead of being the wisest of all, he worshiped idols and he became a disappointing character in Scripture.

2 Chr 1.13-17 describes the great riches of Solomon, and he became a trader in the chariot business (v 17). This, however, begins to document the decline of Solomon already. He was not to multiply horses and chariots to himself according to the Torah (Deut 17.6), and he got connected with the Egyptians. He then marries Pharaoh’s daughter, and then started to marry other foreign wives (1 Kings 11.1-4). He then began to build temples to their gods (1 Kings 11.7-8, and eventually begins to worship these other gods himself (1 Kings 11.4-5).

2 Chr 2.1-18 tells us about Solomon’s goal of building the Temple and palace for himself. He conscripted thousands to bear the burdens of building the Temple and hewing stones. He sent to Huram (Hiram) of Tyre to have cedars used for the Temple, and also sent a man who had the skill to work in gold and silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood. he could also work in fabrics. In exchange, Solomon sent wheat, barley, oil and wine.

The timber was cut from Lebanon and it was brought down on rafts by sea to Joppa and it was carried to Jerusalem from there. Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in Israel, and he found 153,600 of them. Some were used to carry loads (70,000), and some were used to quarry stones in the mountains (80,000), and some (3600) were used as supervisors. Spiritually, Yeshua is building his temple using Jews and non-Jews, not with wood and stone, but with his blood. We have already gone over this in 1 Kings 3.16 to 4.34, 5.16.

2 Chr 3.1 tells us that the Temple will be built on Mount Moriah where Abraham was told by Yehovah to take Isaac and offer him there (Gen 22). This was also the place where Jacob saw his dream and Bethel, the house of God (Gen 28). David was told to put the altar there on the threshing floor of Ornan (1 Chr 21). Yeshua will also be crucified on the same set of hills. Construction of the Temple began on the second day of the second month (Iyar 2) in the fourth year of his reign. This doesn’t mean he delayed obeying the Lord four four years, but it took time to prepare all the materials from Lebanon and other places.

2 Chr 3.3-17 tells us that Solomon built the foundations (rock platform) for the Temple at the place David prepared. He also built the surrounding areas, so there would be four main things he will be building. First, he will build the Temple itself, with two rooms called the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies), also known as the “Devir” (to speak) in Scripture (1 Kings 6.19-22) and it is related to the word “davar” meaning “word.” The other room was called the Heichal or the Ha Kodesh (“holy place”).

He also built the Ulam (porch) on the east side of the building. Then you will have the three-storied side chambers (1 Kings 6.5) which surrounded the sanctuary on the north, west and south sides. Then he built a large courtyard surrounding the whole sanctuary (1 Kings 6.36). He decorated the house with precious stones and he carved Keruvim (cherubim, a type of angel) on the walls, as one would encounter in heaven (Psa 80.1; Isa 37.16; Ezek 10.3). It also had palm trees, flowers and pomegranates all over the inside. This was to give the impression of a garden as in the Garden of Eden. It believed that the Eden was the surrounding area and that the garden where God met Adam was where the Temple would stand.

2 Chr 3.8-14 tells us about the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Devir). He overlaid it with gold, and he carved two 14-16 foot high keruvim (a class of angel) out of olive wood (1 Kings 6.23) and overlaid them with gold. Their wings were spread out so that one wing was touching one wall and the other wing touching in the center over the Ark (1 Kings 6.27). Then he made a veil over the doors to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim. He also made two pillars of bronze for the front of the sanctuary. He named the one on the right, as you looked at them, “Yachin” meaning “Yehovah shall establish” and the one on the left was called “Boaz” meaning “Strength.” They will symbolize the Messiah ultimately, but also David and Solomon. Yachin (Yehovah shall establish) alludes to Solomon in that God establishes the Davidic kingship beginning with him. Boaz alludes to David and one of his ancestors. David received the plans for the Temple and Solomon carried them out. Together, they symbolize to all who are weak and feeble that Yehovah will establish us and strengthen us through the Messiah by emunah (faith).

2 Chr 4.1-22 gives us the account of the building of the Temple, of the materials, its parts and the form of it. He made a bronze altar and a cast metal basin or “sea.” He had figures like oxen all around it and it stood on twelve oxen, with three on all four sides. It held 3000 baths and this alludes to the 3000 immersed after they became believers in Acts 2.41. It also alludes to the 3000 years from the resurrection of Yeshua and the end of the Messianic Kingdom (“the third day” in Hos 6.3). He also made ten basins in which to wash and set five on the right and five on the left. These were used to wash korbanot, and the basin was for the priests. He also made ten golden lampstands in the way God prescribed and set them in the Temple, five on the right and five on the left. With the six branches on each, this totals sixty and this is alluded to in Song 3.7. These guarded the “couch” (aperion) of Solomon. Spiritually, these represent the angelic guardians of the Shekinah.

He also made ten tables (stands fore the ten lampstands) and placed them in the Temple, five on the right and left. He also made one hundred golden bowls used for the drink offerings. He also made the courts (azarah) of the priests and the great court (of Israel) and doors for the court, overlaid with bronze (judgment). He set the sea basin southeast of the altar. Huram made pails, shovels and bowls and he finished the work which Solomon gave him to do. These were used to carry away ashes, removing ashes and the bowls for receiving and sprinkling the blood of the korbanot. What follows in verses 12-18 is a list of what he did. The castings were formed in the plains of the Jordan, in the clay ground between Sukkot and Zeredah (Zarthan-1 Kings 7.46).

Then in 2 Chr 4.19-22 we have a list of the items Solomon had made for the Sanctuary: The Golden Altar; the tables with the bread of the faces on them; the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold; to burn in front of the Devir in the way written; the flowers, the lamps, and the golden tongs; the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons; and the entrance of the house, its inner doors for the Holy of Holies, and the doors of the house, that is the the doors leading into the Holy Place.

2 Chr 5.1 tells us that Solomon completed the work, and 1 Kings 6.38 says it was completed in Chesvan, after seven years. 2 Chr 5.2-14 says that the furniture was brought in before the people and the Ark was brought up out of the city of David. All of the people then assembled nearly a year later during the month of Tishri (seventh month on the religious calendar), around the festivals of Rosh Ha Shanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (1 Kings 8.2-65) to dediate the Temple.

The Kivod (glory of Yehovah) filled the house and the priests could not stand in the Holy Place because they were not comfortable in their sinful state. The kivod of the Lord would stay there until the events described in Ezek 9.3 to 11.23. Jewish tradition says the cloud was there by day, and a fire by night. This first appeared to Israel on Tishri 15. The illumination of the Temple with the four poles and sixteen vats at Sukkot allude to this. This light was called the ‘Light of the World” and it was a light to show the way in the midst of darkness. It was at the Festival of Sukkot in John 7.1 to 8.12 that Yeshua used these lights as a metaphor when he said, “I am the light of the world.” It is also believed that Yeshua was born at the festival of Sukkot.

In 2 Chr 6.1-42 we have the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. He said that Yehovah has said that he will dwell (Shkan as in “Mishkan”) in the thick cloud (Shekinah). Then he turned to the people and blessed them. Then in 2 Chr 6.14-42 we have his prayer of dedication on a bronze platform that he had made (v 13), and it is an excellent model for us to follow. This prayer asks Yehovah to hear the prayers of Israel when they sin against each other, or when they are defeated by an enemy because of their sins and they repent. In a time of famine, he asks that Yehovah hear their prayers and forgive the people of the sins that caused the famine.

This also covers the case of a plague, locusts, mildew, blight or if an enemy besieges a city. When they turn towards the Temple to pray (a good practice for today, even with no Temple) he asks that the Lord hear their prayers. And we even have his request on behalf of the non-Jews to hear their prayers. When Israel goes out to battle, he wants Yehovah to hear their prayers and to maintain their cause. If Israel sins and they are taken captive and taken to a foreign land, and they pray for forgiveness and return to the Lord, then he wants the Lord to hear their prayer and and forgive the people.

2 Chr 7.1-22 talks about the Shekinah coming down upon the altar, the dedication of the Temple during the festivals in Tishri, and Yehovah’s promises and warnings. When Solomon was finished with his prayer, fire came down out of heaven and consumed the olot (burnt offerings) and the korbanot. and how the kivod (glory) filled the house, orHoly Place (v 1.3). Then it says that Solomon and all the people offered korbanot before Yehovah, and Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in dedicating the Temple. This dedication involved both God and man (v 4-7. We also learn that this dedication took place during the month of Tishri, at the time of Sukkot and at the conclusion of Solomon’s work on the Temple (v 8-11).

In 2 Chr 7.12-22 we learn that Yehovah appeared to Solomon again. He was assured that his prayer of dedication in the Temple (6.14 42). This is the second time Yehovah appeared to Solomon. God promised to hear from heaven when his people seek his face and turn from their wicked ways as defined in the Torah, and he would forgive them. He also gave Solomon a warning. If Solomon walked before him as his father David did, then he would establish his throne. He was not asking for perfection, but what God asked for was not impossible. But if Solomon turned away from the Lord and the Torah, then the people will be uprooted and Temple will be cast away and the people chastised. When the other nations pass by and ask why all this has happened, then it will be said it was because they forsook the Lord who had brought them out of Egypt and they worshiped other gods. And it will be known that it was Yehovah who had brought all of this on them.

In Part 2 we will pick up in 2 Chr 8.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Chronicles-Conclusion

In 1 Chr 23.1-32 we find that David turns over the kingdom to Solomon. There were other sons who had a claim to the throne (like Adonijah), but David knew that it was the will of Yehovah to have Solomon, and David favored him. David organized the priests (kohanim) and the Levites (Levi’im) to help Solomon with the Temple and the administration of the kingdom. These divisions did not come from David, but were organized by Yehovah (1 Chr 28.11-19). The Levites were numbered at first according to Num 4.1-3 (from 30 years and up), and there were 38,000 qualified Levites. They were also officers and judges in the civil government also. Gatekeepers numbered 4,000 and they provided security. They made sure that only those who were ready could come into the Temple. Another 4,000 were singers and musicians.

All of these were separated into “mishmarot” (divisions) among the sons of Gershon, Merari and Kohath. These family groupings had certain responsibilities. Gershon took care of the skins that covered the Mishakn, Kohath took care of the furniture including the Aron (Ark), the Shulchan Lechem Ha Pannim (Table of Bread) and so on. They also worked under the High Priest. Merari took care of the structural aspects of the Mishkan (boards, sockets, rings, etc). Now, according to the last words of David, the sons of Levi were counted from 20 years old and upward (v 24-27). They had finally reached the “rest” promised by the Lord and they did not need to carry the Mishkan anymore. The service of the Temple was elaborate and more Levites were needed now.

1 Chr 24.1-16 tells us that the priests were divided into 24 courses, or mishmarot. Lots were cast to see when each mishmar came to serve in the Temple. The first lot began to serve at the beginning of Nisan and each mishmar served one week, coming in and leaving on the Sabbath (2 Kings 11.4-8). All the priests would serve on the festivals. Lists like this and the genealogies are passed over many times but they can give us a lot of information if you know what you are looking for.

For example, 1 Chr 24.10 tells us about the the mishmar of Abijah. This tells us what time of year Zechariah came to serve in the Temple in Luke 1.5-17. He was of the division (mishmar) of Abijah and that means he was in the Temple with his mishmar about ten weeks into the religious calendar, about mid-June (we will see why later). It was the eighth course and that indicate a new beginning and that is when the angel appeared to him and told him he was going to have a son, who would be the forerunner of the Messiah. After they served for one week in the first half of the religious year, they would start over and come to serve a second week in the second half of the year.

Knowing this will give us the date of Yeshua’s birth at the festival of Sukkot. In order to see this as a whole, and to see when Yeshua was born, we want to go to the book “Rosh Ha Shanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, P. 155-157, 161-162. Good says, “An easy to document, but not well known fact, is the date of the birth of Yeshua. This is done by establishing several things: (1) The date that Gabriel the angel tells Zechariah, the soon to be father of Yochanon, about his son’s birth. (The birth date of Yochanon (John) is established by going forward nine months, the term of pregnancy). (2) The approximate date of Miriam’s (Mary’s) conception. (3) The date of Herod’s death.”

“The date that Gabriel the angel told Zechariah that he and his wife were going to have Yochanon is established from the following. Luke 1.5 states that Zechariah is a priest of the course of Abijah. King david, according to 1 Chr 24, had divided the priestly families into twenty-four groups. Each group was called a course, named after the head of that particular family. each course served for one week in the first half of the years, and for another week in the second half of the year. This was in addition to to the weeks of Hag Ha Matzah, Shavuot and Sukkot, when all the courses were required to be present (Deut 16.16). Therefore, the first course served for the first week of the year (Aviv); the second course, the second week; then all the courses, the third, because it was Hag Ha Matzah, and so on. 1 Chr 24.10 lists the course of Abijah as the eighth course. This course would serve the tenth week of the first half of the year, having allowed two weeks for Hag Ha Matzah and Shavuot. It is the time that Zechariah receives the prophecy of Yochanon’s birth.”

Due to the laws of separation (Lev 12.5, 15.19, 25), two additional weeks have to be counted. Allowing for this and going forward a normal pregnancy, the time of Yochanon’s birth (if this is the first half of the year) would be approximately Pesach, when it is expected that Elijah would appear. Six months following Elizabeth’s conception, the angel Gabriel is sent to Miriam (Mary), the cousin of Elizabeth. Starting at Chanukah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Miriam’s pregnancy brings one to to the approximate time of Sukkot.”

It is apparent that as long as Herod was alive, they could not appear at the Temple. There fore, if the approximate date of Herod’s death could be determined, it would establish the season of Yeshua’s birth. The Jewish historian, Josephus, who lived during the first century C.E. documents in detail Herod’s death. Josephus relates that Herod became very ill immediately following an act of impiety against the priesthood, at which time an eclipse of the moon occurred. This eclipse, the only one mentioned by Josephus, happened on March 13 in the year of the Julian period 4710, and the fourth year before the Common Era. Herod’s illness lasted several months and is documented in great detail as being painful and distressful. Many times cures were sought and brought about temporary relief, however, nothing prevented imminent death. According to Josephus’ calculations, Herod’s death occurred about September, in the fourth year before the Common Era. Therefore, with the knowledge that Herod died in autumn, the same time of year as Sukkot, and that his death was within forty days of the birth of Yeshua, it is established that Yeshua was born at this time of year.” So, as we can see by these courses listed in 1 Chr 24.7-18, much information can be gleaned in regards to the birth of Yeshua God put these type of things in the Scriptures for a reason.

1 Chr 25.1-31 tells us about the musicians that were separated for the Temple music. They were the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthan. In 1 Chr 26.1-32 we have a further account of how the Levites were divided to serve in other offices. In 1 Chr 27.1-34 we have an account of how the army was divided into twelve mishmarot, and who would command them. This is the reserve army that served one month out of the year (27.1). The Givorim (Mighty Men) commanded a region or district, each being an army to itself. Each served one month and the tribal chiefs took care of any internal affairs or issues. Stores and supplies from the various regions were used for the maintenance of the army. 1 Chr 27.30 says that donkeys were used because horses were not used much, and saddles were not developed. The terrain was rough so donkeys were better, sort of an “all terrain” animal.

1 Chr 28.10-21 contains some very important information. David had intended to build a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was seen as the “footstool” of God on earth. He reigned and sat in heaven, and rested his foot on the earth (Psa 99.5, 132.7-8, Isa 66.1). The imagery also had Yehovah “sitting” on the kipporet of the Ark (throne) and the chest as a footstool. We will also see in this 1 Chr 28.5-7 that the kings were seen as being adopted by Yehovah and the actual son of God (2 Sam 7.14). We will also see that the kings sat on the throne of the “Kingdom of the Lord (Yehovah” over Israel. The Kingdom of Heaven (or God) is a variation of this (1 Chr 13.8). The Term “Sons of God” became a title for the kings (Luke 3.38; Mark 16.16; John 1.49; Psa 2.6-7).

In 1 Chr 28.11-19, David was given the plans for the Temple in its fullness, but it will come about in stages through the years with later kings. David gave the plan to Solomon but the plans came from God (v 19). The plan included the courts of the house, the surrounding rooms, the storehouses and the Mishmarot (divisions) of the priests and Levites, and for all the work (melakah) of the service (avodah) of the Temple.

God gave to David, and David to Solomon, the plan for the golden utensils for every kind of service, and for the silver utensils for every kind of service. He also gave the weight of gold for the golden lampstands (plural) and their golden lamps, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps; the weight of of silver for the silver lampstands, with the weight of each lampstand and its lamps according to the use of each lampstand.

He also had the gold weight for the tables of showbread; for each table and silver for the silver tables. Also, the forks, the basins, and the pitchers of pure Gold; and for the golden bowls with the weight for each bowl; and for the silver bowls with the weight for each bowl; and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the model of the chariot (“merkavah” or Ark) the cherubim that spread out (their wings) and covered the ark of the covenant of Yehovah (1 Kings 6.23-about 14 feet high).

The 1 Chr 28.19 says, “All (this) Yehovah made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, all the details of this pattern (2 Chr 35.3-4).” In other words, all of this was given to David by Yehovah, who made him understand in writing by his hand upon David. This included all the details of this pattern (“tavnit” or blueprint, like he did with Moses with the Mishkan in Exo 25.8-9). This is the Temple in its fullness, after many years and many stages. David and Solomon began the process. The rabbis, sages and priests did not have the authority to institute something that God did not put into the Scriptures. As a result, anything related to the Temple could not be “added to or deleted from.”

The struggle over the Temple Mount and the Temple has been going on for a long time (1 Kings 12.28, 14.26; 2 Kings 14.12-14, 16.10-18, 18.15; 2 Chr 32 ; 2 Kings 21.1-7, 25.9-13; Ezra 4.1-23; Dan 11 with Antiochus and Chanukah; Pompey in 63 B.C.; Yeshua’s predictions and Herod’s rebuilding projects; the Roman Wars with the Jews in 70 A.D.; the Bar Kochba revolt in 132 A.D.; Emperor Julian tries to rebuild the Temple in 363 A.D.; problems in 463, 629 and 715 A.D.; the Crusaders; 1917, 1948, 1967, 1973 all the way to the problems today.

1 Chr 29.1-30 tells us about how David gave provisions for the Temple and how joyful he and all the people were in doing so (v 9). Then David says a prayer for Solomon and offers korbanot when placing Solomon on the throne for ma second time. The first time was when Adonijah revolted. 1 Chr 29.10-13 is read on Rosh Ha Shanah because it deals with the enthronement of Solomon.

1 Chr 29.27 tells us that David reigned over Israel for forty years; and he reigned in Hebron seven years and in Jerusalem thirty-three years. Now, this is a very eschatological verse and is full of meaning. Hebron (meaning “communion”) is where Abraham is buried, and it is believed that the resurrection from the dead will start there. Hebron is also called “Abraham’s Bosom” and it is an idiom for heaven.

The resurrection was rehearsed every day in the Temple. Before the sun was up and it was still dark, a priest would go and see if the time had come for the morning Tamid lamb to be slain (Num 28). If it had come, he that perceived it would say, “It is daylight” or “Bat Chai” in Hebrew. Then he would say, “The whole east is alight.” Then they would say, “As far as Hebron?” And the priest would answer, “Yes.” So, the sun rising over Hebron was a type or symbolic of the resurrection. We also rehearse the resurrection every morning when we wake up.

So, David reigned in Hebron (heaven) for seven years. Then he comes to Jerusalem and he reigned another thirty-three years, the same age Yeshua was when he rode into Jerusalem as the King of Israel and the Messiah. Eschatologically, we will come to the end of the Olam Ha Zeh (6000 years from creation called the “Present World or age”) on Tishri 1, year 6001. Then we enter into the Atid Lavo (future or coming age), also known as the “Day of the Lord” or “Lord’s Day.” This period will last 1000 years.

On Tishri 1, the Natzal (Rapture or gathering) will occur and we will have the resurrection of the righteous dead (1 Thes 4.13-18; 1 Cor 15.50-52). Yeshua will be coronated as King on that day (Tishri 1 or Rosh Ha Shanah) and he will rule from heaven (Hebron) for seven years (like David), which will run concurrently with the seven year Birth-pains on earth. At the end of the seven years, Yeshua will leave heaven (Hebron) with his bride and return to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur to rule (like David) for the remaining 993 years of the Atid Lavo (Matt 24.29-31; Dan 7.13-14, 21-22).

1 Chr 29.28-31 tells us about the death of David, and he was a great king and his greatness lives on because of his connection to Yeshua the Messiah. One of the titles Yeshua has is “son of david” which not only denotes he is a descendant, but also the king. We can learn many things from the life of David. He came to the throne through a sea of sorrows, well documented in the Book of Psalms, and we have our sorrows, too. David was just a man who sinned in the matter with Uriah, and had other sins, and he suffered greatly because of them also. But, he repented and his sins could not surpass the eternal mercy of God. His guilt was taken away and he was restored, and this should give us great comfort and encouragement. Yehovah is a great God, and his mercy endures forever.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Chronicles-Part 3

In 1 Chr 16.1-43 David offers korbanot when the Ark was brought into the city. He appointed the proper people to minister before the Ark, but also before the Mishkan in Gibeon. In 1 Chr 16.7-36 we have a song of David that was taught to Asaph and his family, who were musicians and psalmists. This song was intended to be sung when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem.

In the Rosh Ha Shanah Machzor (prayer book) by Mesorah Publications, p.224, it says that “during the last 43 years before Solomon inaugurated the Temple, the first fifteen verses (v 8-22) were sung in the Tabernacle every day during the morning Tamid offering service, and the last fourteen verses (v 23-36) were sung during the afternoon Tamid service.”

The song “calls upon Israel to maintain its faith in God and its confidence that he will bring it salvation from exile and persecution. The first fifteen verses refer to the miracles of past salvations and how our patriarchs had complete faith in God, even though they had nothing to go by but his covenant and oath. The second group of fourteen verses begins with ‘Sing to Yehovah, everyone on earth.’ It refers to the song of gratitude that everyone will sing in Messianic times. Thus, this section parallels the theme of the morning Shema blessings in which we emphasize the redemption of the past, while the second section parallels the evening Shema blessings in which we stress the redemption of the future.” The Mishkan and the Altar of Burnt Offering remained in Gibeon until the place for the Altar was determined. All burnt offerings to Yehovah were offered morning and evening as prescribed in the Torah (v 39-40).

1 Chr 17.1-27 is the same as 2 Sam 7.1-29 and it contains the story of how David intended to build a Temple to Yehovah. However, he was not to be the one to build it, but God was going to build a “house” for David. He would establish a permanent, secure Israel for David, and because David was a shepherd and he was concerned for the welfare of his people, Yehovah eased his mind in this.

David was a man of war and God wanted a man of peace (Shlomo/Solomon means peace) to build it. He did not tell David this at the time, but later (1 Chr 22.8-10). David accepted Yehovah’s reason, and it would have wounded David to tell everything at this time. David’s “house” would rule Israel forever, and they did rule for over 400 years, but that is not what the Lord had in mind here. Those kings ended with the exile. Isa 11.1-2 says that a shoot out of the stem of Jesse would rule forever. Messiah would come when all seemed lost, and come from the supposed “dead” line of David to rule. This alludes to the resurrection of Yeshua who came back to life from the dead “line” of David to rule forever (Jer 23.5-6; Isa 9.6-7; Luke 1.31-33).

There are scriptures that allude to David possibly being God’s chosen prince over Israel in the Atid Lavo (Hos 3.5; Ezek 37.24-25, 34.23-24; Jer 30.9). However, these verses could also be referring to the Messiah who is also called a prince (Acts 3.15). The term for prince is “Nasi” in Hebrew and it can be a civil ruler or a biological descendant of David. He may be fully human, have descendants (Ezek 46.16) and own a tribal lot of land. On the other hand, this is also a term for the Messiah (Ezek 44.3).

David went into the tent that was prepared for the Ark (1 Chr 15.1, 16.1) and sat before the Lord and prayed (17.16). As we can see, sitting was a posture used in prayer. David was humble in his thanks and praise to God. He asks that the promise be fulfilled as spoken.

1 Chr 18.1-17 tells us about David’s kingdom being strengthened. 2 Sam 8 deals with this also, so we have already discussed what happens here. The key thing to understand in this chapter is verse 14. David reigned over Israel and he administered justice and righteousness for all his people. This can only come through the Torah.

Joab, David’s nephew (1 Chr 2.16) and Abishai’s brother, commanded the professional army. Yehoshaphat was the recorder (clerk historian) and Zadok was the High Priest, and Abimelech was the “Sagan” (Deputy High Priest). Shavsha (“joyful”) was secretary (chief of staff). Benaiah was over the Cherethites and Pelethites, and these were Philitines who were royal bodyguards. Again we see non-Jews involved in the administration of David, just as non-Jews will be involved in the administration of the kingdom under Yeshua.

1 Chr 9.1-19 tells us about an incident with the Ammonites. This chapter is identical to 2 Sam 10. David sent ambassadors to attend the funeral of Nachash (serpent), the king of the Ammonites. But these ambassadors were suspected as being spies because they did not shave off their beards or cut their hair in mourning (as others did) because the Torah did not permit such practices (Lev 19.27-28, 21.4-5; Deut 14.1). So the Ammonites cut their beards to humiliate them and this was an insult to an ambassador. When David found out he was furious. He told them to wait in Jericho until their beards grew back out. He cared for their dignity and honor, and David prepared for war.

The Ammonites knew they had done wrong and hired the Syrians to help them, and David sent Joab and the professional army. The best warriors of Israel were lined up against the hired Syrians, the regular army under Abishai was lined up against the Ammonites. Israel had to fight on two fronts. Joab says something very interesting that we can use in our spiritual battles here. He says, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help. Be strong and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may Yehovah do what is good in his sight.” Do all we can do in our warfare, the rest is up to Yehovah.

When the hired Syrians saw they had to fight the Givorim (mighty men) of David, who had a reputation as fierce and deadly warriors, they fled as fast as they could run because they were hirelings and had no heart for a tough fight. When the Ammonites saw that, they fled also. As a result, the Ammonites were defeated. But the Syrians regatheredthemselves and went out to fight David. But they fled again and David killed the men of 700 chariots and 40,000 cavalry, and Shobach their commander (2 Sam 10.18). The Syrians then made peace with Israel.

1 Chr 20.1-8 tells us about Joab going out to fight Rabbah of Ammon and laying siege to it in the spring, and David remained at Jerusalem. David has been criticized for staying behind but that is because these critics know very little about warfare. Kings did not go out to fight during a siege of a city if they could help it. A siege could take a very long time and a king could not afford to be away from the capital city for too long. There was a lot of state business to attend to. When the city was ready to fall, then the king would come for the fall and the actual taking of the city. David did nothing out of the ordinary here. Joab defeats Rabbah and David came to put the finishing touches on the siege (20.2). This chapter also tells us about Israeli victories over Philistine giants. These giants seem to be related to Goliath (20.8).

1 Chr 21.1-30 is a very interesting chapter, and we have gone into detail on this in 2 Sam 24. However, we can pick up some additional information here. It going to deal with how Yehovah provided the place of the Altar of the coming Temple, and how it was revealed. This was the final step in this process of locating the Temple site. David knew the city and he knew what mountain within the city, and now he the site of the Altar will be revealed through a sin of David.

David counted Israel without using the half shekel being counted as well. The threshing floor of Ornan (1 Chr 21.15) is the same as the threshing floor of Araunah (2 Sam 24.16). The exact site of this Altar was known before by some. Abraham (Gen 22.14), Jacob (Gen 28.10-19) and Noah may have built their altars there (Targum Yonaton on Gen 8.20). It is believed that Adam sacrificed there at creation and may have been created there according to Jewish tradition. Hilkot Beit Ha Bechirah 2.1-2 says it was a time honored oral tradition. The site is alluded to in the Torah because non-Jews would have hindered the site from being discovered and as a result obliterated the Temple Mount. It has happened before.

The twelve tribes agreed on the division of the land. If the true site was known at that time they would have challenged it like they did with the priesthood of Aaron and the leadership of Moses. There was a plague that broke out because of what David did and an angel stood between David and the Altar of Burnt offering at the Mishkan in Gibeon (1 Chr 21.29-30). If the Temple site was where Ernest Martin and Bob Cornuke say it was in their books (Gihon9 Spring), the angel would not have been between David and the Mishkan. Gibeon is north and Gihon (where they say the Temple was) was southeast of David’s palace.

In 2 Sam 24.24 David purchases the floor, oxen and instruments from Araunah/Ornan for fifty shekels. Here in 1 Chr 21.25 David buys the ground on which the Temple would stand, with its courts, for 600 shekels. This was Ornan’s farm and surroundings.

1 Chr 22.1-19 tells us that David has now found the place for the sanctuary and the Altar (v 1). The command to build a temple was an obligation when Israel was at peace, when they had a king and the place of the Altar was revealed. David gives orders in verse 2 to gather the “Ger T’shav” (foreigners) who were artisans to work on the stones for the sanctuary. The Israelites were farmers, herdsmen and shepherds, not stone cutters, so their expertise was needed. This alludes to how the non-Jews will be concerned with building the spiritual house of God, too.

In “Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 5 and 6” we did a review of how David came to the place for the Temple and the Altar from the book “The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology-Vol II” p. 63-68. That process is how he could say “This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the Altar of Burnt Offering for Israel” in 1 Chr 22.1. We highly recommend that you go back to that teaching to pick up information on how David came to this realization

In 1 Chr 22.3-5 we learn that David prepared large quantities of iron to make nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps. Large amounts of cedar logs were brought by the Sidonians and the Tyrians to David. David couldn’t build the house of God but David made preparations for it before he died so that Solomon had the materials.

1 Chr 22.6-19 tells us about David’s call to build the Temple and that this call came from God. David will receive the plans for the Temple and its services directly from God, as we shall soon see. However, David was not the man to build it. He was a warrior and the Temple was going to be a place of peace. This is not saying that David’s wars were wrong. The Temple could only be built after the wars were over, not in the middle of them. David had more work to do.

The Messiah will build the Messianic Kingdom Temple, seen in the book of Ezekiel, after the wars of the Birth-pains. Yeshua is the “Prince (King) of Peace” (Isa 9.6) and it will not be built by power or force, but by God’s Spirit. The Temple will be a place where the Edenic vision of peace and rest can be seen. If lifting up an iron tool against a stone was unfit for the Altar, how much more so was a king who had shed human blood unfit to build the Temple.

That’s why David’s son Shlomo (Solomon) was charged with the job. His very name is related to the Hebrew word for peace (Shalom). So, as we have seen, David did prepare for the building of the Temple by gathering gold, silver, bronze and iron. He also gathered timber and stone. There were woodsmen and stone cutters with the skill who were ready to do the job.

To call this Temple “Solomon’s Temple” is not totally accurate. David was given the plans in 1 Chr 28.11-19 and he prepared the materials. David won the peace to make it all possible and he found and purchased the site to build on. He also organized the administration of the Temple involving the priests, Levites, servants, singers and musicians, etc.

But nobody calls it “David’s Temple.” All the credit went to to Solomon. This teaches us that sometimes we prepare the way for others. They may get all the credit but you did what God told you to do. He prepared and called you and you may not be as successful as the next guy, but we are preparing the way for one greater than “Solomon” to come along (Matt 12.42; Luke 11.31).

David commanded the leaders in Israel to help Solomon. He told them to “set your heart and your soul to seek Yehovah your God.” This is in the context of work, not prayer (v 19). Seeking is obedience and not necessarily a search (1 Chr 28.9).

We will pick up in 1 Chr 23.1-32 in Part 4.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Chronicles-Part 2

1 Chr 9.1-44 tells us about those who first settled in Jerusalem after they returned from the Babylonian exile. It concludes with the genealogy of Saul, the first king of Israel. 1 Chr 9.1 says, “All Israel was enrolled by genealogies” but we have already seen that two tribes were left off the rolls. Here is an important concept. In some cases, when the Scriptures say “all” it means “many” and is not to be understood as literally “all.” It says they were written in the “Book of the Kings of Israel” and this is not referring to the Book of Kings in the Tanak. This refers to the annals, journals and diaries of each king. They made sure these lists were accurate and used as references for scriptural books as a resource.

The first ones to return were Israelites (common people), priests, Levites and the Netharim (Temple servants). They were common people (Josh 9.27; Ezra 8.20) like the Gibeonites. In addition, others from Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh took advantage of the proclamation of Cyrus (Koresh). These are four classes had existed before the captivity (Israelites, priests, Levites, Netharim). The duties of the Levites (v 14) had been passed down from generation to generation.

Gatekeepers are discussed in the Mishnah, Tamid 1.1, and the priests were stationed in three places. They were at the Beit Avtinas, Beit Ha Nitzotz (the Flame) and the Beit Ha Moked (Hearth). The Levites were stationed in twenty-one places. The “Memunim” (supervisors) were placed over the work of the Avodah (services) and they were the keepers of the threshholds of the tent until the Temple was built.

1 Chr 9.20 says, “Phineas (Pinchas) the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them previously” so this goes back to when they entered the land (Num 3.32). There were 212 gatekeepers and that number was fixed by David. The Levites were enrolled by genealogy in their cities (v 22) and they lived in certain cities and they came to serve in courses, called a Mishmar, from the town they were assigned to, at their assigned times. The gatekeepers were on the four sides (north, south, east and west).

In the Temple, the north was seen as the Beit Ha Moked. The west was seen as Beit Ha Otzrot, the south was seen as Bait Avtinas and the east was seen as Beit Ha Nitzotz. The gatekeepers opened buildings and gates, and the Levites not assigned as musicians or gatekeepers did this. They could not go near the altar because they were not priests. For information on their ministry, go to the tractate “Tamid” in the Mishnah. 1 Chr 9.33 talks about the “singers” and they lived in certain chambers in the Temple (Beit Avtinas) where there were lockers, a bakery, and a chamber for the singers. In the northeast chamber called Beit Ha Nitzotz there was a choir chamber.

1 Chr 9.35-44 is a repetition of the family of Saul. It is placed here to connect the following history of the kings of Judah all the way to the Babylonian Captivity in Second Chronicles. It is also listed to show that God did not wipe out the line of Saul and that his descendants lived in the days of Ezra and the return from exile.

Now, all the previous nine chapters have established the history and genealogies of Israel. Now we are going to get into the history of the Jewish kingdom and what it can teach us spiritually.

1 Chr 10.1-14 begins to tell us about the last battle of King Saul and his death (1 Sam 31.1). He died because he committed a “sin unto death” (Ezra 3.20; Deut 32.39; 1 John 5.16). He did not keep the word of the Lord by not waiting for Samuel and for sparing the Amalekites. He also sought counsel form a medium rather than the Lord. As a result, Yehovah killed him (v 14) and turned the kingdom over to David. Saul was made king so he could save Israel from the Philistines (1 Sam 9.16) and failed. God used the Philistines as a tool when Saul had to die.

1 Chr 11.1-47 tells us about the anointing of David as king on Hebron (“communion”-1 Sam 15.1). Hebron is an idiom for “heaven” in Jewish thought and it is important because the Cave of Machpelah is there. Herod restructured the burial place of Abraham there (called “Abraham’s Bosom”, another idiom for heaven or paradise-Luke 16.22) according to the pattern of the Temple.

After the account of David we have his Givorim (mighty men) and other notable warriors and some of their exploits (v 10-25). We will also pick up three words for a Jewish king in 1 Chr 11.2. We have “king”, “shepherd” and “prince” (Zech 11.4-8, 13.7; Micah 5.5; Ezek 37.24, 44.3). We also have a list of David’s mighty men (Givorim) and some of them were non-Jews who followed the God of Israel, like Ithmah the Moabite and Zelek the Ammonite for instance. Uriah is called a Hittite because he either was a convert to the God of Israel, or he was a Jew who lived among the Hittites. In any case, this alludes to the fact that God has planned to include non-Jewish believers with a Torah based faith in Yeshua in the establishment of his kingdom, led by a descendant of King David.

As we enter 1 Chr 12.1-40 we need to keep in mind that the Messiah, the son of David, will also gather around him a diverse group of people, made up of Jews and non-Jews. 1 Chr 12.1-2 tells us that even the tribal relatives of King Saul came to David, and even among his mighty men. They chose David over their own relative because they knew God was with him.

1 Chr 12.8 gives us the warlike characteristics of the Gadites. These allude to how we should be in our spiritual battles. They were men of valor and courage, and they had the heart of a warrior. They were trained in battle, as we should be. They could handle a shield and a spear (short range weapons) and they had the temperament of a confident warrior. They were also “swift as gazelles” which means they were mobile and ready to move to the next battle.

1 Chr 12.15 says they crossed the Jordan at a very dangerous time, when the Jordan flooded in the spring (Nisan is the first month) to join David. They had a determination and a strong devotion to him, as we should be to our Messiah. We learn in 1 Chr 12.16-22 that David accepts many soldiers who came to him at Ziklag. David went out to meet them, especially the ones from Benjamin and Judah. He said if they came peacefully, he would accept them, but if they came to deceive him, then the Lord would judge them. Amasai, David’s nephew, prophesied and said that these people belonged to David and they knew God helped him, and that is why they came.

Many people defected from King Saul before he died because they knew Yehovah was not with Saul (v 19). This alludes to our decision to leave the false congregations and teachers we were with previously because we finally realized God was not with them either. Day by day men came to him until there was a great army, like “the army of God.”

1 Chr 12.23-37 gives us the numbers of those who were armed and ready for war when David was in Hebron. This alludes to “heaven” and “Abraham’s Bosom” as we have said before. David reigned there for seven years, and Yeshua will reign as king in heaven seven years, gathering his army together in the Naztal (Rapture) and they will go with him when he returns to reign in Jerusalem just like David did. 1 Chr 12.32 tells us something very interesting about the sons of Issachar. It says they “understood the times with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred and all their kinsmen were at their command. This verse tells us that they knew the “times and seasons” (1 Thes 5.1) because they studied the Torah. In a spiritual battle you want to be on the right side, even though the leader may be accused of being an “outlaw” (David).

1 Chr 12.38-40 tells us that the soldiers who came to David could “draw up in battle formation” or keep ranks (were well disciplined). They came with a complete heart to Hebron to make David king over all Israel. The people rejoiced together for three days, eating and drinking because the civil war was over and now they were united as one, with one king. It will be the same way when Yeshua is made king and he returns to reign in Jerusalem. Believers will be rejoicing when Yeshua is king over all the earth, and there will be one Lord and his name will be one (Zech 14.9).

1 Chr 13.1-14 deals with the same events already discussed in 2 Sam 6. The Ark is being brought to Jerusalem on a new cart. Evidently, they saw that the Philistines sent the Ark back to Israel on a new cart (1 Sam 6.7) so they thought this was the proper thing to do, but it wasn’t. It was not to be carried by Israel on a cart, but carried by the Levites, from the family of Kohath, with the poles provided. The cart was on rough ground, and when the Ark became unsteady on the cart, Uzzah (man’s strength) put out his hand to steady it and was struck dead. He was the son of Abinadab who had cared for the Ark up to this point (2 Sam 6.3).

Uzzah’s death angered David, but David did not understand what Yehovah was teaching. Man needed a mediator and that could not be accomplished by “man’s strength” (Uzzah). He was also showing that the Ark was a type of the Messiah and does not need man’s help. He was also showing that they were doing things contrary to what the Torah had instructed by bringing the Ark up on a cart. As a result, the Ark remained outside the city in the house of a man named Obed-Edom the Gittite. He was a Levite from the Levitical city of Gath-rimmon (Josh 21.20-25; 1 Chr 16.5, 26.4).

1 Chr 14.1-17 tells us about the message of King Hiram (the father of the Hiram in Solomon’s day), and then tells us about David’s wives and children. It also discusses two battles that David fought with the Philistines and his victories over them. The chapter concludes with the fame of David and how it spread to other nations, and how they were struck with fear on account of him.

1 Chr 15.1-29 is about how David prepared a place for the Ark and how he gathered the Levites and priests to help move it to Jerusalem. This was a cause of great celebration, even though David’s wife Michal (Saul’s daughter) disapproved of how David was acting. David had prepared a tent for the Ark, but this was not the Mishkan. That was in Gibeon (1 Chr 21.29).

David rebuked Michal and basically told her, “If you think my dancing was vile, I plan to be more so.” As a result, Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child by David to the day of her death. The seed of Saul and the seed of David never mixed. Spiritually, this is what is being taught here.

As we have said before, Saul is a picture of the unbeliever and the first king over the kingdom of God, Adam. David is a picture of the believer and the second Adam, the Messiah, who will be given the kingdom. The seed of the unbeliever can never mix with the seed of the Messiah (Lev 19.19, Gen 3.15). The two kinds of seed (God’s kingdom and Ha Satan’s kingdom) can never mix. However, that hasn’t stopped Ha Satan from trying to mix his seed (corrupt teaching, Replacement Theology, etc) into God’s teaching (the Torah). God’s word is the only good, unmixed seed (Matt 13.1-30; Luke 8.4-15). The parable (aggadah) of the Sower and the Seed teaches this concept.

We will pick up here in 1 Chr 16.1-43 in Part 3.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Chronicles- Part 1

Chronicles is a retelling of Israel’s monarchy in light of the return from Babylonian exile. The message is, after experiencing God’s punishment, Yehovah is still with them after exile. Yehovah is still Israel’s God no matter what happened to their ancestors. It was also written to ascertain the genealogy of the Messiah and to give a larger account of the tribe of Judah.

This book was originally one book and is called “Divrei Ha Yamim” or the “Account of the days.” It is believed by some scholars that Chronicles was written by Ezra dealing with the events already in earlier prophetic books. It is the story of the Jewish people and how history moves towards the coming of the Messiah. Much of the information contained in First and Second Chronicles will be similar to First and Second Kings, so we will not get into as much detail as we did in Kings. However, we are going to point out concepts as we move through the book quickly in our overview. First Chronicles will give a longer account of the tribe of Judah and it also will determine the genealogy of Yeshua as the Messiah. This is to make it clear what tribe and what family the Messiah came through.

The first ten chapters consist of genealogies going back to Adam. Some think that the name “Adam” is taken from the fact that he was taken from the ground, but so were the animals (Gen 1.24). There is more to it than that. In 1 Chron 1.1 in Hebrew, the first letter in Adam is the “aleph” and it is enlarged, indicating he was the first man (aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet). From him all men descended, including Yeshua, the second Adam. Adam can mean “blood of God” or “first blood” because aleph is the “first” letter of the alphabet and stands for God, and “dam” is blood in Hebrew.

We know that Adam and Chava had at least three sons by name, and many unnamed sons and daughters (Gen 5.4). But, in 1 Chr 1.1, Cain and Abel are not mentioned, only Seth. This is because this genealogy is selective and given for a specific purpose, the Messianic line. The sons of Japheth (Yaphet) founded the people of Europe and northern Asia. Javan founded Greece Ionia; from Gomer came the Cimmerians of the Russian plains; from Maddai came the Medes and the Persians; from Tubal and Meshech came the people of the Turkish plateau. Kittim and Rodanim are Cyprus and Rhodes (1 Chr 1.5-7). Rome is called Kittim in Dan 11.30.

In 1 Chr 1.8-16 we have the descendants of Ham. They populated Africa and the far east. Cush founded Mesopotamia and Babylon, and was the father of Nimrod. Mizraim is a son of Cush and is the name for Egypt in Hebrew. Put refers to Libya in North Africa. Canaan refers to the peoples who were originally in the land of Israel. The Philistines came from Casluhim (Casluh) who were “sea peoples.” The Casluhim were of Egyptian origin, related to the Minoan culture of Caphtor (Crete).

In 1 Chr 1.17-26 we have the descendants of Shem. Elam was the ancestor of the Persians; Asshur was the father of the Assyrians; Lud was the father to the Lydians in Asia Minor; Aram was the father of the Arameans (Syrians) and Arphaxad was the ancestor to Abraham and the Hebrews. Uz was the son of Aram and a region in Arabia was named after him as we learned in the book of Job. Shelah became the father of Eber (the word Hebrew came from this) and was an ancestor of Abraham. Peleg was living when the nations were divided at the Tower of Babel. Terah is the father of Abraham

Now the genealogy begins to narrow down, beginning in 1 Chr 1.27-28. We will learn about the sons of Abraham and their descendants to David. In 1 Chr 1.29-31 we learn about the descendants of Ishmael. God promised to make through him a great nation (Gen 21.18) and would eventually be fulfilled in the Arab peoples. 1 Chr 1.32-33 tells us about the descendants of Abraham through Keturah. She was the second wife of Abraham. 1 Chr 34-42 tells us about the descendants of Abraham through Esau. Israel (Jacob) was the other son of Isaac, and he was chosen to be the heir of the covenant of Abraham.In 1 Chr 1.43-54 we have the kings and chiefs of Edom (Esau). These sons of Esau were important to God’s plan but Messiah would come through Jacob (Israel).

This chapter gives us an overview of God’s interaction with mankind in creation and the redemption. God’s name does not appear but his actions are evident. We see him creating Adam and we see the blessing on Seth, who replaced a murdered Abel. We see Enoch, who walked with God. We see Noah who built the Ark and survived a worldwide flood. We see God dividing the inheritance among these nations, dividing the earth at the time of the Tower of Babel in the days of Peleg.

We see God calling a Babylonian from an idol worshiping family named Abraham and bringing him into Canaan. We also see Isaac, saved from the sacrificial knife on Mount Moriah and how he fathered Jacob, later to be named Israel. He would carry on with the covenant of Abraham as the heir and the promise of the Messiah. We also see Esau and his descendants, fulfilling his promise.

In 1 Chr 2.1-2 we learn more about the Messianic line through the descendants of Abraham. In 1 Chr 2.3-17 we have the descendants of Judah to Jesse, the father of David. His genealogy is listed first because David, the kings and Messiah would come through him. Remember, these genealogies could be easily checked in the time of Yeshua to prove he was a direct descendant of David.

1 Chr 2.18-24 lists other descendants of Judah, separate from the line that led to David. In 1 Chr 2.25-41 we have Jerahmeel, a great grandson of Judah. In 1 Chr 2.42-55 we have the family of Caleb, a great grandson of Judah, and we have the Kenites. They were originally a foreign people (Gen 15.19), some of whom became incorporated into Judah by adoption of marriage. Some believe they were descendants of Jethro (“Yitro”-Judges 1.16, 4.11; Exo 18.9; Num 10.29-32) who came came into Canaan with Israel and lived in tents (1 Sam 15.6; Jer 35.6-7). They were zealous for the Lord (2 Kings 10.15-23).

In 1 Chr 3.1-9 we have the wives and sons of David in two groups. Some were born in Hebron and others in Jerusalem. In 1 Chr 3.10-16 we have the line of David to the time of Judah’s exile, and 1 Chr 3.17-24 gives us the line after the exile of Judah. We have an interesting side note in 1 Chr 3.24 with Anani, meaning “my cloud.” The Targum makes Anani to be the Messiah because the word Anani is connected with a word in Deut 7.13 and translated “clouds.” Messiah is called the “son of the clouds” based on Dan 7.13 and Rev 1.7.

1 Chr 4 through 8 will tell us about the tribes of Israel and their descendants. 1 Chr 4.1-23 lists the descendants of Judah. In 1 Chr 4.9-10 we have a man named Jabez. He said a prayer to Yehovah for a blessing and it was answered. The name “Jabez” means “distress.” A Christian book was written about this prayer so that Christians could pray it and be blessed. It is good to go to the Scriptures and find good prayers to model our prayers after, but let’s look a t this prayer a little closer.

In 1 Chr 4.9 the Targum adds, “And wiser in the Torah than his brothers.” That is the key as to why God answered his prayer. Jabez was Torah observant and did what was right. He walked in the revealed truth of the Torah and the commandments (mitzvot). The context of this prayer is he was praying for his family and about his ancestral border before he began, the expulsion of the Canaanites in his border. He needed and wanted protection from the dangers he was going to be exposed to. God did not answer him because he said the right words or formula, he answered him because he did the right thing, he was Torah observant.

Jabez was a Torah observant Jew who prayed a good prayer. To take his words by non-Torah observant people to get a blessing is going against what God said in the Scriptures (Deut 28.1-14). It borders on “magic” and trying to manipulate God. It would be a waste of time for people who reject the Torah commands (they are lawless) to pray this prayer, thinking they will get blessed. Again, its not because Jabez said the right things, but its because Jabez did the right things (Torah observant).

Replacement Theology Christianity opposes the things of God and actually teaches their people to to disobey the Torah (God’s word). One should not expect to be blessed if they believe the Torah (Law) has been done away with. The book, “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson is full of false teachings and assumptions, and this prayer was not meant to be repeated over and over again like a mantra to get a blessing.

So far in this book we have the line from Adam to Abraham, and from there we have the line from Abraham through Isaac, and then to Jacob. Then we have the tribe of Judah and that leads us to the family of David, and that line leads us to the Messiah. 1 Chr 4.24-13 gives us the sons of Simeon and their descendants. The population of this tribe decreased during the wilderness years.

In 1 Chr 5.1-10 we have the tribe of Reuben and they settled on the east side of the Jordan. Reuben was the first born of Jacob, but lost that right as described in verse 1. 1 Chr 5.11-22 describes the tribe of Gad and his descendants. They were also on the east side of the Jordan, along with half the tribe of Manasseh (1 Chr 5.23-26). They made war on the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodath (they were Ishmaelites). They did not continue in their godly ways as time went on however. They were distant from the other tribes and their spiritual life weakened, and they were attracted to the gods of the land. They were later deported by Assyria. Bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor 15.33).

1 Chr 6.1-30 describes the tribe of Levi and his descendants, and also Aaron. We have the fathers and the heads of the tribe. Eleazar was the first high priest after Aaron and then it goes down. We see in 1 Chr 6.28 and 33 the name of Samuel the prophet among the families of Kohath. In 1 Chr 6.31-48 we have the ones David appointed over the avodah (service) of the Mishkan until Solomon built the Temple. In 1 Chr 6.49-53 it tells us that the sons of Aaron who officiated at the altar of burnt offering, incense and the work of the Kodesh Ha Kodashim. 1 Chr 6.54-81 tells us about the cities where the priests and the Levites lived.

Then we will have the sons of Issachar in 1 Chr 7.1-5; the sons of Benjamin in 7.6-12; the sons of Naphtali in 7.13. This only one verse, but many families sprung from these mentioned (Num 26.48-50). Then we have the sons of Manasseh in 7.14-19; the sons of Ephraim in 7.20-29 and the sons of Asher in 7.30-40.

In 1 Chr 8.1-40 we have the sons of Benjamin again, along with several principal men and families. For instance, we have Saul and his posterity listed in 1 Chr 8.33-40 with the sons of Jonathan numbering into the thousands. The tribe of Dan is not listed at all, and we know Dan was involved in idolatry and not listed in Rev 7.5-7. Zebulon is at least mentioned in 6.63,77 in the Levitical list of towns, but not listed in genealogical terms. Nobody really knows why Zebulon is not listed. However, both are listed in the Atid Lavo (Messianic Kingdom) land inheritance in Ezek 48.1-2,26.

We will pick up in 1 Chr 9.1-44 in Part 2.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Conclusion

We are coming up to when the Natzal or “gathering” will take place. We know it will happen on a Rosh Ha Shanah but we don’t know how long. It may be a year from now, or several years. Until that day, the world will be getting worse and worse, and that includes the United States. There will be more trouble coming, leading up to the Birth-pains and we need to prepare spiritually by being able to hear Yehovah and being able to discern the truth. We will also need to prepare physically in case there are food and other shortages.

Some believe that the wrath of God does not come onto the earth until the mid-point of the Birth-pains, or Tribulation, but that is not true. First, we have the Natzal (Rapture) on the first day of the Day of the Lord called Rosh Ha Shanah. Then a few days later we have the destruction of the USA with tremendous casualties. Many who are American will be out of the country, like tourists, the military, business people and those who have been led by God to leave, etc. They will align with Europe for the most part. Then the Birth-pains begin about Tishri 10.

In the first three years of the Birth-pains we will have a war between Europe and Russia, so there will be ,many casualties in this war. In the second year, besides the war between Europe and Russia, there will be war in the Middle East. An Arab confederacy will attack Israel. In the third year Russia will attack Israel in the war of Gog and Magog (Russia). They have been winning their war against Europe and feel confident enough to go into the Middle East. The death toll will be very high again, but God intervenes to destroy the Russian armies.

The False Messiah, who leads Europe, who was losing the war with Russia, will take advantage of the Russian defeat and will invade Russia because the Russian army is non-existent, and he defeats what is left and controls the Russians now. So, we have one major war after another in the first three and a half years of the Birth-pains, plus all the other terrible events like disease and famine that will take place. The wrath of God is not just the last three and a half years of the Birth-pains.

So, let’s do a summary of the various events. We have provided all the Scriptures that talk about these events already. The Natzal (Rapture, Gathering) will occur on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation. This is very soon. The righteous dead will be resurrected along with the living righteous, called the “apostasia” in 2 Thes 2.3. The 144,000 will see the Natzal and hear the shofar and believe in Yeshua immediately, like Paul. They will be anointed by Yehovah to deliver the Basar (good news) to Israel first during the first half of the Bisth-pains (1260 days), then they will take it the world during the last half of the Birth-pains (1260 days).

The Coronation of the Messiah will take place in heaven, attended by the newly arrived believers in the Natzal. The Wedding of the Messiah will also take place in heaven, also attended by the believers. The Bride and Groom enter into the Chuppah for seven years (a shavuah). This seven years corresponds to the seven years of the Birth-pains on earth. All of these events will take place on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001, and the Day of the Lord (1000 years) has begun. This period is also called the Millennium, the Atid Lavo or the Messianic Kingdom.

On earth, the Chevlai Shell Mashiach (Birth-pains of the Messiah) will begin ten days later on Tishri 10. Within these ten days the USA will be destroyed. The earth will move out of its current orbit slightly causing the year to be 360 days like before. This is nothing for the Lord. He may use the cataclysmic events surrounding the destruction of the North American continent to do this, or just do it himself. Either way, the calendar goes back to a 360 day year and that is scriptural.

The fear and panic from the destruction of the USA brings the False Messiah to power over Europe. He signs a military treaty with Israel. The first 1260 days of the Birth-pains are directed towards Israel. Israel will turn to Yeshua as the Messiah after Yehovah defeats the invasion of God and Magog and her allies. This will be around Yom Kippur going into the fourth year of the Birth-pains. Six months later it will be Nisan 10 and the exact halfway point of the Birth-pains. The Abomination of Desolation has already been set up about 30 days prior, around the festival of Purim.

During the previous six months (Tishri 10 to Nisan 10) the False Messiah has defeated the remnants of the Russian army and has now become the most powerful ruler in the world. On Nisan 10, the exact halfway point of the Birth-pains, the False Messiah will declare himself to be God in the Temple and will kill the Two Witnesses and their bodies will lie in the streets for three and a half days. This brings us up to noon on Passover (Nisan 14), when their bodies will be resurrected before everyone and rise into the heavens. The Jews flee into the Jordanian wilderness for 1260 days, or Yom Kippur, year 6008. They will be protected and provided for there by Yehovah.

The last three and a half years (1260 days) are now directed to the non-Jews in the world. The numbers that have become believers in the entire seven years is innumerable, and this will include Jews and non-Jews. The latter half of the Birth-pains will see the False Messiah pursue the Jews in the wilderness, persecuting other believers who believe in Yeshua and keep the Torah (Rev 12.17), and making war. Other nations will come against the False Messiah and he will retreat to Israel becasue he will be losing these battles (Dan 11.40-45). Yeshua returns with the clouds of heaven on Rosh Ha Shanah to Mount Sinai and begins to move north to Jerusalem following the same route Moses took when he brought the children of Israel to the land.

Yeshua is joined by the believers who have been surviving in the wilderness, from Mount Sinai in the south to Pella in the north. Yeshua arrives in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur, year 6008. He defeats the False Messiah and the False Prophet, their armies, and those fighting against them. The unrighteous are gathered first from around the world to Jerusalem. The righteous are also gathered from around the world to Jerusalem. This brings the exile to an end. For the next five days there is a judgment.

The False Messiah and the False Prophet are slain, and the unrighteous are slain in the Valley of Decision, also known as the Valley of Yehoshaphat (Yehovah is Judge). This is the Hinnom Valley, also known as “Gei Hinnom” or Gehenna. The birds of the air and the beasts of the field return to consume the corpses of the unrighteous slain. This is called the “Feast of Leviathan.” On Tishri 15, year 6008, the Festival of Sukkot begins and believers gather for the celebration of the Wedding Supper. The parables of Yeshua define the events of the Birth-pains of the Messiah. Now we are going to deal with Matt 7.21-23 as promised.

Matt 7.21-22 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Torah observant). Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform miracles?'” There are people today who fit this description. People say they believe in prophesying, casting out demons and miracles in the name of Jesus. However, not everything that goes on out there is from God. In fact, truth be known, most of it is not from God.

A believer in Yeshua will not be involved in Replacement Theology of any kind, at least not for very long. The belief that Christianity has replaced Israel, Church doctrine has replaced the Torah, Church holidays has replaced the festivals of God is not from Yehovah. Many congregations out there teach this and if a person is a true believer there will be a voice within them that will tell them, “This isn’t right.” They will feel more and more uncomfortable in a congregation like that and will depart.

If one has a concept that God is finished with the Jewish people it isn’t from God. The Jewish people have been created by God through the Fathers, with promises, and the non-Jews have been grafted into the Olive Tree (Israel) and those promises.

Matt 7.23 continues, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.'” Yeshua doesn’t say, “I once knew you” but he says he “never” knew them. The people described were never believers. So, let’s look at the word for “lawlessness” or “iniquity” (KJV). The word used for the Torah in Greek is “nomos.” The word or “lawlessness” is the Greek word “anomos” meaning “Torah-less.” In 2 Thes 2 we have the False Messiah described as “the man of lawlessness” in verse 3, and the “lawless one” in verse 8. That is the word “anomos.” The False Messiah is the one who is without the Torah and in the sate of “lawlessness” (Torah-less-ness). This doctrine of “without or no Torah” is coming from Ha Satan (2 Thes 2.8-9).

If a person is a true believer (not a head knowledge believer) and you know that you have received eternal life and God has redeemed you, then you have been given the righteousness of God and you know it doesn’t come from being Torah observant. Many have “head knowledge” so when we say “Will the Church be raptured?” we can say “No, but the righteous will be taken away.”

If one is against the Torah then you are not a true believer according to the Scriptures. They have been instructed and told all that (the Torah) has been “done away with” and they are “free from the Law” but if they are a true believer, they will realize that isn’t true. For a start, they will begin to move towards the Torah and start observing the Sabbath, learning about God’s festivals and eschatological plan and they will move away from eating what God has forbidden. This goes for Jews as well. They must believe in Yeshua and keep the commandments as they apply, too (1 Cor 7.17-19).

For instance, in Acts 19 we have Jews who believe but they have not received the Ruach Ha Kodesh since they were immersed in John’s baptism (repentance) and awaited the Messiah. The year is 58 A.D. and 28 years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. When they heard about Yeshua they were immersed again in the name of Yeshua, which means in his authority, with all the benefits of the Kingdom of God that are available to true believer. God sent Paul to Ephesus in order to bring the news of Yeshua to them.

The doctrine of the Natzal (Rapture/Gathering) is throughout the Scriptures and within the context of the biblical festivals of Lev 23. We have made an attempt to go back and put some of these concepts together, so be strong and study what we have presented and rise up to the next level, and be comforted with these words (1 Thes 4.18).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 34

Now we are going to go to the book of Job. Job may be the oldest book of the Bible and it is believed by some to have been written before the Exodus out of Egypt. The children of Israel were not in Egypt 430 years. That is calculating from Abraham to the time they came out of Egypt (Gen 15.1-18; Exo 12.40). Job is a grandson of Jacob (Gen 46.8-13) and a son of Issachar and may be the Job we are talking about. At some point, he may have left Egypt, possibly as an administrator for Pharaoh (Gen 47.5-6).

There are two main passages in Job that deal with the resurrection. We have already discussed in other teachings how the book of Job is very eschatological. In other words, in the oldest book of the Bible God is already telling us how everything will play out. This book will tell us about the redemption of man, the coming of Messiah, the resurrection of the dead, the Naztal (Rapture/gathering), the False Messiah, the False Prophet, the war with Gog and Magog and the restoration of Israel.

Job 14.7-15 says, “For there is hope for a tree, when it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the dry soil, at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth sprigs like a plant. But man dies and lies prostrate. Man expires and where is he? As water evaporates from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dried up, so man lies down and does not rise, until the heavens be no more, he will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep. Oh, that thou wouldst hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until they wrath (Birth-pains) returns to thee, that you would set a limit for me and remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait, until my change comes (1 Cor 15.51; Isa 13.2, 18.3, 26.19-20; Eph 5.14). You will call (with a shout) and I will answer you; you will long for the work of your hands (his body).” This passage can be directly linked to Rosh Ha Shanah.

In a general resurrection verse, Job 19.23-27 says, “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book (and they will be). That with an iron stylus and lead they were engraved in the rock forever. And as for me, I know that my redeemer (the Goel) lives, and at the last (in the latter days, Day of the Lord) he (Messiah) will take his stand on the earth (the banner, the standard, the signal of Isa 11.10, 13.2, 18.3). Even after my skin is destroyed yet from my flesh (he is resurrected) I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart (“kilya” or “kidney”) faints (yearns) within me.”

When we started this study we looked at some of the arguments concerning the concept of the Naztal (Rapture) and when it would happen. Does it happen at the beginning, during or after the Birth-pains or “tribulation?” We have shown that most Christians are not aware of the concept called the Natzal or the Jewish concept of the “gathering.” There are certain questions that come up like, “If the tares are removed first, doesn’t that mean the believers are still here?” The Church has the belief that the Wedding Supper is in heaven during the seven year tribulation, but is that correct? So, let’s answer these two questions.

When Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 comes, it will begin what is called the “Day of the Lord” for a thousand years. All the righteous dead will be resurrected, then those who are living will be caught up with them and changed Then we have the Birth-pains while the kingdom and the believers are in heaven. At the end of the Birth-pains, Yeshua returns and the kingdom moves to the earth and there will be a judgment in Jerusalem, the capital city. It is a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment) and Yom Kippur. The unrighteous (the tares) who survived the Birth-pains and are living on the earth at the time will be gathered first and brought to Jerusalem for judgment, then the righteous will be gathered to enter into the Messianic Kingdom, puctured by the festival of Sukkot (Matt 13.24-30, 25.31-46).

On the second question, the coronation and wedding of the Messiah will happen in heaven, but the wedding supper takes place on earth as a part of the festival of Sukkot (Isa 25.16; Matt 8.11; Rev 19.7-10). It happens at the end of the bridal week (Birth-pains). The unbelievers are going to another supper called “the Feast of Leviathan” (Ezek 29.3-7, 32.2-8; Rev 19.11-18; Matt 24.27-28; Luke 17.37).

Christianity teaches that the “Church” goes in the “Rapture” and the unbelievers (Jew and non-Jew) are “left behind.” We have seen this concept in countless books and movies. First, we are not talking about good guys versus bad guys. We are talking about the righteous and the unrighteous. All of us, compared to God, are bad guys. Our hearts (desires) are wicked and we are the center of our lives (Jer 17.9). That has to change at some point in our lives, and we attain righteousness by “emunah” (confidence) or “faith” in Yeshua.

Then the Torah will be written on our hearts (a desire to keep the Torah, not believe it has been done away with-Jer 31.31-34) and it is what a believer lives by once he believes. It is the instruction and guidance of God and when we don’t obey it, it is called sin (1 John 3.4). It is by the Torah that we even know what sin is (Rom 3.20). Do we make void the Torah through emunah (faith)? God forbid: we establish the Torah (by obeying it-Rom 3.1).

There are many “in the church” that are not believers according to the biblical definition. They believe in God, but they are not righteous as a free gift from God. Even Satan and the demons believe in God, but he is not righteous (Jam 2.19). They have a belief “in Jesus” and certain creeds, so they believe they are “born again.” But to be born again means they have been born from above, not the will of man (John 1.13). But many believe that they are righteous before God with no desire to follow the Torah, and when they die, they will be in the resurrection of the righteous. But that is not what the Scriptures present as a true believer. We will come back to this a little later and look at Matt 7.21-23.

Getting back to the believers, on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001, all the righteous at the time will go to be with the Lord. If they have already died, they will be resurrected. If they are alive, they will be changed into glorified bodies and both groups will be with the Lord. After Rosh Ha Shanah, we have the ten days leading up to Yom Kippur and the beginning of the Birth-pains. From this point on to the end of the Birth-pains many will be saved. The righteous ones we see alive when Yeshua returns are the ones saved during the Birth-pains after Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 (Rev 7.9-17).

The doctrine of the Natzal (Rapture, gathering) originated with Yehovah and we have shown how this doctrine is entwined with the festival of Rosh Ha Shanah. Some believe that the “Rapture” surfaced in the 1800’s, but we have shown that it is an ancient teaching. Many times God has delivered his people through great trials (Exodus, Assyrian invasion, etc) and other trials when they weren’t (Babylonians, Romans, World War II and the Holocaust). Many believers in Yeshua got caught up in these events. So, the question is, “Why did they have to go through their trials and tribulations, but the righteous are taken out before the Birth-pains and don’t go through theirs?”

There are three reasons why and we have mentioned these before. First, the righteous are assembled for the coronation of the Messiah which takes place in heaven, so they must be there according to the Word of God. Second, the righteous are being assembled for the wedding of the Messiah, which also takes place in heaven so the righteous must be there according to the Word of God. Third, God has a restraining power in the earth that keeps Ha Satan from revealing his man, the False Messiah. Once all the righteous are taken away to attend these events in heaven, then the False Messiah can be revealed. The righteous will be delivered from all the wrath of the Birth-pains, but it is not because we are so worthy of it. It is because of the events that will be happening according to God’s plan.

As we said, the unrighteous who make it through the Birth-pains will be gathered to Jerusalem for judgment because it is a Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur (Matt 24.26-27; Luke 17.22-37; Joel 3.12-17; Rev 14.14-20, 19.17-18). We have two gatherings. We have the gathering of the righteous dead and the righteous living at the beginning of the Birth-pains. Then we have the seven years of the Birth-pains, giving the living on earth a chance to turn to God, and many will not.

At the end of the Birth-pains the Messiah comes to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur and it’s “Neilah” or the “closing of the gates” of heaven. There are no more opportunities to turn to the Lord and Yeshua. They can’t say, “Oh, I see him and now I believe!” They must make that decision before he comes. The angels will be sent out and they will gather the unrighteous first and bring them to Jerusalem, then The righteous will be gathered (Matt 13.30).

Now, Jerusalem is shaped like the Hebrew letter “Shin.” This letter represents the name of God. There are three valleys in Jerusalem. They are the Hinnom Valley on the west that loops around to the south of the city, then there is the Tyropean Valley in the middle of the city and the Kidron Valley on the east. The three valleys meet to the south of Jerusalem. The word “valley” in Hebrew is “Gei” so the valley to the south of the city is called “Gei Hinnom” and that is where the word “Gehenna” comes from. You can get a topographical map and see how these valleys form the letter Shin.

Where the three valley’s come together is the place called “Tophet” (“accursed place”). It is seen as the most cursed place on earth. It is believed that this is where the “valley of decision” is (Joel 3.9-17). That is where all of the unrighteous who have been gathered on Yom Kippur will be slain. This will take place over several days. Right after the first angels were sent out, another group of angels will be sent out to gather the righteous to Jerusalem. Everyone is being gathered for the festival of Sukkot on Tishri 15-22 and going to a dinner.

The slain will be the dinner (food) for the animals and birds in a meal called “the Feast of Leviathan” in the “valley of decision” (Tophet). Remember, Leviathan is a name for the False Messiah and these are his followers. The unrighteous will be the meal for the vultures (Matt 24.27; Luke 17.37). Then the righteous will be going to the wedding supper, which is also a part of the Festival of Sukkot on earth.

The “last trump” is not the last trumpet blown during the “trumpet judgments” in Revelation. It is the trumpet blown at Rosh Ha Shanah at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, Tishri 1, and we have explained how this became an idiom for Rosh Ha Shanah earlier in this study. The trumpet blown on Yom Kippur at the end of the Birth-pains is called the “Shofar Ha Gadol” or the “Great Trumpet” (Matt 24.29-31; Isa 27.13).

In the conclusion, we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 33

Now we are going to look at something different. We have been over 2 Thes 2, 1 Thes 4 and 1 Thes 5, but we have never been to the book of Ephesians. We believe Eph 5.14-33 was written in the context of Rosh Ha Shanah. We will have the same terms that are associated with that festival, for instance, Eph 5.14 says, “Therefore, he says, ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Messiah will give you light!’ Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Notice the words “awake” and “arise.” We have the resurrection of the righteous and the Natzal on Rosh Ha Shanah, and this concept can also be seen in an ancient Rosh Ha Shanah prayer from the Temple.

In the Mishneh Torah by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam), commonly known as Maimonides, recorded the following, “Arise from your slumber, you who are asleep; wake up from your deep sleep, you who are fast asleep; search your deeds and repent; remember your creator. Those of you who forget the truth because of passing vanities, including throughout the year in the useless things that cannot profit you nor save you, look into your souls, amend your ways and deeds. Let everyone give up his evil way and his bad purposes.” This goes with the passage we just read in Eph 5.14 and it is an ancient prayer from the Temple.

One of the concepts associated with Rosh Ha Shanah as we have seen is the Marriage of the Messiah (Psa 45.1-17). Eph 5.14-33 picks up with the concept of a marriage. We have already established that the Coronation of the Messiah occurs at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. This takes place in heaven on Rosh Ha Shanah. But Psa 45 links us to his wedding.

As a result, we believe that the book of Ephesians was written at the season of Rosh Ha Shanah to Yom Kippur (1 Thes 5.1). There are many Rosh Ha Shanah terms in this book as we have just mentioned. Yom Kippur terms and concepts can be seen in Eph 1.13-14, 4.30 and 5.26-27. To “be sealed until the day of redemption” (Yom Pedut) is a Yom Kippur term. Additionally, our passages in 1 Thes 4 and Ephesians reflect what we have seen in Isa 59.9-20 and 60.1.

If we look at the marriage as it is presented in Eph 5.23-33 we see terms relating to both Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. We have husbands being exhorted to be like the Messiah, and wives are a picture of the Eschatological Kahal. The word “church” is used in English, leaving the impression that Paul is talking about the Christian Church, but he isn’t. That organization did not even exist in the First century. The Hebrew “Kahal” means “assembly and it refers to the righteous congregation, and the term goes back to the Tanak (Deut 9.10, 10.4, 18.16 for instance).

In Eph 5.26-27 we see that the Messiah will sanctify (give a kedusha to) the Kahal because he has cleansed her (a Yom Kippur term) and washed her (another Yom Kippur term). Why does he do this? So that he “might present to himself (another Rosh Ha Shanah term) a kahal in all her glory (at the Natzal or gathering), having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy (have a kedusha) and blameless.” This passage is full of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur terms and concepts.

This is how Chava was in Eden. These terms in Eph 5.26-27 also allude to the priests and the korbanot (offerings), and what our body will be like at the resurrection on Rosh Ha Shanah. Then Eph 5.31 says, “the two shall become one flesh” (echad) and this is in reference to Messiah and the Kahal. This is a great mystery or “sowd” which means something with a “deeper meaning” and not something that could never be understood.

Eph 6.10-17 tells us we should put on the whole armor of God. Where have we see seen this before? That is exactly what we have been told in 1 Thes 5, and that came from Isa 59.17, a passage connected to Rosh Ha Shanah. Isa 26 and 27 are written in what is called a Chiastic Structure and we have gone over that previously in this study. These two chapters give a chronological order of events that will occur during the Birth-pains, so that means it starts out on Rosh Ha Shanah in the first few verses and it ends in the last few verses of Isa 27 on Yom Kippur.

What we are going to do is take Isa 26 and we will open up to Isa 57. Then we are going to compare some concepts presented. What we will be doing is called Midrashic Pearl Stringing, which is laying one verse next to another to pick up meaning. If you are not familiar with this technique it is a good one to learn because it will help you interpret the Scriptures.

Isa 26.2 says, “Open the gates (immediately you know its Rosh Ha Shanah) that the righteous nation may enter, the one who remains faithful (“emunim” in Hebrew and related to the word “emunah” meaning “faith”).” Isa 57.1 says, “The righteous man perishes and no one takes it to heart; the devout men are taken away (the Natzal on Rosh Ha Shanah) while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away (Hebrew “oseif”) from evil (the Birth-pains).” Notice they are all righteous who are entering the gates and being taken away.

Isa 26.3 says, “The steadfast in mind thou will keep in perfect peace.” Isa 57.2 says, “He enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walked in his upright way (Torah).” The word “peace” (shalom) is a word that is used for the Messianic Kingdom (Atid Lavo), or the “Millennium” which is a time of peace. Now, when you read these two passages, flip back and forth.

Here is a major concept. We have all types of passages in the Tanak where we have the dead resurrected (Job and Isaiah for instance). But in our two passages, we have the righteous who are still living. The righteous “perish” and people are seeing it. People are noticing that they are gone. These are living on the earth and not coming out of the grave so that is why they are noticed.

We can do the same thing with 1 Thes 4.16-17 and 2 Thes 2.3. 1 Thes 4.16-17 talks about the living righteous and how the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then those who are alive and remain (on earth) will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 2 Thes 2.3 says that we should not be deceived. The Day of the Lord will not come unless the “apostasia” or “physical departure” comes at the first (“Greek “proton” or beginning of the Day of the Lord on Rosh Ha Shanah, Tishri 1) and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (the False Messiah).”

Now, remember, we have the concept of the “nes” or standard, banner or signal. We see it in Isa 11.10, 18.3, 62.10 and many other passages. This word “nes” means “lifted up” especially on a high mountain or over the people. All the Rabbinical and Christian commentaries say this is the Messiah. Isa 11.10 says, “Then it will come about in that day (Day of the Lord) that the nations (non-Jews) will resort to the root of Jesse (Yeshua) who will stand as a signal (“nes” meaning standard or banner) to the people; and his resting place will be glorious.”

Now, in 1 Thes 4 we learned that we will be caught up together with them in the clouds. In Isa 13 and Isa 18 we are going to see the banner being lifted up on the mountain. Both of these passages are going to be dealing with the resurrection of the living and the dead righteous. We need to look at the terminology carefully because terminology is the key.

In Isa 13.1-2 it says, “The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw. ‘Lift up a standard (the Messiah) on a high mountain (we are in the clouds with him), raise your voice to them (remember we have a shout, a teruah, in 1 Thes 4), wave the hand that they may enter the gates of the nobles (the gates are open because it is Rosh Ha Shanah).'” In the Temple on Rosh Ha Shanah, two shofarot (ram’s horns) and one silver trumpet was blown. There is a place in the Temple where they blew the trumpets and shofars and they have actually found the stone that said “The Place of Trumpeting.” It was found at the southwest corner of the Temple complex. In truth, trumpets were blown daily to signal different things, but they were also blown before the Sabbath and festivals (Num 10.1-9).

It tells you if they blow one silver trumpet the nobles and heads shall assemble before Yehovah (Num 10.4). On the Sabbath they will blow two silver trumpets (called “tzotzrot”) and one shofar, except for Rosh Ha Shanah. On Rosh Ha Shanah it changes and the emphasis is on the shofar, with two ram’s horns and a silver trumpet (Psa 81.3). In Isa 13.2 we expect that one silver trumpet has been blown to bring the nobles up to Yehovah, and that is done on Rosh Ha Shanah.

Isa 13.3 continues, “I have commanded my consecrated ones (the righteous by faith), I have even called my mighty warriors, my proudly exulting ones, to my anger (literally “nose” which means before the face of Yehovah). In the Natzal and the catching away of the living righteous, we are brought before Yehovah as a pleasing aroma, like in the ancient Havdalah (“separation”) service with the spices and the havdalah candle. This service separates the Sabbath and certain festivals from the other days of the week and can be seen in Acts 20.7-8. God is separating the Olam Ha Zeh (this present world) from the Atid Lavo (“coming or future age” also known as the Day of the Lord) on Rosh Ha Shanah by bringing the righteous into his presence. God will rule during the Day of the Lord (Atid Lavo) and there will be peace and prosperity. This time period will be nothing when compared to the Olam Haba, the World to Come.

We will pick up here in Part 34.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 32

Now we are going to look at some psalms associated with Rosh Ha Shanah, and some other passages. We will look at the timing of the Natzal (Rapture, Gathering) and then do a summary.

Psalm 27 is read for forty days (Elul 1 to Tishri 10) and it has many phrases that allude to Rosh Ha Shanah. Psa 27.5 says, “For in the time of trouble (the Birth-pains) he (God ) will hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tent he shall hide me, he shall set me on a rock.” So we see the Natzal (Gathering) in this passage in particular. A shofar is blown when this psalm is read.

Psa 24 is another Rosh Ha Shanah psalm and it is read in every service. We have references to the coronation, “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” He is being declared the king here. We also have a reference to the Natzal (Rapture), “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” then there is a description of the righteous in 24.4.

In Psa 24.7-10 we have several key phrases. It says, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in!” Again, this identifies Rosh Ha Shanah because it is the time when the gates of heaven are opened. This is where the righteous enter in (read Isa 13.1-3). This phrase is mentioned twice here (v 7-8, 9-10).

The next main psalm we are going to look at is Psa 47.1-9. It is a Rosh Ha Shanah psalm because it is a coronation psalm. Psa 47.1 says, “Clap your hands” and this is associated with a coronation and the acclamation of a Jewish king (2 Kings 11.12). Then Psa 47.1 goes on to say, “Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” The word “shout” is “ruah” and it means to “give a blast” or sound on the shofar (Psa 98.6). You see that this word is associated with the word “teruah” (Num 29.1) which is a particular note blown on the shofar, and we will see “shout” or “teruah” later on in verse 5.

Psa 47.2 goes on to use the phrase “a great King” (coronation) and 47.5 says, “God has ascended (to the throne) with a shout (teruah), the Lord (Yehovah) with the sound of a trumpet (shofar.” Both “shout” and “trumpet” can be seen in 1 Thes 4.16, a passage that describes the Natzal and is linked to the coronation of Yeshua on Rosh Ha Shanah. This is a Hebrew parallelism.

Then Psa 47.9 says, “The princes of the people have assembled themselves, the people of the God of Abraham (Isa 13.1-3; Psa 27.5.” We have the word “assembled” (ne’esaphu) here and it is related to the word “asaph” which means “to gather.” Many of the psalms were written by a man named Asaph who was the archivist (gatherer) of the psalms. Asaph is a title for that position as well as a name of a person (1 Chr 6.39; 2 Chr 5.12).

When we associate words together from numerous passages it is called “Midrashic Pearl Stringing.” Passages are joined together by related terms. A passage from Psalms is joined is to a passage from 1 Thes 4 as we have seen already, and will see again soon. Then we will have another passage from Psalms joined to another passage from Ephesians, and then Isaiah. They will tell a story as you move through various passages from different books. That is Midrashic Pearl Stringing, and the Jewish people had teachers who were experts on this.

So, we are going to get into 1 Thes 4 and the book of Ephesians (Part 33), so watch for these. We will see that these passages will be saying the same thing. We will also answer the question, “Where did the writers of the Gospels and the epistles get this from?” Paul didn’t just pull these terms out of the air. They will come out of the Tanak. Since most people are never trained in the Tanak or these concepts, these meanings are lost on most people who read the Bible. Then when we find relevant terms we need to find out if they are related to any particular festival. Then we can look into that festival to what it teaches about in God’s eschatological plan.

Isa 59.9-20 is an ancient reading for Rosh Ha Shanah, and this will be the text that Paul will use as a basis for 1 Thes 5.1-5 and Eph 6.10-17. This text goes right into Isa 60.1 where it says, “Rise and shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” These are all Rosh Ha Shanah terms.

When we read these passages in Isa 59.9-20 we will see the same terms coming up in 1 Thessalonians and Ephesians. These phrases will include, “And he put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation (Hebrew “yeshua”) on his head.” These are pieces of armor and Isaiah wrote this in the Eighth Century B.C. when the Assyrians were coming to invade Israel. If you go to a Bible bookstore and buy books on Spiritual Warfare, you will see the passages referenced will be Eph 6.10-17 and how a believer has armor. Then the author will say that Paul was comparing the armor of a believer with the armor of a Roman soldier because they were the soldiers of Paul’s time. But the author is wrong and he missed it. Paul was using Isa 59.17 as his text and it was not the armor of the Romans he is talking about, but the armor of the Jewish army in the Eighth Century B.C., the time of Isaiah. If you want insight into spiritual warfare, study that.

Other phrases in Isa 59 are, “The Redeemer will come to Zion” (v 20) and then it goes right into Isa 60.1 with the terms “arise and shine” and “your light has come.” These terms are associated with Rosh Ha Shanah. So, it would be good for you to read Isa 59.9-20 and highlight these Rosh Ha Shanah terms.

Now, let’s go to 1 Thes 4.13-18 and the famous “rapture” passage that so many know. It says, “But I do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep (dead), that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (died) in Yeshua (they are believers). For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (in the Tanak like Psa 47.1; Isa 21.5; Zeph 2.1-3; Isa 57.1-2; Isa 13.13; Isa 18.3; Isa 26.19-26; Job 14.7, 11-15; Job 19.25-26) that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord (in the Natzal, Tishri 1, year 6001, Rosh Ha Shanah) shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend (from heaven) with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God (see above Scriptures) and the dead in Messiah will rise first (2 Thes 2.3…at the beginning of the Day of the Lord), then we who are alive and remain (on the earth…Isa 18.3) shall be caught up (Greek “harpuzo” and is a synonym for “apostasia” in 2 Thes 2.3, meaning a physical departure) together with them (the Natzal or gathering) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.” A believer is expected to be hidden from the wrath of God in the Birth-pains-Zeph 2.1-3; Psa 27.5; Isa 57.1-2; Isa 26.19-20).

Now we are going to move on to 1 Thes 5.1-6 to pick up more Rosh Ha Shanah terms, “But concerning the times (festivals) and the seasons (festival seasons), brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord (a term for the last 1000 years called the Messianic Kingdom and Sabbath of God or Lord’s Day, but it is also a term for Rosh Ha Shanah because that is when it begins) so comes as a thief in the night (one who steals or “kleptes” in Greek where we get the word “kleptomaniac”). For when they say, ‘Peace and safety’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman (alluding to the Birth-pains); and they shall not escape.”

Notice Paul is using the terms associated with Rosh Ha Shanah. He continues, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day (Day of the Lord, beginning on Rosh Ha Shanah) should not overtake you like a thief (a kleptomaniac). You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” Notice we have the same terms found in the Rosh Ha Shanah passages of Psa 27 and Isa 59.

He then continues in 1 Thes 5.7-9, “For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation (you see how he is using Isa 59.17?), for God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.”

In Part 33 we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 31

In the book “Prophetic Light in the Present World” by Kenneth Wuest, p.38-41, it says, “The other thing which Paul says must come before the Great Tribulation is a ‘falling away’ (A.V.). The Greek word is ‘apostasia’, and it is preceded by the definite article. The words ‘falling away’ are the translators interpretation of what they thought the Greek text meant here, not the translation of the Greek word itself. The root word ‘aphistemi’ means ‘to cause to withdraw, go away, depart, withdraw from.’ In a context where true and false doctrines are in view, it would mean ‘to fall away from true doctrine’ but the additional idea comes from the context, not the verb. No such specification is attached to the word here. The fact that our word ‘apostasy’ is the transliteration of the Greek word means nothing except that in a context where a departure from the faith is in view, the verb does have reference to an apostasy, and that word apostasy has been invested with that meaning. But that cannot serve as the interpretation of the word in a context where a withdrawal from the true faith is not mentioned. Thus, the A.V. offers an interpretation rather than a translation of the word, and should have allowed the English reader to make his own interpretation in light of the context.”

“The root aphistemi is found fifteen times in the New Testament. It is translated ‘depart’ eleven times. It is used once in connection with departure from the faith (1 Tim 4.1). The very fact that the qualifying words ‘from the faith’ are added shows that in itself the word does not have the idea of a defection from the truth. Eight times it is used of a departure from a person, once in the sense of a departure from a place. In the other places where it is found it is translated ‘fall away’ in the case of those in temptation (Luke 8.13) and ‘drew away’ much people (Acts 5.38). The predominant meaning of this verb in the New Testament, therefore, is that of the act of a person departing from another person or from a place. The neuter noun, ‘apostasion’ is translated in its three occurrences by the word ‘divorcement’ which in itself suggests a withdrawal of one person from another. Thayer translates the word ‘a defection’ of a freeman from his patron, ‘a divorce, a repudiation.'”

So, the word “apostasy” is in 2 Thes 2.3, “unless the falling away comes first.” That is understood today as a falling away from the faith. What Wuest is saying is that it is mistranslated, it does not mean a falling away from the faith unless it says “the faith.” What the word means is “to depart” or “departure.”

With that said, Wuest continues, “The feminine form ‘apostasia’ appears in Acts 21.21 where Paul is charged with teaching ‘all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses’ with ‘forsake’ being the A.V. translation of the word. To ‘forsake’ involves a departure. This word is found only here in our Thessalonians passage.” So, “apostasia” is used twice in that form (feminine) in the New Testament. But the word means “a departure.” It can have another word telling us that they are departing from.

Wuest continues, “Liddell and Scott in their classical lexicon gave as their second meaning of apostasia as ‘a departure, a disappearance.’ Dr. E. Schuyler English, to whom the author is deeply indebted for calling his attention to the word ‘departure’ as the correct rendering of ‘apostasia’ in this context, is authority for the fact that the following understood the Greek to mean a ‘departure’ in this context: Tyndale (1534), Coverdale (1535), The Geneva Bible (1537), Cramer (1539), and Beza (1565), and so used it in their translation. The author is well aware of the fact that ‘apostasia’ was used at times both in Classical and Koine Greek in the sense of a defection, a revolt, in a religious sense, a rebellion against God, and of the act we today call apostasy. Liddell and Scott give the above as the first definitions of the word.” In other words, the earlier translations listed gave the meaning of apostasia as a departure. After 1565, it was put as an apostasy from the faith.

Wuest continues, “Moulton and Milligan quote a papyrus fragment where the word is used of a rebel. But these are acquired meanings of the word from the context in which they are found, not the original, basic, literal meaning, and should not be imposed upon the word where the context does not qualify the word by these meanings with the pure translation of the word before us now, the next step is to ascertain from the context, that to which the departure refers. The Greek text has the definite article. A Greek word is definite in itself, and when the article is used, the exegete must pay particular attention to its syntactical use. The basic function of the article is to point out ‘individual identity.'” Wuest is saying that we need to translate the word “apostasia” literally, which means “to depart.” The only way you can make it “to depart from the faith” is to add the words “from the faith” as in 1 Tim 4.1.

Again from Wuest, “Here the article points out a particular departure defined in the context or by some previous reference to the same thing, or as a departure both to the readers and the writer of this letter. Paul does not specifically define the word by a qualifying phrase. Therefore, the article must point to something mentioned in the immediate context, in a wider context, or assumed to be known by both the readers and the writer of the letter. The Apostle had just referred to the gathering together of the saints to the Lord Jesus at his coming (2.1), which is the departure of the church from the earth. In his previous letter (1 Thes 4.13-18), he had described that event in the words, ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air’ which involves a departure from the earth.”

God is restraining (retaining, to seize, hold fast to) Satan from bringing forth (empowering) the False Messiah until the departure of the true believers from the earth in what is called the Natzal (Rapture) on Rosh Ha Shanah, Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation. After that, Satan can empower his man, who will make a military treaty with Israel about ten days later, on Yom Kippur, Tishri 10, year 6001 from creation (Dan 9.24-27). Wuest is saying the same thing as Paul in 2 Thes 2.3, and what the Talmud says in Sanhedrin 98a. The false Messiah cannot take power until the righteous are removed from the earth, leaving only unbelievers temporarily.

What are some reasons for the gathering of 2 Thes 2.1? The righteous are gathered to allow the False Messiah to take power because the time of the final reckoning has arrived. The righteous are also gathered so they can attend the coronation and the wedding of the Messiah in heaven. So, let’s talk about these events.

First, the False Messiah cannot take over Europe until the righteous are removed. Why do we have a False Messiah anyway? Because God is bringing everything to judgment. God will not be restraining or holding back Satan from bringing forth the False Messiah, but letting him loose to try to defeat Yehovah. If they can, than they can rule.

Secondly, the righteous are going to the coronation and the wedding of the Messiah in heaven. People will say, “Why should believers expect to escape the Tribulation. Israel went through the exile in Babylon and the slavery in Egypt. There are many examples of trials and tribulations and God did not deliver them out of the way, so why should believers expect to be “taken out?” But we have to understand there are three reasons why God delivers believers at this time. So the False Messiah can be revealed, so the believers can be present at the coronation of the Messiah, and so the believers can be a part of the wedding of the Messiah.

So, when the False Messiah comes to power, only the “average people” (the Chata’im or “sinners”) and the wicked (Rashim) will wonder after the beast (Rev 17.8). Where are the righteous (tzaddikim)? They have been “gathered” together in heaven, leaving only the average sinner and the wicked behind on the earth (temporarily) at this time.

We will pick up here in Part 32.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 30

Now we are going to get into 2 Thes 2.1-12 and dissect these verses to see how they relate to the Natzal and find out when the False Messiah appears. Paul begins by saying, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua Ha Mashiach, and our gathering together unto him.” Right away we see something important. Notice we have the word “gathering” used here and this refers to the resurrection of the righteous in the Natzal (Rapture). We have seen this in Isa 13.2-3; Isa 18.3 and Isa 27.10, but there are other verses like Neh 8.1; Isa 62.10; Isa 21.5, 57.1; Zeph 2.1-2 and Rev 4.1. This is Rosh Ha Shanah, a Yom Ha Din. The word in Greek for “gathering” here is “episunagoge” and it is a verb (action), meaning to come together. It is also called “Ha Kohelet” meaning to gather or assemble.

In 2 Thes 2.2 he continues, “That you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit (prophetic spirit) or a message or letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord (an ancient name for Rosh Ha Shanah and the Atid Lavo) has come.” We know that the last one thousand years in God’s seven thousand year plan is called the “Day of the Lord.” We have also established that the festival of Yom Teruah (or Rosh Ha Shanah) was also called “the Day of the Lord.” The word for “betrothal” is “Erusin” and this is seen in the festival of Shavuot (Jer 2.1-3). The second stage of a marriage is seen in the festival of Rosh Ha Shannah and is called “Nisuin” and it means “to elevate, be uplifted or caught up” (1 Thes 4.17). It is another name for the natzal, or rapture. It is also related to the word “nissi” meaning “banner or standard.” It is a name for the Messiah (Isa 11.10, Exo 17.8-16). We know that on Rosh Ha Shanah there will be a resurrection of the righteous (a lifting up) and a wedding (Psa 47) in heaven. Psa 45 talks about a coronation. Both of these psalms are Rosh Ha Shanah psalms in Jewish Eschatology.

2 Thes 2.3 says, “Let no one in any way deceive you for unless the falling away comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” So let’s unpack this verse. Where it says “falling away” it is the Greek word “apostasia” and it means “to depart, remove a person from one place to another.” It can also mean “a disappearance, or caught up.” It can also mean a “spiritual departure.” The meaning is determined by the context, and the context in this portion is “the gathering” in verse 1, so this means a person moving from one place to gather in another.

We would like to quote from the book, Rosh Ha Shanah and the Messianic Kingdom To Come” by Joseph Good of Hatikva Ministries. This will give us more insight into this word “apostasia” used in verse 3. Good says on p. 125-127, “Kenneth Wuest, a noted Greek scholar, states in his word studies an interesting point that has much to do with the catching away of the living believers. He states that the phrase ‘falling away’ is a mistranslation of the Greek word apostasia and should rather be translated “departure.”

“The root verb aphistemi is found fifteen times in the New Testament. It is translated ‘depart’ eleven times. Although it is often found translated in similar meanings, ‘the predominant meaning of this verb in the New Testament…is that of the act of a person departing from another person or from a place…Liddel and Scott in their classical lexicon gives as the second meaning of apostasia, ‘a departure, a disappearance.’ Dr E. Schuyler English, to whom the author is deeply indebted for calling his attention to this word ‘departure’ as the correct rendering of apostasia in this context, is authority for that fact that…the Greek word means ‘a departure.'” Wuest further states that apostasia was at times used to denote a fefection of revolt; however, this meaning “should not be imposed upon the word where the context does not qualify the word by these meanings.”

“According to Wuest, Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) refers to “the gathering together of the saints, to the Lord Yeshua at his coming, which is the departure of the congregation from the earth” in 2 Thes 2.1. In Rav Shaul’s previous letter, “he had described that event in the words, ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clods to meet the Lord in the air’ which involves a departure from the earth.”

“Remember that the Greek word harpuzo means to catch away. Harpuzo is the word used in Rav Shaul’s (Apostle Paul) first letter to the Thessalonians. Its Hebrew equivalent is natzal, which in its root form means to deliver. A derivative of natzal is metzal, which means to pluck away, or a radical departure.”

“Also the Greek word that is used in 2 Thess 2.1 for this gathering is episunagoge, which is the Greek equivalent for asupah and is a derivative of the word asaph and a word meaning congregation of assembly. According to Num 10.1-3, the assembly is gathered together by the blowing of a trumpet. Therefore, those that have received the Messiah and have been made nobles are gathered to the gate of the assembly by the blowing of a trumpet.” As the believers are taken from the earth with blowing of the shofar, they are in effect hidden from the wrath of God to come in the birth-pains. The Talmudic name Yom Kesseh for this festival (Rosh Ha Shanah) portrays this aspect. The name means ‘The Day of Concealment.’ It received this name from being the only festival that falls at the beginning of the month when the new moon may still be concealed.”

When the earth reaches Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation, the shofar will blow and believers will be resurrected and “gathered” to be present for the coronation and wedding of the Messiah. Wuest said that five Greek translations had it this way until about the 1600’s (more detail on that later).

Notice that 2 Thes 2.3 says that this departure happens “first” and this is the Greek word “proton.” But first of what? It is the first, or the beginning, of the Day of the Lord, which begins on the first day of Tishri, a new moon. We know that the name of this day is Rosh Ha Shanah, which is the subject of this chapter. The word “rosh” means “head” (or first), and the “son of destruction” is of course the False Messiah. The Natzal (gathering, rapture) happens first, then the man of destruction (False Messiah) is revealed, which is exactly what we have previously presented.

Tishri 1 comes and we have the natzal (rapture) and then a few days later the USA is destroyed. The Scriptures tell us that Europe is in fear and there is a meeting with ten rulers of Europe. There an eleventh person in the room (the little horn that came up among them-Dan 7.7-8) and the ten rulers give their power to act on behalf of their respective nations to the eleventh man, and he is the False Messiah. He will make a military treaty with Israel by Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur), and Tishri 11 begins God’s countdown of 2520 days to the end of the Birth-pains and the coming of Yeshua.

2 Thes 2.4 then says, “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” This will happen at the exact halfway point of the Birth-pains, or Nisan 10. This is the day that Yeshua rode into Jerusalem and entered the Temple displaying that he was the Messiah. The False Messiah is a counterfeiter.

2 Thes 2.5, says, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you I was telling you these things?” He goes on to say in 2 Thes 2.6, “And you know what restrains (meaning to “seize and hold fast to, retain”) him (Messiah Yeshua) now, so that in his time he (Messiah) may be revealed (“apokalupto” or revealing, which is the subject of the Book of Revelation and why it is called “The Apocalypse”).”

2 Thes 2.7 says, “For the mystery (secret) of lawlessness (“anomos” in Greek meaning ‘Torah-less-ness’) is already at work, only he who now restrains (to seize, hold fast to, retain) until out of the midst (of lawlessness or Torah-less-ness) it comes (appears, arises, arrives or becomes born).” The False Messiah will come and be born in the midst of Torah-less-ness (lawlessness).

Then 2 Thes 2.8-12 goes on to say, “and then the lawless one (Torah-less one) will be revealed (arises, arrives, appears, becomes born) whom the Lord will slay with the breath of his mouth (his word) and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming (on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, year 6008-Matt 24.29-31), the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan with all power and signs and wonders (the False Messiah) and with all deception of wickedness for those (those who do not follow the Torah and believe in Yeshua-Rev 12.17) who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth (of the Torah, the word of God) as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth (Torah) but took pleasure in wickedness (breaking the Torah and being lawless, or Torah-less).”

The Torah is contrasted with the lie in 2 Thes 2.3-12 and it identifies what the “truth” and the “lie” is. The truth is the Torah and being observant, and the lie is “lawlessness” or “Torah-less-ness.” In other words, this passage is telling us that the recipients of this letter were not to be disturbed over any letter or teacher that says the natzal, or the gathering of verse 1, has already happened. That is because the Day of the Lord (the last 1000 years) will not start until there is a physical departure of the believers in the “gathering” (natzal, rapture) which happens on “the first” (Rosh) day of the “Day of the Lord (Tishri 1 and the beginning of the year-Rosh (head) Ha Shanah (the year). After that, the False Messiah will have been born in the midst of lawlessness (Torah-less-ness) will be revealed, the son of destruction (Num 24.24; Dan 11.45; Rev 19.20). He will sit in the Temple claiming he is “God” and “Jesus” but he is a counterfeit. He is “lawless” (no Torah because it has been “done away with”) and he will lead others who believe the same thing. This is a deception and a delusion, a “lie” contrasted with “the truth.”

This passage plainly tells us that the gathering (natzal, rapture) happens before the False Messiah can be revealed. The “mystery of lawlessness” (Torah-less-ness) was already in existence at the time of Paul, but the Lord is holding back the revelation of the False Messiah who will be born, appears, arrives and arises out of the midst of that lawlessness. This will be a specific time in the Day of the Lord, after Tishri 1 (the gathering. natzal, rapture) and by Tishri 10, Yom Kippur, year 6001 from creation, when he is revealed by making a military treaty with Israel.

We will pick up here in Part 31.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 29

Let’s look at the Birth-pains briefly, using some of the terms we have learned. In the first three and a half years, we have the beginning of the Day of the Lord on Rosh Ha Shanah, Tishri 1, from creation. We will have a Yom Ha Din, the anointing of the 144,000, the resurrection of the righteous (Natzal) to go to the wedding and coronation of the Messiah. Ten days later, or probably no later than Tishri 8, year 6001, Babylon (USA) will be destroyed by Gog and Magog (Russia) and the False Messiah will take control of Europe.

On Tishri 11, year 6001, the False Messiah makes a military treaty with Israel. Gog and Magog will attack Europe and a conventional war (not nuclear) begins that will last three years. Gog and Magog will be winning. On Tishri 1 (Rosh Ha Shanah), year 6004, Gog and Magog will attack Israel. The Israeli army will be defeated and the False Messiah will be unable to come to the aid of Israel. On Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur), Yehovah defeats the armies of Gog and Magog, and Israel turns to Yehovah and believes in Yeshua as the sent Messiah as one nation. The False Messiah will attack the land of Gog and Magog after their armies are defeated in Israel.

Nisan 10 will be the exact ha lfway point of the Birth-pains leading to the second half of the Birth-pains. The Abomination of Desolation has already been set up in the Temple, and all the services are stopped and the False Messiah comes to Jerusalem. The Two Witnesses are killed. From Tishri 10 to Nisan 10 is 1260 days, 42 months or a time, times and half a time. This equates to three and a half years. This second 1260 years will be the latter half of the Birth-pains.

On Nisan 10, the False Messiah declares himself to be God and Israel will flees into the wilderness. They have been prepared for this by the teaching of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000, so they saw it coming. They will be protected by God, believe in Yeshua and are Torah observant. The Two Witnesses were killed on Nisan 10 and their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days. On Nisan 14 (Passover) they will be resurrected from the dead and the world will see it.

In Year 6006 there will be a battle at Megiddo as the False Messiah confronts the Kings of the East, but this will not be the last battle. On Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6008, Yeshua returns to Mount Sinai with all the resurrected believers. He follows the route Moses took to the Promised Land. There is a battle in Jerusalem as Yeshua returns on Yom Kippur, a Yom Ha Din, Tishri 10, year 6008, and the Great Shofar is blown. The False Messiah and the False Prophet are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire, and the judgment found in Matt 25 begins.

So, with that said, let’s pick up some additional information. The False Messiah will come to power in Europe as we have said. This will happen immediately after the destruction of Babylon (USA). He comes to power as a result of a meeting that only lasts about one hour, and this meeting is apparently a result of the fear and panic that comes from the destruction of Babylon (USA). Eleven men are in that meeting at least, and ten of the men have been given total power and authority to represent their home countries for the one hour meeting. These men will give their power and authority to the eleventh man, who says he has a plan to save them, but they need to give him power to do it. They do not have time to go back to their respective legislatures to ask for permission to do this. They need to act now because time is of the essence. The eleventh man in this meeting is the False Messiah and he will be revealed. He makes a military treaty with Israel within days (Tishri 11) of taking over Europe. He is also revealed by this military treaty.

We are going to go into 2 Thes 2.1-12 with a lot of detail and we need to know when the False Messiah will be revealed, and we have already touched on that by saying that he will be revealed when he becomes the ruler in Europe and when he makes a military treaty with Israel.

In this passage, it is clear that Paul saw this “man of lawlessness (not Torah observant, against the Torah) as the opponent of Yeshua the Messiah. The False Messiah is counterfeit to Yeshua, not just opposed to him. So we are going to dissect 2 Thes 2.1-2 piece by piece which will give us more insight into our main subject of the Natzal (Rapture/Gathering).

There was a doctrine associated with Rosh Ha Shanah called “The Gathering” and we will see this term in 2 Thes 2.1, and it is what Paul is talking about here 9Isa 13.2, 18.3; Psa 27.10). In the Jewish Encyclopedia called “Antichrist” it says that the passage in 2 Thes 2.1-12 can be explained “by the aid of rabbinical eschatology.” Sanhedrin 98a of the Talmud teaches that the Messiah will not appear unless mankind is either entirely righteous or entirely wicked. They say that this concept explains the “what restrains” of 2.6 and the “who now restrains” of 2. 7. This may have some bearing on those verses but there will be more to it as it applies to when the False Messiah appears, but both of the above statements are true to some extent.

The False Messiah cannot rise to power as long as the righteous Kahal (assembly) is on the earth, and we do not mean “the church.” On the contrary, the “church” will contribute to the success of the False Messiah. The Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) restrains the Satan from establishing the False Messiah before his time in God’s eschatological plans. In other words, the False Messiah cannot come to the front because the Ruach restrains him until God is ready. When the righteous are removed, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) will no longer restrain him from coming to power. So, for a short time, without the righteous in the world, the world is entirely wicked.

At the start of the Birth-pains, the False Messiah must come to power. He will reign for seven biblical years (2520 days). We have established that in Dan 9.24-27 he will be over Europe for three and a half years, then he will try to rule the world for three and a half years. But, he has been given only seven years.

When Yeshua returns at the end of the seven years to Jerusalem, all the unrighteous (wicked) are gathered together and destroyed. This leaves the world for a short time entirely righteous (Luke 17,34-37; Joel 3.12-14; Matt 13.30). The removal of the wicked is called the “Feast of Leviathan” (Matt 24.28; Rev 19.20-21; Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8) and the wicked are killed at a lace called “Tophet” in the Valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem (Jer 7.22-34, 19.1-15). In Hebrew this valley is called “Gey Hinnom” and it is where we get the word “Gehenna.”

So, with that in mind, in Part 30 we will pick up here and get into 2 Thes 2.1-12 and dissect these verses to see if we can find out when the False Messiah appears. We are going to be able to see that with the foundational background that we have learned from this study so far we will be able to interpret passages like this with much more understanding.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 28

We are going to continue with a summary of the Birth-pains (Tribulation) and we know that Gog and Magog will attack Israel at the end of the third year of the Birth-pains around Rosh Ha Shanah, Tishri 1 (to start the fourth year) and they will devastate Israel. On Yom Kippur, Yehovah defeats the armies of Gog and Magog. Israel has become believers in Yeshua as the Messiah and as a nation they have turned back to Yehovah (Ezek 39.22).

The seven shepherds and eight princely men of Micah 5.5 are the False Messiah and his other rulers. He attacks and defeats the land of Gog and Magog (Russia) making himself the most powerful ruler in the world. His conquest of Gog and Magog takes six months. Now we are at the exact halfway point of the Birth-pains (Nisan 10) and the False Messiah will then enter Jerusalem, right before Passover (Nisan 14) of the fourth year.

The idea of Europe invading Russia has happened before. Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia and got caught in the Russian winter and was defeated. Hitler also invaded Russia and got caught in the Russian winter and was defeated. Yehovah will defeat Gog and Magog by Yom Kippur (Tishri 10) and the False Messiah and Europe will invade Russia during the winter (between Tishri and Nisan) and be successful. That’s when he enters Jerusalem on Nisan 10, the same day Yeshua entered Jerusalem in what is called the “Triumphal Entry.” The False Messiah will do the same thing, declaring himself God, but he is a counterfeit.

We also know that the Birth-pains will be 2520 days. It has already been established that Yeshua will arrive in Jerusalem at the end of the Birth-pains on a Yom Kippur. The earth today has a solar cycle of 365 1/4 days a year. A Jewish lunar and solar year is 354 days with an extra month interpolated every third year. When Babylon is destroyed during the first ten days of the Day of the Lord, right before the Birth-pains begin, the earth will move out of its present orbit because it will be a cataclysm, creating a 360 day year again (Isa 13.13, 24.18-20-notice these passages are in chapters dealing with the destruction of Babylon).

From the time the False Messiah signs the military treaty with Israel till the halfway point of the Birth-pains, it is 1260 days, 42 months or a time, times and half a time (three and half years-from Yom Kippur to Nisan 10). From Nisan 10 till the Messiah comes on a Yom Kippur three and a half years later on a Tishri 10, it will be 1260 days, 42 months or a time, times and a half a time. The total number of days will be 2520 days (7 x 360). If we know that the Messiah will be in Jerusalem on a Yom Kippur according to Matt 24.29-31, and the “great trumpet” (Shofar Ha Gadol is only sounded on Yom Kippur), then we can count back 2520 days and we know that the Birth-pains will begin on the day after Yom Kippur (Tishri 11). From there the exact halfway point is Nisan 10, four days before Passover. This is the day Yeshua entered Jerusalem and the Temple and declared the Messiah. The False Messiah is going to do the same thing.

Now, just as Yeshua had a prophet named Yochanon Ha Matvil (John the Baptist) to prepare the way, the False Messiah has a counterpart known as the False Prophet. He arrived in Jerusalem during the month of Adar, one month before Nisan. He commands that an image of the False Messiah be placed in the Temple, and this is what is called the Abomination of Desolation (Dan 9.27).

The false Messiah will kill the Two Witnesses who have come in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah. They will lie in the streets of Jerusalem after they are killed for three and a half days, which will bring us to mid-day on Passover. Yehovah will resurrect them and they will ascend to heaven. When they are killed and the False Messiah declares himself God, the Jewish people, who are now believers in Yeshua, will flee into the wilderness to be protected by God for the last three and a half years of the Birth-pains (Rev 12.14).

The first three and a half years of the Birth-pains was directed towards the Jewish people. The last three and half years will be directed towards the non-Jews. The False Messiah will have authority for the last three and a half years to persecute those who have come to believe in Yeshua during the Birth-pains (Rev 11.2, 13.5; Dan 7.25, 12.7). He is now the most powerful ruler in the world and nobody can touch him for awhile. However, he will be attacked at the end of the Birth-pains (Dan 11.44).

As we have said, Israel will flee into the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness when the two Witnesses are killed (Rev 11.7, 12.6, 13-17). Israel believes in Yeshua and is persecuted by the False Messiah and they will flee into the wilderness for the last half of the Birth-pains. You will also note that these believers in Yeshua re Torah observant (Rev 12.17).

One of the concepts that is never taught is that Yeshua will literally come back to the earth on a Rosh Ha Shanah. Yom Kippur is when he literally comes to Jerusalem He will return from heaven to Mount Sinai with the “clouds of heaven” (believers) and march to Jerusalem on a Yom Kippur. To some, this is shocking concept, but it can be found in Scripture, so where are we coming from on this? We will present the Scriptures for you to research and follow up on. The Lord is seen progressing north from Mount Sinai. Look up the names of the places and where they are and plot them out on a map and you will see something very interesting. Around Rosh Ha Shanah he is at Mount Sinai in Deut 33.2, and in the wilderness in Isa 40.3, and near Teman, near Sinai, in Hab 3-4. He is in Midian in Hab 3.7-9. On Rosh Ha Shanah he is in Sela (Petra) in Isa 16.1-5 and Isa 42.10-13. He is marching from Seir (Edom) in Judges 5.4-5 and in the south in Zech 9.14. In Isa 63.1-6 he is in Edom and Bozrah. He will come on a Rosh Ha Shanah in Prov 7.20 (he is the husband that has gone away and will come back at the “hidden moon”). He meets the fugitives with bread in Arabia (Isa 21.13-15). He is at the sheepfolds of Bozrah in Mic 2.12-13.

On Yom Kippur he has arrived in Jerusalem in Isa 27.12-13; Zech 14.3-5 and Matt 24.27-31. The great trumpet is blown and the bridegroom and bride have come out of their wedding chamber and are coming back in Joel 2.15-16. In Song 8.5 they are coming to Jerusalem from the wilderness.

So, what happens? Rev 19.19-21 says he makes war with the False Messiah and the nations, and their followers are killed and their bodies put into Tophet in Isa 66.24; Jer 19.1-15 and Rev 19.20-21. Yeshua arrives in Jerusalem, at the Mount of Olives. The Great Shofar blows and the angels are dispatched to gather the unbelievers first, then the believers (Matt 24.29-31; Luke 17.33; Matt 25.31-46. There is an earthquake to Azal (12 miles) and the people flee. The False Messiah and False Prophet are captured and killed, and they are cast into the lake of fire (Dead Sea), resulting in the judgment of Matt 25. Yeshua is taking the same path Moses took coming north to the land of Israel. He will gather the exiles together, and if you have marked on a map all the places mentioned, you will see how he is moving north.

So, what do we have so far? We have the Natzal (Rapture) on Rosh Ha Shanah (Yom Ha Din), year 6001 from creation. We are in heaven for a coronation and wedding of the Messiah and spend seven years there called the “Shavuah L Chuppah.” On Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6008, Yeshua the Messiah returns to Mount Sinai with the clouds of heaven (believers) and on Yom Kippur, year 6008, Yeshua returns to Jerusalem as the Shofar Ha Gadol (great trumpet) is blown. The in-gathering of the righteous from among the nations begins, along with the unrighteous. They are judged as Yeshua sits on the Mount of Olives.

We will pick up with what happens in the first three and a half years of the Birth-pains in Part 29, as we look into Jewish Eschatology and the Natzal (Rapture).

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 27

After the False Messiah takes control of Europe he enters into a military treaty with Israel, now that the USA is gone (Dan 9.27). Russia has already attacked the USA (nuclear) and later they will attack Europe in a conventional war, not nuclear, because they want Europe intact. This treaty will strengthen his military position also. This treaty will be for a “shavuah” (seven years) but after three and a half years he will put an end to the korbanot (offerings) and set up the Abomination of Desolation and declare himself God (2 Thes 2).

Now, remember, we talked about the False Messiah being one of the seven, but is himself also an eighth (Rev 17.11). This concept can also be seen in Micah 5.5. When the Assyrian (Russia) invades Israel (Ezek 38-39), Israel will raise against Assyria “seven shepherds and eight princely men.” We started out with ten kings or “shepherds”, but how do we end up with seven kings or shepherds?

The False Messiah has ten rulers with him at the start of the Birth-pains. By the halfway point there are only seven rulers and there are a number of passages that show this. Dan 7.7-8 tells us we had ten horns, then a “little horn” arises among them and three horns are pulled out, leaving seven. If you add the little horn (False Messiah) it gives you eight kings, rulers or shepherds.

Dan 7.19-20 basically tells us the same thing. You have ten horns, then a little horn arises and three horns fall or are subdued, leaving seven. The little horn (False Messiah) gives you eight kings, rulers or shepherds. Dan 7.24 says the same thing. Dan 7.25 tells us about the False Messiah who will speak out against the Lord and he will make changes in “times” (festivals) and “law” (Torah). They (the tzadikim/saints/true believers) will be given into his hands for a time (one year), times (two years) and a half a time (six months), for a total of three and a half years, which is the second half of the Birth-pains. This equals 1260 days or 42 months on the biblical calendar.

The False Messiah will make war with the tzadikim (saints), so who are the “saints?” They are the ones who have become believers since the resurrection of the righteous (Natzal/Rapture) on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation. We have had three and a half years for many to become believers in Yeshua, including the nation of Israel. Many non-Jews will be questioning the False Messiah and start to check everything out. Eventually, the lies of the False Messiah will not be believed by many.

So, what happened to the three horns of Dan 7.7-8, 19-20, 24? Zech 11.8 says, “I dismissed the three shepherds (kings) in one month. My soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me.” In the Peshat (literal) level, this is referring to the removal of some civil or religious authorities, but it alludes to the removal of three rulers who were initially with the false Messiah in the Sowd (secret) level.

Rev 13.1 says, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea and I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” In this passage, the ten crowns represent the rulers, and the ten horns represent the country. But when we see the same beast in Rev 12.1-3 there are seven crowns. This is another piece of evidence that Revelation is not written in chronological order. Rev 12.3 says, “And another sign appeared in heaven; behold, a great fiery red dragon having seven heads, and ten horns, and seven crowns on his head.” We have lost three “shepherds” (kings, rulers).

Now, there is an important passage in Mic 5.5-6 that we want to look at. It says, “When the Assyrian comes into our land (this is Gog and Magog), and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men. They will waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances (borders); thus he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and when he treads within our borders.” As a side note, H.A. Ironside, the head of Moody Bible Institute wrote a book in 1913 identifying Assyria as Gog and Magog.

We see two things here. The False Messiah and Europe will not be allowed to help Israel much when Russia attacks Israel. We will show you why, using an example from ancient history when Assyria invaded Israel. The False Messiah may try to help Israel but will be stopped by Yehovah. Secondly, we see that the False Messiah will attack the land of Gog and Magog (Russia) as seen in out Mic 5.5-6 passage about Assyria, and in Ezek 39.6. In other words, when Gog and Magog (Assyria/Russia) comes into the land, Israel will call on the False Messiah and Europe for help, based on the military treaty they have with them, but Yehovah will not let them help (Dan 9.27).

Isa 30.1-7 tells us that Israel was not to seek help from Egypt (Europe) and Pharaoh (False Messiah) because it is in vain. God will cause Egypt to sit idle. The key to understanding why God will not allow Europe and the False Messiah to help when Russia attacks can be found in a story by Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, Chapter 1.4. It talks about the time when Assyria invaded Israel in the time of Hezekiah and Sennacherib.

Josephus writes, “About the same time also the king of Assyria wrote an epistle to Hezekiah, in which he said he was a foolish man in supposing that he should escape from being his servant, since he had already brought under many and great nations; and he threatened, that, when he took him he would utterly destroy him, unless he now opened the gates, and willingly received his army into Jerusalem. When he had read this epistle, he despised it, on account of the trust that he had in God; but he rolled up the epistle, and laid it up within the temple; and as he made his further prayers to God for the city, and for the preservation of all the people, the prophet Isaiah said that God had heard his prayer, and that he should not at this time be besieged by the king of Assyria; that for the future he might be secure of not being at all disturbed by him; and that the people might go on peacefully, and without fear, with their husbandry and other affairs; but after a little while, the king of Assyria, when he had failed of his treacherous designs against the Egyptians, returned home without success on the following occasion.”

“He spent a long time in the siege of Pelusium (Greek name for Lachish in the Shephelah Valley-Jer 34.7); and when the banks that he had raised over against the walls were of a great height, and when he was ready to make an immediate assault upon them, but heard that Tirhakah, king of the Ethiopians (or “Cush” of the 25th dynasty) was coming, and bringing great forces to aid the Egyptians, and was resolved to march through the desert, and so to fall directly upon the Assyrians, this king Sennacherib was disturbed at the news; and, as I said before, left Pelusium (Lachish) and returned back without success.”

“Now concerning this Sennacherib, Herodotus also says, in the second book of his histories, now this “king came against the Egyptian king, who was a priest of Vulcan” and that as he was besieging Pelusium (Lachish), Herodotus was mistaken he broke up the siege in the following occasion. This Egyptian priest prayed to God, and God heard his prayer, and sent a judgment on the Arabian king. But in this Herodotus was mistaken when he called this king not of the Assyrians, but of the Arabians; for he said that ‘a multitude of mice gnawed to pieces on one night both the bows and the rest of the armor of the Assyrians; and that was on the account that the king, when he had no bows left, drew his army from Pelusium.'”

In other words, the Assyrians came down to Israel under Sennacherib because Hezekiah tried to overthrow the Assyrian yoke. He forms an alliance with the Egyptian Pharaoh Tirhakah who had joined with the 25th dynasty of Ethiopia. Sennacherib comes down and Hezekiah calls on Egypt and Pharaoh to come for help. So Tirhakah marches out of Egypt and gets to about Beersheba, and the Assyrians have come down to stop him from the Shephelah Valley, and the two armies camp and will fight the next day. During the night a horde of mice come through the Assyrian camp and ate the feathers of the arrows, the bowstrings and the leather slings. The Assyrians wake up to find that their weapons are ruined and it was not the time to fight.

What is strange is the Assyrians could have defeated Tirhakah if they attacked, but Tirhakah made the decision during the night to pull back and return to Egypt. He did not come to the aid of Israel at all, and the question is, “Why?” It is because God was not going to allow Egypt and Pharaoh to help Israel, and so he sent the mice to disturb the Assyrians. God had his own plan about all of this. He was going to destroy the Assyrian army himself, in one night. He did not want Israel to think they were delivered by Egypt and Pharaoh. In the same way, God will not allow the False Messiah and Europe to help Israel when Russia invades. He will destroy Russia himself and Israel will know they were delivered by the hand of God alone (Ezek 39.22). As a result of this defeat, however, God will allow the False Messiah and Europe to exploit the situation and they will attack the land of Russia and subdue them under his authority (Ezek 39.6; Mic 5.6).

We will pick up here in Part 27.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 26

We know that the False Messiah is “himself also an eighth and is one of the seven” (Rev 17.11). The “seven” are Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the seventh is Revived Rome. Remember this because we are going to see other references to “the seven shepherds” and so on. These ten horns are not the heads of their countries but they receive authority from their home countries “as kings” with the beast for “one hour” (a short time). Some sort of disaster occurred and these ten representatives are sent to a meeting where the False Messiah is present, but he is not the False Messiah yet. No country does this sort of theing unless there is an extreme emergency.

In the book, “Prophecies in the Book of Esther” by Joseph Good, Hatikva Ministries, p. 86-87, we have some insight into why there are ten kings. They will be related to what is called the “Decem Viri” of ancient Rome, meaning “Ten Men.” Good writes, “Rome was founded and settled around 753 B.C.E. After a few kings, the citizens of Rome grew tired of the tyrants who had ruled. This caused the ancient Romans to form a republic. However, a problem persisted for several years, clashes between the two classes. The Patricians were wealthy and powerful. The Plebians were poor and over taxed. Each group had to serve in the military, but representation from the Plebian caste was limited. This led to a series of disputes between the two classes which lasted many years. During one such dispute, the Plebians withdrew to one of the hills of Rome ans settled, insulating themselves from the Patricians. From this the Plebians formed a group known as the Tribunal. At first the Tribunes were two men, but the Tribunal later grew to include at least ten. After many more disputes with the Patricians, the Plebians commissioned the Decem Viri, ten men, to write a code of laws that would protect their rights and the rights of all Roman citizens.

“The Decem Viri were not nobles. They represented a society promising to give legal protection that was much needed. The group formed about 450 B.C.E and remained for less than two years. The legal code they compiled was called the Twelve Tablets because the codes were written on twelve separate tablets of clay. The actual tablets have not survived, but the laws written on them have survived centuries. These laws, developed by the Romans, were among the most complete and complex system of laws in the ancient world. The laws have likewise strongly influenced the character of the laws in virtually every nation of Western Europe, with the exception of England.”

“Following the fall of the Roman Empire, and through the Middle Ages, the ancient laws fell into disuse. However, late in the eleventh century, the ancient Roman law was rediscovered and studied by scholars. Today, even the United States has been influenced by this old code. For example, the ancient Tribunes had the power to forbid certain action on part of the Roman Senate, comprised of Patricians. By calling out, “Veto” (I forbid) action could be stopped. The veto has become a powerful part of the legal system of the United States.”

“The Decem Viri provided a service to Rome. However, their corruption and misuse of power forced them from this position less than two years after their commission. This corresponds directly to the False Messiah as described in Daniel and Revelation as having ten kings who direct his empire.” The “ten” can be seen in Dan 7.7-8, 24; Rev 13.1, 17.12. They will have “one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast” (Rev 17.13). With that in mind, let’s look at a brief overview of the Birth-pains.

The False Messiah comes to power in “one hour” (Rev 17.12) and this panic could only be caused by the fear caused by the destruction of Babylon (USA-Rev 17.10, 15). The ones that destroyed Babylon will also attack Israel three years later, called the invasion of Gog and Magog (Russia and her allies in Ezek 38-39). Europe will enter into a three year war with Gog and Magog (Isa 20.1-6 prophecy-more on this later).

We have seen in the teaching “Is America Babylon” on this site that Babylon is the USA, but there will be other nations represented by ancient terms. Another way of seeing this is the Scriptures have what is called the “Code of Nations.” For example, in Ezek 38.17-18 we are told that this invasion is “in that day” or the Day of the Lord. We are also told, “Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through my servants the prophets of Israel who prophesied in those days for years that I would bring you against them?”

But now we have a problem. Before this chapter we do not have any Scriptures about Gog and Magog. So, how can God say he has spoken about Gog and Magog for years through the prophets? Where is it? The ancient scholars of Israel asked the same question.

In the book, “Everyman’s Talmud” by Abraham Cohen it says in a comment on Isa 9.7 that “the Holy One wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah and Sennacherib Gog and Magog.” Now, God never wished to make Hezekiah the Messiah, that was rabbinical thought, but it tells us something. The Assyrian king Sennacherib was seen as a picture of Gog and Magog. This concept can also be seen in the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 94a.

If you compare what is said about Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and what is said about the invasion of Israel by Assyria in Isaiah, Micah, 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, you will find that the two match. You can even go to Josephus and find out what happened during the Assyrian invasion with Sennacherib. Everything you need to know about the invasion of Gog and Magog was previously described with the invasion by Assyria, thus giving us insight into Ezek 38.17. Ezekiel only gives us two chapters, but these other books give us many chapters. Eschatologically, Assyria is Russia (Gog and Magog).

So, we have seen that Babylon is the United States, Assyria is Gog and Magog and Egypt will be a picture of Europe and the False Messiah (Leviathan, Rahab, Pharaoh). We have said before that “Cush” could be either Ethiopia or Mesopotamia, depending on the context.

After the destruction of Babylon (USA) there will be survivors who were outside of the country when the attack came. These survivors will join themselves to Europe and the kingdom of the False Messiah (Rev 17.3). eventually, he will turn against these survivors (Rev 17.16). Who are these survivors? They will be the U.S. military and government agents outside of the country, They will be tourists, business people and others who are outside of the country. Once the destruction hits the mainland of the United States, they will have no other place to go. Naturally, they will find refuge and support in Europe because many have European ancestry and they speak English there. The military will come under NATO agreements.

In Isa 20.1-6 we see an Assyrian officer coming from Sargon to Ashdod, and he captures it. Yehovah spoke to Isaiah and told him to go “naked and barefoot.” He then said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt (Europe) and Cush (Babylon, or the survivors of the attack on the USA), so the King of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered to the shame of Egypt. Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their boast. So the inhabitants of this coast land will say in that day (the Day of the Lord), ‘Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help to be delivered from the King of Assyria, and we, how shall we escape?'”

This chapter tells us in the Sowd level (hidden, secret) that the False Messiah and the “exiles” from Cush (USA) will be fighting a three year war with Russia (Assyria/Gog and Magog) and will be losing. We know that Egypt was called the “iron furnace” in Deut 4.20; Jer 11.4 and 1 Kings 8.51. After the Holocaust in Europe and the iron furnaces of the concentration camps, the remaining Jews left for the land of Israel and they called it the “Exodus.” A movie by that name was made with Paul Newman that had this “Exodus” as a theme.

In Psa 74.13-14 we have Leviathan (Rev 13.1) and it will be a picture of the False Messiah. It talks about how Yehovah “broke the heads” (plural) of Leviathan (Pharaoh) at the Red Sea and being delivered from Egypt. What does Pharaoh have on his crown? A “serpent” or cobra. So, we have seen that Babylon is the United States, Egypt is Europe, Assyria is Russia and Gog and Magog, and Israel is Israel.

In Part 27 we will pick up here with more concepts on this.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 25

Isa 18.4-7 says, “For so the Lord said to me, ‘I will take my rest (rest is “M’nuchah” which is also a term for the Messianic Kingdom and the Olam Haba in Heb 4.1-11), and I will look from my dwelling place like a clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.’ For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and for the beasts of the earth; the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them. In that time a present will be brought to the Lord of Hosts from a people tall and smooth, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide (the meaning of Mesopotamia) to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Zion.”

What present is being brought? Some teach this is talking about the Ark of the Covenant being brought from Ethiopia. However, the area being talked about here is “Cush” of Mesopotamia. We don’t believe this at all. We believe the Ark is already in Jerusalem beneath the Temple Mount. We have shown this in another teaching on this website called “Temple 201-Where is the Ark of the Covenant.”

So, again, what is being brought? It is the Basar (gospel) being brought back to the Jewish people. This is the “real gospel” not the Replacement Theology gospel that is being taught today. Most Christians who will read this statement will not have any idea what we are talking about. Why? Because they have been taught this “other gospel” of Replacement Theology and that is all they know.

This true gospel follows the pattern of Yeshua. He ministered in Israel for three and a half years first because he was sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” not to the non-Jew. After he is resurrected he sends out his talmidim into the nations and the non-Jews. Paul said the basar was “to the Jew first, then the non-Jew” (Rom 1.16). We will have the same pattern in the Birth-pains with the 144,000. They will go to Israel first and carry the basar message because they have a double anointing. Paul said he was “born out of time” in 1 Cor 15.8 because he saw that his ministry to the non-Jews was like the 144,000 in the last days.

In the first three and a half years of the Birth-pains Israel is going to have all sorts of things happen and the 144,000 will minster in Israel. At the mid-point Israel has believed in Yeshua for six months, since the defeat of Gog and Magog (Russia). Israel will flee into the wilderness on Nisan 10 when the False Messiah claims to be God and desecrates the Temple. They will be there for the remaining three and a half years and be out of the picture (Rev 12.1-17). Then the 144,000 are sent to the non-Jews in the nations, just like in the first century, but can’t be stopped (Mic 5.7-9). So, we are going to look at another portion of Scripture that alludes to the 144,000 and is directly linked to Rosh Ha Shanah and the timing of the resurrection of the righteous.

In Isa 6.1-13 we will see something very similar to Rev 4, which is a Rosh Ha Shanah passage. We have the Lord high and lifted up and the court is seated, so we know it is Rosh Ha Shanah. Angels take burning coals and Isaiah’s sins are forgiven. He hears the voice of the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” He is looking for a shaliach like in Isa 18.2. Isaiah is seeing a vision that alludes to the 144,000 and he volunteers to go. We see what the 144,000 will be doing in this passage (v 9-10). Isaiah asks, “How long” and he is told in Isa 6.11-13. This is a picture of the commission of the 144,000.

The last ten kings of Judah tell us about what happens in the Birth-pains, and we discussed this at the end of our teaching on Second Kings. Isaiah sees this vision just as King Uzziah dies and it is before Uzziah’s son Yotham begins to reign. Uzziah is the last king before the last ten kings of Judah, that means in the eschatological sense, Uzziah is a picture of the days leading up to the Birth-pains, so this vision is right at the beginning of the Day of the Lord (Rosh Ha Shanah) and Isaiah’s commission alludes to the commission of the 144,000 which also occurs at the beginning of the Day of the Lord (Rev 14.4 as “first fruits”).

The rise of the False Messiah is directly linked to the fall of Babylon (USA). The fear caused by the destruction of Babylon (USA) in one hour creates a panic in Europe where it is feared that the same fate will fall on them unless they act immediately. The False Messiah is the one to keep your eye on when it comes to when the Natzal (Rapture) occurs. The Scriptures are full of information about the False Messiah and you can go to our teaching called “Torah and New Testament Foundations-The False Messiah” on this website for more information.

The fall of Babylon is discussed in Rev 18.1-19 and we see fear and panic in verses 9-19. Rev 17.11-12 says, “And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and is going into perdition (destruction). The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.” The beast is the seven-headed beast of Rev 13.1 of “Leviathan.” We will develop these concepts out later.

Dan 9.26 says, “The people of the prince who is to come” and that “prince” is the False Messiah. He is of the people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. We know that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and Dan 9.27 says, “He (the prince who is to come) shall confirm the covenant with many (Jews) for one week (a shavuah of seven years) and in the midst of the week (1260 days into the Birth-pains, the exact halfway point of Nisan 10) he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation (in the temple) to cease, and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Now, Rome is Europe and we know the False Messiah will come out of Europe. The merchants who were made rich by Babylon in Rev 18.11-19 is seen as Kittim in a book called “The Book of Isaiah” from Judaica Press, Vol 1 on Isa 23.1. Kittim were merchants who dwelt with Babylon, and Kittim was how you said Rome, or “Europe.” This is confirmed in Dan 11.30 where it says, “Ships from Kittim will come against him.” They are talking about Gaius Popillius Laernas who was a Roman ambassador. He was sent to Antiochus Epiphanes IV (a picture of the False Messiah) in ships. Laernas told Antiochus to abort his attack on Alexandria. He drew a circle around Antiochus and told him to decide what he was going to do before he left the circle. Antiochus withdrew but would come back later. This verse conforms that Kittim is Rome (Europe). The fear and panic by the merchants of Europe (Kittim) over the destruction of Babylon (USA) is what catapults the False Messiah into power.

Rev 17.11-13 tells us that the ten horns are not the heads of their countries (v 12), but they will give their power and authority to the beast, not knowing he is the False Messiah. There must be a meeting where the main powers in Europe gather to discuss what to do after the USA is destroyed. The False Messiah is in that meeting and he has a plan, but they must act quickly. So the main powers (ten of them) give him power to confront the crisis because there is no time to go pack to their individual governing assemblies to ratify what he wants. So, they do it and this vaults him into power.

In Part 26 we will pick up here.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)-Part 24

In order to understand how events “play out” we need to go over Jewish eschatology. One of the problems we will have doing this is we will make statements we can’t prove right away, but they can be proven. For example, the war of Gog and Magog can be established as to when it happens. It will start on a Rosh Ha Shanah and end on a Yom Kippur at the end of the third year, going into the fourth year, of the Birth-pains. It has to do with the coming of the False Messiah and the Jews fleeing into the Jordanian wilderness six months later.

Because we will not be studying these certain events, we will be making statements related to these events but will not be taking the time to go into each detail exactly. What we want is for you to get the general overview of it and have it in the back of your mind. So what we want to do now is give a brief overview of Jewish eschatology and the seven years of the Birth-pains using Jewish sources and references.

What have we seen so far? We have seen that the “Day of the Lord” will begin on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation. All the righteous will be resurrected and caught up to heaven in the Natzal. These believers are called the “clouds of heaven.” The coronation of Messiah, and wedding of the Messiah and his Bride, will take place at that time, and Messiah and the Bride will enter the Wedding Chamber or “Chuppah” for the start of the Shavuah L’ Chuppah.

On earth, the average people (sinners or Chata’im”) and the wicked (Rashim) are left behind. The 144,000 are anointed witnesses that will be set aside at this time. They are seen in two passages from the book of Revelation alone, but they are also seen in passages in the Tanach. We are going to examine the 144,00 and we will begin to deal with that. From that point we will move forward into an overview of the Birth-pains.

Revelation 6 gives an overview of the entire contents of the “scroll” given to Yeshua at the coronation. Rev 7 begins to give detail. This can be compared to a house being viewed from the outside. After that, you go in and view the rooms one by one. This can be established by the first verses of Rev 6.1-4. Then look at Rev 7.1-3 and the 144,000.

Many believe the Book of Revelation is chronological but you can see right away it is not. In true “apocalyptic style” of the Jewish people shortly before and shortly after Yeshua, they will come in to give the “big picture” and then drop back and begin to examine the big picture piece by piece. That is not chronological. Notice that Rev 6.1-4 had death and war, but Rev 7.1-8 starts out by saying that before any harm can come to the earth, there is the sealing of the 144,00. So, Rev 7.1-8 must happen before Rev 6.1-4.

There are two passages that relate to the 144,000 in Revelation, Rev 7.1-8 and Rev 14.1-8. The 144,000 are the “first fruits” of the new age that has begun called the Atid Lavo (Rev 14.4) and they are the redeemed of the Lord after the resurrection of the righteous has occurred in the Natzal. This is established as they are called the “first fruits” (bikurim). They are redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb. Also the “new song” (Messiah has come) is being sung by them. They sing, as it were, a new song before the throne. They have a message to the world, “having the everlasting basar (gospel) to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue and people (Rev 14.6).” The destruction of Babylon is the next event and then we will have the rise of the False Messiah. Then we have those who worship him next after that.

Now, everything Yeshua and the first century talmidim taught could be established in the Tanak, so where can we establish the 144,000 from the Tanak? Let’s look for just a few of these. About a thousand years ago, Saadiah Gaon wrote 10 reasons for blowing the shofar on Rosh Ha Shanah. Reason 10 says, “To recall our faith in the future resurrection. As it is said, ‘All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth:when he lifts up a standard on the mountains, you will see it; and when he blows the trumpet you will her it (Isa 18.3).'” In the peshat (literal) level by some commentators, this is talking about the Assyrians and judgment, but we are not going to look at that level right now because there is a deeper level (Sowd) in Isa 18.1-7, and we have just seen allusions to it in our passages in Revelation.

Notice that the phrase “all inhabitants of the world and dwellers (“on/in” is not in the original Hebrew but is implied) the earth” seems redundant. However, in Jewish thought, the inhabitants of the world is the living, and the dwellers in/on earth are the dead, and they are on the look out for the “banner” or “standard” that is to be lifted up and they will see it, a resurrection. The word “banner” is the word “nes” in Hebrew and it is a term used for the Messiah (Isa 5.26, 11.10, 11.12, 13.2). We also see that the “banner” was lifted on a mountain (Isa 13.2, 18.3).

Now, the “heavens” are called “shamayim” in Hebrew and it basically means “there is water.” In Greek there are two words, and one means “outer space” and the other means “the sky” with the clouds we see. This is the phrase that is used for the top of a mountain. When the banner (standard) is on a high mountain it will relate to the resurrection. In Isa 62.10 it says, “Go through, go through the gates (a Rosh Ha Shanah term)! Prepare the way for the people (like Elijah/Yochanon), build up, build up the highway, take out the stones (another reference to Elijah/Yochanon), lift up a banner (nes) for the peoples.” Jer 51.27 deals with the destruction of Babylon (USA), “Set up a banner (nes) in the land. Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her, call the kingdoms together against her: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a general against her; cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts.”

In these passages the destruction of Babylon is linked with the idea of a resurrection at the blowing of the shofar. Three passages (Isa 13.2, 18.3 and Jer 51.27) are in chapters that deal with the destruction of Babylon. Babylon is the USA in Bible prophecy and is destroyed withing the first 10 days of the Day of the Lord. So, the question remains, where are the 144,000 in the Tanak?

Isa 18.1-2 says, “Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Cush/Mesopotamia) which sends ambassadors (shaliachim/apostles/sent ones) by sea, even in vessels of reed on the waters saying, ‘Go, swift messengers (malkim/angels), to a nation tall and smooth, to a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down; whose land the rivers divide (Mesopotamia).'”

Now, Cush can mean Ethiopia but it can also mean Mesopotamia. The father of Nimrod was Cush (Gen 10.8-12), and founded Babylon. Ibn Ezra wrote a commentary on this chapter and he said Isa 18 is talking about the region of Babylon and Assyria. So, in Isa 18.3 we have all the inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, and when the Lord lifts up a banner on the mountains, they will see it. When he blows a shofar they will hear it. Notice that at the resurrection of the dead righteous, and the gathering of the living righteous, a shofar is heard and the Natzal is seen.

Now, who else sees and hears this? The ambassadors (shaliachim) and the messengers of Isa 18.2. They are some of the inhabitants of the earth at the time. This is the sign that Elijah gave to Elisha in 2 Kings 2.9-14. If Elisha sees Elijah being taken, then he would have a double anointing. So, the sign is the same with the 144,000 as with Elisha, “If you see them when they go” they will get a double portion of the anointing. We will see this anointing in another 144,000 passage in Mic 5.7-9 later. What makes the 144,000 the first fruits of the Birth-pains and the Atid Lavo? Obviously, they know the Scriptures and follow the Torah and so they have a Scriptural base, but they are not yet believers when the Natzal (Rapture/gathering) happens. They are the first to be saved during the Birth-pains, so they are “first fruits.”

They will see the Natzal and the resurrection and hear the shofar and become believers. They will be anointed to carry the message of God (the Basar/gospel) to the world, and they will be anointed with a double anointing of Elijah, and that is one reason the story of Elijah and Elisha is given to us.

We will pick up here in Part 25.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament