What we have been establishing is the parallel between Aaron and Elijah, who is to come before the Messiah. Mal 4.4-6 says that we are to remember the Torah of Moses and that the Lord is going to send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the day of the Lord. Mal 3.1 says that the Lord is going to send “my messenger” and he will clear the way before the Lord. He will suddenly come to his “temple” (the people-1 Cor 6.19, 12.27; Jer 7.4; 1 Pet 2.1-5). In the Havdalah ceremony done at the end of every Sabbath, the song “Eliyahu Ha Navi” (Elijah the prophet) is sung. At Passover, a plate, chair and cup is set for Elijah. He is seen in the vision at Mount Hermon (Matt 17) and Mount Hermon is where Judaism teaches the Covenant between the Halves happened in Gen 15. Yeshua has just spoken about his death in Matt 16.21, and Mount Hermon is in the vicinity of where he said it. The Covenant between the Halves is a picture of the death of Yeshua.
Exo 12.40-41 says that the sojourning of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt at that time, was four hundred and thirty years. Then it says that it came about at the end of that four hundred and thirty years, “to the very day”, that Israel went out of Egypt. The question is, “to the very day” of what? It was to the very day that God cut the Covenant between the Halves with Abraham in Gen 15. Israel came out of Egypt on Nisan 15, so that means this covenant was cut on Nisan 15, exactly four hundred and thirty years earlier. There was, therefore, an expectation that the covenant called the Brit Chadasha (Renewed Covenant) would come at Passover. The Covenant between the Halves came at Passover, the Exodus was at Passover and the Ark rested on Ararat around Passover (but it wasn’t given yet, but God is not caught in time).
Isa 40.1 to Isa 66.24 will be called the “Servant Passages.” There are going to be patterns in these 27 chapters and we will get into this later. Some books of the Bible aren’t that long. These chapters will be the message of the “voice” (Isa 40.6). Everyone who teaches this stops at Isa 40.5. We know that there is a question in Verse 6 where the Lord says “Cry out” and then he (the voice) asks, “What shall I cry out?” Then the message of what he should say starts from 40.6 to 66.24. It begins with the message that life is short, like grass, and the Lord presents what is important from that point on. This should be taught verse by verse, so we are going to try and go over some of these verses from Isa 40.6 to Isa 66.24 to get a “feel” of what they are saying. In that way we will understand the message of the “voice” (Yochanon), the coming of two men in the power of Elijah and Moses called the Two Witnesses, and the 144,000.
We learn that in 40.9, Zion bears the Basar (Gospel) and the Lord is coming. Isa 40.10 says his “arm” (a term for the Messiah) is coming with his reward (Isa 62.11; Rev 22.12). Then the “shepherd” will gather his flock (40.11). Isa 40.12-17 goes on to describe how the Lord will have compassion on the nations and what man produces. Starting in Isa 40,18-20, we have an idol described and as it goes on, many more things about this idol will be added to what we know about this image. Why are they worshiping an image when it is nothing compared to God?
Isa 40.21-24 has more descriptions of the Lord. As we will see, there is going to be a contrast presented between this idol/image and the Lord. This will be the message of Yochanon, but it will also be the message of “Elijah” who is to come. We do not believe that this will be literally Elijah. It will be a man who will come in the spirit and power (cut out of the same cloth) as Elijah, just like Yochanon was not literally Elijah. This will also be the message of the “Moses” character who is come, and the 144,000. They will be dealing with many things and one of them will be the image/idol called the Abomination of Desolation. This image/idol will be dealt with in these passages in Isaiah. The image/idol will be set up in the Holy Place (Heichal) of the Temple by Nisan 10, the exact halfway point of the Birth-pains. However, it may begin 30 days prior on Adar 10, around the time of Purim.
Isa 40.25 says, “To whom will you liken me” and the comparison between the Lord and this idol/image begins again. This will apply to the Abomination of Desolation and the Lord also. These passages will be talking about the Abomination of Desolation as we move through to Isa 66.24. We are going to center on this aspect of the message of the voice. To get the full impact of what the full message of the “voice” is, we encourage you to read from this point to Isa 66.24. The Abomination of Desolation is alluded to in Isa 40.25, “To whom then will you liken me that I should be equal?” says the Holy One. This repeats Isa 40.18 and there will be more on this image/idol as we move through these passages.
In ancient paganism, Ba’al had dominion over the sea. As a result, Leviathan (Isa 27.1; Rev 13.1) equals Ba’al, Leviathan equals the false messiah, so Ba’al is a type of the false messiah. The Abomination of Desolation is “Shikutz Somem” in Hebrew and it is a contemptuous equivalent to “Ba’al Shamem” meaning “Lord of Heaven” in Aramaic. But, he is not from Heaven (Shamem) but “Shomem” meaning “he desolates.” Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek Syrian king who is a picture of the false messiah (1 Macc 1.54). He was referred to as “Zeus Kyrios” or “Zeus is Lord.” Keep him in mind as we move into Part 19.
In Scripture, there will be an image of the false messiah placed in the Heichal (Holy Place) of the coming Temple. There may be another one at the Sacrifice Gate (Korban Ha Sha’ar) on the north side of the Temple (see Ezekiel 8.3). There are many who believe that the Shroud of Turin possessed by the Catholic Church is the burial cloth of Yeshua. It has an image of what they believe is a crucified man on it. In 2017, a movie called “A Case for Christ” came out based on this shroud. However, this can be refuted in many ways, but this image has affected how artists portray “Jesus” in art and movies. The truth is, it is not Yeshua because he was not buried in a shroud, but he was wrapped in strips of cloth, like a mummy. John 19.40 says they “bound it (Yeshua’s body) in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.” He was “bound” the same way Lazarus was when he rose from the dead, and Yeshua told the people to “unbind him and let him go” (John 11.44). Lazarus was not wrapped in a shroud. With Yeshua, they had 100 pounds of myrrh aloes to put on these wrappings. Once it hardened, it was like plaster and it formed a cocoon around the body. They did not wrap linen around the face, that area was open. That is why Yeshua had a face cloth lying next to the cocoon (John 20.7). When the talmidim came in the tomb and saw the wrappings, and the face cloth lying next to them, they knew he had resurrected. This is because they see the empty cocoon. They could look where the face was and it was hollow. Yeshua passed right through the hardened wrappings when he resurrected, places the face cloth nice a neat next to the hardened wrappings, and departed. The Shroud of Turin should have no face.
So, in Part 19, we are going to talk about the face and why the Shroud of Turin may be a deception to make people think Yeshua looked like the man on the shroud, and to condition people for the false messiah. What you will read in Part 19 will be shocking.