David And His Five Smooth Stones

In 1 Sam 17.40 David is going to fight Goliath and he picks up five smooth stones, and this is very significant in what David is doing. In the Peshat, or literal level, David is not being presumptuous here and he took five stones in case he missed. As a teenage boy who has fought lions and bears, and now he is going to fight a giant warrior with military skills, he had many things going on in his mind. But he was not going to let this uncircumcised Philistine blaspheme the name of Yehovah and insult the army of the Lord. But in the Sowd, or deeper level, there are a whole lot of things going on here and there may be some allusions to some other concepts as things played out..

In Deut 32 Moses records a song and it is very eschatological, but we won’t get into all the prophecies there at this time. We refer you to our study on Deut 32 on this website. But there is an interesting fact that has a bearing on this concept. Moses describes Yehovah as “Rock” five times. The rock was a significant theme in the life Moses because it is how he treated the “Rock” that played a role in whether he entered the promised land or not (Deut 32.51). He also wrote the five books of the Torah which is the foundation stone or rock to all other Scripture. David is going to face Goliath in the name of Yehovah so he picks up five rocks, one for every time the rock is mentioned in Deut 32, alluding to the five books of Torah.

The Scriptures says the rocks were “smooth” because they came out of a brook and the stones were fashioned by the living water that flowed over them and moved them down the brook, indicating that God made them, not man. This brook can be traced back to a place called Migdal Oz, meaning strong tower. Prov 18.10 says, “The name of Yehovah is a strong tower (the name that David is fighting with and for), and the righteous run into it and are saved.” David knew something about the aerodynamics of slinging a smooth stone through the air. He only needed the first one as it turned out, and Goliath was killed. David’s men kill four other giants related to Goliath in 2 Sam 21.22. In 2 Sam 22 David records a a song very similar to Deut 32 and mentions Yehovah as a “Rock” five times again, so he recognized the significance.

This theme of the “rock” will play out throughout Scripture and is clearly a reference to Yehovah and Yeshua. In Dan Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a giant (like Goliath) statue and daniel gives the interpretation. A “rock” or stone uncut by human hands (like the five smooth stones of David) comes and strikes the “giant” again and destroys it (Dan 2.31-35, 45), a direct allusion back to what David did. In Zech 12.3 Jerusalem is described as a “burdensome stone/rock” that will lacerate and injure any nation that comes against it.

The concept of the rock or stone is a major one in the Scriptures. We see Jacob resting on and anointing a stone/rock on Mount Moriah in Gen 28, “the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief the cornerstone” in Psa 118.22. The confession of Peter that Yeshua is the Messiah is the rock or cornerstone on which his eschatological kahal will be built. So, as we can see, David’s five smooth stones has a very significant eschatological meaning in the Scriptures.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

A Question About The Biblical Food Laws And A Biblical Answer

A question came into us awhile back about the biblical food laws when a Christian contended with a believer in Yeshua, and went and talked with his pastor, and the pastor gave the following Scriptures to show that Christians are no longer under those laws and can eat whatever they want. The Scriptures given by this pastor are the following: Col 2.16-17; Mark 7.14-23; 1 Cor 8.12-13; 1 Tim 4.1-5; Heb 8.6-7, 9.9-10, 10.1. The pastor quoted these Scriptures completely out of context, so we are going to rightly divide the word and give some clarification on these verses from a Torah-based faith in Yeshua.

Many who believe that a so-called believer can eat animals not allowed in the Torah have perverted God’s word and have a false premise to begin with. They think that Yeshua and Paul ate pork and the unclean (meaning out of place) creatures listed in Lev 11, and so these verses are interpreted to fit that false premise. Yeshua or Paul or any first century believer in Yeshua never ate pork, catfish, shellfish, lobster or any creature that was listed as unclean, and they never taught anyone else to do so either. Here are two reasons why. First, when Yeshua’s enemies were trying to find fault with him by saying he broke the Torah commands, they could not find any evidence that he did so. If he was eating pork or whatever or was teaching others to do so, don’t you think they could have accused him of it when they had a chance. The pastor that was consulted by the Christian is accusing Yeshua of doing just that, or he would not have quoted the passage in Mark 7.14-23. Secondly, Peter said in Acts 10.14 that he has never eaten unclean (out of place) creatures. Now, if Yeshua taught Peter that it was acceptable to do so, because “the law has been done away with” like Christians are taught, why didn’t he obey Yeshua and eat them after the cross? Maybe he thought Yeshua wasn’t a very good teacher and Peter just didn’t get it, but we don’t think so. Or maybe Yeshua never taught it to begin with! The first century believers in Yeshua had a Torah-based faith and they were considered a sect within the “Judaisms” of the time. Paul himself said in several places he never departed from the Torah (Acts 21.15-26, 24.14-17). That means they ate “kosher.” The Christian and his pastor have a premise that is in error, and no knowledgeable student of first century history will tell you that they disregarded the biblical food laws found in the Torah. With that said, we are going to interpretthe above verses from the premise that the believers were Torah observant and ate the biblically allowed creatures found in Lev 11 and Deut 14.

In Col 2.16-17 the Colossians were living in a pagan society and were being criticised (like the Christian and his pastor) for eating biblically kosher and keeping festivals, new moons and sabbaths (the Temple was standing at the time). Paul is encouraging them to ignore their criticisms because they were unbelievers, and believers are not to be judged by unbelievers for keeping the commandments, which are a shadow, pattern, blueprint of the substance. We are to be judged by “the body of Messiah” (v 17). The festivals, new moons, the Sabbath teach eschatology and the end times and they point to Messiah (Rom 10.4- the word “end” there is “telos” and it means “the goal or target” of the Law is Messiah, not the “end” of the Law is Messiah).

Rom 14.3-8 tells us how the Roman synagogues were made up of unbelieving Jews (called “weak” because they have not come to faith in Yeshua yet), believing Jews and believing non-Jews (called the “strong” in Rom 4.19-20, 10.2). This chapter deals with Jewish “halakah” or how to walk in the commandments depending on who you were (male, female, outside the land, Jewish or non-Jewish, etc) in that synagogue that Paul was dealing with. Apparently non-believing Jews would not eat meat or wine from believing non-Jews in that congregation, which was a common practice in the first century and is still practiced by some even today. We know of many Jewish believers and unbelievers and non-Jewish believers in Yeshua who will not eat “common” food, which is defined as not according to strict rabbinical standards. This chapter is NOT about someone eating pork and others are not to judge them, like the pastor says. It is about the Jewish practice of not eating meat or wine from a non-Jew because it was “common.” Peter said as much in Acts 10.14 and God showed him in the vision, using the unclean creatures to symbolize the non-Jews, that it was acceptable to associate with non-Jews who had a Torah-based faith in Yeshua, which was contrary to the 18 Edicts of Beit Shammai who ruled the Sanhedrin. Peter still had a problem with this concept in Galatia when he withdrew from table fellowship with non-Jewish believers when people from Beit Shammai came to Galatia (Gal 2.11.15. Paul is merely dealing with a related problem in Romans. He is telling them not to get upset over the issue or look with contempt on others over food or drink. That is their opinion (v 1) and if that is what they want to do, God accepts the actions of the “weak” (those who do not have faith in Yeshua yet) and the “strong” (those who have faith in Yeshua). Remember they did not eat pork or the creatures not allowed in Lev 11, so that can’t be the issue in Romans. We are commanded to say something when we see others doing wrong, and eating creatures that God commanded not to eat is something that should be pointed out. The issue in Romans is about kosher meat, vegetables and wine.

Mark 7.14-23 is a passage about Jewish halakah also and it plainly tells us that in v 3-5. Some believed that you had to ritually wash your hands before you ate. Jewish and non-Jewish people who follow the strict dietary practices of rabbinical Judaism still do it today. What Yeshua is saying is that these regulations are man-made (v 8) and that the food is clean (in place) even if one eats it without ritually washing their hands according the traditions of the elders. He is simply making a ruling on their halachic practices, not saying a person can eat pork or unclean creatures of Lev 11. If this pastor thinks he is saying that then the “messiah” he has is a false messiah. Yeshua’s enemies would have pointed that fact out at his trial because that would have violated the Torah and would have been sin, but remember “they could find no fault in him” as he never taught that a person can eat pork, shrimp, lobster or any creature disallowed in Lev 11.

1 Cor 8.12-13 tells us about eating meat sacrificed to idols, and one needs to read the whole chapter to understand what Paul is talking about. Some thought that the “meat” was defiled somehow if it was offered to an idol and therefore unlawful to be consumed (v 7). There is no “divinity” in an idol, but there is only one God, so there is nothing that one “carries over” from a so-called idol. However, if a weak (one who does not believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, or just a weak believer) sees you eating meat he knows was sacrificed to idols, you may be “defiling” his conscience and encourage him to do likewise (v 10-12) and that is what is forbidden. It was decided in Acts 15.28 that non-Jewish believers were not to eat meat sacrificed to idols, and that is based on the Torah in Lev 17 and 18, and that is the reason he is saying what he is saying in this chapter (1 Cor 8).

1 Tim 4.1-5 is saying that many will abstain from food God already allowed us to eat. This is not saying that you can eat anything you want. The key verse to understand what food Paul is talking about is in v 5, “for it (the food Paul had in mind) is set apart (to eat and what was allowed; it had a “kedusha”) by the word of God (in Lev 11.1-47 and Deut 14.1-22 we have a list of acceptable creatures we can eat) and prayer (the blessings before and after meals).” The only word of God Paul could be talking about is the Tanak and it tells you what to eat and not eat. The pastor of the Christian asking the question apparently has another list.

Heb 8.6-7, 9.9-10 and 10.1 tells us that this pastor does not understand the book of Hebrews. Hebrews is a contrast between this present age called the Olam Ha Zeh (of 7000 years) and how it has limitations, and the coming age called the Olam Haba. The things in the Olam Ha Zeh will pass away, but the things in the Olam Haba are eternal. Yeshua’s priesthood is according to the division or course of Melchizedek in the Olam Haba, and supersedes the Aaronic priesthood and is eternal, whereas the Aaronic priests die and have to be replaced, Yeshua doesn’t. So let’s deal with Heb 8.6-7, “But now (in the Olam Ha Zeh) he has obtained a more excellent ministry by as much as he is also a mediator of a better covenant (meaning “new” or “renewed” and this renewed covenant is associated with the Olam Haba, the renewed covenant in its fullness and perfection, as we see in Jer 31.31-34; we can only experience this covenant in part in the Olam Ha Zeh, but we will experience the fullness in the Olam Haba). For if the first (the covenant in the Olam Ha Zeh) had been perfect (this is not taking about the Torah because the Torah was perfect-Psa 19.7-10; Jam 1.25) had been faultless (with the people obeying it) there would have been no occasion for a second (the renewed covenant in the Olam Haba; God was going to circumcise the heart and people will be born from above).” The pastor stops there, but had he gone on to v 8, he would have seen that the problem was not the Torah, but it says, “But finding fault with them” (the people; they did not have a circumcised heart and the Torah was not written on their heart, like it will in the Olam Haba. A true believer will have a desire to want to keep the Torah if they are truly born again). Heb 9.9-10 says, “which is a symbol (a tavnit or pattern) for the present time (the Olam Ha Zeh, this present age; the sacrifices and the offerings are the symbol of something greater). Accordingly, both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience (spirit, soul, mind, heart, intentions, thoughts), but only on food and various washings (of the priests at the laver; the sacrifices, etc) and regulations (ceremonies) for the body (the korbanot were ceremonies) imposed (in the Olam Ha Zeh) until the time of reformation (a new heavens and earth; the passing of the Olam Ha Zeh into the Olam Haba-Acts 3.19; a “reformation” means a reform, an amendment, a renewal, as in a renewed or reformed covenant in the Olam Haba, which simply is the Torah will now be written on a person’s heart or intentions). Heb 10.1 says, “For the Law (Torah) since it is a shadow (a tavnit, pattern, blueprint-same thing as in Col 2.17 above; Rom 10.4 says the Torah is the “end of the Law” in most translations, giving the impression that it has been done away with, but the word for “end” is the Greek “telos” meaning “goal or target of the Law”-Psa 40.7; John 5.39-47; Luke 24.27) of the good things to come (in the Olam Haba, the “fullness” or “perfect” of 1 Cor 13.9-13), not the very form of things (the substance), can never by the same sacrifices year by year which they offer continually, make perfect (to be restored to the original like we will be in the Olam Haba) those who draw near (Hebrew “korban” where we get the word sacrifices from; it means to “draw near” with “karav” meaning “near” as the root). In other words, the writer of Hebrews (who some believe was Paul) is making the case that the Torah is a shadow, blueprint, pattern or picture in the Olam Ha Zeh of the spiritual (substance) in the Olam Haba. That doesn’t mean the shadow (pattern, blueprint, picture) has been done away with. If you did away with the shadow (Torah in the Olam Ha Zeh) there is no substance. You can’t have a shadow without the substance. They both exist at the same time! I know there is the substance in the Olam Haba because there is a shadow in the Olam Ha Zeh! The Temple, the sacrifices, the priesthood, the festivals, the services and prayers there are valid. The Scriptures never taught they took away sin. The first century believers went to the Temple daily because that was what God told them to do in the Scriptures. Paul offered animal sacrifices and came out of a Nazarite vow thirty years after Yeshua’s resurrection, and after he wrote the book of Galatians (Acts 21.15-26, 24.14-18). Hebrews was written to Jewish believers (that’s why it is called “Hebrews”) as a homiletic midrash (teaching) on Psa 110 as a basis to show that Yeshua as the Messiah is superior to angels, Abraham, Melchizedek, Moses and any other biblical character or entity. It also contrasts the superiority of the Olam Haba (world to come) and the Olam Ha Zeh (this present world) and that the New or renewed covenant is superior in the Olam Haba than the covenant at Sinai because it was limited in its application, function and priesthood, but it was not done away with. Paul validates the Temple and its services in his writings, and Hebrews was written in the context of Yom Kippur, and he was advising the Hebrews not to forsake the believers (10.19-25, and to not forsake Yeshua (10.25-39) despite all the pressures and persecution they were experiencing,a nd to remember all the sufferings Yeshua went through (12.1-7). This book is written in the present tense in Greek when talking about the Temple and the priesthood, so they were valid in the first century. This book does not nor ever did teach that the Torah was done away with because the author went out of his way to talk about the validity of the festivals, sacrifices and services. Even the elementary principles of the faith in Heb 6 are connected to the Temple, the services and Jewish eschatology and concepts. If this Christian and his pastor believe that Yeshua did away with all this, Yeshua himself doesn’t believe it because when he returns he is going to build another Temple, with animal sacrifices, restore the Sabbaths, the priesthood and biblical festivals in the Messianic kingdom (Isa 66.19-21; Ezek 40-48; Zech 14.16-21) and a proper walk in the Torah. The Christian who went to his pastor is blind and the pastor is a “blind leader of the blind” and they should not be followed or listened to. We are not to “toy around” with false teachers and prophets that tell us that the “law has been done away with” when it comes to trying to obey the Lord or eating non-kosher meats and creatures. We are to “contend earnestly for the faith (body of doctrinal truth found in the Torah) which was once for all delivered (past tense) to the saints (this completely rules out Christianity because this faith or bodily truth was already in existence when this was written, so it preexisted Christianity).”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

Did Jephthah Offer His Daughter As A Burnt Offering To Fulfill His Vow in Judges 11.30-31?

This is one of the most misunderstood portions of Scripture in the Tanak, Gospels and Epistles, so let’s get to the heart of the matter. Jephthah (Hebrew “Yiftach” meaning “he will open or release”) did not offer his daughter as a burnt offering, and here is why. In Judges 11.31 where it says, “it shall be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” needs to be understood. The “and” there can mean “or” which would then mean, “it shall be the Lord’s or I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” He did not offer her as a burnt offering, but she was dedicated to the Lord.

In the Mishkan, and later in the Temple, women or men could dedicate themselves to the service there. Samuel was dedicated in this way by his mother in 1 Sam 1.22-28 to serve there. Eli was a high priest and he had two sons who would lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting in 1 Sam 2.22. In Luke 2.37 we learn of Anna who never let the Temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. So Jephthah dedicated her to serve in the Mishkan as a “spiritual olah” who was totally dedicated to Yehovah. She never married and remained totally focused on God. So here are nine reason why she was not sacrificed.

First of all, in the Torah, you cannot sacrifice a person. The misunderstanding of these verses comes from a translation of the Hebrew letter “Vav” there to “and” and not “or.” By using “or” it changes the whole meaning. Secondly, you cannot offer to God something that was forbidden, like a deer, camel and especially a person. Third, sacrificing children was an abomination to Yehovah in Lev 20.1-3. Fourth, there is no precedent for such a thing. Fifth, no father by his own authority could put an offending offspring to death in Deut 21.18-21, much less an innocent one.

Sixth, there seems to have been a class of women devoted to the Yehovah and would serve the needs of the Mishkan and later the Temple (1 Sam 2.22, Exo 38.8, Luke 2.37). Seven, the word in verse 40 for “commemorate” in the NASB is “l’tanot” in Hebrew meaning “to celebrate.” They would not be celebrating the death of a young girl sacrificed by her father. Eight, Jephthah’s sorrow is due to the fact he would have no descendants, she was his only child (Judges 11.34-36). And lastly, it is possible she could have been redeemed from his vow by money, based on Lev 27.1-5, although the Scriptures are silent about whether or not this was done.

As a result of the above, Jephthah’s daughter was not killed as a korban olah, but there are those who are taught this and believe she was. But, as we have seen, this is based on a misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of the Torah and the Hebrew language.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

Creation Versus Evolution: The Heart of the Matter

We are going to get straight to the heart of the matter concerning a belief in Creation and Evolution’ One is a fact and the other os a theory. Isa 4.12 says that the Leaders among the Jewish people were like children, with little wisdom when it came to governing by spiritual guidelines. This concept has never been truer today. The United States Supreme Court has forbidden the teaching of Creation in public schools in favor of the theory of Evolution. Evolution is just like the fairy tale about a frog that turned into a prince. No child in the world would ever believe that the story is true. The only difference between that fairy tale and the theory of Evolution is time, so time is the god of the evolutionist. They are teaching a fairy tale because they can’t explain how the universe came into being, and why nothing can reproduce itself outside of its own kind, all of which is explained in Gen 1. If a person can’t see a designer in the universe, no argument is going to convince them. Evolutionists don’t believe their own logic. If we told an evolutionist that the watch that was on our wrist just “evolved” there, that nobody designed it or put it there, they would would look at us as if we were crazy. But tell him the wrist that that watch sits on, which is more intricate than any watch, was created by a designer God, and he will again think you were crazy. But that is what the evolutionist wants you to believe. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that this universe had to have a creator and a designer.

The evolutionist can’t find God for the same reason a criminal can’t find a policemen. You don’t have to understand the mind of unbelief because there is no logic to it. There was a story about a woman who found a cockroach in her food, and she sued the restaurant. BUt then she will go out and spend ten dollars a pound on a lobster, and they basically do the same thing. Both are Anthropods (see the article called, “The Lobster: Cockroach of the Sea?” by Albertha Ladina, Nov 14, 2015, bugsinourbackyard.org). One lives in the ocean and the other on land, but they eat anything organic and clean up their respective environments

The fact is, this country does not trust God, no matter what it says on our currency. This country passes laws that deny God’s existence because he demands that we obey him, and we want to sin. It’s not that the criminal can’t find a policeman, he doesn’t want find a policeman because he will get caught and have to change his behavior. It’s the same thing with an evolutionist. They don’t want to be accountable to a God who tells them to obey him and not sin, so they deny his existence by adopting fairy tales and calling it science.

But Yehovah will have the final word on all this because we will have to account for ourselves in the judgement. Those who are born again and true believers will be in his kingdom, and those who don’t will have an eternity separated from the God they thought didn’t exist to think about the chances they squandered in this life to repent and turn from their sin and come to the Lord, their Creator and God. The real issue isn’t creation or evolution, the real issue is the heart of every man. What we believe reveals what is in our hearts, and reveals it. What we have accumulated in this life shows where our hearts are have been. Yeshua said in Matt 6.19-21 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles

Women in Biblical Leadership Roles

In the first century congregations women were very active, and that is because they followed the example in what is called the Tanak, or the so-called “old testament.” Churchmen “put them out” by the third century and they have been in a type of “bondage” ever since, limited in what they were permitted to do in a male-oriented organization. Biblically, God can call whoever he wants, to do whatever he wants and women have always been seen as an equal partner, her rights guaranteed by the Torah. Women served at the tent of meeting in Exo 38.8 and at the Mishkan in 1 Sam 1.22. We will find them listed as Temple musicians in 1 Chron 25.5-6 and members of the choir in Ezra 2.65. Women brought sacrifices, made Nazarite vows, attended festivals and had to appear every seven years before the Lord to hear the Torah read in Deut 31.10-13.

In Herod’s Temple there was a segregated area called the Ezrat Nashim meaning court of the women. However, the Torah never makes any distinction of this court and it was given no special status in Jewish practice. There were no prohibitions regarding women moving from this court. That came later in Rabbinic writings. There was no women’s court in the first Temple or the pre-Herodian second Temple. Women functioned in the synagogues, she prayed daily the same prayers as men, was counted as part of a minyan, which is a least ten people needed to say certain prayers. Women studied along with the men. Prov 31.10-31 creates the picture of a liberated and empowered woman. In the Tanak (old testament), 48 men and three women are mentioned as prophets, MIriam, Huldah and Deborah. Deborah was also a judge and taught the people, and judged the cases that were brought before her in Judges 4.5. Later, Sarah, Hannah, Abigail and Esther were added by the rabbis. Joel 2.28 says that the Holy Spirit will come upon women to be prophets. He was not going to anoint them and then tell them to be silent!

Now throughout the Torah, the primary role of a Torah observant woman was a wife, mother and keeper of the home. This is a very important role and it certainly had authority and teaching assigned to what they did. She was exempted from many commandments that were to be performed at acertain time of the day or year. Her duties as wife and mother were more important and could not be neglected. She should not be expected to drop a crying baby at the time something needed to be performed. For instance, if she was required to go to the Temple for festival, but couldn’t because of a sick child, she did not have to go. This exemption later became a prohibition, preventing women from participating in worship or religious life, but that is not how God designed it. Many of the Torah commandments centered around the home where her role was important, and in many ways, more important than her husband. We see women prophets, teachers, and judges in the Tanak.

Eph 4 talks about many leadership functions, and the first one is the “Shaliach” or apostle. An apostle is one who is sent, an emissary on behalf of the one sending them. Paul mentions a female apostle in Rom 16.7 named Junia. Churchmen were so opposed to this that they wrote that this name was really a male and even changed the name to Junias, which is the male form of the name. We have found out over the years the churchmen will stop at nothing to change the Scriptures to fit their false doctrines.

A prophet is one who was called to speak forth the truth of the word of God in an inspired message, not necessarily foretell the future. Both men and women filled this role in the Scriptures. The first reported female prophet in the Brit Chadasha (renewed covenant) was Hannah in Luke 2.36-38. Luke also mentions four female prophetesses in Acts 21.8-9. In Acts 21.10 it says that Paul stayed with them “many days” so he must have approved of them. Paul also writes about women elders and teachers. In Titus 1.5 he talks about elders, or zekanim. In TItus 1.6-9 he listed the qualifications. Then in Titus 2.2-5 he resumes the qualifications (after a rabbit trail) and says that older women (elders) are “likewise to be” and then lists some qualifications. Interpreters have chosen to use older men/women instead of elder, but they are clearly talking about male and female roles in leadership, using the Greek female forms of the word when applicable. Additional duties were given to these female elders in relationship to the women in the congregation because they were more qualified to serve them (Titus 2.4-5). He expected these female elders to be teachers and encouragers. These were leaders and elders, not harmless, sweet older women as the churchmen would like you to believe. Another function filled by women were evangelists. They proclaimed Yeshua as the Messiah, they told others about his resurrection; the woman at the well in John 4 excited a whole city. Men as well as women were dragged off by Paul because they were” announcing the good news” or preaching the gospel in Acts 8.3-4.

Women were also used as “Shammashim” or deacons. These were people who served as an intermediary in a transaction, an agent or a courier. hey carried out tasks for the congregation. Rom 16.1-2 names a shammash, or deacon, called Phoebe, who was very important to Paul and he wanted her treated as such. Most scholars say she was the one who carried the letter to the Romans to them. 1 Tim 3.8-10 makes no reference to gender when talking about these servants.

To say the least, the Scriptures are clear about the roles of women in the body of Messiah and that they filled important roles in the believing community. Many of the current attitudes about women in the ministry comes from male-dominated religious hierarchies that have imposed their own bias into the word of God. They don’t even believe that the Torah is for a believer today, even though the Scriptures clearly teach a Torah-based faith in Yeshua, so it is no wonder that they get this concept wrong, too.

There is so much more that we could get into on this concept, but hopefully this wiil give you a stsrt in the right direction. For more information on this subject, we refer you to our study called, “Temple 201-Women and the Temple” Parts 1-3 on this website. There is also an article on the Internet called “The Status and Role of Women in the First Century Messianic Community” by Mark. R. Ensign. Also a book called, “Sketches of Jewish Social Life” by Alfred Edersheim can be very useful.

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Who Are the Sons of God in Gen 6.2?

Gen 6.2 tells us that “the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they took wives to themselves, whoever they chose.” Genesis in Hebrew is “B’reshit” or “in the beginning” so it is a book of beginnings. It is the story of the righteous line through whom the “promised seed of the woman” would come who will defeat the “seed of the serpent.(Gen 3.15). Gen 6 continues to document Satan’s attempt to corrupt mankind and the promised seed. The Scriptures are full of examples of this. Balak hires Balaam to corrupt Israel and 24,000 fell among Israel. The sons of God in Gen 6.2 are those who are followers of Yehovah and believers, and they were intermarrying with unbelieving women (in Judges 3.6-7 the same thing happened which caused Israel to go into idolatry). There are those who believe these “sons” were angels, but that is not the case. The term “sons of God” can mean several different things. It can be a term for angels, Adam, the kings of Israel, believers and the Messiah. The context will dictate which one it is.

These can’t be angels because angels are sexless and can’t reproduce (Matt 22.30). Then you have a DNA problem and the fact that man cannot reproduce anything other than “their kind”, and that is “built into” the creation by God. Gen 6.2 gives us a clue as to what happened because it said they picked wives for themselves from “whoever they chose”, meaning anyone, and not necessarily a believer. In Gen 6.4 some say that the “Nephilim” were the offspring of these “angelic and women” unions, but the word means a bully, giant, tyrant or famous. It also says the Nephilim were men, called “mighty men” and “men of renown.” If the flood was sent to stop these offspring of angelic unions from corrupting mankind, it didn’t work because the “Nephilim” were on the earth “afterward” (Gen 6.4; Num 13.32-33). Those were the “mighty men” of old, and the Hebrew word for mighty is “gibborim” and that is the same word used to describe David’s “mighty men” in 2 Sam 23.8. In Matt 24.37-39 Yeshua said that before the flood came the people were “eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage.” This describes normal activities and there is no hint of “angelic unions”, but the indictment was the fact they were too busy to listen to the call for repentance from Noah (2 Pet 2.5), and did not “understand until the flood came and took them all away (v 38).”

It seems that if anyone would have repented, he could have been saved. Their death had nothing to do with wiping out the line of men corrupted by angels, that is biologically impossible anyway. It had to do with sin and the rejection of God’s purposes due to unbelief. Yeshua said it would be the same when “the Son of Man” returns. The simple truth of the matter is there has always been a righteous line in the earth through whom the Messiah would come. Satan has made countless efforts to stop Yeshua from being born, and to corrupt, destroy or annihilate this line through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in order to save himself and to fight against God to stop his own demise. Yehovah gives us the choice who to serve. This portion of Scripture is not referring to angels as “sons of God”, but the Godly line (Abel, Seth, etc) that was corrupted through the idolatry and paganism of the daughters of men who were unbelievers.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Galatian Controversy

The book of Galatians is a misunderstood book by many, and we are going to introduce some of the reasons for this, but it will not be in detail. For that we refer you to our verse-by-verse study of the book of Galatians called, ‘Brit Chadasha Foundations-Concepts in Galatians” on this website. First, we must clarify what we are talking about as far as circumcision. The Torah commands that a descendant of Abraham must be circumcised in what is called the Abrahamic Circumcision. Paul is not talking about that circumcision in Galatians. He believed that as a Jew one must be circumcised as a part of the Abrahamic Covenant. He circumcised Timothy because of that belief in Acts 16.1-5. What Paul was against in Galatians is the rabbinical oral law that said a non-Jew must be circumcised to become Jewish to be saved. That was never required by God for the non-Jews. When Paul talks about circumcision he means “to become a Jew.”

There are two main themes in Galatians. First, Paul was teaching that non-Jews did not have to convert to Judaism and become Jewish to have a place in the Kingdom of God and be saved through what was called “ritual circumcision” according to the oral laws of a sect of the Pharisees called Beit house) Shammai (Acts 15.1). Second, Paul is not criticizing the written Torah in Galatians, but the oral additions to it called the Oral Torah. So, let’s look at the circumcision issue.

In the first century, oral traditions were added to the body of Jewish law. This violated Deut 4.2 and these additions made up a large percentage of Jewish law. One of these additions said that non-Jews had to convert to become Jewish to be saved, and the sign for this was ritual circumcision. That law was based on several scriptures in the written Torah (Gen 17; Exo 12). Many today still think a non-Jewish believer needs to be ritually circumcised, citing these same verses and using the same line of thinking as these first-century “Judaizers.” God clearly showed in Acts 10 with Cornelius that circumcision for the non-Jews was not required for salvation. That whole chapter is about how God had accepted people by faith, and it is not about doing away with the food laws in the Torah, another misinterpretation by some teachers. Peter himself said the vision was about people, not food (Acts 10.28).

Now, there are several terms that need to be clarified in order to understand what Paul is saying in Galatians. When he says, “not under the law” there is no “the” in Greek. It should read, “not under the law” (upon nomou meaning a system of works righteousness). It’s the same when he says, “works of the law.” It should read, “works of law” (erga nomou meaning works to gain righteousness). Now, when Paul said the non-Jewish believer (or Jewish for that matter) is not under law or works of law, and knowing that a majority of Jewish law was just oral traditions of men, what was he saying? He was saying that the oral law has no authority over a believer, especially in the area of ritual circumcision. (not Abrahamic, that was written Torah). Oral laws were written by man and men make mistakes, but the written of God was given by God and he doesn’t make mistakes.

So, in other words, the Galatians did not have to obey man’s laws concerning non-Jewish conversion to Judaism or to become a Jew, which included circumcision. God had already showed them that the non-Jews were being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit without ritual circumcision, so why listen to people who say they were lacking in their faith in some way if they were not ritually circumcised? To accept ritual circumcision is accepting man’s laws as being valid, and that is a dead work

As a result, Paul says in Gal 5.3 that if they gave validity to ritual circumcision according to the oral laws and traditions, they were to obey the “whole” oral laws and traditions. When he says “whole law” there he means all the oral additions of men. If they accept it as having authority over them, than they were to accept it all. God’s written law was already accepted as having authority over them, so he has to mean the oral law here.

Also, in Gal 4.9-10, he says they were turning to the weak and beggarly elements, where they desired to be in “bondage” again by observing days, months, times, and years. To suggest that Paul is saying that the festivals of the Lord are “weak and beggarly” is ignorant and inconsistent on how believers felt toward the written laws of God. The Jewish believers in the first century, including the apostles and Paul, went to the Temple, kept the Sabbath, went to the Temple on festivals, and followed the Torah. What Paul is talking about here is the additional Jewish festivals, holy days, fasts listed in Zech 8, the fast of Esther, the fasts of Acra and NIcanor, the fast of wood-carrying, the new year for trees, semi-public fats on Monday and Thursday, the doubling of the opening and closing days of Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot. There is not enough room in this article to list them all, but it was these additions he was alluding to, not what was written in the Torah. A curse would come on the people if they did not keep the written Torah and the festivals written there (see Deut 28.1-63 for example).

Paul is angry over the fact that these Galatians started out following the Torah “in the Spirit” or according to his purposes and authority, but later felt that they had to be perfected in their faith through fleshly, human additions in the oral law, in particular ritual circumcision according to the oral laws of the Pharisees from Beit Shammai. He never once said or even hinted that believers were not to obey the written Torah of God found in the Scriptures. For more information on why the oral law is invalid, see our teaching called, “A Case Against a DIvinely Inspired Oral Law” on this website.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, The Temple, Tying into the New Testament

Why The Lord Brings Us Into Spiritual Warfare

Yehovah will bring us into struggles and battles plain and simple, no doubt about it. Why does he do this and how should we handle them? The simple answer is he is trying to teach us something. Spiritual warfare is an unpleasant business for sure, but that’s the way he does things. For example, in Judges 3.1-2 it says, “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan, only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those that had not experienced it formerly.” You see, the Lord left some of the nations intact in Canaan because he is the Lord of Hosts, or “Yehovah Tzava’ot” meaning Lord of the armies and all nations are under his military command. He wanted the inexperienced to learn about him through warfare. He does the same thing today. He will purposely bring us into spiritual battles and struggles so that we learn how to fight and what it takes to win a battle. The problem is too many resist it and turn from the battle to rub. If we don’t face our enemy and resist, the Lord will continue to place us in situations and battles until we finally stand up and get strong in the Lord. That’s why some people keep going through the same struggles again and again. God wants to work out something in our lives and we are going to have to stand and fight sometime, so we might as well get it over with. Israel today is making that same mistake. Sooner or later they will have to realize who they are and who the Lord is and fight his battles in his name. But they are trying to be political and they are afraid of the world’s opinions and certainly listen too much to the United States because of the financial and military support this country gives them. Someday they are going to have all that stripped away, all their defenses will be of no use and they will be forced to turn to the God of their fathers for help, and he will respond in a way they will understand. It’s the same with us. He will strip away our defenses until we acknowledge him and turn to him. so it is better to enter the battle right away and learn what the Lord is trying to do.

But, there is a way to go to battle and a way not to. First, we are to be obedient to him before the battle begins. Num 4.3 says that they were to take a census from the sons of Kohath “from 30 years and upward, even to 50 years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.” The word for “service” there is the word for warfare in Hebrew. In other words, as the Levites are serving the Lord as he commanded in the Torah, it is a type of spiritual warfare. The best spiritual warfare we can do is to obey the Lord and keep his commandments. Then he will be a shield and a buckler to us and drive out our enemies. What is taught today in many circles as “spiritual warfare” is not the biblical example

So, we will need to believe in the Lord and keep his commandments by incorporating into our lives the commandments and staying true to the blueprint God has given, by doing certain things, in certain places, by certain people at certain times. That’s what “keep” means. When we have done that and a battle comes, there are several Scriptures we can use. The first one is found in 1 Sam 24.12. David had a conflict with Saul and he says, “May the Lord judge between you and me, and the Lord avenge me on you, but my hand shall not be against you.” David left it all in God’s hand and did not seek his own justice or revenge, he left it to Yehovah.

The second one deals with a battle between Israel and the sons of Ammon found in 1 Chr 19.10-15. Ammon had an issue with Israel and they hired Syrian mercenaries to fight with them against Israel, and they surrounded Israel’s forces. Joab the commander of the Jewish forces takes his elite forces and positions them against the hireling Syrian forces. Abishai is Joab’s brother, and he takes his forces and positions them against the sons of Ammon. Then Joab says that if Abishai needs help, he will come to help him, and if I need help, you come to me. After all is said and done all he can do in the natural is say this, “Be strong and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in his own sight.” In other words, they have done all they can do in the natural to take on the enemies of the Lord, but what happens in the battle is up to the Lord.

Well, the hireling Syrians took one look at the elite Israeli forces they have heard about and they had no heart for the battle because they were hirelings, and they turned and ran. When Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they lost courage and ran also. The battle was over before it was over it was ever fought, and Israel won a victory without a fight. That’s how we should approach our battles. Be obedient to the Lord, do what needs to be done in the natural, and leave the rest up to the Lord. Having done all we can do, stand and be ready to fight, and no matter what happens, leave it to the Lord.

There is so much more to the concept of Biblical Spiritual Warfare, and if you want more information on this concept, see our studies called, “The Spiritual Warrior” and “The Spiritual Sniper” on this website.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

What Does “To Forget the Lord” Mean?

Deut 8.11 says, “Beware, lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his ordinances and his statutes, which I am commanding you today.” As Israel went through life, they were not to forget the Lord by NOT keeping the commandments. Notice he says if you don’t keep the Torah you have “forgotten” or you never knew the ). There is a term for this in the Scriptures and it is called “lawless” (“Nomos” in Greek is the term for the Torah, “Anomos” means no Torah or Torah-less and it is the word used in Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4). We are not to diminish the Lord or his word.

Deut 8.12-16 tells us that just as Israel went through trials, they saw the Lord’s hand in it all “in the end.” We will see the Lord’s hand in our lives as we look back. The reason he does this with Israel, and with us, is “to confirm his covenant” which he swore to the fathers. That’s why he leads us away from Replacement Theology assemblies most of us have been familiar with. This was so we could learn his commandments and to confirm the covenants. Yehovah is still working the plan out with us.

Deut 8.19-20 tells us that every generation must hear the voice that spoke these commandments, and recognize that voice. If Israel ever forgets the Lord by following other gods, the Lord will surely destroy them like the nations he destroyed before them. When someone says, “Don’t keep the commandments” they are really saying, “Don’t listen to the Lord.” Is that the speech of a servant of God? No, he is spitting on the “shadow” and if you spit on the shadow, you spit on the substance. When asked, “Should we obey the Lord?” they will say, “Yes.” But if you ask them “Should we obey the Torah” then they will say “No, we don’t have to obey that.” That is what “forgetting the Lord” means. And that “voice” in your heart should match the words of the Lord found in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, the Gospels, and the Epistles.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Deeper Meaning Behind the term, “The Heavens Were Opened”

This is a very mystical (Hebrew “Sowd” meaning a hidden, deeper meaning) expression, and this expression is directly related to another expression, “the veil (singular) of the Temple was torn (Matt 27.51; Mark 15.38).” The veil that was torn when Yeshua died was the outer veil (paroket, singular) at the door leading into the Holy Place, where the Menorah was, not the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies had two veils (plural) and it could be entered by walking between the two veils by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. The outer veil of the gate on the Ulam (Porch) of the sanctuary was made of four colors. Blue indicated the heavens; linen, or flax, was brownish in color symbolizing the earth; scarlet indicating fire and purple indicated the sea. Josephus in Wars, Book 5, Chapter 4.4 by Whiston says that this veil was a “panorama of the heavens.” This veil had stars and the known planets on it and it is said that this veil opened by itself from the death of Yeshua to the destruction of the Temple (Talmud, Yoma 39b; History of the Jewish People/The Second Temple Era, Mesorah Publications, p. 153). This veil, or the “heavens”, was opened on the three pilgrim festivals (The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, footnote 19 on p. 91, says, “Actually the curtains of the Holy of Holies may have been opened during the annual pilgrimages so that the people would be able to see the Ark. See Yoma 54a, Tosafot Yesherim ad loc, s.v. “U’Marin.” They thus may have seen the Ark and cherubim of Moses, see Ritva ibid).

The tearing or “opening” of this veil meant that the deeper things of God will now be revealed and understood, or “open.” When Yeshua was immersed in Mark 1.10 it says the “heavens were opened”, and the word for “opened” has the same root in Greek for when the veil was “torn” in Mark 15.38. When Stephen was stoned in Acts 7.50 it says he saw the “heavens opened.” In Rev 4.1 John saw that a “door (to the heavenly Temple) was opened in heaven.” This meant he was going to have access to the hidden and the mystical (secret). That is why the book is called, “Revelation” which in Greek is “apokalypsis” meaning “to remove the veil.”

This phrase means people are about to understand the deeper things of God, and in Stephen’s case, he was going there personally, and in John’s case, God was going to reveal prophecy to him (and to those who understand his book) on a deeper level. So with that in mind, when it says in Psa 84.10 that “I would rather stand at the threshold (door) of the house of my God” now you know why. To be a “doorman” in the house (Temple) of God means that you can “open” up to the people the mystical, hidden, secret and deep things of God.

So when Yeshua died on the cross and this veil was torn, some of the people, including the centurion at the cross, knew that something special was happening and that God was revealing something very deep, and access to the things of God was now accomplished for anyone who has a Torah-based faith in Yeshua. There were many mystical signs going on when Yeshua died and when he was resurrected, and the writings of the Gospels and Epistles brought out so much more about the redemption, salvation, propitiation, atonement, and everything associated with the blood of Messiah and what was accomplished. Yehovah gave the people a sign just at the right moment to say he was about to take the people deeper into the things of God and its “mysteries” were about to be opened to the people, and that is exactly what happened. And not everything has been revealed yet, so that door is still open to us today.

For more information on this concept, see our two-part teaching called, “The Veil of the Temple Was Torn-Matt 27.51” on this website.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

Is the Earth 4.5 Billion Years Old?

There are some who still believe that the Earth is that old. We are not going to give any validity to the Theory of Evolution here because it takes more faith to believe evolution than to believe God created the universe. However, in the religious world, there is a theory called the Gap Theory” and religious people say that there is “gap” between Gen 1.1 and Gen 1.2. They believe something happened and God had to recreate the earth. Basically, they believe in a pre-Adamic race that fell. Some have never studied it and just repeat what they have been told for years, but does the Bible support such ideas?

First, the Gap Theory is unscientific. It was a Christian attempt to reconcile the creation account with long periods of time that the Theory of Evolution was coming up with. But, evolution itself is just a theory and very unscientific, defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics which basically says that things get worse as they get older, not better. Secondly, it is unscriptural. The Gap Theory would describe Adam walking around on top of a giant, fossilized animal graveyard. Over 800 billion skeletons exist in the Karro formation in South Africa alone. However, Paul says in Rom 5.12 through 8.22 that man’s sin brought death into the world, even of animals. 1 Cor 15.21 also says the same thing. Third, it is unnecessary. The most natural interpretation of Gen 1.1-2 is taking it at face value. One of the rules of biblical interpretation is to take a verse literally unless the context tells you otherwise. Gen 1.1 becomes a summary statement of creation and the remaining verses tell us what God did and for how long.

Now, we are going to present some arguments in support of the gap theory, and some arguments to refute them. Some say, “Gen 1.2 says the earth was without form and void” and speaks of judgment. However, in other passages it simply means “space” (Job 26.7; Deut 32.10; Job 6.18, 12.24; Psa 107.40). Those for the gap theory will say, “The verb ‘was’ in Gen 1.2 should be translated as ‘became.’ ” However, the verb “hayeta” (“was” is found 264 times in the Tanak and 258 times it is translated “was.” The Hebrew verb of being for “became” is “haphek.” Then those who support the gap theory will say, “There is a difference between “bara” (created” in Gen 1.1) and “asah” (made) in Gen 1.7.” However, these words are used synonymously. In Gen 1.21 it says “God created (bara)” and “God made (asah)” in Gen 1.25. In Gen 1.26 it says, “Let us make man (asah)” and “So God created (bara)” in Gen 1.27. They will point out that “darkness” indicates judgment in Gen 1.2. However, darkness here is the absence of light and it is spoken of as “good” in Psa 104.20, 24. Lastly, some will say the Hebrew word “male” should be “replenish”, indicating that the world was once filled. However, the Hebrew word “male” almost always means “to fill” (Exo 40.34; 1 Kings 18.33; Psa 107.9).

Creation science and even secular science has confirmed over and over again that the Earth is much younger that what was once thought. The current erosion rate at Niagara Falls, the dust accumulated on the surface of the Moon, the development of languages and all the archeological finds have confirmed this. Even the genealogies of the Bible indicate an age less than 6000 years old. The Lord himself says he created the universe in six days (Exo 21.12-17). Also, the narrative in Genesis 1 disproves long periods of time. For example, how could God create the plants, trees and vegetation on the third day of creation and surviving for millions of years without the sun, which wasn’t created until the fourth day of creation. The answer is God did it in six, literal days and there is a reason why. Eschatologically it says in Psa 90.4 and 2 Pet 3.8-13 that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. This is Hebrew poetry, but it is alluding to something called the “Seven Thousand Year Plan of God”, and if you want more information on this concept, see our teaching called, “PIctures of the Seven Thousand Year Plan of God ” on this website.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

America in Bible Prophecy

To fully develop this concept, it would take hours and hours because there is so much in the Scriptures about it. For a more detailed look into this subject, we refer you to our four-part teaching called, “Is America Babylon” on this website. However, we will present a short course on the concept that the United States may be represented by the ancient land of Babylon in prophecy. There is a concept in prophetic studies that says, “That which has been done, will happen again” and “There is nothing new under the sun, that which has happened before will happen again (Ecc 1.9, 3.15).”

There is an eschatological term seen in the Scriptures called “the last days” or the “acharit yamim” and this alludes to when the Messiah comes in Jewish thought, and ancient names for countries can be applied to nations that are in existence in the last days. For instance, Egypt will stand for Europe, Assyria will stand for Russia, and Babylon will stand for the United States, and of course, Israel is Israel. The rabbi’s over two thousand years ago said that Assyria is Gog and Magog, and bible scholars over a hundred years ago identified Gog and Magog as Russia (H.A. Ironside for instance). Now, we are not going to develop all that here, but the information is out there for you to develop. There are things to look for in these prophecies that will describe what these countries will be like, and when you compare that with today, it is very clear. Keep in mind, that there is a concept in prophecy called a “double-reference prophecy. ” In addition, one must be familiar with the four levels of interpretation called “Pardes.” This is where we have the Peshat (literal or simple), Remez (hint or how certain scriptures are “glued” together), Drash (explore and ask), and Sowd (secret, hidden) levels.

There are many chapters about Babylon, but we will deal with several in particular. Jer 50 and 51 are two important chapters describing Babylon, or the United States, plus some in Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelation. So we will take a short look. For expediency, we will list the description found in the Scriptures and let you conclude for yourself who this is talking about.

Babylon is described as: a rich, economic giant (Jer 51.13; Rev 18); last of the nations, or as the rabbis interpret this verse in Hebrew, “last of the great Gentile nations in the last days”-Jer 50.12; very powerful, with defenses that reach into the heavens (Jer 51.53); a large Jewish population lives there (Jer 50.8, 16, 28, 51.6, 9, 45, 50; Rev 18.4; Isa 48.20); established on the word of God and departed (Jer 50.21); anti-semitism in the land (Jer 50.7); called the “land of liberty” and “land of plenty” in Ezek 23.23 (look up the meaning of the words “Shoa” and “Koa”); land of mingled people (Jer 50.16 and 50.37); sits on many waters (Jer 51.13); a treacherous dealer (Isa 21.2); filled with pride (Isa 47.10); covetous (Jer 51.13); a land of idols (Jer 50.38); a hammer (policeman, enforcer) of the earth (Jer 50.23); nations stream into it (Jer 51.44); a land of forts (marshes in Babylon were forts and defenses-Jer 51.32); called a “whore” (“broad” in Hebrew is “rahav” which in this case alludes to a prostitute; but can mean a broad or wide wall, or Egypt-Jer 51.58); Russia is an enemy (Jer 51.27-look up the names mentioned there).

There are other chapters to study such as Isa 13, 14, 18, 21, 24, 47, 48, Rev 17 and 18. There are hundreds of verses about this nation, and one thing is clear, this nation is going to be destroyed in one day, leaving the world in shock. We believe that in the very near future, America is going to be attacked and destroyed by the Lord himself, using Russia, because of the sins this nation is guilty of concerning Israel, forsaking a Torah-based faith in Yeshua for Replacement Theology, how this nation has treated the world (Jer 50.11; 51.6-7) and its idolatry and abortion. It is as if the ancient gods have manifested again here.

One of the best-known symbols of the United States is the Statue of Liberty. The most commonly known idol associated with the Statue of Liberty is the Roman goddess “Libertas” associated with freedom. Some have associated it with Babylon’s Semiramis, or Venus, or the “morning star.” In short, America is represented by a graven image forbidden by the Lord in Exo 20.4. Do some research on it and you will be amazed.

We believe the timing of this coming destruction will be Tishri 8, seven days after the Natzal, or (rapture”) which occurs on Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation. The Jewish population in America must leave America for Israel before this event or be caught up in its destruction. After America is destroyed, a huge void will be left and attention will shift to Europe, where the False Messiah will be waiting to fulfill his destiny. He will be given power and authority in one hour to pull together European forces, and what remains of US forces under NATO there, in a defensive posture against Russia, fearing they are next.

There is so much on this subject, but the Scriptures are clear, that a great Gentile nation in the last days is going to be destroyed, and there will be no UN takeover of the world, or a one-world government. The United States, UN, or any globalist entity today that is maneuvering for world dominion will not be a player in the Birth-pains of the Messiah, or the “tribulation” period.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Truth About Tithing

This is a concept that is totally misunderstood by many today. The Scriptures tell us that there are several ways to give, and the two main areas are Biblical Giving and Tithing. Tithing (Hebrew “Terumat ha Maaser”) is not required right now for several reasons. First, tithing was agricultural and was only done if you made your living off the land God gave Israel, which means they lived in the land. It is not money and you did not give ten percent of your income in money. The laws of tithing only applied to those who lived in the land of Israel and they made their living agriculturally off of it. If you lived outside the land you did not tithe. Secondly, you tithed to the Levites, who then gave ten percent of that to the priests.

Third, you gave your tithe at the festivals of Shavuot and Sukkot. Years were divided into “sevens” called a “Shemittah.” One would tithe for six years and on the seventh year of the Shemittah there would be no tithing at all because the land rested and there was no agriculture or crops grown (Lev 25.1-3). Seven Shemittahs was forty-nine years, and on the fiftieth year, there was no tithing because it was the Yovel year, and there were no crops. So, there were no crops in the forty-ninth and the fiftieth year, but God promised to give an abundance in the forty-eighth year that would cover the two years (a triple crop) when there were no crops (Lev 25.18-22). So tithing was broken down like this during the first six years of a Shemittah

In the first year of the Shemittah, at the festival of Shavuot, the first tithe called the “Maaser Rishon” was taken to a levitical city storehouse and deposited. The second tithe called the “Maaser Sheni” was deposited at the Temple at Sukkot with a massive banquet (Deut 14,22-29). During the second year of the Shemittah the first tithe was taken to a levitical city storehouse at Shavuot, and the second tithe was taken to the Temple at Sukkot. In the third year, the first tithe was taken to a levitical city storehouse, and the second tithe at Sukkot was also taken to a levitical city storehouse. In the fourth year, the first tithe was taken to a levitical city storehouse at Shavuot, and the second tithe at Sukkot was taken to the Temple. In the fifth year, the first tithe was taken to a levitical city storehouse at Shavuot, and the second tithe was taken to the Temple at Sukkot. In the sixth year, the first tithe was taken to a levitical city storehouse at Shavuot, and the second tithe at Sukkot was taken to a levitical city storehouse. In the seventh year of the Shemittah there was no tithing because there are no crops.

So, if you made your living off the land as a farmer, or you had vineyards and were involved in agriculture, you would tithe. If you were a carpenter, potter, lawyer, mine worker, etc, you did not tithe. Today there is no Temple, priesthood, Levites, or Levitical city storehouses, and that was required to fulfill this commandment. What many teachers say today is not true and it is designed to put fear and guilt on people so that people give their “tithes” to support the work of that particular organization. Ever wonder why many teachers tell their people that they are “not under the law” when it comes to the commandments in the Torah (like the Sabbath, eating biblically allowed foods, idolatry, and graven images, etc), but then turn around and say that tithing is required? Tithing is part of the Torah, yet they pick and choose what they want people to obey. But tithing cannot be done today because most people do not live in the land and do not make their living off of it, and there is no Temple, priesthood, Levites, or levitical city storehouses. Even if you lived in the land you cannot tithe according to the Torah.

If a teacher wants you to tithe like an Israelite to support the assembly or congregation, why don’t they live like a Levite with no inheritance? Tithes were to be given to the Levites, and then they gave a tithe to the priests, who also did not have an inheritance. Yeshua never collected tithes for his support and he would have been wrong to do so. It is inconsistent for a congregational leader who teaches that the Torah has been done away with on the one hand, to require his congregation to tithe, quoting the Torah, on the other hand. This sounds like they are twisting the Scriptures for money and personal gain.

Now, if you want to give your money to support the needy, widows, orphans, or any good work where finances are needed, that is called Biblical Giving and there are no limitations on what percentage to give. But don’t call it tithing because that is not what it is. Don’t let these false teachers quote Mal 3.8-9 to you and say if you don’t tithe to them you will be cursed. That is not what those verses are saying. The context of these verses is about the people who were not tithing and they were making their living off the land that God gave them. Mal 3.10-12 goes on to say that if the people began giving their tithe as required in the Torah, and the tithe is brought into the levitical storehouses (and the storehouses mentioned there are not “churches” or their particular organizations), then the land and the people will be blessed.

As a Torah-based believer in Yeshua, we should always keep the commandments that apply to us, and tithing does not apply today as given in the Scriptures. For a more detailed look into this concept, see our ten-part series on this website called, “Tithing and Biblical Giving.”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

What is a “Judaizer?”

A “Judaizer” is someone who says that one must become Jewish to be saved. In the first century, the School of Shammai taught that a non-Jew must be ritually circumcised to be saved (Acts 15.1). The Jerusalem Council decided that they did not, but that a non-Jew who believed must obey the Torah as it applies to them (Acts 15.26-27). As we can see, it has nothing to do with teaching the Torah to anyone. Every believer should have a desire to keep the Torah, or you are not a true believer (1 John 2.3-4). A Judaizer is one who says you must be Jewish to be saved, and the very name alludes to that. This would include man-made ritual circumcision. This concept is wrong and it was dealt with in the Book of Acts and the book of Galatians. There were people coming to the non-Jews saying that they had to convert to Judaism to be saved, and this involved ritual circumcision and the book of Galatians makes it clear that one does not. Ritual circumcision should not be confused with Abrahamic circumcision which is commanded by God to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen 17.9-14). Paul did an Abrahamic circumcision to Timothy in Acts 16.1-3, but not a ritual circumcision to Titus (Gal 2.3).

The commandments apply to both Jews and non-Jews (Num 15.14-16), and both groups have a place in the Olive Tree of God (Rom 11.16-24), but both groups don’t always do the same things (1 Cor 7.19-21). A non-Jew does not need to be ritually circumcised to become Jewish to be saved. We are, however, commanded to teach the Torah and this is not “judaizing.” It is telling the people the truth and to obey God. Does a person “judaize” when they tell someone to tell the truth? Does a person “judaize” when they tell their children not to steal? Does a person “judaize” if you tell someone not to murder? Does a person “judaize” if they tell people not to make or worship graven images? Of course not, and neither are you “judaizing” when you tell someone they should keep the other commandments that apply to them either.

There is a false doctrine that says if you keep the commandments you have fallen from grace. In other words, one demonstrates his faith in God by NOT keeping the commandments. This is a ridiculous doctrine. It does show how deceived these people are. People actually think they show God their faith by disobeying his commandments, and that it demonstrates that you believe him! In truth, you obey God because you love him and want to please your father, and that is what demonstrates that you believe in him. Many “believe in God” but they don’t believe “believe him.” Faith is action, and that action has to be consistent with his word, not what we think we should do. We are to obey the commandments that apply to us, and this goes for every man (Ecc 12.13). Any teaching that tells you that you don’t have to keep the commandments and that you are “free from the law” should be rejected and you need to find another teacher. They are showing a great ignorance about what these terms even mean.

Posted in All Teachings

The Meaning of “Under The Law” in Rom 6.14

This term is used by Paul to illustrate several concepts. These concepts are not understood by most believers as they read the Renewed Covenant, and it leads to a great deal of misunderstanding. The word “law” is “Torah” in Hebrew and “nomos” in Greek, and it means “teaching, guidance, and instruction.” Whenever one says “law” say “teaching or instruction” and you will get a clearer meaning. The “law” or teaching (Torah) has two aspects to it. First, it has an Educational role, it is our instructor. It tells us what sin is (Rom 3.20) and defines it. It tells us God’s way of life and his desire for us to follow it. It is his good and perfect will, not only by the written commandments, statutes, judgments, and laws, but by what it implies in the stories and historical accounts.

The second aspect is the Judicial. The Torah acts as our custodian or tutor (Gal 3.23-29) until we come to faith in Yeshua. By identifying us as sinners and demanding the death penalty, the law holds us in “custody or under indictment” until our death. Knowledge of the law and its high standards makes us even more aware of our responsibility and leaves us with no excuse before God (Rom 1.18-32). When we come to Yeshua by faith and we are born again, the law’s role holding us in custody or under indictment is abolished, or “done away with.” The Judicial role has no power over us. When Paul uses this term in relation to salvation, he is saying that the Judicial or custodial aspect of the law that holds us under indictment till death has been done away with, and we are not under its condemnation. God has declared us “not guilty” and the law under the judicial aspect cannot demand our death anymore. The record of our sins has been blotted out and the curse of the law (death) has been removed.

However, we remain under the Educational aspect of the law (Torah). Paul says it best in 2 Tim 3.16-17 where he says, “All Scripture (the only scripture that existed when Paul wrote this was the Tanak, meaning the Torah, Prophets and the Writings from Genesis to Malachi) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching (the meaning of Torah), for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (as defined by the Torah); that the man of God may be adequately equipped for every good work (Hebrew “mitzvah” meaning the commandments).” It is how a believer walks and how we come to know God.

So, in the “new” testament you will see that we are no longer “under the law” but under grace, and similar phrases like that. It is not as black and white as Replacement Theology assemblies like to present it. Being no longer “under the law” is a theological statement by Paul that he uses to explain that the Torah cannot condemn us anymore. We are not under arrest or indictment, and we are not in “custody” as far as the Judicial aspect is concerned. We are not under a system of “works righteousness (Rom 9.30-33).” We have “died” to ourselves and are “alive” to the will of God in his Torah, as it applies. We are not going to be condemned for our sins because we are “dead” and the “tutor or custodian” aspect of the law has no authority over us anymore

To illustrate this, modern law does the same thing. If a man murders someone, then that man dies, there is nothing that the Criminal Justice system can do to enforce its just punishment upon the murderer. When a sinner, deserving death, dies to himself and becomes born again by putting his trust in Yeshua, then the Torah’s just punishments (death) cannot be enforced on him. This aspect involves the grace of God. The sinner who now is “born from above” and cleansed by the sacrifice of Yeshua and filled with the spirit of God, is called to be “holy” or have a kedusha and separate from the world. We are changed and have a new nature. If his nature is in us we will want to walk in the Torah. We will want to keep the Sabbath and eat foods that are permissible. We will want to obey the commandments as they apply to each person, to Jewish believers and non-Jewish believers. In other words, we have a new “heart” which means new desires, intentions, and thoughts (Jer 31.31-34). We will want to walk in the Torah because that was Yeshua’s nature. If his nature is in us, we will want to keep the commandments, not argue against them. To “keep” or “observe” the commandments means to incorporate into our lives the things of God, and stay true to the blueprint God has given in his word by doing specific things, at specific places, by specific people, at specific times.

So, when Paul says we are “not under the law” it means all the above things, not that we don’t keep his commandments at all. There is one “source” in the spiritual world that would tell us we don’t have to keep God’s commandments and would give us that sort of counsel. Ha Satan (the adversary) knows we have all sinned and deserve death and he wants it to stay that way. If you are reading this and you are an unbeliever, you remain under arrest and indictment, awaiting your final appearance before God and condemnation. The Judicial aspect of the Torah remains in effect. But once a believer, you are no longer “under the law” or under arrest or indictment and are free from condemnation. You are under the educational aspect of the law which Paul described as holy, righteous, and good in Rom 7.12. It is the will of God for your life and how to walk in faith (Jam 2.14-26).

Posted in All Teachings, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, The Temple, Tying into the New Testament

An Understanding of the Term New Testament

People have been led to believe that the “new” testament has replaced the “old” testament, meaning one does not have to keep (obey) the Torah anymore. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For the past 100 years or so people have been taught a type of Biblical Dispensationalism. This theological system says that history has been divided into separate periods. There are usually seven, but there may be some derivations. For example, there was a dispensation of law that began at Sinai and went to Pentecost. Then the dispensation of grace began. God is said to have acted in different ways during these dispensations. As the age changed, God’s rules changed and the laws of the previous dispensation didn’t apply because they were of the “old” dispensation. The new laws were called the “new” covenant. The dispensational teacher sees separate groups and separate rules, all the while saying that God never changes!

When the Scriptures were made into chapters and verses by the Catholic Church and the monks, the books of the Tanak were labeled as the “old” Testament, and the gospels and epistles were categorized as the “new” Testament based on an understanding that the one canceled out and were replaced by the other. We believe and know that this interpretation is incorrect, to say the least. God made a single covenant with Abraham. It was elaborated on with Moses and Yeshua is the agent of God to bring it all about. God has not changed.

The “new” covenant is not actually “new.” The Hebrew word for “new” in Jeremiah 31.31-34 is the word “chadash” and it means “renewed” or “refreshed.” It can mean new, but it comes from a Hebrew root meaning renewed. The new moon is called “Rosh Chodesh” which means a renewed moon because it is not a brand new moon every month, it just has gone through a cycle. In other words, the New Covenant, or Brit Chadasha, is a “renewed covenant” of continuous progression from the others, not separate, but coming out of the others, expanded and clarified.

For instance, when a couple “renews” their wedding vows it is not understood as replacing the first ones, but it is a “refreshing” of the vows, a natural outgrowth of their lives together. In the same way, God has divorced Israel and Judah (Jer 3.1-8) due to their spiritual adultery and will “renew” his vows and covenants again through the work of the Messiah. The reason there is a new covenant is because God divorced his people but is going to bring them back to himself by faith. This covenant is made with Israel and Judah, and a non-Jew must be grafted into it by faith. This is the premise for Paul’s Olive Tree theology found in Rom 11.1-24. This covenant has nothing to do with a so-called “church” and never did and never will.

Here are the provisions of this covenant, and they all have their roots in the previous covenants: the Torah will be written in the heart (desires) of the believer; God will maintain a special relationship with Israel and Judah; all Israel will be saved and know the Lord in a redemptive way; all sins will be forgiven; all the promised land will be given to Israel; God will multiply Israel; the Temple will stand again in Israel (Jer 31.33-34, 32.41-44; Ezek 37.26-28). There are two words for new in Greek. One is “neos” and the other is “kainen.” Neos is usually understood as a “new” and “kainen” means “renewed.” This is the meaning every time “new” covenant is translated as “new” testament. The New Jerusalem is a “renewed” Jerusalem, a renewal or a continuation, a refreshing of the previous covenants going back to Adam. This covenant is not “neos” or new, but “kainen” or “renewed” because Yeshua said himself that he did not come to destroy the Torah, but to give it meaning (Matt 5.17-19. The word “fulfill” means to give it meaning, or literally to make it pregnant with meaning through the Ruach Ha Kodesh. So the idea that the New Testament replaces the Old Testament is a false teaching and is full of faulty theology. It is to be understood as a “renewed” covenant, a renewal of the original vows so to speak. It is a “coming around” of God’s work as if in a cycle. Anyone who tells you that the “new” has replaced the “old” in this context does not understand the Scriptures and you should seriously question their ability to interpret anything else, and it is a clear example of Replacement Theology.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Conclusion

We are going to discuss how the coming of Yeshua fits into the Exodus story we have just discussed. We believe that when Yeshua returns he will return to Mount Sinai and follow the same route Moses and the sons of Israel took to Canaan, and like Joshua, Yeshua will gather all those that have been in the wilderness for three and a half years into the land, appearing on the Mount of Olives on Yom Kippur.

Three years into the birth-pains on Yom Kippur Russia will be defeated. Israel and non-Jews will believe in Yeshua as the Messiah as a result (Ezek 39.22). Within six months the False Messiah will make a move on Nisan 10 and will declare himself “God/Messiah” but Israel has already accepted Yeshua, so they will reject him. Israel will flee into the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness, which will cover Pella in the north, the Jabbok Valley, the Arnon Valley, the Zered Valley, and all the way down to Mount Sinai. So what does all that have to do with what is going to happen?

Deut 33.2 says “The Lord came to Sinai” and this speaks of the time of Moses, but it also speaks of the future. Messiah will come out of the east, and in biblical thought, east is seen as anything east of a line drawn through Jerusalem running north and south and this would include the Sinai area and straight north. Hab 3.3-15 says the God will come from Teman in Edom, and the Holy One from Mount Paran, which was around Sinai. Midian is also mentioned.

Rev 12.1-17 says that Israel will flee into the wilderness on Nisan 10 with “two wings of a great eagle” which means they will receive help from heaven. This term was used before in the Exodus out of Egypt, and there will be 1260 days left in the birth-pains. Isa 16.1-5 tells us about two places they will go to, Sela which is Petra, and the Arnon Valley. We know where they are going. Isa 63.1-6 says that the Messiah will come marching in the greatness of his strength. The people ask him why his garments are red and Messiah says their lifeblood (of his enemies) is sprinkled on his garments. Rev 14.17-20 describes the same scenario. They ask, “Who is this who comes from Edom (Petra) with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah?” Isa 42.10-16 says, “let the inhabitants of Sela (Petra) sing.” So now we have moved from Sinai and now we are in Petra, just like Moses did

The False Messiah will send his army after the Jewish people in Rev 12.15 but will not be successful. Messiah will come on Rosh Ha Shannah three and a half years later to Sinai and march ten days along the same route Moses took, and defeat his enemies. He will arrive in Jerusalem with all those he has gathered (like David did), arriving in Jerusalem and standing on the Mount of Olives on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29-31-“the great trumpet” is an idiom for Yom Kippur).

Here is a list of other Scriptures that will describe these events for consideration related to his coming to Sinai on Rosh Ha Shannah: Jer 49.22; Zeph 1.7-9, 2.8-11; Hos 13.15; Ezek 25.1-14; Micah 2.12-13; Zech 14.1-5. Yeshua arrives in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur: Matt 24.27-31; Isa 27.12-13; Micah 5.4; Joel 2.15-16; Song of Songs 8.5.

What happens as he arrives: Rev 19.19-21; Jer 19.1-15; Matt 25.31-46. Yeshua arrives in Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives on Yom Kippur. There is a great earthquake and the mount is split in two and the people will attempt to flee, along with the False Messiah. But he will be captured and killed. The great shofar blows and angels are dispatched and the unbelievers who have survived the birth-pains are gathered to Jerusalem for judgment. They will be slain and their bodies will be food for the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky in what is called the “Feast of Leviathan”, a term for the False Messiah. The believers who have survived are also gathered and they will enter into the Messianic Kingdom and attend the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Isa 25.6; Matt 8.11; Luke 14.15; Rev 19.7-8; Matt 25.31-34).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part VII

Why did God put so much emphasis on coming to this particular mountain, in this particular wilderness? Why didn’t he just bring them into the land? Why not give the Torah on Mount Zion or Mount Moriah? Does God do anything without a reason or plan?

We know there are three mountains of God. We have Mount Sinai in Exo 3, we have Mount Moriah in Isa 2, and we have Mount Zion in Jer 31. We must go back to Sinai first because there is a process. Replacement Theology has been around for over 1700 years, but we are coming to realize that the Torah (Sinai) is not for salvation, but for instruction. We are on a journey and we are going to see that the Messiah will come to Mount Sinai in his return, then through Petra, the Zered and Arnon Valley, and come to Jerusalem in the very footsteps of Moses as he brought Israel to the land. This will be shown beyond a reasonable doubt and not a case of Jewish tradition or midrashim. We will show you Scripture upon Scripture. But the question is, why Sinai? The enemy has robbed us of the things God has given us to teach us. But we know from prophecy that everything that has happened before will happen again. It is like a blueprint.

Deut 1.1-9 tells us about a place called Kadesh Barnea, meaning “holy place of the desert wandering.” In Deut 1.19 we learn that they come to Kadesh Barnea and the spies are sent out from there. We know that Mount Seir is given to Esau, and they are told to go through Edom, so Kadesh Barnea must be south of there Deut 2.1-5). We know that Miriam dies in Kadesh Barnea (Num 20.1). Moses sends a message to Edom from Kadesh in Num 20.14. Kadesh is described as a “city on the edge of your border” so it must be south.

The traditional site is wrong and it is thought to be Kadesh Barnea because a piece of pottery was found with “Kadesh” upon it. When the site was examined, there was only a small city there, not a place for two million people. No graves before Solomon were found there, so where are all the bodies that died at Kadesh Barnea? A whole generation was brought there to die. The archeologists and historians are looking in the wrong place. Kadesh Barnea is not in the Sinai Peninsula, it is south of Edom. Israel left the Faiyum, crossed the Gulf of Suez three days later, went up to the Drek Seir, then south to Midian where they were confronted by the Amalekites, and then on to Mount Sinai. Israel will be north of Sinai, in the vicinity of the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba), near a highway called “the King’s Highway” (Num 20.17) and they will travel east of it as they come up north to the land.

The King’s Highway starts in a place called today as Wadi Rum (valley of the moon). You can locate it on any map, and you will find it is a huge area of nearly 300 square miles. This is Kadesh Barnea or Wadi Rum, and it fits all the biblical descriptions (Deut 8.15). It is famous even today for snakes and vipers, and we know that the Brazen Serpent incident happened there in Num 21. The movie “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed there and he said once that there was a cure for snake bites, “You bind up the wound, read the Koran to the person until he died.” Horned vipers, or fiery serpents, are all over the area, plus scorpions. There is no water there but lots of room.

The Ammonites said that Israel took all their land in Judges 11.13, but Jephthah answers in Judges 11.16 that they came from the Red Sea to Kadesh Barnea and did not take away their land. So we know Kadesh is near the Red Sea. This area could have easily had room for 2 million people

We know that Miriam dies in Kadesh and she is buried on a mountain there (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 4, Chapter 4, Paragraph 6; Num 20.1). The first ashes of the Red Heifer ceremony was there. As they leave Kadesh (Deut 2.3-6) they travel up the King’s Highway and come to the borders of Edom, and then to Mount Hor (Num 20.22-23). We have the death of Aaron in Num 20.24-29; Josephus, Antiquities, Book 4, Chapter 4, Par. 7). Mount Hor is near Petra where he died. By looking into the past we will have a glimpse of the future.

Israel heads north and comes to Bozrah on the King’s Highway. In Num 21.12 they come to the Zered Valley. In Num 21.13 they come to the Arnon Valley, and then to the Jabbok Valley in Num 21.24-25, and then to Mount Nebo. Then to Heshbon, then to Jericho through the Heshbon Valley in Num 22.1.

The Jabbok Valley relates to prophecy because Jacob came there to Peniel. We will have Sukkot and Machanaim there. David will build a fortress and will flee from Absalom there. Pella was the place where during the first Jewish revolt against Rome believers fled to. Near Pella, Elijah was hidden for 1260 days in a famine. So why are all these places important? In the conclusion, we will talk about the second coming of Yeshua and show you how these places will be involved. On Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation, the Natzal of the believers will take place. Ten days later on Yom Kippur the 2520 days of the BIrth-pains begin. After the first 1260 days, the False Messiah will persecute Israel, and they will flee into the wilderness with “wings of a great eagle” which means help from heaven, the same wilderness we have been showing (Rev 12.1-17). Where have we heard that before? Israel will be protected in the wilderness again and await the coming of Yeshua, who will gather them and come to Jerusalem, arriving on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29-31).

In conclusion, we need to keep these places in mind, and we will pick up with the second coming of Yeshua.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part VI

We know that Mount Sinai was called the “mountain of God” in Exo 3.12 and Jabal-AL-Lawz fits the biblical description. It is east of the Gulf of Aqaba, south of Edom, and in Midian. Evidence presented in books is not evidence, however, because no investigation of the site has really been done and you can’t prove it anyway, but it is possible that it is Mount Sinai.

Moses doesn’t know how the people will believe when he is told that he will go to Egypt and bring the people out of Egypt in Exo 4.1. God turns his staff into a serpent, and it will be this rod that will be used in the miracles that will follow. In Num 17.1-6 we learn about Aaron’s rod and how it came back to life and sprouted almonds. This alludes to Yeshua who was a dead branch (a term for the Messiah, and lived in Nazareth meaning “branch”) and how he came back to life. The almond is called the “resurrection tree” in Israel, and the KJV calls it the “hastening tree” in Jer 1.12-13. It is the first to bring forth fruit in the spring, the time Yeshua resurrected. Jabal-al-Lawz means “almond mountain.”

Israel stays at Mount Sinai for eleven months and it is believed that Moses went up the second time on Elul 1 and came back down on Tishri 10, a forty-day period. Yeshua was immersed on ELul 1 and went into the wilderness for 40 days, coming back down on Tishri 10. That means he came back down on Yom Kippur and is a picture of Yeshua coming to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur based on Matt 24.29-31. The “great trumpet” is an idiom for Yom Kippur. We also know that the Mishkan was built at Sinai, so this mountain has had a tremendous impact on our lives, and it will have a role in the coming of the Messiah as we have already alluded to. There are verses we will see later that will establish that Yeshua will return to Mount Sinai and march towards Jerusalem, arriving on Yom Kippur.

So we know that the people arrive at Sinai on Sivan 3 and stay eleven months. Then they start their short trek to the north, but disobedience caused a 38-year stay at a place called Kadesh Barnea (holy desert of wandering). Then they left and traveled to Mount Hor near Petra where Aaron died. That means Kadesh Barnea is south of Mount Hor. Then they trek through the Zered Valley, the Arnon Valley to Heshbon and Mount Nebo. Then down the Heshbon Valley and cross the Jordan to Jericho.

Now, Sinai means “thorny” and Horeb means “glowing heat” and seems to be a reference to the sun. It may be that it is related to “Sin” and an Egyptian deity meaning “sun” or in Assyrian meaning “moon.” Personally, we believe it is “sun” meaning “mountain of the sun.” The “sun” alludes to the Messiah in Mal 4.2, Gen 32.31; Psa 19.4-6, 27.4-5; Isa 30.26. The sun gives light for life, and so does the Messiah. The moon is a lesser light and is a picture of the believers, who reflect the light of the sun. The new moon festival was given at Sinai and it is called “Rosh Chodesh.” It is called the festival of the “born again.” If Sinai is called the “mountain of the sun” (alluding to the Torah and the Messiah) and they received the Torah there, and then they go to Kadesh Barnea where all the scholars say it is, where are all the dead-bodied of that whole generation that died there? That would be millions of people. But no bodies have ever been found in the traditional sites of Kadesh Barnea because they are looking in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

Kadesh Barnea (holy desert of wandering) is a place known today as Wadi Rum. Many Hollywood movies have been filmed there like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Martian” for instance. Wadi Rum means “valley of the moon.” So if Sinai means “mount of the sun” and they stayed at Kadesh Barnea at Wadi Rum which means “valley of the moon” we have a picture. You have all sorts of concepts speaking to us about light, the new moon, marriage, covenant, wedding, and much more wrapped up in all this.

God gives the Ten Commandments at Sinai, but that was not the only reason God brought the people there. They will receive instructions about the Mishkan and Moses will be in a supernatural existence there for forty days and nights, without food or water. He had “food we know not of.” But at the Golden Calf incident, he breaks the tablets because Israel broke the wedding covenant, and he goes back up the mountain a second time on Elul1 and returns back on Tishri 10 (Yom Kippur) according to Jewish thought. So this is a “tavnit” or a “blueprint” of what Yeshua will do. God also commands them to build a sanctuary in Exo 25.8.

So they build the Mishkan and give special ceremonies that will teach the redemption. He teaches them about the concept of Kedusha. In fact, the Mishkan, and later the Temple, will be called the “Beit Mikdash” or House of Kedusha. The Kivod (glory) and the Shekinah (presence) and the Ruach (power) of God comes, the priests are set apart and we have festivals given, a government is set up and we will have judicial courts. The fullness of the Torah was given and there are commandments for everyone who follows the God of Abraham Nobody keeps all the commandments, just the ones that apply to you. So the mountain is called the “mountain of God’ because tells them to come to this mountain to worship and serve him.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part V

To know where Mount Sinai is, we must know where Midian is, and we must totally discard the traditional site of Sinai that goes back to the fourth century and Helena. We know Moses was tending the sheep of Jethro and he went to Sinai in Midian and not all the way around to the Sinai Peninsula, so we can rule that out.

We also know that the Amalekites were located around Petra in Edom and will fight Israel because they wanted to crush Israel before they got any stronger and closer. The Amalekites hear that Israel is coming along the Derek Seir, the way to Edom, which was a major trade route in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. They have heard the reports of what happened in Egypt and that they are now on their way to Seir (Edom), so they leave their capital in Petra and come to battle with them near Sinai, but where is Sinai?

We learn from Gal 1.17 that Sinai is in Arabia, and in the New Testament, this area was seen as the habitation of the Nabateans. In Gal 4.25 Arabia is mentioned and it is referring to the area immediately to the east of the Gulf of Aqaba. As a result of this, information, Mount Sinai is in an area known as Midian in Arabia, and they pass by the Amalekites on their way there, who lived in the area of Petra. Mount Sinai is not in the Sinai Peninsula. We have to know where Seir, Edom, and the land of Uz are located. Then we will see that the land of Uz is the same thing as Edom, Seir, and Esau. What one will need to do is get some biblical maps and look up the locations and it will show you the route they took. Once that is done, you will be able to see how these areas relate to the second coming of Yeshua, which we will deal with later.

The land of Edom and Uz is mentioned in Job 1.1 and Lam 4.21, and Job 4.1 we learn of Eliphaz the Temanite. Gen 36.1-11 tells us Esau is Edom, he has a son named Eliphaz, and Teman is a son of Eliphaz. The Eliphaz in Job 4 was probably the son of the Teman who was the grandson of Esau. So we have several names we need to know: MIdian, Seir, Edom, Uz, and Esau. These will be related to where Mount Sinai is. Now we are going to add more information.

Let’s look at some passages as to where Mount Sinai actually is. We learn from Deut 33.2 that the coming of the Lord is from Sinai, and he dawned on them from Seir (a parallelism). As a result of this information, we should look for Sinai in Seir, also known as Edom, Uz, Esau, and Mount Seir.

Another term we need to know is “Mount Paran” and we need to know where it is. In Judges 5.4-5 in what is called the Song of Deborah it says God went out from Seir, and the field of Edom, even Sinai, melted at the presence of the Lord. When did he do this? In the days of Moses. Hab 3.3-4 says, “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran.” So, Mount Sinai has to be around the border of Edom and Midian, probably east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Once we know where these places are, the Middle East will begin to shrink up. The stories will fit the geography in the Scriptures.

Exo 12.40-41 tells us that Israel came out of Egypt in Nisan 15, 430 years from the covenant between the halves in Gen 15. Nisan 15 will become a festival day in Lev 23. In Exo 19.1 Israel finally arrives at Mount Sinai on Sivan 3. They sanctify themselves for three days, and the Lord descends on the mount on Sivan 6. That means it took them about 47 days to get to Mount Sinai from the Faiyum in Egypt. So, they kill the lamb on Nisan 14, eat and then leave at night on Nisan 15, and cross the Red Sea on the morning of Nisan 17, and God gives the Torah on the fiftieth day. He will call this day Shavuot. These dates all become festivals and they will relate to the second coming of Yeshua.

So, what do we know so far? We know that Sinai has to be east of the Gulf of Aqaba, east of Midian, and south of Edom. We know that Sinai, Seir, and Mount Paran are synonymous (Deut 33.2; Judges 5.4-5). We know that Teman is Edom, and Edom is Seir, and Esau is Eliphaz and Teman. Again, Sinai is not on the Sinai Peninsula.

There is a mountain about 15 miles from the home of Jethro called Al-Bad in Midian with the name “Jabal-al-Lawz” which means “almond mountain.” Josephus says that Sinai is the highest mountain around and good for pasturing. George-Foote-Moore, an archaeologist, believes it could be it but is not sure. It is 8,465 feet high. Edom is also Seir, and Seir means “wooded mountains.” It is barren now because the Ottoman Turks had a law taxing people with trees, so they cut down the trees. Jabal-al-Lawz means “almond mountain” and that is a significant name (Jer 1.12-13; Aaron’s rod was almond). Jabal-al-Lawz fits the biblical description because it is east of the Gulf of Aqaba, south of Edom, and located in Midian. But the evidence for this mountain presented in books is not evidence because nobody has really gone in and done an official archaeological examination of the area because Saudi Arabia will not let anyone in to do one, so you can’t prove it. But, it is possible that it is Mount Sinai and there are some very interestings things that have been found on and around the mountain when others did get in to do an examination that was un-sanctioned by the state of Saudi Arabia.

In Part VI we will pick up here

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament