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.”

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part IV

Now we are going to deal with the crossing of the Red Sea. We have already stated that Moses journeys from Harawa (Suchos, Sukkot) with the bones of Joseph, and Pharaoh hears that they have “fled” (Exo 14.5-8). He knew that they had fled because he knew that they took the bones of Joseph and his tomb was empty, the box was gone. In Jewish writings, it is interesting to note here that as Prime MInister of Egypt he was referred to as Joseph of Ramah. In Aramaic, it is Joseph of Arimathea. We know that Joseph’s remains were in a “aron” or box or huge case. This word has special meaning in the Scriptures. So the children of Israel will have two “arons” with them in the wilderness, the aron of Joseph and the ark of the covenant. But why take the big huge case or container? To fulfill the promise to Joseph and to prove that Israel had taken him, not grave robbers or thieves (why would they take a huge box).

Once they have the remains of Joseph from Harawa in the Faiyum, they cut east for three days, cross the Red Sea or the Gulf of Suez, cut up to the Derek Seir, a trade highway to Edom, and come to Eilat at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba (modern day Ebion-gezer). From there they will fight the Amalekites and then descend to MIdian in the area of Mount Sinai. The traditional route and the route proposed by others saying they crossed the Gulf of Aqaba is impossible.

So, at the beginning of the journey on Nisan 15 they have come to Harawa for Joseph’s remains. Another large group could have possibly left Rameses in Goshen (Faiyum) and meets up with the Joseph group at a designated point. Josephus says they crossed a very hard place to navigate through, with Pharaoh pursuing. They will cross the sea on Nisan 17 around 4 am called the “morning watch.” Then by the Derek Seir highway (way to Seir/Edom) at the north part of the Sinai Peninsula, they follow that road across to the north part of the Gulf of Aqaba at Eilat. This was a major trade route. Many picture Israel going across sand and desert but that is not what happened. Wagons, animals and people could not have gone through all that sand. They stayed on the roads and trade routes.

Num 33.1-8 says they went three days: Rameses to Sukkot (Suchos), then to Etham, then to Pi-harirot, then crossed the Red Sea in the morning watch of Nisan 17. Pharaoh pursues them into the sea and will die. Israel was still the “possession” of Pharaoh until he dies. Pharaoh is a picture of Ha Satan and death in Scripture, and their emblem was a serpent (Nachash as in Gen 3.1). He owns them unless they are redeemed of the Lord. Pharaoh owned them, God redeems them. On the tenth of Nisan the lamb is separated (Exo 12). On Nisan 14 the lamb was killed at approximately 3 pm. For three days they journey into the wilderness and cross the Red Sea during the morning watch on Nisan 17. This is a picture of what Yeshua will do 1500 years later. He comes into Jerusalem on Nisan 10 as the lamb, he is crucified on Nisan 14 and dies at 3 pm. He is resurrected from the dead at the same time Israel crossed the Red Sea on Nisan 17. Satan/Pharaoh are defeated and we are redeemed and on our way to the promised land, and another Joseph’s tomb is empty. Yeshua’s story matches the Exodus exactly. Israel goes through the “midst” of the sea and the word for “deep” is “tehomot” which means the subterranean deep, with walls on both sides like a grave.

The traditional southern theory is not accurate and is impossible according to the Torah. The “Sinai” found at the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula was “found” by Helena, the mother of Constantine, and not exactly a Bible scholar. There is no place for 2-3 million people to camp, and Sinai is in MIdian, not in the Sinai Peninsula.

This brings us to what is called the Middle Route going from the Gulf of Suez to the Arabian Peninsula, a very large land mass. We know that Moses fled to MIdian and will dwell there in Exo 2.11-22 at that is in the northwest part of Arabia. Mose keeps the flock of Jethro and comes to Mount Sinai, which is about 15 miles from Jethro’s city “Madian-polis” or Al-Bad today. Midian runs along the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba. In Exo 3.1 he comes to Horeb (Sinai) at the backside of the desert. In Hebrew “achar” mens west or at the edge of the desert. So Moses comes to the “west of the wilderness.” He took the sheep to Sinai to graze, so this rules out going all the way top the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula. We know that Israel was attacked by the Amalekites at Rephidim (lax, slack). Moses wil also strike the rock (Horeb) and water comes out, so we know they were close to Sinai. Josephus says in Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 2 Paragraph 1, that the reputation of the Hebrews went ahead of them, and the people were to get ready. There was a city north of MIdian called Petra, and they were a part of the Amalekites. So, the Amalekites were just north of Midian

Arabia did not denote the whole peninsula between the Red sea and Persian Gulf in the New Testament, but only east and south of Israel, east of the Gulf of Aqaba. This area was settled by the Nabateans, and their capital was Petra, exactly where the Amalekites were. Israel crosses the sea, takes the Derek Seir (way to Seir) to Edom. In Part V we will begin with the question, “Where is Mount Sinai?”

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The Facts Concerning The Exodus-Part III

We know from Exo 2.15-16 that Moses fled to Midian in northwest Arabia. The TYndale Bible Dictionary has a good article on Midian. Looking at the areas around Midian on a map we have names kike Kedar, Edom, Sela (Petra) and Bozrah. These areas will relate to the second coming of Yeshua. Moses marries Zipporah and they have two children named Gershom (stranger) and Eliezer (God is my helper). This is around 1481 BC, and Moses leaves MIdian for Egypt about 1441 BC.

The traditional site for Mount Sinai is in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, nowhere near Midian. This site was “discovered” by Helena the mother of Constantine by divination. She found the highest peak and declared it “Mount Sinai.” The problem is, it is not Mount Sinai, which is located in Midian. Shepherds grazed around Sinai and we know Moses led Jethro’s sheep to the back of the desert. That means Sinai is to the east of Midian, near the border. How could Moses travel east to a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula to the west of Midian. God will appear to Moses there and tells him to bring Israel back to that mountain to serve him there. all the mountains of the Lord will play a role in the second coming of Yeshua, including Sinai.

The Exodus out of Egypt is called the “First or Egyptian Redemption” and Moses is the shaliach (sent one) of that redemption out of Egypt. The coming of Yeshua is called the “Second or Messianic Redemption” with Yeshua as the shaliach (sent one) to bring about that redemption out of the whole world. Joseph alluded to these two redemptions in Gen 50.25 where “visit” is mentioned twice in Hebrew, but why. Because there will be two redemptions, the Egyptian and the Messianic. Yeshua alluded to the Messianic second redemption in Luke 19.44 when he said, “You did not know the time of your visitation.”

When Moses appeared before Moses he asked that the people be let go for a three day period to sacrifice to the Lord, and then come back (Exo 3.18, 5.1-3). But the Lord told Moses he was going to take Israel to Canaan. So is there a contradiction? The answer id “No.” But how can both be true at the same time? These are two “impossible” situations that God will work out. Why doesn’t the Lord just tell Moses to tell Pharoah to let the people go so they can go to the promised land? The issue between Pharaoh and Moses is not letting them go to Canaan, but to let them go for three days only (Exo 7.16, 8.1,8. 20, 8.25-29, 9.1, 13, 10, 3-6, 8-10, 24, 11.8). Pharaoh finally relents and tells Moses they can go, “As you have said” which refers to the three days.

So Israel leaves on Nisan 15 at night (Deut 16.1) and they go to Sukkot (Suchos in the Faiyum) to retrieve the bones of Joseph. We know that God does not lead them by the way of the Philistines in Exo 13.17, but they leave Rameses which is northeast Goshen in the Faiyum to the town where Joseph was.

At Harawa there is a pyramid of Amenemhat III, and a mortuary temple. There is also the “Maze” for storing grain as we have mentioned earlier, described by the historian Herodotus. The tomb of Joseph was in a mortuary temple which was built in the Middle Kingdom in Egypt and not a pyramid. One was buried “under” a pyramid” and Joseph waas not. How could you know if the coffin was gone unless he was buried in a mortuary temple and not a pyramid? Joseph was in a number of “coffins” within coffins, which were placed in a stone “ark” or box called an “aron.” If you were to steal gold, grave robbers wouldn’t take the stone box, but they did when they took Joseph’s bones and that is how Pharaoh knew they were fleeing Egypt. Joseph’s tomb was empty. How do we know we are going to the promised land? Another tomb of Joseph is empty! There is a Jewish midrash that said there was a sign in the tomb of Joseph that said, “When you see this tomb empty, then know we have gone to the promised land.” When Yeshua was resurrected he left a sign, the sign of Jonah. This area is called “Sukkot” but in Greek it is Suchos. Moses comes there, then goes east towards the Red Sea, or the Gulf of Suez.

So where is the location of Sukkot from where Israel left? Gen 47.11 tells us that Rameses and Goshen are synonymous, and there is a city there called Rameses. We believe that Joseph’s Pharaoh was Amenemhat III. The Faiyum is a fertile area in middle Egypt and it is called “Suchos” in Greek. There is a lake that was used by Joseph during the seven good years there. There is a canal called the “Bahr Yusef” or the river of Joseph and it is believed that it was made during the reign of Amenemhat III by Joseph, This “canal” would drain the lake giving it 20 percent more planting area during the years of plenty, and the canal was used to irrigate other areas. He can float the grain down these canals to Harawa and the granaries. Harawa means “fellowship or friendship” and related to the word “chavurah” in Hebrew. Herodotus around 500 BC said the granaries there “surpassed the pyramids” and he said it had 12 roofed courts (one for each of Jacob’s sons?), 3000 chambers, courts and colonnades.

The Faiyum is called “Sobek” by the Egyptians and means “Crocodiles” and it was the name of a deity in the Faiyum. As we have said before, it was called “Suchos” and in Hebrew ‘Sukkot.” Exo 13.17-20 says the people went to Sukkot, to Harawa to get the remains of Joseph, and them camped in Etham. From there they go to camp before Pi-hahirot, between Migdol and and in front of Baal-zephon by the sea. Keep that in mind because we will come back to that because it relates to the three days. In Part IV we will pick up with the crossing.

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The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part II

We know that Israel was enslaved about 80 years, but where was Joseph and the evidence of his presence in Egypt, and his people. He was 17 when he was sold, and 30 when he began to rule. We will have seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, and Jacob arrives in year two of the famine. Jacob is 130 when he comes to Egypt (Gen 47.9). El-Lisht is where Joseph was and where Pharaoh rules. This would be in Goshen, and Egypt is called Rameses at this point, which means “Ra delivers.” There will be about 210 years between Jacob and the Exodus.

Who was the Pharaoh dealing with Joseph? Who will be the Pharaoh of the Exodus? We will give our opinion on both of those questions shortly. Tradition says Rameses was the Pharaoh of the Exodus and he reigned about 1200 BC, so Jacob had to come in in 1410 BC, but the land was already called Rameses. Exo 1.11 says the Israel built two cities called Pithom and Rameses. The name Rameses was used before the Pharaoh of that name so the Exodus did not have to occur in 1200 BC. The Philistines, Edom, Moab were not established until 1200 BC. The Stele of Meranaphtah says he conquered Israel, and this may have been Rameses II by historians. But the Pharaoh of the Exodus was probably Dudimose II according to the book, “Pharaohs and Kings” by David Rohl.

We learn from Gen 46.11 that Jacob comes into the land with Levi and Kohath. Later he has a son Amram, and he is the father of Moses. So we can see there is not a lot of time between Jacob and Moses. So this helps us date the Exodus. We believe it happened about 1441 BC during the reign of the seventh king of the 18th Dynasty in Egypt. 1 Kings 6.1 says they began to build the Temple 480 years from the Exodus, which was about 961 BC, and we know that. 961 BC plus 480 BC equals 1441 BC, and this is supported by Judges 11.26. But the scholars say that can’t be true because the Exodus occurred during the reign of Rameses, which was 1304 to 1237 BC. This is based on their assumption that they built a city called Rameses, but 210 years before this the whole land was called Rameses.

So, let’s review. We have the Exodus in 1441 BC, they have been in Egypt 210 years, so that means Jacob entered in 1651 BC. Then 9 years for the seven good years and two years into the famine, making Joseph 39 years old. Joseph begins to reign in 1660 by adding 13 years from the time Joseph was sold to his coronation, making the year Joseph was sold about 1673 BC. Scholars who say there is no evidence for Joseph, a Jewish presence in Egypt, or the Exodus are simply looking in the wrong century and the wrong places! So, we need to look at the area of Egypt between 1786 to 1552 BC for evidence of this, not in lower Egypt. We need to look in MIddle Egypt in an area called the Faiyum.

The Faiyum has a canal connecting the lake (Moeris) there with the Nile, and it is man-made. The name of this canal is “Bahr Yusef” or the river of Joseph. You can look up this canal on the Internet to see pictures. We said earlier that Joseph and Pharaoh lived in a city called El-Lisht, and it was the capital city then. The Faiyum had water for planting helped by the canal, and it made it a fertile area because it had two prongs. It is believed that this canal was made during the seven years of plenty to enhance the land by Joseph, and the Pharoah was Amenemhat III. The lake there occupied one-fifth more area than it does now because it “shrunk” (once the lake was drained leaving good soil to plant in). Joseph reaps the harvest for seven years, showing the wisdom of Yehovah. There was a huge warehouse system found, and a granary in Harawa which had 3000 rooms in it and it was called “The Maze.” It was built about 1760 to 1700 BC. It was one of the wonders of the ancient world. This granary would take the grain raised in the Faiyum and then the grain could be shipped up and down the Nile during the famine. This is evidence of Joseph and this shows that the scholars have been looking for evidence in the wrong place, because they have the wrong dates.

The river of Joseph (Bahr Yusef) had two prongs and the lake was drained, leaving only good soil and expanding the overall area to plant in for the seven good years before the famine. Then the grain was floated down the canal to the granaries. There is a city called Harawa on the river of Joseph and it had this large maze/granary south of a pyramid found there. It had 3000 rooms for grain and the historian Herodotus wrote about it and said, “It’s greatness surpasses even the temples.” In Greek, this area we are talking about was called “Succos.” You will recall at the Exodus, they had to go to Sukkot (Succos) to retrieve the bones of Joseph (Exo 13.19).

This evidence seems to point out that this area is where Joseph was and where Jacob came. We have the river of Joseph; we have the Faiyum called Succos which matches Exo 13.19; the lake (Moeris) was drained for planting; and granaries were found there which alludes to the grain collected during the years of plenty.

We will pick up here in Part III.

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The Facts Concerning the Exodus-Part I

We are going to begin a series of studies that will discuss the Exodus out of Egypt, where Israel was in Egypt, where the bones of Joseph were, where Israel may have crossed the Red Sea, where Mount Sinai may be located, and where Kadesh Barnea is. We will also tie these concepts into eschatology in the past, present, and future, and how they relate to the second coming of Yeshua at the end of the birth-pains.

We know from Scripture that there are three mountains of God: Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, and Mount Sinai. Most people are familiar with Mount Sinai and that’s the one we are going to take a look at. What most people don’t realize is that it will relate to the second coming of Yeshua, so we need to know where Sinai is located if we can.

There are several books that have been published over the years stating that they have found Mount Sinai. For instance, there is “The Sinai Myth” by Larry Williams, and “The Gold of the Exodus” by Howard Blum. People were flocking to these books because people are attracted to anything new and controversial. Many believe that the children of Israel were in the Nile Delta, left to go around the northern end of the Gulf of Suez, then down to the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula, then crossed the Gulf of Aqaba, over to Mount Sinai in northwestern Arabia. We will see that this route is impossible according to Scripture, but the location of Mount Sinai may be accurate.

What we are going to find out in the story of the Exodus is that it will relate to the coming of the Messiah, and it will relate to the False Messiah as well. We will also see a horror story. Some say the Exodus never happened and we will look at what they say. But we will also see what really happened in Egypt and the journey to Sinai.

To be fair, most of what is presented in these books is not evidence and so their conclusions will have to be proven, but we will see the general areas where these events happened and the general area where Mount Sinai is located at least. A particular mountain called Jabal Al Lawz is a good candidate. We will also look at where Kadesh Barnea is, where Miriam is buried. Aaron is buried on Mount Hor near Petra. The premise for how this will relate to the coming of Yeshua is found in Ecc 1.9 where it says, “That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done.”

There are some facts and myths surrounding the Exodus, and we are going to try to sort out and settle some of these. The Red Sea goes into two prongs around the Sinai peninsula. Then we have Lower and Upper Egypt. The Faiyum in middle Egypt was where Joseph was, and Goshen (draw near) is in the Faiyum and was where Jacob settled. Many questions have been raised by scholars, and some say that the Exodus never occurred because there is “No evidence of a Jewish presence.” These scholars will say they found Kadesh Barnea (holy wilderness of wandering) where the ten spies were sent out. Israel lived there for 38 years and they say, “But where are the bodies of those who died?” But the issue is, they are not looking in the right place for Kadesh Barnea, and they have the wrong time because they do not believe the word of God and it leads these scholars into blindness. We will see where Kadesh Barnea is, and by what name it is known by today, and where Israel lived. The interesting fact is, many people have seen this place because it has been in many Hollywood movies.

We know that Israel was in Egypt about 210 years and an estimated 1.5 million people came out (600,000 in the army alone). But where is the evidence that they were there? Are there buildings and graves? Scholars teach the traditional route route of the Exodus to Kadesh Barnea, and we have mentioned this earlier. There are many articles on the presence of Israel in Egypt and not much evidence has been found there, say the scholars. They say all this occurred from 1250 to 1200 BC, but David reigned around 1000 BC, so where is the evidence they say? As a result, they conclude the Exodus is a myth. But what do the Scriptures say? In Gen 15 we have what is called the “Covenant between the Halves.” From Abraham and the covenant it was 220 years, and from the covenant to the departure from Egypt it was 210 years. Gal 3.13 says it was 430 years to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Looking at all that we have studied, they were in Egypt about 210 years, and they were slaves for about 80 years.

In Part II we will begin with discussing where Joseph was and some significant evidence for his presence, the Faiyum where he lived in middle Egypt, and give a timeline from the time Joseph was sold to the Exodus, and much more.

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

Was Yeshua Against the Torah and the Temple?

The plain, simple answer to this in “No.” That would have made him a false teacher. But we do know that false witnesses claimed that Stephen was against these things in Acts 6.13-14, and he was killed because of his testimony about Yeshua. These false witnesses accused him of teaching against the Torah and the Temple. They accused him of saying that Yeshua came to alter the customs of Moses. The key part of this is they are false witnesses. Stephen was a Hellenistic Jew who was Torah observant (Acts 6.1-5). To say otherwise is a false statement. To bring a false accusation against Stephen that he was against the Torah and the Temple means that he was in compliance with these things. This is a strange testimony for the first “Christian” martyr! The fact is, any teacher that tells you that Yeshua came to “do away with the Torah and the Temple” and he instructed his followers to do the same is a false witness. They are no different than those who rose up against Stephen. If one listens to or attends an assembly that teaches this, they are a part of a false witness against the Messiah. John had strong words against this when he said in 1 John 2.3-4, “And by this, we know that we have come to know him (in a redemptive way), if we keep his commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know him (in a redemptive way)’ and does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Then there are some who will say, “Didn’t Paul keep the Torah just to win people to Christ?” Well, that would make Paul a hypocrite and he rebuked Peter for that in Gal 2.11-14. Paul kept the Torah and taught it to others because that was what he was supposed to do, as his reasonable service to Yehovah. He kept the Sabbath, went to the festivals, performed animal sacrifices, and even had a Nazarite Vow (Acts 18.18, 21.15-26). He taught the Torah to non-Jews who believed in Yeshua, not just to Jewish people (1 Cor 11.1-2; Acts 16.21; 2 Thes 2.15, 3.6). There was a rumor about Paul started by false witnesses that he was not keeping the Torah, but it was shown to be a false rumor (Acts 21.15-26, 24.14-17).

There are also some who teach that the unclean animals in Lev 11 and Deut 14 can be eaten now, but that is because they misunderstand some of the Scriptures, like Acts 10, for instance. Peter sees a vision which showed him that the non-Jews were not to be considered unclean, and that is the conclusion Peter came to in Acts 10.28. The purpose of the vision was about bringing the Basar to the non-Jews, which was contrary to the 18 Edicts of Beit Shammai, which first-century Jews followed for the most part. These edicts were passed about 50 years earlier to separate Jews from non-Jews, but these edicts did not come from Yehovah and were totally done away with sometime before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD by Beit Hillel who took control of the Sanhedrin. This vision was not about food, but about people.

Mark 7 describes an incident with Yeshua and his talmidim. The issue there was not about eating kosher food, but about a rabbinical ordinance that said if you ate kosher food (they would not have eaten anything else) without going through a ceremonial hand-washing ritual ordained by the Pharisees of Beit Shammai, the food they ate was unclean. Yeshua said that eating food without a ritual hand-washing ceremony did not make the food unclean, thus the kosher foods they ate remained clean. This was a ritual question that put him at odds against some Pharisees from Beit Shammai and their man-made doctrines of the time.

Yeshua said that he did not come to do away with the Torah or the Prophets in Matt 5.17-19, and that statement alone should do away with this whole question. Now, if you think that Yeshua did come to do away with the Torah, you better not study prophecy either because he did away with that, too, according to these verses. Obviously, prophecy has not been done away with, and neither has the Torah. To teach otherwise is putting yourself in direct conflict with the Messiah.

Another misunderstood Scripture can be found in 1 Tim 4.1-5. False teachers will say that all food, including the unpermitted foods in Lev 11 and Deut 14, can be eaten now if it is eaten in gratitude. But is that what it is saying? The answer to this can be found in verse 5 where it says, “for it (the food) is set apart by means of the word of God (the clean foods set aside to eat in Lev 11 and Deut 14) and prayer (the blessings before and after it is eaten-Matt 14.19; Deut 8.10). This has nothing to do with eating food like pork, shrimp, catfish, or anything that is forbidden in those chapters.

We know that Yeshua was without sin, and the knowledge of what sin is found in the Torah, and sin is the transgression of the Torah (Rom 3.20; 1 John 3.4). So, therefore, Yeshua did not sin because he was Torah observant and would not have been against the Torah or the Temple.

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What Is Effectual Prayer in Jam 5.16

“Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effectual prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Everyone wants to have effective prayer, but can we know how to do it? We believe we can and will present some insight into how we can have effectual prayer. This verse begins with saying that we should confess our sins to one another, but it does not mean we are to tell others what our sins are. It means if we have sinned against someone or offended them we should seek to reconcile with them and ask for forgiveness. Notice this verse also says the “effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” What is a “righteous man?” It is one who has a Torah-based faith in Yeshua and has the righteousness of God. What righteousness is can defined in the Torah.

The followers of Yeshua asked him to teach them how to pray. Why? Because they saw he had effectual results, so he goes into what has been called the “Lord’s Prayer.” This is not an “original” prayer because it can be found in many of the typical Jewish prayers of the time. It was a model prayer and that means we should pray as the Scriptures teach us. This prayer sums up the major themes of what true prayer is. This also shows us, contrary to what many teach today, that Jews were not “hypocrites” because they did not know what to say. Their prayers were fine, and Yeshua used them in his “model prayer.” The problem was not with words, or the form, or the content, or the petitions necessarily. All of that was how it should have been. The problem was that some did not pray with sincerity and truth. There was no repentance or faith. The best prayer is useless if it doesn’t express the true intentions of the heart, intentions, and desires. The Lord looks at the heart and judges any prayer by the faith with which it was offered. Any Jewish person who heard Yeshua pray this model prayer would have agreed with its contents and would have found it to be acceptable.

However, there is a warning to praying the same words over and over again, thinking much repetition will gain favor. This was the mentality of some people in a book called the “Didache” which is a second-generation Christian writing and “catechism” dealing with Christian ethics. This book says that the Lord’s Prayer should be said three times a day like Jewish prayers. This carries the tendency to turn prayer into a performance instead of the language of faith, love, and thankfulness. Prayer is a real dependence on Yehovah. That is the true essence of prayer, but the form and content, no matter how orthodox, is worthless if the heart is not humble before the Lord and if the prayer is not the true utterance and expression of the person’s heart. Yeshua’s prayers were effective and that is why his followers asked to “teach us to pray.”

Look at how the Mishkan, or Tabernacle, was constructed. It starts with the Ark of the Covenant and works its way outward in Exo 40. This is how God sees us. It is as if he is in the Holy of Holies looking “out” if you will. The Mishkan was a House of Prayer and how it was constructed gives us a clue to effective prayer. But, when you approach the Mishkan from the outside going in, the Lord gives us a lesson on how to approach him.

The Mishkan in Hebrew means “a dwelling presence” and it is where the Shekinah, Kivod, and the Ruach Ha Kodesh manifested. You can see the root for “Shekinah” (or “shki’nah”) in the word “Mishkan.” It was called the House of Kedusha and Prayer, just like all the succeeding Temples were. In Exo 25.8 God showed the “tavnit” or blueprint of the Mishkan and that was where he would dwell among his people. The presence of God moved from Sinai to the Mishkan and it moved with the people when they entered Canaan because they could not go all the to Sinai anymore. Moses is given the pattern for everything connected with the Mishkan and its construction. Then in Exo 40 he tells Moses to set up the Mishkan and tells him how to do it. In a way, that is how the Lord sees us. If he is in the Holy of Holies looking out, that is how the Mishkan was set up, from the inside out. That is how he sets up his “mishkan” in us, from the inside first, then working outward. But, when we approach the Lord in prayer it is just the opposite. Coming into his presence (“shki’nah”), the first thing you encounter is the veil at the door and an anointed priest, a picture of Yeshua. Then we come to the altar, a type of the cross. Then we have the Kior (laver) which held water, a type of the word of God (Eph 5.26), where we wash our hands and our feet daily after walking in a corrupt world. Moving past the Kior we enter the Mishkan. On the north side, which alludes to the intellect, we have the Shulchan Ha Lechem Ha Pannim, or the bread of the faces, which speaks of provision not only spiritually but physically. On the south side, which alludes to faith, we have the Menorah, which speaks of bearing the light of understanding. In the middle before the veil, we have the Mizbeach Shell Zahav, or the golden altar of incense, speaking of prayer. Then we have the veil, and behind the veil, we have the Aron Kodesh or the Holy Ark of the Covenant where God’s commandments await you. All of these speak of the Messiah. This is how we come to the Lord, not only in salvation but daily

Most people have no problem coming into the Mishkan, and encountering the priest and the altar. They have no problem with the Kior which symbolizes the word of God and a daily washing. They have no problem moving on with the idea of God’s provision of “bread” or the “light” that gives us understanding, or even prayer symbolized by the golden altar of incense, but many stop right there. They have a problem with that “servant” business symbolized by the commandments in the Ark. They will say, “All I need is Jesus (the priest)” or “All I need is back out there on the altar (the cross).” They will say, “I want mercy (the mercy seat on the Ark)” but don’t want what is down there in that box, the commandments. But in the Brit Chadasha, or renewed covenant, it says that the Torah will be written on the heart, desires, intentions, and thoughts of one who is truly born from above as God builds his body into his “mishkan.” For effectual prayer, we must keep the commandments. We should ask ourselves, “Am I following the pattern or blueprint God gave me to approach him in prayer?” Do we follow the pattern given to Moses?

Many people say that following the pattern God gave to Moses (Torah) is “legalism” but Moses had effectual prayers. Elijah followed Moses and he had effectual prayer. Yeshua followed Moses and he had effectual prayer. The Shaliachim (apostles) followed Moses and they had effectual prayer. Paul followed Moses (Acts 21.15-26, 24.14) and he had effectual prayer. What some call “legalism” God calls “obedience.” So, for effectual prayer ask yourself, “How is my mishkan set up?” When things don’t go right and our prayers seem unanswered, we need to ask ourselves, “Are things set up according to the pattern?” “Is everything in order and set up in the right place, with nothing missing?” We should ask ourselves, “Have I come to the door and encountered the priest Yeshua?” “Have I come to the altar of the cross with the right sacrifice?” “Have I got bread on the table?” “Have I got the proper light of understanding shining on my Menorah?” “Am I praying correctly and have the proper incense at the altar of incense?” “Have I got the commandments in my heart (Ark)?” For effectual prayer, start looking at these things and see if we are approaching the Lord according to the pattern he has set up. If everything is in order, then wait on the Lord. He has promised to speak to us “between the wings of the cherubim” on the Ark (Exo 25.22).

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What is the Law of Liberty in Jam 1.25 and 2.12

This is another verse that has been misinterpreted by many teachers. Simply put, the “law of liberty” is another name for the Torah commands found in what is called the Tanak (Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim). That was the only Scripture all the writers of the Gospels and Epistles knew. Every doctrine they taught could be backed up in the Tanak. The word “Torah” means “instruction, guidance and teaching” and it is translated in English as “law.” But it should be understood in the sense of “teaching” or “guidance.” Now, what does “liberty” mean? The Torah and its commandments have always been seen by believers as liberty (1 John 5.3). In Exo 32.16 we have an allusion to this concept of freedom where it says that God “engraved” the tablets given to Moses with his own hand. The Hebrew word for engraved is “charut” but it has the same root in Hebrew as the word for freedom, which is “cherut.” In Psa 119.45 it says “I will walk at liberty for I seek they precepts.” Psa 119 is written in a poetical style that has 22 sections, one each for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Each section has eight verses that begin with each succeeding letter, beginning with “aleph.” This goes from aleph to tav (the last letter), which symbolizes the word of God. Each verse of Psa 119 (176 verses) mentions the commandments. So there is no doubt what the writer had in mind when he wrote “precepts.”

What James had in mind was the Torah when he wrote 1.25 and 2.12. He said that in everything we say and everything we do, we are to keep in mind that we will be judged according to the Torah. It has not been done away with or replaced as some teach. To say that the law has been done away with is like saying “teaching from God has been done away with.” Sunday has not replaced the Sabbath as the Lord’s Day, we cannot eat pork, lobster, shrimp, catfish, scorpions, frogs, or any of the unclean creatures listed in Lev 11; we cannot hate our neighbor but love him through our actions; we cannot commit adultery or worship or possess idols or graven images of God (Deut 4.15-19) and so on. We are to obey the Torah as it applies to whoever you are (1 Cor 7.17-19). We have seen people picket a restaurant because they found a roach in their food. They were outraged and wanted monetary compensation, and yet those very same people will go out and pay ten dollars a pound for a lobster. Both creatures are “arthropods” and perform the same basic function on the earth. The lobster has been called the “roach of the sea” by some.

The point is, if one follows the Torah you wouldn’t eat either one, and that truth sets you free. Civil or criminal law to a criminal is an enemy because it restricts him. He cannot carry out his criminal behavior without problems if he gets caught. But to a law-abiding citizen, that same law is an assurance of peace, safety, and security, and it ensures freedom. It is the same thing with a spiritual law found in the Torah. The “spiritual criminal” (called “lawless” in Matt 7.23; 1 John 3.4) wants to throw off the Torah and God’s law because it binds him, it restricts him, he is not free to carry out what he wants to do. He wants to work on Saturday and make money; he wants to eat pork and lobster and unclean creatures because he likes them. He wants to get even with his neighbor, curse his rulers, celebrate pagan festivals, and has idols in his possession or congregation because he is a law unto himself.

But, the one who believes in the Torah can walk in liberty because he is free from spiritual anarchy. He loves the commandments because he is free to serve the Lord. He knows what is sin and what is not because the Torah defines what sin is (Rom 3.20). When people tell the story of the Exodus they always quote Moses as telling Pharaoh, “Let my people go” but they forget the rest of what he told him. He said, “Let my people go (literally “send my people out”) that they may serve me.” Their freedom was given to them so they could go to Mount Sinai and receive the Torah (instruction) and serve the Lord as his people. Spiritually, it is the same today. We are set free by the blood of the Lamb and we go to Mount Sinai to receive instruction (Torah) on how we are to serve the Lord. Most so-called believers want to go around Sinai right into the promised land, but it doesn’t work that way.

How the Torah sets us free and why it is called the “law of liberty” can be described like this. Yeshua said, “The truth shall set you free.” And we know that the Torah is truth (Psa 119.160; John 17.17-26). If truth sets free, then error binds. We don’t worry about a lot of false teachers or doctrines out there. If someone tells me that the law has been done away with, I know they are wrong and I am free. If someone tells me that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, I know that is wrong because the Scriptures tell me otherwise, so I am free from wondering about who is right. When someone tells me I can eat whatever I want, I can go to the Scriptures and see if it is true or not. Again I am free because I will find out who is right on that point. When I am confronted with paganism and idolatry, I can go to the Torah and check out what God says about it, again “free.” We can save ourselves a lot of time, money, and heartache by filtering the teachings of so many through the Torah and the other Scriptures, and become free. We have not reached where we should be, but when one is delivered from bondage by the blood of the Lamb, make sure we stop at Mount Sinai to receive our instruction (Torah, teaching). And as we travel through this wilderness on our way to the promised land of the Olam Haba, we are free to serve the Lord.

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

1 Cor 11.1-16 and Head Coverings

There seems to be a lot of confusion about this practice in a Torah-based faith in Yeshua, so we are going to give some concepts on this subject, not only concerning men’s head coverings but also women’s. We are going to go to 1 Cor 11.1-16 for instruction to get the whole context about this as far as a believer in Yeshua is concerned. Many have seen Jewish men wearing a “kippah” or “Yarmulke” and many teach that this is a biblical command, but in reality, there is no biblical command for men to wear a head covering. A kohen or priest was to cover his head while serving in the Temple but that was because he was anointed with the holy anointing oil, but that certainly did not apply to a non-priest. The practice for covering the head is one of those traditions that evolved over the centuries. In the movie called “Fiddler on the Roof” there are comments about wearing a head covering, and when Tevye is asked about its origin he says, “I don’t know.” We have all heard the song from the movie called “Tradition” because that’s what it was, a tradition. The Kippah shape is interesting. Some say it relates back to the practice of idolaters shaving their heads, or “tonsure”, in a circle because they were sun worshipers. Some Christian denominations have a history of sun worship and they wear head coverings in the shape of a “sun disk” and the modern kippah is patterned after that. But, like Tevye, they would have to say when asked about its origin, “I don’t know.” So, let’s look at what Paul says and let’s put it into a first-century, biblical, Jewish context because that is where he was coming from.

In 1 Cor 11, he begins to comment about the proper relationship between a husband and a wife in public worship in regard to authority and influence. Being a Greek city, these non-Jewish believers were heavily influenced by its surrounding culture and traditions. Paul is trying to teach the Corinthians about the Torah and how to walk in the Scriptures, which was totally different from the culture and thought processes they had come out of and were familiar with. That is why he starts out in Chapter 11 by exhorting them to follow him because he follows Yeshua. We know that Yeshua followed the Torah so that means Paul followed the Torah and he tells the Corinthians to follow the Torah. He praises them because they follow the traditional and biblical concepts he has taught them so far. He then gives the spiritual application of what he is about to teach them in v 3 and it is the verse that is the basis on how v 4-16 should be interpreted. He says Messiah is the head (of influence) over the man, and the man is the head (of influence) over his wife and God is the head (of influence) over the Messiah. What he is basically saying is that he, Paul, is not the “head (of influence).” He has already clarified that fact in 1 Cor 1.11-17. So he gives a basic spiritual hierarchy and then begins to deal with a problem in the congregations there. In v 4 he says that any man who has his “head (of influence)” covered (by any other man or institution) disgraces his head (of influence), who is Yeshua. We are not to follow after or submit to any man-made authority that violates what the Lord has already said (Acts 5.29).

In v 5 he goes on to say that any woman (wife) who has her head uncovered (by ignoring her husband’s head of influence as specified in v 3) disgraces her head (her husband) and she is like one who “shaves her head”, and he is referring to the practice of prostitutes who shaved their hair off. In other words, she is like a spiritual prostitute because she has “cut off” her spiritual covering. As you can see, Paul is teaching Torah concepts on how a husband and a wife relate to one another, especially in regard to public worship (praying, prophesying, teaching). He says that for a wife to shave her head literally would be disgraceful, so it is also disgraceful to “shave her head spiritually” by going against her husband’s authority and head of influence.

In v 7 he says that it is disgraceful for a man to have his head covered (by any authority or institution other than Messiah, his head of influence) since he is the image of God and the woman is the glory of her husband. This is because the woman came from man and was created for his sake. Therefore a wife should have her husband as her head of influence. He goes on to say that this is done “because of the angels” and he is referring to the fact that some of them weren’t satisfied with their place and tried to usurp the authority that was not given to them, and they fell. So it is a warning about going against God-given authority, especially in a family. In v 13 he says that we are to judge ourselves as to whether it is proper for a wife to pray to God by going against her husband (being uncovered). He says that even nature itself teaches us that if a man has long hair he dishonors himself because it was seen as effeminate in the first century, but if a woman does it is a glory to herself. In a spiritual sense, it is the same way. A husband who covers himself with any man-made institution or authority (long hair) dishonors Messiah, but a wife who covers herself with her God-given “covering” (her husband) is doing the right thing because her glory (husband) was given to her, just like her hair in a natural sense. Her hair is a built-in “badge” of her femininity. Paul concludes this teaching by saying that if anyone wants to argue about what he is saying “don’t bother” because there is no other practice in the congregations.

So, in short, Paul is not teaching about literal head coverings. There are no Torah teachings about that. But there are plenty of teachings in the Scriptures about how a husband and a wife are to relate to one another (Gen 2.16; Num 30.1-16 for instance), especially in a congregational setting, and that is what he is talking about in 1 Cor 11. Evidently, the Corinthians were having some issues in this area very similar to what we experience in this culture today, because our Western culture is based on Greek thought as opposed to Hebraic thought, and few husbands and wives today are taught God’s ways in the Torah. So, it was the same back then. These people were coming out of a Torah-less (lawless) society and Paul had to teach them the “traditions” (Greek “paradosis” or “tradition by instruction based on the Torah-“1 Cor 11.2).

These principles hold true today. A man is not to have any spiritual institution or authority as his head of influence over him other than Messiah and the Word of God, and his wife should place herself under his authority as her head of influence and not rebel against his leadership in a spiritual or congregational setting. Now if she believes he is wrong, she can submit him to his head of influence (Messiah) in prayer and let God deal with him. David did the same thing to Saul (David’s head of influence) when he said he would let God judge between them, but David was not going to lift his hand against Saul because he (Saul) was David’s head of influence as king and was placed there by God. This subject can bring up all kinds of scenarios, but that is the basic instruction Paul is giving to the Corinthians and it has nothing to do with literal head coverings. If one wants to pray with their head literally covered or uncovered, that is a personal preference and should not be imposed on others.

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