The Aviv Controversy

With all the different reports and chaos and confusion this year over the barley reports my husband and I were forced to put our lives on hold and look into this. It was weighing on our minds so we decided to get to the bottom mode. Prior to this controversy the Father was speaking to me personally about the responsibility that I have to understand what I believe and why so as to be able to point out where it is and explain it to someone else. This forces me out of the passivity of simply waiting for leadership or for a ministry to tell me what I should do.
This indeed seems to be a test and a battle between good and evil this year. And it comes down to discerning the Ruoch Kodesh and leaning on him heavily during this time of dissension between the different reports.
The Father was gracious enough to my husband and I to paint a path through His word which made it clear for us which way to go having every step proven in His word. We hope that this will bring some clarity and shalom to you as well. If you do not agree no hard feelings for we must all be responsible for ourselves and our conscience and fully persuaded in our own minds. 
We will be starting our new year this month and celebrating Passover and unleavened bread as well. It is not our intent to pressure or Bible thump anyone. And we could be wrong. But we have found shalom at this time. 
May His Spirit lead and guide for His honor and glory. Make His truth come out and may He be lifted up.
Rest assured we are willing to hear scripturally and agriculturally based and possibly historical-based constructive criticism though we will be very skeptical of any evidence relying solely on tradition and the rabbinic laws, or any method that used tools that the children of Israel did not have in the wilderness or from the beginning of man and Yahs calendar.
The Aviv Controversy
Exodus and Deuteronomy explain that the beginning of the years started with the month of the Abib. Exodus 12:1-2 “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” 13:4;23:15; 34:18; Deut. 16:1. 
Scripture has shown the months to begin with the siting of the new moon. “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God.” Num. 10:10This is study in itself. Here are some basics in scripture. Genesis 1:14; Isaiah 66:23; Psalms 104:19; Numbers 28:11-15; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Ezekiel 46:1, 3, 6; Colossians 2:16.
We believe scripture lines out as follows for determining the Aviv barley and the beginning of the new year and the ability to have the amount needed for the wave offering. Since the beginning of the year must correlate with the state of the Aviv and the siting of the new moon then I’ll start there. One must be able to determine if the barley is in a state where if plucked and cast into the fire it would be edible at the time. “If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads.” Lev.2:14. If so then by default it will be to the fully mature stage needed at Passover. 
When it comes to harvesting the barley it helps to compare Deut. 16:9 and Lev. 23:15 side by side and let them fill in the missing details in one another. Then you can get a complete picture of when the harvest commences. 
From when the sickle commences on the standing grain you will begin to count seven weeks.” Deut. 16.9 
“And you shall count from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day you bring the sheaf of waving; they will be seven complete Sabbaths.” Lev. 23:15
This seems to be the time scripture explains when the sickle is laid to the grain for the wave offering collected at Passover. Then the harvest can commence. The following seven weeks to Pentecost is sufficient time to get it all in with none going to waste. But this count could not be possible without really understanding where the count begins. That’s why the father has these two witnesses as to where the count should start, I.e. when the sickle is lain to the grain and when the wave offering has been given.
Historically it appears this is how it used to be. Harvest of barley was usually in the months of March or April. Harvest didn’t commence until the first of the first fruits was harvested. (1.) Until then no one could eat the barley. Lev:23:14. Not even the animals. I have not done the research to see where this transitioned. However studying the history of the barley process when the sickle is used to harvest in the Aviv stage often they will let the harvested grain lie and continue drying to it’s full maturity and wait for any that is not ready to catch up. Harvesting in this way sped up the results 2 to 3 weeks sooner than the modern process with machinery. With the new harvesting machines you have to wait till the entire field is fully mature or else the machines destroy the crops and much is lost. (2). (3).
The last stage on the right that are circled were seen on March 7. 2 to 3 weeks is sufficient time for full maturity to happen. If there is a sufficient amount of this Aviv barley, enough to make the waive offering in three weeks at Passover, then Aviv barley can be declared as well as the new year. 
There are those that say the entire field has to be Aviv at the new moon but this can’t be found in Scripture. It just makes reference to the scriptures about Egypt’s plagues that the barley was ruined around Passover. And that’s perfectly fine because that’s when it needed to be in the maturing state. The last three stages are susceptible to decimation by bad weather. All you have to be sure of is finding enough Aviv at the new moon for the first grain offering knowing that the rest of the grain is not too far behind. Not all of the fields will mature at the same time in all the various places. But the fields that develop quicker than the others are the logical choice to use for finding Aviv. There’s nothing wrong with evaluating these fields first. It just becomes a problem if there is outright manipulation of fields and planting to get an earlier year for various reasons.
More importantly, if there is first fruit grain that is harvestable when Passover comes around and it is passed up simply because all the fields in Israel are not ready then sadly the first fruits will die and not be available the 6 1/2 weeks later. Scripture warns against delaying the harvest. 29 “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.” Ex.22:29.If the first fruit is dead how can we deliver the first of the first fruits as commanded in Scripture? It would no longer be first fruits but would have to be taken from the fields that develops later on and therefore does not fit the stipulations.
If these rules are followed and the first of the month comes and there is no Aviv anywhere to be found of significant size for the appropriate waive offering amount of an Omer, the process is then put on hold until examination of next month around the new moon.
In summation, one does not need to find entire fields of Aviv at the beginning of the month to declare Aviv. To fulfill the commands one simply needs to find enough barley that will be the right size and maturity for the Passover for the wave offering as commanded. Then after the offering has been made harvesting can commence in Israel and in personal fields throughout the land and the prohibition of waiting to eat it is lifted. There are seven weeks between Passover and Pentecost to finish harvesting of barley, wheat, oats, and such. 
There is no place where the scriptures say there are a certain number of months. But there are seasons heavily reliant on the agricultural cycle and the lights in the heavens. The Gregorian calendar and Jewish calendar wants to stick to a controlled number of months. But the biblical calendar is dependent on the Father of the rain, sun, moon and their effects on the harvests. We must choose faith in our Heavenly Father and the creator of it all, or mans understandings, traditions and calculations to feel a false sense of security.
Here are the positive reports of finding Aviv in Israel and helpful discussions about the reports and other reports if you want to research both sides.https://www.abibofgod.com/abib-reports-2019?fbclid=IwAR0BFbosRD-A8VyqER6cKIDAhGRh7F4kiZZoFXtW3Ij5UFyGt2hNt-Xo-68 
On a side note much of the chaos and confusion about Aviv this year came about because Devorah Gordon publicly attacked the main positive report findings based on a misunderstanding with some of their photos which were wheat not barley. They were comparing domestic vs. wild fields while also looking for Aviv. But she said it wasn’t Aviv since there were wheat photos. It caused a huge problem and fight online. Her post is still very active with comments. They said that Devorah never got in touch with him personally to ask questions about the photos for the report and still hasn’t. And then she wrote a final public report in her attempt to discredit these findings. This is highly suspicious and dishonoring behavior. “You will know them by their fruits.” Here is her report. 
And here is the reply to her accusations. 
And she made a final report ignoring the explanations, taking his words out of context, and removing the links I and another lady put in of the inspectors explanations in her thread to people’s questions.
Each discern for himself but I have noticed a growing concern among the body of Messiah about Nehemiah’s group. Author Bailey eluded to these issues too in recent Aviv controversy teachings. Nehemiah and his group have been in charge for many years and are now dealing with the fact that they are loosing aspects of authority and control, some surrendered or transferred, and some lost as a result of character issues that have surfaced: i.e. refusal to acknowledge Yeshua is the Messiah, using Torah pearls to explain away where glimpses of the messiah can be seen in the OT with tradition and rabbinic law, pride and now slander. And they are definitely teamed up with Micheal Rood and his hyped up show which have shown similar fruits of bullying, pride and stubbornness, even fruits of being a false prophet.Not trying to gossip, just warn and ask you to keep a sharp eye out and follow the Ruoch’s leading. 
Thank you for hearing us out. Much love. We miss you all and you are in our prayers,
The Franks
Sources that contributed to these findings:
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Priests, Ritual Cleanliness, Animal Sacrifice, and a Temple by Chris Gordon

Christians, including Messianics and Hebrew Roots folks, seem to have a million different opinions about the role of the Levitical system, with its rituals, sacrifices, temple, and regulations, in the future of God’s kingdom. The prevailing theme among them is that something, if not everything about these things has been abolished or changed for eternity as a result of the work of Christ. It is always the book of Hebrews that they point to for this claim. I have yet to find a resource that addresses the issue in a way I find satisfactory, so I have taken it upon myself to create one using Scripture and logic in accordance with its proper language, history, and context. I think you’ll find it’s not as complicated as everybody likes to turn it into.

In order to prevent reader confusion, I think it is best for me to lay out all my main points in advance, and then explain and expound upon them afterward. Otherwise it seems to be far too easy to assume I’m trying to say something that I am not while I am explaining my points.

  1. The prophets have indicated that the temple and corresponding Levitical system will be re-established in the end days, and carry into the “world to come” (Messianic Era).
  2. Messiah’s work changed absolutely nothing about the Levitical system (or any other part of the Torah). The Levitical system is part of the “jots and tittles” Messiah said would not pass away until heaven and earth are destroyed.
  3. The Levitical system is merely a shadow of what goes on in heaven (the “Melchizedek” system, if you will). It is designed to help illustrate God’s plans and process for redemption to us.
  4. Levitical sacrifices only cover sin for ritual purposes, to remind us of our role in our walk with God. That role is faith, obedience, and repentance.
  5. The Levitical system is not and has never been an engine of salvation. Animal sacrifices never forgave sin, and were never intended to do so.
  6. Our roles have not changed, and thus neither has the role of the Levitical system.
  7. Ritual cleanliness is only relevant in the context of temple activities; there’s no need to worry about it outside of that context. This is often misunderstood.
  8. Sacrifices will not be reinstated until God’s Levitical system and the temple are reestablished.
  9. Paul participated in the Levitical system, including animal sacrifice, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah.

Note: In this study I use The Institute for Scriptural Research “The Scriptures”translation because I like the way it leaves God’s name in tact rather than rendering it as “LORD”, in addition to a few other simple changes in name rendering and the way it renders a few key theological terms to be more literal. If you take issue with the nature of this translation, you can look these passages up in just about any English translation and find they say the same things.

The prophets have indicated that the temple and corresponding Levitical system will be re-established in the end days, and carry into the “world to come” (Messianic Era).

Isaiah 66 is an example of this. The full local context is Is 66:8-24. Here is an excerpt:

Isa 66:18-23

(18)  “And I, because of their works and their imaginations, am coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My esteem.

(19)  “And I shall set a sign among them, and shall send some of those who escape to the nations – Tarshish and Pul and Luḏ, who draw the bow, and Tuḇal and Yawan, the coastlands afar off who have not heard My report nor seen My esteem. And they shall declare My esteem among the gentiles.

(20)  “And they shall bring all your brothers as an offering to יהוה out of all the gentiles, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My set-apart mountain Yerushalayim,” declares יהוה, “as the children of Yisra’ĕl bring an offering in a clean vessel into the House of יהוה.

(21)  “And from them too I shall take for priests – for Lĕwites,” declares יהוה.

(22)  “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make stand before Me,” declares יהוה, “so your seed and your name shall stand.

(23)  “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares יהוה.

So not only is the Levitical system being re-established, but He is taking obedient gentiles to become Levites! You may think that this passage contradicts my point, but it does not. He could have said, “priests,” and left it at that. But He said “Levites.” If the Levitical system is gone forever, why would God be taking gentiles “for Levites”? And what exactly would a priest’s function be without a Levitical system? There would essentially be no previously defined purpose for them! Sacrifices are what biblical priests do!

Zechariah 14 is another example. I recommend reading chapters 8-14 for context. Here is an excerpt:

Zec 14:16-21

(16)  And it shall be that all who are left from all the gentiles which came up against Yerushalayim, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign,יהוה of hosts, and to observe the Festival of Booths.

(17)  And it shall be, that if anyone of the clans of the earth does not come up to Yerushalayim to bow himself to the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts, on them there is to be no rain.

(18)  And if the clan of Mitsrayim does not come up and enter in, then there is no rain. On them is the plague with which יהוה plagues the gentiles who do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.

(19)  This is the punishment of Mitsrayim and the punishment of all the gentiles that do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.

(20)  In that day “SET-APART TO יהוה” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. And the pots in the House of יהוה shall be like the bowls before the altar.

(21)  And every pot in Yerushalayim and Yehuḏah shall be set-apart to יהוה of hosts. And all those who slaughter shall come and take them and cook in them. And there shall no longer be a merchant in the House of יהוה of hosts, in that day.

So if God in the Messianic Era is requiring the nations to observe the Festival of Booths (or “Tabernacles”, “Sukkot” or סכות in Hebrew), how is one to do that without Levitical priests, a temple in Jerusalem, and animal sacrifices? Look at Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29. Numbers 29 in particular has a long list of what sacrifices are to be offered on each day of the festival. There clearly is no separating them from the festival.

The Zechariah passage (above) even speaks of the altar and “those who sacrifice.” Friends, He’s not talking about the “altar” at the front of your local church. The only times the Scriptures ever speak of an altar is when speaking of the tabernacle/temple, or of the pagan “high places.” In both circumstances, the whole purpose of the altar is for animal sacrifice. There’s simply no way around it in this passage.

Messiah’s work changed absolutely nothing about the Levitical system (or any other part of Torah). The Levitical system is part of the “jots and tittles” Messiah said would not pass until heaven and earth are destroyed.

Mat 5:17-19

(17)  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.

(18)  “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.

(19)  “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.

“But see in my translation He said, ‘fulfill’! The Levitical system has been fulfilled, so it no longer applies!”

Since when is fulfilling something the equivalent to destroying it, or making it irrelevant? If your wife asks you not to leave the toilet seat up, and you fulfill her request once, does that mean she will never expect that of you again? I wouldn’t bet on it! Her request was her “Torah”, or “instruction” just as God has His Torah.

Let’s think about this, folks. Even if “fulfill” did imply something being done away with, all has not been fulfilled! Thus, not one jot or tittle has passed! There is no escaping the fact that the Levitical system, with all its ins and outs and little bitty details, is an integral part of the Torah. And thus it must be included amongst the other “jots and tittles.”

(Deu 29:29)  “The secret matters belong to יהוה our Elohim, but what is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, to do all the Words of this Torah.”

Go ahead and do a quick search or concordance look-up in the KJV for “for ever”, and notice how many times it is speaking directly of a Levitical sacrificial ordinance! The Hebrew term is לעולם (“l’olam”), Strong’s #5769. If God says something is forever, does He mean what He says?

The Levitical system is merely a shadow of what goes on in heaven (the “Melchizedek” system, if you will). It is designed to help illustrate God’s plans and process for redemption to us.

This is where people get hung up in Hebrews, but if you reexamine the text in light of my points, I think you’ll see how it all fits together.

Heb 8:3-5

(3)  For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and slaughters. So it was also necessary for this One to have somewhat to offer.

(4)  For if indeed He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the Torah,

(5)  who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly, as Mosheh was warned when he was about to make the Tent. For He said, “See that you make all according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

There are several things to notice about what the author is saying here. He is saying that Messiah is not a priest on earth, and the reason given is because there are alreadypriests who offer gifts in accordance with Torah. He’s talking about the Levitical priests. And he’s saying that Yeshua (Jesus) does not qualify as one. What qualifies someone as a priest? Ex 28:1-3 says that one must be of the sons of Aaron (Moses’s brother, both of the tribe of Levi.) Yeshua (Jesus) is from an entirely different tribe, namely Judah.

Therefore, He does not replace the Levitical high priest; His place is within an entirely different “order” (i.e. Melchizedek. For more info on that, please see The Mystery of Melchizedek @ Psalm11918.org. It is crucial to understanding the issue at large). He makes the point that the Levitical priests serve “a copy and shadow of the heavenly”, and then quotes Exodus:

Exo 25:8-9

(8)  “And they shall make Me a Set-apart Place, and I shall dwell in their midst.

(9)  “According to all that I show you – the pattern of the Dwelling Place and the pattern of all its furnishings – make it exactly so.

According to the author of Hebrews, that “pattern” was a shadow of a heavenly tabernacle, which is the one where the real atonement and forgiveness take place. This is further reinforced in chapter 10:

Heb 10:1-4

(1)  For the Torah, having a shadow of the good matters to come, and not the image itself of the matters, was never able to make perfect those who draw near with the same slaughter offerings which they offer continually year by year.

(2)  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? Because those who served, once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

(3)  But in those offerings is a reminder of sins year by year.

(4)  For it is impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Before I get ahead of myself, I’d better get to the next points.

Levitical sacrifices only cover sin for ritual purposes, to remind us of our role in our walk with God. That role is faith, obedience, and repentance.

Read verse 3 above again. A reminder of sins year by year. Is this not what Scripture is all about? Reminding us of our sins, so that we can turn and repent from them, and move forward in our walk with our Creator?

The Levitical system is not and has never been an engine of salvation. Animal sacrifices never forgave sin, and were never intended to do so.

Read verse 4 above again. Blood of animals cannot take away sin. So why would God have instituted this system in the first place? It certainly wasn’t to forgive sin, because it is impossible for it to forgive sin! Just as verse 3 said, it was created to remind us of our sins, and what we should do about them.

To emphasize the last several points, let me add an excerpt from the Yom Kippur article @ TheMoedim.com:

Atonement

Atonement should not be equated with the payment for the penalty of sin but it, instead, relates to the cleansing of the spiritual uncleanness that is the consequence of sin and death.  Consider these verses:

Exodus 29:37

“For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy, and whatever touches the altar shall be holy.”

Leviticus 16:16

He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.

In these passages the altar and the tabernacle are receiving atonement.

Did the altar sin?  No.

Did the tabernacle sin?  No.

They are, however, unclean as a result of the spiritual impurity associated with sin and death.

The blood of atonement was used to cover and cleanse the spiritual uncleanness of Israel.

Please note that uncleanness does not equal sin.  A woman who gives birth is considered unclean and requires atonement (Leviticus 12:7).

Did she sin by giving birth?  No.

There is, however, uncleanness associated with both birth and death (e.g. Leviticus 11:31, 12:7).

The Hebrew word kippur comes from the word kaphar which means “to cover” 1.  Consider a pair of pants that has become especially dirty.  You would immerse them (cover them) in soap and water in order to remove the stains and the dirt.  In a similar way, the blood of atonement was used to cover and cleanse the spiritual uncleanness of Israel.

Hebrews 10:4 tells us that the blood of bulls and goats will not take away sins.  Numerous passages in the Torah, however, tell us that the blood of bulls and goats will make atonement.  Hebrews 9:22 confirms that almost all things are cleansed with blood (other things are cleansed by immersing them in water or fire).  We should not fall into the trap of equating the removal of the penalty of sin with the removal of the uncleanness that results from sin.

Our roles have not changed, and thus neither has the role of the Levitical system.

As long as we continue to lose focus on God, and slip away from His commandments, there is no less use for a reminder of our sins than there ever was in history, and thus no less use for the Levitical system. And even on the day the Messianic Era begins, and we are all keeping God’s instructions for the first time in human history, we will still need to be reminded of the tribulations of eras past. We will need a memorial of what we all went through, to remember why we can’t go through it again. We also need memorials of God’s wisdom, righteousness, and holiness. In addition to all this, not all sacrifices are for the purpose of sin and death!

Ritual cleanliness is only relevant in the context of temple activities; there’s no need to worry about it outside of that context. This is often misunderstood.

People like to gawk at the concept of having to worry about sitting in the same chair as a woman who is enduring her monthly cycle, and other such seemingly trivial regulations about “cleanliness.” But this is a misapprehension; they are not rules for normal living, but only for approaching the holy objects and rituals. It is only a requirement to interact with the holy things three times a year when all the men of Israel are gathered in Jerusalem for the high holy days. At any other time, it’s optional. Seeing as we don’t have Levitical priests or a temple in Jerusalem, we can’t do this anyway, no matter how much we may want to.

To be clear, there are issues of cleanliness that do not pertain to the ritual system, such as what kinds of animal we eat and not having relations with ones wife during her monthly cycle, both of which are considered to be abominations. We must still abide by these statutes regardless of the availability of the Levitical system and holy setup.

Sacrifices will not be reinstated until God’s Levitical system and the temple are reestablished.

That’s right, no wacky backyard rituals, or any sort of strange cult sacrificing.

Deu 12:13-14

(13)  “Guard yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see,

(14)  except in the place which יהוה chooses, in one of your tribes, there you are to offer your burnt offerings, and there you are to do all that I command you.

Part of what “I command you” is the entirety of the regulations surrounding the Levitical system. Sacrifices, the Levitical system, and the temple location are all totally inseparable. This has been a huge issue throughout the history of Israel. Just do a quick study on the “high places” and you’ll see what I mean.

Can there be a temple somewhere other than Jerusalem?

No. Remember Deu 12:13-14 above. Also:

Deu 12:1-7

(1)  “These are the laws and right-rulings which you guard to do in the land which יהוהElohim of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the soil.

(2)  “Completely destroy all the places where the nations which you are dispossessing served their mighty ones, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.

(3)  “And you shall break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and burn their Ashĕrim with fire. And you shall cut down the carved images of their mighty ones and shall destroy their name out of that place.

(4)  “Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim,

(5)  but seek the place which יהוה your Elohim chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His Name there, for His Dwelling Place, and there you shall enter.

(6)  “And there you shall take your burnt offerings, and your offerings, and your tithes, and the contributions of your hand, and your vowed offerings, and your voluntary offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock.

(7)  “And there you shall eat before יהוה your Elohim, and shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which יהוה your Elohim has blessed you.

1Ki 9:1-3

(1)  And it came to be, when Shelomoh had finished building the House of יהוה and the house of the sovereign, and all the desire of Shelomoh which he was pleased to do,

(2)  that יהוה appeared to Shelomoh the second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibʽon.

(3)  And יהוה said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me. I have set this house apart which you have built to put My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall always be there.

Paul participated in the Levitical system, including animal sacrifice, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah.

Also note that he didn’t even convert until after the resurrection. But yes folks, check it out:

Act 21:23-26

(23)  “So do this, what we say to you: We have four men who have taken a vow.

(24)  “Take them and be cleansed with them, and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah.

(25)  “But concerning the gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should keep themselves from what is offered to idols, and blood, and what is strangled, and whoring.”

(26)  Then Sha’ul took the men on the next day, and having been cleansed with them, went into the Set-apart Place to announce the completion of the days of separation – until the offering should be presented for each one of them.

This is describing a Nazirite vow, as seen in Numbers 6. The end of this vow is a sacrifice. Though Paul was prevented from carrying it out thanks to rabble-rousers, he clearly intended to do so along with his companions. He was doing it to prove that he still kept Torah and was in no way teaching against it, sacrifices and all.

Act 18:18-21

(18)  And Sha’ul, having stayed several days more, having taken leave of the brothers, was sailing for Syria, and Priscilla and Aqulas were with him, having shaved his hair at Kenḥrea, for he had taken a vow.

(19)  And he came to Ephesos, and left them there, but he himself went into the congregation and reasoned with the Yehuḏim.

(20)  And when they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he declined,

(21)  but took leave of them, saying, “I have to keep this coming festival in Yerushalayim by all means, but I shall come back to you, Elohim desiring so.” And he sailed from Ephesos.

Act 20:16

(16)  For Sha’ul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might lose no time in Asia, for he was hurrying to be at Yerushalayim, if possible, on the Day of the Festival of Weeks.

So Paul was adamant about keeping the Feast of Weeks (“shavuot”, שבעת in Hebrew). In Greek this is referred to as “pentecost.” What’s involved at Shavuot? You guessed it– sacrifices! Go back to Lev 23:10-21 and read for yourself!

Hopefully this study shed some light on the subject, and hopefully you found it to be accurate and helpful. Don’t take my word for anything, search the scriptures out for yourself!

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Wine and Alcohol in the Bible

Wine History

Let’s start with a brief history about wine and the process it went through during its creation. Here is one of the traditional, ancient winepresses found in Biblical ancient times and still are being used today, according to BibleWalks.com. 1 (To see the pictures go to the original page.)

They continue to explain, “The typical ancient winepress consists of the following elements:

  • Collection Area – where the grapes are brought from the vineyard- normally a large flat area near the winepress.
  • Treading floor – a large area, normally covered by mosaics, where the grapes are laid and crushed by the feet of the workers, extracting the juice
  •  A small hole in the center of the treading floor – for secondary crushing of the grapes, using a single fixed-screw press. The press squeezed out the must left in the grape skins and stalks after treading. (Thanks for Rafi Frankel for his correction).
  • Optional pole holes on the side of the floor – to provide a shade for the workers”

 

Then the process would move further into the more technical mechanisms of the winepress, as pictured below. (To see the pictures go to the original page.)

The juice would move from the collecting pool into…

  •  “A pipe or canal that lets the grape juice flow down to the pool through the filter
  • A filter hole – to let only the juice flow through, while the grape shell and pits remain in the treading floor
  •  A collecting pool – where the juice is accumulated. It is usually covered by a mosaic floor. The pool is lower than the treading floor, so the juice flows down into the pool.
  •  Steps that lead to the bottom of the pool – used by the workers to collect the juice into jars, and clean the pool
  •  Jars – to store the juice for subsequent fermentation
  • Cool storage area, such as a cave – to store the jars”

 

Research shows that the juice was then put into jars or wineskins to ferment. (More on the wineskins later on.) In fact, science and history has shown that grape juice left by itself for no more than a few days will naturally start to ferment. Therefore to preserve fresh squeezed grape juice from fermenting leads us to our next topic.

Grape Juice History

With a little research into grape juice it seems that until the work of Louis Pasteur in the 1800s, the only way to have grape juice was to drink it immediately after pressing it. Within a few days it naturally starts to ferment as the skin of fruits such as grapes contain fermenting agents.

Then in 1869, “Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch launches the processed fruit juice industry when he successfully pasteurizes Concord grape juice to produce an “unfermented sacramental wine” for fellow church parishioners in Vineland, N.J.”2

“Dr. Welch and his family gathered up 40 pounds of Concords from a trellis in front of their house. In the kitchen of their home, Dr. Welch cooked the grapes for a few minutes, squeezed the juices out with cloth bags, and poured the world’s first fresh Concord grape juice into 12 one quart bottles on the kitchen table.

Dr. Welch then processed his juice by stoppering them with waxed corks and boiling them in water, killing native yeasts that would cause his juice to ferment. This method of preservation was a success, and his use of Louis Pasteur’s theory of pasteurization labels Dr. Welch as the pioneer of processed fruit juices in America. The first Concord grape juice was used on the Communion table at a local Methodist church for sacramental purposes, and most of the first orders for Concord juice came from churches for Communion.”3

This was around the time of the prohibition movement which demonized alcohol so grape juice became a very popular substitute because of this change.

For more information of the history of grape juice and the science behind making wine from grape juice here is a short and interesting video by Zachery Bauer. Alcohol and the Bible; Alcohol and the Bible.

Zachery goes in to the example Yeshua uses in his parable about wineskins (Luke 5:33-39). Like Yeshua usually did He would tie His lessons into a process that would be familiar to His culture and people at that time and easy to relate to. But Zach’s video brought up some points that are downright shocking and offensive to those who have never heard of the perspective of drinking wine could be something other than fresh squeezed or pasteurized grape juice.

To get a Biblical perspective on wine and grape juice in the Bible is the safest and most reliable method for deciding if what Zach claims is Biblical or wrong.

And by the way, Zachery is not condoning drunkenness. He does a follow up short video after receiving questions that led to a need to clarify. Alcohol Comments of Zachery Bauer.

Let us get into the Hebrew and Greek definitions for wine and grape juice, as well as the comparisons between the two.

Wine and Strong Drink Definitions and Comparisons

One of the most common definitions for wine throughout the New Testament is G3631 (concordance number). But when this word is looked up it doesn’t not have a definition by itself in the Greek but references the Hebrew. That word in Hebrew isH3196. Strong’s Concordance definitions says,

“יַיִן

yayin

From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].”

The following key verses with this word being used in its context will help us remember this word better during the rest of our study.

John the Baptist was promised to his parents with commands he must follow closely to fulfill the role God called of him.

LUKE   1:15.  “For he will be great in the sight of the LORD. He must never drink wine (G3631, H3196) or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

John the Baptist must have successfully refrained from these things because Yeshua said the following about him in Mat 11:18-19.

For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine and you say, “He has a demon”; 34 the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard (winebibber), a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!”

An interesting point: if wine was grape juice which does not get one drunk, how could they accuse Yeshua of being a drunkard if he never drank wine/alcohol?

Now for a few references in the Old Testament.

NUMBERS 6:1-4. “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves to the LORD, 3 they shall separate themselves from wine and strong drink; they shall drink no wine vinegar or other vinegar, and shall not drink any grape juice  or eat grapes, fresh or dried)4 All their days as nazirites they shall eat nothing that is produced by the grape-vine, not even the seeds or the skins.”

Ok so the definition for wine in this context is the same Hebrew word found in the New Testament for wine (G3631, H3196). But the strong drink is a new term which means,

“שֵׁכָר

shêkâr

From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: – strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.”

In the New Testament strong drink in Greek means the same thing,

“Of Hebrew origin [H7941]; an intoxicant, that is, intensely fermented liquor: – strong drink.”

But what about the term grape juice? When this is looked up in the Hebrew it means,

“From H8281 in the sense of loosening; maceration, that is, steeped juice: – liquor.”

Maceration according Dictionary.com “a process in winemaking in which the crushed grape skins are left in the juice until they have imparted the desired color or the proper amount of tannins and aroma.” And liquor is different that alcohol though it still contains alcohol. There are a few other verses in the Bible that use this word. Looking at its context and definitions help to distinguish what this liquor or grape juice is.

Exodus 22:29 “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.”

(H1831) “From H1830; a tear; figuratively juice: – liquor.”

Song of Solomon 7:2 “Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth notliquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.”

(H4197) “From an unused root meaning to mingle (water with wine); tempered wine: – liquor.”

So to me none of these words, definitions, or verses in context is a non- alcoholic grape juice. Again this goes back to the fact that fresh squeezed grape juice had to be drunk right away because it would naturally start to ferment in a few days. Hence all the instructions and limitations is about fermented grape juice and not fresh.

The juice from grapes when freshly squeezed doesn’t get one drunk in the beginning so there would be no reason to have limitations on it. Fresh grape juice for a few days is non-alcoholic. However without refrigeration it didn’t remain neutral for very long.

Some say that this word means freshly squeezed grape juice. The Modern Hebrew definition of this word is,

H8492, “From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: – (new, sweet) wine.”

Used in a verse,

Isaiah 65:8 “Thus saith the LORD, ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.’”

However their understanding of this word meaning changed from being fermented to unfermented after the invention of pasteurized grape juice. Looking up every occurrence of this word none of the limitations are on this particular word, nor are there any negatives that can be found from drinking this word describing the grape juice. So it would almost seem this is fresh juice. However, Hosea ends this theory quickly and clearly.

Hosea 4:11 “Whoredom and wine (H3196) and new wine (H8492) take away(H3947) the heart.”

Also the newer batches of fermented wine tasted better that the older batches of fermented wine, which had more of a bitter flavor. And pasteurized grape juice or freshly squeezed grape juice will not take away the heart.

Instructions about Wine & Strong Drink for

Specific Leaders or Vows

That being said, the Bible gives very strong warnings about partaking in wine and strong drink. Let us heed its warning, paying close attention to 1) the amount of wine that is being drunk and 2) the specific people who are being addressed.

Lev 10:8-11 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 “Do not drink wine(H3196) nor strong drink (H7941), thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations: 10  And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11  And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.”

Another place that parallels these instructions is in Ezekiel 44:21.  “No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.”

These are instructions for the Priests. Why? So they could rightly decide between right and wrong, which is impertinent to their role of leadership and having authority over the people. It doesn’t say not to drink it at all, but to not drink it specifically when they go into the tabernacle.

This is shown to have been abused by the priests and prophets and here were the results.

Isaiah 28:7 “But they also have erred through wine (H3196), and through strong drink (H7941) are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink (H7941), they are swallowed up of wine (H3196), they are out of the way through strong drink (H7941); they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment.

This same warning was given to Kings by Wise King Solomon, speaking from experience no doubt.

Proverbs  31:4-9 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine(H3196), or for rulers to desire strong drink (H7941); 5 or else they will drink and forget what has been decreed, and will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”

Again, this is a command for those who are in a leadership position over the people who pass decrees and judge between right and wrong. Too much wine will alter a ruler or judge’s ability to think clearly.

Finally when Paul is addressing bishops and deacons he instructs,

“1Timothy 3:2-3 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine (G3943), no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;… 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine (G3631, H3196), not greedy of filthy lucre;”

This new phrase for “not given to wine” means,

“From G3844 and G3631; staying near wine, that is, tippling (a toper): – given to wine.” (The phrase “not given to much wine” will be addressed a little later.)

Another instruction specifically for a leader in the body of Messiah, because he needs to not be consumed with wine to the point of being unable to minister before God and his fellow man as his position requires. Drinking it is not forbidden, just drinking it on a grander scale than a normal consumption amount is.

Remember, if this was fresh squeezed grape juice, it could not have the same effects that these verses warn against for a fermented grape juice.

Finally a prohibition was placed upon those who were entering into a Nazarite vow.

Judges 13:7, 14 “But he said unto me, ‘Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine (H3196), nor strong drink H7941), neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ 14 She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine (H3196),  or strong drink H7941), nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.”

(This was also explained before in Numbers 6 under the heading of “Wine and Strong Drink Definitions and Comparisons.”)

Warnings About Being a Drunkard

For fermented wine however, it does have the ability to alter someone’s reason, differentiating between right and wrong, hearing God’s voice, and if drunk to the access, it could cause harm to oneself or others if someone is not there to look after them or be what we call today “the designated driver.” Take heed to the following warnings.

Isa 5:11-12 “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink (H7941); that continue until night, till wine inflame them! 12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine (H3196), are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.”

This is describing the intake of huge amounts of wine and strong drink, whose lives revolve around drinking and drink to get drunk on a daily basis. This is known as a drunkard. And they also do not have God first in their life or pay attention to who He is or what He does. Not an average partaker of wine, but instead someone who is of ill repute.

Proverbs 21:17 warns,

“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.”

(H157) means “A primitive root; to have affection for (sexually or otherwise): – (be-) love (-d, -ly, -r), like, friend.”

This doesn’t mean wine and oil is wrong as Psalms 104:14-15 explains down below. It just means if you are passionate about these things and always buying them and using/consuming them in great amounts, they will empty your coffers like anything bought and consumed in an irresponsible way. Spending money on food, clothes shopping, entertainment etc. will do the same things, but it doesn’t automatically make those things wrong.

Tit 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine (G3631, from H3196), teachers of good things;”

The term for much wine means just that, (G4183) some of the key words being “much, many, great, plenteous”. So this again addresses being a drunkard, having too much on a consistent basis.  And the word “not given” G1402 (“to much wine”) means,

“From G1401; to enslave (literally or figuratively): – bring into (be under) bondage, X given, become (make) servant.”

So clearly this woman would have a problem if she is given to much wine because she in fact would be in servitude to or would be a slave to wine.

Peter also warns against the overconsumption of wine when he says in 1 Peter 4:3-4

“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine (G3632), revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:…”

This new phrase means,

G3632 “From G3631 and a form of the base of G5397; an overflow (or surplus) of wine, that is, vinolency (drunkenness): – excess of wine.”

Once again he is addressing the excess or overflow wine intake being combined with riotous behavior and idolatry. Not a good group or party to participate with.

Last verses about being a drunkard:

Luke 21:34 – “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness (G3178), and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.”

(G3178) “Apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, that is, (by implication) intoxication: – drunkenness.”

Hosea 4:11 “Whoredom and wine (H3196) and new wine (H8492) take away(H3947) the heart.” Too much wine and fornication obviously can take your heart away from YHVH and His Laws, which is the issue YHVH is addressing. (Read verses 6-9 for context). And also, wine, drunk in access, can take away judgment and lead you into a perverse situation.

Habakkuk 2:15 “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken (H7937) also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

Getting someone drunk on purpose to take advantage of them.

(H7937) means “A primitive root; to become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or (figuratively) influence. (Superlative of H8248.): – (be filled with) drink (abundantly), (be, make) drunk (-en), be merry. [Superlative of H8248.]”

Danial 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat (H6958), nor with the wine (H3196) which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

H6598 “Of Persian origin; a dainty: – portion (provision) of meat.”

This verse stands by itself as a strong example of refusing wine and yet it does seem to contradict many verses that show it is ok to drink it, (explained in the next section to come.) But take note that he also refused meat. Leaving wine aside for a section, and let’s pretend it was just about the meat. That in itself must mean he refrained because somehow the meat was either prepared in an unclean way, was an unclean meat itself or perhaps had been sacrificed to idols before serving it.

The Torah shares with us that these reasons we should not eat or drink certain things because of these reasons. It also explains what meat to eat and not eat and how to prepare it correctly. (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13). So this verse doesn’t mean meat is wrong to eat. So there must be some info we are unaware of as to why he refused the wine and meat.

Also, Scripture shows that Daniel chose not to eat bread or drink wine later on in the book of Daniel when he was mourning (Daniel 10:2-3). This could imply that he does at other times, but on this special occasion he refrained from it.

(For more verses in this context about drunkards read: Ephesians 5:18; Proverbs 20:1; 23:20-21, 29-35 Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:13.)

YHVH, Solomon, and the Apostles Condoning Drinking Wine?

~Appropriate Times to Have Wine and Strong Drink~

Finally there are places where it is shown that having wine or strong drink is appropriate, even considered an asset in certain situations, and as shocking as it might be, the bible does not condemn getting drunk or well drunk, just a lifestyle of habitually being a drunk.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:8; 5:23 he instructed him to do the following so as to help those he was dealing with.

“No longer drink only water, but take a little wine (G3631, H3196) for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”

Proverbs 31: 6 “Give strong drink (H7941) to one who is perishing, and wine(H3196) to those in bitter distress; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.”

Deuteronomy 7:12  “Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: 13  And He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine (H8492), and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which He sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”

(H8492) New word which means “From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: – (new, sweet) wine.”

Isaiah 25:6 “And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees (H8105), of fat things full of marrow (from animals), of wines on the lees (H8105) well refined(H2212).

(H8105) “From H8104; something preserved, that is, the settlings (plural only) of wine: – dregs, (wines on the) lees.

(H2212) “A primitive root; to strain, (figuratively) extract, clarify: – fine, pour down, purge, purify, refine.”

Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine(H3196) with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.”

Psalms 104:14-15,  “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; 15  and wine(H3196) that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.”

Deuteronomy 14:26 “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine (H3196), or for strong drink (H7941), or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household…”

(For more verses in this context of appropriateness read Amos 9:14; Joel 2:24; Proverbs 3:10; Genesis 14:18; 27:28; Deuteronomy 14:26.)

Conclusion:

Several things to consider is how this new information fits into Yeshua’s first miracle of changing water into wine (John 2:1-11), as well as His parable about putting new wine in old wineskins (Mark 2:21-22.) I will let you decide how this fits into your new understanding of wine by what we have just studied.

Final thoughts: at the last supper Yeshua had with His disciples, it says that they ate bread and drank from a cup. What was in this cup?

Matthew 26: 27 “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

(Reference back to the verses we read in Isaiah 25:6).

As the events of His crucifixion when he was hanging on the cross he became thirsty. When they heard him say this they brought something for him to drink.

Matthew 27:34 “they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.”

Another version says

“they gave Him vinegar (G3690) to drink…”

Either way, based on our study wine is alcohol as is vinegar. Looking at the Greek for vinegar it means,

G3690 “From G3691; vinegar, that is, sour wine: – vinegar.”

By the sound of it the wine did not taste good because it had wormwood or poppy mixed with it. But also, it could be that he didn’t drink because he had said before at the last supper that “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” So this is evidence enough to show why he didn’t drink it, and that it wasn’t because he thought it was wrong to drink wine. But draw your own conclusions about it.

So there are some historical facts, Hebrew and Greek definitions, and several contexts on how to interpret these words when they show up in the Old or New Testament. Also, there are the places where it is shown to be ok to drink and yet there are the verses that tell you how to do this wisely and not getting consumed in a lifestyle of drunkenness.

May YHVH and His Holy Spirit lead you as to how to “rightly divide” these Scriptures.

1http://www.biblewalks.com/Info/WinePresses.html

2http://www.welchs.com/about-us/our-story/our-history

3http://www.concordgrapejuice.com/history.htm

4http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-alcohol-and-liquor/

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The Mark of the Beast

The Mark of the Beast? Is it just about the Pope and the Catholic church?

A Bible study put together by my husband and I, and a friend.

When entering into this topic it’s important to remember that what God has set up Satan always has a counterfeit. How does this manifest with the Mark of the Beast? Well the opposite of the Mark of the Beast is the Seal of God. Let’s see what Scripture says about these two things.

Typically when people start researching this topic of the Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God they go to Revelation, which describes the Mark of the Beast as such. So let’s start there in Revelation 13:15-18: 15 “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”

Important rhetorical question! What is the Mark of the Beast? Is it a literal thing or a spiritual thing?

Well let’s see what God’s Seal is so as to compare. Revelation 7:2-3: 2 “And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” And again in Revelation 9:4, “They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”

Keep in mind that when the apostles and Christ walked the earth, they did not have a New Testament. So by default what were they reading and studying their whole lives? What was the foundation behind their word usage, terms, and definitions/context? The Old Testament. So we need to look there to understand what this seal of God on the forehead was all about.

Important rhetorical question! Why does the mark of the beast mention forehead and right hand and the Seal of God only mention forehead? Let’s find out!

There are places in the Old Testament that refer to the foreheads and hands of God’s people. Here are the verses with some context for a fuller picture. Deuteronomy 11:13-21: 13 “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

So what “words” is God referring to when it comes to tying something to their hands and their foreheads? I believe this question is answered in the same place of Deuteronomy 11:1. We see He is referring to verse 1 “Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always.” And again in verse 8 “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today…” which was defined in the 1st verse of Deuteronomy.

So according to these verses so far it was God’s requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands that He wanted them to keep always, and to “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” So are we supposed to have literal bundles of His commands, degrees, and laws tied to our foreheads and hands?

To answer this question we have to go a bit deeper in to the original language of the Bible which was HEBREW. When looking at the verse with the Interlinear Bible 1 it paints a different picture. The word qâshar for the English word tie means “a primitive root ; to tie, physically (gird, confine, compact) or mentally (in love, league) :– bind, bind up, conspire, make a conspiracy, conspirator, join together, knit, stronger, work treason.”

Sometimes in the Hebrew language a word loses some of its meaning when it is transferred to another language. Our English words don’t always give full meaning to what the original intent of the Hebrew language was for some words. So our translators did their best but much is lost in translation. I believe this is a verse that they really struggled to translate. How to you explain to a blind person what color is? So then how do you communicate from one language to another the action of a mental process? Very difficult!

The verse talks about fixing the words in their hearts and minds and then talks about binding them on their hands and on their foreheads, then making sure they talk about them and teach them to their children every day. Is it possible that this binding on could be a continuation of the instructions of keeping them on their mind, a mental process, and uniting together to learn them, practice them, and act them out with their actions or hands? Let’s see if Scripture brings this theory together for us?

In Jeremiah 31: 33 we find similar thoughts. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” If heart surgery is done after God does this, theoretically speaking, would we see literal writing tattooed or engraved into their hearts? Of course not! This is a spiritual thing, a process of God placing the full knowledge and understanding of His Law in their hearts so they know between right and wrong.

Looking also at the Seal of God being on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3; 9:4), in Greek according the Interlinear Bible again shows this word could mean a number of different things including “into.” But in accordance to the last verses we have gone over, it says that it should be more of an internal thing or sign, not an external sign. “I will write it on their hearts” but it really means in their hearts. Could it be the same thing here?

One final example of misunderstanding a spiritual thing for a literal thing is explained by Jeremiah Gordon, a scholar of the Hebrew language, the Torah, and has the background of being raised an Orthodox Jew. When discussing the topic of placing God’s Laws between the eyes and on the hands he has also found that many have misunderstood the meaning of the original language in this topic.

He explains, “Popular legend has it that the Karaites, and the Sadducees before them, interpreted the words ‘and they shall be for Totafot between your eyes’ literally and as a result wore Tefillin (Phylacteries) right above their noses….” (Phylacteries are little black boxes that contained the words of God in the Torah that they would tie to ther heads and which were located between the eyes right above the nose). “The phrase which allegedly commands the donning of Tefillin appears four times in the Torah (Ex 13,9; Ex 13,16; Dt 6,8-9; Dt 11,18).  It should be noted that the difficult word “Totafot” which the Rabbis arbitrarily interpret to mean “Tefillin”, actually means “Remembrance”.  This is clear from Ex 13:9 (one of the four “Tefillin” passages) which substitutes the word “Totafot” with the equivalent but more familiar “Zicharon” (Remembrance).

Upon closer examination it becomes clear that this phrase is a figure of speech and not a command at all.  The brilliant Rabbanite commentator Rashbam (Rashi’s grandson) was wise enough to realize the true meaning of this expression.  Commenting on the verse ‘And it shall be for a sign upon your hand and a remembrance (Zicharon) between your eyes’ he writes:

For a sign upon your hand‘ According to its plain meaning (Omek Peshuto), ‘It shall be remembered always as if it had been written upon your hand’ SIMILAR TO ‘he put me as a seal upon your heart’ (Cant 8,6).  ‘Between your eyes‘, like a piece of jewelry or gold chain which people put on the forehead for decoration’ (Rashbam on Ex 13,9)’ “ 2

The Seal of God can be contrasted to the Mark of the Beast in the following verses. See the distinction between the two.  “11″And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. 12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (Revelation 14:11-12). So the first group chose to worship (pledge allegiance to) the beast, his image, and surrender to the mark, which is the beast’s name. Also it is shown that they are able to buy and sell because they did this. (Revelation 13:7).

Important rhetorical question: If the mark of the beast was literal, couldn’t they round up God’s people, drug them, or knock them out, and forcefully give them the mark of the Beast i.e. microchip, tattoo, etc.? Wouldn’t it make more sense that if something was to decide someone’s eternal fate in heaven or hell, like taking or rejecting the Mark of the Beast, that they would have to willingly do something or deny something, that it couldn’t be forced upon them without their consent?

Be careful of this trick. If the mark of the beast is a trick, people thinking it is a literal thing that they are mentally preparing to reject, something obvious like the microchip, they could overlook the simplicity and spiritual seal of God with their focus on the literal counterfeit of the devil.

Back to the comparison between the mark of the beast and the seal of God in Rev. 11-12. The second group kept or did not compromise to the enemies’ demands but obeyed God’s commandments and held to their faith in Jesus. The good group is again described in this way in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

So it seems to me that the Seal of God is written in their minds. They therefore have the knowledge of God’s commandments and live the life that shows the works and fruits in their life. They are mirroring the mental assent to God’s ways and the actions prove their knowledge. This is also known as “and they that worship him must worship him in spirit (character/fruits/actions) and in truth (mental assent).” (John 4:24).

When the beast rises up in power His goal will be to get God’s people to break God’s commandments. This goes along with the SDA’s understanding of how the Pope will be trying to force a Sunday Law on everyone. But ultimately it comes down to will God’s people choose to follow ALL of God’s commandments by knowing them (seal on/in the forehead) and proving their knowledge of them with the fruit of their hands in what they do. So be careful to place a lot of emphasis on one commandment as being the mark of the beast because this could mean the oversight of God’s other commandments.

I believe the Seal of God was supposed to describe both the forehead and the hands but the translators left out the hands part. How else would the devil have the counterfeit mark on the forehead and the hands if the hands were never a part of the dynamics to begin with? Clearly something is missing in Revelation because we have and can see in the verses covered in the beginning of the study, binding them on the forehead and the hands (in the spiritual sense.)

If the devil has a counterfeit plan for the seal of God and the Real Mark of the Beast, it would make a lot of sense for him to have an obvious false mark, something literal like a microchip or tattoo that most people are looking for. Then it would be easy for them to overlook the real mark of the beast. Scripture has already explained what the real mark will be, “to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 …or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” But does this have to be limited to a literal visual mark? Could it possibly be an action that demonstrates if they are ready to forsake life, even food, if it means staying true to God’s ways? Someone’s actions can be proof for or against them just as much as a literal mark. What if this action that shows they are for the Beast was to break one of God’s commandments?

This might be easier than it sounds. For example, most Christians today believe that the Commandments, other than the 10 commandments and the laws of tithing, have been nailed to the cross. If this is you and the Mark of the Beast is received after breaking God’s commandments, will you not be in danger if you have been raised to believe only the 10 matter, and therefore don’t even know or study the other Laws? See how easy it would be for you to commit a sin against God’s Laws and not even know it? And it would also be just as easy to fall into the trap that many of the churches are teaching today about submission to the governments Laws of the Land, according to Romans 13, even if it seems to go against God’s Laws.

If you grew up believing that you have to submit to the government and every law of the land, and that this is God’s will for you, I think you need to ask yourself some very important questions. Below has been written by Keith Franks.

“Do you think Romans 13 is saying to submit to a governments’ ungodly laws?

Do you think God was saying you should always pay taxes because “…Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s’…”? (Mark 12:17).

Are we to fund terrorists?

Do you pay taxes?

What will you do when your government tells you to give up your guns?

What does God think when people say what’s good is bad and what’s bad is good?

Does GOD tell us to support people or (governments) doing evil?

The USA’s Founding Fathers’ would be ashamed of all the good men NOT doing nothing3 but funding a wicked, corrupted and tyrannical government!

Do you think Britain was any better back in 1776 than the USA is now?

Our Founding Fathers’ didn’t have the indoctrination of the 501c3 (government controlled) church telling them God says submit to your government.

Did the good men back then do nothing?

Did they pay their taxes or abide by the laws; or did they risk everything to fight against tyranny?

Did Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego submit to their government?

What would you do if your government told you to kill Jews?

“Our Founding Fathers’ insured that if the USA became tyrannical it would be power without legal right!”

Where are all the good men now?”

Important rhetorical question: If the laws of the land are against God’s Laws and the constitution (which the Founding Fathers wrote based on the principles of the Bible), do you really think it is God’s will to submit to the government we have today? Doesn’t Scripture say, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’”? (Acts 5:29).

Be careful because by showing submission to the ways of the world, ultimately Satan himself, which have and will continue to heavily influence the government we have today, you will inevitably be aligning yourself to be a part of the wrong kingdom. Remember what the seal of God is, those “…which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Joshua 24: 14-15 ” 14 Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

I know this brings up a lot of thoughts like, wait, the Law was nailed to the cross, and what about sacrifices? More bible studies soon to follow on those topics. 🙂 So stay tuned!

A great follow up message taught by Chuck Baldwin, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission”

1 (For more info about the Interlinear Bible it has the words in Hebrew and English, gives you a word and you look that word up in the concordance. http://biblehub.com/interlinear/ )

http://www.nehemiaswall.com/tefillin-phylacteries

Edmond Burke

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Are Israel’s prophecies a thing of the past, or the future?

When people hear Israel these things usually come to mind: the place in the Middle East, the Patriarch’s name change from Jacob to Israel, the church, the Jews. But according to popular Christian polls, predominately the Christians of today think of it as the church.

Some might have heard the term Replacement Theology. According to Wikipedia “Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology, is a Christian theological view on the current status of the church in relation to the Jewish people and Judaism.[1] Supersessionism is the belief that the Christian Church has replaced the Israelites as God’s[2] chosen people[1][3] and that the Mosaic covenant has been replaced or superseded by the New Covenant.[4] …” 1

Is this true? Is there a place in the Scriptures that God said all the promises to the literal nation of Israel are to be transferred to a church, a denomination? What are the Covenants in question here?

Let’s start in the front of the book, the Old Testament also called the Tanach from ancient times because I believe as many people have stated, “Old Testament is in New Testament Revealed and The New Testament is in Old Testament Concealed.”

Did you know that when Timothy stated in 2 Timothy 3: 16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” that the New Testament wasn’t even written yet? So he had to be thinking of the Old Testament when he wrote this. Therefore we can rely on the Old Testament as the disciples and Christ Himself did for their Biblical knowledge. And thank God for the commentary we now have on the Old Testament which is called… the New Testament.

Who were the first covenants of Israel declared to? Abraham who was a Hebrew right? Actually as described in Gen. 11:31 Abraham was in fact a gentile. He was not introduced to the understanding of a Hebrew until Gen. 14:13. Hebrew means “crossed over.” So God’s covenant was first given to a Gentile who would later cross over into the Promised Land, spiritually speaking and literally.

So this covenant began with Abraham when God promised that his descendants and their children and their children’s children would inherit the land of Canaan forever (Genesis 17:8.) Forever means it would be an everlasting covenant. This is confirmed in Romans 11:1 & 29 which states that God has not cast away the children of Israel and that His gifts to them He will not repent of, they are irrevocable. So it seems safe to say that Christianity, a church, a denomination cannot replace what is irrevocable.

This covenant with Abraham is not speaking of salvation. These covenants do not guarantee salvation for Abraham’s decedents, merely that the blessings of the covenant will continue forever. For didn’t Christ say to the Pharisees during His time on earth “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9). And again “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” (John 8:37). Lineage did not earn them salvation. Sadly many of them rejected the Messiah, the only way to attain Salvation.

Even God said that these promises won’t happen just because of Israel’s righteousness (Abraham’s descendants).  4 “Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob” (Deuteronomy 9:4-5, and through verses 6-13).

Yet history has shown that of all the people of the world, the most famous people as actors, inventors, extraordinary people in feats in business, art, theater are Jews. Out of the Grammy winners throughout history 160 of them were Jewish. Harrison Ford, Marilyn Monroe, Steven Spielberg, Elvis Presley, the maker of Google, Facebook, the light-bulb, the list goes on, are Jewish. We can see that though many of them have rejected Christ as their Messiah, the blessing promised to Abraham still continues to manifest in the Jewish people. They were still lifted up above the ordinary, blessed with looks, talents, genius, fame, wealth (much to the demise of many) but God did not break his covenant with Abraham.

More about the Jews, where does the term Jew come from? In Hebrew this word is pronounced (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yehudim.) It is a short and condensed version of the word Judah, a son of Jacob (fathered by Abraham) who fathered the Tribe of Judah. The Tribe of Judah is the only ones that can trace their lineage to Abraham out of the two kingdoms of Israel that split as we will cover shortly.

The promise first given to Abram is again stated to Moses the leader of the children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The entire chapter of Joshua 24 walks us through how God brought Abraham to the land of Canaan and promised it to his descendants forever. Then it shows how God rescued his descendants, the Israelites, from Egypt for they were being held in bondage and slavery many years after Abraham. Exodus 6:1-4. 6 “Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. 4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.”

They were promised the land of Canaan according to the Covenant God made with Abraham. Numbers 34:1-13 is the specific instructions God told Moses to give to the children of Israel regarding the borders that would encompass the entire region of Canaan they would inherit.

Then God brought the children of Israel to the mountain of Zion and made another covenant with them. This is what we know as the Commandments. As the events of those days played out of God explaining to them, some in person, and some through Moses, what all the commandments, judgments and statues were, the children of right then and there they made a covenant with God to follow Him and none other.

God warned them if they turned from Him, broke His Law, and worshiped other Gods that He would then have to bring hurt upon them. But this does not mean that it would release Him from the covenant promise. The point being made here is that God promised the land of Canaan as an inheritance to the children of Israel for an everlasting covenant and that covenant still stands and needs to be completely fulfilled, for God is a God of His word.

An interesting side note here is throughout the talks God has with Israel, He makes mention several times of strangers in their midst? These were included in the promises to Israel. Who are they? Deuteronomy 29:10-11 describes them a bit more. 10 “Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,

11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:”  So it was not just limited to Israel but those who sojourned with Israel, who chose to join in with them and follow God and His ways. They were to be a part of Israel’s blessings.

So going back to God’s covenants and the accompanying warnings, Deuteronomy says in 28: 15 “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:”… And we see what else would happen in verse 64: 64 “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.”

After Israel entered the land of Canaan and set up a King to rule over them they continued in the ways of God for a time. God set over them a good king since the 1st King failed in his leadership role. King David also reminded Israel once again of this covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their descendants in 1 Chronicles 16:13-22 and Psalms 105:7-12.

He was a righteous ruler over the land of Israel; not a perfect ruler, but a man after God’s own heart. God favored him and blessed him, promising that through his seed there would never be a man missing to sit on the throne of David. “For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; 20  Thus saith the LORD; If you can break My covenant of the day, and My covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21  Then may also My covenant be broken with David My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, My ministers” (Jeremiah 33:17, 20-21).

David believed God’s promise and reminded the people that God would keep His covenant with Israel that the land of Canaan is their inheritance forever. Eventually, through him, Yeshua (Jesus) would come to us through his line and save us from our sins. This is how extensive the honor He bestowed on David reached into history. That reach will not be cut off, according to the Holy Scriptures, for God will continue to honor David forever. His covenant with David can only be broken if God breaks the covenant with the day and the night and their seasons. (Jeremiah 33:19-21). That doesn’t sound possible and that definitely hasn’t happened in our history. The sun and moon, day and night still go on as God set them up.

So did Israel blow it? Were they scattered? History shows they were. What caused the fulfillment of God’s warning to scatter them if they would turn from their ways? It happened in the reign of King Solomon, King David’s son. 1 Kings 11:31-33, 31 “And he said to Jeroboam, ‘Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) 33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.’”

So we see that 10 tribes were given to Solomon’s servant, and since there were 12 tribes in total (after Jacob’s 12 sons) two tribes were put into another category to honor the promise God made to David about his seed continuing on. The passage says one but Judah and Benjamin history shows are later called the Southern Kingdom or the House of Judah and the other 10 are called the Northern tribes or the House of Israel. (For texts that help to show this division read Ezek. 37:22; Psalm 114:1, 2; I Samuel 11:8; Hosea 1:10; Jer. 33:24;  I Samuel 18:16; II Chronicles 10:12-14.)

This is a profound mistake that many Christians are making today. They hear the House of Israel or Israel in itself and do not realize that that is specifically speaking of the 10 tribes who were split from the other two tribes. And not only were the tribes split but the blessing God promised to be passed on to Abraham’s descendants were split, not done away, just split to be manifested differently. The material blessing went with the 10 tribes, the House of Israel, and the Priestly/Kingly blessing went to the House of Judah which compromises of the Tribe of Judah and Benjamin. (1 Kings 12:14-21)

Despite the many warnings of God Israel turned from God and His ways God split the 12 tribes of Israel, and eventually He sent them into captivity. 70 years they were in the Babylonian captivity and dispersed among the Gentiles as warned in Deuteronomy 28:15, 64. Thus Canaan their inheritance, which is now modern day Israel, He allowed to be given to the other nations. It would seem that God’s covenant with them was broken by man and that His promise is not being fulfilled.

But God promised that He would bring them back again to their inheritance. Deuteronomy 30:1-6 “1 Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

~Who are the Sheep? The Flock? The Fold?~

Those who grew up reading the New Testament should be familiar with these terms found frequently in Christ’s sayings. Such as in John 10:3-4 3 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” And again in John 10:14-15, “14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

To know the context of Christ remember when He was here on earth, He only had the Tanakh, the Old Testament to read and educate His mind with regarding the ways of God. We must go back to the Old Testament to see what term He is referencing when He uses the ideology of sheep. Could it be from Jeremiah 50:17? 17 “Israel is like scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away. First the king of Assyria devoured him; now at last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has broken his bones.” Israel is compared to scattered sheep. And again in Micah 2:12 “12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.” Israel is again compared to sheep, and these verses used the term fold, or like a flock. (Many more similar verses like Ez. 34: 12-13.)

Remembering back, where were the children of Israel scattered? Where are the scattered sheep? Babylon as just mentioned in Jeremiah 50:17. But more specifically among the nations, the gentiles, or pagans who do not believe in God or follow His ways. David prophesied regarding Israel in Psalm 106:  47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles too give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.” And more about the scattering, 8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. 9 Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it. Hosea 7:8-9;8:8, “Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which is no pleasure.”

God promises to call for His people to return to Jerusalem during these last days. He will ask them to come out of all the gentile nations where they have been sojourning. This is mentioned all through the Old Testament. Though things in history seem similar to past exoduses, these prophecies have not been completely fulfilled yet. It cannot be confused with the captives of Babylon returning to rebuild the temple like in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time because, as some of the verses point out about the future prophecies, God promises the temple will be more glorious than it was before. Also, the prophecy in Isaiah 11 talks about Judah and Ephraim getting along as well as all the tribes of Israel. That didn’t completely happen during the former times of restoration mentioned. Also, the time the temple was rebuilt in the Old Testament, it caused the Priests and Levites to weep because it was a mere shadow of the previous temple’s glory (Ezra 3:12). It doesn’t sound like a temple has been rebuilt yet to be more glorious than the ones before does it?

Also not all of the tribes came back. Some chose to stay in slavery because they had gotten used the pagan’s way of life and had their families, property, and wealth established. According to Ezra 1:5, two tribes came back, Judah and Benjamin, which we now know is called the House of Judah. These would remain in Jerusalem until after Christ was crucified and rose again.

Even during Christ time there was still a great chasm between the House of Israel and the House of Judah. In fact, only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were in Jerusalem during Christ’s time. The rest of the tribes were scattered across the Euphrates. Most of them knew who they were in the 1st century. But those who were cast aside could not join in with the House of Judah unless they agree to convert to their tribe. Why is that?

~God divorced the House of Israel~

Are they the lost Sheep?

Why did God divorce the House of Israel? “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. 7 And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. 9 So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:6-10. (Notice that Israel and Judah are listed separately, instead of all being lumped together, again showing the division between the House of Israel and the House of Judah.)

As explained in the beginning of the same chapter, when a man divorces his wife, giving her a certificate of divorce and she becomes another man’s wife (which happened to Israel) that she can’t return to her first husband again. Yet God turns around and says to Israel, “But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me,” says the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:3). How is this possible?

~The Great Mystery Explained~

Paul speaks of a mystery since the beginning to the world. “25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27). What is the mystery?

According to the Torah laws and the New Testament, for a woman can be divorced for fornication (adultery, harlotry, etc.) and she is to be given a certificate of divorce. And she is not allowed to come back to that husband again. If a woman is put away she can’t remarry another until the death of her first husband (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31-32; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:29). God was the House of Israel’s first husband, and he divorced her. She could not come back to Him as her first husband or the land would be defiled. And yet God seems to contradict His Law by asking her to return to Him. How is this possible? It says the angels were even looking into these things, this mystery (1 Peter 1:12). We will get into that in just a minute.

~Why so much hatred between Jew and Gentile around Jerusalem?

There are several stories that give hints towards the hatred between Jews and Gentiles. One is the story of Peter visiting with Cornelius. We find in Acts 10:1 that Cornelius received a vision from the Lord to send men to where the Apostle Peter was living at the time. And about the same time God gives Peter a vision about the infamous sheet of unclean animals being lowered before him and God’s command to eat them. This isn’t what the focus should be on as far as the controversy about clean and unclean meats. But because of this vision, Peter gets the message from God that he should go with the men to Cornelius’s house. And as it turns out, Cornelius and his whole household was saved.

What’s so significant about this? Cornelius was considered a Gentile, unclean. There is a Jewish (not Torah) law that says a Jew could not visit or even eat with a Gentile. This was a hard law for Peter to shake which led to a scolding later by the Apostle Paul. Peter however didn’t break a Torah law, but a man-made tradition of the Jews. Also gentiles who were uncircumcised, which the Jews believed one had to do in order to be saved. No wonder that the Jews during this time were in shock that Peter associated with the Gentiles around the surrounding regions of Jerusalem. (For more reading this story is found in Acts Chapter 10 -11 and Galatians 2:11-21.)

Then there is the infamous story of the Samaritan woman in John 4:3-42.  It was again incomprehensible that Yeshua (Jesus) went to a gentile town, then talked to a Gentile Samaritan, and then went even further to eat, drink and sleep with other Samaritans for two days. The woman was confused about this as well in the beginning. 4:9 “The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’” John 4:9. The same traditional laws of the Jews (again not Torah laws) would have forbid this action of any Jew. Hatred was rampant, and prejudices extreme. Why? What happened? Religious piety? Arrogance? Yes!! But I believe it goes much deeper than that.

Why would these Gentiles who hated the Jews so fervently so quickly accept a Jewish Messiah?

I believe that is part of the mystery! Many of the Gentiles that Paul chose to go search out and preach to were Jewish Gentiles, not all pagan Gentiles. These Jewish Gentiles could not be a part of the Jewish goings on in Jerusalem because they were the 10 tribes, the House of Israel, that were divorced from the commonwealth of Israel. Think about it. Yeshua (Jesus) said “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24). And again…15 “…even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.( John 10:15-16.)

No wonder these Gentiles that Paul and the Apostles went to preach to were so eager to accept Yeshua as their Messiah. They knew they were Israelites yet cut off from the inheritance because of their sin and by God divorcing them. AND HERE IS THE MYSTERY!!! How was the House of Israel able to come back to their first husband again? BECAUSE THE FIRST HUSBAND DIED FOR HIS BRIDE. Yeshua came down taking the sins of the House of Israel and of all the world on His cross, died, and rose again an eligible bachelor to be married to the House of Israel once again, and all those who would accept Him as their Messiah, Jew or Greek. No wonder when Christ comes back it will be called “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:6-9).

And many of the plagues are going to happen before this mystery can be complete. Revelation 10:7 5 “Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Notice this comes after the four horses, the 1-6th trumpets, and the seals.

The creation of Adam and Eve.

Now for an even better analogy. Ever wonder why Eve was first inside Adam before His rib was removed and she was created from it? Adam and Ever were together already, one flesh so to speak. Then God drew her out of him and created a separate entity from Adam. But then, by joining together in marriage they can be” one flesh again”. It seems to be symbolic as well that Israel would be one, then separate, but because of a marriage to Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) they could become one flesh again.

Jewish Gentiles

Now the divorced tribes of Israel could be a part of the commonwealth of Israel. No wonder they were saved so quickly, and so hungry, open, and ready to be saved. They knew their chance had come; the impossible was made possible through Yeshuah the Messiah. Hallelujah!

Scripture helps to paint the picture that many of the Gentile’s they preached to were in fact, Jewish Gentiles. 1 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:…” 1 Peter 1-2). Remember Israel’s covenants could be for the stranger that would join in with Israel? And yet how could strangers also be elect? They were a part of Israel originally, just strangers because though God’s elected people once, He divorced and scattered them. But elect because He also predestined that they would come back as an elect remnant.

It wasn’t a matter of individuals being predestined, for some could still reject God. But those tribes of Israel were predestined all through the OT to return and reclaim what was lost to them because of their sins. See the tribes would come back no matter what. So that was the predestination. But it was up to every Jewish person to decide if they would get on that ship themselves and be a part of the predestined event.

Who was James writing to in 1:1? 1“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” He wasn’t just writing to those already in the fold, the House of Judah, but also to the other 10 tribes, the House of Israel, the tribes dispersed abroad.

How about this verse in 1 Peter 2:9? 9” But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;” Don’t those who grew up in the “elect” church think this applies to us and coincidentally pretty much every denomination out there?!?)

But this verse is almost a direct quote from the Old Testament! That’s right! And WHO was it talking about? Exodus 19:6 6 “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Wow! And this was before the splitting up of the Nation. This was specifically said to the entirety of Israel, all 12 tribes.

Many of the people Paul preached to were the Northern Tribes, the House of Israel. Romans 9:24-26 24” Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” This is another verse that is quoting from the Old Testament in Hosea 1:10-11. (BTW the whole book of Hosea is talking about the 10 tribes of Israel, their harlotry, divorce, and remarriage as paralleled with the story of Hosea marrying the prostitute!)

In Romans 7:1 it says 7 “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?” He was addressing those who know the law. Pagan Gentiles are called that because they do not believe in God or know His ways. They follow other gods. So the gentiles Paul was speaking to in Romans CANNOT be Pagan Gentiles. IT had to people who knew the law.

~Who is the NEW MAN?~

Ephesians 2:11-22 speaks of a new man in Christ. What are the characteristics? 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens (strangers) from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity (hatred between Jew and Gentile), even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (man-made laws and traditions of the Jews of separation and the law of adultery, and circumcision being a prerequisite for salvation); for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Again where is this taken from, where are they quoting from in regards to those who “were afar off” “strangers” “foreigners”? “He is our peace” “preached peace”?

Zechariah 9:9-10, 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen (gentiles): and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”

And again, Isaiah 57:15-19,  15” For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. 17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.

So again when Paul is speaking to the Ephesians and he uses these terms/words “were afar off” “strangers” “foreigners”? “He is our peace” “preached peace” we have to remember what these words meant to him, what he was referencing, which was the Old Testament, since the New Testament was still in the process of being written during his time.

~The New Covenant~

What is the new Covenant? Is it just with the Jews who came back? I believe it is also for the Jewish Gentiles.

Jeremiah 31:27-34 27 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord. (Though I scattered them I will bring them back and make new.)…31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Is it just for the Israelites as a whole? I don’t believe so!!! What about us? Can only Israel be saved? No that is now what I am saying!

3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people:…6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

Zechariah 2:11-12 11 “And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lordof hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12 And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

Ezekiel 47:22-23 22 “And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God.”

Just as the Jewish Gentiles were considered strangers, so much more we who have no ties to the bloodlines of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can be those “strangers” that can be a part of Israel. As a follower of Yeshua we can be a part of Israel, grafted in to Israel and the inheritance, promises and covenants.

So as not to be confused I must say again, Israel is not the only ones who can be saved because salvation is not about bloodlines. Only the covenant promises of land and blessings are about bloodlines. There were never supposed to be two kingdoms, just the Children of God, a whole Nation of Israel . And anyone can be saved who calls on the name of Yeshuah (Jesus) and adheres to His ways. “26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (not one through one of the 41,000 denominations out there) 29 and if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29).

~What of the Olive Tree?~

And finally, where did Paul in the New Testament get the analogy of the Olive tree? 17 “If some of the branches have been broken off (House of Israel), and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root (commonwealth of Israel and inheritance), 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches (House of Judah). If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” (Romans 11:17-24).

What is he talking about? Where did this first Olive tree first get mentioned? 16 “The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken. 17 For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.” And that’s just what happened. But God promises in Jeremiah 30:17 ‘For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her.”‘ And … “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” Job 5:18.

And in the end, the branch (translated tree in Hebrew) of Judah and the branch of Judah shall be joined together. 15 “The word of the Lord came to me: 16“Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ 17Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. 18“When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms (Jeremiah:3715-22). “And again 4 “In those days and in that time,” says the LORD, “the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; with continual weeping they shall come, and seek the LORD their God.  5 They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, saying, ‘Come and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten.’ ” (Isaiah 50:4-5). http://www.hebroots.org/hebrootsarchive/9711/971105_h.html

Let’s face it; the Bible has always revolved around one nation, and one location, the Children of Israel and Jerusalem. We have been so far removed from our heritance, from the authors of the Old Testament, and taught that God’s laws are null and void that we have developed 41,000 different denominations. If we don’t understand who wrote the books of the Old Testament, and where we find the definitions/context for the complicated terms and parables in the New Testament, Oor True North very easily becomes just North. Just that slight chance has caused us to skew off so far from God’s reality. Then it has become doing/interpreting what seems best in our own eyes as well as defining sin according to our own understanding.

But God promises to bring our understanding to His once again. We will relearn how Scripture is supposed to read in its original language, HEBREW!!! He said, “9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. 11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

And it promises that the name of our God and Savior that also has been removed and even tabooed by the orthodox Jews of our day will be returned to our understanding. 14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.’ (Psalms 91:14). …35 “For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, That they may dwell there and possess it. 36The descendants of His servants will inherit it, And those who love His name will dwell in it.” What name is that?  Yeshua Hamashiach!!! (Jesus the Messiah). And what does Yeshua mean? Salvation!!!

~The Latter Day Exodus~

In 70 AD Jerusalem was to be captured and desolated again and would remain that way for some time, inhabited and controlled by other nations. 2 God’s people were slaughtered greatly and taken captive or fled into other nations. It wasn’t until a gathering in 1948 of Israelites that some of the tribes began come back. And then in 1967 Israel became a nation once again, the first time since Nebuchadnezzar captured the Nation of Israel about 2500 years before.

But not all the tribes of Israel came back. He is beginning to fulfill His promises and He will once again join together all the tribes of Israel. But what about us who have had nothing to do with Israel, some more than others?

Some know that judgment is coming to America and to this whole world, just as judgment came to Israel. It is inevitable and eventually God will destroy this world and start over. Our world has turned its back on God and is forcing Him out of our churches, our schools, our government, our homes, and our hearts. God sends us warnings to repent and gives us many chances to see the rebuke of the Lord and repent of our evil ways. But America’s eyes are not open so they can see and so they can be healed.

After the disaster of 9/11 Americans, following their leaders, took up the vow of Isaiah 9:10, “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars” (9/11). The verse before shows that this vow was said from defiant leaders back in Israel’s time who had just experienced the judgment of God yet whose hearts were full of pride and arrogance none-the-less. They did not recognize the judgment of God, and instead of repenting of the evil, which was the reason for the catastrophe, they defiantly said they will build bigger and better what was destroyed.

If you look at what was pronounced from our capital and by the President of the US after 9/11, history is repeating itself.

“In 2009 in his first State of the Union, President Barack Obama said ‘We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before … It is time for America to lead again.’ And again “Soon after the September 11 attacks, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor George Pataki, and President George W. Bush vowed to rebuild the World Trade Center site. On the day of the attacks, Giuliani proclaimed, “We will rebuild. We’re going to come out of this stronger than before, politically stronger, economically stronger. The skyline will be made whole again.” “Daschle said: ‘America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.’ He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10. ‘Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,’ explained Cahn.* ‘He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation’”

(http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/was-obama-really-citing-isaiah-910-vow/). “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and/or read the book “The Harbinger” By Jonathan Cahn.) For more on this watch the DVD.

Judgment is coming, but there is hope for God’s people who read His Word, believe it, and understand it by hearing Yeshua’s voice. This will lead His people to repent, and obey the written Word. But this might not mean that America as a nation will be saved.

We are responsible to repent in our own hearts and do all we can to bring the family and community where we live into subjection to the Laws of God. We are to do all we can to be held in subjection to God and His Laws alone until He calls us out to return to the Mountains of Israel, the city of David, Zion, Jerusalem. But we are limited in what we can do to change this Republic union. It is in my opinion beyond saving, nationally; perhaps manageable locally with the right courageous people unswerving to corruption.

God promises to gather His beloved Israel from the nations. I will give you highlights but there are so many examples I can’t write them all here. Isaiah 10:20-22 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay” (depend) “upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness” Isaiah 10:20-22). Also Zechariah 12:7 “The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” This is the first tribe that will be gathered to Israel, the ones who were gathering beginning in 1948 when Israel was again declared a nation.

This step has already begun. “What Bible Prophecy describes as the Greatest Event of all time, to take place in the history of the “nation of the Book”, Israel,  is now in process of fulfilment – in these very days of our time.  If the Return of the Jews (from the Israelite Tribe of Judah) in 1948 to their ancient Homeland, Israel, was a Divine Miracle after 2000 years of universal dispersion and exile (as it has been acclaimed by Bible scholars of repute) then Prophecy foretells an even Greater Event – the re-identification and Return of the 10 ‘lost’ Tribes of Israel, after 3000 years of dispersion amongst all nations of the world, to be reunited with Judah into one restored United Kingdom of 12-Tribed Israel!” (Paragraph 4 from http://www.revelations.org.za/MenuReturn.htm).

The tribe of Judah will first return to Israel. And at some point in our future I believe Yeshua, Jesus, the Root and Offspring of David will come as foretold as the rallying flag, the banner in Isaiah 11. He will make a call to God’s people all over the world saying, “Come, all who believe in Him come.” God is going to again recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left from all over, including the islands of the sea, all the continents. This isn’t just a gathering of the remnant of Judah as in 1948, but the rest of all the outcasts of Israel. Yeshua the Christ is the one and only true messiah, and the King of David, sitting on the throne of David, and to Him will the gentiles also seek. (Romans 11.)

Just to reemphasize, did not Yeshua, Jesus, say that there are others that are not a part of the fold that would be gathered? (John 10:16) Were not the commandments of God said to include the stranger that is among Israel? (Deuteronomy 29:14, 15, 22; Leviticus 18:26; 19:34; Numbers 15:15) These are the gentiles that will come to the rallying flag of Yeshua because, believing in His name and obeying His commandments and coming under His bond of covenant, make us His and a part of Israel’s inheritance (Isaiah 56:1-8; Ezekiel 20:33-44; Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:14, 28). We can have the same inheritance as Israel and be grafted in because we claim Yeshua, Jesus, to be our Savior and prove to be genuinely His disciples by having His fruit in our lives. We can be a part of the gathering of the outcasts of Israel to the nation of Israel. We will not be cast out, unless we do not surrender something that Christ commands us to in order to enter into the bond of the covenant. And this is not just a spiritual inheritance, but an actual physical inheritance.

On a side note, there is another Bible study to come to explain this more specifically. I am not saying the whole of the world’s population of Christ’s believers will forever remain at Israel. It doesn’t mean that the whole of the earth will not be repopulated when the new heaven and new earth are made, only Israel. But when the time comes for God to pour out His destruction on Babylon and the nations not in subject to Him, He will call those who seek to not partake of their plagues, to come out of her and escape to Israel. They will have to endure plagues in that area as well so it is not the “rapture” explanation. They will be tested in Israel as well but Israel will not be completely destroyed as many other nations will be. … “49 Indeed Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel, As also for Babylon the slain of all the earth have fallen. 50 You who have escaped the sword, Depart! Do not stay! Remember the LORD from afar, And let Jerusalem come to your mind” (Jeremiah 51:49-50). Those who choose to flee to Israel who, may not have the bloodlines, but only faith in Christ Yeshua (Jesus), they will be welcomed. (Refer to the Bible study about There Is No Difference Between Jews and Gentiles on this same page). However, they do not have to remain there after the events have taken their course, but more on that to come in another study.

The Septuagint places emphases where it should be. “36 And I will bring you into the wilderness of those nations”… 37 And I will cause you to pass under My rod, and I will bring you in by number, and I will bring you into the bond of My Covenant” (Ezekiel 20:36-37). This rod is not the rod of correction or punishment. It is a reference made to a shepherd’s rod for when they would gather their sheep together, from the fields, into folds. They would lay their rod across the narrow shoot to the sheep’s fold and as the sheep passed under it, the shepherds would count their sheep. So God will be counting each person that follows the call to go to Israel. The people who come will have to undergo judgment to purge their characters and lifestyles (verses 35-36).

As history plays out in these events, it will show that some will decide they do not want to come under the bond of the covenant because something they hold dear (or a theological or doctrinal belief from their denomination), are more important to them than being completely surrendered to the covenant and will of God and His true Spirit.

The point I am trying to make here is, are you going to be a part of the gathering? Are you willing to re-look at anything that contradicts the Laws of God and His Whole Word? Even if you do come to Israel, if you do not surrender to every conviction of the Holy Spirit and willingly give up anything that you have believed for so long but proves to be incorrect, will you lay it down? Coming to Israel isn’t enough. Whether you will remain among His sheep is up to you (and me) and whether we are willing to surrender to His ways in everything.

Reflecting back on my experience in Costa Rica, there was a huge movement of people out there. They believed America is one of the Babylon’s talked about in the Bible and it may be: Mystery Babylon or Mother Babylon (Revelation 17-18), or the Daughter Babylon (Psalms 137:8; Zechariah 2:7). But most of those who were in Costa Rica as well as us ran there in fear and mostly for self-preservation. We took matters into their own hands and sought to save ourselves from the radiation from Japan’s nuclear plant melting, or from the various oppressions, diseases and corruptions to be found in the US. Many there still refuse to come back because they think it would be a sin to enter into Babylon again.

I went to Costa Rica for a vacation and was encouraged to move there permanently by a friend with good intentions. But after a while, God helped me to see I needed to return to the U.S. God forgave me for running where He had not called me, and for trying to save myself without following His lead. I did not know what I was getting into, and He helped me return once again to be among God’s people and hopefully be a part of the real exodus to come. Also I was helped to come back so I could be a witness to the false fleeing and the curse of spiritualism.  I was not asking God’s will in the decision when I went to Costa Rica. And I also was running from my troubles, but I ran right into trouble.

God will forgive us if we realize what we have done, humble ourselves and pray, and turn from our wicked ways before it’s too late. But He cannot forgive a prideful, self-righteous man/woman who refuses to see error in his or her ways. I understood that we are not supposed to run in fear and that is one of the reasons why I ran away to Costa Rica.

But according to Isaiah, there is a right time to come out of her so we do not share in her plagues.  “11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house. 12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:11-12). But this is done only at the guidance or signal of our God. He promises to be our rear guard. He will defend His people and make a safe path for them, a highway for the remnant to escape. (Isaiah 35:8). Those who think they will be in the will of God by fleeing to another country in the hopes of a better economy, government system, ecological system, or spiritual experience will be sadly mistaken; for corruption and oppression is everywhere, and any place where God is not with them, they will not prosper, and it will turn out to be much, much worse for them. The safest place is being in His will!

Sometimes God calls us to go against logic, to stay in a land predestined for destruction because, for one, there is a specific time God will remove them; and two, there is a mission among the people God puts in our paths. He wants us to stay and teach for now; helping our family and brethren. There will more than likely be a time for some of us to fight for and die for those God puts in our lives or to be persecuted and killed for righteousness sake.

God called some in the times of Old to be a teacher of peace (Enoch and many prophets were not called to take up the sword). But there were also those God instructed to take up the sword, like in the story of the Maccabees. (For the story of the Maccabees: 1 Maccabees Chapter 2… explained briefly at http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/the_revolt_of_the_maccabees/). This decision is between God and His leading in each individual life. The direction God calls us may not be the logical means of survival. But what does the gospel say? “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). And again, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Those who choose to not go to Israel, or who do not know about going to Israel, will have to be partakers of the plagues that will fall on America and the rest of the world. There will be disasters that even those who are going to Israel will experience in America and in Israel itself. No one is void of the plagues that will come about during these last days. But there is a special protection and blessing that will be upon those who go to Israel, and are truly following God with all of their hearts, minds, and souls (Revelation 12:6.13-17).

There is nothing new under the sun because God doesn’t change. He had this plan orchestrated in His mind since before the creation of the world. That is why it is there for us to find throughout the whole of His written word. I know of one person who has been given the commission to prepare God’s people to go to Israel. And over the last few years more and more are taking up the torch. Jim Staley with Passion for Truth Ministries, Yahwah’s Restoration Ministry, Jonathan Cahn, and more I am sure!

Why hasn’t this concept been proclaimed by a lot by God’s people? God only needs one in an appropriate area. Maybe they have not been called yet because the timing is not right. Also, there might not be anyone else willing to follow this calling and teach this truth yet (Ezekiel 2-3). But time will tell what God will do about this.  Like the prophets of old, only one would willingly proclaim God’s message for that time. To truly find someone who is wholly committed to following God’s will and teaching others so is a rarity. “And in those days there will not be many prophets, nor those who speak reliable words, except one here and there in different places, because of the spirit of error and of fornication and of vainglory, and of the love of money which there will be among those who are said to be servants of that One, and among those who receive that One” (Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah 3: 21-31).

One has to be willing to proclaim God’s message. Only the miraculous hand of God will finally be the reason these few will be able to proclaim His message so many will have a choice to hear, believe, and obey. The era of prophets is not over for God says He will appoint apostles and prophets with no indication that they will cease to exist until their prophecy is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-19; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; 13:1-3; Ephesians 2:11-3:6; Revelations 11:3-4 – witness in Hebrew mean prophet). For those who would rather cast aside this message, because it goes against everything or something they were taught, needs to be warned of the danger of doing so just because it doesn’t line up with man’s understanding or doctrines/teachings.

For those who miss the calling of the remnant to go to Israel there is hope. Just a couple of verses describe His mercy on those also. “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go’” (Jeremiah 50:33). Some are experiencing this already, some will.  Yet David understood and prophesied, “He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive” (Psalms 106:56). And Isaiah said, “1 The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob. 2 Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And Israel will take possession of the nations and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors. 3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you,”… (Isaiah 14:1-3).

All will be participants in the work that needs to happen to Israel, some in the fields and vineyards, some cattle and herds, some fishermen, others with the construction, others with childbearing and household duties, and others, temple responsibilities (Ezekiel 45-48). But it will be a sweeter work, a work bearing much fruit for God promises the corn and wine will yield greatly. A lesson of humility will need to fall on all of God’s people. The reason why the ones are not a part of the gathering of Isaiah 11 is either: they didn’t know the message or to watch for the signs; or they cast aside the warning of this message and others to come. They hopefully will be a part of the ones that will come eventually and not the ones that won’t come at all.

But, nonetheless, God does not want one to be lost, so He has a plan to include as many people as possible. These last minute stragglers will be allowed in before the door closes and the plagues fall, but they must be willing to be the servants and handmaids mentioned above with the children of Israel. But there will come a time when the door is closed and He will not tolerate even the full blooded Israelites who are living in the nation of Israel because they did not choose to fully surrender to God’s will and come under the bond of the covenant. These will either be driven out from among God’s people to be killed in the wilderness (when in Israel), killed in God’s plagues, or by the true followers of Christ. Eventually this event will happen worldwide when Christ comes with He and His saints kill the all the wicked. But this is for another Bible study.

The 1000 year Millennium

In Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream a kingdom of stone is described coming out of heaven and destroying all other nations. 44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:44). I believe there is no doubt that this kingdom is Jesus Christ’s Kingdom whose ruler is He. For Daniel 7:14 says “13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” What else can we learn about this kingdom, it’s characteristics?

Continuing down it talks about how the forth beast will first be the one trying to “devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it” until one king comes that will “speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).  This sounds a lot like what has happened to God’s Holy people throughout history but especially in these last days. Remember who “His royal priesthood, a holy nation” is? Israel. (Already covered above.)

Who is oppressing and seeking to devour, trample, and crush Israel and quite frankly, the whole world is in their “sights” (no pun intended)? Isn’t it the Muslim nation (Ishmael’s descendants) and their cohorts? The Palestinians who are seeking to overrun the land of Israel and gain its possession from them? Who has set up a temple in the place where the original temple in Israel stood? Islam?!?  The Palestinian nation has taken over the land of Israel in the past and is seeking to reclaim what was never supposed to be theirs when Israel became a nation again in 1967. Israel is the only one with a rightful claim to the land.

What does God’s word promise? 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’ “His Kingdom” again is Yeshua’s (Jesus’s). Scripture talks about Christ coming back to the earth and that all nations will be put under His feet, placed under His rule. “The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool (Psalms 110:1) This isn’t just in the spiritual sense thought that is included in His domain.

There are some who think that it will be impossible for Israel to be able to push out the Muslim nation and all of Israel’s opponents. Yet God has given several promises that say they can and will do just that! 22 “For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves” Deuteronomy 11:22-23). Also in Isaiah 49:25-26, 25 “For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. 26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

There will be bloodshed when Christ comes to set up His kingdom for Scripture says the last thing to be swallowed up in the dominion of Christ is DEATH. 24 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till (showing a process) he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:23-26).
Think it is only spiritual warfare? How about the rest of Psalms 110? 2 “The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent; Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head” (Psalms 110:2-7).

The 1000 year millennium here on earth?

Revelation describes that during the 1000 year millennium that Satan will be bound up.  Also it says that those who did not worship the beast or take his image would come to life and reign with Christ during this thousand years but that the rest of the dead would not come to life until after this 1000 years. Included in this description is shown there would be thrones for someone(s) to sit upon to judge from.
We have already gone over the verses of how Israel would come back to their land. But there is more. Scripture explains that God would send fourth again from the Holy Mountain of Zion in the latter days God’s judgments, laws, commandments, covenant to be taught again. Then God’s feasts would be kept and representatives from all over the world would be expected to come to The Holy Mountain of Israel to participate in the appointed times. Anyone who would not do this would receive the curses of God for not following His ways.
Zechariah 14 describes how God will bring all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it, it will be defeated for a time, and then how God will defeat the nations and establish Jerusalem forever, never to be destroyed again. Sounds a lot like the kingdom of the stone described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream right? 1 “A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. 2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquakea in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

(These verses sound like how the sun and the moon shall be darkened: Joel 3:15; Isaiah 13:10; Mathew 24:29; Acts 2:20.)
8 On that day living water (Christ is the living water and His Word/Torah gives life) will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. 10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.”


For those who fight against Jerusalem it talks about them receiving plagues. Also that great wealth would be gathered to Jerusalem, “gold, silver, and clothing.” And many people will fight against one another during the great panic of the plagues and punishment of the Lord. (Zechariah 14:12-14). But those who survive in those nations will go up to Jerusalem year to year as I described above. Read for yourself below.
16 “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 20 On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanitec in the house of the Lord Almighty.”

God’s laws will be taught and people will flock to Jerusalem to learn of His ways that have long been removed from many of the church’s teachings and fundamental beliefs, and from the world. 2 “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.…” (Micah 4:1-3 and quoted from Isaiah 2:1-3).
Revelation covers this topic as well, in a general sense. After describing the four horses and their disasters that accompany them, the great earthquake, and the sun, moon and stars changing/falling, the vision goes on. It explains how the mountains and islands will move from their places, and people will hide in caves and pray for the rocks to fall on them. Then the angels hold the wind back from blowing on the earth, Next another angel with another seal is commanded, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Revelation 7:3).
Then a great multitude of people is described from every nation, tongue and people who stood before the throne of God who it describes as being those who “come out of the great tribulation… they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them…for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters….”  (Revelation 7:9, 14-17.) (This has to be before the places in Revelation 21 that talks about there being no temple, the one that comes out of heaven, the one that Christ has been preparing mansions in for us to live, and with the dimensions described in Revelation 21.)

Then I believe this is when Satan will be unbound from the bottomless pit, gather anyone else who will fight for him, and attack the “Holy City.” 7 “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle (this battle is on the earth). In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves (who else has this been other than Jerusalem?). But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown (they were already in there). They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
Then the final judgment will take place and I believe this is, when the heaven and earth will be made new, when the rest of the dead will be raised after the 1000 years, and when mortal will put on immorality, as described in Revelations 21-22, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, and 1 Corinthians 15:50-56. These verses we are already familiar with, those who have studied Revelation, and the last chapters of the book of the Bible. Who wouldn’t want to read it J What a blessed promise, future, and hope these verses describe for God and His people. Read it and be encouraged.

This is just the tip of the spear and I am excited to share more things in the future. In the meantime, please don’t take my word for it, for there are many false teachings and prophets out there and we should be ready to always challenge someone’s words with the Word of God. Look these verses up yourself and see that they are not taken out of context. And I guarantee you; there are many, many more verses out there that I did not include in this study. Find them for yourselves.

Ask for the true Spirit of Yeshua to give you wisdom and understanding and pray that in the name of Yeshua, Jesus, and in the power of His blood, you will not be deceived. Test every doctrine that you have been taught in the church you reside in and make sure all of it, every part of it, lines up with Scripture with nothing assumed, added to, or taken away from it; casting aside feelings of offense or self-righteousness, or pride at the mere mention of searching out doctrines that you may have embraced your whole life.

Searching the Word of God repeatedly, comparing Scripture with Scripture using the context the Hebrew writers used to define their terms and writings, the Old Testament and the Hebrew language.  Make sure you have not been deceived which doesn’t hurt anything, and it sure shouldn’t offend anyone. If you are offended, maybe there is something wrong there. I know this from experience, having slipped into the realm of spiritualism. That sin exposed, exposing lies that one believes, can cause a person to become offended in the beginning. Thank God for His mercy, His grace, His error shattering Word, the blessed people who helped save me, and His lessons of humility.

It is so important to test the spirits that may come and visit us: in person, visions, and dreams, voices, even in our thoughts, because the enemy comes as an angel of light in spirit and in person at times. More and more the good and true Spirit of Yeshua, the Spirit of Wisdom, will be visiting God’s people because our time is short, and He wants His people to be ready and to understand. And just as much, the devil will be trying to trick and deceive as many people as he can. Test these things in the name of Yeshua and in the power of His blood so we can know the truth, and so the truth can set us free from the bondage of any lies and deceptions; so seeing we can see, and hearing we can hear, repent, and be healed. In the love of Yeshua, and in His name, Amen!!

*4 Baruch 8:1-11; 1 And a day came when the Lord brought the people up out of Babylon. 2 And God spoke unto Jeremiah, saying: “Arise, thou and the people, and come unto Jordan, and say unto the people: Who is willing to abandon his alliance with the Babylonians? 3 And the men that have taken wives from among them, and the women that have taken husbands from among them, and who listen unto thee and pass over Jordan, bring them unto Jerusalem. And those that listen not unto thee and pass not over Jordan bring them not thither.” 4 And Jeremiah spake these things unto the people, and they arose and came unto Jordan to pass over it. 5And Jeremiah made known unto them the word of the Lord. And some of them, who had taken wives, would not listen unto Jeremiah, but they said unto him: “We will never leave our wives, but we will return with them into Babylon.” 6 So they passed over Jordan and came into Jerusalem. 7 And Jeremiah, and Baruch, and Abimelech stood among them, saying: “No man who has an alliance with the Babylonians shall enter unto this city.” Yet Some Turn Back to Babylon 8 And some of the people said: “Come, let us return into our places, in Babylon.” So they went away, 9 and on their return into Babylon, the Babylonians came out against them, saying: “Ye shall not enter into Babylon our city, for ye have hated us and ye have departed from us secretly; wherefore ye shall not dwell with us. 10 We have sworn unto each other in the name of our gods, to let neither you, nor your children into our city, because ye have departed from us secretly.” 11 Then they returned and came unto a place in the desert, far off from Jerusalem; and there they built a city and called its name ‘Samaria’.”

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supersessionism&redirect=no

2 http://focusonjerusalem.com/thefallofjerusalem.html

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The plight of an intercessor

What if you had the gift of an intercessor and you didn’t know it? You would feel a natural God-given inclination to see what people need help with. All around you things would be brought to your attention by observation, impression, and “happenstance.” What would you feel?What would you do?

Speaking from experience I would feel a responsibility to help. I would go out of my way to email them, text them, send them literature or books, all the above without their consent or them having asked me for help. This would be done without me knowing that God is moving on my heart to pray for them because in His wisdom He sees that is what needs to happen first or perhaps at all for His perfect will and plan for both of you!

But what if the former was pursued instead of the latter? How would most people respond to this? Most people wouldn’t look into, read, watch, or actively apply these things when they are not aware they need help in these areas. Or they would resist something that they did not choose to participate in or felt lead to embrace.

But what if God who arranges the chest pieces in each on of our lives led each one of us to understand what our spiritual gifts are and orchestrated this beautiful dance so that people would naturally become aware of how to help others or what they need help with? If the intercessor would pray for that person His Spirit would be more able to open their eyes and ears to the need in the first place and create a hunger for answers or help. Then they would be more willing to be helped, advised, or read that book, whether it is from you or someone else.

This would mean people would know what their God-given propensities are and not feel guilty to pursue the course for so and so. An intercessor wouldn’t try and force themselves to witness or give advice or literature and become discouraged when time and time again it doesn’t seem to work. They would instead take the burden and concerns to God and pray for Him to bring what the struggling individual or family needs i.e. God’s chosen witnesses/advisers, or gift givers, or healers, etc.

And as my mother recently advised me, if God wants you to go outside of your known gifting, let Him bring it into your life. Ask Him if He wants you to do more to make it apparent to you by bumping into the individual, or by having the individual ask you for advice or whatever it is they need.

If both parties knew God was leading them it would be harder to resist the help or the desire to help. But if it was human effort trying to force something with ill timing or with less effective means, wouldn’t this hinder the process of people realizing God is pursuing them, loving them, and wanting to help them through you and your God-given gifting or someone else?

This being said, not every inclination to help is from God. Sometimes the devil can keep you very busy wearing shoes you were not meant to wear. This can keep you from pursuing the God-given gifting He bestowed upon you all the while pushing you into a pit of despair when your efforts repeatedly fail.

It can also open a door for the devil to make you feel guilty that you are not doing more and therefore you must not love God or the people around you. He can give you a sense of urgency to do something NOW, HURRY HURRY, and anxiety and human effort takes over and pushes us too far in a direction we were not meant to go. Then you are simply trying to do something that is ineffective. No matter how good your intentions are, they can make things worse if it is not God’s will.

“Lord, lead us to understand what our spiritual gifting is. And please create in us a willingness and cheerfulness to give of our time, talent, or possessions to help Your sheep in the avenue you have given or will add to us for your perfect will. We know that you want none to be lost and all to come to repentance. Give us of Your wisdom, discernment, knowledge and understanding on how to be an effective team with You and Your Spirit. And may we not neglect the time we need with you first and foremost before we try and help those around us. May our sense of worth be found in Your love for us and not how effective our efforts are to those around us or how well people of us because of our efforts. In Yahshuah’s name I pray, Amen!”

Off to eat my burnt hash browns. Willing to admit that cooking is not my forté 🙂 Maybe God will send someone into my life who has that natural gift and will gladly cook for me all the time free of charge 😉

Shalom!

Heather

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What is True Faith?

We are being tested in this very subject. Our job is almost over. Both sides agree we are no longer compatible. It has been a big lesson of realizing what happens to your life if you work for the world, and submit yourself to the authority of it’s principles. We are choosing to step out in faith and embrace the principles and prosperity that is offered to us in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.

What am I talking about? Ready to watch something that will change your life? Is your life a constant reinforcement that no matter how much I pray, God doesn’t answer? Or are you in a situation where it seems God isn’t listening, that all has/is failing? Unlock the secrets to switching the authority from Satan’s kingdom over your situation to God’s authority.

But always keep in mind that God has (should be given) the final say in your life/situation. Nothing has happened to you that has not passed through Him first and been approved. And often our dark circumstances is because we have been avoiding areas in our lives, characters, beliefs, etc., things needing to be confessed of (us laying down our justification and excuses/blame of everyone but ourselves) AND repented of (excepting responsibility for our mistakes and making it right with Him and with others). And God disciplines/prunes/exposes dross in those He sees great potential in for restoring His name in the Earth for His honor and glory.

Be amazed and confounded. But be willing to really think and embrace this understanding for it is of the deeper things of God’s kingdom. “Father, give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and wisdom to understand through your Holy Spirit. Amen!”

 

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