Dangers of Dispensationalism

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Dispensationalism theology is a doctrine I unknowingly embraced long before I ever heard the term, or understood what it meant. Most evangelical, Protestant churches teach dispensationalism, never explaining it, or revealing that it is a way to interpret the Bible which originated from very specific men in the late nineteenth century. It has been spread far and wide as the only way to interpret scripture, just by the fact there is rarely any other options given. For simplicity, I am going to use Theopedia.com to help explain dispensationalism. This is much like Wikipedia with the original sources cited on the website.

“Dispensationalism is a theological system that teaches biblical history is best understood in light of a number of successive administrations of God’s dealings with mankind, which it calls “dispensations.” It maintains fundamental distinctions between God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church, and emphasizes prophecy of the end-times and a pre-tribulation rapture of the church prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Its beginnings are usually associated with the Plymouth Brethren movement in the UK and the teachings of John Nelson Darby.” theopedia.com

This belief system grew in the late nineteenth century and is a primary source of pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, the “political state of Israel can do no wrong”, and that the church has a different eschatological destiny than “the Jews”. If any of this sounds familiar, then you have been exposed to dispensationalism theology.

A well known teacher of dispensationalism theology is Dr. David Jeremiah. A small group study I took part in, where we watched a series of videos by Dr. Jeremiah on end times prophecy, began the process of alerting me to the errors of this belief system. The more I watched, the less sense it made, viewing the scriptures in the entirety of their context.

Why is there a picture of the all seeing eye of Horus in the backdrop of the Shadow Mountain Community Church? Dr. Jeremiah succeeded Tim LaHaye , from the Left Behind fame, as senior pastor at this church. All conspiracy theories aside, it is just bizarre. It may be a clue to where this doctrine was birthed.

Dr. Jeremiah’s Church

Another well known teacher of dispensationalism theology is Pastor John Hagee. He is a strong supporter of the political state of Israel. I see nothing wrong with supporting a political state or a politician; however, it becomes a problem when a political state and a politician become part of the theology.

One of the premises of dispensationalism is that Israel, or “the Jews” have a different path in bible prophecy than the “church”, and that anyone who “blesses Israel” will be blessed, anyone who “curses Israel” will be cursed. Unfortunately, a scripture in Genesis is being taken out of context to justify this belief system.

Gen 12:1 And Yahweh said to Abram, “Go out from your land and from your relatives, and from the house of your father, to the land that I will show you.
Gen 12:2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing.
Gen 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse. And all families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

In order to understand this blessing, we must look at why Yahweh blessed Abraham. Anyone familiar with my blog posts won’t be surprised by the answer. Abraham followed the commandments of Yahweh.

Gen 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine which was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, to Gerar.
Gen 26:2 And Yahweh appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will show to you.
Gen 26:3 Dwell as an alien in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham you father.
Gen 26:4 And I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and I will give to your descendants all these lands. And all nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring,
Gen 26:5 because Abraham listened to my voice and kept my charge: my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Aside from that, let’s look at what the Apostle Paul has to say about the descendants of Abraham and this promise:

Gal 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

A little further in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he explains more:

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

These verses alone should clear up any questions. Mixing politics with theology, like we have seen in an unprecedented way as of late, is a slippery slope, and many Christians are in a free fall with false prophesies and worship of evil men. Placing a political state on a pedestal, and standing by that political state based on theology, is equally dangerous. Yahweh said the following in the book of Leviticus:

Lev 18:24 “‘You must not make yourself unclean in any of these things, because the nations whom I am driving out from your presence were made unclean by all of these.
Lev 18:25 So the land became unclean, and I have brought the punishment of its guilt upon it, and the land has vomited out its inhabitants.
Lev 18:26 But you (neither the native nor the alien who is dwelling in your midst) shall keep my statutes and my regulations, and you shall not practice any of these detestable things
Lev 18:27 (because the people of the land, who were before you, did all these detestable things, so the land became unclean),
Lev 18:28 so that the land will not vomit you out when you make it unclean just as it vomited out the nation that was before you.

Lev 18:29 Indeed, anyone who does any of these detestable things, even those persons who do so shall be cut off from the midst of their people.
Lev 18:30 Thus you shall keep my obligation to not do any of the statutes regarding the detestable things that they did before you, so that you will not make yourselves unclean by them; I am Yahweh your God.'”

Are there any political states currently in the world following the commandments and statutes of Yahweh? When a nation continually rebels against the commandments of Yahweh, the land will vomit them out, and another group of people will take over. Consider these verses concerning the two witnesses:

Rev 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
Rev 11:5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.
Rev 11:6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
Rev 11:7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
Rev 11:8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

Dispensationalism theology has robbed the people of God of their identity. The last one hundred years has seen Christians believing “the church” is some how separate from Israel, and that Yahweh did not foresee the “Jews” rejecting Jesus, so He had to go to a plan “b”. Teachers of dispensationalism will say that there are no prophecies concerning the church in the Old Testament. More from theopedia.com:

“In addition to these dispensations, the real theological significance can be seen in four basic tenets which underlie classic dispensational teaching. Dispensationalism maintains:

  1. a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church, i.e. there are two peoples of God with two different destinies, earthly Israel and the spiritual church,
  2. a fundamental distinction between the Law and Grace, i.e. they are mutually exclusive ideas,
  3. the view that the New Testament church is a parenthesis in God’s plan which was not foreseen by the Old Testament,
  4. a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, i.e. the rapture of the church at Christ’s coming “in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17) precedes the “official” second coming (to the earth) by 7 years of tribulation.”

Paul has something different to say regarding the people of Yahweh God:

Rom 11:17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although you were a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them and became a sharer of the root of the olive tree’s richness,
Rom 11:18 do not boast against the branches. But if you boast against them, you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Rom 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off in order that I could be grafted in.”
Rom 11:20 Well said! They were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand firm because of faith. Do not think arrogant thoughts, but be afraid.
Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Rom 11:22 See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity upon those who have fallen, but upon you the kindness of God—if you continue in his kindness, for otherwise you also will be cut off.
Rom 11:23 And those also, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God is able to graft them in again.
Rom 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

Where is “the church” found in the new covenant?

Heb 8:8 For in finding fault with them he says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took hold of them by my hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Anyone putting their faith in Jesus is grafted into the olive tree, whether the House of Israel or the House of Judah. The Ekklesia or “church” has always been the congregation at Mount Horeb and those that sojourn with them.

Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—
Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Eph 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Eph 2:16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Eph 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

Eph 2:21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Eph 2:22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Paul is speaking of the same event as he was in his letter to the Romans. The divorced House of Israel, scattered to the nations, became the means of the whole world being able to be grafted back in through Jesus. The whole book of Hosea discusses this. Dispensationalism disregards the many scriptures explaining these events.

Stephen called the twelve tribes at Mount Sinai the church, or in Greek, Ekklesia.

Act 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’
Act 7:38 This is the one who was in the congregation [Ekklesia] in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.

How are people so easily deceived that “the church” is a parentheses in the omniscient, omnipresent Creator’s plan? That Yahweh never told His prophets that He would have to go to plan “b”? This is absurd! Amos 3:7 says, “Surely my Lord does not do anything unless he has revealed his secret to his servants the prophets”. Peter tells us the prophets from Samuel to Malachi were talking about the “church”:

Act 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
Act 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
Act 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.

Jeremiah speaks of the people of God being led astray.

Jer 23:16 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, “You must not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are deluding you with visions of their mind, They do not speak from the mouth of Yahweh.
Jer 23:17 They are continually saying to those who disregard the word of Yahweh, ‘Peace it will be to you,’ and to each one who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
Jer 23:18 For who has stood in the council of Yahweh, that he has seen and heard his word? Who has listened attentively to his word and heard it?
Jer 23:19 Look, the storm of Yahweh has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest. It will whirl upon the head of the wicked.
Jer 23:20 The anger of Yahweh will not turn back until his doing and until his keeping the plans of his mind. In latter days you will look closely at it with understanding.
Jer 23:21 I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
Jer 23:22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have caused them to turn from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

Another danger with dispensationalism theology is the pre-tribulation rapture. Although a great money maker for books and movies, such as the Left Behind series, it sets up the believer for disappointment and despair when tribulation comes. Instead of two comings of Jesus, it inserts a third coming where the “church” is whisked away to heaven in the knick of time, while the “Jews” have to deal with tribulation. Since this dispensational rapture is before the resurrection, the “church” will be floating around in the balcony as disembodied spirits with Jesus, watching Israel be under the thumb of beast and anti-messiah. Books have been written to untangle this web of deception, so I will not try to do that in this blog. Make no mistake, there is only one return of Jesus, and this is how Peter describes it:

2Pe 3:4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
2Pe 3:5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
2Pe 3:6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

The evil works of men are going to be exposed by the Messiah, not military, courts or any political group. Any earthy group that claims to be doing this is simply another arm of the beast system.

Another fallacy of dispensationalism theology is that the “church”, being a separate entity from the “Jews”, no longer needs to be concerned about the commands of Yahweh. This lie predates dispensationalism, but dovetails nicely with the spiritual “church” and earthly Israel dichotomy, and the law and grace dispensations. Please consider these verses:

Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Rev 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Rev 21:6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Rev 21:7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Rev 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

When Rome took over the church and politicized it, anti-Semitism had already grown roots. The people of the Way and Natzereem sects were persecuted, tortured and killed for being so-called Judiazers, meaning they followed the commandments of God rather than man. The Roman church brought in the gods they were already worshiping, and blended the traditions of Saturn, Mithras, Venus, Ishtar, and others with Christianity. The Sabbath was replaced with Sun god day, the date of the Passover was changed, and many new holy days were invented. What does the sovereign God, Yahuah, have to say about this sort of activity?

Deu 12:29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to, to dispossess them before you, and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land,
Deu 12:30 take care so that you are not ensnared into imitating them after their being destroyed from before you, and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself want to do also.’
Deu 12:31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32 All of the things that I am commanding you, you must diligently observe; you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it.”

Study the scriptures and learn for yourself. Do not rely on men, such as the inventors of dispensationalism theology and their protégés, who will lead you astray.

Previous blog posts:

Foolish Virgins

“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:18-20 What was Jesus trying to convey with His parable ofContinue reading “Foolish Virgins”

Where and What is Hell?

In our world of movies, mythology, and poor theology, the thought of a place called hell brings images of fire and pitchfork wielding, horned entities, torturing those unfortunate enough to find themselves in this underworld dungeon. Is this what the Bible tells us, or has our theology been intertwined with mythology once again? The CyclopediaContinue reading “Where and What is Hell?”

All You Need is Jesus?

Often Christians will say “all you need is Jesus”, or “ all that a person needs is Jesus”. What does this mean exactly? Unfortunately, many people view this as a prayer and church attendance, possibly treating people better, maybe abandoning some vices, believing that there is a deity who had a son that did somethingContinue reading “All You Need is Jesus?”

What Went Wrong?

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life.Continue reading “What Went Wrong?”

The Imaginations of Men

“Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he willContinue reading “The Imaginations of Men”

What Deception?

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the fatherContinue reading “What Deception?”

Which God Do You Serve?

I often bring up the name of God in many of my blogs, and it is not necessarily to emphasize the spelling of the name in any particular language. “Name” means more than a string of letters that are associated with that which a person or deity is called by the phonetic pronunciation of thoseContinue reading “Which God Do You Serve?”

The Woman and the Dragon

“In your distress when all these things have found you in the latter days, then you will return to Yahweh your God, and you will listen to his voice.” Deuteronomy 4:30. I have maintained the book of John’s Revelation needs to be examined in small portions and compared to other scripture to find its meaning.Continue reading “The Woman and the Dragon”

The Will of Yahuah

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” ~Jesus, from Matthew 7:21 According to Jesus, we must do the will of his Father if we are to be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.Continue reading “The Will of Yahuah”

Be Holy for I am Holy

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:14-16 When a New Testament writer quotes scripture, we should takeContinue reading “Be Holy for I am Holy”

Praying In His Name

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us fromContinue reading “Praying In His Name”

Foolish Virgins

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:18-20

What was Jesus trying to convey with His parable of the ten virgins? It appears to be a theme throughout scripture that there are always people that appear to be part of what Yahweh is doing, yet they somehow have failed to follow the instructions to be at the right place at the right time. The parable of the ten virgins tells a similar story.

There were ten virgins who were all waiting for the bridegroom. It is my understanding that it is tradition for the husband to go prepare a place for the bride, then at some point unknown to the bride, the husband comes to the bride’s home to take her to the place he has prepared.

Mat 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Mat 25:3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.
Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’
Mat 25:10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
Mat 25:12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

The wise virgins took extra oil with them, but the foolish virgins did not. What does this oil represent? The foolish virgins wanted to borrow some of the oil from the wise. Why wouldn’t this have been a solution? It appears there was responsibility placed on the virgins to do something to stay prepared, and they could not just “call on the name of the bridegroom” to fix the dilemma they were in at the time of his coming. Jesus had a similar message about people He would say He did not know at his coming.

For those who prophesied in His name and did mighty works in His name, He told them He never knew them, much like the five foolish virgins who ran out of oil. Jesus also indicated these people did not do the work of His Father, but were workers of lawlessness.

Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Lawlessness and iniquity are used for the Greek word anomia, which is Strong’s G458.

G458
ἀνομία
anomia
an-om-ee’-ah
From G459; illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: – iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

This law that is being spoken of is not referring to civil law, or traditions that throughout history religious organizations have placed on the backs of their followers. It is referring to the work of the Father. Jesus clarifies the difference between the traditions of men verses the commandments of Yahweh:

Mar 7:6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Mar 7:7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Mar 7:8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
Mar 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

The theme is continuous throughout scripture. There is a group of people who think they are pleasing Yahweh, but they are just following their own imaginations. The opposite of “workers of unrighteousness” is “workers of righteousness”.

We see that the churches of Sardis and Philadelphia were in a similar situation as the ten virgins. They were both part of the same group, yet some were doing the right things and some were not.

Rev 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Rev 3:2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

Rev 3:3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
Rev 3:4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Rev 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

The church of Sardis had a similar plight as the five foolish virgins. They were waiting for the bridegroom, yet they fell asleep. Their works were not complete. They needed to repent and “keep it”. The church of Philadelphia, on the other hand, was more likened to the five wise virgins.

Rev 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
Rev 3:8 “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.
Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.
Rev 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
Rev 3:12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

Jesus indicates in Philadelphia they have “kept His word”, and to “hold on to what they have”, similar to the wise virgins not giving their oil to the foolish virgins, blending themselves with the slothful ways of the foolish virgins. Keeping His word is doing what He said.

Joh 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
Joh 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Joh 14:13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Joh 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Joh 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Joh 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
Joh 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

Some will try to say that the commandments of Jesus are different then the commandments of Yahweh. I do not understand this reasoning. Do we serve a different God than Yahweh?

Joh 14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Joh 14:24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
Joh 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Is a different gospel being preached to us?

2Co 11:1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me!
2Co 11:2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
2Co 11:5 Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.

2Co 11:6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

We have been lied to for hundreds of years by these “super apostles” that came in and took over. They have led people away from the teachings of Jesus, who taught the same things His Father in heaven taught us from the beginning. This false paradigm, that Old Testament God is somehow different than the God of the New Testament, is an old heresy from someone in the first century named Marcion. Paul continues addressing the church at Corinth.

2Co 11:12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.
2Co 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

The work of deceiving the people of Yahweh was masterly done hundreds of years ago, and although these entities exist today and continue to deceive, most are just innocently perpetuating the lie they were taught. However, this does not excuse the lack of study and asking the Spirit of Truth to teach the scriptures. The Word is the lamp and the Spirit is the oil.

Zec 4:1 And the angel who was talking with me returned, and he wakened me as one who is wakened from his sleep.
Zec 4:2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and look, a lampstand all of gold, and a bowl was on its top, and its seven lamps on it, and seven lips on each of the lamps that are on its top.
Zec 4:3 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

Zec 4:4 And I answered and said to the angel who was talking to me, “What are these, my lord?”
Zec 4:5 And the angel who was talking with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
Zec 4:6 And he answered and said to me, “This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by strength and not by power, but only by my Spirit,’ says Yahweh of hosts.

One must read the whole book of Zechariah to understand who Joshua (morphed to the name Jesus) the high priest is, the seven lips on the bowl, the righteous branch, the seven eyes of Yahweh and the two witnesses. Consider these verses:

Psa 18:28 For you light my lamp; Yahweh, my God, lights up my darkness.

Psa 119:98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, because they are ever with me.
Psa 119:99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
Psa 119:100 I understand more than the elders, for I keep your precepts.
Psa 119:101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, so that I may heed your word.
Psa 119:102 I have not turned aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.
Psa 119:103 How smooth are your words to my palate, more than honey in my mouth.
Psa 119:104 From your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.
Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psa 119:106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to heed your righteous ordinances.

Do not be like the foolish virgins and run out of oil for your lamp. Do not be deceived into thinking that it is acceptable to live contrary to scripture. Yahweh God does not change, and neither Jesus or Paul came preaching a different gospel.

Who is a Deacon?

“For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 3:13 Once I researched what it is to be a deacon, I was surprised to learn the “office of a deacon” was never an office.Continue reading “Who is a Deacon?”

The Reasons for this Blog

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 I remember sitting on the living room floor and my fatherContinue reading “The Reasons for this Blog”

Honour the Sabbath?

In previous blog posts, I have covered three of the Ten Commandments. Do not murder, do not be a false witness, and do not misuse His name. Remembering the Sabbath seems to be pretty important to Yahweh, and it is on equal ground with commandments such as do not murder, yet it is mostly ignoredContinue reading “Honour the Sabbath?”

The Wedding Garment

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.” Matthew 22:11-12 An overlooked prophecy by Zechariah which, I referenced in my last blogContinue reading “The Wedding Garment”

What is Church?

“If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:10 During the past two millennia, the church or the word church, has taken onContinue reading “What is Church?”

More than One Law?

“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,as he does in all his letters when he speaksContinue reading “More than One Law?”

The Great Day of Yahuah

Scripture has much to say about the great and coming day of the LORD. Unfortunately, my experience has been that the subject is treated with silence from the pulpit. I am somewhat puzzled why this is the case with the subject matter spoken about by virtually every writer in the Old and New Testaments. IContinue reading “The Great Day of Yahuah”

Finding the Scroll

Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the scroll of the Torah in the temple of Yahweh,” and Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it. 2 Kings 22:8 There were many cases of righteous kings and unrighteous kings of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. OneContinue reading “Finding the Scroll”

Where and What is Hell?

In our world of movies, mythology, and poor theology, the thought of a place called hell brings images of fire and pitchfork wielding, horned entities, torturing those unfortunate enough to find themselves in this underworld dungeon. Is this what the Bible tells us, or has our theology been intertwined with mythology once again?

The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature defines hell as such: “a term which originally corresponded more exactly to HADES, being derived from the Saxon helan, to cover, and signifying merely the covered, or invisible place-the habitation of those who have gone from this visible terrestrial region to the world of spirits. But it has been so long appropriated in common usage to the place of future punishment for the wicked, that its earlier meaning has been lost sight of. In the English Bible it is used in the wider sense.”

There are three separate Hebrew or Greek words that are translated to the word hell, and they are all referring to very different places. None of which have a pitchfork wielding devil waiting for lost souls. The first place hell is used, is to describe the grave; the place everyone who dies goes. It is underground, usually six feet, but could be under water, in a large animal’s stomach, or perhaps through the digestive system of a lobster or some other unclean sea creature. These methods of death all result in becoming part of the earth and eventually buried. For example, here it is used in the book of Job from the King James translation:

Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

The Hebrew word being translated to hell in this passage is Strong’s H7585. This is the meaning for the word hell in the Old Testament scriptures. In ancient Hebrew, the letters shin lamed, של, project a sense of quietness.

H7585
שְׁאֹל שְׁאוֹל
she’ôl she’ôl
sheh-ole’, sheh-ole’
From H7592; hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranian retreat), including its accessories and inmates: – grave, hell, pit.

Moving into the New Testament, there are three Greek words that get translated to Hell. The first is like the Hebrew word Sheol and it is Hades, meaning grave. The next is found in the passage where Jesus talks about hell fire.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Here the word is Strong’s G1067 is speaking of a place called Gehenna.

G1067
γέεννα
geenna
Thayer Definition:
1) Hell is the place of the future punishment call “Gehenna” or “Gehenna of fire”. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

The last place we will speak of where the word hell is used, is found in one of Peter’s letters.

2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Here, hell is used for the Greek word Tartarus. It is Strong’s G5020. These angels that sinned, whom Peter is referring to, are the sons of God from Genesis six. They are the angels that Jude said left their first estate. These references come from the book of Enoch, which explains the place of Tartarus fully. Please read my blog post Mixing Iron and Clay for more about this subject.

G5020
ταρταρόω
tartaroō
Thayer Definition:
1) the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews
2) to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in Tartarus

Jude’s reference to these angels that are reserved for the fire:

Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

These references include the grave, where everyone goes, a dark pit where the angels that sinned are held until judgement, and Gehenna, a place of future fire. Revelation best describes this place of future fire being utilized after the resurrection of the dead and judgement. This is the closest thing you will see to a “zombie apocalypse”.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

With the word hell used for all of these places in this version, it gets confusing and sounds like it is one place. Here is how the English Standard version translates the same verses in Revelation:

Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Jesus gives us some interesting language in a parable talking about separate compartments in the underworld.

Luk 16:19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
Luk 16:20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
Luk 16:21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,
Luk 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
Luk 16:24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
Luk 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

Luk 16:27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—
Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
Luk 16:30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
Luk 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Some claim this is simply a parable and is not intending to describe the underworld. It is a great parable pointing out that those who won’t listen to the law and prophets, will not repent from their ways upon hearing of the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. However, this type of underworld is one that is described in books that the first century audience would be familiar with, but were removed from the standard sixty-six book people limit themselves to today. For example, Enoch 22:1-12:

From there I proceeded to another spot, where I saw on the west a great and lofty mountain, a strong rock, and four delightful places. Internally it was deep, capacious, and very smooth; as smooth as if it had been rolled over: it was both deep and dark to behold. Then Rapha’el, one of the holy angels who were with me, answered and said, These are the delightful places where the ruachoth, the souls of the dead, will be collected; for them were they formed; and here will be collected all the souls of the sons of men. These places, in which they dwell, shall they occupy until the day of judgment, and until their appointed period. Their appointed period will be long, even until the great judgment. And I saw the ruachoth of the sons of men who were dead; and their voices reached to heaven, while they were accusing. Then I inquired of Rapha’el, an angel who was with me, and said, Whose ruach is that, the voice of which reaches to heaven, and accuses? CHANOK (ENOCH) 22:1-6 את CEPHER

He answered, saying, This is the ruach of H’avel who was slain by Qayin his brother; and who will accuse that brother, until his seed be destroyed from the face of the earth; Until his seed perish from the seed of mankind. At that time therefore I inquired respecting him, and respecting the general judgment, saying, Why is one separated from another? He answered, Three separations have been made between the ruachoth of the dead, and thus have the ruachoth of the righteous been separated. Namely, by a chasm, by water, and by light above it. And in the same way likewise are sinners separated when they die, and are buried in the earth; judgment not overtaking them in their lifetime. Here their souls are separated. Moreover, abundant is their suffering until the time of the great judgment, the castigation, and the torment of those who eternally execrate, whose souls are punished and bound there forever. CHANOK (ENOCH) 22:7-12 את CEPHER

Many people are uncomfortable with the book of Enoch; however, it is alluded to and quoted many times in the sixty-six book bible. Until it was discovered in the caves of Qumran, it was discounted as a later work due to all of the similarities found in the New Testament. The oldest copy of Enoch we have was found next to the oldest copy of Genesis we currently have. If the reader is still uncomfortable with Enoch, Ezra has similar language in the book of Second Esdras, chapter 7, from the Revised Standard version of the Bible.

78 Now, concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone forth from the Most High that a man shall die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of the Most High. 79 And if it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept the way of the Most High, and who have despised his law, and who have hated those who fear God — 80 such spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately wander about in torments, ever grieving and sad, in seven ways. 81 The first way, because they have scorned the law of the Most High. 82 The second way, because they cannot now make a good repentance that they may live. 83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for those who have trusted the covenants of the Most High. 84 The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days. 85 The fifth way, they shall see how the habitations of the others are guarded by angels in profound quiet. 86 The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will pass over into torments. 87 The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, because they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame, and shall wither with fear at seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they sinned while they were alive, and before whom they are to be judged in the last times. 88 “Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most High, when they shall be separated from their mortal body. 89 During the time that they lived in it, they laboriously served the Most High, and withstood danger every hour, that they might keep the law of the Lawgiver perfectly. 90 Therefore this is the teaching concerning them: 91 First of all, they shall see with great joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders. 92 The first order, because they have striven with great effort to overcome the evil thought which was formed with them, that it might not lead them astray from life into death. 93 The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly wander, and the punishment that awaits them. 94 The third order, they see the witness which he who formed them bears concerning them, that while they were alive they kept the law which was given them in trust. 95 The fourth order, they understand the rest which they now enjoy, being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels in profound quiet, and the glory which awaits them in the last days. 96 The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible, and shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the straits and toil from which they have been delivered, and the spacious liberty which they are to receive and enjoy in immortality. 97 The sixth order, when it is shown to them how their face is to shine like the sun, and how they are to be made like the light of the stars, being incorruptible from then on. 98 The seventh order, which is greater than all that have been mentioned, because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be confident without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold the face of him whom they served in life and from whom they are to receive their reward when glorified. 99 This is the order of the souls of the righteous, as henceforth is announced; and the aforesaid are the ways of torment which those who would not give heed shall suffer hereafter.” 100 I answered and said, “Will time therefore be given to the souls, after they have been separated from the bodies, to see what you have described to me?” 101 He said to me, “They shall have freedom for seven days, so that during these seven days they may see the things of which you have been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered in their habitations.”

Was Jesus referencing these things found in Esdras and Enoch? I am not going to definitively say yes, but it sure appears that way. The righteous rest in profound quiet (RIP) protected by angels, and the ones who have scorned the law of Yahweh do not get the peaceful rest awaiting judgement. These verses in second Esdras sound similar to the fate of Jacob Marley in Charles Dicken’s Christmas Carol.

Before we leave this area of discussion, I would like to point to a couple more items. In Enoch, where H’Aval (Abel) was crying out accusing Cain, it sounds similar to the following passages in Genesis and Revelation.

Gen 4:9 Then Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
Gen 4:10 And he said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.

Rev 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
Rev 6:10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Rev 6:11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

The one scenario that appears to be absent regarding the grave is that of anyone ascending to a place called Heaven. Take note of what both Job and David say:

Job 14:7 “Indeed, there is hope for a tree: if it is cut down, then it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not cease;
Job 14:8 though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the dust,
Job 14:9 at the scent of water it will bud, and it will put forth branches like a young plant.
Job 14:10 “But a man dies, and he dwindles away; thus a human being passes away, and where is he?
Job 14:11 As water disappears from a lake, and a river withers away and dries up,
Job 14:12 so a man lies down, and he does not arise. Until the heavens are no more, they will not awaken, and they will not be roused out of their sleep.
Job 14:13 “O that you would conceal me in Sheol, that you would hide me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint a set time for me and remember me.
Job 14:14 If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my compulsory service I will wait, until the coming of my relief.
Job 14:15 You would call, and I myself would answer you; you would long for the work of your hand.
Job 14:16 For then you would count my steps, but you would not keep watch over my sin.
Job 14:17 My transgression would be sealed in a bag, and you would cover over my guilt.

Psa 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. Yes, my body will dwell in safety,
Psa 16:10 for you will not abandon my soul to Sheol; you will not give your faithful one to see the grave.

A famous verse in the Bible has Jesus and His disciples at the temple of Pan, who was a goat god. This was at the foot of Mount Hermon where the Genesis six debacle of transgressing angels happened.

Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Mat 16:14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Mat 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Mat 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Caesarea Philippi as described in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

“Caesarea Philippi (fi-lip´ı̄) (Καισαρεία ἡ Φιλίππου, Kaisareı́a hē Philı́ppou). At the Southwest base of Mt. Hermon, on a rocky terrace, 1,150 ft. above sea-level, between Wādy Khashabeh and Wādy Za‛areh, lie the ruins of the ancient city. It was a center for the worship of Pan: whence the name Paneas, applied not only to the city, but to the whole district”.

At the base of Mount Hermon, in defiance of the goat god Pan, Jesus makes this proclamation that the gates of hell, or more proper to the Greek, hades, will not prevail. There is a lot that could be unpacked there, especially if this goat god is a later manifestation of Azazel, the goat that took all the sin and the angel in Enoch that all sin was attributed to.

Next, I would like to address some of the mythology that has come to be mixed with the idea of hell. We have the Greek god, Hades, as described at greek mythology.com:

As the ruler of the dead, Hades was a grim and ghastly figure, inspiring awe and terror in everybody. Consequently, he was rarely depicted in art. When he was, he was most commonly portrayed with a beard, and a solemn, mournful look. He frequently wears a helmet, named the Helm of Darkness or the Cap of Invisibility. Cerberus, the three-headed dog which guarded the entrance to the Underworld, is usually beside him. Every so often he carries a scepter or holds the key to his kingdom. At a later stage, he became associated with his weapon of choice, the bident, a two-pronged fork modeled after Poseidon’s trident. As Plouton, he was sometimes shown with a cornucopia, the horn of plenty.

This is likely where we get the idea of the pitchfork. The horn and tail of the Christian “keeper of hell” could come from the Urgaritic cult of the dead as discussed in Dr. Michael Heiser’s book, Demons, page 20. We should learn the difference between popular Christian mythology and what is actually taught in scripture.

There is a great amount of speculation of what happens in the after life. The word hell is so generic now that it really does not give us an accurate picture of what is being discussed. The good news is that since Jesus conquered death by having died and then resurrected, if we put our faith in Jesus, we no longer need to fear being left in hades or under the “gates of hell”, which I believe is the six feet of soil placed over our dead flesh. Also, we can escape the second death, which involves the fire of Gehenna. This scripture in Revelation tells us endurance in the faith equates to having faith in Jesus and keeping the commandments, because if a person truly has faith, they will want to be obedient to whom their faith is placed.

Rev 14:8 Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
Rev 14:9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
Rev 14:10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Rev 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Previous blog posts:

Don’t be a Jeroboam

And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all of the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite: Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned,Continue reading “Don’t be a Jeroboam”

Vanity

Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.Ecc 1:2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.Ecc 1:3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?Ecc 1:4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remainsContinue reading “Vanity”

Mixing Iron and Clay

The debate surrounding the sons of God named in Genesis chapter six and to whom they are referring to, really isn’t much of a debate anymore, because not many in mainstream Christianity talk about it, and it is often dismissed by the theory that the “sons of God” are just the sons of Seth, Adam’sContinue reading “Mixing Iron and Clay”

A Murderous Heart

How much innocent blood is shed in the world today on a daily basis? Has anything changed since the beginning? The sixth commandment Yahweh God gave to the twelve tribes at Mount Horeb was Deuteronomy 5:17 “Thou shalt not kill”. Genesis 4:9-10 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said,Continue reading “A Murderous Heart”

Information from Ezra We Stopped Reading, and Hope in the Resurrection of the Dead

The book of Revelation in the Bible is often neglected in Christianity due to its supposed difficulty and plain weirdness. Also, many people have made a lot of money trying to explain the visions John had and wrote down in the book. People often try to set dates for events, that are always wrong, whichContinue reading “Information from Ezra We Stopped Reading, and Hope in the Resurrection of the Dead”

All You Need is Jesus?

Often Christians will say “all you need is Jesus”, or “ all that a person needs is Jesus”. What does this mean exactly? Unfortunately, many people view this as a prayer and church attendance, possibly treating people better, maybe abandoning some vices, believing that there is a deity who had a son that did something for them, and it ends there. What are “good” works and righteousness? What really saves a person from the impending wrath of Yahweh that He promises to deliver to the Earth? Peter addresses the people celebrating Shavuot, the feast of weeks, which in Greek was called Pentecost, for the counting of fifty days from the feast of first fruits.

Act 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
Act 2:15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
Act 2:17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
Act 2:18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
Act 2:19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
Act 2:20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

It is always good to read the text directly where it is being quoted. Here are the passages Peter is quoting in Joel:

Joe 2:28 And it will happen afterward thus: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your elders will dream dreams; your young men shall see visions.
Joe 2:29 And also on the male slaves and on the female slaves, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
Joe 2:30 And I will set wonders in the heavens, and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.
Joe 2:31 The sun will be changed to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh.
Joe 2:32 And it will happen—everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be rescued, because on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh said, and among the survivors whom Yahweh is calling.

What Peter is quoting, actually says that everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be rescued from the wrath Yahweh pours out on the Earth. Peter continues, explaining the role of Jesus:

Act 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
Act 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Act 2:24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Act 2:25 For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
Act 2:26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.
Act 2:27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
Act 2:28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Act 2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Act 2:30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,
Act 2:31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
Act 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
Act 2:34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,
Act 2:35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Act 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Act 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Peter says God has made Him, speaking of Jesus, both Lord and Christ. The word Lord, back in verse 21, was used quoting Joel 2:32, for Yahweh. Yahweh is an approximate representation of the four Hebrew letters, יהוה, the name of the God of Israel, Abraham and Isaac. Let’s see if the same Greek word is used in verse 21 for Lord as in verse 36.

Act 2:21 And G2532  it shall come to pass, G2071  that whosoever G3956 G3739 G302  shall call on G1941  the G3588  name G3686  of the Lord G2962 shall be saved. G4982

Act 2:36 Therefore G3767  let all G3956  the house G3624  of Israel G2474  know G1097  assuredly, G806  that G3754  God G2316  hath made G4160  that same G5126  Jesus, G2424  whom G3739  ye G5210  have crucified, G4717  both G2532 Lord G2962 and G2532  Christ. G5547

It is the same Greek word G2962. This means Jesus has supreme authority as Lord (Kurios), and is the Messiah or Christ. Does this mean Jesus, whose name originally was Yeshua or Yahshua in Hebrew, meaning the salvation of Yah, usurped the power of Yahweh?

G2962
κύριος
kurios
Thayer Definition:
1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
1a) the possessor and disposer of a thing
1a1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
1a2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor
1b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
1c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah

Here is what Jesus has to say about this:

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We are digressing from the original question, “All you need is Jesus?”, to lay down some frame work. According to Peter and Jesus, all power and authority has been handed over to Jesus from the Father. Paul tells us more:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his
feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.
1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Paul seems to be quoting Psalms 8:6 here:

Psa 8:3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place—
Psa 8:4 what is a human being that you think of him? and a child of humankind that you care for him?
Psa 8:5 And you made him a little lower than heavenly beings, and with glory and with majesty you crowned him.
Psa 8:6 You make him over the works of your hands; all things you have placed under his feet:
Psa 8:7 sheep and cattle, all of them, and also the wild animals of the field,
Psa 8:8 the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, everything that passes along the paths of seas.
Psa 8:9 Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all of the earth!

The writer of Hebrews quotes the same verses regarding Jesus:

Heb 2:6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
Heb 2:7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,
Heb 2:8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus,
crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Hopefully we have established who Jesus is with all of these verses. The Father has put all things subject to Him for a time until all the enemies have been conquered. At that time, He hands things back to the Father. First Corinthians 15:28: “When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.”

Another verse in Revelation says the following:

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

There are many verses that show the authority that Jesus, or Yeshua, has been given. He says that He will share it with us as His Father shared with him if we repent.

Rev 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

If we look back at what Peter was saying in Acts, he also indicates there are things we must do “to have Jesus”.

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

“Having Jesus” is more than saying a prayer, going to church and carrying on with life. Repentance means being sorry for transgressing the things Yahweh said not to do, and then with the help of the Holy Spirit, not doing them any more. Repentance is also doing the things Yahweh said to do as well as what not to do. The writers of the New Testament do a good job of repeating all the instructions that Yahweh gave us in the law and prophets. Jesus exemplified them for us, as well as the apostles. Here are some examples of New Testament writers explaining or showing us how to live a righteous life pleasing to Yahweh:

Act 15:16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,
Act 15:17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things
Act 15:18 known from of old.’
Act 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
Act 15:20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

People from the nations, unfamiliar with the ways of Yahweh, are given the instructions to abstain from sexual immorality, things polluted from idols and from eating blood. These were the typical practices of their religions with temple prostitution, eating blood and idolatry. This is not to say if we stop doing those things we are done. Verse 21 implies these people will learn Yahweh’s ways in the “synagogues every Sabbath”. Here are some more New Testament instructions:

Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

As Paul states in the letter to the Romans 7:14, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin”. So, when we repent and have the Spirit, we will not do these works of the flesh, which are explained in Yahweh’s laws. The law is written “on our hearts and in our mind”. The writer of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah:

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Paul gives us some more examples of what not “having Jesus” involves.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Rom 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Rom 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

A person can easily find all theses attributes that we should not take part in, or as verse 32 indicates, should not even show approval, in the law of Yahweh. A portion of one of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians shows us we are not even to eat with such people. The clarification here is that these people he is speaking of are in the church, not in the world.

1Co 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
1Co 5:10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—
not even to eat with such a one.

For those who claim Jesus did away with the Father’s law, how are these verses explained? No association with idolatrous things, sexual immorality, etc. Don’t even eat with such a person! What does that say about what type of people we should be? Some words from Peter:

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Jesus gives us a similar word in John’s revelation:

Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

We could quote the New Testament verse after verse, showing what it looks like to “have Jesus”. It is all the same as what pleases Yahweh in the law and prophets, so why not look there as well? Yahweh would not hand all power and authority over to a lawless, idolatrous, sexually immoral Messiah. Jesus did not come to abolish the law. He came to show how to walk it out in our lives completely, or fulfill it. Jesus did not come to create a new religion called Christianity, with the inclusion of Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman mythology.

Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Church leadership today is similar to the Pharisees in Jesus’ day who taught their traditions as the law of Yahweh, and neglected the actual law of God. Profaning the Sabbaths, idolatrous behaviours, sexual immorality, greed and much more are not only accepted in the church, but celebrated. What is the Greek word, Strong’s G4137, for what is translated “fulfilled”? It has to be the opposite of “abolish”.

G4137
πληρόω
plēroō
Thayer Definition:
1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
1a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
1a1) I abound, I am liberally supplied
2) to render full, i.e. to complete
2a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
2b) to consummate: a number
2b1) to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
2b2) to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
2c) to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise
2c1) of matters of duty: to perform, execute

2c2) of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish

A person who is said to “have Jesus” for several years, should understand all of this. The Holy Spirit of Truth should reveal the truth of scripture to everyone who is seeking it. It is our job to obey, and as we pursue righteousness, the Spirit will guide and reveal truth to us. You can try on your own to be a nice person, quit smoking, watch your language or whatever else you think a Christian should be, but as Paul states, “ the law is spiritual”, so it can only be understood and followed through the Spirit. Anything else is futile works that will be burned up.

Isa 64:5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
Isa 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

John the Baptist came preaching the commandments as was prophesied in the book of Malichi:

Mal 4:4 “Remember the instruction of my servant Moses, which I commanded him at Horeb to all Israel, the rules and regulations.
Mal 4:5 Look! I am going to send to you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh!
Mal 4:6 And he will bring back the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers, so that I will not come and strike the land with a ban.”

Over the two thousand years since John the Baptist, the words have been twisted into a new Babylonian mystery religion. Christianity has taken on the traditions of many foreign religions.

Mat 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
Mat 3:2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
Mat 3:4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,
Mat 3:6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Mat 3:9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
Mat 3:10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Therefore; repent, be baptized, seek Yahweh’s ways commanded at Mount Horeb, and read your Bible, asking the Spirit of Truth to show you!

What’s in a name?

It is interesting unraveling some of the linguistic situations that present themselves in modern translations of the Bible. In the Christian Bible there is the Old Testament, which was originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek; or was it? Then there is the Septuagint, which seventy Hebrew translatorsContinue reading “What’s in a name?”

The Church and Israel, the Church or Israel, or Both? Faith Works.

When did the church begin? What is the church anyway? Who or what is Israel? Replacement theology; Dispensational theology; Covenant theology; Commonwealth theology; does anyone even know what theology system their brand of Christianity is? Does anyone care? What are the core beliefs of your doctrine, and where did they come from? The purpose ofContinue reading “The Church and Israel, the Church or Israel, or Both? Faith Works.”

Sixty-Six Books???

Have you ever wondered how the Christian Bible came into existence? I never gave it much thought until about six years ago when I started reading early church fathers’ writings. In an effort to stamp out gnosticism, stoics, and the likes of Marcion, who taught a lawless gospel, people like Ireneaus, Origen, Tertullian, Jerome andContinue reading “Sixty-Six Books???”

What Went Wrong?

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
” Revelation 20:11-12.

One of the most disturbing situations I find myself involved in is listening to someone who has very good arguments against the church and religion in general. How can they be refuted? Forty thousand denominations from one book? Someone is mixed up. I have heard of people saying that their priest doesn’t believe in God, or that they say it’s no big deal, everyone will go to heaven. What about people who are faithful church attendees that do nothing to live out their faith? This is a serious problem. Another situation: someone who will argue about a particular point of theology with no biblical knowledge, yet insisting they are right about the subject. How about a Pastor ridiculing another denomination for their beliefs when their own beliefs cannot be reconciled with scripture? Paul speaks of this very thing. These things are stumbling blocks for many people.

Rom 14:10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
Rom 14:11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Rom 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Many people involved in these denominations try to live out their Christian life in the flesh by trying to be nice, attending as many church services as possible, dressing a certain way, never consuming alcohol, never smoking, or numerous other ways. Yet in their heart they are bitter, have strife, envy, jealousy and animosity toward other people. Why? Some of the problems lie in the person never understanding who the Creator is, or what their responsibilities are as a disciple of the Messiah. When it is time to stand before God, there will be no chance for any excuses, or such sayings as, “ but my Pastor said”, or “Billy Graham said”. Everyone is responsible for themselves. Do you only know things that you heard from sermons? Have you ever checked your theology against scripture? Can you defend your faith, or what sets your denomination apart from the other 39,999? Do you even have faith? Do you doubt scripture? If you doubt the truth of scripture , then what is your faith based on? Imaginations of men or your own mind?

2Ti 2:14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Do you think you go to heaven or hell immediately when you die? Why? Who told you that? Can you defend that point of view in scripture? Is 2 Corinthains 5:8 your “go to” verse?

2Co 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
2Co 5:3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2Co 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
2Co 5:6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,
2Co 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2Co 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

This is just an example. The point is not the answer to the question, but why do you believe what you believe? I personally believe that these verses are speaking of a resurrected body compared to an earthly tent, or physical body. Being found naked would be having neither a resurrected body or physical body, and a person does not want to end up like that. It has nothing to do with some non-material part of a person going to a place called heaven immediately when they die, yet this is a common belief.

If you have been in church five years and never read the Bible through at least once, how do you learn about Yahweh and His ways? How easily can you be deceived? Is it possible to attend church for years and never know God? Jesus thinks so.

Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

What does this mean? You may say that you are a good person, don’t drink, smoke or that you gave the church a lot of money over the years. This may be noble to some people, but it will not earn anything in the eyes of Yahweh. One could argue these things are no where in the commands of Yahweh. Ah, but it says in the Bible somewhere not to be a drunkard. It also says not to be sexually immoral, so does that mean to refrain from the act all together? It is the same reasoning. The point is that there is a way Yahweh tells His people to live, and what better way to learn than to read it for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit of Truth to guide your understanding?

1Jn 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
1Jn 2:25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
1Jn 2:26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

I have heard it taught that the reason Yahweh told Moses not to eat swine is due to not having the availability of refrigeration. That would mean that the dietary instructions would have only become invalid in the last 120 years, or since refrigeration came on the scene. If that is true, then what was the reason Christians justified eating swine 200 years ago before refrigeration ? The question is not about eating swine, but about explaining why those instructions Yahweh gave to His people are supposedly no longer relevant. I do not think it can be done, keeping the entire context of scripture. How can one rule be pulled from the Old Testament, and another disregarded? Would Jesus have eaten swine when He walked the Earth? He couldn’t have and been the living Word of God. What did Jesus show us to do with pigs?

Mat 8:28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.
Mat 8:29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
Mat 8:30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them.
Mat 8:31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”
Mat 8:32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.

We should not be surprised at all of the confusion. It was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets. These verses describe the 40,000 denominations that exist today:

Eze 22:26 Its priests treat my law violently, and they profane my holy objects; they do not distinguish between a holy object and what is unholy, or between the clean and the unclean. They do not teach the difference, and they hide their eyes from my Sabbaths, and so I am profaned in the midst of them.
Eze 22:27 Its officials are like wolves tearing prey in its midst, to pour out blood, to destroy people, to make dishonest gain.
Eze 22:28 And for them its prophets plaster whitewash; they are seeing falseness and are practicing divination for them by lying, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh,’ and Yahweh has not spoken.
Eze 22:29 They severely oppress the people of the land, and they committed robbery, and they mistreated the needy and the poor, and they oppressed the alien without justice.

Link for denomination stats: https://www.gordonconwell.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2019/04/StatusofGlobalChristianity20191.pdf

Do you hide your eyes from His Sabbaths? Do you even know what His Sabbaths are? How can a person make an educated decision on theology if that person has never faithfully studied the Bible? Israel was dispersed due to these sins that the church is guilty of right now. Why would the outcome be any different? The writer of Hebrews laments over his people not getting past learning the milk, when they should already be teachers.

Heb 5:11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
Heb 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

The resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement are considered elementary doctrines. With all the focus on everyone going to heaven immediately when they die, there is never any teaching on the resurrection of the dead. Why would there be when it seems to have no relevance if everyone is in heaven naked, being without their earthly tent or resurrected body? There is an interesting section of scripture from a book that was omitted from the sixty-six book bible by the Westminster Confession in the 17th century. This is from 2nd Esdras chapter 7. This section of the chapter was apparently discovered after monks had omitted it, even from the later omitted book, for being too dreadful to bare.

75 I answered and said: If I have found favour in your sight, O Yahuah, show this also to your servant: whether after death, as soon as every one of us yields up his soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come when you will renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented at once?
76 He answered me and said: I will show you that also, but do not be associated with those who have shown scorn, nor number yourself among those who are tormented. 77 For you have a treasure of works laid up with El Elyon; but it will not be shown to you until the last times.
78 Now, concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone forth from El Elyon that a man shall die, as the ruach leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of El Elyon. 79 And if it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not guarded the Way of El Elyon, and who have despised his Torah, and who have hated those who fear Elohiym; 80 such ruachoth shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately wander about in torments, ever grieving and sad, in seven ways.
81 The first way, because they have scorned the Torah of El Elyon.
82 The second way, because they cannot now make a good repentance that they may live.
83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for those who have trusted the covenants of El Elyon.
84 The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days.
85 The fifth way, they shall see how the habitations of the others are guarded by angels in profound quiet.
86 The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will pass over into torments.
87 The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, because they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame and shall wither with fear at seeing the glory of El Elyon before whom they sinned while they were alive, and before whom they are to be judged in the last times.
88 Now this is the order of those who have guarded the ways of El Elyon, when they shall be separated from their mortal body. 89 During the time that they lived in it, they labouriously served El Elyon, and withstood danger every hour, that they might guard the Torah of the Torah giver perfectly.
90 Therefore this is the teaching concerning them: 91 First of all, they shall see with great joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders.
92 The first order, because they have striven with great effort to overcome the evil thought which was formed with them, that it might not lead them astray from life into death. 93 The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the wicked
wander, and the punishment that awaits them.
94 The third order, they see the witness which he who formed them bears concerning
them, that while they were alive they guarded the Torah which was given them in trust.
95 The fourth order, they understand the rest which they now enjoy, being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels in profound quiet, and the glory which awaits
them in the last days.
96 The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible and
shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the straits and toil from which they have been delivered, and the spacious liberty which they are to receive and enjoy in immortality. 97 The sixth order, when it is shown to them how their face is to shine like the sun,
and how they are to be made like the light of the stars, being incorruptible from then on.
98 The seventh order, which is greater than all that have been mentioned, because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be confident without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold the face of him whom they served in life and from
whom they are to receive their reward when glorified.

This description of the after life has people of faith resting, guarded by angels until the resurrection, with others “naked”, as Paul described in one of his letters to the Corinthians discussed earlier. This could also explain the parable Jesus spoke of the guest at the wedding supper with no wedding garment who was tossed outside where there is gnashing of teeth. Regardless whether a person accepts this book of 2nd Esdras or not, the fact remains that there is limited teaching available concerning the resurrection of the dead. Paul calls this subject milk and elementary. The church at large accepts the premise that a non-material, naked (bodiless), part of our being goes immediately to heaven when we die, when there is very little concrete evidence to support that point of view. A verse we looked at in last week’s blog seems to indicate the opposite:

Act 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
Act 2:34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,

Jesus ascended to heaven, but David did not. In another place it is said he is dead and buried:

Act 2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Act 2:30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,
Act 2:31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
Act 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

David is still in the tomb as he was back then, waiting for the resurrection of the dead event. Jesus told his disciples He was leaving, but would come back to them.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Joh 14:28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

Jesus never mentioned anything about a non-material part of our body going to Him when we die, before He comes to us. He told His followers He was going to the Father and would come back. Peter wanted to go with Jesus unto death, but that was not the solution.

Joh 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Joh 13:37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

This blog is not meant to be about the resurrection of the dead, the dietary instructions in the Torah, or whether Jesus “nailed the law to the cross”, and his intention was a lawless church where everyone just “loves” each other. These are important subjects that everyone needs to gain understanding from scripture. Once a person studies the bible, their theology will most definitely change. Without studying, a person who is supposedly following the Messiah is letting some other person determine their eternal fate. These things I have used for examples are all considered milk and elementary. How can one eat the meat without first starting with the milk?

Hos 4:1 Hear the word of Yahweh, O children of Israel, for Yahweh has an indictment against the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or loyalty, there is no knowledge of God in the land.
Hos 4:2 Swearing and lying, murdering and stealing, and adultery break out, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

Hos 4:3 Therefore the land mourns, and all those living in it languish with the animals of the field, and the birds of the heaven, and even the fish of the sea are being swept away.
Hos 4:4 Yet, let no one contend, and let no one accuse, for with you, O priest, is my contention.
Hos 4:5 You will stumble by day, and the priest also will stumble with you at night. And I will destroy your mother;
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from acting as a priest for me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
Hos 4:7 When they became many, their sin increased against me; they changed their glory into shame.

Hos 4:8 They feed on the sin of my people, they are greedy for their iniquity.
Hos 4:9 And it will be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways, and I will requite them for their deeds.
Hos 4:10 They will eat and not be satisfied; they will play the whore and not multiply, because they have forsaken Yahweh to devote themselves to
Hos 4:11 whoredom. Wine and new wine take away the understanding.

The church today is at least prophetically the children of Ephraim, if not the actual children of Ephriam, forgetting the instructions of Yahweh, whoring after other gods and traditions of such gods.

Paul spoke to our spiritual ancestors in Galatia about the dangers of turning back to the ways of their pagan roots:

Gal 4:8 But at that time when you did not know God, you were enslaved to the things which by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now, because you have come to know God, or rather have come to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental spirits? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?
Gal 4:10 You carefully observe days and months and seasons and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest perhaps I have labored for you in vain!

Without studying scripture and asking for the Holy Spirit of Truth, you will be deceived, and most likely already have been deceived. The false teachers and spirits of antichrist will pull you further and further away from the truth of scripture, to the point where you are convinced lies are truth, unclean is clean and unrighteousness is righteousness.

Featured image taken by Emma Vail somewhere in New Brunswick, Canada.

The Imaginations of Men

“Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31

Paul stood on “Mars Hill” outside of Athens and addressed the Greeks speaking about their idols, trying to relate to them the true God, Yahweh יהוה. Mars was the Roman god of war, and more accurate translations will call this place Areopagus because the Greek god of war was Ares. Studying mythology of the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Chaldeans and Sumerian’s is very helpful in understanding the gods of the nations and their symbols that are spoken about all through scripture. Most of the ancient gods have similar biographies even though they come from different regions and cultures. Mythology is full of gods that left their heavenly estate, came to Earth and had children with mortals. These are the same sort of events described in Genesis six of the Hebrew Bible. However, their legends, symbols and gods became objects of worship to the nations. Yahweh is clear as to what He thinks of these gods.

Deu 7:4 For their sons and daughters will cause your son to turn away from following me, and so they will serve other gods, and the anger of Yahweh would be kindled against you, and he would quickly destroy you.
Deu 7:5 But this is what you must do to them: you shall break down their altars, and their stone pillars you shall smash, and their Asherah poles you shall hew down, and you shall burn their idols with fire.
Deu 7:6 For you are a holy people for Yahweh your God; Yahweh your God has chosen you to be for him a people, a treasured possession from among all the peoples that are on the face of the earth.

Deu 7:25 You shall burn the images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, and so you take it for yourself, so that you are not ensnared by it, for it is a detestable thing to Yahweh your God.
Deu 7:26 And you must not bring a detestable thing into your house, or you will become a thing devoted to destruction like it; you must utterly detest it, and you must utterly abhor it, for it is an object devoted to destruction.

Paul uses the gods of the people of Athens to explain to them that there is one true God, creator of the universe, and he wants to release them from the spell of their imaginations, and the dark forces that are behind these gods, demigods and their symbols.

Act 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,
Act 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Act 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
Act 17:27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
Act 17:28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Act 17:29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Act 17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The Greeks in Athens even had an unknown god. Paul explained that their unknown god was Yahweh. He relates to them the story of Jesus, whose name means the salvation of Yahweh, and that they have to repent of their vain, sinful ways because of the impending judgement. Earlier in history, we see the people of Yahweh entrapped by similar gods and judged in the book of Ezekiel. This also is speaking to the people of Yahweh today who have turned back to these same entities.

Eze 8:1 And then in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, I was sitting in my house, and the elders of Judah were sitting before me. And the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell on me there,
Eze 8:2 and I saw, and look! A figure like the appearance of a man; from the appearance of his waist and below was fire, and from his waist and upward was like the appearance of brightness, like the outward appearance of amber.
Eze 8:3 And he sent out the form of a hand, and he took me by a lock of hair of my head, and the Spirit lifted me between earth and heaven, and it brought me to Jerusalem in visions of God to the doorway of the inner gate that faced north, at which there was the seat of the image of jealousy, which was making jealous.
Eze 8:4 And look! There was the glory of the God of Israel like the vision that I saw in the valley.
Eze 8:5 And he said to me, “Son of man, lift up now your eyes toward the north.” And I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and, look, there was to the north of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy at the entrance.
Eze 8:6 And he said to me, “Son of man, “Do you see what they are doing—great detestable things that the house of Israel is committing here so as to drive me from my sanctuary, and yet you will see again greater detestable things.”
Eze 8:7 And he brought me to the doorway of the courtyard, and I saw, and look! A hole in the wall.
Eze 8:8 And he said to me, “Son of man, dig now through the wall.” And I dug through the wall, and look! There was a doorway.
Eze 8:9 And he said to me, “Come and see the detestable things, the evil that they are doing here.
Eze 8:10 And I came, and I saw, and look, all kinds of creatures and detestable beasts; and all of the idols of the house of Israel were carved on the wall all around.
Eze 8:11 And seventy men from the elders of the house of Israel, and Jaazaniah, the son of Shaphan, was standing in the midst of them, and they were standing before them. Each one had his censer in his hand, and the fragrance of the cloud of the incense was going up.
Eze 8:12 And he said to me, “Have you seen, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the inner rooms of his idol, for they are saying, ‘Yahweh is not seeing us; Yahweh has abandoned the land.'”
Eze 8:13 And he said to me, “Still you will see again greater detestable things that they are doing.”
Eze 8:14 And he brought me to the doorway of the gate of the house of Yahweh that is toward the north, and look! There were the women sitting weeping for Tammuz.
Eze 8:15 And he said to me, “Have you seen, son of man? Still you will see again greater detestable things than these.”
Eze 8:16 And he brought me to the inner courtyard of the house of Yahweh, and look, at the doorway of the temple of Yahweh, between the portico and the altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east, and they were bowing down toward the east before the sun.
Eze 8:17 And he said to me, “Have you seen, son of man? Was it too small a thing for the house of Judah to do the detestable things that they did here? For they filled up the land with violence, and they provoked me to anger again, and look! They are putting the branch to their nose.

Tammuz was the resurrecting god of spring of the Sumerians. The image of jealousy was likely a phallic symbol of a stone pillar or Ashera tree, and we also see men facing the sun worshipping it. The Greek sun god was Appollo and the Roman sun god was Sol or Mithras from Persia. Once a person gets familiar with these symbols from other religions and their gods, it is easy to see them all around us today. These symbols attract demons and the gods themselves are actually demons, because that is where they originated.

Deu 32:17 They sacrificed to the demons, not God, to gods whom they had not known, new gods who came from recent times; their ancestors had not known them.
Deu 32:18 The rock who bore you, you neglected, and you forgot God, the one giving you birth.
Deu 32:19 Then Yahweh saw, and he spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.

Paul speaks of this same thing in his time.

1Co 10:19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
1Co 10:20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.
1Co 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
1Co 10:22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Paul also warns Timothy that this problem of imaginary characters, mythology and all the lure of their trappings will persist.

2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

2Ti 4:5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

There is prophecy of the people of Yahweh waking up and turning from their vain imaginations and myths that they inherited. This speaking of the future, so why not do it now?

Jer 16:19 O Yahweh, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our ancestors have inherited only lies, vanity, and there is no profit in them.
Jer 16:20 Can a human make for himself gods? Yet they are not gods!”
Jer 16:21 “Therefore look, I am about to let them know, this time I am going to let them know my power and my might, and they will know that my name is Yahweh.”

Once a person learns the truth of the word of Yahweh, there is no desire to follow myths, and no one’s itching ear will be satisfied by the truth of scripture. Take heed and study God’s Word for yourself, not to be led astray. Look at what Jeremiah is saying about the priests, prophets and pastors in the latter days-which is now!

Jer 23:16 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, “You must not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are deluding you with visions of their mind, They do not speak from the mouth of Yahweh.
Jer 23:17 They are continually saying to those who disregard the word of Yahweh, ‘Peace it will be to you,’ and to each one who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’
Jer 23:18 For who has stood in the council of Yahweh, that he has seen and heard his word? Who has listened attentively to his word and heard it?

Jer 23:19 Look, the storm of Yahweh has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest. It will whirl upon the head of the wicked.
Jer 23:20 The anger of Yahweh will not turn back until his doing and until his keeping the plans of his mind. In latter days you will look closely at it with understanding.
Jer 23:21 I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
Jer 23:22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have caused them to turn from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

These visions of the mind, idolatry and mythology are not just a thing of the past. It is dealt with in the future at the coming of the Messiah.

Rev 9:17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.
Rev 9:18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.
Rev 9:19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.
Rev 9:20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,
Rev 9:21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

There are also those teaching doctrines of demons right from Paul’s time. Another warning from Paul’s letters to Timothy:

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,

1Ti 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
1Ti 4:5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

Today, some will say this refers to the Torah’s explanation of which animals are to be consumed for food. The words of Yahweh being called “teachings of demons” should not need addressing to anyone who knows the Bible. The only meats that are made holy by the word of God are listed in Leviticus. However, today we have many examples of doctrines forbidding marriage of certain people and forbidding eating food that Yahweh does set apart as good. These people with seared consciences reject the instructions of the creator. Are you one who is under a delusion and deceived?

2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Jesus gives a warning to the church at Pergamum.

Rev 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
Rev 2:13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.
Rev 2:15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Rev 2:16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

What are the teachings of Balaam? What is the teaching of the Nicolaitans? We need to know to fully understand these warnings because Jesus will war against anyone who does not repent of these things. Jesus does not tolerate anything that was not tolerated by Yahweh. The judgement may happen at the end, instead of immediately, but the outcome is the same.

Num 25:1 When Israel dwelled in Shittim, the people began to prostitute themselves with the daughters of Moab.
Num 25:2 And they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and worshiped their gods.
Num 25:3 So Israel was joined together to Baal Peor, and Yahweh became angry with Israel.

Num 25:4 Yahweh said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and kill them before the sun, so the fierce anger of Yahweh will turn from Israel.”
Num 25:5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill his men who are joined together with Baal Peor.”
Num 25:6 And behold, a man from the Israelites came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman before the eyes of Moses and before the eyes of all of the community of the Israelites, and they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of assembly.
Num 25:7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest saw, he got up from the midst of the community and took a spear in his hand.
Num 25:8 He went after the man of Israel into the woman’s section of the tent, and he drove the two of them, the man of Israel and the woman, into her belly. And the plague among the Israelites stopped.
Num 25:9 The ones who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

Augustine wrote the City of God, which is a book I recommend that everyone should read. There are two worlds that Augustine explores, that of Yahweh and that of Babylon. We can see a similar comparison in the book of Daniel with the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had of a statue.

Dan 2:31 “You, O king, were looking and, look, there was one great statue. This statue was huge and its brilliance extraordinary, standing there before you, and its appearance was frightening.
Dan 2:32 The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze,
Dan 2:33 its legs of iron, its feet, part of them of iron and part of them of clay.
Dan 2:34 You were looking on until a stone was chiseled out—that not by hands—and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and it broke them in pieces.
Dan 2:35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold all at once broke into pieces and they became like chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away and any trace of them could not be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and it filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:36 “This was the dream, and now we will tell its interpretation to the king.
Dan 2:37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power and the might and the glory,
Dan 2:38 and also human beings wherever they dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of heaven—he has given into your hand and made you ruler over all of them—you are the head of gold.
Dan 2:39 And after you another kingdom inferior to yours will arise, and another third kingdom of bronze that will rule over the whole earth.
Dan 2:40 And a fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, and just as iron crushes and smashes everything, and as iron shatters all of these other metals, so it will crush and it will shatter these nations.
Dan 2:41 And just as you saw the feet and the toes, partly potter’s clay and partly iron, it will be a divided kingdom; and some hardness of the iron will be in it, just as you have seen the iron mixed with the wet clay.
Dan 2:42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so part of the kingdom will be strong and partly brittle.
Dan 2:43 And in that you saw the iron was mixed with wet clay, so they will mix in marriage and they will not cling to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
Dan 2:44 And in the day of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left for another nation, and it will bring an end to all these kingdoms, but it will stand forever.
Dan 2:45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone from the mountain was chiseled out but not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, thereby the great God made known to the king what will be in the future, and the dream is certain and its explanation trustworthy.”

We have seen these kingdoms of the dream in ancient history; Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and all of their traditions, gods and symbols remain. Remnants of these kingdoms still exist today, and we see evidence of them in the holidays that the world celebrates, the geopolitical structure of the world, and all the symbols of their gods woven into our culture. Even popular Christian culture, holy days and traditions come from these worldly kingdoms’ gods and traditions. The God of heaven, Yahweh, set up His kingdom and will eventually crush all the other kingdoms. Therefore, the question that remains is this: do you want to stay in the kingdoms of the world, or join the kingdom of the Yahweh? If you answer “join the Kingdom of Yahweh”, then why would you continue celebrating the things of the soon to be destroyed Kingdom from the imaginations of men? Yahweh gives us the elements of His kingdom, His special days and His instructions. For example, Yahweh’s special days are explained in Leviticus 23:

Lev 23:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 “Speak to the Israelites, and say to them, ‘The festivals of Yahweh that you shall proclaim are holy assemblies; these are my appointed times.
Lev 23:3 “‘For six days work is to be done, and on the seventh day shall be a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy assembly; you shall not do any work; it shall be a Sabbath for Yahweh in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:4 “‘These are Yahweh’s appointed times, holy assemblies, which you shall proclaim at their appointed time.
Lev 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month at the evening is Yahweh’s Passover.
Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of this month is Yahweh’s Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
Lev 23:7 On the first day there shall be a holy assembly for you; you shall not do any regular work.
Lev 23:8 And you shall present an offering for Yahweh made by fire for seven days; on the seventh day there shall be a holy assembly; you shall not do any regular work.'”
Lev 23:9 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:10 “Speak to the Israelites, and say to them, ‘When you come to the land that I am about to give to you and you reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruit of your harvest to the priest.
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh for your acceptance; the priest shall wave it on the day after the Sabbath.
Lev 23:12 And on the day of your waving the sheaf you shall offer a yearling male lamb without defect as a burnt offering to Yahweh.
Lev 23:13 And its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of finely milled flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire for Yahweh, an appeasing fragrance; and its libation shall be a fourth of a hin of wine.
Lev 23:14 And you shall not eat bread or roasted grain or ripe grain until this very same day, until you present your God’s offering. This must be a lasting statute for your generations in all your dwellings.

These are examples of some of Yahweh’s special days, and they have nothing to do with the worldly festivals of the kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in which Daniel was given the interpretation from Yahweh as to its meaning. Yahweh gives us instructions about mixing ourselves with the practices of these other kingdoms:

Jer 51:42 The sea has risen over Babylon, she has been covered by the roar of its waves.
Jer 51:43 Her cities have become as an object of horror, a dry land and a wilderness, a land in which no person lives, nor does a son of humankind pass through it.
Jer 51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will wrench out from his mouth what he has swallowed. And the nations will not stream towards him any longer what’s worse, the wall of Babylon has fallen.
Jer 51:45 Come out from her midst, my people, and save each one his life from the burning anger of Yahweh.
Jer 51:46 Now so that you are not fainthearted, and you are afraid at the rumors that are heard in the land—and in the year the rumor comes, and in the year after it the rumor, and violence is in the land, with ruler against ruler—
Jer 51:47 therefore look, days are coming, and I will punish the images of Babylon, and all her land will be put to shame, and all her slain ones will fall in the midst of her.

Once again in the Apostle John’s revelation, we are told to come out of Babylon.

Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Rev 18:6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’
Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

It is time to forsake the imaginations of men and come out of Babylon. Learn the ways of Yahweh exemplified in the life of Jesus the Messiah, and written for us in the scriptures.

Featured picture taken by Emma Vail.

Sungod Worship and the Advent of Jesus’ Birth

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:20-24

I was taught as a child to believe that Santa Claus brought me presents on the same day that the Christ child was born. I even received the occasional gift from Jesus, because I know my parents struggled with the blending of all of the traditions. Hopefully, everyone that is reading this blog won’t be crushed to learn there is no Santa Claus, but what if Jesus was born at a different time of year?

I took learning about Santa Claus being a fairy tale very well when I eventually realized his writing was very similar to my Mom’s. I thought it was a well intentioned deception and I carried on the tradition with my children. I was more disturbed to discover that Jesus was not born on December 25th, likely not even December at all, and just like Santa, most church leaders knew that too. So why all the lying around a supposed sacred day when the Saviour of the whole world is said to be born? The purpose of this blog post is to defend the faith and not make excuses for all the lying. December is full of lies and scripture tells us the identity of the father of lies. This entity is also the god of light.

Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

Has anyone ever wondered why no one in the New Testament celebrated the birth of Jesus, and why we are not even given a date or month? It is not that hard to understand. Early followers of Jesus were Jewish and it was only heathen nations that celebrated birthdays of important people. God’s people were commanded by Yahweh not to act the way of the nations. The Mishnah Torah, which was passed down oral instruction from the Sages detailing how to properly keep the written Torah, says the following:

And these are the festivals of the gentiles: the Calends,* the Saturnalia,^ the commemoration of empire,”* the anniversaries* of kings, and the day of [their] birth and the day of [their] death.” Mishnah ABODAH ZARAH

I am not suggesting we are to follow the commands in the Mishnah; however, it sheds light on what is really going on in December. Calends was the eight days after the winter solstice, and the Saturnalia was the eight days before the winter solstice. The winter solstice was very important because it was the “birthday” of the sun god. We use the Gregorian Calendar in 2020, but in the first century, they were still using the Julian calendar. Depending on the calendar and the sun god myth one is using, the sun is “reborn” about three days after the winter solstice. This is when the length of day gets noticeably longer.

The birthday of Jesus was placed on the same day as the sun god’s birthday as a result of many people from the nations becoming “Christians” by the second and third centuries, and they were accustomed to celebrating their former god’s birth. It is also not hard to see all the sun worship imagery that is still part of the major Christian denominations.

We can get an approximate time for the birth of Jesus by looking at scripture. John the Baptist was born before Jesus, and there is much information on the events surrounding John’s birth.

Luk 1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
Luk 1:7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Luk 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
Luk 1:9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
Luk 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
Luk 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
Luk 1:17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Zechariah was a priest in the division of Abijah, and it is recorded that he and his wife “were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” This is a side note, but it is worth mentioning a couple people in the New Testament were blameless before God, keeping the commandments and statues of Yahweh. We find the priestly order of Abijah spoken of in the book of Chronicles when David organized the Levite’s service in the temple.

1Ch 24:1 And as for the sons of Aaron, these were their divisions. The sons of Aaron were Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
1Ch 24:2 And Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.
1Ch 24:3 And David, with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to their appointments for their service.
1Ch 24:4 And more sons of Eleazar were found as heads of the men than the sons of Ithamar, so they divided them to the sons of Eleazar to be sixteen heads over the house of the fathers, and to the sons of Ithamar over the house of the fathers were eight heads.
1Ch 24:5 They divided them by lot all alike, for they were commanders of the sanctuary and commanders of God from among the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar.
1Ch 24:6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, the scribe, from the Levites, recorded them before the king, the princes, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the families of the priests and Levites, one father’s house drawn by Lot for Eleazar and one drawn by lot for Ithamar.
1Ch 24:7 And the first lot went out to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
1Ch 24:8 the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
1Ch 24:9 the fifth to Malkijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
1Ch 24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
1Ch 24:11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shekaniah,
1Ch 24:12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
1Ch 24:13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
1Ch 24:14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
1Ch 24:15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Ha-Pizzez,
1Ch 24:16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Ezekiel,
1Ch 24:17 the twenty-first to Jakin, the twenty-second to Gamul,
1Ch 24:18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
1Ch 24:19 These were their appointments for their service to come into the house of Yahweh according to their custom by the hand of Aaron their father, as Yahweh the God of Israel had commanded him.

Abijah served the eighth cycle of service in the temple. All the priests served during the feast days so those times would not be counted. The first cycle would start at the first of the year on the Hebrew calendar starting in our late March or April. If this was Zechariah’s first cycle in the temple that would put the timing in late May or June when Elizabeth would have conceived.

Luk 1:34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
Luk 1:35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Luk 1:36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Luk 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Luk 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luk 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
Luk 1:40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Jesus was conceived six months after John, around January by our calendar. That puts the birth of Jesus sometime in September. If Zechariah was on his second cycle of service in the temple, then that would push everything up approximately six months which would bring the birth of Jesus in the spring. Either way, we can determine it is not December, and if the date were important it would have been recorded in scripture. My personal opinion is that His birth fits nicely with the fall feast of tabernacles.

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The words “dwelt among us“, come from Strong’s G4637, which refers to living in a tabernacle or temporary structure.

G4637
σκηνόω
skēnoō
Thayer Definition:
1) to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle
2) to dwell

This language resembles the fall feast of tabernacles, all speculation of course.

Lev 23:33 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:34 “Speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, this shall be the Feast of Booths for seven days for Yahweh.
Lev 23:35 On the first day there shall be a holy assembly; you must not do any regular work.
Lev 23:36 For seven days you must present an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day it shall be a holy assembly for you, and you shall present an offering made by fire to Yahweh; it is a celebration; you must not do any regular work.
Lev 23:37 “‘These are Yahweh’s festivals, which you must proclaim, holy assemblies to present an offering made by fire to Yahweh—burnt offering and grain offering, sacrifice and libations, each on its proper day—
Lev 23:38 besides Yahweh’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides your vows and besides all your freewill offerings that you give to Yahweh.
Lev 23:39 “‘Surely on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, at your gathering the land’s produce, you shall hold Yahweh’s festival for seven days; on the first day there shall be a rest period and on the eighth day a rest period.
Lev 23:40 And on the first day you shall take for yourselves the first fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees and branches of a leafy tree and of a brook’s poplar trees, and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God for seven days.
Lev 23:41 And you must hold it as a festival for Yahweh for seven days in the year; it shall be a lasting statute throughout your generations; in the seventh month you must hold it.
Lev 23:42 You must live in the booths for seven days; all the natives in Israel must live in the booths,
Lev 23:43 so that your generations shall know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them from the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.'”
Lev 23:44 Thus Moses announced to the Israelites Yahweh’s appointed times.

Many churches employ an advent wreath with candles and pine cones this time of year. The symbolism is supposed to have a relationship with the birth of Jesus. Here is the explanation of the symbolism of this Roman Catholic tradition from catholiceducation.org:

“The Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. However, the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.”

The pine cones in the fertility wreath are important symbols in sun god worship (the god of light) as well as the candles. This is the reason the people of Yahweh were not allowed to sell them to the people of the nations to use as symbols to worship their gods. This is also found in the Mishnah Torah which sheds light on what was going on during these heathen festivals. From Mishnah ABODAH ZARAH:

  1. These things it is forbidden to sell to the gentiles:’ fir-cones, white figs vfith their stalks, frankincense, or a white cock. R. Judah says: One may sell a gentile a white cock among other cocks, or, if it is by itself, cut off its spur and sell it to him, because they do not sacrifice to an idol what is defective. All other things, if [any idolatrous use is] not specified, are permitted to be sold; but if [any idolatrous use is] specified, they are for­ bidden.

The red berries in the pictured advent wreath are also a fertility symbol used in sun god worship. The wreath has always represented the entrance to the womb, just like the cut off tree is a phallus symbol related to the Nimrod myth. Nimrod was the original sun god as well as his son Tammuz. Tammuz worship is spoken of throughout scripture. Tammuz’s mother was impregnated by the rays of the sun, after her husband Nimrod was killed, as the myth goes. People who do not know Yahweh and the truth will say that the virgin birth of Jesus is just a retelling of this myth. Why wouldn’t they? Christianity has blended the two religions so well they are actually celebrating this myth rather than anything about the living son of God. If any of it was about Jesus, the world would not be partaking, and it would not employ symbols of other gods.

The wreath and the tree go together in sun god worship. A person can say “that is not what it means to me”, but what it means to you personally is irrelevant. What does it mean to Yahweh, the creator of the world, and His son? This is the important question, and fortunately the answer is told to us everywhere in scripture: do not have anything to do with these things. “Learn not the way of the heathen”.

So what does this all mean? Can Yahweh and His son Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew, be pleased with all of this fuss about sun gods and birthdays, pine cones, wreaths and the lot? What does Yahweh think about blending His things with those of the adversary, the god of light? Thankfully Yahweh left no room for doubt concerning these things:

Deu 12:29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to, to dispossess them before you, and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land,
Deu 12:30 take care so that you are not ensnared into imitating them after their being destroyed from before you, and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself want to do also.’
Deu 12:31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32 All of the things that I am commanding you, you must diligently observe; you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it.”

In the opening scripture, Jesus was speaking to a woman from the northern kingdom. The northern kingdom of Israel was divorced by Yahweh for adultery, which was going after foreign gods and idolatry. They worshipped the same gods that are worshipped at the winter solstice, with the same sort of symbols many try to worship Yahweh with today during the Yule celebrations.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that greenery, trees, wreaths and pine cones are being displayed joyfully in every shop and home. They have been for thousands of years during the winter solstice, by the nations, and Yahweh warned His people to not use these symbols. Hopefully the reader will worship Yahweh in “Spirit and Truth” and not be ensnared by all of the sun god worship that happens this time of year. There certainly are many lies and deception that are encountered in the “most wonderful time of the year”.

Sacrificial System Relevance

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Having been brought up in the Christian church, I had never been schooled on the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. We were taught simply that before Jesus made atonement for our sins, animals had to be sacrificed for our sins. Jesus took away the sacrificial system. Although this is true, it is extremely over simplified. In order to understand the gravity of the cross, we need to understand how the sacrificial system worked. I am not qualified to provide an in-depth analysis of the sacrificial system, so the purpose here is to open the reader’s eyes to some aspects of sacrifice that I had never learned in forty plus years of attending Protestant denominations.

In the book of Leviticus, Yahweh explains to Moses how the people should bring offerings for their sins. Yahweh is speaking of unintentional sins. These were not the ideas of Moses because Yahweh is recorded as the one who instructed Moses to do these various offerings.

Lev 4:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 4:2 “Speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘If a person sins by an unintentional wrong from any of Yahweh’s commands that should not be violated, and he violates any of them—
Lev 4:3 if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then, concerning the sin that he has committed, he shall bring a young bull without defect for Yahweh as a sin offering.

Lev 4:13 “‘If Israel’s whole assembly did wrong unintentionally and the matter was concealed from the assembly’s eyes, and they acted against any of Yahweh’s commands that should not be violated, so that they incur guilt,
Lev 4:14 when the sin that they have committed against that command becomes known, the assembly shall present a young bull as a sin offering, and they shall bring it before the tent of assembly.

Lev 4:27 “‘If anyone of the people of the land sins by an unintentional wrong by violating one of Yahweh’s commands that should not be violated, so that he incurs guilt,
Lev 4:28 or his sin he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a female goat without defect as his offering for his sin that he committed.
Lev 4:29 He shall place his hand on the sin offering’s head and slaughter the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.

Lev 5:14 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 5:15 “When a person displays infidelity and he sins in an unintentional wrong in any of Yahweh’s holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to Yahweh: a ram without defect from the flock as a guilt offering by your valuation in silver shekels according to the sanctuary shekel.
Lev 5:16 And he shall make restitution for what he sinned because of a holy thing and shall add one-fifth of its value onto it and shall give it to the priest. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 5:17 “If a person when he sins violates one from all of Yahweh’s commands that should not be violated, but he did not know, then he is guilty and he shall bear his guilt.
Lev 5:18 He shall bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock as a guilt offering by your valuation, and the priest shall make atonement for him because of his unintentional wrong (although he himself did not know), and he will be forgiven.
Lev 5:19 It is a guilt offering; he certainly was guilty before Yahweh.”

Next, we see an example of intentional sin. This involves retribution by returning stolen items, or repaying damages incurred by the victims.

Lev 6:1 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 6:2 “When a person displays infidelity against Yahweh and he deceives his fellow citizen regarding something entrusted or a pledge or stealing or he exploits his fellow citizen,
Lev 6:3 or he finds lost property and lies about it and swears falsely in regard to any one of these things by which a person might commit sin,
Lev 6:4 and when he sins and is guilty, then he shall bring back the things he had stolen or what he had extorted or something with which he had been entrusted or the lost property that he had found,
Lev 6:5 or regarding anything about which he has sworn falsely, then he shall repay it according to its value and shall add one-fifth of its value to it—he must give it to whom it belongs on the day of his guilt offering.
Lev 6:6 And he must bring as his guilt offering to Yahweh a ram without defect from the flock by your valuation as a guilt offering to the priest,
Lev 6:7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before Yahweh, and he shall be forgiven anything from all that he might do by which he might incur guilt.”

Jesus had some words about bringing offerings for sins to the temple:

Mat 5:23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Mat 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Jesus gives us a picture of repentance before giving the offering at the altar. We must remember the temple was in full function in Jesus’ day, and He would have taken part in this system. Just as He was circumcised on the eighth day, He would have had to meet all the requirements of the temple. For example, the feast of First Fruits:

Lev 23:9 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:10 “Speak to the Israelites, and say to them, ‘When you come to the land that I am about to give to you and you reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruit of your harvest to the priest.
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh for your acceptance; the priest shall wave it on the day after the Sabbath.
Lev 23:12 And on the day of your waving the sheaf you shall offer a yearling male lamb without defect as a burnt offering to Yahweh.
Lev 23:13 And its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of finely milled flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire for Yahweh, an appeasing fragrance; and its libation shall be a fourth of a hin of wine.
Lev 23:14 And you shall not eat bread or roasted grain or ripe grain until this very same day, until you present your God’s offering. This must be a lasting statute for your generations in all your dwellings.

Mar 14:48 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as against a robber, to arrest me?
Mar 14:49 Every day I was with you in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me! But this has happened in order that the scriptures would be fulfilled.

The day of Atonement was the day that they brought the yearly sacrifice before Yahweh for the collective sins of the congregation of Israel. This is the day they sent the Azazel goat into the wilderness representing all of the sins of the people.

Lev 16:5 And he must take from the Israelites’ community two he-goats as a sin offering and one ram as a burnt offering.
Lev 16:6 “And Aaron shall present the sin offering’s bull, which is for himself, and so he shall make atonement for himself and for his family.
Lev 16:7 And he shall take the two goats, and he shall present them before Yahweh at the tent of assembly’s entrance.
Lev 16:8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for Yahweh and one for Azazel.
Lev 16:9 And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot for Yahweh fell, and he shall sacrifice it as a sin offering.
Lev 16:10 But he must present alive before Yahweh the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell to make atonement for himself, to send it away into the desert to Azazel.

In the sixty-six book Bible we are not given the background of Azazel, but in the book of Enoch we get a further explanation of Azazel, the scapegoat. Some do not accept the book of Enoch as having any value; however, it was well known in New Testament times and quoted by Jude. This book explains where devils and demons come from as well as the identity of Azazel, the scapegoat. Enoch 10:1-8:

1 And then the Most High, the Great and Holy One, spoke and sent Arsyalalyur to the son of Lamech, and said to him:

2 “Say to him in my name; hide yourself! And reveal to him the end, which is coming, because the whole earth will be destroyed. A deluge is about to come on all the earth; and all that is in it will be destroyed.
(Genesis 6:8), (Ben Sira 44:17-18), (Genesis 6:17), (Genesis 7:6-24), (2 Peter 3:6), (Luke 17:27), (Hebrews 11:7), (Ben Sira 40:9-10)

3 And now teach him so that he may escape and his offspring may survive for the whole Earth.”
(Ben Sira 44:17-18), (Proverbs 10:16), (Proverbs 11:19), (Proverbs 14:27), (Genesis 7:1, 6-7, 13), (Genesis 9:1), (Genesis 9:7), (Genesis 9:18-19), (Genesis 10:1, 32), (Wisdom 14:6)

4 And further the Lord said to Raphael: “Bind Azazel by his hands and his feet and throw him into the darkness. And split open the desert, which is in Dudael, and throw him there.

5 And throw on him jagged and sharp stones and cover him with darkness. And let him stay there forever. And cover his face so that he may not see the light.

6 And so that, on the Great Day of Judgment, he may be hurled into the fire.
(Isaiah 24:21-22), (2 Peter 2:4), (Jude 1:6), (Revelation 20:1-3)

7 And restore the Earth which the Angels have ruined. And announce the restoration of the Earth. For I shall restore the Earth so that not all the sons of men shall be destroyed because of the knowledge which the Watchers made known and taught to their sons.
(Joel 2:22)

8 And the whole Earth has been ruined by the teaching of the works of Azazel; and against him write: ALL SIN.”

With this background, the question to answer is “what is the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross?”. It appeared everything was working fine in the sacrificial system. So why did Jesus have to die if the blood of goats, rams, doves and pigeons would take care of the sins of the people? Paul tells us the wages of sin is death.

Rom 6:19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Rom 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Rom 6:21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We were slaves to impurity and unrighteousness, which would lead to death. Now, being slaves to righteousness we have the gift of eternal life. What is this righteousness we are slaves to if not obeying God’s commandments? So Jesus’ work on the cross satisfied at least two problems: He conquered the death problem that everyone would face due to the sin of Adam, and His death provided a way for forgiveness of sins that no animal sacrifice could do. This is the part I missed in my whole Christian existence. There were no sacrifices available for people who committed intentional, rebellious sin. Their lot was death when convicted. This is a very important point. Let’s look at some sins that brought immediate death with no chance of repentance or forgiveness before the time of Jesus.

Lev 20:9 “‘If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father and his mother—his blood is upon him.
Lev 20:10 “‘As for a man who commits adultery with a man’s wife, who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man who commits adultery and the woman who commits adultery shall surely be put to death.

Lev 24:17 “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.

Under the law of Yahweh, before Jesus, there was no repentance or offering of goats that would fix cursing your parents or an adulterous relationship. Immediate death was your sentence, and dead was dead. There was no chance of eternal life until Jesus conquered death. Those are three examples of sin leading to death. There are many more throughout scripture. Paul tells us we are no longer under the law, which states sin equals death, but we have grace through the Messiah. Now we are to be used for righteousness because we are to have no part of sin.

Rom 6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
Rom 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
Rom 6:13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Rom 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

John speaks of sin not leading to death, and sin leading to death in one of his epistles. Once we know the truth, we should not keep sinning, which is deliberately breaking Yahweh’s commandments.

1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
1Jn 5:17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
1Jn 5:18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
1Jn 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

The writer of Hebrews gives a stark warning to those who continue in rebellion once brought into the truth of the Saviour:

Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Heb 6:7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
Heb 6:8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

We shouldn’t dismiss the book of Leviticus as an outdated source of rules and regulations for the tribes of Israel. It is a building block for our faith, and it shows us the way someone who is a child of Yahweh should live. If we look ahead to the future, Ezekiel shows us where this priestly system will return.

Eze 43:1 And he brought me to the gate which was facing east.
Eze 43:2 And, look! The glory of the God of Israel, it came from the way of the east, and its sound was like the sound of many waters and the land radiated due to his glory!
Eze 43:3 And the appearance of the vision which I saw was as the vision which I saw at his coming to destroy the city, and these visions were also as the vision which I saw by the Kebar River, and I fell on my face.
Eze 43:4 And then the glory of Yahweh came to the temple by the way of the gate facing east.
Eze 43:5 And the Spirit lifted me and it brought me to the inner courtyard and, look! The glory of Yahweh filled the temple!
Eze 43:6 And I heard someone speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing beside me.
Eze 43:7 And he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the Israelites to eternity, and they, the house of Israel, they and their kings, will not again defile my holy name with their fornication and with their offerings for the dead of their kings on their high places.

Eze 43:8 When they placed their threshold with my threshold, their doorframe beside my doorframe and the wall was between me and between them, then they defiled my holy name, with their detestable things that they did, and so I consumed them in my anger.
Eze 43:9 Now let them send their fornication far away and the offerings for the dead of their kings away from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.
Eze 43:10 You, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple and let them be ashamed of their iniquities and let them measure the pattern.
Eze 43:11 And if they are ashamed of all that they did, then the plan of the temple and its arrangement and its exits and its entrances and all of its plans and all of its statutes. And all of its plans and all of its laws make known to them and write them before their eyes, so that they may remember all of its plans and all of its statutes, so that they do them!
Eze 43:12 This is the law of the temple: On the top of the mountain, all of its territory, all the way around it, will be most holy. Look, this is the law of the temple.

We also see the survivors after the great battle required to come worship during the fall feast of booths in the millennium, or rain will be held back.

Zec 14:16 And then every survivor from all those nations coming against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the king, Yahweh of hosts, and celebrate the Feast of Booths.
Zec 14:17 And then whoever of the clans of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the king, Yahweh of hosts, it will not rain on them.
Zec 14:18 And if the clan of Egypt will not go up and come in, on them will be that plague Yahweh inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
Zec 14:19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Could these survivors be the ones Jesus called the least in His kingdom because they did not regard the commandments of Yahweh?

Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Hopefully these scriptures have shed some light on the sacrificial system laid out in Leviticus, giving the reader a reason to research these scriptures with a fresh approach. As Jesus exclaimed in Matthew 5:19, do and teach every last commandment of Yahweh!

What Deception?

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The adversary wants you to believe a lie. Unfortunately, many subscribe to all of the lies. Lies abound and truth easily escapes us. What is truth anyway? Absolute truth can only be defined by the living word of Yahweh.

Psa 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth.

Psa 119:151 You are near, O Yahweh, and all your commands are truth.

The first recorded lie was told to Eve. Scripture records the serpent deceived her. Genesis 3:13 : Then Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

What was the deception? The deception was telling Eve to disobey Yahweh’s command. There was only one commandment at that point which was to not eat from a certain tree.

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God indeed say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The deception was a simple question: “did God indeed say?”. This instance of deception was simply questioning God’s commandment, and it brought death into the world having consequences we are still dealing with today.

Fast forward to the times Jesus walked the Earth. Jesus called out the Pharisees for their deception and lies.

Joh 8:39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,
Joh 8:40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
Joh 8:41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”
Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

Joh 8:46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
Joh 8:47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Let’s look at deception, lies and the opposite of the Truth of Yahweh that has come through Philosophy. Here are some lines from Plato’s, The Republic, chapter 3:

“Then if any one at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good. But nobody else should meddle with anything of the kind; and although the rulers have this privilege, for a private man to lie to them in return is to be deemed a more heinous fault than for the patient or the pupil of a gymnasium not to speak the truth about his own bodily illnesses to the physician or to the trainer, or for a sailor not to tell the captain what is happening about the ship and the rest of the crew, and how things are going with himself or his fellow sailors.”

This philosophy, where the state is permitted to lie to its people, is all too familiar to us in the modern age. This philosophy has brought us to the delapitated, immoral society we now endure.

Col 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on behalf of you, and those in Laodicea, and all those who have not seen my face in person,
Col 2:2 so that their hearts may be encouraged, united in love and into all the wealth of the full assurance of insight into the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
Col 2:3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
Col 2:4 I say this in order that no one will deceive you with persuasive speech,

Col 2:5 for even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
Alive in Christ
Col 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, live in him,
Col 2:7 firmly rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thankfulness.
Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ,
Col 2:9 because in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily,
Col 2:10 and you are filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority,
Col 2:11 in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, by the removal of the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Psalms 119:151 states: You are near, O Yahweh, and all your commands are truth. If Yahweh’s commands are defined as truth, then would it not make sense that anything contrary to His commands are lies? What is a lie except to tell someone to do something contrary to a commandment of Yahweh? Who would do such a thing as that? The government, social norms, the church, and the list goes on.

This is what Andy Stanley has to say about the Ten Commandments in an article in Christianity Today October 19, 2018:

“So, while I believe there is much we can learn from studying and preaching on the Old Testament, we must now take our cue from the promises fulfilled in Jesus—the new. The way we treat others is not based on 10 Commandments, but on one command given by Jesus—‘Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ (John 13:34; 15:12).”

“Did God indeed say” is the question the adversary is still asking today. Andy Stanley implies that we are not to use the Ten Commandments to base how we treat others. How does he intend to define love then? What is sin if not defined by “thou shalt not steal”, or “thou shall have no other gods before me”? It is a wishy washy, user defined, mess much like we are seeing play out in the apostate, contemporary churches. Satan, which is the Hebrew word for adversary, has been telling the same lie since Eve was deceived. It’s taken thousands of years to bring the deception to the place where a famous preacher can say we no longer need to consider the Ten Commandments, and many think that it’s great or don’t even know they are being deceived. This should not be a surprise because Rome abolished and made it a crime to follow one of the commandments some 1600 years ago.

Below is Canon XXIX from the Synod of Laodicea 343 AD:

“Canon XXIX.Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ. Notes. Ancient Epitome of Canon XXIX.A Christian shall not stop work on the Sabbath, but on the Lord’s Day. Balsamon.Here the Fathers order that no one of the faithful shall stop work on the Sabbath as do the Jews, but that they should honour the Lord’s Day, on account of the Lord’s resurrection, and that on that day they should abstain from manual labour and go to church. But thus abstaining from work on Sunday they do not lay down as a necessity, but they add, ‘if they can.’ For if through need or any other necessity any one worked on the Lord’s day this was not reckoned against him.“

In 343 AD, the Roman church threw out one of the Ten Commandments , then in 2018 Andy Stanley kicked the rest to the curb? What is this, if not complete deception?

Eze 22:25 The conspiracy of its prophets in the midst of her is like a roaring lion that is tearing prey. They devour people, and they take wealth and treasure; they make its widows numerous in the midst of her.
Eze 22:26 Its priests treat my law violently, and they profane my holy objects; they do not distinguish between a holy object and what is unholy, or between the clean and the unclean. They do not teach the difference, and they hide their eyes from my Sabbaths, and so I am profaned in the midst of them.
Eze 22:27 Its officials are like wolves tearing prey in its midst, to pour out blood, to destroy people, to make dishonest gain.
Eze 22:28 And for them its prophets plaster whitewash; they are seeing falseness and are practicing divination for them by lying, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh,’ and Yahweh has not spoken.
Eze 22:29 They severely oppress the people of the land, and they committed robbery, and they mistreated the needy and the poor, and they oppressed the alien without justice.
Eze 22:30 And so I sought for them somebody, one repairing the wall and standing in the breach before me on behalf of the land not to destroy it, but I did not find anyone,
Eze 22:31 and so I poured out my indignation on them. With the fire of my wrath I destroyed them; I returned their way upon their head,” declares the Lord Yahweh.

Some will say I am mixed up, these verses don’t apply to today. I say they apply more today than ever. We profane His Sabbaths, mistreat the needy and prophesy falsely. When will He pour out His indignation?

Rev 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
Rev 3:15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
Rev 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Rev 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
Rev 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

These passages in Revelation are telling the people to buy gold refined by fire, white garments and salve to anoint the eyes. This is done by keeping His commandments, not a loosely defined love for everybody. Notice He says those whom He loves, He disciplines.

Rev 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Rev 3:2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Rev 3:3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
Rev 3:4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Rev 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

What did the people receive and hear? It is something they can keep, and need to repent for not keeping it. Jesus tells them if they don’t wake up He is coming against them. Wake up from what? Deception.

Let’s look at the Greek word for “keep”. It is Strong’s G5083.

G5083
τηρέω
tēreō
Thayer Definition:
1) to attend to carefully, take care of
1a) to guard
1b) metaphorically to keep, one in the state in which he is
1c) to observe
1d) to reserve: to undergo something

Keep, guard and observe are all words that are being applied to what the people heard in verse three.

Deu 5:1 And then Moses summoned all of Israel and said to them, “Hear, Israel, the rules and the regulations that I am speaking in your ears today, and you shall learn them, and you must observe them diligently.
Deu 5:2 Yahweh our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
Deu 5:3 It was not with our ancestors that Yahweh made this covenant, but with these of us who are here alive today.
Deu 5:4 Face to face Yahweh spoke with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire.

What a deception it is that we have fallen prey. We think we are following Jesus and doing many works in His name, yet at the same time doing the exact opposite of what He told us through his word.

Lately I have been reading parts of the Mishnah along with the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud. I refer to these books as the doctrines of men that Jesus complained about often to the Pharisees in some of my blog posts. However, I found I was admittedly ignorant of the differences between the Mishnah and Talmud. There is valuable information in these books concerning the way the people in Jesus’ day applied the Torah, which can help a person understand some of the controversies that were happening in the New Testament scriptures. Since we are on the topic of deception, I found this written in the section on idolatry (ABODAH ZARAH) in the Mishnah:

“For three days before the festivals of the gentiles it is forbidden to have business with them—to lend to them or to borrow from them, to lend them money or to borrow money from them, to repay them or to be repaid by them.”

“And these are the festivals of the gentiles: the Calends,* the Saturnalia, the commemoration of empire,”* the anniversaries* of kings, and the day of [their] birth and the day of [their] death.”

“If there was an idolatrous festival in a city and some shops therein were adorned and others not adorned-such a case happened in Beth Shean, and the Sages said: Those that are adorned are forbidden and those that are not adorned are not forbidden.”

“These things it is forbidden to sell to the gentiles:’ fir-cones, white figs with their stalks, frankincense, or a white cock. R. Judah says: One may sell a gentile a white cock among other cocks, or, if it is by itself, cut off its spur and sell it to him, because they do not sacrifice to an idol what is defective.”

In the footnotes it indicates that Calends is eight days after the winter solstice and the Saturnalia starts eight days before the winter solstice. This is what we celebrate as Christmas and New Years. It amazes me that this is the time the Romans assigned to Jesus’ birth and it is celebrated as such, when Jesus would have learned as a young child not to participate in birthdays of kings, Calends, the Saturnalia, pine cones and Ashera trees. There is a section on the trees which are very important in idolatry. It is sometimes said that New Year’s Day would have been the day that Jesus was circumcised because it was eight days after His birth. It is such a miserable, tangled web of deception. We seem to have the right days, customs and symbols, just the wrong god. Here are some more passages from the Mishnah:

“Three kinds of Asherah are to be distinguished: if a tree was planted from the first for idolatry, it is forbidden; if it was chopped and trimmed for idolatry and it sprouted afresh, one only need take away what has sprouted afresh; but if a gentile did but set up an idol beneath it and then desecrate it, the tree is permitted. What is an Asherah ? Any tree under which is an idol. R. Simeon says: Any tree which is worshipped.”

Study the Holy scripture yourself and do not fall into the trap of deception that has been set. In the end, no one will be able to blame their pastors and teachers For being deceived. Everyone is responsible to learn these things for themselves.

What are the 613 Commandments?

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. Matthew 23:1-3

What are the 613 commandments, also referred a to as Miztvaot? Most people involved in Christianity are not familiar with these even though they are all throughout the Christian Bible. Others would say that it is a “Jewish thing”, but I have also heard sermons and read articles where Christians actually mock these 613 Mitzvaot. Is this what we should be doing? I realize it comes mostly from ignorance, and I had to spend many hours trying to understand this topic over several years; however, mocking these commandments is equivalent to mocking the holy scripture. This is where these commandments are found. At some point in history, someone in the Jewish faith itemized all the commands we find written in the Old Testament of the Bible, which the Jewish people handed down to us. In this blog post I will cover a few of the 613 commandments and let the reader decide if we should be ridiculing anyone for wanting to study and keep these commandments.

First, I make the claim that Christianity obtained the knowledge of the Creator through the Jewish people from the words of Paul written to the Romans.

Rom 3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?
Rom 3:2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

Paul tells us that it was the Jewish people who were entrusted with the oracles of God. A neglected verse of scripture in the Christian churches, Matthew 23:3, is where Jesus tells His followers to do what the the scribes and Pharisees tell them to do, just not what they do. So, their works did not reflect the instruction they were teaching.

Mat 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,
Mat 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you,
but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

If you want a complete list of the approximate 613 commandments found in scripture, do a search for them online, and they are easily found with scripture references. If you are a person who says “I believe everything between the covers of this book” referring to the Bible, then you may want to read about what it is you say you believe.

• To know that God exists (Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6)
• Not to entertain the idea that there is any god but the Eternal (Exodus 20:3)
• Not to blaspheme Exodus 22:28), the penalty for which is death (Leviticus 24:16) •To hallow God’s name (Leviticus 22:32)
• Not to profane God’s name (Leviticus 22:32)
• To know that God is One, a complete Unity (Deuteronomy 6:4)
• To love God (Deuteronomy 6:5)
• To fear Him reverently (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20)
• Not to put the word of God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16)
• To imitate His good and upright ways (Deuteronomy 28:9)

The first two Mitzvaot come from the Ten Commandments. I am not looking at these commandments in any particular order.

Exo 20:2 “I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.
Exo 20:3 “There shall be for you no other gods before me.

Another commandment in the list of 613 tells us to love God:

Deu 6:5 And you shall love Yahweh your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your might.

Jesus also quoted this verse stating it was the greatest commandment.

Mat 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Mat 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the great and first commandment.

Jesus continues to quote another one of the 613 commandments as the second greatest commandment. Jesus didn’t fabricate these words on the spot to impress the Pharisees. He was quoting Leviticus.

Mat 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Lev 19:18 You shall not seek vengeance, and you shall not harbor a grudge against your fellow citizens; and you shall love your neighbor like yourself; I am Yahweh.

Another commandment we find in the list tells us to imitate His good and upright ways.

Deu 28:9 Yahweh will establish you for himself as a holy people as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and you walk in his ways.
Deu 28:10 And all of the peoples of the earth shall see that by the name of Yahweh you are called, and they shall fear you.
Deu 28:11 And Yahweh will make you successful and prosperous, in the fruit of your womb and on the land that Yahweh swore to your ancestors to give to you.

Here are a few more Mitzvaot with the scripture references:

• To love all human beings who are of the covenant (Leviticus 19:18)
• Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger (Leviticus 19:16)
• Not to wrong any one in speech (Leviticus 25:17)
• Not to carry tales (Leviticus 19:16)
• Not to cherish hatred in one’s heart (Leviticus 19:17)
• Not to take revenge (Leviticus 19:18)
• Not to bear a grudge (Leviticus 19:18)
• Not to put any person to shame (Leviticus 19:17)
• Not to curse any other Israelite (Leviticus 19:14)
• Not to give occasion to the simple-minded to stumble on the road (Leviticus 19:14)
• To rebuke the sinner (Leviticus 19:17)
• To relieve a neighbor of his burden and help to unload his beast (Exodus 23:5)
• To assist in replacing the load upon a neighbor’s beast (Deuteronomy 22:4)
• Not to leave a beast, that has fallen down beneath its burden, unaided (Deuteronomy 22:4)

This appears to be starting to sound similar to the teachings of Jesus. Could there be a correlation between the Word of God in the flesh, Jesus, and the Word of God recorded in scripture? Paul also speaks of these commandments in his letter to the Corinthians:

2Co 12:19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved.
2Co 12:20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
2Co 12:21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

Many of the 613 Miztvaot require the temple and priests and have to be carried out in the land. It’s not that these are obsolete, because Jesus stated that nothing in the Torah would change until heaven and Earth pass away. However, it is impossible to uphold commandments of the temple when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.

Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Next, there are some commandments regarding relationships. One must ask themselves if there is anything here to mock and ridicule.

• Not to indulge in familiarities with relatives, such as kissing, embracing, winking which may lead to incest (Leviticus 18:6)
• Not to commit incest with one’s mother (Leviticus 18:7)
• Not to commit sodomy with one’s father (Leviticus 18:7)
• Not to commit incest with one’s father’s wife (Leviticus 18:8)
• Not to commit incest with one’s sister (Leviticus 18:9)
• Not to commit incest with one’s father’s wife’s daughter (Leviticus 18:9)
• Not to commit incest with one’s son’s daughter (Leviticus 18:10)
• Not to commit incest with one’s daughter’s daughter (Leviticus 18:10)
• Not to commit incest with one’s daughter (Leviticus 18:11)
• Not to commit incest with one’s fathers sister (Leviticus 18:12)
• Not to commit incest with one’s mother’s sister (Leviticus 18:13)
• Not to commit incest with one’s father’s brothers wife (Leviticus 18:14)
• Not to commit sodomy with one’s father’s brother (Leviticus 18:14)
• Not to commit incest with he’s son’s wife (Leviticus 18:15)
• Not to commit incest with one’s brother’s wife (Leviticus 18:16)
• Not to commit incest with one’s wife’s daughter (Leviticus 18:17)
• Not to commit incest with the daughter of one’s wife’s son (Leviticus 18:17)
• Not to commit incest with the daughter of one’s wife’s daughter (Leviticus 18:17)
• Not to commit incest with one’s wife’s sister (Leviticus 18:18)
• Not to have intercourse with a woman, in her menstrual period (Leviticus 18:19)
• Not to have intercourse with another man’s wife (Leviticus 18:20)
• Not to commit sodomy with a male (Leviticus 18:22)
• Not to have intercourse with a beast (Leviticus 18:23)
• That a woman shall not have intercourse with a beast (Leviticus 18:23)
• Not to castrate the male of any species; neither a man, nor a domestic or wild beast, nor a fowl (Leviticus 22:24)

Continuing with the list, let’s look at some of these commands regarding business practices.

• Not to do wrong in buying or selling (Leviticus 25:14)
• Not to make a loan to an Israelite on interest (Leviticus 25:37)
• Not to borrow on interest (Deuteronomy 23:20) (because this would cause the lender to sin)
• Not to take part in any usurious transaction between borrower and lender, neither as a surety, nor as a witness, nor as a writer of the bond for them (Exodus 22:24)
• To lend to a poor person (Exodus 22:24)
• Not to demand from a poor man repayment of his debt, when the creditor knows that he cannot pay, nor press him (Exodus 22:24)
• Not to take in pledge utensils used in preparing food (Deuteronomy 24:6)
• Not to exact a pledge from a debtor by force (Deuteronomy 24:10)
• Not to keep the pledge from its owner at the time when he needs it (Deuteronomy24:12)
• To return a pledge to its owner (Deuteronomy 24:13)
• Not to take a pledge from a widow (Deuteronomy 24:17)

• Not to commit fraud in measuring (Leviticus 19:35)
• To ensure that scales and weights are correct (Leviticus 19:36)
• Not to possess inaccurate measures and weights (Deuteronomy 25:13-14)

Do these commands seem to apply to only the “Jews”, or is it fair to say that they describe how a follower of Jesus should also conduct themselves? Jesus had a way of incorporating these commandments into His parables. The principles of conduct Jesus was stressing to His followers were all found in the Old Testament.

Mat 18:23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
Mat 18:24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’
Mat 18:27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’
Mat 18:29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’
Mat 18:30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.
Mat 18:32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
Mat 18:33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
Mat 18:34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.
Mat 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Is it clear how Jesus was taking the principles of the laws of Yahweh and showing them in practice by His parable? The laws in the Old Testament that required death when broken are what Jesus’ death on the cross was the substitution, if a person repents and believes. How can a person be said to have repented and believed, yet not want to do what Yahweh commands from that point forward? Here are a few more from the list of the 613 commandments:

• Not to slay an innocent person (Exodus 20:13)
• Not to kidnap any person of Israel (Exodus 20:13)
• Not to rob by violence (Leviticus 19:13)
• Not to defraud (Leviticus 19:13)
• Not to covet what belongs to another (Exodus 20:14)
• Not to crave something that belongs to another (Deuteronomy 5:18)
• Not to indulge in evil thoughts and sights (Numbers 15:39)

The last command in this section sounds familiar as well. “Not to indulge in evil thoughts and sights” (Numbers 15:39)

Num 15:39 You will have a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commands of Yahweh and do them, and not follow after the unfaithfulness of your own heart and eyes,
Num 15:40 so that you will remember and do all my commandments, and you will be holy for your God.

What did Jesus say about our thoughts and secret desires?

Mat 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
Mat 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mat 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Jesus is giving us examples of evil thoughts and sights. Does anyone still see justification for diminishing this list of Yahweh’s commandments from the Torah that Jesus and the Apostles seem to teach as well? I realize that there are many of these 613 commands that do not apply to someone living outside of the land, or that without temple or Levite priest system many of these commands cannot be followed. Do we scoff at the whole list because some are no longer possible to carry out? Jesus did not. These above verses from Matthew, chapter five show that Jesus was not making up something new at all. Jesus repeats what His Father does and explains its meaning. John 5:19: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. Let’s continue with commands regarding the poor.

• Not to afflict an orphan or a widow (Exodus 22:21)
• Not to reap the entire field (Leviticus 19:9; Leviticus 23:22)
• To leave the unreaped corner of the field or orchard for the poor (Leviticus 19:9)
• Not to gather gleanings (the ears that have fallen to the ground while reaping) (Leviticus 19:9)
• To leave the gleanings for the poor (Leviticus 19:9)
• Not to gather ol’loth (the imperfect clusters) of the vineyard (Leviticus 19:10)
• To leave ol’loth (the imperfect clusters) of the vineyard for the poor (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 24:21)
• Not to gather the peret (grapes) that have fallen to the ground (Leviticus 19:10)
• To leave peret (the single grapes) of the vineyard for the poor (Leviticus 19:10)
• Not to return to take a forgotten sheaf (Deuteronomy 24:19) This applies to all fruit trees (Deuteronomy 24:20) • To leave the forgotten sheaves for the poor (Deuteronomy 24:19-20)
• Not to refrain from maintaining a poor man and giving him what he needs (Deuteronomy 15:7)
• To give charity according to one’s means (Deuteronomy 15:11)

“Not to afflict an orphan or a widow” (Exodus 22:21) sounds like a New Testament principle.

Exo 22:21 “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
Exo 22:22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.
Exo 22:23 If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry,
Exo 22:24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

Paul writes these words to Timothy:

1Ti 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,
1Ti 5:2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
1Ti 5:3 Honor widows who are truly widows.
1Ti 5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

Finally, we will look at some commands that discuss speaking with the dead, witchcraft and idolatry.

• Not to adopt the institutions of idolaters nor their customs (Leviticus 18:3; Leviticus 20:23)
• Not to pass a child through the fire to Molech (Leviticus 18:21)
• Not to suffer any one practicing witchcraft to live (Exodus 22:17)
• Not to practice observing times or seasons as favorable or unfavorable, (using astrology) (Leviticus 19:26)
• Not to practice nachesh [doing things based on signs and portents; using charms and incantations] (Leviticus
19:26)
• Not to consult ovoth (ghosts) (Leviticus 19:31)
• Not to consult yid’onim (wizards) (Leviticus 19:31)
• Not to practice kisuf (magic using herbs, stones and objects that people use) (Deuteronomy 18:10)
• Not to practice kessem (a general term for magical practices) (Deuteronomy 18:10)
• Not to practice the art of a chover chaver (casting spells over snakes and scorpions) (Deuteronomy 18:11)
• Not to enquire of an ob (a ghost) (Deuteronomy 18:11)
• Not to seek the maytim (dead) (Deuteronomy 18:11)
• Not to enquire of a yid’oni (wizard) (Deuteronomy 18:11)

A point worth mentioning is that these commands were also civil law at the time of Moses. Capital punishment was prescribed for breaking many of these laws. This is not to say we are to go on witch hunts as they did in Salem, Massachusetts. However, it does show the seriousness of these things in the sight of Yahweh. We must remember the curse of the law is death, and the way we can avoid this death is by repenting and putting our faith in Jesus. Salvation is a free gift for those who repent and have faith in Jesus. These commandments show us how to keep from falling back into the ways that are displeasing to Yahweh once we chose to serve Him. We can see the New Testament version of these commands on sorcery and witchcraft in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” This passage is often twisted to imply we are not required to behave the way the law commands us to act. It can be taken a couple ways. First, if we are led by the Spirit, we will not desire to do anything below the standard of the law, thus the law does not affect us. It is much like observing the speed limit while driving. We are not affected by the law stating the speed limit until we go faster than the stated speed. The second way we could look at this is that we are no longer under the curse of the law, which is death. Paul wrote, “that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” when writing to the churches of Galatia.

There is no license to break all these commandments of Yahweh, even if a Jewish Rabbi compiled them all in a list. Antisemitism has been woven into the fabric of Christianity for 1700 plus years. It is also the job of the adversary to hide the truth in scripture. Is there a better way to deceive many people than to convince them that they are following Jesus, and at the same time convince them they don’t have to do anything Jesus said to do? Unfortunately, many churches have been used as a tool to do this very thing. We could look at Jesus as our Rabbi who showed us how to properly live out the commands of Yahweh. Jesus was referred to “Rabbi” many times.

Mar 9:5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” English Standard Version

Rabbi is Strong’s G4461 and comes from the Hebrew word Rab, 𐤓𐤁, in the ancient Hebrew pictographic, which means head of the house.

G4461
ῥαββί
rhabbi
Thayer Definition:
1) my great one, my honourable sir
2) Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers (and also honour them when not addressing them)
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: of Hebrew origin H7227 with pronominal suffix

Here are a few final words from Jesus regarding the commandments:

Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

I don’t recommend mocking the commandments of Yahweh. These commandments were given to the people of Yahweh, by Yahweh, so they could lead a righteous, successful life, pleasing to the Almighty God. Jesus and the Apostles reinforced them in the writings of the New Testament for the people of Yahweh in light of the new covenant. Don’t be left outside with the dogs and sorcerers!

Feature image taken by Emma Vail in Welsford, New Brunswick.