Thief in the night? Sacrifice or obedience?

We have always been told in evangelical churches to be ready because Jesus will come like a thief in the night, and no one knows the day or hour. So how does one stay ready? If a person is ready then does the thief in the night analogy even apply? Are we talking about a dispensational pre-tribulation rapture here, the second coming, or the day of the Lord? The more time spent reading what the scriptures actually say, reveals things that are hard to reconcile with twentieth century eschatology. I wonder how much money was spent on books that were completely irrelevant ten years after they were written in the last half of the twentieth century? Arguments over pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post tribulation rapture theories could cause bloodshed if someone didn’t end the argument with “remember, no one knows the day or the hour”. That is more of an American thing though, in Canada it seems we just accept the dispensational theological narrative and keep quiet about it, or we don’t think about it at all. If you read my blog Immortal Soul or Resurrected Body, I show that the resurrection should be our focus and our hope, not a secret rapture. I would like to deal with some of this here. First, below is one of a few places where Jesus uses the thief analogy.

Mat 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
Mat 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Mat 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Mat 24:47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
Mat 24:48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’
Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards,
Mat 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know
Mat 24:51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now let’s look at how Jesus describes the way he will come back in Matthew 24:

Mat 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Mat 24:23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mat 24:25 See, I have told you beforehand.
Mat 24:26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Mat 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mat 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Jesus appears as lightning across the sky. In Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” With these two passages there does not appear to be the sense of a thief in the night. So what is meant by this idea of a thief in the night? I know what you are thinking, in dispensational theology these verses are not referring to the “secret rapture”, thief in the night scenario, but a time later. The “church” has already been removed. I agree that believers will not experience the wrath of God, however, we can not make things appear in scripture that are not there. Please read my blog, The church and Israel, the church or Israel, or both? Faith works. Let’s look at who the coming of Christ will appear as a thief in the night to according to Paul.

1Th 5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
1Th 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1Th 5:4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
1Th 5:5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
1Th 5:6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.
1Th 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.

1Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

In these verses we have an important distinction. People will be in a false sense of security, but those who are not in darkness will not be surprised by the day. The thief in the night comparison is being used to describe what the day of the Lord will be like for those in a false sense of security and darkness. The day of the Lord requires its own blog, but let’s look at a verse describing it out of the book of Zechariah.

Zec 14:1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.
Zec 14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zec 14:3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.
Zec 14:4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
Zec 14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
Zec 14:6 On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.
Zec 14:7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
Zec 14:8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
Zec 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
Zec 14:10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.
Zec 14:11 And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
Zec 14:12 And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Zec 14:13 And on that day a great panic from the LORD shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.
Zec 14:14 Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance.
Zec 14:15 And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.
Zec 14:16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.

A couple points here show that it’s a unique day known to the Lord, “Mat 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”, and there will be those of the nations that survive and will be required to keep the fall feast of Booths. As believers we will not be taken by surprise because we have been told what to look for.

Mat 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Mat 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
Mat 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Mat 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mat 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Some of the signs for us to look for, not to have the day come on us like a thief, are the following: false teachers leading people astray, lawlessness, (anomia, abandonment of the commandments and statutes of יהוה), people being hated for their faith, leaving the faith and great tribulation. Paul gives us some more signs.

2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
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.

This opening statement tells us about the subject that follows, “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him”. This gathering is spoken about from the beginning to the end of scripture. Notice the similarities between verse eight and what John speaks of in Revelation.

Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
Rev 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Rev 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God,
Rev 19:18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”
Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.
Rev 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Rev 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

A similar prophecy in Ezekiel also has the birds cleaning up the mess.

Eze 39:17 “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field: ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood.
Eze 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan.
Eze 39:19 And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you.
Eze 39:20 And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,’ declares the Lord GOD.
Eze 39:21 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and al
l the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them.

Jesus even makes reference to the birds. “Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
” These all appear to be speaking of the same event.

In the second letter to the Thessalonians, quoted earlier, Paul was clarifying what he wrote in his first letter to the Thessalonians. There is one coming of the Lord, and one gathering of the saints to him.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Daniel speaks of the same event many years before Paul’s letters.

Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Where Paul speaks of one restraining, “2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.”, it could be Michael in Daniel 12:1 who stands up and allows the time of trouble. Some would say that it is the church remaining on Earth that restrains, but there is no scripture to support that. The word for “stand up” H5975, can also mean cease or stop moving. Compare this to the Greek word for restraining. It makes sense that Michael standing up implies he is is stopping whatever it is he is doing that prevents the great time of trouble.

BDB Definition:
1) to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude, stand forth, take a stand, present oneself, attend upon, be or become servant of
1a2) to stand still, stop (moving or doing), cease
1a3) to tarry, delay, remain, continue, abide, endure, persist, be steadfast
1a4) to make a stand, hold one’s ground
1a5) to stand upright, remain standing, stand up, rise, be erect, be upright
1a6) to arise, appear, come on the scene, stand forth, appear, rise up or against
1a7) to stand with, take one’s stand, be appointed, grow flat, grow insipid

Thayer Definition:
1) to hold back, detain, retain
1a) from going away
1b) to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of)
1b1) that which hinders, Antichrist from making his appearance
1b2) to check a ship’s headway, i.e. to hold or head the ship
1c) to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of
2) to get possession of, take
2b) to possess

Peter also warns us not to be impatient, and the the day will come as a thief, but he is not referring to a dispensational type rapture here. Verse four, in my opinion, is speaking of a time in the future when Christians who have been deceived will loose faith in his coming because it didn’t follow the pattern of the common dispensational view.

2Pe 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
2Pe 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
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.

How do we stay awake? Depart from wickedness, iniquity, and lawlessness, which is anomia in the Greek, and pursue righteousness. Both lawlessness and righteousness are defined throughout scripture, and it would be my guess that is the way יהוה God still defines them. The definition of anomia again is the following:

Thayer Definition:
1) the condition of without law
1a) because ignorant of it
1b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

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.
2Ti 2:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
2Ti 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2Ti 2:18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
2Ti 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
2Ti 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Psa 37:27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
Psa 37:28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
Psa 37:30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
Psa 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
Psa 37:32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
Psa 37:33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
Psa 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Psa 37:35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
Psa 37:36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.
Psa 37:37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
Psa 37:38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

What is יהוה God looking for us to do? Here are some examples:

Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Jas 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
Jas 1:24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Jas 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Jer 7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
Jer 7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
Jer 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

Speaking of sacrifice, here is an interesting situation in Leviticus 17:11 that was pointed out to me. If we look at Leviticus 17:11, with the Strong’s numbers, both in the Hebrew text and English text we will see something that is curious. Here is the verse, “Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Nearly all English translations translate it this way. Let’s look at it with the Strong’s numbers.

Lev 17:11 ForH3588the lifeH5315of the fleshH1320is in the blood:H1818and IH589have givenH5414it to you uponH5921the altarH4196to make an atonementH3722forH5921your souls:H5315forH3588itH1931is the bloodH1818that maketh an atonementH3722for the soul.H5315

Lev 17:11 כיH3588נפשׁH5315הבשׂרH1320בדםH1818הואH1931ואניH589נתתיוH5414לכם עלH5921המזבחH4196לכפרH3722עלH5921נפשׁתיכםH5315כיH3588הדםH1818הואH1931בנפשׁH5315יכפר׃H3722

Remember, Hebrew reads right to left and English left to right. It reads in English, “ and I” , but in Hebrew, “הוא ואני”, which clearly says he and I, even in the first two Duo Lingo lessons of Hebrew! H1931 is missing in the King James with Strong’s numbers, but it is there in the Hebrew text complete with the Strong’s number for He.

The Eth CEPHER version translates this verse as follows: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood: he and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood of him that makes an atonement in the soul. VAYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 17:11 את CEPHER”

God Yahweh has always wanted his set apart people to follow his commandments, and he always intended for Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins. That is why the priestly sacrificial system is no longer in play. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD and his people are scattered throughout the nations waiting to be regathered at the last day.

Heb 5:5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;
Heb 5:6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”
Heb 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
Heb 5:10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
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.

So, we must discern good from evil by constant practice. What happens when we stop practicing good, and can no longer discern good from evil? A warning from the writer of Hebrews:

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.

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.”

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 translators worked at translating the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek around the third century BC. This version helps us understand Greek words in the New Testament, and how the translators of the Septuagint would have translated them. Another translation to consider is the Latin Vulgate that Jerome translated sometime in the fourth century.

It’s all somewhat boring history until a person starts pulling things apart and realizes that many things really do evolve in translations and transliterations. When we translate we take a word in language A and use a word in language B that means the same thing. An example is chat in French means cat in English. Transliteration is a little different where a word would get spelled out the way it sounds in the original language and become a new word in the new language. The name Jesus is a good example of transliteration.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

We see that in Matthew 1:21 they called his name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. At first glance it would make a thinking person ask why? What does the name Jesus, on it’s own, have to do with saving people? To answer this we have to look at an event early in the history of Israel.

Num 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.
Num 13:3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
Num 13:4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.
Num 13:5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori.
Num 13:6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
Num 13:7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph.
Num 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.
Num 13:9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.
Num 13:10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi.
Num 13:11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi.
Num 13:12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli.
Num 13:13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael.
Num 13:14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.
Num 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.
Num 13:16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

Here we see Moses changed the name of the son of Nun from Oshea to Jehoshua. These are both transliterated names. Oshea is הושע, and Jehoshua is יהושוע, which literally mean Yah, a shortened form of Yahweh or יהוה, saves. So what does this have to do with Jesus and his name saving people from their sins? This is where the the Septuagint is helpful.

Num 13:16 ταυτα G3778 D-NPN  τα G3588 T-NPN  ονοματα G3686 N-NPN  των G3588 T-GPM  ανδρων G435 N-GPM  ους G3739 R-APM  απεστειλεν G649 V-AAI-3S  μωυσης N-NSM  κατασκεψασθαι V-AMN  την G3588 T-ASF  γην G1065 N-ASF  και G2532 CONJ  επωνομασεν V-AAI-3S  μωυσης N-NSM  τον G3588 T-ASM  αυση N-PRI  υιον G5207 N-ASM  ναυη N-PRI  ιησουν G2424 N-PRI

Strong’s G2424, the Greek word for Joshua, is translated as Iesous. “ee-ay-soos”

Thayer Definition:
Jesus = “Jehovah is salvation”
1) Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate
2) Jesus Barabbas was the captive robber whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Christ
3) Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor (Act 7:45, Heb 4:8)
4) Jesus, son of Eliezer, one of the ancestors of Christ (Luk 3:29)
5) Jesus, surnamed Justus, a Jewish Christian, an associate with Paul in the preaching of the gospel (Col 4:11)

If we look at the Tyndale English translation, from the early 1500’s, we see the name of Jesus in its transliterated Greek form. The English language didn’t have a J in the alphabet until a little later.

21 She shall brynge forthe a sonne and thou shalt call his name Iesus. For he shall save his peple from their synnes.

So Jesus could have been translated directly to Joshua, except the transcripts were in Greek, so it was Iesous, because that is what יהושוע is translated to when going from Hebrew to Greek.

Another name that took a strange turn is James. In the Old English version it was Iames because there was no J. Let’s look at it with the help of the Strong numbers.

Jas 1:1 James, G2385  a servant G1401  of God G2316  and G2532  of the Lord G2962  Jesus G2424  Christ, G5547  to the G3588  twelve G1427  tribes G5443  which G3588  are scattered abroad, G1722 G1290  greeting. G5463

Here James is writing to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. His name is Strong’s G2385.

The same as G2384 Graecized; Jacobus, the name of three Israelites: – James.

So James is the same as G2384, Jacobus. What does G2384 show us.

Of Hebrew origin [H3290]; Jacob (that is, Ja’akob), the pogenitor of the Israelites; also an Israelite: – Jacob.

Now we are getting to the bottom of it. James is really Jacob.

From H6117; heel catcher (that is, supplanter); Jaakob, the Israelitish patriarch: – Jacob.

It’s not Jacob though, because there is no J sound in Hebrew. It is pronounced Ya’acove. How did Jacob become James? I really do not know. It predated King James so we can’t blame him.

With all of this Hebrew to Greek and Greek to English, it is also interesting to see how God, Lord and יהוה are treated in the Septuagint, because we can then understand how Jesus and the Apostles used the same words.

Mat 4:10 Then G5119  saith G3004  Jesus G2424  unto him, G846  Get thee hence, G5217  Satan: G4567  for G1063  it is written, G1125  Thou shalt worship G4352  the Lord G2962  thy G4675  God, G2316  and G2532  him G846  only G3441  shalt thou serve. G3000

Here we have Lord, G2962 and God, G2316. A verse in Exodus that uses the same phrase, Lord thy God is as follows:

Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

In the Greek Septuagint, G2962 is used for Lord and G2316 is used for God.

Exo 20:5 ου G3364 ADV  προσκυνησεις G4352 V-FAI-2S  αυτοις G846 D-DPM  ουδε G3761 CONJ  μη G3165 ADV  λατρευσης G3000 V-AAS-2S  αυτοις G846 D-DPN  εγω G1473 P-NS  γαρ G1063 PRT  ειμι G1510 V-PAI-1S  κυριος G2962 N-NSM  ο G3588 T-NSM  θεος G2316 N-NSM  σου G4771 P-GS  θεος G2316 N-NSM  ζηλωτης G2207 N-NSM  αποδιδους G591 V-PAPNS  αμαρτιας G266 N-GSF  πατερων G3962 N-GPM  επι G1909 PREP  τεκνα G5043 N-APN  εως G2193 PREP  τριτης G5154 A-GSF  και G2532 CONJ  τεταρτης G5067 A-GSF  γενεας G1074 N-GSF  τοις G3588 T-DPM  μισουσιν G3404 V-PAPDP  με G1473 P-AS

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

Thayer Definition:
1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
2) the Godhead, trinity
2a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
2b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
2c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity
3) spoken of the only and true God
3a) refers to the things of God
3b) his counsels, interests, things due to him
4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
4a) God’s representative or viceregent
4a1) of magistrates and judges

So Kurios is the word the Greeks used for the supreme being, יהוה (Yahweh), and Theos is what they used for God or gods, אלהים, (Eloheem).

With this in mind we could read Matthew 4:10 as follows:“Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship Yahweh Elohayka, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Elohayka being the possessive form of Eloheem, meaning Yahweh your God. Once a person identifies Kurios with Yahweh and Theos as god or God, it makes things interesting when you look at what is being said in some verses. We know John 1:1-3:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So The Word was with God and was God, and all things were made by him. Also, “Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”, in light of what is found in Isaiah:

Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear
Isa 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
Isa 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

We have to conclude that Jesus Christ is Kurios, to the glory of Theos, the Father, or Jesus Christ is יהוה, to the glory of Eloheem, the Father, or some such thing. I am not promoting a “oneness” doctrine here, but I can see where it comes from, where Jesus is declared Kurios in the letter to the Philippians and in Isaiah there is none beside the LORD, which is יהוה (Yahweh) in Hebrew or κύριος (Kurios) in Greek. The question I want considered here is this; what are we really saying when we say Jesus is Lord? Today in the Christian church do we understand who Jesus is? It’s a question to think about. There are exceptions, but I would say by looking around at the 40,000 plus groups that descended from the original church, the answer is, we do not think about who Jesus is, and He is in some cases made out to whatever our imaginations want him to be. Jesus gave the following warning:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

After reading this statement by Jesus, the two questions I have are, one, what is the will of his Father in heaven, and two what is meant by working iniquity. The first word “will” is G2307 in the Strong’s Greek numbering system and defined by the Thayer Greek lexicon as follows:

Thayer Definition:
1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done
1a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
1b) of what God wishes to be done by us
1b1) commands, precepts
2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

So God’s will could be summarized as one, what he intends to do for us, and two, what he expects us to do. We cannot do what God’s will is for himself, which is to bless mankind through Christ, but we can do what God wishes to be done by us. The next word to define is “iniquity”, which is G458 and a related word G459:

Thayer Definition:
1) the condition of without law
1a) because ignorant of it
1b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G459

Thayer Definition:
1) destitute of (the Mosaic) law
1a) of the Gentiles
2) departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked

Joshua, the son of nun, says it best when he says the following:

Jos 24:14 “So now, revere Yahweh and serve him in sincerity and faithfulness; remove the gods that your ancestors served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve Yahweh.
Jos 24:15 But if it is bad in your eyes to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves today whom you want to serve, whether it is the gods that your ancestors served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve Yahweh.” (Lexam English Bible Translation)

Lost in Translation; What’s a Hem?

Did you ever wonder what was special about the hem of Jesus’ garment? What would the hem actually be referring to? A common definition of hem is, “a border of a cloth article doubled back and stitched down” Was it the “hem” that the woman who was healed touched, as Jesus walked by? Maybe looking at the scripture with a Hebraic mindset instead of a Roman, Greek or 21st century Christian mindset may clear things up.

Mat 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
Mat 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
Mat 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mat 9:20 And, G2532  behold, G2400  a woman, G1135  which was diseased with an issue of blood G131  twelve G1427  years, G2094  came G4334  behind G3693  him, and touched G680  the G3588 hem G2899of his G846  garment: G2440

What is meant by hem? Is that actually what is being said here? Let’s look at Strong’s G2899.

Of uncertain derivation; a margin, that is, (specifically) a fringe or tassel: – border, hem.

In the book of Numbers יהוה God tells Moses to have the people wear tassels.

Num 15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
Num 15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
Num 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
Num 15:41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.

Num 15:38 Speak H1696  unto H413  the children H1121  of Israel, H3478  and bid H559 H413  them that they make H6213  them fringes H6734 in H5921  the borders H3671  of their garments H899  throughout their generations, H1755  and that they put H5414  upon H5921  the fringe H6734  of the borders H3671  a ribband H6616  of blue: H8504

The fringe is Strong’s H6734 in Hebrew. A quick comparison to the Greek Septuagint will show that Strong’s 2899 is used in this verse in Numbers for fringe.

BDB Definition:
1) fringe, tassel, lock
Part of Speech: noun feminine

Num 15:38 λαλησον G2980 V-AAD-2S  τοις G3588 T-DPM  υιοις G5207 N-DPM  ισραηλ G2474 N-PRI  και G2532 CONJ  ερεις V-FAI-2S  προς G4314 PREP  αυτους G846 D-APM  και G2532 CONJ  ποιησατωσαν G4160 V-AAD-3P  εαυτοις G1438 D-DPMκρασπεδα G2899 N-APN  επι G1909 PREP  τα G3588 T-APN  πτερυγια G4419 N-APN  των G3588 T-GPN  ιματιων G2440 N-GPN  αυτων G846 D-GPM  εις G1519 PREP  τας G3588 T-APF  γενεας G1074 N-APF  αυτων G846 D-GPM  και G2532 CONJ  επιθησετε G2007 V-FAI-2P  επι G1909 PREP  τα G3588 T-APN κρασπεδαn G2899 N-APN  των G3588 T-GPN  πτερυγιων G4419 N-GPN  κλωσμα N-ASN  υακινθινον G5191 A-ASN

The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was started in the third century BC. It was a common translation quoted by the Apostles and it is a great way to see how the Greek words in the New Testament times compare to their Hebrew meanings.

Jesus was wearing tassels, or tzit tzit, just as the Torah commanded. When a person looked at their tassels it was supposed to remind them to keep the commandments. Right after Moses told the people about יהוה God’s commandments to wear tassels, Korah rebelled.

Num 16:1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men.
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men.
Num 16:3 They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
Num 16:4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face,
Num 16:5 and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the LORD will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him.

Num 16:19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.
Num 16:20 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
Num 16:21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
Num 16:22 And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?”
Num 16:23 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 16:24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
Num 16:25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
Num 16:26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.”

These fringes and tassels can be seen in many cultures from the dispersion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel into the nations after they were conquered by the Assyrians. “Deu 28:64 And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.”

2Ki 17:16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
2Ki 17:17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.
2Ki 17:19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced.
2Ki 17:20 And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

This dispersion was prophesied by Moses that the people would not follow יהוה God’s commandments, therefore being scattered.

Deu 28:62 Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God.
Deu 28:63 And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
Deu 28:64 “And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
Deu 28:65 And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the LORD will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul.
Deu 28:66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life.

Ezra, or sometimes called Esdras, speaks of a land far away that many of these dispersed Israelites traveled to called Arsareth.

2Es 13:29 Behold, the days come, when the most High will begin to deliver them that are upon the earth.
2Es 13:30 And he shall come to the astonishment of them that dwell on the earth.
2Es 13:31 And one shall undertake to fight against another, one city against another, one place against another, one people against another, and one realm against another.
2Es 13:32 And the time shall be when these things shall come to pass, and the signs shall happen which I shewed thee before, and then shall my Son be declared, whom thou sawest as a man ascending.
2Es 13:33 And when all the people hear his voice, every man shall in their own land leave the battle they have one against another.
2Es 13:34 And an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as thou sawest them, willing to come, and to overcome him by fighting.
2Es 13:35 But he shall stand upon the top of the mount Sion.
2Es 13:36 And Sion shall come, and shall be shewed to all men, being prepared and builded, like as thou sawest the hill graven without hands.
2Es 13:37 And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest;

2Es 13:38 And shall lay before them their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labour by the law which is like unto me.
2Es 13:39 And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him;
2Es 13:40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land.
2Es 13:41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt,
2Es 13:42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.
2Es 13:43 And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river.
2Es 13:44 For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over.
2Es 13:45 For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth.

2Es 13:46 Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come,
2Es 13:47 The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace.
2Es 13:48 But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders.
2Es 13:49 Now when he destroyeth the multitude of the nations that are gathered together, he shall defend his people that remain.
2Es 13:50 And then shall he shew them great wonders.

Jesus speaks of this gathering, similar to the book of second Esdras, which was removed from most modern bibles. The language Jesus uses is a summary of the prophecy in second Esdras.

Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

John the Baptist also spoke of a similar concept: “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.” The sad part is many that think they are doing the work of יהוה God are not, and are just practicing lawlessness. You must determine correctly what exactly “the will of my Father who is in heaven” means. A good place to start is to learn how the Father in heaven, יהוה God, defines lawlessness and iniquity.

Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
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.’

Sunday Sabbath or Saturday?

The Sabbath is listed as the first feast day of God יהוה. Lev 23:3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places”. What is the Sabbath day? It is one of the Ten Commandments, yet is it taken seriously? The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, which is our Saturday; or is it Sunday? What is the Lord’s day? My intention is to never try to fully answer these questions. Obviously I have my opinions, but is up to you, the reader, to know for yourself the truth. Hopefully with some of the information provided, it will give you something to study and not blindly follow traditions of men. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He defines truth for us as “thy word is truth”.

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Below is a question and answer section of the Catholic Catechism:

356Q. Are the Sabbath and the Sunday the same? A. The Sabbath day and the Sunday are not the same. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, and is the day which was kept holy in the Old Law; the Sunday is the first day of the week, and is the day which is kept in the New Law. “Old Law means the law God gave to the Jews, the New Law, the law that our Lord gave to the Christians.

357Q. Why does the Church command us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath? A. The Church commands us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday He sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles. We keep Sunday instead of Saturday also to teach that the Old Law is not now binding on us, but that we must keep the New Law, which takes its place.”

What is this “New Law” spoken of here that has replaced the “Old Law”? Wait a minute; What??? The old law is not binding, but now there is a new law that takes its place? Where did this new law come from? Did it come from the Word of God, or did it come from tradition and Rome in the way of Roman canons? 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.

Did Rome have the authority to change the laws of God, יהוה? Here is what Jesus said about the law.

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.

Another later canon regarding the Sabbath:

Canon VIII of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, 787 AD:

Canon VIII.That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been converted in sincerity of heart. Since certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews, have thought to mock at Christ our God, and feigning to be converted to the religion of Christ do deny him, and in private and secretly keep the Sabbath and observe other Jewish customs, we decree that such persons be not received to communion, nor to prayers, nor into the Church; but let them be openly Hebrews according to their religion, and let them not bring their children to baptism, nor purchase or possess a slave. But if any of them,out of a sincere heart and in faith,is converted and makes profession with his whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances, and so that others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and bap- tized, and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to hold aloof from the ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do this, let them in no wise be received.

Is Sabbath keeping really just a “Jewish Custom”? Below we see Moses’ account of the event where יהוה God spoke face to face with all twelve tribes of Israel, and those who sojourned with them, not just the tribe of Judah, who are commonly referred to as Jews.

Deu 5:4 The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire,
Deu 5:5 while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:
Deu 5:6 “‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deu 5:7 “‘You shall have no other gods before me.
Deu 5:8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Deu 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
Deu 5:10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Deu 5:11 “‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Deu 5:12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Deu 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Deu 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
Deu 5:15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Deu 5:16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Deu 5:17 “‘You shall not murder.
Deu 5:18 “‘And you shall not commit adultery.
Deu 5:19 “‘And you shall not steal.
Deu 5:20 “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Deu 5:21 “‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
Deu 5:22 “These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
Deu 5:23 And as soon as you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes, and your elders.
Deu 5:24 And you said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live.
Deu 5:25 Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, we shall die.
Deu 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?
Deu 5:27 Go near and hear all that the LORD our God will say, and speak to us all that the LORD our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.’
Deu 5:28 “And the LORD heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken.
Deu 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!

We are talking about a very large group of people if we consider twelve tribes of Israel, those who sojourned with them, and all of their descendants. If all of these people would have a heart always, to fear and keep God’s commands, it will go well with their descendants forever.

The protesting Catholics, otherwise known as Protestants, seem to be in agreement with the Roman canons in the Westminster Confessions regarding the Sabbath:

“VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him:437 which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week,438 which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day, 439 and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.440
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations,441 but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. 442”

Where do they get this from? Can we find where the Sabbath was changed to the Lord’s day in scripture? Would we not read somewhere in the Prophets that in the future God’s law would change? Again, why would God change something that was already perfect?

Mal 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Mal 3:7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’

A common scripture to justify the changing of the Sabbath to the first day of the week is found in Acts 20:7.

Act 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Let’s look at this with the Strong’s numbers.

Act 20:7 And G1161  upon G1722  the G3588  first G3391  day of the G3588  week, G4521  when the G3588  disciples G3101  came together G4863  to break G2806  bread, G740  Paul G3972  preached G1256  unto them, G846  ready G3195  to depart G1826  on the G3588  morrow; G1887  and G5037  continued G3905  his speech G3056  until G3360  midnight. G3317

Notice the word “day” does not have a Strong’s number associated to it. It will be italizied in most Bibles to indicate the word has been added by the translators. That bit of information usually can be found in the Bible preface. G4863 is referencing the word “to” and G4521 is for the word “week”. Below is Thayer’s Greek lexicon’s definition of Strong’s G4521:

Thayer Definition:
1) the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work
1a) the institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week
1b) a single sabbath, sabbath day
2) seven days, a week
Part of Speech: noun neuter
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: of Hebrew origin H7676

The first definition is the Sabbath day and the second definition is “a week”. Let’s look at the related Hebrew word, Strong’s H7676:

BDB Definition:
1) Sabbath
1a) sabbath
1b) day of atonement
1c) sabbath year
1d) week
1e) produce (in sabbath year)
Part of Speech: noun feminine or masculine

Week is the fifth choice in this list. Since the translators had to add the word “day” to make “week” work as the translation of Sabbath, it is possible one of the other definitions would work better. If we look at it in context we see this passage occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Act 20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
Act 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

It could be translated “on the first Sabbath” where seven weeks are counted until the feast of Shavuot. In verse 20:6 they sailed away after the days of Unleavened Bread and arrived in five days. The first Sabbath in the counting of the weeks would be the day they are speaking of. See the following regarding the counting of the weeks.

Lev 23:15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.
Lev 23:16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD.

In Leviticus 23:15, it is talking about counting seven weeks starting after the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. That day would have been First Fruits. So the first Sabbath in the counting of the weeks would occur after they arrived in Troas in verse six. By the time the New Testament was translated to English, the Roman Canon establishing the “New Law” had been in place over 1000 years. It makes sense the translators would force a Roman mindset on the text instead of a Hebrew mindset. It is no fault of theirs and completely understandable. Yet it is highly likely Acts 20:7 was talking about the first Sabbath, not the first day of the week.

Of course this can be argued against, but it comes down to whether or not a person believes there is a “New Law” we are required to follow, and if the church or government of Rome had the power to change the day of the Sabbath. Also, even if the Apostles did meet on the first day, where is the command for us to change the Sabbath? Acts also shows the Apostles meeting every day house to house.

Act 5:41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
Act 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

Another verse in Revelation speaks of the Lord’s day. Yet there is no commandment given here either that the Sabbath has been changed to the Lord’s day.

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.

“Lord’s” is Strong’s G2960, possessive form of the word the Greeks used to translate יהוה in the Greek version of the Old Testament around the third century BC. Is that what we use to establish changing the Law of the Sabbath? Could John be referring to the Day of the Lord here? If John’s vision happens on the Lord’s day, and that is referring to Sunday, does that mean we are not to honour the fourth commandment any more?

G2960 (Strong)
From G2962; belonging to the Lord (Jehovah or Jesus): – Lord’s.

Let’s look at some of the other canons from where Canon XXIX was given around 343 AD in Laodicea. “The Canons of the Synod Held in the City of Laodicea, in Phrygia Pacatiana, in which Many Blessed Fathers from Divers Provinces of Asia Were Gathered Together”.

Canon II.
They who have sinned in divers particulars, if they have persevered in the prayer of confession and penance, and are wholly converted from their faults, shall be received again to communion, through the mercy and goodness of God, after a time of penance appointed to them, in proportion to the nature of their offence.

Canon III.
He who has been recently baptized ought not to be promoted to the sacerdotal order

Canon IX.
The members of the Church are not allowed to meet in the cemeteries, nor attend the so-called martyries of any of the heretics, for prayer or service; but such as so do, if they be communicants, shall be excommunicated for a time; but if they repent and confess that they have sinned they shall be received.

Canon XV.
No others shall sing in the Church, save only the canonical singers, who go up into the ambo and sing from a book.

Canon XX.
It is not right for a deacon to sit in the presence of a presbyter, unless he be bidden by the presbyter to sit down. Likewise the deacons shall have worship of the subdeacons and all the [inferior] clergy.

Canon XXIV.
No one of the priesthood, from presbyters to deacons, and so on in the ecclesiastical order to subdeacons, readers, singers, exorcists, door-keepers, or any of the class of the As- cetics, ought to enter a tavern.

Canon XXV.
A subdeacon must not give the Bread, nor bless the Cup.

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.

The Canons go on and on. Many of these are adhered to today, one way or another, in the 40,000 plus denominations of the church. The following chart shows how the major denominations all descend from Rome, and why many still hold on to the Roman Canons. It is important to remember that catholic simply means universal, and there has been only one true “catholic” church. Many of the splits were caused by political divisions as well as doctrinal disagreements.

Approximate family tree of church denominations.

If we really are under a “New Law” as the Catholic Catechism states, it cannot be found in the bible. So what was wrong with the “Old Law” anyway?

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
Psa 19:8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
Psa 19:9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

Why would something that was perfect, right and pure have to be made better? Was the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments not good enough that it had to be changed in the 343 AD Council in Laodicea? By the time of Jesus, the Pharisees had made up their own laws by the means of the Jewish Talmud. This is what Jesus said to them regarding changing the laws of God, יהוה:

Mat 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
Mat 15:2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”
Mat 15:3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’
Mat 15:5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”
Mat 15:6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
Mat 15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
Mat 15:8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Mat 15:9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Here we see the Pharisees holding Jesus to a Talmudic Law. Washing hands before eating is not a law given to Moses in the Torah. Adding laws is in itself a violation of God’s commandments. This is what Jesus was talking about. A major misconception today is the Pharisees were keeping the law of God, and Jesus was scolding them for that. Jesus kept the entire Law of God perfectly, and knew it perfectly because he is the Word in flesh that originally gave it.

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Word is Strong’s G3056, Logos. Here is the Thayer’s Greek lexicon definition of Logos. “The sayings of God”, “moral precepts given by God”, and “Old Testament prophecy given by the prophets” , are all appropriate definitions.

Thayer Definition:
1) of speech
1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
1b) what someone has said
1b1) a word
1b2) the sayings of God
1b3) decree, mandate or order
1b4) of the moral precepts given by God
1b5) Old Testament prophecy given by the prophets
1b6) what is declared, a thought, declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim
1c) discourse
1c1) the act of speaking, speech
1c2) the faculty of speech, skill and practice in speaking
1c3) a kind or style of speaking
1c4) a continuous speaking discourse – instruction
1d) doctrine, teaching
1e) anything reported in speech; a narration, narrative
1f) matter under discussion, thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law
1g) the thing spoken of or talked about; event, deed
2) its use as respect to the MIND alone
2a) reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating
2b) account, i.e. regard, consideration
2c) account, i.e. reckoning, score
2d) account, i.e. answer or explanation in reference to judgment
2e) relation, i.e. with whom as judge we stand in relation
2e1) reason would
2f) reason, cause, ground
3) In John, denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds.

Psa 43:3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psa 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

This whole idea that the Word is God’s laws and precepts, as is Jesus, is a whole study in itself worth pursuing. There is much to gain by learning the biblical definitions of truth, light and the way. Once the truth sets you free, it is impossible to succumb to so called truth that is not truth at all, but sayings of men.

Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
Joh 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Joh 8:33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
Joh 8:35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
Joh 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Joh 8:37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.
Joh 8:38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
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.”

The book of Jubilees, an extra biblical text, was found in the caves of Qumrân along side of the oldest known copies of Genesis. Presumed to be a work of Moses, it speaks of the Sabbath and its significance in the heavens.

And he finished all his work on the sixth day all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and in the seas and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything. And he gave us a great sign, the Shabbath, that we should work six days, but guard the Shabbath on the seventh day from all work. And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes he has bidden us to guard the Shabbath with him in heaven and on earth. And he said unto us: Behold, I will separate unto myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall guard the Shabbath, and I will sanctify them unto myself as my people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Shabbath and do sanctify it unto myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be my people and I will be their ELOHIYM. And I have chosen the seed of Ya`aqov from amongst all that I have seen, and have written him down as my firstborn son, and have sanctified him unto myself forever and ever; and I will teach them the Shabbath, that they may guard the Shabbath thereon from all work. And thus he created therein a sign in accordance with which they should guard the Shabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless him who has created all things as he has blessed and sanctified unto himself a peculiar people above all peoples, and that they should guard the Shabbath together with us. YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 2:17-22 את CEPHER

Do יהוה God, Jesus the Messiah, and the rest of heaven now follow the Roman Canon stating we are to no longer rest on the Sabbath, but observe the Lord’s day, abstaining from work only if convenient? It is a question to consider. If the “New Law” replaces the “Old Law”, as The Catholic Catechism and The Westminster Confessions imply, what do we do with Matthew 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.” Did the Earth pass away? In Matthew 24, speaking of a time in the future, Jesus says the following, indicating the Sabbath is still being observed by the elect:

Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.


What are the Feasts of the LORD, יהוה?

After doing a study on the Biblical feast days with my church small group some time ago, I was surprised to learn the significance of the feast days, and the prophetic implications of them. Why had I never learned any of this before? I had read about them, but obviously while wearing blinders. Unfortunately, church tradition, misunderstandings, antisemitism in the early church, and a calculated move by the church to replace these holy days, has left us believing they are merely irrelevant, Jewish holidays. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I recommend reading my post, The church and Israel, the church or Israel, or both, before continuing.

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.

Once the church is defined, and we realize that God, יהוה, delivered his instructions to twelve tribes, not just one (Judah or the “Jews”), then we can start to understand what words like forever, and phrases like, “in all your generations” actually mean. These feasts are eternal, predating Moses, and in our future as believers.

Lev 23:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.
The Sabbath
Lev 23:3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.
The Passover
Lev 23:4 “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them.
Lev 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover.
Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
Lev 23:7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.
Lev 23:8 But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

Notice they are the feasts of the LORD, יהוה, not feasts of the “Jews”. A side note; whenever you see LORD in the Bible, it is a substitution for יהוה. That is the name of God, pronounced Yahweh or Yahuah , and LORD is a substitution in most Bibles. You can read about that in the preface of your Bible. I prefer using יהוה, because it leaves no doubt as to the identity of the Lord or God I am referring to. So we have the feasts of יהוה, and now we will see that they are forever.


Exo 12:14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

Unleavened Bread:

Exo 12:17 And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.

Feast of First Fruits:

Lev 23:14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Feast of Weeks, Shavuot or Pentecost:

Lev 23:21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

Day of Atonement:

Lev 23:31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

Feast of Tabernacles Or Booths:

Lev 23:41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

A definition of forever, Strong’s H5769, from the Brown Driver Briggs lexicon:

עלם / עולם
BDB Definition:
1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
1a) ancient time, long time (of past)
1b) (of future)
1b1) for ever, always
1b2) continuous existence, perpetual
1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

So עולם is not only eternity forward, it is also eternity backward. Where else do these feasts show up in the Bible? Referring to a time in the future after the Day of the LORD, Zechariah prophesies the following:

Zec 14:16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.
Zec 14:17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
Zec 14:18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.

If we take the book of Jubilees found in the caves of Qumran, along side the oldest fragments of Genesis, at the very least as historically important, it sheds more light on the origins of these feasts.

And he gave to Noach and his sons a sign that there should not again be a flood on the earth. He set his bow in the cloud for a sign of the eternal covenant that there should not again be a flood on the earth to destroy it all the days of the earth. For this reason it is ordained and written on the heavenly tablets, that they should celebrate the Feast of Shavu’oth in this month once a year, to renew the covenant every year. And this whole feast was celebrated in heaven from the day of creation till the days of Noach twenty six jubilees and five weeks of years: and Noach and his sons observed it for seven jubilees and one week of years, till the day of Noach’s death, and from the day of Noach’s death his sons did away with it until the days of Avraham, and they ate blood. But Avraham observed it, and Yitschaq and Ya`aqov and his children observed it up to your days, and in your days the children of Yashar’el forgot it until ye celebrated it anew on this mountain. And do you command the children of Yashar’el to observe this feast in all their generations for a commandment unto them: one day in the year in this month they shall celebrate the feast. YOVHELIYM (JUBILEES) 6:15-20 את CEPHER

We also see Jesus keeping the Sabbath, Passover, and actually being the Passover lamb, rising as the First Fruits of the resurrection, which I will cover in a future post, Three days and Three Nights, or Two Nights and a Day. The following passage is speaking of Jesus:

Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Let’s establish that Jesus did not come with a different doctrine than that of his Father, יהוה. Also, the only sacred writings Timothy would have been aquatinted with would not have included anything from our “New Testament”.

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.

2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

It was on the Day of Pentecost, which was the Feast of Shavuot, that the Spirit of יהוה was sent to the apostles gathered for the feast.

Act 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

See below the definition of Pentecost, Strong’s G4005, from Thayer’s Greek lexicon. It is the fiftieth day, counted from after the regular sabbath, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast does get celebrated by some denominations today, but some of its history and significance gets over looked. This day was celebrated when Noah got off the ark, at the giving of the Ten Commandments and at “Pentecost”.

Thayer Definition:
Pentecost = “the fiftieth day”
1) the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest

Paul was also keeping feasts after the death and resurrection of Jesus:

Act 18:20 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
Act 18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

Maybe some of the best evidence for keeping the feasts comes from some of the reasons the church has strayed from the keeping the feasts. Below is part of a writing from a fourth century church father, John Chrysostom, in “Against the Jews, Homily 1, chapter 5”.

(5) What is this disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now. My homilies against the Anomians can be put off to another time, and the postponement would cause no harm. But now that the Jewish festivals are close by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing disease. I am afraid that, because of their ill-suited association and deep ignorance, some Christians may partake in the Jews’ transgressions; once they have done so, I fear my homilies on these transgressions will be in vain. For if they hear no word from me today, they will then join the Jews in their fasts; once they have committed this sin it will be useless for me to apply the remedy.

John Chrysostom obviously had contempt for the Jewish people, but in order for him to be so worked up about it, there must have been church people still keeping the feasts in the fourth century. This is especially evident as he states he wants to drive the perverse custom from the church. How can one call something God, יהוה, calls “my feasts”, perverse customs? I find that very disturbing. Maybe he learned this from the Roman Emperor Constantine who wrote the following concerning Passover to the bishops who could not attend the 325 AD Council of Nice.

From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.
(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18–20.)
When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally
thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom, 113 we may transmit to our des-cendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour’s Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week]. We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all im- provements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people[theJews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast.

Below is a chart of the feast days of יהוה:

Feasts of יהוה (

So what did the church replace these feast days with? It is a totally different holiday wheel, and I know we can argue about Yule being on December 23 and the purity and good intentions the Roman church had when picking these dates, but I think the Wiccan wheel of holidays speaks for itself.

Wiccan or Druid holiday wheel.

Ostara, Astoreth, Isis, Venus and Ishtar are all the same goddess of fertility, throughout the ages with egg and rabbit symbols. Imbolic is kept alive as ground hog day, Beltane is May Day, where they used to dance around the May pole or Ashera pole. Samhain is embodied as All Saints Day and Halloween. Yule needs no explanation. The best understanding for these holidays are found on Wiccan, Druid and Church of Satan websites. Here is a quote from

”Before Christianity came to dominate the cultures of Europe, most pagans celebrated festivals on or near the Equinox, often honoring deities associated with fertility and abundance. One such deity was Ostara (also known as Eostre), a Northern European goddess of fertility who was worshipped in many areas populated by Germanic tribes. As part of the strategy to absorb and therefore eliminate the pagan religions, the Christians eventually adopted the name Easter for their own Spring holiday, and the Equinox festivals gradually declined over time.

However, as we know, the Old Religion never fully disappeared—just as with Yule, some traditions that are now associated with Easter actually have Pagan roots. For example, painting eggs was a custom among Druids and ancient Eastern European cultures, and the rabbit has always been a symbol of fertility. So if you grew up with these typical Easter customs, you’ve already tapped in to the power of Ostara!“

One more quote from, this time regarding Yule.

This is a celebration of the renewal of life, but compared to other Sabbats it is a relatively quiet, indoor holiday, as people gather within the warm shelters of their homes to be merry and give thanks. As a Yule ritual, many Wiccans decorate their altars with evergreen branches, such as cedar, pine, hemlock and spruce, as well as bright sprigs of holly, pinecones, and other festive winter flora.

Candles are paramount to this Sabbat, of course, with Yule traditions emphasizing the colors red, green, white, and gold. Images of the Sun are also appropriate. Those lucky enough to have a fireplace can burn a sacred Yule log, but you don’t need an actual hearth to brighten up your home with candles galore! Interestingly, many traditions which are generally thought of as belonging to Christmas—including the Yule log, a decorated tree, wreaths, and even caroling—are actually rooted in pre-Christian pagan traditions. So it’s quite likely that you’ve already been celebrating Yule for years, with or without your knowledge!”

Here is one from regarding Yule:

“The Christians stole this holiday from the pagans—Santa Claus has come to signify indulgence, and he is a combination of Dionysos and Silenus from Roman and Greek myths (the Romans celebrated the orgiastic Saturnalia at this time). The Nazarene has little place in the general public’s celebrations of this season, which were meant by pagans to be celebrations of abundance during a season of cold and emptiness. So for the Yule holiday season we enjoy the richness of life and the company of people whom we cherish, as we will often be the only ones who know where the traditions really came from!“

The Wiccans and Satanists are more honest about their holy days then Christianity. They are willing to say their holy days have been Christianized, and that if you are interested in the Wiccan religion and grew up with typical Christian symbols, you have already been celebrating Wiccan or Satanist traditions. Christians don’t like admitting this, and some won’t hear of the fact that many of their traditions come from Mystery Babylon. A good place to learn of the gods of these holidays, that Wiccans and Satanists celebrate, is in the Old Testament of your Bible.

2Ki 17:9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the LORD their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.
2Ki 17:10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,
2Ki 17:11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the LORD carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the LORD to anger,
2Ki 17:12 and they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this.”
2Ki 17:13 Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”

Jer 7:15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.
Jer 7:16 “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.
Jer 7:17 Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
Jer 7:18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Jer 7:19 Is it I whom they provoke? declares the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own shame?
Jer 7:20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.”
Jer 7:21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh.
Jer 7:22 For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Jer 7:23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’

With a little research, it is not hard to determine who the queen of heaven is that Jeremiah is speaking of. The cited sources of a Wikipedia entry can be valuable resources. Here is one to some Sumerian literature, about Inanna, likely the predecessor to Isis, Astarte, Ishtar, Eostre, the queen of heaven. The best source of information, of course, is from the Bible, and after reading about all of the customs of the sun gods and the fertility goddesses that entrap the tribes of Israel, it doesn’t take long to understand the two holiday wheels. Here is Isaiah speaking of the daughter of Babylon.

Isa 47:1 Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
Isa 47:2 Take the millstones and grind flour, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers.
Isa 47:3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your disgrace shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one.
Isa 47:4 Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 47:5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms.

Below, the Apostle John speaks of the woman representing Babylon. We can see the connection between the mother of harlots and the queen of heaven.

Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

We can also speak of sun god worship, Asherah poles and Obelisks, which Ezekiel saw at the temple, calling it the image of jealousy. You can research the obelisk yourself, but it is all related to Ishtar and Baal worship, complete with temple prostitutes and child sacrifice.

Eze 8:3 He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
Eze 8:4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.
Eze 8:5 Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy.
Eze 8:6 And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.”

St. Peter’s Square with the sun wheel and obelisk. There is a lot of symbolism here, which once you know, will be impossible to not see.
The sun wheel and obelisk up close.

Israel continued to forsake Yahweh, יהוה, turning to the queen of heaven, Asherah, Ishtar, Baal and the many others. We continue to do the same thing today. I am not trying to single out any denomination, just bringing to light the mixture of religious symbolism that has been passed down to every denomination from the early beginnings of the church. Rome cannot be separated from the tradition of all of the Christian churches today, whether still protesting or not!

Did Rome and the Christian church have the authority to cancel the appointed feast days of יהוה, and change the sabbath to the day of the sun? Much research can be done, and it will come down to whether or not you believe the church has more authority than scripture. Many believe that to be the case, but if it is not true; does what we believe to be true or untrue change God, יהוה? There were believers keeping the feasts and sabbaths well into the 8th century that church fathers were trying to stamp out. Is this what the Apostle John speaks about in Revelation?

Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

A final word from John.

1Jn 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1Jn 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

1Jn 2:5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
1Jn 2:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1Jn 2:7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
1Jn 2:8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.


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 of this blog post is not to answer all of these questions for you, but to provide some information to make you at least aware that there are questions that need to be answered.

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Rom 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children:
but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Paul says that they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. What is he talking about here? We are quick to think of Israel as a country in the present time, but there was no nation state of Israel when Paul was alive.

Gen 35:9 God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him.
Gen 35:10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel.
Gen 35:11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.
Gen 35:12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”

So Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, became Israel. He had twelve sons and prophesied over all twelve, before he died.

Gen 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
Gen 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Gen 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
Gen 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
Gen 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Gen 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Gen 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
Gen 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Gen 49:13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
Gen 49:14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
Gen 49:15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
Gen 49:16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
Gen 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
Gen 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
Gen 49:20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
Gen 49:21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
Gen 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
Gen 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
Gen 49:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
Gen 49:25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
Gen 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
Gen 49:27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

All of these prophesies are important, but for the purpose of this blog I highlighted the blessing (prophesy) on Israel’s son Judah, the son whose descendants include, King David, Solomon, Mary and Jesus. Judah’s sons are the tribe of Judah and are referred to as Jews. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet until Shiloh comes”. The tribe of Judah has been the keeper of the law, even to this day, and Jesus holds the sceptre in his hand.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The other sons of Israel are still part of the whole house of Israel, even though the kingdom divided from civil war after Solomon was king. The Northern Kingdom was called The House of Israel and the Southern Kingdom, the House of Judah. It is important to note that Joseph passed his first born status to his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Sometimes the Northern kingdom is referred to as the House of Ephraim. Israel said of Manasseh, “but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations“. Both the House of Israel and The House of Judah disappointed God greatly due to their disobedience and following after gods of other nations. God divorces the House of Israel, they get dispersed by the conquering Assyria, and Judah is conquered by Babylon a while later fulfilling the prophecy Moses gave hundreds of years before.

Deu 4:23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
Deu 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deu 4:25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:
Deu 4:26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
Deu 4:27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.
Deu 4:28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.
Deu 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Deu 4:30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

God, יהוה, will bring these twelve tribes back together someday as Jeremiah prophesied.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
Jer 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.


Isa 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
Isa 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isa 11:13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Read the parable of the prodigal son seeing the older brother as Judah, and the prodigal son as Ephraim, or the northern kingdom.


Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The new covenant is with the these two houses, or the northern tribes and southern tribes.

Jer 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
Jer 31:32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.
Jer 31:33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The writer of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah:

Heb 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Heb 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

The idea of the new covenant isn’t that new. Moses spoke of it.

Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Deu 30:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
Deu 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

Eze 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Eze 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The first place we see a congregation, (or church), is when the children of Israel were still in Egypt right before the first Passover.

Exo 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

The word used here that gets translated to congregation is Strong’s H5712, meaning assembly, congregation, family etc.

H5712 (Strong)
Feminine of H5707 in the original sense of fixture; a stated assemblage (specifically a concourse, or generally a family or crowd): – assembly, company, congregation, multitude, people, swarm.

Congregation in the New Testament context is Strong’s G1577, which was similar, but as it evolved into the word Church, the definition took on new meanings.

Thayer Definition:
1) a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly
1a) an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating
1b) the assembly of the Israelites
1c) any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously
1d) in a Christian sense
1d1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting

When the first century writers were talking about the ekklēssia, there were no large cathedrals, no Vatican, and no sign of the 40,000 plus denominations there are today.

The first congregational meeting of Israel happened when they were ready to leave Egypt at Passover. One of the next important meetings of the congregation of Israel was in the third month at mount Horeb when God, יהוה, met them face to face to give them the Ten Commandments.

Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.
Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exo 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
Exo 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Exo 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
Exo 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

And in the third month from the children of Yashar’el’s departure from Mitsrayim, on the sixth day thereof, YAHUAH gave to Yashar’el the Ten Devariym on Mount Ciynai. And all Yashar’el heard all these commandments, and all Yashar’el rejoiced exceedingly in YAHUAH on that day. And the glory of YAHUAH rested upon Mount Ciynai, and he called to Mosheh, and Mosheh came in the midst of a cloud and ascended the mountain. YASHAR (JASHER) 82:6-8 את CEPHER

It is interesting that the third month is the time of the feast of Shavuot. The book of Jasher, an extra biblical text, has the meeting of the congregation with God happening on the sixth day of the third month. This coincides with the Holy Spirit being given on the feast of Shavuot or Pentecost in Acts.

Dispensationalism is a theology that started in England in the early 19th century. John Nelson Darby is given credit for being the father of dispensationalism. This system believes the church is separate from Israel, and they have two different roles or destinies. This is an over simplification of dispensational theology, but the purpose here is to bring it to light, and for you to know it is what you are subscribing to in most evangelical churches today. Whether good or bad, you should be able to study it and compare it to the Word. Sometimes it is hard to know you are in a dispensational belief system because no one ever will ever tell you “our church follows a dispensational theology model derived from a C.I. Scofield Bible commentary”. In some forms of dispensational theology, it is said that the “church” was not seen by the Old Testament prophets, and God, יהוה, had to readjust his plan when the Jewish people did not accept Jesus as Messiah. According to Amos, this is a problem.

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Amo 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Another premise of dispensational theology is that the “church” is a specific age where only certain things apply to the people of the church age. So, in some forms, when Jesus says to follow the commandments, dispensationalism will say that just applies to the Jewish people before the death and resurrection of Jesus. Here are some words of Jesus:

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.

On a side note, jots and tittles are the little pieces of the Hebrew script that distinguish one letter from another. For example, here is a dalet, ד, and here is a resh, ר. The top line of the dalet extends beyond the perpendicular line where the resh doesn’t. That is a tittle.

Once you get to the end times, if you take a verse like the following:

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Dispensationalism will say the saints referred to in this verse must be the Jewish people “left behind” for Jacob’s trouble, because the “church” was removed from the earth earlier. It is also interesting that in Judaism there is the following of the commandments, but no faith in Jesus, and the church has faith in Jesus, but very little commandment keeping. So who are these who both keep the commandments of יהוה, and have faith in Jesus?

The concept that there are two bodies of believers would be foreign thinking to first century followers of Jesus.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and became a sharer of the root and the fatness of the olive tree with them,
Rom 11:18 do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, it is not you that bears the root, but the root bears you.
Rom 11:19 You will say then, The branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.
Rom 11:20 Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be high-minded, but fear.
Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, fear lest He also may not spare you either!

Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that you, the nations, in time past were in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who were once afar off are made near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For He is our peace, He making us both one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us,
Eph 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them;
Eph 2:16 and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself.
Eph 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to those who were near.
Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
Eph 2:20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom every building having been fitly framed together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord;
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.

So, if we are grafted in to the cultivated tree, and adopted into the Commonwealth of Israel, it is hard to hold on to the idea of a separate “church” and Israel.

Another belief system to look at is replacement theology. This is where the “church” was said to have replaced Israel. It was a popular Middle Ages theology that you can read about. The scriptures we just looked at clearly state, we that are from the nations can be grafted into Israel, the cultivated tree, not start a new tree.

Covenant theology is another belief system competing with dispensational theology. Unlike dispensational theology, Covenant theology does not separate the “church” and Israel, much like Commonwealth theology, yet it is still distinct.

James, the half brother of Jesus, (whose real name is Jacob), understood the balance between faith and works. This is one of the main points all of the various theologies are trying to define.

Jas 2:14 My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 and if one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them those things which are needful to the body, what good is it?
Jas 2:17 Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself.
Jas 2:18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works.

Lev 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
Lev 25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

Paul spends a lot of his time trying to explain works without faith is worthless. Yet many twist Paul’s explanations into a lawless gospel, just as Peter warned us.

2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
2Pe 3:15 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,
2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Both Paul and James knew that we are justified through faith in Jesus with the fruits of our faith being demonstrated in our obedience to the commandments of God, יהוה.

1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

There is a lot of material explaining all these forms of theology readily available. I recommend figuring out which you are a part of, (hint: probably dispensationalism), and learning what it is all about. Once you realize there are other methods to interpret the Bible, you can compare these theologies, asking God, יהוה, to help you understand which one best represents scripture.

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 and Augustine wrote volumes of books to clarify what should be considered scripture and what was heretical. It was quite a process over hundreds of years, with various books coming and going out of the canon. That is only taking into consideration Christianity, because Judaism also had it’s share of wrestlings with texts, especially with second temple books that had too many messianic prophecies for their liking. So, rather than thinking a leather bound King James Bible fell out of the sky one day like I did, here are a few things to look at that will hopefully spark enough interest to make someone reading this open their bible and search out the truth.

Psa 119:151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.

Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Let’s start with some authors from the standard, Westminster Confession, sixty-six book bible.

Jesus speaking here to some Sadducees:

Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Which scriptures are Jesus referring to here? Enoch speaks of this subject.

You being spiritual, holy, and possessing a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood; have lusted in the blood of men; and have done as those who are flesh and blood do. These however die and perish. Therefore have I given to them women, that they might cohabit with them; that sons might be born of them; and that this might be transacted upon earth. But you from the beginning were made spiritual, possessing a life which is eternal, and not subject to death forever. Therefore I made not women for you, because, being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven. CHANOK (ENOCH) 15:3-7 את CEPHER

Enoch may be too far fetched for some to consider valid at all, even though Peter and Jude also quote from it, so let’s reel it in to the Apocrypha that was included in the Tyndale, Wycliffe, 1560 Geneva and 1611 King James Version Bibles. These were all English, Protestant Bibles.

Here is Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew, quoting from one of the Apocrypha books, 2 Esdras:

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

This is the passage out of 2nd Esdras:

2Es 1:28 Thus saith the Almighty Lord, Have I not prayed you as a father his sons, as a mother her daughters, and a nurse her young babes,
2Es 1:29 That ye would be my people, and I should be your God; that ye would be my children, and I should be your father?
2Es 1:30 I gathered you together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings: but now, what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out from my face.
2Es 1:31 When ye offer unto me, I will turn my face from you: for your solemn feastdays, your new moons, and your circumcisions, have I forsaken.
2Es 1:32 I sent unto you my servants the prophets, whom ye have taken and slain, and torn their bodies in pieces, whose blood I will require of your hands, saith the Lord.
2Es 1:33 Thus saith the Almighty Lord, Your house is desolate, I will cast you out as the wind doth stubble.

During the English revolution, after King Charles was beheaded, members of the Long Parliament, along with some “divines”, as they were called, drafted the Westminster Confessions, which set as a standard the sixty-six book Bible we have today. After approving a list of the sixty-six books here is what they had to say about the Apocrypha:

“III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.”

So, in 1648, books that had been commonly accepted since the 3rd century BC, were tossed out like yesterday’s news. Who were these men who did this? What were their motives? The Westminster Confessions contained thirty-three chapters and produced a sixty-six book bible, which should be interesting clues to those paying attention. It is a Calvinistic document, which supports the predestination doctrine.

The Dead Sea scrolls found in caves at Qumran in the 1940’s have been helpful validating old texts. This is where the oldest fragments of Genesis that we have were found, along side Enoch and Jubilees. The English Standard Bible translation will give what both the masoretic text and the fragments found at Qumran say, if they differ.

Here is one such difference:

King James Version

Deu 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

English Standard Version

Deu 32:8 When the Most HighR1gave to the nations their inheritance, when heR2divided mankind, he fixed the bordersN1of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.N2

N2   (ESV+)
[variant] Compare Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text sons of Israel

The Masoretic Text says “Children of Israel”, where older texts say “sons of God”, with sons of God being similar to the divine council of Yahweh, יהוה, spoke about in Psalms 82.

Psa 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; in the midst of the gods He judges.
Psa 82:2 How long will you judge unjustly and lift up the faces of the wicked? Selah.
Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy; save them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psa 82:5 They neither know nor will understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
Psa 82:6 I have said, You are gods; and all of you sons of the Most High.
Psa 82:7 But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psa 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit in all nations.

How can Yahweh, יהוה, be the most high God, if there were no other gods? It would cheapen the title of Most High, if it were only talking of gods of wood and stone. A subject needing more discussion in the future.

Jasher is another book that has being ridiculed for being a corrupted text. Paul seems to have read a version of it here:

2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

And when Phar`oh heard their words he was greatly terrified before them, and he said to them, Go today and come back to me tomorrow, and they did according to the word of the king. And when they had gone Phar`oh sent for Bil`am the magician and to Iannes and Iambres his sons, and to all the magicians and conjurors and counselors which belonged to the king, and they all came and sat before the king. YASHAR (JASHER) 79:26-27 את CEPHER

Peter and Enoch:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Great fear and trembling shall seize them, even to the ends of the earth. The lofty mountains shall be troubled, and the exalted hills depressed, melting like a honeycomb in the flame. The earth shall be immerged, and all things which are in it perish; while judgment shall come upon all, even upon all the righteous: But to them shall he give peace: he shall guard the elect, and towards them exercise clemency. Then shall all belong to YAHUAH; be happy and blessed; and the splendour of YAHUAH shall illuminate them. CHANOK (ENOCH) 1:6-8 את CEPHER

2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment.
2Pe 2:5 And He did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the eighth one, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

A large portion of Enoch deals with the angels that sinned, a concept Augustine claimed was about the evil sons of Cain and the godly sons of Seth, referring to Genesis chapter six. Peter is writing about the angels that sinned and were chained in Tartarus, much like the Titan Demi-God’s of the Greeks that mated with human women. This is all explained in Enoch and would be familiar to Peter’s audience. It also explains “ancient aliens” and their technology, First Nation’s star people, and many things that are just not addressed in the church any more and that are part of scripture.

Of course, Jude directly quotes Enoch:

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 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

So here is a list books, that once you have read the standard sixty-six book bible and are familiar with it, are well worth reading.

Epistles of Clement, Epistles of Polycarp, Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Gospel of Hebrews, Gospel of Peter, Baruk 1 and 2, Esdras 1 and 2, Wisdom of Solomon, Tobit, Jubilees, Jasher, Enoch 1, Maccabees, and Sirach. Some of these books provide the second and third witness to things only mentioned once in the sixty-six book canon. Most can be downloaded for free on bible software like eSword, while is another good source for old texts.

Immortal Soul or Resurrected Body?

Do we have immortal souls, and do we go to heaven or hell immediately at death? It has been so engrained in our culture that we all possess an immortal soul, that we, in the Christian church, seldom question it, or are even willing to entertain the idea we may not have immortal souls. What does scripture say about an immortal soul? Where do we get the notion that if we are believers, some non-material part of us ascends to heaven where the creator is? I define who I consider to be the literal creator of everything as יהוה, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The purpose of this exercise is to question what you believe, why you believe it, and make you, the reader, not rely on tradition, what any denomination teaches, or what some famous evangelist has taught, but to make you want to study, and pray that God, יהוה, through his spirit, would show you what the scriptures say. I also reserve the right to be wrong, and change my mind upon further study.

What was the penalty for disobeying God in the garden?

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Gen 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
Gen 3:3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Gen 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Eve knew what God said. Eat of the fruit and you will die. But the deceiver told her she wouldn’t die, but be like God if she ate the fruit. If death were not significant, what would it change?

Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—

”Gen 3:23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

So now, Adam and Eve had to be removed from the garden so they wouldn’t become immortal in a fallen state by eating from the tree of life. The tree of life shows up again in the last book, Revelation, at the end of this age.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Notice “for without” in verse 15 referencing “his commandments” in verse 14. Material for a future study.

What does Paul say about sin and death?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we look to the people who saw a vision of heaven that are in scripture, their stories are similar. No one spoke of seeing their dead grandparents happily worshipping around the throne of God. Paul didn’t even want to say what he saw


Eze 1:24 And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:25 And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:26 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance.
Eze 1:27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.
Eze 1:28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.


Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Isa 6:2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
Isa 6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Isa 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Isa 6:6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
Isa 6:7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”


2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
2Co 12:3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
2Co 12:4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
2Co 12:5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—
2Co 12:6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.

The verse that is often referenced when speaking of immortal souls is Paul’s famous, “absent from the body, present with the Lord”, verse.

2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say,and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Is Paul saying here once our spirit is absent from our body, it is immediately present with the Lord? Let’s put it in context.

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For we that are in thistabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Why don’t we want to be found naked? What is the earthly tabernacle or tent that dissolves, and what is the building made by God eternal in the heavens? Is that building a non-material spirit we possess now, that will be freed at death as the Greek philosophers believed? Or is Paul expounding on his other writings concerning the resurrection of the flesh?

Here is what a second century church father, Ireneaus, has to say about the subject in Against Heresies, book 5, chapter 31:

1. Since, again, some who are reckoned among the orthodox go beyond the pre-arranged plan for the exaltation of the just, and are ignorant of the methods by which they are disciplined beforehand for incorruption, they thus entertain heretical opinions. For the heretics, despising the handiwork of God, and not admitting the salvation of their flesh, while they also treat the promise of God contemptuously, and pass beyond God altogether in the sentiments they form, affirm that immediately upon their death they shall pass above the heavens and the Demiurge, and go to the Mother (Achamoth) or to that Father whom they have feigned. Those persons, therefore, who disallow a resurrection affecting the whole man (universam reprobant resurrectionem), and as far as in them lies remove it from the midst [of the Christian scheme], how can they be wondered at, if again they know nothing as to the plan of the resurrection? For they do not choose to understand, that if these things are as they say, the Lord Himself, in whom they profess to believe, did not rise again upon the third day; but immediately upon His expiring on the cross, undoubtedly departed on high, leaving His body to the earth. But the case was, that for three days He dwelt in the place where the dead were, as the prophet says concerning Him: “And the Lord remembered His dead saints who slept formerly in the land of sepulture; and He descended to them, to rescue and save them.”51And the Lord Himself says, “As Jonas remained three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth.” (Mat 12:40) Then also the apostle says, “But when He ascended, what is it but that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth?” (Eph 4:9) This, too, David says when prophesying of Him, “And thou hast delivered my soul from the nethermost hell;” (Psa 86:13) and on His rising again the third day, He said to Mary, who was the first to see and to worship Him, “Touch Me not, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to the disciples, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and unto your Father.” (Joh 20:17)

So how then, does a person obtain immortality, if we do not have an immortal soul? The writer of Hebrews considers the resurrection of the dead elementary, something he did not need to address because it was common knowledge like laying on of hands and eternal judgement. Do you know anything about the resurrection of the dead? Or is it not important to you because you believe your spirit goes to heaven at death? When was the last time you have heard the resurrection of the dead taught?

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 is the hope we have to not perish through Jesus conquering death.

Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Joh 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Joh 3:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Joh 3:21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

On a side note, how does the scripture define light? Truth? Wicked things? Questions for another time.

Resurrection of the dead:


Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation evento that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame andeverlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.


Luk 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luk 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.


1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

What does he mean by those who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished? How can that be if their spirit was in heaven? Every man in his own order: Christ is the first fruits and afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
1Co 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
1Co 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial isone, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

So when do we get resurrected and given this new body?

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks beto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

So what do you believe? Why? Remember the words of Paul to Timothy.

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.
2Ti 2:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
2Ti 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2Ti 2:18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
2Ti 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
2Ti 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

The English Standard and King James Versions were used for the above passages.