Noahide Laws, Written Mosaic Law, or Whole Law?

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Do you just follow the Noahide laws; the written Mosaic Laws; or the Whole Law (written and oral laws) of Judaism?  If you don’t fall into one of these groups, you are probably somewhere among those who reject God.  Seriously, which one of these 3 groups should you belong to?

In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam only one commandment that is written in the Masoretic Text. Genesis 2:16-17 says, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  No other commandments were recorded concerning man’s behavior at that time of creation.  That’s not to say that no other commandments were given to Adam and Eve later; we just don’t know exactly what they were based on this text.

Genesis 1:14 says, 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years…”  The Hebrew word for seasons is moedim.  This is the same word used for YHVH’s appointed times in Leviticus 23.  The Targum Pseudo-Jonathan in English by Etheridge for Genesis 1:14 translates moedim as “festival times.”  Although these aren’t elaborated upon, it would seem that based on this verse, YHVH’s festivals originated during the time of creation.

The Targum Pseudo-Jonathan in English by Etheridge for Genesis 1:21 says that God created the clean and unclean:  “ And the Lord created the great tanins, the lev-ya-than and his yoke-fellow which are prepared for the day of consolation, and every living animal which creepeth, and which the clear waters had swarmed forth after their kind; the kinds which are clean, and the kinds which are not clean; and every fowl which flieth with wings after their kinds, the clean and the unclean. And the Lord beheld that it was good.”

If God created creatures that were clean and unclean, He must have taught Adam and Eve which were which.  Somebody knew because Noah eventually knew which animals were clean and which weren’t when it came time to load the ark. There must have been some unwritten laws regarding the clean and unclean.  In addition, if diet weren’t important, the first written commandment would not have been about what they could and couldn’t eat.

The Noahide laws are laws that the Jews believe should supposedly apply to all humanity.  The traditional list of the six laws that were said to be given to Adam in the Garden of Eden and the seventh found after the flood narrative (Genesis 9) are:

  1. Do not deny God (idolatry).
  2. Do not murder (also in Genesis 9:5-6).
  3. Do not steal.
  4. Do not engage in sexual immorality.
  5. Do not blaspheme.
  6. Do not eat of a live animal (do not eat animals with its blood still in it; Genesis 9:4).
  7. Establish courts and legal systems to ensure obedience of the law.[1]

The Book of Jubilees 7:20-28 (~2nd century BCE) mentions certain ordinances, commandments, and judgments that Noah taught his sons:

  1. Observe righteousness
  2. Cover the shame of your flesh
  3. Bless your Creator
  4. Honor your father and mother
  5. Love your neighbor
  6. Guard yourselves from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity (these 3 were the cause of the flood)[2]

Even here, these commandments are pretty vague; not much is defined or elaborated upon.  The Genesis account and the Book of Jubilees indicate people were offering sacrifices, and at this point, there were no detailed procedures given.  Cain offered a minchah and Abel offered a firstborn animal.  They could have been sacrificing to YHVH in the same way pagans offered sacrifices to their gods but I don’t think so.

Let me point out that there is no mention of Sabbath observance in these two lists. YHVH rested on the first Sabbath which was the 7th day of the week (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11).  The Hebrew words for Sabbath (shabbat), seventh (sheviyiy), and rest (shavat) are related because they all share the same root: shin-bet-tav.  Therefore, the Sabbath cannot be on any other day; it must be on the 7th day of the week as God originally commanded. Since the first Shabbat was at the end of the week of creation, this is when it was “created.”  Since that’s the case, it should be part of the Noahide laws…but for some reason it’s not.  I can only guess why.

The Sabbath is a sign between the children of Israel and YHVH, that they may know that YHVH is the one who sanctifies them (Exodus 31:13).  YHVH would not have changed the Sabbath to a different day; man changed it without God’s consent.  The 7th day Sabbath was not just for the past; it’s also for the future.  Ezekiel has prophesied that all the people of the land will worship YHVH on the Sabbaths and New Moons at some point in the future (Ezekiel 46:3).

Since all of this is the case, it seems all descendants of Noah, both Jew and Gentile alike should be observing the 7th day Sabbath too.  Should they be forbidden to do so?  I don’t think so.  Unfortunately, the Jews have been forbidding Gentiles from observing the Sabbath for centuries.  They expect Gentiles to observe the Noahide laws instead; in addition, they’d prefer that Gentiles don’t convert to Judaism either.

Denying Sabbath observance is odd because Exodus 20:9 says, “but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger (ger) who is within your gates.”

A ger is translated as a sojourner, foreigner; someone who has left home due to certain circumstances and is temporarily dwelling in the land.  The Greek text for this verse mentions both proselytes and strangers.  If God expected even animals to observe the Sabbath, He certainly expected Gentiles who dwelled with His people to do so as well.  Not only that, the Mosaic laws were given to a mixed multitude of people who went with the children of Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 12:37-38).  Everyone was expected to observe the Sabbath.

Another Hebrew word for foreigner is nekhar; this person is what we’d normally think of as being an alien.  It refers to someone from another nation, family, or tribe.

The phrase “one law” is used a few times in Scripture to refer to the observance of the Mosiac law by both the children of Israel and the ger or nekhar.  Some people think these verses only apply to certain situations and not to the whole Mosaic law. Situations include:

  1. The descendant of a nekhar, or a ger who wants to participate in pesach (Passover). (The Passover law is a testimony (edut = testimony or sign of what God has done.).
    1. To participate, he and his males must be circumcised just like the children of Israel (Exodus 12:43, 49; Numbers 9:14).
    2. It would seem that if a ger wants to participate in any other festival or holy day, he must do so according to the requirements set forth in Scripture, that is, according to the written law.
  1. A ger who wants to offer sin and trespass offerings to YHVH.
    1. The ger and native born can both bring offerings and they both must do it in the prescribed manner.
    2. The laws that define sin and trespasses are contained in the Mosaic law, not just the Noahide laws.
    3. The definitions for sins and trespasses apply to both the ger and the children of Israel. How else would a Noahide know they have sinned or trespassed since more offenses are listed in the Mosaic covenant that in the Noahide list?
    4. For a ger to bring offerings to YHVH requires he be ritually clean; therefore, commandments related to ritual purity must apply to him as well. Otherwise, the Temple would become defiled.

The written Mosiac law must apply to both the ger and native-born. One law (torah = teaching or instruction), ordinance (chuqqah = laws not easily understood), and custom (mishpat = laws easily understood) applies to both ger and the children of Israel (Leviticus 8:7; Numbers 15:14-16, 29).

Let’s face it, when people from different cultures live in the same territory, it is difficult to have multiple sets of laws.  Doing so causes disorder and can result in injustice.  There can only be one set of laws for native-born and foreigners/sojourners.

YHVH promised Abraham that He would become the father of many nations and that his wife Sarah would be the mother of nations (goyim = peoples; nations; Gentiles; heathen).  YHVH promised to establish His covenant with Abraham as well as his descendants, and to give him and his descendants all of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession, and to be their God. (Genesis 17:4-8, 16).  In Abraham’s seed would all the nations be blessed (Genesis 22:18).  Since blessing comes from obedience to the Mosaic covenant, people must enter and observe that covenant, not just observe the Noahide laws.  The alternative is cursing and death.

YHVH’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are linked because of the land.  Uncircumcised males descended from Abraham were considered to have broken YHVH’s covenant; they were to be cut off from their people (Genesis 17:14).  Being uncircumcised in the flesh and in the heart are connected to iniquity and unfaithfulness.

YHVH told His people that in the future if they broke His covenant and were to admit their guilt and that of their ancestors, He would remember the covenant with their ancestors and the land (Leviticus 26:40-45), and heal them and forgive them.  According to Ezekiel 44:9, foreigners (descendants of a nekhar), including those of the children of Israel must be circumcised in the flesh and in the heart in order to enter YHVH’s sanctuary during the Messiah’s millennial reign.  This demonstrates that the same laws from the past will apply in the future.

Acts 15 discusses how the Gentiles could be converted, or enter the covenant of Israel.  This passage does not advocate they should become merely Noahide observers.  The party of the circumcision from Judea (a sect of the Pharisees) were teaching the Gentiles (goyim) that they could not be converted (be saved, repent) unless they were circumcised according to the custom of Moses (Acts 15:3-5). Paul and Barnabas disagreed and believed the Gentiles were being converted without “becoming Jewish” via circumcision first.  Circumcision is something that can come a little later in obedience to God’s commandments; it’s not the means of entering the covenant.

This dispute of how to enter the covenant was brought to the Jerusalem council who decided the Gentiles are saved in the same manner as the Jews.  It was decided that the Gentiles who were turning to God should abstain from things polluted by idols, sexual immorality, things strangled, and blood; for Moses has been preached in every city and read in the synagogues every Sabbath (Acts 15:19-21).  This last phrase/sentence indicates that these things were a starting point for entering the covenant; the rest or process of sanctification could be learned in the synagogue every Sabbath.

The list of things that Gentiles needed to do immediately were all connected to idolatry in one way or another.  Idolatry must cease before worship of YHVH can begin.  This is not debatable.  These four things are not a complete list of the seven Noahide laws; to say that they are, or to use this as a reason for Gentiles to not embrace the written Torah is misleading.

In the Talmud, in Sanhedrin 105a, it says, “Righteous people of all nations have a share in the world to come.”  The Jews regard Gentiles who only follow the Noahide laws as the righteous among the Gentiles.  The question is, does YHVH consider them righteous and worthy of the olam haba (world to come)?  How can they if they ignore many things including the sign of the covenant?

Oral law contains laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that are not found in the written Torah.  The Jews say these were passed down orally from Mount Sinai until they were written down a few centuries after the destruction of the Temple which occurred in 70 CE. These oral laws are found in the Talmud which is composed of the Mishnah and Gemara.

As we’ve seen, prior to the Mosaic law, there appears to have been some kind of oral law; it seems these laws may have been the same and not different from the Mosiac law.  YHVH gave Moses written laws at Mount Sinai.   Deuteronomy 12:32 says, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”  Saying that there was an additional oral law that existed since Mount Sinai is adding to the written Torah.  Since the written law was eventually lost for a period of time (2Kings 22,8; 2Chronicles 34,15), how can we believe that an existing oral tradition was never lost or passed down?

The fact that the giving of the oral law is not even mentioned in the written law is my first consideration for not incorporating it into my life.  Not all sects of Judaism recognize the divine origin of the oral law either; so I think it’s wise to view the oral law with caution.  If you’ve ever tried to read the Talmud, you may have found it very frustrating.  The rabbis who are quoted often do not agree with each other on many matters that are supposedly laws.  This makes the idea of an oral law ridiculous and unbelievable, and/or difficult to accept.

Even though I feel this way about the oral law, I believe there is still value in the Talmud because we can learn what the Jews believe and practice today and to some extent, we can learn about various things including the debates of sages Hillel and Shamai, and other rabbis who lived during the last century BCE and the first several centuries CE.

I feel that we have two extremes here.  The Noahide laws appear to be lacking the significant sign of the covenant (the 7th day Sabbath) among other things.  The oral law appears to be excessive; often times conflicting with itself; and a burden that is impossible to keep.

I feel comfortable with the written Mosaic law; yet, I know that some of it applies to everyone, and other parts apply to only certain groups of people.  Some of it can’t be observed because the temple no longer stands.  Yeshua said this law would not pass away until heaven and earth passes away.  In other words, it’s still valid.  Those who teach people to observe this law will be considered great in the kingdom of God; those who teach otherwise will be least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19).  Paul told us that this law was not abolished because of faith; he upheld the law (Romans 3:31).  James told us to speak and do as those who will be judged by this law of liberty (James 2:12).  If we love YHVH, we will obey His commandments (1 John 5:3).

We must understand that YHVH gave His people one set of laws for both Jew and Gentile.  Obedience to God’s commandments brings life and blessing; disobedience leads to cursing and death.  The saints are those who keep the commandments of God (those given at Mount Sinai and not just the Noahide laws) and the faith of Yeshua (Revelation 14:12).

 

[1] http://judaism.about.com/od/conversiontojudaism/fl/What-Are-the-Noahide-Laws.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Laws_of_Noah

 

 

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 4

So far we’ve seen how the theme of salvation progressed from the Tanach (Old Testament) through a major portion of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).  Initially, Israel was often saved from their physical enemies.  Eventually, their enemies had infiltrated their communities and influenced them to commit idolatry.  In Yeshua’s day, many people were not walking in obedience to the law despite the fact their forefathers had spent time in exile in Babylon.  It was necessary for Yeshua to save Israel from the path of death they were on by calling the Jews to repentance; He did this by encouraging them to return to the law of YHVH.

Many people in the Hebraic Roots movement are saying that salvation is a future thing.  Because of this, we looked at the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb for “saved” to determine whether being saved is a past event or not.  The vast majority of times this verb is used in the Brit Chadashah, it’s in the aorist tense which is a past event. It is often in the indicative mood which is a point in time event.  Only in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the perfect form used; this usage is a past completed action that has an on-going effect.  The verses with a future tense refer to something that will happen in the future when certain conditions are met.  At that point, salvation would be a past event.  If someone has convinced you to stop ignoring God’s commandments and to live a life of obedience, you have been saved or rescued from the path of destruction and death that you were on.

Even so, Israel can expect a physical salvation from their enemies during the Battle of Armageddon and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.  The purpose of salvation is to rescue people from the ultimate curse of the law which is death; the only way to do this is to take them back to the same choice between life and death that Moses set before the people and encourage them to choose life.  Choosing life requires people to accept the terms of the covenant between YHVH and Israel.  These terms will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away.

We’ve seen that salvation in Exodus preceded entering the covenant with YHVH.  In addition, we’ve looked at how to enter the new covenant; this is patterned after how people entered the original covenant. It is clear that we are saved by faith yet we are justified by our works; in other words, our works (Torah obedience which includes acts of kindness) demonstrate our faith.  In addition, Paul was right to say that we should not abolish the law because of faith; he upheld the law (Romans 3:31).

Yeshua lived righteously.  He is the Cornerstone and Gate of Salvation which allows us to enter the covenant and experience blessing (life).  We have been given the Ruach HaKodesh so we can walk in the Ruach like Yeshua did, and not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  If we are led by the Ruach, we are not under the curse of the law (death); instead we are choosing life.

What we need to know now is how Yeshua is going to firmly establish his kingdom.  This will require the future physical salvation of His people.  Remember, God shows us what is to happen in the future in the events of the past.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says: “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”

We see the present and future in the patterns of the past.  They are thematic shadows, and not necessarily exact.  Sometimes thematic events happen in unexpected ways.  Sometimes there is opposition (the opposite of what we expect happens); this could be a result of the personal choices people make.  Sometimes a single person may play one or more roles as compared to the original pattern; the opposite is true as well.  Sometimes, the order of events might be out of order due to a particular reason.  Often what applies to an individual can apply to a corporate body; the reverse of this is true as well.  Despite this, the patterns are there.  We can see what God did in the past and understand what He intends to do in the future.

The salvific patterns we need to remember are:

  • Preservation of a Remnant
  • Messiah and Anti-Messiah
  • The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign
  • The Establishment of the Kingdom of God
  • Slain from the Foundation of the World

When you look at these, it may be helpful to read down the first column to see the sequence of events.  Then, read each row to see how the pattern was repeated or will be repeated.

The following pattern is the “Preservation of a Remnant”:

Preservation of a Remnant

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

God sent Joseph to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth;

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Moses back to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Yeshua to His people to:

·         Preserve a posterity (remnant) for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance

Joseph gave instructions for the collection of grain for the coming famine.

Joseph provided grain to the known world so they could live and not die.

YHVH provided manna, quail, and water for His people who were under Moses’ leadership.

He also gave them the terms of the covenant so they could choose to live and not die.

Yeshua taught the Word of God (spiritual food & terms of the covenant); preached repentance; and gave His life so the world could live and not die.

 

This pattern shows what Yeshua’s goals were in the first century.  In Joseph’s and Moses’ time, the people are entering, in, or coming out of Egypt.  By Yeshua’s day, YHVH’s people are in a kind of spiritual Egypt.  YHVH provided the means to preserve and save them.  Note that in each column there is some kind of nourishment (whether it was grain, manna, or the Word of God) that accomplishes the goal of preserving or sustaining life.  Instructions or terms of the covenant were for everyone.  Life or death was dependent on whether or not people followed the instructions or terms of the covenant.  You cannot have a covenant without terms; the terms of the original and new covenant are the same.

 

The following is the pattern of the Messiah and Anti-Messiah.

Messiah and Anti-Messiah

Pattern

Past

Future

YHVH’s

Anointed  Shepherd

 

Cyrus, king of Persia

(5th century BCE)

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness;

Good Shepherd

Son of Joseph and David

(1st century CE)

Anti-Messiah

 

Antiochus Epiphanes IV

(1st century BCE)

False Prophet

 

Horn [Agent] of Salvation

 

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness

Son of Joseph;

Son of David

(1st century CE)

Faithful & True;

Word of God (Yeshua)

 

 

This pattern shows that YHVH’s anointed shepherd was/will be followed by an anti-Messiah.  This person was/will be followed by a certain horn/agent of salvation.  As the pattern repeats itself, the same horn/agent of salvation is none other than Yeshua HaMashiach.

Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 describe Cyrus as YHVH’s anointed shepherd.  Based on our chart, he prefigures Yeshua.  Several centuries after Cyrus allowed the Jews return to Israel, Antiochus Epiphanes IV wreaks havoc among God’s people.

KJA  1 Maccabees 1:10  “And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.”

1Maccabees 1:41-50  Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 And every one should leave his laws… 45 And (he) forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: 46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:  47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:  48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:  49 To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.  50 And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.”

In Jeremiah 23:1-6, YHVH promised He would gather the remnant of His flock and set decent shepherds over them.  He promised to raise up to David a Branch of Righteousness.  This Branch would be a king who would reign and prosper.  This man would/will be called “YHVH Our Righteousness.”

During the time of the Roman empire, Yeshua HaMashiach was born.  He was conceived of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and adopted by Joseph who was of the line of David.  Matthew’s genealogy seems to indicate that Yeshua is the prophesied Branch of Righteousness who was raised up to bypass the curse of Jeconiah, a descendant of David and be the rightful heir to the throne. (See Jer. 22:28-30; 23:5)

Yeshua was anointed at His baptism (Matthew 3:16), and later He described Himself as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14).

Revelation 13:11-17 describes the coming false prophet (anti-Messiah) like this:  “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The Horn of Salvation that is to come is described in Revelation 19:11-15:  “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

I think this pattern shows us that God always intended for Yeshua to come twice, and not just once.  In addition, there would be a leader who would oppose the covenant and lead people astray.

 

The following is the pattern of the “Establishment of Messiah’s Reign.”

The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign

Pattern

Past

Future

A son of David died in/on a tree and was thrust through with 1 or 3 spears. Absalom Yeshua
An Anti-Messiah (an un-anointed person) was exalted and gained authority. He was followed by others. Adonijah Beast of Revelation and the False Prophet
A son of David was anointed (mashach) as king and had a peaceful reign/he spoke peace. Solomon (1 Kings 1:39, 43) Yeshua

 

In 2 Samuel 18:14, Absalom was killed by Joab while he hung in a terebinth tree with his hair caught in the branches.  Joab thrust him through with 3 spears.  Note the visual similarity of the crown of thorns Yeshua wore on his head with Absalom’s hair being caught in the tree branches.

In 1 Kings 1:5 and 7-8, Adonijah said, “I will be king.” Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed and helped Adonijah.

In 1 Kings 1:39-40,  Zadok the priest anointed Solomon as king according to David’s command.

In Acts 5:30-31, Yeshua was crucified on a tree but was resurrected by the Father to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

In John 19:34, a soldier thrust Yeshua through with a spear so that blood and water flowed out before he was taken down from the tree.

Revelation 13:3 and 7 describe the Leopard-Bear-Lion Beast which was from the sea:  “And all the world marveled and followed the beast…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”

Revelation 13:15-17 describes the Beast from the earth that had 2 horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon:  “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

It may still be too soon to tell but I think we may be starting to hear the False Prophet encouraging the worship of the Beast.

Now let’s look at several verses which describe Yeshua’s reign and the theme of peace:

Zechariah 9:9-10:  “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Luke 1:31-33  “And behold, you (Miriam/Mary) will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua). 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

 

The following pattern of the “Establishment of the Kingdom of God.”

The Establishment of the Kingdom of God

Pattern

Under Solomon

Yeshua (Past)

Yeshua (Future)

A man riding an animal; followed by an announcement 1 Kings 1:33-40

Solomon rode David’s mule. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’

Matt 21:7-9 (fulfillment of Zech. 9:9)

Yeshua rode a donkey and colt into Jerusalem.  The multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

Revelation 19:11, 17-18

Faithful and True rides a white horse, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. …An angel invites all the flying birds to “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God…”

 

Death

 

1 Kings 2:25

Solomon had Adonijah put to death for attempting to usurp David’s throne.

 

Matt 27:1-2

All the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Yeshua to put Him to death.  The sign placed above His head called Him the King of the Jews.

Revelation 19:19-21

The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.

Exile and/or replacement/exchange/release 1 Kings 2:26, 35 

Solomon exiled Abiathar the priest to Ananoth for siding with Adonijah. He was replaced by Zadok.

 

Matthew 27:20-22

The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for BarAbbas [“son of father”] to be released from prison instead of Yeshua [the Son of the Father].

(note: Yeshua replaced BarAbbas)

Revelation 20:1-3

An angel took the dragon [the serpent of old, the Devil, Satan] and bound him and sealed him in the abyss (a picture of exile).

He was released after a thousand years to deceive the nations to gather them for the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Death for ___ innocent blood

 

1 Kings 2:31

Solomon had Joab put to death for siding with Adonijah and shedding innocent blood.

Matthew 27:3-5

Judas confessed saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”  He left, and went and hanged himself.

 

Revelation 20:7-10

Battle of Gog and Magog:  Satan and the nations will gather to surround the camp of the saints (who are innocent) and the city of Jerusalem [to destroy them]. God will devour them with fire. The devil will be cast into the lake of fire.

Jerusalem and/or Judgment

 

1 Kings 2:36 

Since Shimei did not stay in Jerusalem as he’d been commanded and warned, Solomon had him put to death for cursing King David when he’d gone to Mahanaim to escape Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5).

 

Acts 1:4-6

Yeshua commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem, and to wait for the baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit].

 

It was not time to restore the kingdom to Israel [not time for judgment].

Revelation 20:11-15

After the Great White Throne Judgment, the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire

 

The righteous will enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Throne

 

1 Kings 2:12

Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.

 

Hebrews 10:12-13

Yeshua, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God [who is seated on His throne] Yeshua is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.

 

Revelation 22:3-5

The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the New Jerusalem And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Revelation 3:21

Yeshua will let him who overcomes sit with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne.

 

The sequence of events that took place when Solomon became king set the stage for what would be necessary for Yeshua’s kingdom to be established. As you can see, this will take place in two stages.  The first stage has past, and the second is yet to come.

 

The question has been raised:

  • Why was Yeshua slain from the foundation of the world?

I believe the answer is:

  • So that YHVH’s work of salvation would always come before sin ever took place.
  • To establish a pattern that would be repeated several times in Scripture.
  • To show us this was always YHVH’s plan from before the very beginning.

 

Slain From the Foundation of the World

Pattern

Adam

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

Revelation

Innocent slain

 

Yeshua was slain before foundation of the world

 

Picture of death: Joseph was lowered into a pit & later raised up to life.

Joseph’s father believed he had been killed by a wild beast.

Innocent Hebrew babies were killed by throwing them into the Nile

 

John the Baptist was beheaded

 

Babylon the Great was drunk with the blood of the martyrs

Souls had been beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of God.

Sinned or Accused of Sin Adam & Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Accused of adultery

 

Moses killed an Egyptian

 

Accused of blasphemy

 

Beast committed blasphemy

 

Death Animal(s) killed in order to provide clothing for Adam & Eve

 

Joseph’s brothers killed a kid of the goats to deceive their father.

 

Death of Egyptian firstborns

 

Yeshua executed for blasphemy

 

 

Beast and false prophet were cast into the lake of fire;

The 10 kings and their armies were killed and eaten by birds of prey.

Exile/

Prison

Adam & Eve were exiled from the garden of Eden. Joseph was carried away from Canaan and exiled in prison in Egypt. Mixed multitude left Egypt and entered the wilderness. Yeshua left earth and returned to the Father. The dragon was cast into the pit for 1000 years.
Death Abel died Baker died Egyptian army was killed in Red Sea. Thief #1

Will not be in paradise.

Those not written in Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.
Life Cain lived Cup bearer lived Mixed multitude crossed the Red Sea and lived. Thief #2

Will be in paradise.

Those written in the Book of Life can enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Yeshua was slain before the foundation of the world so that the work of salvation could take place BEFORE Adam and Eve ever sinned.

We can look at this in two ways:

  • The decision was made for Yeshua to die at that time.
  • Yeshua really was slain in the heavenly realm at that time to provide atonement for all mankind so He could be the cornerstone and gate of righteousness. This view considers the idea of similar parallels between what goes on in heaven and on earth. Obviously, Yeshua would eventually be slain in the physical realm in order to conquer death and be the propitiation for sin.

Finally, we have death and life.  During Adam’s time Abel died and Cain lived.  Now I’m aware that Abel was innocent and that Cain was not, but what we need to see is that the theme of the pattern is that one person died and the other lived.

Life and death are the choices that have been set before mankind.  I am echoing the words of Moses found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:  “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We’ve seen that the theme of salvation is consistent throughout Scripture.  We have seen that salvation:

  • took place in the past to preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel
  • is on-going in the present to preserve a remnant for the kingdom of God.
  • and that it will take place in the future to protect this remnant from their enemies and to firmly establish the kingdom of God.

Praise YHVH.  “You (YHVH) went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed.  You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck.”  (Habakkuk 3:13)

 

 

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 3

So far in this presentation on salvation, we have looked at the history of salvation in the Tanach (Old Testament) and watched it progress into the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

We’ve seen that people were saved from their enemies and eventually from their own sin which was leading them on a path of destruction and death.

We saw that the work of salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event…. that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered into the covenant.

We also saw that the work of salvation is a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies.  Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam habba)..

In this 3rd part of the presentation on salvation we are going to look at how to enter the covenant because…the original Passover Lamb was a type of the death of the Passover Lamb (Yeshua).

And just as the mixed multitude entered into the original covenant with YHVH, we must enter the new covenant.

In part 4, we will eventually look at several patterns that demonstrate the full plan of YHVH’s salvation.

Remember, God always operates in patterns.

Personally, I think patterns help us:

  • To see the consistency of the work of YHVH over time, even when opposition takes place;
  • To be confident that what has been passed down to us is reliable.
  • To see the purpose (significance) of certain obscure commandments, statutes, and judgments.

We need to bear in mind that when comparing and contrasting patterns:

  • They can show opposition (the opposite of what is expected happens) because of the personal choices of the participants.
  • They can have a corporate or individual midrash (application).

Let’s look at the pattern of the Passover:

Passover

Slavery in Egypt Slavery to Sin

Sin can refer to our 3 enemies: the world, our flesh, and Satan’s kingdom (Satan and his demons).

This can be referred to as spiritual Egypt.

Passover lamb or goat Yeshua, the Lamb of God
Delivered from Egypt with a mighty hand and outstretched arm. Delivered us from sin with a mighty hand and outstretched arm on the cross.
Mixed multitude came to Mount Sinai; cleansed and set-apart themselves; and entered the covenant. We must come to a point of decision; cleanse and set-apart ourselves; and enter the covenant.

 

Salvation exists in two stages:

  1. The first is defined as being saved (BEING TURNED AWAY) from your sins, being saved from your enemies, and/or being saved from destruction.
  2. The second is defined as being preserved for the kingdom of God; this is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law.

Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant; which is working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  Once the first stage takes place, we must enter YHVH’s covenant.  We must live a lifestyle of faith by obeying YHVH’s commandments.

As we think about salvation, we need to understand what Paul was saying in Romans 10.  Paul said:  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved (sotarian).”  Paul is wanting and praying for the lost people of Israel to be preserved for God’s kingdom.”  According to verses 2-3, Israel had a zeal for God but they were attempting to establish their own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God.  I strongly believe this is referring to their oral traditions and/or living liked they pleased, and not living the written Torah.

For us today, everyone is doing what they consider to be acceptable in their own eyes; they are attempting to establish their own righteousness while ignoring how God defines his righteousness.

This is not an option for God’s people.

Paul continues his discourse in Romans 10 by quoting from Leviticus 18:5 and Deuteronomy 30:12-14.

Our English translations of a few Greek words in Romans 10:5-8 mislead us to believe Paul is talking about two different things but he’s not. He mentioned:

  • The Righteousness which is of the law (written by Moses);
  • The Righteousness which is of faith (which is described by Moses in Deuteronomy 30:12-14)

In Romans 10:4-8, I am making some substitutions for a couple of Greek words.

  • NKJ Romans 10:4-5 “For (gar) Christ is the end (fulfillment, goal) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For (gar) Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’”
  • NKJ  Romans 10:6-7 But (de; Moreover,) the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”
    • Verse 6 begins with the Greek word de. Most English versions translate de as “but;” however, it can and should be translated “moreover” since he’s about to quote Moses.
  • NKJ Romans 10:8 But (alla; Moreover,) what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)”:
    • Verse 8 begins with the Greek word alla. In this instance, alla is an ascensive transition and also should be translated as “moreover.”  Since our English translations use the word “but” in both instances we incorrectly assume the righteousness of the law is different from the righteousness of faith.

In this quote, Paul does not feel the need to point out the rest of Deuteronomy 30:14 which says “…that you may do it.”

Now let’s continue with verse 9:  “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Yeshua and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (sothasa; future, passive, indicative).”

This sounds simple enough.  We need to ask ourselves, “Is this all I need to do to enter the covenant?”  If we are interested in the truth, we need to take more into account than just a single verse.

We need to investigate this some more. Let’s compare this with what Rahab did to be sure.

 

 

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Blood of the Covenant Joshua 2:18

The scarlet cord in the window symbolized the blood of the Passover Lamb. (Remez = hint)

Matthew 26:28; John 19:34

The cup of wine symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb; & the new covenant.

Hear, Believe, and Confess Joshua 2:11

H – Rahab heard…

B– YHVH has given you the land (believed the works of YHVH).

C– YHVH your God, He is God in heaven and on earth beneath.

Rom. 10:9, 17; Philip. 2:11; John 20:31

H– We must hear…

B– God raised Yeshua from the dead (believe the works of YHVH).

C– Adonai Yeshua; Yeshua is Adonai (Lord); He is Messiah, He is the Son of God.

 

The Blood of the Covenant is required for salvation to take place.

In Joshua 2:18 we see that Rahab placed a scarlet cord in her window.  Without her realizing it, this became the symbol of the blood of the Passover Lamb that had marked the homes of God’s people the night YHVH passed over them and killed the Egyptians.  Thematically, the scarlet cord and the blood of the Passover Lamb are used the same way.  This signal was used to identify the house that was to be passed over when the army came to destroy Jericho.

 

Hearing, believing, and confession are also required for salvation to take place.

WHAT WAS HEARD

Joshua 2:10-11 – Rahab told the spies:  For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you…”

BELIEF

Joshua 2:9 – She also said: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.”

CONFESSION

Joshua 2:11b – “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

 

For Jews and Gentiles alike, the cup of wine that the disciples drank at Yeshua’s last meal was the blood of the new covenant.  It symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb.  We drink it in remembrance of what He did for us.

Just as Rahad heard bad news, we must HEAR good news; we now have opposition in the pattern.  This is why Paul says…

Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:14-15 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Just as Rahab confessed something, we must make a CONFESSION

Romans 10:9  — “that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua HaMashiach and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

[You should confess who He is: He’s Adonai Yeshua (the cornerstone; Lamb of God; Messiah; Son of God), and you should confess what He does:  He saves]

Romans 10:12-13 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever (whether Jew or Greek) calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Rahab obviously lived before Yeshua’s time on earth but the pattern for salvation is the same.

Now let’s see how people are justified and saved

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Justified (Declared Righteous) James 2:24-25

Rahab was justified by her works and faith.

James 2:21-24

You see then that a man [like Abraham] is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Was/Will Be Saved Joshua 6:17; Hebrews 11:31

Saved by faith, because she received the spies in peace and hid them (Faith demonstrated by ACTION).

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

Justified (Declared righteous)

James 2:25 — Rahab’s works were receiving the messengers and sending them out another way.

Rahab was not the only one justified by works and faith; Abraham was too when he offered Isaac on the altar (James 2:21).  James tells us Genesis 15:6 was fulfilled, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to his for righteousness.” This is a midrash.  Abraham believed God’s promise of a son that would come from his own body; this was Isaac.  What do we do? We believe in Yeshua, the son of God.  Like Abraham, we have to have action to go with our faith/belief.  We offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God; we obey God’s commandments, performs acts of chesed (loving kindness, covenant love, etc).

In Acts 15:11, Peter said:  “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach the Jews shall be saved in the same manner as the Gentiles.”

Everyone is saved and justified (declared righteous) by faith which is demonstrated by works.  The purpose of both is so we can experience the blessings and not the curses of the law.

Ephesians 2:8-9 seems to contradict being saved and justified by faith which is demonstrated by our works.  Don’t worry about this for now; we will see what this is really about shortly.

Let’s continue with Romans 10:10 –“For with the heart one believes unto (eis) righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto (eis) salvation (sotarian).”

  • The Greek word “eis” can mean unto, but it also means for the purpose of or to denote a specific goal.

The purpose or goal of believing/trusting is righteousness and the purpose or goal of confessing is salvation (to turn us away from sin and to preserve us for the kingdom of God).  When we confess something, we are supposed to follow through with our actions.

There’s something else I want everyone to see as we continue with Romans 10:11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [G = kataisxuno; H = yebosh (spelled: yod-bet-vav-shin)].

  • MT Isaiah 28:16 “will not act hastily” (H = yachiysh; spelled: yod-chet-yod-shin)
  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (G = kataisxuntha).

Now why in the world does Paul say this?  As I looked at this verse, I ran into a few problems.

This quote is from Isaiah 28:16.  The MT says “will not act hastily.”  There’s a similarity in Hebrew spelling. Both begin with yod and end with shin; vav looks similar to yod.  This makes me think there’s a possible textual criticism issue here.

  • The LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (kataisxuntha).”
    • Aorist Passive Subjunctive 3rd person singular
  • Romans 10:11 “will not be put to shame” (kataisxuno)
    • Future Passive Indicative 3rd person singular

I believe Paul is using this quote to clue us in to a deeper teaching here.  If we don’t explore it, we’ll miss something very important.  Actually, we’ll be making several connections between several different passages so stay with me.

Since there may be a problem with the MT, let’s look at the LX-English for the verse Paul is quoting in Romans 10:11.

  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord, even the Lord (Adonai YHVH), <1> Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion (Tzion) a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed.”

In Romans 10:11, Paul is connecting Adonai Yeshua to the cornerstone by quoting Isaiah 28:16b.

  • The word ashamed in Romans 10:11 is also connected to Zechariah 10:5 which also mentions the cornerstone. Let’s look at that to see what we can glean.
  • NKJ Zechariah 10:3-5 For the Lord of hosts (YHVH Tsevaot) will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.  4 From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg (nail; stake), From him the battle bow, From him every ruler (oppressor) together. 5 They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down their enemies In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the Lord (יְהוָה) is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.”

The enemies of the house of Judah are not going to be trusting or believing in YHVH Tsevaot or Yeshua to save them.  They will be put to shame.

The house of Judah will be trusting in the cornerstone and YHVH Tsevaot to save them; they will not be put to shame.

We still need to take a closer look at the cornerstone mentioned in these verses.  To do that, we need to look at a chiasm in Psalm 118:16-29.

As I just said, Psalm 118:16-29 is a chiasm.  Actually, this chiasm is the 2nd half of a larger one that includes Psalm 117-118.

The outer verses begin and end with praise; these point to:

  • the Way to Enter the Covenant
  • The Agent of Salvation
  • the Means of Salvation

 

The inclusio shares the theme of YHVH being exalted.  It says: 

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise 15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise 28 You are my God, and I will praise You;

You are my God, I will exalt You.

29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

 

The First Works of YHVH give us a subtle clue (or REMEZ) that YHVH has a plan to deal with death.

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH 17 I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord.

18 The Lord has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

Now, how is YHVH going to make it possible for the psalmist to live and not die?

Let’s look at the corresponding verses to see if it gives us any more clues.

Psalm 118:15-29
Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH 23 This was YHVH‘s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH;

O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHVH!

We have blessed you from the house of YHVH.

27 God is YHVH, And He has given us light;

Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

Praise

 

Here, in this section, we have another chiasm imbedded in the original.

Let’s begin with the central axis

Green:  26 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.”

The first half of this verse is what the Jews cried out on the day of Yeshua’s final entry into Jerusalem.  Yeshua is the one this chiasm is about.  This is the central focus of this section of the chiasm.

 

Blue:  The psalmist’s plea:  

25b “O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.” [Give us Blessing and life instead of curses and death].

Recall that John 10:10 says:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Yeshua) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

This verse helps us to understand that this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

27 “God is YHVH, And He has given us light.” [He’s given us Light instead of darkness];

Recall that Matthew 4:16-17 says,   The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As you can see, this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

Purple:  This section shows us the provision of salvation.

23 This was YHVH’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH

How is YHVH going to “save now” on this particular day?  The answer is in the 2nd half of verse 27.  It says:

27b “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” [This sacrifice is being made on this special day to make propitiation; and to make removing the curse possible]

Yeshua was slain from the foundation of the world in the heavenly realm; yet this verse contains a hint (remez) of what would be done to Yeshua in the future in the earthly realm.

Recall that John 1:29-30 says, “The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

AND 1 John 2:2 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

1 John 4:10-11  re-emphasizes the same thing:  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Gal 3:13-14 tells us more:  Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Messiah Yeshua, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

In other words, Yeshua’s sacrifice reversed the curse of death so we could have life.

If anyone doesn’t realize that the Tanach tells us about Yeshua’s death or that it was a work of YHVH, it is right here.  It’s also in Isaiah 53:3-7.

  • We could say Ephesians 2:8-10 this way: “For by grace you have been saved (sesosmenoi; perfect passive participle) through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of [your own] works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

YHVH’s works accomplished salvation, not man’s works.  The good works we were created to do was walk in His commandments and other acts of chesed.

Paul told us that the law was not made void because of faith.  He upheld the authority of the law in Romans 3:31.  Paul told us in Romans 2:13 that the doers of the law will be justified; in other words we are justified by our actions.

Now we aren’t done with this chiasm.  Here’s the central axis:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them,

And I will praise YHVH.

 20 This is the gate of YHVH, Through which the righteous shall enter.

 21 I will praise You,

For You have answered me,

And have become my [agent of] salvation.

 22 The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

The central axis of the chiasm is comprised of 2 pairs of parallels (one for the gate, and one for the cornerstone).  Both hint of Yeshua.

1st PARALLEL

Yeshua said:

John 14:6  …I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 10:9  I am the door (gate).  If anyone enters by Me [ENTER THE COVENANT], he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” 

2ND PARALLEL

Acts 4:10-12  “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua HaMashiach of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’  12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 2:4-10  “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua HaMashiach. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

  • Isaiah 53:3-6 also describes the rejection and sacrifice of the Messiah/Cornerstone: 3 “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • This last verse typologically describes the person Yeshua as a grain offering, sin and guilt offering, and a peace offering.

Here’s the summary of the chiasm:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise The right hand of YHVH is exalted and does valiantly.
Works of YHVH We do not have to be given over to death.
The Way of

Salvation

Yeshua is the GATE/DOOR of Righteousness through which the righteous will come to the Father.  Yeshua is the Agent of YHVH’s Salvation; He is the CORNERSTONE which the CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE rejected.
Works of YHVH Instead we are given the means to have life through the SACRIFICE [OF YESHUA].
Praise You are my God.  I will praise and exalt You.  Give thanks to YHVH, for He is good!  His mercy endures forever.

 

Be sure to come back for part 4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 2

This post begins part 2 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

You might be wondering:

  • Why would Yeshua be saving people from their sins?
  • What would that have to do with the kind of salvation we’ve seen in the Tanach?

Let’s see if we can answer those questions by examining the progression of salvation in the following chart…

Reference Players Enemies/Destroyer Agent of Salvation
Genesis 3 Adam & Eve Serpent YHVH Elohim
Genesis 6-8 Noah & His Family Corrupted Earth

(Man & Nephilim)

YHVH Elohim
Genesis 45 Israel’s Family Famine/Death Joseph
Exodus Hebrews Egyptians Moses
Deut. 31:3-6 Mixed Multitude Those in land of Canaan YHVH Elohim & Joshua
1 Samuel 9:16 Israel Philistines Saul
2 Samuel 3:18 Israel Philistines David

 

In the beginning, man had a single enemy known as the serpent who tempted them to sin.  On that day they were supposed to die for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but, they didn’t.  Instead, their lives were preserved. (Remember, being preserved is one of the meanings of our verb yasha.)

It is often understood that YHVH Elohim provided a means to preserve their lives by killing one or more animals and using their blood to atone (caphar) and forgive their sin. God used the skins of these animals to clothe (lavash) Adam and Eve.

YHVH must have taught them how to restore and maintain the relationship between them by teaching them how to offer Him various sacrifices.  We know this is true because later we see their children offering sacrifices.

Much later, we are taught in Leviticus 17:11 that it is the blood that is the primary means of providing atonement for the soul.

We’ve already recalled how Noah and his family were saved/delivered from the flood that wiped out the wicked.  And we talked about how God used Joseph to deliver the known world from famine and death.

Next YHVH used Moses as his agent of salvation.

This didn’t happen immediately.  The people had to be convinced that Moses was really called by God to deliver his people.  They also had to watch the 10 plagues unfold, leave Egypt, cross the Red Sea and wander in the wilderness for 40 years.  Although they experienced the single event of being brought out of Egypt, salvation was also a process that took place over an extended period of time.

Under Joshua’s leadership, the 2nd generation had to fight their enemies to take over the land.  YHVH is the one who gave them salvation and victory during that time.

After the period of the judges, Saul and David became the agents of salvation.  This is the role of the king who was expected to lead his people into battle and defeat enemies such as the Philistines.

Reference Players Enemies/Destroyer Agent of Salvation
Luke 1:68-75 Israel World & those who hate us Horn of Salvation

[Yeshua]

Matthew 19 Rich Young Ruler Riches of the world Yeshua
John 1:29 World Sinful influence of the world Yeshua
Acts 2:14-40 Judeans & those in Jerusalem Perverse generation Yeshua

 

As time went by, the enemies were not just single individuals or tribes of people. Their enemies grew so large that they and their wickedness inhabited and permeated the whole world.

The solution was not just to save the Jews from pockets of enemies scattered here and there.  The solution had to be to deal with the sins of entire perverse generations that infiltrated and influenced God’s people then and which still do today.

In the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), Yeshua was raised up to be the Horn of Salvation to save His people from the world. This includes those who hated Israel, the riches of the world, the sinful influence of the world, and the perverse generation that the Jews were living among.

As we have seen, YHVH Elohim always provided agents of salvation for His people.

The death of an animal, an enemy, and/or Yeshua Himself allowed for the possibility of the preservation of life to take place.  The death of an animal and Yeshua was a substitutionary death.  The death of an enemy resulted in something practical – if there was no enemy, there was no threat to life.

Today, we live in a perverse generation.  We should separate ourselves from wicked influences and create a support system in which we can live a lifestyle of Torah obedience until:

  • Wickedness reaches its fullness;
  • Messiah returns, makes war, and destroys the Beast and the 10 kings who follow him;
  • YHVH’s Torah is taught and obeyed world-wide.

Please don’t think YHVH has ceased to physically deliver the Jews from their enemies.  He’s constantly been working miracles of salvation among the IDF and Israel.

In the meantime, by living a lifestyle of faith and obedience, people are living in covenant with YHVH.

Salvation (when defined as being saved from your sins and/or your enemies; or as being preserved for the kingdom of God) is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law.  Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant.

The blessing is found in Deuteronomy 28:7 –  “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

We need to think of who are enemies are and ask the Father to show us what we must do to defeat them and to let us know when we need to simply stand and let Him fight for us.

In a similar way, we can have victory over the devil who is our enemy today by submitting to God and resisting him.  If we do this, we can expect him to flee.

Today we still experience the blessings of deliverance and preservation.  These aspects of salvation are both seen in:

  • 2 Timothy 4:18“And the Lord will deliver (rusetai) me from every evil work and will preserve (sosei; future, active, indicative) me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

How do we receive these 2 aspects of salvation (deliverance and preservation)?

  • James 1:21 — Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word [hear, understand, and do what it says BCM], which is able to save (sosai; aorist, active, indicative) your souls.”

Recall the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18ff.  “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (vs 21).”  That’s the kind of soil we want to be.  Do not be the wrong kind of soil.

Once we are experiencing the blessing of salvation.  We need to become agents of salvation.

  • James 5:20 — let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save (sosei; future active indicative) a soul [keep him BCM] from death (lake of fire; 2nd death) and cover a multitude of sins.”

Remember, we are to be agents of salvation; we are to turn sinners from the error of their ways so they can live and not die.  If someone lives according to the covenant, their souls will be saved from the lake of fire, also known as the 2nd death.

Salvation (the result of repentance) is not just a future thing as I have heard some people say.  It certainly can have long lasting results that extend into the future.  Based on the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb that is used, we know salvation is NOT just a future thing.

Let’s have a little lesson in Greek grammar…

Greek verbs do not work like Hebrew or English verbs.  If you are going to properly interpret the Apostolic Scriptures, you need to know the bare basics of how Greek verbs operate.  They are a bit complex.  It’s really important to learn how both languages function, even if you don’t know all of the details.  You can always look up the details if you know what you need to be aware of.

The main reason I’m showing you this is to help you realize what you need to be aware of when interpreting Greek Scripture so that you don’t make assumptions based only on English translations and so other people with less language skills don’t lead you astray.  Most of the time Greek verbs are probably translated correctly, but sometimes they are not.

Greek verbs have what’s known as Tense, Mood, and Voice. I will show you several charts with the major tenses for the word “save” and point out a few translations to make my point.

For our post on salvation, the aorist tense makes up the majority of the instances of the verb “save.” It is basically translated as a whole event that takes place in the past.

 

The examples in this 1st chart are all aorist.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
To save Mat 18:11; Mar 8:35 (1st); Luke 9:24, 56; 17:33; 19:10; 1 Tim 1:15; Jam 1:21; 2:14 Aorist, active, infinitive
Saved Titus 3:35 Aorist, active, indicative
To save; Save John 12:47; 1 Cor. 9:22 Aorist, active, subjunctive
Has saved; having saved 2 Tim 1:9; Jude 1:5 Aorist, active, participle

These examples are all in the active voice indicates which means the subject performs the action.

  • For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
    • The Greek infinitive is the form of the verb that is usually translated into English with the word “to” attached to it; it is often used to complement another verb.
  • He saved us according to His mercy not by our works of righteousness; but, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
    • The indicative mood is a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
  • I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).
    • The subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility.
  • … who has saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9).
    • Participles are considered “verbal adjectives”.

Remember, Aorist Indicative is usually translated as a simple past tense.  The aorist is said to be “simple occurrence” or “summary occurrence”, without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the ‘punctiliar’ tense. ‘Punctiliar’ in this sense means ‘viewed as a single, collective whole,’ a “one-point-in-time” action, although it may actually take place over a period of time.

 

This 2nd chart also demonstrates the aorist tense.  All of these examples are in the passive voice; this means the subject receives the action.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Be saved;

To save;

Might be saved;

To be saved

Mat 19:25; Mar 10:26; Luke 18:26; Acts 4:12; 15:1, 11; 1 Cor 1:21; 2 Thess 2:10; 1 Tim 2:4 Aorist, passive, infinitive
Would be saved;

We were saved

Mat 24:22; Mar 13:20; Rom 8:24 Aorist, passive, indicative
Might/may be saved Luke 8:12; John 3:17, 5:34; Acts 16:30; 1 Cor 5:5; 10:33; 1 Thess 2:16 Aorist, passive, subjunctive
Save yourselves;

Be saved

Acts 2:40 Aorist, passive, imperative
  • Who desires all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4).
    • 1 Tim 2:4 is in the infinitive…”to”
  • For we were saved in this hope… (Rom 8:24).
    • Rom 8:24 is in the indicative…”fact”
  • That the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).
    • John 3:17 is in the subjunctive…”possibility or probability”
  • Be saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40).
    • Acts 2:40 is in the imperative…”command”

As opposed to a physical salvation from one’s enemies, the aorist – passive – indicative basically means that at a certain point/period in time, the people who were saved:

  • Had repented of their lawlessness;
  • Intended to be/Had begun being habitually lawful;
  • Had been saved/rescued/delivered from:
    • their sins;
    • the wicked influence of the world;
    • the lake of fire which is the second death– as long as they abided by the terms of the covenant.

 

This 3rd chart is in the present tense and the active voice (the subject is performing the action).  It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
To save Heb 5:7; 7:25 Present, active, infinitive
Saves 1 Pet 3:21 Present, active, indicative
Save Jud 1:23 Present, active, imperative
  • God was and still is able to save (Heb 7:25).
    • Infinitive – God is presently and continuously able to save.
  • Immersion is an antitype which now saves us [a pledge of a good conscience toward God] (1 Pet 3:21).
    • Indicative – A statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.
  • The sanctified are told, “save others with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” (Jude 1:23)
    • Imperative – a command

Remember, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.

 

The examples in this 4th chart are in the present tense and passive voice (the subject is the recipient of the action).

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Are saved

Are/were being saved

Luke 13:23; Acts 2:47;

1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15

Present, passive, participle
Is/Are saved 1 Cor 15:2; 1 Pet 4:18 Present, passive, indicative
  • And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).
    • A participle is considered a “verbal adjective”.
  • I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you– unless you believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).
    • Indicativeis fact.

Again, present tense is usually a continuous kind of action.

The examples in this 5th chart are future tense and indicative; the first row is in the active voice, the other examples from the 2ND row are passive.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Will save Mat 1:21; Mar 8:35 (2nd); 1 Cor 7:16 (x2); 1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim 4:18; Jam 5:20 Future, active, indicative
Shall/Will be saved Mat 10:22; 24:13; Mar 13:13; 16:16; John 10:9; Acts 2:21; 11:14; 16:31; Rom 5:9, 10; 9:27; 10:9, 13; 11:26; 1 Cor 3:15 Future, passive, indicative
  • He [Yeshua] will save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21).
  • I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved (John 10:9).
  • …whoever calls on the name of the LORD (YHVH) shall be saved (Acts 2:21).
  • That if you confess…and believe…you will be saved (Rom 10:9).

Based on the writer’s perspective, this action will happen at a certain point in time in the future when the conditions are met.

 

The examples In this 6th chart are in the Perfect tense; this is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.

The passive voice indicates the subject is the recipient of the action.

Participles are considered a “verbal adjectives”.

Greek Translations Verses Tense-Voice-Mood
Have been saved Eph 2:5, 8 Perfect, passive, participle
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ [by grace you have been saved] (Eph 2:5).
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith…(Eph 2:8).

Perfect is completed action in the past that has on-going effect.

I hope all of this Greek has shed some light on the timing of salvation.  It’s time to shift our focus to another view of salvation.

As I continued to reflect on the theme of salvation in the Scriptures, I wondered why YHVH saved His people BEFORE He cut the covenant on Mt. Sinai.

Consider this basic chiasm:

  • Salvation – Flood; Passover
    • Original Covenant
      • Death of Yeshua ended the original covenant
      • Death of Yeshua began the new covenant
    • New Covenant
  • Salvation – Day of YHVH; Battle of Gog and Magog

 

Notice how Salvation forms the inclusio or bookends.

In the beginning, the theme of salvation was seen in the flood and the Passover; in the end, salvation will be seen on the Day of YHVH (Battle of Armageddon) and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Recall that the flood was a judgment of water, but the last judgment will be with fire.

The original and new covenants are between these major events of salvation.

The death of Yeshua is the central axis or focus.  His death ended the original covenant and began the new covenant.  His death:

  1. provides propitiation for sin (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10);
  2. redeems us from the curse of the law (death; Galatians 3:13);
  3. makes the blessing of life possible (Galatians 3:14).

Just as there are many ways to look at the facets of a gem, I hope you are seeing that there are many ways to look at salvation.  What I want to do now is conclude with another view of salvation in chiastic fashion.

  • Salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered in.
    • With the death of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb behind us, we must enter the covenant and focus on the One who made our salvation possible, and abide by the terms of the covenant (work out our own salvation with fear and trembling).
  • Salvation is also a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies. Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam rabba).

Be sure to come back for parts 3-4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 1

I’ve heard people say several different things regarding the timing of our salvation.  Some people say we are already saved and some say we won’t be saved until some point in the future.  They also define salvation in various ways.  I decided it would be interesting to study the theme of salvation from Genesis to Revelation to see if there was continuity in its definition or not; as well as to see its timing, and anything else YHVH would reveal to me.  This post is the first of four parts on the subject of “Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.”  Here we will look at the progression of salvation from Genesis through the gospels.

We need to begin by defining our terms. The Hebrew noun yesha means deliverance, salvation, rescue, and safety.  The Greek equivalent is soteria.  This word can be applied several ways.  Physically, it is rescue from danger; spiritually, it refers to the safety of the soul; and messianically, it is the deliverance at the end of the present age.

The Hebrew verb yasha exists in two binyanim.  The niphal is passive; it means to be saved or be delivered.  The hiphil is active and means to save, deliver, or give victory to.  The Greek verb sozo means to save, preserve from harm, rescue, or deliver.  This Greek verb is used extensively in the Apostolic Scriptures for the healing of diseases but I did not include those references in my study.

As I perused the Scriptures for the theme of salvation, I came upon a concentric structure in Isaiah 51:6-8:

6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, And look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, The earth will grow old like a garment, And those who dwell in it will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not be abolished.

7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.

8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.”

Note the concentric structure:  The theme of YHVH’s long-lasting righteousness and salvation SURROUNDS the central focus of His people who have the law in their hearts.

The fact that YHVH’s salvation will be le-olam, or generation to generation shows that it will always be necessary.

The reason people will need to be saved is because prior to the 7th day, there will always be people who will not obey YHVH’s law.  These people will bring the curses of the law down on everyone including themselves. The reason I’m emphasizing the need for salvation is because I’ve actually heard people say salvation is no longer necessary.

Please don’t let anyone tell you salvation is obsolete or not necessary.  They obviously don’t know the Scriptures very well.

Now let’s see what else we can glean from the Bible about SALVATION…

For now, let’s start with Noah. Noah and his family were saved from the flood that destroyed the earth because of his:

  • Faith/trust in YHVH,
  • Righteousness and obedience.

Hebrews 11:7 tells us:  “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

It is curious to note that the same water that YHVH used to destroy the wicked is the same water YHVH used to keep the ark afloat.  Perhaps this foreshadows the idea of being washed by the water of the word or the water of regeneration…just a thought.

Sometime after Noah, we see the theme of salvation in a major way in the life of Joseph.

In Genesis 45:7, Joseph said:  “And God sent me [Joseph] before you to preserve (la-soom) a posterity for you in the earth, and to save (ul-hachayot) your lives by a great deliverance (li-peleytah).”

This verse does not use the same words we covered previously but the theme is certainly the same.

  • soom- to preserve (and a great number of other applications)
  • chaya – to preserve, save alive, restore to life (also has a great number of other applications)
  • peleytah – deliverance, escape

Joseph accomplished a great deliverance by ordering the collection and storing of grain; and by distributing it during a famine that affected the known world including his family.

Later, salvation was evident in the book of Exodus. During the Passover, God’s people were saved/delivered from the slavery and oppression they experienced in Egypt by God’s judgments.  If that wasn’t awesome enough, the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea was even far more spectacular.  The miracles didn’t stop there; they just kept coming.

While the mixed multitude wandered in the wilderness, the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire protected them from their enemies.  This protection was actually part of an on-going salvation process.

Elohim (God) was known as the Rock of Salvation who provided for his people in the wilderness.  He gave them water, meat, and bread even when they complained and spoke against Him.  Elohim did this to preserve for Himself a people who would live in covenant with Him.

Despite all of this, the mixed multitude did not appreciate what God was doing for them.

Deuteronomy 32:15 indicates they scornfully esteemed the Rock of their salvation.

There’s a lesson for us here:

  • We should make sure that we don’t scornfully esteem the Rock of our salvation!

How do we do that?  I think the answer is found in Psalm 78:21-22.  These verses indicate that YHVH was angry with His people in the wilderness because they did not:

  • BELIEVE in Him and
  • TRUST in His salvation

In other words, we esteem the Rock of our Salvation my demonstrating both belief in God and trust in His salvation!

There are a few other things I want to emphasize from the Exodus and wilderness wanderings that are mentioned in Jude 1:5: “But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved (σώσας) the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”

This verse reminds us:

  • That the whole multitude experienced salvation;
  • But that later, those who did not believe were destroyed.

We need to make sure that we aren’t destroyed for lack of belief.

AFTER YHVH delivered His people from Egypt and gave them manna and water in the wilderness, the mixed multitude ENTERED into a covenant with YHVH.

Side Note:  According to Exodus 19:5-6, YHVH intended for them to be a special treasure to Him above all people; and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

At Mt. Sinai, God gave his people the Levitical sacrificial system as a means to:

  • Be forgiven of sins and transgressions;
  • Have guilt removed;
  • Have the sins of the people carried away on the Day of Atonements;
  • Be blameless

Currently, the Levitical sacrificial system is temporarily on hold.  For now, we need to understand that the death of Yeshua accomplishes the same things as the Levitical system.

Colossians 1:21-23:  “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight —  23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

The word “reconciled” implies that sin and guilt have been dealt with so that the relationship with God and man can continue as long as we continue in the faith.

Let’s go back to Moses’ time.  Deuteronomy 4:37-38 teaches us a few important concepts that we tend to overlook.  Moses was talking with the people just before his death when he said:

  • “And because He [YHVH] loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.”

The Israelites experienced salvation/deliverance because YHVH loved their fathers and chose their descendants to be His people.  What I’m trying to emphasize is that God’s love didn’t begin in John 3:16-17.  God’s love has played a role in the Father’s plan of salvation for a long time.  Also, I want to emphasize that YHVH delivered their families from Egypt BEFORE they ever entered into a covenant with Him.  This covenant was for all of their descendants. Since that time, these descendants understood that they were born into the covenant; but somehow they missed the concept that whether or not they remained in the covenant was up to them.

Clearly, not everyone remained in the covenant.  This is evident in Luke 19:9-10 where Yeshua said to Zacchaeus….

  • “Today salvation (sotaria) has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

You see, being lost didn’t have anything to do with a person’s physical location.  Many of the descendants of Israel were lost because they were not abiding by the covenant.  Yeshua came to seek out lost people like Zacchaeus and bring them back to the covenant.  Before we move on, let’s take a minute and focus on this other phrase – son of Abraham.  Who is a son of Abraham if it’s not those directly descended from him?  The answer is found in Galatians 3:7:

  • “Therefore know that only those who are of faith (emunah) are sons of Abraham.”

A son of Abraham is one who is in the covenant because he:

  • believes,
  • trusts,
  • and is faithful.

This is the kind of person that Yahweh wanted the mixed multitude to be during Moses’ time.

Let’s go back to Moses again.  Recall what Moses told the people before they entered the Promised Land:

  • Deuteronomy 4:40You shall therefore keep His (YHVH’s) statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Moses told them this same concept several times in slightly different ways.

Moses starts to get a little more specific in Deuteronomy 11:26-28.

  • “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:  27 “the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 “and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.”

There were lots of specific blessings and curses. I will eventually focus on only a couple of curses and one blessing.  For now, I’m trying to lay the foundation of what else is to come.

After the death of Moses, the 2nd generation finally began to take over the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership.  Joshua sent 2 spies to view the land, especially Jericho.  Once there, they met a woman named Rahab; she hid them and sent them out another way.  Before sending them off, she declared, “YHVH your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath,” and she begged to be spared.  The spies made a deal with Rahab that would secure her deliverance and that of her family.  Rahab bound a scarlet cord in the window to mark her home as the one to be PASSED OVER instead of destroyed.  Because of her faith and works, she was justified.  When it came time for the destruction of Jericho, Rahab and those with her were saved.  We’re going to come back to Rahab in a later post but for now I want us to continue to see how the theme of salvation progresses in the Scriptures.

The 2nd generation that left Egypt entered the Promised Land; but they didn’t completely drive out the inhabitants as they took over and got settled in the land.  At least they remembered who brought them through the wilderness, and at least to some degree, they knew who was helping them take over the land.  That wasn’t the case with the next generation.

  • Judges 2:10 “When all that generation (2nd) had been gathered to their fathers, another generation (3rd) arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”

The word “know” means they did not know Him by experience; they were not personally acquainted with YHVH or His works.  At this point, trouble began.

OK, now it’s time for me remind you of one of the blessings and curses. Here’s the blessing:

  • Deuteronomy 28:7  “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

In other words, YHVH was going to save them from their enemies.

Here’s the curse:

  • Deuteronomy 28:25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

If they disobeyed, YHVH would no longer save them from their enemies.  This 3rd generation obviously did not have these blessings and the curses drilled into their heads.  Well, maybe they did, and they just chose to ignore it.

Cycle of Sin in Judges

Later, we see the results of disobedience over and over in the book of Judges – Its often called the cycle of sin.

  1. Whenever God’s people forgot YHVH, they did evil in His sight by committing idolatry.
  2. Eventually, they experienced various curses of the law.
  3. When they remembered YHVH, they cried out to God.
  4. Eventually, He sent them a deliverer (an agent of salvation) – these deliverers were judges who physically saved them from their enemies.

This is what we typically think of when we think of salvation.  We see it as a physical salvation or deliverance.  What we must understand is that physical salvation is tied directly to obedience to YHVH which is both a physical and spiritual activity; therefore salvation is not just physical, it is also spiritual. In fact, both physical and spiritual salvation requires belief and trust.

After the time of the judges, Israel was finally ruled by kings.  I think most of us are familiar with Saul, David, and Solomon.  During the period of the united kingdom, Israel experienced blessing and victory over its enemies who were primarily the Philistines.  If the 2nd generation had conquered the land the way YHVH had commanded them to, the nations who remained might not have been as much of a problem over the years.  God used initially used King Saul and his army as his instrument of salvation against Israel’s enemies. BUT, Saul didn’t always trust God.  Instead of fighting Goliath himself, Saul showed a lack of belief or trust in YHVH to deliver him.  David was different; he was full of belief and trust that YHVH would deliver him just as he had been delivered from the lion and the bear.

After Saul’s death, Ishbosheth was made king over Israel except for Judah (2 Samuel 2:8-10).  David was initially anointed king only over Judah (2 Samuel 2:4).  During this time, the house of Saul had war with the house of David until the murder of Ishbosheth.  Afterward, David became king over all of Israel.  Once David was anointed king, he continued to save Israel from its enemies as he’d already been doing.

Many years later, David had to deal with enemies in his own household.  First, there was a group of people who anointed David’s son, Absalom over themselves.  Eventually Absalom died in battle. (2 Samuel 19:10).  Later, Adonijah, another son of David had the audacity to say he would be king.  Finally, with a bit of help from Nathan and Bathsheba, David commanded that Solomon be anointed the next king (1 Kings 1:39, 43).  According to 1 Kings 4:21, 24:  Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life…and he had peace all around him.

After Solomon’s death, YHVH caused the kingdom to split in two.  Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom (Israel, Ephraim).  Previously, he had been Solomon’s servant.  The last king of the northern kingdom was Hoshea.  The northern kingdom was carried away to Assyria in 722 BCE.  Rehoboam , Solomon’s son was the first king of the southern kingdom (Judah) and Zedekiah (Mattaniah) was the last king of the southern kingdom.  The southern kingdom was carried away to Babylon in 539 BCE.

You see, after years of idolatry, Israel began to experience another major curse of the law that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:36. It says, “The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods– wood and stone.”  Israel was carried to Assyria, and later Judah was eventually carried away to Babylon because they did not keep YHVH’s covenant.

The prophecies of Daniel show us the consequences of not keeping YHVH’s covenant.  The kingdom of Judah was in Babylon which eventually fell to Medo-Persia.  Eventually, the Persian king Cyrus let people return to Jerusalem, but they were still part of the Medo-Persian empire.

As Daniel’s prophesied, the Israelites would continue to be under the rule of other empires and their leaders. Alexander the Great conquered Israel around 333/331 BCE.  His empire was divided amongst his 4 generals after his death.  The Jews were held under suzerainty by the Ptolemies and Seleucids from 320-168 BCE. During this time, the culture and institutions of the Jews were protected until Antiochus Epiphanes IV reversed that.

Antiochus was the 8th ruler of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty (175 BCE). The word Epiphanes means visible god/God Manifest.  His persecutions and changes to the law led to the Maccabean revolt (166-160 BCE).  Even though Judah previously had not completely kept YHVH’s covenant, YHVH did not completely forsake them.  He raised up the Maccabees to be His agents of salvation in that time period.  I think he did that because the Maccabees and others were zealous for the law.

After Antiochus, the Jews were autonomous under the Hasmoneans 142-129 BCE. In 63 BCE, Rome annexed Israel under Pompey.  At that time, many were waiting for the Messiah and hoping he would save them.  During the time of the Roman Empire, Yeshua was born.

Let me remind you that in Matthew 24:15-16, Yeshua said: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”  This means there is someone like Antiochus Epiphanes IV who is still to come.  People will be crying out for salvation during that time just like they have down through the millennia.

Let’s take a closer look at the time around Yeshua’s birth.  After the birth of John the Baptist, Zacharias prophesied that YHVH had raised up a horn of salvation for the Jews in the house of David as prophesied by the prophets (Luke 1:69).  According to Luke 1:71-75, this horn of salvation was raised up so…”That we should be saved (sotarian; fs noun) from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,  72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,  73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:  74 To grant us that we, Being delivered (rusthentas; aorist passive participle) from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

The people were expecting physical deliverance from Rome but that’s not what happened.  This is a common problem with interpreting prophecies; we just don’t always know the exact timing in which every aspect of prophecies will be fulfilled.  I believe we can expect this to be fulfilled in the future and we will discuss that later.

Since this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, is there a prophecy that was fullfilled?  I believe the answer is yes.  In Matthew 1:21, an angel of YHVH clarified Yeshua’s purpose in the first century to Joseph by saying:  “And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you (Joseph) shall call His name JESUS [YESHUA; he will save], for He will save (sosei) His people from their sins.”  This was the purpose of Yeshua in the first century CE.

On one occasion, after Yeshua had become an adult, He cried out to whoever was around him:  “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save (soso) the world” (John 12:47).

In other words, Yeshua wanted His listeners to know he was their Agent of Salvation.  Understand this:  The world contains lost people.  Matthew 18:11 tells us, “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

The lost were/are those who are living a lifestyle of disobedience to the law.  How did he intend to save them?  Yeshua was finding those who had left the blessings of the law and who were likely suffering the consequences of it.  He wanted them to escape the ultimate curse of the law.  Yeshua saved people by calling them to repentance; He was calling them to return to the law.  When individuals repent of their sinful ways, they can be saved from the influence of a wicked world and from their sins so they can live righteously.  When enough people repent, the nation can be saved from the curses of the law.

Yeshua was leading them to do what’s outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14:

  • “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,” (When I bring curses instead of blessing on My people)
  • “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (bring blessing instead of cursing)

Yeshua desires not just individual, but also corporate repentance so that all Israel will be saved, delivered, or rescued from the curses of the law we’ve already mentioned.

This is the end of part 1.  Be sure to come back in the future to read Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Parts 2-4.

Dealing With A Prodigal Child

YHVH gave us a wonderful Torah that was meant to give us life and blessing. Unfortunately, YHVH knew that some people would choose cursing and death over blessing and life. Sometimes these people will be our own family members, even our own children.

I will recommend what to do with wayward children soon; but for now, I need to lay a foundation for our discussion. To do that, we need to go back to the Torah so we can see if what I’m proposing is Scriptural.

Some sins as defined by Torah were more serious than others. We know this is true because of the consequences of the sins. The worst consequence was capital punishment.

The Torah explains who should be put to death by stoning on the testimony of 2-3 witnesses. Fulfilling these commandments in God’s kingdom is not murder; it’s capital punishment.

This is how Israel was to put away evil from among them.

This was to be done so that all Israel would hear and fear; it would cause them to obey and not disobey God’s commandments.

The death penalty is for:

  • Whoever works on the Sabbath
  • Adulterers and Adulteresses
  • Those who give their children as a sacrifice to Molech; this is similar to abortion
  • Those who curse their parents
  • Those who commit incest as defined by the Scriptures
  • Those who commit homosexuality or beastiality
  • Whoever is a medium or who has familiar spirits
  • Those who blasphemes the name of YHVH
  • People who YHVH puts under the ban (those He set aside for destruction)
  • Those who commit murder (it’s to be carried out by the kinsman redeemer/avenger of blood)
  • False prophets and dreamers

The next worst thing to capital punishment was exile. The first people who experienced exile were the lepers (metzorim). Leprosy is not the contagious disease known today as Hanson’s. If leprosy (tzara’at) covered the metzora’s entire body, he was considered clean and could re-enter the camp of Israel. If tzara’at covered only part of the metzora’s entire body, he was considered unclean and had to remain outside the camp (in exile). The picture of a metzora is one who is spiritually dead.

Both the northern and southern kingdom experienced exile. This was primarily for idolatry but also for general disobedience to Torah. Ephraim (the northern kingdom) was carried off to Assyria and never returned. Judah (the southern kingdom) was carried off to Babylon and only part of that kingdom returned.

In America, Torah is not the law of the land. Supposedly, our laws are based on Scripture but it is not exactly so. Today in America, there is little fear of God or respect for Him or His commandments. Evil, as defined by the Scriptures is rampant and will get worse until the coming of the Messiah.

The evils listed above affect every aspect of our society. People who commit such sins and abominations are present in our assemblies and even in our own families. It shouldn’t be this way.

Obviously, as law abiding citizens, we aren’t going to carry out capital punishment ourselves. We rely on the proper authorities to do so once someone has been found guilty of crimes requiring that penalty. Most of us would not want to carry out capital punishment because we were raised to think it is so evil. We need to understand that our loving God is also a God of judgment; He knew in what instances capital punishment would be necessary in order to restore order in His kingdom. In Messiah’s kingdom, Torah will be the law of the land. Today we obey Torah within the confines of the law of the country in which we live.

Capital punishment and exile are what can happen in the physical realm. We need to see how these two concepts can be applied in a spiritual way.

Consider the family unit to be comparable to God’s kingdom or the nation of Israel. If we are the ones who are sinning, we need to put to death the desires and deeds of the flesh in our own lives. If we are dealing with a family member who is engaged in any of these activities, we need to encourage them to put to death the desires and deeds of the flesh. If necessary, we need to remove evil people from the family as best we can so the rest of the family will fear God and obey His commandments.  Once they repent and desire to be obedient, they can return home.

What if it’s our own child who is participating in sins of this magnitude? What if he refuses to put these desires and deeds of the flesh to death? What should you do if you can’t control your child any longer?

First, ask yourself: Have I done my best to teach Torah to my child? If the answer is yes, rest assured that you have fulfilled that commandment of God. The child’s age, especially if he is a teenager, is not an issue. The age of 18 is an arbitrary number. It’s the age most people graduate from high school; the age they can vote; and the age of the draft. Unfortunately, not everyone reaches a level of maturity until they are in their 20s. The age to buy alcohol is 21 because it was shown most accidents involving alcohol were committed by people 18-20 years old. Mothers Against Drunk Driving had a role in changing the law regarding the age of buying alcohol. In some places, if your child is 14 or over, you can’t even get a copy of his psychiatric record without his authorizing signature. If you have done your best to teach Torah to your child, no matter his age, you have done what God requires. Pray God uses what you taught to help your child return to Him in the future. Once you understand that, you are ready for the next question.

Ask yourself: Is this child preventing others in the home from obeying Torah? If the answer is yes, you must take action in order to avoid the spread of spiritual uncleanness.

Have your child evaluated. Is there a medical, psychiatric, or intellectual reason, or some other kind of disability that is a cause for his rebelliousness and lawlessness? Is medication, rehabilitation, or individual and family psychotherapy appropriate? If so, get that kind of help, and document what you have done. Hopefully, this will help.

If medication, rehabilitation, and/or psychotherapy do not help, ask yourself: Is this child engaged in behaviors that threaten his well-being or safety, or the safety of others? If yes, document those behaviors so that you can protect yourself, your child, and others in a court of law.

If you are dealing with behaviors that threaten his well-being or safety, or the safety of others, and feel you have exhausted all efforts to deal with this problem in the home, go to the court and file a CHINS (Child in Need of Supervision/Services) affidavit. If you are not sure if your state handles CHINS, check with the juvenile court system to see if there is some kind of equivalent process that is called by a different name.

You will not need an attorney for yourself. You can request a court ordered attorney and guardian ad litem for your child; they will be working for your child and not for you. Expect to pay a court fee and a flat fee (if they are court ordered) for these two individuals; this is reasonable. Explore these costs up front so you know what to expect.

If your child is declared a CHINS, there will be a regular on-going monthly cost for community based services no matter what the services end up being. The actual cost you pay may be based on your income. The funds you pay merely supplement other funding received by these agencies to help your child.

Be forewarned; this will likely turn your world upside down for a long time depending on the age of your child. If the judge decides your child is a CHINS, community services will kick in; you will be overwhelmed by meetings, evaluations, and unfortunately worldly counselors with worldly solutions. In the event you manage to obtain Christian counselors and social workers, understand that they do not want to lose their licenses. Be prepared to watch them occasionally compromise their beliefs through their words and actions. They will be part of a set of people who will be working for your child and not for you.

With your input, they will assess your child’s perceived needs and come up with goals to meet them. Your parenting skills will be questioned and assessed. It is very likely that you and your Scriptural expectations will be considered the problem causing your child’s disobedience and bad behavior. Your child’s rights and desires will be promoted. Your parental rights and authority will probably be downplayed. Do your best to continually bring this team back to what you believe is the reason for the child’s lawlessness and unsafe behavior.

If you go this route, make sure the people you encounter in this long process are fully aware of your religious beliefs. Insist that these people respect your religious beliefs. You must stand firm; do not back down. You will have to do what the judge says; the judge may decide you have to do what these people recommend, especially regarding placement. Remember to obey God rather than men if it comes to that.

As I mentioned before, the assigned case manager and these agencies will be working for your child; they don’t work for you, even though you are the parent. Let me repeat: In their eyes, you and your beliefs are most likely the problem, not the child.

This process is not for the weak; surround your family with prayer warriors, and those who support your values and beliefs. Calmly and respectfully stand up for your beliefs as the need arises; do not ever back down.   Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. This is spiritual warfare. You are turning your child over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit might be saved in the day of Messiah.

At some point, your child may eventually be removed from your home for therapy and assessment in a group home, residential therapy, or therapeutic foster care if efforts of intensive home therapy fail. Don’t despair; allow God to be in control while remembering your child has his own will. At this point, your child will finally be in exile.

Once your child is out of your home, take the time to restore order to what remains. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience healing. During on-going family therapy and family planning sessions, insist on repentance before you permit the child back into your home. Continually express your love for your child while insisting that this child must learn to put to death the desires and deeds of the flesh as a condition of returning home. Obviously, you may choose to explain your expectations without using this kind of “spiritual” language. I’m using this language to help you see the Scriptural-spiritual-physical connections. Do not make compromises that will cause you to disobey Torah, even if counselors insist you should.

If your child finally repents, rejoice. It may take a little help and time for full obedience to take place; counselors will be there for the transition back home. It’s the heart condition of the child that is important to keep an eye on; they must desire to be obedient. Before letting that child come home, ask yourself if you child still has a heart of stone, or if it has softened into a heart of flesh. You can work with a heart of flesh, but not a heart of stone.

If your child chooses not to repent, know that this process is the closest you will ever come to exile; it is full of grace and mercy despite what the world and your child will tell you. Your child’s heart of stone (desire to live a life of Torah-lessness) is an indicator that he is not ready to be back in the home. Your child already belongs to the world, now he has to actually live in it. Hopefully, during this time, he can see how good he had it while living in the comforts of your home.

Once exiled, you may see your child vacillating between wanting to come home and not come home. This is the pull between the comforts of home and the desire to live a life of Torah-lessness. Eventually, your child may firmly decide he doesn’t want to come home. This is likely because this child has chosen the path of disobedience and is tired of the occasional on-going conflict at home. Admit it, you and the rest of your family are too. If that is the case, let your child go… as painful as it may be. Pray for his healing and deliverance. Pray he will return home like the prodigal son; if he does, be willing and ready to receive him. Affirm your love for him and tell him the door is always open if he repents so he will know and remember it when he finally reaches the bottom of the worldly and evil pit he is in.

Think about it. Isn’t this what God does with us? Why should we do any different? Put the evil away from yourself. Continue to trust in God no matter what the end results turn out to be.

Remember, everyone including our children must choose:

  • Obedience which leads to blessing and life
  • Disobedience which leads to cursing and death

We don’t want a disobedient child to destroy the rest of the family. It’s hard on everyone in a family when one child chooses a lifestyle of disobedience. Many have walked this path, some people have repented, others have not. This is an unfortunate part of life…

Interpreting Eschatology Using Patterns

Lately I have been reading Jeremiah, and parts of other books of the Bible. It’s been hard to decide what to write about, not to mention I’ve been so busy I can’t keep my head above water. In addition to being in survival mode, I have been looking at what’s going on in our nation and I am burdened by what I see all around me. My thoughts often turn to latter day prophecy and I sense that we are in the last days. We may be further along than we realize.

The way I’ve looked at eschatology in the past may need to change slightly. All of the end-time prophecy scholars look at things so differently than I do. I don’t intend to join their beliefs or be influenced by them. I know the pattern of Scripture and understand the need to stay within those boundaries. I’ve shared this in past posts. I’ve always looked at eschatology from a historical perspective but now things are beginning to come into view in a way I didn’t expect. The problem is that the teachings of these scholars still influence my thinking more than I’d like to admit. I’m extremely concerned those teachings are going to blind us to what’s happening right before our eyes. We’ve got to understand the concept of seeing patterns in Scripture.

Over the past few years, I’ve been learning more about patterns and how they work from personal experience. Ecclesiastes 1:9 is a very important verse for us to understand. It says, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” It’s the pattern (series of events) that is not new.

Things in life can follow a Biblical pattern, but obviously, the players are different. The players are present day people like us. They can be us, family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, people in our communities, or anybody in our nation or the world. If you’ve ever thought that what was happening in your life reminded you of a particular Biblical account, you might have been living a pattern of Scripture. You might have to chart it out to be sure. Understand this: it’s the themes/events of the pattern that unfold before us.

Sometimes, opposition takes place as the pattern unfolds; in other words, the opposite of what we expect to happen (based on the Biblical pattern) takes place. This is a result of personal, freewill choices people make. Other times, it may be another unexpected person that causes the action of the pattern to move forward according to, or in opposition to the pattern.

Occasionally, a person can fulfill the role of one or more people in the original Biblical pattern. This can make the expected “unexpected.” Because of this, we can’t always accurately “prophesy” what will really happen in a given situation. We can project, but only to a point, and only thematically at that; we can’t always be specific.

Another difficulty with Scripture, especially as it pertains to Isaiah and Jeremiah, is how much of the text applies to the past and what, if anything applies to the future. It’s also hard to determine what in Scripture, is a type of what will happen in the future. It could be that a prophecy was fully fulfilled in the past; yet, it plays out again in the future, but not exactly as it was originally written due to the presence of opposition and/or shift in characters. We may see this happen in the last days, especially as it pertains to Daniel 11 which appears to have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV; yet, Yeshua alludes to a time of future fulfillment of the abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15.  Another question is whether or not the kings of the north and south will be tied to their historical counterparts.  I’ve been of the opinion that they would; but, time will tell for sure.

Lately, I’ve seen evidence that some of the latter parts of Daniel 11 may be taking place. Since the world stage is so large, it’s hard to know if all the details have occurred or will occur shortly.

I do know that in order to properly interpret Revelation, we have to look to the past. We need to understand the patterns of the Scriptures and identify the symbols in Revelation based on the Tanach.

When we look at Revelation, we have to know who the beast, false prophet, and the harlot Babylon the Great are. I think I’m close. As I’ve said in the past, I think the beast is Islamic (based on the book of Daniel and Revelation) and that Babylon the Great is a false religious-economic-political system; I know that the beast intends to destroy Babylon the Great so they can’t be the same thing. Yet, there is some kind of relationship between the two because the harlot rides the beast, at least for a while.

I’m starting to see that these players are a bit more multifaceted than I originally believed. They have to be in order for the details of Revelation to take place. I still see Islamic eschatology playing a role in fulfilling Scriptural eschatology.

The teachings of scholars, movies, and fiction/non-fiction books concerning the identity of the beast, false prophet, and the harlot are clouding our vision! It’s causing us to expect one thing, when something else is probably going to take place. The scarlet beast is not a single man; it has seven heads. One of those heads will suffer a mortal head wound that will be healed. How can we interpret Revelation 13:3? Will it be like it’s described in books and movies? Do these incorrectly influence our judgment?

Obviously, one of the heads of the beast is going to die. I doubt this individual will be resurrected; but, anything is possible. More likely, the healing of this mortal wound will be in the form of him being replaced by a like-minded individual, and the nation he led will continue to function without him. This like-minded individual (new head) will carry on with the other heads of the scarlet beast in order to carry on the wickedness of the beast. I could be wrong, but I think the man who is going to die is alive and leading our country; I don’t think he will survive another year. He will probably be assassinated as Bible codes seem to indicate.  This is another area of interest I have been exploring.

As for the false prophet, I think he’s also a world leader that’s already in place. I might be wrong, but he could be the current pope (he’s “like a lamb”) who is involved in the religious-political side of things  and trying to connect with the beast. In the past, I’ve considered the pope to be related to the harlot, Babylon the Great.  One is a man, and the other is a system.  It will be interesting to watch this play out as our understanding of his lamb-like beliefs and behavior change for the worse before our eyes, and as he tries to convince the world to follow after the beast. I think that process is already beginning to unfold.

God’s people can watch world events, but need to realize that we can’t do anything about any of this. Prophecy will be fulfilled; it can’t be changed. In the meantime, it is imperative that we wake up and see our true spiritual condition for what it is. God’s people are in Babylon the Great and have been commanded to come out of her.

Babylon the Great is more than just a religious system. It’s economic and political too. I’m not sure how large the true geographical portion of it is at this point although I’m pretty sure America is a part of it. I tend to think we can’t physically come out of her; although Israel has opened its doors so that the Jews can leave where they are living and go there. Unfortunately, not everyone (specifically Gentile believers in Yeshua) has that option. For those who do go there, it won’t be safe there either.

I do know that we can’t support the various aspects of this religious-political-economic system known as the harlot and the mother of all harlots (Babylon the Great).

Religiously:

  • We can open our eyes to see the syncretism in Christianity.
  • Once we can see its pagan practices, we must stop engaging in its various forms of idolatry.
  • We must stop celebrating feasts that are pagan in historical origin and form, and start celebrating the feasts of YVHH.
  • We can obey God’s commandments, including the 7th day Sabbath; they are not too hard for us.
  • We don’t need to embrace the oral traditions of Judaism, but we can learn and obey God’s written commandments which are in the Bible, starting with the dietary laws and setting apart the Sabbath day to rest.
  • As we continue to learn previously overlooked commandments, we can incorporate those into our lives; this is a process.
  • We must realize that God intended one set of laws for both Jews and Gentiles; we must ignore those who teach us otherwise.

Politically:

  • We can stop supporting politicians who stand in opposition to God’s commandments.
  • We can pray for them to pass righteous laws.
  • We can pray for them to make right decisions.
  • We can raise our voices and sign petitions for righteousness.

Economically:

  • We can do our best to live within our means.
  • We can do our best to work and avoid/reduce dependence on government subsidies.
  • We can avoid materialism; have only what you need. You don’t need the latest and greatest of everything all the time.
  • Understand that the economy will fall and there’s nothing we can do about it.

As I previously mentioned, I have been reading Jeremiah. Leaving an idolatrous religious system is what Jeremiah preached. Idolatry can take on various forms. It can be organized religion; but people are engaged in the worship of other kinds of idols – such as idols of the entertainment industry (actors, actresses, singers, team sport players, etc.). People who are sacrificing their babies are offering them up to the god of selfishness; it’s not much different than Molech worship. Anything elevated over YHVH is an idol.

Are we going to abandon these idolatrous things with our whole hearts or only in pretense like the Jews did in Jeremiah’s day?

I strongly urge you — Turn to YHVH completely; thoroughly amend your heart and ways! YHVH wants to give us shepherds who will feed us with knowledge and understanding. This is not what the seeker friendly churches want to do; they often despise the studying the Word. They prefer hands on ministry projects. I’m not saying that ministry itself is bad; I’m saying we shouldn’t ignore digging into the Scriptures. We need to wash our hearts and lives with the water of the Word.

Circumcise the foreskin of your heart. Don’t let it be a heart of stone but one of flesh. Exercise righteous judgment in all circumstances. Don’t oppress strangers, orphans, and widows. Don’t steal or loot when the opportunity arises; exert some self-control. Stop committing adultery and/or sexual perversion.  Stop shedding innocent blood; don’t attack people for fun or participate in a race war. Do not bear false witness about anything.  Do not worship any god but YHVH; and do not worship YHVH using the same forms that unbelievers use to worship their gods.

I know that not everyone is going to do these things. Because of that and because of our unholy lifestyles and sinful choices, judgment is going to come. God is not just a god of love and grace; this has become a perverted teaching. YHVH is also a god of judgment. America was once a nation that followed after God the best way it knew how. Those days are long gone. People now follow after other gods or no god at all. People don’t care that YHVH is God.  They don’t realize there is no other real god besides Him. They don’t fear YHVH or the fact that His judgment is coming quickly.

If you are obeying God and trying to live righteously, pray that God will hide you and spare you from that judgment; pray for His provision in your life. This coming judgment will take the form of a devastating economic fall (Babylon is fallen, fallen), famine, and eventual atomic war in the near future. It’s only a matter of time.  Prepare your heart and mind for this.

Repent before it’s too late!