Is There No Such Thing As Messiah?

Over the last few years I’ve heard of people who have come out of traditional Christian churches; sought their Hebraic roots; and zoomed in on Judaism only to deny there ever was a Messiah.  This is so sad.  I believe these are people who discovered they’d been lied to about various things in the Christian church and decided to take matters into their own hands to find the truth.  They managed to learn barely enough Hebrew to use a concordance but didn’t have sufficient Hebrew language, Scripture knowledge, or ordinary reasoning skills to critically analyze everything that fell into their hands.  They’ve rejected one set of lies and swallowed the biggest lie of all—that there never even was a Messiah.  This is a great delusion.

The lie begins with the Hebrew word mashiach (H4899; G5547 christos); it means anointed.  The qal or simplest form of the Hebrew verb mashach (H4886; G5548 chrio) means to rub, anoint with oil, or consecrate.  The niphal form is passive and means to be anointed.  Another related word is the noun mishchah (H4888; G5545 chrismatos); it is an anointing oil or consecrated portion. One kind of anointing oil was referred to as the holy oil (shemen hakodesh).  People, as well as certain things were anointed to consecrate or sanctify them for various purposes.

There were a lot of anointed people (mashiach = sg.) in the Bible; they were usually priests and kings; some of these men were also prophets. Occasionally, a person was specifically anointed as a prophet.[i] Just because there were other anointed people in the Bible doesn’t mean there is no special Mashiach. There has to be one because the Jews were looking for that person in Yeshua’s day and they are still looking for him today. We will soon consider the verses that this prophecy is based on.

The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is like the anointing oil. When the Spirit comes upon someone, he may prophesy, or be set apart (consecrated); the Spirit may give that person special skills or authority for a specific purpose.[ii] We see this concept not only in the Tanach but also in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament).[iii]

Normally, a prince would not be anointed with oil until he was about to be anointed as king.  David, the 8th son of Jesse was not a prince at the time of his anointing.  In fact, he was anointed years before he began to rule.[iv] He was not only anointed with oil, but he was also anointed at the same time by the Holy Spirit in preparation for his kingship.[v] Before he was anointed, he unknowingly trained to shepherd his people; but not long after being anointed with oil and the Spirit, he began training to be a military leader.  When the time was right, he became king.

There’s not much specifically mentioned in the Tanach about “The Messiah” by using the Hebrew term HaMashiach; but, in Daniel 9:25-27 he is called “Anointed Prince” (mashiach nagiyd).  Kings were anointed with oil before ascending the throne. Since this verse emphasizes this prince was anointed, there must be something unique about this prince. I believe this prince would be anointed, most likely with the Holy Spirit.

Daniel 9:25-27 gives the timing of the Anointed Prince’s arrival and says he will be cut off, but not for himself. His arrival time has long past. Yeshua arrived at the expected time. Wise men from the east were looking for his star at the expected time; and once they found him, they eventually presented gifts to give him the honor due a king.  These wise men must have been aware of Daniel’s prophecy.  Many years later, Yeshua was anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, and eventually killed for the people before he became king.[vi] Fortunately, Yeshua rose from the dead and he is expected to be King of kings at the appointed time.

Daniel’s Anointed Prince must be the son or descendant of a king. Based on 2 Samuel 7:12-16, he must be a descendant of David; because, David’s throne has been established forever (leolam). Hence, this Messiah Prince is referred to as the Son of David. This specific Messiah is the one that other prophets foretold things about without actually using the term mashiach.

Instead of using the term mashiach, he was given other titles based on Scripture that describe his character or what he will do. Rabbis have even debated his name.  He is known as:

  • The Suffering Servant (son of Joseph) who was to be smitten by God, and afflicted; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement for our peace was upon him. In other words, based on typology, he was destined to be a grain offering, guilt offering, sin offering, and peace offering.[vii]
  • The Branch (YHVH our Righteousness; he’s a king and a priest)[viii]
  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[ix]
  • Immanu El (God with us)[x]

The prophecy in Daniel 9 of the Anointed Prince was made during the Babylonian captivity and long after the death of Hezekiah.  Some people believed the Messiah lived in Hezekiah’s day and could have been his son.  This idea is based on the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8:  “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  

I don’t think Hezekiah’s son or anyone else has completely fulfilled this prophecy.  Many, including myself are confident that Yeshua was the child who was born, the Son that was given.  This is alluded to in the genealogy found in Luke 3:31 where we see the name Nathan, the son of David.  This genealogy is different from Matthew’s.  Liberties were taken with genealogies by the Jews for different purposes.  This genealogy emphasizes Nathan, the son of David instead of Solomon.  The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew verb natan which means to give; I think this genealogy indicates that Yeshua was “the son that was given.”  For our purposes it gives us the connection we are looking for in “the Prince of Peace” of Isaiah 9:6.  I believe “the Prince of Peace” is “the Anointed Prince” in Daniel 9:25-26.  Based on other Messianic prophecies, I believe the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-8 will be completely fulfilled by Yeshua at some point in the future.

The Anointed Prince is not just a descendant of David; he also has to be a descendant of Solomon.[xi]  Solomon’s son Rehoboam took the throne after Solomon’s death.  The kingdoms divided during his reign. Rehoboam was king of Judah, and Jeroboam who had been a servant of Solomon was the king of Israel.[xii]  The Davidic dynasty continued in Judah through Rehoboam.  YHVH created this split; He intended to afflict the descendants of David, but not forever.

Tracing the descendants of Rehoboam until the time of the Babylonian captivity leads to Jehoiachin.[xiii]    Jehoiachin became the king of Judah when he was 8 years old.  Three months later, he was carried off to Babylon.  Then the king of Babylon made Zedekiah king of Judah.  Previously, Zedekiah’s name was Mattaniah; he was Jehoichin’s uncle.  His name was changed to Zedekiah by King Nebuchadnezzer. With Jehoiachin gone, his brother Jeconiah (son of Jehoiakim/Eliakim) should have been king instead of Zedekiah.  Perhaps he was not old enough to rule without a co-regent; I don’t know. By the way, Jeconiah had a son named Zedekiah so let’s not get confused by that.

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 there is “the curse of Jeconiah” (also known as Coniah).  Jeremiah 22:30 says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”  Woe, this is not good.  How is YHVH going to stop afflicting the descendants of David forever?  How is YHVH going to bypass this curse?  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, adoption is the logical answer.[xiv]

Suddenly Jeremiah 23 shifts gears and says woe to the evil shepherds who are responsible for the scattering of God’s people.  Not all of the leaders of Judah had been good. Coniah was described as a despised, broken idol; he was a vessel in which there was no pleasure. Now, if YHVH doesn’t intend to afflict the descendants of David forever as mentioned in 1Kings 11:39, He’s got to do something about the curse placed on Coniah. Jeremiah 23 immediately tells us YHVH’s plan to correct the problem of the evil shepherds of Judah. YHVH intends to gather the remnant of his people and raise up a Branch of Righteousness to David. He is going to be an awesome king who will reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness. He can’t do this without being ANOINTED (MASHIACH).  He will be “The Messiah” (HaMashiach), the best of all of God’s anointed ones. He will be known as “YHVH our Righteousness.” In his days, Judah will be saved (niphal form of the verb yasha spelled yod-shin-ayin) and Israel will dwell safely.  The Anointed Prince who had been cut off, yet risen from the dead will be this Anointed King.  His name is Yeshua (means “he will save;” similar root = yod-shin-vav-ayin).

This Anointed King, the Branch of Righteousness (or YHVH Our Righteousness) could not have been any of the kings of the past: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (mother of Ahaziah), Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), Jehoiachin, Zedekiah (Mattaniah) or rightfully Jeconiah (Coniah). This was to be an anointed king of the FUTURE because this prophecy came AFTER the curse of Jeconiah.

First Chronicles 3:17-24 lists the genealogy of Jeconiah.  Verse 17 is the one we need to be most concerned with because the rest of it follows the descendants of Pedaiah.  We should be careful to note that Pedaiah had a son named Zerubbabel but this is not Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel.  Jeconiah’s son Assir had a son named Shealtiel, who had a son named Zerubbabel.[xv] This Zerubbabel helped build the house of God in Jerusalem.  He became the governor of Judah; he NEVER became a king. Therefore, he was not HaMashiach.  Zerubbabel was later chosen by YHVH of hosts to be like a signet ring.  This is the Zerubbabel mentioned in Matthew 1:12 which is part of the genealogy of Yeshua.

Matthew 1 gives us the genealogy of Yeshua HaMashiach.  He’s taken the liberty to lay it out in 3 sets of 14 generations for his own purposes.  As a result, he leaves out certain names in the genealogy.  This is apparent in Matthew 1:11-16 where it says, “Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.” He left out Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Jehoiachin between Josiah and Jehoiachin.  The text leaves these names out to show three 14-generation periods related to Israel’s history: Abraham to David (period prior to the kings); David to the Babylonian captivity (period of the kings); and the captivity in Babylon to Yeshua (period after the kings).

Yeshua would have begun his ministry about 6 months after John the Baptist began his. His ministry began with His baptism and ANOINTING by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). His powerful ministry was marked by teaching his interpretation of Torah; healing the sick; cleansing metzorim (lepers); casting out demons; feeding thousands with bread; and more. Ultimately, he gave the people the sign of Jonah. He was in the heart of the earth for three full days and nights before his resurrection on the Day of Firstfruits.[xvi] He was seen showing infallible proofs of his resurrection over a period of forty days before his ascension. He was even seen by 500 brethren at once even though only two to three witnesses should have been sufficient. Many people who claim to have seen him after his resurrection were willing to be martyred for telling that truth. Who would die for a lie? The fulfillment of the 7th day (millennial reign of The Messiah) is expected to begin following that; this will be followed by the 8th day (age of the new heaven and earth). On earth he was a prophet, now he is High Priest, and soon he will be King of kings and Lord of lords. All three roles are that of a MASHIACH. No other mashiach has or will be anointed for all three of these roles. Yeshua is the ultimate Mashiach.

[i] See 1 Kings 19:16.

[ii] See Exodus 31:3, Numbers 11:17, 25; 27:18-20, Judges 3:10; 6:34; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Isaiah 11:2; 61:1-2; and Micah 3:8.

[iii] See Acts 4:27, 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; and Hebrews 1:9 which quotes Psalm 45:6-7.

[iv] 1 Samuel 15:1; 16:12-13; 1 Kings 1:34; 19:15-16

[v] 1 Samuel 16:13

[vi] John 1:32-34 and John 11:49-52

[vii] Isaiah 52:4-5

[viii] Zechariah 6:12-13

[ix] Isaiah 9:6

[x] Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

[xi]  2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:20

[xii] 1Kings 11:35-39

[xiii] Solomon’s descendants are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:10-24.

[xiv] Joseph, a descendent of David adopts Yeshua as his own son.  I have also confirmed this by Bible code.

[xv]  This Zerubbabel is mentioned in in Ezra 5:2; Nehemiah 12:1; Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; and Haggai 2:2, 23.

[xvi]  Nisan 15-17th; He was buried before the sun went down (as Nisan14th became the 15th) rose on the Day of Firstfruits after the sun went down on Saturday (as Nisan 17th became the 18th).

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The Watchman

Do you want your life to be delivered from pain, suffering, or death? This is a good question that everyone needs to ask themselves. Most would say, “Of course!” Isn’t this what we do as we navigate our lives? I’d say we spend a lot of time doing just that. If we want to be delivered from a crisis, sometimes we need ample warning. In ancient times, this warning came from someone known as a watchman.

The first time we see mention of a watchman in Scripture is in 2 Samuel 13:34 after Absalom killed Amnon for raping Tamar; the watchman saw many people coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. Due to an inaccurate report, David feared that all of his sons had been killed by Absalom. It turned out that only Amnon was dead and David’s other sons had fled for their lives from Baal Hazor; they were seen by the watchman as they returned and David was informed of that.

In 2 Samuel 18, a watchman who was on the roof of a gate reported to King David that he saw two men running; the second man brought news of Absalom’s death. In 2 Kings 9, a watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and saw a company of Jehu. In response to that, two horsemen were sent separately to ask Jehu if he was coming in peace. According to the report of the watchman, neither of them returned. Upon hearing this, Joram gave orders to get ready to fight. After giving this order, he left to determine the seriousness of the situation. We can see that the report of this watchman was a warning about what he saw coming to the city from afar; this caused a response by the leaders in the city.

Based on Isaiah 21, a watchman kept track of the time. Generally, a watchman warned of danger that approached the city from afar and gave warning so that the people had time to respond to possible physical threats. Ezekiel 33 explains that when the watchman saw the sword coming upon the land, he blew a trumpet and warned the people. This trumpet was a shofar, usually a ram’s horn. Whenever the people heard the shofar, they were supposed to heed the warning so they could escape with their life. If someone did not heed the warning and a sword came and took him away, he would be responsible for his own death (his blood would be on his own head).

Ezekiel 33 explains the responsibility of a slightly different kind of watchman—the spiritual kind. Ezekiel was to hear a word from YHVH and pass that warning onto the people; in other words, Ezekiel was YHVH’s shofar. The job of the watchman is the responsibility of the prophet.

If YHVH spoke to the wicked to tell them they were going to die, Ezekiel was to warn the people so they would turn from their evil way. If they refused to quit sinning, they died in their iniquity. Because Ezekiel warned them, his own soul was spared.

If the people heard Ezekiel’s warning, and asked how they could live, Ezekiel was to tell them to turn from their evil ways, and to do what is lawful and right. If someone was righteous and then committed iniquity, he too, would die in his sin because he turned away from righteousness; he committed apostasy instead of continuing to do what was lawful and right. Ezekiel was basically telling them not to think we have a bank account in which the good can outweigh the bad in order to have life. YHVH will judge all of us according to our own ways.

Recently, I heard someone teach that Ezekiel 33:12 refers to self-righteousness and not obedience to the law. It says, “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: `The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ If I understood correctly, this person was trying to say that self-righteousness doesn’t bring life just as much as wickedness doesn’t. He interpreted the words “his righteousness” as self-righteousness, and believed that the passage switched back and forth between God’s righteousness and self-righteousness; this is not correct. I think Ezekiel 18:18-20 helps us to see what “his righteousness” means by looking at the opposite scenario.

Ezekiel 18:18-20 says, “As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity. 19 “Yet you say,`Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

Note how Ezekiel 18:18 refers to the wicked man’s iniquity as “his iniquity.” This is the iniquity the man himself committed. In a similar fashion, when Ezekiel 33:12 refers to “his righteousness,” it is pointing back to the lawful and right things someone did by keeping and observing all of YHVH’s commandments, statutes and judgments.

Ezekiel 33:18 uses the same phrase, “his righteousness.” Again, YHVH is not referring to self-righteousness here (doing what’s right in a man’s own eyes OR following the traditions of men); it says if someone turns from doing righteousness (the written law) and commits iniquity, he will die because of it. The key to life is to shema YHVH; we are to listen and obey His commandments. This shows we know and love YHVH.

If there is still any question, we can look at a few more verses from the Brit Chadasha (New Testament):

  • 1 John 3:4: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
    This is the definition of sin; it’s Torah-lessness.
  • Matthew 13:41-42: “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
  •  Matthew 7:19-23: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me,`Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

YHVH and Ezekiel are not telling the people anything new. In Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Moses told the people: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments (mitzvah), His statutes (chuqqah), and His judgments (mishpat), that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 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.” Obedience was and still is the will of the Father!

Eventually, Ezekiel was in exile in Babylon. Some people still remained in Jerusalem until it was captured in the 12th year of their captivity. Prior to this, Ezekiel had been mute but when a man who had escaped Jerusalem came and told him of the fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel’s mouth was opened and he was able to speak. The people remaining in the ruins of the land of Israel felt they still deserved the land that had been given to them as a possession. The problem was that they had not been obeying YHVH’s commandments. They had been eating meat with blood; committing idolatry and sexual immorality; shedding blood; and committing other abominations in the land. They did not deserve to remain in the land of Israel; in fact, YHVH intended to have them die by the sword; by being devoured by wild animals; or by pestilence. Because of their disobedience, they suffered the curses of the law Moses warned them about. Note that three of these behaviors that caused cursing are the same things that the Jerusalem council told the new Gentile believers to avoid in Acts 15:19-21. These gave the Gentile believers a place to start until they learned to obey the rest of the Torah they heard each Sabbath in the synagogues.

Ezekiel was not the only watchman for Israel; there were many others and there are even watchmen today who share the same responsibility Ezekiel did. Unfortunately, people respond to them the same way people responded to Ezekiel; they thought Ezekiel’s words sounded wonderful but they did not do what he told them. Please don’t make the same mistake.

Now I want to further explore the meaning of the message of the watchman; normally, this is referred to as a call for repentance. All of the prophets preached repentance including John the Baptist, Yeshua, His disciples, and Paul so we need to know exactly what that is.

Shuv is the Hebrew word for repentance. Two Greek equivalents are seen in the Apostolic Polyglot.

  • epistrepho – to turn back, to return, revert, be converted, be restored.
  • apostrepho – to turn away (from) or turn back.

These Greek words are present in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) but are not translated as “repent.” Usually, they are translated as “turn,” or “be converted.”

When we see the word “repent” in the Brit Chadasha, it is usually translated from the Greek word “metanoeo” which means to think differently or reconsider. It is similar, but does not carry the exact meaning that the translation “repent” has in the Tanach (Old Testament). That’s why we see passages with “turn” or “be converted” which relate to what repentance is in the Tanach.

Here are several examples of verses with these words. Let’s begin with verses from the Tanach:

  • Isaiah 6:10 (quoted in Acts 28:27): “Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return (H: shuv; G: epistrepho) and be healed.”
  • Jeremiah 25:5: “They said,`Repent (H: shuv; G: apostrepho) now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.”
  • Ezekiel 18:30-32: “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent (H: shuv; G:epistrepho), and turn (H: shuv; G: apostrepho) from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn (H: shuv; G: epistrepho) and live!”

The theme is turning away from evil and returning to lawfulness; there was no other standard for repentance in the Tanach (Old Testament). This is the same theme Yeshua fully preached (plero-o) from the Law and the Prophets!

Now let’s look at verses from the Brit Chadasha. As you read them, apply the correct definitions.

  • Matthew 3:1-2: “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent (metanoeo), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” They knew they didn’t just need a change of heart because they repeatedly asked John, “what shall we do?” in order to turn. John’s responses were based on Torah.  They understood that faith in God without works of righteousness is dead; they needed to prove their metanoeo and faith by doing what’s right.
  •  Luke 13:3: “I (Yeshua) tell you, no; but unless you repent (metanoeo) you will all likewise perish.” Yeshua was trying to get the people to understand that matanoeo was the beginning of what it takes to avoid perishing.
  • Luke 22:32: “But I have prayed for you (Peter), that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned (G: epistrepho) to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Yeshua knew that Peter would deny Him in a time of weakness and fear, but He also knew Peter would return to Him.
  • In Acts 3:19, Peter spoke to the crowd at Solomon’s Porch saying: Repent (metanoeo) therefore and be converted (epistrepho), that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
  • Acts 3:26: “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away (apostrepho) every one of you from your iniquities.”
  • Acts 11:21: “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned (epistrepho) to the Lord.”
  • Act 26:17-20: “I (Yeshua) will deliver you (Saul) from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn (epistrepho) them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent (metanoeo), turn (epistrepho) to God, and do works befitting repentance (do righteousness; obey commands, statutes, and judgments of YHVH).” Note that lawlessness is equated with darkness and the power of Satan while righteousness is equated with light and God.

Some describe repentance as making a U-turn; they say it means to stop sinning and start doing right. From a Greek New Testament perspective, repentance (metanoeo) is to have a change of heart; however, that needs to be combined with apostrepho and epistrepho to capture the full meaning of the Hebrew for repentance. In other words, not only do people need to change their hearts, they need to turn away from Torah-lessness (lawlessness) and turn to Torah-fulness (lawfulness); that’s true conversion or repentance. If they don’t, they are just turning away from obvious wickedness and turning to self-righteousness; this would be turning to the traditions of men; doing what’s right in the own eyes; or an unholy mixture (syncretism) of paganism and Torah. The correct meaning of repentance must be maintained throughout the Scriptures or cursing and death will result as people attempt to put that meaning into practice.

I still see Christians have a huge problem putting that full definition into the correct perspective. A few problems exist:

  • Most Christians refuse to accept the Scriptural definition of sin. As mentioned previously, based on 1 John 3:4, sin is lawlessness (Torah-lessness). Righteousness is lawfulness; it’s obeying YHVH’s commandments, statutes, and judgments.  The definition didn’t magically change from the Old to the New Testament.
  • They misunderstand Colossians 2:14; the law itself was not nailed to the cross. Our trespasses (the “bill of charges” or “handwriting of requirements” that were against us) were wiped away or removed from us, and nailed to the cross!
  • They reject Romans 7:12: “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.” We need to see it that way!
  • They ignore Romans 3:31; this teaches the law has not been abolished because of faith.
  • They overlook James 1:25 and James 2:12 and don’t realize that according to Psalm 119:45, liberty is a result of seeking (and obviously obeying) YHVH’s precepts. James 1:25 says, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 2:12 says, “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.”
  • They’ve been brainwashed with an improper interpretation of Romans and Galatians which results from a lack of the proper foundation of Torah; the lack of the correct cultural and historical background of that time; and generations of repetitive errant teaching. Before this can be addressed, they need to accept the positive things Paul said about the law, and repent of rejecting the law, so their hearts will be open to discover what he really meant.

There’s no question what will happen to the wicked at the judgment, but what will happen to Christians if they don’t figure this out? Consider these verses:

  • Revelation 2:5: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works [what’s lawful], or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place– unless you repent.”
  • Revelation 3:1-3: “These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”  If they were told to repent, their imperfect works equate to Torah-lessness.
  • Revelation 16:9,11 “And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory… 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
  • Matthew 13:41-42: “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
  • Matthew 7:19-23: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me,`Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”  Good fruit and the will of Yeshua’s Father is righteousness, not lawlessness.

From the beginning of the Scriptures to the end, it is clear that lawfulness (righteousness) as defined by Torah brings life. Yeshua confirmed that when a rich man asked Him what he had to do to in order to have eternal life. The first thing Yeshua told him in Matthew 19:17 was to keep the commandments; if something else had been more important, that would have been his first reply. Yeshua told him being perfect required more.

Don’t think in terms of which commands to follow. Take time to study all of them; keep them all before you in their proper context; and learn the principles behind them so you can make proper application. They are not too hard for you; they are your life.  It’s the traditions of men that were “too hard” to bear.  Yeshua’s yoke is Torah; His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Shed the old wine skin or mind-set that rejects Torah; create a new one to put the correct interpretation of Scripture (that embraces Torah) in. Seek truth; walk in the Spirit; and don’t give in to the desires of the flesh.

Remember what Yeshua said in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The narrow gate is repentance; the way which leads to life is righteousness.

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Go; as you obey, walk out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Their Worm Does Not Die

We have finally reached Isaiah 66.  This has certainly been a long journey through the book of Isaiah.

What do we see here in this chapter?  I can tell that it is tied to Isaiah 65; it gives us a picture of what will take place in the future.

As we mentioned last time, the elect will build houses and inhabit them.  They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  After telling us this, YHVH says, “Heaven is my throne, And earth is My footstool.  Where is the house that you will build for Me?  And where is the place of My rest?”  This is not talking about the temple in Ezra’s day that needed to be built.  We know this because YHVH just said that the wolf and lamb will feed together, the lion will eat straw like the ox; and they won’t hurt or destroy anything on His holy mountain.  This appears to be a reference to the temple that will be built for Yeshua’s millennial reign.

There are several repeated themes in Isaiah 65 and 66.  The first multifaceted one is seen in:

  • Isaiah 65:1  “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.”  This was a reference to the Gentiles who had faith in Yeshua and cause the Jews to be jealous (Romans 10:20).
  • Isaiah 65:12  “Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”  This was a reference to the Jews who rejected YHVH and delighted in abominations in the gardens; they will be slaughtered.
  • Isaiah 65:24  “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”  This is a reference to the elect who will not labor in vain during Yeshua’s millennial reign; they are the descendants of the blessed of YHVH.  They are also described as those who are poor and of a contrite spirit, and who tremble at YHVH’s word.
  • Isaiah 66:4  “So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”   This is a reference to the Jews who bring offerings to YHVH as if they are giving offerings to idols; they delight in abominations.  In other words, they commit idolatry, necromancy, and eat unclean things such as swine and mouse.

We want to make sure that we are part of the elect and not part of those who commit abominations.  We need to SHEMA YHVH; we need to obey His commandments.  We need to call on and be dependent on Him.  Repent before it’s too late!

Other recurring themes in Isaiah 65 and 66 include rejoicing and glory.  YHVH’s people are told to rejoice with Jerusalem and be delighted with the abundance of her glory (H3519 kavod; wealth).  YHVH will extend peace and the glory (wealth) of the Gentiles to Jerusalem.  We’ve seen descriptions of this in previous chapters.  YHVH said there would be people who will escape destruction and flee to other countries; they will tell everyone about YHVH’s fame and glory.  All the nations will come and see His glory.  Surely this will be an incredible sight!

In Isaiah 65:9, YHVH promised to bring forth descendants from Jacob, and an heir of YHVH’s mountains.  YHVH promised that His elect will inherit it and that His servants will dwell there.  We see more information about this prophecy in a section on rejoicing and glory in Isaiah 66:5-14.  The themes of rejoicing and glory point to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 66:7-9.  This is the prophecy of a woman giving birth to a male child before her pain came; I believe this is a reference to Yeshua, a descendant of Judah.  These verses also seem to be a reference to the birth of the nation of Zion.  Both Yeshua and the nation of Israel seem to be depicted in Revelation 12 as well.

Many recognize the birth of Yeshua that took place approximately 2000 years ago.  Amazingly, many witnessed the birth of Israel in 1948 in a single day.  Surely the time will soon be upon us when Isaiah 66:15 -16 will be fulfilled:  “For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.”  Those who have been committing idolatry in the gardens and eating unclean things will be consumed.  Specifically, these are the armies of the ten kings who will join the beast of Revelation and fight against Yeshua, the Lamb.

Later, YHVH’s people will come from the nations to Jerusalem to bring offerings in clean vessels into the house of YHVH.  Some of these people will be taken to be priests and Levites.  Revelation 20:6 confirms this: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Isaiah 66:23 says all flesh will come to worship YHVH on the New Moons and Sabbaths during the millennial reign of Yeshua. They will look on the corpses of the men who transgressed against YHVH.  Isaiah 66:24 says their worm doesn’t die and their fire is not quenched.  They will be an abhorrence to all flesh.   How can we picture this?  Perhaps it will be like looking at a burning trash heap with non-burning sections that contain rotting flesh that is being eaten by maggots.  Whatever it is, I just know I don’t want to be among those corpses.

I believe Isaiah 66:24 is only a picture of the real lake of fire.  John saw visions of the end in Revelation.  At the end of the Battle of Armageddon, the beast and false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire.  The rest were killed with the sword and were eaten by birds of prey.  It is not mentioned but it is possible the rest of their remains were gathered together to be burned.  This could account for what was described in Isaiah.

According to Revelation 20:

  • Satan was bound and cast into the abyss for 1000 years.
  • The first resurrection took place; these were those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming God’s word, and also those who had not worshiped the beast or received his mark.
  • The second resurrection took place; this was all those who were not previously resurrected.
  • After that, Satan was released from the abyss;
  • Satan gathered Gog and Magog for battle around Jerusalem but they were devoured by fire.
  • Satan was then cast into the lake of fire.
  • The judgment at the white throne took place.  Death, Hades, and those not found in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.  This would take up more space than a simple burning trash heap outside Jerusalem.

One last theme is seen in Isaiah 65 and 66; it is the prophecy of the new heavens and earth.  The new heavens and earth, and the descendants and name of the Jews will remain before YHVH.  Second Peter 3:13 tells us that righteousness will dwell there.

John was fortunate to have seen a vision of the new heaven and earth, and the new Jerusalem.  Yeshua, the tabernacle of God, is with men and will dwell with men; they will be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  Revelation 21:4 tells us, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Isaiah 65:17 says the former things will not even be remembered or come to mind.  This sounds really good to me because there is so much stuff I would prefer never to remember.

Revelation 21:7-8 says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Examine your life.  Are you an over-comer?  Do you trust in Yeshua and obey YHVH’s commandments?  Or, are you one of the other categories listed above?  You can leave that lifestyle behind and embrace a new one.  Just repent.  Please, repent before it’s too late!

The New Heavens and Earth

In Isaiah 64, the prophet pleaded for YHVH to come down from the heavens to make His name known to His adversaries.  He said that since the world was made, men hadn’t heard or seen any God besides YHVH.  The prophet acknowledged that YHVH was angry because His people had sinned; in fact, they continued to sin and needed to be delivered.  He admitted their righteousness was worthless.  He said no one calls on YHVH’s name; He had hidden His face from them because of their iniquities.  They acknowledged YHVH is the potter and they are the clay, and the prophet asked YHVH not to be angry with them forever.

YHVH responded in Isaiah 65:  “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.”  Who is YHVH referring to here?  Paul, in Romans 10:19-21, implies Isaiah was referring to the Gentiles, then, in verse 22, Paul said Isaiah began to address Israel.  YHVH said He had His arms out to the Jews but they were a rebellious people; they wouldn’t listen to Him.  They provoked YHVH to anger by committing idolatry and necromancy (contacting the dead).  They ate pork and drank broth from abominable things.  It is evident here that it is not just the meat of unclean animals that is offensive to YHVH.  They even considered themselves holier than YHVH.  Could it be they felt this way because of their self-righteousness?

YHVH intends to repay them for their evil in proportion to their iniquities but for His servant’s sake He didn’t intend to destroy all of them.  He indicated there would be a remnant from Judah; they are His elect and His servants. 

Many years later, Paul confirmed in Romans 11 that God had not cast His people away.  Paul points out how Elijah pled with God against Israel.  At that time, YHVH told Elijah there were 7000 men who had not bowed their knees to Baal.  Paul explained that even in Elijah’s day, there was a remnant according to the election of grace (favor).  This remnant seeks YHVH today.  This remnant keeps the commands of YHVH and trusts in Yeshua.

If we are part of this remnant, we must be careful not to quit seeking YHVH; we must not forsake Him for other gods.  In Isaiah’s day, there were people who worshiped Gad, a god of fortune; and Meni, a god of luck.  Today we don’t necessarily have physical idols by these names but we certainly see the worship of materialism, and many people hope for luck.  In Revelation, the worship of materialism is a component of the mystery religion, Babylon the Great.  We are told the merchants of the earth will become rich through the abundance of her luxury.  We are called to come out of her before it’s too late.  Is it possible there are non-physical idols in your life that you are worshiping?  If so, repent!

In Isaiah 65, YHVH said that those who were worshiping Gad and Meni would be slaughtered by the sword because they did not answer His call or hear Him speaking to them.  Instead, they did evil in His eyes.  They chose lawlessness instead of righteousness.  These are the same themes present in Revelation 19.  A sharp sword will go out of Yeshua’s mouth with which He will strike the nations.  Only those who keep the commandments and the faith of Yeshua will get to eat of the tree of life and enter through the gates of the new Jerusalem.

As Isaiah 65 continues, YHVH begins to compare His true servants to those who had been committing apostasy.  YHVH’s servants will not be hungry or thirsty; they will rejoice and sing for joy.  We are told YHVH’s servants will be called by another name.  There is mention of this in Revelation 2:17; a new name will be written on a stone and given to those who hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Those who commit apostasy will be hungry and thirsty; they will be ashamed. They will cry, for their hearts will be full of sorrow and their spirits will be full of grief. Their name will be a curse to YHVH’s chosen people; YHVH Elohim will slay them.  Don’t find yourself in the same situation; do not forsake YHVH and His commandments!

By Jschulman555 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jschulman555 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

At some point, the former troubles will be forgotten and hidden from YHVH’s eyes.  Obviously, YHVH will rejoice in Jerusalem and take joy in His people; there will be no crying.  This is what we can expect when YHVH creates new heavens and a new earth.  Second Peter 3:13 says, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”  I long for that day to come.  However, I must be honest here; I find myself questioning what follows here in Isaiah 65.  Revelation 21:1 says a new heaven and new earth will be made after the first heaven and earth passed away.  This will take place after the judgment at the great white throne.  Heaven and earth will not be remade twice—just once.

You may be wondering why I’m emphasizing that.  Isaiah 65:20 says, “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.”  Why would a child die at one hundred years old?  Why would a sinner even exist much less be one hundred years old?  Has the prophet switched time periods?  Is this a reference to what can take place during Yeshua’s millennial reign and not a reference to the time following the judgment at the white throne?

I tend to believe these references point to the time of the millennial reign of Yeshua.  I’ve noticed that it’s not unusual to see a switching back and forth between time periods in Isaiah.  Sinners who do not die in the Battle of Armageddon will be on the earth during the millennial reign of Yeshua.  They could die during this time.  We can see that Isaiah 25:8 says, He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.”  Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Both of these verses show us there will be no more death after the new heaven and earth appear.  Revelation 21:27 says, “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”  The sinners will have been thrown into the lake of fire by that time; this is the second death.

YHVH’s elect will build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  Since the curse of the law will no longer be in effect, their enemies will not take over and inhabit their dwellings or eat their food.  YHVH’s elect will enjoy the work of their hands for a very long time and their labor will not be in vain.  YHVH will hear and answer them quickly.  Perhaps this is because they heard and heeded His voice while those who committed apostasy did not.  The wild and domesticated animals will eat together and they will not cause hurt or destruction in YHVH’s holy mountain.  This sounds wonderful; it’s how I imagine the Garden of Eden.  

As previously mentioned, 2 Peter 3:13 says, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”  Do you look forward to this promise?  I do.  In the meantime, as we wait for that time to come, don’t be too discouraged by what’s going on around you; keep obeying YHVH’s commandments and keep the faith of Yeshua. 

The Prophet’s Prayer

Isaiah 64 is a continuation of the prophet’s prayer to YHVH.  Previously, at the end of Isaiah 63, the prophet wondered where YHVH’s zeal and compassion were.  The prophet wanted YHVH’s heart to yearn for His people and the prophet wanted YHVH’s people to be the recipients of His mercy.  The prophet called YHVH their Father and Redeemer.  The prophet knew they had sinned yet desired for them to be reconciled with YHVH for the sake of His inheritance—the land promised long ago to Abraham.  YHVH’s people had possessed it only for a short time in relation to forever.  Surely they were devastated that their enemies had conquered them, destroyed YHVH’s sanctuary, and carried them off to Babylon.

In Isaiah 64, the prophet prayed for YHVH to come down; he wanted the mountains to shake at YHVH’s presence as they had once done on Mt. Sinai.  He asked YHVH to make His name known to His adversaries as He had once done to the Egyptians long ago.  He desired for YHVH to make the nations tremble at His presence.

What can I say?  This is what I want YHVH to do even now.  I suspect many around the world including many in Israel desire the same thing.  No god has ever done anything like this except the one true God, YHVH.

The prophet said YHVH acts for the one who waits for Him; therefore, we must wait for Him to act.  Meanwhile, we must live righteously and rejoice in Him.  Our desire is to meet with Him as Adam once did in the Garden of Eden.  To do that, we must not continue in sin as the Jews did.

We need to be saved from our sinful conditions.  We need to examine ourselves.  Have we been deceived into thinking we are living righteously when indeed we are as filthy and unclean as menstrual cloths?  Is what we consider to be doing righteousness the same as what YHVH says is righteousness?  Is our perception of ourselves and our behavior really accurate?  We must take the time to examine ourselves and if necessary, repent.

As we do so, we must remember that the fact is, we are all going to die eventually like the leaves that fall from the trees in autumn.  Our iniquities, those things we intentionally do against others keep us from enjoying right relationships with other people and with YHVH.  We don’t study the Scriptures like we should.  We focus on our lives — our personal pursuits for fame and position, material desires, and our physical needs.  We focus on our families to some degree as part of our daily responsibilities.  We need to make time to dig into the Word and do what it says and follow the principles and commandments of Torah.  We must not fail to call on YHVH’s name and give Him first position in our lives.  We need to repent of our sin and iniquities and reach out as if to take hold of Him.  We need to purify ourselves; we must not be mixed with paganism.  We must walk in holiness.

Hands Working on Ceramic PieceWe need to remember that YHVH is the Potter and we are the clay.  We need to be pliable in His hands so that He can shape us into what He sees fit.  We should ask Him to show us how He sees us; we ought to ask Him to reveal to us how He wants to use us.  We need to step out in faith as we sense the steps He wants us to take.

Oh, YHVH, hear our voices!  Please don’t be angry with us!  Forgive us for our sins and iniquities.  Reveal truth to us!  Help us walk in your ways!  Don’t remember our crimes.  Instead, please graft us into the olive tree of Israel and help us to walk out our faith with fear and trembling.

YHVH, please do not stay silent and punish us more than we can bear.  Remember your people.  Rebuild your temple in Jerusalem so that we can worship you there and so that others will turn their attention to what you are doing there.

We desire for Yeshua to come and dwell among us.  Teach us Torah so we can walk the ancient path.  YHVH, please make our enemies tremble; crush them, and let your law be the law of the earth.  Until that time finally comes, we will wait for Yeshua’s appearance.  We will eagerly and humbly bow and confess that Yeshua is Messiah.

Amen.

The Winepress of YHVH’s Fury

In Isaiah 63:1, the prophet says, “Who is this, coming from Edom, from Botzrah with clothing stained crimson, so magnificently dressed, so stately in his great strength?”  The Messiah replies, “It is I, who speak victoriously, I, well able to save.”  The prophet asks, “Why is your apparel red, your clothes like someone treading a winepress?”  Messiah answers, “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the peoples, not one was with me. So I trod them in my anger, trampled them in my fury; so their lifeblood spurted out on my clothing, and I have stained all my garments; 4 for the day of vengeance that was in my heart and my year of redemption have come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, and I was appalled that no one upheld me. Therefore my own arm brought me salvation, and my own fury upheld me. 6 In my anger I trod down the peoples, made them drunk with my fury, then poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

This passage leads us back to Isaiah 34:5-6:  “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment. 6 The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.”  Proverbs 3:33 tells us that YHVH’s curse or punishment is in the house of the wicked. The lambs and goats mentioned here represent the wicked people that will be in Bozrah in Edom.  The word botsrah can be H1224 which is defined as a place in Edom or H1223 which is defined as an enclosure or sheep fold.  I want to remain open to the idea that it is not a specific city per se but simply a place in Edom.  If that is the case, we can then look at the future destruction of Edom discussed in Obadiah.

In the vision of Obadiah, YHVH says that everyone on Mount Esau will be slaughtered.  YHVH says all the nations will drink (be punished) in turn.  Another place where the destruction of Edom is mentioned is in Jeremiah 25; it says kingdoms of the world including Edom will be killed by the sword. Obviously, there has to be people left living to reign over so I suspect that it is the warriors from these nations that will be slaughtered.  Based on Isaiah 63, it appears that Edom will be first.  The description of Isaiah 63:2-3 sounds very similar to Revelation 14:19-20 where the angel uses his sickle to throw the earth’s grapes into the great winepress of God’s fury.  Revelation 16:16 says that when the sixth bowl/plague is poured out by the sixth angel, the kings of the earth will gather at Har Megiddo (Armageddon).  Revelation 19:13 describes Yeshua coming with His robe already soaked in blood for the battle of Armageddon; therefore, by this point, the warriors on Mount Esau have been slain with the sword and their blood has stain Yeshua’s clothing.  Yeshua, the Angel of His Presence, comes to Har Megiddo to execute judgment over Israel’s enemies and bring salvation to His people.

According to Isaiah, YHVH intends to show loving kindness and mercy to His people.  He calls them His children and says they are not disloyal; this is the reason He became their Savior.  Right now, we might be shaking our heads and thinking Israel does not deserve a Savior because they are not loyal to Him.  We need to pray for them to repent and be loyal to Him because they are rebellious and are grieving His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).  Before all has been fulfilled, YHVH will be their enemy by bringing the nations against them as a rod in His hand.  They are in trouble and don’t seem to know the remedy for their trouble.  I do know that their condition is of great concern to YHVH.  He will do whatever it takes in order to bring them to Himself.  One day, in His love and pity, He will redeem them.

For now, His people need to read the Scriptures and remember the days of old, the days of Moses.  They need to remember the Exodus from Egypt and how He led them across the Red Sea and through the wilderness like a shepherd who leads his flocks.  They need to remember how the Ruach was on Moses and the 70 elders and how YHVH gave them rest.

256px-Mustard_Blue_SunsetYHVH, please hear my prayer!  Look on all of us from your glorious dwelling in heaven. Don’t hold back your zeal, mighty deeds, inner concern, and compassion for your people.  You are our Redeemer of Old!  YHVH, don’t let us wander from your ways and harden our hearts; we need to fear you.  YHVH, we are just like the nations around us who don’t know your name.  Please return to the tribes of Jacob who are your possession!  Please come down from heaven and make the mountains shake at your presence! Make your enemies know your name and make the nations would tremble before you!  YHVH, please hear my plea!

YHVH, help us to do works in keeping with repentance and put sin far from us.  Help us to keep your ancient ways so we can be saved.  YHVH, we are unclean and our righteous deeds are gross; we are dying in this condition. Our perversity blows us away like the wind. It separates us from you and is destroying us.

YHVH, you are the Potter and we are merely the clay in your hands. Please take us, forgive us for provoking you, and refashion us according to your will. Please don’t give us more than we can bear.  Help us to put our old natures to death and to walk by the power of the Ruach.  Help us to see and separate ourselves from the unholy mixture that we’ve been raised in.  Help us to know how to not offer something unholy to you.  Help us to be clean and holy, unstained by the world.  YHVH, our food supply is highly processed and we don’t know what’s in it; help us to know what we can and can’t eat.  Help us not to become puffed up thinking we are holier than others, especially You.  Don’t cast us aside; please find some good within us.  Please, do not destroy us but bring us into the Promised Land.  Amen.

Garments of Praise

Isaiah 61 begins, “”The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

This is the passage that Yeshua read from when he was in the synagogue in Nazareth.  By that point, Yeshua had been baptized by John and had been anointed by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).  Yeshua had already been preaching repentance in the synagogues of Galilee and the surrounding region before returning to the synagogue in Nazareth. He proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord in their midst; He was proclaiming Jubilee.  According to Leviticus 25:10, Jubilee is a time when liberty is proclaimed throughout the land to all of its inhabitants.

After reading from Isaiah and closing the scroll, Yeshua gave it back to the shammash (attendant) and sat down.  He told them that this passage had been fulfilled in their presence.  They couldn’t believe it; they asked, “Can this be Joseph’s son?” Based on what else Yeshua said, the people wanted to see Him perform miracles in their presence but Yeshua wasn’t going to do that.  The people in the synagogue were filled with anger; they intended to kill him but he walked away from them.

Yeshua did not fulfill the portion of Isaiah that follows—“And the day of vengeance of our God.”  This is something that Yeshua will fulfill in a future year of Jubilee.  Second Thessalonians 1:7b-8 describes that as the time “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Surely, this will take place in this generation.

The prophecies found in Isaiah obviously can be divided into different periods of time.  We need to bear this in mind as we sort out the prophecies found in Scripture.  One thing is for sure, this is a Messianic prophecy.

Next, the prophet said the Messiah will comfort all who mourn.  He intends to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for their heavy spirits.  This is a beautiful prophecy.  The Hebrew word for beauty is pe’er.  According to Strong’s Concordance, pe’er is a fancy head-dress or ornament.  This will replace the ashes that people put on their heads when they were mourning.

Let’s shift our focus for a moment to give us a mental picture of mourning.  Think about what Tamar did when she had been raped by Amnon.  Second Samuel 13:19 says, “Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.”  I believe that Zion will be like Tamar in the future.  According to Zechariah 14:2-3, the women will be raped but YHVH will come and fight against the nations that come against Jerusalem.  When it’s all over, He will give them beauty for ashes.

LimeEssOilThe oil of joy will be given to them for their mourning.  This is probably not just olive oil but some kind of perfumed oil.  I happen to be trying a blend of essential oils called “Be Joyous.”  It contains Bergamot, Ylang Ylang III, Red Grapefruit, Orange, and Lemon essential oils.  I diffuse it for my son’s depression.  Other essential oil blends can be used as well for depression.  In the same way, the oil of joy will help to disperse the depression of YHVH’s people which was caused by the traumatic experiences they’ve endured.

The clothing of YHVH’s people will be replaced with robes of righteousness or garments of praise for their spirits of heaviness.  It will be like taking off the spirit of heaviness and replacing it with garments of praise.  It will be that quick.  There is a song by Jamie Harvill called Garments of Praise that I enjoy singing and dancing with on Shabbat.  It speaks of trading our sorrows for garments of praise and it asks that YHVH make our broken weary bones rise to dance again.  It makes me think of the time when the spirit of heaviness will be replaced with garments of praise.  At that time, Isaiah 60:21 will be fulfilled:  “Also your people shall all be righteous (tzaddikim); They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.”  Yes, YHVH’s people will be trees of righteousness and will inhabit the land forever; no one will force them to leave.

Messiah’s people will not be lounging around on clouds all day.  They will be working on earth.  Those in Zion will rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the former desolations (See also Isaiah 58:12).  Rebuilding the ruins was a common practice in Babylon and in other cities after they were destroyed and/or plundered.  Since this is a Messianic prophecy, rebuilding the old ruins of Jerusalem will take place in the future as well.  I believe this is referring to the time of the 7th day or during the millennial reign of Yeshua.

Isaiah 61:5 says that strangers will stand (5975; amad; serve) and feed the flocks of YHVH’s people, and the sons of the foreigner will be the plowmen and the vinedressers of YHVH’s people as well.  Isaiah 14:2 is more clear: “Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.” These people are in contrast to the people in Zion who will be named the priests of the Lord; they’ll be called the servants or ministers of our God.

The wealth of the nations will come into Zion.  In Isaiah 60, we saw that this was no just money but material possessions as well.  YHVH’s people will revel in their riches.  Because YHVH’s people were treated badly by their enemies, they will own double honor and double the amount of land.  Right now, Israel is small but the boundaries mentioned in Ezekiel 47 will be much larger.  Double reparation is also seen in Zechariah 9:12.  YHVH will do this because He loves justice; He hates robbery; He intends to bless and have an eternal covenant with His people.

As Isaiah 61 ends, we see the themes of joyfulness, the garments (of salvation), and the robe of righteousness/garments of salvation, and being decked with ornaments.  This is a bookend of sorts for a chiastic structure with the different emphases on servant-hood. Perhaps the period of servant-hood will eventually end when the millennial reign of Yeshua ends.

YHVH Elohim (the Lord God) will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations in the same way the earth brings forth its bud and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth.  YHVH will not be silent forever; these things will happen in YHVH’s timing.  He will cause Jerusalem’s righteousness to be as brightness and her salvation to be as a burning lamp.  Trust Him to make it happen.

The nations will see Zion in an entirely different way; they will see her glory and righteousness.  The prophet tells us that Jerusalem will be called by a new name which YHVH will give her; she won’t be called “forsaken” or “desolate” anymore.  It will be called “Hephzibah” which means “My delight is in her.” This is the same name of Hezekiah’s wife (2 Kings 21:1); the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary refers to Hephzibah as a type of Jerusalem.  Their land will be called “Beulah” which means to be married.

We often think of YHVH’s people as being the Bride of Yeshua but John saw a different bride.  Revelation 21:9-11 says, “ Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”  10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.”  This light must be that of righteousness.

John describes the new Jerusalem like this in Revelation 21:18-21: “The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”  Revelation 21:12-14 explains that the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb were engraved on the foundation stones and that the names of the twelve tribes were written on the gates of the city.  In this way, the city is wearing ornaments.  This is a description of the bride in the 8th day.  Interestingly enough, Isaiah 49:18 tells Zion that her children will come to her and she will wear them as ornaments and bind them on her as a bride does. This is a description of the bride in the 7th day.

Even now, there are watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem and around the world.  They are not silent; they are warning the world of what’s coming in the future.  They are praying not just for Jerusalem but for the people and the whole land of Israel; they are praying for everyone to repent—to abandon lawlessness and turn to Yeshua and Torah-observance.  They are praying for YHVH to make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

YHVH has promised to lift the curse of taking away and allowing foreigners to eat and drink that which His people have labored over.  Instead, YHVH’s people will enjoy it in His holy courts.  This will be a time of peace and a time to praise our Creator during the 7th day.

Yeshua is coming and will bring His reward with Him!  His people will be called “The Holy People, The Redeemed of YHVH.”  Jerusalem will be called “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”

Maranatha!