Shavuot: To Whom was the Torah Given?

Shavuot is rapidly approaching and as we get closer to this momentous feast day, it’s important that we don’t miss all the important lessons YHVH is trying to teach us in this season. This post will be the first of 5 posts addressing Shavuot. At the bottom of this article, I will link up the other posts in the series as they are completed.

Before we can begin the topic of Shavuot, however, we need to address a very crucial question: “Who is Israel?”

You might be thinking, “Why does it matter who Israel is?”

Jeremiah 31:34-47 tells us why it is so important to understand who is Israel.

“And no longer shall they teach, each one his neighbor, and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know YHVH,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares YHVH. “For I shall forgive their crookedness, and remember their sin no more. Thus said YHVH, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the laws of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, and its waves roar – YHVH of hosts is His Name: ‘If these laws vanish from before Me,” declares YHVH, “then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Thus said YHVH, “If the heavens above could be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I would also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,” declares YHVH.

The reason this is the starting point is because Shavuot is the time we celebrate the giving of the Torah. There are MANY lessons and themes to glean from this harvest festival, but the main even that took place on the very first Shavuot at Mt. Sinai was the giving of the Torah to Israel.

Who is Israel?
So back to our original question. It’s very important to understand who Israel is because the Torah is for all of Israel. If you asked five different people this question, you would probably get about 7 different answers. So we won’t ask people’s opinions…we’ll just go straight to the Word of God.

Exodus 19:3-8 tells us that if we obey YHVH’s commands then we will be His treasured possession.

“And Moses went up to God and YHVH called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say to the house Jacob and declare to the children of Israel: ’You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. And now, if you diligently obey My voice and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the people – for all the earth is Mine – and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Israel.” And Moses came and called for the elders of the people and set before them all these words which YHVH commanded them.  And all the people answered together and said, “All that YHVH has spoken we shall do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to YHVH.

We can conclude from this scripture that ALL those who obey His commands (Torah) will be His treasured possession.

Leviticus 24:22 says, “You are to have one right-ruling for the stranger and the native-born, for I am YHVH your God.”

Even Yeshua taught that the Torah/Old Testament pointed the world to Him:

“For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, since He wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?” John 5:46-47

And again in Matthew 5:13-19

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned?   For it is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and to be trodden down by men. You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand and it shines to all those in the house. Let you light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens. Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you , till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of the heavens.”

Some would say that these Laws are only for the Jews or for Israel, but we, as believers, know that we have been grafted into the House of Israel.

Romans 11:24-27 speaks of this grafting into the olive tree.

“For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this secret, brother, lest you should be wise in your own estimation, that hardening in part has come over Israel, until the completeness of the gentiles has come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, as it has been written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion and He shall turn away wickedness from Jacob and this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

These verses tell us we must be grafted into the house of Israel; not replace Israel but join ourselves to them and be a part of Israel. How can we be grafted into the house and think the rules don’t apply to us?

Our attitude should instead be like that of Ruth.

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you, or to go back from following after you. For wherever you go, I go; and wherever you stop over, I stop over. Your people is my people, and your Elohim is my Elohim. Where you die, I die, and there I shall be buried. YHVH do so to me, and more also – for death itself parts you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

When we choose to follow after God with all our hearts and with all our soul and with all our strength, that means leaving our old ways behind and adopting HIS WAYS. We should never make God conform to our ways but instead, we should conform to His ways.

Ephesians 2:17-22 confirms that we are all ONE house in Messiah Yeshua.

And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near. Because through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Yeshua Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in YHVH, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.

Who is to Obey Torah?
Most Christians say Torah is not for them but only for the Jews. In reality, the Jews are only 1 of 12 tribes that make up the whole House of Israel. They come from the tribe of Judah, but throughout the exiles and diasporas, the term “Jew” has become a catch all for anyone who once belonged to the House of Israel. So to say that Torah is only for the Jews, it still leaves out the other 11 tribes of Israel. But that’s a whole separate article.

The truth is that the Torah is for all those who come under the covering of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for all those who are grafted into the House of YHVH; all those who, like Ruth, joined herself to the House of Israel.

Why is the Torah so important? Torah tells us what sin is. Without Torah, we have no way to know what sin is, and conversely, what pleases our Father. Let me make this clear: obeying Torah is not trying to earn salvation, but rather it is the fruit and evidence of our salvation.

I have often tried to figure out what the big deal is about Torah and why people are so against obedience to it. After all, it is God’s Word and I thought we all agreed that we are to live, walk, and obey God’s Word? So what’s the problem? The only thing I have been able to come up with, is that we are taught to be wary, skeptical, suspicious, and distrustful of “Torah” because we don’t understand it. We are told that it is dangerous; that it leads to legalism, and it somehow negates the faith of our salvation. But if that’s the case, why even keep it in our Bibles? Why not just get rid of the entire “Old Testament”, start the Bible at the Book of Matthew, and just be done with it? It doesn’t apply to the majority of Christians anyway, right?

Wrong. Torah has become so unfamiliar to us that we steer clear of it altogether; it’s the fear of the unknown. But that’s the problem…it’s not supposed to be unknown. We should know the Word of God and have it hidden in our hearts. The Word of God should be so much a part of us that it becomes the very essence of who we are.

Growing up in the church, some of the very first verses I learned were,

“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 and

“I will hide Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Why is Torah So Important?
So why would the enemy of our salvation want to keep us as far from Torah as possible? Because Torah tells us what sin is. Without Torah, we become lawless – literally….one translation of “Torah” is “law.”  If we are lawless, we cannot draw near to YHVH.

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. 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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

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, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:41-43

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4

Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:28

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12

I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. Romans 6:19

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions. Hebrews 1:9

I encourage you to look up these scriptures and read them for yourselves; don’t just take my word for it. And don’t just read these verses, read the other verses surrounding these ones to give you more context and understanding.

Remember, the Torah is for all those who live under the covering of YHVH, the God of Israel; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Torah is for all of Israel…even the wild branches that have been grafted into the natural olive tree.

Our natural inclination of the flesh is to avoid the law and do what we want. Our flesh doesn’t like being told what to do; we don’t want rules and boundaries. But what YHVH asks of us is that we submit ourselves to obedience to His Word and His desires. Just as a wife submits herself to her husband out of love and respect, so we too, as the Bride of Messiah, must also submit ourselves to our loving, faithful Bridegroom.

This is part 1 of 5 in the Shavuot series.

Ban Bossy, Susana Martinez, Jews to Register in Ukraine, Blood Moons, Emptying Our Alabaster Jars and Preparing Our Oil

The Myth of Easter and the Redemption of Passover

It’s that time of year again! Spring is upon us and the flowers are blooming, folks are coming out of their winter hibernation, and the sun-filled days last a little longer. Everywhere you turn people are anxious with spring fever! This is also the time when people pull out the bunny decorations, dye Easter eggs, and wish each other a “Happy Easter!” But where is the connection between chocolate, bunnies, colored eggs, and the resurrection of our Messiah? I know I’m going to step on a lot of toes with what I’m about to say but I encourage you to read this to the end before you make your decision.   

Have you ever wondered what bunnies and chocolate and dyed eggs have to do with the resurrection of our Messiah? Seriously, take a minute and think about the connection. < pauses to think> Come up with anything? Don’t feel too bad….neither could I.

The reason we couldn’t come up with a connection between the “symbols” of Easter and Messiah’s resurrection is because…there aren’t any. You see, while these symbols have become a staple of spring time and the modern Christian holiday of Easter, that wasn’t always the case. They were originally the images of the pagan festival of Ishtar (pronounced “easter”). Chocolate is the only exception here…hopefully there is no pagan association with chocolate!!! But other symbols such as hot cross buns, the “sunrise service”, searching for dyed eggs, and the traditional Easter ham are all associated with ancient pagan traditions.

In fact, there are numerous pagan fertility celebrations of death and resurrection with which these icons were associated. For instance, the Babylonians worshipped Tammuz and Ishtar. The Phrygians (modern day Turkey) worshipped Attis and Cybele. The Phoenicians and Greeks worshipped Adonis and Astarte. The Egyptians worshipped Osiris and Isis. The Canaanites worshipped Baal and Ashtoreth. This Canaanite system of worship eventually seeped into Israel which resulted in the splitting of the nation of Israel and the eventual diaspora/captivity of both nations. Similarly, the Anglo-Saxons worshipped Eostre or Ostara. These are just a few of the different gods and goddesses that tell the same pagan story of fertility celebrations of death and resurrection that have pervaded history…and infiltrated modern Christianity.

The Legend/Myth
Let’s go through the basic story together. We’ll use the story of Tammuz and Ishtar (again, pronounced “easter”). As we go through the ancient myth, I will put emphasis on elements that we might recognize as part of our modern-day worship or that will be important later. Also, keep in mind that another name for Ishtar is Ashtarte.

The story begins with Nimrod, a man-god in ancient Babylon. Genesis 10:8-10 tells us of Nimrod, “And Kush brought forth Nimroḏ, he began to be a mighty one (i.e. “god”) on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before YHVH, therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimroḏ the mighty hunter before YHVH.’ And the beginning of his reign was Baḇel, and Ereḵ, and Akkaḏ, and Kalnĕh, in the land of Shin‛ar.”

According to legend, Nimrod married his mother Ishtar, the fertility goddess of ancient Babylon known as the Mother of God” and the Queen of Heaven, whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. Ishtar claimed she had been miraculously conceived and that she came to earth in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River, which came to be known as “Ishtar’s egg.”

One day, Nimrod was killed and his body was cut up and sent to various parts of his kingdom. Ishtar claimed that he had ascended to the sun and was now to be called “Baal,” the sun god. She also claimed that he would take the form of fire when used in worship. At the time of the spring equinox, Ishtar “miraculously” became pregnant by the rays of the sun (her husband, Nimrod, reincarnated) and gave birth to a son she named Tammuz.

Tammuz was eventually killed by a wild pig and Ishtar told the people that he had ascended to his father, the sun. Ishtar also claimed that some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred in Babylonian worship. Ishtar proclaimed that a period of mourning for Tammuz must occur before the anniversary of his death. During this time of mourning, people were to refrain from eating meat, meditate on the mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, make the “T” sign of Tammuz in front of their hearts as they worshiped, and they also made sacred cakes with the “T” on top. The “T” sign of Tammuz eventually evolved into a cross-like symbol.

In order to bring Tammuz back from the dead, legend says that Ishtar (who, by the way, had married her son Tammuz by this point) descended into the underworld and had to pass through the seven gates of Hades. At each gate, Ishtar had to remove one symbol of her power, either clothes or jewelry, until she stood at the last gate completely naked. Once the Queen of Heaven humbled herself before her sister, the Queen of Hades, she is plagued over her entire body. She is then sent back through the gates of Hades, picking up her items along the way. The Queen of Hades then tells Ishtar that she has ransomed her husband-son and that Tammuz can return for 6 months out of the year to her, but that he must return to Hades for the other 6 months.

Every year, on the first Sunday (sun worship, remember?) after the first full moon of the spring equinox, a celebration was made to celebrate Tammuz’s resurrection or rebirth. At this celebration, a pig was eaten to remind them the pig had killed Tammuz. Tammuz’s death is usually commemorated at the time of his birth on December 21, the time of the winter solstice. There is a connection to Christmas here but I think our hands are full enough for right now. We will discuss this connection as the Christmas season approaches.

How Did This Happen?!
Ok…do I still have you? These pagan myths get extremely confusing and convoluted very quickly! That is why it is so important to remember that YHVH never changes and He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” I encourage you to do some research on your own about this topic. However, be aware that when dealing with ancient myths about gods and goddesses, there are usually several versions of the story where the main theme stays the same but some minor details might change.

So how did all this paganism infiltrate early Christianity? The Roman Catholic Church had a practice of incorporating pagan festivals and symbolism, replacing them with “Christian” names, and then calling them “Christian.” This was done to make Christianity more palatable and familiar to heathen worshippers, whom the Church was trying to attract.

It can now be better understood why the apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians to beware of the subtle deceit of “another Yeshua whom we have not preached.” He said,

“But I am afraid, lest, as the serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Messiah. For, indeed, if he who is coming proclaims another Yeshua, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different Good News which you have not accepted, you put up with it well enough!” — II Corinthians 11:4

So the question is now, do the pagan roots of our modern worship really matter? The answer is “YES!”

Why is This Important?
Now that we understand the pagan ritual and myth associated with Ishtar and Tammuz, let’s take a look at some scriptures where the pagan festival of Ishtar (again, pronounced “easter”) is explicitly condemned. Again, keep in mind Ashtarte/Ashtaroth is another name for Ishtar.

“Then the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of YHVH, and served Baal, and forsook YHVH Elohim of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and went after other mighty ones, of the mighty ones of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them, and provoked YHVH. So they forsook YHVH and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the displeasure of YHVH burned against Israel. Therefore He gave them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them. And He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, and they were unable to stand before their enemies any longer.” – Judges 2:11-14

“The children are gathering wood, the fathers are lighting the fire, and the women are kneading their dough, to make cakes for the queen of the heavens, and to pour out drink offerings to other mighty ones, to provoke Me…But this word I did command them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I shall be your Elohim, and you be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it be well with you.’ But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the counsels, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.” – Jeremiah 7:18, 23-24

“And He said to me, ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each one in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘YHVH does not see us, YHVH has forsaken the land.’ And He said to me, ‘You are to see still greater abominations which they are doing.’ And He brought me to the door of the north gate of the House of YHVH, and I saw women sitting there, weeping for Tammuz. Then He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? You are to see still greater abominations than these.’ And He brought me into the inner court of the House of YHVH. And there, at the door of the Temple of YHVH, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the Temple of YHVH and their faces toward the east, and they were bowing themselves eastward to the sun. And He said to me, ‘Have you seen, O son of man? Is it a small matter to the house of Judah to do the abominations which they have done here? For they have filled the land with violence, and turn back to provoke Me. And see, they are putting the branch to My nose. Therefore I shall indeed deal in wrath. My eye shall not pardon nor would I spare. And they shall cry in My ears with a loud voice, but I shall not hear them.’” – Ezekiel 8:12-18

Do We Need to Change Our Ways?
I know that this might seem like a drastic change or that I’m suggesting to abandon the celebration of our Messiah. But please, hear the Father’s heart on this. I am certainly not suggesting that we no longer celebrate the victory of our Messiah on Calvary. I am, however, saying that it is time to repent and turn away from our wicked ways.

 “and if My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I shall hear from the heavens, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

Now that we know the truth, it is our responsibility to make a choice about how we will live our lives. We can no longer live unaware of the truth. For far too long we have been erroneously taught that the pagan roots don’t matter; that somehow these things YHVH calls evil have been redeemed and are a worthy offering to bring before Him. That we can go on living life and worshipping God our way. NO MORE!

The time has come to repent and draw near to YHVH! To leave our wicked ways behind us and RUN towards His glorious face! He is waiting for us with open arms, if only we would repent and humble ourselves and turn from the wicked ways of the world. Yes, it’s true that we have been lied to and deceived, but now we know the truth. Don’t let your stiff neck keep you from receiving the blessings YHVH so desperately wants to bestow upon you! Don’t miss everything He has planned for you.

“Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohim now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, having given proof of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” – Acts 17: 30-31

The time is now. The time has come to rise up and be the Bride of Messiah! He is looking for a spotless Bride; one who has not tarnished herself with the evil of this world. A Bride who has humbled herself and can admit she was wrong. That is the mark of a strong, warrior Bride; someone who is not so prideful that they refuse to correct their wrong and begin to walk a new path.

But we never walk alone, especially when we walk the path of YHVH. He is always with us; teaching us, correcting us, encouraging us. People may not understand your decision. But it’s not people you must stand before on Judgment Day. It is not people who will say “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” We do not seek to please man, but, rather, we seek to please our heavenly Father who has so graciously given us His instructions that we may live a life pleasing to Him.

Passover…It’s Not Just for the Jews
The story of Passover is one of repentance, restoration, and forgiveness. It begins in the book of Exodus with Moses going before Pharaoh with a message from YHVH: “Let My people go!” Pharaoh refuses and the ten plagues are sent on the land of Egypt. What most people don’t realize is that the ten plagues had several purposes. Not only did they each attack an Egyptian god, but they also served as signs to the Hebrews. Click here to read my notes on the Exodus story.

You see, for four hundred years, the Hebrews had lived in the midst of the Egyptians. They had been so steeped in the pagan traditions they didn’t even know who YHVH was! Don’t we find ourselves in a similar situation? We too have been so steeped in a pagan culture that we don’t even know who YHVH truly is. If we did, we would know that YHVH does not desire these pagan ways but, instead, desires we live our life according to His Torah. So, in order to introduce Himself to the Hebrews, He sent the plagues on the Egyptians. Let’s not push YHVH to the point of sending plagues on our “host nation” ok? Perhaps we should just humble ourselves now instead of making Him humble us.

As the Hebrews fled from Pharaoh, they didn’t have enough time to let their bread rise so they instead ate unleavened bread. When Pharaoh chased after them, YHVH parted the waters of the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea) and swallowed up their adversaries. You see, when we turn from our wicked ways and obey the voice of YHVH, as the children of Israel did when they covered the door to their homes with the blood of the lamb, YHVH fights for us! He hears our cry and never leaves us defenseless!

After all this takes place, the children of Israel begin their 40 years in the desert until they eventually enter the Promised Land of Israel! They are redeemed from the hand of the enemy and from the pagan ways that kept them in bondage. But the story doesn’t end there.

You see, fast forward to the time of Yeshua and you can see the Passover story of redemption, restoration, and forgiveness continuing. But it’s not really a “new” story, but rather, another layer or a continuation of the one started all those years ago in Egypt. It is here that we see the fullness of YHVH’s plan being accomplished.

Yeshua, the blameless, spotless Lamb came to earth and was our Passover sacrifice so that we could be restored to our Heavenly Father. He redeemed us from a life apart from Him and from the man-made laws that keep us in bondage. The Torah of YHVH is not man-made but God-breathed. The man-made laws are the additions and subtractions made to this perfect, life-giving Torah that can still be seen today. On one side of the aisle we see rabbis that tell us there are many more laws we must keep and obey. On the other side, we see pastors that tell us we no longer have any laws to keep. Both are wrong. Both are sin. And both keep us from understanding the simple truth of YHVH:

“See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, in that I am commanding you today to love YHVH your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and YHVH your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess. Choose life, that you and your children may live and not die!” — Deuteronomy 30:19

Passover is not just for the Jews. It is for all the children of God who seek to live in His house and live a life that is pleasing to Him. The Jews are only 1 of 12 tribes that make up Israel. The complete 12 tribes are made up of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah (the Jews), Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph (Manassah & Ephraim), and Benjamin.

The Bible speaks of being “grafted in” to the House of God. Have you ever taken time to think about what that really means? It doesn’t mean that we are automatically in some spiritual House of God. It literally means we become a child of Israel. Only a son/daughter will receive the blessing of the father. Only the heir will inherit from the father…to him who has ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit is saying. If we do not consider ourselves part of Israel, we are not a legitimate child and we have no claim on an inheritance.

“And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them, and came to share the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. And if you boast, remember: you do not bear the root, but the root bears you!” – Romans 11:17-18

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim, and if children, also heirs – legitimate heirs of Elohim, and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we also be exalted together.” – Romans 8:16-17

So How Do I Keep Passover?
Each of YHVH’s feasts has a theme or a message for us. Let’s take a look at some of the themes of Passover.

During Passover, which lasts 7 days, we are not to eat of leavened bread. Leaven and leavening agents symbolize pride which puffs up (leavening is what “puffs up” bread). So for him who has ears to hear, we rid our homes of leaven for these seven days and we also take time to rid our hearts of any pride that may be hiding. Everything that is done in the physical must also be done in the spiritual. If there is no spiritual application, then it simply becomes a ritual and we know that the “Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

At our Passover Seders, we recount the miracle of the first Passover and how YHVH brought out our forefathers with a “mighty hand and an outstretched arm!” In the same way, we ask YHVH to reveal any “spiritual Egypts” in which we may still be living in bondage. Remember, Passover is a season of miracles and redemption. If there are any areas of your life that you are struggling to be free in, this is the time to petition YHVH to free you! Of course, you can be free any time but this is the special season in which He has chosen to reveal His redemption.

His redemption also came in the form of Yeshua. We celebrate and praise Him for sending Yeshua our Messiah to be the Passover lamb whose blood covers us and keeps the angel of death away from our lives. We thank YHVH for providing His lamb and praise Him for the miracles He has done in the lives of those who have gone before us and in our own lives as well.

Passover, like all the feasts of YHVH, is a time to be with family and friends. It is a time to reflect on the miracles YHVH has done and is doing in our lives. It is a time to remove pride, which so easily ensnares, from our lives and families. It is a time to do some spring cleaning in our homes and hearts. It is a time to be free from the things that keep us in bondage. We are a free people! We are not meant to live in bondage!

It is a time to celebrate and praise YHVH for His miracles that bring about our repentance, restoration, and forgiveness. It is a season of redemption!

“And when these matters begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” – Luke 21:28

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and guard what is written in it, for the time is near.” – Revelation 1:3

 

Just a Few References:

  • http://rcg.org/books/ttooe.html
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edit., Vol. 8
  • The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, p. 6
  • Albert Henry Newman, D.D., LL.D., A Manual of Church History
  • Will Durant, Story of Civilization
  • Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs
  • James Bonwick, Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought
  • A. Nock, Early Gentile Christianity and its Hellenistic Background
  • Bill Cloud, Shoreshim Ministries, “http://www.billcloud.com/”>http://www.billcloud.com/

The 10 Plagues of Egypt

The notes in this post come from the Torah portions Va’era and Bo found in Exodus 6:1-13:16.

The story of Passover is one of repentance, restoration, and forgiveness. It begins in the book of Exodus with Moses going before Pharaoh with a message from YHVH: “Let My people go!” When Pharaoh refuses, the ten plagues are sent on the land of Egypt.

For four hundred years, the Hebrews had lived in the midst of the Egyptians. They had been so steeped in the pagan traditions they didn’t even know who YHVH was! Don’t we find ourselves in a similar situation? We too have been so steeped in a pagan culture that we don’t even know who YHVH truly is. If we did, we would know that YHVH does not desire these pagan ways but, instead, desires we live our lives according to His Torah. So, in order to introduce Himself to the Hebrews, He sent the plagues on the Egyptians. Let’s not push YHVH to the point of sending plagues on our “host nation” ok? Perhaps we should just humble ourselves now instead of making Him humble us.

Click here to read “The Myth of Easter and the Redemption of Passover.”

Burning Bush

YHVH uses established/ordinary things in our environment and makes them miraculous by His hand and power;

  • this is what we call a “modern day parable”; don’t disregard every day things that YHVH is using to teach you a lesson or reveal Himself; you see it operating under normal circumstances then to one day see it under extraordinary circumstances makes it more meaningful/miraculous to us
  • Moses; nothing special about Him until YHVH goes with him; just like us, there is nothing special until YHVH fills us up and uses us for His purpose
  • YHVH uses ordinary things to show His glory; that’s even more miraculous because to us these are common things we see every day so when YHVH gets a hold of something/someone you would not expect to be holy, it’s even more of a miracle

 4 Layers to the 10 Plagues

  1. Scientific perspective; a chain of events was triggered by one occurrence
  2. The grouping of three sets of three
  3. Each as an attack on Egyptian gods
  4. Signs to the Hebrews; YHVH revealing/teaching the Hebrews & Egyptians who He really was since neither group really knew Him

3 Sets of Plagues

  • 1st set: to show who YHVH was (Exodus 5:2; Pharaoh said he didn’t know YHVH)
  • 2nd set: to show the uniqueness of YHVH among the Egyptian gods
  • 3rd set: to show the supreme nature of YHVH in all the earth
  • each begins with a public message/spiritual lesson to be learned
  • followed by a private warning in the palace
  • ended with another plague that has no warning/message attached

Set #1: “That you will know that I am YHVH” (Exodus 7:17)

1. Blood Dam  דם

  • the Nile was worshiped as a deity
  • “measure for measure”; retribution for the Hebrew blood that had been spilled
  • makes all water unusable for bathing or drinking and causes smell of dead fish; this would have robbed the Egyptians of peace and comfort
  • Hatmehit: fish goddess; originally a deification of the Nile River

2. Frogs Tsephardeda  צפרדע

  • land stank and made living uncomfortable; no sleep allowed because their beds were also invaded
  • the frog was considered the deification of the goddess Heqet, the wife of the creator of the world and the goddess of birth
  • Heqet was most commonly shown with the head of a frog and body of a woman. Egyptian women wore amulets and scarabs with the image of Heqet to protect them during childbirth. Again, retribution for the death of so many Hebrew babies
  • frogs were so sacred in Egypt that even the involuntary slaughter of one was often punishable by death

3. Gnats/Lice Kinim  כינים

  • irritating and carry disease and bite constantly; bites would have caused itching/irritation of skin
  • the lice originated from the dust of the earth
  • the Egyptian magicians recognized this as “the finger of God” that even the dust of the earth obeyed His command
  • the Egyptians worshiped Ged (or Geb), the earth god
  • his laughter was thought to cause earthquakes and he allowed crops to grow
  • associated with vegetation, land, and the underworld
  • sometimes described as “father of snakes”
  • sometimes depicted as jackal-headed and rising from the ground to bind and punish enemies

Set #2: “I AM YHVH in the midst of the land” (Exodus 8:22)

4. Swarms/Mixture Arov  ערוב

  • there is some debate about what the 4th plague actually was; Rashi, Rabbi Yehudah and others believed this plague was a swarm of wild animals. However, Rabbi Nechemiah believed this plague was a swarm of insects
  • if a swarm of insects, then they would have picked at food, laid eggs in food, and caused disease; again, allowing no rest for the Egyptians
  • this plague may have been targeting the Canaanite god “the lord of the flies” or “lord of the high place/high lord” baal zevuv which may have evolved later into Beelzebub

5. Livestock Pestilence  דבר

  • flies and gnats carrying disease from dead fish and frogs; killed sacred animals and food sources
  • the god Apis was represented as a bull
  • Apis was the most important of all the sacred animals worshiped in Egypt
  • connection to crops, herds, fertility, resurrection, and Pharaoh’s strength and fertility
  • only animal to be worshiped as only an animal; versus half human half animal

6. Boils Shchin  שחין

  • soot; is it like the drinking of ashes to determine if a woman had been unfaithful?
  • the first plague to harm the physical bodies of the Egyptians
  • “measure for measure” the Egyptians had harmed and mistreated the bodies of the Hebrews, so too would they be harmed
  • Thoth, the Egyptian god credited with inventing medicine among many other arts and sciences, was unable to cure the boils; depicted with head of either an ibis (bird) or baboon
  • Nefertem god of healing and beauty; originally a water lily; son of the sky god and earth goddess; would mature to be Ra; Egyptians carried a small statue of him as a good luck charm

Set #3: “There is none like Me in all the earth” (Exodus 9:14)

7. Hail Barad  ברד

  • destroys people, animals, crops, land and green things (9:25)
  • combined fire and ice
  • referred to as “all my plagues” in the biblical text equating it to all the others combined
  • Pharaoh says this time I have sinned; what does that show us?
  • flax and barely struck but wheat and spelt not struck; YHVH’s mercy for those Egyptians who did fear the word of YHVH or perhaps to show us the time of year this was happening?
  • Egyptian goddess Nut, goddess of the sky who covers the earth; she was called “she who bore all the gods” and “she who protects Ra” (the sun god) and “she who holds a thousand souls”
  • Tefnut, goddess of moisture and rain; mother of Nut (goddess of the sky); depicted many ways: a lioness with female body, female only, a serpent, or lion headed serpent

8. Locust (Many) Arbeh  ארבה

  • destroyed what hail did not
  • covered the land so no one could even see the land
  • ate every green tree (10:5); filled houses of Egyptians (10:6); would have been very demoralizing
  • the god Nepri (god of grain) could not help
  • Nepri was most often a suckling child; representing sustenance; also called “one who lives after dying”

9. Darkness Hosek  חושך

  • Ra, Egyptian sun god
  • associated with hawk or falcon; thought to rule the sky, earth, and underworld
  • the cult of the Mnevis bull, thought to be the embodiment of Ra; thought to be the creator of all beings by speaking their secret names; humans were formed from tears and sweat and then called themselves “cattle of Ra”
  • there was even a special burial ground for sacrificed bulls of this cult
  • Ra sent his eye (the all seeing eye) in the form of Sekhmet (lioness; warrior goddess of healing) to punish the humans

The final plague brought a true change in Pharaoh shown by his statement Veirakhtem Gam-Oti “And bring blessing on me too!” This shows that Pharaoh finally knew YHVH, saw the uniqueness of YHVH compared to Egyptian gods, and recognized the supreme nature of YHVH. Pharaoh now understood that he too needed to be blessed by YHVH but that the congregation of Israel had such a special relationship with YHVH that their prayers for him would much more effective than his own.

This change in Pharaoh was also necessary and beneficial for the children of Israel. They had been steeped in Egyptian culture for 400 years that to see Pharaoh (a self-proclaimed god) and the other Egyptian gods rendered helpless against YHVH made them more confident in trusting YHVH to lead them out and to make YHVH their only God.

10. Death of the Firstborn Bekor (Firstborn) Makot (Plague)  מכת  בכורות

  • Exodus 12:12 “against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am YHVH”
  • Min: the god of procreation
  • Isis: the goddess of fertility
  • Selket: the guardian of life
  • Renenutet: cobra-goddess who was the guardian of Pharaoh
  • Bastet or Bast: protector of the pharaoh and solar goddess; depicted as a lioness or cat
  • also makes retribution for the killing of Hebrew children

To recap, the plagues have several main things in common:

  • They target an Egyptian god/important part of Egyptian life and culture
  • They allowed no rest, peace, comfort or sense of safety for Egyptians (warfare tactic)
  • They served as signs to both the Hebrews and Egyptians

Are there any areas in your life where you feel you are constantly attacked? If so, why are you being attacked in that area? Is it because you’ve made that area more important than YHVH or because you need strengthening in that area?

APD Protests, Kobe Bryant, How to Tell Time According to YHVH (Passover pt 2)

Click here to read “Happy New Year: YHVH’s Timetable”

Click here to read “Happy New Year: 5775”

Happy New Year: 5775

In my last post, I talked about YHVH’s timetable and how the Biblical New Year has begun! In this post, I would like to tell you a little bit about what we can expect from this coming year. The information from this post comes from the Hebrew numerology system called gematria.  This system assigns numerical value to letters in a word. Hebrew is a very intricate language. Along with having numbers assigned to each letter, there are also word pictures that correspond to each letter. So when you put the numbers and the word pictures together, you get a fuller picture of the word, or in our case the year, that you are studying.

Now that the new moon has been spotted and the month of Aviv/Nisan has begun, we have entered into the Biblical year 5775. Below is the gematria for this year. At the very bottom is the summary of the numbers and the word pictures.

50: faith, grace & mercy, ten times over

7: completeness; spiritual perfection

70: completeness; spiritual perfection, ten times over

5: faith, grace & mercy

“Complete completeness and spiritual perfection through faith, grace & mercy, ten times over.”

 

נ (nun): sprout; continue, heir, offspring, to continue

ז (zayin): weapon; to cut off, to cut

ע (ayin): eye; to see, know or experience

ה (he): man with raised arms; to look, reveal, breath

“The heir that continues despite the weapon that tries to cut off and keep the heir from knowing or experiencing completeness by being the man with raised arms.”

This is a year where the heir will reach the goal and YHVH’s plan for completeness only through complete surrender and worship. This is a year for praise and worship of our Father YHVH; of El Elyon (The MOST HIGH GOD). This is a year for spiritual victory. It is the fifth year in the decade and marks the half-way point. It is a year of faith, grace and mercy where YHVH gives us a respite from the battles and turmoil before we prepare to reengage with the enemy and finish the race set before us. It is a year to rest and regroup.

Just like the above picture, “The Winds of Change are Blowing!” Get ready to feel the Spirit move!

Happy New Year: YHVH’s Timetable

Yes, I said “Happy New Year!” And no, I’m not 4 months behind. According to the Biblical timetable laid out for us in the Torah, the month of Nisan (which usually falls in the March/April period of time) begins the New Year! Leviticus 23:4-6 tells us,

“These are the appointed times of YHVH, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to YHVH. And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to YHVH – seven days you eat unleavened bread.”

According to YHVH’s timetable, Passover will begin on April 14, 2014 this year and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the 15th of April because the new moon was spotted March 31, 2014. The focus of this post is not Passover, but rather, the new year…although you can’t talk about one without the other. I will be talking more about Passover in the coming weeks as we get closer to it.

For right now, let’s focus on the New Year. There seems to be conflicting guidance from “Jewish” and “Messianic” sources about when the New Year actually begins. According to both secular and Orthodox Jews, there are up to 4 new years in one year! This is just crazy! Although, if you fail at your new years’ resolution, no need to worry! There’s sure to be another new year right around the corner so you can start over!

Keep in mind that as we go through the Biblical timetable, I will be using the Hebrew names for these months as designated in the Word and will do my best to name the corresponding English month as well.

The first two “new years” I will go through, are lesser known and less commonly “celebrated” in the traditional sense of the word. The first “new year” is 15 Shevat (January/February). This is said to be the new year of trees and separating your fruits for tithing. The second “new year” is 1 Elul (August/September) and is the new year of tithing cattle. The month of Elul is very significant in YHVH’s calendar and we will be discussing this more as we approach this important month.

The third “new year” is where the bulk of the argument about the real New Year comes in. 1 Tishrei (September/October) is the civil new year of Israel. However, 1 Nisan (March/April) is the month designated by YHVH to be the first month. You see, this distorts a very important feast in YHVH’s timetable: Yom Teruach or the Feast of Trumpets.

I will be talking more about Yom Teruach as we approach this appointed time in September/October, but I’ll give you an idea of why this feast is so important. In Biblical times, and even still today, Yom Teruach was nicknamed “the day and the hour which no man knows.” This is because in order to know when this feast begins, the sliver of the new moon must be spotted. Once the new moon sliver is spotted, the Feast of Trumpets immediately begins. While YHVH’s entire timetable is based on the lunar cycle, the other feasts usually begin several days after the new moon is spotted. However, the Feasts of Trumpets is the only one that begins the moment the new moon is spotted. Hence the nickname “the day and the hour which no man knows.”

So when Yeshua said, “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away. But concerning that day and the hour no one knows, not even the messengers of the heavens, but My Father only. And as the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be,” He was referencing this particular feast…the Feast of Trumpets. There is more to this scripture and the reference to the days of Noah but we can save that for another day.

You can see how this could get confusing, right??? Well, there is definitely a reason for all the confusion.

You see, in Leviticus 23, YHVH lays out his timetable, which include His feasts or His moedim. The Hebrew word moedim can be translated as “feasts, celebrations, or holidays.” But perhaps the most accurate and descriptive translation is “appointed times.” You see, the feasts of YHVH are the appointed times that He has laid aside in order to meet with us. When the King of the Universe says He wants to meet with you, you don’t want to miss it or turn it down. Would you turn down an invitation to the White House? Well….with the political climate the way it is some of you might very well indeed turn down a visit to the White House, but you catch my drift.

My point is that YHVH, our God and King, has said that He wants to meet with us on these days at these times. Why would we turn it down? Simply because we weren’t taught this way of living? Because it goes against our theology? Because it challenges everything we have been taught and believed to this point? So what! Let it go! Would you really miss an opportunity to meet with YHVH because of your stiff neck and your pride? I hope not. Because let me fill you in on the real reason there is so much confusion surrounding the beginning of the new year and YHVH’s timetable in general.

Habakkuk 2:3 tells us that the end time vision seen by Habakkuk is at an appointed time or moedim. It will take time but we are to patiently wait until it is fulfilled.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, and it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it lingers, wait for it, for it shall certainly come, it shall not delay.”

Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that YHVH established the sun, moon, and stars to be signs that point us toward the appointed times.

 “And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so. And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.”

As we see from these two passages, the moedim or feasts of YHVH are the timetable that YHVH uses. If this is the timetable YHVH uses, that means that all prophetic visions and end time events are dictated by the feasts of YHVH. If you read any verses about end times prophecy and you have an understanding of the feasts of YHVH, a lot of the “mystery” and “unknown” is taken out and it begins to make a whole lot more sense. Go figure!

So we can see why the enemy would have such an interest in keeping us in the dark about these feasts, the heavenly signs, and YHVH’s timetable in general. Daniel 7:25 tells us that the spirit of the anti-Messiah is to change these appointed times and to keep us forever lost to their meaning.

“and it [the anti-Messiah/beast] speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.”

Think about it. If the people of God are kept in confusion and deceit about when these things will take place, how much easier is it for him to catch us off guard and unprepared? How much easier is it for him to defeat us? Fortunately, we know the end of the story and we know that he is not victorious but that YHVH emerges triumphant and His kingdom is established on earth. This means that there are those who hear the word, repent, and return to the ways of YHVH! So to those who have ears to hear and a heart to understand: the time is now to repent and return to the ways of YHVH! Happy New Year 5775!

Justina Pelletier, Sharia Law in UK, Russia, Blood Red Moons (Passover pt1)

 

This week, I am including my Torah Tidbit notes for the blood moons prophecy portion since it was a lot of information and I didn’t get to all of it. If you have any questions, please send me an email or find me on Facebook.

TORAH TIDBITS

Passover: The Hebrew feast day commemorating the Lamb Sacrifice in Exodus where the Angel of Death passed over Israel while the firstborn in Egypt were slain. It also is the same day the Lord Yeshua (Jesus Christ), our lamb sacrifice for sins, was crucified.

Sukkot (Tabernacles): The feast of Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day of Yom Kippur. It is a joyous feast day while Yom Kippur is one of the most solemn of feast days. Sukkot is a feast day with a festival atmosphere. It marks a season of rejoicing. Sukkot means booths and refers to temporary dwelling places the Jews gather into during this holiday. Most Christian Scholars believe the “Feast of Sukkot” is the feast for the 2nd Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ when he returns with his saints on white horses at Armageddon.

Tetrad: 4 total lunar eclipses that happen back-to-back on the Biblical Feasts of Passover and Sukkot

What is a blood moon and why is it important?

Although single blood moons happen fairly regularly, four appearing so closely together is extremely rare. There have only been a series of blood moons a handful of times over the past 500 years.

So what exactly is a blood moon and what is the biblical significance?

A blood moon is when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon. And the sun is shining through the atmosphere of the Earth and casts up on the moon a red shadow. And so the moon appears to be red.

Such moons appear several times in scripture.

In the book of Joel, God says there will be “wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire…the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

In Acts, the Apostle Peter repeats that verse from Joel. And the book of Revelation says that during the Great Tribulation, “the moon will become like blood.”

Blood moons are set to appear in April 2014, on Passover, and then again in September 2014 during the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.

The timing is the same for 2015 — a total of four blood moons, all appearing on Jewish feast days.

The sun, moon, and stars as signs to YHVH’s people

Genesis 1:14-19

14 And Elohim (God) said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years,

15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so.

16 And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars.

17 And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.

19 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.

Four, blood moons on Jewish Feast days within two years in Israel is very rare and has only occurred seven times since the time of Yeshua. There are now four blood moons scheduled to appear in 2014/2015 and then there will NOT be any for the next 100 years.

Every time a blood moon pattern has appeared on Jewish feast days a big event affects the nation of Israel. The event affecting Israel begins just before the actual years of the blood moons. To understand what will happen in the 2014 – 2015 “blood moons” you must understand the pattern of blood moons in the past.

According to NASA – Four blood-red total lunar eclipses will fall again on Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015… the same back-to-back occurrences at the time of 1492, 1948 and 1967.

Historical Significance

1493 – 1494 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and the Feast of Trumpets Holidays. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain ordered all Jewish people to leave the country.

1949 – 1950 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in during the 1st Arab – Israeli War for Independence just after Israel had become a nation again for the first time in 2,000 years.

1967 – 1968 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in coinciding with the 6 Day War when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. As Israel’s neighbors prepared to destroy the Jewish state, Israel invoked its inherent right of self-defense, launching a preemptive strike (5 June 1967) against Egypt in the South.

At the end of six days of fighting, Jerusalem, which had been divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule since 1949, was reunified under Israel’s authority.

2014 – 2015 The coming Blood Moons of … These four TOTAL lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses WILL occur on the Jewish holidays of “Passover,” the “Feast of Tabernacles” and the “Feast of Trumpets.”

This is the only “tetrad” in the near future that aligns itself with the Jewish holidays. One should make mention here that there are other “tetrads” occurring as well. The difference between these “tetrads” and the 2014 – 2015 “tetrad” is that this “tetrad” aligns with the Jewish holidays and the others DO NOT!

Putting everything into perspective… 

Mark 13:24 – 46: “But in those days the sun shall be darkened (eclipse) and the moon shall not give its light (eclipse) then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples what would be the signs of the end of the age and some of them involved signs in the heavens he closes commanding them to ‘watch’ 4 times. To be a “Watcher, and observe what is happening in the heavens” relating to the Last Day, when “unusual signs” are seen in the heavens we watch, pray and record.

Matthew 24:29 – I encourage you to read this entire chapter

15 “So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’spoken of by Daniel the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand –

16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

29 “And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

30 “And then the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem.

31 “And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near.

33 “So you also, when you see all these, know that He is near, at the doors.

Luke 21:36

36“Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to endure all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Adam.”

Yeshua spoke those words after He warned us of many of the events that will happen in the end times. They are especially relevant to us today when we consider current headlines are now fulfilling Bible prophecy at an absolutely amazing rate — which is setting the stage for more ominous events to happen at any time. The signs are sometimes obvious, such as rumblings in the Middle East, economic turmoil, shifts in geopolitical policy, earthquakes, signs from heaven, and more. At other times, the clues are more subtle, yet equally astounding to those who know Bible prophecy.

Joel 2:10, 27-32

10 The earth shall tremble before them, the heavens shall shake. Sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars withdraw their brightness.

27 “And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am YHVH your Elohim and there is no one else. And My people shall never be put to shame.

28 “And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.

29 “And also on the male servants and on the female servants I shall pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I shall give signs in the heavens and upon the earth: blood and fire and columns of smoke,

31 the sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of YHVH.

32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of YHVH shall be delivered. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be an escape as YHVH has said, and among the survivors whom YHVH calls.

Acts 2:16-20

Peter says,

16 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days, says Elohim, that I shall pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,

18 and also on My male servants and on My female servants I shall pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.

19 ‘And I shall show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

20 ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of YHVH.

21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of YHVH shall be saved.’

This passage says there will be a blood moon before the day that the Lord comes. Since it says that the sun will be darkened, we know the blood moon referred to can’t be caused by an eclipse, because it is physically impossible for a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse to occur simultaneously. However, a large fiery comet impact that puts dust in the atmosphere is indicated as being the cause of both the darkened sun and the moon being reddened, since “fire” and “smoke” is mentioned.

Revelation 6:12-14

12 And I looked when He opened the sixth seal and saw a great earthquake came to be. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

13 And the stars of the heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs, being shaken by a strong wind.

14 And heaven departed like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

The above does not mean that the Second Coming of Yeshua at Tabernacles has to occur in 2015. But, what the above taken as a whole does show a pattern. The “1493 tetrad”… is tied to the Spanish Government expelling the Jews. The “1949 tetrad” is the nation Israel being reborn” and the “1967 tetrad” is the recapture of Jerusalem. The coming “2014 tetrad”… will be tied to some major event dealing with Israel. We believe that the “tetrad” of 2014 through 2015 will have something to do with Israel for the start. The blood moons show a pattern of Jewish persecution… and then new land for Israel after a time of war!

This means that the blood moons of 2014 – 2015 will be a time of war or persecution for the Jewish people. This may Lead Israel to gain and/or loose land during this time.

It cannot be regarded as coincidence that all four blood moons of 2014/15 occur on religious festivals of Israel, together with two eclipses of the sun also on important days in 2015. A blood moon will occur on Passover 2014. Nisan is the first month in Israel’s religious calendar. On the 15th day of the seventh month (Tishri) when the Feast of Tabernacles begins (Leviticus 23:34) there will be another blood moon.

Exactly the same pattern will be repeated in 2015. Because of Israel’s lunar calendar these dates all coincide with the full moon – on these occasions the moon will become blood-red. Apart from the lunar eclipses there will also be two eclipses of the sun in 2015… on the first day of Nisan and again on the first day of Tishri.

The eclipses of the sun and moon confront us with precise dates which cannot be manipulate! Nevertheless, these signs should not be seen as an attempt to date-setting for the Second Coming of Messiah but rather as a wake-up call to be ready for what may happen in the near future. Now is not the time to lapse into spiritual slumber like the Matthew 25 foolish virgins.

 

A Sabbath Prayer: A Quiet Pool

“Quiet Pool” is from Frances J. Roberts’ book Come Away My Beloved. God has been showing me these past few weeks that I need to lay aside my worries, fears, doubts, questions, and anything else that keeps me from Him and His perfect peace…His shalom. This is really a great devotion any day but I thought it was especially perfect for ShabbatI pray this Sabbath you will enter into His rest. Enjoy and be blessed!

Wait upon Me.

Let your life be as a deep, quiet pool. Let your heart rest in My hand as a bird in a nest. Let your eyes be still. Let your hands be free. For then I shall fill all your vision, and then I shall take your hands into Mine and My power shall flow forth into you.

If you would only make yourself a place apart, yes, removed from the pressure and turmoil, and there I will meet you. Yes, I wait for your coming. For I long to pour out My blessings upon You, and I long to give you My fullness. Only be still before Me. Never let the toils and cares of the day rob you of this sweet fellowship with Me.

For I know what you need, and I am concerned about your duties and responsibilities. You will find your cares vanish, and your load is lightened by an unseen hand. I would have you bring Me your love, and even as you are bringing Me your love, I shall in turn bring to you My power, so that I work for you in a twofold measure.

I will give you the power to discharge your duties with greater efficiency. I am actively engaged in working for you in ways you cannot see, to make your path clear, and to bring about things you could never accomplish, and which would otherwise absorb your energies and wear out your patience.

So I say again…Rest in Me. Wait upon Me. Come apart with Me. Seek My face. Seek My fellowship.

O YHVH, what shame that You should need to beg us thus! Better that others might find us unavailable because of our occupation with You, rather than for us to be so slow to come, so dull to hear, so cold of heart, so indolent of soul.

O God, spare us Your wrath! Do not let Your anger be kindled against us. Let us ask only one thing more, and do not turn away.

Grant this one prayer more, O YHVH, that You would give us all that is lacking in us; intensify our hunger and fire our devotion; take the indifference from our spirits; and have within us Your wonderful way and perfect will, O YHVH, we pray. Amen