Revelation Chapter 1 – Unveiling Yeshua

“This is the revelation which God gave to Yeshua the Messiah, so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan [John], who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, as much as he saw. Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!” (Revelation 1:1-3). 

The word ‘revelation’ in this passage means something ‘hidden’ is being ‘revealed.’  I like to think of the ‘revelation’ in this book as the ‘unveiling of Yeshua’ at the end of days.  Yochanan had the distinct privilege of seeing this unveiling and writing it down with his unique understanding of the ‘days, times, and seasons’ as well as the history of his own people.

The book of Revelation begins with Yochanon on an island called Patmos.  He had been exiled from Roman-controlled Palestine (Isra’el) because of his testimony to the Word of Elohim and his faith in Yeshua of Nazareth as the Messiah of Isra’el.  As he prepares to leave this world for the world to come, he an encounter with Yeshua.  This encounter takes him to the last days of this present world, the Millennial Kingdom, and into the new heavens and earth.  It must have been comforting for him to see the prophecies of the ancients being fulfilled.   It must have been an honor to be given the privilege of writing down the ‘unveiling’ of Yeshua for those who would live in the ‘Day of the Lord.’

A Blessing

Revelation often instills fear in its readers because it has some disturbing and confusing imagery.  Yet, Yeshua does not want anyone to be afraid to read what Yochanan wrote. A blessing is promised for reading, hearing and obeying the words of this prophecy.   Imagine the blessing from actually understanding the prophetic words in its cultural context and original language will bring!  Because I want to be as authentic as possible, I will use Hebrew words and names throughout my study.  This helped me to keep the Scriptures in their original perspective; I pray it adds a new dimension to your study too.  I also enjoy using the meanings behind the original Hebrew letters to form a Hebrew Word Picture of a word that gives a little different view of the word.  

The Hebrew word for blessing is barak and means ‘to kneel.’  There is also a nuance to barak that means ‘to bring a gift.’  So, when we read and obey the words of this prophecy, we are effectively kneeling and receiving a gift from the Creator of the Universe, our Heavenly Father. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Blessing – baruck – ברך

Bet is a ‘house’ and means ‘home or family’

Resh is a ‘head’ and means ‘authority’

Kaf is an ‘open hand’ and means to ‘open’

BaruchFamily authority [the Father] opens [the way for a gift]

The Hebrew word ashrei is actually used in this passage for ‘blessed’  and means ‘happy, blessed, praiseworthy.’  With this knowledge, why wouldn’t anyone want to read and obey the words of ‘the unveiling’ and be worthy of praise?

Happy – ashrei – אשרי

Alef is an ‘ox’ and means ‘first or strong’

Shin is a ‘tooth’ and means ‘consume’ and may represent the Skekinah of Elohim, His divine presence

Resh is a ‘head’ and means ‘authority’

Yod is a ‘closed hand’ and means ‘finished work

AshreiThe first, strong consumes the authority is a finished work

The Greeting

The greeting of this letter is from Yochanan who is writing to the seven Messianic communities in Asia.  With specific descriptions and numerous Scriptural witnesses, he makes clear the revelation is not from him, but from Messiah Yeshua and the Father.

He bears witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah.  These two witnesses describe those who are sanctified, made holy by Elohim.  These are the two characteristics that describe God’s people in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12.  It is the people who obey Word of God and have a testimony of Yeshua who will need to persevere through the events found in Revelation. 

The Hebrew for ‘Word of God’ is dvar Elohim. Dvar can refer to a written word, a spoken word or even a thing.  In the beginning, Elohim ‘spoke’ a dvar and the heavens and earth were brought into existence.  His dvarim (Deuteronomy)were written down by Moshe as commandments.   The dvar that was with Elohim and the essence of Elohim in the beginningtook on flesh in the person of Yeshua  who fully lived out the dvar of his Father (John 1:1-2, 14, Colossians 1:15). 

A testimony is defined as a ‘formal written or spoken statement, especially in a court of law.’  Yochanan wants those who read, hear and obey what is in his vision to understand this is his testimony, his word of truth – dvar emet – presented to him by Yeshua.

Glorified Described

“Grace and shalom to you from the One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings” (Revelation 1:4-5).

Within the first verse of the greeting is the Hebrew word chesed meaning ‘lovingkindness’translated as ‘grace.’  Shalom is an interesting Hebrew word that means more than just ‘peace.’  In its Hebrew Word Picture it means “the destruction of the One who causes chaos.”

Hebrew Word Pictures

Peace – shalom – שלום

Shin is a ‘tooth’ and means ‘consuming’

Lamed is a ‘shepherd’s staff’ and means ‘leader prods’

Vav is a ‘nail’ and means ‘to bind’

Mem is ‘water’ and means ‘chaos

Sshalom – The consuming of the leader prodding and bound to chaos

From the beginning in Genesis, there has been the promise of the ‘seed of woman’ destroying the one who deceived the world into sin.  The entire book of Revelation reveals Elohim’s judgment on the world and His final reckoning with the Adversary – the one who has caused all of the chaos throughout the history of the world.

The Seven-fold Spirit of Elohim

The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ is ruach and means ‘wind’ or ‘breath.’ Ruach is found in Genesis 1:1 when the ruach elohim – ‘breath of Elohim – hovered over the waters. The Hebrew phrase actually uses the word for ‘brooded’ as one would see a hen brooding or incubating her eggs before they are born.

“The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God – ruach elohim – hovered over the surface of the water” (Genesis 1:2).

In the Gan Eden (Garden of Eden), Adam and Chavah (Eve) walked in the ‘cool of the evening.’ which properly translated from the Hebrew is they ‘walked in the wind of the day.’ In other words, they walked in the ‘breath’ of Elohim basking in His presence. (Note: even the Complete Jewish Bible mistranslates hayom which means ‘day’ not evening. Haerev would be ‘evening.’)

“They heard the voice of Adonai, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, so the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Adonai, God, among the trees in the garden” (Genesis 3:8).

When Elohim created the animals and Adom, he put a ‘spirit’ within them. This ‘spirit’ is an animal spirit called a nefesh that lives by instinct and flesh desires. It is not a ‘spirit’ that seeks its Creator. It doesn’t have personal awareness nor does it have the ability to reason. It just exists in the physical realm. This nefesh gains knowledge from its flesh voice and the voices of men. This ‘spirit’ is what drives men to the sins of ‘lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life.’ This is the man Sha’ul (Paul) refers to as ‘the old man’ who is hostile to Elohim and whose life ends in death.

When Elohim breathed the ‘breath’ of life into Adam, it was His ‘breath,’ his ‘holy wind’ or the Ruach haKodesh. This ‘breath of life’ spirit is called the neshama. It seeks a relationship with its Creator. The neshama is self-aware and seeks spiritual nourishment ‘like the deer pants for living water.’ This neshama gains wisdom from listening to the voice of Elohim. Sadly, for Adam and Chavah and all mankind, they sinned against Elohim by listening to their fleshly desires and lost the ability to ‘hear’ His voice carried on the wind.

“Adam, the first man, became a living human being; but the last “Adam” [Yeshua] has become a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

“The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai— he will be inspired by fearing Adonai” (Isaiah 11:2).  

Halleluyah, there is a ‘last Adam’ or the begotten Son of Elohim. He was conceived through the ‘breath’ of Elohim and born into this physical world. However, because of the ‘holy wind’ in his neshama, he listened only to His Father’s voice. He had the blessing of the Ruach haKodesh rest on him in its fullness of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and reverence for Elohim.

“Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death — death on a stake as a criminal! Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).

This ‘last Adam,’ Yeshua, left his heavenly position and became a human being. He humbled himself to the point of having to die like a criminal. But now, he is risen and exalted above all other places and given a name above every name. Through his faithfulness, the Ruach haKodesh was poured out so that those who trust in him and are born again of ‘the wind’ and water may have the blessing to hear the voice of their Creator again.

Faithful Witness

Yeshua is the faithful witness to the hope of the coming Kingdom.  In Jeremiah 42:5, the children of Isra’el claim that whatever Elohim tells them to do, they will do.  If they don’t, He will be the faithful witness against them.  This time of judgment is also known as the ‘time of Jacob’s Trouble.’   It is during this ‘trouble’ that the faithful witness will judge his own people for their disobedience, but also deliver them through it.  

“How dreadful that day will be! — there has never been one like it: a time of trouble for Ya’akov [Jacob], but out of it he will be saved” (Jeremiah 30:7). 

Firstborn from the Dead

This is an allusion to the Feast of Firstfruits and the hope of the resurrection. As Sha’ul told the Corinthians, Yeshua was the firstfruits of those raised from the dead.  As there is a firstfruits resurrection, there will be two other resurrections – one of the redeemed and the second of all the dead (Revelation 20:5,12).  

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died…. But each [person] in his own order: the Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming… (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). 

“Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence” (Daniel 12:2). 

Ruler Over Kings

Yeshua is the ruler of earth’s kings.  At his death, Yeshua was given the title ‘King of the Jews,’ but when he returns to set up his eternal Kingdom, he will be King of kings and King over all the earth.

“Then Adonai will be king over the whole world. On that day Adonai will be the only one, and his name will be the only name” (Zechariah 14:9). 

“Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, Isaiah 45:23). 

“Then the culmination, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after having put an end to every rulership, yes, to every authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24). 

The Deliverer

The message of deliverance through Yeshua is one of love, being freed from the bondage of sin through his righteous life and sacrificial blood.  Even more is his call to be born again into his Kingdom as a priest for his Father.  As part of this royal priesthood, we give glory to the one who rules forever.  

“To him, the one who loves us, who has freed us from our sins at the cost of his blood, who has caused us to be a kingdom, that is, cohanim [priesthood] for God, his Father — to him be the glory and the rulership forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:4-6).

“In turn Adonai is agreeing today that you are his own unique treasure, as he promised you; that you are to observe all his mitzvot [commandments]; and that he will raise you high above all the nations he has made, in praise, reputation and glory; and that, as he said, you will be a holy people for Adonai your God” (Deuteronomy 26:18-19). 

“But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Priests – cohanim – כהנים

Kaf is an ‘open hand’ and means to ‘uncover’

Hey is a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal’

Nun is a ‘fish’ and means ‘life’

Yod is a ‘closed hand’ and means ‘finished work’

Mem is ‘water’ and means ‘chaos’

Cohanim – Uncover and reveal the life that finishes the work of chaos

A Vision of Return

Look! He is coming with the clouds!  Every eye will see him including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” (Revelation 1:7).  

Yochanan quotes both the prophets Daniel and Zechariah who describe the return of Messiah.  He puts them into the context of the end times vision of the unveiling of Yeshua.

“I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence” (Daniel 7:13). 

“And I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son; they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son” (Zechariah 12:10).  

The prophecy in Zechariah is an allusion to Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.  It is on this ‘appointed time’ in the future when Yeshua returns in the clouds that all of ‘veiled’ Isra’el will mourn for the one they pierced.  Also at that time, the prophecy that all Isra’el will be saved will culminate (Romans 11:26).   These quotes from the prophets give a specific time for coming events.  

The Day of the Lord

“I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet …”(Revelation 1:10). 

This verse stumbles many people’s eschatology because of a misunderstanding of the ‘Day of the Lord.’ Many interpret this phrase to mean that on the ‘first day of the week,’ Sunday, Yochanan was in the Spirit.  However, this idea comes from years of catholic theology that changed the ‘Sabbath to Sunday‘ and made the ‘first day of the week’ into ‘the Lord’s Day.’   

If the ‘Day of the Lord’ was a specific day of the week, it would be the Sabbath as Yeshua himself said he was “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).  If‘The Lord’s Day’ was any day that Yeshua is Lord, then it would have to be the seventh and not the first.    

Yochanan was a Jew and well-versed in Hebrew and Aramaic; in fact, he wrote his vision in Aramaic which was translated to Greek.  To him the phrase en teé juriake´heem´ra, translated ‘the Lord’s Day,’ was a time period spoken of by the prophets or the time from when Elohim’s judgment of earth and mankind begins and continues through the 1000-year reign of King Messiah (2 Peter 3:8).  Accordingly, the ‘Day of the Lord’ is not a ‘day’ on which someone should wish anyone a “Good Lord’s Day” or “Happy Day of the Lord.”

“Oh no! The Day! The Day of Adonai is upon us! As destruction from Shaddai it is coming!” (Joel 1:15). 

Woe to you who want the Day of Adonai! Why do you want it, this Day of Adonai? It is darkness, not light” (Amos 5:18). 

Howl! for the Day of Adonai is at hand, destruction coming from Shaddai…. Here comes the Day of Adonai, full of cruelty, rage and hot fury, to desolate the earth and destroy the sinners in it.” (Isaiah 13:6,9). 

The ‘Appointed Time’

The ‘appointed seasons’ or mo’edim were created by Elohim on the fourth day of Creation with the sun, moon and stars governing the times.   The ‘seasons’ were given ‘appointed times’ explained in Leviticus 23.   All of the spring mo’edim were fulfilled by Yeshua on the exact day and time as outlined in the Feasts of the Lord.  The next ‘appointed time’ needing to be fulfilled is the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah.  

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar” (Leviticus 23:23-24). 

Yom Teruah is a holy gathering or mikra which means ‘rehearsal.’ It is to be announced with blasts on the shofar as a day for remembering,  but what is to be remembered is not mentioned.  In other words, the ‘appointed time’ of Yom Teruah is for remembering something that will happen in the future that has not happened before. 

The voice-sound of the shofar implies the vision given to Yochanan begins on the Feast of Trumpets as Yeshua’s way to prepare his people spiritually for the coming ‘Days of Awe.’  The ten ‘Days of Awe’ are a time of repentance and preparing oneself to stand before the throne of Elohim on the final ‘day’ when books are opened, every personal deed is revealed, and final judgment is rendered on the Day of Atonement.  

“A stream of fire flowed from his presence; thousands and thousands ministered to him, millions and millions stood before him. Then the court was convened, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10). 

“And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done” (Revelation 20:12)

The Beginning and the End

“I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’” says Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is, who was and who is coming” (Revelation 1:8).

This is another verse that translators change from Aramaic/Hebrew into Greek.  Again, it not only messes with understanding the beginning from the end, it takes away a unique part of the Hebrew Scriptures that unveil Yeshua in practically each sentence.

The two letters that begin and end the Hebrew alphabet are the Alef and the Tav – את.  These two letters create a small world, ‘et’ that is found throughout the Bible.  Some give it a grammatical meaning as a noun modifier, but in general it has no specific meaning.  

Look at Genesis 1:1 in the Hebrew read right to left:

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמימ ואת הארץ

Transliterated: Beresheet bara elohim et hashamayim vet haeretz.

Notice the two-letter word ‘et’ or the aleph and the tav? This is what Yeshua is referring to in Revelation 1:8.  He is  the ‘alef and the tav’ that is found between the first words in Genesis and between 1000s of words in the Hebrew Scriptures.  By saying he is the alef and the tav, he is revealing himself in every page of the Bible.  He is saying he is the beginning and the end of everything from Genesis through Revelation.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Et – את  

Alef is an ‘ox’ and means ‘first and strong’

Tav is a ‘crossed sticks’ and means ‘sign’

את – The first, strong sign

Many suggest that the first sign is the cross because of the ‘crossed sticks’ in the ancient letter of Tav.  However, I believe there is more to the et than just the cross.  It is the beginning and the end, the creation of the universe to the re-creation of the universe.  It is also connected with the “God of heaven’s armies’ of which Yeshua is the Commander in Chief.  I believe that the words ‘alef and tav’ in this instance is the ‘first strong sign’ of Yeshua’s revealing will include his arrival with his heavenly armies.  

Menorahs

“I saw seven gold menorahs; and among the menorahs was someone like a Son of Man …” (Revelation 1:12)

Yeshua is standing among seven gold menorahs.  The Amplified Version and New International says ‘seven golden lampstands.’  The King James Version says ‘seven golden candlesticks.’   Though ‘lampstand’ could be an acceptable translation for menorah, candlesticks is a stretch.  

The Golden Menorah created for the Tabernacle and placed in the Temple was made of pure gold.  It was filled with pure olive oil, not candles.  It was designed from what was in heaven and shown to Moshe on the mountain.  The Golden Menorah was made through divine intervention and has become synonymous with Isra’el and the Jewish people.   In the first century, these Asian congregations would have been comprised of Jews and non-Jews.  Translating the word ‘menorah’ into ‘candlestick’ is just one subtle way to separate the Jewishness of the message from the message. 

According to Yeshua, the seven gold menorahs represent the seven congregations that will receive a message from the angel or messenger of that congregation. Each of the seven congregation shines as a menorah into the darkness of the world.  Seven is the number of completion symbolizing that the revelation given to Yochanan will happen as prophesied and is complete.  

The Appearance of Yeshua

Yeshua was “wearing a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest.His head and hair were as white as snow-white wool, his eyes like a fiery flame, his feet like burnished brass refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of rushing waters.In his right hand he held seven stars, out of his mouth went a sharp double-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength” (Revelation 1:13-16).

His Hair

Wool was used with hyssop to sprinkle blood on the children of Isra’el and the Torah when Moshe instituted Elohim’s covenant with Isra’el in the wilderness.  Wool and linen are not to be blended together in a garment.

Wool comes from lambs. How appropriate for the Lamb of God to have wool-like hair! Wool could also be symbolic of being cleansed from sin by the Lamb. Having a head and hair white as snow-white wool could also be the evidence that Yeshua overcame sin and death so that our scarlet crimson garments could also turn white as snow and wool.  

White represents purity and being undefiled. Only a pure and undefiled person is righteous enough to lay down their life and become an atonement for the corrupt and unholy. White also represents being worthy and only Yeshua is worthy of such a righteous act.

“White hair is a crown of honor obtained by righteous living” (Proverbs 16:31).

His Eyes

Yeshua has ‘eyes like a fiery flame.’ In Hebrew the word for fire is esh and means ‘flashing or blazing.’ Yeshua’s eyes blaze and flash. Perhaps ‘fiery eyes’ suggest that in his glorified state, Yeshua refines the heart and minds of his people with just one look.

“I have made you a refiner and tester of my people, to know and test how they behave” (Jeremiah 6:27). 

“But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like the soapmaker’s lye” (Malachi 3:2).

“For Adonai your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24). 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Fire – אש – esh

Alef is an ‘ox’ and means ‘first and strength’

Shin is a ‘tooth’ and means ‘consumes’

Esh – The first and strength consumes

His Feet

Yeshua’s feet were like “burnished brass refined in a furnace.”  For me this is two-fold.  First, Yeshua as a man went through the refining furnace of suffering until he died on the cross.  His suffering taught him obedience.  If we seek to be like him, our sufferings should also bring obedience to the Word of Elohim.  

“Even though he was the Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings” (Hebrews 5:8).

Second, I see Yeshua becoming ‘burnished bronze’ from standing in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abedigo in Babylon, from standing with any of his people when they go through the fiery furnace of suffering for righteousness sake.  Just like the three young men in the furnace came through the suffering and lived, they attained a type of resurrection of the dead.

“Yes, I gave it all up in order to know him, that is, to know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings as I am being conformed to his death, so that somehow I might arrive at being resurrected from the dead” (Philippians 3:10).  

His Voice

His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. According to King David, the sound of rushing waters is evidence of the power and splendor of El Elyon (God Most High).

“The voice of Adonai is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, Adonai over rushing waters, the voice of Adonai in power, the voice of Adonai in splendor” (Psalm 29:3-4). 

“More than the sound of rushing waters or the mighty breakers of the sea, Adonai on high is mighty” (Psalm 93:4). 

Out of Yeshua’s mouth comes a double-edged sword. This is the living Word of Elohim being used to divide the soul and spirit.  It is being used to judge iniquity in the heart of the inner man.  

“See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4;12). 

Prophets and Yeshua

Daniel had many dreams and visions while living in Babylon and he wrote them down as commanded.  One vision included seeing the Ancient of Days seated on his throne.

“His clothing was white as snow, the hair on his head was like pure wool” (Daniel 7:9).

Ezekiel had a vision of the throne of Elohim.  Above a throne that appeared to be a sapphire, appeared a person. 

“Gleaming, amber-colored fire radiated from what appeared to be his waist upward.  Downward from what appeared to be his waist, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all around him.  This brilliance around him looked like a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day” (Ezekiel 1:27-28). 

Yeshua takes Kefa (Peter), Ya’akov (James) and Yochanan to a mountain where he meets with Moshe and Elijah.  He is transformed into glory for those few moments and “his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2). 

This would be the second time Yochanan sees Yeshua in his glory with a shining face and white clothing. The first time he, Kefa and Ya’akov saw Yeshua’s glory, they believed the Millennial Kingdom had arrived and it was the ‘appointed time’ for the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This time, however, he falls down at Yeshua’s feet like a dead man. 

The Living One

“Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, but look! — I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol [Hades]”(Revelation 1:18-19). 

Spiritual death came to mankind ‘in the beginning’ when Adam sinned and was forced out of Eden.  Physical death accompanied spiritual death though not immediately.   Because of Adam, every human born into this world is spiritually dead and separated from Elohim.  It is only through Yeshua that the relationship between man and his Creator are restored.  And, it can only be restored because Yeshua died, conquered death and  remains alive forever and ever.

“Should I ransom them from the power of Sh’ol? Should I redeem them from death? Where are your plagues, death; where is your destruction, Sh’ol?” (Hosea 13:14).   

“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin; and sin draws its power from the Torah; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). 

Because he paid the wage of sin and death for us and then overcame death, Yeshua holds the keys to Death and Sh’ol or Hades.  Hades can refer to the powers of evil that Yeshua had to contend with.  Along with being a god of the underworld, Hades motive of operation was Death and a place of darkness where the unrighteous are taken.  This place is described in Scripture as the ‘outer darkness’ where there is ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“He will guard the steps of his faithful, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. For it is not by strength that a person prevails…” (1 Samuel 2:9). 

Moreover, I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west to take their places at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven with Avraham, Yitz’chak [Isaac] and Ya‘akov. But those born for the Kingdom will be thrown outside in the dark, where people will wail and grind their teeth!” (Matthew 8:11-12). 

“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark!’ In that place people will wail and grind their teeth…” (Matthew 22:13). 

“You will cry and grind your teeth when you see Avraham, Yitz’chak [Isaac], Ya‘akov and all the prophets inside the Kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown outside” (Luke 13:28).

What or where is ‘outer darkness?’ Specifically, it is complete separation from Elohim. In the beginning, Elohim said, “Let there be light.” There was light and the light was good.  He also separated the light from the darkness.  This suggests there is still a place of ‘outer darkness’ in the created realm for those who utterly reject the Creator and the way He provided to enter into and remain in His Light.  

“The wicked plots against the righteous and grinds his teeth at him…” (Psalm 37:12). 

“With ungodly mocking and grimacing, they grind their teeth at me. (Psalm 35:16). 

“On hearing these things, they were cut to their hearts and ground their teeth at him” (Acts 7:54). 

“Weeping and gnashing of teeth” is an idiom that brings forth the idea of anger and severe pain brought on by regret.  It will become the end and eternal result of people who heard the truth of salvation and mocked it, had the Word of Truth and rejected it, or even were taught the commandments of Elohim and willingly chose to disobey and rationalize their disobedience.  The unrighteous, wicked, lawless will weep and gnash their teeth at the righteous who obtained eternal life rather than eternal death in the lake of fire. 

Death and Sh’ol

Yeshua holds the keys to Death and Hades.  Keys are essential to opening and closing doors or gates, but also understanding the ‘key’ is crucial to discerning the door or gate.  

Caesarea Phillipi was known for its immoral pagan practices.  It was filled with shrines and idols erected to fertility gods and goddesses.   Near the city was a cave known as the “Gates of Hades” or the “Gates of Hell.”  It was believed that fertility gods and goddesses like Astarte (Easter) would go into this cave and sleep through the winter.  In springtime, pagans would hold ceremonies to encourage the gods to ‘come back to life,’ or resurrect themselves. 

It was in this pagan city near the cave that Yeshua asked his disciples who they believed he was.  Kefa confessed that he believed Yeshua is the Messiah of Isra’el, the Son of Elohim.  Kefa’s confession of faith also included the hope of resurrection since he knew about the beliefs  of the pagan people within this city.  In order for there to be a true resurrection, Death and Sh’ol would have to be defeated.  Yeshua responded to Kefa, 

“How blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven. I also tell you this: you are Kefa,” [which means ‘Rock,’] “and on this rock [of faith] I will build my Community, and the gates of Sh’ol will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:16-18).

Write a Record

Yochanan is commanded to write down everything he sees both in the present and in the future.  Yeshua also reveals the ‘mystery’ of the seven stars and seven menorahs.  The seven stars are the seven messengers to the congregations in Asia minor; the seven menorahs represent each of the Congregations: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. 

Revelation 2 – Community of Ephesus

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Are You Hesitant?

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft (pharmakia), hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

In Greek, pharmakia is the word for ‘sorcery’ and from where we get the word ‘pharmacy.’  Sorcerers used drugs to take people into an altered state of mind.  The modern-day sorcerer is a pharmacist who sells ‘legal drugs.’  These drugs change our body’s chemical imbalances to even worse imbalances which is evidenced in television commercials where the taking of one drug brings on worse side effects than the original physical issue. There is evidence that  more people who take legalized anti-depressants kill themselves than people who do not. Some drugs, like marijuana, once illegal, but have become legal, are now causing serious mental health problems for those that overuse it (due to the lack of THC controls). The increase in sorcery or ‘pharmakia’ is a sign of the end times and last days before the return of King Messiah.

In the book of Leviticus, there is an ordinance regarding sorcerers and ‘spirit-mediums.’ This ordinance speaks about ‘fornicating’ with mediums and sorcerers. ‘Fornicating’ is the sin of spiritual adultery, idolatry with those who are practicing sorcery with legalized drugs.

“The person who turns to spirit-mediums and sorcerers to go fornicating after them – I will set myself against him and cut him off from his people. Therefore consecrate yourselves–you people must be holy, Because I am Adonai your God” (Leviticus 20:6-7).

According to the list of flesh activities in Galatians 5, one who is a sorcerer will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not a kingdom one goes to when they die, but the Kingdom of the world to come, the Kingdom of King Messiah, the Kingdom of Elohim Himself. For those who understand the serious reprecussions of ‘legal drugs’ and using them to modify the human body, hesitating with anything ‘shot’ into their body should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, for the ‘shot’ being promoted by not just pharmacies, but the governments around the world, the no-brainers are proving themselves as non-critical thinkers.

“I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders — I know this very well” (Psalm 139:14).

According to Scripture, each of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. This means that not only are we intricately made with the amazing eye or the ability to reproduce new humans from two tiny cells, but we also have been given an intricate immune system. This immune system has cells that will take any virus, fight it, kill it, remove it, and then remember it EVEN if it mutates! If that isn’t wonderful, what is? Those who truly put their faith in the God of Isra’el understand two things. One, their bodies produce greater immunity to everything thrown at their bodies on a daily basis than any vaccine can or ever will. Why do you think that every year there is another flu vaccine? Because the flu vaccine does not give a continued immunity to the flu! Someone isn’t an anti-vaxxer when they choose to use their own immune system that was given them by the Creator. It has proven itself superior to vaccines since Adam and Eve. Two, everyone dies. EVERYONE. Period. Death is a fact of life and no government leader or vaccine developer can stop death. Anyone can die from a virus as well as from the effects of the supposed ‘cure.’ Everyone dies from something!

Without going into details about the shot, it isn’t a vaccine. It should not even be called a ‘vaccine.’ It does nothing to ‘vaccinate’ anyone against the virus. All it does is make the person ‘asymptomatic’ while still passing the virus onto others. According to research done at the University of Florida, there was no ‘asymptomatic’ spread of the virus. None. It was purely a talking point to create fear in the masses (which is another subject). Now, however, there will be asymptomatic spread from those who chose to receive the shot to everyone and anyone. Of course, it be blamed on those who didn’t get the shot, but that is not the reality of this shot.

On a more deeper level, this shot does change the RNA of the human body. This technology has never been tried on humans before so everyone who pulls their sleeve up to receive this RNA-crown of slime becomes a test subject. EVERYONE. Yet, this isn’t the most dangerous part of this shot. The most dangerous part is that it is messing with the way God has created our bodies. It is changing the immune system in our bodies that was never meant to be changed. As biological warfare grows (and yes, this virus came from China), those who make billions from these shots will continue to make them, inject them, and take no responsibility for the side effects. As the human body receives more and more of these RNA deceptors in the body, no one knows exactly what will transpire in the future with the health of those who were injected. Those who do know, those who have studied this technology, world-renowned virologists, have been silenced and censored as conspiracy theorists! For reasons known only to those who buy and sell virus patents, ‘they’ don’t want anyone to know the whole truth AND they want this technology in every human on the planet. That should scare everyone, everywhere.

In every vaccine study, there has to be a control group, a group that is not given the test mixture. It is from this control group that virologists learn about the side effects of the drug or vaccine. Usually this is done for years and years before given to the public, but not this time due to ‘Operation Warp Speed.’

I choose to be part of the control group. I will wait to see what the long term effects will be – and some have not been so long term. There have been blood disorders, brain and heart issues, and death. It is being said that auto-immune diseases will also rise. I also know that being part of the control group will put me in the ‘vulnerable’ category: vulnerable to not being able to fly to visit my children, enter businesses, go to sporting events, and soon probably even to enter a grocery store.

The government’s way of dealing with people like me is a type of passport. Do you have your passport? No, you can’t come in here. No, you can’t eat here. No, you can’t live here. No. No. No. It seems that it’s nearing the time once again to wear an armband with a Yellow Star. Though we have cried out ‘Never Again,’ we are watching the foundation being poured for ‘Not Again.’ And, according to Biblical prophecy, the end times will not be history repeating itself; it will be something that has never come upon the world before.

©2021 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Against The Name, Anti-Semitism

From Burt Yellin, Messianic Rabbi, Roeh Isra’el, Denver.

In an ironic twist, Yerushalayim – the City of Peace – has seen much violence since the time of Melchi-Tzedic (Gn 14). This present violence (hamas in Hebrew) has increased the ocean of blood that has been spilt on that holy ground. My friend Elhanan lives in that Holy City of God, and has written some insightful words for us to ponder.

“WHAT IS ANTISEMITISM? A very ancient phenomenon has been given a new name in the 20th century: Anti-Semitism – hatred of the Jew – which culminated in the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust. It was that very destruction of millions of Jewish people because the were Jews that led to an international agreement to establish a national home for the Jews on their ancient homeland where they might defend their right to existence. But then with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, that phenomenon known as Anti-Semitism morphed into a new form: Anti-Israelism.

But what is Anti-Semitism? The word arises from the term Semite, which is actually Shemite, being a descendant of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah- Shem, Ham, and Yafet. The two latter names are Hebrew adjectives- Ham (hot), and Yafet (pretty or beautiful), only the name Shem [is] a noun, meaning ‘Name.’ It is through the line of Shem that would arise Abraham, Izaak and Jacob, and the tribes of Israel and Moses the lawgiver, and through the tribe of Judah would come King David and then his seed, Yeshua of Nazareth, called the Messiah, King of the Jews. The line of Shem (Name) would be those elected to carry and witness to the Name of the one Creator God, YHVH.

Anti-Israelism is alternately called anti-Zionism. ‘Zionism’ derives from the Hebrew word Zion (Tzion- ציון), which essentially means a mark, or a marked place. In the Torah it is written, “then it shall come to pass that to the place which YHVH your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there,…you shall seek YHVH at the place which YHVH your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come” (Deuteronomy 12:5,11). That marked place is Mount Zion, Jerusalem of the tribe and land of Judah. Judah, Yehuda in Hebrew-יהודה – is the only word that fully contains God’s name YHVH, plus one letter, ‘d’ (dalet). The term Jew arises from Judah, thus being ‘the people called by my Name,’ and Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, the King of the Jews, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the quintessential Jew who said, “Salvation is of the Jews” [John 4:22].

From its very inception and the creation of the State of Israel, Islam has been its greatest and most consistent opponent, waging numerous unsuccessful wars to annihilate the tiny Jewish nation, Islam being boasted as the final replacement for Judaism and Christianity, being founded much later, in the 7th century AD. To this day such organizations as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran vow the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population. ‘Hamas’ (who has fired over 800 missiles into Israel as I write) is the Hebrew word used to describe why God brought the flood in the days of Noah, meaning ‘violence, corruption, deceit.’ Genesis 6:11,13, “The earth is filled with violence (hamas).” The Muslim deity Allah of the Quran is the driving force behind all this (allah in Hebrew is ‘a curse’, as in Isaiah 24:6: “for the curse – allah – has devoured the earth.”

Thus the root of the term Anti-Semite is to be against the Name, literally to take a stand against the very Name of the Creator of the universe, and the Creator of Israel, the people He has chosen to bring His Law and His Messiah into the world, and to whom He has apportioned as their inheritance the Land of Israel. Therefore, the support of Zionism and the prophesied return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem after 2000 years is the correct and Biblical and Godly thing to do.

What is now termed anti-Semitism goes back long before the Nazis, can be found in the Amalekites and their descendant Haman in the book of Esther, in the invading Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans who crucified many Jews, including Jesus. It can also be found in the writings of some of the Christian church fathers, including the German Martin Luther, who wrote “The Jews and Their Lies” which became an inspiration for Hitler’s atrocities, all the way back to Chrysostom and the fathers of the Replacement Theology heresy, and the distancing of the Christian religion from its Jewish roots at the Nicaean Council in 325 AD.

Antisemitism, and racism as well, can be outlawed and discouraged, but that will not make it go away. In America, one may rise to the heights despite that kind of opposition, as did many Jews and Blacks, right up to the top. But few ever speak about the reverse racism of Blacks who despise Whites and especially Jews, Louis Farrakhan and the Black Muslims for example. All this will not end or be resolved until there is a deep and true understanding that we are all created in the image of G-d, and the knowledge of God covers the Earth, and we act thus upon that knowledge.

Elhanan 5-2021

The Stone Tablets

The Torah

Within the context of Exodus and Moshe’s meetings with Elohim on the mountain are a type and shadow of the unique covenant made with the people of Israel. The first covenant is written stony and is broken by sin while the same covenant on new stones brings forth the glory of Adonai.

When the Israelites were gathered at Mount Sinai, Adonai met with them. He spoke the Ten Words or Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. With the fire, the smoke and the blowing of the shofar, the people trembled in fear and asked that Moshe become their intercessor between them and yod hey vav hey. They feared for their lives.

In Exodus 24, Elohim invites Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the elders to come onto the mountain. While everyone bows before yod hey vav hey, Moshe alone is allowed to go higher and approach Elohim.

Before ascending the mountain, he sets up twelve stones to represent the twelve Tribes of Isra’el. He made burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings to El Shadai. Moshe took half of the blood and put it in basins, the other half he sprinkled on the altar. He read the book of the covenant promises and requirements of Adonai and the people responded and accepted the covenant – “Everything that Adonai has spoken we will do and obey.”

“Moshe took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which Adonai has made with you in accordance with all these words” (Exodus 24:8).

The Stone Torah

Adonai invites Moshe to come up higher on the mountain. Moshe ascends the mountain and enters the cloud that covered it and remains on the mountain for 40 days. Yod hey vav hey gives him two stone tablets on which are written His Torah, His teachings and instructions for the mixed multitude of Hebrews and Egyptians that He is forming into a nation.

“The glory of Adonai stayed on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moshe out of the cloud” (Exodus 24:16).

Moshe is given instructions for building the Tabernacle, creating garments for the priests and High Priest, consecrating the priesthood, making holy anointing oil, taking a census and keeping the Sabbath. When He is done, Adonai gives Moshe the two stone tablets. On both sides is the writing of yod hey vav hey, His Words engraved by His own Hand.

This first ascent to the mountain for the stone of testimony is symbolic of having a hard, stone heart toward the Torah. While Moshe is receiving the very written Words of yod hey vav hey, the Israelites are busy mixing the holiness of Adonai with the paganness of Egypt. Their ‘high priest’ is deceived into believing they can worship the God of Isra’el in their own way rather than waiting for His ‘intercessor’ and His instructions.

When Moshe comes down from the mountain, he finds the people worshiping a golden calf and indulging in revelry. Symbolic to the sin of breaking Torah, Moshe throws down the tablets and shatters them at the base of the mountain. He melts the golden calf in the fire, grounds it into powder, scatters it on the water, and makes the people drink it. He confronts Aharon who had been left in charge. He makes ridiculous excuses for his own sin which allowed the people to become rebellious.

The Torah is broken. The stony hearts of the people revealed. The desire for their own way of mixed worship brings death to 3000 people.

Moshe and the Rock

Moshe leaves the camp. He pitches his tent far away from the people of Isra’el and he alone has fellowship with yod hey vav hey. The cloud of Adonai’s presence descends and blocks the entrance to the tent. Yod hey vav hey speaks to Moshe ‘face to face’ as a man speaks to his friend.

Because of the intimate relationship Moshe has with Adonai, he requests to see His glory. Yod hey vav hey tells him to stand on ‘the rock.’ When the glory passes by, Adonai Himself puts Moshe in a crevice of ‘the rock’, covers him with His hand until He passes by.

Moshe meets Yeshua ‘the Rock.’ This is the Rock of salvation, the Rock that brings forth living water in the wilderness, the Rock of Isra’el’s defense against the enemies of Adonai, the eternal Rock.

“Adonai is alive! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted be the God of my salvation [Yeshua] …” (Psalm 18:46).

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4).

“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation [Yeshua]. He only is my rock and my salvation [Yeshua]; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:1-2).

“A Spirit-sent Rock which followed them, and that Rock was the Messiah” (1 Corinthians 10:4).

The Re-newed Torah

Adonai tells Moshe to cut two stone tablets like the first ones so that He can inscribe the Words that were on the first ones. Moshe ascends Mt. Sinai a second time with the two stone tablets in his hands.

Adonai descends in a cloud, stands with Moshe and pronounces His name, yod hey vav hey. He tells Moshe about His character, who He is. Moshe bows and prostrates himself on the ground and asks forgiveness for the sins of Isra’el.

“Merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in grace and truth; showing grace to the thousandth generation, forgiving offenses, crimes and sins; yet not exonerating the guilty, but causing the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 34:6-8).

Adonai makes a covenant in front of all the people and says they must obey what He orders them to do. This is a re-newal of the first covenant of Torah on new and different stones.

Adonai explains He is a jealous God and in order to keep His anger from busting out against them, they must destroy all symbols of pagan worship when they enter the Promised Land. He does not want them to be enticed, as they already were, to worship other gods using His name.

Though He reiterates the previous Torah on the new hewn stones, He highlights teachings and instructions that have prophetic vision for a renewed covenant. He reminds them of the importance of His Sabbath which is a vision of eternity. He tells them that the firstborn from the womb is His. He gives instructions about Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks which is a memorial to the giving of the Torah and will have significance in the days after Yeshua’s ascension with the Spirit. He speaks about the Festival of Ingathering which will be at the time of the end with the gathering of the nation of Isra’el back to the Promised Land. He tells them to meet with Him three times a year because He will be expanding their Land. He reminds them not to leave the Pesach sacrifice until morning or offer a blood sacrifice with leavened bread. They are to eat unleavened bread during the days of matzah and bring the best of the firstfruits into His House.

When Moshe came down from the mountain, there is no mention of the people rebelling in sin. They awaited his arrival. They were prepared to hear the Words from Adonai-Yeshua.

Moshe didn’t realize that the skin of his face was sending out rays of light from being in the presence of yod hey vav hey. The glory of Adonai was so bright that Aharon and the people of Isra’el were afraid to approach him. But, Moshe called to them and they came to him. He taught them everything yod hey vav hey had taught him on the mountain.

When he was finished reading the stones of testimony, Moshe put a veil over his face. When he met with yod hey vav hey, he removed the veil, but when he spoke with the Israelites, he covered his face again.

The second visit to the mountain brought a transference of yod hey vav hey’s holiness, His glory onto Moshe. This is like the heart of flesh that is filled with the Spirit of Adonai, the Ruach haKodesh. The presence of Adonai remained with Moshe because he had a circumcised, repentant, humble heart and was filled with the Spirit.

The people did not have this same heart. Throughout their journey through the wilderness, their hearts remained like stone. They needed their stony hearts changed to hearts of flesh. Only Caleb and Joshua had the same heart and Spirit as Moshe.

“Adonai said to Moshe, “Take Y’hoshua the son of Nun, a spiritual man, and lay your hand on him.” (Numbers 27:18).

“But my servant Kalev, because he had a different Spirit with him and has fully followed me — him I will bring into the land he entered, and it will belong to his descendants” (Numbers 14:24).

Forty years after the giving of the Torah, Moshe makes a promise to the children and grandchildren of those who left Egypt. Before they enter the Promised Land, he tells them Adonai will circumcise their hearts so they can obey all of His Torah. This alludes to the promise of the re-newed covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 and Ezekiel 36:24 that was instituted by Yeshua at his Pesach seder in Luke 22.

Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).

The fulfillment of the promise of circumcised hearts happened on Shavuot, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – the pouring out of the Spirit of Adonai. On that day, 3000 Jewish men had hearts that were stung with the message of Yeshua. They were brought into the Kingdom through the Ruach haKodesh.

Moshe had received the first Torah written on stone. It was broken through faithlessness and sin of the people and brought death. He set himself apart from the nation of Isra’el in order to meet with yod hey vav hey face to face. On the mountain, in the presence of Adonai, Moshe received the Spirit, the renewal of the Torah. This Torah was restored and Moshe’s own countenance revealed the glory of being in the presence of the Writer of the Word. It revealed the power of the Torah to change the heart and face to reflect the glory of Yeshua.

“So all of us, with faces unveiled, see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; and we are being changed into his very image, from one degree of glory to the next, by Adonai the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

©2021 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Satan – The Adversary

Though the Hebrew word satan is a verb, it has become personified as the Adversary, the one who brought sin into the world and ultimately, in the end, the wrath of Elohim against that sin. Satan was used by Elohim to test Job as his modem of operation is to actively encourage the righteous to disobey the Word/Commands of Elohim.

This is why he tested Yeshua, the only righteous one who could remove the wrath of sin from those in the world who would choose to put their faith in him.

Satan, according to witches who worship him, appears as a normal man with blonde hair.