Archive for 2011

Revelation: The Seven Messianic Communities

This ever-expanding article about messages to the Messianic communities in Asia Minor is now accessed by individual posts beginning with how I came to understand this book from a Messianic-Jewish-Hebrew perspective.

Background to Revelation

Revelation Chapter 1 – Unveiling Yeshua

Revelation Chapter 2 – Ephesus

Revelation Chapter 2 – Smyrna

Revelation Chapter 2 – Pergamum

Revelation Chapter 2 – Thyratira

Revelation Chapter 3 – Sardis

Revelation Chapter 3 – Philadelphia

Revelation Chapter 3 – Laodicea

A Soldier’s Story

Management at Victoria’s Secret (NYC),

Three weeks ago I requested to have October 31st off as the celebration of Halloween goes against my religious beliefs therefore I do not work or even leave my house on this day.  As my request was rejected, here is a written statement and comparison showing my religious convictions and reasons why I do not take part in Halloween.  I also choose to not leave my home as a precautionary measure to my safety, as traveling alone late at night on Halloween is not a wise option.  All one has to do is read the newspaper the following day to know the dangers and the tragedies.

The History: taken from wikipedia.com and paganwiccan.about.com

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhein which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, a time of year associated with death. The pagan Celts believed that on that night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead blurred, and the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. It was a night for preternatural communication with the dead, various forms of divination and prophecy, and sexual rituals.

Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals in the Wicca Wheel of the Year, often referred to as ‘Sabbats‘, observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four ‘greater Sabbats’. It is generally observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness.

Samhain is known as the witch’s new year, and it’s a time when the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest. It’s a season of death and dying and darkness, and hearkens the coming of winter’s chill.  Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters.

My Religious Beliefs: taken from The Torah and The Bible

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to The Lord.”

Ephesians 5:7-12  “So don’t have anything to do with anyone like that. You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, as you try to please the Lord. Don’t take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark.”

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

2 Corinthians 6:17 “Come out from among them and be separate.”

Thank you for your time and I apologize if this causes any inconvenience to the scheduling and coverage of that day.  I attempted to avoid such problems by giving an advanced notice of my intentions, which in the future I will make clearer at a much earlier date.  I am more than willing to work my scheduled Monday shift of 1 to 7 with a call-in to 10 pm if moved to the following day, Tuesday the 1st of November.

Josi

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Enoch and Samhain

October 31 is a unique day in the spiritual realm.   It is known by wiccan and pagan communities as Samhein.  According to one pagan website, it is the one day of the year when the veil between our world and the spirit world thins and makes it the perfect time to make contact with the dead.  The average unknowing, uninformed person calls Samhein, Halloween.

Halloween has grown from a Celtic high holy day celebrated quietly by pagans and wiccans to the second highest retail holiday next to Christmas.  Spiritual lines between evil and righteousness have been blurred to the point that many who dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, or visit haunted houses actually say they aren’t celebrating Halloween!   There are some who admit to being pagan and are proud to celebrate in every way imaginable from orgies to sacrificing animals and children.

Witchcraft has become an accepted religious practice through television and movies beginning with 1960s programs like “Bewitched” and “Dark Shadows” and coming into obvious fruition with “Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Harry Potter.”   Divinations, seances and casting spells are commonplace with young girls who are intrigued with being ‘white witches’ or ‘good witches.’ Communicating with dead people is one of the activities of paranormal societies that exist even in my little midwest town.  Sorcery is about power.  It is an art that manipulates the energy fields of human beings in order to seduce people for whatever purpose: peace, love, prosperity, healing – all of which are obtained, but in a corrupt manner.

Halloween involves a spiritual battle that began long before today’s TV shows, the witchcraft trials of New England, the Dark Ages, the time of Yeshua, King Saul or even Abraham.  It began before the flood and its beginnings are recorded in great detail in the Book of Enoch, written for those who live in the time of the end.  Unfortunately the book of Enoch was removed from the canon of Scriptures despite the fact that both Peter and Jude refer to its contents.  Today, believers are ‘in the dark’ about what may be coming on the world at the end of the age.

“The word of the blessing of Enoch, how he blessed the elect and the righteous, who were to exist in the time of trouble…. Enoch a righteous man, was with God, answered and spoke, while his eyes were open and while he saw a holy vision ….  I (Enoch) heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation, but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period, on account of the elect” (Enoch 1:1-3).

A preview is found in Genesis when angels, called the ‘sons of God,’ left their place of authority in the heavenly realm and came to earth.  According to Enoch, these angels were attracted to the beauty and alluring uncovered hair of young women, called the ‘daughters of men’ (Enoch 7:1-2).  These spiritual beings had sexual relationships with human women.  From these relationships children were born who were half human/half spirit.

Genesis 6 calls these children the heroes of old or men of reknown, their Biblical name: Nephilim.   Nephilim in Aramaic means ‘to fall’ (like the fallen ones), but in Hebrew, it  means  ‘giants’.  Genesis also says the Nephilim were on the earth ‘in those days of Noah and afterwards.’  What does this mean?  Could it be the Greek or Roman mythological heroes like Achilles or Hercules were actually offspring of these half breeds?  Wasn’t everyone destroyed in the flood?  Enoch explains what happened.

“Then he spoke and said: ‘Hear, neither be afraid, O Enoch, O righteous man, and scribe of righteousness:  come here and hear my voice. Go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent you to pray for them ….

‘You being spiritual, holy, and living a life which is eternal, have polluted yourselves with women; have begotten in carnal blood … and have done as those who are flesh and blood do.  These however die and perish.  Therefore I have given them wives, that they might live with them; that sons might be born of them, and that this might be transacted upon earth.  But you, from the beginning were made spiritual, living a life which is eternal, and not subject to death in all the generations of the world.  Therefore I made not wives for you, because being spiritual, your dwelling is in heaven.

“Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh, shall call upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation.  Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh, because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation.  Evil spirits they shall be upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called.  The habitation of the spirits of heaven shall be in heaven; but upon earth shall be the habitation of terrestrial spirits, who are born in earth (i.e. 1 Cor. 15:40). 

“The spirits of the giants shall be like clouds, which shall oppress, corrupt, fall, contend, and bruise upon earth.  They shall cause lamentation.  No food shall they eat; and they shall be thirsty; they shall be concealed, and those spirits shall rise up against the sons of men and against women; for they come forth (from them) … (i.e. Luke 4:33,36, Matthew 8:28-34).

“And as to the death of the giants –  wheresoever their spirits depart from their bodies, let their flesh, that which is perishable, be without judgment.  Thus shall they perish, until the day of the great consummation of the world.

“And now to the Watchers, who have sent you to pray for them, who in the beginning were in heaven, Say, ‘In heaven you have been; secret things however have not been manifested to you; yet have you known an immoral mystery.  And this you have related to women in the hardness of your heart, and by that mystery have women and mankind multiplied evil upon the earth (i.e. Jude 4,6,13).  Say to them: ‘Never therefore shall you obtain peace” (Enoch chapters 15, 16).

God says in Genesis 8 that he would not contend with man forever because he is mortal.  This means that men die.  During the time before the flood, men lived  nearly 1000 years, but after the judgment man’s days on earth would be about 80 years – a much shorter lifespan (Psalm 90:10).

God could not allow the fallen angels to remain on the earth.  They taught humanity things that they should not know … “teaching them sorcery, incantation, and the dividing of roots and trees” (Enoch 7:10).  They ‘devoured’ everything in their path

These (the Nephilim children) devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood” (Enoch 7:12-14).

In order to cleanse the the earth from its corruption,  God sent a flood to destroy all of mankind except Noah and his family. Noah’s family had a pure lineage; only Noah’s family had not be infected with the disgusting practices with the fallen angels.

As for the angels that left their heavenly realm, God put them in darkness and chains until the day of judgment.  “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day” (Jude 6, Enoch 10:15).

What happened to the offspring, the Nephilim?  They didn’t have a home on earth as they weren’t fully human; they didn’t have a home in heaven as they weren’t fully spiritual.  They also weren’t the cause of the problem so God didn’t put them in chains.  According to Enoch, their physical flesh died without judgment, but spiritually they birthed evil spirits.  These spirits became known as wandering spirits that look for a ‘home’ to claim as their own such as a hollowed out turnip or pumpkin.   A more inviting ‘home’ for these evil spirits is taking possession of a human body making the person a ‘demoniac.’

There are evidences of Nephilim in the Scriptures after the flood.  They are called giants “whose stature is 300 cubits” which is about 200 yards or 600 feet (Genesis 6:4-6, Enoch 7:12,).  Note: the life span of man and the earth’s atmosphere changed after the flood, the size of the Nephilim also decreased exponentially.   Incidentally, the Ark that Noah built was also 300 cubits long!

In Numbers 13 is the account of the 12 spies going into the Promised Land.  Remember how the branch having a single cluster of grapes needed to be carried by two men on a pole?   The spies reported seeing Nephilim in the Land.  They described the same thing that Enoch described:  large people devouring the land and everyone in it.

“They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim).  We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13: 32-33).  From this we know that whenever we see the word,  Anakim, we know they are descendants of Nephilim.

Goliath, who was killed by David, was also a giant.  “A champion Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp.  He was over nine feet tall…” (1 Samuel 17:4-5).   Second Samuel 17:16-22 also speaks of more descendants of Rapha who were Goliath’s brothers.  Three of their names are recorded in Scripture:  Ishbi-Benob, Saph, Goliath the gittite.  “These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath ….”  

Deuteronomy 3:11 speaks of Og the King of Bashan.  He was also a descendant of the Rephaites.    His bed was made of iron  more than 13 feet long and 6 feet wide.  The Rephaites are mentioned in Joshua 12:4, 13:12, 15:8, 17:15, 18:16; 2 Samuel 5:11, 22, 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15, 14:9, 20:4.

While the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years, the Nephilim had time to proliferate. This puts a different perspective as to what was going on in Canaan and why the LORD had to raise up an army against these ‘beings’.  He wanted to remove the flesh of the Nephilim from the land He promised to Abraham even though their spirits remained along with the detestable practices they taught to the Canaanites. The LORD warned the Israelites about these detestable practices because he didn’t want them imitating them when they entered the land of the giants.   He wanted to rid the Promised Land of evil so His people would be blameless.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 18:12-14).

Yeshua prophesies about the time of his return, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man”  (Luke 17:36).  From Biblical evidence as well as the account from Enoch, it appears that the ‘days of Noah’ had enormous spiritual activity blending into the human race which was destructive to earth and humanity.  The people in the ‘days of Noah’ were not prepared for the spiritual warfare they encountered, but we are not in darkness; we have prophecies and the Commander of the LORD’s armies, Yeshua.

The gospels have a lot to say about Yeshua casting out evil spirits. In Mark 9 there is an  account of a young boy who had an evil spirit that threw him into convulsions.  When the spirit was rebuked by Yeshua as a ‘deaf and mute spirit’, it left the boy violently.  Later his disciples asked him about the spirit and why they couldn’t drive it out.  Yeshua responded, “This kind can come out only by prayer (and fasting).”  He didn’t suggest that the boy had an illness that needed medication, but an evil spirit that needed to be dealt with prayerfully.

Spiritual warfare is not against witches or sorcerers,  but against the powers and principalities that witches and sorcerers divine   The devil, a fallen angel himself, has quite creatively set up his own world with  evil spirits and, as the ‘god of this world, he has blinded the mind of unbelievers…’ (2 Corinthians 4:4).   Consequently, as believers we are commanded in Ephesians 6 to put on the armor of God so we can stand against the devil’s schemes in the day of evil.

Prayer is the most important part of our battle armor.  Keeping in touch with Commander Yeshua is key to being alerted to the battles that must be stood against.   Through the Spirit, Yeshua will reveal when to use our sword, when our breastplate is not on properly, when dents in our helmet are about to occur, when our belt needs to be tightened, when our feet need to be ready with a message of shalom, and when to raise our shield to protecting your fellow soldiers who are battling the same enemy and need support. (Read about one 22-year old soldier’s battle stand in New York City.)

“Finally, pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, be alert, and always keep praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:13-18).

For those who have young children and are just learning about the evils of Halloween, it can be a difficult journey if you have already taken part in the ‘fun and sinful’ activities of darkness.  All you can do is continue to teach your children their identity is not in this world, but in the Messiah.  Always use Scripture to reinforce the Truth of the Word in their minds and it will eventually go into their hearts.

Teach them the truth about Halloween as appropriate to their understanding.  Use all of the visual aids of witches, skeletons, spider’s webs, black cats that are displayed everywhere through the entire month of October as examples of darkness and death in the world.   Don’t wait until the last minute to enlighten them to what is being represented around them.

Timothy was taught Scripture on his grandmother’s lap.   I’m sure she didn’t water down the Bible avoiding the ‘scary parts’  or make up silly stories using flowers, animals or vegetables to tell the ‘tales’.    She taught him the Truth using all of the Scriptures, including Enoch, which is why he grew into a wise young man.  Your goal is to raise a soldier who knows how to fight each battle that will come into their life.

“Dear friends, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).

Take and make a stand against the enemy with your children.  Don’t be deceived,  what you sow, you will reap.  Alternatives, rationalizations and excuses about why you aren’t ‘really’  celebrating Halloween are the same as celebrating it.  Don’t be a double-minded believer.   Don’t let them do some things, but not others.  Don’t let them not buy a costume, but allow candy because it’s cheap.  Don’t tell them they can’t go to a haunted house, but allow them to go to a corn maze where a witch greets them!  Make the day (and the season) very black and white – not black and orange!

I write to you dear children … (1 John 2)

Children,  it is important that you obey your parents who are teaching you about the ways of God.  It is the right thing for you to do (Ephesians 6:1).  Though you may not like the rules, if you obey your parents without complaining or arguing, you will be protected from  evil. They are actually training you to grow into maturity so that you can learn to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).  Through your obedience you will receive the incredible blessing of being a pure child of God.  You will become one of those shining stars in the universe that brings light to those in the darkness.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like starts in the universe as you hold out the word of life …” (Philippians 2:14-15).

Children’s booklet

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Hebrews 8 – What is Aging and Obsolete?

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said,

“The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand  to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,  and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.”

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel  after that time, declares the Lord.  I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

“By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear” (Hebrews 8:7-13).

These are some of the most difficult verses in the new testament to understand.  They are often interpreted to mean there was an ‘old covenant of law’ that was replaced by a ‘new covenant of grace.’  However, these verses in Hebrews don’t mention ‘law’ or ‘grace,’ only ‘covenant.’

There were many covenants given by Elohim in the Scriptures.  There is the covenant with Noah to never destroy the earth by water; the covenant with Abraham to have many descendants and a land inheritance; the covenant with Aaron and the priesthood; the covenant with King David to have an eternal heir on his throne; the covenant with Isra’el which outlined Elohim’s instructions for living as His kingdom people; the covenant of salt; the covenant of peace; the covenant of mercy.  Which of these covenants could be considered ‘old and obsolete?’  Would the ‘new’ covenant replace Noah’s or David’s or Abraham’s or even Isra’el’? 

The Covenant of ‘Law’

If the covenant of law given to Isra’el needed to be replaced as has been suggested in reference to a new covenant of grace, how was it replaced?  The answer is found in Hebrews 8:7-8:

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.  But God found fault with the people….”

God found fault with the people.  He didn’t find fault with His laws or Torah.  They were the essence of how He desired His people to live in this world.  They were the rules by which those who joined the commonwealth were to live.  In fact, they are the instructions by which everyone who calls on the name of Yeshua are to live.

The problem was the people.    

In Exodus, Elohim writes out His commandments or instructions known as Torah.  Moshe presents the book of the Covenant, Elohim’s Torah, to the people.  This Covenant was a relationship covenant between two parties: Elohim and the people.  It was not one-sided and needed a response from the people of Isra’el.

“Then he (Moses) took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people.  They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey” (Exodus 24:7).

They responded that they would do everything Elohim commanded.  They would obey.  They accepted the relationship covenant.  Yet, only weeks later, these same people are being unfaithful and breaking the covenant relationship.   Because of their unfaithfulness, Elohim turned away from them.  He didn’t turn away from His Torah; He turned away from His people for being faithless to His teachings and instructions (Hebrews 8:9).

Elohim could not change His Torah for, according to Yeshua, it will exist until there is a new heavens and new (Matthew 5:17-19).   He could not change His holy, pure and righteous standard that defined sin (Romans 7:12).   He could, however,  change humanity because He is the potter and we are the clay.  Whatever change He made, it would have to enable those who loved Him to return to Him in faithfulness and obedience.  Whatever change He made would need to ‘renew’ the covenant relationship that had been broken.

The prophet Ezekiel describes what Elohim was going to do.  Instead of changing His Torah, He changed the people by giving them new hearts and a new spirit that would move them to keep His commands. 

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

He would also make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.  In Hebrew, the word for ‘new’ is chodesh and literally means ‘renew.’  This covenant would not be like the one He made with the mixed-multitude that came out of Egypt.  It would be a covenant that could be kept faithfully.  By changing the hearts of the people, He could write His Torah on their hearts with His Spirit (Jeremiah 31:31).

Heart Condition of Humanity

Sha’ul (Paul) describes these two different heart conditions in Romans 7.  He explains that Torah is spiritual, but sinful men are unspiritual and hard hearted.   There will always be a battle between the carnal man and the spiritual Torah.  Carnal sinful people will never accept the ways of Elohim because they are spiritually understood (Romans 8:7-8).  There was never any way for the carnal Israelites to keep their promise of obedience.  Even Moshe told them to ‘circumcise their hearts’ – an impossible task for any human being.  Only through rebirth, becoming a new creation with a heart circumcised by Elohim could they ever have His instructions in their hearts.  A spiritual rebirth would change them from a carnal people into a spiritual people.  When this happened, the conflict between the spiritual Torah would no longer exist.  Faithfulness and obedience would be integrated into their new inner man.

Yeshua instituted the ‘renewed’ covenant with the people of Judah and Israel at Passover (Luke 22:20).  At Shavuot seven weeks later, Elohim poured out His Spirit to begin the process of the renewed covenant and the complete salvation of Isra’el.  However, the process is still ongoing.  All Isra’el is not saved, not all Jews are born again with new circumcised hearts.  Every man does not know Elohim from the least to the greatest and there are still those saying ‘know God.’  To say this ‘old has become obsolete’ isn’t true regarding the ‘new covenant’ and Isra’el and won’t be true until the ‘renewed’ covenant is fully realized as described by Jeremiah.

The Tabernacle and Priesthood

Some interpret the verses in Hebrews as meaning Aaronic priesthood is ‘old and obsolete’ and  was replaced with the ‘new’ royalpriesthood with Yeshua as High Priest.

They (the Levitical priesthood) serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.  This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:4-6).

The Tabernacle in the wilderness was created as a shadow of the heavenly one.   This means the Tabernacle on earth and the heavenly Tabernacle exist together at the same time.  The sanctuary activities are simultaneous with the heavenly one casting its shadow on earth.  They are not linear; one happened, ended and the other began. 

The Levitical priesthood ministered in the shadow of the true heavenly Tabernacle.  The earthly Tabernacle was perfect for this present world and through Torah ordinances brought the worshipper closer to Elohim through gifts, offerings and sacrifices (Hebrews 10:1).

Yeshua’s sanctuary is not in this present world and never was.  His sanctuary is in the world to come and is the substance behind the shadow on earth.  As Yeshua walked in this present world, he prophesied about his coming Kingdom and how its shadow was represented by believers who followed him in this present age living out Kingdom principles.    

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his glorious light” (1 Peter 2:9).

These followers are a unique priesthood who have the renewed covenant heart through faith in King Messiah.  After their stoney, rebellious carnal heart was transformed into an obedient, loving spiritual heart of flesh, regardless of physical lineage, these men and women became part of a royal priesthood.   This royal priesthood will serve the High Priest in the Millennial Kingdom.

“We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man” (Hebrews 8:1).  

Yeshua could never have been a High Priest in the Tabernacle or Temple in Jerusalem because he was from the tribe of Judah and not from Levi (Hebrews 8:5).  Descendants of Judah never served in the Tabernacle; they were the lineage of kings.   Yeshua’s service as High Priest was not according the covenant made with Aaron and his descendants.  Yeshua’s calling as High Priest was by Elohim, in the order of Melchizedek who had ‘no beginning nor end.’  Thus, the High Priesthood of Yeshua could not be something ‘new’ replacing something ‘old’ for it has existed for all time.

“No one takes this honor upon himself he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.  So Messiah also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest.  But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  And he says in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’ (Hebrews 5:4-6).

The prophetic nature of the Millennial Kingdom refutes the idea of an ‘old priesthood’ being replaced by a ‘new’ one.    According to the prophet Ezekiel, during the Millennial Kingdom there will be another Temple in Jerusalem. As required by Torah the Levites will once again serve and minister in this Temple as the priesthood.  As the eternal promised covenant to Aaron, one of his descendants will be the high priest doing the Temple services.

However, something extraordinary will be occurring in the Millennial Kingdom.   Yeshua, as the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, will return to earth.  He will rule and reign as High Priest and King with an iron scepter.   His resurrected and glorified followers, his royal priesthood, will rule and reign with him with iron rods (Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, 19:15).

For one thousand years, the mortal Aaronic priesthood and the immortal royal priesthood will serve together in the Millennial Kingdom.   The two realms of mortal and immortality will converge on earth at the same time in Jerusalem.  There is no linear ‘old’ and ‘new’ for the coming Kingdom will be on this same ‘old’ earth.

What is ‘Aging and Obsolete’?

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:20-22).

Sha’ul explains exactly what is aging and becoming obsolete: this present world, the fallen creation, the aging earth.   Since the fall of man in the Garden, the creation has been in bondage to death also waiting for its redemption.   Everything in this present world is aging and becoming obsolete.  Along with mankind who groans for complete salvation, the creation moans and cries out for deliverance.

Noah experienced a change in the heavens and the earth through the flood, but he didn’t receive a new heaven and earth.  Even though there were many physical differences and new regulations were given by Elohim,  it was still the same heavens and earth.  Noah was also given an eternal covenant promise in the rainbow that Elohim would never again judge the earth by water. The earth that Noah and his family repopulated continued to see death and decay which continues until this very day with the life span of humans dropping from 1000 years to 80. 

“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

According to the prophet Isaiah and the apostles Peter and John,  the old heaven and earth will disappear and there will be a new heaven and new earth.  The covenant that Elohim made with the earth regarding seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, will cease.  At some point in the future, this present heaven and earth will become old and obsolete and a new heaven and earth will replace it.

“But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth…” (2 Peter 3:13).

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1).

While we live on this earth in this present age, there is an ‘old’ order of things that still exist.  The Levitical priesthood, the Temple in Jerusalem and its sanctuary services and the Torah are aging and becoming obsolete, but will continue until the new heavens and earth. As long as this present heaven and earth exists,  the law of sin and death will be in effect.  As long as the law of sin and death is in effect, mankind will cry out for salvation of their physical bodies.    When redemption for heaven, earth and mankind is complete, then and only then will “the old order of things have passed away” and there will be a new reality (Revelation 21:4).

“I did not see a temple in the city [New Jerusalem], because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple….  Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life….  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads…. And they will reign for ever and ever…”(Revelation 21: 22-27,  22:4-5).

Yahweh’s Kingdom will be in the new heavens and new earth.  His holy city, the New Jerusalem, will descend from the heaven and He will make His dwelling with mankind.  There will be no need for a Temple or priesthood for drawing near to Elohim.  The Torah will become obsolete because everyone will know Yahweh from the least to the greatest.  Wickedness and sin will have been completely removed from the kingdom.   Sin and death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54).  A completely new heaven and earth will be established inhabited with glorified people, a restoration of the Garden of Eden.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

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