Posts Tagged ‘adversary’

Parashah 10: Mikketz (At the end)

Genesis 41:1-44:17

“At the end of two years, Pharaoh had a dream” (Genesis 41:1).

Two years after Joseph interprets the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker, Pharaoh has two dreams.  One dream is about the Nile River, lean cows, and fat cows; the other is about seven ears of corn and the eastern winds.

The seven fat cows came out of the Nile River which was the lifeblood of Egypt.  Because Egypt has virtually no rainfall throughout the entire year, it relies on the yearly flooding of the river to provide water for crops. The dream also included the Egyptian gods, Osiris and Isis. The god Osiris, represented by a bull, was the god of the Nile.  The goddess Isis, represented by a cow, was considered to be the source of wisdom. She was worshiped for having power over life and death. Seeing these gods, the Nile, the bull, and the cow brought distress to Pharaoh’s spirit.   He calls for his magicians, but no one in his court can interpret the dreams.

Pharaoh is told about a Hebrew man, a servant of the Captain of the Guard, who interpreted the dreams of the baker and cupbearer accurately.  The Egyptians had nothing to do with the Hebrews, but Pharaoh’s spirit was so deeply distressed that he had no other option except to bring a Hebrew slave into his presence.

By this time, Joseph is 30 years old.  He has spent 13 years in Egypt as a slave, a servant, and a prisoner. He has waited for this moment, not realizing the years in captivity were a preparation. The number 13 in Hebrew represents cleansing and purifying.

Joseph washed and dressed for his meeting with Pharaoh, his action of purification. I have been told many times that Elohim doesn’t care how we dress when we go to ‘church.’  I always refer these people to Matthew 22 and the King’s wedding feast.  There is one person who arrives wearing the wrong clothes and is removed from the banquet. There is protocol when meeting with a king, whether it’s the King of Kings, the King of England or the King of Egypt.  Joseph prepares physically to meet Pharaoh because his appearance will be his first testimony; he must show respect for Pharaoh and the great task before him.

Joseph has also been prepared spiritually. He has matured since the days of his youthful dreams when he antagonized his brothers by calling attention to his self-righteous superiority.  After years of being humbled through slavery, false accusations, and prison, he realizes Elohim’s faithfulness to protect him and keep him alive through all the trials. He has been prepared to win the confidence and respect of a heathen king and court by giving full credit to the Elohim of Isra’el. He acts with utmost courtesy and restraint, and directs all of his praise to Him.

Once he listens to Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph explains that the dreams predict seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine.   The famine will be so severe that the time of abundance will be forgotten. The fact that both dreams have the same interpretation is a ‘witness of two’ indicating the matter has been fixed by Elohim and cannot be changed.

Others in Pharaoh’s court had tried to interpret the dreams, but they could not resolve the conundrum of lean and fat cows and full and dried ears of corn occurring simultaneously.  Joseph’s interpretation satisfied Pharaoh’s longing for understanding. Only the Spirit of Elohim could still the distraught ‘spirit of Pharaoh’ and bring him shalom.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Peace or shalom – שלום – shin, lamed, vav, mem
– destroying the leader bound to chaos

Not only did Joseph interpret the dreams, but he offered advice on managing the years of abundance and the years of famine.  Because he was able to interpret and offer a solution to the problem,  Pharaoh saw something different in Joseph and exclaimed, “Can we find anyone else like him? The Spirit of God lives in him!” “The Spirit of God lives in him!” (Genesis 41:38)

In Egypt, the winds generally blow from north to south, but there is a southeast wind that blows from the deserts of Arabia.  It is called a khamsin and has disastrous effects upon plants because it is hot and dry.  It also brings small dust particles which are harmful to humans if inhaled, so most people stay in their homes during this time.  Khamsin means 50 in Arabic and generally the winds last about 50 days.  In the days of Joseph, this southeast wind either lasted seven years or came in 50-day intervals over seven years rendering every living thing in Egypt dead. 

The number 50 in Hebrew is the letter nun.  The Hebrew Letter Picture is a ‘fish’ and means to ‘life.’  Even though a deadly eastern wind was coming to destroy Egypt, life is being offered to Egypt and the children of Isra’el through a Hebrew savior named Joseph.

A Wise Man

“Look for a man both discreet and wise to put in charge of the land of Egypt.  Appoint supervisors over the land to receive a twenty percent tax on the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.  They should gather all the food produced during these good years coming up and set aside grain under the supervision of Pharaoh to be used for food in the cities, and they should store it.  This will be the land’s food supply for the seven years of famine that will come over the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish as a result of the famine” (Genesis 41:33-36).

Joseph was not vying for the position he suggests to Pharaoh.  He was an Egyptian prisoner, a Hebrew slave. He knew he was not trained for such authority, had no experience with that kind of responsibility, and was still only a young man.  What he didn’t realize as he spoke was that Elohim had prepared him for this exact moment.  Joseph had been faithful in the little things of which he had been put in charge, now he would be put in charge of many things.

“His master said to him, ‘Excellent! You are a good and trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with a small amount, so I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and join in your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23)

Pharaoh gives Joseph his signet ring, a sign of his new position and closeness to the king. A signet ring could be worn on a finger or a chain around the neck; Joseph is given the gold chain. The signet ring would be evidence to everyone in Egypt and the surrounding nations that Joseph had the highest authority in all of Egypt, except for Pharaoh.

He is clothed in fine linen as evidence of his new status in Egypt and rides in the second best chariot.  Everyone in Egypt ‘bows down’ whenever he passes by.

He is also given an Egyptian name, Tzafanat-Pa’neach, that would allow him to be accepted in the Egyptian court and among the Egyptian people.  There are many possible meanings of his new name from ‘one who reveals mysteries’ to ‘savior of the world,’ but the most accepted is ‘the god speaks and he lives.’

Joseph is given Asenath, whose name means ‘peril or misfortune,’ as his wife. Joseph would not have chosen to marry a pagan woman, but as the second highest ranking official in Egypt, he is given no choice.  Elohim honors this marriage by giving Joseph’s first two children an inheritance with the sons of Isra’el. Elohim blesses Joseph’s marriage and his offspring become an integral part of the history of Isra’el.

Elohim also uses this marriage to strengthen Joseph’s position as a national leader. Asenath is the daughter of Poti-Fera (Ra has given), the priest of On, a priest of the sun god Ra. The city of On was known as Heliopolis, the City of the Sun. It was the center of worship for Ra and located ten miles northeast of modern-day Cairo. The high priest of On held the title ‘Greatest of Seers.’ When Joseph married Asenath, he joined the social class to which only national leaders belonged. This marriage arrangement became more evidence of Pharaoh’s confidence that Joseph was a true ‘seer’ or prophet of the highest caliber.


Selah
Joseph was never part of the kingly lineage of Judah nor ever given the option of choosing long life or riches like Solomon. Instead, his path of life was determined by his brothers. He was given a wise and understanding heart and rendered justice in Egypt like no other leader.   He was given great honor in the king’s court and posterity through his two sons. Solomon’s sons divided the nation of Isra’el and it remains divided today. Like Joseph, Yeshua was rejected by his brothers, had wisdom and understanding. He will soon return to render justice and restore the divided nation.

Two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, are born to Joseph before the famine arrives.  From the meanings of their names, it seems that Joseph told Asenath about his past, his family, and his Elohim.   Jewish tradition teaches that she became a follower of the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for Elohim does not desire that his people be unequally yoked.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Manasseh (Causing to Forget) or M’nasheh – מנשה – mem, nun, shin, hey
– mighty life consumed, revealed

Ephraim (Fruit) or Efrayim – אפרים – alef, peh, resh, yod, mem
– first strength speaks highest authority, finished work of chaos

The Testing of the Brothers

During the years of abundance so much sheber (grain) was collected, quantities like the sand of seashore, that Joseph stopped counting the amount.  After seven years of abundance, the eastern wind began to blow and a famine covered the land all the way to Canaan.

Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt so the sons of Isra’el were sent to buy grain from the Egyptians. By using the name Isra’el in the passage, the journey to buy grain becomes a spiritual journey from which the sons of Isra’el learn the message of redemption through repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

Joseph immediately recognizes his brothers, but they don’t recognize him.  He is dressed in the robes of an Egyptian leader and wields great authority. He has an Egyptian name and speaks to them through an interpreter. They ‘bow down’ before him and he remembers his dream of the haystacks.  Nearly 23 years later in a foreign country, the dream comes to pass.

Joseph tells his brothers that he believes they are spies and sends them to prison. For three days their topic of conversation revolves around what they did to their brother and the never-ending feelings of guilt. Joseph detains Simeon when he sends his frightened brothers home for their youngest brother, Benjamin.  He also returns the money they brought in their grain bags.   This confuses the brothers and causes them to face their need to repent for their actions against Joseph.  The circumcision of their hearts begins.

When they need to return for more grain, Judah tells his father, “The man expressly warned us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you’” (Genesis 43:3). Judah knows that his father still grieves the loss of Joseph and fears losing his youngest son so he makes a promise to his father, “Send the boy with me; and we will make preparations and leave; so that we may stay alive and not die, both we and you, and also our little ones.  I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me responsible.  If I fail to bring him to you and present him to your face, let me bear the blame forever” (Genesis 43:8-9).

Judah, the man who had lost two of his sons to death, the man who had twins with the righteous Tamar, guarantees the safe return of Benjamin and Isra’el’s sons’ from Egypt.

When Joseph sees Benjamin, he is emotionally overwhelmed and goes to his bedroom to weep. The brothers are fearful inside Joseph’s house. They have no idea what this Egyptian leader wants with them, and their two decades of guilt consumes them. Joseph’s servant tries to comfort them, “Stop worrying. Don’t be afraid.  Your God and the God of your father put treasure in your packs.  As for your money –– I was the one who received it” (Genesis 43:23).

The servant speaks of the Elohim of their father?  How would an Egyptian servant know about Him?  Joseph had already told them when he set them free from prison “he feared Elohim” and now his servant is telling them to put their faith in the Elohim of their father. 

It becomes apparent Joseph had been Jacob’s favored son because of his love for Elohim while his brothers were much less spiritually inclined. The years in Egypt have been a time of testing for Joseph, a time of spiritual growth, and refining. His brothers had not been put to the same tests and had not grown spiritually. They remained stuck with their guilty consciences.

When Joseph returns to the room, the brothers have a meal with him. Reuben, the firstborn, sits in the place of honor, and the youngest, Benjamin, in the place of the youngest.  The brothers are amazed that this powerful man of Egypt knows their birth order, yet none of them consider this Egyptian man could be their long-lost brother. The whole idea seems preposterous. The last time they saw him, he was a slave!

When they leave to return to Canaan, Joseph tests his brothers a second time.  All of their money is returned to the grain bags, and Joseph’s silver goblet is hidden in Benjamin’s bag.

This cup would have been an Egyptian ‘cup of divination’ or a way to divine the gods for knowledge.  According to Deuteronomy 18:10-12, divination is an unacceptable practice among Elohim’s people. Did Joseph actually divine information from a cup?  No, he did not.

Joseph had a very personal relationship with Elohim who communicated with him through dreams. He had interpreted Pharaoh’s dream through the Spirit of Elohim and did not need to divine information from false gods. Having a ‘cup of divination’ was part of the religious culture in which Joseph lived. He wanted his brothers to think that he, only second in command to Pharaoh, could ‘divine knowledge,’ but the knowledge was firsthand, not from some other-worldly ‘cup of divination.’  Joseph uses the cup to frighten his brothers to believe that this great Egyptian leader had so much authority he could see right into their hearts and accuse them of the guilt that had put them in spiritual bondage.

Soon after they left the city, Joseph sends his manager to find them. He accuses them of stealing. When Benjamin is found with the ‘divining cup,’ they tear their clothes. They know what will happen to their father if they do not return with their youngest brother.  The brothers return to the city with the cup and try to explain the situation to Joseph. The consequences for stealing the cup is to make Benjamin a slave.

Yeshua and His Testing

“Then the Spirit led Yeshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary. After Yeshua had fasted forty days and nights, he was hungry. The Tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, order these stones to become bread.” But he answered, “The Tanakh [Torah] says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai’”

“Then the Adversary took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘jump!’ For the Tanakh says, ‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you. They will support you with their hands, so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”

“Yeshua replied to him, ‘But it also says, “Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”

“Once more, the Adversary took him up to the summit of a very high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, and said to him, ‘All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.’ ‘Away with you, Satan!’”

“Yeshua told him, ‘For the Tanakh says, Worship Adonai your God, and serve only him.’”
“Then the Adversary let him alone, and angels came and took care of him” (Matthew 4:1-11).

“Then Yeshua, filled with the Ruach haKodesh, returned from the Yarden and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days of testing by the Adversary. During that time he ate nothing, and afterwards he was hungry. The Adversary said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, order this stone to become bread.’”

“Yeshua answered him, ‘The Tanakh says, Man does not live on bread alone.’”

“The Adversary took him up, showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world, and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and glory. It has been handed over to me, and I can give it to whomever I choose. So if you will worship me, it will all be yours.’”

“Yeshua answered him, ‘The Tanakh says, Worship Adonai your God and serve him only.’”

“Then he took him to Yerushalayim, set him on the highest point of the Temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump from here! For the Tanakh says, ‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you and to protect you. They will support you with their hands, so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.”

“Yeshua answered him, ‘It also says, “Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”

“When the Adversary had ended all his testings, he let him alone until an opportune time”
(Luke 4:1-13).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Revelation Chapter 20 – The First Resurrection

“Next I saw an angel coming down from heaven, who had the key to the Abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan [the Adversary], and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, locked it and sealed it over him; so that he could not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were over. After that, he has to be set free for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

A messenger comes down from heaven with a key and a chain in his hand. His purpose is to seize the Dragon, one of satan’s demonic forces, and lock him up. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Dragon is Leviathan, the ‘serpent in the sea’ –– the Adversary in the midst of the world (Isaiah 27:1). According to Psalm 74, Leviathan also has many ‘heads’ or ‘leaders’ that will be judged (Psalm 74:14).

In the days of Noach, the angels that left their heavenly realm of power and defiled human women were bound with everlasting chains. According to the Amplified Version, the chains kept these fallen beings in ‘the thick gloom of utter darkness’ (Jude 6). Now, the Adversary who deceived Havah in Gan Eden will be imprisoned and kept in that same darkness.

‘Abyss’ in Hebrew is tehom and is used for the ‘the depths of the seas.’ The tehom is the place described as the waters beneath the waters where Leviathan is imprisoned (Job 41:1-3). The word tehom is used in Genesis 1:2 as tohu v’bohu meaning ‘darkness’ or ‘void.’ The Adversary, along with the fallen angels and Leviathan, are in the dark void of the deep waiting for the Day of Judgment.

These enemies of Adonai will be bound for one-thousand years during the Messianic Era and the reign of King Yeshua. During this one-thousand year period, human lifespan will be restored as it was when Adam and his descendants lived nearly one-thousand years. “No more will babies die in infancy, no more will an old man die short of his days — he who dies at a hundred will be thought young, and at less than a hundred thought cursed” (Isaiah 65:20).

“Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them received authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands. They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power. On the contrary, they will be cohanim of God and of the Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

Yochanan sees thrones on which are seated resurrected martyrs; saints beheaded for their testimony of Yeshua. Those who had not worshiped the ‘beast’ or its image and didn’t receive the ‘mark’ on their foreheads or hands also receive authority to rule and reign with King Yeshua. This is not the first time this group of holy ones who have a testimony of Yeshua and obey the Torah have been blessed.

These two groups of people made a stand for righteousness in the world. One group practiced standing for Yeshua and the Torah every day, suffering persecution that ultimately led to their death. The second group didn’t bow to serve the ‘beast’ to protect their lives. Taking for righteousness or making a stand against the ‘beast’ is not something that just suddenly happens. Standing for righteousness and against the ‘mark’ of the beast’ takes discernment, courage, and faith.

What if the ‘mark of the beast’ is the rejection of the holy Sabbath as one denomination claims (Ezekiel 20:2)? What if taking the ‘mark of the beast’ requires eating ‘unclean’ animals (Isaiah 66:15-18)? What if taking the ‘mark of the beast’ means death for keeping Adonai’s ‘appointed times’ (Daniel 7:25). How does someone suddenly start obeying Torah when faced with death? Being a holy one, a saint, is defined as one who has a testimony of Yeshua and keeps the commandments of Adonai. Obeying Torah because of faith in Yeshua strengthens the holy ones, the saints, to stand when faced with persecution and death.

Those who come back to life during the great harvest take part in the first resurrection; they are blessed and holy. This first resurrection prophesied by Daniel and Ezekiel we believed by the sect of Pharisees and many Jews.

“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).

“He asked me, “Human being, can these bones live?” I answered, “Adonai Elohim! Only you know that!” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, ‘Dry bones! Hear what Adonai has to say! To these bones Adonai Elohim says, “I will make breath enter you, and you will live” (Ezekiel 37:3-5).

Martha expressed her faith in the resurrection ‘at the last day,’ after her brother Lazarus died (John 11:21-27). Yeshua tells her, “‘I Am’ the Resurrection and the life” confirming the resurrection of the dead. Peter and Yochanan annoyed the Sadducean leadership because they used Yeshua’s resurrection as proof of the resurrection of the dead –– a belief they did not embrace (Acts 4:1-2). Sha’ul who was a Pharisee teaches about his hope in the resurrection: “And I continue to have a hope in God — which they too accept — that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15).

The Hebrew word for ‘blessed’ is barak and means ‘to kneel.’ This word suggests that those who attain to the first resurrection will kneel in reverence before the El Elyon. The Hebrew word for ‘holy is kadosh and means ‘to separate.’ Kadoshim are set-apart from infirmity, impurity, and sin – the ‘holy ones’ of Adonai. Those who take part in the first resurrection lived righteous lives of faith separating themselves from sin by obeying the commands of Elohim (1 John 4:3).

Sha’ul teaches that the resurrection has ‘parts.’ Yeshua was raised from the dead as the ‘firstfruits’ of those who have died. The word ‘firstfruits’ is plural meaning there were others who died and were raised to life with Yeshua. This may include Lazarus and the little girl, but there were ‘firstfruits’ who came out of the graves and walked around Jerusalem where many people saw them (Matthew 27:52-53).

The second part of the first resurrection, the main harvest of souls, will occur when Yeshua returns. Those who belong to him will come back to life at the beginning of the ‘last day.’ The resurrected saints, called the ‘royal priesthood,’ will reign with King Yeshua in the Millennial Kingdom as priests of Adonai (1 Peter 2:9). They will not experience the second death at the end of the one-thousand years.

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. But each 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).

The third part of the first resurrection will be the gleanings during the Messianic Era. During Yeshua’s Millennial reign, Satan is bound for one-thousand years. There will be no deception from the Adversary to deceive the world’s people; there will be no excuse of ‘the devil made me do it.’ Sin, however, will still rule the hearts of humanity. Sin that needs to be judged and atoned for.

Yeshua will sit on Mount Tziyon and rule the unredeemed nations with an ‘iron rod.’ ‘Iron’ suggests a strong rule of law,’ while ‘rod’ is an allusion to a ‘scepter’ that is used by a King. The King of Kings will not bend his ‘rod’ to the will of the kings of the nations. He will come against them and shatter them like a clay pot (Psalm 2:9). The overcomers from Thyatira rule and reign with ‘iron rods’ with him (Revelation 2:9). Ruling with an ‘iron rod’ means there is a standard of ‘law;’ the Torah that will remain the standard for justice until the the present heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:17-20).

Unredeemed mortals who make up the nations will have to follow Torah regulations for Temple services. The descendants of the priesthood from the clans of Levi, Aaron and Zadok priests will serve at the Altar of Sacrifice for the unredeemed of the nations.

“When the thousand years are over, the Adversary will be set free from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is countless as the sand on the seashore; and they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).

When the Messianic Era is complete, the Adversary will be set free from the Abyss to deceive the people of the world whose number is as great as the sands on the seashore. All nations will come into the land and surround Jerusalem. They will bring on the Gog and Magog war, the battle that reveals mankind’s problem is not the devil, but deep-rooted sin. Adonai looks down from heaven and laughs because the nations of the world will become the inheritance of His Son (Psalm 2).

Magog was Noach’s grandson whose descendants settled north of Isra’el. The prophet Ezekiel describes this nation as a huge, mighty army led by Gog, the chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval (Ezekiel 38:2, 15). Meshekh and Tuval were the sons of Japeth, the grandsons of Noach. The descendants of Meshekh settled north of the Black Sea in the area known today as the Republic of Georgia, a war-like land that hates peace (Psalm 120:4-6). Tuval settled in central Turkey which is where the final caiphate of Islam will be located.

Many scholars believe there are two Gog-Magog wars with Isra’el. The one described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 occurs mid-way through the Great Tribulation with a few nations from the north attacking Isra’el. The result of this war brings Isra’el to repentance, the Messiah returns, and they worship Him during the Messianic Era.

The second Gog-Magog attack one-thousand years later is orchestrated by the Adversary once he is released from the Abyss. He is prepared to destroy Yeshua and the nation of Isra’el. In this war, all of the nations of the earth rebel against Yeshua. The battle between the Adversary and Yeshua will be quick as fire from heaven consumes the evil one. The ‘beast’ and the false prophet are thrown into the ‘burning lake of fire and sulfur’ along with the Adversary where they spend eternity in torment.

“Next I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 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. The sea gave up the dead in it; and Death and Sh’ol gave up the dead in them; and they were judged, each according to what he had done. Then Death and Sh’ol were hurled into the lake of fire. This is the second death — the lake of fire. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

Those mortal humans who remain alive at the end of the one-thousand years will immediately stand before the Great White Throne of judgment (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Millions who died in the sea, and millions kept in Sh’ol are raised up to stand in front of the fiery throne. There will be no time for repentance; judgment as come and they will be judged by their works. This will be the final judgment for everyone through all time who rejected the offer of eternal life. Those who had a testimony of Yeshua and obeyed his commands have already been resurrected, received their immortal bodies, and reigned with Yeshua during his earthly Kingdom.

The Greek word for ‘judgment’ is bema and refers to the platform where one stands to receive the verdict for their crime. In the synagogue, the bema was a raised platform around the aron kodesh, the holy place, where the Torah scrolls were kept. A ner tamid or eternal light hangs over the area to symbolize the eternal light of the Torah. From the bema, Yeshua stood in the synagogue and read from Isaiah on a Sabbath (Luke 4:16-17). When the day of administering punishment or reward arrives, Adonai will stand each person on the bema and use Torah as His plumbline to execute justice (Daniel 2:2, John 5:28-29).

The prophet Daniel is given a vision of this final court of judgment on Yom Kippur. Thrones of the righteous redeemed were set in place. The Ancient One sat on his throne of fiery flames with wheels of burning fire –– a vision of the k’ruvim guarding the throne of Adonai. Fire flowed from His presence while thousands and thousands ministered to him. Millions and millions from all the nations stood before the throne; the court was convened, and books were opened. Yeshua separated the ‘sheep’ from the ‘goats.’ The ‘sheep’ who were kind to Isra’el go to his right hand and receive the blessing of their inheritance, the Kingdom prepared before the founding of the world; the ‘goats’ who mistreated Isra’el will go to his left and into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels! (Daniel 7:9-10, Matthew 25:31-45).

Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah begins the ten Days of Awe when each person takes time to repent for their sins. On Yom Kippur, ‘books are opened’ and the judgment verdict for each life is read and sealed. The prophetic vision for Yom Kippur is the final judgment at the Great White Throne when the Book of Life is opened (Psalm 138:16, Malachi 3:16). Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life or have been ‘blotted out’ experience the second death and receive eternal spiritual death in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’

“I also request you, loyal Syzygus, to help these women; for they have worked hard proclaiming the Good News with me, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the Book of Life” (Philippians 4:3).

“He who wins the victory [in Sardis] will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

Yeshua will reward his ‘holy ones.’ Those whose names are found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will receive rewards based on how they built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:20). How each person builds on that foundation – with precious stones, wood or straw –– will be tested at the fire coming from Yeshua’s throne. Some will enter Eternity as just making it through the fire; others will receive crowns that last forever (2 Corinthians 9:25).

“All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,” will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear (2 Timothy 4:8).

“How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him(James 1:12).

“Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive glory as your unfading crown (1 Peter 5:4).

The present heaven and earth will vanish.

Chapter 21 – The Restoration and Renewal

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

Revelation Chapter 9 – The Abyss

“The fifth angel sounded his shofar; and I saw a star that had fallen out of heaven onto the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss” (Revelation 9:1).

When the fifth messenger blows his shofar, a fallen star is given a key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss. The only ‘star’ to have fallen out of heaven onto the earth is called ‘the morning star’ (Isaiah 14:12). This ‘star’ wanted to raise its throne above Adonai’s stars, sit on the Mount of Assembly, rise past the tops of the clouds and make itself like the Most High. Instead, this ‘star’ is brought down to Sh’ol, the uttermost depths of the pit. Though there are many ideas as to who or what this ‘star’ is, Yeshua reveals its identity to his disciples: “Yeshua said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

From the time the Adversary fell from his position of guarding the sanctuary of Adonai, he still had the ability to move around the realms of heaven and earth (2 Corinthians 12:2). After going ‘to and fro’ on the earth, he enters the heavenly throne room with the ‘sons of God’ and to challenge Job’s righteous life (Job 1:6-12). Now, the Adversary will no longer have access to the sanctuary to the Most High; he will no longer be able to accuse the ‘brothers’ (Revelation 12:10). He is given the key to the Abyss where many of his cohorts have been bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6). The ‘great day’ has arrived and he is given the key to release his demonic armies.

He opened the shaft of the Abyss, and there went up smoke from the shaft like the smoke of a huge furnace; the sun was darkened, and the sky too, by the smoke from the shaft. Then out of the smoke onto the earth came locusts, and they were given power like the power scorpions have on earth” (Revelation 9:2-3).

Thick smoke rises from the shaft that is so thick it darkens the sun and the sky. The Hebrew word for ‘smoke’ is ashan, but the word translated fro ‘smoke’ in this verse means ‘steam;’ the Greek is kapnos and means ‘smoke.’ The prophet Isaiah says, “wickedness burns like fire, it devours briars and thorns; it sets the forest underbrush ablaze, with clouds of smoke whirling upward” (Isaiah 9:17). This shaft of great wickedness will spew out like smoke or steam those spirits ‘under the earth.’ They will come forth for their last ‘hurrah.’ The power of the the Adversary in his final days will be so great that he will deceive billions.

A time is coming when the spiritual realm will become a physical reality. Those things like the locusts, the riders, and the horses that have been unseen and hidden will be revealed in a very specific way (Luke 8:17). How that happens remains to be seen. What follows is my interpretation from what I glean from Scripture.

From the smoke comes a swarm of locusts. When green plants are plentiful, locusts begin to breed and gather together into ravenous swarms that can be larger than 450 square miles. The desert locust, found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, can cover one-fifth of the earth’s’ land surface affecting one billion people. They devastate crops creating famine that leads to starvation. Just as in the days of Pharaoh, there will be a plague of locusts, an army of supernatural creatures from the Abyss, and they will have a different appetite.

They were instructed not to harm the grass on the earth, any green plant or any tree, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. The locusts were not allowed to kill them, only to inflict pain on them for five months; and the pain they caused was like the pain of a scorpion sting. In those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them” (Revelation 9:4-6).

These locusts will not harm grass, green plants or trees. They will only inflict pain on people who do not have the seal of Elohim on their forehead. The Greek word for ‘seal’ is sphragis and means ‘signet ring’. The Greek word for ‘forehead’ is metapon and literally means ‘after the eye.’ The ‘sealed’ are those people who are either being ‘watched’ by Elohim or always have their ‘eye’ on Him. A ‘seal’ is put on the heads of those who grieve over the abominations done in the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4).

In the Hebrew letter pictures, the last letter of the alef-bet is tav and means ‘seal’ or ‘covenant. This ‘seal’ is a ‘sign’ exemption from Adonai’s judgment. It is written by the Hand of Adonai as His ‘signet ring’ or ‘signature’ on the forehead of His people. The powerful stinging spree of these locusts is limited to five months. For five months, everyone on earth except the ‘sealed’ of Adonai will be tortured by the sting of this army of locusts.

Now these locusts looked like horses outfitted for battle. On their heads were what looked like crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. Their chests were like iron breastplates, and the sound their wings made was like the roar of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails like those of scorpions, with stings; and in their tails was their power to hurt people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is “Abaddon” and in our language, “Destroyer” (Revelation 9:7-11).

Yochanan describes the locusts as looking like horses prepared for war. They wore golden crowns representing their great authority; they had human warrior faces. They had long, flowing hair like that of a woman.

Sha’ul teaches that a man with long hair degrades himself because long hair is given to a woman for her glory (2 Corinthians 13:14). Pliny, a first-century historian, wrote that the Arabians had long hair, and the Persians had long hair and were called a ‘shaggy bear.’ There is an Arabic proverb in which the antennae of locusts are compared to girls’ hair(Jamieson-Fausset-Brown). These warriors looking like women was worth noting as men who went into battle did not generally have long hair.

Their lion-like teeth tear at flesh like a carnivorous animal. The prophet Joel describes this ‘nation,’ “For a mighty and numberless nation has invaded my land [Isra’el]. His teeth are lion’s teeth; his fangs are those of a lioness. He has reduced my vines to waste, my fig trees to splinters — he plucked them bare, stripped their bark and left their branches white” (Joel 1:6). These creatures eating human flesh would bring horrific pain; however, it could even be a flesh-eating plague is injected with their scorpion-like sting. It The Nephilim in the Book of Enoch ate the flesh of humans and drank blood.

At I write this article, I am in Las Vegas visiting my son. Until two days ago, I had actually never seen a scorpion, but one was spotted on the baseboard of his bathroom. It was very tiny, and its clear color allowed it to camouflage with the wall.

Scorpions have a venomous bite; however, most stings are not lethal to humans. Lethal stings are only dangerous when there is limited access to medical treatment. Scorpions, in the spider family, like to hide in rotting logs and leaves, snack on other insects especially cock roaches. They are always looking for something to drink and love darkness –– they actually glow in the dark. In the darknes of the the Day of Adonai, these demonic creatures will ‘glow.’

The power of these locust-warriors is in their scorpion-like sting. It doesn’t cause death, but brings tremendous pain that those who are stung will want to die. They won’t be able to die; they will only writhe in pain.

One commentary said that these locusts teach false doctrines and deceive the masses, but false doctrines do not cause people to writhe in pain; plagues and their results do. Nearly 18 months after millions of people were injected with the Covid19 vaccine, it has brought ‘writhing in pain’ to hundreds of thousands. Immune disorders such as Guillain Barr that attacks the neurological system make adults, children, and even babies shake and quiver for the rest of their lives. Myocarditis, a rare heart inflammation, has become epidemic since the vaccine in young as well as old people. Fertility issues and miscarriage with women are on the rise. Every victim that lives say they ‘just want their life back.’ This ‘scorpion sting’ has changed their God-given DNA, and this isn’t even the ‘scorpion sting’ from the Abyss.

There are numerous world leaders whose evil intentions come from the ‘the pit’ –– the Abyss. In order to maintain global health, they want a a universal vaccine –– the literal sting of a needle. As they rush to create a vaccine, there will be few real studies and the human race will become guinea pigs. I listened to one doctor talk about a vaccine created in 1976 that paralyzed nearly everyone who received it!

Until recently, I would never considered the locusts creatures anything but a demonic presence on earth that exerts extraordinary pain over people. With the recent Covid19 plague, I see the scorpion sting as more than a demonic presence. These demonic warriors won’t carry a sword to control the world, but a sting.

It is possible that these demonic warriors swarm around the world possessing global leaders to do their bidding. A demonically-possessed economic, medical, and governmental brigade that forces a concoction of ‘poison’ into certain humans that doesn’t cause them to die, but tortures them until they fully submit to the ‘beast’ (Zechariah 14:12-13).

These demon warriors have wings and swarm. The Hebrew word for ‘wing’ is kanaph and can also mean ‘the edges of a garment.’ Though Yeshua rises with ‘healing in the ‘edges of his garment,’ these creatures will not. They rise up and everywhere they fly, they will cause illness. Whether these ‘wings’ are actual wings or they have some sort of flying machine, they move quickly wherever they want to go, take authority, and damage humanity.

The sound of the warriors’ wings roars like horses with chariots rushing into battle. These demonic warriors could use drones to seek out those who need to be stung. Not long ago, drones were being flown over western parts of the United States and no one claimed responsibility, even the U.S. military. At the outbreak of the Wuhan virus in the U.S., they disappeared. Whatever happens with these warriors from the Abyss, Elohim allows the sting and the ensuing plague to create a great panic that will cause chaos.

The demon warriors have chests like iron. For those who body build, this could me they have ‘abs,’ but it could also refer to their incredible strength. I personally believe their iron chests suggest they are hard-hearted or have no heart. They operate with cruelty and without compassion because they are not human.

Months later I am in Alaska and reading about the president unveiling a vaccine by the end of the year –– 2020. There will be several hundred million vials manufactured so that the entire United States population can be vaccinated. He is not only working with the Centers for Disease Control DC and National Institute for Health, he is working with the United States military to administer the vaccine.

‘Demonic’, though specifically evil, means ‘fiercely energetic or frenzied.’ The plan for unraveling several million doses of vaccine has been named “Operation Warp Speed.” Even the name suggests a ‘demonic’ side to this ‘operation.’ Putting a vaccine into the hands of warriors who ‘become fiercely frenzied’ as they make sure every person in the United States is ‘stung’ could become a wild ride for anyone who refuses the ‘sting.’ The only way to avoid the ‘sting’ is to have the mark of Adonai.

Believers should be praying for Adonai to reveal His mark that will be on their foreheads –– completely different from the ‘mark of the beast.’ As the months pass in 2021, those who receive the ‘sting’ are ‘marked’ in the world. Vaccine passports allow those with the ‘sting’ to live a ‘normal’ life while those without the ‘sting’ will be shut out. Whether or not this ‘sting’ is related to the ‘mark of the beast’ is unknown. However, this ‘sting’ may be the testing ground for what is prophesied to come out of the Abyss. This ‘sting’ may be a test of faith: either one stands for the Healer or succumbs to the demonic forces.

The warrior demons have a king whose name in Hebrew is Abbadon meaning ‘doom,’ ‘place of destruction’ or ‘realm of the dead.’ In Greek Abbadon is Apollyon which is not a place, but the name of the fallen angel guarding the bottomless pit. This fallen angel brings forth spiritual oppression and a desire for self-beauty. Some believe Apollyon is the the Adversary himself or his ‘seed,’ the anti-messiah. The ‘destroyer’ leads the locust-type warriors into a global battle bringing forth months of torment and horror never seen in the history of the world. The prophet Joel gives more details about these warrior demons and how they take over the earth:

Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of Adonai is coming! It’s upon us! — a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick fog; a great and mighty horde is spreading like blackness over the mountains. There has never been anything like it, nor will there ever be again, not even after the years of many generations. Ahead of them a fire devours, behind them a flame consumes; ahead the land is like Gan-‘Eden, behind them a desert waste. From them there is no escape. They look like horses, and like cavalry they charge. With a rumble like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like crackling flames devouring stubble, like a mighty horde in battle array. At their presence the peoples writhe in anguish, every face is drained of color. Like warriors they charge, they scale the wall like soldiers. Each one keeps to his own course, without getting in the other’s way. They don’t jostle each other, but stay on their own paths; they burst through defenses unharmed, without even breaking rank. They rush into the city, they run along the wall, they climb up into the houses, entering like a thief through the windows. At their advance the earth quakes, and the sky shakes, the sun and moon turn black, and the stars stop shining” (Joel 2:1-10).

“The first woe has passed, but there are still two woes to come” (Revelation 9:12)

“The sixth angel sounded his shofar, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar before God, saying to the sixth angel, the one with the shofar, “Release the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates!” And they were released. These four angels had been kept ready for this moment, for this day and month and year, to kill a third of mankind; and the number of cavalry soldiers was two hundred million! — I heard the number” (Revelation 9:13-16).

When the sixth messenger blows his shofar, a voice from the four horns of the golden Altar speaks. The Altar of Incense in the earthly Tabernacle was acacia wood overlaid with gold while the Altar of Sacrifice was made of bronze. The four horns had a specific purpose: to bind the sacrifice to the Altar. With the release of four angels at the Euphrates River, one-third of mankind was going to be ‘sacrificed.’

These angels have been bound for this moment in time –– this specific day, month, and year. The Hebrew word is zaman and means ‘fixed time,’ not an ‘appointed time.’ Because there are ‘times’ for everything under heaven, this zaman is no different (Ecclesiates 3:1). Some suggest that this ‘fixed time’ is Passover because it is references the fourteenth day of the first month at midnight. If this is a reference to an ‘appointed time’ on Elohim’s calendar, it would not be in spring, but in fall as these ‘appointed times’ have not been fulfilled.

Yom Teruah is a ‘fixed time:’ first day of the seventh month at the sighting of the new moon. The Feast of Trumpets is commemorated by blowing the shofar. For the ten days between Yom Teruah and the Day of Atonement, the shofar is blown. As judgment shofar blasts, these could be the second woe.

The Days of Awe are known as the ‘ten days of repentance.’ This is a ‘fixed time’ not only for individual repentance, but for Isra’el’s national repentance. IThe days of these ten shofar blasts could refer to the days of repentance that Elohim gives, but mankind still refuses to repent. Though it would not be a specific ‘appointed time,’ the ‘Days of Awe,’ could be the ‘fixed time.’

Though Greek is translated into a specific number of cavalry soldiers –– 200 million –– the actual Greek words translate as myriads and myriads –– a number too great to count. The same Greek words are used for the number of angels in heaven –– a number too vast to count (Revelation 5:11). These mounted horsemen are sent out to kill 2.5 billion more people as 2.5 billion were already killed by plague, famine, and wild animals. With a global population of nearly 8 billion, killing 5 billion is a massive number of people.

The Hebrew word for ‘bound’ means ‘chained’ or ‘banned.’ These beings who were ‘chained’ are the disobedient, fallen angels: “And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6).

These demonic beings have been ‘bound’ by the Euphrates River which runs though Babylon, present-day Iraq. Babylon will become the central hub for global economic, political, and religious systems In ancient times, the area between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers was known as Mesopotamia. Abraham was living in Ur, a city in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia when Elohim called him to leave and go to a ‘land he would be shown.’

In order to understand the spiritual war that occurred in heaven, a type and shadow of the Adversary is revealed through the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14). Babylon is steeped in a religious system that is always at war with Isra’el. Though it has similar roots in Abraham, its lineage follows the descendants of Ishmael, not Isaac. Its eschatology is in direct opposition of Biblical eschatology; its ‘deliverer’ is the antithesis of Yeshua or the anti-messiah.

“Here is how the horses looked in the vision: the riders had breastplates that were fire-red, iris-blue and sulfur-yellow; the horses’ heads were like lions’ heads; and from their mouths issued fire, smoke and sulfur. It was these three plagues that killed a third of mankind — the fire, smoke and sulfur issuing from the horses’ mouths. For the power of the horses was in their mouths — and also in their tails, for their tails were like snakes with heads, and with them they could cause injury” (Revelation 9:17-19)

The multitude of cavalry will come from the east, not China as some suggest, but the Middle East. They will have the power to kill another 2 billion people. With a global population of 8 billion people and the killing of 7 billion, this leaves only 1 billion people alive, though some of these events may happen simultaneously. While Adonai declares the ‘beginning from the end’ and can see multiple events at the same time, Yochanan can only witnesses these spiritual end time events through his limited understanding (Isaiah 46:10).

These riders wear multi-colored breastplates of heavy armor like ‘chain mail.’ In Greek, red, purple, and yellow, is ‘fire and jacinth, and brimstone.’ ‘Fire’ suggests the color red, but the chain mail could literally be on fire. Jacinth is a deep blue and was one the stone in the breastplate of the High Priest for the Tribe of Gad meaning ‘troops.’ The final color is ‘brimstone’ which is bright, clear and yellow like sulfur. Sulfur is used to ignite matches for starting fires. ‘Fire and brimstone’ rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah as a judgment; these ‘troops’ use the same power to judge the world.

The fire, smoke, and sulfur comes through their horses’ mouths –– like a dragon, they breathe fire. With lion heads and venomous-headed snake tails, these ‘troops’ ignite fires killing another third of mankind. The Hebrew word for ‘power’ had several meanings: euthanasia and ‘gassing in a killing facility.’ These horses and riders perfect mass murder.

“The rest of mankind, those who were not killed by these plagues, even then did not turn from what they had made with their own hands — they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they turn from their murdering, their involvement with the occult and with drugs, their sexual immorality or their stealing” (Revelation 9:20-21).

The remaining population not killed by ‘infectious epidemics’ –– one billion people –– still did not ‘repent’ and turn back to Elohim. They are reprobate and corrupt; they continue to ‘murder, assassinate, steal, and whore. They practice witchcraft and worship demons by setting up idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood.

The Greek translates the word ‘witchcraft’ as ‘sorcery.’ The Greek word for ‘sorcery’ is pharmakos and means ‘poisoner.’ From pharmakos comes pharmacon or ‘pharmacy’ and means ‘drug.’ A sorcerer ‘poisons people with drugs.’ Sorcery can also mean ‘to drug people into living by their illusions –– using supernatural powers to manipulate Elohim into giving them temporal possessions’ (Strongs Concordance, #5333.). Pharmaceuticals are really legalized drugs. People will be deceived by pharmaceuticals whether it is illusions it creates or the false sense of having physical health. With the injection of the Covid ‘vaccine,’ many people describe hallucinations after receiving the ‘shot in the arm’.

This calls for ‘wisdom on the part of Adonai’s holy people.’

Chapter 10 – The Little Scroll

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