Posts Tagged ‘Isaac’

One, Unique – Hebrew: Echad

אחד

The word echad is found in the Hebrew Scriptures nearly 1000 times. In its basic meaning, it is the number 1 when counting in Hebrew. It also means ‘first.’

“God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:5).

“Their rings of outer leaves and their branches were of one piece with the shaft. Thus the whole menorah was one piece of hammered work made of pure gold” (Exodus 37:22).

“You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you” (Exodus 12:2).

“Now choose yourselves twelve men out of the tribes of Isra’el, one man for each tribe” (Joshua 3:12).

The word echad also means ‘undivided oneness.’

“This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:39).

Even though Eve came from the flesh of Adam to become a separate person, when they came together in the marriage covenant with Elohim, they rejoined as ‘one’ flesh. What God joins together, no man should separate because they become an ‘undivided oneness.’

When Yeshua was at the Temple during Hanukkah, (the Feast of Dedication), he told the people that he and his Father are an ‘undivided oneness.’ They cannot be separated into two gods or separate persons. They are ‘uniquely one.’

Echad means ‘uniqueness.’ This word ‘unique’ brings understanding to several specific Scriptures: the binding of Isaac, the Shema, and the nation of Israel.

“He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah” (Genesis 22:2).

“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

“And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, because of Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from other nations and their gods?” (2 Samuel 7:23, NASB).

In Genesis 22, Abraham is told to take his ‘only’ son, Isaac, to Mount Moriah. Isaac is not Abraham’s ‘only’ son; he had an older son named Ishmael. The word for ‘only’ is echad and doesn’t mean ‘one’ in this passage, but ‘unique.’ God is telling Abraham to take his ‘unique’ son, the son that was born from his faith to the place that would become the Temple mountain. Isaac is ‘unique’ in that there is no other offspring like him in the world. He is one-of-a-kind.

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the words of the Shema include the word echad in describing Adonai. This word has the same nuance of not only being the ‘only’ God, but a ‘unique’ God among the ‘gods.’ There is no other God like Yahweh. He is one-of-a-kind.

In 2 Samuel 7, King David uses the word echad to describe the ‘uniqueness’ of the nation of Israel. There is no other nation on earth that God redeemed for Himself and to make a name for Himself. It is the ‘only’ nation through which God revealed His eternal plan of redemption. The offspring of this nation will not be rejected until the sky can be measured, the foundations of the earth understood – in other words, never rejected (Jeremiah 31:36). Israel is a ‘unique’ one-of-a-kind nation.

Hebrew Word Pictures

One, Unique – echad – אחד

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ or ‘strength.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘to protect.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for echad: first strength protects the pathway

In Greek the word monogenes means ‘unique.’

The Greek word mono means ‘one, singular or alone.’ The Greek word genes means ‘offspring’ or ‘pertaining to origin.’ Genes is where the words genealogy and genetics derrive.

The words ‘only begotten’ are a mistranslation of the Greek word monogenes. God has many ‘sons,’ as seen in Genesis 6:2. Yeshua is His ‘unique’ son, one-of-a-kind. Other created ‘sons of God’ are not the ‘visible image of the invisible God.’ That is ‘unique’ to Yeshua. The following verse translates monogenes correctly in the Complete Jewish Bible:

“Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son” (John 3:18).

©2022 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Parashah 6: Tol’dot (History)

Genesis 25:19-28:9

“Here is the history of Yitz’ak, Avraham’s son. Avraham fathered Yitz’ak. Yitz’ak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of B’tu’el the Arami from Paddan-Aram and sister of Lavan the Arami, to be his wife” (Genesis 25:19-20).

History is an interesting subject as it reminds people of their ancestral heritage as well as past events in their own lives. Most followers of Yeshua don’t consider Genesis through Deuteronomy their own spiritual history; however, once an individual enters the Kingdom of Elohim, the family history described in the first five books of the Bible becomes their history, their family lineage through Yeshua along with a myriad of adopted brothers and sisters.

Father Abraham

Isaac receives the same blessing as his father, “I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Abraham, your father –– I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, I will give all these lands to your descendants, and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will bless themselves.  All this is because Abraham heeded what I said and did what I told him to do–he followed my mitzvot, my regulations and teachings” (Genesis 26:4-5).

In Hebrew, mitzvot means ‘commandments’ and Elohim is always the giver of the mitzvot. This noun occurs 181 times in the TeNaK (Torah, Prophets and Writings).  Its first occurrence appears in Genesis 26:5 where mitzvot is synonymous with hoq or ‘statute’ and Torah meaning ‘instruction.’ Because of Abraham’s obedience to the mitzvot, he receives everything that El Shaddai desired to give him: land, descendants, and to be a blessing to the nations of the earth.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Mitzvot (Commandments) – מצוות – mem, tazdik, vav, vav, tav
– drawing near to the mighty finished work, finished covenant

Choq or Chukkim (Statute(s)) – חוק – chet, vav, kof
– protect what is behind the binding

Abraham obeyed El Shaddai’s mitzvot long before Torah was given to Moshe on Mount Sinai. In other words, Abraham lived by Torah before it was written on stone tablets because El Shaddai’s instructions were written on his heart.  His obedience was the set-apart way he lived out his faith in the world. Abraham is called the ‘father of faith’ because he willingly and faithfully obeyed El Shaddai’s commands even when they didn’t make sense to him. We are Abraham’s children, if we obey the mitzvot written on the paper in our Bibles, the same mitzvot that should be written on our hearts by the Ruach haKodesh (Galatians 3:7).

Nations at Odds and Prophecy

Isaac is 40 years old when he marries Rebekah.  He prays for his wife to have a child as she is barren. As her husband, he embraced his role of a spiritual leader and prayed.  He interceded on her behalf.  His prayer, though answered, took about 20 years until he saw the fruit of his labor. Isaac is 60 years old when his sons are born.

After years of disappointment, Rebekah finally conceives, but she senses there are serious issues with the pregnancy. There is jostling!  She seeks Elohim about the activity in her womb asking, “If all is well, why am I like this?” Elohim’s answer –– twins!

“There are two nations in your womb. From birth they will be two rival peoples. One of these peoples will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23).

Esau, meaning ‘completely formed and having red hair’ is born first and is covered with reddish hair.  Esau is a word play on Seir as both mean ‘hairy.’ Seir is where Esau will eventually settle and his descendants will live. Seir is also known as Edom which also means ‘red’.

The second son emerges from the womb holding onto Esau’s heel; he is called Ya’akov, ‘he catches by the heel.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Esau (Hairy) – עשו – ayin, shin, vav
– understand the consuming binding

Ya’akov (Supplants) – יעקב – yod, ayin, kof, bet
– finished work, understand what is behind the family

Firstborns are generally chosen as the heir to the family inheritance; however, Isaac has firsthand knowledge that this isn’t always true.  He had been chosen over his older brother, Ishmael, to receive the promises El Shaddai gave to his father.  Now, it seems the prophecy given to Rebekah, and the presentation of the boys at birth, that Jacob has been chosen over Esau to receive the covenant promises.

“I love you,” says the Adonai. But you ask, ‘How do you show us your love?’ Adonai answers, ‘Esav was Ya’akov’s brother.  Yet I loved Ya’akov  but hated Esav. I made his mountains desolate and gave his territory to desert jackals.’ Edom [the land where Esau lived] says, ‘We are beaten down now, but we will come back and rebuild the ruins.’ Adonai-Tzva’ot answers, ‘They can build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Land of Wickedness, the people with whom Adonai is permanently angry. You will see it and say, ‘Adonai is great, even beyond the borders of Isra’el”” (Malachi 1:2-5).

The words, “Yet I loved Jacob, but hated Esau,” seem harsh; however, these words in the Hebrew are more correctly rendered as ‘accepted’ and ‘rejected.’  They don’t mean Esau was cursed and doomed to eternal separation from Elohim. It does mean the covenant promises were going to go through Jacob’s lineage, not Esau’s. Elohim’s calling on an individual’s life has divine purpose and is not the result of anything that individual does or doesn’t do (Romans 9:10-14).

Because Elohim’s callings and gifts cannot be revoked, Isra’el is loved because of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They will stand forever as Elohim’s chosen nation as they were called to be a nation before Jacob and Esau were born, before the foundations of the world (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4).

“With respect to the Good News they [Isra’el] are hated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they [Isra’el] are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake, for God’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29).

A Stew and A Blessing

The twin boys grew up together, but had different personalities. Because Jacob was a quiet, gentle man and remained near the tents, Rebekah favored him. The Hebrew word for ‘quiet’ is tar suggesting Jacob was the ‘perfect man.’ By staying near the tents, it could be inferred that Jacob spent a lot of time with Isaac learning about the Elohim of Abraham, El Shaddai. Tar also implies that he was obedient to his father’s instructions representing the spiritual man who embraces the ways of Elohim.

Isaac favored Esau even though he spent little time near the tent with his aging father. 
As a skilled hunter, Esau was away from home most of the time –– a ‘man of the field.’ As a ‘man of the field,’ Esau represents the carnal man and the ways of the world. Being away from home so often, Esau either rebelled against his father’s teachings or just never spent enough time with Isaac to learn or embrace them.  Whatever the reason for him being away from home, Esau gave up his birthright for a pot of stew.

In ancient times, the birthright was a sacred position belonging to the firstborn. The family name and titles were passed along to the eldest son, as well as the largest portion of the family’s inheritance. In the case of Esau and Jacob, the birthright held great significance as the one who received the birthright became heir to the promise given to their grandfather, Abraham.

In Jewish tradition, it is taught that the red lentil stew Jacob cooked was meant for Isaac who was mourning the death of his father.  This is called sitting shiva and the stew was considered a meal of mourning. Sitting shiva lasts seven days and symbolizes being ‘brought low’ during the mourning process.

It seems that neither of these boys, who would have been about 15 years old, understood the enormity of the death of their grandfather and the responsibility that would come for one of them. For a simple bowl of lentil stew and an oath, Jacob received the birthright from his brother, the birthright given to him prophetically from the womb.

Many years later, after Isaac had grown old and his eyes were nearly blind, he calls Esau to him. He asks him to take his hunting equipment, his bow and arrows, and go into the country to hunt for some game meat. He further requests that Esau prepare the food the way he likes it, tasty and good to eat. Isaac would then bless Esau as his firstborn son before he died –– in direct contradiction to the prophecy of Elohim.

Rebekah overhears the conversation and takes matters into her own hands. She calls Jacob and tells him to get two goats from the flock. She prepares them the way her husband likes so Jacob could receive the firstborn blessing. Because Jacob has smooth skin, unlike his hairy brother, Rebekah prepares goat skins for his body and makes him dress in Esau’s best clothes. When everything is prepared, Jacob goes into Isaac and, through a deception, receives the blessing of the firstborn.

“May God give you dew from heaven, the richness of the earth, and grain and wine in abundance. May peoples [goyim] serve you and nations bow down to you. May you be lord over your kinsmen, let your mother’s descendants bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you” (Genesis 27:27-29).

As soon as Isaac finishes blessing Jacob, Esau returns to find that he had lost the blessing. He begs his father for a blessing and Isaac responds: “Your dwelling shall be away from the fertility of the earth and away from the dew of heaven above; but you shall live by your sword, and serve your brother; however it shall come to pass when you break loose [from your anger and hatred], that you will tear his yoke off your neck [and you will be free of him]” (Genesis 27:39-40, AMP).

‘Dew’ in Hebrew is the word tal and represents not only morning dew, but also the mist in the evening.   Dew symbolizes spiritual well-being and resurrection just as well-watered land produces enough moisture to bring forth dew.  Without dew, there is no spiritual rebirth, blessing or flourishing crops (Zechariah 8:12, Haggai 1:9-10). The blessing that Isaac gave Esau was not spiritual nor did it include the physical blessing of moisture needed for one who works the land. Isaac’s blessing on Esau to be “away from” the dew was actually a curse on his son.

Because he was cursed, Esau hates his brother and entertains thoughts of killing him. Rebekah knows the intent of Esau’s heart and sends Jacob away to her brother’s home in Haran. Isaac commands Jacob not to marry any Hittite women, but to choose a wife from the daughters of his Uncle Laban.
Isaac blesses Jacob a second time.  This blessing passes on the promises given to him and Abraham. With this second blessing, Isaac demonstrates that even with the deception, he accepts the outcome because it had been prophesied by El Shaddai and witnessed by both Rebekah and Esau. Regardless of how it transpired, the end resulted in the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Rebekah when the twins battled in her womb.

“May El Shaddai bless you, make you fruitful and increase your descendants, until they become a whole assembly of peoples.  And may he give you the blessing which he gave Abraham, you and your descendants with you, so that you will possess the land you travel through, the land God gave to Abraham” (Genesis 28:3-4).

According to Proverbs 18:21, the tongue has the power of life or death. In the account of Jacob and Esau, words made the difference between a life of blessing and a life of curse. Yeshua says in Matthew 12:26 that each of us will give an account for idle words.  It’s not just blessings or curses for which we will be responsible, but every word we utter with our tongues.

“By faith Yitz’ak blessed Ya’akov and Esau in regard to their future” (Hebrews 11:20).

Jacob leaves for Paddam-Aram near the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia to meet his Uncle Laban and his family.

The Battle of Wells

When Isaac returns to the land of Gerar in the land of the Philistines, he finds that his father’s well pits have been stopped up.  The Philistines have maliciously filled the holes with dirt.  His servants not only open the wells again, but find a spring of fresh running water in the vadi or valley.   An argument ensues between the Philistine herdsmen and Isaac’s herdsmen regarding the water. Wells and water were scarce in this region and Isaac’s increasing wealth created jealousy between his herdsmen and the Philistines’ when it came to water rights.

Three new well pits are dug, argued over, and named: esek meaning ‘quarrel,’ sitnah meaning ‘enmity,’ and rechovot meaning ‘wide open spaces.’  After a peace-keeping agreement is made between Isaac and Abimelech, a final well pit is dug and Isaac’s servants find water.  This well is named sheva meaning ‘oath’ and ‘seven.’ The name for this location, ‘place of seven wells,’ is Be’er Sheva.

The Hebrew word for ‘well’ is be’er and literally means ‘pit.’ Generally these type of well pits have narrow mouths which can be blocked with a stone or mound of dirt as was the case in Gerar.  Gerar has its root in the Hebrew word ger meaning ‘stranger or sojourner.’ Gerar can also mean ‘lodging place.’ Gerar, the place where Isaac lodged as a sojourner, was located south of Gaza in the land of the Philistines.

From the word ger comes the word goyim meaning ‘nations.’ Goyim can also imply ‘pagan.’ Though this is only one nuance of the word ger, it tends to cause confusion when some interpret goyim as being completely pagan, which isn’t always the case. A person from the nations, ger, who becomes a follower of Messiah Yeshua is a Messianic goy or Messianic gentile and evidence that El Shaddai’s promise to Abraham is being fulfilled among the nations.

At Be’er Sheva a spring of living water was found. Isaac’s servants not only had water for their physical needs from the unstopped wells, but this place of ‘seven wells’ becomes a powerful symbol that their spiritual needs were being met through Isaac, the heir to the promise.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

According to Jeremiah, it is a sin to forsake Elohim and dig our own well pits. Like in the days of Jeremiah and Yeshua, the Body of Messiah has forsaken the Word of Elohim for the traditions of men –– not just Jewish traditions, but all religious traditions that are not rooted in the Scriptures. Every time the Word of Elohim is trampled underfoot for the sake of traditions, we drink from broken cisterns and our spiritual lives become muddied and dry up. In these last days, the living water springs of Elohim have become so plugged up with the traditions of men and the anti-semitic doctrines of church fathers that it is time to dig out the dirt in order to find living water that quenches our spiritual thirst, water that restores us to a true and vibrant spiritual life.  It’s not easy to remove the hard-packed dirt that has filled the holes, but the reward will be “water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:1-3).

Esau’s Wives

Esau marries Hittite women, descendants from Heth, the son of Canaan. These women embitter Isaac and Rebekah.  Multiple marriages with Canaanite women show that Esau acted selfishly without taking into account how his choices affected those around him. He especially didn’t take into account any teachings or traditions passed to him by his father or mother –– whether it was his birthright, his blessing, or his progeny.   After losing the blessing of his father and observing how his brother obeyed and loved his parents, Esau has a change a heart and tries to make amends for all the bitterness he has caused in marrying Canaanite women.  Esau goes to Ishmael and marries his uncle’s daughter Mahalath, whose name in Hebrew means ‘sickness or disease’ (Genesis 28:9).

Yeshua, the Flesh and the Spirit

“Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach haKodesh [Holy Spirit]” (Matthew 1:18).

“While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters” (Luke 2:6-7).

“The child grew and became strong and filled with wisdom — God’s favor was upon him. And Yeshua grew both in wisdom and in stature, gaining favor both with other people and with God” (Luke 2:40, 52).

“While all the people were being immersed, Yeshua too was immersed. As he was praying, heaven was opened; the Ruach haKodesh came down on him in physical form like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with you’” (Luke 3:21-22).

“He said, ‘Where have you buried him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Yeshua cried, so the Judeans there said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:34-36)

“‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done.’ There appeared to him an angel from heaven giving him strength, and in great anguish he prayed more intensely, so that his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:42-44).

“When they [the soldiers] got to Yeshua and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. However, one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out” (John 19:33-34).

“He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, because in connection with him were created all things — in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities — they have all been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:15-16).

“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).

©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 13 – The Beast and Its Mark

Then the dragon stood on the seashore, and I saw a beast come up out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns and on its heads blasphemous names. The beast which I saw was like a leopard, but with feet like those of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion” (Revelation 13:1-3).

The ‘great red dragon’ stands on the seashore. The ‘dragon’ is not standing on rock, but sand that will eventually crumble beneath him. The ‘dragon’s’ power on earth will only last for a short time. Yeshua teaches the difference between the wise and foolish builders: the one who builds his house on the Word of God, the rock; and the other who does not. Using Yeshua’s words, the house of the ‘dragon’ that abhors the Torah, its laws and its commands, will crumble.

A ‘beast’ comes up out of the ‘sea.’ The ‘sea’ is symbolic of nations and peoples. In Hebrew the word for ‘sea’ is gam and it is also ‘many waters’ or mayim. In the Hebrew word pictures, the sea and water means ‘the beast rises up pridefully out of a world of chaos.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Sea – gam or גם

Gimel – A Camel means ‘to lift up’ or ‘pride.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for gam: lift up the chaos.

Water – mayim or מים

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for mayim: mighty finished work chaos.

The ‘Beast’ Nations

The ‘beast’ has seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns. There are four ‘beasts’ or kingdoms that have ruled the earth. These kingdoms are represented by a lion with eagle’s wings that turned into a man with feet and a human heart, a bear lying on its side with ribs in its mouth that was told to go and eat human flesh, a leopard with four heads and four birds’ wings on its sides, and a dreadful, horrible, strong animal with ten horns and iron teeth that crushed and stamped its feet on what was left from the other beasts (Daniel 7).

The ‘beast’ nations are the same ones seen in Daniel’s statue vision; the nations are described from a physical and historical narrative. The ‘beast’ nations in Daniel chapter 2 coincide with the historical narrative, but take on a spiritual meaning in Daniel chapter 7. I believe the ‘beasts’ are named for how they treat the nation of Isra’el and the Jewish people.

Babylon, the First Spiritual Beast

The first ‘beast’ nation, the lion with wings is considered to be Babylon ruled by Nebuchadnezzer, the greatest kingdom that conquered other kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzer went into Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and took the Jewish people captive. As captives, they lived in Babylon assimilating into the culture for 70 years. Daniel, one of the captives, has a vision during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer. This ‘beast’ believed he built his kingdom without any divine help from the Creator. Because of his arrogance, he was humbled by Elohim. After seven years of living on all fours eating grass like an animal, he is transformed into a ‘man with a heart’ who stands up. This transformation makes him more human and less warrior which allowed the next kingdom to overtake his. Babylon is modern-day Iraq.

Persia, the Second Spiritual Beast

The second ‘beast’ nation, a bear with ribs in its mouth is considered to be the Medo-Persian empire. Laying on its side suggests that one part of the empire was greater than the other. Persia becomes the greater empire and devours three other nations: Babylon, Egypt, and Lydia. Though Persia is greater than the Mede nation, it never becomes as great at Babylon. Persia is modern-day Iran.

Seventy years after being taken captive in Babylon, Daniel shows King Cyrus prophecies from Isaiah that were written 120 years before Cyrus was born (Isaiah 45:13). The prophecies speak of Cyrus by name as the one who would release captive Judah and allow her to return to Jerusalem (Isaiah 44-45).

King Cyrus immediately decrees that the captives could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. He sent the first wave of Jews back to the Land with all the articles that had been stolen from the Temple by the Babylonians. He even financed the project.

Only some of the Jewish people left Persia for Jerusalem in the first wave; others remained in Persia. A fourth king came to power named Xerxes whose mother was Cyrus’ sister. During the reign of King Xerxes, a political advisor named Haman created an edict to exterminate all the Jewish people left in the kingdom. Esther, who was of Jewish descent, had become Queen and was made aware of the decree. She took her petition for the lives of her people to the King who quickly executed Haman. After the victory of the Jewish people celebrated as Purim, there was a second wave of Jewish immigration back to their homeland.

Greece, the Third Spiritual Beast

The third ‘beast’ nation, a leopard with four heads and four wings, represents the Greek empire. Alexander the Great, the leader of this kingdom, conquered the known world with exceptional speed represented by the wings. He died young and his kingdom was divided between four generals. One of these generals was Seleucus who ruled Syria and the east which includes the modern-day countries of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

It was during the Seleucian rule that the Syrians came into Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple. Antiochus, one of the kings of the Seleucian empire, wanted the Jewish people to assimilate into the Greek culture of the empire by destroying their Biblical heritage: Sabbath, Passover, circumcision, and dietary regulations. He placed an image of Zeus in the Temple and ordered it to be worshiped. A small group of Jewish men who refused to submit and assimilate joined together to fight the Syrian armies. Eventually the Jewish people won back Jerusalem, recaptured the Temple, and dedicated the Altar back to Adonai. The time for remembering the re-dedication of the Altar and the Temple is the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.

Rome, the Fourth Spiritual Beast

“Then I wanted to know what the fourth beast meant, the one that was different from all the others, so very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze nails, which devoured, crushed and stamped its feet on what was left; and what the ten horns on its head meant; and the other horn which sprang up and before which three fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly and seemed greater than the others” (Daniel 7:19-20).

Daniel was terrified with the vision of the fourth ‘beast’ nation. Its power and rule was so horrendous that there was no animal created to describe it. The world has seen no other ‘beast’ kingdom rise like the Roman Empire. Though the Seleucian empire tried to assimilate the Jewish people; the Roman empire sought to completely destroy them. The Romans ruled Isra’el when Yeshua walked on the earth; the Romans crucified him. The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 CE; and they ended the revolt at Masada with the suicide of 967 Jewish men and women. At this point in history, the power of Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem became the ‘time of the gentiles.’

Sha’ul told the Roman believers to not become arrogant over Isra’el (Romans 11:17-18). They did not heed his warning and Roman theology birthed a new religion called Christianity. Special councils created edicts in Laodicea and Nicea contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures, gospels and letters. They removed all Biblical commands that ‘looked’ Jewish from the seventh-day Sabbath to circumcision to Passover to dietary regulations. The previous three ‘beasts’ were pagan nations with multi-god worship, but Rome ‘Christianized’ and embraced pagan gods and celebrations, mixing the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane,’ turning Biblical truth into a lukewarm soup. Rome did more harm to followers of the Jewish Messiah than the other three ‘beasts’ combined because it deceived the masses.

Ten royal crowns sat upon the ten horns of the Roman ‘beast.’ Rome was never conquered like the previous ‘beast’ nations, but divided into 10 smaller nations that became Europe. The small horn of power that rises from this ‘beast’ nation is believed to be the Bishop of Rome who transformed pagan Rome into a Roman political and religious entity called the papacy (Daniel 7:8-9).

The fourth ‘beast’ nation displaced three other powerful nations that refused to succumb to Rome’s power. Another ‘horn’ springs up in their place that has human eyes and a mouth that speaks arrogantly. Though Daniel doesn’t use the terminology of ‘anti-messiah,’ this is the revelation of the ‘man of lawlessness.’ This is the ‘horn’ that will make war with the holy ones of Adonai.

Some believe this little ‘horn’ is the ‘false prophet’ or the papacy who made war with Adonai’s chosen people. Historically, the Roman church has been responsible for more murders of the Jewish people than any other ‘beast.’ From the Crusades to the Inquisitions to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, the twisting of the Hebrew Scriptures against the Jewish people has been the modus operandi of the Adversary under the guise of the Roman catholic church (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).

The Modern-Day Version of the Fourth Beast

To it the dragon gave its power, its throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement. They worshipped the dragon, because he had given his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13:3-4).

The ‘beast’ seen by Yochanan looked like a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. This ‘beast’ is comprised of Greece, Persia, and Babylon meshed together into one fierce religious system. This ‘beast’ will try to assimilate, destroy, and take captive the nation of Isra’el through a great spiritual deception.

This nation ‘beast’ receives its authority, its power, and its kingship from the Dragon. According to the prophecy in Daniel, the ‘Dragon’ is the Adversary or Satan. ‘The Lie’ that the nations embrace and believe is ‘the Lie’ that was spoken by that ancient serpent in Gan Eden: you will be ‘woke’ and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5).

“I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The ‘beast’ appears to have a fatal wound that is miraculously healed. Because of this miraculous event, the nations of the world will worship the ‘Dragon’ because of the authority he gives to the ‘beast.’

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, each individual involved was given a consequence for their disobedience – even the Serpent. He was told that the ‘Seed of woman’ would ‘bruise his head,’ but the Serpent would only bruise the heel of the ‘Seed of woman.’

The ‘Seed’ of woman is Yeshua, the Messiah of Isra’el. When Yeshua died on the cross, he disarmed the spirits of darkness. He triumphed over satan and made impotent all of his powers (Colossians 2:15). Yeshua ‘bruised’ his head. Though Satan appears to be ‘dead,’ his power will be returned for a short time in his ‘seed,’ the anti-messiah. It will be such a powerful ‘return’ that everyone will worship the ‘beast.’ Who can fight against it?

“It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven;  it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:5-7).

The ‘arrogant one’ speaks blasphemies. ‘Blaspheme’ in Hebrew is gadaf and means ‘to revile’ or ‘assail with scornful and abusive language.’ The definition of ‘blaspeheme’ is ‘to insult, show contempt or lack of reverence for God and for His holy objects.’ The ‘anti-messiah’ will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem and call himself yod-hey-vav-hey (Matthew 24:14). He will scorn the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Yeshua, the followers of the ‘Seed of woman,’ and make war against them (Daniel 11:31). The ‘seed’ of the Adversary will speak arrogantly for a period of 3½ years. The Hebrew word for ‘arrogant’ is עתק or athaq and means ‘unrestrained speech.’

There are two instances in the gospels where Yeshua is charged with blasphemy. When Yeshua is at the Temple for the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah, the Jewish people around him ask if he is the Messiah. He responds and says, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). The leaders call him a blasphemer because he equated himself with Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Another instance is when Yeshua heals a paralyzed man. The man’s healing comes after Yeshua forgives his sins. The leaders call him a blasphemer because only Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7).

Yeshua refers to Daniel’s prophecy about the ‘abomination of desolation’ that will occur in the end times (Matthew 24). Daniel’s prophecy occured in the 148 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes during the Second Temple period. Antiochus is the Greek rendering of ‘antichrist’ and Epiphanes means ‘in the flesh. The god Zeus, the ‘abomination of desolation’ was set up in the sanctuary to be worshiped as God, and pigs were slaughtered on the Altar of Sacrifice.

By referring to the prophecy in Daniel, Yeshua wants his disciples to understand its greater prophetic significance in the end times before his return.

Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded. Those who have ears, let them hear! “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” (Revelation 13:8-9).

Everyone living on earth will worship the ‘beast’ except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This Lamb was slaughtered before the foundation of the world; his Book of Life was written at the same time with the souls who will not worship the ‘beast. They may go into captivity or be put to death by the sword, but their names have been known from eternity past and will enter the eternal Kingdom.

This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!” (Revelation 13:10).

The times of the ‘beast,’ ‘false prophet’ and the anti-messiah will be so difficult that the people of Adonai must persevere and put their trust in Yeshua. No matter what happens during the days of the ‘abomination,’ the followers of Yeshua must keep hope so they can persevere.

The Hebrew word for ‘persevere’ is really not used in the verse. Two other words, however, are possible. The first is sarah and means ‘to persist or exert oneself.’ Interestingly, the same word sarah also means ‘princess.’ During the tribulation, the ‘princess will persist and exert herself’ just like Queen Esthe who had to exert herself in order to overcome the decree to murder her people.

Another Hebrew word that may be used for ‘persevere’ is tamid and means ‘continual,’ ‘perpetual,’ and ‘constant.’ During the days of tribulation, continual and constant faith in Yeshua will enable perseverance. These days will be like no other time in history, and only for the sake of the ‘elect’ will they be shortened (Matthew 24:22).

The False Prophet

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like those of a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence; and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, the one whose fatal wound had been healed. It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch” (Revelation 13:11-13).

Another ‘beast’ comes up out of the earth. ‘Sea’ means ‘nations,’ so ‘earth’ may mean where there is no nation which would be a rare find in the present day. The word ‘earth’ in Hebrew is eretz and is used for Isra’el –– Eretz Isra’el.

A true prophet speaks on behalf of Adonai and directs people to worship Adonai. Biblical prophets performed miracles in the name of Adonai. Elijah made the widow’s oil last a long time, and brought fire down from heaven that consumed the offerings on Mount Carmel. Moshe brought forth judgment plagues, delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea, and brought water from the ‘Rock.’

The Bible warns against false prophets. False prophets are to be put to death for prophesying falsely (Deuteronomy 18:20). Yeshua warns that false prophets will rise up and calls them ravenous wolves among the sheep who lead the people astray. Peter teaches that false prophets will come among the people of Adonai bringing destructive heresies, even denying Yeshua who bought them.

Yochanan says we are to test the spirits because not every spirit is from Adonai but are the spirit of a ‘false prophet.’ The danger with the false prophet will be his lamb-like appearance, the appearance of being the Messiah. This suggests that the false prophet will arise in Eretz Isra’el; the vision of the ‘lamb’ with horns (power) that speaks like the ‘Dragon.’

He will have the ability to perform miracles especially bringing down fire onto the earth similar to Elijah. Not understanding the power of the ‘lamb’ could be very deceptive since Elijah, the true prophet, will also come before the great and dreadful day of Adonai (Malachi 4:6).

It deceives the people living on earth by the miracles it is allowed to perform in the presence of the beast, and it tells them to make an image honoring the beast that was struck by the sword but came alive again. It was allowed to put breath into the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak; and it was allowed to cause anyone who would not worship the image of the beast to be put to death” (Revelation 13:14-15).

The worship of the ‘beast’ becomes global so that the false prophet tells the people to make an image of the ‘beast.’ This is reminiscent of the golden calf –– an image created by the hands of man to worship ‘God.’ The image of the ‘beast’ will be an ‘abomination’ in the Tabernacle in Jerusalem.

This is the same ‘beast’ that was struck by the sword and came back to life, and the ‘beast’ image will have the ‘breath of life.’ It will be able to speak. The world will see and hear the ‘beast’ in every corner of the world; and it will know those who worship the image and those who don’t. Anyone who doesn’t worship the ‘beast’ will be put to death.

Mark of the Beast

Also it [the Beast] forces everyone — great and small, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead preventing anyone from buying or selling unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

Waiting for Yeshua means death during these horrific days of ‘beast’ worship. Without the ‘mark of the beast,’ followers of Yeshua will not be able to buy or sell. Fathers will not be able to provide for their families. Women and children will go hungry and die. The righteous are called to ‘persevere.’

The word ‘forces’ is intriguing. Is there a difference between ‘choosing’ the mark and ‘being forced?’ Yes, but is ‘force’ a good translation from the Hebrew? And, if someone is ‘forced’ to do something, it is counted against them by Adonai

The Greek word for ‘force’ is poiei and means ‘causes, make to do.’ This definition does suggest ‘force.’ The Hebrew word for ‘force’ is darush and means ‘demand’ and ‘require.’ The ‘mark of the beast’ will be demanded and required.  People will have no choice; the ‘mark’ will be required to buy and sell.

In the Hebrew language, words are formed from three basic letters.  From these three basic letters, other words are formed by adding different vowels and parts of speech.  For example, to make an infinitive, the letter ‘l’ or lamed is added to the beginning of the word.  So, l’drosh is the infinitive of darush and means ‘to demand’ or ‘to preach.’  

The ‘mark of the beast’ will not only be demanded and required, but preached –– ‘publicly proclaimed to teach a religious message.’  Preach can also mean ‘to earnestly advocate a belief or course of action.’   The ‘mark of the beast’ will be publicly proclaimed and earnestly advocated. This is why Yeshua says to each of the Messianic congregations, “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be on the right hand or forehead.  The tefillin worn by men in Orthodox communities during morning prayers are put on the right hand and forehead. The word tefillin comes from the word tefillah, the Hebrew word for Psalms, and means ‘prayers.’  Tefillin are comprised of small black boxes containing scrolls with Scriptures from the Torah.  The tefillah on the arm is called shel yad (belonging to the hand). These small straps wrap around the right arm, hand, and fingers, while the head tefillah called shel rosh (belonging to the head) is tied above the forehead.  These religious objects are worn as a ‘sign’ on the body with their origin in the Shema:

“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be a direct assault on the Orthodox Jewish community’s prayers. The Orthodox as well as the Conservative, Reformed, and Secular Jews are looking for the Messiah to come.  They will be deceived by the false prophet, and when the Orthodox are forced to remove their tefillin to receive the ‘mark of the beast,’ the deception will be complete. The greatest end times deception will be religious.

What Are The Marks?

The Hebrew word for ‘mark’ is tavah. It means to ‘set or make a mark’ like a scratch or imprint. Another Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is chotham and refers to seals made with a signet ring. A signet ring is personalized to show ownership and was used to mark possessions and sign contracts.

There are two ‘seals’ or ‘marks’ in Scripture. The first is the ‘mark of the beast’ which is well-known. There is also a mark or ‘seal of Elohim’ prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9:4). This mark protected people in Jerusalem from the fury of Adonai and will be put on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry over the disgusting practices in Jerusalem.

Those who have been to Isra’el and Jerusalem know how much of the city and country is overtaken by false religions. Whether it’s the ‘christian catholic’ quarter in the Old City or the Ba’ahi Gardens in Haifa, the whole Land is defiled by ‘freedom of religion.’ Catholic shrines commemorate Biblical events with some not even near the place of the event. The Muslim call to worship heard throughout the city of Jerusalem is an abomination. For those who sigh and cry over these things, they have a mark on their forehead.

Whoever worships the beast, his image and receives the ‘mark’ on his forehead or hand will not only drink the wine of God’s fury, but be tormented in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’  In other words, those who receive the ‘mark of the beast’ will suffer along with the ‘beast’ and the false prophet for all eternity.  Being ‘forced’ or ‘required’ won’t protect anyone from eternal spiritual death; staying holy and set-apart by trusting in Adonai for provision will.  Every follower of Yeshua must remain alert and have discernment when anything is being forced in order to buy or sell –– including a choice between worshiping the God of Isra’el or another ‘beast.’

This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666.”

The number ‘666’ has that many number of interpretations. Most scholars believe that ‘666’ is the number of man. During the end times Adonai allows sinful man complete control over the earth with the support of demonic forces. Mankind will actually learn that they are not the loving people they claim to be. They will become vicious and chamas or ‘violent.’

I have read that the anti-messiah would come from Rome, China, or Babylon, but I have never been totally convinced of these views. Rome via the Vatican already has control over all of the religious systems of the world except for Judaism. Christianity and all of its observances (Sunday Sabbath, Christmas and Easter) and much of its doctrinal beliefs (trinity, sacraments, and death views) are rooted in Roman catholicism that was birthed in paganism. Even Islam is being coerced to bind itself with Rome –– a false alliance in order to bring forth the Islamic Caliphate and achieve world religious and political dominance.

Islam has eschatological beliefs similar to the Hebrew prophets, but are the antithesis of what the prophets, apostles, and Yeshua taught. Their ‘deliverer’ has all of the character traits and actions of the Biblical anti-messiah; their ‘redeemer’ will be a descendant of Mohammed, who had no divinity, but was just a man.

Some have claimed that the number ‘666’ in Revelation has is Arabic script rather than an actual number. Because the literal writing changes in the manuscript and is somewhat distorted, Greek translations render the script as numerals. However, osme Muslim-turned-Christians claim the script are the Arabic words ‘Allah Akbar’ or ‘God is the Greatest.’

The ‘mark of the beast’ will be forced on the right hand and forehead. Suicide killers wear a green scarf on their head and on their right arm. The scarf has the inscription ‘God is the Greatest.’ Allah Akbar are also the Arabic words they yell before detonating themselves and killing others.

The Islamic ‘god,’ is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, but the god of Ishma’el from whom Muslims believe Abraham’s promised ‘seed’ went through. This begins the difference between the two religions of Judaism and Islam. Ishma’el was a son of Abraham’s flesh, not the ‘seed’ of promise. Whatever is the writing in this verse, the ‘666’ will be reavealed as the ‘number’ of the ‘beast.’

Muslims who read the Koran know that if they kill Jewish people (or any infidel), they will enter ‘paradise.’ This is nothing the Adversary’s plan of ‘stealing, killing, and destroying’ the chosen people of Adonai and the followers of Yeshua. This will be the end times battle.

When studying eschatology, Jerusalem and Isra’el must always remain central to the prophecies. The end times will not be about the United States and China, but about the ever-widening divisions between the brothers Ishma’el and Yitz’ak and Ya’akov and Esau. The last days wars of the Adversary will continue to escalate because he wants to destroy the people who must usher in the return of his greatest adversary, Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 23:36-39).

Revelation 14 – The New Song and the Harvest

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

The Roman Road with a Few More Living Stones

There is a gospel tract handed out by Christians that outlines the method for bringing someone to accept Jesus (Yeshua) as Savior. It is called “The Roman Road” and follows Sha’ul’s teachings from the book of Romans. After reading through “The Roman Road,” I felt there needed to be a few more stones in that road, stones that lead a person further down the road to sanctification and their eternal destiny.

Mankind is Separated from God

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness (or breaks God’s commands); and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). 

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9).

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

Wage of Sin is Death

“For the wages of sin is death…”  (Romans 6:23).

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [o]eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:15-17).

“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings” (Genesis 3:6-7).

Substitute Sacrifice for Sin

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10).

Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by its horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in the place of his son. And Abraham named that place, The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it will [e]be provided” (Genesis 22:13-14).

Repentance

“He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins saying …  produce fruit in keeping with your repentance” (Luke 3:3-8).

“Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Trust in Yeshua

“Salvation (yeshua) is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ).

“That if you confess with your mouth Yeshua is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved: for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…. For whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord Yeshua will be saved” (Romans 10:9-10-13).

Born Again of the Spirit

Yeshua answered him (Nicodemus) and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.  Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born again” (John 3:5-8).

The Renewal of the Covenant

“In the same way, after the seder he (Yeshua) took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).

“Behold, days are coming, says the Adonai, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah…. I will put my Torah (instructions) into their minds, and I will write it upon their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know Adonai’.  For all shall know me from the least to the greatest of them.  For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:8-12).

Entering Eternal Life

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Circumcision of the Heart

“A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

“Moreover, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, so that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).

Responding in Love

“If you love me, you will obey what I command…. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him….  Yeshua replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 10:30) “I and the Father are one (echad)” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24).

“The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Yeshua did” (1 John 2:4-6).

New Citizenship

Commonwealth of Israel

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near (to Israel, the covenants, hope and the Father) through the blood of Messiah” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

Millennial Kingdom

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Yeshua Messiah” (Philippians 3:20).

Sanctification Through Maturing

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 ). 

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

Set-apart to God, Holiness

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). 

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds;and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). 

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Obedience to the Will of God

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). 

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

“Circumcision (being Jewish) is nothing and uncircumcision (being of the nations) is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts” (1 Corinthians 7:19).

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

The Rewards

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Messiah Yeshua. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Aleph and the Tau, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12-13).

Eternal Sabbath

Now a man came up to Yeshua and asked, “Rabbi, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” … If you want to enter life, obey the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-17).

“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8).

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. …I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 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” (Revelation 21:1-4, 22-27).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.