Posts Tagged ‘martyrs’

Revelation Chapter 17 – The Whore and The Beast

“Then came one of the angels with the seven bowls; and he said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is sitting by many waters. The kings of the earth went whoring with her, and the people living on earth have become drunk from the wine of her whoring.”

This is an interlude within the chronology of tribulation events. Yochanan is now being shown in more detail the ‘mother of whores’ and ‘the beast’ from Revelation 13. This ‘great whore’ who sits by many waters has been the ‘drink of wine’ for kings of the earth and the people living on the earth.

The Hebrew word for ‘whore’ is zanah and means to ‘commit adultery.’ This ‘whore’ or ‘adulteress’ is a spiritual whore. She is a harlot who has chosen to forsake the Creator of the Universe, the God of Isra’el and submit to other gods. Her harlotry is worldwide and involves every nation, tribe and tongue.

This spiritual adulteress sits on many waters. Though some may suggest that this is a reference to a place, I suggest it is a reference to spiritual nourishment. Contrary to the words of Yesuha, many people believe ‘there are many ways to God’ and seek other religions to fill what is missing in their soul. There are ‘many waters’ that draw many people to its wetness, but drinking it never fulfills.

The prophet Jeremiah warns the people of Isra’el about drinking the same dirty water. It is considered ‘evil’ to abandon the ‘fountain of living water’ and dig cisterns that actually hold no water. This is spiritual adultery.

“For my people have committed two evils: they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!” (Jeremiah 2:13).

Those who forsake the God of Isra’el and become spiritual harlots become ‘drunk on the wine of her whoring.’ The word for ‘whoring’ is zenunim and means ‘fornication’ suggesting that there was never a ‘marriage covenant’ between Elohim and these people. They are the godless, the irreverent, and the completely immoral who believe they have spiritual enlightening through their harlotries. Being spiritually drunk not only impairs judgment and vision, but also balance. The prophet Isaiah speaks about how the sin of fornication, compared to being drunk on wine, affects the earth.

“The earth staggers to and fro like a drunk, sways back and forth like a watchman’s shelter; its transgression weighs heavy upon it; it will fall and not rise again” (Isaiah 24:20).

This will be the condition of the earth; this is the pre-condition of mankind right now as I write this. Anti-Creator activities that are so abominable permeate the western culture. At this point the whole world isn’t embracing some of the detestable sexual activities, but apparently all the people of the nations will and kings fall into the drunken stupor.

“She must remove her whoring from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts. Otherwise, I will strip her naked and place her as she was the day she was born, make her like a desert, place her like a dry land and kill her with thirst. I will have no pity on her children, for they are children of whoring — their mother prostituted herself, she who conceived them behaved shamelessly; she said, ‘I will pursue my lovers, who give me my food and water, wool, flax, olive oil and wine’” (Hosea 3:2-5).

“He carried me off in the Spirit to a desert, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast filled with blasphemous names and having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and glittered with gold, precious stones and pearls. In her hand was a gold cup filled with the obscene and filthy things produced by her whoring. On her forehead was written a name with a hidden meaning, BAVEL THE GREAT, MOTHER OF WHORES AND OF THE EARTH’S OBSCENITIES. I saw the woman drunk from the blood of God’s people, that is, from the blood of the people who testify about Yeshua.”

Yochanan is taken by the Ruach haKodesh into the desert. This word is midbar and also means wilderness or uninhabited area. A desert or wilderness area gets little to no moisture, it is spiritually dry. There is no living water.

He sees a woman sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. In Revelation 12:3, the dragon that gives the ‘beast’ its power is scarlet or red. This same ‘beast’ in Revelation 13 has blasphemous names written on its heads. This ‘beast’ represents a huge demonic political force given life through Satan himself.

Scarlet symbolizes power and wealth within the ‘beast’ political system. Scarlet was considered a status symbol in during the Roman Empire. Moreover, scarlet clothing is worn by Cardinals who are religious leaders in the Roman catholic hierarchical ‘beast.’ The prophet Isaiah compares sin to the color of scarlet (Isaiah 1:18) and this ‘beast’ is the embodiment of sin.

The dictionary defines blasphemy as “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God” and “a mere man suggesting that he is divine.” This scarlet beast is full of blasphemous names showing its contempt for Elohim by claiming to be God Himself ruling on earth. It is not just one name that is blasphemous, but many names claiming to be God – perhaps showing how the nation’s kings embraced the Lie perpetuated in the Garden of Eden.

“The Judeans replied, “We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy — because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God” (John 10:33).

The ‘woman’ riding the scarlet beast is also dressed in scarlet and purple. The word argaman is ‘red-purple’ in Hebrew. This ‘woman’ is the global religious system that rides upon the politically demonic ‘beast.’ She glitters with gold showing her wealth, topaz showing her religious spirit (Ezekiel 28:13), and pearls showing her ‘beauty’ comes from everything unclean. She is gaudy – excessively showy, ostentatiously embellished. Her pride puts her high upon the ‘beast.’

In her hand she holds a golden cup filled with filthy and obscene things – abominations – produced by her whoring. On her head is written a name: Babylon the Great, Mother of Whores, and the Earth’s Obscenities. The word sod is used for ‘mystery’ and means ‘hidden.’ It is used for a secret or mystical meaning of a Scripture. Though the meaning of her name may be mysterious, her global conquest of religions into one is not.

As the ‘mark of the beast,’ is put on the forehead or hand, this ‘whore’ wearing scarlet holds abominations in her hand and her forehead is marked by a mysterious name. It would seem that those who embrace this religious system and follow its political schemes will receive the ‘mark of this beast.’

Yochanan sees the ‘whore’ drunk on the blood of the people who testify about Yeshua. This scarlet-beast religious political system will be murderous – a system that wants anyone who makes a stand for Yeshua removed from the earth. Those who stand firm as witnesses for Yeshua will be martyred by this bejeweled woman and her false, anti-Torah, lawless religious system.

“On seeing her, I was altogether astounded.”

In the Hebrew, the words shammah gadolah, in the feminine, mean ‘great name.’ These two words can also mean ‘appalling desolation’ as well as ‘astonishing.’ The authority and power of this ‘woman’ distressed Yochanan and brought him great horror.

Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astounded? I will tell you the hidden meaning of the woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that was carrying her.”

The angel saw Yochanan’s distress and tells him to ‘wake up’ from his shock and horror. Now the angel will explain the sod of the ‘scarlet beast.’

“The beast you saw once was, now is not, and will come up from the Abyss; but it is on its way to destruction. The people living on earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life since the founding of the world will be astounded to see the beast that once was, now is not, but is to appear. This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman is sitting; also they are seven kings — five have fallen, one is living now and the other is yet to come; and when he does come, he must remain only a little while. The beast which once was and now is not is an eighth king; it comes from the seven and is on its way to destruction.”

A ‘beast’ is representative of kingdoms as described by the prophet Daniel. Daniel, however, only mentions four kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. There must be others, especially one which was, now is not, and will return. Could they be Babel, Egypt, Assyria and one of these will return?

“Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city with a tower that has its top reaching up into heaven, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth” (Genesis 11:4).

The first kingdom to develop after the flood was in the land of Shinar. It is with the tower of Babel that the people of the world for the first time combined a religious system (worship of themselves) with a government. It was at Babel, where everyone spoke one language, that set the pattern for all future world kingdoms – to set their thrones above yod hey vav hey. This is true of Nimrod in Babel, Pharaoh in Egypt, Sennacheri in Assyria, Nebuchadnezzer in Babylon (Daniel 4:3) and so forth. When kings refuse to submit to the Torah of Elohim, they become a law unto themselves. This is the ‘spirit of anti-messiah’ that is alive today in the world (1 John 4:3).

“Look at the land of the Kasdim [Chaldeans]! This was the people who did not exist … so that it has been made a ruin” (Isaiah 23:13).

The land of the Kasdim ancient Babel. When Yochanan was shown this revelation, Babel no longer existed though it had been ‘revived’ during the days of Nebuchadnezzer in Babylon. This is the “Mystery Babylon” in Revelation 17:9. This will be the last kingdom with a king that seeks to set his throne above Elohim.

“For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom. He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship; he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

“Human being, tell the prince of Tzor that Adonai Elohim says: ‘Because you are so proud and have said, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of God, surrounded by the sea”; yet you are a man, not God, even though you think that you think like God” (Ezekiel 28:2).

The people of the earth who do not have any understanding of prophecy will be astounded that this once-dead ‘beast’ kingdom comes back to life. This kingdom doesn’t come out of the ‘sea of nations,’ but out of the Abyss of demonic darkness.

The angel says that it calls for a mind of wisdom to understand the mystery. In Revelation 13:15, wisdom is needed for those who understand the number of the ‘beast,’ as it is the number of a person. It would truly be astounding to see Nimrod, the first powerful ruler on earth who hunted people’s souls to be resurrected from the Abyss after being beheaded by Esau (Book of Jasher 27).

“He was a mighty hunter before Adonai — this is why people say, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Adonai” (Genesis 10:9).

“Kush fathered Nimrod, who was the first powerful ruler on earth” (1 Chronicles 1:10).

“And Nimrod and two of his men that were with him came to the place where they were, when Esau started suddenly from his lurking place, and drew his sword, and hastened and ran to Nimrod and cut off his head” (Jasher 27:10).

According to the angel, the seven heads are seven hills. The only city that sits on seven hills is Rome. Each of these hills each have pagan gods and goddesses attached to them: Aventine Hill (dedicated to goddess Diana), Caelian Hill (merging of Roman and Greek gods), Capitoline Hill (dedicated to god Saturn/Christmas, and Jupiter), Esquiline Hill (nymphs who animate nature), Palatine Hill (Temple of Cybele, the Great Mother), Quirinal Hill (dedicated to god Quirinus), and Viminal Hill (Babylonaian Ishter/Easter).

Wisdom suggests there are two different religious systems in the world: one that has been usurping Truth for centuries comes from Rome and the pope, the other comes from Mt. Tziyon teaching the Truth of Torah and the Word of Yeshua.

“For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Micah 4:2).

“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule, but they receive power as kings for one hour, along with the beast. They have one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are called, chosen and faithful will overcome along with him.”

The ten kings or horns on the ‘beast’ will have power as leaders for one hour or a very brief time. These ten kings are the ten toes on the ‘beast’ in Daniel 7.

The city of these kings will also be destroyed in one hour, another unspecified time (Revelation 18:10, Isaiah 24). The Hebrew word is etzah is used for ‘mind’ and means ‘counsel’ or ‘advice,’ thus they give, as one, their counsel and advice to the government of the ‘beast.’

These kings will go to war against the Lamb. They will go to war against the Lamb. This is important as Yeshua will make war against the kings of the earth. They will perceive him as a Lamb still, but he will be a lion. Though first had to be like a lamb, he will not be led to the slaughter. He will return as the Lion of Y’hudah, the warrior King focused on conquering and being victorious. He will defeat all of them and those who are called, chosen and faithful will overcome with him.

The Hebrew qara for ‘called ‘ means not only ‘to call, to proclaim,’ but ‘invited.’ Those who are ‘invited’ will overcome with him. The Hebrew word for ‘chosen’ means ‘those he knew before the foundations of the world.’ These ‘loyal’ ones have the assurance of overcoming.

The overcomer will be like Ya’akov (Jacob) and have victory. When Ya’akov overcame his struggle with the angel, his name was changed to Yisra’el. Thus those who ‘wrestle with God and overcome’ are Isra’el. One Hebrew word for ‘overcome’ also means ‘shout’ and ‘roar’ like the Lion!

“The lion has roared. Who will not fear? Adonai, God, has spoken. Who will not prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

“Here is a people rising up like a lioness; like a lion he rears himself up — he will not lie down till he eats up the prey and drinks the blood of the slain” (Numbers 23:23-25).

“They will go after Adonai, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west” (Hosea 11:10).

“For here is what Adonai says to me: “As a lion or lion cub growls at its prey and isn’t frightened away by the shouts of hordes of shepherds [teachers] called out against him — their voices do not upset him — so likewise Adonai-Tzva’ot will descend to fight on Mount Tziyon, on its hill” (Isaiah 31:4).

“Then he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the whore is sitting, are peoples, crowds, nations and languages. As for the ten horns that you saw and the beast, they will hate the whore, bring her to ruin, leave her naked, eat her flesh and consume her with fire. For God put it in their hearts to do what will fulfill his purpose, that is, to be of one mind and give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words have accomplished their intent. And the woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

The ‘waters’ where the ‘whore’ or false church sits symbolizes peoples, crowds, nations, and languages. She ‘sits’ suggests that she rules spiritually over these nations and languages. She is the personification of a perverted and adulterous church system that needs Elohim’s judgment. Because it is the will of Elohim to destroy this religious system that has broken covenant with Him, He puts in in the hearts of the ‘ten kings’ to destroy her just like He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. The kings leave her naked, eat her flesh and consume her with fire. The ten kings will then hand their kingdoms over to the ‘beast.’

What is Elohim’s covenant with His people? What is the ‘sign’ of His covenant? It is the Shabbat, the seventh-day Sabbath. In the end times, the perversion of His covenant will be rife with lawlessness, unclean spirits, and the complete removal of His covenant ‘sign’ along with those who kept it.

“And keep my shabbats holy; and they will be a sign between me and you, so that you will know that I am Adonai your God” (Ezekiel 20:20).

This is a serious reminder to those who have a Laodicean heart that judgment is coming. Those who mix the holy and the profane, have rationalized mixing the pagan gods of men and their holy days with those commanded by yod hey vav hey, and have created a perverted religious system that promoted breaking covenant with Elohim will be destroyed. Being found naked is one of the judgments for the people in Laodicea and comes from being too rich and self-sufficient to see their need for the Provider.

“For you keep saying, ‘I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don’t need a thing!’ You don’t know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked!” (Revelation 3:17).

To ‘eat her flesh’ symbolizes the carnality of the whoring church that is in its death throes. When a bacteria ‘eats flesh,’ the skin dies from the infection. The blood supply, that which brings forth life, is cut off and the skin tissues begin to decay. This is known as necrosis. This whoring church has become so carnal that it’s own fleshly desires destroy it.

The whoring church is consumed with fire. Judgment by fire is promised to those who are ungodly according to the apostle Peter. The whoring church will be filled with the ungodly and will be destroyed by fire.

“It is by that same Word that the present heavens and earth, having been preserved, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (2 Peter 3:7).

“You are worn out with all your consultations — so let the astrologers and stargazers, the monthly horoscope-makers, come forward now and save you from the things that will come upon you! Look, they will be like straw! The fire will consume them. They will not save even themselves from the power of the flame. It will not be coals for warming oneself, not a fire to sit beside! So much for your [wizards], with whom you have worked all your life! Each will wander off in his own direction, and nobody will save you” (Isaiah 47:13-15).

“All her carved images will be smashed to pieces, all she earned consumed by fire; and I will reduce her idols to rubble. She amassed them from a whore’s wages, and as a whore’s wages they will be spent again” (Micah 1:7).

Chapter 18 – The Fall of Babylon the Great

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

Clouds of Ascension

Forty days after being resurrected from the dead, Yeshua ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives.  He was hidden in a cloud.  If Yeshua is going to return in the same way that he left, then it is important to ‘see and understand’ this cloud with its multifaceted message.

“After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them. The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). 

The Greek word for ‘cloud’ in Acts 1 is nephele and means a literal cloud.  According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew, this cloud is ‘a definitely shaped cloud’.  Nephele comes from the word nephos with a metaphorical meaning of “a dense multitude or throng.”  In this sense, though a nephele takes a physical shape, it is a large cloud made of masses of clouds that covers the heavens.  

Nephele is used as the physical element of the cloud that covered Israel in the Red Sea. It was through the nephele and the sea that the Israelites were immersed into Moses.

“For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea,  and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe …” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). 

Nephele is used for ‘the cloud’ on the Mount of Transfiguration.  Peter, James and John were taken by Yeshua to a mountain where he was glorified before them.  Appearing with Yeshua was Elijah and Moses.  God spoke to the disciples from the cloud that surrounded them.  

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Nephele is used of ‘the clouds’ in which Yeshua will return.  Even though there will be a massive amount of clouds, every eye will see him and all the tribes of the land of Israel will mourn his return.  It is also the nephele where the living and resurrected dead will meet Yeshua and be translated from mortal into immortality and ‘be with him forever’ as he returns to Israel, Mount Zion, Jerusalem to set up his Millennial Kingdom.  

“Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” (Revelation 1:7, Zechariah 12:10). 

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;  then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

The Hebrew word for ‘cloud’ is anan and means ‘cloud mass’.  It is used to represent the presence of God and his covering or sukkah over Israel in the wilderness.  It is a figurative ‘sign of divine protection’ as is seen when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea.  The anan of God was Israel’s  divine protection from the Egyptians as well as the sea itself.    The ‘cloud’  also serves as a barrier hiding the fullness of God’s divine holiness and glory.  It separates sinful man’s approach to God (Lamentations  6:4) showing that man’s relationship to God is initiated and sustained by God Himself and not initiated or sustained by man (Vines). 

When Moshe ascended to the mountain with the stones tablets, God descended in a anan and stood with him.  Within the anan, He pronounced His memorial name: YHVH (Exodus 34:4-5).  Within the idea of the cloud along with His presence is very name of God, ‘The I AM that I AM’.    

“Moshe cut two stone tablets like the first. Then he got up early in the morning and, with the two stone tablets in his hands, ascended Mount Sinai, as the LORD had ordered him to do. The LORD descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of Yod Hey Vav Hey” (Exodus 34:4).

Ten days before Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), Yeshua ascended in a ‘cloud’, taking the divine presence and glory of God with him until his ‘appointed time’ of return.  This cloud covering is the evidence that not only was the Father’s protection was around His Son, but also His holiness, His glory and His divine name validating Yeshua’s divinity and credibility that he is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).   

The Witness of a Martyr

Apart from the ‘cloud’ being the divine presence of God and Yeshua ascending to the right hand of His Father, there is also another possibility for this ‘throng of clouds’.  It comes from Hebrew 12:1:

“So then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us ….”

Who or what is that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that surround us like a cloud? The word ‘witness’ in Greek is martus from where the word ‘martyr’ comes. 

Martus is used as a witness for historical and ‘forensic’ accounts, especially  in God’s judicial system where there needs to be a witness of two to establish a matter.

“One witness alone will not be sufficient to convict a person of any offense or sin of any kind; the matter will be established only if there are two or three witnesses testifying against him” (Deuteronomy 19:15).

“Also that when the blood of your witness Stephen was being shed, I was standing there too, in full agreement …” (Acts 22:20).

Martus is also used of God being a ‘witness’ to our accounts of truth.     

“For God, whom I serve in my spirit by spreading the Good News about his Son, is my witness that I regularly remember you…” (Romans 1:9)

“I call God to witness — he knows what my life is like — that the reason I held back from coming to Corinth was out of consideration for you!” (2 Corinthians 1:23).

Martus means ‘to bear witness to Messiah by their death’.  This is the most common understanding of martyr: one who dies in a horrible way for their faith in Yeshua.   We see this happening around the world today with ISIS murdering Christians in other countries for their faith in Christ.  They are martyred (murdered) because of their martus (witness). 

“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 …” (Revelation 20:4).

““I know where you are living, there where the Adversary’s throne is. Yet you are holding onto my name. You did not deny trusting me even at the time when my faithful witness Antipas was put to death in your town, there where the Adversary lives” (Revelation 2:13).

More specifically a martus or witness is ‘one who can or does what he has seen or heard or knows’ (Vines).   In this sense, everyone who is born again into God’s Kingdom is a martry to that Kingdom. We are all witnesses for God our Father if we are doing what we have seen Yeshua do, listen to what we have heard (and read) in the Word of God on how we are to live, and know His personal salvation and deliverance through experience from a daily walk of faith of dying to ourselves.  When we die to ourselves, we martus ourselves in order to live fully for Yeshua as a witness to his death and resurrection.

Paul teaches this concept of martrydom to the congregation in Galatia.  This type of ‘witness’ is the very essence of being immersed after being born again by Spirit and ‘water’ into the Kingdom of God.

“I have been crucified with Messiah and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). 

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

In this circumcision done by the Messiah,  you were buried along with him by being immersed; and in union with him, you were also raised up along with him by God’s faithfulness that worked when he raised Yeshua from the dead” (Colossians 2:11-12). 

Though we think of martyrs as dying horrible physical deaths, martyrs only become witnesses to Messiah when they first die to their carnal selves in order to live revived spiritual lives that reflect the One who gave them life.

Feast of Firstfruits

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Forty days before Feast of Firstfruits, Yeshua rose from the dead.  The word in Hebrew is HaBikkurim and is plural. At the time of Yeshua’s resurrection, there were others who had been resurrected.  Matthew 27:52-53 gives the account of these holy ones:

“Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life;  and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them.”

What happened to these resurrected people?  There is no mention of them again.  They could not die again because Hebrews 9:27 says ‘it is appointed for man to die once’ – inclusive of Lazarus who had died and was brought back to life.  What happened to these resurrected people?

“When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious– that you, LORD God, might dwell there” (Ephesians 4:8 (Psalm 68:18).

Could it be that these resurrected firstfruits were those who appeared as a massive cloud and bore martyr in a personal way to the resurrection of the dead by being called out of their graves and taken into an immortal dwelling place with Yeshua?  This is not impossible as Peter, James and John had already witnessed Elijah and Moses in some physical form with Yeshua in his glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Because of this  ‘great cloud of witness’  to the resurrection that surrounds us, we are challenged to put aside the sins that keep us from moving forward, that keep us from running the race to our eternal goal.    It is this ‘great nephele of martus’ that gives us hope in the coming resurrection of the dead.  Like Israel crossing the Red Sea, we are also protected by ‘a cloud’  an anan – the glory, the holiness, and the eternal name of God – YHVH.  Through His Spirit that was poured out two thousand years ago on Shavuot, we are sealed as true martyrs and wait for the day when Yeshua returns in ‘clouds’ and in great glory. 

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.