Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

Repentance – Hebrew: Teshuvah

תשוב

In Hebrew the word for ‘repent’ is shuv and means ‘to repent and turn away, ‘to turn back’ or ‘return.’ This word is found over 400 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Teshuvah, is the Hebrew word for ‘repentance’ and means ‘a return to righteousness.’

“Men are to return from ‘sin,’ which is a path, a life-style, or act deviating from that which God has marked out. They should depart from sin, be concerned about it, confess it …” (Vines Expository Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words).

““Make the heart of this people [sluggish with] fat, stop up their ears, and shut their eyes. Otherwise, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, then understanding with their hearts, they might repent and be healed!” (Isaiah 6:10).

“For this is what Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Isra’el, says: “Returning [teshuvah] and resting is what will save you; calmness and confidence will make you strong — but you want none of this!” (Isaiah 30:15).

“With a winnowing fork I am scattering them to the wind at the gates of the land; I am bereaving them, destroying my people, because they will not return [teshuvah] from their ways” (Jeremiah 15:7).

Yeshua and Sha’ul use the same Hebrew concept of ‘returning’ or ‘turning from sin’ when they speak about repentance. Sha’ul taught this concept not only in Jerusalem and Judea, but also to the gentile nations.

Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” (Matthew 3:2).

“But I prayed for you, Shim‘on, that your trust might not fail. And you, once you have turned back in repentance, strengthen your brothers!” (Luke 22:32)

“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy among God’s angels when one sinner repents [returns]” (Luke 15:10).

“On the contrary, I announced first in Dammesek, then in Yerushalayim and throughout Y’hudah, and also to the Goyim, that they should turn from their sins to God and then do deeds consistent with that repentance (Acts 26:20).

Hebrew Word Pictures

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for teshuvah: sign destroying the binding house revealed.

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

Revelation Chapter 3 – Philadelphia

Messianic Community in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, was located on a hill about 25 miles southeast of Sardis. It was founded by the king of Pergamum, who had a special love for his brother and was nicknamed ‘brother lover,’ hence the ‘city of brotherly love.’ The city was known for its wine production and was situated along one of the roads known as the doorway to central Asia Minor. This city was known for earthquakes which made the city walls unsafe that much of the population lived outside the walls.

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Philadelphia, write: ‘Here is the message of HaKadosh, the True One, the one who has the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it. “I know what you are doing. Look, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me. Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are lying — see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. I will make him who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:7-13). 

Yeshua sends the sixth messenger to the community of Philadelphia where he reveals himself as “the message of the HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit], the True One, the one who has the key of David.” 

Yeshua’s message to Philadelphia is from the Ruach HaKodesh, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth which empowers his people to be overcomers. It is apparent the believers in Philadelphia have the Spirit of Elohim and walk in the Ruach, but are struggling.

The Ruach haKodesh imparts gifts to Elohim’s people so they can minister, comfort, and speak Truth to the Body of Messiah. From the Ruach haKodesh flows spiritual gifts of love, joy, shalom, perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is these gifts that set the people of Adoni apart from the world’s humanistic love that never brings shalom.

The True One

Yeshua is the ‘True One’ because he speaks the Truth; no lie ever leaves his mouth. He is also called the True and Faithful witness of the El Elyon (Most High God) (Revelation 19:11). He speaks only what he hears his Father tells him to say, even to these communities of faith (John 12:49). His truthful words convict them of sin and righteousness.

“The true Torah was in his [Yeshua’s) mouth, and no dishonesty was found on his lips; he walked with me in peace and uprightness and turned many away from sin” (Malachi 2:6).

Key of David

“I will place the key of David’s house on his [Yeshua’s] shoulder; no one will shut what he opens; no one will open what he shuts” (Isaiah 22:22).

The key to David’s ‘house’ represents the lineage of King David. Yeshua, as the Son of Man, descended from King David as the “root and offspring of David.” It is Yeshua who will build a ‘house’ for the Name of Adonai. He will sit on its throne and reign forever. Yeshua has been given the key to this eternal Kingdom promised to King David (2 Samuel 7:12-14).

A Door

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9, NASB)

Both Isaiah and Yeshua speak of a ‘door’ that will be opened or shut by the ‘key of David.’ In Hebrew the word ‘door’ is dalet. Dalet is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet with a letter picture that means ‘pathway.’ Yeshua uses the example of a pathway; there is a choice for which ‘path’ one chooses and how that choice determines their destination: eternal life or destruction and eternal loss.

A ‘door’ – opened or closed – can symbolize multiple things in Scripture. An ‘open door’ can be an invitation from Yeshua to ‘enter’ the Kingdom and enjoy fellowship with him. A ‘closed door’ may suggest the invitation is no longer available or rescinded.

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the bridegroom shuts the ‘door’ after he arrives taking the wise virgins into the wedding chamber. The foolish virgins are left outside with no access to the bridegroom. The wise bridesmaids enter the bridal chamber; the foolish ones miss the opportunity (Matthew 25).

In Revelation 3:20, Yeshua stands at the ‘door’ and knocks hoping someone will open the ‘door’ so he may fellowship with those inside. The door is ‘closed’ and those on the other side, who don’t open it, miss an important event. Feasting with Yeshua is an allusion to the Feasts of the LORD, the ‘appointed times’ that are prophetic to Yeshua’s life, death, resurrection, sanctification, return, judgment, and redemption of all things.

Yeshua “stands at the door and knocks” because he desires to fellowship with his people through his Father’s holy convocations, just like he desired to celebrate the Passover with his disciples (Luke 22:15). ‘Holy convocation’ in Hebrew is mikra and means ‘rehearsal.’ In order to be ready for the actual event of a wedding, there is always a ‘rehearsal dinner’ for the bride and groom and their groomsmen and bridesmaids. Yeshua is the Bridegroom and he desires his Bride to prepare herself by rehearsing for Wedding Feast of the Lamb. This is the meaning of Yeshua’s words that he would not “drink this ‘fruit of the vine’ until the day I drink new wine with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:28-29).

New wine is an allusion to the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. The prophetic vision of this ‘appointed time’ is the dwelling presence of Yeshua on earth as King of Kings. It is the time of the Messianic Era when Yeshua rules and reigns with his resurrected saints for one thousand years. During the one-thousand-year Feast of Tabernacles, ‘new wine will be put into new wineskins’ (Luke 5:37-38, Zechariah 9:16-17, Job 32:18-19).

A ‘closed door’ may also symbolize the time for repentance has ended. For those who refused to open the door of salvation, they will find judgment instead of reward, eternal death instead of eternal life (James 5:9).

The community in Philadelphia has an ‘open door’ that no one can shut. As Yochanan’s vision progresses, he is shown an ‘open door’ into the heavenly realm that leads to the throne of Elohim (Revelation 4:1). Philadelphia has been given a blessing different from any of the other communities.

Little Strength in the World

The community in Philadelphia continues its works despite having little strength.  The Greek word for ‘strength’ in Revelation 3:8 is dunamis and means ‘miraculous power, ‘energy’ or ‘ability.’ It appears that this community of believers has little energy for whatever they are facing in the world; they need to persevere by trusting in the ‘miraculous power’ of Elohim to get them through (Zechariah 4:6).

This community of believers ‘obeys the gospel’ For many, the gospel is something to believe, not obey. Yet, these people are commended for ‘obeying the gospel.’

After Yeshua came out of the wilderness, he left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum. At this time he began to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He began to preach the good news of the Kingdom. According to his own words, there is action attached to the gospel:

“From that time on, Yeshua began proclaiming, “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” (John 4:17).

‘Turning from sins’ is ‘repentance.’ In Hebrew, ‘repentance’ is teshuvah and means ‘return.’ Teshuvah is making a 180-degree turn in your life that returns you back to the ways of Adonai. Repenting from sin and turning back to Elohim is an action.

Sin is defined by Yochanan as breaking the commandments of Adonai, being lawless (1 John 3:4-6). When those in Philadelphia obeyed the good news, they repented from sinful acts and stopped breaking Torah. They obeyed Adonai’s instructions as taught by Yeshua. Their obedience to repentance becomes the evidence of this community’s faithfulness to Yeshua’s message; they have no disowned him. They stand firm for him in the pagan world and remain connected to him and his message of hope.

“Therefore, repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be erased; so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’s presence” (Acts 3:19-20)

Hebrew Word Pictures

Repent – teshuvah – תשובה

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for teshuvah: sign of the covenant destroying the binding of the house revealed.

False Jews

Like Smyrna, Philadelphia has some people in their congregation who call themselves Jews, but are not.  These ‘fake’ Jews are telling the Messianic believers in Philadelphia that Yeshua does not love them. The ‘city of brotherly love’ appears to have a love problem between so-called brothers.   These liars will eventually prostrate themselves at the feet of the ‘true Jews’ admitting that Yeshua does love them (Romans 2:28-29).

There is a dogma known as Two-House that focuses solely on the two houses of Isra’el –– Judah and Ephraim. The followers of Two-House take on an exterior facade of being Jewish while separating themselves from anything and everything Jewish. They claim that because Elohim divorced Judah, the Jewish people have lost any share in the Kingdom and Ephraim now receives the promises. Apart from being deeply anti-semitic and replacement theology, this movement has created a group of ‘false Jews’ who claim that Yeshua doesn’t love the Jewish people.

The new covenant is predicated on the words of the prophet Jeremiah and is promised to the House of Judah and the House of Isra’el (Jeremiah 31:30-32). Yeshua instituted the new covenant at his Passover seder with his Jewish disciples (Luke 22:20). Salvation comes from the Jews, and no one in the Body of Messiah should ever conceive a doctrine that would separate Yeshua’s brothers and sisters from their Jewish redeemer (John 4:22).

Power of Perseverance

Perseverance through the trials that Philadelphia faces will keep them from the time of trial coming on the whole earth.  This time of trial is known as the Great Tribulation or the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble.’ The Greek word for ‘keep’ in Revelation 3:10 is tereso and means ‘to watch, to guard over.’ How Elohim will guard or watch over them during this time of trial remains a divine mystery, but these faithful believers will be kept safe during the Day of Adonai’s vengeance because they have patiently endured. With their little strength, they have remained faithful to Yeshua and obey Torah (Revelation 14:12).

The Greek word for ‘endure’ is hupomone and means ‘remaining behind.’ Though believers may be martyred, the faithful in Philadelphia will ‘remain behind.’ For those who adhere to a pre-tribulation rapture, those ‘left behind,’ are not the lost, but followers of Yeshua. In the Day of Adonai, their faithful endurance will be the only testimony the lawless world has to see redemption in Yeshua.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Persevere – hatmadah – התמדה

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

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

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for hatmadah: reveal the sign of the covenent of the mighty pathway, behold.

Eternal Rewards

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Yeshua tells this community to hold on to what they have and no one will take away their crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). Their eternal reward, however, includes more than this crown. They will become a pillar in the Millennial Temple of Adonai. The Hebrew word for ‘pillar’ is netzab and means ‘to guard or protect.’ One reward for those in Philadelphia will be to ‘guard and protect’ the Millennial Temple.

Pillars are used as imagery to describe the earth’s foundation. When it quakes, Elohim holds the pillars firm for all the people on the earth (Psalm 75:4). The first reference to a pillar is in Genesis 35:14 when Ya’akov (Jacob) sets up a standing stone or pillar at Beit-el. While the Israelites wandered through the wilderness, the glory of Adonai led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. His pillar shaded them from the heat of the day and kept them warm at night. His pillar protected them from their enemies and moved with them for 40 years. His pillar lived above the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle; His pillar was their sukkah of covering for 40 years.

When Moshe read the words of Adonai and the people responded they would obey everything they heard, he set up 12 pillars for the 12 Tribes of Isra’el. Jeremiah was made an ‘iron pillar’ with whom the kings, princes, and priests of Judah would fight against. He would not be overcome, but rescued (Jeremiah 1:18-19).

Yeshua’s words are similar to Philadelphia who will ‘remain behind’ and not be overcome. They will be as King David wrote: “Our sons in their youth will be like full-grown saplings, our daughters will be like sculptured pillars fit for the corner of a palace” (Psalm 144:12).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Pillar – netzab

Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

Tzakik – A Fishhook means ‘draw near.’

Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for netzab: life draws near to finished work of the house.

In Hebrew, the word for ‘endure’ is amad and means ‘to take one’s stand in the covenant.’ It suggests an ‘attitude’ of standing.’ To become a pillar in the Millennial Temple suggests the believers of Philadelphia are strong in their covenant relationship with Yeshua and they will continue to stand strong during his one-thousand-year reign.

The believers in Philadelphia have prepared themselves as wise virgins with oil in their lamps. They have matured in faith and have not faltered in their first love. Their clothes are not soiled. They repented and the fruits of righteousness followed. They have stood firm like a pillar when faced with trials. They have not fallen into sexual immorality or eaten foods sacrificed to idols. They have blessed Isra’el and the Jewish people. They have not learned the deep secrets of the Adversary and have nothing to do with Jezebel. They remain behind, enduring patiently the days of tribulation, and are welcomed into the Kingdom by Yeshua who holds the key to the House of David.

This is highest reward given to any of the seven communities. The believers in Philadelphia are not just invited guests to the wedding feast; they become the pure and spotless Bride of Messiah.  They receive the Kingdom family name, the name of their Father –– yod-hey-vav-hey.  They receive a new home in the heavenly New Jerusalem.  They also receive the highest name of all –– the name of their Bridegroom, Yeshua, the King of Kings.

Those [in Philadelphia] who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit, Ruach haKodesh [the holy wind] is saying to the Messianic community.”

Yeshua uses these same words in the gospels when he speaks in parables, however, he doesn’t include the words, ‘what the Spirit says to the communities.’  One reason that he taught in parables was so people could ‘look but not see, and listen but not understand’ the message of the Kingdom (Isaiah 6:9-10, Luke 8:10).  Because he wanted his disciples to have a deeper understanding of the coming Kingdom, he explained the hidden meaning away from the crowds.

Yeshua spoke all of his parables before the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot when the ‘holy wind’ was poured out and the new covenant was instituted (Acts 2:2).  With the arrival of the new covenant, men and women who obey the message of Yeshua are given new hearts and a renewed spirit.  The Ruach haKodesh within them gives them ‘ears to hear what the Spirit is saying’ so they can obey His voice.

Yeshua doesn’t want this community to just ‘hear’ his message, but ‘listen’ to it.  His message was to be heard through spiritual ears that were fine-tuned to his voice, the voice of the Shepherd (Psalm 95:7-8, John 10:27-28)  His sheep were to ‘listen’ to the message and ‘obey’ so they would be overcomers –– Isra’el –– and receive their eternal reward.

But you [Philadelphia], how blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear!” (Matthew 13:14-16). 

Revelation 3 – Messianic Congregation of Laodicea

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

Stop Americanizing Jesus

Okay. Usually I just pass by this crap and let those (LGBT Christians) who believe this stuff, believe it. But today I feel like dealing with the nonsense that gets passed around social media as if it were great wisdom and enlightenment. It’s not. It’s stupid and it’s wrong on every level. Here goes:


Jesus was NOT Palestinian. The name Palestine was given to the land of Israel by the Romans. Jesus was not Roman. He was not a Philistine from Philistia either. He was Jewish, with Jewish parents, from the Tribe of Judah, an Israelite, a Hebrew. His skin color was olive, not black African or white British or red Chinese. He was Mediterranean, Middle Eastern.


He was not anti-colonialism. He wanted people to enter his Kingdom which is not of this world. It’s not for everyone, only a remnant of people, and could therefore be considered ‘a colony.’ He never taught anyone to fight against the Romans who had colonized Israel, even changing the name of the land. He taught his Jewish brothers and sisters to walk the extra mile carrying a soldier’s armor if they asked. Ultimately, those who become part of his Kingdom are all foreigners in this world. Our citizenship is somewhere else – a heavenly colony that will one day become the ‘new heavens and new earth’ called the New Jerusalem.


He was not anti-cultural unless it is the culture of this dying world and its sin-infested ideas and demands. He fully lived his life within the context of his culture which was outlined by the God of Israel in Torah. He didn’t eat pork which is in everything these days, even eaten by some Jews. He didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter or worship the sun god on Sunday. He wasn’t gay, transgendered or confused about binary and pan. He was a Son and was quite content being a male son. He kept the Feasts of His Father, was circumcised, not mutilated, on the eighth day of his life, redeemed as a firstborn, learned the commandments, and lived as a Jewish man within the Jewish culture.


He did not teach socialism, but said there would always be poor people. He did not condemn rich people; he was buried in a rich man’s tomb. Though he told a parable about giving each man the same wage for different hours worked, this was a parable about the Kingdom and not about a socio-economic system in this world. The entrance fee into his Kingdom is not based on how hard a man works. He looked at the heart; the men looked at the wage he paid. If he were supporting socio-economics, he would have been more of a capitalist because each person will receive a reward for the works they have done for the Kingdom. If the person works building with gold and precious stones, their works will stand, but if the person builds with hay, they will burn.


Yes, he loved all people including tax collectors and prostitutes, but told them to ‘repent’ and turn back to God. His love made them want his ways, not their own. He cast demons out of people and set them free from all manner of psychosis, prostitution, and disease. His message never included tolerance of sin. He never condoned people living immorally because it infects the rest of society. He healed lepers so they could return to normal life. He offered hope and a way out of sinful lifestyles. He offered and gave freedom from the distress caused by the sexual sins of the flesh.


Absolutely he respected women because his Father’s teachings and instructions are all about protecting and providing for women and children. He was not for women’s rights and bashing men – white, black or red. He saw men and women as co-heirs to the Kingdom. He would never have supported the woman’s right to murder her unborn or he may have been murdered himself in the womb. He was not for women to usurp the roles of men. He loved and respected women for their roles as wives and mothers who loved to serve not be served.


Anti-immigrant. I am reminded that he says that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom, only those who do His Father’s will. There is a difference between being an immigrant and joining a country through its laws versus being an illegal alien who is kept out. He tells a parable about a man who attends a wedding feast wearing the wrong clothes and is thrown out of the wedding. For the man wearing the wrong clothes that seemed harsh, but for those who dressed correctly, it was justice.

There are gates for entering the New Jerusalem and outside those gates are those who may not enter:

“But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.”

There are those who will suffer and die because they believe all sorts of lies. Christian witches will suffer and die a second death. Idol worshippers and liars will suffer and die a second death. The sexually immoral (LGBTXYZ) will suffer and die a second death. This is what the Bible teaches, if you don’t like it, then don’t pretend to know what it or Jesus says.


Of course Jesus wasn’t anti-semitic because he is from the semitic people who descended from Shem. Palestinians are anti-semitic and want all Jews and Israelis dead. Again, he wasn’t Palestinian, Roman, or any other nationality. He was Jewish.


As for gay-bashing, he is the Word of God in the flesh and God’s Word specifically says that homosexual behavior is an abomination. Did he bash? The Scripture never mentions him meeting a gay person, but Sodom and Gomorrah were judged for their illicit sexual behavior. Had he met a gay couple, he would have told them to ‘repent’ and turn back to God. He would not have baked a cake for their wedding feast!


Fan of Donald Trump? Because he is incarnate God and God puts men in leadership for his purposes, I would say that he has a purpose for Donald Trump. Fan? That comes from the word ‘fanatic’ and the only thing he was ‘fanatic’ about was the Kingdom and those who enter into it. He was ‘fanatic’ about those who are lost and dying because he desired them to know the Truth and be set free so they could live eternally. He wasn’t a supporter of sin, but a redeemer from sin.

While we’re at it, lets just add that the name above all names wasn’t Jesus either – it was Yeshua. So, yes, STOP Americanizing the King of Kings, the Jewish Messiah of Israel. Read. The. Bible. Know God. Know Yeshua.

©2019 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

In the Days of Nehemiah

“It was the first day of the seventh month” (Nehemiah 8:2).

This specific verse in Nehemiah sets the time for the events to follow as the ‘first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets.  This ‘appointed time’ of God begins His season of the fall feasts which are about repentance, atonement and a vision of the coming Millennial Kingdom.

The events in Nehemiah 8 are not some random occurrences in the history of Israel.  They are a testimony to the restoration of the Feasts of Adonai to a people who had lived in exile for over 160 years.  Though there was a first wave of Jewish return to Jerusalem 70 years after being taken captive, Ezra and Nehemiah were in the second wave 90 years later.  It was during this time that the priests gathered the people together on the ‘first day of the seventh month’.

Yom Teruah 445 B.C.E.

A wooden platform was made on which Ezra, the priest,  stood and could be seen and heard by all of the men and women who came to listen to the reading of the Torah.  As he opened the Torah scroll, everyone stood.  Then Ezra blessed Adonai, the great God.  As the people answered with “Amen”,  they lifted up their hands, bowed their heads, and fell prostrate before Adonai with their faces to the ground. 

“Amen” has a very interesting root history.  It comes from the Hebrew word aman meaning ‘to nourish, support, make sure and strong’.   The word emunah or faithfulness also has its root in aman.   The Jewish sages say that amen is an acronym for el melek ne’eman or “God is a faithful King’.  According to Revelation 3:14, Yeshua is the “the amen, the faithful and true witness … he is the faithful King.”   What the people said  as they were about to hear the Torah was “God is a faithful King!”

Days of Awe and Repentance

The Levites had the responsibility to explain Torah to the people.  After being in a foreign country for several generations, they needed to translate the Hebrew so that the ‘Persian’ Jews would  understand the words being read.  When they heard the  instructions that Adonai gave them through Moshe, the people began to weep. 

Repentance or making teshuvah, ‘turning back to God,’ is central to the fall ‘appointed times.’   After hearing the words of Torah for the first time standing in Jerusalem, the people wept.  They grieved.  They understood they had lost the very essence of their national heritage and had not lived accordingly.

Ezra, along with the rest of the Levites, told them not to weep, not to be sad for this day was ‘set apart to Adonai their God.’  It was His ‘appointed time.’ They were told to go out, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and give portions to those who couldn’t provide for themselves.  Even today sweet foods are eaten on Feast of Trumpets with apples and honey being the traditional foods.

How sweet to my tongue is your promise, truly sweeter than honey in my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

Mouth of God

Yeshua said “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  What does the mouth or ‘voice of God’ sound like?

Ram's Horn Shofar

When John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he has a revelation of Messiah.  He says,  “I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of Adonai; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a shofar ….”   The voice of Adonai sounded like the blowing of a shofar.  A shofar or ram’s horn is blown on the Feast of Trumpets.  Obviously, it is only when breath goes through the shofar that it is able to create a sound.  Being vessels of Adonai’s Spirit, it is taught that the ‘breath of God’ blows through a shofar when it sounds.  

John heard the voice that sounded like a shofar on the Day of the LORD.  This is in reference to the events surrounding the coming Messianic Era and a time of judgment, not the first day of the week.  The events for the Day of Adonai will begin on ‘the first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah.

Pool of Siloam

The Spring of Living Water


The original city of Jerusalem had very different boundaries than modern-day Jerusalem.  In fact, remnants of the city are found in what is known as the City of David.  Within the ‘older’ city of Jerusalem, the Water Gate led down to the Gihon Spring which was located in the Kidron Valley.  This spring was the main source of water for the Pool of Siloam.   The priests would go to the Pool of Siloam to collect the water for each day’s water libation ceremony during the Feast of Tabernacles.  During this event, they would pour water over the Altar.  On the last and greatest day of this Feast, Yeshua stood and cried out:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!” (John 7:37-39).

As the people gathered at the Water Gate, it is symbolic of the pathway to the living water of the Word of God.  With the reading of the Torah by Ezra, the Jewish people had been ‘washed in the water of the Word’ and began preparing themselves to be a pure and holy bride (Ephesians 5:25-26).   

Building Sukkot

On the second day,  the heads of the clans of the people joined the Levites and Ezra to study the words of the Torah again.  They found that Adonai had ordered that the people of Israel were to live in booths or sukkot during the ‘appointed time’ in the seventh month. They were to announce the festival of Sukkot in all of their cities and in Jerusalem.  

“Go out to the mountains, and collect branches of olives, wild olives, myrtles, palms, and other leafy trees to make sukkot, as prescribed” (Nehemiah 8:15).

Olive Tree

In Jeremiah 11:16, God calls Israel an olive tree. In Romans 11,  Sha’ul speaks about branches of olives and wild olives that make up the Olive Tree of Israel.    The natural branches represent the 12 Tribes of Israel  and the wild branches the nations that join with them.  Both receive the same living water of the Word through the same spiritual root.   Though both branches will continue to produce either natural olives or wild olives, they both produce olives.

Myrtle trees are considered an evergreen and are very hardy.   They produce a purplish-black berry called the mursins.  This fruit can be dried then ground and used as a flavoring.  It is one of the four leafy trees bound together for Sukkot that over time have been given the symbolism of ‘good smell, but no taste,’ like a person who has ‘good deeds, but does not study the Torah.’

Middle Eastern Myrtle

The prophet Zechariah lived during the time between the first and second returning remnants.  He has a vision of God, angels, and horsemen standing in the midst of a myrtle tree.  This vision was given to reinforce God’s promise that the exiles who returned to Jerusalem would be prosperous.  For the Jewish people of Zechariah’s time to prosper, they would need to repent and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, rebuild the Temple, and learn Torah.  In the days of Nehemiah and Yom Teruah, the repentance had begun. 

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the LORD  Almighty” (Zechariah 1:16).

Palm Tree

Palms, or lulav in Hebrew,  were also part of the branches collected to make a sukkah.  It is known for its uprightness, fruit and its beauty.  The Jewish sages say that the palm tree, which has taste but no smell, can be compared to a person who studies Torah, but has no fruit of good works. 

The first mention of palm trees in Scripture is when the Israelites camp at the oasis of Elim during their trek in the wilderness.  It is during the Feast  of Tabernacles that palm branches are waved signifying the coming Messianic Era. This is why palm branches were waved when Yeshua entered Jerusalem during the Passover season.  The people believed that the kingdom of God had arrived; however, it was the wrong ‘appointed time’ and season.    In Revelation 7:9, multitudes from every tribe and nation will be waving palm branches and giving glory to the King of Kings.  Today, the lulav is a special binding of three species of branches along with an etrog (a type of citrus fruit).  It is used to worship Adonai during Sukkot and reminds everyone that one day the nations of the world will gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). 

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The people went out from the city, collected branches from specific trees and made sukkot for themselves on the roofs of their homes, in their courtyards, in the Temple courts, and in the open spaces by the Water Gate and the Efrayim Gate. The entire community of those who had returned from the exile made sukkot and lived in them for the commanded eight days.   They had not done this since the days of Joshua and they celebrated Sukkot with great joy.  They also read the Torah every day from the first day until the last day of the ‘appointed time.’

In Our Day

The Feast of  Trumpets begins on the first day of the seventh month and Sukkot begins on the fourteenth day. On our Gregorian calendar, these fall festivals occur in our months of September/October.   They are a vision of the coming Kingdom of God when Israel, the natural branches of the Olive Tree will gather in Jerusalem along with the nations, the wild branches of the Olive Tree, to worship the King of Kings.  Everyone will wave olive, palm, and myrtle branches for they will not just study Torah, they will bear the righteous fruit of the etrog.

The Jews in the days of Nehemiah prepared for this coming Kingdom by repenting and returning to the Torah of God and celebrated the ‘appointed times’ on their commanded days.  As wild olives, we can also embrace the vision of the coming Kingdom millennia later in the say way: repenting and turning back to God, learning Torah,  and proclaiming the ‘appointed times’ to those who stand by the Water Gate desiring spiritual nourishment from the spring of living water.  Amen. “Yeshua is the faithful King.”  

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