Posts Tagged ‘Sabbath’

Revelation Chapter 3 – Laodicea

Messianic Community in Laodicea

Laodicea, most likely named after the wife of Antiochus II Theos, sat on a hill between the valleys of two small rivers, the Asopus and Caprus which flow into the Lycus. The town was originally called Diospolis or ‘City of Zeus.’ In 60 CE an earthquake leveled the city, but the residents would not take government assistance and rebuilt the city themselves. Laodicea was known for a major medical school where they made an eye salve from a local stone. It was known as a financial center throughout the ancient world because of its gold and for its black wool, and the garments it exported known as trimata. Today, Laodicea is near the city of Denizli, Turkey.

Many Jews were transported from Babylon to Laodicea in the days of Antiochus the Great. Though they sent gold annually to the Temple in Jerusalem, it was confiscated by Roman citizens. Because of the large Jewish community in Laodicea, the message of Sha’ul (Paul) was readily accepted. A home fellowship met in the home of Nympha in Laodicea. From the book of Colossians, it appears that his letters were shared between Laodicea, Colossae which was 11 miles west, and Ephesus which was 99 miles east (Colossians 4:15-16).

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Laodicea, write: ‘Here is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Ruler of God’s creation: “I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth! 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! My advice to you is to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be dressed and not have to be ashamed of your nakedness; and eye salve to rub on your eyes, so that you may see. As for me, I rebuke and discipline everyone I love; so exert yourselves, and turn from your sins! Here, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me. I will let him who wins the victory sit with me on my throne, just as I myself also won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:14-22). 

Yeshua sends the seventh and final messenger to the community of Laodicea and reveals himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, Ruler of God’s creation.”

‘Amen’ is a Hebrew word meaning ‘so be it.’ In Hebrew, aman means ‘to support or confirm, to be reliable or established.’ Its root comes from emunah or ‘faithfulness.’ As the person of the ‘Amen,’ Yeshua has the final ‘so be it’ regarding the condition of this community. His words are faithful and true, the witness of two establishing his words.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Amen, aman – אמן

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’

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

ן Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for aman: first strong mighty life.

The Council of Laodicea

The Council of Laodicea met in this city about 360 CE.  The main focus was to regulate the behavior of church members. At this time, many anti-semitic doctrines were established that remain part of  Christian theology today. One significant tenet is Canon 29 which outlawed the keeping of the Biblical Sabbath and encouraged resting on Sunday.

It is obvious that those at this council knew ‘The Lord’s Day’ was not the Sabbath. However, they instilled the idea that ‘The Lord’s Day’ was the ‘first day of the week’ and needed to be honored separating the church from the community of Isra’el and the God-give eternal Sabbath.

“Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day. Rather [they should] honour the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, rest then as Christians.”

The Set-Apart Sabbath

In the beginning, through His Word, Elohim created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day, He rested. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart for Himself. The seventh-day weekly Sabbath is a memorial to the week of creation and His rest (Exodus 20:11-12).

Yeshua was with God and was part of the seven days of creation, including the Sabbath: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being” (John 1:1-3).

The Sabbath is a sign between Elohim and His people so that we know Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is our God: “I am Adonai your God; live by my laws, observe my rulings, and obey them, 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 20:19-20).

The Sabbath is given to the nations: “And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant, I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:6-7).

Delighting in the Sabbath brings delight in Elohim and encompasses blessing: “If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, Adonai’s holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in Adonai — I will make you ride on the heights of the land and feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Ya‘akov, for the mouth of Adonai has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13-14).

The Sabbath will be celebrated in the new heavens and new earth and is prophetic vision for Eternity: “For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai. “As they leave, they will look on the corpses of the people who rebelled against me” (Isaiah 66:22-24).

Yeshua, is the “Ruler of Elohim’s Creation” –– the Lord of the Sabbath: “For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat!” (Mathew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5).

The edict by the Laodicean Council not only contradicts the Fourth Commandment given by Adonai in Exodus 20:8-10, it is rebellion to every Sabbath Scripture. Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath has nothing to do with Judaism, but has everything to do with obeying the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

The deliberate twisting of the Biblical Sabbath has kept the church from is Biblical foundation and the blessings of a Biblical walk. It has also successfully kept the gentiles from provoking the Jewish people to jealousy for Yeshua which is their divine calling according to Sha’ul (Paul) in Romans 11. The Council of Laodicea acted out of arrogance and, at that moment, were cut off from the Olive Tree of Isra’el losing the nourishing sap of the root. Those who accepted and followed their edicts brought anti-semitism into every church denomination, an anti-semitism that remains today.

A Tepid Temperature

Many believers in Messiah claim to be ‘on fire for the Lord,’ but that doesn’t make them ‘hot.’  To be ‘hot’ means to be close to the ‘fire’ of Elohim. Moshe stood next to that ‘fire’ in the burning bush and removed his shoes in the holy presence. That ‘fire’ burned in a pillar over the Tabernacle in the wilderness and only a few could go near it. A ‘fire’ of Elohim burns in the heart so intensely, it cannot be humanly contained (Jeremiah 20:9). It is a ‘hot’ fire that refines a spiritual life, removing the dross of sin (Zechariah 13:9).

To be ‘cold’ means to be far away from ‘the fire’ of Adonai’s presence.  A gentile foreigner separated from Elohim, His people and His teachings is ‘cold.’ ‘Cold’ means to be pagan with lustful desires and embracing false gods. ‘Cold’ means to have sterile ways of thinking, an intelligence shrouded in darkness, and to be estranged from the life of Elohim. ‘Cold’ means to be atheist –– irreverent, secular, and profane (Ephesians 2:11-12).

According to the dictionary, ‘lukewarm’ is a state of being warm, but only barely like a forgotten cup of hot tea. When it comes to the people of Laodicea, they lack zeal and enthusiasm for the ways of Adonai. In a Biblical context, ‘lukewarm’ is the mixing of the hot holiness of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh and the profane coldness of pagan idolatry and foreign gods.

The priests of Isra’el were warned about mixing the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane.’ Ezekiel tells them they do ‘violence’ to Torah by not distinguishing between the ‘clean’ and ‘unclean” and hiding their eyes from the Sabbath. This behavior profanes the name of Adonai among themselves and among the nations around them (Ezekiel 22:26).

The Hebrew word ‘violence’ in this verse is chamas and means ‘do violently against.’ Profane in Hebrew is chol and means ‘to make common.’ This is the antithesis of being “Holy as Elohim is Holy.”

Come Out From Among Them

“Therefore Adonai says, “‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.” Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

These verses from 2 Corinthians had a profound impact on my faith walk. It clearly stated that I was to separate myself from certain people and touch no ‘unclean’ thing. By obeying Adonai’s commands, I become His daughter. From many years in the institution of the church, I just assumed I had a Father/daughter relationship –– the unconditional love on His part, but nothing from me. I also read that I had to purify myself from everything that contaminates body and spirit out of reverence for Adonai.

I began searching a concordance for ‘unclean’ and I found myself in Leviticus 11 that outlined what Adonai considers ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ foods – or what He just considers to be food or not food. At the very end of the chapter He states, “You are to be holy as He is holy.”

I was excited to receive a Word from Adonai. I wanted to share what I learned with friends; however, those friends told me emphatically that I was wrong. They said ‘we are no longer under the law’ and if I followed those commands, I would be ‘legalistic.’ I had never heard those two arguments for ‘disobeying’ Adonai’s commands so it became clear from whom I was to separate.

Sha’ul only quoted the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel and my ‘new testament’ friends rejected the words. As part of the royal priesthood serving Yeshua, I am to strive for the same standard of holiness as the Levitical priesthood; in fact, I am held to a higher standard of holiness. I am not to mix the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane’ or become indifferent to the Sabbath. I am not to become lukewarm and profane the name of Adonai. As for one-sided unconditional love, Yeshua said a daughter’s response to her Father’s love obedience which is reverence.

Most of Christiandom is lukewarm; they don’t understand the difference between what is ‘holy hot’ and ‘profane cold.’ Through centuries of traditions, they mix the holiness of Adonai with the pagan ways of the nations. They exchanged Adonai’s Sabbath for the catholic Sunday as proclaimed by the Council of Laodicea. They have combined the spring renewal of the goddess Astarte/Easter with the resurrection of Yeshua. They have confused the birth of the sun-god Saturn with the incarnation of the Son of God. They falsely believe that Yeshua’s death changed pigs, horses, and eagles so they can now be consumed, or they believe he abolished Torah removing sin and disobedience.

Yeshua is telling Laodicea a different message. They are told that they are so lukewarm that ‘the faithful and true witness’ wants to vomit them out of his mouth. The Greek word for ‘vomit’ is emeo and means ‘repulsed, showing utter rejection, and disgust.’ In other words, the people in the Laodicean community disgust Yeshua that he wants to utterly reject them. This doesn’t sound much like the unconditional-love gospel message preached today.

The people of Laodicea see themselves as so rich that they have need of nothing. Their materialistic lifestyle makes them prideful and deceived to their real spiritual condition. Yeshua uses the clothing, gold, and eye salve that Laodicea values to rebuke his community. He doesn’t look at their outward appearance, but at their heart. He sees them as poor, naked, and blind. In his compassion, he offers them correction.

Sardis had soiled clothes; Laodicea has no clothes. They deceptively believe they are clothed in the righteousness of Yeshua, however, their man-made clothes do not cover their nakedness. The are like the wedding guest at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb who didn’t have wedding clothes. Though the guest had been invited, he didn’t properly dress. He had not been to the rehearsal dinner, so he didn’t know what to wear (Matthew 22:11-14).

Even though the city has a rich reputation from their gold, Yeshua tells the Laodiceans that they need to purchase gold refined in the fire. They exchanged a life of riches for an eternal reward of being with him where there are streets of transparent gold. They have become so arrogant that they need the ‘holy hotness’ of the refining fire to remove the dross and purify them.

The Laodiceans need to stop their violence against Torah by mixing the holy worship of Elohim with pagan gods likes Zeus, Saturn, Tammuz –– their own golden calf. For their spiritual blindness, Yeshua tells them they need eye salve. They don’t need the medical eye salve made from the Phrygian stone powder, they need eye salve like Yeshua made with mud and water so the scales fall from their eyes and they see their spiritual idolatry (John 9:11).

The people of Laodicea are so complacent Yeshua has to command them to “exert yourselves and turn from your sins!” ‘Exert’ means ‘put forth some physical or mental action.’  The deceptive doctrine of “Yeshua fulfilled the law so I don’t have to do anything” has utterly deceived them. These people do not need a message of resting in Yeshua, they need a ‘put-forth-some-effort-because-you-need-to-repent’ message. Because Yeshua loves the people in this community, he rebukes them harshly. He disciplines them so they will not be lost for all eternity (Psalm 118:18).

The Ten Commandments given to Isra’el were listed in Hebrew, not Roman numerals. In the Hebrew, the Fourth Commandment is the letter dalet with a letter picture of a ‘door’ meaning ‘pathway.’ The pathway commandment is: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

On the seventh-day, Yeshua stands at the dalet knocking.  He pleads with the Laodicean people to repent and return to the ‘true witness’ of their relationship with his Father. He wants someone to open the dalet so he can come in and feast with them.  If they open the ‘door,’ they will celebrate the eternal Sabbath together. This is the same Sabbath that the Council of Laodicea changed and encouraged Messianic believers to discard.

The reward for the overcomer is to sit with Yeshua on his throne.  The action of sitting after a victory is symbolic of rest and cessation of work.  This is the original purpose of Sabbath –– to cease work and rest.  If the Laodiceans open the ‘door’ and guard the Sabbath as it was created, they will no longer be naked, poor or blind to the prophetic vision. They will rule and reign with Yeshua, the Lord of the Sabbath, in the his Messianic Kingdom.

Those [in Laodicea 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 he taught in parables was so that 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 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’ and ‘obey’ the message so they would be overcomers –– Isra’el –– and receive their eternal reward.  

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

Revelation 4 – Heavenly Throne

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

The Ark Encounter

“For the Son of Man’s coming will be just as it was in the days of Noach” (Matthew 24:37).

Ken Ham and ‘Answers in Genesis’ made a significant impact on my children’s worldview when we heard him teach in Denver, Colorado. They never forgot his “billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water” to support a worldwide flood. When friends suggested we visit the life-sized Ark he had built, we couldn’t miss the opportunity as we drove through Kentucky.

“First, understand this: during the Last Days, scoffers will come, following their own desires and asking, “Where is this promised ‘coming’ of his? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Reading some of the reviews about The Ark Encounter before we arrived was discouraging. Atheists mocked the whole project while one young Millennial writer from Christianity Today thought the whole thing obsessive and expensive even though the funds for the project were raised through private donations. There was a Washington Post article mocking the Ark because rain eroded the roadway while it was being built and had to be reinforced. There was another article about taxes and how Answers in Genesis had figured out a way to avoid pay property taxes that support local schools. Public schools don’t teach anything about Creation nor do they want to. If I were Ken Ham, I wouldn’t want to support those institutions through taxes either. They want the money, but not the worldview.

“And he did not spare the ancient world; on the contrary, he preserved Noach, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, and brought the Flood upon a world of ungodly people” (2 Peter 2:5).

With all of the negative comments, I wasn’t sure what I would ‘encounter’ when I actually experienced the Ark, but I know that Yeshua said the world would be like ‘the days of Noach’ before he returned. Those days were full of scoffers; those who rejected everything of God.

The original Ark was not built to be evangelistic even though that is how the The Ark Encounter builders view it. The original Ark was built to protect eight faithful people from the judgment of God against wickedness and violence on the earth. Even in the short video entitled “An Interview with Noach” shown on the Lower Deck, Noah states that if someone came knocking on the door because they believed, he would let them in. In reality, no one knocked. That wasn’t God’s plan for the Ark. Strangely enough, my Bible reading for the day was the following:

“For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit;  and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people — to be specific, eight — were delivered by means of water” (1 Peter 3:18-20).

The Ark

We arrived as the visitor center opened at 9 a.m. and watched a 25-minute video on the making of the Ark from purchasing the land, to hiring all of the people God called to design, build, and detail the Ark to the ribbon cutting ceremony. Ken Ham was asked if the Ark was everything he imagined it to be. He answered, “No, it was more than he could have ever imagined.” Yes, I’m sure it is. It is more than anyone could imagine!

Listening to God

From the huge auditorium, we began our journey toward the Ark which took up nearly the whole horizon before us. Elephants and giraffes made from bushy trees trudged toward the ramp up to the huge door near the bow. This Ark is made to be life-size according to the directions given to Noach in cubits. They used the royal cubit length of 20.4 inches, making their cubit a little less than the longer 21.6 inches. With this measurement this Ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet tall.

Bamboo Animal Cages with Smart Feeders

We entered the Ark from below deck as it is built on a foundation rather than sitting on the ground waiting for another worldwide flood. We walked up the first ramp to the Lower Deck and entered a side door to the sounds of thunder and rain. Animal cages made from bamboo and outfitted with food and water receptacles greeted us. The sounds of animals eating, moving around in their cages and even going to the bathroom came through the cage doors. (No real animals in these cages – just the sound ambiance of them.)

Noach’s Prayer for Protection

When we turned the corner, we watched Noach and his family praying for God’s protection while lightning flashed in the background behind him. We were blessed that he was praying in Hebrew; however, we are pretty sure he didn’t have an altar with fire in the Ark. We were also blessed at one point in the film, when they proclaimed in detail the Hebrew names of the Creator from El Elyon, El Shaddai and Adonai to Ehyeh, the I Am.

We continued to walk around the first deck to the Bow. Bags and bags of grain for food and large clay jars holding water and small jars for oil lined the side of the Ark. In the middle of the Ark were small cages for moths and other slimy things that some of the animals would eat. It was overwhelming to consider all of the necessities for living in a boat with so many different kinds of animals for over a year.

We wandered along the numerous bamboo cages looking at the pre-flood creatures. Many of the animals that were on the Ark do not exist in the forms we see today. They were designed by engineers who used 3D printers to re-create the animal bodies and skeletons while painters and fur people made each animal look realistic.

Juvenile KInd of ‘saurus’

Not every species of animal was taken on the Ark, only kinds of animals: Stalhleckeriid Kind, Canids (the dog kind), Hyena Kind, Felids (the cat kind), Alligator Kind, the Cattle Kind, Pongids (the great ape kind), the Giraffe Kind, the Horse Kind, the Hippopotamus Kind and so on until there were about 1,398 KINDS on the Ark. Within each kind were 10s, 50s and 100s giving them at most 7,000 land animals and birds.

The second deck contained exhibits that answer many questions about the the Ark. For example, where did fresh water come from to drink, bathe, and wash clothes and dishes? How long did it take to feed and water all the animals? What was done with the tons of animal waste? What kinds of lighting was in the Ark? Various ingenious examples of mechanical and technical designs showed the intelligence of Noach and his family who were called to build this huge boat for their protection and provision.

One inch of rain water per week from the roof of the Ark funneled into large cisterns would have kept Noach’s family supplied with fresh water. Once the rain stopped, evaporation of the flood waters would have also caused rain to fall to keep the cisterns full. Gutters and piping from the cisterns transported water to each of the animals cages.

With regard to waste, I noticed that some of the cages had trays or small wagons underneath the slats that could be removed. Smaller animal cages had gutters where waste would flush out. The waste could easily be removed and taken to what is called a ‘moon pool,’ and removed from the Ark.

Near Bow of the Ark were the ‘moon pools.’ These were large tubes that were open from the top of the Ark through the bottom. As the Ark rocked on the waves, water would push up into these pools circulating fresh air. One pool was used for waste and as the Ark rose and the water rushed out, the waste went with it.

The designers took a lot of artistic license taken when designing this Ark. Some of it, however, was taken from sources like the Book of Jubilees as well as individual creativity. Each system of feeding, water, and waste removal seemed very plausible because each system also helped to manage the enormous work load put on eight people.

The Alpaca Kiss

On the second deck was a small petting zoo. I believe I saw porcupines and I hoped no one would pet them. I did have the opportunity to feed an alpaca and receive a kiss.

The third deck contained exhibits of life for Noach and his family on the Ark. Each life-size diorama depicted a different scene of Noah, Shem, Ham, Japeth and their wives. I’m not sure with so many animals to feed and care for that the depiction of Japeth playing the flute is realistic, but maybe they did have time for each other and some relaxing moments.

The structure of the Ark is overwhelming. It is made completely of wood with huge tree trunks as center standing beams. Looking up, skylights allow some light inside. Looking down, there holds stored more food and supplies. As we were reminded in the first film, this Ark is not really a boat, but made to look like the boat. It is made for people to come inside and see an idea of how the Ark may have looked. All of the empty space for visitors and exhibits would have been filled with food, cages, feeding troughs, and excrement tubes for animals.

We had a nice little buffet lunch at Emzara’s Kitchen. Emzara is the name of Noah’s wife from the Book of Jubilees. Apparently, the little stories they gave about each of Noach’s sons’ wives came from other sources as well because some of the I actually recognized from books I have read.

We took a stroll around the Ararat Zoo near Emzara’s and watched kangaroos boingy boingy, an ostrich stretch its head, some pigs trying to get out of their pen, horses and a zebra just chillin’, and camels saddled up for rides. Many of the animals, especially the birds, were gone for the season. It would be a much better zoo in the summer!

Beware of ‘The Lie”

One of my pet peeves for teaching about Bible people is Veggie Tales. Suffice it to say that I do not believe that anyone should take courageous and strong men and women of faith and make them cartoons or talking vegetables. It diminishes the value of their testimony and makes the Bible ‘just another storybook.’

The Lie of the Serpent

The same is true about Noach’s Ark. The ‘days of Noach’ were not fairy tale days and the Ark was not a bewitched pumpkin transformed into a floating vessel by some magic spell. The animals weren’t squished on the Ark and they weren’t hanging out on some exterior deck watching it rain. These deceptions take hold in the hearts of children and turn them away from trusting in the Creator for life and hope. It was wonderful to see one exhibit deal with this ‘lie’ and actually had nearly every children’s book ever written that propelled the deception.

“So long as the earth exists, sowing time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

After our Ark Encounter and a bag of books and souvenirs, we went back to the auditorium for a lecture on ‘Global Warming’ by Dr. Alan White. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has been granted 41 US patents and is an author of 18 scientific publications. He is retired from Eastman Chemical Company and spends his time speaking on creation science, especially in the area of climate change. Using graphs and diagrams, there is no real evidence for such ‘global warming’ because records have only been kept for 150 years. Even for those who believe in ‘billions’ of years and evolution, that’s not much time to gather the evidence needed to prove the earth is dangerously warming. Instead, there is more evidence for changes in climate –– some temperatures going up and some going down. Believing in destructive ‘global warming’ is dependent upon a personal worldview: faith in God or faith in mankind. I choose God and the Truth of the Word:

“God added, “Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come:  I am putting my rainbow in the cloud — it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud;  I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind; and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings. The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:12-16).

I know those who designed and built the Ark Encounter studied extensively the how’s and why’s of everything from animals to food to people and fitting it all together; however, there were a few issues that when I ‘divide the Word of Truth,’ I found lacking.

“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).

As much as I appreciate Ken Ham and his vision as a Creationist in this secular world of scoffers, his days of creation fall short of the entire week.  I saw only one sign, and that in the main building, that even mentioned the seventh day with  “on the seventh day, God rested.” Apart from that one sign, there was nothing about God creating and sanctifying the seventh day, setting it apart from the rest of the days of creation.  Sanctification of the Sabbath is just as important as knowing on which days God created the sun, moon and stars or sea creatures. I have read many of Ken’s books over the years and he never addresses the seventh day as a created day.  In fact, many years ago I wrote to him on this very issue. From his response, I know Mr. Ham avoids the Sabbath because he wants to avoid controversy; he’s more interested in promoting creation over evolution. However, the Sabbath is the ‘sign’ that people grasp Creation.  By ‘changing’ the Sabbath to Sunday, evolution proliferates and even many Christians deny the literal seven days of creation.

“I am the gate [door]; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Much of The Ark Encounter focuses on the message of salvation and uses ‘the door’ to emphasize this message.  Yeshua (Jesus) is the ‘door’ no less than ‘the door’ to the Ark was the entrance to salvation from the flood for Noah’s family.  They had a photo-op place set up to take pictures of individuals standing at ‘the door.’  My only issue was ‘the cross’ that was projected on ‘the door.’   One of the commands for gentile believers is to make the Jew envious for the Jewish Messiah and his salvation.  When Christians push ‘the cross,’ it is offensive to Yeshua’s brothers and sisters.   Millions of Jews over the past 2000 years were murdered by those who used the cross.  Though I understand the idea, perhaps another depiction could have been projected or nothing at all.  Allow the allusion to stand for itself.  

“Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered” (Revelation 5:6).

In the exhibit, “Museum of the Bible,’ another key comparison was depicted.  Just as Yeshua is ‘the door,’ he is also ‘the lamb who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).  This is represented by the ‘ram’ that Abraham found in the thicket, ’the blood of the lamb’ put on the Hebrews’ doorposts and lintel at the Passover, and all of the sacrificial lambs within the Temple services.  Yeshua is referred to as a ‘lamb led to the slaughter but didn’t open his mouth’ (Jeremiah 11:19, Isaiah 53:7).  Yet, in the exhibit of Adam and Eve sinning, some archaic dinosaur or amphibian was depicted as the sacrifice for their sin.  They wore furry clothes (not explicit in Scripture) which would not have come from the skin of a hairless creature.  I’m not sure why a ‘lamb’ wasn’t used to tie the sacrificial account from the Garden to the ram and the blood, but it seemed silly.  

“Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple; also of the birds in the air take seven couples — in order to preserve their species throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).

There were explanations about the number of ‘unclean’ animals vs. ‘clean’ animals that entered the Ark.  The explanations included the question of whether or not Noach understood the difference, but most likely learned from the differing numbers God brought to him. 

Correctly, Noah sacrificed ‘clean’ animals after the flood to worship Adonai.  This had to be the case or the ‘unclean’ would never have been able to reproduce.  At this time, Noach is told that he may eat the flesh of animals like he ate plants.  Again, this is correct though it’s probable that not all green plants were edible: poison ivy or the leaves of rhubarb were not edible.   The explanation went on to say that the idea of not eating ‘unclean’ animals was for a certain time in a certain culture.  This is an unfortunate Biblical view for several reasons.  First, each of the covenants built on each other.  Noach was given meat to eat while the Israelites were given more specifics about those meats.   No one was to eat blood! Each covenant is based on faith – taking God as His word.

“And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all” (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Second, rather than challenging the people who walk through the Ark to consider that Yeshua didn’t die on the cross to save them from God’s Torah, such theology allows faulty interpretations from Acts 10, 11 and Romans 14 to continue. Third, once again this theology divides the Bible into sections: one section for one group of people (Christians) and another for another group (Jews).  This is heresy when the Bible is one book written for all men for all time –– also explained in one of the exhibits.  Yeshua stated in Matthew 5:18 that the Torah would not disappear until there’s a new heaven and new earth.  What Noach was given in his new heaven and new earth was for this heaven and this earth until it passes away.

Our day ended with a sunset over the distant Ark, not a rainbow covenant of promise. My Ark Encounter, even with my concerns, was one to remember –– something everyone should do at least once ‘in these days of Noach.’ It brings with it a perspective of God and His Word in Biblical proportions.

“By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting” (Hebrews 11:7).

Perspective

©2019 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 article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

The Sabbath Bride – Erev Shabbat Table Song

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“How beloved is your rest, Sabbath Queen, we run to greet you:  Come, royal bride, dressed in fine robes.  We light the light with blessing.  All labors end [as is said] “You shall do no work.” To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

In advance all kinds of tasty food have been prepared, fattened chicken made ready while it was still day.  Varied dishes set out, and fragrant wines to drink, and special delicacies all three times.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

They shall inherit Jacob’s heritage, a heritage unbounded, rich and poor will honor [the Sabbath] and be worthy of redemption.  If you keep the Sabbath day you will be My special treasure, six days shall you labor – and on the seventh let us rejoice.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

Your secular concerns are forbidden; so too are calculations.  Reflections are permitted, and arranging matches for girls, and teaching a child a book, and singing songs of praise, and meditating on fine words at every place and gathering.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

Your walk shall be unhurried; you shall call the Sabbath a delight.  Sleep too is praiseworthy, for it refreshes the spirit.  Therefore my soul yearns for you, to rest in you in love, as if within a fence of roses: on it son and daughter rest.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.

A foretaste of the World to Come is the day of Sabbath rest.  All who take delight in it will be worthy of great joy.  They will be delivered with relief from the birthpangs of the Messiah.  May our redemption spring forth, and sadness and sighing flee away.  To savor the delights of fowl, quail and fish.”

©Koren Siddur, Jerusalem 2012

Rest, Joy and Light – Shabbat Table Song

Sabbath Sunset, Kauai
Sunset, Kauai

“Rest and joy, light for all Jews [and those from the nations who join with her], is the Sabbath day, day of delights; those who keep it and recall it bear witness that in six days all creation was made. The highest heavens, land and seas, the host of heaven, high and sublime; sea monsters, humans and all wild beasts, were created by YHVH God, He who formed worlds. It was He who spoke to His treasured people: ‘Keep it to make it holy from beginning to end.’ The holy Sabbath is His day of delight, for on it God rested from all His work. Through the Sabbath commandment God will give you strength, rise, pray to Him and He will invigorate you. Recite the prayer, and the Kedusha, then eat with joy, for He is pleased with you. With twin loaves and wine for the Kiddush, with many delicacies and a willing spirit; those who delight in the Shabbat shall merit great reward: the coming of the Redeemer, and LIFE in the World to come.”

©Koren Siddur, Jerusalem 2012