Posts Tagged ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’

Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared)

Genesis 18:1-22:24

“Adonai appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day” (Genesis 18:1).

As Abraham sits under the oak tree in the middle of the day, he looks up and sees three men. He runs to meet them, prostrates himself on the ground, and says, “My Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don’t leave your servant” (Genesis 18:2-3). He offers the men bread to eat, water to wash their feet, and the shade of the oak tree for rest. He tells Sarah to quickly make a feast –– bread with butter and a calf prepared with curds.

Selah
Abraham served meat from a calf along with curds from milk to El Shaddai giving no indication that milk and meat should be prepared or eaten separately.

While eating the prepared foods, one of the visitors tells Abraham that by the next year Sarah would give birth to a son. Sarah overhears the conversation and laughs to herself. Though Sarah denies laughing, El Shaddai heard her. The Hebrew word for ‘laugh’ is tzchet –– one of my favorite Hebrew words. From this word comes the name Yitz’ak (Isaac) which means ‘laughter.’

The Quercus calliprinos, the Palestine Oak, is native to the eastern Mediterranean region. In Isra’el this tree is known as the Common Oak or elan matsuy. The fruit of an oak tree is an acorn and it contains only one seed. Abraham is like the oak tree at Mamre where he meets El Shaddai. From his one seed, Abraham will become the ‘father of nations’ though he will not live to see the fulfillment of the promise. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the oak as a tree whose trunk remains alive even after its leaves fall off. The planted ‘holy seed’ becomes its trunk. The descendants of Isaac will grow into the trunk of Isra’el and “they will be called oaks of righteousness planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride” (Isaiah 6:12-13, 61:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Oak or terebinth (elah) – אלה – alef, lamed, hey
– first strength urges forward, revealed

Sodom and Gomorrah

Two of the men leave Abraham for Sodom and Gomorrah, but one remains. The one who remains is El Shaddai. The divine essence, the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears to Abraham as a person.

El Shaddai reveals His plans for the two cities that had become very wicked. Abraham challenges His mercy and the two discuss the number of righteous people living in the cities compared to the wicked. For how many righteous would El Shaddai relent on his judgment? Fifty, forty, twenty? Finally, El Shaddai yields to Abraham. For the sake of ten righteous, He will not destroy the cities. Unfortunately, only Lot, his wife, and Lot’s two unmarried daughters meet the criteria.

“For I have made myself known to him, so that he will give orders to his children and to his household after him to keep the way of Adonai and to do what is right and just, so that Adonai may bring about for Avraham what he has promised him” (Genesis 18:19).  

“I have made myself known” implies that El Shaddai has revealed Himself to Abraham so that he can “keep the way of Adonai” The ‘man’ conversing with Abraham is Yeshua before he becomes flesh. Through His words, the person of Yeshua is revealed to Abraham.

“Adonai said, ‘The outcry against S’dom and ‘Amora is so great and their sin so serious that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know’” (Genesis 18:20-21).

The prophet Ezekiel describes the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah to be pride and gluttony. The people no longer care about the poor and have become complacent regarding those in need. Along with these sins, they are arrogant against Elohim and commit disgusting acts (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Isaiah elaborates on these acts saying their sins are blatantly done in the face of Elohim. They parade their sin with no shame and no willingness to hide their perversions (Isaiah 3:9).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Disgusting or shoar – שער – shin, ayin, resh
– consume and understand first strength

Perversion or iqqesh – עקש – ayin, kof, shin
– understand what is behind the destruction

Grievous or kabed – כבד – kaf, bet, dalet
– open the family pathway

When the two men arrive in Sodom and Gomorrah, they are no longer men or anashim, but hamelakim or angelic messengers. The perversion of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah is so disgusting that they solicit the angels of Elohim for sex. They even reject the offer of Lot’s two virgin daughters! The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is so grievous that Elohim has no alternative except to destroy the cities.

Lot invites the angels into his home and makes them a meal that includes unleavened bread or matzah. Leaven is often compared to sin, and Lot, who lives in the midst of abominable sin, serves unleavened bread. This could allude to his own sinless life in a culture of depravity or be prophetic to the sinless One, Yeshua, who is going to deliver him from death. Though the ‘appointed times’ have not yet been outlined, Lot and his family experience a ‘passover’ and ‘unleavened bread’ and do not die in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yeshua tells his disciples that the world will be like Sodom and Gomorrah at the time of his coming (Luke 17:26-30). Today, homosexuals, lesbians, and transgenders cry out for equality and acceptance.  They want to marry one another and raise children together. Their perversion, if allowed to continue by Elohim, will mutate into pedophilia and even beastiality. As with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, these perverted people arrogantly parade in the streets of large cities and do not hide the disgusting practices. Though the consciences of humanity may “know well enough God’s righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; they not only allow them to keep doing them, but they applaud [them]” (Romans 1:32).

Another great abomination that may have been happening in Sodom and Gomorrah is the influence of Nephilim who were still on the earth. Some of the Nephilim may have inhabited the area of Sodom and Gomorrah and acted in ways previous to the flood. Ezekiel 16:48 says that the sins of Sodom involved the daughters of Sodom who committed detestable acts.  Perhaps the daughters of Sodom were fornicating with Nephilim leaving human men in need of other men, so much so that the men didn’t even desire virgin women.

Elohim destroyed the earth once because of immoral behavior between angels and women, perhaps these same unholy unions brings Him again to the point of wrath.
Because He had made a covenant with Noach never to destroy the earth by water, He pours out fire and brimstone on two cities that were morally depraved.

The angels have to pull Lot back into the house and they shut the door. Shutting a door symbolizes an ending and a separation from what is on the other side of the door –– permanently. Even so, Lot dallies in the morning not wanting to leave the city.

The residents of the two cities believe that Lot has been judging them, though there is no evidence that he is a bold evangelist or a prophetic voice. It doesn’t appear that he is even semi-righteous, though the life of a semi-righteous person in a completely depraved society can be very convicting. From what is known about Lot, it wasn’t his righteousness that saved his family, but the intercession of his Uncle Abraham and the mercy of El Shaddai (Titus 3:5). Lot may have perished with everyone else if the angels had not pulled him by the hand and removed him from the city.

“Flee for your life, don’t look back!”

In the Hebrew, the phrase is “escape for your nefesh” meaning ‘escape for the sake of your soul.’ The command involved more than not looking back to see the destruction, it was commanded to redeem the souls of Lot, his wife, and his daughters from a life of slavery to sin. Unfortunately, Lot’s wife looked back and lost her soul; she was turned into a pillar of salt.

It is often taught that Lot’s wife looked back because of the loss of her family. Lot’s other two daughters and sons-in-law did not leave the city because they didn’t believe Lot’s warning. Though this may be one reason she looked back, her nefesh was not the same at Lot’s. She was most likely a native Sodomite.

There is a midrash that discusses another reason why Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt. In the Middle East, salt is a symbol of hospitality. Sharing salt at a table requires peaceful fellowship between those sharing the salt. Hospitality and sharing salt was not the code of law in Sodom, one of their grievous sins. In the midrash it is suggested that Lot’s wife did not approve of Lot bringing guests into her home. Then, he asked her to bring out the salt. She had no salt in her home so she went door to door asking for salt which revealed to the citizens of Sodom that her husband had broken the code of law against hospitality. It was this action that brought the men of the city to Lot’s door. The midrash concludes that because she sinned with salt, she was punished with salt. Today, the pillars of salt that surround that area of the Dead Sea are a reminder of Lot’s wife and her lack of hospitality for the angels of God (Hebrews 13:2).

The midrash also explained why El Shaddai destroyed the cities by fire and brimstone. It supports the idea that Nephilim or angelic beings were inhabiting the cities. Angels, unlike humans who were created from the dust of the earth, were created by fire. As man returns to dust when he dies, the only way to destroy angels is with fire. Perhaps turning around and seeing with human eyes angels being consumed by burning sulfur would have a devastating effect on the human nefesh –– turning human flesh into salt.

Abraham wakes up the next morning and sees the smoke rising. He knows what has happened. There is no indication that he knew Lot had escaped or that he ever saw his nephew again.

Lot went up into mountains with his two daughters. One day they get him drunk so they can have sex with him.  They had become so morally compromised by the sin that had surrounded them, they didn’t consider what they did might be wrong. It does seem strange that they were unaware that there were other people alive on earth, including their great uncle, but they committed incest with their father and became pregnant.

They give birth to two sons: Moab and Amon who become the fathers of two nations. Ruth, who becomes the grandmother of King David, was a Moabite, a descendant of Lot and his oldest daughter. The Ammonites come from the union of Lot and his youngest daughter. Amon is the capital of modern-day Jordan.

A Promised Seed

At the exact time El Shaddai prophesied, Sarah gives birth to a son who is named Yitz’ak. She exclaims, “God has given me a good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6). According to the sign of the covenant, Abraham circumcises Isaac when he is eight days old.

As Isaac grows up, problems arise between him and his brother, Ishmael. It becomes necessary for Abraham to send Ishmael and Hagar away. At Isaac’s weaning party, when Isaac is between 4 and 5 years old, Ishmael torments his little brother. The Hebrew word for ‘torment’ is matzchak and is rooted in ‘sexual encounter or fondling.’ Ishmael’s ‘playing with’ Isaac clearly upsets Sarah.

‘Weaning’ is generally believed to be the time when a child is removed from its mother’s breast. However, there is also a spiritual ‘weaning’ when a child leaves his mother and begins his spiritual training with his father. Using Biblical chronology, Isaac’s ‘weaning’ would have been on his birthday that began the 400-year time period for Abraham’s descendants’ oppression and slavery. This would place Isaac’s ‘weaning’ on the first day of Unleavened Bread –– 400 years before the exact day when the Hebrews were set free from Egypt.

It was at the ‘weaning’ party that Abraham confirmed to everyone present that Isaac was the ‘promised seed’ who would bring spiritual blessing to the nations. Ishmael, who was born of Abraham’s flesh, was sent away to become one nation that would oppress the descendants of Isaac and Jacob.

Hagar leaves with her son and goes into the desert. While hiding under a tree dying, Hagar cries out to Elohim.  Ishmael, who is nearly 20 years old, continues to be a spoiled young man and doesn’t appreciate nor take care of his own dying mother. Elohim comes to Hagar and promises to make her son into a great nation and directs her to a well where she and Ishmael find water and are revived.

The Binding of Isaac – Adekah

“Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’ak; and go to the land of Moriyah.  There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you” (Genesis 22:2).

This passage of Scripture is called the akedah or the ‘Binding of Isaac.’ It describes the account of Abraham who is commanded by El Shaddai to offer his only son as a sacrifice. The word ‘only’ in this passage is yachid and means ‘unique, only begotten.’ The word yachid also suggests the relationship between Abraham and his son was very close or echad.

Selah
Abraham had Ishmael, but Ishmael was not the ‘unique son’ El Shaddai called him to sacrifice. In Islam, the story is recounted as the ‘Binding of Ishmael.’ From it comes the ‘Ein ul Adha’ and the killing of a lamb. Though Ishmael is not the ‘son of promise,’ the ‘binding’ and the substitute ‘lamb’ can be used to explain the substitute sacrifice of Yeshua made for the whole world –– including Muslims.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Moriah (Teach) – מריה – mem, resh, yod, hey
– mighty highest authority, finished work, revealed

Mount Moriah in Jerusalem has a long Biblical history. Moriah comes from the Hebrew root moreh meaning ‘to teach.’ Moriah was where the threshing floor owned by Ornan, the Jebusite, was located; the place where Elohim appeared to King David (2 Chronicles 3:1). On Mount Moriah, King Solomon built the first Temple. On the same mountain, in the Temple courts of the second Temple, Yeshua stood and proclaimed himself the Messiah and echad or ‘one’ with Elohim (John 10:10). Mount Moriah was the location where El Shaddai brought Abraham to test his faith.

Selah
The original threshing floor, the location of the first and second Temples, was south and east of the modern-day Temple Mount in the City of David. The Temple Mount and Western Wall may be the remains of a first-century Roman garrison.

According to Leviticus, a burnt offering is a free-will offering. Abraham was not coerced by El Shaddai to get up early in the morning or forced to saddle a donkey, gather wood, and take his two servants with him to sacrifice his son. Because Abraham trusts in the promises of El Shaddai, he obeys without hesitation.

Upon arriving at the mountain, Abraham leaves his servants at the bottom and ascends with Isaac who carries the wood. While they walk towards their destination, Isaac wonders about the sacrifice. Though he has been surrounded by pagan cultures that offer human sacrifice to Molech, this has not been part of his upbringing; so he asks about the lamb.

“My father? I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7)

“Avraham replies, ‘God will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering’” (Genesis 22:8).

When they arrive at the summit, Abraham prepares an altar, sets the wood on top, binds his son, and lays him on the altar. Every step of the way, Isaac submits to his father’s will. Whatever he has learned from his father’s life and teachings for the past 30 years, he completely trusts his father –– even as he raises a knife to kill him.

An angel of El Shaddai calls to Abraham from heaven and says, “Don’t lay a hand on the boy! Don’t do anything to him! For now I know that you are a man who fears God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son from me” (Genesis 22:12).

Selah
The Hebrew word for ‘boy’ in this passage is not yelad meaning ‘a young boy.’ It is nar meaning ‘a young man.’ Many depictions of the ‘binding of Isaac’ show him as little boy, but he was a young man between 30-33 years of age.

Abraham raises his eyes from his son and sees a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. Abraham untangles the ram and offers it as a free-will burnt offering –– a substitute for Isaac. Abraham calls the place El Yireh or ‘Elohim will see to it’.

The word for ‘provide’ in Hebrew is yireh and contains the idea of something prophetic in the distant future, not the near present. Another rendering for yireh may be ‘in the future there will be a lamb of Elohim.’ This is an allusion to the same lamb sacrificed for Adam and Eve in Gan Eden that prophesied a future deliverance from sin and death.

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According to Romans 4:17 “Abraham is our father in God’s sight because he trusted God as the one who gives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence.” Was the ram in the thicket before Abraham saw it or did El Shaddai speak it into existence at that moment? Was the ram the appearance of El Shaddai Himself?

El Yireh did not want Abraham’s son as an offering. He is not like the gods of this world desiring human sacrifice Through the ram that El Yireh provided, Abraham knew his sacrifice was accepted.

“By faith Avraham, when God tested him, offered Yitz’ak as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Yitz’ak that your offspring will be reckoned.” Avraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Yitz’ak back from death” (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Some interpretations suggest the ram symbolizes the strength of Elohim’s lamb that would overcome death and be resurrected; the returning ram that will trample underfoot the enemies of Elohim. With this interpretation, Abraham was shown or taught about the two comings of Messiah: the substitute sacrificial lamb and the warrior ram. (For a beautiful short story of the ram, a child’s midrash, see Study Helps.)

From the account of the ram caught in the thicket, the shofar or the ram’s horn came about. The shofar is used many times in Scripture to announce everything from warfare to Elohim’s ‘appointed times.’

The angel of El Shaddai calls to Abraham a second time. Abraham responds, “Here I am,” or “Hineni.” The Hebrew word hineni is not just a response that Abraham is physically ‘here and present,’ but that he is spiritually understanding everything he is being shown on Mount Moriah.

This parashah concludes with El Shaddai promising to bless Abraham because of his obedience. He will increase his descendants and all nations of the earth will be blessed.


“I have sworn by myself that because you have done this, because you haven’t withheld your son, your only son, I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore … and by your descendants all nations of the earth will be blessed – because you obeyed my order” (Genesis 22:16-18).

Yeshua and the Day of Judgment

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“When you enter someone’s household, say,‘Shalom aleikhem! [Peace upon you]’ If the home deserves it, let your shalom rest on it; if not, let your shalom return to you. But if the people of a house or town will not welcome you or listen to you, leave it and shake its dust from your feet! Yes, I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for the people of S’dom and ‘Amora than for that town!” (Matthew 10:12-15)

“Moreover, I tell you this: on the Day of Judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken; for by your own words you will be acquitted, and by your own words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36).


“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:31-46).

“Those in Y’hudah must escape to the hills, those inside the city must get out, and those in the country must not enter it. For these are the days of vengeance, when everything that has been written in the Tanakh [old testament] will come true. What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers! For there will be great distress in the Land and judgment on the people” (Luke 21:21-23).

“The Father does not judge anyone but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever fails to honor the Son is not honoring the Father who sent him. Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life — that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life! For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son life to have in himself. Also he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:22-27).

“When he [the Counselor] comes, he will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment — about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in me [Yeshua]; about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment, in that the ruler of this world has been judged” (John 16:8-11).

“After these things, I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd in heaven, shouting, ‘Halleluyah! The victory, the glory, the power of our God! For his judgments are true and just. He has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her whoring. He has taken vengeance on her who has the blood of his servants on her hands’” (Revelation 19:1-2).

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

Revelation Chapter 11 – Two Witnesses

 “I was given a measuring rod like a stick and told, “Get up, and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count how many people are worshiping there! But the court outside the Temple, leave that out; don’t measure it; because it has been given to the Goyim, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months” (Revelation 11:1-2).

Yochanan is giving a measuring stick and told to measure the Millennial Temple and the Altar. Specific measurements for the Temple are revealed by the prophet Ezekiel. He measures the thickness of the walls, the gates, the gate entrances, the guard rooms, the courtyard, and the sanctuary, and the Most Holy Place (Ezekiel 42). He is also given the dimensions of the Altar:

“These are the measurements of the altar in cubits (a cubit here is defined as a normal cubit [eighteen inches] plus a handbreadth [three inches]): the base, one cubit [twenty-one inches] deep and one cubit wide; with the molding surrounding it at its rim about a hand-span [nine inches] in width. The height of the altar is thus: from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, three-and-a-half feet, with the width twenty-one inches; from the lower ledge to the upper ledge, seven feet, with the width again twenty-one inches. The hearth measures seven feet [high], with four horns on top of the hearth. The hearth is a square twenty-one feet on each of its four sides. The ledge measures a square twenty-four-and-a-half feet on each of its four sides; the molding around it ten-and-a-half inches [across]; and its base twenty-one inches [larger than the rest, all the way] around. Its steps face east” (Ezekiel 43:13-17).

Many believe, contrary to Biblical evidence, the sacrifices ended when Yeshua died on the cross. Many years after Yeshua’s resurrection, Sha’ul took a Nazarite vow that included a Temple offering (Acts 21:26). The sacrifices and offerings ended when the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. When any Temple is rebuilt, the offerings and sacrifices will resume.

There will be people at the Altar worshiping Adonai in this manner. Ezekiel is also told to count the number of people worshiping in the area.

The courtyard outside the Millennial Temple will not be measured because the goyim will trample it for 42 months or 3 1/2 years. Goyim is translated into gentiles, however, the word can also mean pagans. The Hebrew word ‘trample’ is ramas and means ‘oppression.’

During the 42 months, the gentiles will oppress the outer court. According to Webster’s Dictionary, ‘oppress’ means ‘to spiritually burden, to crush by abuse of power or authority.’ During the second Temple period, the women of Isra’el gathered in the outer court. Whether or not the outer court will be the gathering place for the nations or women of Isra’el, it will be an oppressive place and pagans will destroy it (Ezekiel 44:9).

“Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to do them harm, fire comes out of their mouth and consumes their enemies — yes, if anyone tries to harm them, that is how he must die. They have the authority to shut up the sky, so that no rain falls during the period of their prophesying; also they have the authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want” (Revelation 11:3-6).

There are several thoughts on the identity of the two witnesses. Some believe the two witnesses cannot be individual people because it seems impossible that they could affect the entire world with their life and death. With technology, a global government, religion, and economic system could focus on two individuals who challenge their authority. They suggest a corporate witness of Jew and Gentile, the ‘one new man,’ but the two witnesses wear sackcloth. The modern-day ‘seal’ for the State of Isra’el is a Menorah with an olive tree on each side which could represent the Jews, but according to the ‘signs in the heavens,’ Isra’el will be in the desert during the days of the witnesses.

The two witnesses are identified by the prophet Zechariah as ‘two olive trees’ and ‘two menorahs’ that stand before Adonai (Zechariah 4:14). Zechariah asks about the two olive trees on the right and left of the menorah that poured gold-colored oil through two gold spouts. An angel explains that these are two witnesses, highly anointed individuals, who have a direct spiritual connection to the ‘Lord of all the land.’ Their power comes from Adonai and fire comes from their mouths consuming their enemies. they have the power to stop rain; they can turn water into blood; they can strike the world with plagues.

Elijah had the power to stop rain from falling on Isra’el alluding to one of the witnesses being Elijah. Elijah never died but was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot (Hebrews 9:27).

Moshe had the power to turn water into blood and to bring forth plagues upon Egypt. Though Moshe died and was buried in Moab, his grave has never been revealed by Elohim.

Moshe and Elijah were with Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration. At that time, the disciples believed that Yeshua was restoring the Kingdom and asked if they could put up sukkot for each of them (Matthew 17:1-9). The fact that these two men appeared with Yeshua may suggest that they are the two witnesses who prophesy for 1,260 days.

Enoch like Elijah didn’t die. He was so righteous that he walked with Elohim until He took Him into the heavens (Genesis 5:24). Enoch lived before the flood and would have a testimony of a pre-flood earth while Elijah prophesied in a post-flood earth and Israel.

Translating the Hebrew from Zechariah 4:14, the words read, “these are two sons of fresh oil.” ‘Fresh oil’ was used to anoint high priests and kings. The high priest referred to in Zechariah is Yoshua and the the prince is Zerubbabel.

Yoshua was the first high priest after the Jewish exiles returned from Persia. He descended from the priestly lineage of Levi and Aaron. In Zechariah chapter 3, he stands before the angel of Elohim (Yeshua), and the Accuser. Yoshua represents the filthiness of Isra’el’s guilt. Yeshua removes Yoshua’s dung-soiled clothes and replaces them with a clean turban and rich garments. A stone is placed before him representing ‘the Branch’ that has ‘seven eyes’ or the seven-branched menorah. In Hebrew, the word ‘branch’ is netzer. From netzer comes Nazareth and Nazarene.

“This message from Adonai came to me: ‘The hands of Z’rubavel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will also finish it’ (Zechariah 4:8-9).

Zerrubabel returned from Persia with Yoshua. His grandfather, Shealtiel, was the last king of Judah before the Jews were exiled. Zerubbabel became the first king of the re-established city of Jerusalem and the province of Judea. As a descendant of Judah, he was of royal lineage like King David. The name Zerubbabel means ‘pressed out like an olive of Babel.’ Haggai prophesies about ‘the Day’ when Zerubbabel will be Adonai’s ‘signet ring’ and his authority will be ‘not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of Adonai (Haggai 2:23).

These two witnesses representing the High Priest and King of Judah always occur together in Scripture. If they are the two witnesses during the first 3 1/2 years of Tribulation, they will be stand prophesying about the filthiness and guilt of Isra’el as they worship in a false Temple, with a false messiah, and a false prophet who performs ‘miracles.’

“When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them; and their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is “S’dom” and “Egypt” — the city where their Lord was executed on a stake. Some from the nations, tribes, languages and peoples see their bodies for three-and-a-half days and do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. The people living in the Land rejoice over them, they celebrate and send each other gifts, because these two prophets tormented them so” (Revelation 11:7-10).

When the two witnesses finish their ordained time of judgment, the ‘beast’ comes up out of the Abyss and fights against them. He is given power to overcome them and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie on the main street of Jerusalem. Because of the spiritual condition of Jerusalem, it is referred to as Sodom and Egypt.

Sodom was known for its blatant sin of sexual immorality –– homosexuality –– in the days of Abraham and Lot. The prophet Ezekiel expounded on the crimes of Sodom: pride, gluttony, and arrogance. She and her ‘daughters’ were careless and complacent; they did nothing to help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49). This will be the spiritual condition of Jerusalem: rampant homosexuality, pride, excess in eating and drinking, and an offensive display of superiority.

Egypt held Isra’el enslaved for hundreds of years. Through the mighty Hand of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, He sent judgment plagues against false gods to humble Egypt. Only after the ‘death of the firstborn’ were the Hebrews set free to become His treasured possession.

The bodies of the two witnesses lay in the street for 3 1/2 days, and no one allows their bodies to be buried. The nations, tribes, and tongues will see the dead bodies via some technology that may or may not exist now.

There are two places to ‘dwell’ in Scripture. One can ‘dwell’ in the Kingdom of Elohim or one can ‘dwell’ on earth. A ‘Kingdom-dweller’ focuses on the spiritual things of Elohim, walking in the Spirit and Truth. ‘Kingdom-dwellers’ are in the world, but not of the world. ‘Earth-dwellers’ are carnal people who focus on their fleshly desires – lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life – and what is happening in their earth world. They are not just in the world; they are of the world (1 John 2:15-16).

The earth-dwellers rejoice over the death of these two witnesses. They will be so happy and relieved that they will exchange gifts. As ‘earth dwellers,’ I have often ‘wondered’ that perhaps this gift-giving celebration will happen around Saturnalia. As Isra’el continues to accept ‘freedom of religion’ in the Land, multiple religions with their idolatrous practices have the liberty to worship whatever gods they choose.

From the reaction of Isra’el and the world, these two witnesses did not preach a message of political correctness or social justice. The ‘earth-dwellers’ wanted these prophets dead. They didn’t just annoy, they tormented people: spiritually and emotionally. The Greek word for ‘torment’ means ‘torture’ or ‘vex with grievous pains.’ After 3 1/2 years of their endless vexing, the two witnesses are killed by the ‘beast’ that comes up from the Abyss, and the people celebrate.

“But after the three-and-a-half days a breath of life from God entered them, they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then the two heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up into heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. In that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were awestruck and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

The celebration parties go on for 3 1/2 days, but after 3 1/2 days, the two witnesses stand up on their feet. They are resurrected from the dead. This astounding event elicits great fear to those who watch the breath of Adonai bring these two men back to life. Then, a loud voice from heaven calls to them and they rise up to the heavens in a cloud –– in the sight of all of their enemies.

When Yeshua ascended into heaven, he was enveloped in a cloud (Acts 1:9). Forty days earlier at Yeshua’s death, many holy people were resurrected and wandered around Jerusalem (Matthew 27:53). These faithful men and women, the firstfruits, who attained the goal of the resurrection of the dead became the great ‘cloud’ of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). This great cloud of faithful redeemed envelops these two men carrying them into glory.

“The second woe has passed; see, the third woe is coming quickly” (Revelation 11:14).

The second woe has passed. The Hebrew word for ‘woe’ is oy and means ‘an impassioned expression of grief and despair.’ For the earth-dwellers, a third ‘expression of grief and despair’ will come quickly.

The seventh angel sounded his shofar; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever! (Revelation 11:15).

The seventh messenger sounds his shofar and loud voices proclaim that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of Yeshua –– the Messianic Era has arrived. The Tribulation is either the last seven years of this world kingdom or the beginning seven years of Yeshua’s reign. If the later, he must come to cleanup the world before taking his throne in Jerusalem. The Kingdom of Messiah arrives before the third ‘woe.’

“The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones in God’s presence fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We thank you, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is and was, that you have taken your power and have begun to rule. The Goyim raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people, those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth(Revelation 11:16-18).

The twenty-four elders, the leaders of the priestly orders, sit on their thrones in the heavenly Sanctuary. They fall on their faces and worship the One who is and was. They thank Adonai, the Elohim of heaven’s armies for taking His power back so He could begin to rule and reign again on earth.

The nations raged.

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed. They cry, “Let’s break their fetters! Let’s throw off their chains!”

Yeshua rages.

He who sits in heaven laughs; Adonai looks at them in derision. Then in his anger he rebukes them, terrifies them in his fury. I myself have installed my king on Tziyon, my holy mountain” (Psalm 2:1-6).

The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth. The time has come for Yeshua to judge the dead and reward the prophets and his holy people who stand in awe of his name –– both small and great people. The Greek word for ‘awe’ is phobeo and means ‘to terrify’ and ‘to frighten.’ In Hebrew the word means ‘to love and fear.’ The name of Adonai when revealed in its fullness will be loved and feared by those who serve Him.

King Solomon asks: “Do you know His name and the name of His son?” (Proverb 30:4).

For many millennia, the spoken name of yod-hey-vav-hey has remained a mystery. The Levitical priesthood decided that the name of ‘I Am’ should only be spoken on Yom Kippur and then only by the High Priest. After the destruction of two Temples in Jerusalem, the pronunciation of the name of Elohim has been lost, created, perverted, and changed. Yet, yod-hey-vav-hey is His Memorial Name forever.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh – יהוה

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

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

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for yod-hey-vav-hey/yahweh: finished work revealed in the binding nails, behold.

The name of Adonai’s Son has also been changed from the Hebrew name given to Miriam and Yosef to an Anglicized form of Latin that is spoken in English. The ‘name above all names’ has lost its Jewish identity, culture, and language. Standing in ‘awe of His name’ means to know His name.

Yeshua – ישוע

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

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

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for yeshua: finished work destroys the binding, see and understand.

Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in his Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake and violent hail” (Revelation 11:19).

When Moshe was given the design for the Menorah, he was told to make it from what he saw on the mountain because everything in the earthly Tabernacle was a shadow of the Heavenly Sanctuary. The Ark of the Covenant, the Throne of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is seen. Flashes of lightning, voices, thunder, violent hail and an earthquake accompanies the revealing of the Ark of Adonai’s Throne.

When Adonai wanted to meet with the Israelites, He descended on the mountain with thunder, lightning, smoke, and the blast of the shofar. The people standing at the bottom of the mountain only received a glimpse at the heavenly Throne and it caused them to tremble (Exodus 19:16, 20:15). Lightning is released with the thundering of ‘I Am’s’ majestic voices that sounds like a roar –– the roar of the Lion of Y’hudah (Job 37:4).

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

Chapter 12 – The Birth and The Dragon

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

Day of Tammuz –– Gay Pride

On June 28, 2015 or the 11th of Tammuz on the Biblical calendar, purely by divine coincidence, I was in San Francisco during the gay pride parade. Thousands and thousands of Americans celebrated the ‘greatest event in the history of the United States’ –– the proclamation by the Supreme Court that same-sex couples were given the right to marry –– #lovewins.

Gay Pride Parade

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I posted only a few thoughts about the obnoxious things I witnessed (with my own eyes) while meandering through the crowds because I didn’t want to flood Facebook with decadence.  I had no photos because I didn’t take any. I didn’t want anyone who might see my camera the satisfaction of being photographed.    Several Facebook friends, some from high school, responded with such vitriol over what I posted and then deleted me. Those individual’s tolerance of same-sex unions and their intolerance of my personal testimony speaks for itself.  Yeshua promised a separation of sheep and goats before his return and that separation is happening. The goats don’t like that their camouflage is being removed so they attack the sheep –– those who know and do what God wants (Matthew 25:31-46).  

Yet, God put me in San Francisco on that exact day at that exact time for His purpose.  I was told quite clearly by the Spirit of God to remain silent.  I did.  I spent most of my time window gazing at different businesses along the street (all closed) because I didn’t want the incessant depraved images rolling down the street to remain forever etched in my psyche.  In spite of standing completely separate from the crowds on the sidewalk, I still saw enough nudity, men grinding on floats in thongs, and cross dressers being photographed to know that what is happening in our culture is the preview of a tragic end.

There are those who believe that this is only a minority, and the majority of same-sex couples do not flaunt their sexual prowess. For those who embrace this type of thinking, stay in your deluded darkness and remember this was only one major city in the United States; numerous others had their historic gay pride parades too.  Not only did thousands and thousands of normal everyday folks become swept up in marching in a ‘gay pride’ and ‘gay marriage’ parade,’ major corporations like Yahoo and Google had floats flaundting #lovewins.

“This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts’ lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other’s bodies. They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshipping and serving created things, rather than the Creator — praised be he for ever. Amen.  This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural;  and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.  In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.  They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarrelling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents;  they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless.  They know well enough God’s righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same” (Romans 1:24-32).

Nothing New Under the Sun 

There were two specific moments when I felt transported back in time.    On a side street while waiting for my sisters-in-law to take photos, I observed hundreds upon hundreds of average and probably normal heterosexual young people, mostly young girls,  dressed in rainbow-colored tie-dyed T-shirts holding rainbow-colored flags lined up for city blocks waiting for their turn to enter river of filth.  Most milled around chatting with one another until the thumping and bumping of a float loudspeaker enticed them, as well as me,  to turn to see what was floating down Market Street.   As several mostly naked men in thongs were – imagine what they were doing – the marchers on the side street cheered, danced, and waved their flags until many imitated the actions of the gay men on the float.

Suddenly, I was in a scene from “The Ten Commandments” when Moses comes down from the mountain after being in Adonai’s presence for forty days. Joshua first hears the noise in the Israelite camp as a war cry, but Moses hears the sexual perversion as ‘singing.’ Once he arrives in the camp, he witnesses the abominations taking place around the golden calf.

Knowing that the Israelites sincerely believed what they were doing was acceptable to God,  I understood why Moses threw down the tablets of God’s perfect law –– they didn’t deserve them.    I understood why he made them drink the bitter waters of the melted gold –– to forever remember the bitter taste of their abominations.   I also understood how those Israelites, who didn’t join in the lasciviousness, felt as they stood back and watched the sexual indulgence happening before their eyes. 

“The LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and ‘Amora is so great and their sin so serious that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know.” The men [the angels] turned away from there and went toward Sodom” (Genesis 18:21-21). 

When I turned another corner to move away from the crowd, I was drawn back in time again. I came face to face, eye to eye with a cross-dresser.  His make-up and  his full-bodied white speedo costume with huge white feathery wings was undeniably an angel costume.  His demeanor and presence was so powerful that mothers with young children stopped to have their photos taken with him. Some of these children had head phones on to keep their little ears protected from the loud speakers, but what about their eyes? While people lined up for photo sessions, another ‘angel’ appeared similarly dressed, but in black. At that moment, I knew what Lot must have felt when the three angels visited him. 

Sodom had become so corrupt that the entire town came to Lot’s door to ‘know’ his visitors.  In Hebrew the word ‘know’ is yada and is used ten times in Genesis to refer to sexual intercourse.  The entire city had become so blind to their sexual perversions that even offering his virgin daughters to the men wouldn’t quench their desire to have sex –– with not just men, but angels sent from Adonai, the same reason the earth was destroyed ‘in the days of Noah’. 

As I watched innocent children being indoctrinated with perversion as they were photographed with these ‘angelic’ cross-dressers, I understood why there needed to be fire and brimstone on Sodom. God had to cleanse the earth not only from the sexual perversion, but from anyone who would cultivate it into the next generation.   A part of me waited for the San Andreas fault to split open and swallow this whole city in one gulp.

I prayed for Yeshua to have mercy on me while I stood in the middle of this event of Biblical proportion. For the earth not to open up or not to have fire come from the sky, there must have been many people, like Abraham, interceding for the few righteous who happened to find themselves in the middle of an historic gay pride parade.  I know people interceded for me specifically and I was thankful for their prayers. I felt protected.

Sin of Sodom

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

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I have read quite a few articles written by pro-same-sex marriage people who search the Bible for support that the sin of Sodom was not sodomy or homosexuality.  Generally they use Ezekiel 16:49; unfortunately, they leave out verse 50.

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen”  (Ezekiel 16:49-50). 

According to verse 49, the people of Sodom were arrogant, overfed, and cared nothing for other people.  They only cared about themselves. They wanted what they wanted, and they took it. Ezekiel calls the Sodomites ‘haughty’ which is defined as ‘arrogance’ and ‘pride.’  The first synonym listed for the word ‘haughty’ is PRIDE.  Gay PRIDE is homosexuals being haughty and arrogant against human nature and God.  They don’t care about anyone else’s values.  They want what they want, and they demand what they want.   

In the days that followed the public testimony of my eye witness account, I was called a hater.  I’m okay with being called a ‘hater’ because God also hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).   He hates liars, plotting hearts, evil, false witnesses, shedding innocent blood,  and those that sow strife. He also hates ‘haughty eyes.’ He calls homosexuality an abomination because it shakes its fist in His face. It is a sin that exemplifies “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

Leviticus 18:22

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“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable” (New International Version).

“You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Complete Jewish Bible).

“You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Amplified Bible). 

“Don’t have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent” (The Message).

“‘You must not have physical relations with a man as you would a woman. That is a hated sin” (International Children’s Bible).

Judge Not?

Calling homosexuality a sin is not judgment.  It’s a statement of Truth. The Bible defines sin as breaking God’s law (Torah) or His commands (1 John 3:4).  Homosexuality, according to Leviticus 18:22,  breaks God’s command making it sin.

No homosexual will stand in front of me to judge their sexual behavior. No homosexual is going to give an account of his life to me and receive my verdict.  I will not be sitting on the judgment seat sending sinful people into a burning lake of fire and sulfur. Eternal judgment is God’s job and He will judge tin the same way that He judged two ancient cities –– with fire and brimstone. His judgment will come upon the entire #lovewins ideology as it begins to morph into even more abominations.

Soon after the historic #lovewins decision,  I read an article that pedophiles want the same rights as homosexuals –– to love who they choose.  They want the right to sexually abuse small children. When I shared the article on Facebook, I received responses like “the article is a lie,” “No, that’s not right,” and “That will never happen.”

Why not?  Who determines the moral standard? The Bible, the Supreme Court or individuals? How can pedophilia be wrong and immoral when #lovewins?

Sodomy was still illegal in most of the world until 2011.  Twenty-five years ago I would never have thought that homosexual marriage would become legal; or I would be at a gay pride parade! When the supreme court overturned the vote denying ‘special rights for gays’ in Colorado, ‘we the people’ lost oour voice in government along with our moral compass.   As our culture embraces the immoral standards of fornication (sex before marriage), adultery (affairs and no-fault divorce), and now sodomy (homosexuality), it must also consider embracing other immoral behaviors. If the Supreme Court legalizes one type of sexual perversion, they will have to legalize all immorality based on the legal precedent and the definition of  ‘love.’ 

Those without a completely seared conscience know that pedophilia and beastiality are wrong, but there is no longer a moral foundation except the one put in place by the judicial system. Without a moral standard, legal lawlessness (assaults, rapes, child pornography, sex trafficking, etc.) will become normalized. Lawlessness will create cultural chaos eventually crumbling our society and world civilization.

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV). 

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

The Household of God

“For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News?” (1 Peter 4:17). 

The Bible says that God judges His own people first –– His people, who are called by His name.  In other words, through the actions of the Supreme Court, Adonai is pouring judgment on His own people. Those who refuse to believe the Truth have twisted His Word to make sins more palpable. Will the household of God repent and return to a righteous lifestyle?   Will the household of God judge the iniquity in their own hearts?

“Then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

When my husband and I realized that I was going to be in San Francisco for the Gay Pride Parade, our first thought was ‘for such a time as this.’  Though these days seem dark and dim for our nation, it is a time to shine the light of Yeshua brightly. As worldly love continues to twist and morph the Truth, the pure love of God remains. So let #lovewin.

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