Posts Tagged ‘wormwood’

Parashah 51: Nitzavim (Standing)

Deuteronomy 29:10-30:20
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 52; in a leap year read separately.)

“Today you are standing, all of you, before Adonai your God — your heads, your tribes, your leaders and your officers — all the men of Isra’el, along with your little ones, your wives and your foreigners here with you in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water” (Deuteronomy 29:9-10).

Nitzavim is the Hebrew word for ‘ones standing’ as the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land.  They are the ‘ones left standing’ after the previous generation could not ‘stand’ due to their faithlessness. The Hebrew word for ‘stand’ is natzab and means ‘pillar’ or ‘garrison.’ The Israelites standing at the entrance to the Promised Land are the troops stationed to defend and guard the Land that Elohim will put in their possession.

As the Israelites stand before Adonai from the least of them to the greatest, the leaders, the children, and those who chop wood and draw water are reminded why they are in the presence of Adonai: to enter into a covenant, the covenant promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“But I am not making this covenant and this oath only with you.  Rather, I am making it both with him who is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and also with him who is not here with us today” (Deuteronomy 29:14-15).

The covenant that Elohim made with the nation of Isra’el was not just for those standing in His presence, but for those in the future who were children of promise to Abraham and would join with Isra’el through adoption or ingrafting.

“Be assured, then, that it is those who live by trusting and being faithful who are really children of Avraham” (Galatians 3:7).

“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; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:6-7).

Wormwood

“So let there not be among you a man, woman, family or tribe whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there not be among you a root bearing such bitter poison and wormwood. If there is such a person, when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself secretly, saying to himself, ‘I will be all right, even though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing; so that I, although ‘dry’ [sinful], will be added to the ‘watered’ [righteous].’ But Adonai will not forgive him. Rather, the anger and jealousy of Adonai will blaze up against that person. Every curse written in this book will be upon him. Adonai will blot out his name from under heaven” (Deuteronomy 29:18-20).

There are three types of wormwood herbs. Artemesia herba-alba which smells like camphor and is extremely bitter. Artemesia absinthium, a perennial herb with silky leaves that has small yellow flowers. The oil from the herb is dark and bitter and is used to make absinthe. Artemisia judaica is a bitter aromatic herb with clusters of small greenish yellow flowers and greenish gray leaves that grows in arid desert areas. Wormwood is used for medicinal purposes: as a tonic for stimulating sweating for a fever, liver disease, worms, and gall bladder issues. Wormwood is also called ‘gall’ in Scripture as when Yeshua was given wine mixed with gall. It was bitter and he refused to drink it (Matthew 27:34).

The danger of turning away from Adonai and serving other gods is to drink the bitter poison of wormwood that results in self-deception.  As a person turns away from Elohim, they secretly bless themselves believing that though they are sinning, they are still righteous. The consequence of living in this deception results in Adonai’s jealousy and anger, and He will blot those names out of His book.

“Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!” (James 1:22) 

The Israelites are not the only people guilty of self-deception. With numerous man-made traditions combined with pagan god worship infiltrating the church over the centuries, many who are presented with the ‘other gods’ rooted in their celebrations stubbornly keep doing what they have convinced themselves is right.   Though they willfully sin and are ‘dry’ against obeying the Word, they believe they are ‘watered’ because of their faith in Yeshua.  Allowing self-deception to govern our lives is essentially blaspheming the Ruach haKodesh. There is no forgiveness for that sin (Mark 3:28-30).

“The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter” (Revelation 8:11, NIV).

Expelled from the Land

Generations will follow this Israelite generation that enters the Land, and along with foreigners, they will ask why the Land has become sick with plagues and is like Sodom and Gomorrah.  They will wonder why ‘I Am’ became so angry with Isra’el.

“It’s because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers. They went and served other gods, prostrating themselves before them, gods they had not known and which he had not assigned them.  For this reason, the anger of Adonai blazed up against this land and brought upon it every curse written in this book; and Adonai, in anger, fury and incensed with indignation, uprooted them from their land and threw them out into another land — as it is today” (Deuteronomy 29:25-27).

‘As it is today,’ Isra’el is returning to the Land from every nation in the world.   Though they are not living in obedience to Torah as they should, Elohim is gathering His people. After 1700 years of allowing Christian theology to flourish, He is restoring the message of the first-century church to the Jewish people. For nearly 80 years, Jews have been returning to their homeland or making aliyah. Messianic Jews, the remnant who trust in Yeshua, are also in the Land shining his light of salvation.

“It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5).

“On that day the remnant of Isra’el, those of the house of Ya‘akov who escaped, will no longer rely on the man who struck them down, but will truly rely on Adonai, the Holy One of Isra’el. A remnant will return, the remnant of Ya’akov, to the mighty God. For, although your people, Isra’el, are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return” (Isaiah 10:20-22).

On the Feast of Tabernacles, the fullness of the ingathering of Isra’el will soon occur.  When that day comes, many Jews will make teshuvah or return to the covenant of Adonai. They will obey Adonai with all their hearts, minds and souls. In that day, their exile to the nations will end, and Adonai will show them mercy.

“It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra’el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; and that it is in this way that all Isra’el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, ‘Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya’akov and this will be my covenant with them, …when I take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27).

The Hebrew word for ‘mercy’ is rachamim and means ‘compassion and tender mercies.’ It comes from the root rechem which means ‘womb.’  ‘Mercy’ means to love as one loves an unborn child. When Isra’el is ‘reborn’ and comes out of the ‘womb,’ Adonai will end the global exile of His people.  The reverse of exile has begun as Jewish people are being birthed from the spiritual womb and acknowledging Yeshua as their Messiah.

“When the time arrives … you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today – you and your children, with all your heart and all your being…. God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will return and gather you from all the peoples to which Adonai your God has scattered you…. Adonai your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors.  Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live” (Deuteronomy 30:1-6).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Repentance or teshuvah – תשובה – tav, shin, vav, bet, hey
– covenant sign destroys the binding of the house, behold

Compassion or rachamim – רחמים – resh, chet, mem, yod, mem
– highest authority protects mighty, the mighty finished work

Womb or rechem – רחם – resh, chet, mem
– highest authority protects mightily

“For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach.  It isn’t in the sky, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’  Likewise, it isn’t beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’  On the contrary, the word is very close to you — in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

According to Adonai, obeying His commands is not difficult even for those who do not have circumcised hearts. His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). His mitzvot are not far away in the heavens or beyond the seas that the Israelites need someone to bring His words to them. They are with them, in their mouths, and even in their hearts!

Part of the promised new covenant is “no longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Jeremiah 31:34). The knowledge and understanding of Adonai and His instructions will be known by everyone because He will put them in everyone from the least to the greatest.

“I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him – for that is the purpose of your life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Adonai calls on His two witnesses, the heaven and earth, to witness against Isra’el. He presents the Israelites (and us) with a choice between life and death, but in His mercy and favor, He tells them which to choose: LIFE! He doesn’t leave them in the dark eternally wandering in the wilderness, He gives them instructions for life in the Promised Land, for life in His eternal Kingdom.

“So Yeshua said to the Twelve, ‘Don’t you want to leave too?’ Shim‘on Kefa answered him, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life. We have trusted, and we know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:67-68).

The ‘final conclusion’ for our life is to love Adonai, pay attention to His Word, and cling to Him through every sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, provision and loss, restoration and hope. There is an answer for everyone who has ever asked, “Why am I here?”

“Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai demands of you — no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God” (Micah 6:8).

“Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Yeshua’s Prays for His Talmidim

“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you — just as you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those whom you have given him. And eternal life is this: to know you, the one true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah.”

“I glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.”

“I made your name known to the people you gave me out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, because the words you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them. They have really come to know that I came from you, and they have come to trust that you sent me.”

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given to me, because they are yours. Indeed, all I have is yours, and all you have is mine, and in them I have been glorified. Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled). But now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.”

“I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world — just as I myself do not belong to the world. I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth — your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. On their behalf I am setting myself apart for holiness, so that they too may be set apart for holiness by means of the truth.”

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one — I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.”

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them” (John 17).

©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, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Revelation Chapter 8 – The Seventh Seal

“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for what seemed like half an hour” (Revelation 8:1).

The Lamb breaks the seventh seal and there is silence in heaven. ‘Silence’ is found 58 times in the Complete Jewish Version. According to a dictionary definition, ‘silence’ means there is a complete absence of sound in heaven. The Hebrew word for ‘silence’ is dmama and has the same three-letter root as ‘Adam’ – adom’ and ‘blood’ – dam. Some scholars that the word ‘silent’ could be translated ‘mourning’ because it comes from the same three root letters – dalet, mem, mem. There is complete absence of sound before the ‘blood of mankind’ is judged –– the silence before the storm of Adonai’s fury.

His ‘silence’ is not inaction, but a moment in time before He acts mightily. With the first 6 seals, the earth judges mankind with war, famine, wild beasts, and earthquakes. With the seventh seal, Adonai remains silent giving those who would repent time to repent before pouring out His wrath. The Hebrew word means ‘hot displeasure’ and has its root in ‘a snake bite’ that creates a hot, burning fever.

All of the elders, living beings, angels, and those dressed in white robes mourn because they know the mankind is going to know the wrath of Adonai. They have seen what has come from the previous six seals, and with the seventh, there is nothing more do except grieve. The judgment of Elohim is imminent.

“Our God is coming and not staying silent. With a fire devouring ahead of him and a great storm raging around him, he calls to the heavens above and to earth, in order to judge his people” (Psalm 50:3-4).

Hebrew Word Picture

Silence dmama – דממ

Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

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

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for dmama: pathway of mighty chaos.

Wrath – chemah – חמה

Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.

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

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for chemah: protect the mighty revealed.

According to Yochanan, the silence seemed to last a half an hour. When my children were young, we decided to see how long God’s time is in earth time. If a day is like 1000 years for God, how long is an hour, a minute, and a second? We learned that an hour is about 40 years or a generation, a minute is about nine months, and a second is about 4 days. With judgment being imminent, it doesn’t seem that a half hour in heaven would equate to 20 earth years, but Adonai did wait 120 years to judge the earth in Noach’s day.

In Revelation 3:10, the Congregation of Philadelphia is going to be kept from the ‘hour of trouble’ coming upon the whole world. This ‘hour of trouble’ is also called ‘time of Ya’akov’s trouble’ and the Great Tribulation. From the prophecy in Daniel, this time is the seven-year period Adonai will judge the earth in order before the Messianic Era. ‘Hour’ in this sense is not a specific length of time, but a period of time. The ‘Day of Adonai’ is not a 24-hour day, but a length of Adonia’s time. To Yochanan, a human being in a vision, the period of time seemed like a 1/2 hour.

“Another angel came and stood at the altar with a gold incense-bowl, and he was given a large quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense went up with the prayers of God’s people from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the incense-bowl, filled it with fire from the altar and threw it down onto the earth; and there followed peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Revelation 8:3-5).

The Altar of Incense was in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle along with the Menorah and the Table of Presence. It was at this Altar that Zechariah stood when the angel appeared and told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son. The prayers of the people of Isra’el were offered at this Altar in the Tabernacle. According to Psalm 141:2, prayers rise like incense to the nostrils of Adonai, like the aroma of the evening sacrifice.

Before the messengers sound their shofars, the prayers of the people are combined with a massive amount of incense in a golden bowl. The smoke from the incense goes up to Adonai from the hand of the angel. The angel fills the bowl with fire from the Altar and throws the bowl down to the earth. The prayers of those left on earth have been rejected; the faithful ave come out of the Great Tribulation and stand silent in the presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Why would Elohim reject prayers? Perhaps they aren’t really prayers. How often do people says, ‘give good thoughts’ or ‘send positive messages’ when they should be saying, ‘Please pray!’ These well-intentioned sayings are aren’t prayers from the heart; they are thoughts from the mind.

Proverbs 28:9 states that if someone won’t obey Torah, their prayers are an abomination to Adonai! Those who teach and believe that the Old Testament was abolished or removed from the Bible when Jesus died on the cross leave many in Christiendom without Adonai’s teachings and intructions (Matthew 5:17-19). They live without the full foundation of their faith.

As a Jewish Rabbi, Yeshua said specifically that he did not come to abolish or remove the Torah, but to fulfill it. In rabbinical terminology that means ‘to interpret them correctly.’ Christians who willfully or ignorantly disobey Torah and pray, their prayers are an abomination to Adonai. While Elohim may pour out grace and mercy, there will come a when rejecting His Kingdom rules will have a serious consequence –– their prayers are answered as “peals of thunder, voices, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”

There was a time when Adonai tells Jeremiah to stop praying for the nation of Isra’el. Why? Because they embraced their false gods and pagan-rooted traditions to the complete rejection of Adonai. Isra’el embraced the Queen of Heaven and Tammuz, both associated with Ishtar (Easter). Everything written for Isra’el was written for us to learn important truths (1 Corinthians 10:11). When any nation or people claiming to know Elohim no longer listens the warnings of the prophets, they will receive judgment.

There a time of judgment coming when the mind of Adonai will not be changed. When His judgment is at hand, there will be no stopping it. Noach learned that truth with the flood; Abraham learned that truth with Sodom and Gomorrah; those claiming faith in Yeshua will learn it too.

“Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven shofars …. Now the seven angels with the seven shofars prepared to sound them” (Revelation 8:2,6).

Seven messengers standing before Elohim are given shofars. The shofar has been part of Isra’el’s history from the giving of Torah to the mixed multitude at Mt. Sinai to the battle at Jericho to the destruction of the Temple to the return of the exiles. The voice of Yeshua sounded like a shofar to Yochanan; now the shofar will be the voice of Adonai’s judgment to the inhabitants of the earth.

“The first one sounded his shofar; and there came hail and fire mingled with blood, and it was thrown down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up” (Revelation 8:7).

When the first messenger blows the shofar, hail and fire mixed with blood appear. This mixture is thrown down upon the earth. When Ehyeh Asher Ehyey sent the seventh plague of hail and fire on Egypt, He judged the gods of Egypt (Exodus 9:23-24).

The judgment of the seventh plague was against Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and heavenly bodies.  Depicted as wearing a dress covered with stars, her body arches over the sky protecting earth.  She is given credit for bringing order out of chaos in the heavens. As the hail and fire beat the earth, she had no power to protect Egypt from the chaos coming from the skies.

The worship of foreign gods and goddesses are not as obvious as the worship of mankind or humanism even though pagan worship still exists. As a world that worries about global warming and protecting ‘Mother Earth,’ Adonai will prove through this judgment He is Creator and still wields power over the universe. This plague of chaos doesn’t happen in Egypt, but to one-third of the earth, one-third of the trees, and one-third of green grass that burn up.

The mixture of hail and fire includes blood. In Genesis chapter 4, two sons of Adam and Eve defile the earth with murder (Genesis 4:9-11). Cain kills Abel and his blood cries from the ground as does the blood of all those from that day onward who have been innocently murdered without justice (Isaiah 59:7, 2 Kings 24:4).

“The second angel sounded his shofar, and what looked like an enormous blazing mountain was hurled into the sea. A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed” (Revelation 8:8-9).

When the second messenger blows the shofar, an enormous blazing mountain appears and is hurled into the sea. One third of the sea turns to blood, one-third of all sea creatures die and one-third of the ships are destroyed.

The blood judgment, the first plague in Egypt was against Hapi, the Egyptian god of the Nile. The Nile River was the source of life for Egypt.  Turning the water of the Nile River into blood was not only a judgment on the god of the Nile, but a sign to Egypt that Elohim controls their water supply, their lifeline.

Today, most of the world’s commerce is done in and through the sea. From commercial fishing to barges with shipping containers, everything in the global market from food to material goods is transported using the oceans and seas. By destroying ships with everything else in the ocean, global commerce halts.

Mass destruction comes with a blazing mountain hurled into the sea. Taken literally, a giant mountain on fire will be thrown into the ocean. Geologically, a fiery mountain is a volcano, however, the eruption of this fiery mountain has to be large enough to destroy one-third of the ocean, sea creatures, and ships. Some suggest a great earthquake will set off a certain volcano in the Canary Islands and the resulting tsunami will destroy life on the coasts where it hits. Because the fiery mountain is hurled into the sea, the fiery mountain could also be a meteorite. I personally believe the event may be more supernatural than natural, heavenly more than earthly that destroys one-third of the earth’s salt water.

“The third angel sounded his shofar; and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky onto a third of the rivers and onto the springs of water. The name of the star was “Bitterness,” and a third of the water became bitter, and many people died from the water that had been turned bitter” (Revelation 8:10-11).

When the third messenger blows his shofar, a great star blazing like a torch, falls from the sky and turns one-third of the earth’s fresh water to bitter. Adonai continues to judge the water –– water that mankind has polluted to the brink of being deadly. Adonai just finishes the process and many people die from the bitter water.

In the wilderness, the Israelites encountered bitter water (Exodus 15:25). It was made ‘sweet’ from a piece of wood. Unfortunately, there is no piece of wood for this plague to change the water from bitter to drinkable, but there is a lesson to be learned. Adam and Eve were given a choice between two trees, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.   Their choice was between obedience to Adonai’s command or rebellion –– a choice between life or death.  In Judaism, the Etz Chayim represents the Tree of Life or Torah which brings life (Genesis 2:9, Revelation 22:19). 

The spiritual difference between ‘living’ water and ‘bitter’ water is the line between life and death; truth and deception. When the Truth of Elohim’s Word becomes distorted with other ideologies, it breeds deception. The refreshing water of life that people should receive from the Word of Adonai becomes bitter and even poisonous when viewed with an eternal perspective. Elohim tells His people they must do what is right and pay attention to His commands.  By turning one-third of the world’s water bitter,  Adonai judges the world for their rejection of His Word.

The bitter taste comes from a star called ‘Bitterness.’ The Greek word is apsinthos or ‘absinthe.’ From this plant a bitter oil is extracted that is very toxic to the human nervous system. Some Bible versions call the star “Wormwood” because the oil from the absinthe plant was used to kill intestinal worms. Intestinal worms come from eating meats that are undercooked, and mostly from meats that Elohim called ‘unclean.’ The flesh of the pig has numerous parasites that grow into intestinal worms; the tapeworm invades the brain. Writing this during the Coronavirus 19 outbreak that possibly came from the wet markets in Wuhan, China, I am reminded that Elohim desires His people eat those animals He created to be food. Eating ‘unclean’ animals leads to disease and death, and many people die from the ‘bitter’ water of this judgment.

The star falls like a blazing torch. There are 19 Biblical references that use ‘torch,’ but there are only a couple with ‘blazing torch.’ The prophet Isaiah says, “For Zion’s sake I won’t keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t sit still until her righteousness shines out like a light, and her salvation blazes like a torch” (Isaiah 62:1). Just moments before, there had been silence in heaven, a silence that spoke of Adonai waiting before sending forth the trumpet judgments. It is for Zion’s sake that He could not remain silent, and it is for Jerusalem that He could no longer wait. He wants the righteousness of Jerusalem to shine like a light in the darkness, and for salvation –– Yeshua –– to ‘blaze like a torch.’

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, has a dream of a great statue. A stone was cut, not by human hands, and shattered the iron and clay feet of the statue. The stone then became a mighty mountain and it filled the entire earth. According to Daniel’s interpretation of the stone, “the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will be indestructible. Its rule will never pass to another people. It will shatter other kingdoms. It will put an end to all of them. It will stand firm forever, just like you saw when the stone, which was cut from the mountain” (Daniel 2:44-45). The small stone grew into the coming Messianic Kingdom that when thrown down to the earth will destroy every earthly kingdom.

From the Book of Sirach, “Then Elijah the prophet rose up like fire, and his word burned like a torch” (Sirach 48:1). Later in Revelation there are two witnesses who preach in Jerusalem. There are different ideas as to whether the two witnesses are groups of people or two individuals. If individuals, Elijah is always believed to be one of them for he never faced death on this earth. As he ‘rises up’ from wherever the flaming chariot took him, the Words of Yeshua through him burn like a torch.

Around the throne of yod-hey-vav-hey, the seven-fold Spirit was like ‘flaming torches.’ Whether or not one of these spiritual aspects were thrown down to the earth to create ‘bitter’ waters is another supposition for the ‘mountain flaming like a torch’ that destroys the earth’s fresh water (Isaiah 11:1-2).

“The fourth angel sounded his shofar; and a third of the sun was struck, also a third of the moon and a third of the stars; so that a third of them were darkened, the day had a third less light, and the night likewise” (Revelation 8:12).

When the fourth messenger blows the shofar, one-third of the heavenly bodies are darkened. One- third of the sun, one-third of the moon and one-third of the stars make one-third less light during the day and leave a much darker night.

The heavenly bodies created on the fourth day to be the signs for the ‘appointed times’ of Adonai will be dimmed by one-third. The people of the earth will no longer enjoy the light from the the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon or the traveling of the constellations for summer, winter, spring, and fall. Every basic ‘law’ of the heavens and earth will be challenged as the original creation continues its demise. Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, day and night will no longer exist as it always has (Genesis 8:22).

Even with one-third of the heavenly bodies darkening, they still remain as evidence to the Creator’s power over the sun, moon, and stars. They also remain to prove eternal the promise made to the nation of Isra’el (Jeremiah 31:35-36). As the world and its remaining people are diminished by 30% with each shofar blast, the 144,000 sons of Ya’akov remain sealed as Adonai’s servants.

“Then I looked, and I heard a lone eagle give a loud cry, as it flew in mid-heaven, “Woe! Woe! Woe to the people living on earth, because of the remaining blasts from the three angels who have yet to sound their shofars!” (Revelation 8:13).

There are still three more shofar blasts. As it flies in mid-heaven, a lone eagle cries out, ‘woe’ to the people living on the earth because of what is coming with the lasts three blasts. ‘Woe’ is defined as great sorrow or distress. In Hebrew, the word is oy. In Greek it is ouai and means ‘uttered in grief or public condemnation.’

The eagle reveals the heavenly view of what occurs on earth. As an eagle flies higher than any other bird, it has a wider and clearer vision of what is happening below. From an altitude of one-thousand feet, an eagle can scan an area of nearly three square miles.

When Yeshua used the word ‘woe,’ it was always directed toward the hypocrisy of those who were the spiritual leaders of Isra’el (Matthew 23:13-36). The eagle’s view above the coming storm on earth prophesies the divine judgment. The ‘woes’ that follow the eagle’s warning will bring deep despair to those left on the earth, even to those who have been sealed by Elohim.

“For there will be trouble then worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again! Indeed, if the length of this time had not been limited, no one would survive; but for the sake of those who have been chosen, its length will be limited” (Matthew 24:21).

Revelation Chapter 9 – The Abyss

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