Posts Tagged ‘yom kippur’

Parashah 29: Acharei Mot (After the death)

Leviticus 16:1-18:30
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 30; in a leap year read separately.)

“Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died; Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover’”(Leviticus 16:1).

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

After the events with Aaron’s sons, Adonai outlines the regulations for entering the Holy of Holies behind the Holy Curtain in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron was not allowed to come in just any time because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears in the cloud over the kapparah. He was only allowed to enter on Yom Kippur, the day of atoning for the sins of Isra’el, the priesthood, and the Tabernacle; it was a solemn day of fasting.

Aaron was to bathe and put on the holy garments: the linen tunic with the linen shorts next to his bare flesh. He was to wrap the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban.

Linen is worn by anyone who is set-apart to Elohim. Along with the priesthood, kings, and angelic beings, the armies of Yeshua and his Bride wear linen (Revelation 19:8,14). Mordecai was given a linen robe when he was paraded around Susa (Esther 8:15). David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was brought into Jerusalem wearing a linen Levitical garment and a linen ephod (2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Chronicles 15:27). Yeshua was wrapped in linen for burial (John 10:40).

When Aaron entered the Mishkan, he was to bring one bull, one ram, and two male goats.  The ram was sacrificed as a burnt offering which made atonement for himself and his family.  The two goats were placed at the entrance to the Mishkan. Lots were cast for the goats; one lot for Elohim and the other for Az’azel. The goat on which the lot fell for Adonai was a sin offering. The goat whose lot fell to Az’azel was presented alive, used for making atonement, and sent into the desert.

The bull was slaughtered as a sin offering for Aaron and his household. From the burning coals on the Altar, Aaron filled a censer. He filled his hands with fragrant incense and brought it inside the Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire so the cloud from the incense would cover the kapparah and he wouldn’t die. He took some of the bull’s blood and sprinkled it seven times with his finger on the kapparah toward the right and in front of the kapparah.

The entrance to the Mishkan where offerings were brought to the cohanim was on the eastern side. The entrance to the Most Holy Place also faced east. When the high priest entered through the veil into the Holy of Holies, he was on the eastern side of the Ark of the Covenant. When the high priest put the blood on the eastern side, it was on the entrance side to the throne room of yod-hey-vav-hey.

“There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. Adonai’s glory entered the house through the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:2-5).

When the Jews pray at the Western Wall of the Temple mount in Jerusalem, they face east toward the Mount of Olives. When Yeshua returns, he will put his feet on the Mount of Olives which will split in half from east to west making a huge valley. They will be the first witnesses of this extraordinary event (Zechariah 14:4). Yeshua will enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate of Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple.

No specific instructions are given for the placement of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.  Some speculate that rather than sitting in the middle, it was situated on the northern side facing south.  This is alludes to Adonai’s judgments coming from the north; therefore, His Throne must be toward the north (Job 37:22). The Temple itself was also situated in the northern part of the city of Jerusalem.

If the Ark of the Covenant sat on the northern side of the Holy of Holies, then the eastern side would be the right side as the priest stood in front of it.  When he sprinkled the blood, it would be at the ‘right hand’ of Adonai’s Throne where Yeshua sits in glory (Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1). Wherever the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Holy of Holies, Adonai required sprinkling of blood seven times to enter the throne room in order to complete the process and allowing Aaron to live.

The high priest also made atonement for the Mishkan and the Altar of Sacrifice with some of the bull’s blood by putting it on the four horns of the Altar.  He was to sprinkle the blood seven times using his finger to purify it from the ‘uncleanness’ of the people of Isra’el.  No other person was allowed in the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies or the Altar of Sacrifice for the atonements of the priest, his family, and the community of Isra’el.

On Yom Kippur, not only the people received atonement, but also the holy objects. Objects like the Tabernacle, the Altar of Sacrifice, and the Ark of the Covenant could not sin, but they needed purification because of the sinful people who ministered there. They also needed purification from the people of Isra’el because the Altar became defiled through their sins.

In Ezekiel’s vision of the Millennial Temple, there is an Altar of Sacrifice. It will be for the unredeemed people living during the Millennium who need to make offerings. The same protocol will be used for this Altar of Sacrifice during the Messianic Era. It will also need to be cleansed from the sins of the human priesthood and the defilement of humanity.

The Two Goats

After the priest laid his hands on the two goats he said, “A sin-offering to Adonai (speaking the Tetragrammaton) and the two men accompanying him replied, ‘Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.’  He then fastened a scarlet woolen thread to the head of the goat ‘for Az’azel’ and laying his hands upon it again, recited the following confession of sin and prayer for forgiveness: ‘O Lord, I have acted iniquitously, trespassed, sinned before Thee: I, my household, and the sons of Aaron Thy holy ones. O Lord, forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins that I, my household, and Aaron’s children, Thy holy people, committed before Thee, as is written in the law of Moses, Thy servant, “for on this day He will forgive you, to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord; ye shall be clean.’”

The first goat was slaughtered as a sin offering for the people of Isra’el. Its blood was brought inside the Holy Curtain and sprinkled on the kapparah as was the blood of the bull, purifying the Holy of Holies because of the ‘uncleanness’ of the people and their transgressions. The same was done for the Tabernacle and the Altar of Sacrifice to cleanse it from defilement.

The Mishnah continues, “Then a man was selected, preferably a priest, to take the goat to the precipice in the wilderness; and he was accompanied part of the way by the most eminent men of Jerusalem. Ten booths had been constructed at intervals along the road leading from Jerusalem to the steep mountain. At each one of these, the man leading the goat was formally offered food and drink, which he, however, refused. When he reached the tenth booth, those who accompanied him proceeded no further, but watched the ceremony from a distance. When he came to the precipice, he divided the scarlet thread into two parts, one of which he tied to the rock and the other to the goat’s horns, and then pushed the goat down.  The cliff was so high and rugged that before the goat had traversed half the distance to the plain below, its limbs were utterly shattered. Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the precipice, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest, whereat he proceeded with the other parts of the ritual.”

The Scapegoat or Az’azel

“No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves” (Leviticus 17:7).

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the name Az’azel is found in the Book of the Giants, a section of the Book of Enoch that describes the activities of the fallen angels during the ‘days of Noach.’ According to the book, Az’azel was one of the leaders of the rebellious ‘Watchers’ who had sexual relations with human women (Genesis 6:24).

Az’azel taught human men the art of warfare: making swords, knives, shields, and coats of mail.  He taught human women the art of deception through ornamenting the body: dying the hair and painting the face and eyebrows with cosmetics.   He also revealed to both men and women the secrets of witchcraft leading them into wickedness and impurity (1 Enoch 8:1–3a).

The corruption brought on by Az’azel defiled the human race until all flesh, including human bloodlines, was corrupt except for Noach and his family. The four archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Phanuel, “saw much blood being shed upon the earth and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth….  The souls of men [made] their suit, saying, ‘Bring our cause before the Most High…. Thou seest what Az’azel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were in heaven, which men were striving to learn’” (1 Enoch 9:1-4).

Elohim sees the sin brought about by Az’azel and has Raphael “bind Az’azel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Dudael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light”(1 Enoch 10:6).

“And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6).

Az’azel means ‘scapegoat’ and ‘rugged and strong’ referring to the cliff from which it would fall and die. Some commentary suggests Az’azel, the most mysterious being in sacred writings, was not just a supernatural being, but second in command to the Adversary. In the regulations for Yom Kippur, the ‘scapegoat’ is given the task of removing the wickedness and impurity brought about by a fallen angel named Az’azel.

“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin” (1 Enoch 10:8).

There is no mention in Scripture that the Israelites ever sacrificed to goat-demons, only to the ‘god’ of the golden calf. However, Adonai is preparing them to enter and conquer the Promised Land from giants, the descendants of the Nephilim, who may themselves worship ‘goat-demons.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Scapegoat or Az’azel – עזאזל – ayin, zayin, alef, zayin, lamed
– understand the division of the first strength, the division that urges forward

A tradition developed with the scarlet woolen thread placed on a rock before taking the goat into the desert. After the Temple was built, the scarlet thread was tied on the door of the Temple. When the thread supernaturally turned white, the priests and the people of Isra’el would breathe a sign of relief: the goat had shed his blood and their wickedness had been removed.

The Talmud records that during the 40 years that Simon the Just was high priest, the thread on the rock actually turned white as soon as the goat was thrown over the precipice: a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven. In later times, the change to white was not invariable: a proof of the people’s moral and spiritual deterioration was gradually on the increase, until 40 years before the destruction of the Second Temple when the change of color was no longer observed.

Selah
The scarlet thread represents the blood of the High Priest who made atonement for sin in 30 CE.

After the scapegoat was sent out into the desert, the high priest returned to the Mishkan where he bathed and changed his clothes.  The remnants of the burnt offering were burned outside the camp.  The man who went with the goat had to wash his clothes and bathe before he could return to camp.

“Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah. Don’t let anyone deny you the prize by insisting that you engage in self-mortification or angel-worship [demons]. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he [Yeshua] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:8,15,18).

One Place for Sacrifices

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra’el. Tell them that this is what Adonai has ordered: “When someone from the community of Isra’el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to Adonai before the tabernacle of Adonai, he is to be charged with blood — he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people”’” (Leviticus 17:1-4).

Sacrifices were only offered at the entrance to the Mishkan.  If anyone sacrificed an animal anywhere else, whether inside or outside the camp, it was as if they had shed blood. Because the life of an animal is in the blood, shedding the blood of an ox, ram, lamb or goat anywhere but the Altar of Sacrifice was considered murder. This instruction kept the Israelites from sacrificing to goat-demons in the fields. This instruction keeps them from sacrificing animals wherever they live in the diaspora.

Some gentiles have started to sacrifice a lamb or goat at Passover. Adonai sees this as idolatry. By trying to guard Torah, these well-meaning people actually break Adonai’s command and sin. There is and will only ever be one acceptable place for sacrifices and offerings –– Altar of Sacrifice in the Temple.  Until there is a Temple in Jerusalem, sacrifices offered elsewhere are an abomination to Adonai.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life. This is why I told the people of Isra’el, ‘None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood’” (Leviticus 17:11-12).

Isra’el and foreigners living with them are not to eat or drink blood. Blood is to be drained from any ‘clean’ animal whether it is hunted or caught, whether it’s a mammal or bird.  The blood is to be poured out and covered with dirt. 

From this instruction in Leviticus 17, the priests developed the concept of kosher, meat of ‘clean’ animals from which all the blood is drained.   Shechita is the Hebrew word for the humane way of slaughtering an animal for dietary consumption that shows respect and compassion for the animal since “its life is in its blood.”

Hebrew Word Pictures
Kosher – כשר – kaf, shin, resh
– open and consume the highest authority

Shichita (Slaughter) – שחיטה – shin, chet, yod, tet, hey
– consume and protect the finished work of twisting, revealed

I remember the only time my dad shot a deer.  He hung the animal upside down from a tree in our backyard.  Underneath its head, he had dug a hole that caught the blood which had frozen because it was very cold.   I asked my dad why he had done that with the deer and he told me that it had to be drained of its blood in order to eat it.  More recently, my son-in-law who is a fishing guide in Alaska told me that when a salmon is caught, it is floated in the river in order to allow the blood to drain from it. When I explained the Biblical reason for what he was doing, he was intrigued.

Selah
Defrosting meat in the refrigerator does not allow the blood to drain from the meat.
I was taught to defrost meat outside the refrigerator because the warmer temperature allows the blood to drain from the meat so as not to consume blood.


Sexual Immorality

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the people of Isra’el, tell them, I am Adonai your God.  You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.  You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God.  You are to observe my laws and rulings, if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai’” (Leviticus 18:1-5).

Sexual immorality is practiced many different ways and must have been rampant in Egypt because Adonai refers back to Egyptian practices along with those of the nations they are going to displace in the Promised Land. Incestuous relationships with family members, sisters and brothers, had not been condemned until Adonai sets up His righteous standard for sexual interaction within the family unit. The best explanation for this is that the farther away from perfection in the Garden of Eden, human genetics became more corrupt.

“You are not to have sexual relations with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”
(Leviticus 18:22).

Marriage in western culture is being attacked every day.  Same-sex marriage has become legal because homosexual relations, or sodomy, are no longer illegal and have been normalized. To call any sexual behavior deviant, let alone an abomination to Adonai, is considered judgmental, unloving, and hateful.  Yet, for the One who created us male and female, the practice of sodomy still remains an abomination. Churches that have succumbed to the tolerance mantra also accept homosexuals, not only in their fellowship, but as priests and pastors. Recently, one mainstream ministry that considered itself Bible-based decided to allow homosexuals to be part of their international missions. After outrage by non-western nations, they had to change their position.

Abomination means ‘to cause hatred or disgust.’  Homosexuality disgusts Adonai and causes Him to hate. Adonai can and does hate (Proverbs 6:16-19). He can deny entrance to His eternal Kingdom to those who practice such behaviors (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 22:14-15). To overcome this sin and be acceptable to Elohim only requires acknowledging homosexual activity as sin and repenting from it. Rafa-El will forgive the sin and begin healing the wounds that caused the sin.

“You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thu s become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

Sex with an animal is called beastiality. With the premise of same-sex marriage being that people should be able to marry, and have sex whomever or whatever they love, it won’t be long until beastiality becomes a hot political issue. In Denmark, sex with an animal or ‘zoophilia’ is already legal and Danish lawmakers are fighting to make it illegal. This behavior is not only cruel to the animal (where is PETA now), but is an abomination to Adonai.

”’STDs in animals and humans have a historical relationship. Two or three of the major STDs have come from animals,’ says Alonso Aguirre, a veterinarian and vice president for conservation medicine at Wildlife Trust. ‘We know, for example, that gonorrhea came from cattle to humans. Syphilis also came to humans from cattle or sheep many centuries ago, possibly sexually. The most recent, as well as the deadliest, STD to migrate to humans is HIV, which hunters acquired from the blood of chimpanzees,’ says Aguirre. ‘The disease became transmissible from one person to another through semen and other bodily fluids after it had spread to the human population.’”

When a horse is mated with a donkey, a sterile animal is born –– a mule. If a similar thing occurred with spiritual angels and human women, their Nephilim offspring would be sterile. Could the issues today with gender confusion and sexual identity be evidence of sterile Nephilim (demons) possessing fathers and mothers who gender ‘neutralize’ their children? Younger and young children take hormones and the ultimate consequence will be mass sterilization. Those binary individuals and claim to be multiple genders are being deceived by the same spirit that created the idea of Adam and Eve being androgynous. These abominations are not new as there is ‘nothing new under the sun,’ but they are evidence that we are living in the ‘days of Noach.’

“You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your God; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:21).

Molech, derived from the Hebrew root melek meaning ‘king,’ refers to the Ammonite god who is depicted as a bronze statue that was heated with fire and into which human sacrifices were thrown. Fire-gods were worshiped by Canaanite, Syrian and Arab tribes through burning or sacrificing children in the fire. According to Jewish history, an image of Molech made of hollow brass stood in Jerusalem. Isra’el was warned multiple times by the prophets not to pass their children through the fire to Molech(2 Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35). Human sacrifice, especially children to a god by fire, is murder and idolatry, both abominations to Adonai (Jeremiah 19:4-6).

“Yes, they shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to Kena‘an’s false gods, polluting the land with blood” (Psalm 106:38).

Abortion could be compared to child sacrifice because the blood of innocent children is being poured out onto the ground (and into garbage cans).  The murder of the innocent profanes the name of Adonai who is the Creator of life and instructs His people that no one is to pour the blood of their children out at any altar, including His.  The results of this immoral behavior is defilement of the land until the land itself vomits the people out of it.

“For the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people” (Leviticus 18:27-29).

When Elohim says the land will ‘vomit,’ he uses the Hebrew word qo which means ‘to spew out.’ Yeshua tells the Laodiceans that he will ‘vomit’ them out of his mouth. The Greek word emeo is used for ‘vomit’ and means ‘showing utter rejection.’ The land will ‘spew out’ the Canaanites because of their abominations. The Israelites, if they imitate the idolatries will be spewed out and utterly rejected.

“Throw out the worthless slave [servant] into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

“[But] without [in the other darkness] are the dogs [gentiles] and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating)” (Revelation 22:15, AMP).

In a recent conversation with some believers, they questioned whether or not Elohim cares what we do. They supposed He does not care because of His grace, love, and mercy for everyone. They could not grasp that though Adonai loves us, our disobedience and sin breaks fellowship with Him. This could be compared to a child who is deeply loved by their parents, but disobeys their parents’ rules. Until there is correction for the behavior, fellowship between the parent and child remains broken. The only way to restore fellowship is for the child to accept their sin and repent from it. The love of a father includes discipline, and those who refuse discipline will be utterly rejected by the Father (Hebrews 12:6).

“You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai our God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:4-5).

Yeshua, the Way of Life

“You keep examining the Tanakh because you think that in it you have eternal life. Those very Scriptures bear witness to me, but you won’t come to me in order to have life!” (John 5:39)

Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life”
(John 6:68).

“Yeshua said, ‘I Am’ the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“A man approached Yeshua and said, ‘Rabbi, what good thing should I do in order to have eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why are you asking me about good? There is One who is good! But if you want to obtain eternal life, observe the mitzvot’” (Matthew 19:16-17).

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure” (John 10:10).

“For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it. And I know that his command is eternal life. So what I say is simply what the Father has told me to say” (John 12:49-50).

©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 20 – The First Resurrection

“Next I saw an angel coming down from heaven, who had the key to the Abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan [the Adversary], and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, locked it and sealed it over him; so that he could not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were over. After that, he has to be set free for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

A messenger comes down from heaven with a key and a chain in his hand. His purpose is to seize the Dragon, one of satan’s demonic forces, and lock him up. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Dragon is Leviathan, the ‘serpent in the sea’ –– the Adversary in the midst of the world (Isaiah 27:1). According to Psalm 74, Leviathan also has many ‘heads’ or ‘leaders’ that will be judged (Psalm 74:14).

In the days of Noach, the angels that left their heavenly realm of power and defiled human women were bound with everlasting chains. According to the Amplified Version, the chains kept these fallen beings in ‘the thick gloom of utter darkness’ (Jude 6). Now, the Adversary who deceived Havah in Gan Eden will be imprisoned and kept in that same darkness.

‘Abyss’ in Hebrew is tehom and is used for the ‘the depths of the seas.’ The tehom is the place described as the waters beneath the waters where Leviathan is imprisoned (Job 41:1-3). The word tehom is used in Genesis 1:2 as tohu v’bohu meaning ‘darkness’ or ‘void.’ The Adversary, along with the fallen angels and Leviathan, are in the dark void of the deep waiting for the Day of Judgment.

These enemies of Adonai will be bound for one-thousand years during the Messianic Era and the reign of King Yeshua. During this one-thousand year period, human lifespan will be restored as it was when Adam and his descendants lived nearly one-thousand years. “No more will babies die in infancy, no more will an old man die short of his days — he who dies at a hundred will be thought young, and at less than a hundred thought cursed” (Isaiah 65:20).

“Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them received authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands. They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power. On the contrary, they will be cohanim of God and of the Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

Yochanan sees thrones on which are seated resurrected martyrs; saints beheaded for their testimony of Yeshua. Those who had not worshiped the ‘beast’ or its image and didn’t receive the ‘mark’ on their foreheads or hands also receive authority to rule and reign with King Yeshua. This is not the first time this group of holy ones who have a testimony of Yeshua and obey the Torah have been blessed.

These two groups of people made a stand for righteousness in the world. One group practiced standing for Yeshua and the Torah every day, suffering persecution that ultimately led to their death. The second group didn’t bow to serve the ‘beast’ to protect their lives. Taking for righteousness or making a stand against the ‘beast’ is not something that just suddenly happens. Standing for righteousness and against the ‘mark’ of the beast’ takes discernment, courage, and faith.

What if the ‘mark of the beast’ is the rejection of the holy Sabbath as one denomination claims (Ezekiel 20:2)? What if taking the ‘mark of the beast’ requires eating ‘unclean’ animals (Isaiah 66:15-18)? What if taking the ‘mark of the beast’ means death for keeping Adonai’s ‘appointed times’ (Daniel 7:25). How does someone suddenly start obeying Torah when faced with death? Being a holy one, a saint, is defined as one who has a testimony of Yeshua and keeps the commandments of Adonai. Obeying Torah because of faith in Yeshua strengthens the holy ones, the saints, to stand when faced with persecution and death.

Those who come back to life during the great harvest take part in the first resurrection; they are blessed and holy. This first resurrection prophesied by Daniel and Ezekiel we believed by the sect of Pharisees and many Jews.

“Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence” (Daniel 12:2).

“He asked me, “Human being, can these bones live?” I answered, “Adonai Elohim! Only you know that!” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, ‘Dry bones! Hear what Adonai has to say! To these bones Adonai Elohim says, “I will make breath enter you, and you will live” (Ezekiel 37:3-5).

Martha expressed her faith in the resurrection ‘at the last day,’ after her brother Lazarus died (John 11:21-27). Yeshua tells her, “‘I Am’ the Resurrection and the life” confirming the resurrection of the dead. Peter and Yochanan annoyed the Sadducean leadership because they used Yeshua’s resurrection as proof of the resurrection of the dead –– a belief they did not embrace (Acts 4:1-2). Sha’ul who was a Pharisee teaches about his hope in the resurrection: “And I continue to have a hope in God — which they too accept — that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15).

The Hebrew word for ‘blessed’ is barak and means ‘to kneel.’ This word suggests that those who attain to the first resurrection will kneel in reverence before the El Elyon. The Hebrew word for ‘holy is kadosh and means ‘to separate.’ Kadoshim are set-apart from infirmity, impurity, and sin – the ‘holy ones’ of Adonai. Those who take part in the first resurrection lived righteous lives of faith separating themselves from sin by obeying the commands of Elohim (1 John 4:3).

Sha’ul teaches that the resurrection has ‘parts.’ Yeshua was raised from the dead as the ‘firstfruits’ of those who have died. The word ‘firstfruits’ is plural meaning there were others who died and were raised to life with Yeshua. This may include Lazarus and the little girl, but there were ‘firstfruits’ who came out of the graves and walked around Jerusalem where many people saw them (Matthew 27:52-53).

The second part of the first resurrection, the main harvest of souls, will occur when Yeshua returns. Those who belong to him will come back to life at the beginning of the ‘last day.’ The resurrected saints, called the ‘royal priesthood,’ will reign with King Yeshua in the Millennial Kingdom as priests of Adonai (1 Peter 2:9). They will not experience the second death at the end of the one-thousand years.

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own order: the Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

The third part of the first resurrection will be the gleanings during the Messianic Era. During Yeshua’s Millennial reign, Satan is bound for one-thousand years. There will be no deception from the Adversary to deceive the world’s people; there will be no excuse of ‘the devil made me do it.’ Sin, however, will still rule the hearts of humanity. Sin that needs to be judged and atoned for.

Yeshua will sit on Mount Tziyon and rule the unredeemed nations with an ‘iron rod.’ ‘Iron’ suggests a strong rule of law,’ while ‘rod’ is an allusion to a ‘scepter’ that is used by a King. The King of Kings will not bend his ‘rod’ to the will of the kings of the nations. He will come against them and shatter them like a clay pot (Psalm 2:9). The overcomers from Thyatira rule and reign with ‘iron rods’ with him (Revelation 2:9). Ruling with an ‘iron rod’ means there is a standard of ‘law;’ the Torah that will remain the standard for justice until the the present heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:17-20).

Unredeemed mortals who make up the nations will have to follow Torah regulations for Temple services. The descendants of the priesthood from the clans of Levi, Aaron and Zadok priests will serve at the Altar of Sacrifice for the unredeemed of the nations.

“When the thousand years are over, the Adversary will be set free from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is countless as the sand on the seashore; and they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10).

When the Messianic Era is complete, the Adversary will be set free from the Abyss to deceive the people of the world whose number is as great as the sands on the seashore. All nations will come into the land and surround Jerusalem. They will bring on the Gog and Magog war, the battle that reveals mankind’s problem is not the devil, but deep-rooted sin. Adonai looks down from heaven and laughs because the nations of the world will become the inheritance of His Son (Psalm 2).

Magog was Noach’s grandson whose descendants settled north of Isra’el. The prophet Ezekiel describes this nation as a huge, mighty army led by Gog, the chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval (Ezekiel 38:2, 15). Meshekh and Tuval were the sons of Japeth, the grandsons of Noach. The descendants of Meshekh settled north of the Black Sea in the area known today as the Republic of Georgia, a war-like land that hates peace (Psalm 120:4-6). Tuval settled in central Turkey which is where the final caiphate of Islam will be located.

Many scholars believe there are two Gog-Magog wars with Isra’el. The one described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 occurs mid-way through the Great Tribulation with a few nations from the north attacking Isra’el. The result of this war brings Isra’el to repentance, the Messiah returns, and they worship Him during the Messianic Era.

The second Gog-Magog attack one-thousand years later is orchestrated by the Adversary once he is released from the Abyss. He is prepared to destroy Yeshua and the nation of Isra’el. In this war, all of the nations of the earth rebel against Yeshua. The battle between the Adversary and Yeshua will be quick as fire from heaven consumes the evil one. The ‘beast’ and the false prophet are thrown into the ‘burning lake of fire and sulfur’ along with the Adversary where they spend eternity in torment.

“Next I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it; and Death and Sh’ol gave up the dead in them; and they were judged, each according to what he had done. Then Death and Sh’ol were hurled into the lake of fire. This is the second death — the lake of fire. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

Those mortal humans who remain alive at the end of the one-thousand years will immediately stand before the Great White Throne of judgment (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Millions who died in the sea, and millions kept in Sh’ol are raised up to stand in front of the fiery throne. There will be no time for repentance; judgment as come and they will be judged by their works. This will be the final judgment for everyone through all time who rejected the offer of eternal life. Those who had a testimony of Yeshua and obeyed his commands have already been resurrected, received their immortal bodies, and reigned with Yeshua during his earthly Kingdom.

The Greek word for ‘judgment’ is bema and refers to the platform where one stands to receive the verdict for their crime. In the synagogue, the bema was a raised platform around the aron kodesh, the holy place, where the Torah scrolls were kept. A ner tamid or eternal light hangs over the area to symbolize the eternal light of the Torah. From the bema, Yeshua stood in the synagogue and read from Isaiah on a Sabbath (Luke 4:16-17). When the day of administering punishment or reward arrives, Adonai will stand each person on the bema and use Torah as His plumbline to execute justice (Daniel 2:2, John 5:28-29).

The prophet Daniel is given a vision of this final court of judgment on Yom Kippur. Thrones of the righteous redeemed were set in place. The Ancient One sat on his throne of fiery flames with wheels of burning fire –– a vision of the k’ruvim guarding the throne of Adonai. Fire flowed from His presence while thousands and thousands ministered to him. Millions and millions from all the nations stood before the throne; the court was convened, and books were opened. Yeshua separated the ‘sheep’ from the ‘goats.’ The ‘sheep’ who were kind to Isra’el go to his right hand and receive the blessing of their inheritance, the Kingdom prepared before the founding of the world; the ‘goats’ who mistreated Isra’el will go to his left and into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels! (Daniel 7:9-10, Matthew 25:31-45).

Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah begins the ten Days of Awe when each person takes time to repent for their sins. On Yom Kippur, ‘books are opened’ and the judgment verdict for each life is read and sealed. The prophetic vision for Yom Kippur is the final judgment at the Great White Throne when the Book of Life is opened (Psalm 138:16, Malachi 3:16). Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life or have been ‘blotted out’ experience the second death and receive eternal spiritual death in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’

“I also request you, loyal Syzygus, to help these women; for they have worked hard proclaiming the Good News with me, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the Book of Life” (Philippians 4:3).

“He who wins the victory [in Sardis] will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).

Yeshua will reward his ‘holy ones.’ Those whose names are found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will receive rewards based on how they built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles (Ephesians 2:20). How each person builds on that foundation – with precious stones, wood or straw –– will be tested at the fire coming from Yeshua’s throne. Some will enter Eternity as just making it through the fire; others will receive crowns that last forever (2 Corinthians 9:25).

“All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,” will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear (2 Timothy 4:8).

“How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him(James 1:12).

“Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive glory as your unfading crown (1 Peter 5:4).

The present heaven and earth will vanish.

Chapter 21 – The Restoration and Renewal

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Revelation Chapter 4 – Heavenly Throne

“After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.” Instantly I was in the Spirit, and there before me in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne Someone was sitting. The One sitting there gleamed like diamonds and rubies, and a rainbow shining like emerald encircled the throne” (Revelation 4:1-3).

While the ‘door’ was shut on the foolish virgins, the door opened for the wise virgins and they went into the wedding chamber of the Bridegroom. For the community of Philadelphia, Yeshua put a ‘door’ in front of them that is open and will never shut. This ‘door’ is the pathway for entering the heavenly realm where the full unveiling of Yeshua begins.

“Let me say this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot share in the Kingdom of God, nor can something that decays share in what does not decay.  Look, I will tell you a secret — not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

Yochanan hears a voice that sounds like a trumpet and he is “instantly in the Spirit.” This is an allusion to the ‘blink of an eye’ at the last shofar blast, when the transformation from flesh bodies to spirit bodies, takes place in a ‘moment,’ the first resurrection.

The Amplified Version uses the word ‘quickly;’ however, the Hebrew word for ‘moment’ is rega and means ‘just a moment, wait.’ The prophet Isaiah reveals more about the ‘blink of an eye.’

“Pay attention to me, my people! My nation, listen to me! For Torah will go out from me; I will calm them with my justice as a light for the peoples” (Isaiah 51:14).

The word ‘calm’ in this verse is the Hebrew argia and its root is raga or ‘rest’ or ‘break.’ It also means to ‘quiet’ as with the ‘wink of an eye’ as a parent would ‘wink’ at a child because they have a secret understanding between them. The ‘wink’ gives the child ‘rest’ in the moment. The judgment of Adonai will be through His Torah and Isra’el will be quieted with the ‘wink of His eye.’

An ‘Appointed Time’ for Everything

Many teach that the first resurrection of the dead can happen at any moment; however, there is an ‘appointed time’ for everything. The voice that sounds like the shofar reveals the ‘appointed time’ for this event ‘on the first day of the seventh month’ or Feast of Trumpets. The blast of the final shofar, the Tekiah Gadolah, will be the shofar voice that will raise the dead (1 Corinthians 15:53).

This “first day of the seventh month” is also known as Rosh Hashanah or the ‘head of the new year.’ Rosh Hashanah is used for counting the yearly reigns of the kings of Isra’el. If a king is crowned the day before Rosh Hashanah, the next day on Rosh Hashanah begins their second year of reign. If they are crowned one day after Rosh Hashanah, they have to reign the entire 12-months in order to reign one year.

Yeshua, the King of Kings, will begin his Millennial reign on Rosh Hashanah. With the sounds of shofars, he will be coronated not just the King of Isra’el, but King over the whole earth. He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem and his kingdom will be the ‘reality’ of what Yochanan sees in the heavenly realm.

The throne of Elohim, or the kise hakovod meaning the ‘seat of the glory,’ is encircled by an emerald rainbow. The emerald color suggests an all-encompassing shalom around the throne. The emerald was the third gem in the high priest’s breastplate representing the Tribe of Levi. Aharon descended from the Tribe of Levi and became the lineage for the high priest. The Levites became the priesthood that served in the Tabernacle in the wilderness; they will serve once again in the Millennial Temple.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Levi – Levi – לוי

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for levi: urge forward binding the finished work.

The Glory of Adonai

“I am Adonai; that is my name. I yield my glory to no one else, nor my praise to any idol” (Isaiah 42:8).

In Hebrew, hakavod means ‘the glory.’ The glory of Elohim appeared in a cloud and filled the Tabernacle in the wilderness. It completely consumed the place that Moshe could not enter until it lifted. At the bottom of Mt. Sinai, the glory of Elohim hovered as a cloud over the mountain and looked like a raging fire. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh tells Moshe that no man can look on His glory and live. Moshe begs Elohim to see His glory. As the glory of yod-hey-vav-hey passes by, Moshe stands in the crevice of the Rock and his eyes are covered by the Hand of Elohim (Exodus 33:22).

The Hebrew word Shekinah is related to the kavod of Elohim and means the place where the divine presence ‘dwells’ or ‘rests.’ The Shekinah is a visible manifestation of Elohim that is naturally understood or seen. Yeshua is the Skehinah –– the Divine Presence of Elohim (1 Corinthians 1:15)

In the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Testimony was a shadow of the throne of Elohim in the heavenly realm. The area between the two cherubim on the Ark was called the ‘mercy seat.’ On the ‘mercy seat,’ the blood for atonement was placed. Within the Ark were the objects of Elohim’s provision: manna, the stone tablets, and Aharon’s rod that budded. The cloud of Elohim’s glory remained over the Ark while the Israelites camped in the wilderness.

The One sitting on the throne gleamed like rubies and diamonds, some translations say jasper and carnelion. Natural rubies, known for their blood-red color, and jasper are very rare and have great value, even more than a diamond. King Solomon compares finding an Eshet Chayil, an excellent wife, to be worth far more than rubies. The ruby was the first stone on the second row of the high priest’s breastplate. On this stone was engraved the tribal name Y’hudah (Judah) which means ‘praise.’ Yeshua descended from the Tribe of Y’hudah and his ‘red blood’ cleansed the world from sin; he will return after destroying the enemies Elohim’s people wearing a garment soaked in their blood.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Judah – Y’hudahיהודה

Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

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

Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for y’hudah: the finished work reveals the binding, the pathway.

Diamonds come from carbon that is pressed and squeezed at a high temperature. The crystals have the ability to disperse light of different colors giving it an appearance of white or clarity. In Revelation 21:12, the New Jerusalem has the brilliance like that of a diamond. On the breastplate of the high priest, the third stone in the third row is believed to be a diamond. On this stone was engraved the name Gad for the Tribe of Gad which means ‘soldier’ or ‘troops.’ Yeshua will not return as the lowly ‘Lamb of Elohim,‘ but as a raised up warrior, the Commander in Chief of Adonai’s armies.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Gad – Gad – גד

Gimel – A Camel means to ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew word picture for gad: to lift up the pathway.

“Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing and wearing gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came forth lightnings, voices and thunderings; and before the throne were seven flaming torches, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. (Revelation 4:4-6).

Surrounding the throne of Elohim were 24 thrones. Because 24 is a multiple of 12, it symbolizes a perfectly established government. King David created 24 divisions of Levites from the clans of Eleazer and Itamar and determined the week each clan would serve in David’s Tabernacle for worship. Each division had leader making 24 priestly leaders in the priesthood (1 Chronicles 24:7-18).

On the 24 thrones were 24 elders. In Hebrew the same word zaqen means ‘elder’ and ‘beard.’ The Jews considered a full, flowing beard a sign of honor and dignity. Though a young man may have a beard because of the Levitical command not to trim its corners, he would not be considered an ‘elder’ or ‘of greater age’ because he lacked the life experience and wisdom that comes from having a gray or even white beard (Leviticus 19:32). The 24 elders around the throne of Elohim are the elders from the Davidic priesthood who had great wisdom.

The 24 elders wear white clothing and have gold crowns. Because the Levites wore white to serve in the Tabernacle, I believe that these 24 elders are the leaders of the Levitical priesthood serving in the heavenly Tabernacle. Some suggest the 24 elders are the 12 sons of Ya’akov who became the Tribal leaders of Israel along with the 12 disciples. Though these may be plausible interpretations, the only two from either group who had any connection to the priesthood are Levi and perhaps Matthew.

Twenty-four Levite men from the Aaronic line were responsible for moving the furniture from the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. Four carried the Ark of the Testimony, two carried the Table of Presence, 2 carried the Altar of Incense, eight carried the Altar of Sacrifice, four carried the Bronze Laver, two carried the Menorah, and two more carried all of the associated utensils.

Because of Pinchas (Phineas) faithfulness, Elohim made a covenant with Aharon and his descendants forever (Numbers 25:10-13). The Hebrew word olam means ‘forever, eternal, and permanently.’ The prophet Malachi states that Elohim will purify the Levites like gold and silver so they can serve Him righteously (Malachi 3:3). These 24 elders may be the result of the refined Levitical priesthood through Pinchas.

The 24 elders wear golden crowns, another part of the priestly garments. These crowns symbolize the victory, honor, and power given to these elders to rule and reign with the King of Kings in the heavenly realm.

According to the prophet Zechariah, a ‘crown’ or atarah will become a reminder in the Temple of the man who builds the Temple. He calls him a ‘Branch’ or netzer in Hebrew. From the word netzer comes the word ‘Nazareth.’ This ‘man of Nazareth’ will be a priest on the throne, bringing the counsel of shalom between the two offices of priest and king creating a royal priesthood (Zechariah 6:12-16, Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Crown – atarah – עטרה

Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ and ‘understand.’

Tet – A Snake means ‘twisting.’

Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for atarah: understand the twisting, highest authority revealed.

Before the throne of Elohim were seven flaming torches. They are described as being the seven-fold Spirit of Elohim. Ezekiel saw something that looked like fiery coals burning like torches around the throne of Elohim that flashed with brilliance. (Ezekiel 1:13). Isaiah says that one of the creatures he saw brought him a glowing coal taken with the tongs from the altar (Isaiah 6:13). Together the two prophets describe the Altar of Incense in the Most Holy Place.

The Altar of Incense is the place where Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aharon, offered ‘strange fire’ and immediately died (Leviticus 10:1). This Altar is where Zechariah received word that he would have a son (Luke 1:11). From this Altar, the seraphim brought a coal and touched it to Isaiah’s lips.

Seeing the throne of Elohim and the Altar of Incense prove that Yochanan stands in the heavenly Tabernacle in the presence of the glorified Yeshua.

Before the throne in heaven was a “sea of glass” that looks like crystal. The Greek word for ‘glass’ in this verse is hualos and means ‘a clear transparent stone.’ This word is used twice to describe the brilliance of the New Jerusalem and the river of life flowing from the throne of Elohim.

The word ‘sea’ is used two other times in Revelation explaining the meaning of the ‘sea.’ The Beast comes up out of the ‘sea’ or comes from one of the nations, peoples, and languages. At this time in the vision, the ‘sea’ of nations is calm and transparent. As the events in Revelation occur, the ‘sea of glass’ becomes mixed with ‘fire’ suggesting the nations, peoples, and languages are tested with fire.

“In the center, around the throne, were four living beings covered with eyes in front and behind. The first living being was like a lion, the second living being was like an ox, the third living being had a face that looked human, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle.  Each of the four living beings had six wings and was covered with eyes inside and out; and day and night they never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai, God of heaven’s armies the One who was, who is and who is coming!” (Revelation 4:6-8).

Yochanan isn’t the first to witness the the worship around the throne of Elohim. The prophet Isaiah saw Elohim sitting on a high and lofty throne and the hem of his garment filled the Temple. Seraphim with six wings cried out about the holiness of Adonai-Tzva’ot –– the God of the heaven’s armies. Isaiah hears the voice of Elohim ask him, “Who will go for us?” He responds, “Send me” (Isaiah 1:1-8).

The prophet Ezekiel witnessed a windy storm approaching like a huge cloud with flashing fire, glowing with the color of amber. Inside the cloud were four living creatures that looked like human beings, but each had four faces: a human face in front, a lion’s face on the right, a bull’s face on the left, and an eagle’s face in the rear. Each had four wings, calf-like hooves that glittered like burnished bronze. They moved in whichever direction their living spirit moved using a wheel within a wheel that had eyes all around. Each being had four wings, and the sound of their wings was like ‘rushing water,’ the noise of an enormous army. When Ezekiel saw the glory of Elohim as a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, he fell on his face (Ezekiel 1:4-13).

The sound of ‘rushing water’ is the same ‘voice’ that Yochanan heard when Yeshua came to him at the beginning of the vision. Both Isaiah and Ezekiel were in the presence of Yeshua before he left the heavenly realm to become human. Each prophet had an encounter with the pre-incarnate Word.

The heavenly beings or k’ruvim have eyes. In Hebrew, the word for ‘eyes’ is ayin and its letter picture is to ‘see and understand.’ Through these beings, Elohim sees everything; He watches over the righteous and discerns between good and evil (Psalm 11:4, Psalm 34:15, Proverbs 15:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Eyes – ayin’im – עיניים

א Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ and ‘understand.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

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

ם Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ and ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for ayin’im: to see and understand the finished work of life, the finished work of the mighty.

“But Adonai’s eyes watch over those who fear him, over those who wait for his grace to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19).

The word ayin also has a relative word, mayin, meaning ‘fountain.’ From the eyes of Adonai come the fountain of life. When a person is alive, there is a ‘light of life’ in the eye; when they pass away, that light goes out (Psalm 13:3). Eyes are also related to one’s character. Having ‘lowly eyes’ means ‘humility’ (Matthew 6:22-24, Job 22:39).

Both prophets witnessed creatures that covered their eyes with their wings – an significant sign of humility. These k’ruvim sing, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai, God of heaven’s armies the One who was, who is and who is coming!” These heavenly creatures proclaim the holiness of Elohim. This vision is not about redemption, but the coming judgment. Even with His wrath being poured out on the whole world, Adonai’s holiness remains.

In Greek, the word ‘holy’ is agiazo and means ‘sanctified.’ The word ‘sacred’ comes from agiazo. Believers who are sanctified are called saints. Sanctification is a lifelong process of spiritual growth through obedience to the commandments of Elohim. Yeshua asks his Father to sanctify his people through the Truth (John 17:17).

In Hebrew, the word ‘holy’ is kadosh and means ‘separated,’ specifically ‘separated from whatever is ‘common.’ Adonai is not like any other god; there are no other gods before Him (Psalm 97:9). He is the One who is sits on a lofty throne. He is the One who created heaven and earth in six days, resting on the seventh and calling the day kadosh. He is the One who determines what is righteous or wicked. He is the One who decides what is ‘clean’ or ‘unclean.’ He is the only One who deserves our praise and worship. HalleluYah.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Holy – kadosh – קדוש

ק Qof – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for kadosh: what is behind the pathway binding chaos.

The Four Faces of the Creatures

These four creatures represent the work and prophetic vision Yeshua’s revealing. Most interpretations of their four faces include his royal lineage, his humanity, his redemption, and his divine nature.  However, these four faces were also the standards for the lead Tribes of Isra’el when the Israelites trekked through the wilderness.

The Lion

The first face is that of a lion. According to Ya’akov’s blessing to Y’hudah, the lion will hold a scepter and a ruler’s staff prophetic to his royal lineage (Genesis 49:9-10).  The lion became the symbol for the Tribe of Y’hudah when the Israelites traveled through the wilderness.  The Lion of Y’hudah, Yeshua, is the Commander of the Armies of Elohim and will return to Jerusalem wearing a robe soaked in the blood of his enemies (Revelation 19:13).  The Lion of Y’hudah  is given the ‘right’ to open the seven seals of the scroll (Revelation 5:5).

In the wilderness, the Tribe of Y’hudah  had two other tribes under his banner: Issachar and Zebulun. These three tribes would be the first line of defense against any enemies they encountered (Number 10:13-15).

The Human Face

The second face is that of a human and became the symbol for the Tribe of Reuben. Reuben was the firstfruit of Ya’akov’s flesh, his firstborn son through Leah. Re’uven means ‘son of my sight,’ for Elohim saw Leah’s misery and gave her a son. As the firstborn, Reuben became the head of the family who would receive the firstborn blessing. Unfortunately, he committed adultery with his father’s concubine and lost the firstborn blessing (Genesis 49:3-4). The firstborn blessing went from Reuben to Yosef.

In the wilderness, the Tribe of Reuben had two other tribes under their banner: Simeon and Gad. These tribes guarded the front of the Tabernacle the Israelites traveled in the wilderness (Numbers 10:18-20).

Yeshua was the firstborn son of Elohim, the visible image of the invisible Adonai. He had flesh and blood which was beaten, bruised, and bled when he was on the cross. He is the head of the family of Elohim; he was the firstfruits of those raised from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Reuben’s banner held the human face of Isra’el’s Deliverer.

The Ox

The third face was that of an ox and became the symbol of the Tribe of Ephraim.  The ‘ox’ is the Hebrew Word Picture for alef, the first letter of the alphabet meaning ‘first strength.’ When Ya’akov was reunited with his son Yosef in Egypt, he blessed his two grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim saying that Ephraim would become a great nation (Genesis 38:17-19). Ya’akov saw angels ascending and descending the stairway in Beit-el in the tribal land of Ephraim. Ephraim was called the firstborn of Elohim (Jeremiah 31:8).   Unfortunately, Ephraim fell away from a pure worship of Adonai into paganism and is not listed in the end times’ 12 Tribes of Isra’el (Judges 17).  

The Tribe of Ephraim had two other tribes under their banner: Manasseh and Benjamim. These tribes immediately followed the Tabernacle as it traveled through the wilderness (Numbers 10:22-24).

Yeshua is the ‘first strength’ of Elohim, the alef of the ‘alef and the tav.’  He will restore Ephraim and bring him back into Isra’el  by “streams of water and smooth paths” (Jeremiah 31:8).

The Eagle

The fourth face was that of an eagle. Though the banner of Dan should be a ‘snake’ representing the ‘horned snake’ or a ‘set of scales’ from Ya’akovs blessing, it seems from the tribal standards that the eagle represents Dan’s judgment (Genesis 49:16-18). The Hebrew word for ‘judge’ is shaphat and means “to pronounce sentence by either vindicating or punishing the accused.”

“From Dan can be heard the snorting of his horses; when his stallions neigh, the whole land trembles. For they come devouring the land and all in it, the city and those who dwell there. “Yes, now I am sending snakes among you, vipers that no one can charm, and they will bite you,” says Adonai” (Jeremiah 18:16-18).

As a lone eagle flying in the mid-heavens, Dan will ‘judge’ the nations: “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!” He may also be given the honor of ‘flying’ the nation of Isra’el to a place in the desert where they will be protected from the final three shofar judgments (Revelation 8:13, 12:14).

The Hebrew word for ‘devour’ is akal and means to ‘slay with a sword.’  In the words of Jeremiah, Elohim sends “snakes that will ‘bite’ and devour” the whole land.  After the land is devoured, it will be left desolate (Isaiah 1:7-8).

The Tribe of Dan had two tribes under their banner: Asher and Naftali.  These tribes made up the rear-guard tribes as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness (Numbers 10:25-27).

“And whenever the living beings give glory, honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the One sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and worship him. They throw their crowns in front of the throne and say, “You are worthy, Adonai Eloheinu, to have glory, honor and power, because you created all things — yes, because of your will they were created and came into being!” (Revelation 4:9-11).

The living beings, the four faces of the Tribes of Isra’el give glory, honor, and thankgiving to the One on the throne. The 24 elders of the Levitical priesthood fall down before the throne and worship. They place their golden crowns in front of the throne and praice the Creator who brought all things into existence.

In Exodus 3:15, the One on the throne gives His memorial name to Moshe. He calls himself Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the ‘I Am’. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a state of being in the present, the essence of who Elohim is and an expression of His existence.  He cannot give Moshe a finite name because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is infinite. ‘I am’ told Moshe that He can be whatever Moshe needs Him to be, whenever he needs Him to be, and wherever he needs Him.  

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can appear as the King of Salem, a visitor with Avraham, an angel who wrestles Ya’akov, the commander of Elohim’s army, a smoking pot, a fire in a bush, a dove, a whirlwind, a Rock, a pillar of fire, a cloud or even parts of Himself – His right hand, His finger which writes, and His mighty arm which saves.  He can even become flesh in the body and person of Yeshua.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Ehyeh Asher Ehyehyod-hey-vav-hey – יהוה

י Yod – Closed Hand and 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 yo-hey-vav-hey: the finished work reveals the binding, behold.

Revelation 5 – The Scroll

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

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study guide/student manual that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present, and future work.

This newly revised study guide/student manual includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Gospels, and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as suggestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

If you are doing a group study, a leader’s manual for the revised second edition student manual can be purchased that not only has the answers to the questions, but also ideas for spurring discussions.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

“I have learned so many things about the Bible that I never saw before. I loved learning about the fall festivals and I became aware of more and more people teaching about these special times. I especially learned that Christmas and Hanukkah are very different holidays. I am grateful to have done this Bible study.” (L. Herbert)

“My eyes are seeing so much more in Scripture, especially the new testament, after doing this study.” (M. Gravenhorst)