Blog Scripture Readings for 9-23 Through 9-29-18

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat V’zot HaBerachah — Deuteronomy 33:1 – 34:12***
Haftarah — Joshua 1:1-18
Prophets — Zechariah 9:1 – 14:21: Malachi 1, 2, 3, 4
Writings — 2 Chronicles 30:1 – 36:23
Testimony — Revelation 16:1 – 22:21

Chazak chazak v’nitchazek!
Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!

Our new annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2018-2019 is available to download and print. If you are still working through 2017-2018’s Scripture Reading Schedule, the link will still be available on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links”.

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 9/23/18 through 9/29/18.

 

Is America Mystery Babylon the Great?

Is America Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of whores and of the abominations of the earth? Since Mystery Babylon will be destroyed in one hour (Rev 18:8, 10, 17, 20, 21), and since YHVH warns his people (all the saints, not just the Jewish people) to “Come out of her…” (Rev 18:4) it’s important to know who she is. Is Mystery Babylon a city or an entire country or what? It’s important to know the answer, so YHVH’s people will know how to prepare for the end time judgments against Mystery Babylon.

Understanding Bible Prophecy

To properly understand biblical prophecy, we must understand some fundamental concepts relating to properly interpreting biblical prophecy.

Let’s look at the various types of prophecies in the Bible. First, there are long range, short range and mid-range prophecies. Second, there are prophecies that have been fulfilled, one’s that haven’t been fulfilled, and ones that have dual or even multiple fulfillments.

There are several standard viewpoints people hold when interpreting Bible prophecy. Some believe that all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled (the preterist view). Some believe that all prophecy is yet to be fulfilled (the futurist view). Some believe that some prophecy has been fulfilled, and some is yet to be fulfilled (the partial preterest view). I hold to the latter view.

To know whether a prophecy has been fulfilled already, one must have an understanding of historical events. If the prophecy has already been fulfilled, it may or may not have any future prophetic fulfillments.

  • How do we know whether it has any future fulfillments? 
  • If the prophecy contains end times prophetic language, it probably has a future fulfillment.
  • If the prophecy hasn’t been fulfilled yet historically, it’s still a future one.
  • Some prophecies contain language relating to events that have already been fulfilled historically, and also contain language involving future events that haven’t been fulfilled yet.
  • We know the prophecy has future or multiple fulfillments when other biblical authors make references to a past prophecy having future or multiple fulfillments.

Some people assume that just because a prophetic event has been fulfilled in the past to one people-group it will automatically happen again to another people group in the future simply because “history repeats itself” or because “what has been will be again.” To make these assumptions and apply them to any prophecy runs the risk of succumbing to faulty and illogical reasoning. To read something into a prophecy that is not there is called Continue reading

 

Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot Resources

Joyous Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles from my family to yours! We will be celebrating Sukkot with a few like-minded believers in the wilderness mountains of Central Oregon.

To help you to celebrate the biblical festival of Sukkot with understanding, please check out the following Hoshana Rabbah resources—

For an in-depth teaching article on Sukkot, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/sukkot.pdf

Go to the Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah?feature=mhee and check out the playlist on the Biblical Feasts and the Sabbath for many teaching videos on the subject of Sukkot.

 

How to come out of Babylon the Great

Revelation 18:4, “Come out of her my people!”

“Come out of her my people” is the cry of YHVH Elohim to his end times saints in Revelation 18:4. Come out of what? Out of Babylon the Great. What is Babylon the Great and what does it mean to come out of her?

What Is Babylon the Great?

A quick definition of end times Babylon the Great is this: It is a global religious, economic and political Antichrist system that is a confused mixture of both good and evil, which enslaves the minds and lives of humans. It is this system that YHVH-Yeshua will be destroying at his second coming. Babylon the Great involves all the religions of the world including mainstream global Christianity and Judaism. These last two religious systems are part of Babylon the Great because they have, to one degree or another, mixed biblical truth with ancient, pagan Babylonian religious doctrines and traditions. This is called syncretism and is something that YHVH Elohim hates according to numerous passages in the Scriptures. Another word for syncretism is ecumenism. The biblical term for it is apostasy — a term which means “forsaking (something), falling away or defecting (from something).” Falling away from what? The fundamental truth of the Scriptures (2 Thess 2:3 cp. 11, 12, 13) and believing the lies of the serpent or devil (v. 11), which involves coming under the influences of mystery of lawlessness or Torahlessness (v. 7).

What does it mean to come out of Babylon?

What does it mean to come out of Babylon? In the context of mainstream Christianity, we could give some very simplistic answers to this question by beating up on all the usual suspects. These would include all the non-biblical Christian paganesque holidays (Christmas, Easter, et al), steeples on churches, pagan-derived words in Christian nomenclature, whole denominations like the Roman Catholic Church, mainstream Christian doctrines that are derived totally or in part from pagan sources (e.g. immortality of soul, the traditional concepts of heaven and hell, the trinity, anti-Semitic theologies, etc.). Some people even view coming out of Babylon as leaving one country that they view as Babylon the Great (e.g. America). These are all issues that need to be addressed, but these are not the first issues one must deal with when discussing exiting Babylon.

Coming out of Babylon is more than just leaving non-biblical religious traditions, or leaving a religious system denomination, a country. It involves matters of the heart. When issues of the human are addressed and dealt with, the rest will take care of itself.

Being in the world, not of the world

When YHVH urges his people to come out of Babylon in Revelation 18:4, who are his people? Buddhists? Moslems? Hindus? Witches and satanists? Secular humanists and atheists? Maybe yes in a very broad and generic sense, but in a biblical context, he’s talking about the believers in the God of the Bible. Specifically, who are Elohim’s people? Many Bible believers don’t know the answer to this question. They view themselves more in terms of the religious labels they wear instead of the truth of the Bible with regard to who YHVH’s people are to be vis-à-vis the world. Coming out of Babylon first involves dealing with an identity crises among the people of YHVH. Once they learn who they are supposed to be in biblical terms and embrace this vision in their hearts and minds, they will automatically begin coming out of Babylon by first putting the leaven Babylon out of themselves! 

This is who the Scriptures say that the redeemed believers, disciples or followers of Yeshua are to be:

  • Though disciples of Yeshua are in the world, they’re not to be of this world (John 17:11, 14).
  • Followers of Yeshua are “the called out ones” (Gr. ecclesia). Called out from what? From being controlled by the world, the flesh and the devil.
  • Redeemed believers are to be holy or set-apart (Heb. kadosh) as YHVH Elohim is kadosh (Lev 11:44, 45; 20:7, 26; 1 Pet 1:5, 16; 2:9). Set-apart from what? The controlling influences of the world, flesh and the devil.
  • Believers are foreigners, strangers and pilgrims in this world. They’re part of another kingdom and are sojourners passing through en route to YHVH’s eternal and spiritual kingdom (Heb 11:13: 1 Pet 2:11).
  • The saints are to be salt and light in this dark and rotten world (Matt 5:13–14). This means that what they do, say and think is antithetical to, in contrast with and different form this world.
  • Followers of Yeshua are to come out of the world and to be separate from the heathens (2 Cor 6:14–17).
  • A follower of the YHVH Elohim cannot be the friend of this world and a friend of Elohim at the same time (Jas 4:4).

What Then Shall We Do?

This is a call to action. What should be the response of YHVH’s people to pagan belief systems, thought patterns and traditions that are a part of their lives and that are contrary to the Bible? These belief systems are found within traditional Christianity as well as the world in general.

  • Repent of sin, which is the violation of YHVH’s Torah-instructions (1 John 3:4), and get back to the Torah-instructions in righteous living (2 Chron 7:14, 17, 19). Return to the ancient and good paths of the Torah (Jer 6:16; 18:15).
  • Read and study the Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) anew asking the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. Be resolved ahead of time to do what ever YHVH tells you to do to bring your life into conformity with his Word no matter the cost. View the instructions of the Bible through a different spiritual lens. Don’t view it from a minimalist point of view but from a maximalist point of view. That is, what can and must I do as opposed to what don’t I have to do (i.e. what can I get away with and still be a disciple of Yeshua).
  • Once you start discovering the truth of the Bible from a fresh perspective, start conforming your life to the truth of it. Start living a holy or set-apart life (Lev 20:4; Heb 12:14). YHVH’s people are to be holy or set-apart unto him, not a people who have been made profane by worldly, polluted or defiled pagan customs and traditions of this world (Ezek 22:26; 44:23). 
  • Let go of religious or other non-biblical traditions of men that violate or have superseded the Word of Elohim (Matt 15:7–9; Mark 7:7, 9). Don’t make excuses. Just do it! Just obey YHVH Elohim and his Word.

If you following these points, you will be heeding YHVH’s call to come out of spiritual Babylon by first getting the leaven of Babylon out of your heart and mind (Rev 18:4). Once this is done, all the other Babylonian practices you have been engaged in will begin to fall out of your life like chaff blowing in the wind or dross bubbling up out of the gold to be skimmed off.

These things are the first and most important steps to coming out of Babylon the Great.

 

What is “the lowest sheol”?

Deuteronomy 32:22, The lowest sheol. The Scriptures in numerous places mentions sheol (the grave), but in several  instances there are references to the lowest sheol (e.g. Ps 86:13; Isa 14:15, NKJV). What is the difference between the grave and the lowest grave?

It appears to me that sheol or the grave is where the bodies of mortal men go to await their resurrection either to immortality or to eternal death in the lake of fire.

The lowest sheol appears to be the place where the devil and evil spirits (that rebelled at Lucifer’s fall and or prior to Noah’s flood) are confined awaiting the white throne judgment and their fate in the lake of fire.

If this interpretation is correct, this may explain the enigmatic “spirits in prison” passage of 1 Peter 3:19. This is the pit or abyss into which Satan is cast and confined for 1000 years at Yeshua’s second coming (Rev 20:3). This may be what Isa 14:14–15 is referring to when it describes the fall of Lucifer and prophesies his being brought down into the lowest sheol, the pit or abyss.

This lowest sheol or level of the grave is likely the same place that YHVH cast the angels that rebelled in the time of Noah where they await in chains of darkness awaiting their judgment at the end of the Millennium. This is probably the same “prison” or pit (Gr. tartaroo, or tar-tar-ah-ohw, see notes at 2 Pet 2:4) that Satan will be cast into at the beginning of the Millennium and then briefly released from at the end of it to go forth and to deceive the nations (Rev 20:7–8).

After that, Satan (presumably along with his demons) will be cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented for eternity (Rev 20:10).The lake of fire is a different place than the pit, sheol or tartarahoh, which is a temporary place of restraint or prison where YHVH places rebellious angelic beings to await their final judgment, which is the lake of fire. 

 

Who are the lost and scattered sheep of Israel?

But [Yeshua] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 15:24)

But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:6)

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

Deuteronomy 32:21, I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. The term not a people is the Hebrew phrase lo-am. Curiously this same phrase occurs in several other references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) in reference to the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel (Ephraim) and is repeated by several apostolic writers in reference to the “Gentiles” or “peoples of the nations” (which is the meaning of the Greek word ethnos translated as gentiles). (See Isa 7:8; Hos 1:9; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9–10.) In Romans 9:25, Paul equates the “Gentiles” with the same people-group to which Hosea makes reference in Hosea 2:23. To whom is Hosea referring in his prophecy? (Read Hos 1:4,6; 4:15–17, chapter 5; 6:10–11; 7:1–11; chapter 8; etc.). Remember that the nation of Israel split into two groups at the time of Jeroboam and Rehoboam: the Northern Kingdom comprised of the ten northern tribes of Israel and referred to in Scripture as Ephraim, House of Israel and Samaria while the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah, the House of Judah and Jerusalem. 

Where are these Ephraimites today? The answer can be found in Genesis 48:14 and 16 where the patriarch Jacob is prophesying over the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. Can you find any clues in these two verses that may point to a religious people-group in existence today on earth? What sign does Jacob make with his arms when placing them on the heads of his two grandsons? Is it coincidental that it is the sign of the cross? Then in verse 16, Jacob recounts his experiences with the Angel or literally Heavenly Messenger who “redeemed me from evil.” This is a reference to Genesis 31:1–11 where, while fleeing from Laban, Jacob’s adversary, he had a dream where the Messenger of Elohim calls himself the El of Bethel (or the El/God of the House of El/God). Who is the Messenger of Elohim who is also a Redeemer? (See Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12.)

Finally, Jacob prophesies that his grandsons’ descendants would grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. The word grow is the Hebrew word dagah/VDS from which the Hebrew word dag/DS or fish derives. This is why the ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translates this phrase as “may they proliferate abundantly like fish within the land.”

The question is then begged, what religious people-group on earth today can be associated with a cross, a Redeemer and a fish? Knowing this will give us a clue as to whom Paul and the other writers in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT) were referring when they equated the “Gentiles” with “a foolish nation” and “not a/my people.”

Deuteronomy 32:26, I will scatter them into the corners. How was this prophecy fulfilled to Israel? Who in Israel was scattered and forgotten? Certainly not the Jews. They were scattered, but not forgotten.

Verses 28–29 say of these people that they are void of counsel and Continue reading

 

Happy Upcoming Yom Kippur 2018!

On Friday, Sept 21, 2018, my family and I along with our local home fellowship will be celebrating the Day of Atonements or Yom Kippur according to the biblical new moon calendar.

The new moon in Israel was spotted ten days previously, and according to the Torah, the Day of Atonements is to be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 23:26).

Biblical months always start on rosh chodesh when the first visible crescent of the new moon is spotted in the land of Israel. As a point of reference, those who follow the traditional rabbinic or Hillel II calendar (invented in ca. AD 360 and was approved by Roman emperor Constantine) are celebrating Yom Kippur today, which is two days too early, according to the new moon sighting in Israel. In reality, they are are celebrating Yom Kippur on the eighth day of the new month, not the tenth day according to the Scriptures (Lev 23:26).

While those who are celebrating Yom Kippur today are following the spirit of the law, they’re not following the letter of the law, since, technically, today is NOT Yom Kippur. In his Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua clearly states that all of the Torah is to be followed (Matt 5:17–19), and  that our righteousness is to exceed of that of the Pharisees, which includes their modern day descendants (the rabbinic or Orthodox Jews, Matt 5:20), and that we are to follow not only the spirit, but also the letter of the law (Matt 5:21–48).

Moreover, Yeshua enjoined his disciples (and us) to follow the Word of Elohim and to reject any manmade traditions that in any way contravene Elohim’s Written Word (Matt 15:6–9 and Mark 7:6–9, 13). Sadly, both our Christian and rabbinic Jewish brethren have, in too many areas, not followed the instructions of the Messiah instead preferring obedience to their manmade traditions instead of Elohim’s Word.

In Romans 12:1–2, Paul the apostle of Yeshua the Messiah states that each disciple of Yeshua must discern what is the perfect will of Elohim based on his Written Word and then must willingly lay down his or her life as a living sacrifice and do that will. In reality and quite honestly, very few people achieve walking out the perfect will of Elohim consistently in their lives. Most of us are walking out Elohim’s good or the better will, and only from time to time his perfect will. While celebrating the biblical feasts on the manmade traditional Jewish Hillel II calendar is certainly a step in the right direction, and may, indeed, be the good will of Elohim, it’s not his perfect will according to his Written Word. May the reader honestly ponder these truths and evaluate his or her walk and heart before Elohim. Are we really willing to lay down our lives as living sacrifices and to say, “Yes Lord, thy will be done, not mine!”? Or is it more convenient to just follow men’s traditions and the convenient inclinations of our fallen natures?

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matt 7:13–14)

In this ministry, as truth seekers no matter the cost and in an effort to follow the Scriptures—the Written Word of Elohim, we chose many years ago to follow the Word of Elohim instead of men’s unbiblical traditions. That’s why we’re celebrating Yom Kippur on Friday instead of Wednesday.

For more informations on why we do what we do and what the Bible and history both have to say about the biblical calendar, I invite you to read my three well-researched and referenced teaching articles on the subject, which are available for free downloads at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast. There you can find my articles on Yom Kippur as well (https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_kippur.pdf and https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/goat.pdf).To watch my teaching videos on Yom Kippur, go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM.

Love and blessings in the glorious name of Yeshua the Messiah.

Natan