Our new annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2020-2021 with daily readings that begins 10/11/20 is now available to download and print. The link to the current 2019-2020’s Scripture Reading Schedule will still be available on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links” into next year. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, the link may be below, meaning you’ll need to scroll down instead.
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 or the “share your thoughts” box 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 9/27 through 10/3/2020.
Yom Kippur—A Journey Through Past History and on Into the Future
Yom haKippurim (literally, the Day of Atonements, plural) is not a one-time thing. The redeemed believer is covered by the blood of Yeshua at the time of their initial salvation, but needs additional covering every time they sin. We need this covering of blood on an individual and collective basis.
This pattern was set in Leviticus 16 when on the Day of Atonement, the high priest made atonement for his sins, those of his family, of the nation and even the Tabernacle of Moses itself due to defilement cause by men’s sins.
We’re all in this thing together. My sin affects you and vice versa. My sins are passed on down to successive generations, and unless I break the sin cycle through the means that YHVH has provided, this sin cycle will continue as it has from Adam to this day bringing corruption, ruination, division, strife and death to all men.
Atonement and At-One-Ment—It’s About Healing Broken Relationships
The English word atone means “to make amends or reparation of wrong or injury.” Atonement biblically means “to cover, purge, make an atonement (Heb. kaphar), make reconciliation, cover over with pitch.” As with many Hebrew words, kaphar means not only to cover over sin (by the blood of the Lamb), but it means “to reconcile and purge.” When we sin, we need the forgiveness of Yeshua and his blood to pay for or to cover over our sin debt. We also need to get purged of the inclination to sin in the first place. We also need to make amends with those we’ve injured in the process of sinning—to reconcile with them, to repair the damage, and to mend the breach in the relationship. When we sin, a breach occurs both on the vertical level (with Elohim) and on the horizontal level (with our neighbor). Each of us is a broken, damaged and hurt person, and we have a hard time mending the damage we’ve caused to others, which is a painful process, but one which yields rich results in healing wounded relationships including the wounds and brokenness of our own heart. We must humble ourselves to do this. Pride and self protection prevents most us from repenting and asking forgiveness of Elohim and of others. To come into the presence of YHVH, we must take the step. Yom Kippur pictures our taking this step.
Some Bible teachers have taken the word atonement and have made a word play out of it by turning it into at-one-ment. This play of words isn’t totally without merit, since the word atone comes from a Middle English word meaning “to make or become united or reconciled” or literally “to become at one with someone else.” There’s a lot of at-one-ment that needs to occur between people and their Heavenly Creator! The older I get, the more I realize this!
Tomorrow (for some people reading this, it is already tomorrow), Monday, September 27, 2020 it is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This year both the biblical new moon calendar and the traditional Rabbinic Jewish calendar match up, so that Yom Kippur falls on the same day on both calendars. So regardless of which calendar you follows here are some free resources to help you to celebrate this day with a heart and mind of purposeful intent.
The new moon in Israel was spotted ten days ago, 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 15:6–9and 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.
Love and blessings in the glorious name of Yeshua the Messiah.
Yom Kippur Videos
Yom Kippur—Past, Present and Future
Yom Kippur—The Historical Roots of Our Faith, Present Relevance for believers & Prophetic End Time Implications
Ya’acov Natan Lawrence Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources, Portland, OR
Yom Kippur is a day of contradictions and contrasts: Joy and sorrow. Rewards for the righteous and judgments for the wicked rebels. Joy for the righteous when Satan and his demons, death and Babylon are destroyed by the King of kings.
Not unlike treasure hunters examining a map for clues leading to a buried treasure, or an archeologist carefully scrutinizing ancient artifacts for information about lost civilizations, or an engineer diligently studying blueprints in order to construct a mechanical device or a building, we have briefly examined some of YHVH’s spiritual blueprints found in the Scriptures to give us clues about the nature and order of end-time events. Understanding the seven biblical feasts, the seven stations in the tabernacle of Moses and the various steps of the biblical wedding will help us to decode the mysteries surrounding the events pertaining to the second coming of our Master, Yeshua the Messiah.
Introducing the Olivet Prophecy
Now let us carefully investigate another set of spiritual blueprints: Yeshua’s prophecy in Matthew 24 and 25, commonly called the Olivet Prophecy.
Having a working knowledge of all these “blueprints” will help us to discover who we are as a people in the eyes of YHVH, where we have come from, where we are presently, and where we are going—that is, what the future holds for us, and what our spiritual destiny or divine inheritance is. Only then will we understand the end-time prophetic events leading up to the second coming of Yeshua, and we will learn what our role will be to play in them.
As we begin to examine Matthew 24 and 25, it is important first to note the chronological positioning of this prophecy in the context of the passages before and after this pivotal chapter. The chapters that precede Matthew 24 prophetically speak of precursory events leading up to the second coming of Yeshua, while those that follow Matthew 24 prophetically delineate events that occur after his return.
Matthew 24 sits like a diamond in the midst of a brilliant gold setting. It speaks of the order of end time events pertaining to the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah, our beloved King, Redeemer and Savior. Listed below is a chronology of events as Matthew lays them out, more or less, in the order in which they will occur prophetically. Many of these passages will be elucidated upon later in this book. It is important that we present the overall layout of end-time events here and now before studying the individual components in detail later.
Deuteronomy 32:1–2, Words of my mouth…rain. Note the phrases: “words of my mouth,” “my doctrine,” “rain,” “my speech shall distill as the dew,” “small rain” and “showers.” Now read compare these phrases with Eph 5:26. What is Scripture talking about here? Israel spent 40 years in a dry wilderness. By contrast, the Promised Land was a land flowing with milk and honey and was well-watered. Immediately before and after the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Exod 20), there are references to human thirst and YHVH providing water for his people (Exod 15:22–27; 17:1–7 Num 20:2–13). During the Messianic Age (the Millennium), living waters will flow from Jerusalem (Zech 14:8) and those who refuse to come up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will receive no rain on their land (Zech 14:16–19). As you relate all these scriptures together, what is the bigger lesson YHVH is trying to teach us here pertaining to water and the word of YHVH?
Deuteronomy32:8, Children of Israel. The Septuagint (LXX) has “angels of God,” the ESV has “sons of God,” and the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) has “children of God.” The LXX and ESV references could be a reference to the fallen angel, demon-nephilim or sons of Elohim reference found in Genesis 6:2 who along with their descendants founded kingdoms and empires that were opposed to Elohim. This alternate rendering possibly makes more sense, since Israel was not yet a nation when the Almighty assigned the nations to the heathens and the demon-gods or elohim that he placed over them and that they worshipped in place of the true YHVH Elohim. On the other hand, perhaps YHVH arranged the heathen in their countries around the future land of Israel, and those heathen living therein were merely squatters illegally inhabiting the Promised Land before the children of Israel were a nation.
Deuteronomy32:14, Blood of the grapes. What is Torah referring to in this interesting, rather arcane phrase? Compare this with a parallel passage found in Genesis 49:11, which is clearly Messianic in nature. Now add into the mix Leviticus 17:11; Revelation 1:5; 7:14; Matthew 26:27–28; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; John 15:1–5 and finally John 6:53–56. In the last passage listed, is Yeshua advocating some bizarre cultic rite involving cannibalism, or is he relating back to these Torah passages that are Messianic in nature and relating them to his redemptive work at the cross, which believers commemorate when they take communion at Passover?
Deuteronomy 32:15,Yeshurun. The name Yeshurun is a poetic name for Israel and means “upright, straight or just.” YHVH ascribed this august title to Israel indicating that Israel was not to deviate from the high standards demanded by YHVH (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1103). This is a prophecy about what would happen to Israel once in the Promised Land. They forsook the one who had redeemed them and blessed them. Compare this with Yeshua’s admonition to the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3:14–21 (especially note verse 17), which is a description of the contemporary American Christian church, much of which preaches an “easy-believism,” health and wealth, pop-psychology, “come to Jesus and everything will be all right” “gospel” message. Just because you now a part of a more Hebraically oriented congregation does not mean that you have shed off this kind of thinking and its accompanying lifestyle and that this prophecy does not apply to you. Selah (ponder and reflect).
Revelation 3:9, Worship/bow down before your feet. This scripture has puzzled many. Who are these saints before which those who are of the synagogue of Satan will at some time in the future bow down in worship? Who are those who are of the synagogue of Satan? First, the saints are wearing crowns (verse 11) and they have the name of Elohim written upon them (verse 12). We know that a group of saints will be ruling with Yeshua in his millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10). These same saints will be part of the first resurrection (Rev 20:6), which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming. Not all saints will be kings and priests. There are levels of rewards (and responsibilities) in YHVH’s kingdom depending on how obedient one has been to his Torah-commandments. This Yeshua teaches in Matthew 5:19. Some saints will be the least in his eternal kingdom, while some will be the greatest depending on their level of Torah-obedience. Similarly, Yeshua identifies two groups of saints in his Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1–13)—the wise saints and the foolish saints. The wise virgins will go into the wedding supper of Yeshua, and presumably will become his bride, while the foolish ones will be left outside. In Revelation chapter three, Yeshua further identifies two groups of believers: those who are spiritually lukewarm and those who are spiritually hot (Rev 3:14–22). It is not a stretch to connect those who are spiritually on fire in Laodicea with those in Philadelphia who have been faithful to his commands, who will be given a crown and who will be worshipped.
Can we further identify these faithful saints who will be worshipped (or before whom the knees of lower order saints will bend, which is the actual meaning in the Greek of the word worship) in Yeshua’s kingdom? They have crowns and are thus ruling as kings and have the name of Elohim written on them. Similarly, the 144 thousand have the seal of YHVH’s name on them (Rev 7:3–4 and 14:1), and they keep his Torah commandments and have the testimony or faith of Yeshua (Rev 14:12). These are the likely candidates for being those Yeshua describes in Matthew 5:19 who will be the greatest in the kingdom of Elohim, and who others will worship (Rev 3:9).
Why would people be worshipping (or bending the knee before) these glorified, resurrected and kingly saints? There are several possible explanations here for this. First, the bride of Yeshua will be ruling and reigning with Yeshua as a queen (in ancient Jewish thought) or like a king (under Yeshua, who is the King of kings, as presented in the book of Revelation). Second, Paul teaches us that those saints who will be resurrected will be literally adopted (Rom 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5) into the family of Elohim as sons or children of YHVH Elohim.
In Galatians, Paul speaks of redeemed believers being both Abraham’s seed and being adopted as sons of Elohim (Gal 3:29; 4:5). Elsewhere where the term adoption is used in the Testimony of Yeshua, it is in reference to our relationship with our Heavenly Father, not with our earthly father, Abraham. The redeemed are therefore, sons or the seed of Abraham, yet adopted into the family of Elohim as spiritual sons (Rom 8:15, 23; Eph 1:5). In other words, the saints are literal sons or seed (physically) of Abraham, yet adopted sons (spiritually) of YHVH. This adoption will be finalized or completed at the resurrection when the saints receive their spiritual bodies (Rom 8:23), for then they will be like him for they shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
Elohim is a plural word in Hebrew and can mean many things, and has many usages in the Scriptures. It is used to refer to the Creator, YHVH Elohim, as well as to angels, kings, judges and humans in authoritative capacities. When the saints are resurrected, they will be as Elohim and will be part of the family of Elohim, though they will not be Elohim, who has existed forever and is the Creator of all things. It appears that these saints will be worshipped, not as YHVH Elohim, but as his created sons who have been elevated through the process of redemption, sanctification, glorification and adoption into members of the family of Elohim.
Revelation 3:14, The church at Laodicea.
Will you pass the test and make it into YHVH’s kingdom?
Revelation 1:1, Must shortly take place/come to pass. John expected that the prophecies that followed were about to occur. This seems to be proof that the Book of Revelation (at least up to Rev 10:11) was written before A.D. 70. The second half of this book was John prophesying again (see Rev 10:11) and must have been written after the fall of Jerusalem at the hand of the Romans.
Revelation 1:2, Testimony. In the NT or Testimony (marturia) of Yeshua (as compared to the Old Testament, also known in the book of Revelation as the Word of Elohim), the word testimony (as found in many places) is either the Greek word marturia or marturion meaning “testimony, witness, or one who testifies.” Interestingly, our English word martyr comes from these Greek words. A martyr is one who testifies to their faith and is killed for it. These Greek words refer to both one who shares their testimony of the good news of Yeshua or the gospel message including their personal testimony. It can also refer to one who as a prophet testifies of future events, but the word is not confined to that meaning only. Consider this. One doesn’t have to be a prophet to testify to the future events that the Bible already tells us are coming such as the second coming, the establishment of Elohim’s kingdom on earth, punishment for the wicked and rewards for the righteous, the glorification of the saints as well as inclusion in the family of Elohim as his glorified and spiritual children. These are all future events and are part of the gospel message.
Marturia and marturian come from the root word martus which is “a witness in a legal or historical sense, a spectator to anything.” As born again believers in Yeshua, we are witnesses to the power of Yeshua in our lives and the validity of the gospel message. For example, Stephen was a martus or martyr (Acts 22:20) as he was preaching the gospel to those who stoned him (see also Rev 2:13 where Antipas was slain for his faith as well). In the Gospel of John, John the apostle writes (marturia) the record John the Baptist in John 1:19. In John 1:32, John the Baptist records or bears witness (martureo) of what he saw pertaining to Set-Apart Spirit coming down upon Yeshua. A little later, John the Gospel writer testifies (martureo) that Yeshua is the Son of Elohim (John 1:34). The word martureo is also used of those who viewed the miraculous resurrection of Lazaurs (John 12:17), and of John who was witness to or who bore record of (martureo) the death of Yeshua (John 19:35). Many more examples could be given, but you get the idea. Marturia and its cognates can have several meanings that include the gift of prophecy, but is not limited to that.
Revelation 1:7, Even they who pierced him. How will those who killed Yeshua see him at his second coming if they are dead? Only those alive on earth and the righteous dead will be resurrected at his second coming will see him. Perhaps, they will see him descending from the New Jerusalem in his power and glory at the end of the Millennium when he will resurrect all the unrighteous dead who then must appear before him on bent knew at the white throne judgment before being cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 1:10, The Lord’s Day. This verse is one of the cliche biblical passages that mainstream church scholars use to “prove” Sunday’s replacement of the Sabbath. The problem with this position is that there’s no clear scriptural proof that the apostles ever changed the Sabbath to Sunday. What’s more, to view this passage as referring to Sunday is to take a phrase the early church fathers used as a euphemism for Sunday when pushing for Sunday in place of Sabbath observance and to retroactively apply this meaning to John’s use of the phrase. Frankly, it is biased and dishonest scholarship to take the phrase “the Lord’s day” with its second century colloquial meaning and then to back-apply this meaning to John’s use of the phrase when there’s no reason to believe this was John’s intended meaning.
Alternatively, the phrase, “the Lord’s day, can be a reference to the biblical term “the day of the Lord’s wrath” when YHVH, in the end times, will judge the nations for their wickedness. This is a point that several biblical scholars have made (see From Sabbath to Sunday, by Samuele Bacchiochi, p. 111; E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible footnote on Rev 1:10; The Jewish New Testament Commentary on this verse, p. 791, by David Sterns).
There is actually more scriptural proof that the phrase “the day of the Lord” is a reference to the seventh day Sabbath than to the first the week. In Isaiah 58:13, the prophet YHVH refers to the Sabbath as “my holy day…the holy day of the Lord.” So conceivably, it could have been on the Sabbath day itself that John received his vision on the island of Patmos about that great and terrible day of YHVH’s wrath that is to come on the earth just prior to the Messiah’s second coming.
Revelation 2:17, A white stone. The Romans of biblical times exchanged a token of friendship between friends that could be passed on down from one generation to another. The ritual consisted of two friends writing their names on a tile of wood or stone, which was then divided in half and each took the piece containing name of their friend. To produce the counterpart of the one of the pieces to the other friend (or his heirs) guaranteed friendship and hospitality. The white stone with a new name on it is likely a reference to this first century practice (Manners and Customs, p. 70).
Revelation 2:27, A rod of iron. Yeshua’s rod of iron is similar to the scepter of a king, which was taken from the shepherds rod, since a king was viewed as the shepherd of his people. The scepter was not only a symbol of protection, but of power and authority.
Revelation 2:28, The morning star. In the Latin Vulgate Bible (translated by Jerome in about A.D. 400 for the Roman Catholic Church) is the official Latin Bible of the Catholic Church the biblical term morning start is translated into Latin as lucifer. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, when morning star is translated as lucifer, it is not referring to the devil, but rather denotes the exalted state from which he fell. That exalted state refers to the glory of heaven or the morning star (Rev 2:28), and to Yeshua himself who Peter and John refer to as the Morning Star (2 Pet 1:19; Rev 22:16) (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09410a.htm). The name Lucifer appears in some Catholic liturgy. It would seem that this is not a reference to the devil, but to Elohim or to Yeshua.