The Sons of Thunder — There’s more to this nickname than you thought!

Mark 3:16–17, Surnamed Peter … sons of thunder. Yeshua chose twelve apostles, but the first three of the twelve that he chose were unique. This trio—Peter, James and John—formed the innermost circle of Yeshua’s associates, and ten times the Scriptures record their names together, as a group. Beyond that, Yeshua spoke prophetically over each one which, we can now see in retrospect, pertained to the calling he was giving them to canonize what would later become known as the New Testament. Let’s now examine the scriptural evidence for this assertion.

James and John — the Sons of Thunder

James and John — the Sons of Thunder

To Simon, Yeshua gave the nickname Peter, which means “a stone” (Gr. petros meaning “stone” as opposed to petra meaning “rock, cliff, ledge, large stone.” See Matthew 16:18 where juxtaposes these two words — the former he attributes to Peter, the latter to himself.

To James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, he gave the nickname Sons of Thunder (Aram. Boanerges). Did you ever wonder why he dubbed only these three disciples with sobriquets and not the others? Was Yeshua just having fun and playing games, or was he declaring over them, in these nicknames, what their prophetic mission was to be years later? “These are the original apostles who were given distinctive titles by [the Messiah] in order to convey some special assignments that they were expected to complete. Peter Continue reading


Spiritual Boot Camp: Entering the Ministry Means Preparing for War

Mark 1–3


It is interesting to note the order of events as Yeshua was launching his ministry. He was about to enter a war zone! After John baptized Yeshua and he received his heavenly empowerment (Mark 1:9–11), he first went through a spiritual boot camp before stepping onto the battlefield of public ministry. Once in the “war,” it’s worth noting where Continue reading


The Great Commission: The ABC’s of Gospel Evangelism

Outline and Study Guide With Practical Suggestions on Witnessing

Motivation to Evangelize the Spiritually Lost

What should be our motivation to evangelize the lost?

Hand reaching for the sky

  • The Word of Elohim commands us to do so. The imperative command of Yeshua in Mark 16:11, “Go ye…!” is not “the great suggestion,” but “the great commission!” To many, it has become “the great omission.”
  • Human need demands that we reach out to the lost and hurting around us. Like Yeshua, we must seek to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Like Yeshua, we must meet people at their point of need by finding the need and meeting it with the gospel message, the Word of YHVH and the love of Yeshua.
  • Compassion and love for the lost should compel us to share the good news with others.
  • We must have love for the lost. Pray to the Father that he give us a supernatural love for the lost as Yeshua did. Love sensitizes us to the needs of others. Love makes you want to give to and bless others. Love makes you forget about yourself and perfect love casts out fear of witnessing or fear of what others think (1 John 4–18).
  • We will have an easy time of sharing the gospel of Yeshua with others if we still have the joy of our salvation. If we have lost that joy, pray for it to come back as David prayed in Psalm 51:12–13. Perhaps sin, the cares of this life, fear or other things are blocking that joy.

The New Testament Model for Evangelizm

A study of the Testimony of Yeshua reveals that the dominant model that Yeshua and the apostles followed when witnessing to unbelievers roughly followed the outline below: Continue reading


When did the early church begin celebrating Easter?

Matthew 28:1, When did the early Christians first celebrate a day commemorating the resurrection of Yeshua?

Although the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah is a biblical and historical fact, it’s celebration (known as Easter), is neither commanded in the Scriptures, nor was it celebrated by the original disciples of Yeshua. It is purely an invention of the church, and that eventually replaced Passover! Here are the facts:

Easter 33365762

In A History of Christianity (vol. 1), Kenneth Scott Latourette states that notice of Easter as a festival occurs in the middle of the second century, but that festivals commemorating the resurrection of Messiah were presumably observed by at least some Christians from much earlier times (p. 137). Philip Schaff also attributes the beginning of the Easter festival to the middle of the second century (History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, p. 207). He states that the Christian Passover naturally grew out of the Jewish Passover, as the Lord’s Day (Sunday) grew out of the Sabbath. “It is based on the view that Christ crucified and risen is the centre of faith. The Jewish Christians would very naturally from the beginning continue to celebrate the legal Passover, but in the light of its fulfillment by the sacrifice of Christ, and would dwell chiefly on the aspect of the crucifixion. The Gentile Christians, for whom Continue reading


An “Earie” Lesson from the Bible

The more I study the Bible, the more I see how every little detain in it is important. Nothing is contained there in, no matter the smallest detail, without a reason — without a lesson to be taught and learned. What follows is another example of this. Not only that, we shall see that an understanding of the Torah helps us to understand what is going on here. —Natan


Matthew 26:51, The servant of the high priest…cut off his ear. Was it Peter’s (John 18:10) intention to cut of the servant’s ear or head? Some theologians suggest that Peter was going for the head, but missed and got the ear (actually it was the earlobe; see TDNT 5:543) instead. Likely, Peter’s intended target was indeed the ear, for the servant, who was a priest himself, would have been disqualified by the Torah from serving in the temple if he had any physical defect or blemish such as a missing ear (Lev 21:18–21).

Not only that, but Peter went for the right earlobe (Luke 22:50; John 18:10), which according to the Torah (Exod 29:20) had to be anointed with blood as part of the consecration process of a priest. An improperly consecrated priest was disqualified from service in the temple as well. So by cutting off the servant’s earlobe, Peter was striking a fatal blow to his career, not to mention his ego.


Some Thoughts on Yeshua’s Judgment of the Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31–46, The nations will be gathered. 

The Goat and Sheep Nations Judgment

Matthew 25:31–46 describes Yeshua’s judgment of the sheep and goat nations. Some see this event as occurring at the beginning of the Millennium. Others see it as a process culminating at the end of the Millennium with the release of Satan from his bottomless pit prison after which he will tempt the nations to rebel against King Yeshua. The last scenario seems unlikely, since those who follow Satan’s rebellion will receive immediate judgment upon arriving at Jerusalem to confront Yeshua. They will be devoured by fire out of heaven (Rev 20:9). No mention is made in this passage of a judgment between the sheep and goat nations. There’s only swift judgment upon Gog and Magog.

Flock of sheep in the mountains

It seems likely, therefore, that one of first orders of Yeshua’s official business upon his return to the earth will be to judge between the sheep and goats. Here he will separate the wicked from the righteous who have survived the wrath of Elohim at the end of the age just prior to Yeshua’s second coming. This is like a mop-up operation after a great war. Those who have shown kindness to the saints will be allowed into the kingdom of Elohim during the Millennium, while those who didn’t will be cast into the lake of fire. This appears to be an initial purging of the spiritual wheat from the chaff at the beginning of Yeshua’s millennial reign. Those who are left are presumably those who didn’t take the mark of the beast and hence won’t be destroyed with those who did (Rev 19:20). They showed their faith by their actions, and King Yeshua’s grace will be extended to them and he will give them an opportunity to receive eternal life. Perhaps these are those who are implied in Revelation 16:2 who refuse to take the mark of the beast and worship him during the wrath of Elohim period.

Some Bible teachers view the judgment of the nations not as a one-time event that occurs at the beginning of Yeshua’s millennial reign, but as an on-going process during his reign. This could be the case, since Yeshua may give the nations time to accept his rule and learn the truth of the gospel little-by-little.

Whether those of the goat nations will be cast immediately into the lake of fire isn’t clear. The lake of fire is mentioned in Revelation 20 at the end of the Millennium and in conjunction with the white throne judgment. Perhaps Yeshua will allow the goats to remain on the earth, and they will be those rebels he will be forced to rule over with his rod of iron, and who will refuse to come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem annually. Perhaps they’re the ones who will eventually be deceived into rebelling against Yeshua at the end of the Millennium when the devil is released from the pit (Rev 20:7–10).


Jacob’s Ladder Explained—YHVH’s Plan of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation

Introduction to the Study of Genesis 28:10–22

Jacob’s vision of a ladder to heaven is one of those enigmatic Scriptural passages which has befuddled the keen intellects of many Bible scholars down through the ages. Perhaps the deeper elucidations of Jacob’s vision has escaped the reader as well. If so, you are not alone, for well-known Christian commentators such as Matthew Henry and Adam Clarke have stabbed at its meaning realizing it has something to do with the Person of Yeshua the Messiah and his heaven-ordained ministry to reconcile earth’s inhabitants to their Heavenly Father and Creator. Keil and Delitzsch don’t even connect this dream to the Person of Yeshua. Other than vague explanations as to the dream’s interpretations, these esteemed scholars have nothing more to proffer the reader. Little if anything is said of the allegorical meaning of the ladder, the dust, the stones (plural) becoming a stone (singular) or of the significance of “the place.” Even the unusually insightful biblical scholar Arthur W. Pink in his book, Gleanings In Genesis, though he draws 101 parallels between Joseph and Yeshua the Messiah, can gives us no more insights into the spiritual and prophetic implications of Jacob’s ladder than do Henry and Clarke. This is some of the best that Christianity has to offer on this subject.

Jacob's ladder 2

Now what does the best of rabbinic Judaism have to offer us by way of explanation of Jacob’s dream? It goes without saying that their interpretations will be devoid of any references to Yeshua, but can we learn anything else from them. After all, they have been studying this passage for more than 3800 years! Rashi, viewed by some as the greatest Torah expositor of the last 1000 years has little to add to our understanding as does Samson Raphael Hirsch, the great nineteenth-century Torah teacher. The Baal HaTurim in his Torah commentary adds some interesting insights relating to the subsurface or hidden meaning of some of the Hebrew words used in the text that not only confirm the simple or plain meaning of the text, but add depth to it as well on an allegorical or prophetic level. We will cite a number of other Jewish scholars who between them contribute greatly to our understanding of the text. But for all their collective wisdom, they, not surprisingly, fail to connect the meaning of the ladder to YHVH’s plan of redemption and salvation for mankind. They fail to see the big picture and master plan involving the Messiah, the Living Word of Elohim sent from heaven to redeem lost mankind.

Both the Christian scholars and the Jewish sages are blind in part since both have rejected half of the key to unlocking the full depth and panoramic understanding of this vision. The former has, to one degree or another, rejected its Jewish or Hebraic roots and the relevance of the written Torah to theological understanding and lifestyle, while the latter has rejected Yeshua, Living Word or Living Torah sent from Heaven to give us wisdom, understanding, redemption and salvation. Each side is spiritually blind in part to one-half of YHVH’s truth (Rom 11:25). Both have stumbled over the stone of stumbling and the rock of offence (Isa 8:14). The Christians have rejected much of the truth of the written Torah, while the Jews have rejected the spirit of prophecy as revealed through Yeshua, the Living Torah (Rev 19:20). To understand the heart of the Father as revealed in his written word, Yeshua said that it would take both spirit and truth (John 4:23–24). With these thoughts in mind, let us proceed to understand this vision of Jacob.

The Text 

Let’s now read the text in Genesis 28:10–22 pertaining to Jacob and his dream of the Continue reading