This author believes that the earthly ministry of Yeshua had prophetic implications pertaining to end time events. In other words, I will now attempt to show the reader that behind, if you will, the literal events surrounding Yeshua’s earthly ministry including his miracles and teachings, there was an entire prophetic or allegorical subtext or message. Yeshua’s life was literally a walking prophetic shadow-picture. Understanding these divinely engineered, yet hidden clues from a Hebraic context will yield a literal treasure trove of understanding into end time events as prophetically prefigured in the fall festivals of YHVH.
For the record, let it be known that such a study in no way denies the historicity of the literal events surrounding Yeshua’s life. Both Jewish and Christian scholars have been interpreting literal biblical events in an allegorical light for thousands of years. This is not a new exercise. (For a discussion of this, please refer to our brief study of the Jewish rules of biblical interpretation at the end of this book.) Not only have the biblical exegetes derived understanding from the biblical record through this means of interpretation, but numerous examples can be cited from the apostolic writers themselves interpreting various scriptural passages from the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) in this manner as well.
What is different about the following study is that it will allegorically examine the entire life of Yeshua—his ministry activities, the meaning of the geographical names of the places where he ministered and his parables for the purpose of deriving insights into end time events such as the great tribulation and wrath of Elohim periods, the resurrection, the second coming, the regathering and reunification of the exiled Israelites, the marriage of the Yeshua to his bride and the establishment of his kingdom on earth. It is hoped that the insights gained may clarify some of the difficult passages in the writings of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the prophecies found in the Testimony of Yeshua including the Book of Revelation.
Yeshua Ministers to a Great Multitude
Matthew 4:23–25, And Yeshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with various diseases and pains, and those which were demonized, and those who were epileptic, and those that were paralytic; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis,103 and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.
Prophetic Points to Analyze
- verse 23— all Galilee
- verse 23— preaching the gospel of the kingdom
- verse 23— healing all manner of sickness and disease
- verse 25— great multitudes
- verse 25— Decapolis
- verse 25— Judea
- verse 25— beyond Jordan
Yeshua ministered with miraculous healing power to those from the region of Galilee in northeastern Israel (the ancient territory of Ephraim in the Northern Kingdom of the house of Israel) to the area of Decapolis (meaning “ten cities”) east of the Jordan River. This is a possible allegorical if not a prophetic reference to the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, some of whose lands were located east of the Jordan River.
At the end of this present age just prior to and at the return of Messiah Yeshua as well as after the return of Yeshua, those Jews and Ephraimites returning to the Promised Land from the nations of their captivity (“beyond [or east of] the Jordan [River],” verse 25—a reference to Babylonia and Assyria where the Southern and Northern Kingdoms were exiled respectively)—will be returning broken, wounded, sick and demonized. They will need physical and spiritual healing (see the prophecy of Ezek 34). The regathering of lost Israel was Yeshua’s main ministry focus at his first coming (or advent), and is a mission that will be completed after his second advent. This end time or final regathering of lost Israel will occur during the time period that many Jewish sages refer to as the “final redemption” (when Messiah returns, the resurrection of the saints will occur, and Messiah will establish his kingdom upon this earth). At this future time, the regathering of the exiled twelve tribes of Israel will swing into full gear.
In the Gospel narrative, Matthew chapter four records that “great multitudes”followed Yeshua out of Galilee (verse 25), which, again, was the historic region of the Northern Kingdom comprising of the ten tribes of Israel.
Multitudes from this region of the ten tribes of Israel following Yeshua is a prophetic picture of what will happen in the future. Both the prophet Isaiah and Matthew the Gospel writer use the term “Galilee of the nations” (goyim or Gentiles, Isa 9:1; Matt 4:15) in reference to the Israelite tribes that had settled east of the Jordan River. The Bible writers also use this term in reference to the fact that those of the house of Israel would be scattered among the Gentile nations as part of their punishment for forsaking the Elohim (God) of Israel and the covenant they had made with him at Mount Sinai.
Likewise, prophetically at the time of Messiah Yeshua’s second advent, a final regathering of the Israelite exiles will occur from the nations of the world where they have been scattered. Multitudes will come to Yeshua as we see in the Book of Revelation (Rev 7:1–17) where John, under the inspiration of the Spirit of Elohim, prophesies about the 144,000 righteous saints sealed from all twelve tribes of Israel. After this, John speaks of the ingathering of the exiles and describe this momentous and long-awaited event as follows (verses 9–17),
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our Elohim who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’ And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped Elohim, saying, ‘Amein: blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amein.’ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of Elohim, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’”
Prophetic Points to Analyze from Revelation 7:1–17
- verse 9— a great multitude…of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues
- verse 14— which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes … in the blood of the Lamb
- verse 16— they shall hunger no more
- verse 17— the Lamb…shall feed them
One may ask the question when does this regathering of exiled Israelites occur that John speaks about in Revelation? Is it strictly an end time event as the Jewish scholars see, or has it been occurring since the time of Yeshua’s first coming only to culminate after his return?
In that the rabbinic Jews refuse to recognize the first coming of Yeshua the Messiah they, by default, have placed the “final regathering” of lost and exiled Israel at the coming of Messiah just prior to “the Messianic Age” or Millennium.
In reality, by Yeshua’s own admission (see Matt 15:24), he began the regathering at his first coming, and commissioned his disciples to continue that mission (Matt 10:6 cp. Acts 1:8).
Zechariah, the prophet, saw this regathering occurring when he prophesied hundreds of years before the birth of Yeshua, “In those days…ten men of the nations shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the cloak of a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you,’” (Zech 8:23). Yeshua said that salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and he is that Jewish man, and Jewish Savior, and all people must take hold of him spiritually to be brought to Elohim (John 14:6). Ten is the number of the tribes in the Northern Kingdom who were mixed among the Gentile nations after their deportation and captivity from the land of Israel. This prophecy was partially fulfilled on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when many from the nations placed their trust in their Jewish Messiah (Acts 2:9–11, 36–41). So Zechariah’s prophecy, along with that of John in Revelation 7, began to be fulfilled in the time of the apostles and has continued to this very day. It will culminate in what the Jews call the “final redemption” or the “Gathering of the Exiles.”
The message that Yeshua preached was called “the gospel”, which is an Old English word meaning “good news” (Matt 4:23). This mission not only involved healing the sick, comforting the afflicted, feeding the hungry, and giving drink to the thirsty, but also preaching “the good news of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 4:17). Yeshua was that Good Shepherd about whom Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 34, who would heal the sick and feed the hungry.
When Yeshua mentions preaching “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt 4:23), to what kingdom is he referring? If he were coming again, this time as Messiah Son of David, to rule the earth during the Millennium or Messianic Age, as Ezekiel 37:24–25 indicates, ruling over a reunited Israel (i.e., both houses of Israel, or the whole house of Israel as Ezek 37:15–22 states), then what other kingdom is there except the kingdom of Israel, that is, one nation under King Yeshua Son of David (verses 22–25)? And that kingdom is comprised of people coming from all nations who have one thing in common: they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14) making them children of Abraham as Paul clearly states in Romans 4:16; 8:9, 11 and gain in Galatians 3:7, 9, 14, 28–29), and who are no longer Gentiles (Gal 3:28), but are Israelites as Paul describes it in Ephesians 2:11–13,
[I]n time past Gentiles [peoples of the nations] in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth [citizenship] of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world, but now in Messiah Yeshua you who sometimes were far off are brought near by the blood of Messiah.
Early in his earthly ministry, Yeshua began preparing the way for the reunification of the two kingdoms or houses of Israel and for his rulership over this reunited kingdom during the Messianic Age (or Millennium). The final redemption or regathering of Israel is an event for which the rabbinical Jews have been waiting (as testified in their writings) for thousands of years. They simply fail to recognize that their Messiah Son of David and the Christian “Jesus” or more properly, Yeshua, are one in the same Person.
Are you a part of this final regathering of lost Israelites returning to their heritage as the prophets Zechariah and Malachi (and many other biblical prophets, as well) prophesied would happen in the last days (Zech 8:23; Mal 4:1–6)?
What You Can Do
Are you the willing “victim” of some invisible hand that is guiding your heart and footsteps back to the ancient and original Hebraic roots of your Christian faith? For some unexplainable reason, are you beginning to take an interest in and to identify with the nation of Israel as well as to our Jewish brothers? If so, then you are a part of the final regathering that the Gospels refer to literally and prophetically as “multitudes from Galilee of the nations” that followed Yeshua. These are some of the same people about which John prophesies, who will come out of great tribulation in the last days in Revelation 7:9, 14.
With all of your heart, embrace the divine calling that YHVH has graciously and sovereignly tendered to you. Do not turn back form it! Ask Elohim what he would have you do to be part of his end-times spiritual program to help restore his people to their ancient spiritual heritage and their future destiny.
Yeshua Heals the Man With an Unclean Spirit in a Synagogue
Mark 1:21–28, 39, “And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with you, Yeshua of Nazareth? Are you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Set-Apart One of Elohim.’ And Yeshua rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him.’ And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.’ And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout the entire region round about Galilee.…And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.”
Prophetic Points to Analyze
- verse 21, Capernaum
- verse 21, synagogue
- verse 23, an unclean spirit
- verse 28, region round about Galilee
- verse 39, preaching in their synagogues…casting out demons
- verse 39, throughout all Galilee
One of Yeshua’s first ministry acts was to teach in a synagogue on the Sabbath day at Capernaum in the historic territory of the Northern Kingdom. The people there were “amazed” (astonished or struck with astonishment) at his teaching. Afterwards a man manifesting a demonic spirit begged Yeshua to leave them alone, whereupon Yeshua commanded the evil spirit to be silent and to come out of the man. Mark 1:39 says Yeshua preached in many synagogues of the Galilee region and casts out demons from people who were “church-goers”. It is interesting to note that ministering in the houses of worship and casting out demons went hand-in-hand in Yeshua’s ministry.
Several things can be learned from this passage. First, he was in a house of worship (or a “church,” if you will) in the historic region of the Northern Kingdom, which had long since ceased to exist as a country, and whose original Israelite inhabitants had either been assimilated into the populous of the Southern Kingdom, fled that region altogether, or had long since been taken captive and deported abroad. These people were now known as the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 10:6; 15:24).
Next, the name of the town is Capernaum, which was located in the historic land of the house of Israel. Capernaum is a compilation of two Hebrew words—kaphar/RpFand nacham/ojb. Nacham—and means “to comfort, repent, to be sorry, regret.” kaphar means “to reconcile, make atonement, to cover over” and is related to the word atonement as in the Day of Atonement(Yom Kippur)and the mercy seat (kapporet) in the tabernacle. So the name of the town with the synagogue literally meant “to repent, be sorry, regret” and then “to be comforted through having one’s sins covered over through atonement.”
What is the message here? Yeshua inserted himself into a weak (lacking in true spiritual authority or power) and demonized religious system (i.e., first century Judaism) that purported to offer comfort, reconciliation and atonement. First century Judaism had a veneer of religious respectability and made all who were there to feel comfortable, including those with demonic spirits. But in reality the place was spiritually dead! True life-changing spiritual authority was lacking. The message of turning from sin (i.e., Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4) repentance, which Yeshua brought, was foreign to these church people. Can we find there parallels to this in modern religious systems (whether Jewish or Christian) that likewise claim to be biblically based? I believe so.
The biblical prophets of old were constantly warning the religionists of their day to return to YHVH, to return to his Torah, to turn from idolatry and syncretism with the pagan world around them. As we have previously discussed, Malachi prophesied that one would come in the spirit of Elijah prior to the coming of Messiah who would turn the people of YHVH back to the Torah of Moses, and who would turn the hearts of the children (Christians?) back to their spiritual fathers (or their Hebrew roots, Mal 4:4–6) as modelled by the apostolic fathers in the Book of Acts.
This is exactly what Yeshua is now seeking to do in the modern Christian church where people are starving to death on a bland diet of spiritual milk, and who have as their leaders men who lack power and authority and refuse to preach the full and pure Truth of the Word of Elohim. As Yeshua confronted the ungodly religious spirits of his day within the church system, so he, through his remnant warrior servants or prophets of the last days (i.e., those who come in the spirit of Elijah, who have the faith and testimony of Yeshua and keep his Torah as per Rev 12:17 and 14:12), will begin to restore the body of Messiah (the church) back to its Hebrew Torah roots. They will be instruments in Yeshua’s hands to help clean Yeshua’s spiritual house prior to his second coming. Judgment begins first at the house of Elohim (1 Pet 4:17)!
What You Can Do
Are you either one of these people who are frustrated by the spiritual impotence of modern Christianity and its leadership, or one who YHVH is raising up to confront a religious system that teaches doctrines of demons instead of the uncompromised and undefiled Word of Elohim? If so, then gird up your loins spiritually, and be about your Father’s business to confront the darkness by bringing the light of YHVH’s word and Spirit to those around you!
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7)
Once the sick,returning exiles (or lost sheep of the house of Israel) have been healed spiritually, they must then turn their hearts back to the Torah-teachings of their ancient fathers as Malachi prophesied (Mal 4:4–6) and learn the good ways of YHVH’s ancient paths wherein is blessing (Jer 6:16). These are his teachings, instructions and precepts given to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai to guide them in the paths of righteousness and life)
Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount is the overview on how to worship YHVH in spirit and in truth. This is the most balanced teaching of Torah found anywhere in the Scriptures. Here Yeshua teaches his disciples how both the letter of the law and the spirit must come together into an indivisible unity to form a balanced view of Torah. Only this is pleasing to the Father (John 4:23–24), for obedient actions must issue forth from a heart of love and faith. Or conversely, the fruit or results of love and faith toward Elohim is Torah obedience. Yeshua instructs us to love him by keeping his Torah commands (John 14:15, 21), and James goes on to declared that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:20, 26). John reiterates these principles numerous times in his first epistle as well (e.g., 1 John 2:3–6; 3:11–24).
A balanced approach to Torah is something that both the Jews and Christians have had a difficult time attaining. In Yeshua’s day, the Jews had taken a more letter-of-the-law or legalistic view of YHVH’s Torah-laws (and rabbinic Jews still do to this very day). They had turned the Torah into a legalistic set of dos and don’ts and had largely missed its heart and spirit. As such, the Torah had become a legalistic nightmare and burden.
By contrasts, most Christians take a rather licentious (or libertine) and dim view of the Torah (or the law of Moses) by emphasizing a false concept of grace erroneously excuses the violation of much of YHVH’s Torah-law. Both the Jews and Christians will need to be instructed in Torah’s spirit and truth so that they will be able to worship the Father in a proper and pleasing way (John 4:23–24).
Who will teach them about the heart of YHVH Elohim? This job will fall to Yeshua’s millennial kings and priests;since they are those who already known and have been walking in YHVH’s Torah-truth. They are those who have the gospel or testimony and faith of Yeshua and keep his Torah commandments (Rev 12:14; 14:17). They are those who have not failed to honor and obey the Torah and to teach others to do so as well (Matt 5:19). Yeshua said that these saints would be the greatest in the kingdom of Elohim (Matt 5:19), and will be given the most notable and responsible positions in his kingdom, since they have already proven themselves faithful to the spirit and truth of his word (John 4:23). Conversely, those who take a dim view of the Torah, Yeshua will spurn and reject and they will be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). In fact, Yeshua on judgment day states that he will tell those who claim to know him, and who have even done mighty miracles in his name, but who failed to obey his Torah, “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity [literally, Torahlessness]” (Matt 7:21–23).
The Sermon on the Mount, therefore, is a teaching defending the true and original intent of YHVH’s Torah against religious hypocrites past and present, who have perverted its original intent into a system of legalism, greed and control over YHVH’s people, or from those who have taught that the Torah is “done away with” and is no longer incumbent upon the redeemed believer’s life. (For a full treatment of Yeshua’s view of the Torah see Part 3 of this work entitled, “What Was Yeshua’s View of the Torah—A Study of the Sermon on the Mount.”)
What You Can Do
What is your view of the Torah? Do you tend toward legalism (a strict and unrelenting obedience) or licentiousness (a very loose interpretation of Torah bordering on extreme grace)? Or are you learning to walk out the Torah in a balance of spirit and truth according to Yeshua’s instructions in the Sermon on the Mount and in John 4:23–24? Remember how the Book of Revelation delineates the end time saints: they keep the Torah commands of YHVH and have the faith or testimony of Yeshua (Rev 12:17; 14:12). The evidence of their walk exhibits a balance between truth and spirit.
If we are to follow Yeshua’s instructions and to help gather in the lost sheep of Israel in these last days, then we must understand the Torah as Yeshua taught it in the Sermon on the Mount. Only then will we be able to help restore YHVH’s lost and scattered people into a right, balanced, and spiritually healthy relationship with him.
Yeshua Heals the Gadarene Demoniac
Matthew 8:28–34 (also Mark 4:35–5:20), “And when [Yeshua] had come to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee] into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with demons [or, a man with an unclean spirit, Mark 5:2], coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way [or, no man could tame him, Mark 5:4]. And, behold, they cried out, saying, ‘What have we to do with you, Yeshua, Son of Elohim? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’ And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the demons besought him, saying, ‘If you cast us out, allow us to go away into the herd of swine.’ And he said unto them, ‘Go [or, come out of the man, unclean spirit, Mark 5:8].’ And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine, and, behold, the whole herd of swine [and, they were about two thousand, Mark 5:13] ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the demons. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Yeshua, and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.” Mark’s account adds the following (Mark 5:15–20): “And they come to Yeshua and stared at him that had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the demons, and also concerning the swine. And they began to beg him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil begged him that he might be with him. Howbeit Yeshua would not allow it, but said unto him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how great things the Master has done for you, and has had compassion on you.’ And he departed, and began to preach [proclaim] in Decapolis the great things Yeshua had done for him and all men did marvel.”
Prophetic Points to Analyze
- Mark 4:37, a great storm
- Mark 4:38, asleep on a pillow
- Matthew 28, the other side
- Matthew 28, two possessed with demons
- Matthew 28, coming out of the tombs
- Matthew 28, no man could tame him
- Matthew 30, swine
- Mark 5:13, two thousand
- Matthew 32, perished in the waters
- Matthew 34, coasts
- Mark 5:20, Decapolis
In this passage, we find more symbolic and prophetic language as well a whole amazing allegorical subtext pertaining to the exile and future redemption of lost, scattered and spiritually apostate Israel.
In this episode in the life of the Yeshua the Messiah, he crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee into the region of the Gergesenes—a name which is a variant of Gadarenes and is plural for the word Gadara. This city was located on the east side of the Jordan River six miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee, and was one of the cities of the Roman province of Decapolis (i.e., “ten cities”). This was in the ancient territory of the tribe of Gad (one of the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom or the house of Israel).
The sea over which Yeshua crossed is a biblical prophetic metaphor for the sea of humanity in general (e.g., see Dan 7:3). In Mark’s account, we learn that the sea was stormy at the time of Yeshua’s crossing (Mark 4:35–41). This is a prophetic picture of political turmoil and upheaval among the governments and peoples of the earth. Through this storm, Yeshua had been asleep with his disciples in the safety of the boat riding atop of the sea. This is a prophetic picture of YHVH’s preserving his saints through the horrendous times the Scriptures call the day of YHVH’s wrath (or the wrath of Elohim, i.e., the seven trumpets and the seven last plagues or bowl judgments of the Book of Revelation) during which time YHVH will pour out his wrath and judgment upon the unregenerate inhabitants of the earth.
A similar scenario occurred in Noah’s day. Noah and his family rode safely over the top of the waves or waters that covered the entire earth during the flood, and which were filled with drowned humanity. Noah was spared from the wrath of Elohim against a wicked and unrepentant generation. Similarly, the end-time saints of YHVH will not have to endure his final wrath as long as they are in the same spiritual boat as Yeshua (1 Thess 1:10 and 5:9), although they will go through the great tribulation (see Matt 24:21 cp. 29ff and Rev 11:14–18). Yeshua prophesied that the events of Noah’s day would repeat themselves in the end times:
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matt 24:37–39)
Continuing with our analysis of Yeshua’s encounter with the demoniac in the region of Gadara, we see that he traveled eastward to reach out to a man possessed by a legion of demons, who was manifesting a spirit of death and super human strength. Yeshua’s presence in the Roman province called Decapolisor “Ten Cities” is a prophetic picture of his reaching out to the ten tribes of Israel, who had been taken captive (in approximately 723 b.c.) and then deported eastward out of the land of Israel.
While in captivity, these Israelites were assimilated into the heathen cultures of their captor nation (Assyria), and from there they were eventually scattered near and far, even to the extreme coasts and borders of planet earth.Through their long captivity they had lost their identity and their right (spiritual) mind, of whom the demoniac in this Gospel account is a prophetic foreshadow. Through the plight of their exile, they became dead to their biblical, spiritual Hebrew roots and had became bound by the chains of death, heathenism and demonism. But Yeshua came to set these captives free and to liberate them from demonic influences (Isa 61:1–3 and Luke 4:16–21). The Gadarene demoniac represents a wayward, backslid, bound and captive house of Israel being brought out of spiritual bondage and captivity (Ezek 16:53).
There was even a herd of swine near this demoniac who was a prophetic picture of the house of Israel. The demons knew who Yeshua was, feared him, and recognized his power and authority over them. They begged to be cast into the heard of swine (unclean creatures that the Torah forbids the righteous to eat).
Although the Christian church prides itself in being freed from the biblical dietary laws and relishes eating swine and other unkosher meat, YHVH calls eating swine’s flesh an abominable practice (Isa 65:4 and 66:17), and in the surrounding passages of these verses, he rebukes his backslid people for involving themselves in this and other defiling pagan practices. Yet out of this spiritual pigsty, YHVH prophesies that he will bring forth an elect or chosen seed to his set-apart mountain (Mount Zion in Jerusalem), who will walk with him in righteousness (Isa 65:9ff). Then in Isaiah 65:17, YHVH speaks of creating a new heaven and a new earth where his elect or chosen ones shall be abundantly blessed. The same prophecy continues in chapter sixty-six. There, YHVH prophesies that though the righteous, which have been saved out of paganism and YHVH’s judgment (Isa 65:8–9), have been rejected or cast out by their brethren, they will rejoice in YHVH’s appearance (Isa 66:5). YHVH goes on to say that his people, who will be coming out of the (Gentile) nations, will be like a nation reborn in a day (Isa 66:7–12), while those who continue in their idolatrous, swine-eating, abominable heathen ways will be consumed by the judgments of YHVH (verses 15–17). Out of that time of judgment and turmoil, the exiled children of Israel will return to YHVH’s set-apart (kodesh) mountain in Jerusalem (verse 20).
The Gadarene demoniac being set free, restored to his right mind and wearing clothing (covering the shame of his nakedness [cp. Rev 3:18]) is a picture of the restoration of YHVH’s people to their former status as children of Israel.Before being set free “no man could tame” him. He truly was a wild man, or as Paul termed it in Romans 11:13–24, in reference to the Gentiles whom he equates with the house of Ephraim (in Rom 9:25ff as per the prophecies of Hosea), “a wild olive branch.”
The demoniac living among the swine is a prophetic picture of Ephraim’s wild, beastly, apostate and worldly ways and appetites. Later in this book, we will analyze the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who once ate among the swine (Luke 15:15), which is also a prophetic picture of living in accordance with heathen practices including eating the biblically forbidden swine’s meat.
In a similar vein, the reader may recall Peter’s vision of the sheet descending from heaven containing the unclean animals or beasts (Acts 10:12), followed by YHVH’s invitation for him no longer to view the Gentiles as unclean, but to reach out to them with the message of the gospel (Acts 10:10–43).
There are two other points to consider in our passage of Yeshua in Gadara. First, Matthew’s account states that there were two demoniacs while Mark’s account states that there was one. Ignoring the seeming discrepancy in the accounts, let us momentarily focus on one versus two demoniacs. Israel was one nation comprised of two houses: the house of Israel or Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom) and the house of Judah (or the Southern Kingdom). What we see here is a prophetic picture of one nation, but with two personalities (i.e., a split personality, if you will). In Mark’s account, Yeshua heals the man who then returns to his right mind and begins to preach the gospel in Decapolis. This is a prophetic picture of what Yeshua’s saints will be doing during the last moments of the final redemption, which is to occur at the end of the age prior to and at the coming of Messiah as well as into the Millennium. During this glorious time, several things will occur including the culmination of the regathering of the exiles of both houses of Israel, the resurrection of the righteous dead, and the establishment of the kingdom of Messiah upon this earth, known as the Messianic Era (or Millennium), which will last for 1000 years. During this time, the Torah will be taught to all nations.
Who will be teaching Torah to the nations during this time? In ancient Israel, it was the kings’ and priests’ responsibility to lead and teach the people according to the Torah. Likewise, those saints who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:11–32), who are spiritual descendants of Abraham, who are neither Greek nor Jew (Gal 3:28), but are the one new man in Messiah Yeshua (Eph 2:11–19), who have the faith of Yeshua and keep his Torah commandments (Rev 12:14; 14:17), and who will be the kings and priest in the Millennium—it is they who will be teaching Torah to the inhabitants of the world (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). Yeshua healing the (two) demoniac(s) is a prophetic picture of Yeshua and his Torah-keeping kingly and priestly saints ministering to the formerly lost and scattered Israelites who, along with their Gentile companions (Ezek 37:16), will be returning to their spiritual roots.
Finally, there were two thousand demon-possessed pigs that ran headlong into the sea and were drowned. From this we see that it has been nearly two thousand years since the Christians have been feasting on literal swine meat or ham at their Easter and Christmas celebrations and at other times, which is an abomination in the eyes of YHVH. They have also been worshipping on the venerable day of the sun codified as church law by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century, instead of on the seventh day Sabbath as the Word of Elohim commands. They have been celebrating Easter, named after the Babylonian sex goddess, Ishtar, and have been celebrating the supposed birth of Yeshua on December 25, which is, in reality, the day the pagans called Saturnalia in honor of the Roman sun deity. More recently, Christians have added the Christmas tree into this celebration, a heathen practice YHVH condemns and forbids his people from doing (Jer 10:1–5).
In the account of the Gadarene demoniac, it appears that the two thousand demon-possessed pigs plunging to their death in the sea allegorically represents 2000 years of Babylonian-based unscriptural traditions in the Christian church that will soon come to an end as Yeshua prepares for himself a spotless bride. It is this bride who will heed the call of heaven to come out of Babylonian religious systems (Rev 18:4) and to begin to no longer walk in unbiblical pagan practices, but in righteousness and in accordance with YHVH’s Torah.
Prophetically speaking, at the end of this present age prior to the return of Yeshua, Christians will have to choose to come out of religious Babylon with all of its heathenism, or face the judgments that will befall that wicked counterfeit religious system (Rev 18:4). Those who refuse to hear the pleading of their Heavenly Father to shake loose of the demon ties of death that bind them will face the wrath of Elohim, to be sure.
What You Can Do
In these last days, YHVH is calling his people out of pagan practices and traditions that are rooted in the doctrines of demons. We must learn to hear the voice of YHVH, and no matter the cost, we must come out of spiritual Babylon.
If we are to reach out to the lost sheep of Israel, we ourselves must be free of all foreign religious entanglements that are contrary to the Torah and the rest of the Word of Elohim. Pray that YHVH will help you to clearly see the sin or leaven of Egypt (and Babylon) that still exists in your life, and that you will have the honesty, boldness and humility to identify it, repent of it, and then to forsake it completely.
Yeshua Heals Two Blind Men
Matthew 9:27–31, “And when Yeshua departed from there, two blind men followed him, crying and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us.’ And when he had come into the house, the blind men came to him and Yeshua said unto them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said unto him, ‘Yes, Master.’ Then he touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ And their eyes were opened; and Yeshua sternly admonished them, saying, ‘See that no man know it.’ But when they had departed, they spread abroad his fame in all that country.”
Prophetic Points to Analyze
- verse 27, two blind men
- verse 27, Son of David
- verse 28, he touched their eyes
Who do these two blind men represent allegorically in light of end-times prophecy? Let’s explore this question.
Isaiah 29:18 says that Israel is spiritually blind and, by implication, unable to “understand the words of the book [of Isaiah].” Furthermore, Jeremiah prophesies that in the end-times Israel and Judah (both houses of Israel) will return to the land of Israel from their captivity during the time of “Jacob’s trouble”—a term referring to the great tribulation at the end of the age prior to and at the coming of the Messiah (Jer 30:3, 4, 7). Through Jeremiah, YHVH then says that he will restore health to them and heal them of their wounds, and he refers to them as “outcasts” (Jer 30:17). Then in chapter Jeremiah 31:8, the prophet refers to those of Israel whom he will (re)gather from the north country and the coasts of the earth as being “blind” and “lame”.YHVH states that he will redeem the people of Israel and return them to Zion (verse 12), and will then make a new or renewed covenant with both the houses of Judah and Israel (verse 31), and then he will write his Torah-laws on their hearts, and they shall be his people (verse 33). Finally, the prophet Isaiah declares that the Gentiles (i.e., the people of the nations) will have their blind eyes opened (Isa 42:7), will be shown the way of righteousness, and will be given the light of YHVH’s Torah-truth (verse 6). He then goes on to say that Messiah, the Suffering Servant, will be given as a covenant to these same people (verse 6). Interestingly, in Acts 13:46–48 Paul relates this same verse to the Gentiles to whom he was preaching the good news.
In summary, we see that the Scriptures refer to the houses of Judah and Israel as existing in a state of spiritual blindness, as being outcasts among the Gentile nations, but that they will return to YHVH who will renew his covenant with them. Paul likewise agrees with the prophets when he calls Israel “blind” (Rom 11:25), but then attributes to the Gentiles these same passages that the prophets had applied to Israel. Thus, in the mind of Paul, the lost and scattered Israelites were, in same way, the same people that Paul referred to as the “Gentiles” and to whom at time he was preaching the gospel. Somehow, the modern mainstream church has missed this important spiritual connection that this biblical author makes.
What can we conclude from these statements about Israel’s blindness? Simply this. Both the houses of Israel and Judah are blind, both will be brought back from the nations of the Gentiles where they have been scattered, and both will return to the land of Israel, and will be brought into covenantal relationship with YHVH. Yes, Paul also applies of these biblical passages to the Gentiles of his day. So scripturally speaking, either the word “Gentiles” is another term for lost and scattered25 Israel, or when Israel returns they will be bringing many Gentiles with them to the spiritual light and into covenantal relationship with YHVH. It appears that both of these events will be occurring simultaneously.
This is almost the exact scenario that some Orthodox Jewish sages see occurring prophetically. For example, we read,
“R. Munk explains: ‘while it is true that the dispersion [of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh] was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for “they will return to [Elohim]” and will have their share in the world to come ([Talmud] Sanhedrin 110b).’ And R. Eliezer adds: ‘Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of [Elohim], ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah, the Mashiach ben Yosef, Messiah son of Joseph ([Talmud] Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the Mashiach ben David, Messiah Son of David. It is therefore not surprising to find that the prophet Jeremiah (3:12) speaks affectionately of Ephraim. In this light, Jacob’s words, “his offspring will fill the nationsnation,” assume the significance of blessing.’”
Additionally, the two blind men recognized Yeshua by his messianic title: “Messiah Son of David.” This is a prophecy about Yeshua’s second coming as Messiah Son of David. In this role, he is seen as healing Israel who is blind in part (Rom 11:25).
We can now see more clearly the prophetic significance of Yeshua’s healing of the two blind men who allegorically represent the two houses of Israel (the non-believing Jews and the Christians). According to Isaiah 8:14, Yeshua is a stone of stumbling and the rock of offence to both houses of Israel (Jews and Christians), for he is both the Living Torah (to which the house of Judah is blind) and the Written Torah (to which the house of Ephraim is blind). As Yeshua opened the eyes of both blind men to the reality of who he was, so will he do the same for both houses of Israel—the Jews and the Christians.
What You Can Do
Are your eyes becoming opened to your spiritual Hebraic roots to which you were previously blind? Is your heart being turned back to the spiritual (Hebrew) fathers of your faith as Malachi prophesied would happen in the last verses of the Tanakh (Old Testament)? If so, you are living proof that YHVH in his sovereignty is fulfilling end time Bible prophecy, and that the spirit of Elijah is at work in your life to prepare you for the return of Yeshua, the Jewish and pro-Torah Messiah.
Like the blind men that Yeshua healed, as your eyes are opened to the Torah and to the Hebrew roots of your faith, may you go and spread abroad the good news of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.
Yeshua Cleanses Ten Lepers
Luke 17:11–19, “And it came to pass, as [Yeshua] went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us.’ And when he saw them, he said unto them, ‘Go show yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified Elohim, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. And Yeshua answering said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?’ There are not found that returned to give glory to Elohim, except this stranger [lit. sprung from another tribe, foreigner or alien]. And he said unto him, ‘Arise, go your way, your faith has made you whole.’”
Prophetic Points to Analyze
- verse 11— the midst of Samaria and Galilee
- verse 12— ten men that were lepers
- verse 12— that stood afar off
- verses 14–15— they were cleansed…healed
- verse 16— he was a Samaritan
- verse 18— stranger
Samaria and Galilee were Roman provinces comprising of the ancient territories of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the home of the ten northern tribes. As noted earlier, Yeshua spent much of his time ministering in that region and in much of what he taught, as well as the venues where he ministered, in the meanings of the geographical names, and in the terminologies used in describing his ministry activities, we can find a deeper or allegorical prophetic meaning relating to his ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This account of the ten lepers is yet another example of this.
These ten lepers lived in the historic region of the Northern Kingdom, house of Israel or Samaria. The number ten corresponds to the number of tribes that historically had lived in that area. These tribes were: Ephraim, Manasseh, Reuben, part of Levi, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Zebulin and Issachar. (Judah, part of Levi and Benjamin comprised the Southern Kingdom, or house of Judah; Simeon is omitted, for it is thought that they were assimilated into Judah in accordance with the Genesis 49:5–7 prophecy, and that their land inheritance was surrounded by that of Judah.) But when the ten northern tribes were exiled from the land of Israel they became strangers or aliens in the countries of their captivity. These terms are used throughout the Scriptures in reference to the scattered tribes of Israel. These lepers, because of their disease, were likewise aliens from their fellow Israelites in the land of Judea where they currently were living.
The term “leprosy” scripturally, was a generic term for any infectious skin condition and does not necessarily relate to the modern term leprosy that is a disease involving the slow rotting away of the flesh. Samson Raphael Hirsch, the nineteenth century Jewish Torah scholar, shows that the biblical skin condition of tzaraas is unrelated to leprosy and therefore is an erroneous translation in our English Bibles.Here is a brief study on the skin disease that the Torah calls tzaraas (and which some English Bibles erroneously translate as “leprosy”) and some of the spiritual implications of this ailment. It is quoted from the author’s own Torah commentary.
Leviticus 13 discusses various skin disorders known as tzaraas. The KJV uses the word “leprosy,” but this is a mistranslation. The [Jewish sages] teach (and so does Christian biblical commentator Matthew Henry in his commentary) that these skin disorders “[were] a plague often inflicted immediately by the hand of [Elohim].”
Tzaraas is a result of sins of the mouth such as slander, gossip, murder with the mouth, false oaths and pride as well as sexual immorality, robbery, and selfishness. For proof of this the [Jewish sages] cite the similarity between the Hebrew word for “skin disorder” (m’tzora) and the word “one who spreads slander”(motzeyra). They say that these skin disorders are “divine retribution for the offender’s failure to feel the needs and share the hurt of others. YHVH rebukes this antisocial behavior by isolating [such a person] from society, so that he can experience the pain he has imposed on others—and heal himself through repentance.”
These authors then cite the examples of Miriam’s skin turning white when she slandered Moses. We must not forget what occurred to Gehazi and to king Uzziah as well (2 Kgs 5:27; 2 Chr 26:19, 21).
It would be well for us to pause at this moment and to consider our own behavior with respect to our tongue. Thankfully, we’re under the grace of Elohim. But in the book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira found out what happens when one sins with one’s mouth and Elohim pulls back his hand of grace. They were instantly struck dead. As we get closer to the end of the age and the return of Messiah it is likely that Elohim will begin to require greater spiritual accountability of his people, especially of leaders, in the areas we are discussing. He wants to instill within his people the true fear of YHVH-Elohim and a repentant and contrite heart, and to turn people away from lukewarmness. It is likely that such rapid judgments as happened to Miriam, Korah et al, Gehazi, Uzziah, Ananias and Sapphira and others in the Scriptures will begin to occur soon, in our day, and may already be occurring.
The time for playing fast and loose with our mouths and other members of our bodies is over. We are all being called to account by Elohim. Be hot or cold, not in-between! Yeshua is not coming back for a Babylonian (half world and half Word-orientated lifestyle), sin-spotted bride, but one who is without spot and wrinkle.
On the subject of tzaraas, the Jewish Torah commentators state that this skin disease was like a red flag which if a person had it was regarded as a judgment from Elohim for the sin of slander, gossip, murder with the mouth, false oaths and pride as well as sexual immorality, robbery, and selfishness. That person was considered to be physically and spiritually contagious and so was put outside the camp of Israel until the disease was gone. According to Samson Raphael Hirsch, quarantine was a means of shocking the victim into recognizing his moral shortcomings and driving him to repentance.
It is the skin disease of tzaraas that the ten men of Luke 17 most likely had making them ritually impure and causing them to be legally banned from social contact with the rest of Jewish society. It was these social outcasts of the region of the historic homeland of the lost sheep of the house of Israel to which Yeshua was reaching out. These men knew they were spiritually and physically unclean and they cried out to the only one who could heal and save them—Yeshua the Messiah, whose very name means “salvation”.
Similarly, in the end times, the house of Israel (or the Christian church) will begin to recognize that many of its Torahless religious traditions have been inherited lies handed down from previous generations (Jer 16:19), that she has failed to remember her Torah-based marriage covenants with YHVH (Mal 4:4–6), and that the foreign lovers to which she turned spiritually did not satisfy her like YHVH her husband once had (Hos 2:7). The house of Israel (and the house of Judah) will eventually return to YHVH (Hos 2:6–7) in covenantal relationship (Jer 31:31, 33). They will no longer be a rejected people (Hos 1:6, 9). YHVH is beginning to call his people to come out of the filth of Torahlessness and spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4), and is urging them to stop forgetting his Torah (Hos 4:6; 8:1, 12). YHVH is pleading with both Judah (the Jews) and her sister Israel (Ephraim or the Christians) to return to him from their backslidden spiritual condition (Jer 3:6–14). Hosea prophesied that both the houses of Ephraim and Judah will eventually acknowledge their sin against YHVH (the sin of breaking their covenants with him and syncretizing themselves spiritually with the customs of the heathen nations around them, Hos 5:3), and will begin to seek YHVH eagerly (Hos 5:15). Hosea then prophesies that Messiah will return after three days (or in the third millennium) to “revive,” resurrect or resuscitate them spiritually and give to Israel new life (Hos 6:1–2), after which she will live in Messiah’s sight during the Messianic Age (or Millennium, verse 3).
Yeshua’s encounter with the ten lepers is an allegorical picture of this. After the Messiah healed the lepers, he instructed them to present themselves to the priests whose duty it was, according to the Torah, to declare that they were physically healed and ritually clean. This pronouncement on the part of the priests cleared the way for the former lepers to legally integrate themselves back into Jewish society without fear of retribution or ostracism. Now, Yeshua the Messiah is our Great High Priest (Heb 4:14–16) to whom all sinners must turn in order to be cleansed from their sins and to be made righteous (Heb 10:10–18).
It is interesting to note that one of the ten “lepers” was a Samaritan. These people were highly shunned and disdained by many in the Jewish culture of the first century. This mixed race people lived in the historic lands of the house of Israel. They were most likely comprised of Northern Kingdom Israelites and heathen Gentiles that the Assyrians had transplanted into northern Israel when they conquered that nation. Here Yeshua is reaching out to this people whom the Jews despised and rejected. Hosea prophesied that the house of Israel would mix herself with the nations of the world (Hos 7:8; 8:8), yet Yeshua reached out to these same type of people when he ministered to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), and when he commanded his disciples to take the gospel to Samaria (Acts 1:8).
This account of Yeshua’s ministry to the ten “lepers” teaches us that even though some lost and scattered Israelites may be in a state of extreme spiritual contamination and pollution brought on by sin or Torahlessness, YHVH’s grace is open to all—even those whom society shuns and considers to be at the lowest echelon.
Ezekiel 34 paints a clear picture of YHVH’s sheep who have been lost and scattered, but who YHVH, the True Shepherd, will regather. His sheep are starving spiritually, have been pillaged by evil and covetous shepherds and ravished by spiritual diseases and predators. Yeshua is that true Shepherd whose arms of love are still open wide (as they were while he was hanging on the cross). He takes upon himself the burdens of all lost Israelites, who are returning to him, and promises to heal and to feed them, and to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
What You Can Do
We must follow the example of Yeshua and reach out to anyone regardless of their race or religious affiliation and offer them the good news of spiritual healing and salvation through Yeshua the Messiah. The disease of sin has made all humans impure and separated us all from a loving relationship with YHVH Elohim through Yeshua. Only as we as come into contact with Yeshua the Savior, place our trust in him, and receive his mercy can we be made whole.