Bha’alatkah—The Menorah & Pentecost in the Tabernacle

In this video, we tie together the seven-branched, the importance of Shavuot or the biblical Feast of Pentecost in the context of the Tabernacle of Moses as it relates to the seven steps in the biblical plan of salvation. That’s a mouthful, but we inter-relate these seemingly disparate pieces of the puzzle to form a beautiful picture as it relates to new covenant followers of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Please enjoy this brief, power-packed presentation. For more intriguing information on the Tabernacle of Moses as it relates to YHVH’s plan of salvation, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#tabernacle and https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHdQZElQKo70hpY9b4a4dqOb, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9z1y-RI-sY&list=PL5EzE5DQnrHdQZElQKo70hpY9b4a4dqOb&index=2.

 

Shavuot 2022 Study Materials

Shavuot (the biblical Feast of Weeks or Pentecost) is fast approaching. Actually, it is this coming Sunday, June 12, 2022 the ancient, biblical abib barley, visible new moon calendar.

Here are some free study materials from Hoshana Rabbah by Nathan Lawrence that will help you understand, appreciate and celebrate this important and YHVH-commanded biblical festival.

May YHVH Elohim bless you as you love him and Yeshua the Messiah, his Son, by walking out his ancient Torah-paths of Truth and righteousness. YHVH’s river of life is waiting for you to jump into it! Be blessed…Enjoy the journey to Elohim through Yeshua our Lord and Savior.

Teaching articles on Shavuot

Blog articles on Shavuot

YouTube videos on Shavuot



 

First Fruits Day Prophesies Yeshua’s Death, Resurrection & Ascension

This video explains how Yeshua’s burial, resurrection and ascension to heaven was prophesied in minute detail 1,500 years earlier in the Torah’s amazing First Fruits Day barley grain rituals and some 700 years earlier in Isaiah 53. You will also learn what happened to Yeshua’s soul while he was in the grave and how that relates to his paying the price for our sins. Also learn why the New Testament mentions the death of Yeshua twice as many times as his resurrection. This information will strengthen your faith in the fact the the Bible is the divinely inspired, revealed Word of YHVH Elohim, and that Yeshua/Jesus is who the Bible says he is—the promised Messiah and humanity’s Savior or Redeemer who offers all who will believe in and follow him not only salvation from sin’s death penalty, but eternal life or immortality. Prepare to be amazed and inspired!

 

The Resurrection of Yeshua and First Fruits Day From a Whole Bible, Hebraic Understanding

In our day many Messianic redeemed believers are celebrating, or feeling a desire to celebrate, the resurrection of our Messiah. To scripturally validate the central importance of the resurrection of Yeshua as a core doctrine for Messianic redeemed believers, we will start by presenting to you a series of texts from the Tanakh (or Old Testament) with commentary that foretell of a Messianic Redeemer dying and then bodily resurrecting. We will then examine evidence that shows how the waving of the omer or barley sheaf on Wave sheaf Day pointed to Yeshua’s resurrection. We will then look at the Gospel account of the resurrection for some new insights from a Hebrew roots perspective, and then conclude by examining historical evidence pertaining to the early Christian church’s designation of a specific day to commemorate the resurrection of Yeshua. May this study strengthen the reader’s faith in the accounts of Yeshua the Messiah’s resurrection as recorded in the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament)!

An Analysis of Tanakh Scriptures That Predict the Resurrection of the Messiah

Psalm 16:10, For thou wilt not leave my soul [nephesh] in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy [chaseed or faithful, kind, pious, devout, saint, godly] One to see ­corruption [shakhath or decay of the grave according to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)].

Commentary: To whom is this verse referring? Obviously not normal humans whose bodies and souls go into the grave at the time of death (so says this verse) (to await the resurrection) and where they decay? Who in Scripture, but Messiah Yeshua resurrected after three days before his body could corrupt (start to decay)? According to Jewish thought bodily decay starts after three days.

Psalm 49:15, But Elohim will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. 

Commentary: This is a generic reference to the resurrection of the righteous. Using a kal v’khomer or light and heavy (a fortiori) rule of logic (or Rabbi Hillel’s first law of Biblical hermeneutics/interpretation) we can reason that if the righteous dead are resurrected how much more so the Messiah.

Psalm 22:26, The meek shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise YHVH that seek him. Your heart shall live for ever.

Commentary: See comment on Psalms 49:15.

Isaiah 26:19, Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 

Commentary: See comment on Psalms 49:15.

Isaiah 53:9-10, And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased YHVH to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong [arak means to continue long, make long, lengthen, draw out] his days, and the pleasure of YHVH shall prosper in his hand.

Commentary: Some see in this emphasized phrase either a reference to long life on the part of Messiah’s (spiritual) seed (descendants) which could be a reference to eternal life, or to the resurrection of the Messiah himself after he was “cut off from the land of the living” (verse 8) and “made his grave with the wicked” (verse 9) after which he would “prolong his days” through resurrection from the grave. 

Isaiah 53:11, He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 

Commentary: The Qumran Great Isaiah Scroll translates verse 11 as follow: 

Of the suffering of his soul he will see light and he will find satisfaction. And through his knowledge his servant, the righteous one will make many righteous, and he will bear their iniquities” (The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, by Abegg, Flint and Ulrich, p. 360; Harper Collins Publishers, New York, N.Y.:1999).

Note the emphasized portion that is missing in the Masoretic text from which our most common English Bibles’ “Old Testament” portions are derived. The New International Version (NIV) translates this verse as follows and notes in its footnotes that this phrase originates from the Isaiah Dead Sea Scroll and from the Septuagint (LXX):

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Note the Septuagint (LXX) translation of this verse: 

The Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to form him with understanding; to justify the just one who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins. [translated by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton (1807-1862) originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851]

The phrase, he will see the light etc., speaks of resurrection from the shadows of death into the light of life. What else could this mean except that Messiah will resurrect from the grave?

Genesis 3:15, (compare Col. 2:15 and Rev. 1:18) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. / And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [by resurrecting from the grave].

Hosea 5:15–6:3, I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto YHVH: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive [VHJ/chayah, to live, have life] us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know YHVH: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Commentary: This is a clear prophecy concerning the resurrection of the righteous dead of whom ­Messiah Yeshua is the first to raise. Verse two contains a Hebrew parallelism, which is a Hebraic literary device where the same thought is expressed differently back-to-back. As noted above, the word to live is the basic Hebrew root verb chayah meaning to live or to have life. The word raise up is the Hebrew word quwm/oUEmeaning to rise, arise, stand, stand up (Strong’s H6965; TWOT 1999). According to TWOT the basic meaning of this word “denotes rising up from a prostrate position (e.g. Josh. 3:16).” YHVH speaking here states in the broader context of this passage of his Messianic role as the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5), and that after presenting himself as such to both houses of Israel (Ephraim and Judah) in verse 14 Messiah would “go away … and none shall rescue him”, and then in verse 15, “I [Messiah speaking] will go and return to my place till they [Ephraim and Judah] acknowledge their offense and seek my face…” What is their offense? Isaiah 8:14 states that the offense both houses of Israel stumble over “the stone of stumbling and… rock of offense.” Who is this Rock of offense? Verses 8 and 10b identifies it as Immanuel (El with us), one of the titles of the Messiah. After two days (2000 years) YHVH will revive us—i.e., the righteous dead of Ephraim and Judah or those grafted to the olive tree or into the commonwealth of Israel through Messiah Yeshua (see Eph. 2:11–19) who are to raise up in the resurrection at the end of the age—and the third day, or in the third millennia from the time of Messiah’s first coming, or year 6000, Messiah will raise up Ephraim and Judah. Likewise Messiah Yeshua raised from the dead on the third day, becoming the first of the first fruits to raise from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20, 23) and he shall “go forth” and “shall come unto us” very much alive and leading his people in the Messianic Age (Millennium).

Genesis 22 and the “Sacrifice” of Isaac at Mount Moriah. 

Commentary: YHVH credited to Abraham’s spiritual account his willingness to sacrifice Isaac as if he had actually done so. In fact, there is an ancient rabbinical tradition that states Isaac actually died and was resurrected as the midrash states: “As the knife reached his throat, Isaac’s soul flew away and left [e.g., he died]. But when a  voice went forth from between the angels saying, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad’ (Genesis 22:12), his soul returned to his body” (Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 31 as quoted in The ArtScroll Davis Edition Baal HaTurim Chumash Bamidbar, p. 1417) (bracketed comments are in the original). The Jewish sages also note that Scripture states that both Abraham and Isaac ascended the mountain, but that it is recorded that only Abraham descended (22:19). Isaac’s absence from the Genesis narrative until many years later (Gen. 24:62) has given rise to much speculation on the part of the Jewish sages as to Isaac’s whereabouts in the interim (The ArtScroll Bereishis Vol. 1a, pp. 812-813). Regardless of the rabbinic interpretations, does Scripture leave Isaac out of the narrative as if to highlight his absence, and to give the impression (albeit a prophetic allegorical one) that he was actually sacrificed? After all, what was the ram caught in the thorn bush thicket (wearing a crown of thorns) by its two horns all about? That ram was a substitute sacrifice picturing whom? And who was it that commanded Abraham to lay down the knife and slaughter the ram instead? It was the Malak or Messenger of YHVH (verse 11-12) who was none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of YHVH-Yeshua some 1900 years before his appearance as the Messiah in human form on earth as the Lamb of Elohim slain from the foundation of the earth.

The Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering or First Fruits Day

In Messianic circles, a day has gained prominence for celebrating the resurrection of Yeshua. It is called by many, the Feast of First Fruits or simply First Fruits. In several books published by Messianic/Hebrew roots teachers, this day has been elevated to the status as one of the “feasts” of YHVH along with Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. In creating a special designation for this day—one, as we shall see later, that Scripture does not give it—most of these teachers curiously omit the last of YHVH’s seven “feasts” or miqra-ee kodesh (commanded assemblies); namely, The Eighth Day or Shemini Atzeret. This festival is a Sabbath and immediately falls after the Feast of Tabernacles. It has important spiritual significance and represents the formation of the New Heaven and New Earth and the descent of the New Jerusalem after the end of the 1000-year long Millennium on earth. It literally represents heaven-on-earth for eternity. It is, therefore, a shame to omit this most important festival of YHVH!

To read the rest of this article, go to: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/firstfruits.pdf

 

Why Does the New Testament Emphasize the Death of Yeshua More Than His Resurrection?

The Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) has more than twice as many references to the death of Yeshua (more than 99 references) than to his resurrection (approximately 49 references). Why is this? Why did the apostolic writers emphasize the death of Yeshua the Messiah more than his resurrection? This fact has perplexed some of us for years. We now will briefly explore why this may be.

To be sure, the resurrection of Yeshua is a momentous event in the history of the world not to be minimized or understated in any way, and is not sub par to the importance of his incarnation, life or death. Furthermore, had Yeshua not resurrected from the dead, there would be no hope of the resurrection of the saints, for as Paul writes,

And if Messiah is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of Elohim, because we have testified of Elohim that He raised up Messiah, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Messiah is not risen. And if Messiah is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Messiah, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Cor 15:14–19)

Adding to the perplexing fact that the Testimony of Yeshua emphasizes the death of Yeshua over his resurrection is that notable fact that of the seven biblical feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23 and elsewhere in Scripture, there no feast that specifically points to the resurrection of Yeshua. The day of Passover addresses Yeshua’s death and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the next biblical feast completely skips past the resurrection altogether. This is the Feast of Weeks, which corresponds to the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two, which also occurred fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection. 

So why is there no biblical holiday, contrary to popular but ill-informed opinion, specifically portraying the resurrection of the Messiah? In answer to this question, some Bible students will point to the so called  “Feast” of First Fruits (Lev 23:9–13) as the biblical holiday that answers to the resurrection of Yeshua. While First Fruits Day (the correct biblical name for this occasion) does definitely point prophetically to Yeshua’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, this day, according to the Torah, was neither a biblical feast or miqra kodesh or a high holy day Sabbath. Rather, it was a moed or divine appointment (all biblical feasts are moedim [the plural of moed], but not all moedim are feasts) on which the Levitical priest performed the ritual of offering up a sheaf of the barley first fruits before Elohim. But for the rest of the Israelites, First Fruits Day was not a Sabbath-day of rest or holy or sacred assembly (Heb. miqra kodesh). Rather it was a common work day when the Israelites went into their fields to harvest the newly ripened barley. (I discuss this subject at length in my 23 page article on this subject available at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/firstfruits.pdf.) To call First Fruits Day a feast is a misreading, if not a twisting, of Scripture. Facts are stubborn things for some people to deal with, but facts are truth, and truth is still truth regardless of people’s opinions to the contrary.

So now let us attempt to answer the question of why there is no biblical feast that specifically commemorates the resurrection of our Master and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah, and why the apostolic writers of the Testimony of Yeshua emphasized the death of Yeshua more than twice as much as his resurrections. First, it is the death of Yeshua and the shedding of his blood that saved humans from their sins, not his resurrection. Scripture is clear on this in both the Tanakh or Old Testament and the Testimony of Yeshua, for the Word of Elohim teaches us that the shedding of blood atones for man’s sin (for scriptural proof, see my article on this at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/atone.pdf). The New Testament Scriptures clearly state that Yeshua’s shed blood and not his resurrection is what redeemed or saved man from sin’s death penalty. One passage that specifically states this is Romans 4:25,

Continue reading
 

Theosis: The “Deification” of Man and the Tabernacle of Moses and the Biblical Feasts

The Tabernacle of Moses from its entrance to the its innermost room represents one’s progression in their spiritual journey starting with initial salvation progressing to the glorification of the physical body and eternal life in YHVH’s eternal spiritual kingdom. 

Entering through the front door of the tabernacle and progressing to the holy of holies is from the human perspective as one moves toward Elohim; it is the perspective of moving from the human to the spiritual plane of existence or that of the earthbound looking heavenward. However, from YHVH Elohim’s view from the glory cloud that has hovering over the holy of holies just above the ark of the covenant, the perspective was different. It was from the inside looking out, or from heaven looking downward. We will discus the contrasting viewpoints between the human and divine in a moment.

In the outer court of the tabernacle, all the rituals and furnishings therein pointed to death and judgment, as well as to washing or cleansing. These prophetically foreshadowed salvation through Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross, with Yeshua being the door to salvation, and one’s need to accept his death on the cross for one’s sins followed by the need of baptism for the remission of sins. 

In the set-apart (kadosh or holy) place inside the tabernacle, everything pointed to life, light, food, fragrant incense, the fruits and gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit—or life in a spiritual relationship with Elohim subsequent to one’s taking the beginning steps in the salvation process. 

In summary, the outer court speaks of basic salvation for the redeemed believer in Yeshua, while the holy place speaks of spiritual growth and maturity, and of moving from spiritual babyhood and then growing into spiritual adulthood or maturity. 

To understand this process of growing in spiritual maturity, it is necessary to comprehend the tripartite composition of the human being. Paul speaks of man being subdivided into three parts—body, soul and spirit (1 Thess 5:23). The tabernacle’s outer court seems to relate more to the physical or bodily realm of the person, while the holy place speaks more of the soul or intellectual, volitional and emotional aspects of one’s inner or psychological makeup. Finally, the holy of holies portrays man approaching YHVH through the realm of a person’s inner or personal spirit. 

As one progresses into the tabernacle, it is as if YHVH is drawing a person into an ever deeper relational walk with him starting at the most basic level progressing upward until one is finally communing with YHVH on a Spirit-to-(human personal)-spirit level (in the most holy place). It is the Father’s desire that his children progressively grow until each of us is communing with him at the highest spiritual level (see John 4:23–24). 

As noted earlier, this forward progression from the tabernacle’s entrance to its innermost room is but one way to view a person’s spiritual progression into the realm of the Spirit of Elohim. From YHVH’s perspective, looking from the inside of the tabernacle outward, the view changes. Although one has to enter the tabernacle through the outer gate and then go through various rites and rituals relating to a cleansing process before being allowed into the tabernacle itself, at the same time, we see YHVH starting to work with the person from the inside out. That is to say, when a person initially comes into a spiritual relationship with his Creator, YHVH first regenerates the person spiritually by putting his Set-Apart Spirit in the spirit of the person. In a sense, if the tabernacle is a picture of the tripartite subdivision of a person’s life (body, soul and spirit), then YHVH starts working from the inside out in one’s personal spirit, which is one’s personal holy of holies that is inside of them, if you will. From there, the Set-Apart Spirit goes to work on the person’s soul (mind, will and emotions) to transform it spiritually into the mind or image of Yeshua (Rom 8:28–29). This process will last a person’s lifetime. Finally, at the resurrection at Yeshua’s second coming, the saint’s will receive their redeemed and glorified or god-like body (1 John 3:1–2). At this time, they will become full-fledged, immortal spirit-children of Elohim (John 1:12). Though the Bible teaches that humans can become sons of Elohim and be like him as part of his divine family, man will never be equivalent to Elohim in a full sense (Isa 45:5, 6, 12, 18–19, 21–23). Only Elohim is the Creator, is without a beginning, and is all powerful, all knowing and all present. Man will never attain to this level.

The process of man going from being a physical and human creature to becoming an immortal and glorified child of the Most High, in theological terms, is called theosis, a Greek word meaning “deification or the act of becoming like deity.” This is an ancient Christian concept that is still held by the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church and refers to the spiritual process that occurs resulting in the deification of man. The goal of theosis is to become “like” (though not equal to) Elohim and to become eventually united with him spiritually. Theosis is the biblical concept of a redeemed or spiritually regenerated individual “becoming a partaker YHVH’s divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4), and being adopted into the family of Elohim (see the verses below). It is about man becoming like Elohim—becoming part of the family of Elohim as a child of Elohim (John 10:34; Ps 82:1; 1 John 3:1–3).

This is our theosis, that as the Ruach haKodesh (the Set-Apart or Holy Spirit) identified Yeshua as the Son of Elohim at his baptism, so we take the first steps of becoming a son of Elohim at our baptism when we become a new creation through Yeshua and the work of the Set-Apart Spirit (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17). At that time, one is begotten into the family of Elohim, and when one receives one’s glorified body at the resurrection one will be fully born or adopted into the family of Elohim as a full-fledged son of Elohim, for, as the Scripture says, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (1 John 3:1–3).

Paul refers to theosis in several places when he uses the term adoption.

Continue reading
 

Chag Sameach (Joyous) Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Here are some free resources from Hoshana Rabbah to make your celebration of the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag haMatzot) more meaningful: