Obtaining Ultimate Salvation—A Process, Not a One Time Event

Deuteronomy 2:31, Begin to possess [the Promised Land]. Possession of the Promised Land was a process. This concept is as true for us as much as it was for the children of Israel.

The idea in mainstream Christianity that when you receive salvation at the beginning of your spiritual walk and that’s all there is to possessing or entering the kingdom of Elohim is a seriously incomplete one. It doesn’t fit the biblical models or the teachings of the apostolic writers about the need for the believer to persevere and overcome to the end to receive his ultimate eternal inheritance.

When this verse states that Israel “began to possess [the Promised Land],” what does this mean? Why didn’t YHVH give it to Israel all at once? What did Israel have to do to “possess” the land? What do we have to do to possess our spiritual inheritance? Does YHVH just hand it to us, or do we have to persevere, overcome and fight for it?

Leaving Egypt is a picture of a believer’s initial salvation, while entering the Promised Land is a picture of a believer’s ultimate salvation involving his glorification or the redemption of his physical body and being granted eternal inheritance at the resurrection. It’s also a picture of rewards for obedience. 

Much more could be said on this subject, and the apostolic writers show us. Suffice it so say, the idea that the mainstream church propagates that receiving salvation is a one time event like getting your ticked punched to a movie or amusement park ride falls woefully short of the biblical truth and has led many people astray spiritually. Yes, the initial steps in the process are relatively easy, but then there’s the repentance, the spiritual walk, the obedience and lordship of Yeshua, the overcoming, and the levels of rewards. All of these things are precursors and steps in the process to actually receiving eternal life and a resurrected glorified body.

The children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and their subsequent 40 years journey to the Promised Land is a picture of this process and all the steps in between. It’s a picture of the redeemed believer’s life and all of the faith-building struggles one must encounter before entering the the Promised Land of their ultimate spiritually inheritance.

The idea that the saint can have it all here and now is not a biblical one, but an ear-tickling message promoted by hireling gospel peddlers and corporate church merchandizers who have something to sell you. Beware of these false teachers who refuse to tell you the whole truth as presented in the Bible! Let the buyer beware.

 

Religious Labels: To Use or Not to Use? That Is the Question

Labels, names, monikers, titles and the like—what’s it all really mean? Nothing and everything.

What does Elohim think of our churches, denominations, and the titles and labels we put on our religious boxes? Who knows, but I’m guessing not much. He’s playing a much bigger game than his children most of whom are playing church in their little denominational sandboxes. After all, he and/or she (see Gen 1:27; 5:2) is the Creator of the universe and is quite above all of man’s puerile nonsense. Elohim isn’t for or against anyone. He’s not one one side or the other, for one denomination or another, for one political party or another, for one —ism or another. Elohim is Elohim and has a bigger “game” to play! He’s not a sectarian, and doesn’t play the us versus them sophomoric game. Elohim is on his/her own side—the side of Truth! Elohim is for anyone or anything that is on his side and against anyone who is against him.

Remember when Joshua encountered a Man near Jericho who identified himself as the Commander of the Army of YHVH in Joshua 5:13–15? What was the Man’s response when Joshua asked whose side he was on: Israel or her enemies? Did he fall into Joshua’s categorical labeled boxes, his denominational delineations, where it’s us versus them? Hardly! The answer of the Man of Elohim was  quite curious. A one word answer. “NO.” I take that to mean that Elohim refused to fall into men’s cultural and religious demarcations. He’s Elohim and he’s on his own side. If we do what he tells us, he’ll be on our side too. If not, then the Scriptures clearly tells us that he’ll set his face against us. Not a good thing!

To take it one step further, with whose religious denomination did Yeshua identify? Pharisee, Sadducee,  Essene or what? The Gospels record that he came out in favor and disfavor of the first two sects on several occasions. A study of the Qumran scrolls that he taught some of Essenes’ teachings and definitely was against others. No. Yeshua was his own man, and he was not tied to any sect. He was tied to heaven—the the Truth of the Word of Elohim. Period.

Now to rock someone’s boat even more, and to prove how little I care about religious titles, names and labels, even as YHVH does, let me make this declaration:

  • I am Baptist in that I agree with them in full water baptism.
  • I am Pentecostal in that I believe in the gift of tongues and in what happened on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2—plus I celebrate Pentecost.
  • I am Seventh Day Adventist in that I keep the seventh day Shabbat and believe in the second advent or coming of Yeshua the Messiah.
  • I am Protestant in that I protest against all the evils of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • I am Catholic in that I believe in the universality of the spiritual body of Yeshua.
  • I am Christian in that I believe in Jesus Christ, whose real name I acknowledge as Yeshua haMaschiah.
  • I am sacred names in that I use the Hebraic names for deity.
  • I am Christian orthodox in that I believe in the right or straight way of the Bible.
  • I am Jewish in that I follow the Torah as best I can and in the Tanakh or Old Testament.
  • I am Presbyterian in that I believe in church leadership.
  • I am Charismatic in that I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit/Ruach haKodesh.
  • I am Messianic in that I believe in the Yeshua, the Maschiach of Israel.
  • I am Hebrew Roots in that I believe in the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.
  • I am Shaker and Quaker in that when I come into the presence of YHVH Elohim, I always shake and quake in my spirit and sometimes in my body.
  • I am Apostolic in that I believe in the ministry of the apostle.
  • I am Latter Day Saint because I am a latter day saint who follows Yeshua the Messiah and his Torah and this is how the Bible defines the end time saints in Rev 12:17 and 14:12.
  • I am Assemblies of God in that I believe that the church belongs to Elohim.
  • I am Foursquare because I believe that the New Jerusalem is a cube.
  • I am Calvary Chapel because I believe that Yeshua died at Calvary, the Greek name for Golgotha.

And I could go on.

 

Church Activities Per the Testimony of Yeshua (NT)


Acts 13:14–15, A synagogue service. In that day as in our day, a typical Jewish Sabbath day synagogue service involved reading the from the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh and then hearing a teaching on what was read or on some other biblical subject. Add these Sabbath day activities to those mentioned in Acts 2:42, 47; 1 Tim 4:13; Eph 5:19–20; Col 3:16; Jas 5:13–14 and 1 Cor 14:26 and we have a list of activities the early believers did when they came together. These include

  • Teaching the word of Elohim (including the Torah), teaching doctrine, presenting the gospel (Acts 2:40–42; 1 Cor 14:26; 1 Tim 4:13)
  • Baptizing new converts (Acts 2:41)
  • Fellowshipping (Acts 2:42)
  • Sharing meals together (Acts 2:42
  • Praying for the sick (Jas 5:14)
  • Singing psalms (Gr. psallo meaning “to play on a stringed instrument a praise song to Elohim,  Jas 5:13) or to give a psalm (Gr. psalmos meaning “a striking, twanging, of a striking the chords of a musical instrument, of a pious song, a psalm, 1 Cor 14:26), for singing in general (1 Cor 14:15)
  • Confessing one’s sins one to another (Jas 5:16)
  • Praying for one another (Jas 5:16) or prayer in general (1 C or 14:14–15)
  • Turning those who are wandering from the truth back to Elohim (Jas 5:19)
  • Reading the Scriptures (1 Tim 4:13)
  • Exhorting (Gr. paraklesis meaning “calling near, summons, importation, supplication, entreaty, admonition, encouragement,consolation, comfort, solace,” 1 Tim 4:13)
  • Exercising the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12) including speaking in tongues and prophesying (1 Cor 14:12, 26, 29, 39)
  • Giving spiritual revelations (1 Cor 14:26)

How many modern day churches do all of these things on a regular basis? If not, maybe it’s time to find a new church…

 

What Is a “New Testament” Church Supposed to Do?

Acts 2:42, 46, They continued. This passage along with 1 Tim 4:13 is a list of activities the early saints did when they gathered together. This included continuing steadfastly in the apostles’s doctrine, which includes “reading [the “Old Testament” Scriptures], exhortation, [studying or teaching] doctrine” (1 Tim 4:13), fellowshipping, eating meals together, praying and praise [and worshipping] Elohim.

Expounding on this further, we read in 1 Cor 14:26, “Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Spiritual gifts should be exercised when the saints come together as well (1 Cor 14:12).

How many modern church gatherings habitually incorporate these elements into their weekly meetings?

 

Golden Calf Worship Among YHVH’s People Today

Are YHVH’s people still prone to golden calf worship today?

Some things never change, since human nature is still the same today as it was thousands of years ago when the children off Israel worshipped the golden calf.

So let’s explore this question.

Let’s look at the series of events that occurred as the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, which have major relevance to what is occurring in mainstream Christianity in our day. If we fail to learn the lessons of history, we’ll likely repeat the mistakes of history. It has to do with golden calf worship.

YHVH redeemed the children of Israel out of Egypt and set the slaves free. He blessed them not only by giving them their freedom, but by giving them the wealth (gold and silver) of Egypt as well. We read that the Israelites exited of Egypt with a high hand. They were victorious, free and wealthy.

YHVH led them into the wilderness en route to the Promised Land—normally an eleven day journey. They had some difficulties: Pharaoh tried to kill them at the Red Sea, they lacked clean drinking water, and they had food issues, but YHVH provided them deliverance from Pharaoh, gave them clean water, manna and meat, and they overcame these trials.

Next, YHVH led the Israelites to the foot of Mount Sinai, and on Shavuot he made a covenantal agreement with them and gave them his Torah as their national constitution. They agreed to obey him and to keep his commandments. He promised to bless them if they remained faithful to him.

Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah-covenant on two tablets of stone. While he was gone for 40 days, the people grew worried and anxious and become weary of waiting for Moses to return.  This was a test they had to pass of their faithfulness. Would they be faithful to YHVH and keep his commandments, or would they stray spiritually from the path of righteousness YHVH had given them and they had agreed to follow?

The Israelites got tired of waiting, and took the gold from Egypt and turned it into a golden calf, and then they rose up to play (to party). They even called their revelry a feast to YHVH! They used religious verbiage like “YHVH” and “feast” to add legitimacy to their Continue reading

 

Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy (Pt 2)

To read part one of this post, go to https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2017/12/12/genesis-42-46/

Judah Approaches Joseph (Gen 44:18)

Judah came near to Joseph was willing to lay down his life for his younger brother (Gen 44:18–34). This is another prophetic picture of the future Messiah who would come to this earth in willingness to give his life as a ransom to save his brothers. The Scriptures call Yeshua the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5) who initiated the process in seeking to save his brothers who were spiritually lost (Rom 5:8; Luke 19:10; Matt 18:11; ), and who Yeshua referred to as the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6; 15:24).

Joseph Had to Reveal Himself (Gen 45)

The brothers didn’t recognize Joseph because he resembled an Egyptian; he had to reveal himself to them. Today, Christians (the descendants of Joseph according to Gen 48:16, 18 and Rom 9:24–27 and the descendants of Abraham according Eph 2:11–19; Gal 3:7, 14, 28, 29), are revealing themselves to their brother Judah through several ways:

  • Through donating money to Jewish relief agencies.
  • Through Christian tourism of Israel.
  • Through Christian interfaith organizations (Bridges for Peace, Christians United for Israel, Christian Friends of Israel, etc.).
  • Through the Messianic Jewish Movement
  • Through the Messianic Israel Movement.
  • Through America’s (and Britain’s) military, political and economic support of the nation of Israel.

Two Messiahs in One Story

Judah and his brothers didn’t recognize Joseph; he had to reveal himself to them (Gen 45:1–4). They were “blinded” to Joseph’s identity. Most of Judah has spiritual blindness to this day (Rom 11:25). They are largely blind to Yeshua the Messiah, son of Joseph, and to the fact that Christians (many of whom are the descendants of Abraham through Joseph) are their long lost brothers. So in our story, Judah plays a dual role: that of spiritually blind Judah and that of the Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. His former role is prophetically emblematic of the Jewish nation including the modern Jews who have been largely blind to their Messiah (the Son of Joseph), and in the latter role as Yeshua the Messiah who was willing to lay down his life to save his brothers.

Even as Judah was a prophetic antetype of the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah, likewise Joseph also fulfilled an antetypical role of the Messiah. He too was the spiritual father of his people—Ephraim and Manasseh—the dominate tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who went into apostasy and become as “lost sheep” among the nations of the world (Hos 7:8; 8:8; Ezek 34:16 and numerous other scriptures). Therefore, Joseph prophetically represents the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and the Messiah who would come and seek out those sheep.

The Jewish sages have seen a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah Son of Joseph (Mashiach ben Yosef), the Suffering Servant in the story of Joseph. They have written about the Suffering Servant Messiah figure, who they felt would be a descendant of Ephraim and who would come to redeem the lost sheep or exiles of the house of Israel in preparation for a second Messiah to come. They refer to him as the Conquering King or the Messiah the Son of David (Mashiach ben David). Although I have found no instances where they also identify Judah with the coming Messiah, it is not hard to see some allusions to this in the interplay between Joseph and Judah. Let’s note what the sages write about Joseph as well as the descendants of his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Notice the striking similarities between modern Christians and those the Jewish sages viewed would be the followers of Messiah Son of Joseph?

What kind of blessing was this prediction that one day [Jacob’s] descendants—the Ten Tribes—would be scattered among the nations? R. Munk explains: while it is true that the dispersion 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 God” 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 God, ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the … Messiah son of Joseph (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 … Messiah Son of David…. (emphasis added, note bolded part).

The Family of Israel Is Finally Reunited/Regathered (Gen 46:1–7)

These verses recount the move of Jacob and his family to Egypt where they were reunited with Joseph and his family. This event prophetically foreshadows a time in the future that the Jewish sages call the final redemption, which is to occur at the coming of Messiah Son of David as he comes to establish the Messianic Era (Millennium). The sages teach that an aspect of that final redemption includes the reunification of the two houses of Israel into one kingdom under Messiah Son of David, which is prophesied in Ezekiel 37:15–28. Interestingly, from antiquity, the Jewish sages have chosen Ezekiel’s prophecy as the corresponding scripture passage from the biblical prophets (called the Haftorah) which, in their understanding, best correlates to the Torah portion (parashah) that includes Genesis 46. These sages understood that the events recorded here in the lives of the patriarchs are indications of future events that would occur in the lives of their descendants.

The final redemption or regathering and then the reuniting of Judah and Ephraim at Messiah’s return is mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures (e.g., Hos 5:15–6:4; 1:11; Acts 3:21; Ezek 37:25). This will be a supernatural work of the Spirit of Elohim (Ezek 36:19–32).

Life in the Land of Goshen (Gen 46:34)

After the reunification of the divided family, the Israelites settled in Goshen, which was in the Nile River delta area and was, and to this day is, the prime farm land of Egypt. It was a veritable promised land compared to the arid regions of Canaan.

Prophetically, could Israel’s settling in Goshen after being reconciled and reunited be a spiritual shadow picture of the Millennium? I believe so.

The Jewish sages have long taught that history for the people of Israel is continually repeating itself in cyclical patterns as YHVH accomplishes his purposes among his people over and over again. He is continually endeavoring to reveal his plan of redemption and reconciliation to those who have eyes to see. He is continually reaching out the loving hand of redemption to the next generations of Israelites. This cycle, like a wheel that keeps turning around and around, will turn one more time in the last days in what the sages refer to as the final regathering of the exiles or the final redemption of Israel. This will involve not only the resurrection of the dead, but the reuniting of the divided kingdom of Israel, the regathering of the Israelite scattered exiles back to the land of Israel, and the coming of the Messiah who will set up his reign over this earth called the Messianic Era. This is even better known in Christians circles as the Millennium. The Jewish sages have taught this for thousands of years—and still teach it—because they had read and believed what the biblical prophets have written in this regard.

Conclusion

I believe that the story of the reuniting of Joseph with his brothers a prophetic antetype speaking to the future reunification and redemption of the two houses of Israel with the Messiah as the initiator and focal point of this redemptive process. This process began to occur at the first coming of Yeshua and will culminate at his second coming and it involves the regathering of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This process will climax at the end of the age where the children of Israel will be regathered and reunited to worship YHVH in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) under the rulership of King Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Joseph/David (Ezek 37:15–28) during the one-thousand-year-long Millennium.

 

Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin in End Times Prophecy

Here are a few of my thoughts on who Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin represent in end times Bible prophecy.

In studying the Jewish sages of old, I am amazed at how prescient they were about end time events. They gained this understanding often as they studied the lives of notable biblical characters.The sages had the strong sense that history would repeat itself— often again and again for the people of Elohim. This they observed in the cyclical patterns of Israel’s own history where YHVH gave them the truth, they remained faithful to it for a while, and turned from it, were punished and then returned to Elohim only to have the cycle repeat itself again and again.

As I have studied their method of predicting the future based on past events in Israel’s history, this has led me to some of my own speculations, which I present to you below.

Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh Antetypical of Christianity

Joseph’s wife was the daughter of an Egyptian priest. Jospeh married into the religious system of Egypt. He is a picture of Christian church, which has married itself to Babylon by syncretizing itself with certain pagan traditions and belief systems. Joseph is a picture of the end time lukewarm church. Ephraim and Manasseh were products of the union of Joseph (an Israelite) and Potifera (an Egyptian). Though they were Israelite, they were genetically a mixture of both Israelite and Egyptian blood. In fact, they resembled Egypt so much that Jacob, when blessing them, didn’t even recognize who they were. They were strangers to him. Though they were spiritual mulattos, their spiritual destiny was to identify wholly with their Israelite heritage, which would necessitate their renunciation of their Egyptian ties. In the end times, YHVH is calling Christians to renounce the pagan ties they have through their association with the harlot church system and to come completely out of spiritual system of Babylon, which is a mixture of biblical truth with pagan traditions and traditions of men the make of non-effect the word of Elohim.

Benjamin Is Antetypical of the End-Time Bride of Yeshua

Benjamin was the “son of my [Jacob’s] right hand.” He was Jacob’s youngest and most beloved son (after Joseph’s departure). Judah was willing to lay down his life for his youngest brother. Because of the love Judah had for Benjamin, the descendants of both tribes never separated, and the tribe of Benjamin stayed permanently identified with the tribe of Judah. Even Paul, the Jew and an apostle to the Gentiles, was from the tribe of Benjamin.

In the end times, Christians are like Joseph and his two sons. Most Christians take after Manasseh, which means “forgetful” in that they have forgotten the Torah. Those Christians who love Yeshua and keep his (Torah) commandments take after Ephraim, which means “doubly fruitful” in that they have both Yeshua and the Torah. Judah is both a picture of the Jews and of Messiah Yeshua, while Benjamin could also be a picture of the remnant of Torah-keeping believers who have permanently attached themselves to their Hebrew roots, to the Torah, to Yeshua and who have no involvement with the spiritual Babylon.

Joseph Is a Type of the American Government

Joseph became ruler of Egypt. In the end times, America, which is the largest Christian nation and hence contains the largest number of Joseph’s descendants (through Ephraim), is the leader of spiritual Babylon. In Egypt there were seven years of plenty, then seven years of famine. Egypt was the greatest nation of the world at the time. When the world (and Egypt) fell on hard times economically due to famine, Joseph turned Egypt into a socialistic state. This he accomplished through the Egyptian government’s purchase of all the means of production, the land and by indebting the world to it and by turning its own people into serfs working for the government. Is this same scenario happening in America? We have had our years of prosperity, and now we are entering into seven lean years where the government’s answer to these problems is to socialize this nation at a rapidly expanding rate including the nationalizing, in part, of more and more of the private business sector.

 

The Rise of Secular Humanism—The Devil’s Religion

The Devil’s Original Lie and the Religion of the New World Order

We are presently watching unfolding before us an epic and cosmic struggle between the forces of evil and good. The world system or cosmos of the devil is pitted against the unalterable and immutable plans, purposes and Word of the sovereign Creator of the universe, YHVH Elohim.

At the center of this battle is man. He was created in the image of Elohim and destined to become a son of Elohim. The Adversary, on the other hand, wants to make man into his image—a son of perdition. Man has to choose whom he will follow. To sit on the sidelines, ignore the battle and not to choose is, by default, to choose the side of the devil. Man must carefully choose his course of action, for the consequences are eternal. Inaction—not to choose—is to ignore the battle and by default to choose the side of the devil.

That battle will reach its nexus at the end of the age, just prior to the return of the Messiah. Will man fall for the lies of the counterfeit Messiah, or remain faithful to the Truth and Word of the real Messiah? To resist the deceiver and not fall for his lies one must know the face of his enemy: his tactics, game plan and the nature of his deception. The lies he will use in the end times to woo the multitudes to his side are not new. The tactics and game plan are the same, for it has never changed from the beginning. What are the lies he will use to seduce man to his side of this struggle? When did the deceiver first ply his trade? The answers are in the Book of Life.

The Big Lie and Its Origin—The Scriptures Speak of a “Lie”

There are those who turn from the revealed truth of Elohim and turn to believing a lie as Romans 1:24–25 states:

Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

The Man of Sin/Lawlessness will cause many to turn from YHVH’s truth and believe a lie as 2 Thessalonians 2:7–12 states:

For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now restrains will do so, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom YHVH shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause Elohim shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Outside of the New Jerusalem will be those wicked ones who believe a lie as the Book of Revelation states:

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Rev 21:27)

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. (Rev 22:14–15)

The primary meaning of these passages is referring to those who have exchanged the truth of YHVH for a lie. But what lie? Who did Yeshua say was the father of lies (John 8:44)? The devil is, of course. So, ultimately all lies that humans believe had to have originate from those lies the devil through the serpent told the first humans in the Garden of Eden.

What Was This “Big Lie”?

Fundamentally, all big lies against the truth of YHVH actually originate from several big lies with which the serpent seduced Adam and Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 3:1–5). The serpent told the following lies: Continue reading