Let’s go up to the mountain of Elohim…

Psalm 121:1, Lift my eyes to the hills. Hills is the Hebrew word har and also mean “mountain.” This psalm is a Song of Ascents. Ascents is the Hebrew word ma’alah meaning “elevation, that is, the act (literally a journey to a higher place, figuratively a thought arising), or (concretely) the condition (literally a step or grade mark, figuratively a superiority of station); specifically a climactic progression (in certain Psalms).” There are 15 ascent songs recorded in the psalms (from Psalm 120 through 134) that were song as the priests were climbing the steps to the temple; there was one song for each step. This first verse along with its title teaches us several things.

First, for the Israelites, coming into the set-apart or kadosh presence of Elohim was viewed as an upward, progressive movement, one step at a time like climbing a mountain. This was a slow, reverent, thoughtful and deliberate process accompanied by songs of worship and praise at each step. They literally “enter[ed] into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Ps 100:4).

Second, YHVH Elohim’s kadosh presence was metaphorically represented as being located on a mountain, which is the highest place on earth that represents heaven. This is why the temple was located in Jerusalem, which was the located on the highest geographical point in the land of Israel (with the exception of Mount Hermon in the extreme north). For this reason, when traveling to Jerusalem, Scripture almost always refers to it as “going up to Jerusalem,” for this is where the physical dwelling place of Elohim among his people was locate—at the highest point in the land of Israel. 

The laborious act of going up, like climbing a mountain, required physical exertion—especially since travel in ancient times was by foot. Whichever direction the Israelite pilgrim was traveling to Jerusalem from whether coming from the western coastal plains along the Mediterranean Sea or from Jordan Valley at the Dead Sea—the lowest point on earth, or from any other direction, the journey required hard work, perseverance, determination and endurance; all physical obstacles and gravity and fleshly limitations had to be overcome one step at a time. 

This journey to Jerusalem is an apt symbolic picture of the saints spiritual journey against the downward pulls of the world, the flesh and the devil that is required come into the heavenly presence of Elohim. Yeshua likens it to climbing a ladder—Jacob’s ladder (John 1:51).

The idea of Elohim’s presence being on a mountaintop was not lost on the heathens, who, in their perennial attempt to counterfeit the truth of Elohim and subvert humans to their own devilish religious systems, typically located the temples to their demon gods on mountains. 

This psalm, by contrast, enjoins YHVH’s people to lift their eyes up to him and view his presence as symbolically being on a mountain, rather than looking to demon gods, false religious systems and men’s governments and human institutions, which are often also located on hills or mountains. In this light, think of the Vatican located on its seven hills of Rome, or Mount Olympus, the Acropolis in Athens, the mountains of Tibet for those into Buddhism, the stereotypical guru is perched on some mountain top somewhere, Capital Hill in Washington D.C. as well as many churches and hospital complexes. These can all serve as false gods to which many people lift their eyes instead of the one true God of the Bible, YHVH Elohim.

 

Listen to your fathers, so your ashes won’t be trampled on!

Genesis 50:11, Beyond the Jordan. Beyond is the Hebrew word eber meaning “across.” This was the roundabout way of reaching Machpelah. The Jewish and Christian commentaries I have studied don’t give a good reason for Jacob’s burial entourage taking this most indirect route to the burial cave of the patriarchs. It’s possible that Jacob was, out of faith in the promises of Elohim, prophetically tracing the steps that his descendants would take several generations later in entering the Promised Land. It’s almost as if Jacob was showing the future generations of Israelites the route he wanted them to take from Egypt to the Promised Land to fulfill biblical types and shadows.

If Jacob’s intent was to show future generations of his descendants the route to enter the Promised Land, this begs a question for us. Do you have righteous parents? How about righteous spiritual fathers—the fathers of our faith such as the biblical apostles and prophets, Yeshua himself, and, of course Moses and the patriarchs? They have laid out the route for us to take to reach the Promised Land of our spiritual inheritance—the kingdom of Elohim or heaven. Are we following this path, or have we chosen another path? 

Malachi was the final prophet to close out the Old Testament or Tanakh before the coming of the promised Messiah. He uttered a strong warning to all who have ears hear and a heart to understand lest the fiery judgments of YHVH Elohim come upon you and your ashes be trampled under the feet of the righteous.

Remember the Torah-law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of YHVH. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. (Mal 4:4–6)

These are the final warning words and wise admonitions that close out the Tanakh. Let’s heed these wise words and turn our hearts back to the righteous fathers of our faith. Maybe they knew something that we don’t—the way to Elohim!

 

Unveiling Some Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 13:1–58, Yeshua reveals some fundamental mysteries pertaining to the kingdom of heaven. 

Let’s systematically analyze this amazing chapter section-by-section to see if we can unlock some deep mysteries pertaining to the kingdom of Elohim.

In the Parable of the Sower, Yeshua reveals that he is sowing the seeds of the gospel message far and wide across the field of the world (v. 38). That seeds falls on all types of ground and there are external influences (i.e. the world, the flesh and the devil) that affect whether the seed will germinate and come to fruition or not. The bottom line is that the majority of seed gets destroyed along the way and fails to produce fruit.

Yeshua then explains the purpose of parables (see comments on v. 14). The main point of this discussion is that only those who are genuine and earnest truth seekers will find the deep spiritual truths of Yeshua’s kingdom behind his parables. These are the ones who have “eyes to see and ears to hear” who will eventually become part of his kingdom. All others will fall by the wayside having disqualified themselves by their lack of spiritual zeal and tenacity to enter into his kingdom.

Continue reading
 

Provoking Your Thinking About “Going to Heaven When You Die”

John 3:13, No one has ascended to heaven. Most Christians believe that when they die, they immediately go to heaven in spite of Yeshua’s clear statement in this verse.

Moreover, many believers see this verse as referring to the saints who died before Yeshua’s resurrection, but not true of those who died afterwards, even though he doesn’t say this. Therefore, they reason, this is why, according to Peter, David, who was born before Yeshua, is still resting in his grave awaiting the last days resurrection (Acts 2:29). If what the majority of Christians believe on this subject were true, then the saints of old are second class citizens and YHVH is a respecter persons (which he is not, see Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11) in that they have to wait for resurrection day and for their ultimate reward of eternal life, while the saints born since Yeshua receive immortality immediately upon death.

Laying aside all the church traditions and doctrines of men, what does the Bible in the simplest and clearest terms say about the timing of the saints receiving immortality and their glorified bodies? Paul states that the resurrection of all the dead saints and their receiving immortality occurs not at the time of their physical death, but at the second coming of Yeshua at the last trumpet (1 Cor 15:51–54; 1 Thess 4:13–18 cp. Rev 11:15, 18). 

In reality, men’s eternal inheritance isn’t heaven, but will be the New Jerusalem, which is coming down from heaven to the new earth (Rev 21:2).

In reality, men’s eternal inheritance isn’t heaven, but the New Jerusalem, which is coming down from heaven to the new earth (Rev 21:2).


 

Down to Egypt (or “Hell”) or Up to the Jerusalem (or “Heaven”)?

Genesis 39:1, Down to Egypt…down there. 

There are more than twenty references in the Bible to “going down to Egypt,” coming “up from Egypt” or words to this gist. Egypt can be taken as a biblical metaphor for the secular world and all that is in it that is in opposition to YHVH’s paths of righteousness. Egypt represents the low spiritual way of following the world, flesh and the devil that is evil that leads to death and separation from Elohim, while the Promised land, and specifically Jerusalem, is a metaphor for the spiritual high place of truth, righteousness and godliness that leads to eternal life. This is why the Bible speaks of “going down to Egypt” and “going up to Jerusalem.” 

Each person has only two choices in life on how they will conduct their lives. They must make a choice—they will make a choice purposely or inadvertently. They can choose the proverbial downward path or the highway to hell or the upward path or the highway to heaven. Everyone Continue reading


 

How Do You Come Before the Throne of Elohim in Heaven?

Leviticus 16:1—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator

How do humans come into the presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and many improper ways. The Torah’s discussion pertaining to the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) reveal to us what the proper protocol is and also alludes to the fact that there is an improper way to approach the Almighty Creator as well—something which brings disastrous results.

Now YHVH spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before YHVH, and died… (Lev 16:1)

Elohim killed Nadab and Abihu because they came into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses (a representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room) in a careless and indifferent manner. Not only were they intoxicated with alcohol, but they failed to follow the proper ceremonial protocols outlined by YHVH Elohim to come into his presence. The next few verses lay out what those protocols are to come before the King of the universe. To not follow those protocols brings the death penalty on the person. Such a person is entering illegally as an unauthorized trespasser.

Before exploring how to enter the presence of Elohim properly, let’s bring this abstract concept down to a level we can understand. For example, who hasn’t seen signs on private property that say something like this: “Private Property, No Trespassing,” “Government Property, No Trespassing,” “Unauthorized Entrance Prohibited,” “Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law,” or “Violators Will Be Shot”? What happens to an uninvited intruder who climbs over the fence around the White House or Continue reading


 

The Manifest Presence of Elohim Transforms a Person

Exodus 25:22, There I will meet with you. Between the two cherubim was the glowing, anointed, manifest Presence of YHVH called the Shekinah. This pictures the glories of the New Jerusalem and life happily ever after for Yeshua and his spiritual bride.

The manifest Presence of Elohim is the last of seven “items” in the tabernacle and it is also the one ingredient that is missing in all the other religions of the world. Yes, many of the world’s false religions have their signs, wonders and supernatural experiences, but these are cheap demonic counterfeits that only imitate the real thing. In the end, despite all that they promise, they bring shame, confusion, guilt and eventual death and eternal separation from Elohim.

In the Tabernacle of Moses, the first six items were made with human hands. Six is the number of man. YHVH’s Presence cannot be constructed by the hand or mind of man. It just is, and it doesn’t come as a result of anyone conjuring it up. It comes as a result of repentance, holiness, obedience and humans seeking Elohim with all their hearts, while following the protocols he has laid out, which, when followed, lead to him. There is no other way.

The Presence of Elohim is what is missing in every other of the world’s religious systems. It was even missing in the Second Temple!

In YHVH Elohim’s Presence, a human is miraculously changed and transformed spiritually from the inside out.

There I will [Heb. ya’ad] meet with you…I will commune [Heb. d’bar]…I will give you. This entire verse is pregnant with spiritual meaning relating to the holy of holies, which was YHVH’s point of contact between heaven and earth. From this Continue reading