Insights from Matthew 24—the Olivette Prophecy

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

Matthew 24:29, 31, Immediately after the tribulation…gather the elect. If no other verse disproves the pre-trib rapture theory, this one does. Here Yeshua clearly states that the gathering of the saints to meet Yeshua as he is coming in the clouds occurs not only after the tribulation, but after the great tribulation (v. 21). The tribulation and great tribulation are separate events from the wrath of Elohim, which John describes as being part of the seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1).

Matthew 24:29, 30, Sun will be darkened…sign of the Son of Man. Here Yeshua tells us that certain harbingers of his second coming will occur first. These include phenomenon occurring in the heavens involving the sun, moon and the stars. After this, a miraculous sign in the heavens will occur, and then Yeshua will come. Between the signs of the sun, moon and stars and the final miraculous sign of his coming there’s a gap in time. Yeshua later revealed to John the cosmic disturbances involving the sun, moon and stars would correspond with the sixth seal (as part of the of the great tribulation that occurs before Elohim pours out his wrath on the earth) of Revelation 6:12–17. After this, Elohim pours out his wrath upon the earth (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1), and then the second advent of Yeshua occurs.

Does the sign of the Son of Man coming (Matt 24:30lp) occur before or after the wrath of Elohim? That’s hard to say, but since Yeshua states that between the two events that all men will mourn, perhaps this is a veiled reference to the wrath of Elohim that is to be poured out on unregenerate men during the seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven bowl judgments described in the Book of Revelation. Why else would men be mourning? The intervening time between the Continue reading

 

Scattered and Regathered—YOU are a fulfillment of this prophecy!

Deuteronomy 32:21, I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. The term not a people is the Hebrew phrase lo-am. Curiously this same phrase occurs in several other references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) in reference to the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel (Ephraim) and is repeated by several apostolic writers in reference to the “Gentiles” or “peoples of the nations” (which is the meaning of the Greek word ethnos translated as gentiles). (See Isa 7:8; Hos 1:9; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9–10.) In Romans 9:25, Paul equates the “Gentiles” with the same people-group to which Hosea makes reference in Hosea 2:23. To whom is Hosea referring in his prophecy? (Read Hos 1:4,6; 4:15–17, chapter 5; 6:10–11; 7:1–11; chapter 8; etc.). Remember that the nation of Israel split into two groups at the time of Jeroboam and Rehoboam: the Northern Kingdom comprised of the ten northern tribes of Israel and referred to in Scripture as Ephraim, House of Israel and Samaria while the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah, the House of Judah and Jerusalem.

Where are these Ephraimites today? The answer can be found in Genesis 48:14 and 16 where the patriarch Jacob is prophesying over the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. Can you find any clues in these two verses that may point to a religious people-group in existence today on earth? What sign does Jacob make with his arms when placing them on the heads of his two grandsons? Is it coincidental that it is the sign of the cross? Then in verse 16, Jacob recounts his experiences with the Angel or literally Heavenly Messenger who “redeemed me from evil.” This is a reference to Genesis 31:1–11 where, while fleeing from Laban, Jacob’s adversary, he had a dream where the Messenger of Elohim calls himself the El of Bethel (or the El/God of the House of El/God). Who is the Messenger of Elohim who is also a Redeemer? (See Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12.)

Finally, Jacob prophesies that his grandsons’ descendants would grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. The word grow is the Hebrew word dagah/VDS from which the Hebrew word dag/DS or fish derives. This is why the ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translates this phrase as “may they proliferate abundantly like fish within the land.”

The question is then begged, what religious people-group on earth today can be associated with a cross, a Redeemer and a fish? Knowing this will give us a clue as to whom Paul and the other writers in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT) were referring when they equated the “Gentiles” with “a foolish nation” and “not a/my people.”

Deuteronomy 32:26, I will scatter them into the corners. How was this prophecy fulfilled to Israel? Who in Israel was scattered and forgotten? Certainly not the Jews. They were scattered, but not forgotten. Verses 28–29 say of these people that they are void of counsel and understanding and lacked wisdom. These are all terms relating to the Torah. Who today has forgotten the Torah and says it is “done away with”? Who says that it brings death not life (in contradistinction to verse 47)? Who has inherited (theological) lies from their spiritual fathers (Jer 16:19, read verses 14–21 for context) who say that “the law has been done away”? Will there be a spirit of Elijah move of the Spirit of Elohim in the last days to turn the scattered and backslid children’s heart back to their spiritual fathers and does this involve returning to the Torah of Moses (Mal 4:4–6)? It is interesting to note that The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash states that this verse “refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes who were scattered to an unknown place where they were never heard from again” (p. 1105).

It is important to note that the ten northern tribes of Israel or Ephraim, as Scripture often shortened their name to, were scattered over the face of the whole earth after they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians (Ezek 34:6,12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52). In regards to Deuteronomy 32:26 which says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” The Orthodox Jewish The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach Chumash comments, “This refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes, who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again.” On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men …” the same Chumash states, “This is a reference to the exile of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.” It goes on to say that though nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it (pp. 1105–1106). Hirsch in his commentary on the Pentateuch on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner …” He, too, relates this fate to the Ten Tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (p. 650).

 

Galatians Chapters 4 to 6 Explained Hebraically

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Gal 4:1–5, When we were in the world, we were spiritual slaves to the elements (rudiments or principles) of the world. As worldly sinners (Torah violators, 1 John 3:4), we came under the death penalty, for the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). We needed the Torah as a guardian or steward to tell us what sin was and to lead us to repentance and to the Messiah, who came to redeem us from being under the curse or penalty for violating the law, which is sin. This is him showing sinners his grace. If, as the mainstream church teaches, Yeshua came to set us free from the law, so that we no longer have to obey the law, then we are turning the grace of Elohim into lasciviousness (lewdness, licentiousness or licence to sin or to violate the Torah), which as Jude says, only ungodly men do (Jude 4). Or as Paul asks in Romans, do we make the law void through grace? Elohim forbid, may it never be, is his response (Rom 3:31).

Gal 4:8–20, This passage is difficult to understand. Are the “weak and beggarly elements” (v. 9) speaking about “the elements, rudiments or principles of the world” to which Paul makes reference earlier (in v. 3) and to which the Gentiles had been in bondage (v. 3) before coming to salvation—before they knew Elohim (vv. 8–9)? Or are the “weak and beggarly elements” referring to the Torah? The latter interpretation is what the mainstream church teaches; however, this doesn’t seem to be what Paul is saying here. How could the Gentiles return again to something they never had in the first place—which they had done “when you did not know Elohim” as Paul states in verse 8? They never had the Torah before coming to faith in Messiah. They did, however follow the pagan, Torahless customs of the world. This is what the “weak and beggarly elements” are. Not the Torah!

Gal 4:10, Are these days, months seasons and years referring to pagan holidays and observances, which are aspects of the weak and beggarly elements of pagan worship? If so, why should we think it strange that the Galatian believers were still observing pagan holidays? In our day, hasn’t the mainstream church replaced YHVH’s feasts and Sabbath with pagan festivals? On the other hand, the mainstream church teaches that in this verse not only is Paul referring to the biblical feasts and Sabbath, but that he is here abrogating the biblical Sabbath and feasts. Is this the case? If Paul is referring to the biblical feasts and Sabbath, let’s bring into this discussion 1 Corinthians 13—the Bible’s well-known “Love Chapter.” There Paul states that without love, everything a saint does is merely a clanging gong and tinkling cymbal to YHVH. In other words, it means nothing to YHVH. Similarly, if we obey the Torah out of Continue reading

 

Isaiah 61:10–63:9, YHVH to Defeat Israel’s Enemies and to Give Israel’s Exiles Salvation

Isaiah 61:10, He has clothed me with garments of salvation … robes of righteousness. The Hebrew word for salvation is Yesha (Strong’s H3468), which forms the root for the word yeshua meaning “salvation,” which, of course is the derivation of the Messiah’s personal name, Yeshua. How does Scripture define the word righteousness? (For the brief answer, reference Ps 119:172.) We see in this verse an interplay between the concepts of being clothed in Messiah’s salvation and works of righteousness, which is Torah obedience. Now relate these two concepts to Ephesians 2:8–9, which describes how we are saved spiritually, and then to Ephesians 2:10, which describes the proof of our salvation.

Now let’s take the next step in our line of logic by turning to Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 to discover what are the identifying marks of the end-time saints. Now relate this to the robes of righteousness the bride of Yeshua will be wearing in Revelation 19:7–9 with special emphasis on verse 8. The KJV reads, “for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints,” while both the NIV and NAS read “righteous acts” for “righteousness.” What are the Continue reading

 

New Video: 12 Benefits: Knowing Who the Two Houses of Israel Are

The biblical prophetic writings speak of the house of Israel/Joseph/Samaria/Ephraim and the house of Judah/the Jews. The Bible teaches that these are two different groups of people and they will exist on the earth in the end times. Knowing who these players are in biblical prophecy will help us to understand what will happen prophetically in the end times as this video shows.

 

Reunited Israel in Goshen — A Prophetic Picture of the Millennium?

Genesis 46:1–7, The reuniting of Jacobs family — the twelve tribes of Israel. These verses recount the move of Jacob and his family to Egypt where they were reunited with Joseph and his family.

This prophetically foreshadows a time in the future, which the Jewish sages call the final redemption, which is to occur just prior to and at the coming of Messiah Son of David as he comes to establish the Messianic Era (Millennium).

The Jewish sages teach that part of that final redemption includes the reunification of the two houses of Israel (i.e. the Messiah-loving Jews and Torah-loving Christians) into one kingdom under Messiah Son of David. Where do we find this prophesied in the Scriptures? (Read Ezek 37:15–28, which interestingly enough is this week’s Haftorah portion!) This speaks of the family reunification or ­reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim at Messiah’s return. (Hos 5:15–6:4; 1:11; Acts 3:21; Ezek 37:25). This will be a supernatural work of the Ruach haKodesh (Set-Apart Spirit) of Elohim (Ezek 36:19–32).

After the reunification of the divided family, where did the reunited and reconciled family move to? (Read Gen 46:34.) Goshen 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. Could Goshen be a tiny shadow-picture of the Millennium?

The Jewish sages have a sense that history for the people of Israel is continually repeating itself, over and over again in cyclical patterns as YHVH works his purposes out among his people. He is continually endeavoring to reveal his plan of redemption and reconciliation to those who have eyes to see, and continually reaching out the loving hand of reconciliation to the next generations of Israelites. This is but one more picture of the cyclical pattern of redemption that we see YHVH working out in the pages of Scripture all pointing toward a final climax at the end of the age where all of the children of Israel will worship YHVH in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) under the rulership of King Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Joseph/David.

 

Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy (Pt 3)

Judah Approaches Joseph (Gen 44:18)

Judah came near to Joseph 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 who Joseph was. 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 antitype of the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah, likewise Joseph also fulfilled an antitypical 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, the Suffering Servant in the story of Joseph. They have written about the Suffering Servant, a Messiah Son of Joseph 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 Messiah the Son of 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).