The Spirit of Judas is alive and well today!

Matthew 26:14–15, Then Judas. When Yeshua plainly stated that he’d be crucified soon, Judas evidently became disillusioned, since he was expecting a Conquering King Messiah, not a Suffering Servant Messiah. With Yeshua as a conquering king, Judas could have expected a prominent position in Yeshua’s government.

The lust for money and power were likely the motives behind Judas’ following Yeshua (after all, Judas carried the money bag for Yeshua’s ministry). When Yeshua predicted his crucifixion, Judas’ incentives for following him suddenly vanished. Judas figured he’d salvage what he could of his unfulfilled expectations and enrich himself, even if it meant betraying Yeshua for money. Judas had come to the conclusion that Yeshua was a false Messiah faker and that he had wasted several years of his life following him, so, in his mind, giving Yeshua over to the Jewish authorities wasn’t an act of betrayal at all, but was an act of civil service to expose Yeshua as a trouble-making fraud.

To Judas, the Jewish leaders had been right after all to reject Yeshua as the Messiah. To them, he was merely a pretender, a deceiver, an agitator and a troubler, and Judas had come to the same conclusion. When Judas came to this realization, he now found it advantageous to his personal well-being to cast his lot in with the Jewish religious establishment and to make some money from it as well.

In our day, there many Judas-type people who turn away from following Yeshua. Many reasons can be given for this, but it boils down to three things: the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Selah!


The Sheep and Goat Nations Judgment

Matthew 25:31–46, The nations will be gathered. 

Matthew 25:31–46 describes Yeshua’s judgment of the sheep and goat nations. Some see this event as occurring at the beginning of the Millennium. Others see it as a process culminating at the end of the Millennium with the release of Satan from his bottomless pit prison after which he will tempt the nations to rebel against King Yeshua. The last scenario seems unlikely, since those who follow Satan’s rebellion will receive immediate judgment upon arriving at Jerusalem to confront Yeshua. They will be devoured by fire out of heaven (Rev 20:9). No mention is made in this passage of a judgment between the sheep and goat nations, there is only swift judgment upon Gog and Magog.

It seems likely, therefore, that one of first orders of Yeshua’s official business upon his return to the earth will be to judge between the sheep and goats. Here he will separate the wicked from the righteous who have survived the wrath of Elohim at the end of the age just prior to Yeshua’s second coming. This is like a mop-up operation after a great war. Those who have shown kindness to the saints will be allowed into the kingdom of Elohim during the Millennium, while those who didn’t will be cast into the lake of fire. This appears to be an initial purging of the spiritual wheat from the chaff at the beginning of Yeshua’s millennial reign. Those who are left of the nations (Zech 14:16) are presumably those who didn’t take the mark of the beast and hence won’t be destroyed with those who did (Rev 19:20). They showed their faith by their actions, and King Yeshua’s grace will be extended to them and he will give them an opportunity to receive eternal life. Perhaps these are those who are implied in Revelation 16:2 who refuse to take the mark of the beast and worship him during the wrath of Elohim period. 

Some Bible teachers view the judgment of the nations not as a one-time event that occurs at the beginning of Yeshua’s millennial re.g. but as an on-going process during his reign. This could be the case, since Yeshua may give the nations time to accept his rule and learn the truth of the gospel little-by-little.

Whether those of the goat nations will be cast immediately into the lake of fire isn’t clear. The lake of fire is mentioned in Revelation 20 at the end of the Millennium and in conjunction with the white throne judgment. Perhaps Yeshua will allow the goats to remain on the earth, and they will be those rebels he will be forced to rule over with his rod of iron, and who will refuse to come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem annually (Zech 14:16–21). Perhaps they’re the ones who will eventually be deceived into rebelling against Yeshua at the end of the Millennium when the devil is released from the pit (Rev 20:7–10).


Yeshua on the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” Doctrine

Matthew 24:29, 31, Immediately after the tribulation…gather the elect. Perhaps no other verse in the Bible disproves the pre-trib rapture theory better than this one.

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).


The Eight Blessings and Eight Curses of Yeshua

Matthew 23:13–33, The Eight Woes. There is a one-to-one correlation between the eight benediction of the beatitudes of Matthew 5:3–12 and the eight maledictions or woes Yeshua pronounces on the hypocritical religious leaders of his day in Matthew 23:13–33.

  1. The kingdom of heaven is opened to the poor, humble or contrite in spirit (Matt 5:3), while the door to kingdom of heaven is shut by and to the prideful and exclusive religious hypocrites (Matt 23:13).
  2. Those who mourn will be comforted (Matt 5:4), while greedy and pretentious religious hypocrites bring grief and sorrow to those they rule over (Matt 23:14).
  3. The meek will inherit the earth (Matt 5:5) versus religious zealots who compass the earth to expand their own kingdoms to make new converts, all of whom are shut out of the kingdom of Elohim and will inherit hell (Matt 23:15).
  4. Those who hunger and thirst for true righteousness will be filled (Matt 5:6) versus those who pursue a false, man-made religious system that involves twisting YHVH’s word for their own carnal purposes (Matt 23:16–22).
  5. The merciful will obtain mercy (Matt 5:7), while the religious hypocrites major in spiritually minor things and overlook mercy and the weightier matters of the Torah (Matt 23:23–24).
  6. The pure in heart will see (the heart of) Elohim (Matt 23:8), while hypocritical religionists put on an outward or superficial show of “purity,” but in reality, they overlook and neglect the inward purity of the heart. This equates to Torahlessness, which is equivalent to spiritual blindness and misses the heart of Elohim (Matt 23:25–26).
  7. The peacemakers will be called the sons of Elohim (Matt 5:9) versus Torahless religious hypocrites whose actions cause strife, confusion leading to spiritual uncleanness and death, which is the opposite of peace or shalom,which is physical and spiritual well-being in all areas of life (Matt 23:27–28).
  8. Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake will inherit the kingdom of Elohim (Matt 5:10–12) versus religious hypocrites, while claiming to be followers of Elohim, are themselves the persecutors of YHVH’s righteous saints (Matt 23:29–33).

What does hosanna in the highest mean?

Matthew 21:9, Hosannah in the highest. The simple Hebrew phrase hoshana rabbah has more depth and spiritual significance than first meets the eye. Let’s explore it.

First of all, it was this phrase—hosanna in the highest—(Heb. hoshana rabbah) that the crowds of Jews exclaimed as Yeshua entered Jerusalem riding a colt in Matthew 21:9 (also Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38). This event has become known as Yeshua’s “Triumphal Entry.”

The phrase hoshana rabbah, in part, derives from Psalm 118:25, a psalm which is called the Great Hallel (Heb. meaning “praise”), and was the climax of a series of psalms that the priests would proclaim or sing from the temple in Jerusalem on various feast days including the Feast of Tabernacles.

Psalm 118 is a prophetic psalm, which speaks of the coming Messiah who was the hope of the Israelite people. The words of this psalm prophetically points to Yeshua the Messiah in every way. That’s why the crowds proclaimed “hoshana in the highest, ” at Yeshua’s entry into Jerusalem, for upon him, they had pinned their highest hopes of a Messianic figure who would deliverer them from their oppressors (in this case, the Romans).

The actual Hebrew words in Psalm 118:25 are ana YHVH hoshiah na, which can be translated as “I beg you YHVH save now,” (Green’s Interlinear), “Save now, I pray, O YHVH” (KJV), or “O [YHVH], please save us!” (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach).

The phrase “Hosanna in the highest” was an added exclamation of the people, and is not a direct quote from the Tanakh. In Hebrew it would be hoshiana rabbah or hoshanna rabbah, which, according to Jewish understanding, is the name of the seventh or last day of the fall biblical Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot).

It was on this “last great day” of the Feast that the joyous water pouring ceremony occurred, and when the Jews prayed to receive rain from heaven to water their crops including the latter (spring) rains and the former (fall) rains. In the arid region of the land of Israel, rain was received as a gift and a favorable blessing from heaven, since it meant that the crops would flourish and famine would be averted.

Prophetically, the rains of Hoshana Rabbah speak of a time when during the Millennium (of which Sukkot is symbolic picture) YHVH will pour out the rain of his Spirit (along with his Torah and his glory) upon the world, thus spiritually cleansing and refreshing mankind resulting in a great harvest of souls into the kingdom of heaven. When this occurs, the nation of Israel will be walking in spiritual communion with its Creator. This is why the Jews sang Isaiah 12:3 on Hoshana Rabbah,which declares “Therefore with joy we will you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.” 

Similarly, it was on Hoshana Rabbah (“the last day of the feast,” John 7:37–39) that Yeshua encouraged his followers to come to him as the spiritual River of Life. This would result in the dry ground of their spiritual lives being quenched, and in their becoming a river of life like him resulting in abundant spiritual fruits of salvation of lost souls coming to Yeshua (i.e. the regathering of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matt 10:6; 15:24).

This phrase hoshana rabbah can also mean, “save us O great one,” since the Hebrew word rabbah can mean “great one.” The term rabbi (the title for a Jewish Bible teacher) originates from this word. Rabbi literally means, “my great one,” which is why Yeshua forbad his disciples (and us) from taking this word as an ecclesiastical title for themselves, or from calling someone else by that title (Matt 23:8). This is a title that should be reserved only for Yeshua himself (Matt 23:10)!

Hoshana rabbah in its fullest sense means “I pray, I beseech thee to open wide, free, succor, deliver,help, preserve, rescue, bring salvation, bring victory, save greatly, in abundance, increasingly, or please deliver us Great One.”


“YHVH, help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us…”

Roman denarius—a small silver coin

Matthew 18:24, 28, Ten thousand talents…a hundred denarii. A talent was a unit of measure for gold and silver and was equivalent to about 75 lbs. One talent of silver at a rate of $15 per ounce would be worth $36,000. Ten thousand talents of silver would be worth about $18 million. A denarius was equivalent to a fair day’s wages (Matt 20:2). If one earns $40,000 in a year and works 260 days per year, then 100 denarii would be equivalent to about $15,384. 

The lesson of Yeshua’s parable abut the unforgiving servant is obvious. If one’s master forgives him of a debt that’s impossible to repay ($36 million), then one should forgive one’s neighbor the small debt of $15,384.

Likewise, if Yeshua through his death on the cross forgives a repentant sinner of the wages of sin, which is death (an impossible debt for a sinner to pay), then shouldn’t the same forgiven sinner likewise forgive those who have offended him (Matt 18:6–8) or sinned against him (verse 15–19)?


The Three Types or Levels of Demonization

Matthew 17:21, This kind [of demon]. There are different kinds of demons that influence humans. The Testimony of Yeshua speaks of being “possessed with a demon” or “demons,”  “vexed with a demon,” or “severely possessed with a demon” (Matt 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21). 

All these ideas are expressed by the Greek word daimonizomai meaning “to be under the power of or possessed by a demon, or demonized.” There are levels of demonization.

The Bible reveals that demons can influence humans (e.g. from fiery darts of Satan shot at the saints by which he attempts to influence them [Eph 6:16], by lying to humans [1 Kgs 22:22–23], through unclean spirits [e.g. Matt 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30] and by literally living in or possessing a person. The latter is the most extreme form of demonization. In this passage, a demon lived inside of a child (v. 18), and when Yeshua rebuked the demon, it came out of the child.

When a person is possessed with a demon, prayer and fasting may be necessary on the part of the deliverer to cast out the demon. This is because the deliverer has, to one degree or another, himself been weakened spiritually by faithlessness and perverseness and therefore lacks the spiritual power and faith to cast out the demon (vv. 17, 22), or because he has been negatively influenced by those around him who are this way (v. 17), and thus has been weakened by his spiritual environment. This is why Yeshua, at times, had to put the spiritually weak and faithless people out of the room before healing a sick person (Mark 5:40). Prayer and fasting energizes a person spiritually by afflicting the soul (the mind, will and emotions) and forcing it into conformity with the word, will and Spirit of Elohim through which one gains the spiritual power to accomplish supernatural feats such as  casting out demons.

When Yeshua speaks of “this kind” of demon (v. 18). What did he mean? What kind of demon? The Bible reveals that there are various levels and types of evil, satanic spirits (e.g. Eph 6:12). The Book of 1 Enoch teaches and second temple Jewish sages based on this that demons were the disembodied spirits of the nephilim (see Gen 6:2–4), who after their human bodies died continued to live (as ghost-like figures) roaming in search of a body (human or animal) or object to possess (1 Enoch 15:8–10). This may be what Yeshua is referring to here.

With regard to the origin of demons, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia under the articles entitles “Demonology” states,

The speculation regarding the nature and origin of these demons and their leaders led as early as the second pre-Christian century, in those fragments preserved under the name of the Book of Enoch, to the story of the fall of the angels (Enoch, vii.-viii.; lxix.). Like Beelzebub, or Lucifer (Isa. xiv. 12; compare Slavonic Enoch, xxix. 4), two hundred ‘Irin or “watchers” fell, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 4); only tradition obviously differed as to the leader of the rebellious host, whether it was Azazel or Shamazai. At any rate, they acknowledged the supremacy of Satan (liii. 3, liv. 6), though occasionally many satans are mentioned (xl. 7 et al.), and these fallen angels became “the evil spirits” (xv. 8, xix. 19) who taught mankind all the arts of deception, witchcraft, and sin (vii.-viii., lxix.). But their children, the offspring of this mixture of an earthly and a celestial race, became, when slain, the hybrid race of disembodiedspirits or demons doing the work of destruction until the Day of Judgment (xvi. 1).