The Month of Elul—The King is coming, are you ready?

The fall biblical feasts are upon us, and now is time to prepare for them. As children of the light, we are called to NOT be ignorant of the times or seasons (1 Thess 5:1–10), and this includes understanding the biblical feasts which fall in their season (Lev 23:4) and are prophetic of and chronological in the steps YHVH’s glorious plan salvation for humankind.

The autumn feasts speak of events surround the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah. Contrary to biblical Truth, the mainstream church has lied to its people by declaring that Elohim’s Torah-law including the seven biblical feasts have been fulfilled (i.e. done away with) and are no longer relevant to the saint. This is patently absurd, especially when it comes to the fall feasts, since they obviously have not been fulfilled. This is because the prophetic events to which they point HAVE NOT yet occurred. Yeshua has not returned yet, the resurrection of the saints has not occurred, and Yeshua is not reigning with a rod of iron on this earth from his seat of power in Jerusalem.

So the biblical feasts are still important in the life of the Bible believing saint and, therefore, it is important that we not only be aware of them, but that we prepare to celebrate them. As such, the sixth month (the month of Elul) on the biblical calendar is the time to prepare for the fall feasts that occur in the seventh month. This is the time when the bride (the saints) are to prepare themselves for the coming bridegroom (Yeshua the Messiah). How do we prepare? By cleansing our lives of sin and putting on the robes of righteousness. This occurs through repentance from sin, turning from sin and getting our lives in line with the Word of Elohim. The month of Elul is the time to do this.


There is no salvation without true repentance!

What would you hear if you were to ask the average Christian to summarize the basic gospel message in one sentence? You might hear something like “Jesus loves you and has wonderful plan for your life.” Or you might hear, “Jesus died for your sins, so that you might go to heaven.” Some of the more “modern and progressive” or so-called “seeker friendly” Christians might say, “Come to Jesus and he’ll improve your self-esteem,” or “If you want good health and lots of wealth, come to Jesus.” But how does the Bible summarize the gospel message? That’s a question that almost nobody asks and no one knows or preaches about, even though the answer should be obvious to anyone who has read the Gospels. The truth is shocking and radically different from what most modern Christians think!

Matthew in his Gospel after describing the circumstances around the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, opens up by introducing the ministry of John the Baptist, the anointed prophet from heaven who came to prepare the way for the Messiah. The Gospel writers summarizes the preaching of John as “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2). In the next chapter after his brief introduction to John’s ministry, Matthew then brings Yeshua the Messiah onto the scene. After Yeshua’s temptation in the wilderness, Matthew records, “From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt 4:17). Mark in his gospel records the same event as follows: “Now after John was put in prison, Yeshua came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15). Finally, on the day of Pentecost after being pricked in their hearts byu Peter’s convicting sermon, the crowd asked the apostle what they should do next. His answer was, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). A central and recurring theme in all of these passages is the idea of repentance from sin—a biblical concept that is understood by few modern Christians, and a message that is seldom preached in modern pulpits anymore. All of this is in spite of the fact that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews refers to “repentance from dead works” as “one of the [six] elementary principles of Messiah [or the gospel message]” (Heb 6:1-3).

So what is repentance? How does Scripture define repentance? It is a Hebraic concept, so we must go back to the Hebrew Scriptures to discover the answer. 

Hebrew Word Definitions

There are two biblical Hebrew words that together present the complete picture of what true biblical-based repentance is. The first word is nacham meaning “to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (The TWOT), the origin of the root of this word seems to reflect the idea of “breathing deeply,” hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or comfort. The root occurs in the Ugaritic … and is found in Old Testament (OT or Tanakh) proper names such as Nehemiah, Nahum and Menehem. The Greek Septuagint (or lxx) translates the Hebrew word nacham by the two Greek words metanoeo and metamelomai. The Greek word metanoeo means “to change one’s mind, that is, to repent or to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.” Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says this of nacham

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Are YOU part of the end-times Elijah Generation preparing the way for the Messiah?

Isaiah 40:1–26,

Isaiah the prophet ministered in Judah for about 40 years from 740 to 697 B.C., approximately 100 years before the southern kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Judah’s captivity in Babylon would last for 70 years. The Book of Isaiah contains more messianic prophecies than any other book in the Tankah, and many of those prophecies specifically relate to the redemption through the Messiah of the two houses of Israel.

In the Isaiah 40 prophecy, according to rabbinic understanding, Isaiah is prophesying (in verses 3–5) concerning Israel’s deliverance from exile seventy years after her captivity (The Soncino Pentateuch, p. 777). This is not an incorrect interpretation of this prophecy, although it is not necessarily the only one, for we know, as with many of the Scripture’s ancient prophecies, there are sometimes multiple fulfillments. Because the old adage that says, “history repeats itself,” is true, and because human behavior remains unchanged from time immemorial, though the players and costumes change on history’s theatrical stage, many biblical prophetic themes have cyclical patterns. In the present case, where Isaiah speaks in verse three of “a voice crying in the wilderness,” (Isa 40:3) we know that the gospel writers ­applied this to John the Baptist preparing the way for the coming of Yeshua the Messiah (Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23). What in this prophecy did the gospel authors see as applying to Yeshua the Redeemer and Savior of Israel? First, Yeshua himself declared John the Baptist to be that messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah that Malachi prophesied about (cp. Matt 11:10 and Mal 3:1). The messenger of Malachi 3 and 4 seems to be the same individual mentioned in Isaiah 40. Furthermore, Isaiah 40:3 speaks of preparing the way for YHVH and making a highway in the desert for Elohim. Clearly, the gospel writers recognized that Yeshua was YHVH Elohim based not only on his claims to deity, but based on the fact that Isaiah states that the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel, would not only be YHVH Elohim, but that he was the arm of YHVH (Isa 53:1) making him a manifestation, if you will, of YHVH. 

Not only did the gospel authors see John the Baptist in the Isaiah 40 prophecy (Isa 40:3–4 cp. Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4–5; John 1:23) because they recognized who Yeshua was and could see that John had fulfilled the Isaiah 40 passage, but they also likened John to Elijah the prophet who had come to prepare the way for Yeshua (Mal 3:1 cp. Matt 11:10; Mark 1:3). Additionally, we know that an end-time prophet, or prophets, will come to prepare the way for the second coming of Yeshua. This is clear from Malachi 4:5–6 where we find the prophecy concerning Elijah the prophet coming before the great and terrible day of Elohim’s wrath, which is understood to occur just prior to the coming of Messiah. This Elijah-type person, or person(s), coming in the spirit of Elijah (like John the Baptist, see Matt 17:11–13), will effect a great spiritual revival in helping to turn the hearts of the children to their spiritual fathers (Mal 4:6), and in so doing will be preparing Israel to meet their Messiah. So we can link the Isaiah 40 passage with John the Baptist and Elijah the Prophet and with an end-time generation of righteous individuals who will be fulfilling this prophecy; that is, they will be preparing the way of YHVH, exalting the valleys, lowering the mountains, and making the crooked paths straight. What do these poetic expressions mean in concrete spiritual terms?

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What is the past and prophetic significance of “the third day”?

Exodus 19:1, 11, In the third month…the third day. 

In Exodus 19:1 we read that the Israelites arrived at Sinai in the third month, and according to Jewish tradition, a very significant event occurred on the third day of third month that was not only pivotal in the history of the Israelite people, but has profoundly influenced YHVH’s people, including you and me, to this very day. It was the giving of the ten commandments on Shavuot or the day of Pentecost. Now let’s connect some dots or put some pieces of the puzzle together to form a prophetic picture of an amazing biblical truth regarding the third day and explore the past, present and future implications of this.  

The biblical holy day of Shavuot, when YHVH gave the ten commandments to Israel and the world, was also when YHVH, for the first time in recorded biblical history, sounded the heavenly shofar—known as the first trumpet. Amazingly, this shofar event relates back to Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac as an offering to YHVH and to the ram that was caught in the thicket by his horns. 

While en route to the place where YHVH had instructed Abraham to offer up his only beloved son, he could see “the place” (Mount Moriah) afar off in three days (Gen 22:4). As we shall see later, this prophetically points to Messiah’s sacrificial death at the same location three millennia later. 

As we have just read, the Israelites were to be ready “on the third day” to receive the Written Torah thundered from the lips of the pre-incarnate Yeshua the Messiah (Acts 7:38; 1 Cor 10:4) at Mount Sinai. But the term the “third day” in Exodus chapter 19 also occurs in reference to Abraham and the akeidah or the binding of Isaac (Gen 22:1–18). What is the connection between these two events? Namely this. The near death of Isaac on Mount Moriah (Jerusalem) and YHVH providing Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead of his only beloved son prophetically pointed to the death of the Yeshua the Messiah the Redeemer at the same spot about 2,000 years later. Similarly, the Israelites, on the day of Pentecost when they received the ten commandments, were living out their own prophecy that also pointed to the same time when Messiah would come as the Living Torah culminating on the day of Pentecost or Shavuot, when he would write his Torah-laws on their hearts. Therefore, the “third day” reference for both Abraham and the Israelites had a similar relevance, for both were living in the second millennia B.C. or before the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, who was born near the beginning of the first century A.D. or in the third millennia, or on third day prophetically from both the time of Abraham and the Israelites.

Though a bit tangential to the subject of Shavuot, let’s look at another concept relating to the prophetic implications of the third day. As Yeshua, the Living Torah, came on the third day, so he will return on the third day after his first coming or in the third millennia after his first coming. That is, he came in the first millennium of our common era, and we have just passed into the third millennia of the same era and are now in the twenty-first century. According to biblical prophecy, Messiah will return in this third millennia, or third day as we read in Hosea.

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Did the Apostles believe in the eminent return of Messiah?

1 John 2:18, It is the last hour. This scripture passage along with others by Paul, James and John clearly indicates that the apostolic writers when writing these passages (i.e. prior to AD 70, the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple) viewed the second coming of Yeshua as imminent, and was not far off in the future. After all, the last question they asked Yeshua before his ascension to heaven was the matter that was the most pressing on their minds: “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). This proves what they were thinking; namely, that Yeshua was (hopefully) about to defeat the Romans and restore Israel to self rule. Of course, Yeshua didn’t give them a definitive time frame as to when he would fulfill biblical prophecy in this regard. So they were still left with the hope that his coming would be imminent, and that his kingdom would be established on earth. With his miraculous victory over death, their hopes would have been renewed in this regard. (On the apostles belief in the imminent return of Yeshua, see also 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:14–15; Rom 13:11; 16:20; cp. Jas 5:7–9; 1 John 2:18; Acts 1:6; 1 Cor 10:11; Rev 1:1.) 

The imminence of Yeshua’s second coming may have been based on a misunderstanding of Yeshua’s own words in his Olivet Discourse where he talks about the events announcing his second coming falling on “this generation” (Matt 24:34, 36). From this passage, it’s not readily understood to which generation he is referring—that one, or another off in the future, or both. It appears that the apostles applied his words to their generation and, hence, their view that his return was imminent.

The apostles likely initially believed that Yeshua’s return was immediately imminent. After a few years when he hadn’t returned, they likely focused on what Yeshua meant by the term “this generation” (Matt 24:34, 36). The writer of Hebrews gives us a clue as to what a generation may have meant to them, namely, forty years (as in the wanderings of the children of Israel en route to the Promised Land, which was a prophetic picture of what the disciples were hoping for in Yeshua’s established kingdom rule on earth. So forty years from Yeshua’s crucifixion in AD 30 takes us to AD 70 when, in the disciples’ minds, Yeshua’s prophecies regarding the destruction of the temple were to occur. “Since the prophet Daniel spoke of a period of seven years to complete the events leading up to the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus himself referred to Daniel’s prophecy as a gauge to measure those events, the counting backwards seven years from 70 C.E. brings us to the crucial year of 63 C.E. for those events to begin happening (Beyond Acts, p. 58, by Paul Finch; also see ibid. pp. 54–61 and Restoring the Original Bible, pp. 223–281, by Ernest Martin).

The Beast (Rev 13:4)

The abomination that causes desolation (Matt 24:15)

The desolator (Dan 9:27)

The man of sin (or lawlessness), the son of perdition (2 Thess 2:3)

The little horn (Dan 7:8)

The Assyrian (Mic 5:5; Isa 10:5; 14:25)

Many antichrists. How does John define the spirit of antichrist? From 1 John 2:18–19, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7 we learn that the Antichrist and all spirits of antichrist have come out of the first century apostolic faith of the Jewish Christian community. From these passages we also learn that the spirit of antichrist denies that Yeshua is the Messiah (Savior and Redeemer of man), denies that Yeshua is part of the “Godhead,” that he is deity and is the Son of Elohim, and denies the incarnation of Yeshua. This is how the Bible defines the spirit of antichrist.

What should be our reaction when we encounter this demonic spirit of antichrist? The wise counsel of John in his second epistle sums up our firm conviction on this matter.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Messiah does not have Elohim. He who abides in the doctrine of Messiah has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 9–11)

What additionally can we learn about the person of the Antichrist and the spirit of antichrist from the four passages where antichrist is mentioned in John’s epistles?

From 1 John 2:18–19, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7 we learn that the Antichrist and all spirits of antichrist have come out of the first century apostolic faith of the Jewish Christian community. This eliminates some of the world’s large religions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism) as being contenders for the end times religious system of the Antichrist. That leaves paganized mainstream Christianity and Islam. From these passages we also learn that the spirit of antichrist denies that Yeshua is the Messiah (Savior and Redeemer of man), denies that Yeshua is part of the “Godhead,” is deity and is the Son of Elohim, and denies the incarnation of Yeshua. Only Islam fits this biblical description of an antichrist religion.

 

History Repeats Itself Again and Again—The Golden Calf, the Church and YOU

Exodus 32:1, Moses delayed coming. Moses is a prophetic picture of Yeshua. Moses’ descending from Mount Sinai is a prophetic picture of Yeshua descending from heaven to the earth the first and second time. When the people presumed that Moses delayed his coming, they fell to the temptation to syncretize with the heathen religious system around them by yielding to their baser nature giving in to the lusts of their flesh as expressed in golden calf worship. Heathen, man-made religious systems have lower moral and spiritual standards than those of YHVH. In many respects, the mainstream church has done the same thing as the ancient Israelites by acting as if Yeshua has delayed his second coming, and by conforming to some of the world’s standards and customs. This is a form of golden calf worship, which is a mixture of Torah-truth and pagan practices. Yeshua warned his disciples against this proclivity of humans to grow impatient and spiritually cold wile waiting for his return (Matt 24:48).

Exodus 32:2, Break off the golden earrings. The Christian people have generously given the mainstream church much gold and other wealth over the past 1900 years. In the mean time, with that wealth, the church system has constructed many huge religious monuments. These are monuments, in part, to the gods of materialism, and is a form of golden calf worship. Neither Yeshua nor his disciples needed vast sums of money, resources or monuments to spread the gospel message. What they lacked in material resources they made up with passion for the gospel message and with the anointing of YHVH to proclaim that gospel with miraculous power. What the mainstream church largely lacks in passion and the anointing to spread the gospel, they now, sadly, substituted with wealth and religious monuments.

The Golden Calf Incident: A Prophetic Picture of the Church

On Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost), at Mount Sinai, YHVH entered into a marriage covenant with the children of Israel, but they were not ready to live up to the terms of that covenant. Those terms, simply stated, involved the Israelites being faithful and obedient only to YHVH, Israel’s Elohim (God) and spiritual husband, and to follow his instruction in righteousness, the Torah. This Israel quickly demonstrated they were not Continue reading


 

Happy Yom Teruah! Happy Resurrection Day!

A Chronological Analysis of Scriptures on the Resurrection of the Dead

Gen 3:2–3, The question of what happens in the afterlife goes back to the very beginning of man’s tenure on this earth as we can see from Eve’s discussion with the serpent. Out of fear of death, Adam and Eve chose not to eat of the tree of knowledge, until the serpent tricked them to disobey YHVH and eat of it. The serpent lied to them by telling them that they could have immortal life and still violate Elohim’s commandments. Most men have believed this lie to this day.

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Job 14:12–15,  Job is likely the oldest book in the Bible, and we see that from early times until now, man has had a perennial interest in the afterlife. Job wonders what his fate will be when he dies. Will he die and that’s all there is, or is there an afterlife?

Job 19:25–27, Job came to a place in his life where he obtained a faith about his fate in the afterlife. He knew that it hinged on his faith in his Redeemer. Biblically speaking, what was the mission of the Redeemer (i.e., Yeshua the Messiah)? It was to redeem man from the sting of death brought on by sin.

Ps 16:9–10,  Though this is usually viewed as a messianic prophecy, it isn’t confined to this interpretation. Who are YHVH’s holy, kadosh or set apart ones? The Messiah fits this catergory, of course, but so also do YHVH’s saints. As the apostolic writers teach us, as Yeshua died and rose again, so the saints who are in Yeshua will die and rise again.

Ps 17:15, The term “awake” as in “awake from the sleep of death” is a Hebraism referring to the resurrection. David knew that YHVH created man in his own image for a purpose. If so, then why? It’s deductive reasoning. The creation of man wasn’t a pointless, dead-end endeavor on the Creator’s part. David knew the heart and character of YHVH well enough Continue reading