MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

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Monday, August 10, 2009

We Need to Know What "Fear" Means - Guest Post


I asked permission to post this teaching from Sandy Smith as soon as I received it because it touches on a critical issue that many of us may not understand. In the study, Sandy uses several Hebraic terms such as "Elohim" which means "God", the Hebrew name of God transliterated as YHVH that English Bible translations render as "The LORD" and "Yashua HaMoshiach" aka "Jesus Christ", the anointed Messiah.

I know you will benefit from reading this important Scripture study.

The Fear of YHVH
by Sandy Smith

יִרְ אָה yir’ah

Strong's H3374 יִרְ אָה 22/60 [yir’ah /yir·aw/] n f. From 3373; TWOT 907b; GK 3711; 45 occurrences; AV translates as “fear” 41 times, “exceedingly + 1419” twice, “dreadful” once, and “fearfulness” once. 1 fear, terror, fearing. 1a fear, terror. 1b awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear). 1c fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety. 1d revered.

Psalms 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Abba, in the Name of Yashua HaMoshiach, I pray that you would teach me how to fear You.

In the beginning, Elohim created a perfect world. There was no death, sin, disobedience, weeds, thorns, stickers, rattlesnakes – nothing that hurts. We know from the Scriptures that man did not fear before the fall. Adam, who was created in the image of Elohim with the very breath of life breathed into him, became a living soul. Man was created expressly to worship Elohim. We see this picture very clearly in Genesis:

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Gen 2:15

The Hebrew word for “put” paints the picture of rest and repose. The word “dress” ( עָ בַ ד abad in Hebrew) means to “serve as subjects” or to “serve as in the Levitical priesthood”. Finally, the word keep is שׁ מַָ ר shamar, which is to guard, watch and observe. A quick look at “garden” and “Eden” reveals “an enclosed garden of pleasure”. The picture in the Hebrew language is that of Adam serving The Almighty by keeping His Commandments (or commandment not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) and Adam and Elohim being in perfect fellowship and relationship with each other; the intent of creation – to worship and serve the Creator.

Enter the serpent: Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Ge 3:1)

Eve: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Ge 3:2-3)

Serpent: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Ge 3:4-5)

Action: Eve looks at the fruit, and decides that it looks really delicious. She takes a bite, then she hands the fruit to Adam, he takes a bite, and suddenly they see that they do not have on any clothes. They sewed together leaves and made themselves aprons. All of a sudden they hear Elohim….They quickly hide behind some trees…

Voice of Elohim 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Ge 3:9)

Adam: 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Ge 3:10)

Why was Adam afraid; because of disobedience. The first occurrence of “the fear of YHVH”, and I would bet the Redneck Ranch that what they were feeling was a bit more than just fear, try terror, dread or panic. Remember back to when you were a child, was there a time when your parents specifically told you not to do something… but you did it anyway… and you got caught red-handed? Fear, panic, dread and terror gripped you and you knew that you were in really big trouble. It is now time to face the consequences and receive your punishment, you were caught red-handed and there are no excuses; nothing will get you out of it. Adam and Eve were caught red-handed, but their parent was the Creator of the Universe, introducing us to the “Fear of YHVH”.

Not only do we now have fear, but, by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the mixed seed has been introduced into the world, so now there is not only the good, but there is also the evil. ha-satan deceived Eve, and presented a counterfeit picture of reality – “you will not die, you will be like gods, knowing good and evil”. Not only did they die (eventually), they were also driven out of the garden and now they have to learn how to overcome evil, rather than being ruled by it. We also have been deceived and we must be able to discern between the truth and the counterfeit otherwise, we are ruled by the enemy. He deceives us by mimicking and imitating the things of Elohim.

For example, we were given the Feasts of YHVH in the Torah, these were given so we could learn and understand the shadow pictures of the coming of Messiah. The imitator has given us xmas and easter as counterfeits. Just like imitation butter (it is actually more related to plastic than food) is unhealthy for us, so are the counterfeit feasts. He has deceived us into believing that Messiah was born on the day of the re-birth of the sun god, instead of the Feast of Tabernacles, that he was crucified and resurrected at easter (the resurrection of the reincarnated sun god) instead of Passover, and he has tricked the world into thinking that believers will be raptured out of this world before the tribulation instead of being resurrected at the Feast of Trumpets. He will even deceive the world into believing that he is actually the Messiah, in reality he will be the anti – (the instead of, the counterfeit) messiah.

I say that to say, there is even a counterfeit “fear”!

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Ti 1:7

“Why are you so fearful?”1 The reality is that some people live this way, all of their lives. The last time I checked, there were over 700 phobias. Fear of death, fear of heights, fear of left turns and the ultimate: fear of fear. Studies show that we have a built in flight or fight mechanism, which kicks in when we are in a fearful or stressful situation. The body reacts with a shot of adrenaline and unless we turn around and physically run away or we stand up and fight our enemy, the adrenaline has some very adverse effects on our body. To stay in situations where this mechanism is in a constant state of “on”; results in “fear, anxiety and stress” disorders. I am not an expert in this area, or know just exactly how they relate to our physical well being, but research indicates that “anxiety disorders” profoundly affect our health and affect some so severely that it impairs their ability to function normally. This means that some people are so full of fear; they cannot get out of bed or leave their house. So, what is the answer? The pharmaceutical companies have developed a whole new line of drugs to treat these anxiety disorders; Prozac and Zoloft just to name a couple.2 This is just another imitation to undermine the deliverance and healing available in Messiah.

This kind of fear is from the enemy, NOT Elohim.

The imitator’s fear is designed to drive us away from Elohim and His ways. When we become consumed with the counterfeit fear, we have absolutely no faith. Yashua addresses this counterfeit fear with His disciples, when they were instructed to get into the boat and go over to the other side (Remember, as you read this, that several of the disciples are very seasoned fishermen.):

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Mk 4:35-41

The episode details that there was a great storm, the boat was full of water, about to sink and the disciples were terrified. They wake up Yashua, who is asleep in the back of the boat and exclaim, “Get up, don’t you care that we are all about to die?

Do something!

The Scriptures further detail that “He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still”. Yashua actually spoke to the circumstances, the wind and the waves. His response toward the disciples is unexpected, He is not sympathetic, He has no compassion or consolation for them; in fact, He actually rebukes them. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Fearful, with no faith, is that how Messiah sees us?) There were at least four men on this boat that were seasoned fishermen, they knew the Sea of Galilee, they had been fishing on it all of their lives; their experience tells them that they are about to die. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” What is Yashua trying to teach the disciples?

In order to understand this lesson, we have to go back to the Garden of Eden:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Ge 1:26

Man was created to have dominion over the earth, but because the enemy has so deceived us, we now fear the very thing that we were created to rule. Yashua rebuked the disciples because they did not exercise their dominion over the wind, the waves and the storm; their circumstances. In order to overcome the circumstances that would “sink the ship” so to speak, we must know who we are in Yashua and we must have the faith to walk in our inheritance, so that we can take back our rightful rulership – dominion over all the earth.

Fear not only sinks the ship, fear utterly destroys it. It appeared to the disciples that they were about to die, their life experiences, their knowledge of the circumstances and their five senses confirmed it. They simply did not know that they had dominion over the storm. However, I suggest that when Messiah tells us to get into the boat and go to the other side, we must obey - in faith, regardless of the circumstances. When we have a clear command from Messiah, we know that nothing will prevent us from completing the task, but we must stand fast, in faith.

Does this mean that we cannot trust our life experiences, knowledge or senses? If they are fearful and unbelieving, then yes, they are not to be trusted.

Please note that leaning on our experience, knowledge and our senses is not the same as leaning on the Almighty. Experience is finding out life’s lessons the hard way, not necessarily the right way. Learning through experience is mostly learning through disobedience. Some disobedience carries a harsher consequence than others, some disobedience even leads to death. Why do we continue in the way of destruction, when we should be learning through obedience?

…Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Jeremiah 16:19

“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” I would suggest it is because, just like the disciples, we have been deceived, inherited lies and we neither know nor trust the Creator of the Universe; the one who has dominion over all creation. Let us take another look at the last verse of the passage in Mark: 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Mk 4:41

“And they feared exceedingly…” Are these men big “scaredy cats”? First they are afraid of the storm, now they are afraid of Yashua… I think that they are afraid because they have just been personally introduced to the Creator of the Universe. “What manner of man is this?” We really need to meditate on that question. “What manner of man is this?” “What manner of man is this? “What manner of man is this?” I am not trying to be redundant; we really need to meditate on who Messiah is. We become very glib and cavalier about Yashua, because we do not know Him.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; Isa 44:24

He is our redeemer (Yashua), He formed us from the womb, and He makes all things! Are we getting a glimpse of the Creator yet? Can you understand why the disciples were fearful when they were in the boat? At this point, the storm and the near death experience would pale in the light of discovering that Yashua is the Creator.

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Mk 4:41

Awe and amazement:

“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Do you see the immediate change in attitude and how the disciples are looking at Yashua with awe and reverence? We might say: “Wow did ya’ll see that? He stopped storm – how did he do that? Who is this man, no I mean really, who is He? WOW!” 4 Yashua expects us to fear Him, to be in awe and respect Him and to revere Him.

Now that we have a little more understanding of what the true fear of YHVH is, how do we get rid of the imitation fear that we have nurtured all of our lives?

Let’s go to the Scriptures:

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 Jn 4:17-18

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear! He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I know that He loves me, so why do I still have fear? I have struggled with that for a long time, but I think that we have had things backward. (Imagine that!) In order to understand how perfect love can cast out fear, we must know two things: 1) Who YHVH Messiah is and 2) Who we are in Messiah so that we may walk in our inheritance.

It is imperative that our view of The Almighty is not twisted or distorted. He is merciful, long-suffering, and gracious, but He also: 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Exodus 34:6-7

Don’t allow the distorted doctrine that YHVH is all hugs and kisses keep you from knowing and understanding His Reality. He is absolute perfection; that includes perfect mercy and perfect judgment. How would you react in the presence of His perfection? Would you react like the disciples did? Would you “fear exceedingly”? Remember how our fathers reacted? At the foot of Mt. Sinai after the Children of Israel had received the Ten Commandments, what did they tell Moses?

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. Ex 20:18-20

The Children of Israel were in the presence of the “thunderings”, “lightnings”, the noise of the trumpets (which were exceeding loud) and they were standing at the bottom of a mountain that was on fire: “You go Moses, don’t let Elohim speak to us anymore, or we will die”5 I am beginning to see a pattern here; fear, terror, panic and dread, they too were terrified of being in His presence, just like Adam and Eve and just like the disciples in the boat. I pause here, because, as I think this through, we too would be terrified to stand in His presence because we know that our disobedience, our sinful nature cannot stand in His Kadosh Presence of Perfection.

Remember the disciples in the boat? Remember they feared exceedingly?

Why? Because, just like the Children of Israel, they too have just been introduced to the Creator of the Universe; the One who has dominion over the wind and the waves. Have you had that introduction? We must meditate on who He is. What does it mean to be THE Creator; the one, the only Elohim; the One True El Elyon? I would suggest that if you don’t know the Creator you don’t really love Him. It is one thing to know of or about someone. It is entirely different to know them. That word “know” in the Hebrew actually infers a very intimate knowledge as in “Adam knew Eve and she conceived”. We must go back all the way to the Garden of Eden, to learn how to love Him. We need to walk with Elohim in the cool of the evening or in the quiet of the morning; talk to Him and listen as He speaks with us; we have to spend time with Him, to be in fellowship and relationship which means spending time in the Scriptures.

We should seek Him as we would for gold or precious diamonds.

This stuff is not just lying on the ground, waiting for you to casually stroll by and pick it up. You must mine for them for a reason – they are buried. You must also mine through the Scriptures to meet the Creator. If you don’t know where to search, try the Psalms, Job chapters 36 – 42, Exodus and all of the gospels. He is there; you just have to take the time to find Him. Once you realize who He is, you are going to be just like the disciples in the boat:

What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Jn 40:41

Remember the “greatest commandment”?

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mk 12:29-30

There are times when we completely overlook the obvious. Someone had to point this out to me, so I am going to reciprocate. I had always started this verse out with “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God”… That is not what Yashua said. He said the first of all the commandments is “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” Yashua quoted the “Shema”6. This has been spoken every Shabbat in every Tabernacle, Temple and synagogue service since the commandments were shouted down. There is a reason why it is spoken, the Shema declares YHVH as the one True Elohim AND that we are to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. He presents His credentials and then commands us to love only Him. There is no other option.

So, now that we know who He is and that we are to love Him with our whole being, is it possible to have any unbelief? Perfect love casts out fear. Not only does He love us, we love Him. When you love so completely you become filled with hope, faith and trust; there is no more room for the imitation fear. We are so in love and in awe of Messiah, we cannot even imagine being afraid anymore.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mk 9:23-24)

At least we are at a starting place!

Now that we have been introduced to YHVH, this brings up the second point: who are we in Messiah, how do we walk in our inheritance? In the Garden, when Elohim was punishing Adam and Eve, the curse on the serpent was that the seed of the woman would crush his head. The seed of the woman is a direct reference to the Messiah. Since the serpent stole the earth (or rulership of it) away from Adam, Messiah has to come and take it back. Seems a little too farfetched?

What happened when Yashua was tempted of Satan?

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Mt 4:8-10

Yashua didn’t argue the point with ha-satan that the kingdoms of the world were not his to give away. He could have just as easily said “The earth is YHVH’s and the fullness thereof.”7 But He didn’t, because ha-satan has a claim on the earth, even though he received it through deceit. Messiah came to take it back legally. By coming to the earth legitimately as the seed of the woman, and being a man without sin, the rulership is taken away from ha-satan and given back to Messiah: the second Adam.

This means that our inheritance in Messiah, gives us back the dominion over the earth that was forfeited back in the Garden.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Jn 14:12

Greater works are our inheritance. We now have the authority to speak to the storm.
Another aspect of inheritance, we share the same lineage with Messiah:

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:29

If you are a believer in Messiah, then by definition, you are of the seed of Abraham. What exactly does it mean to be an “heir according to the promise”?

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Ge 17:7

Since this is not a study of the covenants, I am not going to elaborate here, but basically, the covenant was established with Abraham and his seed for an everlasting covenant (this means it never goes away!). The promise that we are most interested in here is the promise of a son; through which the physical nation of Israel was born and through that same nation Messiah descended. This means that we are family; sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Yashua further defined who His family is:

And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Mt 12:49-50

Whosoever shall do the will of my Father… is my family! As family members, when we live under our Father’s roof, we are expected to keep the rules of His house. My daddy always expected that I obeyed his rules, why would our Heavenly Father be any different?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Mt 22:37-40

Basically Yashua is saying that all of the commandments in Scriptures (the Torah and the Prophets – there was not a “new testament” at this time, it had not been written) can be summed up into two sections: 1) Love only YHVH with all of your being. If you love Him, then the commandments about idolatry, Shabbat and taking His Name in vain are not difficult to keep. 2) Love your neighbor as you love yourself. If you love your neighbor, you are not going to commit adultery with his wife, steal from him, murder him, or covet what he owns. All those commandments roll up into loving your neighbor.

Who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Lk 10:29-37

Our neighbor is one who is in need. I learned this story from my grandmother in Sunday school and that is how I considered it for years – a story. This is one of the places where we can get to know YHVH. His attributes are revealed through the actions of the Samaritan. He had compassion on the stranger; he dressed the wounds, and anointed him with oil and wine. He put the stranger on his own donkey and he walked, took him to the hotel, paid for his room, gave the manager more money for his care and then said if there were more charges he would catch them on his next trip through. Believe it or not, Yashua has done the same thing for us. He picks us up dead in our sins and iniquities and “by His stripes we are healed”.

Another aspect to walking in our inheritance is in Proverbs. (By the way, this is
another place where you can mine for diamonds) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Prov 9:10

How can the fear of YHVH give us wisdom and knowledge?

When the children of Israel were at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Moses tells the Children of Israel: “Fear not: for Elohim is come to prove you, and that HIS FEAR MAY BE BEFORE YOUR FACES, THAT YOU SIN NOT.” The Hebrew word “before” is פָּ נֶה paniym which literally means – in the face of. “Do not be afraid (this “being afraid” is the imitation), you are not about to die, THIS IS A TEST. This is an unforgettable experience so that His fear (the reverence, awe, terror and dread) may always be in your face, to keep you from sinning.”9 This is our example to reveal to us the purpose of the Fear of YHVH, to keep our relationship with the Father so pure that we can truly love Him and worship Him walk in His commandments so that we may be kept as His set-apart people.

O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Deuteronomy 5:29

“And keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them.” We have already seen that by loving him and keeping His commandments (yes, the loving Him, the idolatry, the Shabbat, the taking His Name in vain and all the rest) we can cast out fear, but this verse implies consequences to not keeping the commandments:

Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. Da 9:14

You mean the Scriptures are saying that YHVH (translated as the LORD) brought evil upon us for not being obedient? The Lord brings evil upon us? That just can’t be right! Or can it?

The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. Dt 28:20

“That His Fear may be before your face that you sin not!” The consequence to sin is to be cursed, vexed (could this be fear of fear?), rebuked in all that you set your hand to do – ultimately destroyed. YHVH is not speaking to some heathen nation that does not know Him. He is speaking to His chosen people, the people He has called and made a covenant with.

We wonder why we are sick, financially broke, why our families are falling apart. Could it possibly be that we need to connect the dots in our lives and reveal the hidden picture? Could it be that because we refuse to fear and obey YHVH, that our lives are full of the consequences of our disobedience? Could it be that we have a twisted, perverted picture of who Messiah is? We are taught and we want to believe that He is a big santa clause, ready to do our bidding. We approach His throne xpecting to sit on His lap, give Him our “wish list” and then He pats us on the head and gives us a candy cane and we go our merry way. Then we wait expectantly for the “big day” when we receive everything we asked for!

Have we forgotten that the reason we were created was to worship and serve Him?

He is not here to serve us!

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. Josh 24:14

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Jn 4:23-24

Yashua is looking for those that will put away their gods, love and fear Him and worship Him. He shed His blood for us so that we might be restored.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mt 26:26-28

Remission: forgiveness or pardon; of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed). Letting them go as if they had never been committed! That would put us back in the Garden of Eden. The work of the Messiah restores that perfect fellowship and relationship. When we walk the way we are supposed to, in obedience and reverence, through Yashua, we can rightfully take back our inheritance; the dominion of the whole earth (Gen 1:26). We must embed in the deepest recesses of our being that the Creator of the Universe, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the World is truly worthy of our love, awe, respect and reverence.

It is imperative that we reconcile (since I am an accountant, this word has significance – this is work, not just a mental acknowledgment) our relationship as the seed of Abraham, joint heirs with Yashua, sons and daughters of the Living Creator. This reconciliation involves understanding that:

 We have to know that we were created to serve and worship the Creator.
 We must place ourselves back in the Garden, exercising our dominion
over all the earth.
 We have to take back our inheritance that ha-satan stole from us.
 We must learn to love Him with all that we are and walk in His
commandments.
 We must realize that we are sons and daughters of El Elyon (the Most
High)

Then when we get into the boat we will not be afraid, no matter how hard the wind blows, how big the waves get, how full of water the boat is, no matter how… We are not terrified, we are in perfect fellowship and relationship and we say:

“Peace be still”.

I challenge you today to get to know the Creator, so that you can love Him with all of your being. When you do, you will desire to please Him and to serve Him. Having a fearful soul will be thing of the past. Then at the end, when He returns, we will hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”10 rather than “Why are you so fearful, how is it you have no faith”. 10 Matt. 25:21

1 Mark 4:40b
2 There was an Aug, 2009 article on Yahoo News that said there were now twenty seven million people using antidepressants in the US and the ones that have been taking them are now taking more!
3 Sandy’s revised version
4 SRV
5 SRV – again!
6 Deuteronomy 6:4
7 Psalms 24:1
8 Isaiah 53:5
9 ibid

Saturday, July 4, 2009

HalleluYah He Reigns!!

All God's Children singing Glory Glory HalleluYah He Reigns!!

The future is upon us. The popular song by the group the "Newsboys" inspired me this Sabbath morning. Many have sung songs with the Hebrew word Hallelujah for years... but did you know what it means?

Translated into English from Hebrew, HalleluYah is though to mean means: "Praise Yah" but it conveys the thought of permission to "approach the King"! We can see that when we break the language barrier!


"Yah" is a Biblical short name for God's name, just like Sam is for Samuel. Oh by the way, Samuel means "his name is El". El translate to the word "God". All the biblical names with "El" are descriptive praises for God the King of the Universe.

A critical Biblical name using Yah is Yehoshua (Yeshua) – Yah saves!! There is only one name that all mankind will be saved. This great name has wandered through the wilderness of time and transliteration from the Hebrew language to Greek (Iesous) to Latin (Ieosus) and into the English name we now know as Jesus. Just check out almost any Dictionary. It is really simple, His name means "salvation". Imagine that!

According to Austin based Hebrew teacher Robert Allon, "There was no letter "j" in the Hebrew or Greek languages in Biblical times or the sound we now associate with it. When the name was finally transliterated not from the Hebrew but from the Greek, the letter, j, was used to make the, y (ye) sound. So even when the KJV was translated [1611], our Lord was not called, Jesus, He was called, Yeh-soos, which was taken from the Greek transliteration of His Hebrew name."

To verify this name confusion, just check out the bible that was in use by the Pilgrims, the 1599 Geneva Bible where He was called "Iefus".

Some of the other people in the Bible that carry His great name include:
• Abiah – Yah is my father
• Abijah – Yah is my father
• Adaiah – Ornament of Yah
• Adalia – Yah is just
• Adonijah – My lord is Yah
• Ahaziah – Vision of Yah
• Ahiah – Brother of Yah
• Ahijah – Brother of Yah
• Amariah – Yah has promised
• Amaziah – Strength of Yah
• Athaliah – Yah is exalted
• Hananiah – Yahh has given
• Hezekiah – Yah has strengthened
• Hodiah – The splendour of Yah
• Hodaviah – Give thanks to Yah
• Isaiah – Salvation of Yah
• Jabin – Yah is a son
• Jekamiah – Yah raises
• Jeremiah – Yah has appointed
• Joab – Yah is father
• Joel – Yah is God
• Jonathan – Gift of Yah
• Josiah – Supported of Yah
• Matityahu – Gift from Yah
• Neariah – Servant of Yah
• Nedabiah – Yah impels
• Obadiah – Yah's worshiper
• Odelia – Thanks to Yah
• Pedaiah – Redemption of Yah
• Pelatiah – Yah has delivered
• Pelaiah – Yah has distinguished
• Pelaliah – Yah has judged
• Pekahiah – Yah has observed
• Seraiah – Servant of Yah
• Shecaniah – One intimate with Yah
• Shephatiah – Judged of Yah
• Zebadiah - Gift of Yah
• Zedekiah – Righteous is Yah
• Zephaniah – Yah hides or protects
• Zechariah – Yah remembers
The most extensive list that I have found is an amazing name tree from Behind the Name, a website dedicated to provide the etymology and history of first names. It is well worth viewing.

The key to understanding God's name is to understand God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us and He never changes His mind. He teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live. It's the original message of the Deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer.

What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now!

Shalom.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Four Ensigns


Who are the beasts of Revelation seen surrounding the Throne of God?

Here is a quote from one of the greatest minds ever, Sir Issac Newton, regarding the Lion, the Man, the Ox and the Eagle:


"And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four Beasts full of eyes before and behind: that is, one Beast before the throne and one behind it, appeared to John as in the midst of the throne, and one on either side in the circle about it, to represent by the multitude of their eyes the people standing in the four sides of the peoples court. And the first Beast was like a lion, and the second was like a calf, and the third had the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. The People of Israel in the wilderness encamped round about the Tabernacle, and on the east side were three tribes under the standard of Judah, on the west were three tribes under the standard of Ephraim, on the south were three tribes under the standard of Reuben, and on the north were three tribes under the standard of Dan."

And the standard of Judah was a Lion, that of Ephraim an Ox, that of Reuben a Man, and that of Dan an Eagle. Whence were framed the hieroglyphics, of Cherubims and Seraphims, whose wings and many eyes represent the people of Israel. A Cherubim had one body with four faces, the faces of a Lion, an Ox, a Man, and an Eagle, looking to the four winds of heaven, without turning about, as in Ezekiel’s vision, chap. i. And four Seraphims had the same four faces with four bodies, one face to every body."
Newton goes on to explain their significance...
"The four Beasts are therefore four Seraphims standing in the four sides of the peoples court; the first in the eastern side with the head of a Lion, the second in the western side with the head of an Ox, the third in the southern side with the head of a Man, the fourth in the northern side with the head of an Eagle: and all four signify together the twelve tribes of Israel, out of whom [260] the hundred forty and four thousand were sealed, And the four Beasts had each of them six wings, two to a tribe, in all twenty and four wings, answering to the twenty and four stations of the people. And they were full of eyes within, or under their wings. And they rest not day and night, or at the morning and evening-sacrifices, saying, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

These animals are therefore the Seraphims, which appeared to Isaiah in a vision like this of the Apocalypse [Isa. vi.]. For there also the Lord sat upon a throne in the temple; and the Seraphims each with six wings cried, Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts. And when those animals give glory and honour and thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty Elders go into the Temple, and there fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

At the morning and evening-sacrifices, so soon as the sacrifice was laid upon the Altar, and the drink-offering began to be poured out, the trumpets sounded, and the Levites sang by course three times; and every time when the trumpets sounded, the people fell down and worshiped. Three times therefore did the people worship: to express which number, the Beasts cry Holy, holy, holy; and the song being ended, the people prayed standing, till the solemnity was finished. In the mean time the Priests went into the Temple, and there fell down before him that sat upon the throne, and worshiped."

Newton, perhaps one of the finest scientific minds of all time is best known today for the "discovery of gravity", or perhaps for the fracture of visible light into the seven color spectrum, but in reality he spent most of his time writing about the Scriptures.

His book, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733) was published after his death by Newton's nephew, Benjamin Smith.

Newton is best know today for his scientific and mathematics work, but his genuine focus was Scripture study and commentary and because of that, he was fluent in Hebrew because he wanted to study the Bible without the influence of the translator's pen. In his work, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John Newton even explained his view of the timelines of Messiah shown in Daniel spoke of two comings of The Anointed Messiah".
"Know also and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks. The former part of the Prophecy related to the first coming of CHRIST, being dated to his coming as a Prophet ; this being dated to his coming to be Prince or King, seems to relate to his second coming. There, the Prophet, was consummate, and the most holy anointed : here, he that was anointed comes to be Prince and to reign. For DANIEL'S Prophecies reach to the end of the world ; and there is scarce a Prophecy in the Old Testament concerning CHRIST, which doth not in something or other relate to his second coming."
There's much more to learn from Newton. He may have missed the mark on his understanding of historic events since we now now he did not live at the time of the end. He wrote his studies some 300 years ago, but I encourage you read his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John. I want to encourage you to study pages 128-143 as it describes Newton's view that the return of Messiah will ties to a Jubilee Year with a connection to a restoration of the sanctuary of The Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem. I believe he got this right. Newton states that to apply the words of Daniel only to the first coming does violence to the words:
"so the interpretation here given is more full and complete and adequate to the design, than if we should restrain it to his first coming only, as Interpreters usually do. We avoid also the doing violence to the language of DANIEL, by taking the seven weeks and sixty two weeks for one number. Had that been DANIEL'S
meaning, he would have said sixty and nine weeks, and not seven weeks and sixty two weeks, a way of numbering used by no nation."
As noted, Newton's studies included the living creatures and his focus helped peak my own interest to study the Scriptures.

I have begun to learn that the ensigns of the four living creatures on each side of the Tabernacle show us the attributes of our Savior and Messiah.


There is the face of a suffering servant, the man Messiah, the face of a lion His leadership and power, the ox, His strength and determination, and finally the eagle as the swift execution of judgment.


In this way, the heavenly design of the Tabernacle not only served as God's dwelling place on Earth among His children, it is a crucial visual aid to give us a clear understanding of Messiah's redemptive work on Earth. The Tabernacle gives us many precious insights about our privilege and honor as believers and followers.

My goal in this study is to help believers learn more about this so you can share or teach it to others as well.

It all started when God told Moses to count the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counted 603,550 men of a warrior's age and the tribe of Levi, numbering 22,300 was counted separately because the Levites replaced the firstborn to serve the Sanctuary and camp around it after the firstborn were disqualified when they sinned in the worship of the golden calf.

Beyond the Levite camp, the twelve tribes camped in four groups with four ensigns. The Torah portion Bemidbar במדבר "In the wilderness" describes the census of Israel's warriors and the arrangement of the 12 camps of the families around the Tabernacle of God:

To the 'east' stood the ensign of the lion and the tribe of Judah (74,600), Issachar (54,400) and Zebulun (57,400); to the 'south' was the ensign of the man Reuben (46,500), Simeon (59,300) and Gad (45,650); to the 'west' stood the ensign of the ox before the camp of Ephraim (40,500), Manasseh (32,200) and Benjamin (35,400); and to the 'north' stood the eagle ensign and the tents of Dan (62,700), Asher (41,500) and Naphtali (53,400).

This formation was kept while following YHVH's pillar of fire through the desert for 40 years.

The ensigns of the four camps of Israel show us attributes of God and Messiah, His suffering, strength, determination and judgment. In a similar way, the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are unique as all four Gospel accounts tie together to give a full picture of the Messiah.

These are seen in creation. The mazzaroth found in Job 38:31-32 or the so-called zodiac as we have named it today shows us the same picture of the ensigns.

Four is an important number. We have four corners of the Earth: north, south, east and west. Four classic elements: earth, wind, fire and water. There are four major lunar phases and four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. There are also four levels of Scripture: peshat, remez, drash and sod just as there are four measurements of design: height, length, breadth and depth.

Looking at what Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah and John said about the Lion, the Man, the Ox and the Eagle, we know there are four ensigns, four attributes of God and of Messiah to consider.

The four ensigns of the encampments were: Judah - Lion, Reuben - Man , Ephraim - Ox, Dan - Eagle. The attributes also match the prophetic descriptions of the "branch". In Hebrew, this is "tsemach". It is the 'shoot' of Messiah from the Jewish root of the Davidic tree described by Jeremiah and Zechariah.
Lion - a King
Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Eagle - A Judge
Jeremiah 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the BRANCH of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

Servant - A Man
Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Determination - Ox
Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
King Yeshua is described in Jeremiah 23:5. He will be reigning in Jerusalem in the land allotted to Judah. He is the King who will come for all nations to restore to life and re-unite the whole Kingdom of God. Why restore and re-unite? Because the dividing wall of partition is cracking now and it will crumble and fall. This is the message of Ephesians 2:11-22.
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us
This is the mystery of Messiah described in Ephesians 3.

Christians everywhere are returning to the Feasts of the LORD, long an important part of observant Jewish culture, God's festivals have been ordained at times appointed by God. During Yeshua’s walk as a humble man with us, He fulfilled the spring feasts, the first four feasts on every Jewish calendar and He will fulfill the Falls Feasts at His return and Messiah ben David.

This chart shows all the Kings including those of "Judah" in the South and of "Israel" in the North. The chart includes Ishbosheth, yet the tribe of Judah rejected Ishbosheth, his name means "man of shame". His prophetic story is given in 2Samuel 2-4. Samuel points us to the 12 disciples of King Messiah Yeshua:
Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 2Samuel 2:15
If we look, the four creature depicted as the four ensigns connect directly to the 24 thrones before God described in Revelation:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people. Revelation 5:8

And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God Revelation 11:16
From a unique study titled: "The Gospel of Matthew" by Chuck Missler, we can learn more about the possibility of design and depth of the encampment from an aerial view. Assuming the camps were aligned in shape and dimension to the Tabernacle, an interpretation of the census in the camps is shown in the graphic above based on the count given by Moses.

Worth Considering

The Lamb is the ensign of the Savior as our sacrifice for sin. Perhaps the ensign of Dan which was originally the serpent on a pole, later became the eagle. This appears to be a foreshadow of the story of The Messiah as well. He came first to suffer on the stake lifted above the earth but despised by many yet he will return in the clouds as like a soaring Eagle lifted up by the wind.

Zechariah 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

Quoting the words of The Messiah himself:

John 3:14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life...

The four ensigns give us a reflection of the sign of our Savior and His people. A unique perspective of the wilderness exodus camp is repeated in Revelation. The Mercy Seat, the throne is there in the middle, the four ensigns, the lion, calf, man and eagle are all there in plain sight. Even the eyes of all the Israelites and two elders of each of the twelve tribes of Israel are described by John as they all peer and look toward the Holy of Holies while worshipping and singing to The Lord.

Why else would John have seen all the eyes? The eyes of His people within the imagery of the ensigns praising him, the eternal one. Perhaps John heard a verse of the currently 'unknown' Song of the Lamb.
And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:6

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. Revelation 15:3

And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. Deuteronomy 31:30

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Asher [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthali [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manassah [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zebulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:4-17

It's not just the prophetic book of Revelation that harkens back to the exodus Tabernacle scene. John is joined in the witness of Ezekiel, Isaiah and Zechariah. They all are given a vision of the four ensigns on the banners of Israel.

The early first century believers that recorded Messiah Yeshua's ministry understood the symbol of the lion - the king is clearly represented in the Gospel of Matthew, and in Mark we see the ox - the servant, and in Luke the man - the kinsman redeemer and finally in John the eagle - the savior God that is to return in judgment.

What can we conclude?

The Ensigns point toward the gospel story that our Messiah, is the anointed one, the King. He came first as a Suffering Servant, next He is presented in His humanity as our Kinsman Redeemer and finally as the Savior. The four gospel writers, with their four separate records and perspectives on The Messiah combine to form a complete understanding of Yeshua's (Jesus' Hebrew name) mission that is seen in the ensigns of the camp shown in Exodus: He is King, Servant, Man, and God. The Revelation account of this scene shows us the "Greater Exodus" described by Isaiah, Exekiel and Jeremiah:

"And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Isaiah 11:12

"When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer." Ezekiel 39:27-28

"Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil." Jeremiah 23:7-8"
This explains why Apostle John, just like the Priest and Prophet Ezekiel, saw the same image of a creature that looked like a lion, man, ox and eagle in his writing of The Revelation of Yeshua. Incredibly, Messiah Yeshua is the "One" that led the first Exodus from the Pillar of Fire and He is the "One" that will lead the Greater Exodus.

The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness [was] about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof [came] the likeness of four living creatures. And this [was] their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet [were] straight feet; and the sole of their feet [was] like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. And [they had] the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings [were] joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 1:3-10

And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:7

The Cloud of Fire

Did you also notice that Ezekiel also saw the manifest presence of the glory of God, the 'Shekinah'? This is the same that appeared as a cloud of fire that led Israel up from Egypt through the wilderness when the Lord went before them "in a pillar of a cloud". This cloud was the symbol of his presence with his people. God also spoke to Moses through the 'Shekinah' fire out from the burning bush. Ezekiel incredibly also describes the amber color for us. Let's look at some references made to the fiery cloud during Israel's wilderness wanderings:

And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness [to them], but it gave light by night [to these]: so that the one came not near the other all the night. Exodus 14:20

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD [was] upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. Exodus 40:34-38

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: [which] when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:23-24

And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. Numbers 16:42.

We also see a description of His glory, this "cloud of fire" on the Mountain of Sinai:

And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD [was] like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:16

The Four Faces

The four faces of the beast John saw, the lion, man, ox and eagle represent the ensigns, the same banners on the standards of the tribes of Israel that are to be seen by the nations at the great re-gathering. Let's look back at Moses' description:

Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch. Numbers 2:2

Isaiah tells us that the four ensigns seen in the wilderness journey represent another event - a future event, a regathering of all nations of peoples from all over the earth following the last blowing of the trumpet. In keeping with the requirement of two or three witnesses, the prophet Zechariah and Matthew also confirm the words of our Messiah about this future event.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of His trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 23:31

Matthew 24:31 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: Whose arrows [are] sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind: Their roaring [shall be] like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry [it] away safe, and none shall deliver [it]. And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if [one] look unto the land, behold darkness [and] sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.
Isaiah 5:26-30 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:10 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 18:3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion [shall be] from sea [even] to sea, and from the river [even] to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein [is] no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee; When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar. And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. Zechariah 9:9-16

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Corinthians 15:52

Moses was instructed how to arrange the encampment of Israel:

The Lion of Judah on the East Side:

And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab [shall be] captain of the children of Judah. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred. And those that do pitch next unto him [shall be] the tribe of Issachar: and Nethaneel the son of Zuar [shall be] captain of the children of Issachar. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, [were] fifty and four thousand and four hundred. [Then] the tribe of Zebulun: and Eliab the son of Helon [shall be] captain of the children of Zebulun. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, [were] fifty and seven thousand and four hundred. All that were numbered in the camp of Judah [were] an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth. Numbers 2:3-9

The Man Reuben "the firstborn" on the South side:

On the south side [shall be] the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their armies: and the captain of the children of Reuben [shall be] Elizur the son of Shedeur. And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, [were] forty and six thousand and five hundred. And those which pitch by him [shall be] the tribe of Simeon: and the captain of the children of Simeon [shall be] Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] fifty and nine thousand and three hundred. Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad [shall be] Eliasaph the son of Reuel. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty. All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben [were] an hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand and four hundred and fifty, throughout their armies. And they shall set forth in the second rank. Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards. Numbers 2:10-17

The Ox Ephraim on the West Side:

On the west side [shall be] the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies: and the captain of the sons of Ephraim [shall be] Elishama the son of Ammihud. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] forty thousand and five hundred. And by him [shall be] the tribe of Manasseh: and the captain of the children of Manasseh [shall be] Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] thirty and two thousand and two hundred. Then the tribe of Benjamin: and the captain of the sons of Benjamin [shall be] Abidan the son of Gideoni. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] thirty and five thousand and four hundred. All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim [were] an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank. Numbers 2:18-24

The Eagle Dan on the North Side:

The standard of the camp of Dan [shall be] on the north side by their armies: and the captain of the children of Dan [shall be] Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] threescore and two thousand and seven hundred. And those that encamp by him [shall be] the tribe of Asher: and the captain of the children of Asher [shall be] Pagiel the son of Ocran. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] forty and one thousand and five hundred. Then the tribe of Naphtali: and the captain of the children of Naphtali [shall be] Ahira the son of Enan. And his host, and those that were numbered of them, [were] fifty and three thousand and four hundred. All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan [were] an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards. Numbers 2:25-31

These [are] those which were numbered of the children of Israel by the house of their fathers: all those that were numbered of the camps throughout their hosts [were] six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers. Numbers 2:32-34

When we read this we may ask ourselves why the numbering, why is that important? Where do we find another systematic numbering of the tribes of Israel. In Revelation, John describes the four beasts and the hundred forty [and] four thousand singing the song of Moses, the song of The Lamb as if it were a new song:

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. Revelation 14:1-3

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thy judgments are made manifest. Revelation 15:3-4
His People will be Re-gathered.

The 1,000 year period between the return of Messiah at the first resurrection (Matthew 24:30, Zechariah 14:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), and the second resurrection with the time (Revelation 20:5,11-15) called the Millennium, from the Latin word "mille" meaning "thousand years" will be a very different world than has run its course from the beginning until now.

In the words of Moses it is:
When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: Deuteronomy 31:11
Isaiah tells us:
He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. Isaiah 11:12-13

And Ezekiel:

For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new Spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:24-28

We have not seen “all Israel” restored to Torah or into the land, but we are seeing Judah’s camp re-enter under his awesome Jewish banner: the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Today, as in the past, Judah leads. Judah’s camp was the first to cross over through the Red Sea and the first to set out in the wilderness; he is and always was the first into battle. This assignment remains today although many confuse Judah’s banner with that of Israel’s camp despite what the prophets tell us. When we do this we can’t see the whole prophetic picture just as we can’t see the Hebrew words unless we look for them.

We know Reuben lost his firstborn rights, so too Reuben and his divisions will set out second from the south. Perhaps we are seeing a part of this today with the great return from Africa that began in 1991 with Operation Solomon as Ethiopia's Falash Mura began their aliyah. In the wilderness camp, Reuben, the son of Leah was followed from the west by Joseph’s son Ephraim and his divisions who will set out third have the rights of the firstborn that were given to Joseph because he was the firstborn of Rachel, Jacob’s first and true love.

Genesis 28:1-4: “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.”

Jacob’s marriage to both daughters of Laban reveals many great and mysterious things that God is going to accomplish in His restoration. When we look more closely we see that Jacob and his two wives reveal God's plan of redemption for the whole world, as both Judah and Ephraim declare the end from the beginning. We are about to see Yeshua and his marriage to both and to those that sojourn with them.

Rachel's life and her children tell us where we have been in the past and where we are going in the future. She was the wife of promise for Jacob. Laban promised her to Jacob but it wasn't so until after Laban made sure that Leah was being taken care of first. Rachel's life and her children is an amazing allegory about Israel. About their separation, about being ruled by judges, then Kings and the terrible struggle they would have. She finally had the children she always desired and this tells us even more about the future. Her story confirms many prophecies in the Bible. She was barren as her promised children were not yet seen. Like her children Israel, she also had a problem with idols.

She is a shadow picture of the peoples that constantly had problems with worshiping the One Echad God. This very thing brought many problems to Israel and delayed God's promise for her and Israel. On the other hand, Leah began having children immediately, her 4th son was Judah. The story of Leah and Rachel is indeed a shadow picture of the restoration of Judah and Israel. So today, the two wives of Jacob show us a vital element for understanding Bible Prophecy in that while Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews and all must follow Messiah for salvation.

Ephraim’s divisions were followed by the divisions of Dan from the north. This is a part of the order God commanded “all Israel”. He does not change - this is how they will enter again when God has executed His judgments. Just how might that look? Perhaps all we need do is read His word and remember - all the tribes designated east of the tabernacle would have to be located east of it. All instructed to be in the south would be south, west would be west and all those designated in the north would be seen camped in the north.

When we take the number of the tribes and apply it to their directional camps we can then easily assign the proper dimensions. By putting the census numbers into directional alignment in the ancient camp of the tribes that surrounded the Tabernacle what we actually see from above is none else but the ancient Hebrew Tav - The Sign of the Covenant Cross - not just those of Leah’s son Judah’s but the sons of the beloved Rachel, all Israel.

In addition to that, when we look at the census of Israel and put the numbers in a modern radar graph, we can see the volume numbers in another way as they surround the Tabernacle. Notice too that the numbers put Reuben on top, he is the firstborn and below him we see Ephraim, the adopted of Jacob, the one that received the double portion inheritance. Finally, we can see Judah is in the lead once again.


So what can we learn from the camps, their ensigns and their numbers? It is not easy, but despite what we may “know” from other’s interpretation and teaching - Judah "alone" does not equal "all" Israel. We can’t interchange those words today or in our past – if we do, we may not know our future as recorded by the prophets.

The key to understanding our future is to understand God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us and He never changes His mind. He teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live. It's the original message of the Deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer.

What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now!

Shalom.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Aleph Tav - Herald of Messiah


This manuscript study shares some exciting “findings” in Scripture about the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph and Tav. They are shown here in the modern Hebrew script.

Each letter in Hebrew has a unique meaning. The letters Aleph and Tav אֵת literally give their meaning as "the strength of the covenant".

The key to understanding Aleph Tav as the strength of the covenant is to consider that God gives His teaching and instruction from Heaven for living on earth because He loves us and every word, every jot and tittle of the book of יהוה is important to sustaining the Universe.

You will learn about the significance of the letters Aleph Tav and why they provide The Herald of Messiah throughout the Bible.

The Aleph Tav study considers the Hebrew text as the source code of the Bible. The picto-graphic meaning of the scrolls have been hidden because English or other translations do not portray the original graphic meanings of Hebrew, so we can learn a lot more if we will look back to the original language.

The letters Aleph Tav begin their story in the very first verse of the Bible, yet they are not known to millions of modern day readers of the Bible that use translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, so it is time that they be seen because the אֵת serve the Word of God like two witnesses of Messiah some 7,000 times throughout the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings.

Paleo-Hebrew fragments of the Torah were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The original pictographic Hebrew script used by the Hebrew people before the exile to Babylon is a real eye opener and reveals much more about the depth and meaning of each Hebrew letter and word.

I pray this study will show why we all need to learn as much as we can about the Hebrew language, the pure language of the Bible. Doing so will help us better understand each word found in the Scriptures that have been given to us by our Creator as our instruction manual for living.

Except for faithful Jewish people, most of the rest of us have only seen or read translations of the Bible that are from translations of translations. That presents a problem. In fact, most any English Bibles are translated from the "Greek" Septuagint which were taken from "Hebrew" manuscripts over 2,000 years ago. Due to translation “babel” from Hebrew to Greek, there is much to re-learn about God's word and The Herald of Messiah.

Like the old saying, “lost in the translation”, the Aleph Tav has been literally lost in translation, so one goal of this study is to put an end to that and to show the Aleph Tav as an infinite sign, “the word” that is waiting to be re-discovered.

This is important because the Aleph Tav allows the Messiah to be “seen“ throughout all the “Word” of God. Many Bible students may be familiar with the “Greek” counterparts of Aleph and Tav as the Alpha and Omega we understand these only to illustrate a picture of the “beginning” and the “end,” but there is much more to be seen in the ancient, graphic meaning of the ancient Aleph Tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew "aleph-bet".

It is important to learn as much as we can about the Hebrew language to better understand the voice of God in Scripture and that is what this study addresses as it shows The Herald of Messiah from the beginning to the end of the Bible.

There is no idle word in Scripture and these two letters provide The Herald of Messiah in seemingly random placements throughout Scripture. But they are not random, yet they have been “hidden” there within the Hebrew scrolls for too long, so it is time to see these two witnesses... אֵת


בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ


Unless you can read the Bible in its native Hebrew language, you might think of the Aleph Tav like a computer’s program “source code” which is hidden and not seen. Yet behind the scene, the code gives a computer its purpose and provides the user with the instruction needed to complete the task. Likewise, the Aleph Tav does this within the Hebrew Scriptures. For a 'code' sampling, consider the place called Etham. It is the second location that Moses and Israel were led by the Pillar of Fire. There they crossed between the waters of the Red Sea.

In Hebrew, Etham is Aleph Hey Mem אתם .

In Hebrew, each letter provides a graphic sign, ultimately composing the word meaning from the letters. Aleph א = strength, Hey ת = behold and Mem ם = rushing water. So, what really happened at Etham? The word tells the story as the "strength" of God was "beheld" as the "water rushed" open.

That is the hidden story, the source code of the Hebrew word Etham. It's not just a word, its a word from the Torah and each word, each letter, each stroke of the Torah scribe's pen has great significance from beginning to end in the teaching of God. This study will shed some light on the source “code” of the Bible because Moses wrote of Messiah:
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
Aleph Tav is a code which points as The Herald of Messiah [the strength of the covenant] throughout the Word of God.

To begin your journey just download the study and share it freely at no cost because the only copyright here is your right to copy. And be sure to come back and visit this page from time to time since the study may be updated form time to time with new discoveries from the Word of God.

And feel free to write if you have a message about the Aleph Tav that should be added to the teaching as others have.


What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. God is a sovereign God. He is a loving and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation, it is seen throughout the Bible. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I am very excited to let you know that new Hebrew Bible publications have just been complied. The first is from Pastor Greg Riether of Healing Grace Ministries in Tulsa Oklahoma. I got mine in the mail and you can also order a copy of "The Aleph-Tav Bible".

The ancient Paleo Hebrew can be viewed and used online at The HTML Bible, a parallel Hebrew Old Testament by John Hurt.

The Aleph Tav can also be seen in a more extensive Bible publication titled The Messianic Aleph Tav Scriptures from Bill Sanford. This edition has several of Bill's own excellent commentaries. Mr. Sanford kindly wrote to me a few months prior to its publication to let me know about this important study Bible after viewing this study.

I have purchased a copy of both editions of the Bible that restore the Aleph Tav from the Hebrew word of God. They are wonderful, but don't keep them on your bookshelf!

Read them, study them, and like Pastor Riether says:

"Come on a journey and see the Old Testament in a way that you’ve never seen it before; the way it was meant to be seen. The Aleph Tav Old Testament; Jesus on every page of the Bible."


Shalom.