My Scripture Studies
Seek God. Engage with His voice in the Bible and start in the beginning.

January 08, 2016

The Test

he Great Scroll of Isaiah from Qumran

The scroll of Isaiah has been around for some 2,700 years. 

t's the one scroll that a copy survived virtually intact in the caves of Qumran for 2,000 years.

Theologians say it was written in Jerusalem over a 40 year period from 740-700 BC. 

Isaiah wrote it just before the the northern Ten Tribes of Israel were taken captive and exiled by Assyria.

Why did that exile happen?

In my Scripture studies I found that Northern Israel turned their back on God's word and went their own new religion way. 

They were counseled and warned by the Prophets to turn back, but they refused to repent of their arrogance, pride, lust.

Despite all the warnings, they wouldn't listen!

Instead, they chose their own path, made their own religious rules and did not walk in God's ways, so they failed "the test." 

Time was given for repentance, but they failed the test and they were eventually dragged away from the Promised Land.

They were imprisoned if you will in exile's captivity to their own sins and they lost their identity in outside the land of God's promise. They paid with lost identity as they were divided from God's Kingdom. 2 Kings 17:6 tells us when and where:
"In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and he carried them away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of Medes."
In ten short years that most historians mark between 732-722 BC, the northern Kingdom of Israel disappeared. They were conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, and exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes which covered most of today's Syria and Iran. 

There they faced persecution and slavery. Today, radical despots of Islam rule there.

If you are wondering about where they went before they were scattered even further, just search the web for the term "Syria and Iraq."

Just before the timeline when the marauders of Shalmaneser moved in to take them as prisoners, the book of Isaiah was written and there is a Messianic connection, a test we must all learn from.

The book of Isaiah can be trusted. It's unchanged as Qumran proves. How do we know? When the Dead Sea scrolls were found in the caves of Qumran, they were dated long before the time of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

The ancient scroll of Isaiah is now online for all to see. It's still intact with truth and virtually identical with the Hebrew Masoretic texts which make up our modern day version of the scroll of Isaiah.

We call it the scroll of Isaiah, but more importantly, it is critical to consider "who" gave the words to the prophet Isaiah. We are told just "who" this one is by none other than Isaiah. The very same words were given to the Apostle John, some 700 years later on the Isle of Patmos.

We have to take also note, the messenger who identifies himself as Israel's King and Redeemer meets the two or three witness requirement of Torah (God's teaching) in Deuteronomy 19:15. Take note there are three witness clues given in Isaiah and two in Revelation. These provide a critical and direct connection between the messages in the two prophetic Biblical books that we must not ignore.

This is a BIG deal and it is tied to... "The Test"

The prophet Isaiah wrote what he heard:
1) "Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD with the first of them and with the last I am he.” Isaiah 41:4

2) “This is what the LORD says — Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6

3) “Listen to me Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. Isaiah 48:12
Listen to me Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he. Just before this declaration in the first verse of Isaiah 48 we read these words from the King James Bible translation:
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have [chosen] thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10 KJV
The King James translators used the word 'chosen' here. Interestingly, the NIV shows the word "chosen" much closer to its Hebrew word meaning which is... "test, testing, tested." The Hebrew word for [tested] is "bachan" בָּחַר (bet-hey-rosh), and the present active form [testing] is the Hebrew word "bochan" בֹּחַן (bet-hey-vav).

All Hebrew letters have individual meanings: the bet meaning is "in" or "at", hey means "behold", the meaning of rosh is "first" and vav represents a "nail".
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have [tested] you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10
So, how do we read this with the letter meanings? Is it chosen or tested? Perhaps it is both. But just who is  "chosen and tested" in the furnace of affliction?

We are if we are following Messiah. He was tested, so are we. The disciple Peter (aka Kepha) "the rock" writes about this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn't fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials,  that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah -- whom not having known you love; in whom, though now you don't see him, yet believing, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory -- receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1Peter 1:3-9 HNV
Many have heard or read the story that Jesus was "tempted." We can find the account in the King James Bible:
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Matthew 4:1 KJV
"Tempted" is the "olde English" word that the King James translators used, but in a way, it puts out a slightly different connotation and as we will see, the disciple James (aka Jacob) writes about tempting - so we should examine that too.

Matthew records the story of a "furnace of the affliction," the test that occurred during Messiah's 40 days of fasting. During those 40 days in the wilderness, we actually see the "test" as Jesus would be proven worthy as King on earth since Adam, the first man failed his test.

Ha-Satan would be shown to have "no hold" on mankind after the wilderness test of Yeshua. We must "behold" Messiah to understand this and the tie to the words given to Isaiah and John.

Yeshua-Jesus is the "first and the last." He is the Alpha and Omega or in Hebrew the Aleph and Tav.

He was the ultimate test at the Passover cross where He would in justice and righteousness, overcome and release the death penalty given to Adam for those that would rely on Messiah the second Adam just as Paul calls Him in 1Corinthians 15:47. 

Like Isaiah, the disciple John wrote what he heard, and its the same message given to Isaiah:
1) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last. Revelation 1:17

2) And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. Revelation 2:8 

3) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13
Yeshua dies and came to life to overcome the death penalty for sin. Before that he was tested and the King James Bible translation gives us something worth repeating:
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Matthew 4:1
The NIV translation gives a footnote stating the Greek word for "tempted" here actually means "tested."

This Greek "tempt" word is peirazō - it means "to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself." 

It's like the Hebrew word "bachan." 

Strong's concordance tells us "bachan" means: "to test, prove, try (of gold, persons, the heart, man of God)."

The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh points to Yeshua's test to prove His heart as the man of God and James [Ya'cob], the half brother and disciple of Yeshua reveals something critical about the tests that we face each day:
"When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” 
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed." James 1:13-14

Isn't that the first thing Adam did when God questioned him?

Adam blamed Eve. Then Eve blamed the serpent.

But the thing James is teaching is God does not tempt, God gives us choice. 

The bad choices or decisions we make are ours as are the consequences. 

We have to own them. 

We all want to blame the devil 
for our trials and tests.
Since the beginning, we cast blame on others.

It's time to understand some important words from the Apostle James. Mull them over very carefully... they are critical:

"By their own evil desire." 

Does this truth of "the test" matter? If it does, we must realize we are descended from Adam and Eve and what that means. 

They failed the test and blamed haSatan. The Exodus people at Mt. Sinai that worshipped the golden calf and those that gave a bad report on the Promised Land failed the test. The Ten Tribes of northern Israel did as well. We too have failed "the test" - but Jesus (Yeshua) overcame His test for us. He did not fail the 40 day test in the wilderness (Luke 4:2) or the test at the cross (Luke 23:34). 

Instead He offered forgiveness and eternal life.

If we step back, we can see that haSatan tested ("bachan") Yeshua the son of man and the Son of God, just like the first Adam was tested in his examination. There was a big test in Eden, and Adam failed. He was weak like the 3,000 that failed their 40 day test at Sinai when they chose their own way and worshiped the golden calf and the 10 that failed the 40 day exam to report on the Promised Land. 

Will we continue to choose to fail our tests?

I wonder if Adam and Eve had been tested 40 days after God's instruction about the tree of good and evil when they were tested?

We do not know the answer, but I do know Messiah Yeshua had victory in His test so that the cornerstone of redemption could be set.

Let's look at a parable prophecy of His testing with a promise that we can see in Isaiah's scroll...
"So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place." Isaiah 28:16-17
Yeshua proved Himself to be the tested cornerstone that Isaiah wrote of and because of that Paul wrote this to the people in Ephesus:
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:18-20
The cross is the final measuring line and the plumb line for the cornerstone. The first son of God, the man Adam, failed his test from haSatan and brought corruption, entropy and death into the world giving temporary authority of our planet over to "the prince of this world" that Yeshua will come again to take away as King and Priest in the order of Melchizedek because His work was not finished at the cross. Evil that opposes God must be abolished.

Yeshua's first mission was declared by Isaiah. We can read the synagogue declaration in Luke 4 when the scroll of Isaiah was handed to Yeshua to read. He chose chapter 61 and read this:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor..."

He stopped reading there. He did not read beyond that because they are reserved for His second mission: "and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."

Isaiah goes on to describe the day of vengeance against sin and death and those that hate the God of Israel in Isaiah 63. John repeats the day in Revelation 14 for those that worship the beast.

The deceiver's test of Yeshua in the wilderness demanded signs from Heaven and like Eden, thes test started with food by the rock to bread test. So Jesus, the bread of life, declared His authority over haSatan with the warning from Deuteronomy 8:4: "Do not put the LORD your God to the [test].

You must do the same. Do not test The Lord.

The Pharisees came to Jesus attempting to test him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven (see Matthew 16:1). Others also attempted to test Him by asking for a sign from heaven (see Luke 11:16). The Pharisees also tested His Biblical teaching against some extra Biblical teachings as religious requirements. 

Importantly, those men that tested Him recognized He deferred to no one but God: "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any." The account is in Matthew 22:15-21, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 14-1-6 and Luke 20:20-26.

They tested Him on the greatest commandments in Matthew 22:34-26 and Mark 12:28-34. They tested Him on judging adultery and in return He tested them on the requirement of two or more witnesses. That account is in John 8:3-4. In Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6 and Luke 6:6-11 they tested Him on healing on the Sabbath.

They tested Him on their hand washing rituals in Mark 7:1-9 and Luke 11:37-54. That wasn't a test on washing before a meal but on ritual.

Yeshua admonished extra-Biblical religious laws of men. He said they were like leaven in Matthew 16:5-12: Luke 12:1-2 and Mark 18:14-21.

The prophet Zechariah saw a foreshadow of a test of Yeshua. Check it out: "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." Zechariah 3:1

Righteous testing is OK, but it's our duty to test men, not God.
In Revelation 2:2, Jesus says: "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."
Messiah's ultimate mission is the test about eternal life and love. That is why we must carefully examine all of Yeshua's words and deeds, not men's and make them our own and place them above the Bible.

Some of the hardest passages to comprehend in the Bible are from our Savior. One reason is we don't under stand them is the culture of the day. Nonetheless, I feel like the terrified disciples when I read and consider some of them, but the thing is - they did not understand the work of the cross just yet when they heard Him speak. That is why Jesus taught them: "with God all things are possible." 

Let's take a look at one of Yeshua's teaching:
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:16-17 NIV
In the book of John, we see the possibility revealed: Thomas said... "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:5-6

Believe it or not, like always, Jesus was claiming another Torah promise given to Moses... "See, I am sending an angel [mal'ak messenger] ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared." Exodus 23:20

The story given in Matthew 19 is repeated in Mark 10, but instead of the word astonished, the word amazed is used in the NIV translation.
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:26-27 NIV
The words astonished and amazed are the same Greek word [ekplēssō] and this word actually has the meaning to be struck by "panic and shock" so we can see in both Matthew and Mark's accounts, the disciples were hit by panic and shock at Yeshua's teaching because they knew they too had broken God's commandments.

Panic and shock sounds a lot different from "astonished and amazed" if you ask me. Those words tend to render awe and wonder. But the reality is: the disciples were [panicked and shocked], and said to each other:

"Who then can be saved?"

Following the Messiah's teaching about eternal life, their panic and shock is accelerated: "They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid." Mark 10:32

The Greek word astonished here in this verse is 'thambeō'. It literally means "terrified!" That word translated as afraid is 'phobeō' and it means to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away). That kind of fear makes the hair stand up on my neck!

So, if we dig in, we see the reality of the moment... They were ascending, on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way and the disciples were [terrified], while those who followed were afraid [scared].

This was a faith moment !!

That is why Jesus (Yeshua) immediately explained the purpose of the cross to the twelve disciples. His work there would provide the way, the way to eternal life for all who have fallen short of God's commands.

If we chose Him, we can know in faith that Yeshua overcame the law of Eden's death penalty for everyone at the cross as He took the penalty declared by Almighty God on our behalf. It is Messiah in us that gives us the strength to pass the test when we are dragged down by our own evil desires away from God's commands because He is the first and the last, the Aleph and Tav of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings.

Until the resurrection, the conflict between the “law of life” and the “law of sin” governed earthly existence. The conflict of good and evil continues, but we can't blame God, only ourselves, yet God The Father provides the solution of redemption though Messiah with the “law of life.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us: "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He."

Instead of casting blame outward, our goal must be inward. We must turn inward to seek the spiritual heart that serves the “law of God” that opposes the carnal “law of sin” that brings us into captivity and bondage spiritually and physically as it has its temporary reign. The Torah of God opposes sin, the “law of God” is life, the “law of sin” is bondage to ourselves that results in sin and death.

This is why we all need Messiah Yeshua as our redeemer, why we all need to be set free by Yeshua for only He can cover and atone for our sins and give us the strength through the Spirit of God to walk like Him so that we are not terrified and afraid. Yeshua is the rock of our salvation. Isaiah builds on the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4 as he writes:
“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug." Isaiah 51:1
Once we let go and give The Lord our life and follow Him in His Torah teaching, haSatan will continue his fight with the law of life, but he has no right to our hearts and minds because the authority of Messiah resides in the believer like the new covenant of God described to Jeremiah. Jeremiah 31:31-33 says written on our minds and hearts - so we must never say it is done away with, or we will lose our test everyday.

God's Torah declares "blessing" for walking in it and God instruction describes the “curses” that we bring on ourselves as the result of choosing to break away from God’s instruction for living.

The very beginning of the Torah is where the concept of the “curse of the law” that we bring on ourselves originates. By this, we can easily see what Paul is not saying God's law (Torah) is done away with and he is not inventing anything new.

Folks, Paul never called the Torah, the “law of God” a curse. The “curse” is the result of deliberately breaking or ignoring God’s instruction and seeking our own way to add to or take away from God's teaching and instruction.

Have we all done it?

Did the Pharisees do it too? Yes, we have all broken God’s law, that is the test!

Are we cursed by our own action or inaction? Yes! 

Yet, in grace, Yeshua gives us the answer. We all have to deal with the curses and make the choice for life and blessing. If we don't do that, then we remain under the curse of the law and we will go to the second death at the God's judgment of Yom Kippur with our heads held in shame, not covered by the atoning blood of Messiah's personal sacrifice to end the death penalty.

That is why we need to receive Yeshua as our Savior Messiah, to heal the spiritual division between us and our Creator. Bottomline, Yeshua can save us, from ourselves.

Man's choice for sin brought death to the planet, not haSatan. He understonn the curse so he brought the deception.  Creation was introduced to the curse of death by Adam and Eve and we continue in their pattern. The curse includes atrophy and entropy leading to death. The ultimate curse of sin is death and separation from eternal life isolated from our Creator God. Believe it or not, the laws of physics make note of this. The reality of death stems from mankind's engagement with the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy tends to increase in an isolated system. Isolated from God.

With a view of physics and the second law of thermodynamics, we can see the penalty of the law of sin and death by our own willful rebellion in disobedience. The result is exclusion and isolation from the eternal life that God can provide. The law of sin and death comes from disobedience that God warned Adam and Eve about. 

The sinless life of Messiah Yeshua is the perfect walk to follow though life in the Torah of God toward His Kingdom.

There is a higher law than the lowly penalty, the judgment of death. The blessings of this "gospel" good news is life, eternal life with the Creator of life in His Kingdom that will be restored. 

Believers, whether Jew or not that have faith and follow Messiah in God's instruction are no longer under the curse of the law of sin and death through grace by faith in Yeshua the Messiah who takes away the ultimate curse of sin by His own death offering through redemption and resurrection.

We are all to walk in God's ways. The Spirit of this truth is given to us by God and Messiah.

Messiah Yeshua asked God to forgive us at the stake because we do not know what we are doing. In authority at the right hand of God He sent us the advocate, our teacher. In that way God gives us the help we need to understand His ways and He gives us comfort by His Spirit to teach us. Let's read from John:
"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." John 14:10
Jesus gave us words that we must not reject:
"If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." John 14:15-16
He also gave us a promise:
"Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them." John 14:19-21
Jesus called them His commands because He kepy them and filled the Torah, all of it with meaning:
"Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." John 14:24
The gift of the Spirit of God is our inner guard, our Heavenly teacher and comforter against the deception of haSatan while we wait for King Yeshua's return. We can see this promise in Exodus 23:20 if we just look closely:
"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared."
This is a great promise and it carries the living power of God:
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26
Yeshua explains the role of God's Spirit as our teacher not men that serve away from them, and because of that, haSatan has no right to our domain because the Spirit of God indwells us and haSatan does not have the authority to stand beside our Elohim. Yeshua gives us this authority and we MUST claim it.

We should therefore ask our Abba Father to pour
His Spirit on us and renew us daily.

Why? It's because life is just as Yeshua teaches: we have to contend with ourselves, deny ourselves in a humble spirit to take up His cross daily in our testing to live a crucified life (death to our desire to sin in rebellion to God's Word). That's what Yeshua taught in Luke 9:23.

Only then, can Jesus truly live His resurrection life of sacrificial love through us. This is like beholding the nail in the Hebrew word "bochan" בֹּחַן (bet hey vav).

Paul teaches in Romans 6:10-12:
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
It is to sin that we are to take up our cross daily to die to.

There are no excuse, we have to understand we are still mortal and we must contend with our selves because our physical bodies have not yet been glorified by the Shechinah Glory of our Creator in resurrection. Our bodies remains as our perishable refuge of flesh that opposes God's instruction for living so we must fight the good fight. We are all literally dying in the entropy that Adam and Eve brought into the world, but praise Yah, halleluyah... our souls can be redeemed in the first coming of Jesus and one glorious day, our souls can be redeemed as well at His second coming as King on Earth on Trumpets Day. 

But for now, we must be humble and press on in the cross walk of Messiah searching out His instruction, allowing the Spirit to teach us as we walk humbly in God's instruction and in repentance each day.

John penned these words almost 2,000 years ago explaining sin in the simplest of terms:
Everyone who sins breaks the law (Torah); in fact, sin is lawlessness (Torahlessness). 1 John 3:4
Yeshua taught that the greatest command of the Torah is to love God and the second is to love our fellow man so we have a powerful choice. 

We can worship God and live in Sprit and truth if we choose to. The new covenant is the promise of the Spirit writing the law (Torah) of God on our hearts as His Spirit convicts the world of sin. In this way, the Spirit of our living God opens our heart on how we are to live and love and the Bible teaches us how we are to do that. Living in the Spirit means that we are given a gift to take that which was written for our instruction so that we might understand the meaning and purposes of the Torah to apply it daily in our lives, in every situation.

This is the power of the Holy Spirit teacher given to us as a gift and we are to tell others this good news:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Without a doubt, our lives, our faith are tested daily and we will experience more testing in this fallen (entropy) world. Yes, seemingly overwhelming problems come at us at times, because from the beginning, by our own failure in human nature, we have all purposefully rejected God's voice in Eden and we have all turned away from His perfect Kingdom instruction, but:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7
Under God’s inspiration, King David wrote of mankind's dilemma:
“They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one”. Psalm 14:1-3
The prophet Jeremiah shows us that we are largely blinded by the deceit of our own motives and intents:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”. Jeremiah 17:9
But there is a solution, His name means salvation:
"Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die". John 11:25
Flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom. The Kingdom is not of this world, but Messiah is coming again to renew us on the Earth. It will be here, Heaven on Earth because the prince of this world and the enemy of God will be defeated as Isaiah 63 tells us and The Lord's mercy will be remembered. Death will be swallowed in victory.

Botton-line, we must be adopted from above as Romans 8:23 teaches and we must work out our salvation in great fear and trembling with a pure heart as Paul admonishes in Philippians 2:12. Our life battles, the tests that many blame on the devil, is really the conflict of our own flesh against God's Spirit just as Paul writes:
"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other..." Galatians 5:17.
God has given us His word to help strengthen us and His Spirit to teach this and love is the foremost instruction that we have been given as we contend for the faith by the power of the Spirit. YHVH God has made this clear over the centuries through all of His prophets.

It is our faith in the Word of God and love of Messiah who taught it that produces obedience. That obedience produces the power. That is why Jesus instructed His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until Shavuot (Pentecost). By their obedience they received power. The disciples personified faith and action working together and they received the Spirit. If we reject this we are foolish and we grieve the Holy Spirit:
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Corinthians 2:14

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption... Ephesians 4:30 1
God’s ways are different from ours.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’”. Isaiah 55:8-9
One way we can improve our vision of the Kingdom of God is by understanding the meaning and timing of God’s Sabbath and His seven annual Feasts. Although many people still think of the Feasts as only Jewish or an observances of Judaism, God says they are His Feasts, His appointments and seasons (see Leviticus 23:2-4). When you think about it, the Jewish people have always kept them, so the idea of them being Jewish ties to Messiah, after all Jesus is a Jew.

God gave us His set apart appointments to help us all understand Messiah's role in our salvation and how the Kingdom of God will be established on earth in God's timing. The Bible’s ultimate promise is that Messiah coming to earth as King to sit on the throne of Israel is forever. The Kingdom of Heaven is near on earth and it contains the hope of resurrection.

All nations will be under Yeshua'a Priesthood Kingship under the God of Israel one way or another. Messiah will regather His people, native born and sojourner with them to Jerusalem. Despite what you may have heard, going to Heaven isn’t our final destination, so we need to know the plan of the God of Israel shown in His Feast Days. 

In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul referred to the Feasts of The Lord as “a shadow of things to come.” Paul was right about the picture and the early followers if Yeshua kept them as reminders of the promise of the coming Kingdom of God. Paul grasped the connection between the purpose of these days and the gospel message (see 1Corinthians 5:7-8 and 1Corinthians 11:23-29).

Understanding the meaning of these annual appointments can help us understand the wonderful message of Messiah Yeshua in God’s plan for His coming Kingdom and eternal life on a redeemed planet. If you would like to know more about the annual festivals and God’s plan, you might want to check out the message in "The Feasts of The Lord."

In the end, God's Fall Feasts show us that He will restore the world back to creation as it was intended and eliminate the battle of our flesh against the will of His Spirit in resurrection when Messiah returns to tabernacle with us:
"So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable" 1Corinthians 15:42
And ultimately God will use haSatan's authority against him:
"I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave." John 14:30-31
Jesus tells us, the prince of this world comes so that the world may learn that Yeshua passed the test and did as the Father commanded.

That's our assignment too, but we can only do it in Truth and Spirit. The test for mankind started in Eden and it zeroed in on the planet at Mount Sinai as shown in Exodus 20:18-20:
"When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid." 

God has come to test us, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
That fear is reference and awe.

If you walk away from the written Torah of God and His instruction, you will fail God's test and wander off the same way Adam did, the same way ancient Israel did in the years of the judges and kingdom division shown in the books of the Kings.

You’ll likely end up next to an altar to Baal carrying an idol or bowing under the Asherah. But if you stay strong in the journey of the teaching in very same Hebrew Bible Jesus read and taught you can be a part of the Josiah generation that found the scroll of the Torah.

People will see your walk, set apart like Yeshua’s and they too may choose to follow your faith and walk in the ways of Messiah. Be Master Rabbi Yeshua disciple, take ownership of your faith and trust the Spirit of God as your teacher and comforter. Don’t rely on any pastor or rabbi alone, rely on Yeshua and ask God's Spirit to guide you!

Believe God's words, have faith, live it out, walk in it with the heart of the Spirit of God's voice within you, it is from the same shechinah glory fire presence that spoke to Moses at the mountain top.

Teach God's grace and loving kindness to your children, to your friends and to strangers by putting the living word on your doorpost, on your arm and in your head so that it will impact your heart.

Dig in and trust God when He says do and when He says don’t. It’s the Kingdom way.

It's time to repent and return to God's voice, 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 assignment. 

The test is to repent and stop sinning. It's time to return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His words, they are not heavy. Walk in the faith of the Kingdom path because birth pains are coming.

God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided the way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life in Messiah. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent, ask God for His forgiveness and ask others living out God's gift of love through the life of Messiah Yeshua.

Today is the time, you can only pass the test to come in the end with Messiah. If you know in your heart you need to get your life right with God, don’t wait for tomorrow, get it right with Him now!
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Psalm 38:17 
What does this all mean? 

Consider a prayer: Please, God, guide me by your Spirit as to what I should hear and do.

Repent and return to God's voice, return to hear and do His words and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your assignment. 

Stretch out your hand, and take from the tree of life, and live forever.

Open a Bible, read it, listen to God's voice and do Yeshua's teaching about the forever jots and tittles. 

You can learn how the things which are written in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms are concerning Messiah and you can teach others to live life like Jesus, it's love in God's way:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16-17
Today is the time of testing, open your eyes if you're dead in your own valley of dry bones.

Look up and you'll recognize Messiah from Abraham's promise passed on to Isaac and Jacob as written by Moses in the Torah. You can see Him too in the Prophets and the Writings.

Repent and walk your Emmaus Road with Messiah. Study the Scriptures He taught every Sabbath that are filled with doing life God's way in the Kingdom, and tell others about Him. Be a gatekeeper until the house is complete.