Monday, April 29, 2013
Rabbi Judah ben Samuel was born in 1140. He was known as Judah the Pious and was known for his emphasis on studying the bible, prayer and righteous living. According to Wikipeida, Rabbi Judah ben Samuel was “descended from an old family of Kabbalists from Northern Italy that had settled in Germany. Side by side with the official, dogmatic religion of the Church or the Synagogue there has always been a mysticism dealing more largely and more intimately with the personal relation of the individual to God, which at times was in opposition to the religion of the Synagogue. Judah's mysticism was in such a stage of opposition; he therefore undervalued the study of the Halakhah and indulged in marked departures from the accepted religious practices. He endeavored to deepen the feeling of devotion and piety and emphasized the importance of studying the Bible rather than studying the Talmud. He deals mystically with prayer, regarding it as more important than study.” In essence, he was a very spiritual man who strove to follow God and live righteously. He had a burning desire for the coming for the messiah and according to legend, the prophet Elijah is said to have participated in his Passover "Seder" meal and to have been seen by him in a synagogue.
Dr. Robert Mock has an excellent write-up on his Destination Israel Blog concerning Rabbi Judah’s prophecies that relate to the Jubilee Cycle and the year that the messiah comes. Instead of writing the details of the prophecies I am going to excerpt a portion from Dr. Mock’s blog (shown in dark text) and refer the reader to his site for those that want to read more about Rabbi Judah from his blog. Dr. Mock provides the following summary from his blog:
Rabbi Judah ben Samuel - “When the Ottomans (Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
According to Leviticus 25, one Jubilee period is 50 years in which the 50th year, each person will regain ownership of his or her tribal lands. As Rabbi Judah the Pious looked into the future, he was postulating theoretical calculations, which today are showing them to be amazingly accurate. It would be over 300 years after his death that his first prediction would become true.
During the Roman Christian Crusades, the Mamluk began their reign in Jerusalem in the year of 1250 CE when the last Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, Turanshah was assassinated by his Mamluk slave General Aibek. Aibek then founded the Mamluk Bahri dynasty. They held power over Jerusalem until they were conquered by the Ottoman Turks in the year of 1517, three hundred years after the death of Rabbi Judah ben Samuel.
According to Rabbi Judah he-Hasid, the Ottoman Turks would later wrestle power and control over the Middle East and assume power and control over Jerusalem. They would control the Land of Palestine and Jerusalem for eight Jubilees, according to his predictive calculations.
Well, eight Jubilees (50 years x 8 Jubilees) are 400 years. We know again by history that the Ottoman Turks gained control of Jerusalem in the year 1517 and held power over Jerusalem for 400 years, when they were conquered in 1917, by the British military forces under the command of British military General Edmund Allenby on Hanukkah, December 17, 1917. The Ottoman Turks began to falter in 1918 after the defeat of the army at Jerusalem. The city of Damascus fell on October 1, Homs on October 16, and Aleppo on October 25 and Turkey capitulated on October 30, 1918. After this date the League of Nations conferred the Turkey, Syria, and Egypt to the British Mandate that included the Land of Israel, then called Palestine, and Jerusalem to the British.
Then the prophecy continues when it states; “Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee.” Is it not amazing that from the year of 1917 when the British Mandate controlled the city of Jerusalem, Jerusalem did become under international law a “no-man’s land for one jubilee”. It was fifty years after that year in 1917, that the Israeli army captured the city of Jerusalem in the Six Day War on June 17, 1967. Exactly one Jubilee, 50 years later, Jerusalem returned for the first time to the control of the Jewish-Israeli ownership since the day when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE.
As Judah ben Samuel predicted the years of 1217 and 1517 were recognized as the biblical 50 year Jubilee Years. Three hundred years of six Jubilees after 1217, the Ottoman Turks took control of Jerusalem until its fading years when the Allied Forces swept the last ruler of the Ottoman from power by the forces of the British military troops under the command of General George Allenby in 1917.
Even after the Declaration of Independence by Israel in May 15, 1948 and Israel’s War of Independence against five Islamic nations, the city of Jerusalem still remained a “divided city”. The Jordanian government controlled the eastern part of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem. A strip of land divided the State of Israel control of Western Jerusalem and the Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem. This strip of land was called “The No-Man’s Land” by both Israelis and Jordanians.
Then in the year of 1967, Israel was once again attacked. After the Six Day War, on June 17, 1967, the entire region of the West Bank was conquered by the Israeli Army and the entire city of Jerusalem returned back in possession of the Jewish people. Seven hundred and fifty years after the prophecy was first made by Rabbi Judah the Pious, from 1217 to 1967, all the conditions of the prophecy were fulfilled to the letter of the prophetic oracle. Then Rabbi Judah heHasid wrote:
Rabbi Judah heHasid – “In the ninth jubilee Jerusalem will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which will signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
This leaves one more Jubilee, the tenth Jubilee since the Ottoman Turks took control of Jerusalem and the Land of Promise in the years of 1517. According to this Jewish sage, the end of this tenth Jubilee will “signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”
The end of the 10th Jubilee would be the year 2017. Rabbinical teaching is that the messiah could come anytime between now and then depending on our level of repentance. They teach that if enough people truly repent and turn to God, then the coming judgments will not be as severe and the messiah will return sooner. So instead of focusing on the evil all around, we need to focus on God and implement true repentance. The evil is only there to remind us of God and His salvation!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Most Christian churches today preach and teach almost exclusively out of the Christian New Testament claiming that they are the scriptures to be studied and virtually ignore the Hebrew Bible that was being studied and discussed by the Jews and early Christians. There exists an almost anti-Semitic attitude toward anything Jewish including the Hebrew Bible. This should not be the case. Judaism and the Hebrew Bible are the foundations of Christianity and should be embraced with open minds and hearts. I have found that Christians are missing out on key biblical truth by their lack of understanding of the Hebrew Bible and Judaism. There is much in Jewish literature that explains and gives insight into the Scriptures.
The Christian messiah was a Pharisaic Rabbi and as an Orthodox Jew he taught from both the Hebrew Bible and the Oral Torah. This can be seen by his teachings recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament. The Sadducees on the other hand were rabbis that did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, in the Messianic age, angels, or Oral Torah. The Sadducees were loyal only to the Romans and were put in power in Jerusalem by the Romans. Most of the people did not believe in what the Sadducees taught and were loyal to the Oral and Written Torah. It was the rabbis among the people that the common people followed, not the group of Sadducees that were ruling in Jerusalem.
When the Christian messiah criticized his fellow Pharisaic rabbis, he did not criticize their teaching but was critical of their hypocrisy. In Matthew 23:1-3 it says: Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.” (NASB) The Pharisees had Moses’ seat of authority and were teaching correctly, they were just not living according to how they were teaching. This same situation exists today with many religious leaders teaching correctly, but not internalizing what they teach in order to live what they teach.
We also have many religious leaders today teaching incorrectly because they do not know the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) or the context of Judaism in which the scriptures need to be understood. Some of my blog posts have been criticized by Christians for being too Jewish. One individual told me that I should only present things from a Christian perspective. He went on to say if I only understood Christian dispensational teaching I would not be so confused with the scriptures. In response to his comments, I would counter that I don’t have truth. I only have a limited understanding of truth. I only write to share things that I have learned in my spiritual journey hoping that others will find some of these things useful in their own journey for truth.
Only God has the truth. Those that think they have it all figured out are deceiving themselves. We are all on spiritual journey towards God and His truth if we seek Him. I am constantly learning God’s word and the truths that it contains. I don’t need man’s thinking and explanations as a substitute for God’s truth. God’s truth is there in His words and He has promised to reveal His truth to all who sincerely seek it. Finding truth requires taking theological blinders off and asking serious questions of yourself and what you believe. It involves digging deep into the words God gave us in the scriptures. Truth is always from God. It is evident in all of creation that surrounds us. It is not found in the world of lies of mankind. Test everything you read and hear from man against God’s words. That is the standard for absolute truth. Beware of man’s teaching and seek God’s instruction. Return to God and His Torah!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The scriptures are referenced throughout the Christian New Testament and Christians are encouraged to study the scriptures and test things according to the scriptures. What scriptures were the writers of the New Testament referring to? It could not have been their own letters and writings as they had not yet been compiled and canonized to be added to the Jewish Bible to form what we have today as the Christian Bible. The letters were circulated among the Christian churches to provide guidance on doctrine and principles of faith.
If you carefully read the writings of the New Testament, it is clear that the scriptures being referred to were the Jewish Bible or Hebrew Tanach. Those awaiting the messiah were initially Jews that believed the Jewish Bible (what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) was the word of God and they were well versed in it. They went to the synagogues on the Sabbath to hear it read. They studied it and discussed it often as part of their culture.
The New Testament writers also quoted or alluded to other books that they may have considered as scripture. According to Wikipedia, these other books quoted or alluded to include the following:
1. Book of Enoch (Jude 4,6,13,14-15, 2 Peter 2:4;3:13)
2. Life of Adam and Eve (2 Corinthians 11:14 "Satan as an angel of light", 12:2 "Third Heaven")
3. Assumption of Moses (Jude 9 "Michael… body of Moses")
4. Martyrdom of Isaiah (Hebrews 11:37 "they were sawn in two")
Of these 4 books referenced, the Book of Enoch was the one most likely considered scripture by the early church as it has been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and was quoted multiple times in both Jude and 2 Peter. It wasn’t canonized by the church and may or may not be scripture. However, the Book of Enoch has a lot of writing related to the messiah as well as information on the angelic realm and is well worth reading for those that have never read it.
Orthodox Jews have an annual reading and study cycle of the first 5 books of the Bible referred to as the Torah. They consider this text as special since it was direct revelation from God to the Israelites on Mt. Sinai. The remainder of the Jewish Bible is also considered to be the word of God by indirect revelation through various writers. However, Jews place a special emphasis on studying the Torah because it is direct revelation from God. It is the Torah and other books of the Jewish Bible that are referred to as the Scriptures in the Christian New Testament. Know the scriptures and study them well.
Friday, April 12, 2013
In the New Testament in Luke 17:20-21 it states “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (NKJV) So what exactly does it mean when it says that the kingdom of God is within you?
Humans are a composite of eternal and physical. We have a physical body and conscious mind that interact with the physical world that we live in. We also have an eternal soul that is really who we are. Consequently we have two natures. The soul consists of spirit from the higher, heavenly dimensions while the body God clothed us with was an animal body with an animal nature. This animal nature was needed for survival in the hostile lower dimensions that we reside in. The two natures constantly struggle against each other. The soul strives for doing what is right and good while the animal body strives to satisfy only physical needs. Those who successfully deal with this struggle become more spiritual, service minding humans desiring to serve God and their fellow man while those that allow the physical animal to dominate become just that – animals.
It is the eternal soul that resides in our subconscious where we connect to the heavenly dimensions through prayer. Prayer works to pierce into the heavenly dimensions by taking the thoughts of our conscious mind and powering them with passion and emotion to energize the thoughts and send them into those heavenly dimensions where the Creator and His angels reside. This is the process of interacting, connecting and living in the kingdom of God. It is allowing God and His word to reside and come to life in the innermost part of your being – your soul. It is who you really are connecting with who God really is and becoming one with Him. Just as God is one, we strive to be one with Him! “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Look deep into your soul as you connect with God and His word and make it so. That is the process of working out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
This is the ancient biblical site of Shiloh. The path at the bottom of the hill near the sign is the main entrance to the city which was located on top of the hill. Most cities in biblical times were located on hill tops. The path goes up the hill to the top where there is an observation tower. From the top of the hill you can look down to a flat area part way down the hill slope to where the location of the tabernacle was.
The tabernacle at Shiloh was located in the center of the photo above on this side of the rocks. According to Wikipedia, the site of ancient Shiloh was a city in the Ephraim hill-country that served as the religious capital of Israel for 300 years before Jerusalem became the religious capital under King David. Shiloh is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in the books of Joshua and Judges as an assembly place for the people of Israel. The "whole congregation of Israel assembled...and set up the tabernacle of the congregation..." (Joshua 18:1). The tabernacle was built under Moses' direction from God in Exodus 26 to house the Ark of the Covenant. According to Talmudic sources, the tent sanctuary remained at Shiloh for 369 years until the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the battle camp (1 Samuel 4:3–5) at Eben-Ezer and captured by the Philistines at Aphek. At some point during its long stay at Shiloh, the portable tent seems to have been enclosed within a compound or replaced with a standing structure that had "doors" (1 Samuel 3:15) which was a precursor to the Temple. Eli was the high priest of Shiloh and the last Israelite judge before the rule of the King Saul. The tabernacle left Shiloh when Eli died at the age of 98.
The tabernacle at Shiloh housed the presence of God among His people, the Israelites. In Genesis 49 there is a reference to Shiloh in Jacob’s blessings to his 12 sons. The reference is a hint to the future person that will be filled with God’s presence and will rule the Israelites as their long awaited King.
In Genesis 49 verses 10-12 it says: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. He ties his foal to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he washes his garments in wine, and his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are dull from wine, and his teeth white from milk.” (NASB)
A scepter is a symbol of sovereignty, and is traditionally held by a king. In the Bible, the Promised One "who is to come" to the people at some time in the future is called the Moshiach in Hebrew or Messiah in English. He is also referred to as the "King of Kings", and he will be the one to take over and hold the scepter to rule the nations of the world. Jacobs blessing of Judah indicates that the scepter will stay with the existing family lineage of Judah, the Jewish people's government and the head of state until the final leader who will then claim that scepter. According to Genesis 49:10, that individual is also named Shiloh.
I traveled to the ancient site of Tel Shiloh in the fall of 2009. The experience had a profound effect on me as I gazed at the location of the ancient tabernacle site where God’s presence had been for a period of 369 years. I saw the path where a certain man from the tribe of Benjamin ran through the city to the location of the tabernacle located on the back side of the city of Shiloh’s hill to tell the high priest that the ark had been captured by the Philistines. Eli was sitting in a chair in front of the tabernacle and upon hearing the news he fell off his chair and died from a broken neck. I could visual all of these events as I stood and viewed this historic ancient biblical site! Visiting Israel and these historic sites brings the Bible to life by adding the 3rd dimension, the Holy Land of the Almighty! In the meantime we are all waiting “until Shiloh comes” as King of Kings to rule the nations of the world! May he come soon!
Monday, April 8, 2013
I traveled to the biblical site of Samaria during the fall of 2009 and took this photo of the ruins of the Israelite palace in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Samaria was established as the capitol city of Israel by King Omri and this is the palace where his son King Ahab and Jezebel lived and reigned. The biblical narrative of the death of King Ahab identifies this palace as an “Ivory” or white house. In 1st Kings 22:37-40 the Bible states “So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the Lord which He spoke. Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.”(NASB)
Samaria’s Palace “white house” was destroyed in 721 BC during King Hoshea’s reign by an Assyrian invasion and the northern 10 tribes of Israel were exiled and still have not returned as they eventually lost their identity. Those that have either seen Pastor Jonathon Cahn’s video “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” or read his book “The Harbinger” should be familiar with the parallels between the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the USA in Bible prophecy. The words in Isaiah 9:10 were first spoken by the leaders of the Kingdom of Israel following a limited invasion by the Assyrians. Isaiah 9:10 states “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” It was a statement of pride and defiance to God. They were saying that they could just rebuild and do it even better than before. They refused to repent and continued on their same path which led to a final invasion by Assyria and the destruction of the “ivory” palace that was in the capital city of Samaria.
After the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001, Senator Tom Daschle quoted Isaiah 9:10 in a speech with the same arrogance and pride as the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Just like ancient Israel our leaders and country have refused to repent and turn back to God. If we continue on our current path, will the ancient biblical pattern be fulfilled again in our day with a massive attack by terrorists and the ultimate destruction of our “ivory” palace the White House? Due to the quantum nature of prophecy, Micah 1:2-7 hints at this.
“Hear, O peoples, all of you; listen, O earth and all it contains, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple. For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him and the valleys will be split, like wax before the fire, like water poured down a steep place. All this is for the rebellion of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country; planting places for a vineyard. I will pour her stones down into the valley and will lay bare her foundations. All of her idols will be smashed, all of her earnings will be burned with fire and all of her images I will make desolate, for she collected them from a harlot’s earnings, and to the earnings of a harlot they will return.” (NASB)
Notice that God coming forth from His place to judge the earth speaks to the End of Days judgment. Consequently, this prophecy was not only for Samaria and the house of Israel in biblical times (721 BC), but also for the same group of people today (the descendants of the house of Israel that are located in the West, primarily in the USA). The fact that Senator Daschle quoted Isaiah 9:10 helps confirm who we are and what are destiny could be if we fail to return to God. God’s people need to truly repent and we need to do it NOW before it is too late! We are all guilty in a decadent society that has turned its back on God. Only true repentance will prevent our White House from becoming a heap of ruins in the open country!
Friday, April 5, 2013
Orthodox Jews have an annual reading and study cycle of the first 5 books of the Bible referred to as the Torah. They consider this text as special since it was direct revelation from God to the Israelites on Mt. Sinai. The remainder of the Jewish Bible is also considered to be the word of God by indirect revelation through various writers. Jews place a special emphasis on studying the Torah because it is direct revelation from God.
According to Wikipedia, Orthodox Jews can study the text of the Torah on any of four levels as described in the Zohar:
1. Peshat, the plain (simple) or literal reading;
2. Remez, the allegorical reading through text's hint or allusion;
3. Derash, the metaphorical reading through a (rabbinic sermon's) comparison/illustration (midrash);
4. Sod, the hidden meaning reading through text's secret or mystery (Kabbalah).
Most Christians and Jews spend their time studying the Bible on the first 3 levels and rarely dig deeper for the text’s secret meanings (Kabbalah). Kabbalah, like the number 13 has been taken over by the occult and corrupted. Because of that, not all Kabbalah is true biblical Kabbalah. In fact, most Kabbalah being taught today is not biblical Kabbalah and can lead people astray. The original Kabbalah focused on the secrets and mysteries hidden in the Hebrew text. It involved studying the Hebrew text intently looking for hints while being guided by God’s spirit to gain understanding. It is very similar to what most bible students do today in studying scripture. We read and study and pray and seek spiritual guidance from above for understanding.
So let’s look at a simple example of hidden secrets within scripture from the very first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1, where it says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NASB) The Hebrew text says: בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ which literally translates “In the beginning created God the heavens and the earth”. Notice the placement of the אֵת. It occurs in the 4th and 6th words in the 7 word sentence. The א is the aleph which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The ת is the tav which is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Hebrew words are read from right to left so the order is aleph tav. Both Jews and Christians teach that this represents the messiah. The only difference is that Christians use the Greek letters alpha and omega instead of the Hebrew letters aleph and tav.
The placement of these two letters in the verse gives a hint at the appearance of the messiah. They occur in the 4th and 6th words of the 7 word verse. Rabbis have historically taught that the messiah would appear after 4000 years and 6000 years since creation based on the pattern in the creation narrative where God created everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. We are currently in the Jewish calendar year 5773 near then completion of 6000 years when the messiah is supposed to appear!
There is another interesting thing about the אֵת and its hint at the messiah. In Hebrew sometimes the verb comes before its subject not after it like in English. This is the case in the literal translation for Genesis 1:1 as I previously quoted above. “In the beginning created God the heavens and the earth”. You can identify the direct object (person or thing acted upon) because the word “et” precedes the direct object. It is the Hebrew word “et” which directs the action of the verb according to Hebrew grammatical rules. So God created the heavens and earth and it is the אֵת or “et” placement before each of these that directs the action of God creating them. Since the “et” represents the messiah, it hints the messiah’s involvement with God during the creation of the heavens and the earth.It seems that God wants His people to search and study the scriptures to discover the hidden secrets. This is what the Jews call the Sod or hidden meaning of scripture. You can read bibles translated to English all day long and will not achieve the deeper Sod level of interpretation. With Translations, you will only uncover the first 3 levels of meaning. You can only get to the hidden meaning by studying God’s word in the original language – Hebrew. There is an excellent website called hebrew4christians that can help you get started in studying the original Hebrew of the Bible for deeper insight into the scriptures. http://www.hebrew4christians.com/
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I received some comments on my last post regarding the number 13 and the founding of the USA. The commenter pointed out that some of the founding fathers were not Christians but were deists and masons. He went on to say that Christians tend to assume that the founding fathers were comprised of God’s people. As usual, things are always more complex than people like to think. We tend to see things in black and white which results in oversimplified conclusions. Was our country founded by righteous or evil men? I believe it was founded by both. The evidence is clear that there were elements of both good and evil in the original founding fathers. However, that does not diminish the notion that God intended our founding for His purposes and that His name be glorified.
I am reminded of the parable of the sower in the New Testament in Matthew 13 where Jesus noted that both good seed and evil seed had been sown in the same field. Matthew 13:24-30 states - Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (NASB)
In the founding of our country, there were righteous men that sowed good seed like George Duffield and John Adams, but there were evil men who sowed tares among the wheat as well. Don’t make the mistake of seeing it either as black or white when both were present from the beginning just as the serpent was present in the Garden of Eden from the beginning. God created the Garden for man and for good. The serpent came into the Garden and introduced rebellion to corrupt it.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
As with anything, evil can be called good and good can be called evil. We especially see this happening in today’s society. One such example is a particular number. It has been called unlucky and evil by Christians while it has been considered holy by Jews. What is that number? It is the infamous number 13. In fact, it is considered so unlucky and evil that hotels often do not have a 13th floor in their building. One of the reasons it is considered evil is because it is used extensively by the occult, witchcraft, and the illuminati. But that does not necessarily make it an evil number.
In the Bible, it is the number of blessing and promise. We see in the story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis chapters 16 and 17 the number 13 representing promise. God promised the then childless Abraham and Sarah blessing through their seed. Then at age 86 Abraham and Sarah made their own attempt at fulfilling the promise by Abraham taking Sarah’s handmade Hagar to fulfill God’s promise of a child and the result was the son Ishmael. God again re-iterates his promise when Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac which was the fulfillment of the promised seed through which the chosen people and messiah would arise. The time period between the age of 86 and 99 is 13 years.
A little later in Genesis we again see the number 13 representing God’s promise to his people in the blessing of Jacob on Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis Chapter 48). Joseph was the most beloved son of Jacob’s and Joseph’s two sons born in Egypt were considered to also be sons to Jacob and received a special blessing. This resulted in a double blessing for joseph and his two sons so that the 12 tribes of Israel become 13. Instead of a tribe of Joseph, there became two tribes. One tribe that came from Ephraim and one tribe that came from Manasseh. Again, the number 13 represents promise and blessing.
In Judaism, the number 13 is considered a holy number. In Hebrew, the original language of the Bible, there are some key words with the numerical value of 13. They are echad, ‘ab, chag, and ahava. Echad means one in English and relates to the oneness of God. ‘ab means father. Chag translates to feast and ahava is the Hebrew word for love. As you can see, none of these words would be considered evil. In addition, it is at the age of 13 that Jewish children go through the bar mitzvah celebration that makes them a full member of the Jewish faith. According to Maimonides there are 13 principles to Jewish faith and according to rabbinic commentary on the Torah (first 5 books of the bible) there are 13 attributes of God’s mercy.It is clear in the bible that the number 13 is holy and not evil. It is the number of blessing and promise. When we look at the founding of our own country (USA), the founding fathers established a country based on God given rights and the freedom to worship God as He intended. Both Christians and Jews agree that the founding of our country was by divine decree from Heaven. It was founded on a promise to be a blessing and be used by God in a mighty way. It is not a coincidence that it was comprised of 13 original colonies, the number of promise and blessing. Unfortunately our country has followed the same pattern as the number 13. We started out holy and righteous and then allowed ourselves to be gradually taken over by evil!
The number of promise is even see in the Christian New Testament when Yahshua selected 12 disciples to follow him. When you add Yahshua, the promised son and saviour to the 12 disciples, the result is again the number of promise, 13.
"While sun and moon endure, America shall remain a city of refuge for the whole earth, until she herself shall play the tyrant, forget her destiny, disgrace her freedom, and provoke her God" - George Duffield, Chaplin to First Continental Congress, May 17, 1776.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Like the threads in Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors the lost 10 tribes were dyed and woven into the fabric of the world where they stayed hidden until these End Times. They are in all races, nationalities, and countries throughout the world but are primarily to be found in the West as prophesized long ago. They are coming out of their 2800 year slumber since their exile in 721 BC and waking up to their identity. Like the parable of the Prodigal son in the Christian New Testament, they long to get out of their pig pen and come home to the land promised to their fathers in biblical days.
Some like me have left the Christian church in search of truth. We are returning to our Hebraic roots and can learn much from our brother Judah. Our fellow Christians being left behind make fun of us. They tell us we are legalistic in wanting to follow the commandments and instructions that God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai. They criticize us for not celebrating Christmas and Easter, both of which are pagan holidays.
Instead we keep the Sabbaths and celebrate the feasts of the Bible given to us by God. We celebrate Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Yom Kippur. Some of us call ourselves Noahides while others refer to themselves as part of the Hebraic Restoration movement and attend Messianic congregations. We all seek God and His truth. We look forward to the appearance of the Messiah Son of David to bring us back to the Promised Land and unite us with our brother Judah who is there preparing the land for our return as foretold in Ezekiel chapter 37.
The world is on the very cusp of this great Second Exodus! One that will make such an impact that the first Exodus will be overshadowed as millions of descendants of the Lost 10 Tribes return to settle Greater Israel! As we settle, we will surround our brother Judah with unity, peace and love originating from our Creator, the God of Israel! It is good for brothers to live together in peace. Od Yoseph Chai! Joseph Lives and is soon to come home!
Jeremiah 31:15-20 sums it up nicely. Thus says the Lord, “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Thus says the Lord, “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord, “And they will return from the land of the enemy. “There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord, “And your children will return to their own territory.” “I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, for You are the Lord my God. ‘For after I turned back, I repented; and after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated because I bore the reproach of my youth.’ “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord. (NASB)
Monday, April 1, 2013
God gave us His instruction in His word the Bible. Instructions for how He wants us to live and act. He wants to have an intimate relationship with His people as we learn from Him and He directs our lives. He wants us to think about Him and love Him. He wants us to treat others with love and respect. He wants us to meditate on His words and see Him speaking to us in everything around us and in everything that happens. God is everywhere and in everything. Those with eyes to see will notice subtle messages in all things. There are no coincidences in life. Everything serves a purpose.
Religion is man’s attempt to reach God. It contains man’s thinking and man’s traditions. No religion deviates from this pattern. Religion tries to put God in a box and explain the unexplainable, things that are beyond our grasp and understanding. Religion rationalizes everything they do and the traditions they follow. God’s word says to rest and worship on the Sabbath, which is Saturday, following His pattern of creating for 6 days and then resting on the seventh day. Religions change that and then make excuses as to why they deviate from the Sabbath to worship on Friday or Sunday. Some religions even start calling Sunday the Sabbath thinking that by changing the name it somehow is being obedient to God and His instructions in the Bible. They point to Paul in the New Testament who gave instructions for Christians to meet on the first day of the week (Sunday) as their reason for worshiping then.
The key question is who are we supposed to follow? Man or God? God’s instructions in the Bible are clear. Any person that changes God’s instructions for man-made traditions is anti-God and antichrist. Who are you following? Are you following a religion, a man, or God? Are you reading God’s Word and using the brain that God gave you to discover His truths or are you believing whatever other men tell you? A relationship is the path to knowing God. A religion is the path to destruction. There is some truth in religions, but there is also much paganism and man-made traditions. There is only truth with God. Follow His words and His instructions. Chose God and His truth!