Sunday, October 27, 2013

Niall and the Irish Pirates

In December of 2012 I had my DNA tested by Family Tree DNA and was surprised to find that I was a direct descendant of an ancient high king of Ireland named Niall Noigiallach.  Family Tree DNA noted that a recent study was conducted at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, which found that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that the 5th-century warlord known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages" may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries.  In the Trinity College study scientists found an area in northwest Ireland where they claim 21.5 % carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint, says Brian McEvoy, one of the team at Trinity. According to McVoy this area was the main powerbase of the Ui Neills, which literally translated means "descendants of Niall" (Family Tree DNA Report 2013).

Niall of the Nine Hostages received his name from the taking of hostages as a strategy for playing mental havoc upon his opponent chieftains. He is known in folklore as a raider of the British and French coasts.  The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn broadly agrees, dating his reign from 368-395 CE, and associating his raiding activities in Britain with the kidnapping of Saint Patrick.  Niall was supposedly slain either in the English Channel or in Scotland.  His descendants were the most powerful rulers of Ireland until the 11th century (Family Tree DNA Report 2013).

Modern surnames tracing their ancestry to Niall include (O')Neill, (O')Gallagher, (O')Boyle, (O')Doherty, O'Donnell, Connor, Cannon, Bradley, O'Reilly, Flynn, (Mc)Kee, Campbell, Devlin, Donnelly, Egan, Gormley, Hynes, McCaul, McGovern, McLoughlin, McManus, McMenamin, Molloy, O'Kane, O'Rourke and Quinn (Family Tree DNA Report 2013).

I started doing research on Niall and found he was both a king in Ireland who also held the title the king of Tara.  The title king of Tara represented a very old ideal of sacred kingship in Ireland.  It had a mythical quality stretching back deep into the ancient times. 
After doing some research, I took a break from posting on this blog to write a book about Niall.  My book is a fictional account inspired by the traditions and legends passed down from ancient Ireland and is available on Amazon for e-book downloads.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Some Christians are Balaam while others are the Donkey

In Revelations Chapter 2:12-17 there is a letter to the one of the early churches that is critical of them for holding to the teaching of Balaam.

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:  The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:  13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’  NASB

Balaam was a prophet from Midian that had a relationship with the one true God.  However he did not understand God’s plans for his chosen people, the Israelites, and was willing to hire himself out to curse God’s people (Numbers Chapter 22).  Balaam was siding with Israel’s enemies against God and His people even though Balaam himself knew God and had a relationship with Him. 

I see many Christians today that fit this description and belong to the church of Pergamum.  They side with the Palestinians and push for the “Two State Solution” to divide the land promised to the Israelites in an effort to alleviate Palestinian suffering and bring peace to the region.  They fail to recognize that the Palestinian suffering is a result of choices the Palestinians have made and they also fail to see what God’s plan is for Israel just as Balaam did.  Some of the extreme in the Church of Pergamum teach replacement theology saying that the church has replaced the Jews and are now God’s chosen people.  They teach that the Jews are not from Judah but are Edomite converts.  These extremists say they love God and follow him all the while filled with hatred for the Jews.  These “Christians” indeed have the spirit of Balaam in them.

In the Biblical narrative in Numbers Chapter 22, Balaam is on his way to curse the Israelites and the Angel of the Lord is waiting along the way to kill him.  Here is where we are introduced to the donkey that Balaam was riding that saw what Balaam didn’t and then talked to Balaam.

Numbers 22:22-35:  But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.  Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”


31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was [i]contrary to me. 33 But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.” 34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the way against me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.” 35 But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you shall speak only the word which I [j]tell you.” So Balaam went along with the leaders of Balak.  NASB

Those of us not from the Church of Pergamum are represented by the Donkey.  Even though we see through a glass darkly and don’t understand all the plans within plans that God has, we do see small glimpses of His plans in the prophecies in scripture and recognize that God is working with the Jews in the State of Israel for His purposes.  We are not fooled by the world and the lies being told about the House of Judah and we don’t join in cursing them.  Instead we love and support our brother Judah. 

Are you of the Church of Pergamum and Balaam or are you the Donkey that recognizes the Angel of the Lord and some of God’s plans in scripture? Those that curse Israel will be cursed and those that bless Israel will be blessed.  Choose wisely the path you take!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Joseph’s Bones

Exodus 13: 17-22  Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.”   Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.   Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.”  Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness.  The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.  NASB

There is a prophetic pattern in the verses above.  We see Israelites, both dead (represented by Joseph’s bones) and those alive.  It is Moses that leads both out of Egypt, the land of spiritual confusion, to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants where they would receive clear teaching from God.  The Israelites who were alive were able to hear Moses words and receive instruction although often they rebelled against Moses and against the source of his authority, God.   Joseph’s bones had no life left since his spirit had been gone for a very long time.  The spiritually dead Israelites are represented by the bones of Joseph.

Joseph was the predominant tribe that came to represent the Northern Kingdom of Israel where the 10 northern tribes were located.  The northern kingdom was exiled 2800 years ago, lost their identity and became dead, dry bones represented by Joseph’s bones in the Exodus 13 passage.  In contrast, the Southern Kingdom never lost their identity and remained physically and spiritually alive.   Judah was the predominant tribe that represented the Southern kingdom of Israel and so they were called Judah or the Jews.

We are currently in the early stages of the second exodus.  Modern America is the Egypt of our time.  All 13 tribes are again represented here in America.  The Jews know their identity and a portion have already returned to the State of Israel to prepare the land.  The rest of the Jews in America seem to be waiting for the messiah to bring them home.  The lost 10 tribes that are here are just now waking up to who we are and God is giving us a burning desire to return to the Promised Land.  All 13 tribes need Moses (or the messiah) and his leadership to revive our spirits and lead us home to where we belong.

Today’s Moses is represented by the rabbis who sit in the seat of Moses as state by the Christian messiah.  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)  It is clear from this passage that the key for the lost 10 tribes to awaken from our spiritual slumber and receive instructions for going home, back to Torah and the Promised Land, is through today’s rabbis that sit in Moses’ seat.  It is rabbinic responsibility until the Messiah son of David comes to complete the task of returning the tribes and restoring the Kingdom of God.

The promises of Ezekiel 37 will be fulfilled in full when Joseph’s bones awaken and come together with the bones of the whole house of Israel (all 13 tribes) as prophesized by the prophet of old.

Ezekiel 37:  Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (NASB)

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

The Vision Explained

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”

Reunion of Judah and Israel

15 The word of the Lord came again to me saying, 16 “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18 When the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.

The Davidic Kingdom

24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25 They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27 My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28 And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”’”

May it happen speedily in our days!  Amen!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A legendary story of Abraham’ early years

In ancient times there was a man who was different from most.  He had an intuitive sense that allowed him to see beyond the physical realm into the spiritual one.  He could see evidence of a Creator God in all that he observed around himself.  He believed in this Creator and was able to connect with Him on a spiritual level.  He learned right from wrong by following his spiritual guide.  As he walked his allotted path through life, his belief in the god with no name and faith increased with each passing year.  His growing faith was put to the test when one day his father asked him to watch their craft store while he ran some errands.  His father made idols out of metal and wood.  Some were simple while others were more elaborate and the prices offered tiered to their complexity.

As the man pondered his newly acquired belief in one creator of all, he sat looking at the various gods of wood and stone.  A soft voice deep inside his mind, similar to a dove cooing softly, whispered to him, “What of these gods of wood and stone?  What should be done?”

Immediately the answer was clear!  “They are not gods, but mere wood and stone objects made by hand”, he thought in his mind.  So he picked up the largest of the gods and smashed them all!

Again the voice of the dove whispered to his mind, “Well done my son!”

When his father returned he surveyed all the smashed idols and inquired of his son, “Who did this?  Who destroyed all my handiwork?”

His son replied, “It was the large one there!  He did it.  He smashed all the others and damaged himself in the process!”

His father’s anger intensified as he yelled “They are just made of wood and stone!  They cannot do anything!”

The young man, with a wise smile upon his face replied, “Exactly!”

Several days later the young man loaded his belongings and left home.  He headed west following his pioneering instincts and that soft voice of the dove.  He was eager to follow the Creator of all, the God with no name, into the unknown.  He mostly wandered all his years and had great adventures as recorded in the Bible.  His biggest adventures, however, were to come through his descendants.  Some of them had the same spiritual gift that he did and some did not.  Those that did, found the God with no name and walked with him like their father had and did things even greater than their ancestor, for they had become tribes of clay, to be molded and used for the Creator’s purposes and for His glory.  All of this man’s offspring were special in the Creator’s eyes because they were clay that had vast potential to be developed and used.  Those that discovered their spiritual eyes and found their Creator were lights for those around.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Our Father and Our King

I read the following response related to the Arab relationship with God from Rabbi Dov bar-Leib on his blog End of Days.

“There is much to say on this topic regarding Yishma'el's relationship with G-d. It should be noted that the name HaShem (YKWK) never appears in association with Yishma'el. Only the Name Elokim appears with Yishma'el in the Torah. This is NOT the case of Hagar, his mother, though, who entreated HaShem the first time Sarah afflicted her when Hagar had first become pregnant. Yet, with Yishma'el himself one only finds the Name Elokim (G-d's attribute of strict justice without tempering Mercy.) So the Name of G-d which Yishma'el knows is Allah. They know NOT the Name of HaShem. Allah is from the root Elokim. It also shows up in their understanding of G-d's relationship to the individual. They understand being Allah's servant (Abdullah for instance as a common name amongst Muslims). Yet, they cannot conceive G-d to be a Father. There are no names like Benaiyahu (Son of HaShem) in Islamic names. So Muslims only understand their obedience to Allah while Christians are honed in to G-d as their Father, service out of love. I once had a friend who was a Muslim. He was very critical about the concept of G-d being a Father. He thought the only appropriate way to understand G-d was as a King. Yet, the Jewish way of course is to understand G-d as being Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father Our King), not the Christian way of exclusively Our Father and not the Muslim way of exclusively Our King.”  May 5, 2013 Rabbi Dov bar Lieb

In a general sense Rabbi Dov’s view is very accurate.  Islam emphasizes harsh, strict judgment while Christians tend to emphasize God’s love and mercy seeing God as the merciful father.  The exceptions to this are those Christians that read and know the Old Testament and are able to see God as One. Deuteronomy 6:4 says “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  He is both the merciful Father and our King.  He is both loving and just.  He not only provides the loving messiah but also the reigning King messiah.  When the messiah arrives some will be expecting the God’s merciful aspect and will be shocked to see severe judgment instead!

As it says of the messiah in Isaiah 61:1-2, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.”

Monday, April 29, 2013

End Times and the Biblical Jubilee Cycle

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

Our Jewish Roots

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

What are the Scriptures?

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

The Kingdom of God is Within You

 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

Until Shiloh Comes

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

The White House Ruins of Samaria


Micah 1:6 states “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.  (NASB)

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

The Hidden Secrets within Scripture

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.