February 25, 2023
One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).
—Leonard Ravenhill, from his book Revival God’s Way: A Message For The Church
While I have taught extensively in the past on the biblical food laws (Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14), I want to take some time to discuss a few areas that aren’t quite as directly a part of the whole “don’t eat unclean meats” discussion. When you read the Leviticus text, two things are made very clear. First there are certain animals—pigs, camels, shellfish, birds of prey, rodents, and numerous other things—that are very clearly prohibited from the human diet. Second, in verse 44 of Leviticus 11, adherence to these food laws is directly connected with being holy as Yahweh our God is holy.
Passover - Making our Preparations with Circumcised Hearts
Today is Day 26 of Month 11 on the Creator’s calendar, also known as February 18, 2023 on the Roman calendar.
As we approach Month 12, this should be a time when our focus on Passover begins to intensify.
The reason why Month 12 is important is because it is usually the last month of the year that would then lead to the beginning of the renewed year.
We need to know when Month 1 begins in order to determine Passover, and all of the subsequent Appointed Times.
While there are some who desire to be on a perfect 12 Month calendar with 30-day months, that’s just not the way it is.
The Torah provides no such thing.
Instead, from the beginning of creation and time, YHWH placed two lights in the heavens to aid us in marking time. That’s it. No barley, just lights. (Genesis 1:14-19)
If you are confused on how to determine the Passover you can check out my article titled When do we celebrate the Passover?
It is important to start preparing now, so you won’t be caught off guard, and find yourself scrambling.
When we consider the Appointed Times there are calendar issues, and there are also Scriptural issues that conflict with certain traditions.
If you follow a calculated calendar, you may find yourself on the wrong day, even the wrong month.
Month 1 includes two separate and distinct Appointed Times. Passover occurs on Day 14 of Month 1, followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Unleavened Bread is a seven-day feast that begins on Day 15 of Month 1 and ends on Day 21 of Month 1.
They are two separate rehearsals commemorating two different events, although the Pharisees later combined them.
How you observe the Passover actually demonstrates whether you partake in the leaven of the Pharisees. The Pharisees have essentially blotted out the significance of the Lamb of Elohim by merging the Passover with the Feast.
This is important, because the process of redemption and deliverance is patterned through the Passover, followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
If you follow the Pharisaic tradition, you will always be observing the Passover a day late. Of course, that would have resulted in the death of all the firstborn in Egypt.
This is a good example of how the Pharisees are outside the Kingdom, and keeping others out as well. (See Matthew 23:13-15) If the Pharisees were in charge in Egypt, you would be dead if you were among the firstborn.
That is why it is important that we stay close to the Shepherd.
Thankfully, the firstborn in Egypt followed Moses. They were covered by the blood at the proper time, and survived the final plague. Despite that protection in Egypt, they later ended up fearing the giants in the Land.
After all they had been through, they claimed to fear for the lives of their children – as if YHWH would allow them to be eaten by the giants in the Promised Land.
Well, we all know what happened. The generation that left Egypt didn’t make it into the Land. They were covered by the blood, but because of fear and disobedience, they failed to enter into the promise of the Covenant involving land.
That was the reason why Yisrael wandered for 40 years, waiting for the sin of the Amorites to be fulfilled. That was the time needed for a generation to pass.
That generation was redeemed and delivered from Egypt, but ended up dying in the wilderness. There is a powerful message packed into that pattern.
It was an expression of mercy to those people, prior to the entrance into the Land by Joshua (Yahushua Ben Nun).
The same held true for the generation that would later be expelled from the Land by Yahushua Ben YHWH.
In the 30’s CE, Yahushua Ben YHWH warned the generation that heard and rejected Him that it was all about to end.
He began His ministry around 30 CE. Jerusalem and the Temple were later destroyed in 70 CE, forty years later.
Forty years were allotted for “the fig tree generation” – the fig tree that would be cursed, cut down, and thrown into the fire for not bearing fruit. (See Matthew 3:10)
So, we see YHWH’s mercy and judgment on the generation leading into the land, as well as the generation leading out of the Land. It was like a parenthesis on each side of the Land, involving a servant named Yahushua.
Of course, Yahushua also encapsulated His ministry by two 40-day periods. He went into the wilderness for 40 days before He began His work, and He remained there 40 days after the resurrection. There is a powerful message there as well.
Last week I warned about people mistakenly joining with Orthodox Judaism, thinking they are fulfilling prophecy.
The error is identifying Brother Judah with the Pharisaic religion.
I did a quick video years ago titled A Message to Joseph Concerning Judah. I think it succinctly lays out the issue.
The thing is that Israel sells. Linking arms with the Jewish people, and offering your unwavering support is popular. Christians love it, and the donations are big.
My cautionary message is not so popular. I do not try to convert Pharisees, as if I am going to the Jew first. Rather, I cast my net and pray that Yahushua fills it with large fish – Sons of Elohim (153). He knows His sheep and His sheep hear His voice. (John 10:3-4)
The point is that just like Joseph is fleeing the Christian religion, it is important to recognize that many in Yahudah reject the religion of Judaism.
So if you are joining hands with Rabbis and their religious system, thinking you are reuniting with Judah, you may be making a big mistake.
This is similar to the mistake many Protestants are making as they are attempting to end their protest against the Catholic Church.
A vast number of Protestants are returning to their “mother church,” which I suppose only makes sense, since most all Protestants keep the sign of the Catholic Church, the Sunday sabbath.
We are warned to come out of these Babylonian religious systems, and not return to them. (Revelation 18:4)
In fact, we are in the generation of Joseph that is coming out from underneath the curse.
Remember that the House of Yisrael was punished through a series of exiles that culminated around 721 BCE.
Ezekiel prophesied that they would be punished for 390 years.
“4 Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Yisrael upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. 5 For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Yisrael.” Ezekiel 4:4-5
The House of Yisrael did not return after 390 years, because restoration requires repentance.
Remember when Daniel was praying about the House of Yahudah’s return from their seventy-year exile in Babylon?
“1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans – 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the scrolls the number of years that, according to the word of YHWH to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 Then I turned my face to El-Adonai, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to YHWH my Elohim and made confession, saying, O Adonai, the great and awesome El, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the Land. 7 To You, O Adonai, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Yahudah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Yisrael, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which You have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against You. 8 To us, O YHWH, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To Adonai Elohenu belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of YHWH our Elohim by walking in His Torah, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 All Yisrael has transgressed Your et-Torah and turned aside, refusing to obey Your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Torah of Moses the servant of Elohim have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of YHWH our Elohim, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by Your truth. 14 Therefore YHWH has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for YHWH our Elohim is righteous in all the works that He has done, and we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Adonai our Elohim, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for Yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Adonai, according to all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, Your Set Apart Hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our Elohim, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to His pleas for mercy, and for Your own sake, O Adonai, make Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my Elohim, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by Your Name. For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy. 19 O Adonai, hear; O Adonai, forgive. O Adonai, pay attention and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my Elohim, because Your city and Your people are called by Your Name.” Daniel 9:1-19
Wow! Isn’t that an amazing prayer of repentance on behalf of a people in exile – a people seeking to return to the Covenant Land?
For me, that is a model prayer for all who desire to return to the Covenant Land – “those who love Him and keep His Commandments.”
Remember Nehemiah after he heard a report of Jerusalem, and the remnant of Yahudim?
“4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the Elohi of heaven. 5 And I said, O YHWH Elohi of heaven, the great and awesome El Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6 let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant that I now pray before You day and night for the people of Yisrael Your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Yisrael, which we have sinned against You. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the Commandments, the statutes, and the rules that You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to Me and Keep My Commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make My Name dwell there.’ 10 They are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 O Adonai, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who delight to fear Your Name, and give success to Your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Nehemiah 1:4-11
Again, did you notice the definition of those who YHWH keeps Covenant with? It wasn’t about genetics. Rather it was with “those who love Him and keep His Commandments.”
We repeatedly see repentance involved with a return to the Land – “if you return to Me and keep My Commandments and do them.”
That is the prerequisite for the outcasts to return. “If you return to Me and keep My Commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make My Name dwell there.”
Do you remember Ezra reading the Torah, and the people obeying the Scriptures immediately upon their return? (Ezra 3 and Nehemiah 8) Interestingly, the restoration began on Yom Teruah – Day 1 of Month 7.
These are all indicators of a people who have accepted their punishment, learned their lesson, and are ready to return to the Torah, and the Land.
Only if there is repentance and obedience will there be a restoration to the Land.
“40 But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against Me, and also in walking contrary to Me, 41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies – if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the Land. 43 But the Land shall be abandoned by them and enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them, and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned My rules and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break My covenant with them, for I am YHWH their Elohim. 45 But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the Nations, that I might be their Elohim: I am YHWH.” Leviticus 26:40-45
This is a critical principle that some completely ignore when considering the people of YHWH returning to the Land.
Humility, confession and repentance are all critical components of a return.
Some from the House of Yahudah in Babylon did express repentance, resulting in a remnant returning. Many stayed in Babylon, because they were comfortable. The return of the remnant was not immediate though. They did not return precisely after the seventy-year punishment period expired. It was a long and drawn-out process. That return eventually failed after the Yahudim rejected the Messiah.
The House of Yisrael, on the other hand, failed to repent after the 390 years, so that period was multiplied seven times. Leviticus 26 includes a principle where YHWH will multiply a punishment seven times, if there is no repentance. (see Leviticus 26:14-39)
So, the punishment of the House of Yisrael expanded from 390 years to 2,730 years. That would place the end of the exile of the House of Yisrael at around 2009.
Let that sink in for a minute.
That would mean that we are in the generation when the House of Yisrael can return from their exile. Remember that a generation lasts for 40 years.
Sadly, very few are even aware of this fact. They are distracted by the date 1948, when the Jewish State was formed, or 1967 when they took control of Jerusalem.
I was astonished when so many Torah followers were excited by the fact that Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. Why on Earth would that excite someone who follows the Messiah?
The problem is that so many people are completely deceived, and distracted.
Instead of being deceived into thinking that the unrepentant Jewish State is a fulfillment of prophecy, we should be anticipating the real fulfillment of prophecy, the restoration of the Kingdom by Yahushua the Messiah.
Yahushua specifically said that He came for the Lost Sheep of the House of Yisrael, and He later cursed the fig tree, representing Yahudah. His actions were very clear.
It is high time that the ones who claim to follow Him actually believe His Words, and do what He says. The sheep that are awakened within the House of Yisrael need to step up, and get with the program.
I wonder how many people are actually inquiring of YHWH concerning the return of the House of Yisrael? Do they even want to return, or are they content to remain in Babylon?
How many are praying like Daniel or Nehemiah about returning to the Land?
It appears that we are in the generation slated to return. Sadly, the culmination of the Covenant has been clouded by the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
The Jewish State is an enormous distraction from the return of the House of Yisrael, that is prophesied to occur.
I began by talking about our preparations for Passover for a reason.
You see, every Passover I am reminded that we still expect an exodus that will make the exodus from Egypt pale in comparison.
Consider these words from Jeremiah.
“14 Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares YHWH when it shall no longer be said, As YHWH lives who brought up the people of Yisrael out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but ‘As YHWH lives who brought up the people of Yisrael out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. 16 Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares YHWH, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.” 19 O YHWH, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. 20 Can man make for himself gods? Such are not gods! 21 Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is YHWH.” Jeremiah 16:14-21
I have been observing Passover for 23 years, and every year we recount the Exodus from Egypt in compliance with Exodus 12:24-42.
We are still remembering Egypt, so there is something bigger on the horizon that awaits us. Something that will overshadow the Exodus from Egypt.
Will it happen this year, next year or the following? We do not know. That is why we continue to rehearse.
Did you notice in Jeremiah that the “Greater Exodus” is accompanied by judgment on people who pollute His Land with abominations.
Then, the nations shall come to Him from the ends of the earth confessing the sins that they inherited from their fathers.
This is exactly what happened to the House of Yisrael as they were scattered into the Nations, and forgot their Elohim.
YHWH promised that we will know His power, His Might and His Name. That was exactly what happened in Egypt.
“But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My Name may be declared in all the Earth.” Exodus 9:16
Do you see the big picture? YHWH is going to do something spectacular, accompanying the return of His People from the Nations.
As I explained last week, we need to keep our focus on the Nations, because that was always the focus of Yahushua. And that is where the Lost Sheep of the House of Yisrael are currently located.
Instead, many people have been focused on the modern State of Yisrael as an end times prophetic fulfillment.
We saw no repentance prior to, or during the formation of the Jewish State. Indeed, they are actively blocking believers in Yahushua from moving to the Land. You should see the pride that they have in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), not YHWH.
They claim to derive from Yahudah, yet they are hijacking the name and inheritance of Joseph, which is Yisrael.
So we see a masterful shell game going on with YHWH’s Land, but it’s not going to last.
When YHWH was about to punish Yahudah through Nebuchadnezzar, He made it very clear who was in charge of His Land.
“4 … Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says YHWH of hosts, the Elohim of Yisrael: This is what you shall say to your masters: 5 It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. 6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. 7 All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave. 8 But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares YHWH, until I have consumed it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares YHWH. 12 To Zedekiah king of Yahudah I spoke in like manner: Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. 13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as YHWH has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 15 I have not sent them, declares YHWH, but they are prophesying falsely in My Name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.” Jeremiah 27:4-15
I’m sure that all the Yahudim “patriots” had a problem with this message from Jeremiah, because they were focused on making Yahudah great again. The problem is that they were occupying YHWH’s Land without honoring Him.
YHWH decides who lives in His Land, but He does not necessarily endorse the ones who occupy it. While YHWH used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Yahudah, He later replaced Babylon with the Medo-Persians. He used the decrees from Cyrus, Darius I, and Artaxerxes I to facilitate the return of Yahudah.
As in the days of Jeremiah, there are a lot of false prophets and false teachers who lack the discernment to see what is really happening. The ones we see espousing Jesuit doctrines are more akin to a bunch of diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers, sorcerers, and fear-mongers trying to get “likes” and “views” on their social media channels.
Those of you who are awake need to stand in the gap like Daniel and Nehemiah.
So, as we prepare for the Passover, our preparations are not confined to calendar issues. We must remember why we are rehearsing, and make sure that our hearts are prepared as well.
If you are content to stay in Babylon, then why even bother rehearsing for a Greater Exodus? If your heart isn’t in it, maybe your heart is not circumcised. Of course, circumcision is required for all those who observe the Passover. (Exodus 12:44, 48)
If you are ready for the Passover, don’t end up dying in the wilderness.
The only way to truly keep the Passover is if you do so with a real expectation and desire to leave, and follow YHWH all the way to the Covenant Land.
YHWH will fill His Land with His People, but only “those who love Him and keep His Commandments.”
Statement Concerning HalleluYah Scriptures
I recently received an email from the HalleluYah Scriptures (HS) indicating that there were people inquiring about my position regarding the current allegations being made against them.
In case you are not aware, I will provide a brief summary.
Several months ago, HS reached out to me and asked me for the contact information of a Brother I know in Panama.
The email was marked as urgent, because he had apparently converted the text of the HalleluYah Scriptures into a pdf. He was offering the pdf as a free download to anyone who wanted it.
It wasn’t clear to me why that was a problem, since the stated objective of HS was to freely give away the Scriptures. In fact, HS mandated that they never be sold.
That mandate was actually the primary reason why I supported the work of HS. Indeed, they provided me with large amounts of free Scriptures and materials for years that I could distribute throughout the world for free.
I even personally transported free HalleluYah Scriptures with some friends for delivery into Israel, and they provided free materials to my contacts in Nigeria as well.
So, up to several months ago, all of my experiences were perfectly consistent with the stated goals of HS. Everything that I saw involved free materials.
Based upon this history, I have supported HS and promoted events such as the UnitedinYah Prayer and Praise events, and the Battle Cry weekend event.
Well, apparently HS believed that offering the Scriptures for free as a pdf would cheapen and minimize the Scriptures.
The Brother in Panama believed that offering the Scriptures in a free pdf format would only open up more avenues to share them faster and cheaper.
A pdf would allow for instant distribution to almost anyone in the world with an electronic device, at no cost. No printing, no shipping, and no administration costs.
Of course, a pdf would never negate the need for printed Scriptures, but it certainly would decentralize things to a large extent. That is usually a good thing that results in efficiencies.
Well, that’s not the way HS viewed it. The issue escalated to copyright strikes, and site takedowns on YouTube. That was regrettable because the Brother in Panama was a “friendly.” He always promoted the HalleluYah Scriptures, and thought it was a great translation. In fact, I think it started when I brought free materials down to Yisrael Connection in Panama.
The conflict eventually escalated into an online investigation that resulted in an examination of HS bank records and witness testimony from former postal agents, volunteers and independent contractors.
The investigation highlighted allegations of financial mismanagement, and maltreatment of the brethren.
While I was not involved in the investigation, I kept an eye on things.
I knew one of the individual’s making accusations, and decided to personally speak with him about his past involvement. He was actually the President of HS years ago, and described a situation where Scriptures were essentially sold through donations.
He stated that not many Scriptures were actually given away for free to the poor, or to prisoners. He also described maltreatment by those controlling HS. Even though he was the President, he wasn’t really in charge. He ended up cutting all ties, and it turns out that there are a lot of people echoing his same concerns.
To me, no mission is so important that it justifies mistreating those doing the work.
Yahushua specifically stated:
“34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Let’s be honest, according to Isaiah, all of our works are like filthy rags.
“6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls upon Your name, who rouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities. 8 But now, O YHWH You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your Hand.” Isaiah 64:6-8
While distributing Scriptures is a noble endeavor, the ultimate goal for all of us is to become clay in the Hand of the Potter. It is about us, as individuals, becoming a useful vessel – even a work of art – in the Hand of the Master.
It is not about ministries. It is about individuals. And if we do not have love, we are nothing.
“2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2-3
As I continued to monitor the situation, I saw a video of a current female HS postal agent who was being evicted by HS, and I was really bothered by what I saw. I received an email asking to help her, so I responded.
We are required to assist others when requested, after all. (Matthew 5:42)
I donated a small sum to the Sister through GoFundMe, which promptly invoked the ire of HS.
I was accused of “taking sides,” and even taking the hand of evil.
Of course, my response was that the only side I am on is Yahushua’s, and He instructs us to help the least. If we are all in the Kingdom of YHWH, we shouldn’t be taking sides.
As a result of that email, I decided to request clarification from them concerning some of the allegations I had seen.
One particular request that I made was for them to provide an accounting of the Battle Cry event. All of the proceeds were supposed to be completely used for widows, orphans and the poor. I trusted that they were.
Since I volunteered my time, and promoted the event, I had a personal stake in knowing whether the funds were actually managed properly. I truly hope that they were.
Sadly, to date, I have not seen any accounting. Instead, I received emails accusing me of being “ignorant” and “foolish.”
I suppose I got my answer.
Just so we are clear, I have been involved in Scripture distribution for much of my life.
I used to personally smuggle Vietnamese translations of Bibles into Viet Nam before relations normalized with the United States.
I used to manage my own Bible ministry, and mail shipments of Bibles to Africa, long before being involved with HalleluYah Scriptures.
Providing free Scriptures to the persecuted, the poor and the needy is very near and dear to my heart. I regularly support orphans in Africa, and we constantly send materials to Prisons. In fact, with the help of some generous individuals, we have been supplying the entire Walk in the Light series to prison libraries throughout the country.
I supported HS as long as I thought they were doing certain tasks cheaper than I could, with a better-quality translation. The fact that they claimed not to sell them, and would only give them away for free was a big deal to me. If that is not the case, then I will simply find another way to get the work accomplished.
The bottom line is that YHWH doesn’t need ministries or organizations to perform His work. He simply needs willing and obedient servants.
Sometimes we rely on ministries to do things that we should be doing ourselves.
Remember that Yahushua sent out twelve, and then He sent out seventy. He didn’t form a corporation, or start a not-for-profit.
He commissioned individuals who didn’t even have any Scriptures. They simply had the word of their testimony, along with power.
The plan of Elohim is not dependent on distributing Scriptures. His plan involves empowering witnesses with Ruach ha’Qodesh to preach the Good News of Messiah.
In fact, giving someone a Bible does not necessarily equate with telling them about the Messiah. Handing them a book doesn’t mean that they ever hear, or read the Good News. Again, these codex compilations didn’t even exist when Yahushua commissioned His Disciples.
There are plenty of good translations of the Scriptures. While I think the HS translation is one of the best, it is by no means perfect, and it should not be turned into an idol. It is ink on paper that tells the message better than most other translations.
And there is a distinction between the translation of the Scriptures known as the HalleluYah Scriptures, and the business enterprise known as the HalleluYah Scriptures.
As it turns out, the HS translation actually originated from the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR) manuscript. ISR claims that HS misappropriated their manuscript, and changed the font from modern Hebrew to a paleo-Hebrew. So, HS was going after the Brother from Panama for copyright issues, when they apparently took the manuscript from another ministry without permission.
As a result, my position is simple. I am very uncomfortable with many of the open allegations, and the information that I have seen. I am particularly concerned that I have not seen an accounting of the Battle Cry event proceeds, and proof that they all went to orphans, widows and the poor.
Therefore, I will no longer be supporting, or promoting the work of HS. I will simply handle Scripture distribution on my own, as I have done in the past.
I am making this statement simply to clarify my position for those who wanted to know.
This statement is not intended to be an attack, or a judgment. I do not know all the facts, and maybe never will. It is simply an update of the situation from my perspective.
HalleluYah Scriptures is a corporation, and as such, it is not legally obligated to provide me with any financial information. That is the decision of the officers, and board members.
Likewise, it is my prerogative whether or not to continue my involvement with that organization. I prefer to stay focused on YHWH, and His Torah. There is already enough drama in the world. None of us need anymore, especially when it is supposed to be about the work of the Kingdom.
This is an individual decision that I made. Each person should examine the facts, and prayerfully consider their own involvement with HS.
I hope and pray that the Name of YHWH is magnified by all His people, and that His people act with honor, integrity, and most of all, with love through circumcised hearts!
Shema Yisrael (Hear O Yisrael) are the words that Yahushua spoke when asked what was the First Command.
“The first of all the Commandments is:
Hear, O Yisrael,
YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is one.”
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
What is Eternal? Part 1
Most modern Bible translations use the words “eternal” and “everlasting” when translating the Old Testament Hebrew word olam and the New Testament Greek word aionian. This has caused much confusion and misunderstanding of the Scriptures, especially when speaking of divine judgment.
The Greek word translated “eternal” is aionian, “pertaining to an age, or eon.” (Aion is anglicized as eon.) An age is normally a limited period of time, having a beginning and an end. Nonetheless, ages can have different lengths of time, so the word really means an indefinite or unknown period of time. Indefinite is not the same as infinite.
What is Eternal? Part 2
Much of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic and then translated into Greek later to include a wider audience. In the fifth century, Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, and this became the standard for the church until the Reformers began to translate the word into the common languages of the people.
Some of the translations in the past few centuries simply translated the Latin translation (The Vulgate) into the languages of the common people. That, of course, was not the most accurate way to translate the Bible, and it causes some problems, which we will cover later.
What is Eternal? Part 3, final
Languages evolve continuously. Those who speak the same language in diverse places coin new words, even as older words take on new meanings. Soon those who spoke the same language can scarcely understand each other from one location to another, and it is said that they speak different languages.
In the time of Christ, the commercial language of that part of the world was Greek, having been established by Alexander the Great a few centuries earlier. But Classical Greek differed from the “common” (koine) Greek.
The same was true of Latin. Latin was the language of the upper class Patricians, politicians, and poets. For many years it was spoken by very few people outside of Rome itself. In fact, most of the people in Italy learned Greek before they learned Latin. The common people spoke many different dialects.
When Paul wrote to the saints in Rome, he did not write his epistle in Latin but in Greek. In fact, there was little need for a Latin Bible in Rome. When the Bible was first translated into Latin more than a century later, it came from North Africa and was written in Old Latin, which was quite different from the Latin spoken in Rome.
The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 3: True Israel Cleansed in Christ
Before continuing with our presentation of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, it is necessary to be reminded of the scope of the epistle, which includes an understanding of who it was written to, for whom Paul’s words were intended. We cannot imagine that we may pick up and read a letter written to one particular party, and that we can then substitute any other party in its references unless the letter itself makes such an explicit allowance in its own expressions.
Paul’s epistle was addressed to Romans, and these Romans were pagans, and not merely Judaean (meaning Jewish in this instance) inhabitants of Rome. This is apparent as Paul states that they had “reverenced and served the creation rather than the Creator” because they had fashioned idols out of living creatures, and such things could not be said of Judaeans. However it is also quite evident that the Romans themselves were of the ancient dispersions of Israel, since Paul tells them “that which is to be known of Yahweh is visible among them, since Yahweh has made it known to them”, and those things may only be said of ancient Israel. Paul also told them that “knowing Yahweh, they thought of Him not as God, nor were they thankful” and that “they changed the estimation of the incorruptible Yahweh into a resemblance of an image of corruptible man, and birds, and four-legged animals, and reptiles”, things which could only be said of ancient Israelites who at some point turned to paganism, which is indeed explained of ancient Israel in the books of the Old Testament. So Paul was writing to Romans, and the Romans were descended from Abraham through Jacob-Israel, and his own writing in his epistle is proof enough of the truth of that statement. There is much more in the chapters to come, and these things can also be demonstrated from an examination of the Old Testament and ancient history.
Paths of Old – Ancient Paths
Jeremiah 6:16; 18:15; Acts 15:21
“Thus said יהוה (Yahweh), “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves….” (Jeremiah 6:16)
“But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway.” (Jeremiah 18:15)
Regular public reading of the Torah was introduced by Ezra the Scribe after the return of the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity (c. 537 BCE), as described in the Book of Nehemiah 8. In the modern era, adherents of Orthodox Judaism practice Torah reading according to a set procedure they believe has remained unchanged in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE).
“For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:21)
Bible readings for February 25, 2023. In the 2nd solar month of the Hebrew 12th month of Adar (February/March).
- Exodus 25:1—27:19
- 1 Kings 5:12—6:13 (Tanach: 1 Kings 5:26—6:13)
- Hebrews 8:1—9:5, 9:23-24, 10:1
If you are interested in downloading the annual Torah reading schedule with projected new moon sightings, Feast Days, click HERE.
Three Year Bible Reading Schedule
Genesis to Revelation
Genesis 40:1—41:57 | 1 Samuel 6:1—7:17 | Psalm 44:1-26 | Isaiah 44:1-28 | Mark 9:33—10:12
If you are interested in downloading the complete 3 year Bible reading schedule, click HERE. You can break up your Bible reading into 5 days of your choosing or combine the above readings of your choice.
Dr. Michael Heiser
Michael Heiser (February 14, 1963–February 20, 2023)
Dr. Michael Heiser, author of the bestselling book The Unseen Realm, has passed into life everlasting after a years-long battle with cancer.
Dr. Heiser served as Logos’s scholar-in-residence from 2004 to 2019. During and after his tenure at Logos, he wrote ten books with Lexham Press, taught or contributed to more than thirteen Logos Mobile Education courses, and appeared in many Faithlife Original films. He was an academic editor for the Lexham Bible Dictionary, Faithlife Study Bible, and Bible Study Magazine.
Before coming to Logos, Dr. Heiser received an MA in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania as well as an MA and PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His published work extends beyond his titles with Lexham Press and Logos Mobile Education, as he wrote extensively for scholarly journals and contributed to works like IVP’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. He also received scholarly awards from the Society of Biblical Literature and his alma maters.
Meet the Man Behind Indonesia’s Chicken Church
A GIANT, CHICKEN-SHAPED CHURCH, KNOWN as Gereja Ayam, is perched on a hill in a forest on the Indonesian island of Java. It’s less than a 20-minute drive from Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist monument. On clear mornings, if you climb onto the platform inside the chicken’s gleaming white crown and face southeast, you can watch the sunrise illuminate the topmost candi (stupa) of the ancient temple.
The church’s farcical avian design has inspired many debates and fan theories over the years, each one attempting to solve the mystery of why someone would spend money to build a hollow chicken in the middle of the jungle. “It was left behind by the Dutch colonists,” one person wrote on Kaskus, a popular Internet forum. “No,” someone replied. “It’s haunted. I’ve seen kuntilanak [vampiric female demons from Indonesian lore] there.”
But the chicken church isn’t a Dutch remnant, and it’s not haunted by ghosts, either. It was built by a man named Daniel Alamsjah, who’s now 75.
Another denomination ditches Christianity to start its own religion
Around a century ago, renowned biblical scholar J. Gresham Machen was alarmed by the creeping secular humanism he saw invading institutional Christian spaces, which prompted him to issue this sharp rebuke via his book Christianity and Liberalism:
“[W]hat the liberal theologian has retained after abandoning to the enemy one Christian doctrine after another is not Christianity at all, but a religion which is so entirely different from Christianity as to belong in a distinct category.”
Unfortunately for us, Machen didn’t know how right he was.
This brings us to the latest development shaking up the Church of England.
For background, the Church of England is enormous, boasting a whopping 85 million members located in 165 countries. As you may have heard, they have been in the news recently for charting a course that can only be described as consciously divorcing themselves from the historic teachings of the Christian faith.
NEW ONE WORLD RELIGION CENTER OPENS
A landmark interfaith compound in the United Arab Emirates housing a new synagogue is set to open Thursday afternoon in a ceremony kicking off a series of events over the weekend. The Abrahamic Family House, located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, also contains a mosque and church. It was initially slated to open in 2022. The opening ceremony will be followed by a conference on Friday morning on relations between the faiths. The local Jewish community will hold Shabbat prayers in the synagogue, led by Chief Rabbi Yehuda Sarna…
Transhumanism And The Mark Of The Beast
With the rapid development of technology and the growing interest in Transhumanism, many have started to wonder how it may relate to Bible prophecy.
Is it possible that the Bible prophesied the rise of transhumanism?
What Is Transhumanism?
Transhumanism is a philosophical, scientific, and essentially religious movement that seeks to merge humans with emerging technology, such as brain chips and genetic engineering. By doing so, transhumanists believe that we can enhance our intellectual and physical capacities; transcend our biological limitations, including death; and create a more evolved species they call the “posthuman.”
While this may seem like wacky science fiction, transhumanism is actively being pursued by prominent scientists and global elites, and is actually a vital component of the “Great Reset” proposed by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Schwab argues that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to “a fusion of our physical, digital, and biological identities,” forcing us to re-examine “what it means to be human.”
The Anti-Apocalypse: Revealing the Cruelest Man in History
Anti-Apocalypse – The Revealing of the Antichrist
The Book of Revelation, also referred to by its first lines as “the apocalypse [apokalypsis] of Jesus Christ,” reveals Jesus. Whereas the Old Testament foretells His coming, and the gospels reveal His identity, Revelation reveals His glory, power, and destiny.
But there is another revealing in this book – the revealing of the seed of Satan, the Antichrist. These two opposing forces are first described immediately after man’s fall in Genesis 3. God states, “I will put enmity [hostility] between you and the woman, And between your [Satan’s] seed and her [Eve’s] seed.“
Let’s face it, despite seeing the magnificence of Christ revealed, we tend to focus our attention on the evil seed. For instance, do you think the average Christian knows that Jesus will rule for 1,000 years while Satan is in prison? And that God will burn heaven and earth in fire, and create a new heaven and earth? Does the average Christian know that God the Father and Son will dwell in the New Jerusalem with us on the new earth? Probably not.
But how many people, Christians and even Non-Chrisitans, know about the mark of the Beast and his number 666? Would you say, most?
The popularity of these scriptures about the Antichrist leads to misunderstandings of who he is when read in isolation. In conjunction with Old Testament scripture, the apocalypse reveals who he is, where he comes from, and how will will recognize him when he rises to power.
Genesis 3 informs us that Satan will have seed, or offspring. This seed could be a spirit seed and/or a physical seed akin to the hybrid angel/human Nephilim. We see this combination of spirit and man in Revelation 13. Revelation describes an anti-trinity; three spirits, Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet. However, chapter 13 describes five entities.
- Satan (spirit)
- The Beast from the Sea (spirit)
- The mouth of the Beast from the Sea (human)
- The Beast from the Land (spirit)
- The False Prophet (human)
There will two men in the physical world, but three spirit entities behind them.
The beasts in the physical world are empires, but in the spirit, they are princes or principalities over that empire.
Daniel 7 shows this concept. In Daniel’s vision, the beast resembling a bear represented the Medio-Persian Empire. And this beast was followed by the beast like a leopard, representing the Greek/Macedonian Empire. This vision of the beasts aligns with an angel’s testimony in chapter 10 about the princes behind the beast. The angel stated that the Prince of Persia was in charge, but the Prince of Greece was about to come.
But these beast empires are ruled in the physical world by human kings, influenced by such princes. There may be many kings over time that rule a beast empire. Though the kings of those empires change, the beast and the prince remain.
The Beast of Revelation is described in the same terms as the beasts of Daniel 7, and appears to be an amalgamation of the beasts in Daniel’s vision. So likewise, the Beast from the sea in Revelation will have a spirit prince over it, as well as a human king. This king is the seed that God foretold of in Genesis.
Benedict XVI: It Is The Time Of Antichrist?
Benedict wrote about the Antichrist in his first book about Jesus of Nazareth. It was the part where he discussed the temptation of Christ by the devil in the desert, where “the devil appeared as a theologian”, in Ratzinger’s words. The Pope also recalled Solovyov’s famous Legend of the Antichrist, which is a short fictional prose where the Antichrist received a doctorate from the University of Tübingen, the funny thing is that Ratzinger himself once taught there. The Antichrist appears here as a great humanist, he fights against hunger, he is the author of the book The Open Path to Well-Being and Peace in the World, Benedict uses this only as an illustration that even “interpretation of the Scriptures can become a tool of the Antichrist”. As a theological scholar, he criticized certain behavior of scholars and theologians. And he reminded that the Antichrist does not have to look hideous, that he does not have to be recognized as evil, but he can appear acceptable, benevolent, as a humanist – who, however, goes against God. What is the figure of the Antichrist for you…