March 18, 2023
Having spent time in the military while serving in the United States Navy, I am familiar with much of the training that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines endure. This training starts the moment they sign up for military service. It is fast paced and intense, and it is designed to accomplish one primary objective: train people to become killers.
Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshal, in his 1947 book Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command makes a groundbreaking claim that only about 15 percent and no more than 25 percent of soldiers firing on enemy combatants will actually fire on the enemy. This was based on conditions present during World War II.
These statistics have gone up considerably since that time. By the time Americans fought in the Korean War they rose to 55 percent, and in Vietnam they hit 95 percent. This is the result of conditioning designed by military trainers as a result of Marshals initial findings.
These methods are really not all that different from what the average citizen experiences on a daily basis. Modern media and entertainment, such as television, radio, theater, and the Internet, have progressively caused people to slowly become accepting of things that were once considered abhorrent and evil. This has not only affected society as a whole, but also the direction many Churches have gone as well.
Examining Faith as we Prepare for Passover
Today is Day 18 of Month 12 on the Creator’s calendar, also known as March 11, 2023 on the Roman calendar.
There are 11 days left until we expect to see the renewed moon that will mark the beginning of a renewed day, a renewed month, and a renewed year.
We know this because of the two great lights that YHWH placed in the heavens to determine the moadim, not seasons as some English Bibles state. (See Genesis 1:14)
While there will certainly be ripened barley all throughout the Land during Month 1, the fact that there was barley “in the dough stage” in a field somewhere in Israel last week has no bearing on the calendar whatsoever.
I received a couple of emails from people who seem to think that Passover is already finished. That is a serious mistake. They are following made-up traditions involving barley, instead of simply following the Torah.
Using the sun and the moon, there are really only two possibilities for the new year to begin. Either new moon February 22, 2023, (visible after sunset on February 21, 2023) or new moon March 23, 2023 (visible after sunset on March 22, 2023).
The new moon on March 23, 2023 will clearly begin the month of “the abib” – the time known as spring. This is because the new moon of March 23, 2023 is closest to the tequfah (turn) known as the equinox. The equinox is the time when day and night are equal. The spring equinox occurs on March 20, 2023.
It was really not even a close call this year. As stated previously, we are currently in Month 12. Passover occurs in Month 1. Month 1 is the beginning of the year referred to as “the month of the abib,” which is a Hebrew way of saying “spring.” The month of “the abib” is when new life springs forth, and everything turns green. (Exodus 13:4, 23:15, 34:18; Deuteronomy 16:1)
Notice the “the”? Most common Bible translations ignore it. They refer to “the month of Abib,” as if that was the name of the month. It was not originally given a name, just a number. Abib was simply an indication of the month when the Passover would occur. In the month when spring arrives.
Well, Passover does not occur in Month 11, or Month 12. We are still in Month 12, so you still have time. Just be careful that you don’t wait to prepare. Make your physical preparations, but also make sure that your heart is circumcised.
Last week we examined some nuggets from the text of Luke that pointed to the frequently overlooked mission of Yahushua.
It turns out that the Nations are the focus, and Joseph will be the conduit for bringing the Nations to YHWH through the renewed Covenant with Yisrael. This is evident from a close examination of the text of Luke, but I dare say that most Christians are never taught the “good news” contained in that “gospel.”
At this point, I think that most paid Christian pastors, ministers and priests should simply hand in their resignations, and refund their salaries.
They have failed miserably to represent the Messiah, and His teachings. Most of them have simply regurgitated what they were taught, and have failed to do their due diligence.
They have perpetuated a fairy tale instead of presenting the true message of the Messiah, and the Covenant He came to renew and fulfill through His blood.
It’s all there in the prophets, but the message has been distorted.
For instance, consider this passage from Isaiah.
“It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved (natzar) of Yisrael; I will make you as a light for the Nations, that My salvation (yashuah) may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
The “My yashuah” referred to in the text is Yahushua.
What was His purpose? To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and bring back the “shoots” of Yisrael. Remember our discussion of Nazareth, and shoots last week?
Jacob is often used to refer to the divided tribes outside the Land. So, the Messiah, as the Servant of YHWH, was sent to clean up the mess, fix the problem and restore Yisrael from their dispersion in the Nations.
It is all about drawing Yisrael out of the Nations, and bringing them into the Land. Not saving a bunch of lawless Christians, so they can go to heaven.
In case there was any question, Yahushua specifically stated His mission to the Yahudim. He was clear that His primary focus was not on them, it was elsewhere.
“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16
He was describing the same purpose found in Isaiah 49:6.
Here is another text:
“He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael.” Matthew 15:24
He actually began His work by fulfilling the promise made to the House of Yisrael provided through Hosea – “He will heal us” and “He will bind us up.” Hosea 6:1
He went about doing just that until He arrived at His hometown of Nazareth.
Last week I talked about His reading in the Nazareth Synagogue as a Hebrew rhetorical prophetic template.
The focus was His fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah that pointed to Him as the Messiah.
After He read from the Scroll of Isaiah, the people were stunned in disbelief. After all, He was just the son of Joseph, a construction worker.
Seeing their disbelief, Yahushua then proceeded to instruct them on faith, using two foreigners as examples.
Here is what He said again.
“24 … Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Yisrael in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Yisrael in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:23-27
Remember that these words made the people furious. They didn’t just want to kill Him, they tried to kill Him.
They tried to throw Him off a cliff!
What did He say that sparked such fury? Well essentially, He held up the faith of foreigners higher than the Yisraelites.
He was telling them that foreigners had a better chance of experiencing miracles than they did, because of their lack of faith.
This offended the Yahudim settlers who were hell-bent on ousting all of the foreigners, and taking over the land reserved for the House of Yisrael.
The Yahudim were on their way out, and they didn’t even have a clue.
Yahushua used two prophets to get His point across – Elijah and Elisha.
These two prophets stand out, because they didn’t just relay a message. They operated with power.
So, Yahushua chose two different foreigners, and two different prophets – Elijah and Elisha.
Let’s take a closer look at those two examples. First the widow of Zarephath.
“8 Then the word of YHWH came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As YHWH your Elohim lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says YHWH, the Elohim of Yisrael, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that YHWH sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of YHWH that He spoke by Elijah. 17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of Elohim? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to YHWH, “O YHWH my Elohim, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to YHWH, “O YHWH my Elohim, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And YHWH listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of Elohim and that the word of YHWH in your mouth is truth.” 1 Kings 17:8-24
Remember the previous newsletter where I talked about Elijah the Tishbite being a sojourner?
Well, here is a good example.
He was a prophet to the House of Yisrael, yet YHWH told him to go north, and dwell in Sidon – the land of foreigners.
He left the traditional boundaries of the House of Yisrael to dwell with strangers during a famine.
Zarephath is a small Phoenician town, now known as Surafend. It is about a mile from the Mediterranean coast, almost midway on the road between Tyre and Sidon.
Did you know that it was actually the northern boundary of Canaan?
So technically, it was in the land promised to Abram. It had prophetic significance as we read in Obadiah.
“The exiles of this host of the people of Yisrael shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath, and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the Negeb.” Obadiah 1:20
So while Dan was typically considered to be the northern boundary of the Covenant Land was Zarephath.
It is worth looking at the broader context of that portion of Obadiah, because it is about the Nations being judged and the restoration of the Land by Jacob.
Here is an expanded portion of the text that is preceded by a declaration of judgment against Edom.
“15 For the day of YHWH is near upon all the Nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. 16 For as you have drunk on My Set Apart mountain, so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been. 17 But in Mount Tzyon there shall be those who escape, and it shall be set apart, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions. 18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for YHWH has spoken. 19 Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. 20 The exiles of this host of the people of Yisrael shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath, and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the Negeb. 21 Saviors shall go up to Mount Tzyon to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be YHWH’s.” Obadiah 1:15-21
Jacob is referred to as a “fire” while Joseph is referred to as a “flame.”
The Hebrew word for “flame” is “lehabah.” It can mean a flame, a blaze, a flash, or the red-hot point of an iron blade.
I find that to be an incredible description of the House of Joseph, because of the place where YHWH sent Elijah – Zarephath.
The name means “smelting-shop – a workshop for the refining and smelting of metals.”
Once again, the message to the House of Yisrael is everywhere.
YHWH commanded Elijah to go north to a place that would belong to Joseph. He was to find a widow who would feed him. Amazingly, the widow was all out of food, and ready to starve to death.
There is a powerful lesson there. He could have sent him to a prosperous fishing village, surrounded by fields of wheat.
Instead, YHWH sent him to a place that worked in metal, and to someone who had run out of food.
This is no different from the way YHWH brought the Yisraelites into the wilderness after the Passover.
He provided water from a rock, and bread from heaven that would appear on dry barren ground where no food could be grown.
Well, Elijah met the woman at the gate when she was picking up sticks, preparing for her final meal.
She only had a little flour and oil. She had not mixed her dough yet, so it did not have time to rise. She would be eating unleavened bread at her last supper.
There is a powerful message there.
Now what if she just gave up? What’s the use of preparing the last meal when you’re just going to die anyway?
If she wasn’t out picking up sticks, she wouldn’t have met Elijah.
Now here is the faith part. She obeyed the prophet. She changed her plans, and her priorities.
She first gave the prophet a drink. She made food for the prophet, and then her family had miraculous food until the famine was over.
James said that faith without works is dead, and this is a prime example.
The widow had to prepare and cook food, in order for the miracle to continue.
Now, consider what happened next. Her son fell ill and died. Elijah raised the son from the dead.
After that miraculous resurrection event the widow declared: “Now I know that you are a man of Elohim, and that the word of YHWH in your mouth is truth.”
Now let’s look at the second example of faith given by Yahushua.
“1 Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him YHWH had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. 2 Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Yisrael, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Yisrael.” 5 And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Yisrael.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Yisrael, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7 And when the king of Yisrael read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I Elohim, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” 8 But when Elisha the man of Elohim heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of YHWH his Elohim, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Yisrael? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of Elohim, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 Then he returned to the man of Elohim, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no elohim in all the earth but in Yisrael; so accept now a present from your servant.” 16 But he said “As YHWH lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17 Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any elohim but YHWH. 18 In this matter may YHWH pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, YHWH pardon your servant in this matter.” 19 He said to him, ‘Go in peace.’” 2 Kings 5:1-19
In the previous example, the prophet was sent to the foreigner.
In this example of faith, the foreigner came to Yisrael to find healing.
Elijah went to a poor widow, and a powerful general came to Elisha. These two foreigners were diametrically opposed to one another in their positions, yet they both needed help.
The interesting thing is that the source of the information that seeded Naaman’s faith was a little abducted girl from the House of Yisrael. This was prior to the full removal that would later occur at the hand of the Assyrians.
Naaman followed the proper protocol. He went first to his King, got a letter, and then went to the King of Yisrael.
The King of Yisrael had zero faith, and thought the Assyrians were doing this to pick a fight. Maybe the King of Assyria thought it would be fun to taunt the King of Yisrael by instructing him to heal a leper.
Well, the King of Yisrael tore his garment, a symbol of mourning.
When Elisha heard of it, he said to have Naaman come to him.
Why? That he may know that there is a prophet in Yisrael.
Notice that he did not say “That he may know that I am a prophet in Yisrael.” Big difference.
In fact, when Naaman arrived, Elisha did not even meet with him.
This demonstrated that Elisha knew His Elohim, and had his priorities right. He was only concerned about bringing esteem to YHWH, and doing the work of the Father.
Well, we know that Naaman had to deal with some pride issues, but he eventually acted in faithful obedience.
He was healed, and surely when he returned to Assyria, he reported the healing to his King. I would have liked to have witnessed that report!
So, while the two foreigners mentioned by Yahushua were on opposite ends of the social spectrum, the two prophets were sojourners operating from the same spirit.
Now circle back to Yahushua.
John came before Him in “the spirit and power of Elijah.” Luke 1:17
As a result, Yahushua would have fulfilled the pattern of Elisha, who operated in a double portion.
Did you know that their combined names actually pointed to the Messiah?
Elijah is actually EliYahu – “My Elohim is Yahu.”
EliSha means “My Elohim saves.”
When you combine them together, removing Eli from both, you have YahuSha, or Yahushua.
Both EliYahu and EliSha operated under the same Spirit. A spirit of power.
EliYahu was taken up in a whirlwind after parting the Jordan, likely at the same spot where Joshua led Yisrael across the Jordan as well as where Yahushua was immersed and the Spirit came down upon Him.
So, Yahushua mentioning miracles involving foreigners and these two prophets was not just some spontaneous utterance. It set the stage for everything He would do after that time.
If you don’t believe me, keep reading.
We know that after the Nazareth Synagogue event, Yahushua went to Kefar Nahum – the Town of Comfort. (see Luke 4:31)
The text then describes an event that began the calling of His disciples, an event that was repeated after Yahushua’s resurrection.
“1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on Him to hear the word of Elohim, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, He asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Yahushua’s knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Master.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Yahushua said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. 12 While He was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Yahushua, he fell on his face and begged him, “Master, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13 And Yahushua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” Luke 5:1-14
Yahushua miraculously provided an abundance of food. That was all Simon needed to see – a net full of fish after a failed night of fishing. We can assume that the disciples caught 153 fish, but their nets were breaking.
They weren’t ready to fish for the Sons of Elohim yet. They were Galilean settlors who didn’t understand the mission as described in Isaiah. They would be ready by the time they were sent forth to fish for men. (See John 21:1-13)
Immediately after Yahushua brought on some disciples, He healed a leper.
Hmmm. Are you seeing a pattern?
In fact, He tells the man to go to the priests, and follow the Commands for a leper who was healed.
Why? So, they would know there was a Prophet in Yisrael.
You see the Command for the healing of a leper was found in Leviticus 14, but in this case, the man was already healed. Yahushua already declared him to be clean.
The Command wouldn’t actually heal the man. So, would the priest go through the entire eight-day process, or simply focus on the eighth day? What to do under this very peculiar situation.
The eight-day procedure for cleansing a leper is a study in and of itself. There is meaning in all of the complexity, and it demonstrates that YHWH is interested in details and diligence. Sometimes, you need to expend time, energy and resources to prove that you want something bad enough.
Well, this incident would definitely be brought to the attention of the High Priest. As far as I can tell, only Moses and Elisha were reported as healing people from leprosy, and there is no report that Naaman went to the Temple after his healing.
So, this was likely a unique situation and a sign. He would know that there was a Prophet in Yisrael.
And that is exactly what Yahushua wanted.
The text of Luke proceeds with various healings, and confrontations with the Scribes and the Pharisees.
He then named all twelve of His apostles (messengers), representing a restored Yisrael.
Here is the text.
“13 And when day came, He called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Yudea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.” Luke 6:13-19
Did you notice how “power came out from Him”?
The text of Luke uses “power” sixteen times, far more than any other text, and twice as many times as the entire Scroll of Isaiah. That points to the double portion that we discussed already.
Also, did you recognize that the multitude among the disciples from Tyre and Sidon? Remember that Zarephath is right between those two cities?
It is amazing that Yahushua had all of these foreigners following Him. The religious people considered them to be “dogs.”
They completely forgot the mandate of Yisrael. That is why Yahushua began speaking to matters of the heart in what is referred to as “The Sermon on the Plain,” as opposed to “The Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5.
There, on “the level place,” He pronounced four blessings and four woes, so He is clearly coming to judge, as we mentioned last week.
In fact, here is how He concludes that particular message: “But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49
Water and floods are associated with judgment, and the House He was referring to is the House of Yahudah, including Jerusalem and the Temple.
He then returned to Kefar Nahum, the Town of Nahum.
Again, recall that Nahum was the prophet who previously offered comfort to the House of Yahudah, but certain judgment upon Nineveh, referring to Assyria.
Yahushua ended up rendering certain judgment upon the House of Yahudah, while providing comfort to the House of Yisrael.
Now read what happens:
“1 After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Kefar Nahum. 2 Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3 When the centurion heard about Yahushua, he sent to him elders of the Yahudim asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Yahushua they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6 And Yahushua went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Master, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Yahushua heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Yisrael have I found such faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. 11 Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Master saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Yahushua gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified Elohim, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “Elohim has visited His people!” 17 And this report about Him spread through the whole of Yudea and all the surrounding country.” Luke 7:1-17
Are you seeing this?
The text of Luke is bracketing the previous miracles that were the same as Elijah and Elisha, only now in reverse.
Instead of focusing on provision of food to the widow, the focus has turned to resurrection.
These parallels to Elijah and Elisha are purposeful and intentional. They bracket the message in the middle in pure Hebraic style.
The first miracle involved a Centurion, a Roman military Commander. He was the epitome of the enemy oppressor, just like Naaman the Assyrian general.
A close reading of the text reveals that he never actually spoke directly to Yahushua. He never met with Him face to face. He first sent Yahudim Elders and then his servants. This is similar to the interplay between Naaman and Elisha, where the servant Gehazi was initially used as a go between.
The Centurion was a military man and a foreigner, and Yahushua held him up as an example of faith, just like He had previously done with Naaman.
“I tell you, not even in Yisrael have I found such faith.” Luke 7:9
The Centurion expended great sums to build the synagogue, and Naaman brought considerable wealth with him, but the miracles were freely given.
The parallels are profound, and these events are not haphazard and coincidental.
Now consider the resurrection in Naim. Look at the detail, and the similarities with Zarephath.
Yahushua met a widow at the gate. The son of the widow had died, and Yahushua resurrected the only son of the widow.
Nain is a small Arab village in the lower Galilee. It is located about 25 miles southwest of Kefar Nahum, and means “green pastures.” That is quite a distance when you are walking, but the author of Luke felt it necessary to provide this account immediately after the healing involving the Centurion.
Now here is something really interesting. Nain is only a short distance from Shunem, where a surprisingly similar event is documented in 2 Kings 4:8-37.
Recall that it was in Shunem that Elisha raised from the dead the only son, the miracle child, of the Shunamite woman who had given him hospitality.
This event could be why the people at Nain responded to the miracle performed by Yahushua by crying “A great prophet has risen up among us!” They were comparing Yahushua with prophet Elisha. Recall also, that Elisha multiplied oil of the widow, prior to that resurrection event. (see 2 Kings 4:1-7)
So, through His actions of feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and resurrecting the dead, Yahushua was making people remember the days of Elijah and Elisha.
He was letting them know that a great prophet had arrived. That was true revival!
And the author of Luke was driving the point home by emphasizing these specific events, and presenting them together. The text is clearly providing the “good news” in a way that is revealing a focus on the House of Yisrael, and the Nations.
And it is extolling the faith of those who are far off, yet they believe.
That is particularly interesting because recently I was talking to a brother about faith in the context of the Passover.
He mentioned that it would be really nice to have a pillar of fire or smoke right there, as a witness to support and confirm our faith in the abiding presence of YHWH, and His promises.
It has always struck me that YHWH placed all of us here in this present period of time, within the nations. We grew up steeped in a religion that gave us some knowledge, but also separated us from the Covenant with Yisrael.
We haven’t had the incredible physical miracles that Yisrael experienced during the Passover, or the Messiah physically walking among us performing miracles – yet we believe.
So far removed in space and time, we can still hear the Shepherd’s voice calling us. That, in and of itself is a miracle, and I believe that YHWH looks favorably down upon His people in the Nations, who are expressing faith in Him by obeying His Commands and expressing trust in His Son.
The question then, is how do we live? That is important because how we live is an expression of our faith.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Yahushua say: “I tell you, not even in Yisrael have I found such faith,” when referring to us?
Well, every day you have a choice how to live, and express your faith.
Examining our faith is important, because as we prepare for Passover we are exercising and demonstrating our faith.
Are you just going through the motions, or are you remembering the great Prophet in Yisrael?
At His last Passover, when He broke the bread, Yahushua stated: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)
I have plans to be in Jerusalem for Passover, but Yahushua has not yet assumed His position on the Throne here on Earth. There are still judgments to render upon the Nations.
So, if you are in the Nations, it should not surprise you, or cause fear, to see your nation being judged.
Passover is a pattern of both judgment and deliverance. When we do it in remembrance of Him, we expect to be protected from the judgment, and delivered from His wrath.
We remember that Yahushua was the great prophet Who not only resurrected people through the power of Elohim, but He was also resurrected so that we can all be resurrected.
We remember that He promised to return, in order to gather His sheep and bring them out of the Nations.
That is surely something to remember, and look forward to.
As we rehearse the somber Passover meal and realize the suffering that our Messiah experienced for us, we can later truly Feast the following Day as we begin the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
While we are living in foreign lands, we are no longer called Gentiles. Thanks to the Messiah of Yisrael, we have been brought into the Covenant renewed by His blood. That is our faith. Now allow YHWH to fulfill that faith by immersing yourself in the fullness of the Covenant.
The first-born among the Yisraelites, who acted as the Melchizedek Priests, slaughtered the Passover Lamb in Egypt. There was no Levitic priesthood at that point.
The Passover in Egypt was actually a pattern for a future fulfillment involving Joseph – the “first-born bull.” We see throughout history that the two horns of this bull, Ephraim and Manasseh, have “pushed the people to the ends of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 33:17)
It is almost time for that bull, scattered among the Nations, to be called home. Just as the firstborn in Egypt needed to trust in the blood of the Lamb for their survival and redemption, the first-born of Yisrael – the House of Yisrael – need to have faith in the blood of Yahushua for their redemption and return.
We will all have an opportunity to demonstrate our belief during the upcoming rehearsal at Passover. Please do not follow the traditions of the Pharisees, and their “seder plate.”
Set yourself apart, and start acting like one of the Melchizedek. You are one of the first-born, and you get to exercise the faith and belief of the first-born, who follow the first-born Son of Elohim. That is how we become Sons of Elohim.
So, while the world is focused on problems, we look to the solution provided by YHWH, through His Son Yahushua.
“Behold! The Lamb of Elohim Who
takes away the sin of the world!”
PS – I’m currently in New York trying to earn a living, while staying warm and dry!
I recently received a nice comment on my YouTube channel that I wanted to share with you. It was from a former prisoner who had read the Walk in the Light books while incarcerated.
Hi Todd, I just want you to know I was recently incarcerated in prison. Your walk in the light series is HUGE in there. I was receiving your books for free and everyone wants a piece of it. Your books touched the entire prison. Literally the entire prison. Thank you brother! God bless you and your ministry.
I always appreciate hearing these reports, and I thought you would like to see it. A big thank you to those who help out with the printing and postage costs to these prisons.
I have many people asking when the next book is coming out and I have to be honest, between my job and these weekly messages, I have very little time for anything else. I have considered stopping the messages for a while, but I keep receiving messages from people who really appreciate them.
In fact, speaking of the prison ministry, I also heard from a good brother who is able to email the newsletters to certain prisoners.
Here is a message that I received recently.
Todd … Shalom
I thought I would pass along comments from Shane, an inmate from a large WI correctional institution. This particular inmate is a strong leader, and is ministering to a large group of men.
This last Sabbath, 140 emails went out (in four parts), the majority going to this institution.
From: SHANE xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent Date: February 28, 2023 2:23 AM, Tuesday,
Subject: Todd Bennett 2.25.23 Email P4 of 4
Hello Bruce and Victoria! Happy day 2 of the week to you! As always, thank you for these emails from Todd. I keep learning deep insights that make total sense in their place, and I share them with the guys at the chapel study. They are blown away at the depth of meaning, especially how it applies to personal application in our walk with YHWH. Thank you for blessing all of us! This particular email was one of the tops for me.
Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend of faith, and he acknowledged to me that he never really studied prophecy too much. My internal thought was that’s why he leans toward the rapture doctrine, not knowing truth from deceptive tradition. But I sense strongly that YHWH has called me to teach christians His truths, starting with His Name and His Ben’s Name. From there on, it’s an adventure with them, trust me!
And I’m loving the opportunity and fellowship. I’ve found many with a true desire to follow Messiah Yahushua, and they’re trying their best, yet they’ve been taught incorrectly. Their thoughts are not rooted in disobedience – they just don’t know. Again, this is where I’ve stepped in, with lots of help from Ruach HaQodesh, and extremely kind people like you. I’m so grateful that Todd has discussed true repentance and bearing fruit with obedience in a faithful walk with Messiah, and I’m glad he’s reminded us of immersion as an important part of that. What a statement of faith, yes?? So powerful! And so prophetic.
What a wonderful report! It is amazing to hear what is going on in the prisons. It is easy to forget about the brothers and sisters who are incarcerated, but Yahushua tells us not to forget about them. (see Matthew 25:31-46)
I am thrilled that we can collaborate together in this great work. I know I have a dear Brother and Sister in Wales who also furnish all sorts of materials into prisons. It is a noble effort and I encourage everyone to remember our brothers and sisters in prison. It is no coincidence that Joseph spent time in prison.
As a result, I believe that the weekly messages are important, and I will try to keep it up. I would appreciate your prayers for me and my family so we can keep moving forward with all the work, the projects, and the messages.
This walk is new to so many, and I am happy to provide some guidance in “real time.” I just need the strength, resources and time.
Speaking of those who are new to this journey of faith, the upcoming Passover may seem a bit daunting. All the preparations, the meticulous timing, and then the meal itself. The Command is not so complicated, and I encourage you not to get overwhelmed. We only need to tell the story. I prepared a Haggadah many years ago that many have used for years. It tells the story and inserts the Messiah into the observance, showing the fullness of Passover. It is available on the website of ordering in digital format or printed form.
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 Sin?
The Hebrew word for sin is khawtaw. It literally means “to miss the mark,” that is, to fail to reach one’s target or goal. The word is used in this way in Judges 20:16,
16 Out of all these people 700 were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss [khawtaw].
Paul, too, uses this definition in Romans 3:23,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Here “the glory of God” is the target. It refers to the fact that Adam lost the glory of God (his spiritual garment) and that our goal is to receive our heavenly garments (2 Corinthians 5:1). We get back our garments through the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
John’s Definition of Sin
John defines sin in 1 John 3:4,
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness [anomia]; and sin is lawlessness [anomia].
The Greek word anomia is from the negative of nomos, “law.” The KJV renders it “transgression of the law.” In this case, the target or goal is to be obedient to the law, and if we fail, it is anomia.
What is Death?
In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). If they did so, they would “surely die.” The Hebrew text reads literally, “dying you shall die.” Many Christians have redefined death as being eternal separation from God. However, separation from God is a result of death; it is not a proper definition of death itself.
Neither is it eternal separation, because that would imply an irreversible condition, giving no one any hope of returning to a state of immortal life.
So what exactly is death?
Death is the opposite of life. Primarily, it is mortality, a process of dying. For this reason, Adam died at the age of 930 (Genesis 5:5), and everyone since Adam has also died, with the exception of Enoch and Elijah. When men die, they go to the grave, which in the Hebrew is called Sheol and in the Greek Hades.
The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 6: Salvation is a Racial Phenomenon
In Romans chapter 4 we saw the substance of the faith of Abraham as it was explained by Paul of Tarsus himself, that the gifts of the promises of God are for those nations which sprung from the seed of Abraham, from Abraham’s loins, as the promises of the Old Testament which Paul cited certainly attest. Those promises are not conditional upon the keeping of the law, since they were delivered long before the giving of the law and since they were made without condition. However on the other hand, with the passing of the Levitical priesthood and the end of the rituals, Paul had also explained that those nations descended from Abraham should by nature keep the laws which Yahweh God had written upon their hearts.
The scoffers and Judaizers sought to keep Christians bound to the rituals of the law, and under their own thumbs since they pretended to be the experts in the law. The apostles, however, responded negatively to this. Peter is recorded as having said, in Acts chapter 15: “9 And distinguishing nothing between both us and them, by faith He cleanses their hearts. 10 Therefore now why tempt Yahweh to place a yoke upon the necks of the students which neither our fathers nor us have been able to bear?” Likewise James is recorded in that same place, “14 Sumeon has declared just how at the first Yahweh considered to take from among the Nations a people in His Name [which according to the prophets are all those scattered Israelites who would turn to Christ]. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree just as it is written: 16 After these things ‘I shall return’ and ‘I shall rebuild the tent of David which has fallen and I shall rebuild its ruins and I shall set it up again, [David ruled over all twelve tribes, which split apart and followed Baal after Solomon died, and this is the tent to be rebuilt in Christ] 17 that those remaining of men [the remnant of Israel] seek Yahweh, and all the Nations whom have My Name labeled upon them [the Nations of the promise to Abraham], says Yahweh doing these things 18 known from of old [the reconciliation of Israel was known from of old because it is written in the prophets].’ 19 On which account I judge not to trouble those from among the Nations who turn to Yahweh, 20 but to enjoin them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from that which is strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses from generations of old has those who are proclaiming him in each city in the assembly halls, being read each and every Sabbath.” Of course, the summons to keep the ten commandments were already a part of the Gospel, and there are evident cultural reasons why the apostles added these few things which we see here. But we must note that Paul was in agreement with the apostles concerning the laws of Moses, and the epistles of James and Peter are also found to be in agreement.
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 March 18, 2023. In the 3rd solar month of the Hebrew 12th month of Adar (February/March). This week, we have a double portion reading.
And he assembled
- Va’ Yachel
- Exodus 35:1—38:20; Exodus 12:1-20
- Exodus 38:21—40:38
- Va’ Yachel
- (Sabbath HaHodesh) (Beginning of Months) (Sabbath before 1 Nisan)
- Ezekiel 45:16—46:18
- 1 Kings 7:51—8:21
- Va’ Yachel
- 2 Corinthians 8:1—9:15; Hebrews 9:1-14; Revelation 11:1-13
- 1 Corinthians 2:6—3:17; Revelation 15:5-8
Potential New Moon Sighting
The Conjunction (Dark Moon) will be on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
At sunset on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 the Percent of Full illumination is calculated to be at 0% (not visible).
The potential next New Moon sighting may take place at sunset on Thursday, March 23, 2023. The Percent of Full illumination is calculated to be at 3%. This is the 30th day from the last New Moon sighting which took place on February 21, 2023. A Hebrew month cannot be more than 30 days.
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 46:1—47:31 | 1 Samuel 12:1—13:23 | Psalm 48:1-14 | Isaiah 49:1-26 | Mark 12:1-34
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.
PART 7: THINGS COULD GET SO BAD BEFORE THE MYSTICAL HEBREW YEAR 5785 (THE FOCUS OF DR. THOMAS HORN’S UPCOMING NEW BOOK “WE ARE LEGION, FOR WE ARE MANY” [DUE THIS FALL]” THAT YOU NEED TO PREPARE NOW: On Nanotech, Biotech, Genetic Mutation, and Transhumanism
KHAZARIAN ZIONIST UKRAINE WHITE SLAVIC GENOCIDE – SECRET AGENDA JEFF RENSE AND MITCHELL HENDERSON
Israeli Firms Transfered $1 Billion from Silicon Valley Bank to Israel Right Before Fed Seizure
IN TODAY’S INCREASINGLY DARK CULTURE… Villainous Cannibals In HBO’s ‘Last Of Us’ Spout Bible Verses, Blaspheme Christianity And The Faith
NASA WARNING: In The Leadup To Dr. Thomas Horn’s THE MESSENGER, An ‘Unknown Number’ Of Invisible Asteroids Could Strike Earth AT ANY MINUTE
IT’S THE SECOND COMING OF THE NEW AGE… And, As Pop Culture Lures Kids Into The Occult, Neutrality Toward Witchcraft Isn’t Enough
AS STUDIED IN THE BESTSELLING BOOK “ON THE PATH OF THE IMMORTALS”—Behold The Mysterious Gate Of The Gods
MARK LEVIN: BIDEN AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY ARE ‘TOLERATING’ A ‘VERY UGLY’ ANTISEMITISM
Are There Prophecies Being Fulfilled Now? Dr. Thomas Horn’s Warnings On Transhumanism Coming True
As The Late Journalist George Neumayr Warned: ‘The Clock On Catholic Civilization Is Nearing Midnight’
Franklin Graham Warns ‘Judgment Is Coming’
Yad Vashem Unveils ‘The Book Of Names’ At The United Nations
Did Aliens Land On Earth In 1945? A Defense Bill Seeks Answers
Israel: Former Supreme Court chief: Judicial overhaul ‘a recipe for wiping out democracy’
Israel: Israel’s Top Secret Ex-nuclear Chiefs Com
Rampant Nazi golrification: A look into Europe’s antisemtic rallies
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terror Group Calls for Third Intifada
Pope Francis Under Fire For Comments Denying The Existence Of Hell
Surprise! – Study Shows US Aid To Palestinians Increases Terrorism
Private jets, Cartier watch: Hillsong under probe in Australia after claims of misuse of church funds
How the Southern Baptist Convention covered up its widespread sexual abuse scandal
Drag Queen Pastor Leads Story Time In Church
King Camen and Queen Katana leads church service at Silver Spire United Church for Drag Queen story time to children and grooming them for the LGBTQ movement.
Why They Won't Talk About The Oslo Accords
Media pundits spend a lot of time “explaining” to the rest of us why some political or social development just occurred. Last week, The New York Times presented what it claimed are the real reasons behind the controversy over Israeli judicial reform.
The recent election results, which brought Israel a new government–and the judicial reform plan–are part of a “rightward drift” that goes back a number of years, according to the Times’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief Patrick Kingsley.
“The failure of peace negotiations with the Palestinians in the 1990s led some Israelis to lose faith in the centrist and leftist leaders who had championed the process,” Kingsley said.
PART 6: ENOCH, THE WATCHERS, AND THE FORGOTTEN MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST—The Sin of the Watchers and the Birth of Jesus
The notion that the birth of Jesus is somehow conceptually and theologically linked to Genesis 6:1–4 and the sin of the Watchers in 1 Enoch no doubt sounds odd to the modern Christian ear. But instead of focusing on what’s familiar to us, the issue must be what was familiar to the Jews of the first century. Their intellectual and theological frame of reference can be quite foreign to our own. The right context for understanding the New Testament isn’t our Christian tradition (of any variety or period). Rather, the context that produced the New Testament must guide us.
The birth of Jesus would have alerted literate first-century Jews that the Messiah’s arrival would reverse the sin of the Watchers. Surprisingly, we will not discover how this was so in the birth narratives of the Gospels. This is perhaps why the connection between these two items seems so unlikely—we don’t read anything in the Gospels that makes any relationship transparent. The answers are to be found elsewhere, in other New Testament passages.
PART 7: ENOCH, THE WATCHERS, AND THE FORGOTTEN MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST—The Birth of Jesus on September 11, 3 B.C., the Day of Trumpets, and Noah’s Flood
The astronomical context of John’s description of what he saw in the heavens in Revelation 12 puts the birth of Jesus on September 11, 3 B.C. As impressive as the correlation of astronomical events with the description of Revelation 12 is, there are even more points of correlation that bear directly on the astro-theology being communicated.
The literary context of Revelation 12 is of relevance here. Immediately preceding Revelation 12, John described the heavenly appearance of the temple and the Ark of the Covenant (Revelation 11:19). The Ark was the central symbol of God’s presence with Israel. The birth of the child (Jesus) in Revelation 12:1–7 was John’s way of saying that the presence of God had indeed returned to earth in the form of this Child, the Messiah. New Testament scholar Greg Beale notes the significance of this juxtaposition by John:
[A] trumpet was to be blown on Tishri 1, which in the rabbinic period came to be viewed as the beginning of the New Year. God’s eschatological judgment of all people was expected to fall on this day.… The New Year trumpet also proclaimed hope in the ongoing and ultimate kingship of God, in God’s judgment and reward according to people’s deeds, and in Israel’s final restoration.[i]
Incredibly, the astronomical reconstruction of the circumstances of Revelation 12:1–7 that produces a birth date for the Messiah of September 11, 3 B.C., was also the beginning of the Jewish New Year in 3 B.C. (Rosh ha-Shanah)—Tishri 1, the Day of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets/Tishri 1 was also the day that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judah reckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra.[ii] This is a powerful piece of evidence for the astronomical reading of Revelation 12:1–7 as celestial signs of the birth of the messianic king.
PART 8: ENOCH, THE WATCHERS, AND THE FORGOTTEN MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST—The Specifics of Reversal Typology in the Four Women
In what remains of this section, we want to examine the evidence marshaled by Richter that demonstrates how the women included in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus foreshadow the reversal of the transgression of the Watchers and, consequently, the Enochian notion of how their transgression resulted in the proliferation of evil in humankind. Richter writes:
Transgression looms large in the stories from the now canonical Hebrew scriptures of the four women included in Matthew’s genealogy (Matt[hew] 1:1–17), Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and “the wife of Uriah” as she is called in Matthew, known from the Hebrew scriptures as Bathsheba. Aspects of the watchers’ transgression and its consequences are present in the stories of each of the women named as an ancestor of Jesus. First, each woman makes use of the illicit skills and arts taught by the fallen angels in the Enochic tradition. Each of the women named in the genealogy participates in sexual activity considered suspicious at best and unrighteous at worst. Each of their stories involves use of the arts of seduction or beautification. Two of the stories, the story of Rahab and the story of the “wife of Uriah,” involve both the arts of beautification and the arts of war. Each of their stories, then, includes the combination seen in the watchers’ descent myth: “knowing” as sexual activity and “knowing” as understanding illicit arts. Second, each of the stories involves echoes of additional elements of the Enochic template. These elements include the following: interaction with angels, sometimes with hints of sexual activity, questions about the paternity of the women’s offspring, and questions about the unusual nature of their offspring.[i]
The links between these four women and the aforementioned elements of the Enochic template are not always obvious or clear to English readers. This is due in part to dependence on English translations. In other instances, the connections are part of Second Temple Jewish readings of the biblical material that may seem foreign to modern readers. Our modern traditional perspective impedes understanding.[ii]
PART 9: ENOCH, THE WATCHERS, AND THE FORGOTTEN MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST—The Sin of the Watchers and the Ministry of Jesus
At first glance one might presume that the connection between the ministry of Jesus and the sin of the Watchers is to be found in the episodes where Jesus casts out demons. While demonology and exorcism play a role in our topic, they are by no means the only connection. Our study will begin elsewhere, with a more fundamental reference point: Mount Hermon. We may not realize it, but Jesus spent some time on this mountain and in the region at its base, and what He did and said there was classic spiritual warfare.
Mount Hermon, Mountain of Bashan
It’s hard to miss Mount Hermon on any visit to the Holy Land. At nine thousand feet, it is easily the tallest peak in Israel. In ancient Israel, Mount Hermon was called Sirion and Senir (Deuteronomy 3:9; 4:48).
In an earlier chapter, we learned that Mount Hermon was the location at which the Watchers bound themselves with an oath to corrupt humanity. First Enoch 6 describes the deed, connecting it explicitly to Genesis 6:1–4:
1And when the sons of men had multiplied, in those days, beautiful and comely daughters were born to them. 2And the watchers, the sons of heaven, saw them and desired them. And they said to one another, “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives from the daughters of men, and let us beget for ourselves children.” 3And Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, “I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.” 4And they all answered him and said, “Let us all swear an oath, and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this deed.” 5Then they all swore together and bound one another with a curse. 6And they were, all of them, two hundred, who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon.[i] And they called the mountain “Hermon” because they swore and bound one another with a curse on it.
The base of Mount Hermon forms the northern border of the region of Bashan, a geographical reality that helps us identify Mount Hermon with Mount Bashan of Psalm 68.
PART 10: ENOCH, THE WATCHERS, AND THE FORGOTTEN MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST—Jesus vs. the Watcher Spirits (Demons)
Scholars have noted that “the ancient boundaries of Bashan, although impossible to determine exactly, appear to be the area north of Gilead, west of Salecah and the Jebel Druze Mountains…south of Mount Hermon, and east of the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee.”[i] This description means that another familiar episode in Jesus’ ministry occurred within the territory of Bashan: the exorcism of Legion (Mark 5).
The reader should not miss the point made earlier. For Second Temple Jews, the demons Jesus encountered and defeated were Watcher-spirits, released at the death of the ancient Nephilim/Rephaim giants. The passage from 1 Enoch 15 included above makes that quite evident, as do the Dead Sea Scroll references to the Watchers as “bastard spirits.” This term quite clearly views demons as the result of the death of the hybrid (“bastard”) Nephilim offspring produced in the transgression of Genesis 6:1–4, Enoch’s sin of the Watchers.[ii] When Jesus confronts Legion, He is facing a collective of these entities. Mark records the dramatic encounter:
1They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
Prior to Mark 5, as Israel’s Messiah, Jesus had restricted His ministry to a Jewish audience. His focus changed in Mark 5:1 when He intentionally entered the country of the Gerasenes—Gentile territory.[iii] Mark’s wording is interesting. When Legion asks, “What have you to do with me?” the question echoes that of the unclean spirits cast out by Jesus in Mark 1:24 within the Jewish territory of Galilee—with a subtle but telling difference…
Alarming Tactics Of “New Heaven New Earth” Cult In America
It doesn’t take much online scrolling to recognize the complete dysfunction in Christian churches in the West today. Amid the economic, political and racial division, Christians are also finding spare minutes to bicker over theology and church politics. Apostle Alexander Pagani is sounding the alarm on a cult that is taking advantage of those divisions to infiltrate and recruit congregants. “It’s an epidemic,” Pagani says, speaking of Shincheonji or known in America as New Heaven New Earth church. The group was founded in the 1980s by Lee Man-Hee. In part one of our interview with Pagani, he breaks down the beliefs of the church and its leader, the “Promised Pastor,” who says he is the only one able to interpret the book of Revelation. The church tells its members they are the only ones counted in the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation. New Heaven New Earth is now reaching out to Christians across America, looking to join together for Bible studies. You may have even been contacted by someone…