The Woman With The Issue Of Blood

In the Biblical account of Mark 5:25.34, there is a woman mentioned who had been suffering from a twelve year ailment. The narrative does not mention this woman by name; however, she will be very familiar to us all because of her unique faith of an historic proportion. The physicians of that day had tried to make her physically whole, but unfortunately, the things they did try only made her worsen by the day. For twelve painful years, she had suffered under this horrible disease and now the author of Mark tells us she spent her entire life savings to obtain freedom from this curse she had. The importance of the background reveals to us in verse 24 that a large crowd had been following Jesus and His disciples, and the crowds of people were literally pressing in on Him. In addition to verse 24, it shows how needful the people were and how desperate they had become for their healing to begin through their Jehovah Rapha. That day there were many people following Adonai, and while they were pressing in on Him to get a physical touch by their God, Jesus Christ felt His power had gone forth from Him. Then the Messiah had said, “Who touched Me.” Moreover, while Jesus was looking for the person that touched Him, the disciples responded back to their Master, “You see the crowd pressing in on you how can you say, ‘Who touched me’.” This very statement has given us an important clue on what is going to happen next.

Before we venture further into the mystery of the woman with the issue of blood there is another factor the Western minds need to consider, mainly surrounding the episode on Eastern culture. During the Old Testament period, God had commanded Moses, in Numbers chapter 15:37-41, to tell the Israelites to make fringes onto their garments. “The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make tzitzit (fringes) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the tzitzit (fringe) at each corner. You have the tzitzit (fringe) so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and you shall be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God”. The important aspect of this unique tradition is to be practiced throughout all generations, for when God commands an action, it is always an eternal decree to be carried out on earth. Our Western thoughts conceptually are not in tune with Eastern ancient customs. In addition, most congregations have not been equipped to teach the Hebraic roots of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Therefore, we are as Paul the Apostle mentions in First Corinthians chapter 3:2. “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh.”

The important significance of the Hebrew people making a Tallit (prayer shawl) and adding the blue fringes (tzitzit in the Hebrew) on the garment is astounding. The very prayer shawl Jesus Christ wore connects with Malachi chapter 4:2. As Jehovah Rapha was wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl), a miraculous event occurred when the woman with the issue of blood had touched the fringes of His prayer shawl. As we go to Malachi, the writer mentions “But for you who revere My name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” This mystery woman could have possibly heard Malachi chapter 4:2. It may have been spoken in the synagogues or perhaps her family had this manuscript in their possession it is obvious she had heard of Malachi 4:2, just for the fact that this miraculous event occurred once she had touched the fringes on His prayer shawl. She knew the Hebraic impact it would have on her once she did touch Jehovah Rapha’s prayer shawl, or else she would not have acted on her faith.

Is the phrase in Malachi 4:2, with healing in its wings, referring to Jesus Christ as having actual feathery wings like that of a bird? The answer would be a resounding no. The author of Malachi was speaking metaphorically. However, if we take it at face value in its literalism, this would cause injustice to the text. Jesus the Messiah did come to earth in the flesh. The woman with the issue of blood knew the Hebraic and ancient customs connected with the word tzitzit (fringe.) She knew that the word fringe in Hebrew is “wings.” Therefore, when she was reaching out at the prayer shawl that Jesus Christ was wearing she had found healing in His wings. Verses 28 and 29 said she had acted out on her faith it says, “For she said, if I but touch His clothes I will be made well. Immediately her hemorrhage stopped and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.”

This story similarly parallels that of John chapter 9:1, 41. As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” The woman had not sinned, nor had her parents sinned to cause her issue of blood. Similarly with the blind man, Jesus Christ commanded him to go to the pool of Siloam (which means sent) to be fully healed. After touching the fringes of his Tallit (prayer shawl), and after speaking to Jehovah Rapha, the woman most likely reflected on Psalms 91:1. “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress my God in whom I trust.”

By Michael Jones

Why God Almost Killed Moses

Moses recently pleaded to Jethro, his father-in-law, that he needed to travel back into Egypt to see if his kindred were still living. While on their long journey, they decided to camp out. The Lord met Moses that night and tried to kill him. Exodus 4:24-26 states, “On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, ‘Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’ So he let him alone. It was then she said, ‘A bridegroom of blood by circumcision.”

At first glance, the context seems bizarre because just before their journey Moses and God had a very long discussion about his mission toward Pharaoh, and now God wants to kill him. You are possibly wondering what he had done to deserve a divine death penalty. The clue can be found in Genesis 17:10-11. “This is my covenant, which you shall keep between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.”

Genesis 17:10 is a divine command from Yahweh to circumcise your sons, and in this case Moses’ son. Moses, being in haste to head back into Egypt, had rejected the circumcision of his son on their journey. Before they had left out of Midian, he did not take into account the importance of circumcision. Although it is unknown if Moses would have circumcised his son once they arrived into Egypt from Midian. Perhaps this was why God threatened to kill him.

Since Moses clearly disobeyed God’s divine command, the Lord approached Moses in a direct manner. God instructed Moses to fulfill His word, “hence circumcise your sons.” As stated in Exodus 4:25, Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched her husband’s feet with it. This lesson explains how importantly the blood covers over transgressions. It made atonement for Moses’ sin.

Moses’ wife, Zipporah, acted as a mediator to protect her husband from certain death. Most importantly, she became a mediator between God and Moses. She protected the promises made by Yahweh to her husband. If God had killed Moses, then there would have been no successor to carry out His plan. As Christians, how can we apply this lesson into our lives? I believe we should always be attentive to the Shekinah Glory of God and always let our ears lean onto His voice. Paul desires us to use the lesson explained in Hebrews 3:15: “As it is said ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” We can apply this in how we live our own lives according to the Bible. We should always follow His commandments and His voice. Some people follow their own ways and are hardened to God’s Shekinah Glory. Unfortunately, there are many in the church and in the pulpit today that do not listen to God’s voice. Sometimes they lie (whether it be to God or to man) to save face. We should not give God any reason for Him to take away our lives by our own rebellion if we should persist down our own earthly paths.

Acts Chapter 5 gives a clear true-life example of how Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, deliberately lied to Peter and to the Holy Spirit about the property they sold. They kept half or more of the proceeds that should have gone to Peter and his mission work. Therefore, God took there lives, and both dropped dead before Peter because of there rebellious hearts toward the Holy Spirit.So how are we going to live our lives before our Master? In righteousness, or in our own rebellion?

Written by Michael Jones

The Four Cups of Passover in the New Testament

There are four promises in Exodus 6:6-7, which are related to the Passover. These four promises are thoroughly expressed through the four cups of Passover found in the New Testament. Before I discuss in greater detail about these four cups and their actual meanings, I want to talk about communion. Have you ever thought about where communion comes from? The church has practiced communion for many ages. The Lord has instituted what the church has done many centuries before, which is partaking of the bread and wine in remembrance of what our Lord Jesus has done on the cross.

If you look closer into the passages of Luke 22:17, Luke 22:42-44, and Matthew 26:28-29, there is a connection between communion and Passover. Though churches call Passover communion, in proper term it should be called Passover, since the Passover cup is a crucial cup for Jewish Passover. In Luke 22:17-19, “Then taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah (Blessing(s) and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.’ Also, taking a piece of matzah (unleavened bread), he made the b’rakhah; (Blessing(s) broke it, gave it to them and said, ‘This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” Hence, when we are celebrating the Passover or communion we are in unity “remembering” Jesus the Messiah.

The four promises in relation to the four Passover cups is quite relevant even in communion, but let us remember these promises which God instituted in both the Old Testament and the New Testament are the promises He has already fulfilled to the Jewish people. Here they are in order: Exodus 6:6-7

A. I am the Lord; I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.
B. Rescue you from their oppression.
C. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm with great judgments.
D. I will take you as my people and I will be your God.

Therefore, we now have an outline to work with in explaining these four cups of the New Testament Passover from Exodus. The first cup Jesus Christ explains to us is the cup of Sanctification or in Hebrew called the Kiddush (sanctify) cup. In Luke 22:17, “Then, taking a cup of wine, He made the B’rakhah (Blessing) and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves.” This particular form of prayer is possibly close to the original prayer which Jesus the Messiah prayed. In Hebrew, the prayer reads: Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu Melach ha-olam, borae pree hagafen. Now, I will break the sentence structure down for my audience so it can be easily pronounced. Ba-rukh A-tak A-do-nai E-lo-hey-nu Me-lekh ha-‘olam bo-rey pri ha-ga-fen. In English, it says; Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.

1. The Kiddush cup means “sanctification.” This word should have a sobering effect on us believers for it is a reminder to us that Jesus Christ shed His blood for humanity. There is a unique, but parallel pattern you will begin to see unfold throughout the four Passover cups. When the Messiah prays for each of the Passover cups, take note that these are not random prayers. Each of those prayers has a special meaning and a connection to each of the four cups. You may now be asking yourself how Exodus 6:6-7 correlates to the text of Luke 22:17.

In this story, God says, “I am the Adonai; I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.” Here therein lies a special word in the contextual story. The key word in this story is “free.” We have read that the God of the Hebrew people freed them of their burdens and bondages. Even in our generation, sometimes we as humans can be wrapped up in our own burdens of life and bondages this world has. In fact, these same burdens and bondages the Hebrew people had under Pharaoh is a resemblance of our own sins. Before we even existed, our sinful state was presented at the Cross, through the “sanctification” of His blood. He atoned for our sins so that we can experience the forgiveness of our unrighteousness through His death on the cross. This was at the very heart of Jesus Christ’s first coming.

2. The second Passover cup is called Plagues. Another name for it is “the cup of wrath,” which finds its origin in Exodus 6:6-7. God is deeply moved by His people that are bound in Egypt, so God speaks to Moses and says, “I will rescue you from their oppression.” Elohim speaks fondly and lovingly about His servants as He speaks collectively for the nation of Israel. During the celebration of Passover with Jesus and the disciples, Exodus 12:12-13 makes mention of the curses of the second cup. “For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am Adonai. The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are when I see the blood, I will pass over you when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.”

This cup reveals God’s direct involvement in delivering His people from Pharaoh. During the Passover, the cup of wrath (plagues) is not to be drunk at all, but rather the contents are poured onto the table while the ten plagues are recited during the Passover meal. Whenever you recite the ten plagues of Egypt, it helps you to remember how God protected His people. This was also evident when God instructed them to place the lamb’s blood on all three sides of the doorpost. Exodus 12:7, “They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house.” The blood protected and saved God’s people from the wrath of the death angel, which was to kill all firstborn of every humankind and animal.

This particular cup also represents the anguish Jesus Christ went through at the Garden of Gethsemane. In Luke 22:42-43, Jesus kneels and prays to the heavenly father and says, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done.’ There appeared to him an angel from heaven giving Him strength, and in great anguish He prayed more intensely, so that his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.” As we see in this story, the Messiah asked for this cup of wrath to be taken away from Him. However, we know in order for the prophecies to be fulfilled, God could not take away the cup of wrath from His Son. This starting point in the Garden of Gethsemane lead up to a dramatic and heart- breaking event - the Crucifixion. Christ had such perseverance through a horrific tribulation of wrath. Our Messiah is our definite Savior, who’s blood protected us and saved us from spiritual death.

3. The cup believers partake of during Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is really called the cup of Redemption. This cup is identified in the text of Exodus 6:6-7, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” This context above can be found in the story of Exodus 12:13. The theme is about the blood being placed on the doorpost of each Hebrew house. In addition, the second theme is about Egypt being judged by God through the ten plagues. Exodus 12:13, “The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over you when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.” The blood the Hebrew people placed on all three sides of the doorposts of their houses was a symbolization of Jesus Christ.

In the book of John, we find the character of John mentioning, “Look! God’s lamb! The one who is taking away the sin of the world!” Jesus is the Passover lamb. The cup that believers drink from is in the passages of Luke 22:20. “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood which is being poured out for you.” During the night of the Passover, the cup Jesus told His disciples to drink from was the cup of Redemption. Something very intriguing happened that night. Jesus Christ did not drink of this cup spoken of in the book of Matthew and in the book of Luke. The book of Matthew clearly states in chapter 26:29, “I tell you, I will not drink this ‘fruit of the vine again until the day I drink new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then the book of Luke reveals in chapter 22:15-16, “And He said to them, ‘I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder (Passover), with you before I die! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.” Then the Lamb of God reiterates in Luke 22:18, “For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.”

As we approach our final Passover cup, let us keep in remembrance that which Christ our savior did on the cross for humankind. Our final Passover cup is known as “the cup of praise”; another important name for it is “the cup of the kingdom.” In the book of Matthew, we find in verse 30, chapter 26, “When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” This is practiced even today. After the Passover meal, a hymn is sung. In Hebrew, it is called “Hallel,” which is translated as praise. This hymn is not just a song they actually made up. It finds its origins in Psalms 136:

• Give thanks to Adonai, for he is good, for his grace continues forever.
• Give thanks to the God of gods, for his grace continues forever.
• Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his grace continues forever;
• To him who alone has done great wonders, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who skillfully made the heavens, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who spread out the earth on the water, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who made the great lights, for his grace continues forever;
• the sun to rule the day, for his grace continues forever;
• the moon and stars to rule the night, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who struck down Egypt’s firstborn, for his grace continues forever;
• and brought Isra’el out from among them, for his grace continues forever;
• with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who split apart the Sea of Suf, for his grace continues forever;
• and made Isra’el cross right through it, for his grace continues forever;
• but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Sea of Suf, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who led his people through the desert, for his grace continues forever;
• to him who struck down great kings, for his grace continues forever;
• yes, he slaughtered powerful kings, for his grace continues forever;
• Sichon king of the Emori, for his grace continues forever;
• And ‘Og king of Bashan, for his grace continues forever;
• Then he gave their land as a heritage, for his grace continues forever;
• To be possessed by Isra’el his servant, for his grace continues forever;
•Who remembers us whenever we are brought low, for his grace continues forever;
• And rescues us from our enemies, for his grace continues forever;
• Who provides food for every living creature, for his grace continues forever;
• Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his grace continues forever.

Jesus Christ and His disciples were singing this very song as they were walking to the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is known as the oil press, and there are some good reasons why it is called that. When the Lamb of God was praying to His father to take the cup of wrath away from Him, Jesus Christ started to sweat drops of blood. This was His first pressing. His second pressing would be when Judas Iscariot handed the Messiah to the Romans and they did all sorts of horrible things to Jesus before His crucifixion. Then, the actual crucifixion that took place was Jesus Christ’s last and final pressing. Matthew 26:50, “But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.” Isaiah chapter 53:5, “But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sin.” Yet, He lovingly and willfully gave up His life for all of us.

Written by Michael Jones

How God Will Destroy the Earth

“Who establishes the earth on her sure foundation: it shall not be
moved forever.” Psalms 104:5

When the great battle of Armageddon is over, Elohim, who is God of Israel, will make our New Jerusalem (the Holy City) descend onto earth. Prior to the descent of our “new” heaven and earth, God has reserved the “present” heavens and earth for a judgment. God has kept this earth for a special event and a fire will cause its destruction one day. Peter 3:7, “But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.” In the past, earth had been destroyed, and its geological eco-system was wiped out because of the flood. With the exception of Noah and his family, the flood left no one alive, including all of the animal kingdom. God’s judgment was in fact the direct cause of human wickedness. Genesis 6:5, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.”

There are many similarities of our generation to Noah’s generation and to Lot’s generation. Luke 17:27-30, “They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Like wise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” It is not very hard as Christians (followers of Christ) to look at this world and see the idolatry that it partakes in each day. The same things quoted in the aforementioned verse are exactly what are going on in this generation. Sadly, there will be many people who will not know the Messiah when He returns and the Son of Man reveals Himself to us.

Why did God wait so long until He brought the deluge to the earth? There are many scriptures pointing to the fact that the Lord did not want anyone to perish. 2 Peter 3:9 shows His mercy toward humanity. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” After the cataclysmic changes from the floodwaters, it is interesting that there is not another earth God had to create for His children to inhabit. Another factor to consider would be that the waters did not annihilate the earth. The writer of 2 Peter 3:10, describes the situation in the near future being that “the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.”

Then, another verse of 2 Peter 3:7, states: “But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.” Everything about what the writer of 2 Peter had said is intriguing. Initially, we have knowledge that the Lord will destroy the earth by fire. Secondly, there are orders of events that must happen before the promised Messiah makes His second coming. Thirdly, “the heavens and the earth are being kept and reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and the destruction of the godless.” Fourthly, Paul told us that the elements would be dissolved with a fire, and earth and everything in it will be disclosed. When Paul refers to the word “elements,” what did he possibly mean? The writer of 2 Peter tells us the Greek word that he used for elements is “Stoicheion.”

The Greek word “Stoicheion” details for us the rudiments of our Cosmology. The four elements of the earth are earth, fire, air, and water. They will all be burned up and destroyed by the fire, for all these things that God made are perishable. However only the surface will be destroyed. The earth itself will be eternal. “This phrase, Yet once more, indicates the removal of what is shaken that is, created things so that what cannot be shaken may remain,” Hebrews 12:27. Therefore, by using the Greek word “Stoicheion,” we learned how Elohim is going to destroy the earth’s elements with fire, simultaneously with the earth’s firmament. Genesis 1:15-17, describes the firmament. “And let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, (sun), and the lesser light to rule the night (moon and stars). He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.”

Though we are not positive how He will actually destroy it, many pastors and theologians pinpoint the idea that God will use the sun to destroy the firmament and its elements. However, Elohim could use another source we are not aware of. The Cosmology of the earth and everything in it will “pass away.” God, who caused the flood of Noah’s day, will again renew the earth the way it was in the beginning. Hebrews 1:10-11, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed.”

Both water and fire are a direct consequence of judgment on people who are not willing and wanting to adhere to the Lord God, for Elohim has given His followers an order. “Hear, Israel! Adonai our God, Adonai is one; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart,” Deuteronomy 6:4-6.

By Michael Jones

The Progressions of God’s Dwelling in Man

In Genesis 2:7, we have a firm existential foundation for our first parents, in which Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground. On that special day which we read further on into Genesis, He took the dirt from the ground and formed Adam, and afterward, Jehovah formed the Spirit of man by breathing into his nostrils. Then what took place was more than an act of God, but a miracle of God. He had given to man, what is called the Ruach (Hebrew for spirit). He blew into the man’s nostrils and this word Ruach is Hebrew for Spirit. Elohim wanted His creation to be not only distinct from the animal world, but also separated from it. Another view Jehovah gave evidence to us that we are separated from the animal kingdom was the following. The act of the creation of the animal world was however different. He created the animals to possess an actual living soul dwelling inside of them; however, there is no such thing as a spirit residing inside of them. The soul of an animal is their entire characteristic, which is what we would call their make-up for their emotions. You will see that when God created man and blew into the man’s nostrils He gave the man a part of His spirit. Jehovah also gave our first parents a soul with the spirit. Moreover, this soul is the make-up for all human emotions. Their spirit that God gave the man and woman is a compartment for them and for us to commune with our creator and to worship Him.

Now since Lucifer had already fallen from his divine authority and his divine position, only one authority was transferred to Adam (Man-Ish) and Eve (Woman-Ishah). What do I mean about divine authority being transferred to our first parents? Satan at one time had a priestly function of being in charge of the worship music on earth. God created the Devil for music. In Ezekiel 28:13, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” In his book, The Invisible War, Donald Grey Barnhouse suggests Satan the cherub angel had a priestly function. “The wings of a cherub, you might recall, were outstretched on the top of the ark of the covenant. Confirming this interpretation is the expression ‘his sanctuaries,’ apparently a reference to worship (v.18).” This also points to the fact that Lucifer directed and orchestrated the worship of other angels. The cherub angel, Satan, received the worship of other angels underneath him and gave all the praise and worship to God in the third heavens. Now, God has given Adam and Eve, the authority of worship, since it was, transferred to our first parents because of Satan’s rebellion. Satan has however lost his divine position of ever being a worship leader ever again in God’s kingdom. This now explains the deceiver’s action of jealousy toward Adam and Eve. This is why Satan the cherub angel, lied both to Adam and Eve. The Serpents mind said if only I (serpent) can convince these new people to eat of the tree, The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. Then I (serpent) cannot only ruin their relationship with the Creator, so then they can follow my ways, then God cannot dwell inside of them anymore, and their closeness with God would be damaged.

The Devil knew about this. That is why the deceiver lied to Eve and to Adam. Lucifer was quite successful. Here is the story that Moses writes down in Genesis 3:1-7, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the Garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

Before I explain in further detail, here is some important information to know. The Bible is not clear on how long Adam and Eve dwelled in the Garden of Eden before their fall. However, the Book of Jubilees has given us some clue of how long they resided in Paradise. Depending on how accurate the Book of Jubilees is, it records that Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden for seven years during the first week of the first jubilee. In the Garden of Eden (Gan-Eden), sin got a foothold on Adam and Eve, and God no longer dwelled “inside” of them. Instead, God dwelled “with” them. God knew in advance that their fall from grace would happen, but most importantly, Elohim still wanted to have fellowship with them and with humanity. After they had eaten of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze. The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” It is tragic that our first parents had lost the Garden of Eden and were expelled from that land because of their sins. It is tragic because they slowly pulled away from their relationship with God. The Lord had already known that they were to fall. Why did God stop dwelling “in” our first parents? He now had to dwell outside of them because of their evil intentions and ways. So the Lord decides to test them next. With His words of love, what does God say in response to their sin? “But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you’?” His response to Adam was incredible. It was not as if God did not know where Adam was. He did know! However, God was waiting for a response from Adam. Perhaps He was waiting to hear, “I still love you, My Adonai, and I still need you in my life.” Because God still yearned to commune with His creation, Adam and Eve, Elohim had constructed for man an eternal plan and a place to dwell in next.

As we progress further into God’s master plan, He still has a very important message to tell us. When YWHW commanded Moses and Aaron to build the tabernacle, there had to be certain measurements and a particular way of building the tabernacle for the Lord. For God says to them in Exodus 25:9: “In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” Therefore, the Lord God still had a burning desire in His heart and spirit to dwell with the people of Israel, for they had been in the desert for quite some time and would be for approximately forty years. During those trying years for the people of Israel, their God still wanted to be with them. He says in Exodus 25:8, “And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.” Tabernacle means place of dwelling or sanctuary. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, the separation of sin between man and the Lord was great. He could no longer live inside of man. Therefore, God wanted a place of worship (a tabernacle) to dwell and commune with man.

It was Aaron and his sons who served as priests and high priests in the tabernacle, during the time of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. In Exodus 40:11-15, God spoke to Moses and said, “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put on Aaron the sacred vestments and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, so that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put tunics on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father that they may serve me as priest: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout all generations to come.”

The tabernacle consisted of two rooms. A beautiful veil separated each room. The first room was called the “Holy Place.” That is where the golden lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table of showbread were located. The second room was called the “Most Holy Place.” The Ark of the Covenant was stationed there. It was only the high priest that could go into the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies). That happened once a year on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). If you remember, Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord. He heard the voice speaking to him from the mercy seat, located between the two cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. Another verse which speaks of God communing with man is Leviticus 16:2. “The Lord said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.”

The physical presence of YHWH, would meet Moses, as well as the High Priest, between the two cherubim on the mercy seat. The book of Numbers 7:89 says: When Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he would hear the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the Ark of the Covenant from between the two cherubim; thus it spoke to him. Another instance when God would speak to Moses, yet he could not enter into the “Tent of Meeting” is in Exodus 40:34-38, Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Is this not awesome, can you imagine experiencing something like this in the Old and New Testament periods. How God yearns for them and for their relationship with their Creator, you see God loves us so much and desires us that we should want Him in our lives. There is a parallel description found in Matthew 23:37, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! ‘How often have I desired together your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.’ This is how strong God’s connection with us is, that He “desires us” No matter what our current situation we are in, even in our rebellion, God will still speak to us and will keep speaking to us until He gets through to us the importance of following Him. Because only through Elohim our Creator, will we find true rest and peace amongst turmoil in this world or in our daily life, that is why our Creator keeps on desiring us, since only through Him do we have contentment when He speaks to us in our situation or turmoil.

Next, an important place where God spoke to the children of Israel was inside Solomon’s temple. The story starts in 2 Samuel chapter 7:2 with King David. He says, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” The Lord God spoke with King David in 1 Chronicles 22:8. In that verse, He says to David, “You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood in my sight on the earth.” Adonai had a better idea. Instead of using David, He decided to use his son, Solomon. Then further, in 1 Chronicles 22:6, David called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. Through many wars, which King David fought in, it has made him disqualified in building a Temple for their God. David said to his son, “My son, I had planned to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, I have shed too much blood.”

The shepherd and king had reigned over all of Israel for 40 years- 7 years in Hebron, and 33 years in Jerusalem. Before David’s death, they anointed Solomon as the Lord’s prince. In Chronicles 3:2, King Solomon began building the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on top of Mount Moriah, (where the current Temple Mount presently stands). The Lord had always spoken between the two cherubim on the mercy seat, and He spoke to King Solomon and the people in various ways. After the temple was built, “the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” In chapter 6 verse 1, Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would reside in thick darkness.” Another reference is in chapter 7 of 2 Chronicles. After King Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good for his steadfast love endures forever.”

These progressions of God continuing with humanity really are remarkable. Just like King Solomon praying and the Shekinah Glory of God manifesting itself in the temple, the Lord God can answer our prayers. However, it will not be in the same manner as Solomon. God can still answer our prayers through various means, though they will possibly be through dreams and visions or supernatural acts in our life. Elohim can also answer prayers that are big or small.

Another important aspect to all of this is when you first enter into “The Holy Place.” Standing next to the high priest is the “Altar of Incense.” You are probably wondering what The Altar of Incense is, and what its purpose is. “It is located in front of the curtain that is above the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Mercy Seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you.” The priest daily and nightly kept The Altar of Incense, by going and placing divinely made incense on top of the altar. In addition, this specially made incense would make the smoke go straight up, for it was a sweet aroma made for God alone. The smoke rising up out of the incense would symbolize the prayers going up to God. This is why God made a separation of what is holy and what is profane. When someone was profane with what was holy, they were separated from their tribe and cast out permanently. This is why Exodus 30:9 clearly mentions: “You shall not offer unholy incense on it, or a burnt offering or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.”
As the high priest offered incense, the smoke went straight up. Similarly, a person’s prayer goes straight up to God the father. In the book of Psalms chapter 141:2 David says, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.” In Addition, in the New Testament, John writes in chapter 5 of Revelation verse 8, “When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Remember what God said in Exodus 25:22. “There I will meet with you and from above the mercy seat.” It was a personal experience for Moses. He met with God face to face. Numbers 12:8 says, “With him I speak face to face clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord.” When Jehovah speaks to us like He did with Moses, He will not reveal Himself physically to us, as He did with Moses. That is until Christ comes to bring us home or when He comes entering the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. Our Creator will speak to us firmly but also lovingly about what we have been praying about. God reveals Himself to us through nature, prayer, praise and worship, and even through reading the Bible. For Him to act according to His will and to communicate to His children is an incredible thing to witness in our personal lives. This is called true love; the love He has for His children. Our Lord and Creator said that our bodies are a temple, and Paul agrees with God and says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” This is why the Messiah stressed so much that we should take care of our bodies and why we should not mark our bodies, such as tattoos. Jesus Christ even gave us guidelines about not drinking blood or eating anything that could harm us. In addition, in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul wrote down, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” I believe a good comparison can be found in Matthew 21:12, 13, “Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written My house shall be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.”

What it has to do with a man’s body is simple. God’s dwelling place was the temple and the people who were selling the doves inside the temple were defiling God’s sanctuary; hence, they were defiling the sanctity of God’s holy presence or the Shekinah Glory. In a way, the temple was a resemblance of the flesh of God while He resided over the Mercy Seat between the two cherubim. God’s temple is holy and you are that temple. That is why Jehovah showed us the difference between what is holy and what is profane so we do not defile ourselves. In Ezekiel, it explains in chapter 44:23, “They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” This is why God gave all who follow Him a command. His commands are for our benefit and safety from things that are sinful. This is why it is so pertinent to follow our Shepherd, and to hear Him and follow Him wherever He may take us and whatever He may say to us. Darkness can have no fellowship with the light and in 2 Corinthians chapter 7:1, Paul mentions this important factor that ties all of this together. “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.” The Bible says, “Be holy as I am Holy.” Those words that came from His mouth should echo in our spirits. If we have become defiled from any type of sin, we are no longer holy but have become profane and have become spiritually and physically soiled by our sins.

We need to repent of our wickedness and ask God to forgive us and purify us through His Blood; and of course, we need to do this with a true heart when we confess our unrighteousness to our righteous Savior. Since we are not our own, the Messiah had to die on the cross because of our unrighteousness. Jesus Christ’s blood atonement that He shed for our sins made it possible for Him to live inside of us. In addition, when we had accepted His salvation, our sins were totally covered, and we were made righteous before our Lord, Jesus Christ. So let us remember what Paul said in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus.”

Michael Jones

The Altar an the Anti-Christ

You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep, and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. Exodus 20:24.

The Temple Mount Institute has started construction on the stone altar. This construction began on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, 2009. The 9th of Av is very significant in Jewish history (though it is also a sad event in their history), for it commemorates the destruction of the first temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C. Albeit, it is a reminder of the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD. The building of the altar that the Temple Mount Institute is constructing is momentous since we are living in the end times. This altar was foretold in the book of Daniel.

This altar should have a prophetic impact on the Christian world as well as wake us up spiritually. In nature, we are witnessing political events, and world events, which are beginning to line up with the Bible. However, there are two Judaic organizations Jehovah has raised up for the end of days. They are the Temple Mount Faithful, and the Temple Institute. It is important to note that these two organizations are dedicated to rebuilding the third temple.

The Temple Institute has recreated all of the sacred vessels and have made things such as David’s harp, the priestly robes, and a copper vessel that will be used in preparation for the meal offering. In addition, the Temple Mount Faithful has successfully created two cornerstones both weighing 13 tons (26,000 pounds). Over the years they have purposely tried to position the cornerstones at the Temple Mount so they can start rebuilding the temple. (Then, Jews believe this will usher in the Messiah Ben David). This altar they are currently constructing will be smaller than the previous two altars. Multimedia director of the the Temple Institute, Yitzchak Reuven, mentions that the “base of the altar will be three and a half meters wide, the height of it three and a half meters wide, and the ramp ten and a half meters long.” The organization purposely created it small for the mere fact that it would be easily transportable to the third temple.

The Messianic publication Yavoh is Hebrew for “He Is Coming.”
Monte Judah, founder, director, and editor, describes the size of this altar in Yavoh. “It is six meters square at a height of four meters. It will have a ramp extending some thirty-six feet. In imperial measurements this altar will rise more than twelve in the air and sit on a base nearly twenty feet by twenty feet.” The Lord made a commandment to Moses and the children of Israel about building the altar. The God of Moses stressed about not using any type of tools that could chip or chisel or break away any part of His stone altar. Deuteronomy 27:5, “There you are to erect an altar to Adonai your God, an altar made of stones. You are not to use any iron tool on them, but are to build the altar of Adonai your God of uncut (unhewn) stones; and you are to offer burnt offerings on it to Adonai our God.”

In adhering to God’s direct order, the Israelites were to collect stones for the altar that would please YHWH. For inasmuch as, no iron tool or any iron tool of warfare was permitted to touch these stones. For, He knew iron tools have been used for warfare and for killing people. Therefore, any iron tool touching the altar stones would invalidate those stones. A similar correlation would be the inspection of the Passover lamb. Any blemish would disqualify it for being the perfect corban (gift). In the Mishnah, a New Translation by Jacob Neusner, on page 879, it states, “For iron is created to shorten man’s days, and the altar is created to lengthen man’s days.”

Our next phase of writing will shed some light about the future anti-messiah, and the altar. Prophecy, in the book of Daniel, reveals to us that the Jewish Temple will be properly functioning. For it has to be fully functional for the anti-Christ to stop the burnt offerings and to commit the utter blasphemy against the holy stone altar. The anti-Messiah will then pledge his allegiance to Satan and claim that he is God in the Third Jewish Temple.

Paul reveals to us the character and evil nature of Satan’s anti-Christ. However, the extremity of his true character and his evil nature takes its apparent form once the three years of peace (false peace) has ended. After the three years expire, that will begin the days of Jacob’s Trouble. There are many theories out there explaining the ethnicity of the anti-Christ. Some scholars and pastors say he has to be Jewish since Jewish people will only accept a Jewish savior, and others believe that he will be of Muslim origin. For now, until the time comes, it is difficult to be absolute about his ethnicity, whether he (anti-Christ) will be a Jew or Muslim. Many Jews have rejected Judaism and turned to Islam. Therefore, there is a chance for the anti-Christ to have Jewish origin, and his religion be that of Islamic nature.

For me, I am leaning towards the possibility of the anti-Christ being Muslim, with Jewish origin, just for the fact that the book of Revelation tells us that there will be many beheadings of innocent people who rejected the mark of the beast or who did not worship the beast. (In Islam we can truly see this prophecy coming to pass about the anti-Christ). Paul tells us in Revelation 20:4, “ Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.”

From the historical figure of Antiochus Epiphanes, God has given us clues about the upcoming anti-Christ. Epiphanes was a despicable person who was basically a blueprint for the anti-Christ. The anti-Messiah will have similar spiritual components as Antiochus Epiphanes. God reveals that both of their natures are destructive, rebellious, murderous, and anti-God. Below is a list that reveals the anti-Christ’s nature. They are compared to Antiochus Epiphanes in 1 Maccabees, chapter 1 verse 10, 37, 44 through 47.

1. Antiochus came out of a wicked root. 1 Maccabees 1:10
2. The Anti-Christ will come from a wicked root.
(Satan will possess the anti-Christ).
3. Antiochus shed innocent blood. 1 Maccabees 1:24
4. The Anti-Christ will shed innocent blood. Revelation 20:4
5. Antiochus changed the seasons and laws,
and profaned the temple Sabbaths. 1 Maccabees 1:49
6. The Anti-Christ will change the sacred seasons
and the law. Daniel 7:25
7. Antiochus stopped the grain offerings and the altar.
1 Maccabees 1:59
8. The Anti-Christ will stop the grain offerings and the
altar sacrifice. Daniel 9:27
9. They erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt
offering. 1 Maccabees 1:54
10. The Anti-Christ will set up the abomination
that desolates. Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31
11. Deceitfully, Antiochus spoke peaceable words to them,
and they believed him; but he suddenly fell upon the
city, dealt it a severe blow and destroyed many people
of Israel. 1 Maccabees 1:30
12. He (Anti-Christ) shall make a strong covenant (False
Covenant) with many for one week. Daniel 9:27 and
Revelation 20:4

Whenever the Bible talks about Satan possessing the anti-Christ, it reminds me of when Judas Iscariot was briefly possessed by Satan. The author of John 13:27, gives us clues about Satan entering into Judas Iscariot. “After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him.” However, once Satan enters into the anti-Messiah, it will not be as brief. It will be a longer duration, that is, until Satan and his anti-Christ completes the prophecies which are spoken of in the Bible. Then, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever and ever. In Revelation 20:10, Paul tells us this important fact, “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

The book of Matthew speaks of the anti-Christ standing in the holy place. Then, after this, disaster will strike Jerusalem, especially in Judea, where sweeping persecutions will take place. It will be so devastating that Matthew 24:21-22, warns us, “For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” So, when all of the people of Judea and Israel see or hear that the anti-Christ is now standing in the holy place (Holy of Holies), they are to immediately flee into the mountains away from their houses. They are not even to grab any clothes or any supplies that are in their homes. In Matthew 24:19-20, “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.” The author of Matthew gives us an expedient warning (to flee now).

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must have given the apostle John a glimpse of the future. It seems God had given him an urgency that quickened his spirit to write what he did as an emergency plan for the people of the future who will witness the incumbent anti-Messiah. The emergency plan is to flee from your homes and businesses, synagogues, and churches and buildings of any type. Where will the Israelites flee? Common knowledge says they will escape to the mountains of Petra and Bozrah for safety. During the hard times of the anti-Christ’s rule, the Jewish people who believe in Jesus Christ as their Jewish Messiah will be fleeing to these two ancient cities. Their travel from Judea to Petra will be approximately 120 miles (193 kilometers). Unfortunately, no one will be using vehicles as a means to escape the anti-Christ and his forces. They will be fleeing by foot to Petra and Bozrah.

An important fact to consider is during the wintertime in Jordan the temperatures can get down into the thirties and even colder at times. This is possibly one of the many reasons why the author of Matthew has said, “Pray that your flight may not be in winter.” It would be physically challenging for everyone, especially for pregnant and nursing woman walking this long, treacherous journey to Petra and Bozrah during the wintertime. Matthew 24:19, “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days!”. Typically, their winters last from December through January. I believe the author of Matthew was actually alluding to something more serious than the temperature of wintertime; though, it will have an effect on the people who have to actually traverse to these two places during those days. The anti-Christ’s takeover of the Third Temple would be especially tragic if it occurred on the important Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the 25th of Kislev. Hanukkah is a time of rededication of the temple. It is called the Festival of Rededication and the Festival of Lights.

Here is a brief but very important history lesson about the Maccabees. A wonderful website: Written by Les Turvey. I will paste his website below. (All words in Italics are from Les Turvey).

“Antiochus IV Epiphanes became ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire in 175 B.C. In an effort to unify the Greek elements of his empire he initiated a campaign to FORCE the Greek culture upon those living in Judea. In 167 B.C. Antiochus orders an altar to the Greek god Zeus be erected in Jerusalem's Temple. Pigs (a Biblically unclean animal) are brought in the Temple and sacrificed on the altar of Zeus. In the same year the altar is erected a Jewish priest named Mattathias starts a revolt against the Seleucid overlords by refusing to worship the Greek gods imposed on them.

Mattathias dies about a year after he started the revolt. One of his sons named Judas, however, becomes the military chief of the rebellion. As a recognition of his ferocity in battle, Judas is referred to as Judas Maccabaeus (or Judah the Maccabee), which when translated means ‘Judah the Hammer.’ Judas Maccabeus leads an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucids. After his victory he enters Jerusalem in triumph and religiously cleanses the Temple (which was profaned by the pagan Seleucids). The temple is rededicated in 165 B.C. on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. According to tradition, although there was only one day's supply of oil for the Temple's menorah (which was required to burn throughout the night every night), it miraculously burned for eight days. Eight days was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh oil for use in the Temple.”

Here, God gives the Jewish community and the Christian community a blueprint from the very words of the Maccabees found in the Apocrypha. He shows us what might possibly take place again, history repeating itself. God is basically saying His words very clearly as He reveals them to the remaining believers of the Messianic community and the Christian community fleeing Judea. They need to take His words to their very heart. “Pray that your flight may not be in winter.” When we see these events forming and taking shape before our eyes, we ought to look up for our redeemer is seven years away from rapturing the remaining believers up unto Him..

Written by Michael Jones