Restoration Times Sept-Oct 2022


In this Issue of the Restoration Times we discuss:

• I Must by All Means Keep This Feast
• What the Autumn Feasts Teach Us
• The Law Before Sinai
• Q&A
• Letters

Download PDF  Read on Issuu Read Past Issues

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 2

In order to have a proper understanding of a particular doctrine, it is many times necessary to look at most if not all of the Scriptures that apply to the subject.  Yahweh’s Word does not contradict itself.  Therefore, the answer to the question, “When does the Sabbatical begin and end?” should be clear to us if we allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves.

The story of Joseph in Egypt and his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream in Genesis 41 alludes to the Sabbatical cycle of seven.  However, the first mention of the Sabbatical commandment is found in Exodus 23:10.  “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove”  (All Scriptures are from the NKJV).

Regarding the observance of the Sabbatical cycle and specifically the Sabbatical year, verse 10 shows that the first commanded action to be taken is to sow the land.  The second commanded action was to gather in the land’s produce.  The only information we are given about the Sabbatical cycle is that it begins with sowing and ends with gathering in the produce.

The climate of the Holy Land is such that there are only two seasons, wet and dry.  The wet season begins in the Fall and ends in the Spring.  The dry season begins in the Spring and lasts until the Fall.  The expression “former and latter rains” refers to the first rain in the Fall which must take place before the barley, wheat and other crops could be planted, and the latter rain refers to the last rain in the Spring.

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in Yahweh your Elohim; For He has given you the former rain faithfully,

And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).

Because there are only two seasons, the Holy Land’s agricultural seasons are different from what we are used to in the U.S.  For instance, in the Spring following the wheat harvest there are no crops planted.  This is because it is the dry season; there is not enough moisture to sustain any kind of crop.  For the most part, the only things that are grown are garden vegetables and herbs.  These are watered by hand.

During the dry season a farmer would spend most of his time with his flocks and herds and harvesting any early fruit crops.  He would patiently wait until the Fall of the year for the major harvesting of the olives and grapes.  That process would begin after Feast of Tabernacles and would last until sometime before the rainy season began.  The grapes were either dried to preserve them or they were sent to the winepress and turned into grape juice and wine. The olives were either preserved in salt water or they were sent to the olive press and turned into olive oil.

Prophetically speaking, the gathering of the clusters of grapes (i.e. people at the end of the age) and then casting them into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh, takes place at the end of the age of man after the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

Figuratively, the following passages show that the Sabbatical ends in the Fall, and that that is the time when Yahshua returns and the time when Yahweh’s final judgment takes place. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Sovereign and His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!’”  (Revelation 11:15)

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.  Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’  So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of Yahweh.  And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:14-20)

These events will not take place in the Spring, but rather in the Fall.  Therefore, the cycles of seven and the Sabbatical year would begin and end in the Fall and not the Spring.

This is contrary to the Sacred year, which begins in the spring.  “Now Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you”  (Exodus 12:1-2).

If the Sabbatical year coincided with the Sacred year, the Israelites would not have sown seed in the Fall.  Why would they sow seed that would bring forth crops that could not be harvested? By beginning the Sabbatical in Abib you would have to add the six months prior because you could not sow crops.  There would be no point in sowing in the Fall, and then because the crops in the fields were obviously not volunteer (that which grows up of itself) you could not harvest any of the crops.

There would be no point in sowing in the Fall if you begin the Sabbatical in the Spring.  Beginning the Sabbatical with Abib would add six months extra to the Sabbatical year.  The Sabbatical must begin with not sowing and then not gathering produce (crops planted).  The only way that this is possible is if the Sabbatical begins in the Fall and not the Spring.

The aspect of first sowing and then gathering is the basis for the Sabbatical cycles.  This is clearly seen in Leviticus 25:2-5.  “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to Yahweh.  Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit;  but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.’”

The Sabbatical year, like the weekly Sabbath, is the culmination of cycles of seven.  In the case of the weekly Sabbath, we are dealing with days that begin at sundown.  Preparations to keep the Sabbath begin on Sunday and end on Friday.  Preparations to keep the Sabbatical begin the first year of the cycle, and end in the sixth year.  That cycle begins with sowing, and ends with gathering or reaping the harvest.

 

The Second Coming of Yahshua.

One of the most important reasons for beginning the Sabbatical in the Fall and not in the Spring is because the Sabbatical years (and  Jubilee years) foreshadow Yahshua’s Second Coming. Each of Yahweh’s Feast days has special prophetic significance, and the Feast of Trumpets is no exception; in fact it is the next feast day to have its prophetic fulfillment. Consider Colossians 2:16-17.  “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah.”

Yahshua applied the fulfillment of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years to Himself as the one who will proclaim a release for the captive, liberty to the oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of Yahweh is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’”  (Luke 4:16-21).

We know that Yahweh’s Holy Days individually represent fulfillment of important aspects of the plan of salvation.

For instance, Passover depicts deliverance from sin and a blood covering from the Lamb of Yahweh, Yahshua the Messiah.  The Feast of Weeks represents the Matan Torah and the gift of the Holy Spirit along with obedience to Yahweh’s Covenant.

Yom Teruah represents the sounding of the last trumpet and the second coming of our Savior.  The Day of Atonement points toward the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in Revelation 19.  Feast of Tabernacles is a type of Yahweh’s Kingdom on this earth.  And the Last Great Day points toward the time when Yahweh’s throne is established  on the earth.

To say that the Sabbatical year begins in the Spring (Abib) does not support the teaching of Yahshua’s second coming.  The scriptures are very clear on the fact that Yahshua has fulfilled the first half of a Sabbatical cycle.  And it is shown that He was cut off in the middle of that cycle of seven.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week. He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:26-27).

The events depicted here will take place near the end of the final Sabbatical and Jubilee cycles, at the close of the age.  Yahshua will not return in the middle of a Sabbatical because He has already completed half of a Sabbatical cycle.  Instead, He will return at the end when the Last Trumpet sounds.  That being said, the Sabbatical cycle must begin in the fall and not in the Spring.

Consider the following passages which relate to the return of Yahshua.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”  (Matthew 24:29-31).

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of Yahweh and of His Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of Yahweh.  And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Yahweh.  And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND RULER OF RULERS”  (Revelation 19:11-16).

 

Sabbatical Year and Gezer Calendar

One of the oldest known Hebrew documents is the Gezer Calendar (see image below).  It was written in the time of David or Solomon (1,000 BCE), some 400 years before the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity (586 BCE).  This ancient document describes the agricultural year for the land of Israel, and it begins that annual cycle in the Fall and not the Spring.

Leviticus 25 explains that the Sabbatical year begins by NOT sowing your field or pruning your vineyard.  Consider Leviticus 25:3-12,

“Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to Yahweh. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.  What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.  And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food.  ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.  That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.  For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.’”

How could the Israelites have been influenced by the Babylonian calendar, as some claim, when that calendar didn’t even exist when this document was in use?

The Gezer Calendar proves that the Sabbatical begins in the Fall.

Leviticus 25 makes it very clear that the Sabbatical follows the seven year cycle which begins and ends in the Fall of each year.  It always mentions sowing your field first and then pruning your vineyard.  Sowing in the Land of Israel always takes place in the Fall after the Feast of Tabernacles. The pruning of the vineyard takes place at the end of the Sabbatical just prior to the sowing of grain in the Fall.

 

Rewriting the New Testament

Over time myths and legends can be accepted as truth even if they lack a basis in fact. One of these legends says that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River, even though silver dollars did not exist at the time and the Potomac was a mile wide.

Paul Revere was supposed to have ridden from Boston to Lexington crying, “The British are coming,” even though at that time most residents of Massachusetts considered themselves British.

Many religious convictions are awash in myths that grew and flourished over the centuries and yet are nowhere in the Word. Knowing how fables involving George Washington and Paul Revere became generally accepted in the course of only a couple hundred years, imagine how facts can be skewed after a couple thousand years when it comes to the Scriptures.

Have you ever wondered why the typical paintings of a Hebrew Messiah show an individual having western European features of a narrow nose, blue eyes and long, golden hair? Illustrations in some Bibles depict ancient Israelites of the Middle East sporting Renaissance garb 1500 miles away and 1500 years into the future.

Ancient tradition and foreign beliefs have seriously altered the way the Bible is portrayed and understood today. Perceptions sometimes stray so far from the truth that for the sake of accuracy we must stop and take a serious look at what we have been told or believe. Debunking traditional error is a key part of the work of Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry.

Coming down this path are many doctrinal disparities that were shaped by cultures and practices of people who came later. As a result, truth suffered substantially. Blinded by faulty teachings, many today don’t adhere to the truth even when it’s pointed out clearly and plainly.

The Bible as a Hebraic Book
Most of society looks at the Bible through Western filters, rather than in the light of its native Hebraic language and culture. This problem has proved so stealthy and persistent through the millennia that most will never question traditional notions. And they also don’t realize what is at risk. Until you understand that the New Testament is an extension of the Old, with only a few key revisions, you will never grasp it properly.

Let’s dispel the first issue we raised regarding the Savior. The Messiah Yahshua (being a Jew with a Hebrew Name) never had His portrait done by an artist or sculptor. Even if some were lurking around Galilee He never would have posed for them. With Him it was never about vanity.

No one today knows what He looked like. Scripture doesn’t offer any description, except to indicate that He was average in appearance without long, blond locks, 1Corinthians 11:14, Ezekiel 44:20. With His beard, Isaiah 50:6, He looked so much like any other Hebrew of His day that He could pass through a crowd of Jews unrecognized.

If the Bible had provided a description of His appearance, many would create and worship His image rather than concentrate on what He said and did. But they do that anyway.

Many also do it in another way, focusing entirely on His person and overlooking His primary teachings about a coming Kingdom and the part the called-out can have in it.

Our Savior was certainly no frail European, but a rugged Hebrew craftsman who worked with wood and stone. Being that His mother was Jewish, he had the typical dark, curly Mid-Eastern hair and features that reflected years of hard work and ministry carried out in the hot sun of the Middle East.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Anomalies concerning the simplest biblical facts underscore the work of the Adversary to derail both a correct understanding of Bible truth as well as the proper worship that would naturally flow from it.

To understand the harm in misconstruing both testaments, we first must be open to their thousands of connections.

The Western world looks at the Bible through Western eyes. In actuality, the Bible is a book about Middle Eastern peoples known as Israel and their Hebrew beliefs in an Almighty Creator named Yahweh. This fact applies to the New Testament as well as the Old and is basic to realizing what happened in the first several hundred years of the New Testament.

The fact is, the New Testament body of believers was still Hebraic in thinking and behavior. They had inherited a “Jewish” Messiah and it was their own Hebraic roots that the early church would seek to suppress any way they could. Almost from the beginning the emerging universal church became entrenched in Greco-Roman trappings.

From Hebrew to Greek
To disconnect their worship from its Israelite moorings, another “Sabbath” day was created. Biblical holy days, which were seen as Old Testament obligations meant only for ancient Israel, were replaced by celebrations that would become predominately secular over time.

Passover, the memorial of Yahshua’s death, was morphed into Easter, a brand new celebration for His resurrection. But the Roman church had zero authority from the Scriptures to create a resurrection observance.

New Testament writings of Hebrew men like Matthew, Mark, Paul, and Peter were given a different spin to support an array of new doctrines, some of which reflected the teachings of Greek philosophers. Even their Hebrew names were Grecianized in an obvious makeover.

Paul was given a Westernized face-lift to advocate no-law disobedience in his letters. Peter’s experience was misinterpreted in Acts 10 to say swine and shellfish had been cleansed and were now edible.

Apostolic writings were ripped from their Israelite framework and force-fitted into Greco-Roman mindsets. Over time a vast gulf would develop between original biblical truth and modern beliefs. The pivotal question becomes: Is the New Testament a Hebrew book, a Greek work, a Latin volume, or a hopeless mixture? And does it make any difference for True Worship?
Even Bible students with a basic under-standing of Scripture know that Hebrew is the language of the Old Testament manuscripts. It’s the language found in the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Bible texts in existence.

The common belief is that the New Testament was originally written in Greek simply because Greek is the language of the oldest available manuscripts of the New Testament. By the same reasoning, however, the Greek text also was the oldest available text of the Old Testament until the Dead Sea Scrolls, written in Hebrew, were discovered in 1947. More evidence is coming to light that the New Testament was first composed in Hebrew as well, consistent with being written by Hebrews.

In the minds of reformers the New Testament included Jews who were in the process of switching from their Israelite faith to Grecianized-Romanized beliefs and language.
Along with that was a common belief that Paul, the major New Testament writer, was a Hellenist Jew from Tarsus who wrote his letters specifically to Greek-speaking assemblies in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region ostensibly to convince them to switch to a new faith.

This has worked to the advantage of those who want to keep the Old and New testaments separated and not viewed as a single continuum of truth.

As we read Philippians 3:5, which is part of Paul’s autobiography, let us ask ourselves whether slicing the New Testament away from the Old is proper or just another tactic of the Adversary to derail correct understanding and worship.

Paul writes of himself, “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews: as touching the law, a Pharisee.” Paul’s expression, “an Hebrew of Hebrews” is a Hebrew idiom that means a Hebrew through and through – in thinking, language, and lifestyle.

Paul, whose actual name was the Hebrew Shaul (the KJV also calls him Saul), was in fact a complete Hebrew. As for his politics, Paul was a Pharisee, a prominent sect of Judaism. Paul also grew up in Jerusalem, which was the center of Pharisaic Judaism.

At this point you might be saying, yes I realize that Paul may have been a Hebrew, but he was educating various Greek-speaking churches through the Greek language.

In reality Scripture reveals that Paul’s letters or epistles were written to various groups of the Jewish dispersion. Each group or assembly he founded contained a core of Jews along with others, including gentiles and Hellenists or Jews who spoke Greek. The Hebrews among them would transmit the biblical message from Paul’s letters to others in their circle.

Note what one authority writes: “ …we must not forget that Christianity grew out of Judaism … The Pauline epistles were letters written by Paul to small [Messianic] congregations in Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. These early believers were mostly Jews of the dispersion, men and women of Hebrew origin … The Epistles were translated into Greek for the use of converts who spoke Greek” (The Holy Bible from the Peshitta, by George Lamsa).

Just as teachings became Grecianized and Romanized, so were facilities. Greek gods were worshiped by the Greeks in Greek temples. These temples were later re-purposed into Christian churches. Many of the old Roman basilicas, which were public buildings in ancient Rome, were also appropriated for use as churches beginning in the 4th century. The circle of Greek and Roman influence was complete.

Paul Sustains Sabbath Obedience
An example of how the Apostle Paul ministered first to the Hebrew-speaking Jewish element wherever he went is found in Acts 17. Here Paul and Silas come to Thessalonica where there is a synagogue of the Jews. In verse 2 we read: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.”

Why did he go specifically to the synagogue, on three consecutive Sabbaths no less, if he was not interested in teaching the Jews the truth of the Savior?

Paul was a Jew and as a Jew he kept and taught seventh-day worship as well as Yahweh’s seven annual Feast days. He continued doing so even after being instructed and trained by the resurrected Messiah, showing us that nothing there changed with the death of the Savior. The law was still in effect.
Another instance is his letter to the assembly at the Greek city of Corinth in 1Corinthians 10. There Paul talks about “our fathers” who were in the Exodus from Egypt, meaning their Israelite forefathers. Repeatedly we find that Paul went to the synagogue on the Sabbath where both Jews and Gentiles were worshiping. And he never told them to stop doing so. He never explained about any resurrection switch that made Sunday the new day to worship. Both Jew and Gentile still kept the true Sabbath.
Also critical to our understanding is the question, which books did Paul teach from? The only books in existence at the time were what were known as the Scriptures, the Old Testament.
This is highly significant because it is the Apostle Paul who is a preeminent transmitter of the New Testament, after the Savior Himself, of course. He taught from the Old Testament in his letters. The Old Testament was a Hebrew collection of books about Hebrew people, not Greeks or Romans, but Israelites and their faith, which included almost the same covenant we are to make with Yahweh.
Notice what he said in Acts 24:14: “But this I confess unto you that after the way which they call heresy (a sect or party), so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” The word “heresy” here refers to men following their own tenets.

By continuing to teach from the Old Testament as a foundation for their New Testament worship, Paul made some people very uncomfortable. Some even went so far as to call his ministry a heresy or in the vernacular, a cult, for teaching from the Law and prophets, which was another way of saying the Old Testament Scriptures.

In addition, Paul included in his ministry and writings what he had learned from the resurrected Messiah Yahshua. Obviously Paul saw no contradiction with combining fundamental Old Testament truth with what Yahshua had revealed for the New Testament worshiper.

Yahshua Himself said in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill, or live out the Old Testament Scriptures in obedience to His Father.

But Paul had critics coming at him from the other side too. In Acts 24:5 he is being accused by the religious establishment of being a ringleader of the “sect” of the Nazarenes or the followers of the Savior of Nazareth. So he was getting it from both angles: those who thought the Old Testament was obsolete, and those who could not bear to hear about the New Testament Savior Yahshua.

Clearly, Paul harmonized Old and New testament doctrines in his writings. Being that he was directed to do so by the risen Savior, his approach is proper for us today. In fact, this is what Paul had told the young Timothy in 2Timothy 3:16-17. “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of Yahweh and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Yahweh may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

“All Scripture” refers here specifically to the Old Testament and only later would include the New Testament once the New Testament was written.

How did it happen that two major but divergent world religions exist, with one supposedly based on the Old Testament and the other ostensibly founded on the New Testament?

If the Old and New testaments teach the same basic truths, why the dichotomy? Is the Bible designed as two separate books, revealing one way of faithful obedience for Hebrews and a different way of simple faith for today’s believer?

Not a Divine Misstep
One fact is crystal clear: Yahweh said in Malachi 3:6 that He doesn’t change. His design for salvation is the same from the beginning. Through command and through His writers, Yahweh instructed His people to obey Him.

Yet, many continue to believe that Yahweh’s laws must have been given to Israel by mistake, an error committed by the Father that Yahshua corrected by purging our lives of Yahweh’s statutes in this age of grace.

Hebrews chapter 11 tells us about law-observant Hebrew patriarchs who will be in the coming Kingdom because of their faithful obedience. So why will Yahweh specifically reward them for their faithfulness to His laws if obedience is unnecessary and irrelevant for salvation?

If Paul in the New Testament were teaching a Grecianized faith, why did he quote from a Hebrew Old Testament? Why did he use lessons about Old Testament Israelites (for example, 1Cor. 10) if today’s worship is under an entirely different system based on faith alone?

In truth, none of the apostles had ever heard of the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” The first use of the term New Testament is by the theologian Tertullian more than a century after the death of the apostles.

The simple truth is that Paul upheld Old Testament obedience. He wrote: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not: yea, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31).

The Messiah Taught the Law
Something is clearly amiss if we believe that the New Testament teaches a whole new system of faith and conduct disconnected from the Old. Yahshua Himself upheld and even amplified the necessity to obey His Father Yahweh.

Read Matthew 5:17 to the end of the chapter. In that passage He starts out with, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets.”

Yahshua Himself taught from the Old Testament. He quoted the law books, or Torah, some 60 times. There are nearly 700 individual citations from the books of the Old Testament found in the New. If you include references to the Old Testament as well as quotations of it in the New, the number would be over 4,000, according to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary.

The Messiah Yahshua in John 10:35 says Scripture cannot be broken. And yet for 2,000 years persistent efforts have been made to break the New Testament away from the Old Testament. Claiming that the New Testament was written in Greek has had the effect of disconnecting it from its foundational Hebraic roots.

New Testament Is Hebrew Based
An abundance of internal evidence points clearly to the unavoidable conclusion that the New Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language and was translated into Greek only later.
This fact alone provides the essential tie that binds Israelite worship in the Old Testament with the faith of spiritual Israel of the New Testament.

Paul says in Romans 11 that the believer today is grafted into that same Israelite Covenant promise given in the Old Testament. He wrote in Romans 11:25, “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.” Paul writes that both believing Israelite and believing gentile will receive the reward of salvation, confirming the continuity of the testaments. Now let’s look at the text itself.

Survivals from the Hebrew Originals
If the New Testament writings were originally Greek, then we could reasonably expect to find an occasional Greek word surviving in English from the Greek original.
Instead we find many Hebrew words and expressions in the New Testament that have survived into the English. That’s because the Greek had no word to convey certain Hebrew words and expressions when the Hebrew New Testament text was translated into the Greek and from there into English.

For example, we find in the King James New Testament and other versions the purely Hebrew-Aramaic word “Abba” (which means dearest father); “Messiah” (anointed one); “Sabbath” (repose, desist from exertion); “Eli, eli lama sabachthani” (my El, my El, why have you forsaken me?); “talitha cumi” (meaning maid arise); “mammon” (riches), and “hosanna” (savior we beseech).

If we were translating a book from German to English, would we throw some Russian words into our English translation? Russian words would survive our English version only if the original were translated from Russian. So finding Hebrew words and expressions in supposed Greek manuscripts is powerful evidence that the original was not Greek at all but Hebrew.

Also scattered through the New Testament we find many Hebrew (and Aramaic) idioms, which are expressions that cannot be translated accurately in the Greek so they were left virtually untranslated. They make perfect sense in Hebrew, but not in Greek or in English, for that matter.

Such expressions include: “If your eye is evil” (Matt. 6:23); “let the dead bury the dead” (Matt. 8:22); and “you shall heap coals of fire on his head” (Rom. 12:20).
Many other examples show clear evidence in the text itself that the New Testament was originally a Hebrew work that only later was translated into Greek.

When Yahshua returns, His feet will not touch down on Mount Olympus in Greece, or on one of the seven hills of Rome, but on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He is coming to redeem Israel and those who are faithful to the same covenant that Israel accepted.

We read in Zechariah 14:4: “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave [split] in the midst thereof.”
Notice what Paul wrote about the believers of the New Testament Assembly. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua the Messiah being the chief corner stone,” Ephesians 2:20.

He mentions both apostles and prophets as establishing the foundation of the New Testament Assembly. We know that the apostles are those who lived in the New Testament era and were with the Messiah Yahshua, but who are the prophets?

Simply defined, “prophets” is a general term used for the Old Testament proponents of Truth. In Luke 16:29 Yahshua the Messiah in His parable implored us to listen to Moses (the law) and the prophets. Interestingly, both are in the Old Testament.

By citing only a few of these facts, and there are many more we could list, we can see a clear harmony between both Old and New testaments.

Hoshana Rabba – The Living Water

On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles the priests would bring up to the temple a golden container of water from the pool of Siloam in a great ceremonial procession. This water will last all seven days of the Feast. On the seventh day this water libation ceremony reached its apex. Temple priests circled the altar seven times and poured out the water on the altar. For seven days the people would cry out for redemption and salvation while shaking palm branches.

This day is traditionally called Hoshana Rabba. According to the Mishnah (Sukkah 4:5), they would gather willow branches and encircle the altar once a day and stand the branches upright at the sides of the altar, sounding the shofar and reciting: “Hoshiah na! Save us, please!”

Rabba in biblical Hebrew means “master” or “great” and hoshana has the meaning of rescue, save, deliver, or savior. The title Rabbi comes from this term רַב Rab. Yahshua prohibits calling a man Rabbi because only Yahshua Messiah is our “master.” “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Messiah.” Matthew 23:8. Interesting note: the Assyrians (who spoke Aramaic) called their chief military leader the רַבְשָׁקֵה Rab-shaqeh. The title “rab” is well attested in Aramaic, which Yahshua spoke.

Regarding Hoshanna Rabba The Jewish Virtual Library notes: “In Second Temple times this was a source of controversy between the Boethusians and the Pharisees who gave the ceremony biblical authority even though it is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. They considered it to be halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai, i.e., as having been instructed verbally to Moses during his stay on Sinai.” See reference

Although not mentioned by name, this event seems to correlate with the prophetic Messianic Psalm 118:22-26: “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; Yahweh has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Yahweh has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Yahweh, save us Yahweh. (הוֹשִׁ֘יעָ֥ה נָּ֑א Hoshia na – save now) grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh. (Prophetic reference to the Messiah who came in Yahweh’s name and is Salvation Yah-shua.) From the house of Yahweh we bless you. Yahweh is our Elohim, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.”

When we analyze the biblical Hebrew an interesting correlation appears. The word “save” in this verse is from the Hebrew root word יָשַׁע yasha, “to deliver,” the same word origin in the name contraction of Joshua or Yahshua (3091), from YHWH and Yasha (See Yasha Strong’s 3091, Biblehub).

So Yahshua is standing at the Temple on the seventh day of Sukkot as the people cry out for salvation for the coming Messiah to deliver them, as they have traditionally done for hundreds of years. In a prophetic and emotional display, with the crowd waving palm branches, the priests circle the altar seven times, and pour out the water on the altar. And then Yahshua cries back in a loud voice so all the crowd could hear Him: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink,” John 7:37.

Continuing in verse 40, “When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Jews believe this day is also a day of judgment similar to Yom Kippur. An interesting note from the Jewish Virtual Library gives this insight: “The celebration of Hoshana Rabba acquired considerable solemnity and religious-mystic significance. In Jerusalem a large gathering took place on the Mount of Olives which was circled seven times … The piyyut (poem) of Hoshana Rabba which opens with the words, ‘the power [or, the truth] of Thy salvation cometh,’ which deals with the splitting open of The Mount of Olives (Zech.14:4) and the resurrection of the dead, probably has its origin in this ceremony.” See reference

Zechariah prophesies: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west…” “The voice of the herald brings good tidings and proclaims: Your mighty salvation comes! My Beloved is coming! —  the voice heralds. He comes with myriads of regiments of angels to stand on the Mount of Olives! — the voice heralds. He approaches to sound the Shofar, beneath Him the mountain shall split, — the voice heralds,” Chabad.org

Could it be that Tabernacles, as a harvest festival, also signifies the general harvest of the Firstfruits spoken of in Revelation and the return of the Messiah? Yahshua was born during Sukkot, he answers the call of salvation during Sukkot, and His people are gathered  from the world at this time. “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder.”

The Talmud mentions that during Hoshana Rabba, poems are recited calling upon Yahweh to not only rescue and redeem but also to send seasonal rains.

Water is an important element during Hoshana Rabba. Zechariah 14:17 warns of no rain for those who will not keep this festival after the return of the Messiah: “If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. Yahweh will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.”

The importance of keeping Sukkot cannot be overstated. It is a pilgrimage festival which means you are not to stay home to keep this Feast but travel where Yahweh places His name. These Messianic prophecies culminate in a general Harvest of Firstfruit believers gathered as a wave sheaf that Yahshua will offer to Yahweh at His return as our High Priest. Just another important reason to keep the Feast!

Restoration Times July – August 2022

In this issues of the Restoration Times we discuss:

• Rewriting the New Testament

• Do We Die for Heaven’s Sake?

• Sabbaticals and Jubilees, Part 2

• Hoshana Rabba and the Living Water

• Q&A

• Letters

Download PDF  Read on Issuu Read Past Issues

Where you got the vowels For Y(a)hw(e)h?

Q     Where you got the vowel of Y(a)hw(e)h? If you break the YHWH into two syllable it would be YH – WH then the vowel “a” and “e” is inserted to pronounce Y(a)H – W(e)H. Where you got the sound WEH? Can you give an example of Hebrew names that the Waw and Hey ( וה ) is pronounce as WEH

A     The name Yahweh is unique and one of a kind so trying to compare it to other names is futile. The name Yahweh is from the verb of existence and comes from breath no other name in the Bible is “breathed.” “Let every thing that hath breath praise Yah. HalleluYah.” Psalm 150:6 retains the short form Yah in the Masoretic text. It is vowel pointed to “Yah” (yod, qamets, heh) twice in the text. The final heh in Yah contains a mappiq dot indicating the heh is to be pronounced as a full aspirated consonant “YaH,” rather than just the qamets vowel “Ya,” adding the breathy “h” sound to Yahh. Many rabbis know the importance of the Tetragrammaton YHWH in relation to breath. The Jewish prayer book, the Siddur, teaches, “Nishmat kol chai tivarekh et-shimcha, YHWH elohenu” — “The breathing of all life, praises your Name, YHWH our Elohim.”

The vowels in Hebrew were only recorded by the Masoretes around the Medieval times. So every Hebrew word (vowel combination) in the Old Testament was recorded at that time. The Masoretes used an orthographic device known as Kativ Kere, in the text to hide the true vowels of the name Yahweh. Ketiv means read and Kere means written. They inserted the vowels for Adonai, Elohim and variants in the Tetragrammaton so every time they would see those associative vowels they would either read Elohim or Adonai. Amazingly, you can prove the vowel combinations of Yahweh by simple deduction. If Yahweh is the true name you would not expect to see the “Yah” and “Weh” vowels in any form by the Masoretes and this is exactly what you see notice:

 

יְהוָה – Yehwah (Genesis 2:4)
יְהֹוָה – Yehowah (Genesis 3:14)
יֱהֹוִה – Yehowih (Judges 16:28)
יֱהוִה – Yehwih (Genesis 15:2)
יְהֹוִה – Yehowih (1Kings 2:26)
יְהוִה – Yehwih (Ezekiel 24:24)

The Armarna letters have preserved the name Yahweh in Cuneiform form 1750 BCE. See: Friedrich Delitzsch, Babel and Bible Page 71. The Nag Hammadi also preserved the name Yahweh from about 70 AD in Greek. We see Yahweh written alongside Elohim. The Three part short form (Yahw) is also found in Greek in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Samaritans, as another witness, also preserved the name Yahweh to this very day. Many who visit the Samaritan High Priest with Don Esposito’s group in Jerusalem every year at the Feast of Tabernacles listen to him explain this.

Three parts of the Tetragrammaton YAHW is written in Greek in plate 378, fragment 15 for Leviticus 3:12. Later in biblical translations this was changed to Kyrios or lord but in the Masoretic text this remains YHWH with the Kativ vowels for Adonai. The Greek letters Iota, Alpha and Omega translate to Yahw (Yao). The Greek Omega (o equivelent) has the sound of “w” like in the word raw. The translator here could have used the upsilon, which anciently had the “u” sound like the word ruse or the German brüder but instead used the softer “o” sound like in the word “tone.”

For a similar word in Hebrew, you can look up the masculine Hebrew word “beautiful” Yapheh (seghol heh) describing David in 1 Samuel 17:42. The feminine form of this is Yaphah (qamets heh). Notice the “ah” ending? This is common when using this word in its feminine form. for instance see this from used when describing Tamar in 2 Samuel 13:1.

See:  https://yrm.org/breathing-the-name-yahweh/ for other reasons why the semivowel combination YHWH (matres lectionis) also show the form Yahweh as more probable.

The Sixth Letter, Waw or Vav?

Modern Hebrew uses a “vav” (v) for the sixth letter of its alphabet but anciently this wasn’t the case. Originally it had a “w” (double “u”) sound. This is a big deal when determining the proper pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. The only “v” sound in classical or biblical Hebrew is made from the second letter, the “bet” (for you Hebrew students this is the Hebrew letter “bet” without the dot called the dagesh lene, which indicates the harder pronunciation “b”).

It is known from antiquity the Tetragrammaton letters yod, heh, and waw are vowels. Vowels are spoken with the open mouth. The “v” is a consonant, not a vowel, and is spoken with the upper teeth and lower lip together. The historian Josephus (37 CE) said of the high priest, “A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred name [of the Almighty]: it consists of four vowels.” (War of the Jews, Book 5. 5. 7.)

Consisting of four vowels, the name Yahweh is pronounced with the open mouth, i.e.,  ee – ah- oo – eh. You cannot have or inject a consonant v as in Yahveh or Yehovah i.e.,  ee – ah – vv – eh. The two-syllable name Yahweh can be breathed when you deeply inhale and exhale.

The Masoretic vowel pointing backs up Josephus’ claims about the yod, heh and waw. In biblical Hebrew there are six unchangeable vowels (see chart above).

In his biblical Hebrew lecture series, Dr. Bill Barrick makes this interesting observation: “Sometimes actually in the transcription of ancient Hebrew such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, a ‘waw’ is sometimes given as a vowel letter for the qibbuts, which really represents a shureq and that also indicates the sounds of them were very, very close, even in ancient times.” (Biblical Hebrew Grammar I, Lesson 12). youtu.be/qb6DzN875y4?t=386 The qibbuts is a short vowel and has a “u” sound like in the word “ruler,” which equates to the “w” or double u. (See Basics of Biblical Hebrew Chapter 2.4)

J.D. Wijnkoop, literary candidate at the University of Leyden and rabbi of the Jewish Congregation in Amsterdam, states in his book, Manual of Hebrew Grammar, “Waw is a softly, scarcely audible pronounced w, which is produced by a quick opening of the lips,” (Forgotten Books, Classic Reprint Series, 2015, p. 3, original publication 1898).

Dr. Steven E. Fassberg, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard and teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a professor in the Hebrew language department and who headed the University’s Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has contributed to numerous  works such as The Encyclopedia Judaica, stated: “There is no doubt that the original sound was w and not v. Sometime during the history of the Hebrew language there was a shift from w > v in pronunciation, probably already during the Mishnaic Period [70 CE-200 CE]” (email correspondence).

The Aramaic language became the common language throughout the Middle East, eventually displacing Assyrian cuneiform as the predominant writing system. Aramaic is still spoken today in parts of Turkey, Iraq and Iran. “An Aramaic institute was established in 2007 by Damascus University that teaches courses to keep the language alive. The institute’s activities were suspended in 2010 amidst fears that the square Aramaic alphabet used in the program too closely resembled the square script of the Hebrew alphabet and all the signs with the square Aramaic script were taken down.” Wikipedia “The Persians adopted Aramaic. The Babylonians adopted it and so did the Jews. It then prevailed as the language of the Middle East until 700 AD.” (Easter Sunday: A Syrian bid to resurrect Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ)

The Hebrew square script derived its letters from Aramaic around the time of the Babylonian exile. Being the language the Messiah spoke as well as the biblical patriarch Jacob, it uses a “w” for the sixth letter. We read in Deuteronomy 26:5, “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous.”

Ugaritic and later Semitic languages like Arabic, Maltese, and Ge’ez, all use a double “u” comparatively for the letter. This fact dynamites any possibility that the sixth letter had the sound of a “v” anciently as these languages all derive from older Semitic languages through Aramaic and as far  back as Phoenician, i.e. ancient Hebrew.

Another substantiation is the linguistic study of the Yemenite Jews of Arabia. These Jews were never displaced from the region. Edward Horowitz writes: “The sound of waw a long time ago wasn’t ‘vav’ at all but ‘w’ and ‘w’ is weak. The Yemenite Jews of Arabia who retain an ancient, correct, and pure pronunciation of Hebrew still pronounce the waw as ‘w,’ as does Arabic, the close sister language of Hebrew,” How the Hebrew Language Grew, pp. 29-30.

From this and other incontrovertible evidence, we see that any name for Yahweh like Yehovah, Yahvah, Yahveh, etc., has no basis in historical and linguistic fact.

Sabbaticals and Jubilees Part 1

The Mysterious and Intriguing Sabbaticals and Jubilees, Land Rest and Personal Freedom Part 1

One teaching of the Scriptures has been ignored and neglected today more than any other. Can you guess what it is? You’re probably thinking: It’s Yahweh’s Feast days. It’s the seventh-day Sabbath. It’s got to be the sacred Name.

Believe it or not, there is still a biblical truth that is more overlooked than those. The biblical teaching that has been more abandoned by churchianity than all of these is the sabbaticals. The Sabbatical and Jubilee years are the most disregarded of all Yahweh’s special, appointed times even by Sabbath keepers.

And yet, both biblical history and prophecy hang profoundly on these principal times that Yahweh gave us.

The law of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years is one of the more mysterious and intriguing in Scripture. It is like discovering a key that opens up a door to an exciting treasure room.

Most who observe the Bible’s weekly Sabbath are aware that Yahweh gave His Sabbath observances as a special sign to His people. Annual Sabbaths and extra-annual Sabbaths are very important to our Heavenly Father. Key events occurred at those times as well, likely even the coming return of Yahshua.

The Hebrew root for Sabbath (shabath)—Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance No. 7673—means “cessation” or rest. Yahweh’s Sabbaths are a periodic rest, which allow us to draw closer to Him, Ezekiel 20:12. “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh that sanctify them.”

Sabbaths Are the Sign
Observing His Sabbaths is the obligation of the True Worshiper, a commitment shared with other observers who are sealed in His sacred Name Yahweh by the Holy Spirit. Each weekly Sabbath reminds us that Yahweh set aside the seventh day that we might recall His great creative power as well as the redemption we have through His Son Yahshua.

Fifty-two times a year we take a day away from our weekly activities to join the Body of Messiah to revive and strengthen our faith. It is also when we grow the most spiritually as we commune with Yahweh.

Not only is the seventh day of the week holy and special to our Heavenly Father, but He also gave special Sabbaths every seven years, Leviticus 23. Important events of history and prophecy are tied up in these specially sanctioned years. Yet, the Israelites abandoned the keeping of the sabbatical years and in the process missed out on critical aspects of Yahweh’s prophetic plan.

Deuteronomy 5:15 is the restating of the Fourth Commandment and it gives us additional insights into the broader concept of “Sabbath.” “And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim brought you out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh your Elohim commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”

Why does He bring in the issue of slavery in conjunction with the Sabbath? Because there is a connection to another Sabbath, the 50th year Jubilee, a year of release of slavery and servitude.

Captivity for Disobedience
After wandering in the wilderness 40 years, Israel finally crossed over the Jordan and somewhat conquered the land Yahweh had promised. They had not been thorough in driving out the enemy, however, leaving pockets of heathen culture that proved to be Israel’s downfall when Yahweh allowed them to be conquered by foreign powers, Deuteronomy 7.

The northern ten tribes, often referred to as Ephraim because they were the dominant tribe, were taken captive to the area of present-day northern Iraq by the Assyrians and subsequently moved north and west over the Caucasus Mountains (hence the name “Caucasian”). This occurred in the seventh century BCE.

The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were allowed to remain in the land and had the advantage of seeing from a distance the wrath of Yahweh on their 10-tribed Ephraim brethren who were taken captive. Judah was also guilty of ignoring Yahweh’s laws despite the warnings of Elohim’s messengers:

“And Yahweh Elohim of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of Elohim, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2Chron. 36:15-16).

Shrugging off the plight of the northern ten tribes, Judah and Benjamin behaved even worse, according to Jeremiah 3:8. About a hundred years later the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with many of the priests, were taken captive to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. Only a few farmers and poor folk were left in the land of Israel. This was all because of their refusal to obey Yahweh by rejecting His laws, particularly the land Sabbaths.

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years” (2Chron. 36:20-21).

‘Holy Land’ Takes a Rest
So long as Israel was captive in Babylon, the Promised Land lay idle and desolate to fulfill the neglected 70 Sabbatical cycles, accumulating 490 years. Yahweh’s laws demanded that the land lie idle for a year every seven years. “For thus says Yahweh, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jer. 29:10).

In addition, every seventh Sabbatical year was followed by the Jubilee year. The word “Jubilee” is derived in the Bible from the Hebrew yob-ale, which means “ram, ram’s horn; jubilee year.” The ram’s horn announced the beginning of the Jubilee year. Whenever a trumpet was used to signal an event, in this case the shofar trumpet, it announced something very significant was about to happen.

Yahshua said He will return with the great sound of a trumpet, Matthew 24:31. Is the trumpet sound announcing the Sabbatical-Jubilee and the return of Yahshua just coincidence?

Notice Leviticus 25:9, “Then shall you cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”

Keeping the Sabbatical years of land rest bestowed the designation “Holy Land” to Judea. Israel learned that the Sabbatical-Jubilee was holy both to the land and to Yahweh.

The question for us is, does Yahweh still expect His laws, statutes, and judgments to be observed in our day and age? Does He change His expectations according to the culture or the age, or does the Bible say that He is Yahweh who changes not? Malachi 3:6 confirms that we worship a changeless Mighty One. Obedience has not been reduced, let alone abandoned.

Sabbaticals Are Part of the Covenant
The earliest Bible reference concerning the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle is found in Exodus 21:2-6, dealing with the release of the slave. Exodus 23:10-12 relates to the land’s rest. Thus, the Sabbatical-Jubilee was part of the Covenant established with Moses in Exodus 24:1-8.

Following the seventh Sabbatical year (or every 49 years) the sounding of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement of the fiftieth year heralded the beginning of the Jubilee.

Atonement itself falls on the tenth day of the month and is a very solemn time, the holiest day of the year. The harvest is in, and early rains soften the earth to allow plowing and seeding for the next crop. But in the Sabbatical year the land is at rest. Both the 49th and 50th years were times of rest for the land.

Most every Israelite would observe at least one Jubilee year in a normal lifespan of 70 years. If a person observed his first Jubilee in his teen years, then he might enjoy another before his normal lifespan ended. It was a special occasion anticipated by the entire, rejoicing nation.

As we will see, the Jubilee has prophetic implications in Yahweh’s dealings with mankind. We are given insight into the grand finale of Yahweh’s redemption of the earth as He establishes the Kingdom under the Messiah.

The Link to Yahshua’s Return
The Sabbatical cycle in certain instances influenced Israel’s daily living. The right of an heiress to marry was restricted so that the law of the Jubilee could be preserved, Numbers 36:4-7. Naboth refused to sell his vineyard so that it would remain an inheritance for his family, 1Kings 21:14.

The Jubilee will be kept in the Millennium as shown by Ezekiel 46:17, where the king is reminded that any property given to a servant reverts to the original owner (the king) at the time of the Jubilee.

Yahshua as our King will take control once again of this earth as its original owner. Yahshua’s return on a Jubilee would be consistent with the purposes of the Jubilee and Millennium.
Other references to the Jubilee are found in Nehemiah 5:1-19; Isaiah 5:7-10; 37:30, and 61:1-2.

The Sabbatical year, we learn from Leviticus 25:4, occurs every seventh year— a Sabbath of rest both of the land and to Yahweh. The fields are not to be sown nor the vines pruned. No crops are to be planted; the vineyards must not be harvested. The produce of the land and vineyard could be eaten, but not stored or preserved. All debts among Israelites were canceled.

After seven of these Sabbatical years (or 49 years), the next year, the fiftieth, is the Jubilee. The following points differentiate the Sabbath year from the Jubilee, which occur back-to-back every 49 and 50 years. The Jubilee year is an intensification of the Sabbatical year.

Sabbatical
• Land and vineyards rest, no planting or harvesting
• All voluntary foods can be eaten, but not stored
• Servants receive freedom and debts are canceled

Jubilee
• Land and vineyards rest
• Land reverts to the original owner (as in Yahshua’s return to reclaim earth)
• All Israelite slaves freed. Debts forgiven

The fiftieth year is eagerly anticipated as a time of joy and merriment. Landowners had to give up the lands they had once cultivated, which reverted to the original owner(s). This kept the lands under original ownership.

Idyllic simplicity returned to soften the distinction of rank.

Debts were forgiven, and those having lost their property through accident or poor management were rejuvenated as opportunities brought by the restoration awaited them.
Slaves were redeemed and freed. The Sabbatical-Jubilee years might be called the great “leveler” of Israelite society. Through them everyone was equal before Yahweh as neither the rich nor the poor cultivated his field.

But What About Today?
Living under industrialization and a far more complicated financial system, the laws of Yahweh became lightly esteemed by modern society. Today’s fiscal demands of industry, manufacturing, commerce, and banking are not appeased by fallowed farmland.

Canceling of a borrower’s debts is unheard of. How can the entrepreneur grow and expand if he is required to return legally purchased property every fiftieth year?

These are but a few questions asked today. The farmer has more freedom to apply Yahweh’s laws to his life than most who work for a regular wage. However, the increasingly heavy burdens laid upon him by lenders, plus the pressures inherent in today’s economies, challenge the farmer’s very survival and are detrimental to his obedience to the laws of Yahweh.

The Jubilee is known as the year of liberty. Leviticus 25:12 explains that it is a holy year to Israel. It was because of the Jubilees that the Promised Land came to be known as the Holy Land. However, there is some question whether Israel faithfully kept both the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.

Atonement and the Sabbatical
On the tenth day of the seventh month Israel celebrated the Day of Atonement. The Jubilee was a year-long sabbatical that came after 49 years. The Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 25:9-10. The count toward the next sabbatical also begins on the Jubilee. Just as the weekly seventh day ends at sunset and the first day begins immediately that same sunset, the first Sabbatical ends when the Jubilee’s fiftieth year starts on Atonement, in the seventh month, Deuteronomy 31:10.

The very land was holy to Yahweh and was referred to as the Holy Land. During that year the Book of Deuteronomy was read to the people. The Sabbatical year marked the canceling of all indebtedness. This emphasized the righteousness that was required by Yahweh. On this day the sins of the nation were confessed, which is the first requisite to establish righteousness.

Confession is an opening of the heart, which leads to forgiveness and restoration to Yahweh. Through fasting and keeping the Day of Atonement, Yahweh’s people are reminded of His righteousness and His forgiveness as they accept His grand plan for the forgiveness of sin.

Israel’s sins were brought before them every time they gave a sin offering. But the Day of Atonement was a special day that impressed upon the mind and heart of every Israelite that this day was devoted to a deep introspection of his life.

The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year when the High Priest was permitted to enter the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies, which was the nearest approach to Yahweh possible through the blood offering. The Day of Atonement pictured the forgiveness of Israel’s sins and the nation’s getting right with Yahweh. Known as Yom Kippur, it was the “day of covering” of their sins, pointing to the true Lamb of Yahweh’s coming to take away the sins of the world, and not just cover them.

Slaves and Land Released
Following the seventh Sabbatical year came the year of the Jubilee, which occurred every fiftieth year (or after the succession of seven Sabbatical years). It has been called the outer circle of the great Sabbatical system, which comprises the Sabbatical year, the Sabbatical month and the Sabbath day.

Just as in the Sabbatical year, the Jubilee also was a time of keeping the land uncultivated. The distinctive mark of the Jubilee year was the liberation of all slaves of Hebrew blood. The blowing of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement also released every bondman.

The Jubilee year was different from the Sabbatical in that the land was restored to the original owners. All land that had been assigned to a family was again returned to that family. This required that the tribal and family registers be carefully kept so that the rights of the people should be protected. It is partly from such records that we know that Yahshua descended from the tribe of Judah.

Jewish writers contend that the Jubilee was observed up to the time of the fall of Judah in the year 586 BCE. References are found in Isaiah 5:7-10; 61:1-2; Ezekiel 7:12-13 and 46:16-18.

Yahshua and Year of Our Release
A number of Bible scholars point out that Israel was delivered from both the Babylonian and Egyptian captivity at the time of the Jubilee. The pattern for us as believers in the Messiah is that He is the one who sets us free.

The bondage of Israel was cruel, enforced servitude. Yahshua frees us from the bondage and shackles of sin. “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,” John 8:36. This key purpose of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees dovetails with Yahshua’s purpose of coming to earth, even up to the timing of His return.

How ancient Israel must have thrilled to the sound of the trumpet on the Day of Atonement announcing their actual release from slavery. Of how much greater joy will it be when the trumpet announces Yahshua’s return to this earth. All tears will be dried, and the brokenhearted comforted. The meek and the poor in spirit will be exalted and the thirsty and hungry filled.

The first trumpet is blown on the first day of the seventh month, which is the new moon day. Then follows the blowing of the second trumpet on the Day of Atonement, heralding Yahweh’s release, redemption, and deliverance.

Hebrews 4:1-11 summarizes the Sabbaths Yahweh has given us to remember His great plan of redemption of mankind. We are told that there remains a Sabbath of rest for the people of Yahweh (Heb. 4:9 — “rest” is the Greek sabbatismos, meaning a Sabbath keeping).

There is the weekly Sabbath which is set aside for the people of Yahweh. Also there is the Sabbatical rest for the land around Jerusalem. Finally, the rest and redemption for the elect people of Yahweh who will reign with Yahshua when He returns to set up the Messianic Kingdom:

“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

But not all will attain that rest because of unfaithfulness. The faithful will have rest from their enemies, no drought, sickness, sin or hindrances to happiness.

Counting the Jubilee
A long-standing debate is how to compute the Jubilee year — in segments of 49 or 50 years. The Jubilee year is the year following the seventh Sabbatical year. It is the 50th year, but not the year coming after 50 years. It is the year following 49 years.

From the beginning of one Jubilee year to the beginning of the next Jubilee is 49 years. The 7 times 7 years of Sabbatical cycles may not be broken any more than can the 7 times 7 weeks in computing Pentecost. Furthermore, the 50th year is also year one in the count toward the next Sabbatical year 7 years later.

To prove that the Jubilee immediately follows the Sabbatical year, note the prophecy of Isaiah:

“And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall eat this year such as grows of itself: and the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof” (Isa. 37:30).

“This year” refers to the Sabbatical year. The “second year” refers to the Jubilee year, and the “third year” one can sow grain and reap and plant vineyards. The day after Atonement, which ends the Sabbatical-Jubilee year, farmers can again plow the ground for planting wheat and barley that fall.

Our Savior’s Return
If the Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle was important to Israel, then it is all the more important to us looking for the return of the Messiah. A central key is in Yahshua’s quoting of Isaiah 61:1-2:

“The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim is upon me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh” (Luke 4:18).

Yahshua stopped in the middle of verse 2, where Bible scholars contend He was now calling people out of the world to become His followers. The “acceptable year” is understood to refer to the beginning of the Sabbatical year. He came to preach the Good News to the meek and humble, those whose hearts were open and teachable.

With those of kindred mind He would build His Assembly. He would now choose those who would become the nucleus of His body of believers, the “ekklesia,” the assembly. He told Peter this group of “called-out ones,” would never die out, but would always exist on this earth, Matthew 16:18.

Just as the Savior was cut off in the middle of the week and died on a Wednesday, so He left unsaid the rest of Isaiah 61:2 which tells of the vengeance yet to come. Note the latter part of this verse: “And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn.”

He comes with anger and vengeance for the wicked, but comfort and help to those who revere Yahweh’s Name and are submissive to Him. This ties in with Revelation’s prophecy:

“And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your Name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18). See also Luke 20:16; 2Thes. 1:8; 2:8; Heb. 10:27.

The Sabbatical-Jubilee cycle pictures the grand finale of the believer’s earthly sojourn. It represents the fulfillment of the promise made to the redeemed which will be done when He returns in the day of vengeance.

Although we are not sure exactly when His return will be, it will likely be on a Feast day within a Sabbatical or Jubilee year. That is the most appropriate time, the appointed time. Daniel 11 says the end shall be at the appointed time, that is, a moed or Feast. None of the Feasts of the seventh scriptural month have been fulfilled as far as we know.

Can We Pinpoint the Jubilees?
Studies to determine the secular dates of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years rest heavily on the Savior’s beginning ministry, which appears to be 27-28 CE.

The Jews were so determined to keep all of Yahweh’s law after their return from the Babylonian captivity that allegedly they believed that there was no reason to keep the Jubilee years, as they would not have reason to sell themselves into slavery or be redeemed. Therefore, records of these years are sparse.

An interesting discovery is that the Gregorian calendar years on which the Sabbatical cycle falls are evenly divisible by 7. The year 2023 is evenly divisible by seven, meaning that this fall begins the Sabbatical which runs through 2023 of next year.

What About This Year?
No planting or harvesting of crops is to be done after Atonement, 2022, until the fall Atonement of 2023.

Certainly a study of this neglected cycle will bring many obscure Bible truths to our attention and make the Bible become clearer as we draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son who make it all possible.

Key to Puzzling Passages
The Sabbatical years solve a puzzling statement Yahshua made in John 4. While traveling with His disciples to Galilee, He struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman. He said in v. 35: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Clearly this was a Sabbatical year when Yahshua began His ministry, 28 CE. It was also in May-June when grain harvests occur. But the Sabbatical didn’t end for four more months when harvesting could begin again.

This explains the four additional months of waiting for the harvest that Yahshua talked about.

Proof of Sabbaticals
Ben Zion Wacholder of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, a scholar on the Sabbaticals, wrote several books on the subject of the Sabbaticals and Jubilees: The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period (1973), The Timing of Messianic Movements and the Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles (1975), and The Calendar of Sabbath Years during the Second Temple Era: A Response (1983).

Wacholder’s proposed set of Sabbatical years are offset by one year later than Benedict Zuckerman’s set of years, which is the other popular timing. Wacholder had access to legal documents from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt that were not available to Zuckermann.

Only within the last 50 years has it become possible through archaeological discoveries, etc., to determine with an almost certainly what the exact Sabbatical years’ sequence was and is.

Two brilliant historical studies by Prof. Wacholder have solved the riddle of when the Sabbatical years occurred in ancient times, and when they are observed today.

The following historical events reveal the Sabbatical year sequence, with the year 2022-2023 being one of them:

• The recital of Deuteronomy 7:15 by Agrippa I in a post-Sabbatical year, making the Sabbatical year 41/42.
• A note of indebtedness from Wadi Murabba’at in 2nd year of Nero, 55/56 CE, indicating 55/56 as a Sabbatical year.
• Rental contracts of Simon bar Kosiba indicating 132/133 as a Sabbatical year.
• Three fourth- and fifth-century tombstones near Sodom indicating 433/434 and 440/441 CE were Sabbatical years.
(When farmers are keeping Sabbaticals by letting their fields rest, they are free to do building projects. And so…)
• CE 41–CE 42: King Agrippa I started building the expansive third wall around the northern parts of Jerusalem.
• CE 62–CE 63: Agrippa II started to rebuild Caesarea Philippi.
And then there are key historical events that hinge on Sabbath years:
• CE 69–CE 70: Destruction of Jerusalem in the latter part (motsae, “going-out”) of the Sabbatical year 69/70.
• CE 132–CE 133: Bar Kokhba revolt of the Jews against the Romans.

In part 2 we will further show the proper timing of the Sabbaticals both anciently and today.

The Spirit Of Pentecost

The day of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament and Shavuoth in Hebrew, is a day packed with biblical insight and importance.

It’s significant in both the Old and New testaments and is a day that Israel, along with the apostles, observed. It represents two essential gifts from our Heavenly Father: the giving of the Torah and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Examining the Command
As with any truth of Yahweh’s Word, understanding the foundation is important. Leviticus 23 is a key passage providing a summary of the seven annual Feasts, including the Feast of Weeks. It reads, ‘’And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh,” vv. 15-16.

Normally Yahweh gives the day and month for His appointed times. For example, He commands that we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th day of the first month. He follows this same pattern for all His Feasts except for this one. Instead of providing a specific month and day, He commands that we count seven complete Sabbaths or weeks from the time that the wave sheaf was offered.

The wave sheaf was presented to Yahweh by the priest on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, being the Sunday that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The grain harvest could not begin until this firstfruits sheaf was waved before Yahweh.

After we count seven complete weeks, Scripture commands that we add a 50th day. This 50th day marks the Feast of Weeks and is where we receive the name “Pentecost.”

In verse 16 Yahweh says that on this day Israel was to offer a new grain offering. The type of grain is key. Understanding agriculture in the Old Testament is pivotal to His Feasts.

The first month, Abib, commemorates the barley harvest, Exodus 9:31. The next grain to be harvested is wheat. Therefore, the Feast of Weeks commemorates the wheat harvest. The first two major Feasts in the Word were based on agricultural harvests.

In verse 17 Yahweh commanded Israel to make two loaves of bread on this day. It reads, “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh.”

Notice that these two loaves both contained yeast or leavening. What might this leavening symbolize? It’s possible that it represents the establishment and growth of Yahweh’s assembly. We also find that leavening doesn’t always symbolize sin or something negative. Here leavening represents something pure or holy.

Pentecost is also a time of worship and fellowship: “And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations,” verse 21.

The phrase “holy convocation” comes from the Hebrew qodesh miqra, which means a holy or sacred meeting. Yahweh commands that we come together to worship Him on this Feast. It’s also a day of rest. It says here specifically do no “servile work.” This phrase derives from the Hebrew abodah, meaning “work of any kind.” This is a day not for ordinary work, but for the worship of our Elohim and fellowship with other like-minded believers.

 

Giving of the Law
Let’s now consider the Old and New testament fulfillments of this Feast. Yahweh’s Feasts reveal His plan of salvation for mankind. Our first clue is found in Exodus 19:1: “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.”

The timing here is critical. This passage confirms that Israel was in the wilderness of Sinai in the third month. Based on the 50-day count from the wave sheaf, this is the month Pentecost is in. We also know chronologically that this passage was immediately before Moses went up into Mount Sinai to receive the Law.

While it doesn’t say here that Moses received the law during this Feast, yet based on the evidence this is a high probability. In addition to Exodus 19 confirming they were at Sinai in the third month, the Jews maintain that the Law was given on this day. And it is consistent with the timing of their travels.

Another consideration is that nearly every major event in the Old and New testaments occurred on a Feast day. What event was more significant in the Old Testament than the giving of the Torah? Additionally, Scripture shows a relationship between the giving of the Law and its counterpart in the New Testament—the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost.

 

Outpouring of the Spirit
The second chapter of Acts provides a description of this event: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance,” verses 1-4. The people were gathered for Pentecost.

Contrary to popular church doctrine, New Testament believers continued observing the Feast days even after Yahshua’s death and resurrection. Acts 20:16 shows Paul’s desire to keep Pentecost in Jerusalem. Scripture also tells us that the Feasts will be observed in the millennial Kingdom, Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 45-46; and Zechariah 14:16-19.

Two important events occurred on this day in the New Testament: First, Yahweh poured out His Spirit on those gathered for Pentecost. And second, through Yahweh’s Spirit the people were given the gift of tongues (languages).

This outpouring of the Spirit is the New Testament fulfillment for this Feast. While some believe that Pentecost foreshadows the resurrection of the saints as the firstfruits of mankind, Scripture shows that this occurs at Yahshua’s coming, likely depicted in the Feast of Trumpets.

The Bible also confirms a relationship between the Torah (Old Testament) and Spirit (New Testament). Through the Law we receive the knowledge of Yahweh’s Word and through the Spirit we receive the ability to rightly apply that knowledge. Therefore, the Law and Spirit are complementary. What Yahweh began in the Old Testament He completed in the New Testament.

As noted, on that day those who received the Spirit were given the gift of tongues. Through the ages this gift has been misunderstood. In short, this gift is the ability to speak in another known language through divine inspiration.             The word “tongues” comes from the Greek glossa and means “a language (especially one naturally unacquired),” Strong’s. Based on this definition, glossa is a known language that often was supernaturally given. Those gathered here acquired this gift through the Holy Spirit.

 

Peter’s Pentecost Sermon
In addition to the giving of the Holy Spirit, on this day Peter also gave a dynamic message that rattled the very foundation of the New Testament assembly.

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith Yahweh, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of Yahweh come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved,” Acts 2:16-21.

Peter begins by quoting the prophet Joel who describes how Yahweh would pour out His Spirit upon both men and women and how they would prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams. He said that all these things would occur through Yahweh’s Spirit and would come to pass in the last days.

The term “latter days” describes the time between between Acts, the beginning of the New Testament assembly, and the Second Coming of Yahshua the Messiah.

Remember that a thousand years is like a day to Yahweh. So like Peter, we too are living in the last days.

As we get closer to Yahshua’s return, we will see greater manifestations through the power of Yahweh’s Spirit. One of the most important lessons is in verse 21. Peter verifies that those who call on Yahweh’s Name will be saved. Yahweh’s personal Name is one of the pivotal truths in Scripture.

As the Sabbath serves as a sign of Yahweh’s people, Yahweh’s Name serves as a seal. If we desire a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we must begin by calling on and honoring His Name Yahweh!

Beginning in verse 36 we find the impact of Peter’s high-powered message: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that Elohim hath made that same Yahshua, whom ye have impaled, both Master and Messiah. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls,” vv. 36-41.

After all the signs and wonders, and after Peter’s message, Scripture records that those gathered were pricked in their hearts for being responsible for the death of Yahshua the Messiah. The people asked Peter, “… what shall we do?”

At this point, they were distraught, realizing for the first time the mistake they had made. They understood the magnitude of what had happened. They were guilty of putting to death the Son of Yahweh. Peter told the crowd to repent and be baptized. As a result, about 3,000 people were immersed into Yahshua’s Name.

Yahweh used this day as the fire that would ignite the growth of the early New Testament assembly. If it were not for the outpouring of the Spirit, the gift of tongues, and Peter’s message, this likely would not have happened.

The Feast of Weeks provides many valuable lessons and great insight into Yahweh’s Word. Not only was the law delivered on this day, but also the Holy Spirit. Through the Law Yahweh has given mankind His instructions for righteous living and through His Spirit the wisdom to rightly apply the Word and give acumen to our lives.

We encourage you to join us for this important time commanded by Yahweh.

Yahweh… It’s Just a Name?

‘It’s Just a Name…’ Oh Really?

A common argument that any name is acceptable for calling on the Heavenly Father not only violates the sanctity of Yahweh’s revealed, personal Name, but is also an assault on His True Worship.
The ongoing push to unite all worship into a monolithic, worldwide religion accomplishes its goals by exploiting words that are key to true worship and redefining them for mass consumption and unholy ends.

They make grace the universal leveler that eliminates specific demands that set apart true worship. “We are all covered by grace regardless of beliefs,” they say. Yahweh answers, No, such thinking turns grace into lawlessness, Jude 1:4.

The old bromides like: “He has many names;” “What difference does His name make, He knows who I mean,” fit right into this universalist agenda. Generic attributes like lord and god create all-purpose mighty ones. The result is worship where one size fits all.

But this is not how our Heavenly Father Yahweh expects devotion. In the 44th chapter of Jeremiah we find Him completely disgusted with His people and ready to wash His hands of them. We see an exceedingly patient Father who has finally had enough of His rebellious children who insist on worshiping their own way.

After all the many prophets He had sent to warn them, after all the trials they had to overcome and the plagues and hardships they endured for their disobedience, nothing ever really changed. Not for long.

Judah Barred from Using the Name
Now the people say in defiance to the prophet, “As for the word that you have spoken unto us in the name of Yahweh, we will not hearken unto you. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil” (Jer. 44:16-17).

His people were as rebellious as bratty children who act up just as soon as the parent’s back is turned. These defiant ones are still wanting to worship the heathen gods. No matter what Yahweh says or does, they lust to follow the apostasy of the majority religions around them.

Yahweh decides it’s time for drastic measures. “Therefore hear the word of Yahweh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says Yahweh, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, Yahweh Elohim lives” (Jer. 44:26).

Yahweh tells them, okay, go ahead, follow your lust to worship in error like the heathens around you. But know this, you may no longer use my Name if you do.

This was punishment for their refusal to worship Him in truth. He does not want His Name tied to their sin of rebellion. So much for the argument, “It makes no difference what I call Him.”
For Judah to return to True Worship would mean that Judah would have to return to using His Name.

Name Identifies True Worship
The Name does more than identify. It also creates True Worship. You take on His Name you take on His worship; you take on His identity. When you take on His identity and don’t live up to His standard, you smear Him.

The lesson for us comes down to this: You cannot worship the Mighty One of the universe properly without using His revealed, personal Name. His Name defines Him as well as the only worship that is uniquely His. His name is not just an identifier, it is His very identity and all that He is and does for His people. The only True Worship in the Bible is carried out through His personal Name.

What does this mean for those who mix His Name with the heathen titles in their congregations and from the pulpit? The same goes for their literature, prayers, and songs? How can you mingle true worship with false and think He’ll find that acceptable. G-d and L-rd are generic titles that apply anywhere to any worship traditions. They fit anywhere.

We learn in Revelation 7:3, 14:1, and 22:1-4 that the 144,000 faithful who are sealed in the end days are sealed with His Name in their foreheads. There is solid proof that His Name separates True Worshipers from false and will give them literal protection from tribulation in the latter days.

Notice what James told the people gathered at Jerusalem: “Simon Peter has declared how Elohim at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name” (Acts 15:14).
The heathens had to come out of their false worship and observe the true Name. True Worship and His Name go together like hand in glove and cannot be separated. It’s a match, not a mix.
Those who know the true Name but insist on using replacement titles are still in spiritual Egypt, in essence still sacrificing to the Queen of Heaven because they have not come to know the true Father, which comes from loving and using His personal Name.

If there is one truth that is clearly shown throughout Scripture it is this: His Name and True Worship go hand in hand, they cannot be separated. He prohibits man from substituting His Name just as He will not allow any worship other than what He prescribes.

By showing us in Jeremiah 44 that apostate worship is not allowed to call on His Name, He is also showing us that only in His Name can one worship in truth.

The true Name is not just a matter of His “knowing who we mean” when we worship or call on Him. It is more than simple identity. His Name is the difference between being in the truth and being outside the truth. It’s the difference between worship that pleases Him and worship that provokes Him once we know better.

This truth is as difficult for some to accept as it is for them to accept the Sabbath over Sunday. It is nothing more than 2,000 years of boiler-plated tradition speaking. All they need to do is allow Yahweh to work with their hearts — show them the truth — and they will see the difference.

The prophet wrote: “O Yahweh, hear; O Yahweh, forgive; O Yahweh, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my Elohim: for your city and your people are called by your Name” (Dan. 9:19).

Names in our culture are mostly labels. Not so with Yahweh. His Name signifies the one and only true Heavenly Father as opposed to the false deities of apostate worship. His Name is a true means of identification, a link to the only true Creator.

The simple lesson for Israel and for us is this: Reject True Worship and you reject His Name. The reverse is also true: Reject His Name for a substitute, and you no longer have the authentic, True Worship of the Scriptures. The two are inseparable.

Danger in Name Apathy
Names and words are powerful in ways you may not have considered. Is there any danger to the notion that any name is acceptable in worship of our Heavenly Father?

Aside from keeping us from the truth, the typical nonchalance regarding the Heavenly Father’s Name and His uncommon worship is part of the general indifference that will open the door to the universal, false religion soon to take control. At the heart of this system will be a demon-backed religious leader who will demand worship on a worldwide scale, unlike anything in history.

A book called New Age Bible Versions details how the way is being paved for the great deception. It reveals that the newer translations of Scripture are taking important words and terms associated with pure worship and generalizing them to appeal to a broad spectrum of worshiper. The goal is to soften the edge and ultimately devalue obedience to Yahweh’s will. Highly publicized was the taking of male references to Yahweh in Bibles and religious song books and replacing them with such pronouns as “She” for “He” (reflective of the worship of the ancient, feminine goddess Sophia).

Ultimately, attempts will be made to include everyone of every faith under a single, global religion. To accomplish that, the wording in new Bibles will help to ease many into that false worship. As will pulpit messages that incessantly attack the law and obedience.

The move is insidious for now. Once churchianity is rendered even more pliable, however, the complete yielding to the demands of a one-world religion will come openly.

Paving the way for this universal religion is a reorienting of beliefs through the manipulation of words. Unaware of what is happening, the masses accept new terminology that moves them further and further from what truth they had. Altering wording changes conceptions.

Power in Names
Stop for a moment and consider names and their power, especially when revealed in the Scriptures.

Who was the first to call something or someone by name? Yahweh. Names were used not for the simple sake of identification, but for creation. Just as Yahweh can travel by thought, when it says that Elohim created, He didn’t work or fashion through physical labor and burning calories. He spoke it (actually, Yahshua as the Dabar or the Word spoke it). The term used for the object brought it into existence.

Things are what they are because of what they are named.

Names don’t just differentiate objects from one another, they create the object. Names are the parents of everything in the universe.
“Let there be light” (the Hebrew ore) and light came into being.

The Hebrew word for “name” is shem. The two letters shin and mem are at the core of neshamah, which is the Hebrew word for soul. The soul or essence of the human being is contained in his or her name.

In 1Samuel 25:25 we read, “As his name is, so is he.”

Titles That Thrill the Adversary
Turn to Luke 4:8. This is Yahshua’s response to Satan’s invitation to fall down and worship the Evil One:

“And Yahshua answered and said unto him, Get behind me, Satan: for it is written. You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim, and him only shall you serve” (Luke 4:8).

The KJV says “L-rd thy G-d.” The Aramaic or Hebrew, which Yahshua spoke, reads, “Yahweh your Elohim.” But even in the Greek, Yahweh’s Name would have remained unchanged.

If Yahshua had said “Lord thy God,” Satan would have been de-lighted. Why? Because this general term could refer to Satan himself. The Apostle Paul calls Satan the “god of this world” in 2Corinthians 4:4. In Matthew 12:24 Satan is called Beelzebub, which is another name for Lord of the fly or the manure god.

In effect our English translation says: it is written, you shall worship the lord god – which could just as well be Satan – and him only shall you serve. We can see how the Adversary de-lights when people are led to worship in these common titles today. Doing so removes them from the true Father and a false one is put in His place through a generic and incorrect identification.

Any time we are not worshiping Yahweh in His true Name, we are in danger of invoking false mighty ones manufactured by the Father of Lies himself— even if done in ignorance.

You change the name of the one you worship and you change WHO you worship and the WAY he is worshiped. By using generic terms you re-move yourself from the True Yahweh. It is not simply a matter of semantics; it is not simply a choice between two equivalent alternatives. It is a matter of true versus false identification – and proper worship versus erroneous worship!

That is why Yahweh characteristically introduces Himself by Name first, then specifies precisely what worship He expects:

“I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to an-other, neither my praise to graven images” (Isa. 42:8). In Exodus 3, Yahweh tells Moses that His Name is Yahweh, then proceeds to explain how He will bring Israel out of the sin of Egypt. They would come to know True Worship, including the Holy Days, after they first learned His personal Name.

Power Through Words
We establish our beliefs through language. Language can inspire, convict, and challenge, as in the way Yahshua used it; or it can be used to manipulate and subjugate, as despots have done over the centuries through propaganda. Words can sway emotion and opinion, as in a good movie or a good book.

Even husbands, wives, and children know what the wrong word or the right word can mean in their relationships.

The use of general titles like god and lord promote universalism, which is exactly the opposite of the True faith. True Worship is narrow, specific, well defined, and includes the faithful identifying the True Father by name (Matt. 7:14).

The way of error leading to destruction is broad and many will be in it, Yahshua said (v. 13). One way this is accomplished is by the argument that it doesn’t matter what we call Him. Any name or title is acceptable.

As explained, titles like god and lord are general and apply to many different mighty ones, even to Satan him-self. Pagan idols as well are called by the same titles commonly used as names for the Heavenly Father.

Titles do not fix an identity. They are like the generic “human being.” To call on “G-d” is like calling your neighbor, “Hey you, human being…”

Today’s New Babel
Even the sacred Name of the Creator Himself can lose its significance when we allow others to manipulate with words and substitute names.

The human-centered, humanistic movement that began in the Renaissance is finally succeeding in eliminating the very language of sin, which de-rives from a higher power. We hardly ever hear in general society terms like “immorality,” “living in sin,” “fornication,” “virtuous,” and the like.

Today man has decided to set his own standards of what is right and wrong. Sin and any reference to it is out, because sin recognizes a Father above, and that runs head-long into the notion that man himself is all-knowing.

Our culture is building new Towers of Babel, where everyone speaks the same language of moral relativism. This movement is out to change the way people think by changing their language and how right and wrong are perceived.

Forces working behind the scenes have seized on the power of language to promote their own agendas.
Its all part of a revamping of Bible-based beliefs – to replace traditional and biblical morality with humanistic beliefs. This in turn will prepare the way for the universal Man of Sin.
Instead of biblical standards, we have today “political correctness.” As one author wrote, “Political correctness is an attempt to eliminate freedom of speech for those who hold traditional values and religious beliefs. It is overt social censorship designed to stifle the truth.”
But even greater implications are those that tamper with the very nature of Almighty Yahweh and His Word. Satan is out to obliterate Yahweh and the truth of Him in a final push to pre-pare for His own Antimessiah.

Not just everyday words but even the Word of Yahweh is being molested and modified for an unrighteous end. A recent report notes that a prominent publisher is packaging its Bibles for worldwide distribution with the insignia, “Good News for a New Age.”

Even more disturbing is how new versions are fiddling with the text itself.

Satan as G-d
Those who misunderstand the significance of words and names tell us that it doesn’t matter what you call the Heavenly Father. They say, “He knows who you mean” regardless. Oddly, however, those who tell us this exclusively employ the same “L-rd” and “G-d” titles, which by their universal use amount to false replacement names.

Having been removed from the Name Yahweh, which identifies the True Mighty One of this universe and the specific worship He demands, mod-ern worshipers have unwittingly ac-cepted a generic title that takes them away from the only True Worship connected with His Name as well.

Not surprisingly. Satan has usurped this title. New Age and satanic writings describe Satan in terms that sound biblical, calling Him the Divine God. saying Lucifer is God, the bringer of Light. the savior of the world.

This fact will help to fulfill the prophecy of Revelation 13:4:
“And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying. Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”
But how could it happen? Quite easily. The masses are already calling on their mighty one with the same terms and titles honored in both Christianity and Satanism.

Yahweh’s Unheeded Warning
A little more deception and they sim-ply transfer the titles from one being to another! By definition, titles can apply to any number of persons or beings.

Thus is the final fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:17: “They sacrificed unto devils, not to Elohim; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.”

There are many new “gods” coming up in this age of the New Age. Our society is becoming increasingly taken over by pagan worship and its many false deities.

But the biggest is yet to show. The very worship of the Antimessiah all starts with violating the warning in Exodus 23:13, which is just as applicable for us today as for Israel 3,000 years ago:
“And in all [things] that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” (Ex. 23:13)

Yahweh knew clearly what He was doing by giving us this warning. He is Yahweh Almighty, the only True Father above. His Name identifies Him and defines Him, just as it does those He calls His People, by His Name.