The Law Before Sinai

Many have the notion that the Law was not known until Sinai. However, what if there were examples of the Law being found before Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai? In this article we review several eye-opening occurrences showing not only that the law was known but also observed prior to Moses.

Seventh-day Sabbath
Let’s begin with the Sabbath. Many believe this command was first given to Moses on Mount Sinai, but as we see in Scripture, it was established long before Moses.
The earliest evidence for the Sabbath goes all the way back to creation in Genesis 2. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made” (Gen. 2:1-3).

Yahweh, our Father in heaven, created the heavens and earth in six
days and then rested on the seventh, blessing and sanctifying this day. The word “blessed” here comes from the Hebrew barak and means to “kneel or bless.” “Sanctified” comes from the Hebrew kaw-dash, meaning, “to be set apart or consecrated.”

We find that our Father in heaven blessed and set apart or consecrated the seventh day as a day of rest. Today we call this day the Sabbath, coming from a primitive root meaning “to cease from labor or exertion.”

It’s important to realize that Yahweh established the seventh day as a day of rest more than 2,000 years before Moses. According to biblical chronology, from Genesis 1 to the time of Moses was around 2,400 years. Contrary to popular belief, many of Yahweh’s laws were known before Sinai, some by more than 2,000 years. This shows that many of Yahweh’s commandments were established from the beginning and were given not only to the Israelites, but to all of mankind.

Isaiah 66:23 says that all flesh in the Kingdom will worship Yahweh from one Sabbath to another. This will happen when our Savior returns to establish His Father’s Kingdom here on earth. In the case of the Sabbath, that edict was established at the beginning of creation, given to Moses and Israelites, kept by the Messiah and the apostles in the New Testament, and will be kept by all of mankind in the coming Kingdom.

Another instance of the Sabbath before Sinai is found in Exodus 16:25-30. “And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a sabbath unto Yahweh: today ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And Yahweh said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that Yahweh hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.”

Where in Exodus do we find Moses receiving the commandments from Sinai? We find it in Exodus 20, occurring after the time of this passage. This is important because it shows the Sabbath was known prior to Sinai. But if the Law were known before Sinai, what would be the purpose of Moses receiving it at that time?
First, after 400 years of slavery, Israel had probably forgotten many of the commandments.

Second, this was a way to write down or codify the law, making it more transmissible for the future.

But again, in the case of the Sabbath, we find ample evidence showing this day was known more than 2,000 years before Moses.

Law of the Passover
In Exodus 12:11-12, we find another command that was known prior to Sinai. “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the mighty one’s of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh.”

Here is the first description of Yahweh’s Passover. Keep in mind that the Law was given to Moses in Exodus 20. This shows that the Passover was known before the commandments were given at Sinai.

Recall that in the Old Testament the Passover entailed the passing over of the death angel and the release of Israel from slavery. In the New Testament this day remembers the death of Yahshua the Messiah, our Savior, and the remission of sins through His blood. The Passover is one of the most solemn days in Yahweh’s calendar and it was known before Sinai.

It’s important for believers to understand that the laws of our Father in heaven were known long before they were codified at Sinai and not just given to Moses and the Israelites.

Before moving on, we read that Yahweh would execute judgment against all the mighty ones of Egypt. This was done through the ten plagues of Egypt; each of the plagues was an attack on a different Egyptian mighty one. Below is a chart showing the connection between the plagues and how they correspond to various Egyptian deities.

For example, the 5th plague, which killed the cattle of Egypt, was likely an attack on the Egyptian deity Apis, which was depicted as a bull. This is probably where the Israelites got the idea of the golden calf they built at Sinai.

Feast of Unleavened Bread
Another time of worship mentioned is the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Exodus 12:15-16. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.”

As we know, the Passover is on the 14th day of Abib and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th of Abib. Also, this Feast is seven days long and forbids the eating of leavening. In Hebrew, “leavening” comes from two words, seor and chamets, one referring to the starter dough and the other referring to leavened bread or to a leavened food product.

Like the Passover this Feast was also decreed even before Moses received the commandments at Sinai. In fact, we find it first mentioned in Exodus 5:1, where Moses told Pharaoh to let his people go so they could keep a Feast in the wilderness. Again, the fact that we find evidence of this Feast prior to Moses’ receiving the law at Sinai verifies that commandments were in effect before that time.

Murderer Cain
Another commandment that was known long before Moses is in Genesis 4:8-10. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And Yahweh said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”

Here we find the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. As we know from the story, Yahweh looked more favorably upon Abel’s offering, and because of this Cain became jealous of his brother. This jealousy eventually led to Cain killing his brother.

This is important because it shows that the Sixth Commandment not to murder was understood even at this time. This occurred around 2,000 years before Moses, and even here we see that murder was understood as a sin. Cain knew what he did was wrong; this is why he tried to conceal the murder from Yahweh. But he was unable to hide his crime against his brother Abel. Yahweh declared that Abel’s blood cried out from the ground. This notion of the blood crying out is a Hebraic metaphor; blood does not literally cry out, but was simply Yahweh’s way of saying that He knew what Cain had done.

Two lessons are worth noting here. First, nothing good comes from jealousy. James 3:14-16 says, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” As believers, we should do our very best not to allow strife or jealousy within our hearts. Those who do so risk being found unworthy of Yahweh’s Kingdom.

And second, we see that it is impossible to deceive our Father in heaven. We might be able to deceive our family or friends, but we will never deceive the One we worship. He knows every action we make and every word we speak. In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul says: “Be not deceived; Elohim is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

A command specifically against murder is also found in Genesis 9:5-6. “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohim made he man.”

We find here a law against murder, 2,000 years before Moses. This shows beyond a shadow of doubt that Yahweh’s commandments were NOT first given at Sinai, but were known long before that. Again, the difference we find before and after Sinai is the codification of the Torah or law. Before Sinai, Yahweh’s laws were either given directly from Yahweh or passed down orally. It’s also worth mentioning that Adam and Eve may have received this knowledge through the tree of good and evil. Whatever the case, the Law or Torah was known long before Sinai, but was not codified or written down for Moses to impart to the people.

This is the only difference between what we find here and what we see in Exodus 20. But in both cases, Yahweh condemns those to death who would commit murder. Some believe the death penalty is incompatible with Scripture; this account shows otherwise. Remember, Malachi 3:6 says that Yahweh does not change and neither does His Word.

Notice why Yahweh is opposed to murder: “…for in the image of Elohim made he man.” This makes man special and connected with His Creator and for this reason, murder is not only an attack on the person, but also on Yahweh, in whose image we are made.

Prohibiting Consuming Blood
In Genesis 9:4 we find another com-mand in effect before Sinai. “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Here we see an important truth: the life of an animal is found in its blood. The same is obviously true for human beings.
As we know from medical science, blood provides many critical life functions. These include:
• transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body;
• protecting against disease; and
• removing carbon dioxide and other waste from metabolism.

This is why Yahweh says that life is in the blood. For those who question the existence of Yahweh, how is it possible that people 2,000 years ago understood the importance of blood? This, along with so many other facts, proves the existence of a Creator and the inspiration of the Bible.

The Benson Commentary provides two reasons for this command: “The principal meaning…of the passage, is to prohibit the eating of blood in any way, the eating of which seems to have been forbidden especially for two reasons: 1st, To be a token to mankind in all ages, that they would have had no right to take the life of any animal for food, if [Elohim] had not given them that right, and who, therefore, to remind them of it, and impress it on their minds in all generations, denied them the use of blood, and required it to be spilled upon the ground: 2nd: In honour of the blood of atonement, Leviticus 17:11-12. The life of the sacrifice was accepted for the life of the sinner, and blood made atonement for the soul, and therefore must not be looked upon as a common thing, but must be poured out before [Yahweh], 2 Samuel 23:16. And it ought to be observed, that this prohibition of eating blood, given to Noah and all his posterity, and repeated to the Israelites, in a most solemn manner, under the Mosaic dispensation, has never been revoked, but, on the contrary, has been confirmed under the New Testament, Acts 15; and thereby made of perpetual obligation.”

The second reason given is the most important, as blood was used for the atonement of sin. For this reason Yahweh commands that we refrain from eating blood. Not only do we find this prohibition repeated in the law given at Sinai, but also in the New Testament in Acts 15:20. This was in reference to those things the gentiles were immediately to abstain from when coming into the truth. Now for them, consuming blood was likely connected to pagan worship.

But again, the point here is that this law was known prior to Sinai. Not only do we see this law given to Moses, but also in the New Testament.

Clean and Unclean Animals
Let’s transition to another command we find before Sinai and that is the law of clean and unclean animals. “And Yahweh said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female” (Gen. 7:1-2).

Many believe that Noah brought a pair of each kind of animal on the ark, but this is not entirely true. Noah was commanded to bring two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean animal. So, we see that long before Moses, Yahweh’s instruction regarding the clean and unclean was already known.

What we find in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 was simply a codification of what was already known. Some might say that the clean and unclean was not a reference to animals for food but to the sacrificial system. Even if that were the case, we still see that the understanding of clean and unclean was already known. With proofs like these, how can anyone say that Yahweh’s law was first given at Sinai?

There were probably commandments that were new or specific to the time of Moses, but many fundamental laws were already known and in force before then.

Tithing Commanded
We’ve already seen pre-Sinai laws pertaining to the Sabbath, Passover, Unleavened Bread, murder, the eating of blood, and the command relating to clean and unclean animals. In Genesis 14:18-20, we find yet another command given before Sinai and that is tithing.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high El. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high El, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high El, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
In this account Moses is return-ing from battle and he comes to Melchizedek, king of Salem. Beyond believing that this was a man or being similar to Yahshua the Messiah, I don’t believe we can know who exactly Melchizedek was. According to Hebrews 7, he was “like unto to the Son of Elohim” or Yahshua the Messiah. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the word “like” as “to cause a model to pass off into an image or shape like it to express itself in it.” Strong’s defines it as “to assimilate closely.”

We see that Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, king of Salem, a name meaning “peace,” and priest of the Most High. According to most scholars, Salem is another name for Jerusalem.

The word tithe is from the Hebrew maaser and refers to a tenth. It’s the same word used in reference to the Levitical tithe. Many who oppose tithing might say this was only for the Levitical priesthood, but we find this command about 300 years before the Levites existed.

This solidifies the command of tithing. Again, the evidence clearly shows that it was found and practiced before Moses and the Levitical priesthood. Those who withhold the tithe or even part of it are guilty of robbing Yahweh.

Malachi 3:8-11 states, “Will a man rob Elohim? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith Yahweh of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith Yahweh of hosts.”
Another case of tithing before Sinai is seen in Genesis 28:20-22. “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If Elohim will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall Yahweh be my Elohim: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be Elohim’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

Here is Jacob vowing to give Yahweh a tithe of all that he would receive. This was a turning point in Jacob’s life. In this same passage is the dream that Jacob had of angels ascending and descending from heaven. This dream lit a fire under Jacob and motivated him to fully commit his life to Almighty Yahweh. From this experience we see that tithing is not only a command holy to Yahweh, but is a sign of our commitment and devotion to Him. For many there is nothing harder than giving 10% of their income to Yahweh, including many well-intended Torah observant believers.

Abraham’s Example
If these illustrations are not enough, in Genesis 26:4-5 we find a passage specifically saying that Abraham obeyed Yahweh’s commandments. “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Here is undeniable verification that the commandments were known and obeyed by Abraham long before Moses, a span of many generations.

Let’s take a few moments and delve into how the Hebrew defines three key words. The word “commandments” comes from the Hebrew mitsvah and according to Strong’s refers to “a command, whether human or divine.” We know that the commandments were of divine origin and not the commandments of men.

The word “statutes” comes from the Hebrew chuqqah and refers to “an appointed, custom, manner, ordinance, site, statute.” The primitive root of this word can also refer to an appointment of time. It is possible this word is describing days of worship that were known during the time of Abraham.

The word “laws” comes from the Hebrew Torah. Here we find verification that Abraham obeyed the Torah some 300 years before the law was given to Moses at Sinai. Can there be any doubt that Yahweh’s commandments were known before Sinai?

Have No Other Mighty Ones
In our final case, in Genesis 35:1-4 we find that idolatry was known before Sinai. “And Elohim said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto El, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange mighty ones that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto El, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange mighty ones which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.”

Jacob is telling those of his house-hold to put away their strange mighty ones. This is a reference to the false deities that some of the people were still holding on to.
Here is the most important com-mandment in Yahweh’s Word: the first of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:3 declares, “Thou shalt have no other mighty ones before me.”

Jacob removed and purged the false mighty ones in his household; he understood this decree, even though the Ten Commandments had not yet been written in stone. This shows, as with many commandments, that the First Commandment was known long before Sinai.

The belief that Yahweh’s laws were first given at Sinai is simply not true. As we’ve seen from the Word, many of the commandments were known before Moses, and in some cases by more than 2,000 years.

This is important because it shows Yahweh’s commandments existed from the beginning. Also, that Yahweh was the author of these commands and not Moses, who was simply the conduit between Yahweh and Israel. Lastly, it proves that the commandments were not only for Israel, but for those before and after, including those in the Messiah.

Scripture shows Yahweh’s com-mandments in effect at creation, during the time of the Israelites, during the New Testament, and even in the coming Kingdom. They are just as relevant today as they were for the Israelites of Old. As believers in the Messiah let us honor the One we worship by obeying His eternal and ever-abiding commandments.

Truths & Myths of Christmas

What do a tinsel-laden pine tree, a jolly ol’ elf, and gift exchanging have in common with the birth of the Savior at Bethlehem? Clearly, nothing.
Today’s Christmas customs do not exist in Scripture but derive from man-made traditions thousands of years old. Come take a journey with me through history and Scripture to understand the truth about this extravaganza of holidays.

Christmas Built on a False Premise
First, we consider the premise of Christmas. Do we have evidence that December 25th is the Messiah’s birthday? According to history and scholarship, there’s no evidence that Yahshua was born on this day or anywhere close to it.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Inexplicable though it seems, the date of Christ’s birth is not known. The Gospels indicate neither the day nor the month” (1967, “Christmas”).

The Roman Catholic Church chose December 25 as the date of the Messiah’s birth. No other evidence exists establishing that date. So we find that the very source responsible for the establishment of December 25 as the birth date for the Savior admits that the actual date is unknown!

Many other sources confirm its absence. For instance, the Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature says, “The fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity. No corresponding festival was presented by the Old Testament…the day and month of the birth of Christ are nowhere stated in the Gospel history, and cannot be certainly determined…” (1981, Christmas).

This admission is staggering. The church fathers of the first three centuries spoke nothing about the celebration of the Nativity. Clearly, the observance of the Messiah’s birth was unknown to the men who governed the church for the first 300 years.

Any reasonable person would think that such an important, historic event would have been understood by these stewards. The fact that the church fathers were oblivious to this observance shows that it has no early ties to Christianity. So if the day of the Messiah’s birth is not known even in the earliest years of the church, why did the church later select December 25th? What was so special about this day?

Worship of Saturn
This day has another past more sinister than many realize. December 25th was chosen because of its connection with pagan worship, specifically with sun worship, a religion going all the way back to ancient Babylon.

In Roman culture there were three observances that contributed to the timing and customs of Christmas. Possibly the greatest and most popular celebration was in honor of Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, hence Saturnalia, at the winter solstice. According to most historians, this festival resembled Mardi Gras and New Year’s: it was a time of decadence and confusion.

The Standard American Encyclopedia explains, “…the feast in honor of Saturn, celebrated by the Romans in December and regarded as a time of unrestrained license and merriment for all classes, even for the slaves…” (1940, “Saturnalia”).

According to the Encyclopedia Americana, “It [Saturnalia] probably originated as a harvest celebration. Under the Caesars it was celebrated from the 17th to the 23rd of December, during which period public business was closed, masters and slaves changed places, and feasting, giving of gifts, and general license prevailed” (1956, Saturnalia).

It is no coincidence that the dates of Saturnalia closely correspond to Christmas.

This Roman festival was one of the happiest times of the pagan year. It included the giving of gifts, the suspension of work, and easements in cultural norms and ethics. Slaves were given temporary freedom and certain cases of immorality were overlooked.

The Counterfeit Messiah
Another belief influencing Christmas was Mithraism. This was a cult in the Roman culture that was reserved for men only and was especially popular among soldiers.

Again the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “The origin of the cult of Mithra dates from the time that the Hindus and Persians still formed one people, for the god Mithra occurs in the religion and the sacred books of both races, i.e. in the Vedas and in the Avesta. In Vedic hymns he is frequently mentioned and is nearly always coupled with Varuna, but beyond the bare occurrence of his name, little is known of him (Rigveda, III, 59). It is conjectured (Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, Berlin, 1894) that Mithra was the rising sun, Varuna the setting sun; or, Mithra, the sky at daytime, Varuna, the sky at night; or, the one the sun, the other the moon. In any case Mithra is a light or solar deity of some sort; but in vedic times the vague and general mention of him seems to indicate that his name was little more than a memory….Mithraism was emphatically a soldier religion: Mithra, its hero, was especially a divinity of fidelity, manliness, and bravery; the stress it laid on good fellowship and brotherliness, its exclusion of women, and the secret bond amongst its members have suggested the idea that Mithraism was Masonry amongst the Roman soldiery” (see newadvent.org, “Mithraism”).

As we see from this reference, not much is known about this cult. It goes back to when the Hindus and Persians were one people, but how and in what form this deity was worshiped is unknown. As this deity evolved over time and cultures, it found a home in Rome; it especially gained popularity among the Roman military. At this point, Mithra had been reinterpreted as a deity of war and as a result, Mithraism again took root within the Roman culture.

The connection between Mithraism and Christmas is described in the book, Mystery Religions in the Ancient World. “Mithra was the creator and orderer of the universe, hence a manifestation of the creative Logos or Word. Seeing mankind afflicted by Ahriman, the cosmic power of darkness, he incarnated on earth. His birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven. At the end of the world he will come again to judge resurrected mankind and after the last battle, victorious over evil, he will lead the chosen ones through a river of fire to a blessed immortality,” p. 99.

The resemblance of Mithra and the Messiah is striking. Scripture states that the Messiah is the creative Word or Logos, John 1:1-3. We also know that His birth was witnessed by shepherds and that He shared a last supper with His disciples and was afterward murdered and resurrected to heaven.

The Bible also prophesies of His return, when He will remove evil and conquer all those who oppose Him. Because of these similarities, some scholars believe that Mithraism was a major force in Christianity and a serious threat to the Church. According to Ernest Renan, a French historian and expert in ancient cultures, “…if the growth of Christianity had been arrested by some mortal malady, the world would have been Mithraic…”

Mithra was born on December 25. There’s little doubt that the date of Mithra worship played a role in the establishment of December 25th as the Messiah’s birth.

Unconquered Sun Worship
In addition to Saturnalia and Mithraism, there was another celebration called the Feast of Sol Invictus that helped solidify December 25 as the date for the Nativity. The Encyclopaedia Britannica openly states that the Church adopted this day for Christmas:

“During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a ‘solar monotheism.’ Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of Solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol Invictus (unconquered Sun) on December 25th was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ” (2000, vol. 11, p. 390).

There should be no doubt that Christmas is an amalgamation of ancient pagan practices later adopted by the Roman church.

This ancient celebration was nothing more than sun worship or “solar monotheism.” The term “solar” refers to the sun, while “monotheism” refers to the worship of one deity. Most ancient religions were polytheistic, meaning they worshiped many gods. To find a point in history where sun worship was a monotheistic religion is noteworthy.

On a side note, vestiges of sun worship can be seen in other areas of the Church. For example, the day that nominal worship has chosen as a day of worship comes from the Latin dies solis, meaning, “day of the sun.” According to historians, it was Emperor Constantine who officially changed Sabbath worship to Sunday; prior to his conversion this man was a sun worshiper.

Authors Anthony F. Buzzard and Charles F. Hunting in their book, The Doctrine of the Trinity, state, “Constantine appears to have been a sun-worshiper, one of a number of late pagan cults which had observances in common with Christians. Worship of such gods was not a novel idea. Every Greek or Roman expected that political success followed from religious adherence.

“Although Constantine claimed that he was the thirteenth Apostle, his was no sudden Damascus conversion. Indeed it is highly doubtful that he ever truly abandoned sun-worship. After his professed acceptance of Christianity, he built a triumphal arch to the sun god and in Constantinople set up a statue of the same sun god bearing his own features. He was finally deified after his death by official edict in the Empire, as were many Roman rulers.”

We also find evidence for the role that sun worship played in Christmas from the New International Dictionary of the Christian Church.

“December 25 was the date of the Roman pagan festival inaugurated in 274 as the birthday of the unconquered sun which, at the winter solstice, begins again to show an increase in light. Sometime before 336 the Church in Rome, unable to stamp out this pagan festival, spiritualized it as the Feast of the Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness,” p. 223.

According to this source, December 25th was marked as the birthday of the sun in 274 CE and about 60 years later the Church adopted this day as the birthday of the Messiah because of its inability to stamp out this pagan observance. By not doing so, history was changed forever!

A Holiday Outlawed by Puritans
Because of its paganism and the fact that Christmas resembled more of a Mardi Gras during the time of early America, many Christians rejected Christmas and its customs.

Robert J. Myers in his book, Celebrations, writes, “In England, for example, the Puritans could not tolerate this celebrating for which there was no biblical sanction. Consequently, the Roundhead Parliament of 1643 outlawed the feasts of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, along with the saints’ days,” p. 312.

As noted on the History Channel, this refusal was shared by the pilgrims and other early Americans: “In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and as part of their effort cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and with him came the return of the popular holiday.

“The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings” (history.com, Christmas).

What would happen if believers took such a stand today? Much of today’s error and subsequent problems would be removed and a time of unparalleled truth would result. We need only to ask, is it sanctioned by Almighty Yahweh and His Word?

Tree Worship and a Claus for Error
Christmas is riddled with non-biblical traditions.

The evergreen tree has been an object of veneration for millennia. Scripture provides many examples of tree worship, but none clearer than Jeremiah 10.

“Hear ye the word which Yahweh speaketh unto you. O house of Israel: Thus saith Yahweh. Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven: for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them: for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good,” vv 1-5.

Does this description sound familiar? Take a closer look; 1) one cuts a tree out of the forest; 2) they deck it with silver and gold; 3) they fasten it with nails and with hammers; and 4) they stand it upright. You’re probably thinking, Christmas tree. Truth be told, this is not referring specifically to a Christmas tree, which is nonetheless a form of tree worship.

Read what Jeremiah said in verse 2: “Learn not the way of the heathen.” Does this warning also apply to Christmas? We can answer that by simply asking: Is Christmas found in the Bible or in traditions of pagans? We can safely say this warning includes Christmas. When Yahweh said through Jeremiah, learn not the way of the heathen, He meant any pagan worship, including Christmas and Easter.

In addition to the biblical record, scholarship also confirms that tree worship was common. For example, The Golden Bough states. “…Tree worship is well attested for all the great European families of the Aryan stock. Amongst the Celts the oak-worship of the Druids is familiar to everyone. Sacred groves were common among the ancient Germans, and tree-worship is hardly extinct among their descendants at the present day,” p. 58.

We have the tradition of Saint Nick. According to the book, Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men, the traditional Santa Claus may have roots to Odin, a major deity in Norse mythology: “… children would place their boots filled with sugar, carrots or straw, near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir’s food with gifts or candy. This practice survived in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization and can be still seen in the modern practice of the hanging of stockings at the chimney in some homes” (pp. 171-173).

While many believe that Santa Claus traces back to Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who lived during the 4th century, the truth is very different. The etymological roots of this figure harken back to German and Dutch folklore, but not to Scripture.

The True Birthday of Yahshua
Let’s now transition from the historical roots of Christmas to the scriptural facts about our Savior’s birth. From Scripture we find that He was likely born in the fall.

We find evidence in Luke 1:5, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.”

Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father, served at the temple and his course of duty was of the course of Abia. What’s the significance about this? Before we answer that, we need to understand these courses a bit better.

In the Old Testament there were 24 courses or service schedules in the temple. The cycle of courses began at Abib (the first biblical month) in the springtime and was from Sabbath to Sabbath. Each priest was required to serve twice a year. Abia was the eighth course, which would have fallen around the beginning of June.

Based on the temple duty roster, we can pinpoint that John the Baptist was conceived around early June. Scripture states that Mary conceived Yahshua six months after Elisabeth conceived John the Baptist, Luke 1:26. From this we can determine the approximate date of the Messiah’s conception and birth. If John the Baptist was conceived in early June and if Yahshua was conceived six months later, then Yahshua was likely conceived in early December, placing His birth nine months away or sometime in September and possibly during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Snowmen and Frosty Shepherds?
What about the shepherds? The traditional Christmas story says that shepherds received a miraculous message about the infant Yahshua while in the fields on December 25th. The traditional story is based on Luke 2:13-18:

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Elohim, and saying, Glory to Elohim in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass which Yahweh hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”

The question is, were shepherds out tending flocks the end of December? This is highly unlikely. According to Adam Clarke’s Commentary, “It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts, about the Passover, and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain: during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the Passover occurred in the spring, and the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our [Master] was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could he have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light upon this disputed point.”

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary agrees. “From this most critics, since Lightfoot conclude that the time which, since the fourth century, has been ecclesiastically fixed upon for the celebration of Christ’s birth – the 25th of December, or the midst of the rain season – cannot be the true time, as the shepherds drove their flocks about the spring or Passover time out to the fields, and remained out with them all summer, under cover of huts or tents, returning with them late in the autumn. …The nature of the seasons in Palestine could hardly have been unknown to those who fixed upon the present Christmas-period: the difficulty, therefore, is perhaps more imaginary than real.”

Three Men and a Baby’s Birthday?
Let’s consider one more piece of the puzzle – the wise men. This story is based on the second chapter of Matthew. It reads, “Now when Yahshua was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the voung child with Miriam his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh,” vv 1-2, 10-11.

Tradition says that three wise men visited the infant Yahshua in a manger to honor His birth. Do we find evidence of that here? First, Scripture says nothing about three wise men, only that three gifts were given. Second, they did not visit the infant Messiah at the manger, but the boy Messiah at His house, verse 11. And third, the wise men were not there to celebrate the birth of the Messiah, but to worship the King of the Jews, verse 2.

Other than the wise men visiting the Messiah, the traditional account is almost completely lacking in Scripture. Again, there is no mention of the number of wise men, there is no mention of a manger, and there is no mention of the Messiah’s birth. We find from verse 16 that Yahshua was around the age of two. It reads, “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he diligently enquired of the wise men.”

Scripture verifies here that Herod murdered all male children two years and under. Why did he start with the age of two? It’s likely that Yahshua was near this age when the wise men came to visit. Again we find that the traditional story of the Messiah’s birth has little basis in Scripture. The story of Christmas is not in the Bible but it was through pagan Roman tradition that the Church adopted the rituals of Christmas.

Come Out, Be Separate, Touch Not
What does our Father Yahweh say about such compromise? We are commanded in Jeremiah 10 to abstain from learning the ways of the heathen.

Paul in 2Corinthians 6:14 also warns about compromise and accepting false worship. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Messiah with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of Elohim with idols? for ye are the temple of the living Elohim; as Elohim hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith Yahweh Almighty.”

Here in each question Paul shows the distinction between right and wrong, and between worship that is honoring and worship that is not.
Based on the facts that Christmas contains no scriptural foundation and was borrowed from pagan worship, it is clearly to be avoided by anyone who wants to honor the true Messiah.

Modern EliYahs

Using a metaphor involving a rock, Yahshua promised that there would always be faithful believers who follow and proclaim His ways and teachings. He said in Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my assembly; and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it.” The “rock” was Peter’s confession that Yahshua is the Messiah.
There has never been a time when Yahweh did not have His covenant people worshiping Him somewhere on earth.

Yahshua’s assembly didn’t die with those True Believers in Yahshua’s day. The true Body lived on through history, and notably to our day, to us modern EliYahs. Amazingly, what happened in both testaments is still alive and active 2,000 years later. Yahweh never deviates from His salvational plan.

Even during the Great Tribulation when the assembly is taken into wilderness protection for 3½ years, there will still be two witnesses given great, supernatural powers standing on the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming Yahweh’s Name and Truth, Revelation 11.

Just as He had Moses and Aaron and many prophets standing firm against the opposing tide, Yahweh’s representatives will stand against Satan and the Man of Sin.

Being that Yahweh has always had His people somewhere on earth throughout history means no one can use the excuse that the Truth wasn’t here. Ours is to find it and follow it. “Seek first the Kingdom of Yahweh, and His righteousness,” Yahshua said in Matthew 6:33.

The Bible student is aware of the many references to Yahshua’s Second Coming in the New Testament. To be exact, 318 New Testament prophecies relate to the Messiah’s return. In His Olivet prophecy of Matthew 24, Yahshua says in the last days wars will increase as well as famines, diseases, massive earthquakes, and possibly meteor strikes. These events will prove the veracity of the Bible.

He then zeroes in on the character and temperament of modern people, which is the most revealing sign of the end. The moral underpinnings that make a safe and flourishing society are disappearing. Natural restraints that hold back bad behavior are also fading so that we are becoming a culture of unchecked anger, open hostility, and spiritual decay. What we witness now is prophesied in the Word. Christianity is also in a freefall and unable to turn society back to the Scriptures.

It’s All About Self Today
The Apostle Paul warned in 2Timothy 3:2: “This know also, that in the last days perilous [distressing] times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [“fond of self” in the Greek], covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection [inhuman behavior], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim.”

People are turning inward; satisfying self is top priority today. In politics they look only for the candidate who says he will give them what they want – gain with no pain.

Sin is at the root of every evil, every crime, all that is immoral, all heartache and suffering, all maliciousness, every hateful attitude, self-obsessions, and all that destroys lives. What we suffer today stems from sin in the human heart. If this doesn’t validate the prophecies of the Bible, what does?

We believers find ourselves standing in the gap, holding to the Scriptures and its fundamental morality that our world needs like oxygen. It is no accident that our message dovetails with end-time prophecy.

Yahshua said in Matthew 24:14:
“And this good news of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” That the truth of the sacred Name has come to the forefront in the last 40 years also verifies that we are in the last days.

In 2008 the pope banned Catholics from using Yahweh’s Name in liturgy, songs, and prayers. That’s ironic because Yahweh’s Name appears abundantly in the Roman Catholic Jerusalem Bible! No doubt the growing popularity of the Name taught and expounded by True Believers instigated the pope’s censorship action.

Of the many who contact YRM, few question the veracity of Yahweh’s Name. That wasn’t the case only a few decades ago when Yahweh’s Name wasn’t so well known. The outreach of the Sacred Name groups had a big part in taking the Name truth worldwide.

Our nationwide outreach through Discover the Truth TV program in conjunction with one of the largest religious websites on the Internet, in addition to videos exceeding 2 million views worldwide – all have made a significant impact. Also influential are many believers proclaiming the EliYah message “my El is Yah” on social media. We must never give up preaching and teaching the Word, both when convenient and when not, 2Timothy 4:2.

It is not only the holy Names that set us apart from nominal teachings, but also the many truths we follow in the Word.

Jude 1:3 encourages the believer. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Why would Jude bring it up if churchianity were faithfully teaching New Covenant truths? He continues in v. 5, telling how Israel apostatized; how even some angels apostatized, and how Sodom and Gomorrah went off the rails morally. Why would he tell us to go back to the original teachings once delivered if those doctrines were faithfully being carried forward?

Jude says that salvation hinges on the original truths, the faith once delivered. And that is what Yahweh’s people must stand on and proclaim.

Lawbreaking Produces Sin
A key that unlocks what we are about and the message we teach is found in the prophet named EliYah through what he represented and what his mission was. Our ministry today directly mirrors his mission.

Today’s nominal teachings have missed the simplest of truths.

To prove this, ask the person on the street what sin is, according to the Scriptures. What you’ll get are such bromides as sin is:
• not living right
• wrongdoing
• unbelief
• darkness not light
• a falling away

Such generalities don’t help anyone to identify and overcome sin. They are just platitudes and clichés that nibble around the edges, but don’t get to the core of what sin actually is. For most, sin is whatever they decide it is. As a wise general once said, “If you don’t know your enemy you can’t defeat him.”

Yahweh made sure that the enemy sin is very simple to recognize and understand so that we will know exactly how to overcome and avoid it. His straightforward description is found in 1John 3:4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Only seven words are needed to tell us plainly that sin is lawbreaking. Romans 3:23 and 5:12 say everyone has sinned by lawbreaking.

But the law was abolished at the cross, many say. Here’s the paradox: how can every person be a sinner if the standard that defines sin doesn’t exist? If there are no traffic laws I can drive any way I want and not be arrested.

In the Bible’s definition of sin we find truth. We learn how to come to salvation. It tells us to walk in Yahshua’s footsteps and follow His example. It all hinges on our obedience to the Word.
We find in 1John 3:5 that Yahshua had no sin. That means He was a perfect lawkeeper. “But my minister tells me He nailed the law to the cross,” they will say. That is another contradiction as Matthew 5:17 quotes Yahshua saying emphatically: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Fulfill does not mean to abolish. Why? Read the next sentence: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Talk about hyperbolic proof. So long as heaven and earth exist, even the most minute part of the law will still be in full force. What bigger proof can there be?

What is misinterpreted is Colossians 2:14, which says it was the handwriting of ordinances that was nailed to the stake. “Handwriting” of ordinances refers to the statutes written by man; it is from the Greek dogma. It is not describing any commandment of Yahweh.

The Most Violated Commandment
The commandment broken far more often than any other is the very first one: “Thou shalt have no other mighty ones before me.”

“What do you mean?” you ask. “I don’t worship idols.” You don’t have to bow to Buddah, visit Vishnu, or cash in for Kris Kringle – any time you put ANYTHING before Yahweh, you idolize a priority. That includes your job, family, finances, a hobby, entertainment, or an obsession. Any of these can take precedence over living for Yahweh in your life.

Most anything can be an idol. The commandment says not to serve these things. Serve is abad, and as a verb can mean to enslave. We are not to be enslaved by anything that takes us away from serving Yahweh. By anything that robs our time in worshiping Him.

In so many different ways the first commandment is broken every day and many times a day. Every other commandment you violate also breaks the first one. When you break one you really break two because every sin you commit takes you away from Yahweh and puts something in place of your obedience to Him.

EliYah Preparing the Way Today
Let’s return to the prophet and his message. EliYah was the first major prophet to the northern Kingdom of Israel. Those 10 tribes were constantly going off the rails. Every king they had was bad. EliYah (incorrectly, Elijah) is a Hebrew name that means, “my El is Yah.” His name embodies the first commandment and so did his most memorable action.

The EliYah message to be proclaimed at the end of the age is, “Yahweh” is the Mighty One of this universe. He has a personal Name packed full of salvational meaning. He doesn’t have “many names.”

Another crystal clear statement just like the scriptural definition of sin, is in Isaiah 42:8: “I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” You cannot mistake that simple declaration; you cannot shoe-horn another name or title into Yahweh’s plain, simple, clear, declarative statement: I am Yahweh, that is my Name.

Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry has dozens of scholarly reference books in our library that verify His Name Yahweh. In my research I have never come across a variant like Yah-havah, Yahovah, Yehovah, Yahoveh, or any other proxy some use for His Name.

To know exactly how YRM fits into the EliYah message, let’s look at the focus of EliYah’s mission. In 1Kings 18:21 the prophet engages false worship at Mt. Carmel.
Israel was playing both sides. Our prophet asks Israel: “How long are you going to vascillate? If Yahweh is Elohim, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.” Find out the true One and stick with Him.

We see a direct parallel today with those who mix Yahweh’s Name with common titles.

EliYah cries to them as well: stop straddling the fence. If you claim to worship Yahweh, the Mighty One of the universe, then worship Him, all the way. Don’t equivocate. You don’t honor Him by heathen titles.

When you mix in a title as if it’s His Name, you demean Him. You degrade the holiest Name in the universe. When you use another name or title in worship, you invoke a different worship that identifies with that name. I am Yahweh, He thunders, and I will not honor any other name.

Those who are enlightened swim against the current. That’s to be expected. So did Yahshua. Always remember that salvation is what we are living for and not the approval of the unenlightened majority.

G-O-D represents a category, a class, a molten image, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Paul said in 1Cor. 8:5: “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many)…” but he adds in verse 6: “But to us there is but one Elohim, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Master, Yahshua, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

Our Savior Yahshua promised that just as John the Baptist came in the power and strength of EliYah, another would come much like John before the Savior’s return to this earth. His message will be the same: Yahweh is the true Mighty One. Call on Him; Be called by Him. And then follow Him. We have no other choice if salvation is our goal.

The EliYah message is summed up in the meaning of the name EliYah: “my Mighty One is Yah.” His message comprises the fact that His people are called by His Name Yahweh.
“If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2Chronicles 7:14.

Being called by His Name we turn from sin and obey Him. How many deeply honor His Name, use it, and don’t deny its importance no matter what the circumstances? How many take it to the next level and submit in everything to Him in preparation for rulership in the coming millennial Kingdom? Sadly, most are stuck at step one.

A Coming Restoration of all Things
Yahshua told the multitude in Matthew 11:14 that if they would just accept John the Baptist, he would be the EliYah prophesied to come. Later, in Matthew 14:3-10, we read that Herod had John beheaded.

The people did not repent at the preaching of John the Baptist but rejected him as well as his message of repentance and obedience. Yahshua said in Matthew 3:3: “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of Yahweh, make his paths straight.” John was “crying out” because few were listening.

Yahshua said that John came just as EliYah did, preaching repentance, meaning turn your life around and obey the true Mighty One.

But they failed. He said in Matthew 11:18 that John the Baptist didn’t come eating or drinking, i.e. fellowshiping with others, so they concluded that he must have a demon. The Son of man comes eating and drinking and their accusation was he’s a glutton and a drunk.

Most don’t understand our message either. But Yahshua concluded that the results will ultimately decide: “wisdom is justified of her children.” Wisdom will be justified by its deeds.

After John’s death, Yahshua explained to the gathered disciples, “EliYah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them,” Mathew 17:12.

Problem no. 2 is that they rejected Yahshua as the Messiah. But wait. There will yet come another EliYah at the end of the age, our age. Note what Yahshua further said in verse 11 about the important mission of this coming prophet revisited, “EliYah truly shall first come, and restore all things.” This was after the death of John the Baptist.

The only possible explanation is that there will be a third EliYah like John the Baptist, preparing the way for Yahshua’s Second Coming, as John did for Yahshua’s first appearance.

Now let’s connect some dots by going to Malachi 4:4-6, a key passage that speaks of us, you and me, as we bring truth to the world in these latter days. First note the context in verse 4:
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”

Just as Eliyah cried out to repent and turn to the true Father in heaven, and as John the Baptist preached repentance, which means to turn from sin and obey the statutes of Yahweh, the prophet Malachi again, at the end time, reminds us of Yahweh’s statutes and judgments handed down at Sinai.

With this in mind, note how Malachi then follows up his warning to obey: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh.” Yahshua agrees with Malachi. Another EliYah is clearly defined by both. And what is the mission of this latter-day EliYah?

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Here comes a third EliYah, preparing the way of Yahshua the second time, just as John the Baptist, a prototype of EliYah, prepared the people for Yahshua’s first coming by preaching repentance and obedience. Same message we have.

The whole context of this 4th chapter of Malachi is about turning back the people in obedience at the end of the age. The prophet begins in verse 1 of this chapter by telling the people to honor the law, the statutes, and judgments given at Sinai. That is pivotal, not only because it is central to the two EliYah messages, but also because obedience to Yahweh’s statutes is the springboard from which he introduces this new EliYah in the latter days.

A key to putting all this together is in the transfiguration of Matt. 17:2, where Yahshua takes Peter, James, and John into a high mountain. There they see a vision (v. 9) of both Moses and Eliyah talking with Yahshua about His coming death. But according to Luke 9:31, Peter, James, and John were so tired that they fell asleep.

When Peter wakes up and sees the vision of Yahshua with Moses and Eliyah, and not knowing what had occurred while he was sleeping, he in typical Peter-esque fashion spouts off the first thing that comes to mind, “It was sure good to have been here, let’s make three tabernacles for Yahshua, Moses, and EliYah.”

This vision with the three individuals validates the unity between Yahshua’s New Testament message with the Law and prophets of the Old Testament.
Yahshua said that there would be an EliYah in these last days preaching and teaching a return to the laws and statutes once delivered to the saints at Sinai, as we read in Jude 1:3.
Malachi 3:1 says this messenger, this EliYah, will prepare the way for the Messiah.

Going Back to the Fathers
So this end-time EliYah, which is clearly those who bring the message of repentance and obedience, will change hearts by returning to the precepts of the fathers, the Old Testament patriarchs, that the children will also honor as their example is given to the descendants by this EliYah.

If this does not happen, the earth itself will be cursed with total destruction.

Obedience is the only path to salvation, and disobedience is the sure route to destruction. Yahshua said if it weren’t for the elect, the world would be toast. Yahweh is giving us a chance to finish the work we must do as His covenant people—to teach the world the Truth first given to the patriarchs. Forget Roman traditions. Turn to the truth first presented by the patriarchs of old. And when things get hot, we can trust Yahweh to step in and save His elect.

The last book of the Old Testament emphasizes that EliYah (and specifically the message of honoring and calling on the true Yahweh) would precede the Second Coming.

We at YRM are fulfilling the EliYah mission. We are the third EliYah that Yahshua spoke of in Matthew 17:11. “And Yahshua answered and said unto them, Eliyah truly shall first come, and restore all things.” This third EliYah will bring back the truth of the Covenant that all must become a part of with all its stipulations. They will accept Yahshua and teach the laws He lived and taught, Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev 22:14).

The EliYah at the end of the age and those with him who resist the Beast and his system will also face persecution, as did the first EliYah with Ahab and Jezebel. And as did John the Baptist, the second EliYah, murdered by Herod. Yahshua said that His saints would “be hated of all men for My name’s sake; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved,” Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17.

In these last days there must be bold teachings of Yahweh’s laws and His weekly and annual Sabbaths—His way of Life. If not, the rocks would cry out, Luke 19:40. Proclaiming the truth of Yahweh’s Word before the Messiah returns will turn those who are called by Yahweh to seek His ways and completely submit to Him.

The final chapters of the Bible, Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 22:14, say we must have both Yahshua and obey Yahweh for salvation. They come as a package. Faith and obedience are not mutually exclusive. We will go nowhere without obedience. Yahshua obeyed, and He is our example. He is the key. We do what He did, taught, and lived. Revelation tells us that Yahweh’s people will be sealed with His Name and given protection once they have accepted His sovereignty and taken hold of His Covenant.

Traits of the Modern EliYahs
How does the true worshiper fit the role of the EliYah who is to come?

• Nearly unknown by the world, EliYah suddenly emerged almost covertly as a prophet to steer Israel from the brink of disaster. The believer is relatively unknown to the vast world of Bible believers.
• This man of Yahweh stood alone against 450 prophets of Baal. True teachings stand against many Bible-challenged church traditions.
• The altar that EliYah used had been broken down and abandoned and had to be rebuilt, symbolizing the abandonment of truth and the task the faithful have of re-teaching the faith once delivered.
• EliYah’s challenge to the worshipers of Baal: How long limp you between two different worship practices? 1Kings 18:21. Modern EliYahs ask, how long will compromise with the world be acceptable?
• The transfiguration represented unity among Yahshua, the law, and the Old Testament prophecy (Matt. 17:2). Moses typifies the law and EliYah represents the prophets. We see unity with Yahshua, the law, and the Old Testament, and not His abolishment of it.

Be a rock. Don’t let trials small or great pull you away from Yahweh. He will never leave or forsake His faithful.

Stained-Glass Filters

Church. For most it means stained-glass windows and ministers preaching in monotone. It means sitting for 20 minutes in uncomfortable pews listening to platitudes while dreaming of doing something else.

Too often, passing through church doors automatically trips the mind into neutral where all critical thinking stops.

Is this how it was when the Messiah taught His disciples on the shores of the Galilee 2,000 years ago? Where was the liturgy and the doxology then? Where was the neat packaging of ritual and repetition? How could the Bible be taught in such an unfettered atmosphere?

Two thousand years of syncretizing with foreign mystery religion has today’s churchgoers looking at the truth with apprehension. Keeping the Sabbath, feast days, and the other laws is anything but conventional today. Never mind that the Savior observed and taught them, and His Assemblies in Acts faithfully followed them.

Isn’t it strange how tradition blinds us to other possibilities?

This brings to mind the woman who went back to her corner church because the new spinoff group met in a motel and it “just didn’t feel like church there.”

No doubt meeting by the seashore or on the hills of Galilee would not “feel like church” to most churchgoers. And neither does hearing such words as “law” and “obedience.” But unless we can let the truth of Scripture stand on its own in open sunshine, without centuries of mind-numbing dogma to twist and swallow it up, then our faith is disingenuous.

Yahshua said that until heaven and earth pass away, not even the least letter of the alphabet nor its embellishment would be dropped from the law. Deuteronomy 7:9 says Almighty Yahweh is faithful to keep His covenant with those who keep His commandments “to a thousand generations.” Taken literally, we still have 16,000 more years to keep the law!

A popular magazine claimed that to get gentiles to become Christians, avoiding circumcision and other Jewish laws, Paul had to bring in a new doctrine: salvation outside of the Mosaic law. Obviously this magazine writer had himself been blinded by too much stained glass. Had he only turned to 1Corinthians 7:19, he would have discovered that Paul minimizes physical circumcision in favor of the law!

Imagine how different society could be if even half the churches taught obedience to the moral law. But it is not human nature to want to submit to any authority, and so the “faith alone” bandwagon is packed full.

In a stunningly graphic prophecy, Isaiah describes the nominal world of religion in 2022: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Yahweh: which say to the seers, ‘See not;’ and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” 30:9-10.

What about you? Do you see the Scriptures in the pure, white light of truth, or in light filtered through colored glass?

Casting Light on Hanukkah

Christmas is not the only popular observance falling in December. The Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, is an eight-day nationalistic observance of the Jews that begins on the 25th of Kislev (December). It celebrates the rededication of Solomon’s temple that had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, in 165 BCE. Tradition says the observance was instituted by Judah Maccabee and his followers.

Hanukkah and its main features are found in the apocryphal books of first and second Maccabees. The eight days were celebrated with gladness like the Feast of Tabernacles. It is even referred to as Tabernacles (2Maccabees 1:9) or Tabernacles and Fire (1:18) (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Hanukkah. p. 1283).

The Judaica surmises that Tabernacles was not celebrated at the proper time because the Temple had not been cleansed, and therefore “a second Tabernacles (analogous to the Second Passover) was held.”

Unlike Yahweh’s appointed Feast days, Hanukkah with its Christmas-like customs was a work in progress. Its rites evolved over time. The 25th date corresponds to the third anniversary of the proclamation of the edict of Antiochus to offer idolatrous sacrifices on the Temple altar. The date and month trace to the ancient day of sun worship at the winter solstice, and to the related feasts of the Greek god Dionysius.

Historical sources differ in the details of Hanukkah. Various traditions (baraita) in the Jewish oral law, which were not incorporated in the Mishnah, provide differing legends. The most prominent tradition details the rededication of the Temple when a single cruse of oil, enough to light the Temple candelabrum for a day, miraculously provided light for eight days – thus making Hanukkah an eight-day celebration called “Lights.” The historian and priest Josephus, who made no mention of Hanukkah, paired the name Lights with the fire that descended from heaven to the altar not only in the time of Moses, Nehemiah, and Solomon’s Temple, but also in the days of Judah Maccabee (1:18-36: 2:8-12, 14) (Judaica, p. 1283).

As with most extrabiblical observances, the Talmudic tradition of Hanukkah comes with a checkered past. The Judaica notes, “Certain critics conjectured that the origin of Hanukkah was either a festival of the Hellenized Jews or even an idolatrous festival that had occurred on the 25th of Kislev. Antiochus had, therefore, chosen the day to commence the idolatrous worship in the Temple” (ibid).

The parallels with the Christmas celebration are obvious. The Hanukkah bush smacks of the Christmas tree, the greeting cards, gift exchanging, bulbs and lights strung at this time also are clearly a replication of Christmas customs.

Some contend that Yahshua was keeping Hanukkah in John 10:22. The passage says it was during the feast of the dedication when Yahshua is seen walking on Solomon’s porch at the Temple. It does not say He went into the Temple and was sitting in on a Hanukkah service. He typically went wherever crowds gathered. He discussed Scripture with some Jews there who then wanted to stone Him.

Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of a temple that no longer exists. Being that Hanukkah is a man-made tradition with problematic customs and no biblical affirmation, should we not instead focus energy on Feasts that are repeatedly commanded by Yahweh, kept by Yahshua and the apostles, and will be part of the constitutional law governing the Kingdom coming to earth? Man’s traditions don’t set the course for the True Worshiper. Yahweh’s commands do.

Yahweh’s seven annual Feasts are part of the covenant He makes with believers today. These are the observances that have biblical authority. The true worshiper must make them a part of his life now.

Restoration Times Nov – Dec 2022

Restoration Times

In this issue of the Restoration Times we discuss:
• Truths and Myths of Christmas
• Casting Light on Hanukkah
• The Man-made Name Yehovah
• Modern EliYahs
• Stained Glass Filters
• Q&A
•Letters

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Don’t you know that the full vowels for Yehovah have been found thousands of times in ancient Hebrew manuscripts? Because of these amazing finds the name of Yahweh is not accurate.

Q     Don’t you know that the full vowels for Yehovah have been found thousands of times in ancient Hebrew manuscripts? Because of these amazing finds the name of Yahweh is not accurate.

 

A     Many who tell us this do not understand Hebrew or the concept of Kativ Qere. Qere and Ketiv are orthographic devices that were used by the Masoretes, i.e., Jewish scribes from the 6-10th centuries. Qere means, “what is read,” and ketiv means, “what is written.” It is found in existing Masoretic manuscripts dating to the 9th and 10th centuries, CE. There are several forms of Qere / Ketiv, including: ordinary, vowel, omitted, added, euphemistic, split, and qere perpetuum. Basically, the scribes would insert the vowels for Adonai or Elohim into the text so the reader would see the vowels for Adonai or Elohim as they came upon the tetragrammaton YHWH and would read either Adonai or Elohim based on the vowels written. See professor William Barrick explain this concept: https://youtu.be/jar1KQhG5dU?t=202

Many who push this idea will point to a claim that a certain Karaite Jew found the “full” vowels indicating the name Yehovah. What many do not understand is that in every instance and example of the name Yehovah we also see another name Yehovih. This is because the vowels for Adonai in the tetragrammaton read Yehovah and the vowels for Elohim in the tetragrammaton read Yehovih. Let’s go through some examples. If you do not have a basic concept of biblical Hebrew this may seem a bit complex.

יְהֹוִה
In 1Kings 2:26 we see the full vowels for Elohim in the text with the shewa, holem, and hireq (see above). In this instance the hateph seghol reverts to a simple shewa under the yod exactly as it does with the combination for Yehovah. This hateph vowel reverted to a simple shewa because the compound shewa was not needed under the yod as it is under the guttural aleph. This is the rule, however, there are exceptions. “Gutturals cannot take Vocal Shewa, but do take reduced (Hateph) vowels.” Basics of Biblical Hebrew, Chapter 2L – Hebrew Vowels. This is a rare occurrence, just as the rare occurrence of the full vowels of Adonai with the vocal shewa under the yod that we see in Genesis 3:14. (Pronunciation above: Yehovih with the full vowels for Elohim with the initial vocal shewa under the yod) biblehub.com/interlinear/1_kings/2-26.htm

יֱהֹוִה
In Judges 16:28 we see the full vowels for Elohim but in this case the hateph seghol does not revert to a simple shewa under the yod. This may be due to the fact that the title Adonai precedes the tetragrammaton and could lead to the reader saying Adonai twice, but this isn’t always the rule. (Pronunciation above: Yehovih with the full vowels for Elohim retaining the hateph seghol under the yod) biblehub.com/interlinear/judges/16-28.htm

יְהוִה
In Ezekiel 24:24 the tetragrammaton loses the holem and reverts to the shewa just as we see many times with the pointing for Adonai. See Genesis 2:4 for an example of this (יְהוָה) in your interlinear biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/2-4.htm (Pronunciation above: Yehvih with the vowels for Elohim minus the holem above the first heh) biblehub.com/interlinear/ezekiel/24-24.htm

יֱהוִה
In Genesis 15:2 the holem has been removed and the yod retains the hateph seghol. (Pronunciation above: Yehvih with the yod retaining the hatepeh seghol and the holem removed above the first heh) biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/15-2.htm
These examples above show vowel point combinations for Elohim in every aspect the same as we see with the vowel point combinations for Adonai (Yehovah). There is nothing special about the full vowels written as Yehovah any more than you could say the full vowels written as Yehovi (Yehovi) are indications of the proper name. One could use the same arguments and contend that the name Yehovih is proper. In most cases we see the holem dropped in both with only partial vowels. The scribe’s intent was never to put the proper pronunciation of the name of Yahweh in the text, but simply to use these vowels as code to either speak Elohim or Adonai rather than Yahweh.
One thing is for sure, we don’t see the vowel combination for Yahweh ever used in the text. The reason is simple – the scribes were hiding the name and this is what many today do not understand because of a false narrative to push the erroneous name Jehovah or Yehovah, which has been proven incorrect for decades. If we did see this vowel combination for Yahweh, then we would know instantly that this could not be the proper pronunciation. By simple deduction we can prove the name Yahweh by what “isn’t” in the text.

יְהֹוָה
Conclusion: The name Yehovah (above) was popularized by a narrative that a certain Karaite Jew found the full vowels of Yehovah as he was in the bowels of the Hebrew University, reading the Aleppo codex on 911, at the exact moment the planes were hitting the World trade Center. This narrative was of course to dazzle you into believing that this was a miracle in the making. The proper name has “now” been found by a supernatural event he excitingly proclaimed. Now that narrative is changed from one obscure, amazing find to literally thousands of occurrences. The narrative had to change, because the “full” vowels pointed for Adonai is not completely uncommon. Unfortunately, many do not see the elephant in the room. Was this man ignorant of all these occurrences? Most who follow him do not know Hebrew, although claiming to be in the “Hebrew Roots,” so how can he possibly be fact checked? You can’t have it both ways, it can’t be a scribal error and be everywhere at the same time. Maybe he wasn’t purposely trying to mislead? Maybe he was just ignorant that these vowels were not so obscure after all? Maybe with so many people finding examples of these “full vowels,” he had egg on his face and was forced to change the narrative? Why do his followers not ask these most basic of questions? In only the third chapter in the Bible, Genesis 3:14 in the Masoretic text (Leningrad Codex), we see the full vowels for Adonai (Yehovah) – shewa, holem, and qamets. They have been there for hundreds of years but only on 911 does he find them in the Aleppo codex! Don’t be sold a false bill of goods – a square peg in a round holem.

Note: Every instance above in which the 6th letter “waw” was used, we translated a “v” for consistency to the name Yehovah. In Biblical Hebrew, however, the 6th letter has a “w” sound as taught by every accredited biblical Hebrew class in the world, the foremost being the Hebrew university, Jerusalem. See: https://yrm.org/the-sixth-letter-waw-or-vav/

Biblehub Interlinear referenced above is based on the Leningrad Codex, 1008 CE. biblehub.com/interlinear

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

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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.