Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Scriptural Calendar

There are many different theories and teachings going on as to what the Scriptural calendar is. All these theories even have names, like “the solar calendar”, “the lunar calendar”, “the Enoch calendar” etc. But there is only one calendar that is valid according to the Almighty and His followers. It does not have a specific name as it is the only calendar that is acceptable. We find it in the Torah.

So let us have a look at what the Scriptures and history teach us about the calendar.

Let us start with what determines the New Year.

In the beginning, the Almighty gave us a clue as to what we are going to need in order to understand the calendar, “And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so. And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good” (Gen 1:14-18). The Sun and the Moon determine the calendar of the Almighty. The Moon is for determining the months and years, and the Sun is for determining the days and weeks. But I will be explaining this in more detail.

So let us see when the New Year begins. “And יהוה (YHWH) spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying, This month (chodesh) is the beginning (rosh) of months (chadashim) for you, it is the first month of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1-2). This verse teaches us what determines the start of a month. The Hebrew word “chodesh” is translated in every Bible as month. It is however more correctly translated as “renewal” and refers to the renewing of the moon (new moon). So the start of a new month is indicated by the sighting of the new moon.

But what determines the first month, or first new moon?

Guard (shomer) the month (chodesh) of Aviv (young barley ears), and perform the Passover to יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim, for in the month of Aviv יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim brought you out of Mitsrayim (Egypt) by night” (Deut 16:1). The first month is the month of Aviv. We know this as the Passover is celebrated in this month. Now the word Aviv tells us when it should be. The Hebrew word “Aviv” means, “young barley ears” and is often translated as “springtime” in many Bibles.

So now we know that the new moon determines the start of a new month and that the first month is in the spring time. So when the barley ears are sighted (in Israel) then we know that the very next new moon is the start of the Scriptural New Year.

How do the months work?

We know now that the moon determines the months. If you start observing the new moon sightings, then you will notice that the months are either 29 days or 30 days long. A month can NEVER be 28 days or 31 days long. This is because the Moon cycle is exactly 29.53 days long. That means that the Moon takes exactly 29.53 days to make one complete cycle around the Earth. So if a month has been 29 days long and the new moon was not sighted, then we can know for sure that it WILL be seen the next day after the 30th day, as it is impossible that the month could be 31 days long.

Now there are generally 12 months (or new moons) in a year. But there are also certain years that have 13 months (or new moons). One of the reasons that we know this to be true is simply by observing the Aviv (barley ears) as mentioned above.

We can also use science and mathematics to know that certain years are 13 months long. Let me explain. If we have to add up the all the days of each month for 12 months (29 or 30 days per month x 12 months) we get to the total of approximately 355 days for a year. You should by now notice that 355 days is about 10 days shorter than the solar cycle, which is the amount of time that it takes the Earth to complete one complete cycle around the Sun, which is approximately 365 days.

Now it does not take much to realize that we loose about 10 days every year to the cycle around the Sun. If we did not have a 13 month year at the right times, then all the seasons would go out of sync.

So when do we know when the 13th month should be? Well, besides using the observance of the barley ears, we can once again use mathematics to work it out. We know that a month can either be 29 or 30 days long. We also know that we loose about 10 days a year to the solar cycle. Now let us use a simple calculation. 30 days divided by 10 days gives us the answer of three. So by every third year, we have lost approximately 30 days. So what happens then to make up this time? A thirteenth month (moon cycle) simply gets added to the year which brings the cycles back into sync again.

So there is and has always been a consecutive cycle of 2 years with 12 months and then 1 year with 13 months. It looks something like this, “12 12 13 12 12 13 12 12 13….”  Now this method and the observance of the barley ears are and have always worked together. They have never once, in the entire history of the World, not been in agreement.

One thing that I need to cover here, is that many people claim that the moon does not determine the months. They claim that the Hebrew word "chodesh", which literally means, "new" or "renewal" does not refer to the moon and that the months are determined by a solar cycle. Many get this idea from someone telling them that nowhere in the Scriptures is the moon related to the months. But this is simply not true, there are many places where the Hebrew word for moon (yarei'ach or yarach (which has exactly the same spelling)) is directly related to the monthly cycle.

Here are some of the references for you to look up for yourself:
Exo 2:2, Deut 21:13, Deut 33:14, 1 Kings 6:37, 1 Kings 8:2, 2 Kings 15:13, Zec 11:8, Job 3:6, Job 7:3, Job 39:2 and Psalm 104:19.

These Scriptural references also disprove any idea of a Solar Enoch calendar.

So now we know how the months and the years work and when the start of a new month and year are. Now all we need to do is find out how the days and weeks work.

When is the start of a new day?

Therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath – for that Sabbath was a high one – the Yehuḏim (Pharisees) asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they be taken away” (John 19:31)

Y’hoshua was put on the torture stake during the day time, while the sun was shining. Why did the Yehudim (Pharisees) want to have their legs broken? Because it was the day before their “High Sabbath” and that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath. Now they broke their legs so that they could die quicker, before sunset, as that is when the Sabbath begins! If the Sabbath only started at sunrise, then there would be no need to break their legs, as they would have had all night to die, which is more than enough time!

Here is just one of the many examples in the Scriptures and Brit Chadashah that shows us that the start of a new day is at the going down of the Sun. We can even see this to be true in the very beginning of the Scriptures.

And Elohim called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day” (Gen 1:5). Notice here that the evening is mentioned before morning in regards to explaining the first day. If you read further, the same is true for all the days too.

Now many people will argue that the Hebrew word “yom” which means day, only refers to the day time, as in the time when the Sun is shining, and does not include the evening. This is not true. Although it does refer to the day time in many places it, however, does not refer to it all the time. The Hebrew word “yom” is used for 3 different purposes. Firstly it refers to the day time, secondly, it refers to a Scriptural day, which includes the evening (24 hours) and thirdly, it refers to a prophetic day. So the argument that when the Scriptures use the word “yom” that it is speaking only of the “day time” (12 hours) is not true and the person arguing this point does not have much knowledge in the Hebrew language or culture at all.

So what about the weeks and the Sabbath?

This is an interesting subject and there are many false teachings regarding this topic, so I am going to spend the most time here explaining to you what is right concerning this topic. The Christian church claims that the Sabbath is on the Sunday, but they admit that Sunday is the 1st day and not the 7th day, and that they moved it themselves. The other false teaching is that the new moon determines when the start of the new week is. This theory is called the lunar Sabbath theory.

Firstly, let us see what the Scriptures teach us about the week and the Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart. Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days יהוה (YHWH) made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore יהוה (YHWH) blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart” (Exodus 20:8-11). The only days spoken of are six days of work and a seventh day of rest.

Now there are many places throughout the Scriptures that teach us to keep the Seventh Day as a rest day (Sabbath). But can we prove, using only the Scriptures, which day is the seventh day, in our modern time? It is actually impossible to do so. But then, how can we know for sure which day is the correct Seventh Day, or the correct Sabbath?

For us to know what the correct day is to keep the Sabbath, then we need to not only use the Scriptures, but also historic evidence too. We do not need to go any further back from the time of the Messiah (about 2000 years ago). There is so much evidence available that proves, without a doubt, which day is the Sabbath day. If we know when the Sabbath day is, then we know when all the other days of the week are.

Now the Messiah Yehoshua kept the same Sabbath as the rest of the Jews. This means that even the Pharisees kept the same day as the day of rest as the Messiah did. In fact, there is not one Jewish or Hebrew group that disagrees on when the Sabbath is to be kept, and there are no records of them ever disagreeing on this subject. We can see from Scripture that the Messiah did in fact keep the same Sabbath day as the rest of the Jews, “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” (Luke 4:16)

We also know that the Apostles and even Paul himself kept the same Sabbath as the rest of the Jews, “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2)

So the question is then, whether or not there are any first century eyewitnesses that may enlighten us as to when the Jews of that time kept the Sabbath. To find a clear answer to this question, we will examine the various Roman Historians and writers of that period.

The truth is that Jews didn't want the Set-Apart Sabbath to be associated with "Saturn," an idol that had nothing to do with Judaism. The name "Saturday/Day of Saturn" originated with the pagans, not with the Jews. The Jews repeatedly and unequivocally refer to the seventh day of the week as "the Sabbath." 

Examining the records of Roman historians and other writers can be helpful in determining when the Sabbath was kept and is still to be kept today.

For this reason, we can look into the writings of Roman historians and other writers to see if the Romans associated the Jewish Sabbath with their "Saturday/Day of Saturn." If they did associate the Sabbath with their Day of Saturn in the first century or before, this would be undeniable evidence that the Jewish week and the Roman week were both kept on the same recurring weekly cycle.  

As we will see in this section, there is no doubt that Roman historians and other writers explicitly and repeatedly consider the timing of Jewish Sabbath keeping to be linked with the seventh day of the Roman week, which was a repeating seven day cycle, independent of the moon phases. 
70 - 84 CE (AD)
Frontinus, a Roman Soldier who lived from c. 40 CE to 103 CE, wrote book on military strategy called Strategematicon in 84 A.D. In it, he writes:
"The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business." Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17.  

The original Latin version of this book has "Saturnis" for Saturn, confirming that the Romans associated the Sabbath day with their "day of Saturn" which is on the seventh day of the week. 

Since this book was written a mere 14 years after Vespasian's (Titus') destruction of Jerusalem, this is obviously very strong historical evidence directly from a first century eyewitness, tying in the Sabbath with the recurring seven day cycle of the Romans.
63 BCE - 229 CE
Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian who lived from ca. 155 to 229 CE, using the historical annals of the Roman empire, wrote about 3 battles which the Roman empire had with the Jews. 

The first battle was during a time when the Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, two brothers who were the offspring of the Maccabees, were engaged in a dispute over who would rule. The Romans, through the actions of Pompey, came in and settled the dispute, siding with Hyrcanus. While speaking of Pompey's battle, the Sabbath is mentioned.
The setting is 63 BCE
"Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty.
For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it
As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall
The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously. 
Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense
, and all the wealth was plundered.
The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away." Cassius Dio Roman History 37.16.1-4 

So the Romans took advantage of the fact that the Jews would not work on the Sabbath. When was the Sabbath? Again, the weekly Sabbath coincides with the Roman "day of Saturn." 

The second battle listed by Cassius Dio occurred in 36 BCE, is the one that resulted in the very first King Herod coming to power: 

"The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves.
The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called the day of Saturn.
And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people.
These people Antony entrusted to a certain Herod to govern; but Antigonus he bound to a cross and flogged,— a punishment no other king had suffered at the hands of the Romans,— and afterwards slew him." Cassius Dio Roman History 49.22.4-6

Note that Cassius Dio reports the Jews as keeping "customary rites" at the temple on "the day even then called Day of Saturn." This indicates that the Sabbath wasn't only called the "Day of Saturn" during his lifetime, but it was called the "Day of Saturn" back in 36 BCE, well before Yehoshua was born in Bethlehem.

Next, he records that the 70 CE Jerusalem destruction was on the Sabbath, which he once again calls the "day of Saturn:" 
70 - 229 CE
Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most.
From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline.
In consequence of this success both generals received the title of imperator, but neither got that of Judaïcus, although all the other honours that were fitting on the occasion of so magnificent a victory, including triumphal arches, were voted to them. Cassius Dio Roman History 65.7.2

So his report is that the Jews kept the Sabbath on the "day of Saturn" from 63 BCE up until his day, no later than 229 CE. His report also agrees with Frontinus' account of the 70 CE battle. 
c. 100 CE
The Historian Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56CE – ca. 117CE), after suggesting that Jews kept the Sabbath out of laziness, also associated the Sabbath with the Roman idol, Saturn: 
They are said to have devoted the seventh day to rest, because that day brought an end to their troubles. Later, finding idleness alluring, they gave up the seventh year as well to sloth. 
Others maintain that they do this in honor of Saturn
; either because their religious principles are derived from the Idaei, who are supposed to have been driven out with Saturn and become the ancestors of the Jewish people; or else because, of the seven constellations which govern the lives of men, the star of Saturn moves in the topmost orbit and exercises peculiar influence, and also because most of the heavenly bodies move round their courses in multiples of seven. From The Histories, Book V

Again, the fact that a pagan associated Sabbath keeping with Saturn demonstrates that the Roman week's day of Saturn (Satur-day) was concurrent with what the Almighty calls the Sabbath day. Tacitus is an eyewitness from the first century who has no "axe to grind" in regards to when the Sabbath should be observed. He wrote this a mere 30 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  

So we can clearly see that the same Sabbath that the Messiah kept is associated with the “day of Saturn” or Saturday. This does in no way mean that we keep a Saturday Sabbath, but rather that the Roman Saturday falls on the same day as the Scriptural Sabbath.

Now that we know that Yehoshua the Messiah kept the Sabbath on the same day as the Pharisees and the rest of the Jewish people. History proves to us that the Jews of today keep the exact same 7th day Sabbath as the Messiah did 2000 years ago. To think otherwise is evil and is ignoring these proofs.

You see, all Jewish people, even many who did not learn of other calendars, who were scattered all around the world, ALL agreed on when the Sabbath was when they eventually were able to make contact with other Jews because of the advance of technology. There were none that disagreed on when the Sabbath was.

Another source that we can use is that of the Muslim calendar, which is about 3,000 years old, where they faithfully kept the day before the Sabbath as their "holy day", and look, what day do they keep today? It is still the same today as it was 3,000 years ago.

And lastly, we have the faithful Christian (Roman) calendar that has preserved the weekly cycle from the time of the Messiah up until this very day.

I truly hope this helps those who are new to this and found this article to be of use. I also hope that it opens the eyes of those who were deceived by the many false teaching that are floating around.

Shalom to all who read this

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Armor of Elohim

Many people have heard the story or passage about “the armor of God”, but how many people really understand what it means and what the application of the armor is? It has become a “buzz word” among the Christians without the actual knowledge or application of what is being taught.

Once a person turns to the faith and belief of the Messiah יהושע (Yehoshua), that person joins a battle field where there are many attacks from the enemy. Satan (the adversary) and all his evil forces are the enemy that constantly tries to destroy anyone who turns to follow the government and rule of the Almighty.

There are also a few misconceptions about the armor of Elohim, for instance, it is taught that you must daily put on the armor of Elohim. But I ask you, where does it say daily, or everyday? It just says put it on. Are you not also in need of the armor at all times, even while you sleep? Another thing is that we all need to put on the ENTIRE armor, otherwise it is of no use at all. One piece of the armor cannot function without the others. We will get into that in more detail as we go through this article.

Let us now work through the passage where Shaul teaches about the armor of Elohim:

Put on the complete armor of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil (Accuser).” (Eph 6:11). Here it is very clear that the complete armor is needed in order to stand against whatever the devil has to give. If you do not have the complete armor on, the rest of the armor is of no use and does not function, you cannot have one piece of armor on without the rest, it is a package deal. The Accuser will always find an opening and will always attack you there at your weakest point. That is why the entire armor is needed to stand against his attacks.

Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies.” (Eph 6:12). So we do not fight one another, but rather the false teachings and false spirits that lead and deceive others. If we all wore the armor of Elohim, then we would all stand together on the same team in total agreement with one another. There are, however, only a very few that truly wear the armor of Elohim, and these people are attacked even by flesh and blood. This is only due to the fact that those attacking are being lead by the evil spiritual forces. By wearing the full armor of Elohim, we will be able to stand up against everyone and everything.

Because of this, take up the complete armor of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph 6:13). Once again, Shaul teaches the importance to wear the FULL armor of Elohim. If we do not have the full armor on, then we will not be able to stand in the “wicked day.” What day is this “wicked day?” it is the day of judgment where we are going to stand in front of the Almighty, and the devil (Accuser) is going to accuse us of all terrible things. Unless you are wearing the full armor of Elohim, you will fall to his accusations and be guilty of sin. If, however, you are clothed with the full armor of Elohim, you will be able to stand up against any accusation that the Accuser may give.

Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (Eph 6:14). Here we start to learn what the armor of Elohim is. The first item of the armor that is mentioned is the “waist girdle” or “belt” of TRUTH. Truth is the opposite of lies and falsehood. Truth is based upon facts and evidence. Truth is what comes out of the mouth of the Almighty, it is what is written. Any writing that changes the original truth is considered false. That is why it is so important to go back to the original writings, rather than relying on the many false translations that we know as Bibles today. The “waist girdle” is what holds your sword, without truth, you cannot have any weapon to fight or defend yourself with.

The second piece of armor mentioned in this verse is the breastplate of righteousness. Without righteousness, you do not have a breastplate to protect your vital organs, like your lungs and heart. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. It is the obedience of the Instruction of the Almighty which is His Torah, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?” (Rom 6:16). This next verse explains that everyone that does not do righteousness, that is keeping the Torah of YHWH, is not of the children of the Almighty but are rather the children of the devil. To be part of the children of the Almighty, you have to live by His rules, which is His Word also known as the Torah. “In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone not doing righteousness is not of Elohim, neither the one not loving his brother” (1 John 3:10)

If you do not live righteously, then you do not have a breastplate to protect your vital organs in the Day of Judgment and the Accuser will give you up to death in that Day of Judgment.Having to stand in the wicked day can also mean the day/days that believers are attacked, and one's enemies devise and carry out evil plans against you, so that we do not fall and turn away from Elohim and His ways. These are also to do with schemes of the devil.

and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;” (Eph 6:15). The Scriptures indicate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Good News originated at the very beginning of time. The True “gospel” has always incorporated the Almighty’s Torah (instruction in righteousness) in building a relationship between YHWH and humankind. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you, and cause you to live by my Torah, and ye shall keep my statutes and judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Here we clearly see the basis of the Good News, that YHWH Himself shows favor and mercy to His people who will live according to His Word. The Good News is the revelation of YHWH’s Eternal Favor (grace) that saves and empowers His people to be able to stop transgressing (breaking Torah) against Him. Torah is YHWH’s blueprint for moral, righteous living. To attempt to annul Torah is to teach a different “gospel” than what the Talmidim (disciples) and Shlichim (Apostles) originally taught.

False gospels preach that Y’hoshua or “Jesus” is “the gospel” and/or that belief alone in Y’hoshua brings salvation. However, Adam and Chawwah (Eve) “got saved” long before Y’hoshua came to earth, because YHWH is Salvation. Y’hoshua is the door to salvation but belief in his atoning blood is utterly futile without being “re-born” spiritually and keeping His Father’s Commandments (becoming Set Apart). Even the demons believe in YHWH and the fact that there is only One Elohim; but demons are certainly not Set Apart unto YHWH, and therefore belief in itself without a righteous lifestyle is simply false religion. The false gospel has removed the TERMS & CONDITIONS of salvation, covenant and atonement and replaced them with a cerebral belief system or Christian religious label (identity); whereas the Renewed Covenant demands a complete change of lifestyle once Torah (instruction in righteousness) is written upon the heart.

Increased popularity of a false gospel will in no way make it acceptable to YHWH or His Mashiyach. Even if every soul on earth put their faith in a false gospel, it would not cause YHWH to change His Word to comply with man’s opinion. YHWH is His Word and His Promise and He cannot change Who He is! The false gospel is a theology that pits Y’hoshua against the Word of YHWH (Torah). Those who lead the charge of the false gospel adamantly speak against the terms and conditions of the Renewed Covenant. The Good News is that YHWH our Creator is a Loving, Merciful and Forgiving Father, which is why “the sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart.” This Love of the Father is clearly demonstrated in Y’hoshua haMashiyach as an offering for all souls to turn to YHWH, to enter His Kingdom and turn away from transgression of His Word (Torah).

above all, having taken up the shield of belief with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one.” (Eph 6:16). The shield of Belief is spoken of as “above all.” This is because none of the rest of the armor is of any use without belief. If you have truth and not belief, then the truth is of no use, just as the others are of no use either. It is exactly the same as not being able to have belief without truth and works. “So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead” (Ya’akov/James 2:17). Once again, it is a package deal, it cannot function without the other pieces of the armor, and without the shield of belief/faith, none of the other armor is of any use. This shield stops any fiery attacks that the wicked one may shoot at you. If you do not have belief, then you will not be able to stand against any attacks and will fall.

Take also the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Elohim,” (Eph 6:17). Now this is an interesting verse that has a specific aspect that many people do not understand. All Christians agree that the sword is the Word of the Almighty, but what they do not understand is what exactly the Word of the Almighty is. Let us ask ourselves some questions, “Who wrote this letter? When was it written? and what existed as the Word of the Almighty in that time?” Let us now answer these questions. The letter to the Ephesians was written by Shaul (Paul). It was written in the time of early to mid 60’s AD. Now the key is to what was available in that time as the Word of the Almighty. One thing to notice is that the “New Testament” was not written or compiled yet and it certainly was not considered to be the Word of the Almighty. A lot of it had not even been written yet as most of it was mere letters sent from one believer to other believers. Ephesians was even written before some of the Gospels were.

So what was and still is the Word of the Almighty that Shaul and all the other disciples always referred to? It is the Tanakh (Old Testament) of course, the Tanakh is the Word of the Almighty and always will be as it is eternal. Shaul and many of the disciples studied and referenced the Tanakh in their letters and Gospels too. The Messiah Yehoshua quoted the Tanakh repeatedly and every time He said, “it is written…” so that we can know for certain that it comes from the Word of the Almighty which is the Tanakh.

The Word of our beloved Creator is also called Scripture. The Tanakh is the only thing that is or can be considered as Scripture. The “New Testament” is not the Word of the Almighty. But rather 4 witnesses to the happenings of the Messiah and also a collection of letters, written from believers to other believers who all followed the Scriptures (Tanakh). Let us see, for example, what one believer wrote in his letter to the other believers, “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Now you have to once again remember that the “New Testament” did not exist at the time of the writing of this letter, and that the Scripture being referenced here is the Tanakh. That proves that the Tanakh is the one and only writing that is considered the Word of the Almighty and the only thing that is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight and for instruction in righteousness. It is also our only guide to show us what good works are.

It is sad that the Church teaches its followers that it is an Old Testament and yet have no facts to support this evil thought. It is the Living Word of the Eternal Creator and Almighty YHWH. The term “New Testament” is also an evil man made title that has no facts to support it. The correct term is “brit chadashah” which means “Renewed Covenant,” NOT “new”. The term “New” implies that the other is “Old” which is not true but rather a false teaching. The Messiah did not bring a New Law, He came to renew the One perfect law that is eternal and taught us how to obey it. He also does not have any authority to change even one little part of the law at all.

There are many people who claim that the Tanakh is a curse and imperfect that had to be done away with and replaced by something better by the Messiah. Now consider what they are saying… they are saying that the Word of the Almighty, that even teaches us of the Messiah, is a curse and imperfect… would you like to say that to His face one day when you stand before Him? It is a perverse twisting of Scripture to think that the Word of the Almighty is in any way not perfect.

Now to get to the helmet of salvation/deliverance, the verse just says that you need to also take it. Now keep in mind that salvation is not possible without belief, truth, righteousness and the Good News combined, which are all necessary before you can wear the helmet of deliverance. What use is a helmet without a breastplate and a shield and a sword and a girdle to hold your sword? The meaning of our beloved Messiah Yehoshua's Name is, "YHWH is our salvation."

praying at all times, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the set-apart ones” (Eph 6:18). Here we can see that the armor is not only spiritual, but physical too. Prayer is a physical act which needs to be done in the spirit. Righteousness comes from physical acts, truth comes from a physical studying of the Word of the Almighty and without the study of His Word, then the Sword is useless to you, and without any of these, belief is not possible as belief comes from the study of the Torah.

The term, “set-apart ones” is speaking of the believers in the Messiah who guard to do the Word of the Almighty. They are those who are set-apart from this world. You cannot be set-apart and still look like the world and do the things of this world. We need to look like and do the things of the Messiah, we need to walk in His footsteps and live like He lived, hating everything that is unrighteous and doing the Word of His Father in heaven. “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

There is only One Name for the Messiah.

I have decided to write this article because of so many people who ignorantly claim that their pronunciation of the Name of the Messiah is true, and yet, they do not consider any of the facts or evidence available. These people go by their own opinions and speculations without any knowledge of the Hebrew language. The true Name of the Messiah is based only on facts and evidence and NOT on opinions whatsoever.

One false opinion that I recently heard is that no one knows for certain what the true pronunciation of the Name of the Messiah is. This opinion is due to pure ignorance. How can the Messiah say that He came to restore the Name of His Father, and then ignorant people claim that we do not even know the Messiah’s Name. It just does not make any sense.  

Contrary to Christian beliefs, the Name of the Messiah is NOT “Jesus”. I have covered this issue in another article explaining this. You can go to the article by clicking on the name “Jesus”.

Now contrary to the Messy-anic belief, the names “Yashua”, “Yahushua”, “Yeshua”, “Yahusha”, “Yasha”, “Yahuw”, “Yehosha” and “Yahuwshua” are all incorrect and are NOT the names of the Messiah. This article will also prove all these to be incorrect too.

Let us start off with some Hebrew grammar rules.

With just a little knowledge of Hebrew grammar, you can know that many of the above pronunciations are absolutely impossible. We are going to have a quick look at a specific Hebrew grammar rule, and then apply it to the above names and see if they are legit or not.

Many Messy-anic leaders like to think that names, especially the Name of the Messiah, must start with either “Yah” or “Yahu.” These people probably mean well but do not have any knowledge of the language of the Almighty. They then teach thousands of their follower’s the false pronunciations because of their own ignorance on the subject. They base their teachings upon their own opinions or what they have learned from other ignorant teachers, rather than upon facts. Let us now get to the facts and see what the Hebrew grammar teaches us.

A composite word or name in Hebrew is made up of two words that are joined together to create a single word or name. The Hebrew language teaches us that the suffix (the end of the word) ALWAYS keeps its original form and pronunciation. However, the prefix (which is the beginning part of the word) ALWAYS shortens its syllables. There are no exceptions to this rule at all.

Now let us have a look at the practical side to this rule.

If we put “Yahu” in the front of a name, then we get the following:
Yahu + Nathan = Yehonathan (יהונתן) (which means, “YHWH has given”) (Jonathan in the KJV)
Yahu + yada = Yehoyada (יהוידע) (which means, “YHWH knows”) (Jehoiada in the KJV)

Yahu + shaphat = Yehoshaphat (יהושׁפט) (which means, “YHWH has judged”) (Jehoshaphat)

You can see that whenever the Name of the Almighty gets put in the front of a name, as Yahu, then its syllables ALWAYS shorten to become, “Yeho….” just as the Hebrew language rules teach us.

But if we now put the Name, “Yahu” at the end of a composite name or word, then we get the following:
Yasha + Yahu = Yeshayahu (ישׁעיהוּ) (which means, “YHWH has saved”) (Isaiah in the KJV)
Yaram + Yahu = Yirmeyahu (ירמיהוּ) (which means, “whom YHWH has appointed”) (Jeremiah in the KJV)
Banah +Yahu   = Benayahu (בּניהוּ) (which means, “YHWH has built”) (Benaiah in the KJV)
Please take note that when the prefix "Yahu" changes to Yeho THE MEANING DOES NOT CHANGE. It is only the syllable sounds that do. The meaning STAYS THE SAME.

Here we can see, once again, that the prefix (beginning of the word) always shortens its vowels as the Hebrew language demands (which is even evident in the KJV Bible), but the suffix (end of the word) ALWAYS retains its original form and pronunciation. Keith Johnson just happens to forget to share this piece information in His book on the Name of the Almighty, supporting the false pronunciation of “Yehovah”, but I will cover this in another article in the future.

Now I challenge everyone to go and research this for yourselves and try find even one case or name that does not work according to this Hebrew grammatical rule. There are many more examples of the names of people in the Scriptures that prove this to be true, I only picked a few to give a practical example.

So as you can see, the name (yud hey waw shin ayin) cannot be pronounced with the beginning of the name as “Yahu…” as its syllables must be shortened when joined to another word. So all the supposed pronunciations that start with “Yahu…” or “Yah…” are NOT correct according to the language of the Almighty. This disqualifies the majority of the pronunciations mentioned above. Anyone claiming that the name of the Messiah starts with “Yahu...” or “Yah….” Is ignorant in this subject and does not know what he or she is talking about.

Now for the most common pronunciation, “Yeshua”

Although the name Yoshua is a shortened form of the correct Name of the Messiah, it is not His full Name. Yeshua is used 78 times in the Tanakh and is the passive participle of ‘yasha’ (save or savior), which is used 205 times. “I have waited for your yeshua (salvation, deliverance), O YHWH” (Gen 49:18). Yeshua means “salvation” or “deliverance” it is however NOT the Name of the Messiah.

The Messiah comes in His Fathers Name. The question therefore is, “where is the Name of YHWH in the name Yeshua?” It is not there, and this point alone disqualifies the name “Yeshua” as being the Name of the Messiah. Although the Messiah did come to save and deliver us, His Name is much more than that.

So what then is the Name of the Messiah?

Let us start off with some evidence given to us by the Greek Septuagint LXX and the Greek manuscripts of the Brit Chadashah (New Testement or more correctly, Renewed Covenant). In the Greek New Testament, the Name of the Messiah is “Iesous”, which is translated as “Jesus” in the English bibles.

Now we find the name “Iesous” which is the exact same name that was used for the name of the Messiah in the Greek Old Testament called the Septuagint LXX too. The name of Joshua son of Nun was also translated as “Iesous” in the Septuagint LXX. This is because he has exactly the same name as the Messiah and was even a Messiah (saviour) in his own right.

Because of this reason, it is easy to know what the Name of the Messiah is. His Name has never been hidden at all. It also fits all the requirements for the Name of the Messiah. It has the Name of His Father the Almighty in it combined with the word meaning “saves”.

Let us go have a look at the name of Joshua in the Hebrew Tanakh. I have copied and pasted it here directly out of the Hebrew Tanakh and it is R§[]D¥I and is pronounced “Yehoshua” or “Y’hoshua”. The Name “Yehoshua” means, “YHWH is salvation”

Yehoshua is the Name of the Messiah, there is no other Name that is correct.

What then about “Yehosha” or “Yahusha” instead of “Yehoshua”?

Many people believe that the name of the Messiah ends with a “…sha” instead of “…shua”. This is because they say that it ends with a “shin ayin” and not a “shin waw ayin”. They say that the “waw” is necessary to give the “u” sound in “…shUa”. This however could not be further from the truth.

If you ever come into contact with a Hebrew magazine or newspaper, the first thing that you will notice is that there are no Masoretic markings in them whatsoever. This is because it is not necessary for native Hebrew speaking people to understand it. To understand it is actually a relatively simple process. Without the Masoretic markings, certain words have the same letters, but have a different pronunciation and even a different meaning.

In order to know what the word is without having the Masoretic markings, you have to read it in the context of the sentence or even paragraph. Let me give you an example:

If I give you the word “cr”, the first word that probably comes to mind is “car”. However, if I give you a sentence to put that same word into, for instance, “I have to take cr of my grandmother” then we can know for certain that the “cr” is the word “care” and not “car”.

Now when a Hebrew speaking person comes across the Hebrew word יהושׁע, they immediately know that it is pronounced “Yehoshua” and NOT as “Yehosha” or “Yahusha”. This is because there is no need for a “waw” for the “u” sound in Hebrew.

Let us look at the photo above which we find in the Hebrew Sh’mot/Exodus 1:22. we find the word that is circled (tashlichuhu). Notice that there are two ‘u’ sounds “…..chuhu” but there is only one ‘waw’ at the end of the word giving the ‘u’ sound for only the final letter. Where then does the first ‘u’ sound come from? If you take away the Massoretic markings, how would you pronounce the word? (It cannot be pronounced “tashlichhu”)

In this second photo in which we find in Sh’mot/Exodus 3:3 in the Hebrew Tanakh, is the word “asurah.” Once again, there is the ‘u’ sound but no ‘waw.’ We have to again ask ourselves how would we pronounce it if the Massoretic markings were not there. We would then try to pronounce it as "asrah" but that would be totally incorrect and would either change the meaning of the word or there would be no such ronunciation of the word in Hebrew. So there has to be a vocal sound inserted when speaking it out.

Another thing to remember is that the name of the Messiah has a specific meaning. It means YHWH saves, or YHWH is our salvation. You cannot get this meaning from Yehosha or Yahusha as the ending “…..sha” does not have any meaning and there is no such word in Hebrew, and certainly does not mean save(s).

The end part of the name of the Messiah “…shua” can be spelled with the (shin waw ayin) but can also be spelled with the two letters (shin ayin) without the ‘waw’ but with the added “qubbuts” under the ‘shin’, as you can see in the photo provided below that was taken of page 172 of the Benjamin Davidson Hebrew Lexicon. It still retains the “…shua” sound.

So it is very clear that the Name of the Messiah does NOT end with, “….sha”. Those people who teach this false pronunciation are once again ignorant of the Hebrew language and do not have any knowledge on this topic. Also, these people do not read the Hebrew Torah at all. If they did, then they would have noticed that the name of Joshua is also spelled with "yud hey vav shin vav ayin" in Deut 3:21. I would love to see how they explain this one.

Now I need to put a note here that the name can also be shortened. Yeho... becomes Yo according to Hebrew grammar. So the shortened version of his name is Yoshua. Yeshua is a verb which means "salvation". Yeshua is also the Aramaic form of his name.

So the correct pronunciation of the name of the Messiah is undoubtedly Yehoshua, or Y’hoshua, if we stick to the facts, rules and regulations of the language of the Almighty and do not use our own opinions and speculations. It cannot ever be Yahushua or Yahusha.

Yehoshua is the Messiah

Friday, March 2, 2012

Did the Almighty change His Law?

What is the function of a law? It is to govern a group of people so that they may adhere to the rules of a ruler and to make sure that everyone lives and treats their fellow being in the way that is desired by that ruler. Whoever breaks the specific law gets punished, put in prison or even gets a death penalty. Now the Almighty gave a specific law for those who follow Him. YHWH is the melech haolam (king of the universe). Everything in nature abides by His Law, as well as those following Him. Anyone who breaks His Law, WILL be punished or even put to death. It may not happen right at this moment, but it certainly WILL happen.

Now many teach that we do not have to follow His Law. Some even teach that His Law has been done away with, and some even teach that the Almighty has changed His Law. These people that teach these things are either out to create a following in order to make money by deceiving people, or they themselves are deceived and teaching others what they believe to be true. But the fact stands that they are teaching falsehood. The Law of the Most High is eternal, never ending. If His Law has been done away with, or changed, then the scientific laws would also have to change or be done away with. But as we can see, Science is still alive and well.

When Y’hoshua said “I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it”. Here the Christian church teaches that by “fulfilling” the law, he actually cancelled it. Nothing could be further from the truth than that statement.  Hebrews use many idioms in their communication with one another. The scriptures are full of Hebrew idioms.  At the time when Y’hoshua walked the earth, whenever someone taught something against the Torah, they would say that person is “destroying the law”.  “Fulfilling the law” meant to DO and OBEY the law. That is what Y’hoshua was saying, that he is obedient to the law and that they were not understanding exactly who he is.

The only thing that has changed are the people. They have decided to ignore the Law of the Almighty and create their own laws, laws that are easy and cater to their fleshly lusts and enjoyments. The fact of the matter is that there are only two laws, if you do not abide by the one, then you are following the other one. The two laws are, “the Law of the Almighty” which is His Torah which leads to life, and “the Law of sin” which is Satan’s law which is the opposite of the Torah and leads to death. The motto of the church of Satan, founded by Anton LeVey, is “Do what thou wilt”, meaning that you can do as you please, not having to keep the Torah of the Most High.

The Law of the Almighty is His Word, also known as Scripture. Let us have a look at what we are taught in Scripture:

יהושע (Yehoshua) Messiah is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). Here we can see that the Messiah never changes. He existed from before the world was created and He will continue to remain after everything has come to an end. But we are speaking of the Law of the Almighty, the Father of the Messiah here. Let us read another verse then, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). It is clear that they are of the same character and the same mind. If the Messiah differed in even the slightest opinion to His Father, then He would not have been able to say that they are the same.

Let us then see what the Messiah says about the Torah of His Father, “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done” (Mat 5:18). Has all been done? If not, where is the Torah now? And what or who is it applicable to? Well every tree and animal and planet and ocean and scientific law are governed by the Torah of YHWH. 

There are many things that the Almighty hates. Those that desire to do the Will of the Almighty, also have to hate these same things. If we do not utterly loath these things that the Most High hates, then that is a very clear indication that we do not follow Him, but rather do the things we desire to do. One of these things that is an abomination to the Almighty is idolatry. Let us have a closer look.

You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Exodus 20:4-5) (Deut 5:8-9). Here it is clearly written in the Ten Commandments that those who make a carved image or anything of the sort will be punished. Those who do are those who hate the Almighty. One of these carved images that comes to mind is the “cross”. Now what happens to those who hate the Almighty and have carved images? Let us read to find out, ”but repaying those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He does not delay to do so with him who hates Him, He repays him to his face” (Deut 7:10)

Is something that the Almighty once hated, now all of a sudden, become acceptable to Him? Is He not the same today as he was 6000 years ago?

I have heard many people, who have some dodgy images and carvings etc, say that they do not pray to them or worship them in any way, but only have it in their house as an ornament or something nice to look at. But what does the Word of the Almighty say? “And do not bring an abomination into your house, lest you be accursed like it. Utterly loathe it and utterly hate it, for it is accursed” (Deut 7:26). It is clearly written that we too have to hate and loath it and not allow it into our homes. Once again the cross comes to mind, as well as African masks and even pretty carvings of animals, like eagles etc.

Idolatry is not something that is new, it was very rampant from long before the nation of Yisrael even existed. The entire world was wiped out, except for 8 people (Noah and his family) when the world was flooded because of idolatry. Now when the nation of Yisrael were going to take residency of their promised land, they were to destroy all the nations that lived there before them. This is so that they do not learn to do as the other nations did as they were all idolaters. Let us read what the Law of the Most High taught the Israelites and also teaches us now, “When יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too. Do not do so to יהוה (YHWH) your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה (YHWH) hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones” (Deut 12:29-31). This, once again, clearly teaches us that we are not to learn the ways of the pagans. We cannot serve the Almighty as the pagans serve their own deities, it is an abomination to the Most High and He hates it. Things like Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, January first new years day and even birthdays celebrations all originate from paganism and is an abomination.

So it is very clear that we need to follow the Almighty using His Instructions (Torah) and not learn how the rest of the world (pagans) worship their deities.

Is the statement “love the sinner but not the sin” a valid statement?

This statement of “love the sinner but not the sin” is used many times by Christians who try and shift the blame from themselves or others when they commit sin. But my question is always, “where is that written?” there is no such statement in the entire Scriptures. The sinner is the one committing the sin and is therefore guilty of committing that sin. If someone habitually commits such sins that are an abomination to the Almighty, then is that person not also an abomination? Let us see what is written,”The boasters do not stand before Your eyes; You hate all workers of wickedness” (Psalm 5:5). Here we can see that those who habitually commit these sins, are themselves wicked too and they are hated by the Almighty. This statement is confirmed by the following verse, “יהוה (YHWH) tries the righteous, But His being shall hate the wrong And the one who loves violence” (Psalm 11:5).

Even the followers of the Almighty, like King David, also hated those who were wicked. ”I have hated the assembly of evil-doers, And I do not sit with the wrong” (Psalm 26:5). We are not to fellowship with those who are sinners. If we do, they will cause us to stumble. Just like the Israelites had to destroy all the inhabitants of the land of Israel as they were taking occupancy, so that they do not learn as they do. So too must we not spend our time with those who are not followers of the Almighty as we will learn many things that they do and turn away from following the instruction of the Most High. We are to hate those who are habitually breaking the Torah of YHWH. ”I have hated those who observe lying vanities; But I trust in יהוה (YHWH)” (Psalm 31:6).

I could go on and on showing you all over Scripture that the Almighty and His followers hates sin and those habitually committing sin, ”You have loved righteousness and hated wrongness; Therefore Elohim, Your Elohim, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Psalm 45:7).

Here is another one, “You who love יהוה (YHWH), hate evil! He guards the lives of His kind ones, He delivers them out of the hand of the wrong” (Psalm 97:10). What then is evil? Anything that is a transgression of the Torah of YHWH is evil. The Almighty hates it when His Law is broken, and He labels it as evil. So if you love the Most High, then you will abstain from doing evil and rather continue to keep His Law. If you hate the Almighty, then you will not keep His Torah. ”I have hated falsehood and loathe it, Your Torah I have loved” (Psalm 119:163).

How many times have you heard the phrase that we need to, “fear the Almighty”? If I go to a church and ask ten different Christians what it means to fear the Almighty, I am sure to get ten different answers as this is not a topic that is really taught in the churches. Let us see what is written in the Scriptures, “The fear of יהוה (YHWH) is to hate evil. I have hated pride and arrogance, And the evil way, And the perverse mouth” (Proverbs 8:13). Here is the purist form of fearing YHWH the Almighty, to hate evil (which is the transgression of the Torah).

So has the Law of the Almighty changed?

For everyone who is practicing evil matters hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:20). Who decides what is evil or not? I am sure that almost everyone will agree that it is the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth. What we need to remember is that He is the same today as He was yesterday, and is the same as He was 4000 years ago too.

Now with this in mind, can the Almighty accept something now that used to be hated by Him and considered an abomination? Or can He now love someone that would have been hated before and called an abomination? Certainly not, The Almighty NEVER changes, He is always the same.

Did the Messiah bring a new law? If He did, I cannot find it. He came to do what is written in the Torah and taught us to do the same. If we are followers of the Messiah, then we will walk as He walked. “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). How is your walk? Does it look like the walk of the Messiah?

As you can clearly see, the Almighty YHWH hates sin and even those walking in sin. We can also clearly see that His Laws have not changed and are certainly not done away with. Those who are walking as the Messiah did are hated by the lawless ones and even persecuted and attacked by wicked people. “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens. Blessed are you when they reproach and persecute you, and falsely say every wicked word against you, for My sake. Rejoice and be glad, because your reward in the heavens is great. For in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mat 5:10-12).

So the time on this earth for those who love the Almighty might be a tough life, but those who endure to the end, WILL be saved. “And you shall be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved” (Mat 10:22). So do not lose hope, the Almighty will bring you gladness for your efforts, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Because of this, Elohim, Your Elohim, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Heb 1:9).

My prayer after writing this article is that people’ eyes be opened to the Truth and turn to follow what is pleasing in the eyes of the Most High and NOT what is evil in His eyes.

Let those who have the Creator as their ruler, all follow His rules.

Blessings and Shalom to all those reading this.