News Letter 5849-029
23rd day of the 6th month 5849 years after the creation of Adam
The 6th Month in the Fourth year of the third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences
August 31, 2013
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
Last Shabbat we had the great treat to meet a number of new brethren and introduce them to the Sabbatical Years. I have to say that those I meet now are more aware of the Sabbatical years and have been discussing them for a while now. So it is easier to share these truths with them. We had a great Shabbat.
While I was sharing about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, Joseph Farah of WND (World Net Daily) was doing an editorial on a subject that I had spoken of in one of my chapters on the Feast of Trumpets. When you go to read what he said, note in the book I said it was the Feast of Trumpets not Tabernacles as Mr. Farah states.
But I also want you all to note the many comments that were posted.
One of the themes of many of those comments goes like this.
“No man can know the Day or the Hour” there for Joseph Dumond’s entire book is a waste of time and he is a false prophet. No one can know when the Messiah is going to come back.
This is the viewpoint of many in the Christian community. A few weeks ago when I made a cold call on a local church to talk to them about the Sabbatical Years and the dangers in front of us, this was the very thing they said to me. “No Man can know the Day or the Hour and those who say they do are false prophets and we do not have time to talk to yous’.
I have not come across anything more frustrating than talking to those with a closed mind. Who do not know very much about the contents of their bibles yet the little they do know, out of context, is all they are willing to learn.
Those of you who are receiving this News Letter, over 11,000 of you, I suppose to be those who are wanting to learn and to test the things I say against the scriptures and to prove all things and see whether or not they are true.
With this News letter we are just one week away from the Feast of Trumpets and the start of the 10 Days of Awe. We are still in the 40 days of Repentance. I hope you all are checking yourself daily and changing.
Before we begin with this weeks teaching, I have two things I want to share. One is something we all need to repent of. The other is the current world affairs and how they fit into prophecy.
Two weeks ago I was shown a video that just made me sick to my stomach. We read the following in Genesis.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth. 27 And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold! I have given you every herb seeding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to every creeper on the earth which has in it a living soul every green plant is for food; and it was so. 31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Gen 2:7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward in Eden. And there He put the man whom He had formed.
Gen 2:15 And Jehovah God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Gen 2:19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every animal of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field. But there was not found a suitable helper for Adam.
We were created to take care of and have dominion over the animals of the earth. Here we are now 5849 years later and what is the outcome of our Yehovah given responsibilities?
I would ask you to now go and watch each of the following videos. Once you have done that then I want you to try, just try and go one day with out using anything plastic. See if you can do it. To our shame we, each one of us has contributed to the destruction of this earth. Of this beautiful blue jewel that hangs in the heaven.
This video is from Australia and shows you the harm that our plastic garbage is causing the animals we are to be taking care of. It is 12 minutes in length.
This next video is 3 minutes and is from Midway Island, which is 200 miles form the nearest continent. http://vimeo.com/25563376
This last one shows you how the plastic breaks down and then releases and absorbs more toxins, which are then eaten in the food chain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eM2GAQEaed0
Each of us is guilty in this. Each of us has thrown plastic on the ground and to the garbage man and where it goes you do not know nor care. Father Yehovah we have sinned in destroying this beautiful earth that you created and placed in our care.
On top of the garbage that each one of us creates and throws away we also had the massive Earthquake, which took place on March 11 of 2011. Now look at what is happening to the fish from the pacific area in August of 2013.
These next two videos are 2 minutes and 10 minutes and show you the Radiation fall out from The Japanese Tsunami.
We now need to speak to the events as they are unfolding in the Middle East. Many of those who last March, had to back away from their Daniel Timeline theory are now expressing new hopes in it again. Now basing it one the 2014 start date with the blood moons at Passover and Sukkot. These blood moons occur in 2014 and 2015 at Passover and Sukkot for 4 times in a row. A rare thing to witness.
Now we have Egypt on the verge of a civil war with the USA administration supporting the Muslim Brotherhood who have been ousted by the military.
When the military moved in to disband the Brother hood demonstrations it was the brotherhood who killed over 60 policemen. 27 of them in the Sinai were bound and executed. It was also the brotherhood who beat and shot those citizens who were trying to evacuate the areas the military were dispersing corralling those people in the middle between the two groups, using them as shields while they shoot at the Military.
On the other side of Israel is the Syrian war. Here again the USA has chosen to support the rebels who are reinforced by Al Queda mercenaries. I watched this week as one of these mercenary groups set up a roadblock and waved down 3 transport trucks on their way to pick up a load. They were interrogated and asked if they were Sunni in their beliefs. They answered wrong and were taken to the middle of the road and executed and then hung up on a stake for a warning to others. All of this was videoed and then set to rousing music, as if these cowards were some kind of hero for murdering in cold blood three civilians who got up and went to work that day like they had the past 15 years.
Then last week a gas attack took place and the world was in an uproar. I have a question. Is it worse to be killed by a bomb from the sky, or bullets by thugs or by gas from a bomb? In each case men and women and children are killed. Civilians. It does not matter.
IN each case the dead are still dead but those who have done it in each case break the Geneva convention on the murder of civilians. These non combatants are not to be butchered, and yet they are. But the murders on both sides walk away scot-free.
But the recent gas attack has ignited the world to come against the Syrian Government. The USA is threatening an attack and possibly one that would wipe out the Syrian Airforce and give the Rebels a huge helping hand at toppling President Al Assad.
This is the same USA military that has just had to close down large numbers of its own military and air forces due to budget restraints. This October they will be forced to once again slash military programs as they come to that wall in which they must pay down the debt.
How would they be able to support another war? Yes I know they only want to do a limited strike. But Russia is on the side of Al Assad. Russia and China have been the best of friends this past year with their military practicing together and both Russia and China have built up their military even as the USA down sizes theirs.
The News also tells us that Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region.
Brethren, while many are predicting the coming battle of Gog and Magog in this current crisis and they see this now as the last 3 ½ years of Daniels Timeline, I want to once again advise you that we are not in the days of the Great Tribulation yet. The current Christian understanding of Prophecy, which is then carried over into the Messianic version, is false and deceptive at best, to be used by Satan to deceive the whole world and if possible even the elect. YOU!
The Sabbatical and Jubilee years and the Fall Holy Days can teach you exactly when things will take place. They also show you when the Two Witnesses begin to do their work, which in the current crisis no one has mentioned the two witnesses. So where are they.
Then we read in the news about a senior Syrian official on Monday August 26, 2013, issued a first direct warning that if attacked, his country would retaliate against Israel.
And now we have to stop and consider what we wrote in the Prophecies of Abraham back in 2009. Pages 91-112.
One of the main teachings of Daniel 11;40-43 is missing from this situation. Or is it? Not to mention the two witnesses again.
Dan 11:40 And at the end-time, the king of the south shall butt at him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships. 41 And he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over. He shall also enter into the glorious land, and many shall be stumbled. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon. 42 And he shall stretch out his hand on the lands. And the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
That word for “butt” is H5055 naw-gakh’
A primitive root; to but with the horns; figuratively to war against: – gore, push (down, -ing).
In all the News reports I have yet to see one where it says the King of the South has attacked the King of the North, which then provokes this invasion from the North.
Syria has never been considered or mentioned to be that King of the South. Some say Iran is and yet the bible says Egypt is as you just read.
BUT……Are you aware that Germany and Israel are Allies now. Israel is one of the biggest receivers of German arms shipments. And that word butt does not say attack as I had previously thought. It says the King of the South wars with the King of the North. Europe did attack and destroy Libya. Ethiopia is also known biblically as Sudan who today is also allied with Iran. Are we about to witness the Prophecy of Daniel 11:40 with our very own eyes? Maybe. And if so then where are we in the chronological order of events? Only the Sabbatical and Jubilee years cycles reveal this to us.
So now you must decide if you’re going to go along with the crowd. Are we in the time of the Tribulation? Is Russia about to become the Gog and attack Israel? Where are the two witnesses? Is anyone attacking the European Union? And lets us not forget Hosea 5:5 which says the Israel and Judah stumble together. If Judah is the State of Israel and the Jews then who is Israel? In case you do not know Israel is the USA and UK and her commonwealth nations. So all of these must stumble together.
Hos 5:5 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face. So Israel and Ephraim shall fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.
Here is another news report from Israel about the potential fall out of any strike one Syria. As you read this report keep in mind what happened in Egypt President Mubarak was replaced and urged to step down by the USA. And you all know how that turned out.
‘If Assad Falls, Al-Qaeda Rises’
Mideast expert: If America intervenes in Syria – God protect us.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/29/2013, 10:46 PM
If the United States and other Western nations intervene in Syria, Israel will pay a heavy price – not because of immediate retaliation, but because of the nature of Middle East politics, an expert on Mideast affairs has warned.
“Bashar Assad made a huge mistake when he used chemical weapons… But on the other hand, if the West strikes him, G-d protect us,” Dr. David Bukay of Haifa University told Arutz Sheva.
“If the Sunni opposition defeats him, that means that next to us, on the Syrian border, will be Al-Qaeda loyalists,” he warned.
“We had 40 years of quiet. The Alawite Assad regime was wonderful,” he continued. “The Al-Qaeda alternative would be a disaster.”
Bukay, who has written on fundamentalist Islam and Arab political culture, told Arutz Sheva that attempts to overturn authoritarian leaders will, in many cases, just lead to violence.
“Everyone there [in Syria] is murdering everyone, it’s a terrible tragedy. But that’s exactly the nature of Islamist political culture… they reach a positive place only when there is a strong leader who can hit them on the head,” he argued. “Arab rulers have to use violence, because without violence, they cannot rule.”
Assad has warned the West that by supporting his opponents, it supports Al-Qaeda. “The West has paid heavily for funding Al-Qaeda in its early stages. Today it is doing the same in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price in the heart of Europe and the United States,” he told the state television channel Al-Ikhbariya.
Analyst Mark Langfan is among those who have questioned the argument that Assad is better than Al-Qaeda. In a recent op-ed for Arutz Sheva, Langfan noted that Assad himself assisted Al-Qaeda terrorists in the years before the rebellion in his country.
For now, Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria are firmly against Assad, and have even vowed revenge on the entire Alawite community for Assad’s actions.
Islamist rebel groups have also targeted Syria’s Kurdish minority, and have enraged moderate Syrians with actions such as the murder of a teenager for “blasphemy.”
IN order to address those skeptics who call me a false prophet because I state we can know the day and the season when the Messiah is to come, I am reaching back to an article I did in August 2008. http://www.sightedmoon.nl/?page_id=266
One of the great things I have enjoyed about my past articles is that when they are based on the truth of Torah I never have to change them.
Many have assumed I was trying to do all this in order to figure out when Yahshua was to return. This was not the case. I was simply telling you what the Jubilee cycles show us. My main emphasis is the very next curse of pestilence, but part of what the Jubilee cycles do show us is when the Messiah is to return. That is 2033 in the fall at the Feast of Trumpets.
Once they see this they all hold up their hands and say hold on Joe, because it says right here in Mathew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
And as soon as they quote this to me I know they are ignorant of the scriptures. If I say this and it makes you mad, I hope it makes you mad enough to read the rest of this article and see what scriptures I quote you.
Having just studied those things we have looked at in the past few months this is the most appropriate subject to now look at with just two months before the fall Feast Season.
So many false teachers use this scripture to get people to join their fellowship. They say that Jesus could come at any time. He could come today or tonight or even in the next few minutes. So you had better give you heart to Jesus now and walk down this sawdust trail and get saved. Or get born again right now because you do not know when He is going to come back.
These false teachers do this because they are ignorant of the law. They do not know the 10 commandments or understand the Holy Days or how to reckon them. Stop being deceived and begin to understand the truth of the bible.
I have for years, as a pet project, tried to calculate the return of the Messiah. When ever I would get some new information I would add it up with what I thought I knew. It has always held my interest. Many have tried to do calculations and have had endless theories, but who is correct? How can we ever figure out when He will return? But in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 is a line that has always said to me that we could know when.
Thessalonians 5:1-5?1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. (NKV though out. Cut Paste from Crosswalk.com)
We who are followers of Yahweh are to understand. We are not in the darkness as the rest of the world is. We were to be ready so as not to be surprised as if a thief had sneaked up on us.?In my studies over the years I have studied the Jubilee, and Land Rest Years. I studied the Feasts and what they meant in times past and what they mean today and what they mean in the future. I am still studying them for an even deeper meaning. I look at the sacrifices and the rituals that the priest performed. I have learned a great deal. As I began to understand these things, Ezekiel 33: 1 – 33 comes to mind.
Ezekiel 33: 1 – 33?1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ 7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.?Now let me say right up front I could be wrong. I have had no visions or dreams and no one has spoken to me from heaven. But what if I am right, and I don’t speak up? What if after, many die, it was up to me to speak up and I did not. Woe is me!
So I will speak up now and put my name on this document and risk the ridicule I will receive from my brethren and others. And maybe this will cause some to get ready and others to begin to study and learn and search out the scriptures. And maybe others still will laugh and carry on as if nothing has been said.
Right now some are already quoting Matthew 24. But read it carefully.
Matthew 24:32-51?32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In this passage our Messiah says a number of things, but most people stop at But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
They don’t read or they don’t grasp what is being said when He says “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” So now we are told to watch. We who are His sheep don’t know the hour. Do we now know the Day? And why can’t we know the hour?
He then says to us concerning the thief in the night, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Again we are told at an hour we do not expect. And again He does not say that we won’t know the day. But of the evil servant He says “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,”
He says the evil servant won’t know the day or the hour. WHY? Is He implying that the good servant will know the day?
I have already quoted Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 -But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.” Why did Paul not need to write to them concerning the times and season? What is he talking about? Paul is talking about the Holy Days that they kept in the appropriate seasons. They were keeping the Holy Days correctly.?So what does this mean? The Holy Days are shadow pictures of good things to come.
Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Hebrews 8: 4 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect
The Thessalonians were keeping the Holy Days correctly and they understood the meaning of each day. Each Holy Day represented a part of our Father’s plan for mankind. I think we all know this. But do we forget that the Sabbath years and the Jubilee Years are also shadow pictures, of good things to come.
The Evil servant and those who will not obey Yahweh and His Torah will not know the Day or the Season, because they won’t be keeping the Holy Days at the correct time or on the correct day, or even keeping them at all. The Good servants will have made themselves ready. Their garments for the wedding will have been washed white and pressed and laid aside ready to be put on at the exact hour.
We have just studied up to the end of the 3 ½ year period as shown to you on those charts. This is all laid out by the Jubilee cycles and an understanding of them. But the wedding does not yet take place. You will notice that there are yet five years from the Day of Atonement when Satan is locked away until the Wedding super at the Feast of Tabernacles. These five years is the time needed to prepare the bride after the great ordeal the earth has just gone through, The Great Tribulation.
Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ‘ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Matthew 25:14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Luke 12:22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Just a few notes before I get to my point;?Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.
Ps 132:9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your saints shout for joy.
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Re 6:11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Are you able to glean what is being shown to you in these verses? The oil of the lamps and the talents given to the three servants are the Holy Spirit. We are to be studying and learning all we can about the way of Yahweh. Some will be given much and others a little. Each of us determines how much more we gain of the Holy Spirit by our studies and applying those things we learn of this way of life, that we live. It is not just head knowledge. It is a way of living.
The white robe given in Revelation and the wedding garment are symbolic of righteousness.
And we have shown you in previous studies that Righteousness is defined in Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
We are to put on the righteousness of Yahweh. The Ten Commandments. And as we do this the Holy Spirit reveals more truths to us as we grow towards Yahweh. When we stop the Holy Spirit stops. If you do not have this righteousness, these Ten Commandments, as your way of living, then you will be the guy who gets thrown out and is gnashing his teeth.
Are you getting yourself ready? How much of the Holy Spirit have you gained? How worked up is the Spirit in you? Are you studying? Do you want to learn more each day? Or are you content to just watch the boob tube? It is up to you.
Notice how they all end; 14 For many are called, but few are chosen?; 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.?; 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
So what day are we talking about? It is the Feast of Trumpets. This is the day the Messiah is to return. This is the day Yahshua was born in 3 BC. Take the time to read Conjunction or Sighted Which at http://www.sightedmoon.nl/?page_id=22 Do some research and you’ll see I am correct on this point. And because it is the Feast of Trumpets, this is why we won’t know the exact hour or day. I’ll explain.
From all the research I have gathered, the Feast begins in the Seventh month or Tishri, and it begins when the new moon can first be seen in Jerusalem. This is Tishri 1 and the Feast of Trumpets. Once the new moon is spotted, at least two witnesses had to report to the Temple and tell the Guard who would go and get the High Priest and notify him that they had two witnesses. The High Priest would call for the two to come up to him and he would interview the two witnesses to make sure they could see the silver crescent of the new moon and that the sun had set before they saw it. Once the High Priest was satisfied he would call the rest of the Sanhedrin and announces the Feast has arrived and command for the trumpets to be blown announcing the Feast of Trumpets, so all would know.
Consider what I have just said. Everyone is waiting for this announcement to start the first Feast day of the fall Holy Day season. But they are still working away at their job. They already have made their garments white and pressed them. (That is they have been keeping the Ten Commandments as a way of live and it is part of their personality, The Sabbath and the Holy Days and the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.) The food for the Feast is prepared in advanced waiting. No one knows when the Shofar is to blow. So they keep on working. Two in the field working side by side. One will be taken. Two women kneeding bread side by side. One will be taken.
When the Messiah returns on the Feast of Trumpets, no one will know the hour nor the day, because they won’t know if the moon is going to be sighted today or the next day. [I am referring to a crescent Moon with 1% visibility. A Moon with 2% or more should be easily seen.] But they will know the Feast day is close to being announced. And once it is sighted there is a procedure to go through before it is declared official as we have shown you above with the two witnesses and the high priest.
This is when the shofars (trumpets) are blown, then the Messiah returns.?If the ones that are chosen are taken while their fellow workers are left behind, how can this be a Feast day if they are still working. If it was a conjuncture moon it would have been predicted in advance and on a day or two before. But, because it is a sighted visible crescent moon that marks the beginning of the first day of the new month. The seventh month, Tishri 1. The Feast of Trumpets, because it is sighted and not known for sure whether it is today or tomorrow, that the Feast begins. That is why the brethren are still working along side those that won’t be keeping the Holy days at the right time or in the right month. Also remember when this is taking place, during the last days of the three and a half years of the tribulation. The sun is not giving its light nor the moon. So we have to count out each month and look up to see if we can spot the crescent moon not knowing whether it will be seen or not.
So if Yahshua follows the example that he gave us in how exactly down to the detail he fulfilled the spring Holy Days, then we can expect Him to also fulfill the fall holy Days down to the exact detail.
Prepare your garments now and have them white and pressed and ready to be put on when the Shofar is finally blown. Don’t be the one, or let your children or grand children be the one left in the field gnashing their teethe, when others are being raised up. Get ready now! He is coming, and soon! Are you ready? Will you be ready?
OK, lets pause a second and consider the conjuncture Moon. As we all know it is calculated in advance and we know this year and even years down the road that the Feast of Trumpets is going to be on a certain day. We even plan our Feasts years in advance and book rooms and make plans and book air travel. Why because we know the day of the Feast.
But Yahshua said we would not know which day was the Feast. With a calculated conjunctured Moon you do know what day the Feast is and in effect are calling Yahshua a liar. The other thing that a conjunctured Moon and the Hebrew calendar do not take into consideration is the Wave Offering which I discuss in the article Pentecost’s Hidden Meaning which can be read at http://www.sightedmoon.nl/?page_id=21.
We don’t know from year to year when the Barley is going to be ripe until it is actually seen in Israel. If, we don’t know when the beginning of the year is, how can we know when the seventh month will be? And then once we know when the seventh month is, we still won’t know which day is the Feast of Trumpets until we actually see the new Crescent Moon. These two variables prove what Yahshua said in Matt 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
We will not know the day or the hour until it happens. In 2005 I kept the Holy Days according to this method. The Barley was early. This caused all the Holy Days to be one month earlier than the Hebrew Calendar. The seventh new Moon was sighted in September, and sent out as follows. “On Monday September 5, 2005 the New Moon of the Seventh Biblical Month was sighted from Israel marking Yom Teruah, the Day of Shouting (Trumpets).”
In this example if Yahshua had returned this Feast of Trumpets, those of us who were ready would have been chosen while those who thought it was a month away [using the Hebrew Calendar] would have still been working in the fields. [Those using the Barley and a conjunction Moon as the starting point would have been celebrating a day earlier due to the conjunction.] But those who do not keep any of the Feast Days would have missed this day all together.
This example clearly shows that the Day is not known in advance, and never can be really. And the hour also is unknown. A 1 % visible moon is not always seen from Israel. If it is not seen then for sure it will be the next day. And I feel this is what David is doing in 1Samuel 20. The new Crescent was not seen that night therefor it was going to be the next one. Make no mistake a sighted crescent moon can be calculated. But a marginal crescent moon is not always seen. This is the variable.
The conclusion of this paper is not to show when the Messiah is to return, no, but rather, to show why we cannot know the day or the Hour of His return. It is because of this method in determining the New Moon, which marks the beginning of the new Month. It has to be sighted. This fact taken in relationship to the Barley and Wave offering clearly show why we will not know when He is to return, at least not the Day or the Hour.
Triennial Torah Cycle
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at?https://sightedmoon.com/sightedmoon_2015/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf
24/08/2013 Deut 33 2 Chron 35-36 Revelation 20-21
Though still not commonly recognized or believed, many have come to the realization that most of the tribes of Israel later migrated to Northwest Europe following their Assyrian captivity.
The primary peoples of all the tribes of Israel would be those of Joseph. The father of Ephraim and Manasseh (Deuteronomy 33:17), Joseph was given the birthright, after Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, disqualified himself (Genesis 49:3-4; 1 Chronicles 5:1). Among those who accept the truth of the Israelite migrations to Northwest Europe, Joseph is commonly understood to be the forefather of the English-speaking peoples of the United States and the former British Commonwealth. Identifying the other tribes is more difficult, as there are not nearly as many biblical and historical clues to go on. Nevertheless, they apparently may be found among such nations as France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Simeon (not mentioned in Deuteronomy 33) and Levi were to be scattered throughout the other tribes (Genesis 49:5-7)—though Levi was given the job of teaching God’s truth to His people (Deuteronomy 33:8-10).
Verse 27 contains a wonderful promise to Israel that certainly applies to the spiritual people of God today and always: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” This reminds us that God will be there to “catch” us when we fall, if we devote our lives to serving Him.
Josiah’s Passover (2 Chronicles 35:1-19; 2 Kings 23:21-25)
Josiah wasn’t just content to remove all the paganism. He purged spiritual “leaven” from the land in preparation of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. For his next reform was to reintroduce God’s sacred festivals. These begin with the Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar (March-April on the modern Western calendar).
Josiah showed his love for his people by his generosity, providing animals for the sacrifices and offerings from his own herds and flocks. This was a magnificent celebration. Some commentators have called the numbers a gross exaggeration, yet when we consider the scope of the celebration, that there had never been a Passover like it in Israel or Judah, the number is realistic. Even so, it was still far short of the number of animals used by Solomon at the dedication of the temple (see 1 Kings 8:63). The sheep and goats were used for the Passover lambs. The cattle would have been used for peace offerings and most likely for general use through the Feast of Unleavened Bread that followed the Passover for a further seven days.
Again it is made clear that the Passover was kept by “all Judah and Israel who were present.” The northern kingdom had been taken captive a century prior. But this makes sense when we realize that a sizable group of Israelites reoccupied the northern territories at this time, known to history as the Scythians. Perhaps many of them responded to the preaching of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 3—wherein God instructed them to return—and to the tremendous leadership and example of King
Message Regarding the New King (2 Chronicles 36:9; 2 Kings 24:8-9; Jeremiah 22:24-23:40)
When Josiah’s son Jehoiakim died in 598 B.C. after an evil reign of 11 years (2 Kings 23:36-37; 2 Chronicles 36:5), Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin—also known as Jeconiah (1 Chronicles 3:16-17; Jeremiah 28:4; 29:2; Matthew 1:11-12) or simply Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24, 28)—was crowned king of Judah.
But here we encounter what appears to be a contradiction. The Chronicles version of the story says that Jeconiah was eight years old when he began to reign, whereas the 2 Kings version says eighteen. Which was it? The archaeological and biblical evidence proves that he had to be much older than eight at the time he took over the rule of Judah and reigned for three months (from December 598 through March 597 B.C.). For he had at least five children while a captive in Babylon only five years later, as mentioned on a Babylonian ration receipt (see Expositor’s Bible Commentary, notes on 2 Chronicles 36:7, 9). And “the scriptural descriptions of Jehoiachin seem to represent him as a mature young man (Jer. 22:24-30; Ezek. 19:6)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 2 Kings 24:8).
The answer is probably fairly simple. Jeconiah was no doubt 18 when he succeeded his father in 598 B.C. Ten years earlier, at the age of 8 in 608 B.C., his father must have installed him as coregent—probably just in name rather than critical function, so as to perpetuate the dynasty in the event the whirlwind of events removed Jehoiakim from the throne (as Jehoiakim’s brother Jehoahaz had been removed the previous year, 609 B.C.). A coregency of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah could explain why Jeremiah addresses the “kings” of Judah in Jeremiah 17:19-20. But as Jeconiah likely assumed no actual power until his father died, he is credited with a reign of only the three months rather than 10 years.
As king, Jeconiah follows in the footsteps of his father—continuing in evil rather than turning to God (even though Nebuchadnezzar is in the process of mobilizing his forces against Jerusalem during Jeconiah’s entire three-month reign, as we will later see). Since Jeconiah’s mother Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, is mentioned prominently, including the fact that she would and later did suffer deportation with her son (2 Kings 24:8, 12; Jeremiah 22:26-27; 29:2; 13:18), it seems likely that she wields considerable influence over the young ruler. As earlier noted, Nehushta’s father is probably the same Elnathan mentioned elsewhere as the son of Achbor, the official in the administration of Jehoiakim who apprehended Urijah the prophet but later tried to talk Jehoiakim out of burning the scroll of Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 26:21-23; 36:12, 25).
In Jeremiah 22, God’s message regarding Jeconiah quickly moves from third person (verse 24a) to second person—addressing the king directly (verses 24b-26). God tells Jeconiah that even if he were the signet ring on God’s right hand, “the most important private possession bearing the owner’s mark and authority” (New Bible Commentary, note on verses 24-30), God would still pluck him off and hand him over to others. Continued rebellion against God by Judah’s rulers would be tolerated no longer. Jeconiah and his mother would soon be carried captive to Babylon (verses 25-26). Switching back to third person in verse 27, we are told that “they”—Jeconiah and his mother—will not return to the land of Judah.
In verse 28, Jeconiah is described as a “broken idol.” The Jews idolized their Davidic ruler, likely expecting him to save them from the Babylonians. Yet Jeconiah himself would be taken captive to Babylon. In verse 30, God declares him “childless”—which is qualified by what follows, as Jeconiah actually had seven sons (1 Chronicles 3:17-18; compare Matthew 1:12). Indeed, in the same verse God says Jeconiah would have “descendants” (Jeremiah 22:30). But they, like him, would not “prosper” as a king. They were, in effect, banned from the throne of David. Thus, it was only in regard to the throne that Jeconiah was to be regarded as childless.
It should be mentioned that though Jesus Christ, the ultimate heir of David’s throne, “was lineally descended from Jeconiah [see Matthew 1], it was only through Joseph, who, though His legal, was not His real father. Matthew gives the legal pedigree through Solomon down to Joseph; Luke the real pedigree, from Mary, the real parent, through Nathan, brother of Solomon, upwards (Luke 3:31)” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary, note on Jeremiah 22:29-30). We will look more closely at these genealogies later in the Bible Reading Program.
“Woe to the Shepherds” (2 Chronicles 36:9; 2 Kings 24:8-9; Jeremiah 22:24-23:40)
While Jeremiah 23 may constitute a separate prophecy, it is also possible that it follows right on from chapter 22. Chapter 22 decried the three failed Davidic rulers who followed Josiah, ending with Jeconiah. Chapter 23 begins with a message of “woe to the shepherds,” the leaders, of God’s “sheep,” His people (verse 1), and then speaks of the future King of the line of David who finally will save Judah and set things right (verses 5-8).
In verses 1-2 the leaders, both civil and religious, bear a huge responsibility for driving God’s people away from Him, which is why the people are driven from the land and scattered into distant parts. The leaders have failed to “attend to” or take care of the people—so God will take care of them (that is, in an altogether different sense). The prophet Ezekiel would later convey a very similar message from God concerning the wayward shepherds of His people (see Ezekiel 34).
Verses 3-8 of Jeremiah 23 are parallel with 3:14-18. Eventually, God would gather a “remnant” of His flock, bringing them “back to their folds,” and appoint new, caring shepherds for them (verses 3-4). This would be fulfilled in part when a small remnant of the Jewish people later returned from Babylonian captivity—the shepherds being Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel and others. There would be a later fulfillment through the Church of God as the “remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5)—the shepherds being Jesus Christ and His true ministers (the word “pastor” actually means shepherd). And, of course, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is when Jesus Christ takes over the world at His return, when all people—including a regathered Israel—will be governed and taught by Him, His glorified saints and spiritually converted human leaders.
In Jeremiah 23:5, the “Branch” from David’s genealogical tree is the Messiah, Jesus Christ (see also 33:14-16; Isaiah 4:2; 11:1-5; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12). The mention of both Judah and Israel in Jeremiah 23:6-7 makes it clear that this is an end-time prophecy—referring exclusively to the return of Christ in power and glory to rule all nations. Verses 7-8 explain that the great “Second Exodus” of the house of Israel (compare 3:18; Isaiah 11:11-16) will surpass even the ancient Exodus from Egypt (compare Jeremiah 16:14-15). This is certainly not referring to the small Jewish return from Babylonian captivity in the sixth century B.C. Instead, it is clearly speaking of a great and awesome return that is yet future.
The rest of Jeremiah 23 contains a scathing denunciation of the religious shepherds of God’s people: “For both prophet and priest are profane” (verse 11). The same is true today. The word “prophet,” it should be pointed out, can simply mean preacher, especially in the New Testament. In other words, “prophet” refers to those who foretell the future and those who forthtell God’s truth—that is, who preach and teach it according to His direction. Yet not all who claim to represent God actually do—in fact, most don’t.
There is one true God, who reveals divine truth, and calls a relatively few to be His followers, prophets and ministers. But the world has always been filled with many counterfeit and alternative religions and religious leaders. If a false religion teaches some good values and good works, it is still damaging in an overall sense because any false religion ultimately deprives its followers of a genuinely committed and close relationship with God and the one path that leads to eternal life. Compounding the evil is the utter blasphemy and disgrace of leaders who claim to represent God while setting examples of corrupt and immoral behavior, implying that such conduct is God’s nature or that it is acceptable to Him. God is outraged when people claim to be His spokesmen when they are anything but—living and preaching totally contrary to His will (compare Matthew 15:1-9).
Beginning with Jeremiah 23:9, Jeremiah’s conscientious character and compassionate personality are shown. He reels in shock and misery as if drunk at the harmful message of the false prophets and because of the judgment God has proclaimed for his countrymen. Terrible droughts continue (compare verse 10; 12:4; 14:1-6) because the land, Jeremiah says, “is full of adulterers” (verse 10). And no wonder, for the spiritual leaders themselves “commit adultery” (verse 14). “This term could apply to those who practiced immoral sexual behavior, those who committed spiritual adultery by pursuing other gods, and those who were involved in cultic prostitution” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 9-10).
The deplorable situation God addresses here through Jeremiah certainly existed in the prophet’s day—and the message was clearly applicable to that time. But there are indications that the message was also, even primarily, for the end time. While “the year of their punishment” (verse 12) may have referred in part to the year of ancient Jerusalem’s fall, 586 B.C., the primary fulfillment, we may ascertain from verse 20, was to come in “the latter days.” Surprisingly, the end-time year of punishment usually refers to the final Day of the Lord, after the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (30:7), when God punishes the enemies of Israel. Perhaps God views the false prophets in Jeremiah 23, who represent spiritual Babylon, as Israel’s enemies. Verse 12 may mean that they will suffer through the darkness of the Great Tribulation to meet with final disaster in the Day of the Lord. In verse 20, God says that we would understand all of this perfectly in the latter days (other translations say “clearly”). But do we—even though it appears we are in the latter days? Verse 20 seems more likely to mean that after these things are actually fulfilled in the latter days, then we will understand perfectly.
Part of Jeremiah 23:15 is a reiteration of 9:15, where God decreed punishment for following false religion (see verses 13-14). And the false prophets are the source of this abomination.
The false prophets basically told the people what they wanted to hear, which was, “You shall have peace” (verse 17). The people did not appreciate Jeremiah telling them otherwise—and people still don’t want to hear what God actually says. Ironically, this runs counter to the main reason for prophecy. Verse 22 highlights an important truth: the primary purpose of a prophet of God was not to merely foretell the future, but to turn the hearers “from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.” Instead, these prophets shamefully “cause [God’s] people to err by their lies and by their recklessness” (verse 32)—shrugging off any damage they may be doing. Rather than delivering God’s messages, they “steal [God’s] words every one from his neighbor” (verse 30). That is, they plagiarize each other and often take God’s actual words (those in Scripture being the prime example) and twist them to suit their own messages.
From verse 33 to the end of the chapter, God is warning them not to mock Jeremiah, sarcastically asking him, “What is the sad news from God today?” Jeremiah’s experiences are sobering because they give us insight into the hostile resistance God’s Church can anticipate as its end-time warning message becomes stronger and more and more people become aware of it.
Introduction to Ezra and Nehemiah (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1; 6:3)
We come now to the conclusion of Chronicles and the beginning of the book of Ezra, named after the priest and scribe who, as described in the book, led the second return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon. Just as the Jews had been taken into Babylonian exile in three stages, those who later returned to Judah under the Persians did so in three stages. The first group, under the governor Zerubbabel, returned when Cyrus issued his decree in 538 B.C. The second group returned with Ezra in 457 B.C. And the third group later returned in 444 B.C. under the leadership of Nehemiah, a Jewish official in the court of the Persian emperor Artaxerxes I. Nehemiah is the principal character in the biblical book bearing his name.
“The Book of Ezra does not name its author, but Jewish tradition ascribes the book to Ezra along with the books of Chronicles and Nehemiah. Modern scholars generally agree with this tradition. Despite some dissimilarities, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah form a connected work. The themes of the temple and the Levites, and the focus on lists, appear in all three books. In the Hebrew Bible, Ezra and Nehemiah are together as one book. Thus it seems that one author compiled all three books” (Nelson Study Bible, introductory notes on Ezra). “With such priestly interests, the one who masterminded this long document [with God’s inspiration] may well have been a priest-like Ezra” (introductory notes on Nehemiah).
Ezra is the main character of major sections of the book of Ezra, yet he does not appear until the latter part of the book (chapters 7-10). He also appears in chapters 8-10 of Nehemiah. “Both passages are written in the first person and provide detailed descriptions. Such vivid descriptions point to an eyewitness as the author. It is generally agreed that these chapters at least were drawn directly from Ezra’s memoirs” (introductory notes on Ezra).
The rest of the material is evidently a compilation from other sources-as Chronicles is. “The first half of Ezra records events that occurred nearly sixty years before Ezra returned to Judah. If Ezra compiled the book, he had to consult other sources for those passages. In fact, much of the Book of Ezra consists of information obtained from other official sources: (1) the decree of Cyrus (1:2-4), (2) the list of the articles of the temple (1:9-11), (3) the list of those who returned to Jerusalem (2:2-58), (4) the letter to Artaxerxes (4:11-16), (5) the reply of Artaxerxes (4:17-22), (6) the report of Tattenai (5:7-17), (7) the decree of Cyrus (6:2-5), (8) the reply of Darius (6:6-8), (9) the genealogy of Ezra (7:1-5), (10) the authorization of Artaxerxes (7:12-26), (11) the list of the heads of the clans (8:1-14), and (12) the list of those involved in mixed marriages. Over half the book of Ezra consists of official documents and lists. Moreover, the book is written in two languages. Most of the royal correspondence in the book is written in Aramaic, the international language of the Persian world, while the narrative sections are in Hebrew” (same notes). The Hebrew sections of Ezra are: 1:1-4:7; 6:19-7:11; 7:27-10:44. The Aramaic sections are: 4:8-6:18 and 7:12-26.
The compilation of various documentary sources helps to demonstrate that this is the recording of genuine history rather than folkloric storytelling.
Concerning Nehemiah, “many readers naturally conclude that the book was written by Nehemiah because of the words of the first verse, ‘The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.’ It is widely believed that Nehemiah originated the following passages: 1:1-7:5; 12:27-43; 13:4-31? (introductory notes on Nehemiah). Ezra probably compiled Nehemiah’s memoirs along with his own and other sources into his historical account.
Yet Ezra-Nehemiah “is not simply a string of historical facts about the returning exiles. Instead, the narrative shows how God fulfilled His promises announced by the prophets. He brought His people back from Babylon, rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem, restored the patterns of true worship, and even preserved the reassembled community from fresh relapses into heathen customs and idolatrous worship. Through the prophets and leaders He had called, the Lord had preserved and cultivated a small group of returning exiles, the remnant of Israel” (introductory notes on Ezra).
The Bible Reader’s Companion puts it this way: “The Book of Ezra, and then of Nehemiah, tells what happens when a small contingent of Jews returns to resettle the Promised Land. Despite opposition from neighboring peoples, discouragement, and even lapses into sin, a Jewish presence is restored in the Holy Land and another temple erected on the site of Solomon’s earlier edifice. There, in a tiny district of what was once its own land, the little Jewish community struggles to survive and awaits God’s promise of a coming Messiah, God’s agent, who will see that all the ancient promises made to Abraham are fulfilled” (Lawrence Richards, 1991, introductory notes on Ezra). Indeed, the Jewish nation had to be restored to set the stage for the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Yet the restoration described in Ezra and Nehemiah was but a small foretaste of the great return and restoration of all Israel that will take place under Jesus Christ at His second coming.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah also provide inspiring lessons and parallels with the end-time work of building the New Testament spiritual “temple” of God, the Church, in preparation for Christ’s return.
Cyrus’ Decree (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1; 6:3)
The book of Chronicles closes with the same wording that opens the book of Ezra-describing a remarkable proclamation by Cyrus that allows the Jewish captives to return to their homeland from Babylon, grants them religious freedom, encourages them to rebuild the Jerusalem temple and provides for funding of the move and reconstruction. Cyrus issued this decree in his first year (2 Chronicles 36:22; Ezra 1:1; 6:3). “As Cyrus entered Babylon on 29 October 539 B.C., this was counted as his accession year. Babylonian and Persian scribes hold that his first regnal year over the Babylonians began on New Year’s Day, 1 Nisan (24 Mar.) 538? (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, introductory notes on Ezra).
We are told that God stirred Cyrus to issue this decree “that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled” (1:1; 2 Chronicles 36:22). This has caused some confusion. God had foretold through Jeremiah that the Babylonian captivity and desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10). Based on that, many assume that this decree must exactly mark the end of the 70-year period. Yet as explained in the Bible Reading Program comments on Jeremiah 25, the 70-year desolation of Jerusalem extended from the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple in 586 B.C. to the rebuilding of the temple in 516 B.C. There was also a 70-year subservience of nations to Babylon prophesied there-the length of the Babylonian Empire, from 609 B.C. to its fall to Cyrus in 539 B.C. Jeremiah 29:10 states that “after seventy years are completed at Babylon” God would cause the people to return. This seventy could be the length of the Babylonian Empire-after which God would cause people to return. Yet notice that the prophecy did not specify immediately after. Given all this, to fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecies, a way for the Jews to return had to come sometime after the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C. and yet soon enough after to give ample time for the rebuilding of the temple by 516. Cyrus’ decree in 538 is what began the process.
Moreover, Jeremiah’s was not the only prophecy that Cyrus’ decree fulfilled. For God specifically prophesied through Isaiah: “I am the LORD…who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’” (Isaiah 44:24, 28). God had also foretold Cyrus’ overthrow of Babylon (45:1-5).
This particular decree of Cyrus is not attested to in any contemporary Persian or Greek documents. Archaeology has not as yet uncovered inscription evidence of it. That, however, should not surprise us, as hard evidence regarding vast numbers of ancient decrees-the overwhelming majority, in fact-has never been found. Most of the documents of antiquity were destroyed or lost over the centuries. Interestingly, this very decree had been forgotten within decades of its being issued. It was sought out and rediscovered around 520 B.C., as related in Ezra 6.
Nevertheless, historical factors attest to its genuineness. As The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes on Ezra 1:2, “The formulation ‘Jerusalem that is in Judah’ is characteristic of Persian bureaucratic style.” Moreover, the decree is consistent with what we do know of Cyrus and his policies as attested to in ancient sources. For on one level, Cyrus’ decree reflected his patronage of religion and cultural pluralism in general. Biblical historian Eugene Merrill explains: “In the nineteenth century a barrel-shaped inscription which records Cyrus the Great’s decree authorizing captive peoples in Babylonia to return to their places of origin was discovered. This inscription [known as the Cyrus Cylinder, currently housed in the British Museum] was primarily a propaganda piece designed to demonstrate that Cyrus had been called by Marduk, god of Babylon, and that his rule there and over all the earth was at the behest of the gods” (Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, 1987, p. 491).
Indeed, as Merrill also relates, “one reason for the ready capitulation of Babylon to Cyrus was the bitter antagonism that the Babylonians felt toward Nabonidus and his son [Belshazzar] for their anti-Marduk religious posture. Cyrus had already gained a reputation as an enlightened ruler who was extremely lenient and eclectic in his viewpoint. He maintained the status quo in lands which fell to his control, at least as much as he could without jeopardizing his sovereignty. One feature of his policy was to recognize the claims of native gods over their followers and to make no effort to supplant them with gods of his own. In fact, he [supposedly] came to Babylon at the express wishes of Marduk himself, since Marduk had become angry at Nabonidus’s irreverence and wished to replace him with another king, a shepherd who would more faithfully tend Marduk’s human flock. That shepherd, of course, was Cyrus” (p. 480). “One cannot deny the political and psychological genius of the man; indeed, his policy of permitting aliens to return to their homelands and to establish self-rule within the larger structure of the empire was nothing short of brilliant” (p. 491).
“Cyrus’s enlightened policy also had direct bearing on the plight of the exilic Jewish community in Babylonia, for Cyrus accorded to Yahweh, their God, the same deference he paid to Marduk and all other deities. A logical outgrowth of this policy was his decree that the Jews be allowed to return to their homeland. Only in a restored temple in Jerusalem could Yahweh function effectively as the God of Judah. And so, in eager solicitation of the favor of Yahweh, Cyrus repatriated the Jewish people and provided them with the authorization and wherewithal to rebuild their city and temple as a fitting place for their God” (p. 480).
The Nelson Study Bible further suggests that “Cyrus’s decrees might have been part of a clever military strategy. At this point, he had not yet conquered Egypt. A strong settlement of loyal people between him and the Egyptians would have been wise. This was a novel political policy; for the first time in hundreds of years, a king permitted a subjected people to return to their homeland” (”INDepth: Cyrus, the King of Persia,” comments on Ezra 1).
Of course, there was more to it than all that. The same source goes on to say, “But the point of [the] Scriptures is to assert that God was at work through this powerful ruler of the ancient world.” The Bible, in fact, explicitly states that God stirred Cyrus’ spirit to issue the proclamation (2 Chronicles 36:22; Ezra 1:1). While this could mean that God simply gave Cyrus a nudge to do what he was already likely to do anyway, it may well indicate-especially given the specific prophecies of Cyrus-that God had been working behind the scenes in Cyrus’ life and in Medo-Persian politics in such a way that caused the king to adopt the outlook he had.
Moreover, it appears that Cyrus’ proclamation regarding the Jews was specially inspired. The first-century Jewish historian Josephus says that God’s command regarding Cyrus’ rebuilding of the temple “was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies…. Accordingly, when Cyrus read this, and admired the Divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfill what was so written” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11, chap. 1, sec. 2). Indeed, it seems that Cyrus would have to have seen these prophecies in order to fulfill God’s words in Isaiah. Speaking directly to Cyrus (45:1), God says He will give the king victory and treasures “that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name [long before your birth], am the God of Israel” (verse 3). For this to make sense-for Cyrus to know from these words in the book of Isaiah that he was personally named in advance and for this to serve as a proof to him of God’s divinity-the king must have personally read these words or listened to someone reading them to him.
“What role Daniel may have played in all this is unclear, but one cannot help feeling that it was major” (Merrill, p. 492). Daniel was now the prime minister of Babylonia serving under Cyrus’ deputy king and governor Darius. There is no question that Daniel would have had contact with Cyrus. Indeed, it is almost certain that Cyrus had heard all about the recent episode with the lions’ den. Would not Cyrus have inquired of Daniel regarding his religion? It seems rather likely that Daniel would then have shown the king that he was directly foretold in Scripture. Indeed, Daniel may have gone further and pointed out the prophecies of Jeremiah regarding the Jewish return and the return of the temple vessels and utensils.
“We know that the Persian kings paid close heed to prophecies: Cambyses to Egyptian oracles, Darius and Xerxes to Greek oracles (Herodotus 8.133; 9.42, 151)” (Expositor’s, note on Ezra 1:1). How much more closely would Cyrus have paid heed after staring at his own name in a prophecy written down about 150 years earlier-part of which had already been fulfilled? He would have been utterly astounded. And it seems most likely that he would have been motivated to act accordingly-”stirred” in his spirit by the Word of God.
Still, “no one should read into the accounts that Cyrus had become a worshiper of Yahweh; he was no more a worshiper of Yahweh than Nebuchadnezzar had been when he extolled Yahweh before Daniel. Both were syncretists who were willing for reasons of politics [and lack of full biblical and spiritual understanding] to welcome any new god into their respective pantheons. One cannot deny, however, that both were under the control of the sovereign God of heaven and earth who used them, witting or not, to achieve his holy purposes” (Merrill, p. 492).
First Return Under Sheshbazzar (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1; 6:3)
God stirred the spirits of others too-causing a number of the Jews to enlist in the return to Judah (verse 5). Notice that the returning captives are described as being “of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites” (same verse). The return from captivity was not a return of all 12 tribes of Israel, as many today maintain. Rather, it was simply of those of the nation of Judah who had been taken captive by the Babylonians. In fact, we see in Ezra and Nehemiah that only a small portion of the Jewish people returned-those specially stirred by God. This parallels the experience of Christians, who must be specially drawn by God (see John 6:44).
Why would the vast majority of Jews choose to remain in Babylon? Josephus remarks: “Yet did many of them stay at Babylon, as not willing to leave their possessions” (sec. 3). Expositor’s comments: “A fascinating light on the Jews in Mesopotamia is shed by the Murashu tablets. In 1893, 730 inscribed clay tablets were found at Nippur…. The archive dates from the reigns of Artaxerxes I (464-424) and Darius II (423-404). Murashu and sons were wealthy bankers and brokers who loaned out almost any thing for a price. Among their customers are listed about sixty Jewish names from the time of Artaxerxes I and forty from the time of Darius II. These appear as contracting parties, agents, witnesses, collectors of taxes, and royal officials. There seems to have been no social or commercial barriers between the Jews and the Babylonians. Their prosperous situation may explain why some chose to remain in Mesopotamia. With the birth of a second and a third generation, many Jews established roots in Mesopotamia” (introductory notes on Ezra).
However, we should not be quick to fault everyone who remained. God did not stir them up as He did the others. It was evidently in His ultimate purpose that most not return to the Promised Land at that time. The Jewish Diaspora (Dispersion) through other countries caused by the exile provided the basis for a widespread Judaism-which would later provide a foundation for a widespread Christianity. We should also note that many of those who did not return at that time nevertheless supported those returning with gifts (1:4).
In Ezra 1:8, Cyrus commits the Jerusalem temple articles to “Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.” And in verse 11 we see that this Sheshbazzar takes them with the captives in the return to Jerusalem. In an official letter to a later Persian emperor, Sheshbazzar is named as the governor of Judah and the one who lays the foundation of the Jerusalem temple (5:14, 16). Yet earlier in the same chapter, the one who, along with the priest Jeshua or Joshua, “began to build the house of God” is Zerubbabel (verse 2; see 3:8-11). Zerubbabel and Jeshua had earlier been the ones to build the altar to God upon first arriving in the Promised Land (3:2). Zerubbabel is shown to be the leader of the first return in Ezra 2:2. As the grandson of the former Jewish king Jeconiah (see 1 Chronicles 3:17-19), Zerubbabel could properly be referred to as the prince of Judah.
Given all this, Sheshbazzar seems to be one and the same with Zerubbabel. While other possibilities are offered, this one seems to make the most sense: “The name Sheshbazzar occurs only in two passages…both related to official Persian actions. On the other hand, the name Zerubbabel is used in passages related to Jewish activity…. It is possible that Sheshbazzar was a name by which Zerubbabel was known in Persian circles” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verse .
Regarding the returned temple articles, “the separate items listed in vv. 9, 10 total 2,499. However, the total for all the articles given in v. 11 is 5,400. Probably vv. 9, 10 list only the larger and more important items that were transported back to Jerusalem” (note on verses 9-11).
Note the detailed cataloging and careful preservation of these items. As suggested previously in the Bible Reading Program, it seems likely that Daniel had a hand in this-as a high official of both Babylon and Persia. Yet of course the one mainly responsible was God. He was bringing to pass what He had foretold in Jeremiah 27:22-that the temple articles would be returned after Babylon’s fall.
In the next chapter we will see a listing of the nearly 50,000 people who returned to Judea at this time. The journey probably took about three and a half to four months, as this is how long Ezra’s group would later take (compare Ezra 7:9; 8:31). Historian Werner Keller writes in his book The Bible as History (1981, p. 302): “We can vividly imagine their journey into the land west of the Jordan. Almost 800 miles have to be covered between Babylon and distant Jerusalem, with the clouds of dust churned up by the caravan as a faithful companion throughout the whole journey. One day they would pass the site of old Mari. They would reach the spot where, on the opposite side of the river, the Balikh, on whose lower reaches Haran was situated, enters the Euphrates. From then on the returning exiles were following the same track which had been taken by Abraham 1,400 years earlier, when he left the land of his fathers to go to Canaan, via Damascus and along the foot of Hermon to the Lake of Galilee. Then came the day when from among the brown peaks of the mountains of Judah the desolate ruins of the city of Zion rose before their eyes-it was Jerusalem. What fateful significance this journey had for the generations that were still to come!”
John sees a messenger coming down from heaven and he binds the dragon for a thousand years in chains. The dragon is thrown into the pit of the deep and shut up. He will no longer lead the nations astray for a thousand years. Then, after that, he will be released once again for a short time.
He sees the martyrs living and reigning with Yeshua for these thousand years. The first resurrected group of the saints. The second resurrection group are not there, they are still asleep in the dust. The second death has no power over the overcomers of the first resurrection.
When satan is once again released after the thousand years he goes again to lead the nations against Elohim into the four corners of the earth. Gog and Magog are the rebellious ones. The come forth and surround the set apart ones and the beloved city. At this action, Elohim casts fire down out of the heaven and consumes them all. The devil is thrown into the lake of fire where the false prophet and beast are already at.
John sees the great white thrown and Elohim sitting upon it. All beings great and small were standing before the King. All the books were opened, even the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their works, according to what was written in the books. The death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire and this is the second death.
Anyone not found in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then renewed heaven and renewed earth are now manifested. John sees also the renewed Jerusalem coming down from heaven adorned as a bride for her husband. And Elohim now dwells among and with men. He will be their Elohim and they will be His people. He shall wipe away every tear, there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying. Also no more pain for all those things are gone away.
Elohim makes all things new. The thirsty will get the water of life and the overcomers shall inherit it all.
John is taken and shown the bride, the Lamb’s wife. He was taken to a great and high mountain and he saw all of Jerusalem. It was shining as crystal having 12 great and high walls, each gate written on them for the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
John was given a golden measuring rod to measure the city. The city was as jasper, crystal, and gold and many other precious and beautiful stones. There was no need for the sun, nor moon to shine for the esteem of Elohim lightened it, and the Lamb is its lamp. The gentiles shall walk in its light and the sovereigns of the earth bring their esteem into it. The gates shall never shut. No manner of uncleanness enters the city, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.