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Temple Gate

News Letter 5850-047

24th day of the 11th month 5850 years after the creation of Adam

The 11th Month in the Fifth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle

The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle

The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes, Famines and Pestilence

February 14, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Brethren,

WEEKLY UPDATE

This week’s teaching on the dalet is extremely revealing to me. It culminates the dream we have mentioned to you in Remembering the Sabbatical Years of 2016, in which a lady said I was outside looking for the Door.

And this quest has revealed so much more that I have not the words to express them all to you. So please watch the videos we have lined up for you this week which explain the to you. They also tie directly into the Daniel prophecy which we have been explaining to you in The 2300 Days of Hell Book. 

May this week’s teaching be a blessing to you as it is to me, as we see the door and see the Creator t or ta.

Joh 10:9  I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. 10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Exo 19:5  And now if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all the nations; for all the earth is Mine. 6  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel.

Jer 7:21  So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Put your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh. 22  For I did not speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23  But I commanded them this thing, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you. 24  But they did not listen, nor bow their ear, but walked in their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. 25  Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending. 26  Yet they did not listen to Me, nor bow down their ear, but hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

BIBLICAL FEASTS UPDATE

We are now just about 1 1/2 months from Passover. The search for the Barley will soon begin. Why do we need barley to begin the year? You can learn why in this article.

The year begins with this the first month of the year. Exodus 12:2

Exo 12:2  This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.

Next Friday evening will be the potential new Moon day. Go and look for it and learn why the month begins with the new moon.

For the Church of God people I have a quote from Herbert W. Armstrong who stated that the month began with the new Crescent moon. In fact, many of the leadership of the WWCG claimed this, but did not practice it. You can also read our article Conjunction or Sighted, Which? and you can also read a recent article by the Hendersons about this very point, written to the Heads of the COG. A Defence of the Biblical Calendar.

I will say it again here now as I did last week.

The Jews kept the Sabbath the same as many of you. These same Jews before and after WW II kept the Holy Days according to the Hebrew Calendar, the same as many of you do today. You can read of the many pogroms that took place over hundreds of years. Why did Yehovah not protect them at that time, and why will He again not protect those of you keeping the same mistake they did? That is, not keeping the Sabbatical year and not keeping the Holy Days at the appointed times according to the Barley being aviv and the crescent moon to begin the month.

Pro 1:24  Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25  but you have despised all my advice, and would have none of my warning. 26  I also will laugh at your trouble; I will mock when your fear comes; 27  when your fear comes as a wasting away, and your ruin comes like a tempest when trouble and pain come upon you. 28  Then they shall call upon me, and I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; 29  instead they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of Jehovah. 30  They would have none of my counsel; they despised all my correction, 31  and they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own desires. 32  For the turning away of the simple kills them, and the ease of fools destroys them. 33  But whoever listens to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

It is time to wake up. The sword is coming and more and more are now seeing it. Speak up and warn your brethren. Give them the books and DVDs if you have to. But speak up and warn them. Otherwise they will die but you will be guilty of murdering them. Again we explained this last week.

Listen to a recent video that Eric made on this very point, when the question is asked “Will the Bride of Yehshua be Holocausted?. Watch it here. What we are saying and have consistently said, is YES, the Bride is about to be Holocausted unlike anytime in history, because she will not obey the Groom. She will not keep the Holy Days at the proper time; she will not keep the Sabbatical years. These are the door, these are the signs of Yehovah, His mark on us that keeps us if we keep them. If we change them or do not keep them then we have no hope.

So, starting your count to the Holy Days is crucial.

We all need to begin to deleaven our homes now. You are to have no leaven found in your home or car. You are to remove it and throw it away. Do not bring it back into your homes after the Days of Unleavened bread are over. That is like bringing sin back into your lives once you have removed it. Leaven represents sin.

We have one more thing to learn before the Passover comes. All of these things you are to accomplish while you continue to learn the Aleph Tav. Again this year as in years past many new people are fooled by those claiming the Passover meal is when Yehshua ate the last meal before He was crucified. It is important to know and understand and to be able to prove it to yourselves beyond all doubts that the Passover meal is eaten after the 14th is over and at the beginning of the 15th day of Nisan. The Passover meal is eaten on the first high Holy Day. Please read our article to know and understand, and stop being lied to and misled.

Go back to the actual Exodus. Yehovah never changes. The Passover lamb was prepared and they were eating it the very night the death angel passed over the door ON the 15th of Nisan just as you are told to do.

At Aviv this year there are a couple of other things we need to be mindful of.

It is the 6th year of the Sabbatical cycle. What this means is that you will receive not a double portion but a triple portion this year (your 2015 portion, your 2016 portion and enough to take you into 2017 when the new crops come in) to those who have obeyed and kept the Sabbatical year.

You are to begin stocking food away for the upcoming Sabbatical year which begins in 2016 at Aviv. You do this so you do not have to plant or harvest anything during that year.

This 6th year is also the second 3rd tithe year in this sabbatical cycle. It is the year 5851 since the creation of Adam. We have a short video to remind you of the scriptures you should be aware of. Watch it here.

Many people believed in the Daniel timeline lie. They believed that the year 1917 and the Balfour declaration was the start of the 50 year count, because they said so. So they added 50 years to that and came to 1967 and the time when the Temple Mount came back under Jewish control. After this they said that 50 years later would be the next Jubilee year. They were and still are dead wrong on this, but I want to show you the evil that they were doing.

I have read by some of you and some of these leaders that we are now in the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. They look at ISIS and assume this must be in order to make the lie of the Daniel Timeline work. IT IS A LIE and you must let it go if you want to understand prophecy. We are not in the last 3 1/2 year tribulation. We cannot tell you enough times to read our book The 2300 Days of Hell and know for sure when all these end time events will take place.

So if 2017 was the Jubilee year as they said, why would they not keep 2016 as the Sabbatical year? And again if that was their thinking why were they not also teaching you to keep the third tithe to the widows in 2015?

I point this out because many of you fell for that lie and yet you continue to support and follow these people or worse yet you continue to promote it. 2017 is not the Jubilee year, but 2016 is the next Sabbatical year and 2015 is the third tithe year.

2015 is going to be a third tithe year. As I showed you in the video, if you ignore the widow and oppress her and Yehovah hears about it, He is going to make your wife a widow for how you treated other widows when you were alive. Yehovah is going to kill you with the sword. And guess what the next curse is that is coming…the sword.

Exo 22:21  You shall neither vex a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22  You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23  If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. 24  And My wrath shall become hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your sons fatherless.

Plan on taking care of the widows in your assembly or your family. Find them locally and do it personally. Do not send it to any ministry. You do this yourself. Do not let it get lost in some ministry where it could never end up taking care of the widow or they only send part of it and use the rest for overhead. No, you give it to them directly and bless them with 100% of it.

ERIKTOLOGY - ALEPH/BEYT

dgba Yehovah a the owner of the house b is giving  g you the contents of the house b. His dreams for you as His bride, He wants to share with you. But you must choose. Are you in or are you out? Are you inside the door d or outside the d. a Yehovah stands in the door. Yehovah is the Door. da He waits for you to give your heart to him and then He will carry you across the Threshold of the Door d.

Think of the prodigal son and the Father standing there waiting for you, that wayward son, to come home.

This week you have some extra home work to watch.

For the Dalet d parts one and part two.

I would also encourage you all to watch these three short videos which will help you to understand the  and prophecy even more. Part one, part two, and part three.

tu-du

xq

ANCIENT HEBREW RESEARCH - Jeff Benner

d d

 

Jeff Benner’s Lesson 4 on the letter Dalet and here is Jeff’s  audio section for us to practice.

We have also added some other teachings to help you learn your Aleph Tav. Just go to our media tab and when the drop down menu comes click on the various teachings we have now supplied for you.

You choose the pace you’re going to learn at, but we will continue to present you one letter each week.

I would like to now point out to you in case you have not yet noticed how we have arrived at our modern numbers. The migration of the Paleo to the modern Hebrew. You cannot help but notice how the 2 and the modern letter bet look alike. The letter Dalet with the flame letters again looks like the number 4.

a – aa –1

b – b – 2

g – – g – 3

d – d – d – 4

Triennial Torah Portion

We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading which can be found at https://sightedmoon.com/files/TriennialCycleBeginningAviv.pdf

 

14/02/2015    Ex 29   Isaiah 50-54    Ps 149-150    John 19

 

Preparing Aaron and His Sons for Service (Exodus 29)

In order to be placed in the service of God’s tabernacle, there needed to be specific duties carried out that would prepare and purify Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons were consecrated (purified) and sanctified (set apart for a special purpose) before God. The priests officiated at the earthly altar of the Creator God of the universe. They were to carry out their duties with a sense of awe, because of His holiness (Psalm 99:9). They were not to be careless in any way. To violate what might have been viewed as minor details in their duties could have resulted in death. God is holy and He must be obeyed and worshiped according to His will. As The Nelson Study Bible notes on Exodus 28:43: “It is difficult for us to grasp the gravity of the priests’ responsibility as they ministered before the living God. They had to serve God with a pure heart, to represent the people without guile, and to worship without deviating from the commands of God. To fail would invite judgment—even death. Sadly, priests did die because they failed to show respect for the holiness of God (Leviticus 10:1, 2; 1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 6:7). Of course, these are major issues with which we must all be concerned. In light of the fact that, as mentioned before, God refers to His people today as “a holy priesthood” and even “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5, 9), we should consider such passages very soberly. Still, God is a God of grace. If we slip up and sin, the answer is to repent and go to Him for forgiveness and restoration, trusting in His kindness and mercy.

 

“Where Is the Certificate of Your Mother’s Divorce…?” (Isaiah 50-51)

God—that is, the preincarnate Yeshua was married to the nation of Israel by covenant. Isaiah 50:1, as commentaries generally agree, implies that He maintained this relationship and did not issue a certificate of divorce to His people. “Though the Lord had put away Israel, as a husband might put away a wife, it was for only a short period of exile (see 54:5-7; 62:4) and not permanently. Permanent exile would have required a certificate of divorce (see Deut. 24:1-4)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on Isaiah 50:1). Yet this would seem to contradict Jeremiah 3, where God stated that He did indeed issue a certificate of divorce. How do we resolve this?

In Jeremiah 3, it is clear that God divorced the northern tribes of Israel (verse 8), but not the southern nation of Judah—the Jews. “No prophet suggested that God had completely broken His covenant; rather, they predicted God’s faithfulness to a remnant who would return (Mic. 4:9, 10). Your mother [in Isaiah 50:1] refers to Jerusalem, more specifically, the inhabitants of the preceding generation that had gone into exile” (Nelson Study Bible, same note). This is important to recognize. While God had divorced the northern Kingdom of Israel, he maintained His covenant with the “mother” of all Israel—Zion or Jerusalem, the center of His true worship and the faithful remnant it represented.

Indeed, even in Jeremiah 3, God tells those of the northern tribes who would return to him that they would be considered joined to Zion and still married to Him (verse 14). God has never divorced all of Israel completely. He retained the Jews as the faithful remnant of Israel. Yet they ultimately proved unfaithful as well and He sent them into captivity in Babylon. But He still looked to a small minority of the Jews as the faithful remnant of Israel to whom He was still married. Thus, He brought a small group of Jews back to the Promised Land from Babylon. But these ultimately proved unfaithful as well, even murdering Him when He came in the flesh as the Messiah, Yeshua. So God finally raised up a spiritual people still considered the faithful remnant of Israel (compare Romans 11:5; Galatians 6:16), spiritual Jews (see Romans 2:25-29)—”Jew” being, as it was following the northern tribes’ divorcement, a designation of the faithful remnant (compare Hosea 11:12).

Of course, it should be noted that the Old Covenant marriage between the preincarnate Christ and Israel did come to an end with Christ’s death. This allows Him to remarry—but, amazingly, to remarry the same “woman” Israel, yet one in which she would be spiritually transformed as part of the terms of a new covenant (see Romans 7:1-4; Isaiah 54; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Returning to Isaiah 50, notice the reference to creditors in verse 1—clearly an imaginary scenario since God cannot be indebted to anyone. “If the Lord had sold Israel to creditors (see Ex. 21:7; 2 Kin. 4:1; Neh. 5:5), He would not have any authority over their destiny. But the Israelites had sold themselves because of their own iniquities (see 42:23-25). Therefore God as their Redeemer could buy them back (see 41:14; 52:3)” (Nelson Study Bible, same note, emphasis added).

Continuing on, while Isaiah 50:4-9 may be describing some of Isaiah’s own anguish in delivering his prophecies, it is more clearly part of the speech begun in verse 1. This means that it is still the Lord who is speaking. And it shows that He, the Creator of the universe, was going to come and be stricken across the back, have patches of His beard painfully yanked out, and be spat upon. These are things Yeshua would suffer at the hands of human beings (verse 6; Matthew 26:67; 27:30)—which He went through to redeem these very same people, indeed to redeem us all.

Isaiah 50:10-11 exhorts Israel to trust in God and obey His Servant—again, referring to Christ. Verse 11 criticizes those who walk by the light of their own fire (relying on themselves) rather than by the true light—the Word of God, both living (Yeshua) and written (Scripture). Their lives will end in punishment. From other passages we know that God will later bring them back to life to give them their only opportunity for salvation. However, if they persist in rejecting Him even then, their lives will be ended permanently.

Awake to Righteousness (Isaiah 50-51)

Chapter 51 begins with three requests for those who are God’s people and know righteousness to “listen to Me” (verses 1, 4, 7). It ends with three commands for Jerusalem to “awake, awake” (verses 9, 17; 52:1). This ties in with Paul’s admonition to the assembly in 1 Corinthians 15:34: “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” Those who know God must live in accordance with His commands. Indeed, those who don’t obey Him don’t really know Him (see 1 John 2:4).

In verse 1, Zion being dug from the hole of a pit is not a negative connotation. It simply denotes the same thing as the previous clause, being hewn from rock. The image is one of being quarried from a pit or mine as precious gems or metal. And the fact that the people of Israel are meant is clear from verse 2—those brought forth of Abraham and Sarah. At this time, the assembly (spiritual Israel or Zion) is in mind here. Spiritually deriving from Abraham and Sarah (Romans 4:11; Galatians 3:29; 4:21-31), true believers are the only ones who really know God’s righteousness and have God’s law in their hearts (Isaiah 51:7). But eventually, starting with the time of Christ’s return, the rest of Israel (physical Israel) will become part of spiritual Israel—as will then the entire world.

In stark contrast to this instruction for us to look to Abraham and Sarah, most of modern Christianity goes to great lengths to separate its theology from the Old Testament. In doing so, it breaks the continuity that exists throughout Scripture and loses much spiritual understanding. Here, we see that believers ought to look for and learn from that unbroken continuity, which runs seamlessly from the Old Testament through the New. The roots of true Faith spring from the Old Testament.

In verse 3, Zion is to be comforted with the fact that it will be a paradise like the Garden of Eden (see also Ezekiel 36:35)—as indeed the whole world will become under the rule of Yeshua, with God’s holy “mountain,” or kingdom, of Zion growing to fill the whole earth (compare Isaiah 11:6-9; Daniel 2:35). In verses 4-6, “the heavens and earth of the material universe are contrasted with God’s salvation and righteousness. The material is impermanent and will ‘vanish like smoke.’ God’s salvation will remain forever. How vital to anchor our hopes in salvation than anything in this passing world” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Isaiah 51:4-6)—see also 2 Peter 3:10-13 and Hebrews 12:25-29.

Directly tied to salvation here is God’s righteousness. But what is righteousness? King David defined it as obedience to all of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:172). And that is certainly the implication here in Isaiah: “…you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law…” (51:7). Many today, even many who profess belief, want to do away with God’s law—to abolish it. Yet God says, “My righteousness [i.e., His law] will not be abolished” (verse 6). Indeed, God’s law defines His way of life—the way of love. And while many things will pass away, love never will (1 Corinthians 13). Only those who ultimately choose to live by God’s perfect law of love will experience salvation from eternal death to enjoy eternal life with Him forever.

Of course, obedience to God’s law of love should never be construed as some stern duty. True, godly love is an expression of outflowing concern that comes from the heart. It includes devotion and loyalty to God and deep care for others as the focus of our deepest emotions. The New Testament instruction about the New Covenant reveals that God wants our hearts to be in the covenant and the covenant to be in our hearts. He wants to be a Father to us and for us to be His children in a loving family relationship.

Verses 9-11 of Isaiah 51 show that God will deliver His people as He delivered Israel from Egypt in ancient times. Rahab here is a reference to Egypt (see 30:7). The name signifies “fierceness, insolence, pride” (“Rahab,” Smith’s Bible Dictionary). Egypt is called a “serpent” in the King James Version and a “dragon” in the Revised Standard Version. It is the same Hebrew word tanniyn (Strong’s No. 8577) used for the pharaoh of Egypt in Ezekiel 29:3, there translated “monster” in the NKJV). “The imagery [of Ezekiel 29] pictures a crocodile” (Nelson Study Bible, note on verses 4-5). Indeed, the protector god of Egypt was the crocodile god Sobek—whose name in Egyptian meant “rager” (Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, 1993, p. 240, “Sobek.”), of which rahab seems a reasonable Hebrew equivalent.

God delivered Israel from Egyptian captivity in ancient times. He later, as promised through Isaiah, delivered the Jews from Babylonian captivity. And in the end, God will deliver Israel and Judah from an end-time Assyro-Babylonian captivity. The punishment on His people will come to an end (51:22). Humbled, they will at last be ready to repent and “awake to righteousness.” Then it will be time for Israel’s enemies to suffer affliction for their evil in turn (verse 23)—until they too are ultimately brought to repentance.

It should be recognized that the deliverance from Babylon spoken of here and in the next chapter, while literal as mentioned, is also figurative of the deliverance from sin that His People now have in Christ. In one sense, God has rescued believers from spiritual Egypt and Babylon—sin and this world. But in another sense, this is an ongoing process, as we overcome throughout life with His help. Finally, in an ultimate sense, deliverance and salvation will come when Christ’s followers are glorified at His return. In fact, even the terrible trial and suffering mentioned in this section will befall a number of people in God’s people (compare Revelation 12:17; Revelation 3:14-19). God’s message to all of us: “Be zealous and repent” (verse 19). Indeed, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin.”

 

The Good News of Zion’s Redemption (Isaiah 52-53)

Chapter 52 begins by describing Zion or Jerusalem in a state of bondage and captivity from which it is to be freed and then exalted. The statement in verse 2 to “arise and sit down” is not a contradiction. She is to rise from the dust and sit on a throne. As the New International Version phrases it: “Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.” Once again, we should notice the parallel between national Israel’s physical deliverance and spiritual Israel’s salvation—which physical Israel will eventually experience as well, following its conversion into spiritual Israel.

God allowed His people to be taken captive in ancient times and will do so again at the end. But the gentile captors do not understand themselves to be agents of God’s punishment. In fact, they glory in their power and terribly abuse God’s people, saying such things as “So where is their God?” (see Psalm 115:2). In this way, God’s name is continually blasphemed throughout the duration of His people’s captivity (Isaiah 52:5). God will make Himself known to all nations through His awesome deliverance of His people.

The apostle Paul quotes verse 7, mentioning what is written there about how beautiful the feet are of those who preach the gospel, or good news, of salvation (Romans 10:15). This concept is addressed as well by the prophet Nahum (Nahum 1:15). And in Ephesians 6:15, Paul explains that our feet are to be clothed “with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” which is what makes them beautiful—a poetic expression for the fact that good news (the gospel) is being brought by the feet of the bearer. By extension, we could view this as applying to whatever means is used to transmit such information (today including an automobile conveying a minister to deliver a sermon, a postal delivery truck bringing a magazine proclaiming God’s truth, a radio station carrying a program on which the good news of God’s Kingdom is announced, etc.).

God led the apostle Paul to draw upon the prophecies of Isaiah because they still directly apply to the life of a believer, as well as provide an outline of the events yet to unfold in the history of mankind. Again, we see continuing evidence that the Old Testament, and not just the New, is for All believers.

The command to be “clean” and to depart and separate ourselves from that which is unclean (Isaiah 52:11) is referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:17. It is a theme echoed in the book of Revelation as well—to come out of Babylon, as a type of that which is unclean (Revelation 18:2, 4). God says moreover that those who bear His “vessels” are to be clean. This appears to refer to priestly duties. God told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons: “Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 22:1-3). The priests thus had to remain ritually clean to carry out their duties. Yet this was merely symbolic of the spiritual purity God requires of His spiritual priesthood (see 1 Peter 2:5, 9).

The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52-53)

Beginning with Isaiah 52:13, we have a section giving some of the remarkable prophecies of the Messiah’s sufferings and other aspects of His life at His coming—that is, His first coming. We have seen that God will redeem His people (verse 2). And now He tells us how. While ultimate deliverance would come by a miraculous force of awesome power (at the Messiah’s second coming), redemption would first come through a great sacrifice out of the depth of unfathomable humility. The Lord—the Creator of mankind, Yeshua (see Ephesians 3:9)—would come in the flesh and die for the sins of those He created. God the Father would thus give His only begotten Son for redemption of the whole world (John 3:16). It is truly mind-boggling to contemplate.

“Amidst a declaration of the Lord’s coming salvation (see 52:7-12; 54:1-10), Isaiah [through God’s inspiration] places a portrait of the Suffering Servant (52:13-53:12)…. Three other passages in Isaiah focus on the Servant and [the four] are called the ‘Servant Songs’ (42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9). The first song celebrates the Servant as the One who will establish justice for all (42:4). The second highlights the deliverance that the Servant will provide. He will restore Israel and become a ‘light to the Gentiles.’ The third emphasizes the God-given wisdom of the Servant. All this culminates in the description of the suffering and death of the Servant in ch. 53, the final ‘Servant Song'” (“INDepth: The Suffering Servant,” Nelson Study Bible, sidebar on Isaiah 52:13-53:12).

Many of the Jews looked for the triumphant Christ to come and save them from their enemies, but they did not recognize the true Messiah when He came to save us first from our sins. Even now, all too many who adhere to at least the form of biblical faith look more to the triumphant coming of Christ to give them victory and rulership over the world and fail to grasp the critical importance of eliminating the unclean elements from their lives first. Many, sadly, will find themselves on the outside in that day (see Matthew 7:21-23; 25:1-13)—until they have learned to recognize the meaning of Christ’s first coming in their lives.

Because of the conflicts with the Jews over Yeshua being the Messiah, it is not surprising that the New Testament writers quote quite a bit from this section of Isaiah.

In discussing his ministry to the gentiles, Paul cites Isaiah 52:15 to show that Christ was fulfilling this prophecy through him in preaching to those who had not yet heard the gospel (Romans 15:21). Right after Paul cites the passage about preaching the gospel mentioned above (10:15; Isaiah 52:7), he quotes from this same section of Isaiah, asking, “Who has believed our report?” (Romans 10:16; Isaiah 53:1). John also quotes this verse in Isaiah as being fulfilled by Yeshua when the Jews of His day did not believe in Him.

The apostles Matthew and Peter quoted Isaiah 53:4-6, which deals with Yeshua taking our sins on Himself (see Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24-25). Peter also quoted from verse 9 of Isaiah 53 in the same place (1 Peter 2:22). In Isaiah 53:4, some margins correctly state that an alternate translation of the Hebrew word for “grief” is “sickness,” and an alternate translation for “sorrows” is “pains.” Indeed, the New Testament quotes the verse: “He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17). Here, then, is an important foundation for divine healing—that Christ’s physical suffering, together with His death, was to not only pay for our sins, but also to take upon Himself the suffering of our diseases and injuries. (For more on this subject, compare Matthew 8:16-17; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 1 Corinthians 11:29-30; James 5:14-15; Psalm 103:1-3.)

When Philip was sent by God to talk with the Ethiopian eunuch in the desert south of Jerusalem, the man was reading a passage from Isaiah that he asked Philip to explain to him (Acts 8:26-35). The specific section he was reading was verses 7-8 of Isaiah 53.

In verse 12, “poured out His soul [physical life] unto death” refers to His dying from blood loss, “for the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).

Yeshua, when preparing to leave the upper room where He kept His last Passover with His disciples before His death, quoted Isaiah 53:12 about being numbered with transgressors as a verse He needed to fulfill, and a reason to take swords with them (Luke 22:35-38). Mark cites the crucifixion between two thieves as actually fulfilling this prophecy (Mark 15:28).

It is sobering to read this passage, particularly when we see that Yeshua was to be beaten into terrible disfigurement (Isaiah 52:14). Having inspired Isaiah to write this prophecy, Yeshua, in the moments before His arrest on the night of the Passover, was fully aware of the suffering that lay ahead of Him. Yet through it all, He remained cognizant of His mission—and dedicated to it. He remained the ultimate, giving Servant of His Father. And indeed, He came to serve us too, to the point of suffering indescribable betrayal and agony and finally dying in our place. Let us all accept the justification His death has made available to us (53:11). But, realizing that it is our sins that necessitated His death, let us leave our sinful ways behind with Him in His death—and come out of sin through the power of His resurrected life (compare Romans 5:9-10; Galatians 2:20).

 

“For Your Maker Is Your Husband” (Isaiah 54-55)

Paul uses verse 1 of Isaiah 54 in his allegory of Sarah and Hagar (Galatians 4:22-31). The barren woman, he says, is like Sarah with the prophecies given her about having many descendants. According to Paul, she represents the New Covenant marriage, to which no children were yet spiritually born—referred to by Paul as “Jerusalem above, the mother of us all.” This New Covenant is actually mentioned in Isaiah 54, as will be explained in a moment.

The “married woman” signified the Old Covenant marriage that already was—physical Israel with its millions of children. This was parallel to Hagar, who bore a son to Abraham while Sarah was yet barren. Yet the child of Hagar was produced apart from faith. God promised that Sarah, though barren, would produce a child through whom His promised blessings would come. The remnant will give birth to its children at the return of Yeshua. And eventually, as more and more become part of, and are eventually born of, the New Covenant, the children of the woman who was barren will eventually outnumber those of her rival who are those born of the flesh in ancient Israel. For people of all nations will be made part of spiritual Israel.

Isaiah himself goes on to say that the physical Israelites will no longer be forsaken in their marriage to God, will be accepted of God and will grow to fill the earth—when they, too, are joined to Him and brought forth according to the New Covenant (verses 4-8), which will be accomplished through the Holy Spirit, as we learn in chapter 55. Indeed, in verses 2-3 of Isaiah 54 we see reference to Israel’s expansion, earlier prophesied in Genesis 28:14. Yet, while physical on one level, the subject of the previous verse in Isaiah seems to make it primarily a reference to the expansion of spiritual Israel, the family of God—parallel to Christ’s assurance that in His Father’s house are many dwellings (see John 14:2).

Verses 11-12 of Isaiah 54 are reminiscent of the description of the New Jerusalem recorded by the apostle John in Revelation 21:18-21. The eternal dwelling of the ekklesia, the wife of Christ (see Ephesians 5:22-33), the New Jerusalem is itself referred to as the bride (Revelation 21:9-10)—again showing “Jerusalem above” to be synonymous with the Ekklesia below.

The New Covenant is specifically mentioned in Isaiah 54:10, where God calls it “My covenant of peace” and relates it to His mercy. “This expression is also found in Ezek. 34:25-31. It is linked with the New Covenant of Jer. 31, for its benefits become possible only after the Messiah forgives the sins of God’s people and makes them righteous. Some of the benefits overlap: God will Himself teach the people, and they will be established in righteousness (cf. Jer. 31:31-34). Yet the focus of this covenant [here] is on security. God throws a protective covering over His people so that they will be safe” (Bible Reader’s Companion, note on Isaiah 54:10). In verse 9, God equates the surety of His covenant of peace with Israel to that of His covenant with Noah that He would never again flood the whole earth (see Genesis 9:8-17).

In John 6:45, Yeshua referred to Isaiah 54:13, showing that when the Father decides to teach someone His way, they will understand Yeshua’s role in His plan of salvation. And eventually, all will be taught that way. The last verse in Isaiah 54 gives us a most important factor in this regard. God explains that the righteousness of His servants comes not from themselves but from Him. It is God who draws us to Himself. It is He who actually grants us repentance. It is He who then forgives us and imputes us as righteous through the atoning blood of Christ. It is He who then lives in us through the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to actually live in righteousness—that is, in obedience to His law. Of course, this does require our participation. If we ultimately refuse God’s work in us, then He will not redeem us.

 

Praise to God from His people, who will receive salvation and share in executing judgment (Psalms 149)

Psalm 149, the fourth hymn in the concluding Hallel collection, is a royal psalm praising Israel ‘s divine King for granting to His people salvation and the high honor of executing His judgment on the nations for their defiance of His rule. This psalm follows from the conclusion of the previous one, with emphasis on the role of Israel and the focus on His “saints” or hasidim, meaning devoted ones, the Hebrew word being used here three times-in the first, middle and last verses (verses 1, 5, 9). And as in the former case, “Israel” and the “saints” (in addition to the “children of Zion ” in this psalm) should not be limited to God’s physical nation. Rather, the truly devoted and obedient people of God are principally in view here-spiritual Israel. This is especially so, given the primarily end-time focus of the song (as implied by the granting of salvation and the execution of vengeance on the nations).

The psalm begins with a call to praise God with a “new song” (verse 1; compare 33:3; 40:3; 96:1). This does not require a song never heard or sung before. The sense can be that of singing with renewed awareness of what God has done. Even old psalms can be sung as new because the congregation always has fresh reasons for expressing gratitude.

Note that the song is to be sung in “the assembly of saints” (149:1). As The Expositor’s Bible Commentary points out, this statement in the closing frame of the book of Psalms ties back to the opening frame: “The phrase is equivalent to ‘congregation of the righteous’ (1:5), and it may be that Psalm 149 is a formal closure of the Psalter, climaxed by the great praise psalm, Psalm 150” (note on 149:1-5). There is a further tie back to the opening as well. As noted in the Bible Reading Program comments on Psalms 1 and 2, these two untitled psalms together apparently form the opening frame of the Psalter. Psalm 1 lays out the character of the righteous while Psalm 2 is a royal psalm focusing on the Messiah coming to conquer the world and set up His Kingdom. So it seems appropriate to read Psalm 149, the next-to-last psalm, in light of that second opening psalm.

The first part of Psalm 149 communicates a sense of celebration, including praising God with dance, singing with timbrels (tambourines) and harps (verse 3)-celebratory elements that are all invoked in the next and final psalm, as we will see.

Israel rejoices because “the LORD takes pleasure in His people” and “will beautify the humble with salvation” (149:4). God’s people are thus equated with those who have a humble, respectful attitude before Him, parallel to what we read just two psalms earlier within the same Hallel collection: “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy [ hesed ]” (Psalm 147:11). Here, again, we see that their hope will be rewarded with being “beautified” with salvation (149:4). The word here can also mean “adorned” and thus recalls other verses about being clothed with salvation (Psalm 132:16; Isaiah 61:10). The “salvation” here could signify God saving His people from life-threatening circumstances in the here and now, yet the ultimate picture is certainly that of salvation in His coming Kingdom. The ancient Israelites in singing this song would have understood both aspects.

The saints singing for joy on their beds (Psalm 149:5) contrasts greatly with past circumstances: “The ‘beds,’ which had before been soaked with tears, share in the joy of the Lord’s deliverance (cf. 4:4; 6:6; 63:6; Hos 7:14)” ( Expositor’s, note on Psalm 149:1-5).

The latter part of the psalm praises God for giving His people a role in executing judgment on the nations (verses 6-9). This applied in part to Old Testament Israel, as the nation fought against the Canaanites, the Philistines and other enemies: “Under the particular administration of the emerging [earthly] kingdom of God put in place in the inauguration of the Sinai covenant…she [Israel] was armed to execute God’s sentence of judgment on the world powers that have launched attacks against the kingdom of God. Under that arrangement, she served as the earthly contingent of the armies [or hosts] of the King of heaven” ( Zondervan NIV Study Bible, introductory note on Psalm 149). The Nelson Study Bible says that Psalm 149 “was used by the army of Israel as well as by the people in their worship of God…. [At verse 6] the focus of the psalm switches from the congregation at worship to the army in training. Israel’s army was to be the vanguard for the battle of the Lord. Their training was to have a strong component of praise and worship of God” (introductory note on Psalm 149 and note on verse 6).

Yet we should once again recognize that the “saints” in this and other psalms is primarily a reference to the spiritually converted people of God-spiritual Zion. Of course in this age is not to take up arms and fight, because Christ’s Kingdom for which we wait is not of this world (see John 18:36). Yet when Yeshua returns to set His Kingdom up on this earth, His saints, then glorified in divine power, will fight alongside Him-as this psalm makes clear. Indeed, as the patriarch Enoch prophesied, “The Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all” (Jude 14-15). The two-edged sword here (Psalm 149:6) would seem to parallel the book of Revelation’s figurative portrayal of a sharp sword coming out of Christ’s mouth at His return (Revelation 19:15; compare 1:16; Isaiah 11:4-5; 49:2). And the imagery of a two-edged sword is used to represent the Word of God (compare Hebrews 4:12-13).

“The written judgment” (Psalm 149:9) refers to the “punishments” and “vengeance” (verse 7) recorded in God’s Word by the prophets. As Expositor’s notes on verses 6-9, “The ‘sentence’ [NIV] ( mishpat, ‘judgment’) decrees that on the day of the Lord, the wicked (individuals, nations, and kings) will be fully judged for the deeds done against God and against his people (cf. Isa 24:21-22; 41:15-16; 45:14; 65:6; Ezek 38-39; Joel 3:9-16, 19-21; Mic 4:13; Zech 14; 2 Thess 1:5-10).”

The saints will then reign with Christ during the Millennium (see Revelation 20:6), continuing to rule by God’s laws.

 

Let all that live join in the orchestra of praise to God (Psalms 150)

With Psalm 150, the fifth and final concluding Hallelujah Psalm, we come to the end of the book of Psalms. As in Psalm 148, the word “praise” ( hallel ) is used here 13 times. Yet this psalm more closely follows the pattern of only the first part of Psalm 148. In this case we see, within the framing Hallelujahs at the beginning and end, 10 imperative calls to praise God (150:1-5) followed by a single summary call to praise in the jussive subjunctive mood-that is, in the form of “let them” (see verse 6). As these calls are brief and without expressive praise, the entire psalm has the form of an extended doxology (a doxology being a brief expression of praise). Recall that Books I through IV of the Psalter each end with a short doxology evidently added to the last psalm in each book (see 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52; 106:48). Now at the end of Book V, the entirety of Psalm 150 appears to perform the same function-and it may have been composed specifically to close the Psalter.

Though brief, Psalm 150 encompasses many elements of the book of Psalms. As the Zondervan NIV Study Bible comments in its introductory note on the song, “This final call to praise moves powerfully by stages from place [verse 1] to themes [verse 2] to orchestra [verses 3-4] to choir [verse 6], framed with Hallelujahs.”

Verse 1 tells us where God should be praised-in His sanctuary and in His mighty firmament. The sanctuary is God’s temple, meaning His physical temple in Jerusalem and also His spiritual temple on earth, as well as His heavenly temple. The “firmament” here signifies heaven or the sky (see Genesis 1:6-8), and the meaning in this case is probably the entire, vast universe.

Verse 2 of Psalm 150 tells us why God should be praised-“for His mighty acts” (for what He does) and “for His excellent greatness” (for who and what He is).

Verses 3-5 tell us “how God should be praised-with the whole orchestra (eight instruments: wind, string, percussion), with dancing aptly placed at the middle” ( Zondervan, note on verses 3-5)-recalling the celebratory elements of the previous psalm (compare 149:3). Perhaps the idea here is simply to joyfully praise God with whatever we have to praise Him.

And finally, verse 6 of Psalm 150 tells us who should praise God-the choir of all that have life and breath. As The Nelson Study Bible remarks on this verse: “The very breath that God gives us should be used to praise Him. As long as we live we should praise our Creator (146:1,2). By His breath God created all things (33:6), and by our breath we should adore Him. The Book of Psalms begins with God’s blessing on the righteous (1:1) and concludes with all of creation blessing its loving Creator.”

In all that we think, in all that we say, in all that we do, let it be to the praise of our great and loving God, our Almighty Maker and Savior and King, the infinite and majestic Lord of all creation. And let us all sing with joyful hearts, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.

 

John 19

John chapter 19 opens with the continuation of the trial of Yeshua. He is flogged, mocked, has a crown of thorns placed on His Head and covered in a purple rob. And once again, after the flogging, Pilate goes to the people and proclaims that he has found not fault in Him. When the Yehudim see Yeshua they cried out for death and Pilate wants the Yehudim themselves to take care of it, but they cannot because they no longer have the authority of capital punishment. When the Yehudim finally profess to Pilate what it is that Yeshua claims, Pilate is very troubled and questions Yeshua again on where He is from. Yeshua does not answer him.

Eventually, Yeshua is handed over to them to be impaled and He is crucified between to other men. Roman soldiers cast lots for His robe. These two things fulfill prophecy concerning the Sent One. After taking some sour wine delivered to him by a sponge put on hyssop, He gave up His Spirit. When the soldiers came to break the legs of them who had been crucified in order to not have them there on the Holy Day, they were surprised to find Yeshua already dead. His legs were not broken. A soldier pierced His side with a spear and instantly blood and water came out.

Joseph of Ramathayim asked Pilate for the body of Yeshua to put into the tomb and Pilate agreed. Nakdimon came also to help Yoseph. They bound His body and laid Him in a new garden tomb that had never been used. Then came the day of Passover.