C O N T E N T S
VOL. 2 | No. 2 | March-April 2011
A R T I C L E S
3 | Choosing a Bible Translation
14 | Questions and Answers
by Randy Dimmett
6 | Life Lessons in the Passover by Donald Mansager
16 | The Armor of Yahweh by Joel Wirl
19 | What is His Name? Feature Article 10 | Yahshua’s Preexistence Part 1 by Randy Folliard
by Robert Wirl
For Women by Women
Restoration Times is published bimonthly by Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. We have restored the true names of the Heavenly Father, Yahweh, and His Son, Yahshua the Messiah. These names were hidden by biblical scribes and translators and can be easily proved in any good encyclopedia or dictionary (under “God,” “Jehovah,” “Lord,” “Jesus” or “Yahweh”). They are found in ancient manuscripts from which we derive our modern translations. Our desire is to return as closely as possible to the pure teachings of scripture. That includes rooting out many popular doctrines and traditional teachings that are not Biblical, but which developed through the centuries from human custom or by compromise with error. We encourage each reader to prove scripturally for himself what he reads here, 1Thessalonians 5:21. Restoration Times expounds the close ties between the Old and New testaments. We teach the continuity and harmony that extend from Yahweh’s actions anciently down through His present activity in Yahshua the Messiah. This was also the conviction of the early New Testament Assembly. This publication is sent free of charge, made possible through the tithes and offerings of those who desire to see the truth of Scripture restored in our day.
21 | Wake Up by Debbie Reed FRONT COVER: The creation of the world by the “Logos” Yahshua the Messiah.
22 | Out of the Mouth of Babes by Amy Pletz
23 | Letters
Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry PO Box 463 Holts Summit, MO 65043 Telephone: 573-896-YAH-8 (9248) Fax: 573-896-9533 www.yrm.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing a Bible
Translation by Randy Dimmett
hoosing a good Bible translation can be a daunting task. Walking into a bookstore you are faced with dozens of options and unless you know what purpose each translation serves, you can easily feel overwhelmed. To understand why so many versions exist you must realize the difficulties in translating from Hebrew and Greek texts into English. A goal of any good Bible should be to have an accurate translation while at the same time using a style that sounds natural to an English-speaking person. To be accurate, however, the text also must express the same meaning that was intended when it was originally written or spoken. And to sound natural the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek needs to be translated into the right words and expressions. Difficulties in Translation To accomplish this goal most Bibles are completed by a committee of scholars who ultimately need to overcome the following difficulties: • Many Hebrew and Greek words have no direct equivalent in English. Some words have multiple meanings in English and some have no English equivalent. For example, the Greek has many words for “love” (eros, phileo,
agape, storgay). The translator must determine the original meaning of the word and then accurately translate the word into English. • Thousands of years separate us from Biblical times. For translators to understand the text they need to understand the setting and culture in which it was written. • There are figures of speech in the Hebrew and Greek that do not make sense in English. Part of understanding the language of Biblical times is understanding the idioms and euphemisms commonly used then, and then finding an accurate English interpretation. Even after translators overcome these difficulties there are still meanings lost in the translation, like Hebrew wordplays and acrostics, both of which are unique to the language they were written in. Often, the translators will just add a footnote to point these out. Methods of Translation Translators use many methods to create new Bible versions, and each version can be put into a category. These categories are good for comparing Bible translations because they are a good indicator of the purpose of the version, and summarize which method the translators used. Following are the
major methods of translating: (1) Formal Equivalent (word-for-word) In this version translators try to reproduce the Hebrew or Greek language word-for-word, sometimes at the expense of expressing a passage in a way that sounds natural in English. Because this type is as close as possible to the original text, it is good for Bible studies but may require advanced knowledge of the language and historic setting to fully understand. (2) Dynamic Equivalent (thought-forthought) In the dynamic equivalent the Hebrew or Greek has been more loosely translated to make understanding easier. Instead of word-for-word meaning, the translators will take phrases or thoughts and translate them into a modern equivalent that the average person would understand. While these versions are easier to read than their Formal Equivalent counterparts, some scriptures are more interpretations than translations.
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and although some scriptures contain antiquated language (the English language has evolved a lot in 400
(3) Free Translation (Paraphrase) Some Bible versions are complete paraphrases of the original text, or even of other versions. Translators will reword whole passages, focusing on readability instead of staying true to the original. Some versions paraphrase to the extent that many details are lost. For that reason these may be suitable for personal devotions or youth Bibles but not so suitable for Bible studies as are other versions.
The Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Mainstream Translations With these categories in mind, presented below are reviews of several of the most widely available Bible versions. Most Bibles have this type of information in the preface or it can be found on the publisher’s website. King James Version (KJV) The King James Version is the most circulated and wellknown version of the Bible. Originally printed in 1611, this version was authorized by King James I of England in an attempt to unify the kingdom by providing a single version to replace the various English translations that existed at the time. The translators of the KJV relied heavily on the work of William Tyndale, whose translations had been used in the first English versions printed in the prior century. The King James Version is not without error, and does not always match more recent versions, which have been updated with manuscripts not yet discovered in 1611. The KJV is a word-for-word (Formal Equivalent) t r a n s l a t i o n , 4
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thou, ye, -est, -eth) while keeping the stylistic beauty of the KJV. This update is still a word-for-word translation and, therefore, an acceptable version for Bible studies. When translating Yahweh’s Name, the translators of the KJV substituted “lord” in small capital letters. “Yahshua” was substituted with “Jesus.” In fact, one of the mistakes of the translators was to make this substitution for the name of Old Testament general “Joshua” in Hebrews 4:78 and Acts 7:45, which renders the passages meaningless.
years), the KJV contains the flowery Shakespearean language that many have come to love. Take for example Psalm 23:2-3: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an update to the KJV was sponsored by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This New King James Version was completed in 1982 and sought to address the archaic language in the KJV (e.g., thee,
The King James Version spawned several revisions in an attempt to correct some of the translation issues and update the language. One of these revisions is the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), which was the basis for the Revised Standard Version. Like the KJV and the ASV, the RSV is a word-forword translation. The RSV is easier to read and some believe this version accomplished the goal of readability while staying true to the original text. When it was originally published in 1952 it replaced the KJV in many churches as their Bible of choice. Like the KJV, the name Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD. The Amplified Bible This version was created to give more depth to key words and phrases translated from the original languages by “amplifying” them with synonyms and definitions placed right in the text inside parenthesis and brackets. This version also includes cross-references and commentary in the footnotes. Psalm 23:2-3 in the Amplified Bible reads, “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He
leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.” The Amplified Bible is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, but according to the publisher’s website, it “attempts to go beyond the ‘wordfor-word’ translation to bring out the richness of the Hebrew and G r e e k languages.” The Amplified Bible was printed in stages over a period of about 10 years until the complete version was published in 1964 by the Lockman Foundation. This version was not meant to be a stand-alone version, but rather to complement other Bibles. “Yahweh” is rendered in this translation in title case as Lord. New American Standard (NASB) This version is also a revision of the 1901 American Standard Version printed by the Lockman Foundation. The project started in 1959 and was a collaboration of conservative scholars from various religious backgrounds. The goal was to create a version that is grammatically correct and easy to understand, while being true to the original languages (a literal word-forword translation) incorporating texts that had been newly discovered. The complete Bible was printed in 1971 and became the best-selling Bible until the New International Version was published later in the decade. To enhance readability each verse starts on a new line, and paragraphs are marked by boldface verse numbers. Any quotations from the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters. The NASB also has an extensive crossreferencing system, and occasionally
includes alternate translations in the margins. These qualities make it a good study Bible. Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD. New International Version (NIV) T h e p ro j ect fo r t h e NIV s t art ed i n 1965 after a meeting between the Christian Reformed Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other Bible scholars. Their desire was for a version that used contemporary English, one that was accurate and readable, and that fell somewhere between formal and dynamic equivalence. The NIV is not as literal as the versions that preceded it like the NASB or RSV, but is arguably easier to read. There is some debate over whether the NIV is suitable for Bible study because of the emphasis put on being a thought-forthought translation. With the support of the New York Bible Society (now the International Bible Society) and Zondervan Bible Publishers, the work began in the late 1960s and involved over 100 scholars from different religious backgrounds (some in different countries). One of the most costly translation projects, the NIV quickly became the fastest selling Bible and remains one of the most popular Bibles. The NIV is available in many forms, like the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Study Bible. Another revision to the NIV has
just been completed, and printing of the new NIV is scheduled for later this year. In 1996, Zondervan also published The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV), which is a revision of the NIV intended for youth or anyone to whom English is a second language. The sentences were shortened, and an easier vocabulary was used, and this version is more of a dynamic equivalence translation and not especially suitable for Bible study. In 2005 Zondervan published Today’s New International Reader’s Version (TNIV), yet another spinoff of the NIV, with updated English intended to engage young adults. Some of the updates were made to remove gender references. For example, Genesis 1:27 reads “…human beings in his own image,” instead of “…man in his own image.” The main purpose of this version was to make the English more clear to modern readers. In the NIV Yahweh is rendered LORD in small capital letters. Adonai is rendered Lord with small letters. When the two are found together in the Old Testament in reference to Yahweh, they are rendered “Sovereign LORD.” New Living Translation (NLT) This version was created to be easily accessible to those who are accustomed to reading in modern English. Published in 1996 by Tyndale Publishers, this started as a major revision of The Living Bible (which was a paraphrase of the 1901 American Standard Version), but as the translators referenced more recent manuscripts, the NLT because a much more accurate translation than The Living Bible. Still, as a dynamic equivalence translation, there are better versions for Bible study than the NLT. The Message This version is a paraphrase that uses a lot of English figures-of-speech. The version was created in about 10
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years by pastor Eugene H. Peterson, and published in its complete form in 2002. About this version, Peterson said, “This paraphrase is not meant to replace one’s current Bible. Rather it was designed as a reading Bible that can provide a fresh perspective.” Psalm 23:2-3 in this version reads, “You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” As with any paraphrase, a true worshiper should be cautious with paraphrased Bibles because they can reflect the opinions and religious views of the person(s) doing the paraphrasing, whether they are aligned with Yahweh’s word or not. Sacred Name Versions Most mainstream versions of the Bible have taken out the sacred Names of Yahweh and Yahshua, and in their place put pagan terms or erroneous transliterations. There are now a handful of Bible translations that have res t o r e d t h e sacred names. Most of them are based on translations discussed earlier, like t h e K i n g James Version or the 1901 American Standard Version. Because these versions are literal translations they make good Bibles for studying. The obvious benefit of having a sacred Name Bible is that you do not have to mentally restore the sacred names as you are reading the text. Restoration Study Bible At the time of this writing, Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry was in the final Continued on page 13 6
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LifeLessons in the
Passover by Donald Mansager
Significant lessons about Yahweh’s plan and your life can be found in the Passover and Feast.
eeking signs and wonders to get closer to Yahweh and His Word is not the way to acquire more Bible truth leading to life everlasting. Yet, that is how thousands believe they can find salvation. When True Worshipers do great miracles, they will not flaunt their successes or sing their own praises on television or radio. Scripture plainly tells us, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and March/April 2011
not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2). Unholy “miracles” will be so convincing, however, that even the very elect would come close to being deceived, said our Savior in Matthew 24:24. Signs and wonders by themselves are not absolute proof, and He warned that they can in fact be Satan’s masterful deceptions. Acts 3:20-21 foretells of a return to Bible truth in the days before the appearance of the Messiah. “And he shall send Yahshua the Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of
all his holy prophets since the world began.” We at YRM are dedicated to returning to the teachings and practices of Yahshua and the Apostles that have been neglected for 2,000 years. Truth is much more than an emotional response to miracles and great acts of wonder, healings, and unexplained phenomena. It involves changing lives to conform to the life of Yahshua the Messiah. Bibles Everywhere Go Unread The abrupt return to the message of the Bible will likely be brought about by some significant event or discovery that will verify the truths of the Book that the world in general ignores. Most homes in this country have at least one Bible and most all public libraries have multiple copies of the Bible. But the general population is ignorant of the Scriptures that reveal to man the very mind of Almighty Yahweh. Something will occur that will call worldwide attention to this Book of books. It may be that more revelations unearthed in archaeological digs will attract even greater interest in the Bible. There could likely be more fascinating bits of information soon coming to light that will reveal facts about the dark period of history following the first hundred years after the Savior’s ascension to the heavens. Very little is known about the second century following the days of the Messiah. Yet it was during this time that truth became corrupted and the early assembly became infused with heresies and paganism that would put the early “church” on an entirely different course. Passover’s Revelations Serious students of the Bible know that Passover was not something that just happened in Egypt. It was foretold and foreordained long before by Yahweh Himself. Passover is the beginning of the seven annual festal observances given to mankind by our Almighty Creator. In the creation account in Genesis
we read of the preparation that Yahweh made for Passover and the ensuing Feasts. “And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons [Hebrew = moed), and for days, and years” (Gen. 1:14). The Hebrew “moed” means appointed times. Yahweh has set aside certain time periods throughout the year when He meets with His people. Many are unaware of these appointed times because churchianity has ignored them and left them untaught. But to understand Passover and the other annual appointed days is to uncover our great Creator’s master design recorded for us in the Scriptures.
It may be that “more revelations unearthed in archaeological digs will attract even greater interest in the Bible.
A Promise to Abraham Abram is called the Father of the faithful. The Bible focuses on him and his family. It follows his progeny not only in the Book of Genesis but also through the entirety of the Old Testament in the history of fleshly Israelites. In fact, the New Testament continues with the spiritual seed, the “called-out” spiritual Israelites. This fundamental truth, very basic to the Scriptures, is unknown by most today. Abram lived in the worldly city of Ur in ancient Babylon. Ur means “mooncity” and was a great cosmopolitan center where worship of many deities
and pagan teachings flourished. “Now Yahweh had said unto Abram, Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will shew you” (Gen. 12:1). Then follows the wonderful promise made to Abraham of making his progeny a great nation, filled with blessings, and in him all families of the earth would be blessed. Abram obeyed and departed with Lot his nephew, Genesis 12:2-4. Paul writes in Galatians 3:8 that this was the evangel that was first preached on earth. Many preachers imply the “gospel” is the New Testament teaching as opposed to the Old Testament’s teaching of Law and sacrifices. But Paul said the “gospel” began back with faithful Abram. The blessings that would come through Abraham and his seed included the Israelite families, Moses the Lawgiver and Yahshua the Messiah, Savior of the world. This is the true “Evangel” and is taught from Genesis to Revelation. Passover, Abraham, and Israel Passover was not just an event that occurred in Egypt and just “happened” to be in the spring. It was foretold at least 400 years before that, and indications are that other events took place that were forerunners of these later occurrences. When Abram left Haran, he took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew and “all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” Abram left Haran, the city of Ur of the Chaldees (called the city of the moon-deity) with his wife and nephew, along with their servants who were sheep-herders and cattlemen. Some 400 years later the Israelites left Ramses of Egypt on Abib fifteen (Num. 33:3) and started for the Promised Land with all their goods and families, including a “mixed multitude,” Numbers 11. Furthermore, it has been suggested
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that Abram left Ur the very same day, the fifteenth of Abib, arriving at Shechem on the Feast of Weeks, Genesis 12:6-7. There he built an altar unto Yahweh. Some scholars understand that the places where Abram stopped signify annual Feast days: Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. Amazing Parallels Genesis 12:20 tells of Abram, with his family, being thrust out of Egypt, just as were the Israelites 430 years later, Exodus 12:33. Both were increased with wealth as they left Egypt. Furthermore, Yahshua Himself was taken to Egypt and then was called out of there also: “When [Joseph] arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of Yahweh by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son” (Matt. 2:14-15). When Yahweh introduces His Covenant to Israel, note how He describes Himself: “I [am] Yahweh your Elohim, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2). Not only did Yahweh bring Abram out of Egypt, Israel out of Egypt, and Yahshua out of Egypt, but through His Word He is also calling YOU out of the Egypt of this world! He is asking you to forsake the ways of the world and take up His way of life and follow in the footsteps of His pattern Son Who also was brought out of Egypt. We may not all be the fleshly seed of Abraham, the “dust of the earth” (Gen. 13: 16), but we certainly strive to be the spiritual Israelites, the celestial “stars of
the heavens” (Gen. 15:5). This we can be if we keep His Commandments and have the faith of Yahshua, Revelation 14:12. This includes observing the Feast days of Leviticus 23. When Yahweh made the Covenant with Abram in Genesis 12, He emphasized that He was Yahweh and that Abram’s seed would be strangers in a land that was not theirs, and afflicted 400 years. “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:41). The Israelites were not made slaves immediately; it took some time, likely a period of 30 years. Over this time the situation had changed. Joseph had died, and the Hyksos (“foreign rulers”) who knew not Joseph took over rulership of Egypt, Exodus 1:8. Significantly, prophecy was fulfilled to the very day—the same day Abram left Ur and the Israelites left Egypt! Spring and the Passover Passover marks the beginning of the Annual Holy Days in Yahweh’s program for mankind. It comes in the spring of the year. Passover always falls on the fourteenth of the month Abib (Hebrew, meaning “green ears” of barley grain). Abib begins the year in Yahweh’s plan when the northern hemisphere comes to life again after the winter season. The grass greens, the trees bud and the leaves and fruit follow. The birds build their nests, animals are born, and the warming sun stirs the earth to life once again. Yahweh established spring to begin the new year, not January in the dead of cold winter.
There are herculean efforts “out there” to convince people of their way to calculate the Passover. Find out what the Bible clearly says without the baggage of false doctrine and man-made ideas. To receive your free copy of The Timing of Passover see back cover 8
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The Feast Before Sinai Yahweh’s plan for the redemption of mankind began with Abram. Abram was chosen by Yahweh and told to leave his family, leave his friends, leave the land he knew, and he would be shown a new homeland. Yet he would be a stranger in the land as he continued to seek the heavenly Jerusalem, Hebrews 11:8-10. Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread had special significance for Abraham. Genesis 18 describes him as sitting in the tent door among the oaks of Mamre. When three celestial beings appeared, he recognized one of them as Yahweh Himself! Abraham quickly told Sarah to make unleavened cakes while he fetched a young calf and fed his guests; Genesis 18:6-8. The Book of Judges tells of Gideon also preparing unleavened cakes for the Angel of Yahweh who appeared to him, Judges 6: 19. The appointed times (Hebrew: moedim) are a special time when Yahweh has met with His people and will commune in the future. Isaac is promised to be born of Sarah at “this set time” (moed) in the next year, Genesis 17 :21. The promise is given to Abraham that this Being (Yahweh) will return “according to the time of life” (Gen. 18:10), which is understood to mean in spring, when the earth comes to life. The promise is repeated in Genesis 18:14, “the time of life”is the Passover season and days of Unleavened Bread. When the two angels continued to Sodom, Lot met them and baked unleavened bread for them, Genesis 19:1-3. Lot’s family was taken out of Sodom and protected while the sinful city was destroyed by fire and brimstone. Some 400 years later the land of Egypt was stricken with 10 plagues, each of which was directed against specific deities of Egypt. Yahweh showed that He is more powerful than all the deities of Egypt. The blood on the doors of the Israelites protected them while the Egyptian firstborn
were slain. Israel was brought out of Egypt, while Pharaoh and his armies—who were in the worldly opposition—were destroyed in the Red Sea. Significant Season We see a pattern here. Spring is the time when the earth comes back to life in this northern hemisphere. It is the time when Sodom and the sister cities were destroyed and only Lot and his family were led out of harm’s way. Neither Sodom nor Egypt could interfere with Yahweh’s plan for His people. Abraham’s son Isaac was born to him at this time of year, Genesis 21:2. Passover season is the starting point of our walk with Yahweh. We accept the shed blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Then we keep seven days of unleavened bread therewith (in addition to Passover), Deuteronomy 16:3. We feed on the “Bread of Life” seven more days, learning of Him and walking in His ways. We overcome the temptations and meet the trials of life and help others along the way. Spring is a time of coming alive. Just as the foliage brings forth fruit, we are to bear much fruit. The Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of the year is the time for the ingathering of fruit and symbolizes the coming Millennial Kingdom with Yahshua ruling with a rod of iron, Revelation 2:26-27. Watching What We Ingest Passover begins on Abib 14. Paul cautioned us not to gorge ourselves at this time, but to take a token amount of the fruit of the vine, and a token amount of unleavened bread as a memorial of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood. Then follow the seven days of Unleavened Bread where we examine
all the doctrines we believe, making certain all are based on the Bible and not teachings of men. It is much like a spring housecleaning. We cannot partake of the emblems of the Savior’s death and continue our sinful ways. Unleavened Bread reminds us to check everything we eat to make certain it is proper food for the remnant of Israel. We become “label-readers”
annual observances and take them seriously. No other annual observances are commanded in the Scriptures than the seven annual Feasts. Start calling on Yahshua’s Name, the only name in Scripture that promises salvation, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
as we confirm the food we take is in accord with Yahweh’s Word. In a spiritual sense we are to do the same thing. We are to verify that those things we believe are not leavened with “hypocrisy or formalism; erroneous doctrine or teachings; political religion or worldliness,” as noted in Dr. Bullinger’s Bible comments on leaven, p. 1338. If you have not kept the Passover and days of Unleavened Bread, we urge you to seek the truth of these
Your Choice Yahweh is still working with His people, calling certain ones out of the world to keep the days that He Himself ordained. These annual observances will be kept and taught in the Millennial Kingdom, Ezekiel 45:21-25; Zechariah 14:16-18; Hosea 12:9. They were never abolished, and neither are they just for Jews. One can elect to keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths in this life, learning what to do, when to do it, and have a closer walk now with the Savior. Remember, He also kept these days in His earthly sojourn. He likely will return at the time of one of Yahweh’s sacred, yearly appointments (moedim) at the sound of the trumpet, 1Thessalonians 4:16. Become a part of the kingdom of priests who will be teaching others in the sovereignty of Yahweh (Rev. 5:10; 20:6). These resurrected saints will be teaching the weekly Sabbath and Feasts, having learned them themselves by observing them. Those who resist at that time will be forced to keep these days under severe penalties. You have a choice now. Be willingly obedient and receive the greater prize, a position of leadership in the Kingdom to come. Choose life by obeying Yahweh and conforming to His Word. Let the world have its dead-end holidays. Serve Yahweh and live. n
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Preexistence Part I
by Randy Folliard
ince the post-Apostolic time period, the nature and person of Yahshua have been much debated. Many questions have risen, ranging from whether the Messiah is a separate being distinct from His Father to whether He and the Father are one in a mysterious triune relationship. Other questions surround his humanity. Was Yahshua fully human, divine or partly both when he walked this earth? Then there are those who ask whether Yahshua preexisted prior to His birth at Bethlehem or whether He first came into being through Mary’s miraculous conception. In this first installment we will 10
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uncover the truth regarding the existence that the Messiah had with His Father prior to the creation of this world. Before this, however, it is necessary that we understand why this fact is important. Those who acknowledge Yahshua as the one true Messiah don’t question His validity. Only through the Messiah’s sacrificial atonement is mankind justified and released from the penalty of his sins (Rom. 3:25, 4:25, 5:18). Now this redemption He offers us is not the only significance of Yahshua the Messiah. Once we understand that Scripture also teaches that through Yahshua all things were created, we come to realize the role that Yahshua had prior to his birth March/April 2011
as a man. According to Scripture, without Yahshua the Messiah, the heavens and earth would not exist. Those who deny the preexistence of the Messiah also deny the great contributions that He provided to the existence of this universe. Therefore, this belief not only rejects His full existence by denying his preexistence, but also ignores His contributions to creation and to mankind. First we will examine the scriptural evidence for the Messiah’s preexistence. We will begin by reviewing the proof found in the New Testament. There is no passage of greater importance when answering the question of the Messiah’s
preexistence than John chapter one. The Word Became Flesh It reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. The same was in the beginning with Elohim. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). Based on verse 14, who represents the “Word” within this passage? The “Word” is identified as the only begotten of the Father. This can refer only to Yahshua the Messiah. Now does the “Word” in verse 1 correspond to the “Word” in verse 14? There are those who would argue that the word in verse 1 refers simply to the “plan of Yahweh,” while the word in verse 14 refers to the manifestation of that plan, i.e., Yahshua the Messiah. The problem with this view is context. From the passage it is clear that there is only one “Word” being described, the Messiah. This passage could be rendered, “In the beginning was the Messiah, and the Messiah was with Elohim, and the Messiah was Elohim.” Here is evidence that the Messiah was with Yahweh in the beginning. Now there are some who struggle with John 1:1, when it says, “… the Word was Elohim.” Some have interpreted this as John confirming the duality of the Father and Son. In other words, validating that the Father and Son are the same being, as expressed through the Trinity. Understanding begins with the Greek. The Greek word for “elohim” is “theos,” literally “a general name of deities or divinities” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). From the Old and New testaments we find that this term along with its Hebrew equivalent, Elohim, applies to both the Father and Son, as well to false deities and even man. This passage could just as easily be rendered, “…the Messiah was a ‘Mighty One.’”
John is not confusing the Father and Son. He is simply confirming that in the beginning the Son was with His Father as a “Mighty One.” Having established who this “Word” represents, let’s now move on to the meaning of verse 3. It says again that all things were made by Him. So based on this verse Yahshua was the one who created all things. This truth must not go unnoticed. John unambiguously declares that all things in the heavens and on earth were created through the Messiah. To ignore or reject this pronouncement is to discard the truth of Yahweh and degrade the role of
The “Word” is “identified as the
only begotten of the Father. This can refer only to Yahshua the Messiah.
Yahshua. To summarize, we find three scripturally undeniable facts within this passage: (1) The “Word” represents Yahshua the Messiah, (2) Yahshua was with His Father in the beginning and (3) all things were made through the Messiah. To remove the Messiah’s preexistence is to remove His presence with His Father and the pivotal role that He had in creation. ‘Before the World Was’ In His eye-opening prayer in John 17 we find Yahshua Himself declaring his own preexistence as He prepared for His imminent death: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). Now the key word here is “was.” This word is derived from the Greek
einai meaning, “to exist” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Thayer’s offers a similar definition, “to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.” Based on the Greek, we find Yahshua asking his Father to provide Him the same glory that He had before the world existed. Yahshua through his own mouth offers irrefutable confirmation of his preexistence. He declares that He had glory with His Father, indicating His exalted state, before the world existed. In essence, this is the same message we found in the first chapter of John. ‘Before Abraham Was’ Similar to the previous example, in John 8:56-58 the Messiah confirms that he existed before Abraham. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? Yahshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Before we consider verse 58, the critical verse here, it is vital that we understand the context of the entire passage. The Jews understood Yahshua’s referring to His past existence, otherwise their reference to his age would be without significance. Though this passage speaks in the present tense, the context clearly refers to the past. It is vital that this context be understood, as Yahshua’s proceeding statements are built thereupon. In verse 58, Yahshua again made the remarkable statement, “….before Abraham existed, I was.” Now what was Yahshua saying within this passage? The meaning is once again found in the Greek. The word “was” here comes from the Greek word, ginomai. The Strong’s defines this word as, “to cause to be, i.e. (reflexively) to become (come into being).” Thayer’s adds, “to become, that is, to come into existence, to begin to be, or to receive being.” The phrase “I am” comes from the same Greek word for “was” in John
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FEATURE ARTICLE 17:5, i.e., einai. Additionally, The Complete Word Study New Testament under its Lexical Aid, provides this definition: “to be, to exist, have existence or being.” From the Greek the Messiah confirms here that before Abraham came into being that He existed or was present. So from this example, Yahshua once more confirms his heavenly existence by substantiating that he existed prior to the patriarch Abraham. Yahshua Before John the Baptist Not only did Abraham confirm Yahshua’s preexistence, but John the Baptist did also. “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me” (John 1:15). The word “before” here comes from the Greek word protos. Strong’s defines this word as, “foremost (in time, place, order or importance).” This statement by John clearly refers to time and not to order of importance. This can be substantiated through John’s earlier statement, “He that cometh after me.” Those who know genealogy might be saying, but wait. Elisabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, conceived six months before Mary (Luke 1:26). How then was Yahshua before John? Simply because Yahshua preexisted before Abraham, and we find here that He also preexisted before John the Baptist. I Came from Above In addition to these examples, Yahshua also noted in several passages that He came down from heaven. We find one such account in John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” In addition to the Messiah’s declaring that no man has gone to heaven, a belief that is corroborated in both Old and New testaments (Gen. 3:19, Job 14:2, Ps. 103: 14-16, 146:4, Ecc. 9:10, 12:7, Dan. 12:2, Acts 2:2934), Yahshua states that he came down from heaven. The phrase here “came 12
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down” is from the Greek katabaino, meaning “to descend” (Strong’s). Thayer’s offers additional detail: “the place from which one has come down.” Yahshua confirms here that He came down or descended from heaven. Based on the Greek, no other interpretation would apply. For this statement to be true our Savior would have had to first exist in heaven prior to his birth as a man. An analogous passage can be found in John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” As Yahshua stated in John 3:13, He also plainly declares in this verse that he came down from or was sent from heaven. The phrase “came down” is derived from the same Greek word found in John 3:13, katabaino. From Yahshua’s own testimony we find confirmation once more that He came down or descended from heaven. For this to be possible, Yahshua would have had to preexist in heaven with His Father. In verse 62 Yahshua went on to say, “What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” The Messiah confirms here His heavenly preexistence. Scriptures state that after Yahshua’s death and resurrection that He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:11). Based on this fact, Yahshua confirms here that He existed in heaven prior to His birth as a man. In John 8:23 Yahshua provides proof for His previous existence by drawing a contrast between Himself and mankind. “And he said unto them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.” Yahshua witnesses here again to His place of origin. He stated that while man was from beneath and of this world, that He Himself was neither. If Yahshua was not from beneath or of this world, from where did He commence? Based on the evidence, the only clear conclusion is that He had His beginning in heaven. The fact that Yahshua also stated that He was from
above only further solidifies this fact. So from multiple passages we find the same message…Yahshua came down or existed in heaven prior to his human birth. Image of the Invisible El Paul in Colossians 1:14-17 not only confirms Yahshua’s preexistence, but also explains his role in the Old Testament: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible El, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” From verse 14 there should be no question as to the subject; this passage is a reference to our Savior. Now in verse 15 Paul states that Yahshua is the image of the invisible El, referring to the Father. Yahshua in John 6:46 confirmed that no man had seen the Father except for the Son. Scripture also corroborates that the Father cannot be seen and is invisible (1Tim. 1:17, Heb. 11:27). According to Paul, Yahshua is the image of His Father. Now what existence of the Son is Paul referring to; His past existence with His Father prior to the world or His present existence as a man? From the next few verses we find that Paul is clearly referring to the past existence of Yahshua, which confirms that Yahshua was the image or representation of His Father in the Old Testament. We will review many of these accounts in part two of this article. For now, let’s continue with verse 15. Paul states that Yahshua is the firstborn of every creature. The word “firstborn” is derived from the Greek word prototokos. Both Strong’s and Thayer’s define this word as “firstborn.” They offer no other definition. The
KJV also translates this word as “first begotten.” The meaning of prototokos is very specific. It is important to acknowledge this fact. By so doing we must acknowledge that Yahshua was the firstborn of every creature. To ensure that we have a full understanding of this passage, we must not neglect the word “creature.” This word is derived from the Greek ktisis. Strong’s defines this word as, “original formation.” Thayer’s offers a similar definition, “creation, that is, a thing created; used of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation.” So based on the Greek Paul is validating that Yahshua was the firstborn of every original formation of creation. To negate that Yahshua preexisted prior to creation is to ignore the clear truth we find within this passage. Paul goes on to further explain that not only was Yahshua the firstborn of every creature, but that through Him all things in the heavens and on earth were created. The word “created” in verse 16 is from the Greek word ktizo. Strong’s and Thayer’s define this word as, “to fabricate” or to “create,” as referring to creation. So as we find here, it was by the Messiah that all things in heaven and on earth were created. This is the same message and second witness to John 1:3. Paul’s last point here is important. Paul states that by Him, i.e., Yahshua the Messiah, all things consist. What is Paul referring to? From the context Paul points to the creation of the heavens and earth. If Yahshua were not present at creation, then how would all things consist by Him? This would make no sense unless Yahshua was both present and active in creation. In Part 2 we will continue to explore the evidence for Yahshua’s preexistence in both Old and New testaments. In addition we will review passages that are used by those who oppose the preexistence. Finally, we will close by reviewing those Old Testament passages that reveal the role that Yahshua performed in the Old Testament as the image of the invisible El. n
Choosing a Bible Translation Continued stages of producing The Restoration Study Bible (RSB) and raising funds for an initial printing. An online version is now available at http:// restorationstudybible.org/. There you can view the text with and without Strong’s numbering along with Strong’s definitions. We plan to add study notes in the near future. The RSB project started two years ago and is being completed by a group of volunteers from Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. The goal of this version is to provide a sound study Bible with the sacred Names restored. No such Bible has ever been done. The version is based on the original King James Version, a word-for-word translation, in order to remain close to the original text. The KJV was also chosen as the basis because it is easy to cross-reference in Hebrew/Greek dictionaries and lexicons for deeper study into the Word. Every significant word in the RSB includes a Strong’s reference number corresponding to a definition in Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. This version also includes character profiles in the footnotes as well as commentary and word definitions. The commentary explains popular error and some of the translation issues in the
KJV that have led to error. To enhance readability each verse begins on a new line, and paragraphs are marked with a paragraph symbol. Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters, and each quotation includes a crossreference in the footnotes. As True Worshipers, we should be looking to the Bible as the Word given to us by Yahweh to guide our lives. Deciding which version to use for our devotions and Bible studies should not be taken lightly because there are so many translations to choose from and some are much better than others. You could say there is no perfect English translation. Several translations have been created in an attempt to improve upon the ones before, and new translations and revisions will continue to be produced. A good rule of thumb is to get a good formal equivalence translation for Bible studies. You could also benefit by having more than one version so you can compare how different translators render passages into English. Additionally, a good Hebrew/Greek lexicon is very helpful in finding the possible English meaning and renderings of the original words. We are anticipating that the RSB currently being produced by Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry will be very useful in Bible studies, and we are confident it would make a great addition to your collection of Bible translations. n
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in Scripture “If the Son and Father are unequal, do we not worship the Son? Is Yahshua a lesser mighty one or is He not divine at all?” The Son was created by the Father, which is why He is known as the Son, Revelation 3:14, John 5:26. He is never called a colleague, associate, or co-regent. Paul said the Father is head of the Son, as all fathers are, 1Corinthians 11:3. Ephesians 4:6 says the Father is above all. Several passages either tell us directly or demonstrate to us that the Father is greater than the Son: John 8:42, 13:16, 14:28, 1Corinthians 15:28, and Philippians 2:9. Yahshua said he could do nothing of Himself but only what the Father does, John 5:19. The Father shows His supremacy by being the only one with immortality, 1Timothy 6:15, which He gives to His Son, John 5:26, 10:28. Yahshua told a woman as well as others that they would worship the Father. The only change would be in location: “Yahshua saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father,” John 4:21. Two verses later He said, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him,” John 4:23. In His model prayer of John 17 He tells us to pray to the Father. He 14
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never mentions the Son in that context.. The Messiah was never actually worshiped in Scripture, only given profound honor, if you follow the meaning of the Greek. While on earth He was human. Note that he made a distinction between what He was in heaven and what He became on earth. John 17:5 says, “And now, O Father, honor me with thine own self with the majesty which I had with you before the world was.” Philippians 2:68 reads, “Who, being in the form of Yahweh, thought it not robbery to be equal [Gr. 2470 isos = agree together] with Yahweh: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form [Gr. 3444 morphe = nature, essence] of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the [torture] stake.” Yahshua was divested of His former Yahweh-like glory and He became physical man here on earth so that we would have a perfect example to follow in all our own trials and temptations. “What do you think about military service and also participation in politics and civil juries?” Since we are “pilgrims in a foreign land” (Heb. 11:13), military service is incompatible with the Believer’s goals and objectives. This is also a lesson we find when Yahshua confronted Pilate March/April 2011
in John 18:36, “Yahshua answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” The military also presents Sabbath and feast difficulties for the Believer. For some of the same reasons we believe that our involvement in politics should be minimal and any service in juries should conform to Yahweh’s Word, including the need for two to three witnesses before conviction, especially in capital cases (Num. 35:30, Deut. 17:6). “Should believers celebrate Hanukkah?” While Hanukkah is not scripturally denounced, we prefer to focus on those days that Yahweh commands within His Word (Lev. 23). This preference would also apply to all other traditional days based outside of the Word. For those who choose to observe Hanukkah, we encourage that they simply remember the historical significance and not to participate in the Christmas-like gift and greeting card exchange, tree/bush decorating, and other traditions, which mirror older pagan customs. “Some suggest that the bread used to commemorate the [Master’s] Table cannot
For more questions and answers on a wide variety of topics visit the Q&A page on our website:
www.yrm.org/qna.htm be assumed to have been unleavened bread because the Greek word for bread in 1Corinthians 11 is artos, which means ordinary or raised bread as opposed to the Greek azumos, which means unleavened. Because of this and other reasons, it is said that the bread used at the supper in the [impalement] week could not have been a Seder. I find this a little disturbing. How can this possibly have been regular raised bread when we know that many churches in our own day use unleavened bread when they remember the [Master]? So, what do the scriptures really teach in this regard?” When researching a subject it is always best to go back to where the subject first appears in Scripture to establish a proper foundation. In the instance of Passover, which has been given the name Master’s Supper, Scripture clearly teaches that the bread was unleavened. “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even” (Ex 12:18). The phrase “unleavened bread” in Exodus 12:18 comes from the Hebrew matzah, meaning “unleavened (bread, cake), without leaven (yeast)” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). Israel had to eat unleavened bread (matzah) with the Passover, Exodus 12:8. We find confirmation from this lexicon that no yeast or leavening was permitted with the Passover or the Feast that followed. We find this also
in Exodus 34:25, “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.” Any teaching involving the symbol of the body in the Passover must comply with this requirement. If there seems to be a contradiction, then one must reconcile that contradiction with the Word or additional evidence. This can be explained by a complete understanding of the word artos: (1) Food composed of flour mixed with water and baked, (2) food of any kind” (Thayer’s). “(1) artos NT:740, “bread” (perhaps derived from aro, “to fit together,” or from a root ar–, “the earth”), signifies (a) “a small loaf or cake,” composed of flour and water, and baked, in shape
either oblong or round, and about as thick as the thumb; these were not cut, but broken and were consecrated to [Yahweh] every Sabbath and called the “shewbread” (loaves of presentation), Matt 12:4; when the “shewbread” was reinstituted by Nehemiah, Neh. 10:32, a poll-tax of 1/3 shekel was laid on the Jews, Matt 17:24; (b) “the loaf at the [Master’s] Supper,” e. g., Matt 26:26 (“[Yahshua] took a loaf,” RV, marg.); the breaking of “bread” became the name for this institution, Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:23; (c) “bread of any kind,” Matt 16:11; (d) metaphorically, “of [Messiah] as the Bread of [Elohim], and of Life,” John 6:33,35; (e) “food in general,” the necessities for the sustenance of life, Matt 6:11; 2Cor. 9:10, etc.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words). We find that artos defines bread in general or “food of any kind” and can apply to unleavened bread as well. Based on this evidence, there is no contradiction between Exodus 12 and 1Corinthians 11. Both define bread; and Exodus 12 further defines unleavened bread. Only unleavened bread is appropriate for the Passover. n
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hroughout history various types of war have been fought– some for the establishment of freedom and some for the rule of tyranny. The one consistent element in these wars (and even during times of peace) is the conflict everyone has to face on a daily basis – the war of and for the mind. Paul understood this clearly and even included his thoughts on the matter in Ephesians 6:10-17. He knew the fight which we face is not against the physical that we can touch and feel, but is against the unseen forces of evil and all its many devices that try to ravage our minds and cause us to turn from Yahweh. Paul also understood that for any member in this great fight to succeed, he or she needs to be equipped to fight the evil and protect against it. But what equipment does one need to defend against and attack evil? Paul, who was under Roman guard when he wrote the Book of Ephesians, saw their armor and Roman weapons and drew a correlation between the physical armor and the armor we are to put on spiritually. This armor is not from ourselves, but is the armor of Yahweh. Looking through Ephesians 6:1317 we find what kind of armor we need and what importance each piece is to our spiritual battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of Elohim, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the good news of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim.” The Belt of Truth The Roman soldier’s belt served a twofold purpose. One was for defense through the use of leather strips that 16
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The by Joel Wirl
hung in the front of the belt to protect the lower part of the body. The second was to hold the soldier’s sword in its scabbard. But what does a belt have to do with truth? Yahshua defined truth in John 17:17 when he prayed his prayer to Yahweh, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Truth is whatever Yahweh says. His precepts, His commandments, His promises are all final and complete truth since Yahweh cannot and will not lie. If we are to be effective in our struggle against evil we must bind truth around us, just as we would a belt. We can’t just sort of know the truth, but we must constantly be striving to understand Yahweh and His words through the Scriptures. The danger of not knowing the difference between truth and error is that you become a person with no stability or character, and become open March/April 2011
to Satan’s attacks. James 1:5-8 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask Yahweh who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from Yahweh. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Now James is referring to faith in prayer, but the same can be said about our knowledge of Yahweh’s Word and His truth. If we don’t know what is true then when we hear some new idea from someone we will wonder if that idea is true. Then we will hear another idea from someone else and wonder if that idea is true, too. It turns into a seesaw effect where you are constantly going back and forth and never stable.
Learn what is true and don’t let it go. Bind it around you and let it protect you against Satan’s constant attacks. Without this critical element in our armor, the belt of truth, there will be weaknesses. Gird up your loins and wear your belt. The Breastplate of Righteousness The breastplate for the soldier was the main part of his armor. Without a breastplate the soldier would be open to attacks to the vital organs of his body. With a breastplate, though, the soldier could withstand the blows from his enemy that got through his defenses and be able to live longer in the battle. But what does a breastplate have to do with righteousness? Righteousness is defined in Deuteronomy 6:24-25, “Yahweh commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear Yahweh our Elohim, so that we
might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before Yahweh our Elohim, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” Yahweh didn’t enact His laws so that we might be miserable, but to protect us and so that we would have more fulfilling lives. If we go against His commands we put ourselves in harm’s way because of sin’s consequences. Righteousness, being obedient to Yahweh’s commandments, keeps us from constantly suffering from our mistakes, since Yahweh tells us what we should and shouldn’t do. Righteousness will deliver from great suffering, as it says in Proverbs 11:4, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Keep your breastplate on and protect yourself with Yahweh’s words. Feet Fitted with Good News
When Paul is physically describing feet fitted with righteousness he is referring to shoes. Ephesians 6:15: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the good news of peace.” Naturally shoes played a vital role in a soldier’s armor because shoes are used to protect one’s feet. It would be silly to have a warrior charging into battle, sword swinging, only to have him step on something sharp so that he can barely walk. The question though is what do shoes have to do with readiness and the Good News of peace? First, what is the Good News? The Good News is salvation—salvation from death through Yahshua and then onward to inherit the kingdom of Yahweh which will come down to earth. Yahweh’s grace is given to us now so that we might have a chance to repent from our sins and come to Him. This Good News, the knowledge of salvation and Yahweh’s grace, must not be kept to ourselves but proclaimed to the world. In Mark 16:15 Yahshua said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” He commanded us that we must not just keep what we know to ourselves, but that we must share it with others. By having our spiritual shoes on, we can move more easily when we share the Good News. Paul in his day physically walked, traveled, and sailed thousands of miles in the pursuit of spreading the Word of salvation to the nations. We don’t necessarily have to do that, with the wonders of the Internet and faster transportation, but are we at least doing our part in spreading the Word of salvation? We must put on our “shoes” and walk steadily toward the goal of the Kingdom, and also share with others the great and awesome plan of Yahweh. Shield of Faith The shield was the soldier’s main defense against attack. A Roman soldier’s shield was about three and a half feet in height, which provided ample area for defense from arrows or physical combat. Also, in the middle
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of the Roman shield was a knob called a “boss” which could be used to push back or attack an opponent. But what does faith have to do with a shield? Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The evidence is Yahshua’s resurrection and how Yahweh helps us on a daily basis. We weren’t there when Yahshua was raised from the dead, nor can we see exactly how Yahweh affects our lives, but these things did and do happen. The greater our belief in Yahweh’s awesome power, the more we will be able to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks. Belief and faith connect us to Yahweh. In Matthew 14, when Yahshua walked on water, Peter was able to walk on the water also when Yahshua called for him to come, but when Peter got fearful, he started to sink. How many times do we forget that Yahweh can truly do all things, and that there is nothing out of His grasp to do? Satan will see our doubts and fears and will attack us at once, like a ferocious lion, and without our absolute faith in Yahweh’s power to help us in any situation we will get hurt. Paul said in Ephesians 6:16 that we must take up the shield of faith. This requires action, just as does pursuing faith. James 2:17 says, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” Let’s take a stand and live a life of faith through our works. Take up your shield of faith and use it.
death, but the gift of Yahweh is eternal life in Messiah Yahshua our Master.” Yahshua died for us; he took that penalty of sin upon himself so that we could be saved from ultimate death. This death is not the first death of the flesh, but the final death that will happen during the judgment of all creation. Through Yahshua we are saved from death, and we must constantly be focusing on this. The head is where all the thinking is done. If our head is thinking wrong then we will do wrong, and wrong thinking is so prevalent in society. How many times during the day are we bombarded with wickedness and bad thinking? We need to fill our minds with good things, as Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” The sacrifice that Yahshua gave for us, his very life, should be at the forefront of our minds at all times. Because we know what the cost was for our salvation we would never want to trample upon Yahshua’s sacrifice with our sins. We constantly need to remind ourselves of this so we don’t sin. Yahshua’s precious blood was shed for mankind. Protect your minds, and put on your helmet of salvation, the salvation of Yahshua.
The Sword of the Spirit The final piece of the armor is the sword, which was the main defensive The Helmet of Salvation weapon for the Roman soldier. This The helmet, of course, was used by the type of sword was called a gladius. It Roman soldier to protect his head. A was double-edged, and when sharpened soft blow to any part of the body may was able to pierce most armor. Without not cause instant death, but most strong a sword the soldier was just a walking blows to the head in a deadly battle will piece of armor not able to attack the mean demise for the warrior. The head enemy. But how can a sword be related must be protected during battle, but to Yahweh’s Word? what does it have to do with salvation? The Word of Yahweh is truth. This Salvation is Yahshua and what he can be verified by looking at John did for us. We were all born into sin, 17:17, which says, “Sanctify them in destined for death, but with Yahshua the truth, Your word is truth.” Yahweh’s there is a difference. We read in Word, His truth, is our attacking Romans 6:23,“For the wages of sin is weapon because it attacks falsehood 18
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and lies. Yahweh’s Word is able to cut through lies and deceit, just like a sword. Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of Elohim is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” When Yahshua was confronted by Satan after his 40-day fast (Matthew 4:1-11), Satan misquoted some Scriptures. Matthew 6:5-6 reads: “Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of Elohim, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command his angels concerning You; and on their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Satan was misquoting Psalm 91:11-12, but Yahshua in turn quotes real Scripture, real truth. Yahweh’s Word, the sword, gets to the heart of the matter, and can discern between what is right and what is not, and attacks evil and lies. All of these pieces of armor, when put on, provide an unstoppable defense against Satan. Each piece plays a different role in our spiritual life, but each one is importantjust just like the Body, where each member is fitly framed and joined to form the Body. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, every member, although some may not seem as important as others, is important. Focus on all of these pieces of armor that Yahweh provides for us and take up your fight against evil for the glory of Yahweh in Messiah Yahshua. n
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What is His Name? by Robert Wirl
Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! Proverbs 30:4
he writer of Proverbs 30 asks in verse 4 a series of profound, rhetorical questions that a wise person who has studied the Bible should be able to answer without hesitation. Are you knowledgeable enough to forthrightly give the correct answers? What is His Name? The average person would say it’s “the L-rd” or “Gd.” However, a close examination of the Hebrew texts reveals that these are not the correct answers. The word “Lrd” is not a name. It is a title that has been substituted by Bible translators
for the actual name of the Heavenly Father. In fact, it is title inferior to king or ruler. The word “G-d” also is not a name. It is a generic term used for the Almighty, a substitute for the Hebrew term “Elohim.” Since the translators have for the most part removed His Name, we must dig deeper to learn the answer to this important question.
Back to the Originals All true translations of the Old Testament are based upon the Hebrew text of the sacred Scriptures known as the Masoretic Text. This text was preserved and maintained by a group of Jewish scribes known as the Masoretes. The Masoretes sought meticulously to protect the exact text handed down to them so as to maintain its purity for future generations. This important
work began after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (AD) and has remained up until today. Their work is the base text of the majority of Old Testament translations. Knowing this, we need only look in the Hebrew text to learn how to answer the question. We learn that the one true Name of the Heavenly Father is used. about 7,000 times That name is Yahweh. This truth can be verified in various dictionaries and encyclopedias. Here are several examples: • Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary lists under “Yahweh”—”In the Old Testament, the national [deity] of Israel.” • The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary states, “YAHWEH (ya’way). The Heb.
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tetragrammaton (YHWH)...YAHWEH is now known to be correctly vocalized yahwe...The name Yahweh has been found to be unique to Israel and has not been verified as the name of any deity outside Israel.” • The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion gives the following: “Yahweh: According to scholarly opinion, the original pronunciation of the TETRAGRAMMATON (YHWH), the particular name of the [Deity] of Israel (also called the Shem ha-Mephorash— ‘the explicit Name’)...” Here are but three witnesses among countless others that verify Yahweh as being the true Name of the Heavenly Father as given in the Old Testament Scriptures. The Name of Yahweh was so highly revered by the early translators of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew text done in the third century BCE) that they preserved it in the Greek text. He Has Only One Name Remember the question in Proverbs 30:4 was, “What is His name?” Notice that it says name (singular) and not names (plural). That is because our Heavenly Father has only one Name and not many. Let us consider a few scriptures to verify that fact. “Elohim also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers–the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob–has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, the name by which I am
to be remembered from generation to generation’”(Exodus 3:15, NIV). “I am Yahweh; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8, NIV). It should now be obvious that our Father in heaven has only one name and that name is Yahweh. He was known by that name to Moses and the patriarchs of old. He always has been and always will be known to spiritual Israel by that covenant Name. Yahweh’s Name in the NT Even though the Name Yahweh is not found in the majority of extant manuscripts of the New Testament Greek text, it should be noted that Yahweh’s Name is referred to by the Messiah and others. We find that four times in the Messiah’s prayer in John chapter17 that He refers to the Name Yahweh. The references are as follows: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (John 17:6, NASU). “…Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me…” (John 17:11-12, NASU). “And I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26, NASU).
Why do I need to call on a Hebrew name when I speak English? To order your FREE copy of: “But I Speak English” see back cover 20
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It is obvious from these references that the Messiah not only knew the name Yahweh but He made a point of declaring it to His disciples. From the age of the Apostles to the end of the age the true disciples of the Messiah will place great significance on the Name Yahweh. This can be seen clearly in the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. “Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1, NIV). Those 144,000 saints who are with the Messiah on Mount Zion not only know the Name of the Heavenly Father and His Son, they also have His Name written in their foreheads. This is an indication that the Names are written in their minds and to have something in your mind is to believe it’s truth. Once again we have unshakable proof of the great significance of Yahweh’s Name. What Name Will You Call On? What are you going to do now that you can answer the question in Proverbs 30:4 and now that you understand the great significance of the Name of our Heavenly Father? All sincere seekers of truth need to understand that we are living in the end-times and that knowing and using the Name of Yahweh is important to our very salvation. “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. And everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, among the survivors whom Yahweh calls” (Joel 2:30-32, NIV). In the difficult times ahead will you call upon the Name of Yahweh for deliverance and salvation? There is n salvation in no other, Acts 4:12.
WAKE UP! by Debbie Reed Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” Exodus 12: 1-2
he icy grip of winter is loosening, soon to be replaced by spring’s gentle touch. Yahweh’s new year begins in the spring when slumbering nature awakens to life once again. The essence of skunk is in the air as the furry little critters conclude their annual mating ritual which began sometime in February. Hungry hawks fly low over pastures looking for the rodents that may have left their dens momentarily to search for an edible morsel, and squirrels repeatedly assault the bird feeders as stored nut supplies run low. Life is hard just now, but the warming days and greening landscape bring the promise of relief. We, too, are weary of the cold, gray days, cooped up inside. As the days lengthen and the dark gives way to light, we yearn to break free of our dwellings and heavy apparel. The awakening energizes us with newfound activity and we long to escape from our winter hibernation and celebrate the joyful return of warmth and sunshine. It is this same sense of joy and celebration that motivated the pagan worshipers to conduct their spring rites in praise of the earth’s returning fertility. Likewise, much of Christendom is preparing for the observance of Easter – a celebration originally named after the goddess Ishtar and dedicated to her fertility rites. Although adopted by the Christians from the 4th century Byzantine pagans long ago, surprisingly, the name of this observance has not changed throughout the centuries.
As a young mother I also practiced Ishtar’s rituals at Easter time. I dutifully dyed hard-boiled eggs to hide and bought yellow marshmallow chicks and jelly beans to place into baskets stuffed with plastic grass. Then I somehow convinced my children that a large rabbit had made it through locked windows and doorway deadbolts to hide the colored eggs and leave the baskets in their bedrooms. Inexplicably, the reason for all of
Why was Easter “never mentioned in the original New Testament? ” this, of course, was that our Savior had risen from the dead. Like many long held traditions, it seemed to make perfect sense to me at the time and the kids were too busy looking for eggs and and consuming far too much sugar to care. Like springtime after the barren winter, at some point I awakened from the stupor of unquestioningly following traditions and started asking
myself some simple questions. Why was the spring observance called “Easter”? What was the meaning of colored eggs? Why, after teaching our children to always be truthful, did we then lie to them about an Easter bunny? If Yahshua was in the grave for three days and three nights, how could He have been impaled on a “Good” Friday afternoon and risen on an “Easter” Sunday morning – a total of 1½ days? Why was Easter never mentioned in the original New Testament? Why didn’t the early Christians celebrate Easter? The answers I found were life altering. It’s time to wake up, if you have not done so already. Easter, with its pagan name and traditions, has no place in True Worship. Instead, observe Passover, the memorial commanded of us by Yahshua at the Last Supper (Passover). By drinking the fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:29) and eating unleavened bread together in His Name, we acknowledge His sacrifice as the Lamb. Next, clean your house and your food of all leavening for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This demonstrates our desire to become humble and rid our lives of puffed up vanity. Start the New Year anew by following Yahweh’s observances and feasts. Get rid of the colored eggs. n
Mildred Ruth Mansager, 84, of Jefferson City, Mo., fell asleep in Yahshua January 20, 2011. She was born April 21, 1926, and was united in marriage to Donald Roy Mansager on June 26, 1949. He survives. For decades she accompanied Elder Don on numerous ministerial trips around the country in their motorhome, meeting interested inquirers and sharing Truths of the Word. She loved to sing songs dedicated to Yahweh and write letters of encouragement. Along with her husband, she leaves behind two sons, Elder Alan Mansager and wife Margie of Missouri, and Gary Mansager and wife Stacie of Nebraska; one daughter, Linda Lowe and husband Greg of Colorado; six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Memorial Services were held at Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry in Holts Summit on January 24, 2011.
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Out of the Mouth
of Babes by Amy Pletz
y six-year-old daughter, Aliyah, came to me and shared that her teacher gave her a Halloween worksheet to complete in school. Knowing that this was something she should not complete, my daughter went to her teacher and reminded her that she didn’t believe in Halloween, having explained this to her at the beginning of the school year. Her teacher apologized and gave her an alternate activity. When Aliyah went back to her seat a little boy sitting next to her said, “Well, I don’t want to believe in it either.” The teacher called out, “Yes you do. You like it. Do your work.” Aliyah shrugged her shoulders at the little boy, smiled, and went back to doing her work. When I asked Aliyah why she shrugged her shoulders, she said, “Well, if he doesn’t want to believe it anymore, he shouldn’t have to. It’s bad anyway.” This reminds me of Matthew 21:16: “And said unto him, Hearest you what these say? And Yahshua saith unto them, Yea; have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?” When she shared this story, my heart soared with delight. My little girl heeded my instruction. She stood up for Yahweh. She walked in the faith we try so passionately to grow in our family. Aliyah came into our home through adoption in 2008. She observed Halloween with her brother, our son Joseph, until this time. This is in addition to Easter and Christmas. One day after their joining us we simply explained, in a simplified manner, why we didn’t keep these worldly holidays 22
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and why we felt they displeased Ya h w e h . T h e y jumped right on board and embraced Yahweh’s truths. Why so quick to leap? some ask. It’s simple: We loved them and they wanted to be a part of that love. Love is a powerful witness. But, according to the world, we are being cruel to our children, unloving even, by not letting them participate in a festival for the dead, a.k.a. Halloween, and drowning them with gifts we can’t afford in December. I once had a mother point her finger at me in disgust because my daughter, Genesis, told her daughter that Santa wasn’t real; that was one interesting conversation. But neglecting or depriving my children? This couldn’t be further from the truth. We keep our children from these things to, above all, honor Yahweh, and obedience to Yahweh is the greatest love of all. Aliyah wasn’t afraid to stand up for truth. As parents, we cannot be afraid to say “No” to wrong, even if it means breaking tradition and not going to holiday parties hosted by friends and family or even choosing not to participate in this year’s gift exchange. If you are searching for truth and are unsure if your children will suffer if you take away these pagan traditions of man, I can assure you through my experience that they will love you all the more for it. For me, it was as simple as taking off the mask that hid the true meaning of Halloween for my March/April 2011
children to want nothing to do with it. I encourage you to teach your children the historical origins of these holidays. Think of it like giving them tools for their toolbox of life. I am sure glad I unmasked Halloween for Aliyah. As a mother, it’s my duty to raise my children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). You never know, that little boy who sits beside Aliyah in class might remember her politely standing up to the teacher and saying that she knew Halloween was bad. Never underestimate the gentle witness of a child—out of the mouth of babes. “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men,” Proverbs 4:13-14 tells us. True teachings from n the Word give life.
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He was never called Jesus in his lifetime.
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