C O N T E N T S
VOL. 2 | No. 3 | May-June 2011
A R T I C L E S
3 | Playing the Cult Card
12 | The 10 Virgins and Their Lamps
by Ryan Mansager
by Robert Wirl
4 | Yahshua’s Preexistence Part 2
16 | Questions and Answers
by Randy Folliard
8 | A Feast That Counts
18 | The Spirit of Pentecost by Alan Mansager
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.
by Donald Mansager
23 | Letters
FRONT COVER: A farmer’s hand passes through a field before harvest.
Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry PO Box 463 Holts Summit, MO 65043 Telephone: 573-896-YAH-8 (9248) Fax: 573-896-9533 www.yrm.org email@example.com
Did you know that most Biblebelieving churches today fit the definition of a cult?
o be associated with the term cult, most think you must be a Jim Jones, Kool-aid drinking, delusional group of brainwashed fanatics. You are either in the suicidal category of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians or you are waiting for the Hale Bopp comet to snatch you up and exit the planet in your blue and white sneakers. The term cult according to the dictionary has several meanings. As you read them, think about applying each to the average church and its worshipers, even the largest ones: 1) a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2) an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers. 3) the object of such devotion. 4) a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 5) sociology - a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering on their sacred symbols. 6) a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. From these definitions, just about every church or religious sect in America meets at least five and maybe all six of these definitions of “cult.” Stacking the Deck To accuse someone of being in a cult is the height of ignorance. Most don’t level the charge with a loving spirit in a sincere attempt to understand doctrinal differences. Most who use the term do so in derision because they can’t or won’t accept anything that differs from their own traditions or personal beliefs. And it does not matter how much proof from Scripture, archaeology or third party sources they are shown, they
by Ryan Mansager will simply not accept what is proved. So, with no answer to the plain facts presented them, in a fit of desperation and hostility they choose to go down the path of name-calling to “win” the argument. They are not the least bit interested in investigating an opposing view. Deep down inside, however, their consciences are nonetheless seared and to attack the messenger makes justification of error easier. This is human nature and we all do it in various degrees, even without realizing it. Our decision to take Yahweh seriously at his Name and to honor this basic truth really bothers some. Think about that for a second and let it slowly sink in: why do some become argumentative just because you or I use the personal, sacred Names of the ones to whom we direct our worship and reverence? Remember what Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].” To be on the receiving end of the
term “cult” is a highly manipulative way to finish-off a discussion, especially in a public forum. Call it the nuclear option. To the close-minded, once you have been accused of this radioactive label you lose validity. It’s the timid checkmate of religious debate. The discussion is suddenly over, with no further facts or proof needed as the blinded go on their merry way. Right Is Not Left In today’s left-leaning world, namecalling tactics are often used to quiet the opposition. If you believe Romans 1:27 and are against homosexuality, you are labeled “homophobe.” If you believe that the man is the head of the household, as Ephesians 5:23 tells us, you are a “male chauvinist.” The left has invented the latest new term, “Islamophobia,” to silence those who speak out against things like Islamic Sharia law. Nobody wants to be classified with such horrible, disease-sounding names, so the argument is effectively won before it even begins. The use of the term cult is no different.
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Name-calling at Its Juvenile Worst The fact is, resorting to name calling is merely a childish action we all acquire from our youth. It’s like one child accusing another of stealing. The guilty child who will not admit to the act has no other recourse but to defame or slander the accuser by calling him or her a name. We should never as Yahweh’s people resort to such sinful behavior but should always strive to witness as Yahshua did, regardless how much we desire to return the insult and reclaim our dignity. Take the high road, be a living witness of Yahshua and let the chips fall where they may. Shrug it off and move on, the truth of Yahweh speaks for itself. Yahweh always vindicates His truth. Be Separate We cannot please both the world and Yahweh. Matthew 6:24 tells us we cannot serve two masters. Come out from among them and be separate, Paul admonished in 2Corinthians 6:17. Yahshua taught, “Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets,” Luke 6:22-23. Today’s mainstream religions have turned from Yahweh and His laws. They have taken the broad, easy road. The foundation of True Worship has been mostly abandoned. Yahshua tells us: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” Luke 12:32. The next time you are slandered with the “cult card,” realize you are in good company with Yahshua and the Apostles. As Paul wrote of himself, “But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy [private sect – read “cult”], so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets,” Acts 24:14. Paul provides good company. n 4
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Preexistence Part 2
by Randy Folliard
n part one we reviewed several key passages in the New Testament pertaining to the preexistence of the Messiah. In part two we will explore the remaining New Testament passages and finish with the Old Testament. The first passage to consider is found in Yahshua’s revelation to John. “And unto the angel of the assembly of the Laodiceans write, These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of El” (Rev. 3:14). Beginning of the Creation of El This passage is speaking of Yahshua the Messiah as the first of Yahweh’s creation.. “Beginning” is from the Greek arche. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines this word as, “a May/June 2011
commencement, or (concretely) chief” as it pertains to time. Thayer’s GreekEnglish Lexicon of the New Testament offers four similar definitions: (1) beginning, origin; (2) the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; (3) that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause; or (4) the extremity of a thing; used of the corners of a sail. As seen from these sources, the Greek arche contains two definitions: (1) origin, beginning or commencement and (2) chief in importance. It is noteworthy that much more emphasis is given to the first definition. While both definitions would apply to Yahshua, the first is much more likely based on Colossians 1:15, where Paul clearly states that the Messiah is “the firstborn
of every creature.” Yahshua’s own testimony was that he was the beginning, origin, or commencement of Yahweh’s creation. As stated in part 1, understating this point is paramount. To ignore this truth, is to disregard the remarkable contribution Yahshua had as the origin or active cause of Yahweh’s creation. Satan’s Fall from Heaven More extraordinary evidence of Yahshua’s preexistence is found in Luke 10:17-18: “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Master, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Satan was once in heaven but rebelled and was thrown out. Yahshua said He was a witness to this event. Thus we see Satan in his new home in Eden at the creation of Adam and Eve. The Old Testament also speaks of Satan’s fall from grace in the past tense (Gen. 3:14; Isa. 14:12; Ez. 28:1215). If Yahshua did not preexist, how is it possible that He witnessed Satan’s fall from heaven? Without being present, this would have been impossible. The only logical conclusion is that Yahshua was actually there when Yahweh ousted Satan from heaven, thus confirming Yahshua’s existence prior to Bethlehem.
wilderness. The Old Testament calls Him “the Angel of Yahweh.” A clear connection exists between the “spiritual Rock” and the Angel of Yahweh in the Old Testament. We also find a second parallel here between Yahshua and Angel of Yahweh. As Israel symbolically drank of this “spiritual Rock,” we find in the New Testament that Yahshua declared that He was the living waters: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:3738). In both Old and New testaments Yahshua symbolized spiritual waters. This further reinforces the connection between the Angel of Yahweh and the Messiah’s presence and activity in the
Yahshua the Rock In 1Corinthians 10:1-4 we find Paul confirming Yahshua’s presence in the Old Testament. He states, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.” Yahshua as the “spiritual Rock” conveys a unique relationship to Israel. Yahshua followed, meaning accompanied, Israel through the
I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven
Contrasting View Before examining Old Testament references corroborating Yahshua’s preexistence, let us consider the opposing view. Two passages often used to support the belief that Yahshua did not pre-exist prior to his birth at Bethlehem are found in Isaiah: • “Thus saith Yahweh, thy redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am Yahweh that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself” (Isa. 44:24). • “Thus says Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands
command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” (Isa. 45:11-12). Those who reject the Messiah’s preexistence will often refer to these passages, maintaining that: • Yahweh alone formed man from the womb. • Yahweh alone made the earth. • Yahweh alone stretched forth the heavens. In short, Yahweh created all things without the presence of Yahshua the Messiah. From these verses one can see how a person might come to these three conclusions; however, as with most points of study there is another possible explanation. This passage is not expressing the literal act of creation but the Father’s authority. In Exodus 3:14 the Father revealed himself as the great “I AM,” conveying His ultimate superiority to all creation, including His Son, Yahshua the Messiah. In this light all that is done is the result of Yahweh’s greatness regardless whether or not He is the active force involved. It is for this reason that He alone receives the recognition for the creation of the heavens and earth, as we find here in Isaiah. This is no different from notable historical figures like Alexander the Great or Nebuchadnezzar claiming complete recognition for their creations. In truth, Alexander the Great or Nebuchadnezzar probably never laid a brick, but it was by their authority and power that they built their kingdoms and as a result received full acknowledgment for their achievements. A Scriptural example can be found with King Solomon and the building of the temple. “So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits
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on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place…And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh…So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold” (1Kings 6:14-16, 19, 21-22). This passage gives all credit to Solomon as the builder in every phase of temple construction. Does it mean he was out there with gloves and hammer chipping away at stones and sweating in the hot sun? No, Solomon was overseeing and directing the construction. Yet, he received full credit for the work. Similarly, Yahweh also oversaw creation of the universe and received all credit. In both cases each was acknowledged for the accomplishments but the actual work was carried out by others. Master Workman The actual work of creation was done by Yahshua the Messiah, John 1:3. Solomon in Proverbs 8:22-31 chronicles Yahshua’s preexistence from ancient times. “Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: 6
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when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” Some will say this passage refers not to Yahshua, but to Yahweh’s
interpretation is that this refers to the pre-existent Messiah. This would not only harmonize with Revelation 3:14, but also corroborate with all other New Testament passages referring to the Messiah’s presence before Bethlehem. There is one more item here to explore. In verse 30, the KJV translates the Hebrew ‘amown as, “one brought up.” The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this Hebrew word as, “an artificer, an architect, a master workman, a skilled workman.” Within the current context, this phrase would be better rendered “master workman,” as found in most modern translations. With the foundation laid, what do we find within this passage? Number one and most importantly, Yahweh possessed (i.e., created) Yahshua before his works of old. This includes before the existence of the earth (v.26) and heavens (v.27). In verse 30, as previously noted, Yahshua was with Yahweh, His Father, as a master workman. This phrase connotes the integral contributions of the preexistent Messiah. As Solomon produced the blueprints and plans of the temple and hired the best workman to complete the construction, we find the same relationship here between Yahweh, the great architect, and Yahshua, His master workman.
wisdom. They will refer to verse 12 to substantiate this assertion, where Solomon was inspired to write, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” The challenge with this belief is that the person in verse 22 was “possessed,” literally meaning to erect, i.e., create. To erect or create something conveys that the thing at one point did not exist. Consequently, to state that this refers to Yahweh’s wisdom would be to claim that Yahweh at one point was without wisdom; a much more likely
What is His Son’s Name? There is an additional passage in proverbs confirming the existence of the Father and pre-existent Son. “Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you can tell?” (Proverbs 30:4). Clearly, this passage is referring to the creation of the heavens and earth. This is a key point. The author asks at
the closing of this verse, “What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name.” By the nature of this question, only one conclusion can be ascertained; both the Father and Son existed within the context of this passage; both were present at creation. Elohim Created This relationship may also be found in Genesis 1:1, where Scripture states, “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” The word Elohim is of Hebrew origin, expressing a plurality of mighty ones. It should also be noted that this word can be used in the plural intensive, singular in meaning. Based on the context of Genesis chapter one, however, the word Elohim undoubtedly refers to more than one mighty one. This can be seen from v.26, where Scripture states, “let us make man in our image.” The question is, who is the “us” mentioned here? Based on Proverbs 8:22-31, John 1:13, and Colossians 1:15-16, the “us” could refer only to the Father and Son. So from the word Elohim we find the presence of both the Father and Son at creation. As a side note, Genesis 1:1 literally reads, “In the beginning Elohim Aleph Tau, created . . . .” The Aleph and Tau represents the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet and is a sign of the direct object in Hebrew grammar. This may also depict the presence of both the Father and Son at creation, corresponding with the passages previously noted. A parallel exists with several passages in Revelation, where both the Father and Son are referred to as the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); these first and last letters of the Greek alphabet correspond to the Hebrew aleph tau. Angel of Yahweh Another intriguing parallel concerning the pre-existent Messiah can be found in the Angel of Yahweh. Exodus 23:2021 reveals several similarities between these two figures: “Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the
way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.” We find here three significant comparisons between the Angel of Yahweh and the New Testament Messiah. They both required obedience (Exodus 23:21 and Matthew 28:20), had authority over sin (Exodus 23:21 and Matthew 9:6), and contained Yahweh’s Name (Exodus 23:21 and Matthew 1:21). As noted, this angel is most likely the “spiritual Rock” that Paul referred to in 1Corinthians 10:4. No other being could correspond based on the context of these two passages. This angel can be found in other important roles, three of which we will cover now. The first is referred to by Deacon Stephen in the New Testament. In Acts 7:38 Stephen confirms that Moses received the law from an angel: “This is he [Moses], that was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” The word angel here is from the Greek aggelos meaning, “a messenger; especially an ‘angel’ (Strong’s Concordance). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon offers a like definition: “a messenger, an envoy, one who was sent, an angel, a messenger….” By definition, an aggelos is a message; by implication a servant. Yahweh, the Father, the exalted El, is neither. To classify Yahweh as a messenger or servant would be to demote or devalue His position. How does this correspond to the Old Testament? “And Yahweh said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven” (Ex 20:22). How do we reconcile this passage with what Stephen said in Acts? The one who likely gave the commandments to Moses was the Angel of Yahweh, correlating to the pre-existent Messiah (1 Cor. 10:4); the active agent of creation (John 1:1). In
the two remaining examples, this point will become clearer. In Genesis 22 we find Abraham on the brink of sacrificing his son Isaac, in which he was stopped by a mysterious figure. “And the angel of Yahweh called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith Yahweh, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld your son, your only son” (Gen 22:15-16). An example akin to Genesis 22 is found in Exodus 3:2, 4: “And the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed… And when Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” In both of these passages we find one being called both the “angel of Yahweh” and “Yahweh.” The narrative clearly shows that this is the same being. From the culmination of evidence, this likely refers to the active Word or preexistent Messiah acting on behalf of His Father. Before continuing, it is expedient to clarify several crucial points. The Word, Angel of Yahweh and Yahweh who spoke and interacted with mankind was not the Father, but the Son conveying the intents and words of His Father. This is similar to when Yahshua spoke and acted on behalf of His Father in the New Testament (John 1:18; 4:34; 5:19; 6:38; 7:16; 8:15-19, 28-30; 14:6). Scripture does not support a duality between the Father and Son. The Father is greater than the Son (John 10:29; 14:28; 1 Cor. 11:3) and “one” only in mind and purpose (John 17:22), not in being. Yahweh of the Old Testament We lack now only the remaining piece of this puzzle. In several Old Testament passages we find “Yahweh” appearing Continued on page 11
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A Feast That Counts by Donald Mansager
ahweh has given a special sign to identify His people. Even those not yet sealed with His Name recognize this sign as the weekly Sabbath. “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I [am] Yahweh that sanctify them” (Ezek. 20:12). This statement is also found in verse 20 and in Exodus 31:13. Only Yahweh sets apart a special time that is holy unto Him. No one else can sanctify a day to honor and worship Him. By keeping the Sabbaths, that sign He gave us, we show that we are His people. Besides the weekly Saturday Sabbath, Yahweh also gave His people seven annual Feast days that coincide with the harvests of Israel. Passover is kept when the maturing ears of barley appear, and 50 days later the wheat harvest commences. Then follow the Sabbaths of the seventh month, which correspond to our September and October. These days picture Yahweh’s plan 8
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of redeeming mankind, and will be established worldwide when Yahshua returns to enforce His kingdom on earth. The final observance is the Feast of Tabernacles (Ingathering), picturing the general harvest at year’s end and foreshadowing the culmination of the age. Counting a Feast Instead of following Scriptures, some allow worldly customs and traditions to determine when these times should be observed. Our secular calendar neglects the new moons, basically dividing the year into 12 months of 30 or 31 days. The new moons in the secular calendar can fall on any day within a month, and at least one month in the year will have two new moons. Pentecost follows the Passover season 50 days later and is the only annual Sabbath that needs to be counted. It does not come on a fixed day of a month. This annual Sabbath is referred to as the Feast of Harvest; Exodus 23:16; Feast of Weeks, Deuteronomy 16:16; and Day of the Firstfruits, Numbers 28:26. Wavesheaf Began the Harvest Pentecost is taken from the New Testament Greek and means “fiftieth.” Leviticus 23:16 shows us that we should count or number 50 days to arrive at this observance: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number 50 days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh.” This annual Sabbath is anchored to the agricultural crops of the Promised Land, specifically to the day the wavesheaf is offered during the days of Unleavened Bread. Note Leviticus 23: 15-16: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number 50 days; and you shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh.”
The wavesheaf was a special offering by the high priest for Israel. No harvest could begin until the wavesheaf was offered. Special prayer was made that the harvest would be bountiful as the sheaf of grain was waved by the high priest. Note the special instructions given: “Speak unto the children of lsrael, and say unto them, When you be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfiuits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Lev. 23:10-11). As soon as the wavesheaf was offered the harvest could begin. The seven days following Passover were a special time for Yahweh’s people known as the “days of Unleavened Bread.” The priest was to wave the sheaf “on the morrow after the Sabbath” and the count to the Feast of Weeks would then commence. But Which Sabbath? The question arises, after which Sabbath was it waved? The first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are annual Sabbaths and there is usually a weekly Sabbath falling within the seven days of Unleavened Bread. Notice again Leviticus 23:15: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete.” A clear error started by the Pharisees and followed even today by Judaism is to say the Sabbath mentioned here is the first High Day Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, which falls on the Biblical Abib 15, instead of the correct Saturday Sabbath within the Feast. In Leviticus 23:15 the Hebrew for Sabbath is Shabbat, Strong’s 7676, and means the weekly Sabbath. In contrast, the Hebrew for High Day Sabbath is shabbatown (7677) and was not the term used here.
Thus, the Jewish calendars show the 16th of Abib (Nisan) to be the day to begin the count toward Pentecost, and they always end up with Sivan 6 as Pentecost. Why would Yahweh instruct us to count out the correct day of Pentecost if the count is always from Abib16 and always ends up on Sivan 6? This is the only annual Sabbath that is not on a specific date in the Bible, as it is to be counted and can vary year to year. Yet, the Jewish calendar shows Sivan 6 as Pentecost because they choose to use the day after the annual Sabbath, Abib 15, for their count instead of the weekly Sabbath that falls during the Feast. A second High Day Sabbath occurs within the Feast but, strangely, it is completely ignored in the count to Pentecost. That Sabbath is the last day of Unleavened Bread, which falls on Abib 21. Abib 15 commemorates Israel’s leaving Egypt from Ramses, and Abib 21 memorializes their crossing the Red Sea and being entirely free of Egypt and Pharaoh’s armies. The Jewish calendar chooses the first High Day of the feast, Abib 15, to begin the count of seven Sabbaths toward Pentecost, but it ignores Abib 21, the last day of Unleavened Bread. For the sake of consistency, if one annual Sabbath is used in the count, the other should be included as well. Yet, this other high Sabbath is disregarded by the Jewish calendar. The Bible’s account show the weekly Sabbath is meal count. The day after the weekly Sabbath, which falls within the days of Unleavened Bread, is easily proved by the Savior’s activities. Yahshua died on a Wednesday afternoon and remained in the tomb through the day Saturday, Luke 23:5254. He arose Saturday late afternoon. He would not allow Mary to touch or cling to Him, because He had not yet appeared before Yahweh as the wavesheaf offering, John20: 17. Later the disciples were allowed to touch Him, Matthew 28:9, as He had
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www.restorationtimes.org presented Himself. This was on the day “after the WEEKLY Sabbath.” Yahshua was the first of the firstfruits to be resurrected from the dead: “But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah’s at his coming” (lCor. 15:23). The Savior personified the wavesheaf: the firstfruits of the promised resurrection. History shows that during the time the Temple was standing (which was during Yahshua’s time), the empirical sighting of the new moon each month was the norm. The Jewish Hebrew calendar is a purely calculated calendar and ignores any sighting of the new moon. The present Jewish calendar is based on the calendar first published in 359 C.E. by Hillel II. Sincere, truthseeking people even today continue to look for the new moon as was done during the Savior’s time. Equinoxes Came Later The calendar of the Bible is based on the agricultural seasons of Israel. Many of the months are now known by Babylonian names since the captivity. Before that—aside from Abib—the 10
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months were numbered. There is no record that the Israelites or Jews depended upon the vernal equinox to set their calendar months. The spring and fall equinoxes were promoted as a standard by the church fathers and were not a part of any calculation. Dividing up the year into four seasons of 90+ days each is not of Yahweh, but has been foisted upon the world by the early church fathers. Alleging that winter starts with the solstice of December 21 and runs through March 20 limits Yahweh’s control of the seasons. He can slow the advent of spring by cold rains and winds. He can speed up the greening of the earth if He so desires. To say spring must begin with the equinox of March 19, 20, or 21 limits Yahweh’s prerogative. If the new moon in spring comes a week or so before the equinox, we are told this puts the month back in winter, and we are to postpone the month of Abib for 29 or 30 days—a totally human notion unfounded in Yahweh’s Word. Moses knew nothing of the equinoxes. Yahshua never mentioned them. Only a forced interpretation upon May/June 2011
the Hebrew term tequfa supposedly reveals an equinox in Scripture. Agricultural Basis of Feasts Make no mistake. Yahweh’s calendar is an agricultural calendar, based upon the ripening of crops in Israel. His truths are also built on harvest themes with terms like firstfruits, harvest, and growing. The Biblical calendar has nothing to do with the equinoxes or the solstices. These developed came later with advances in telescopes and astronomy. Israel did not have any astronomers until the fifth or sixth century. They depended upon Babylonians and Greeks for such information. David out with his sheep could not know when the equinox was but he could easily determine when the barley was in Abib stage. If we are to observe Yahweh’s days as He intended and as He commanded, then we must follow His prescription on when they properly occur. We find no mention of the equinox. Yahweh gives a precise number of days in which to count to the feast of Weeks. Anything else is solely from the machinations of man. n
Yahshua’s Preexistence Part 2 continued and interacting with man. For the reasons stated above and one additional reason, which will now be explained, this cannot be the Father. Scripture expressly states that no man has seen or heard the Father: “No man hath seen Yahweh at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape” (John 5:37). “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:16). “No man hath seen Yahweh at any time. If we love one another, Elohim dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12, 20). Yahshua, Paul, and John state that man has not seen or heard the Father. Considering this, how can we explain those instances of when Yahweh appeared before man? For example, how can we explain when Yahweh appeared before Abraham in Genesis 18:1-3: “And Yahweh appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the
day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Master, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” Genesis 19:1 identifies the two men with Yahweh as angels. The question remains, who was the “Yahweh” that
Yahshua said in several passages that He was with the Father from the very beginning
appeared before Abraham? Since Scripture declares that no man has seen the Father, this cannot be the Father. From the weight of evidence, this could represent only the Son, the active Word (Heb. Debar, Gk. Logos). To extend this mystery further, Genesis 19:24 reveals two beings with the name Yahweh: “Then Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of heaven.” We find here one Yahweh on
earth, the same Yahweh that appeared before Abraham, and a second Yahweh in heaven. Based on the evidence that the Yahweh on earth represents the Son, the Yahweh in heaven must represent the Father. Thus, we find that the Son rained fire and brimstone from the Father. In the New Testament Yahshua testified that he could do nothing without His Father (John 8:28). As found from this passage, this New Testament principle also held true in the Old Testament. This example substantiates that all power precedes from the Father, including for His active Word, the pre-existent Messiah. Yahshua’s presence before Bethlehem is well documented in both Old and New testaments. The most important of this evidence is from the Messiah himself. Yahshua declared in several passages that He was with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1), that He descended from heaven (John 3:13), that He existed before Abraham (John 8:56) and that He had glory with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). These passages and many others not only show that Yahshua existed before the heavens and earth, but that He also was instrumental in their creation. Yahshua made life physically possible through creation and spiritually attainable by His sacrificial death. n
The YRM office building exterior is now completed (minus a few cosmetic additions). Our heating and air conditioning installation is also almost completed. The next phase of construction is electrical and insulation. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated! To donate online visit: www.yrm.org/ministrysupport.htm or see the address on the back cover of this magazine.
Restoration Times Magazine
by Robert Wirl
The Kingdom of Yahweh Like many of His other parables, 12
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t that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 Yahshua the Messiah spoke this parable to His disciples as He discoursed on the time of the end. He wished to impress on them the need to be wise, prompt, and ready rather than foolish, late and unprepared. As endtime seekers of truth, it is of utmost importance that we understand the deep meaning of this prophetic parable and apply that meaning to our spiritual well-being.
and Their Lamps
Yahshua likens this one to the Kingdom of Yahweh. The message of His coming Kingdom is in fact what Yahshua’s ministry was all about. We see this expressed clearly at the very inception of His ministry. “After John was put in prison, Yahshua went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of Yahweh. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of Yahweh is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15) The Kingdom of Yahweh was near then and is even nearer now. The message to repent and believe is as important now as it was then. With this thought in mind, we must ask ourselves are we ready for Yahweh’s Kingdom to be established upon this earth? Does our life reflect the Kingdom way of May/June 2011
life? Or, are we unprepared for what is ahead? Yahshua has told us that if we make the kingdom our priority in life that we will have little to worry about. Consider what He said in Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Those who fall in the category of being wise have set the priorities of life in proper perspective. They are seeking the Kingdom as their number one priority of life. They do not worry about tomorrow. They know that Yahweh’s Kingdom government will ultimately be established on this
earth when Yahshua returns. And they live the Kingdom way of life now in anticipation of that moment when Yahshua returns. What Is the Kingdom of Yahweh? Yahweh’s Kingdom is His government. That government is encompassed by Yahweh’s Torah Law. As described in Isaiah 2, the mountain of Yahweh’s government shall reign supreme over all others. “This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of Yahweh’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, And all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of Yahweh” (Isa. 2:1-5). Our Savior has told us that we should constantly pray for Yahweh’s Kingdom to come. “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9-10. The wise live their lives in anticipation of Yahweh’s government by establishing the Kingdom way of life now. They walk in the light of Torah (Ps. 119:105). Keeping the commandments is in fact one of the identifying characteristics of end-time true worshipers. “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey Yahweh’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Yahshua,” Revelation
12:17. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey Yahweh’s commandments and remain faithful to Yahshua,” Revelation 14:12. From the context of these verses it is apparent that the wise virgins are end-time true worshipers who keep the commandments of Yahweh. They possess both love (1John 5:3) and respect (Prov. 9:10) for Almighty Yahweh. Now that we have proven the end-time importance of this parable let us examine its meaning. Virgins Spiritually Undefiled A physical virgin is generally viewed as a female who is sexually pure and undefiled. In the figurative sense the
Keeping the commandments is in fact one of the identifying characteristics of end-time true worshipers
term may relate to either sex—male or female. Spiritually speaking sexual impurity represents idolatry. The term virgin in a spiritual context is used to represent those who are pure and spiritually undefiled by idolatry. The Apostle Paul used similar terminology to describe his desire for the Corinthian believers. “I am jealous for you with a righteous jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Messiah, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2). Ultimately, in the time of the end pure spiritual virgins will be manifested as the ones known as the 144,000. We see this group first in Revelation chapter 6 where they are being sealed with the Name of Yahshua and Yahweh. They are seen again in Revelation chapter 14 after the sealing is complete. There they are on Mount Zion with Yahshua the Messiah when He returns. They are
spiritually pure and undefiled. They are pure from idolatry. “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to Yahweh and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless” (Rev. 14:4-5). The woman that the 144,000 were not defiled with refers to the false religion of Babylon (the great harlot) and her daughters (Rev. 17). The five wise virgins who are prepared for the time of the end fall into the same category as the 144,000. On the other hand, even though the five foolish virgins are pure, being virgins, they are unprepared for what is ahead and therefore they will be excluded. We can therefore conclude that if we are going to be accepted into the Kingdom of Yahweh we must be more than just spiritual virgins. We must be spiritual virgins who are properly prepared to inherit the Kingdom. The Meaning of Oil These ten virgins took their lamps (the Word of Yahweh, Ps. 119:105) and went out to meet the bridegroom (the Messiah, John 3:27-30). The five foolish virgins took no additional oil for their lamps. The five wise virgins took their lamps and they took extra oil along in a jar or vessel. They were prepared for a lengthy wait. Oil is at the center of understanding the meaning of this parable. It represents several significant things. First of all, it represents holy consecration. This can be seen in the passages dealing with the Tabernacle and the priesthood. “Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them. Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with
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water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come” (Ex. 40:9-16). The oil was used to consecrate or sanctify people and things for a holy purpose. If you are not continually setting yourself apart for a sanctified purpose through living the precepts of Scripture, then your oil of consecration needs refilling. Secondly, the oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to King Saul after he was anointed with oil. “Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, Has not Yahweh anointed you leader over his inheritance? The Spirit of Yahweh will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person” (1Sam. 10:1, 6). We see that David also received the Holy Spirit upon being anointed with oil. “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of Yahweh had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh tormented him” (1Sam. 16:13-14).
And finally Isaiah 61:1 speaks prophetically of Yahshua when it says: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Yahweh is on me, because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” In all three of these instances the Holy Spirit is represented by oil. It should be noted that according to the Apostle Peter in Acts 5:32 the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey Almighty Yahweh. Lastly, we see that the oil represents the Name of Yahweh. “Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you” (Song of Solomon 1:3, NKJV). This parable teaches us that it is not enough to be consecrated. It is not enough to have the Holy Spirit. And, it is not enough to know Yahweh’s Name. If we are to gain the Kingdom we must have extra oil stored back for our lamp so that we are prepared to light the way for the bridegroom. Where there is no oil, there is no light. Where there is no light there is insufficient truth to be prepared to meet the bridegroom. Understanding the Parable Now that we have defined the key words in this parable, we can fully comprehend the message that Yahshua taught. For nearly two thousand
Many call themselves “New Testament churches” and say they have no use for the Old Testament. But what Bible did the writers of their New Testament quote from, refer to, and base their teachings on? Request The Old Testament Lives booklet. See back cover for instructions on ordering.
years the pure spiritual virgins of true worshipers have waited for the bridegroom Yahshua to return. Their once brightly burning lamps of the Word of Yahweh have gone out for lack of oil. Only the wise virgins have the extra oil of sacred consecration, the Holy Spirit, and Yahweh’s Name. Because of the long wait all the virgins become drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight (the darkest hour) the cry rang out to meet the bridegroom. All are awakened and trim the wicks of their lamps (Yahweh’s Word). However, the foolish virgins have no oil; they have lost their consecration, the Holy Spirit, and Yahweh’s Name. The wise tell the foolish to go and buy their own oil. While the foolish virgins were away getting oil the bridegroom comes. The wise virgins were ready. They entered into the wedding banquet with the bridegroom and the door was shut. Upon their return, the foolish virgins who have apparently bought oil, ask to enter in. “But he replied, I tell you a truth, I don’t know you.” The conclusion of the parable is in verse 13, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” It is evident to all True Worshipers that we are living in the time of the end. The signs are all around us. Midnight is very near. Soon the cry will ring out to come meet the bridegroom. Are you spiritually pure and undefiled? Do you have the extra oil to fill your lamp and let your lamp shine before the bridegroom? Are you consecrated? Do you have Yahweh’s Holy Spirit? Are you sealed with Yahweh’s Name? If you answered yes to these questions then you are a wise virgin who is ready to meet Yahshua when he returns. If you did not answer yes to all these questions then the time has arrived for you to become a spiritual virgin who possesses extra oil. Remember, watch and be ready! Yahshua will only recognize the wise virgins when He returns to establish Yahweh’s Kingdom n
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Restoration Study Bible
The printer has updated the cost to print 1,000 Restoration Study Bibles (RSB). The estimate now stands at $20,000, $5,000 more than the original quote. The hike is attributable to price jumps in materials and an increase in the number of pages for commentary and footnotes. At present, the RSB contains approximately 2,600 Hebrew/Greek Definitions, 920 commentary notes, 1,500 cross references, 200 biographical profiles, 12 charts, and a topical reference covering a multitude of topics. To date we have collected $16,749 toward the $20,000 goal. We deeply appreciate all who have supported this effort by ordering Bibles in advance. We have faith that Yahweh will provide the additional funds. If you desire to help with the Great Commission, we pray that you consider this historic project. This Bible promises to be a great blessing for those searching and striving to understand the deeper truths of Yahweh. To learn more about this ambitious effort, please visit:
Please explain Romans 2:12-16 regarding those who don’t know the dos and the don’ts. Also, explain Matthew 25:31-34.
The passage reads, “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. In the day when Elohim shall judge the secrets of men by Yahshua the Messiah according to my good news,” Romans 2:12-16. Paul conveys two truths. First, justification is achieved not through hearing only, but through doing. In other words, justification is predicated on the obedient record of those deemed by Yahweh suitable or worthy to be selected by Him. Second, a person is held accountable for what he or she knows, including those without the Word. For example, if we understand that adultery is sin and we nonetheless commit adultery, we are then held to account for that sin regardless of our spiritual state. 16
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John in Revelation 20:11-15 clearly teaches that we are judged based on our works, no different from our faith determined by works (James 2:14-17). As we saw from Paul in Romans, works is not hearing, but doing. Matthew 25:31-34 reads, “When the Son of man shall come in his splendor, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his majesty: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” Yahshua illustrates that judgment is a separation between the righteous and wicked. “Everlasting fire” refers to the everlasting results of His judgment and not a literal, eternal fire. Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the example of “eternal fire,” being utterly consumed forever (Jude 7). They are not still burning. In addition to the above, we believe that one is also judged based on understanding. “Yahshua said unto them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, we see; therefore your sin remains” (John 9:41). While sin is always present, in cases of ignorance condemnation is not. This concept of understanding applies to all examples of Yahweh’s judgment, which is fair and just. May/June 2011
Your live, online sermon today brought up the woman accused of adultery in John 8, but no one was there to accuse her. Go back to Numbers 5. The law was that if two people were caught in the physical act, both would be stoned. There has to be three witnesses and the husband has to be there at the temple with the witnesses to bring this charge. John 8:6 says, “And this they said, trying Him, so that they might accuse Him.” I am not judging by any means. I know there is not one church on this planet that has the scriptures 100 percent accurate. It appears YRM is more concerned with truth and learning and teaching us the Word than being offended with a little correction from an Internet viewer. The issue in the sermon was, is this passage even legitimate in the first place? It is missing in many manuscripts. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary documents the many Greek and Aramaic manuscripts where this passage is missing, “It is wanting in the four oldest manuscript— the newly-discovered Codex Sinaiticus (‘Aleph (‘)), the Alexandrian Codex (A), the Codex Vaticanus (B), and the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) – and in four other valuable Uncial manuscript, although two of these have a blank space, as if something had been left out; it is wanting also in upwards of 50 Cursive manuscripts: of ancient versions, it is wanting in the venerable
In 1Corinthians 14:34-35, wasn’t this translated from the old language and means for the women not to be “chattering” in church? This is what many churches teach today. First Corinthians 14:35 holds the key: If women are to learn, they are to ask their husbands at home, not be formally taught the Word by a woman preacher. Paul specifically said in 1Timothy 2:12 that a woman is not to teach a man. The fact that all priests were men, and all the apostles and writers of the New Testament as well, lends support to what Paul instructed the young Timothy. In the qualifications for the office of minister in 1Timothy 3:2, Paul said that an individual had to be the husband of one wife. This automatically disqualifies women. Concerning the calendar and holy days, weren’t these days instituted by Yahweh to remind Israel of what He had done for them and how He wanted Israel to live? What do these days have to do with us in the 21st century?
Paul said what happened to Israel is a lesson for us, 1Corinthians 10. There are not two (or more) ways to salvation. There is only one basic plan for all who would take hold of the promise. That plan centers on obedience. What Yahweh wanted Israel to do He wants us to do, too—meaning to obey Him. It’s that simple Remember that the Messiah and His disciples all kept the Biblical holy days and their lives are examples for us. He didn’t give us a different set of instructions from what He Himself followed. If these annual days were only reminders for Israel, why did Yahshua Himself keep them religiously and teach His disciples to do so as well? Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Yahshua the Messiah.” In John 10:4 we learn that He is the Shepherd that guides His sheep: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” We as His sheep follow the Shepherd. Therefore, when He kept Passover, so do we. When He kept Pentecost and Tabernacles, we do as well. Concerning the Sabbath: our work week starts on Monday, so can’t we just work six days and use the seventh for the Sabbath? The day called Saturday is “the” seventh day, not “a” seventh day. True Worship doesn’t hinge on how the world follows its calendar. We can’t just pick any day in seven to rest on. The 4th Commandment commands us to rest on “the” seventh day. The Sabbath day, established by Yahweh at creation, has been kept religiously down through the millennia by the Jews, who would never lose track of it by neglect. Yahshua, in all his admonishing of the Pharisees and Sadducees, not once told them that
they were keeping the wrong day of the week as the Sabbath. We need only go back to the time of Yahshua to establish the proper sequential weekday as the seventh. Historically we find that never did the Sabbath switch to another day of the week. Even when the Julian calendar was discarded in favor of the Gregorian calendar, the decree was that the day following Thursday, October 4, 1582, would become Friday, October 15, 1582. The seven-day Sabbath sequence continued unaffected. I did not see any material about tithing and the tithe. If you have an opinion about what the “biblical” tithe is I would appreciate hearing what you believe the tithe actually is (I will say that I think it is much more difficult than most realize, but you may have figured it out.) I am not referring to the principle of tithing, but to the actual “tithe.” The Biblical explanation of the tithe speaks of a tenth of one’s “increase.” We don’t get too nitpicky about all the variables a person can probe like whether an investment nixes or adjusts the percentages or whether an amount has already been tithed upon because of extenuating circumstances. There is no end to that kind of thing if one were trying to get out of paying the tithe. We view the tithe as a starting point on which one is free to add more. It is the willingness of the heart to do what Yahweh expects which is the overriding concern.
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Peshito Syriac and its Philoxenian revision, in one and probably both the Egyptian versions—the Thebaic and Memphitic-the Gothic, probably the Armenian, and two or three copies of the Old Latin: several of the fathers take no notice of it—as Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril, Chrysostom: it is wanting in the most ancient tables of the sectional contents of the Gospels, though afterward inserted as an additional section: the variations in the manuscript which insert it exceed in number and extent those in any other part of the New Testament: and of those manuscript which insert it, four Uncials and upwards of fifty Cursives have an asterisk or other critical mark attached to it, as subject to doubt or requiring investigation.”
Find out why it is so important to give your tithe. Request our free booklet “The Poor Widow’s Challenge.” See back cover to order.
The Spirit of Pentecost by Alan Mansager
ot even movie script writers could come up with a more awesome concept. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost entails Yahweh’s plan to “harvest” a specially chosen people from this earth ostensibly to sit in future rulership of the planet under Yahshua the Messiah. The objective of the saints is to fulfill the grand plan by being part of that harvest. Their command and desire is to be “holy to Yahweh,” the same message emblazoned across the miter of the high priest. A kingdom position of serving Yahweh as a kingdom of priests is what the righteous are promised. Pentecost and what was done on this moed is the avenue accessing Yahweh’s salvation. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits, anticipating a time when the saints as firstfruits are gathered from the earth into the Kingdom. 18
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In Exodus 34:22 we read of the Feast of Firstfruits. “And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.” If you seek greater understanding of the Kingdom the answer is found in the Feasts of Levicitus 23. It’s all there. The coming rulership of Yahshua is also revealed in Yahweh’s seven annual Feast Days. Elect on the Cutting Edge The key to understanding the Kingdom is the selection of the elect who will receive favored positions. They are known as firstfruits. A firstfruit is a first comer and the first taken. On the cutting edge of truth, he blazes the trail directly behind Yahshua and navigates the way for an entourage who follow later. But it is a challenging way of briars, obstacles, sharp turns, potential dangers and temptations and is not for the weak or faint of heart. Unlike the May/June 2011
popular message, it’s not a free ride. Who naturally seeks the difficult way? Isaiah wrote that most individuals prefer the downhill, comfort ride requiring little to no exertion or commitment: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits,” Isaiah 30:10. No better example exists of Yahweh’s Truth in operation than the personal sacrifice of Yahshua, who was our example through His obedience to Yahweh. He was the first of the firstfruits harvest, symbolized by the barley wave sheaf’s initial offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Apostle Paul writes of this in 1Corinthians 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits [wavesheaf]; afterward they that are Messiah’s at His Coming.”
Fifty days later at Pentecost the second firstfruits offering is presented, represented by the first of the wheat harvest. This harvest symbolizes the saints who are specially chosen now for an extraordinary position in His priesthood. Finally, the general harvest occurs in the autumn, at the Feast of Tabernacles—also called Feast of Ingathering. Pentecost is the only festival of Yahweh for which no specific date is given in the Scriptures. It must be counted out seven weeks from the day the wave sheaf was offered during Unleavened Bread. (See accompanying article, “A Feast that Counts.”) In Force in New Covenant Here is a key fact most of churchianity fails to grasp because of traditional blinders: Yahweh presents His plan of salvation through the Feasts in both testaments. In the Old we see the Feasts as central to the covenant of Israel that established His chosen ones. We see the Feasts again in the New Testament as foundational to the New Covenant for those grafted into Israel. Obedience to Yahweh’s commands is central to each. Paul in Acts 24:14 wrote, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Law and prophets is another way of saying the Old Testament. Most worshipers have been told that the Feast days are just dead, Old
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Testament ritual, which were abolished along with the animal sacrifices performed on them. They are never told that the Feasts are central to New Testament worship as well, with Yahshua’s one-time substitute sacrifice (on Passover, not Easter) in force now. References to Yahweh’s annual observances are all over the New Testament. They were diligently celebrated by Yahshua and His followers before and after His resurrection. They answer the big questions of salvation. And they are key to prophecy. New Testament ‘Spirit’ Feast Other than the Passover, the observance given the most details in the New Testament is Pentecost in Acts 2. Here we find the New Testament assembly gathering as they always did in obedience to keeping a Feast. Clearly this and all Feasts are still in force. Yahshua told His disciples that once He was gone they were to tarry at Pentecost to wait for the giving of the Spirit. Pentecost in the New Testament book of Acts 2 was 10 days after Yahshua’s ascension to heaven and 50 days following His resurrection. Had the followers gone home from Jerusalem or had they not come for the Feast of Firstfruits or Shavuot, they would have missed the opportunity to receive the Spirit. The same lesson is for us. If we are not assembled with the brethren on Yahweh’s Feasts we will miss out on key blessings—even the blessings of the Kingdom when Yahshua returns. All indications are that Yahshua will return at a Feast, a “time appointed” or moed, as Daniel 8:19 indicates. When the woman (Assembly) is carried on eagle’s wings into the wilderness, it is for her protection. The first time such an occurrence happened ancient Israel was taken into the wilderness to keep a Feast to Yahweh, even as Moses had implored Pharaoh for permission to do. Yahweh protected Israel from Pharaoh’s pursuing army. Israel had the flame by
night (Spirit) and cloud of protection by day. Because so much of what happened of old will happen again, all evidence points to a similar scenario of protection for those gathered at a Feast in the last days. Compare Exodus 19:4 with Revelation 12:6. Exodus 19:4: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Revelation 12:14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Fire, cloud, and bird wings are symbolic of spirit. In the Revelation account we learn that spiritual Israel is: taken to the wilderness (just as Israel was); to a place prepared of Yahweh (we are to keep a Feast where Yahweh places His Name; just as Israel did—not in our own backyard); and the Assembly there is fed of Yahweh for a period of time, three-and-a-half years. Similarly, we feed on Yahweh’s Word at His Feasts just as Israel fed on manna. Some believe that manna will be provided again at this time to Yahweh’s obedient. Let’s suppose you are gathered with the brethren at a Feast, either Trumpets or Unleavened Bread or Pentecost—the three main moedim that have been cited as possible times of Yahshua’s return. There you will find protection while others who are disobedient are left to suffer wrath unleashed on the earth. Yahweh works in parallels, in analogies, in type and antitype, in duality—especially in prophecy’s ancient and modern fulfillment. The Bible is so complex a collection of books that most everything significant in it has a parallel or connection to something else or to another place or time. If we didn’t “see through a glass darkly” we would be able to discern the many prophetic parallels far better and more accurately.
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trembled with fear. we come full circle. Isaiah2:2-3 holds Yahshua’s Pentecost Teachings In Hebrew “thunder and lightning” the answer: “And it shall come to pass In chapter 1 of Acts, Luke picks up literally is “voices and flashing” in the last days, that the mountain of where His Book of Luke leaves off— or “torches.” But when the Greek Yahweh’s house shall be established in discussing the life of Yahshua the Septuagint was completed in the the top of the mountains, and shall be Messiah and His last activity on earth, 3rd century B.C.E., “voices” was exalted above the hills; and all nations known as the transfiguration. Following translated “thunders,” while “torches” shall flow unto it. And many people is that account: was translated “lightnings.” So in Acts shall go and say, Come ye, and let us “For John truly baptized with water; 2, when we see the tongues like fire on go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to but you shall be baptized with the Holy the heads of the people and the instant the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and Spirit not many days hence. When translating of the Apostles’ words going he will teach us of his ways, and we they therefore were come together, on through the Spirit, we see a parallel will walk in his paths: for out of Zion they asked of him, saying, Master, to Sinai and Yahweh’s communicating shall go forth the law, and the word of wilt thou at this time restore again the to those gathered. Yahweh from Jerusalem.” kingdom to Israel? And he said unto The events in Acts 2 Pentecost were Yahweh interacted with Israel both them, It is not for you at Mt. Sinai and in Mt. to know the times or Zion (Jerusalem). the seasons, which the In John 1:7 we see Father hath put in his where John came to own power. But ye shall bear witness, meaning receive power, after that a bearing witness, the the Holy Spirit is come Greek word is marturia. upon you: and ye shall An active witness, not be witnesses unto me just a showcase. both in Jerusalem, and Too often the idea is in all Judaea, and in that I must get baptized Samaria, and unto the and receive the Holy uttermost part of the Spirit for the sake of earth,” Acts 1:6, 7, 8. my salvation, while In verse 5 Yahshua a whole other aspect showed that there would of the personal giving be an advancement of the Holy Spirit is between John’s baptism overlooked. The Holy and New Testament Spirit is given for a immersion, and the The traditional site believed to be Mt. Sinai in the Sinai region near Saint Catherine’s Monastery. reason—to accomplish Some conclude however that the actual location of Mt Sinai is in northwest Saudi Arabia, near giving of the Holy Spirit the Jordan border above the Gulf of Aqaba named Jabal al-Lawz, Gal. 4:25 (Mountain of Almonds). a purpose, just as we which would begin with are saved for a purpose Pentecost,. not just some isolated miracles without not just to do nothing but proclaim, They were looking for Yahshua to purpose. When you pull it all together, “I’m saved.” establish the Kingdom with Israel. They you come to an exciting conclusion, Yahweh doesn’t function that way. knew that Israel is the firstfruits, with and it’s the very same conclusion that Yahweh is a Mighty One of work, of others to be added through obedience Peter arrived at in Acts 2:15: “This is activity and creativity and power and and faith in Yahshua. Notice in verse 7 what was spoken by the prophet Joel.” function. He expects nothing less of He doesn’t say, you have it all wrong, What did Joel prophesy? His people. To get out there and get a the Kingdom will be set up with the Among other things, he said that job done of teaching the truth to the newly established New Testament Yahweh was going to do something world. church. very special at one special mountain: When you save earnings in a bank “Power” is Greek dunamis — from Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass, you save it from being lost or wasted. dunamis we get our word dynamite. that whosoever shall call on the name The same goes for Yahweh’s people. This Power was for effective witnessing of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in Salvation is to keep our talents and of Yahshua throughout all the earth. mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be gifts from being wasted. To employ At Sinai, when the Israelites heard deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in us in His service. Both now and in the the thunder and saw the lightning, the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.” Kingdom. and saw the mountain in smoke, they Connecting Mt. Zion to Mt. Sinai The power of the Holy Spirit is not 20
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for pizzazz — something impressive to watch, something to dazzle the eyes and excite the imagination or to draw attention to oneself in charismatic displays. The Spirit is imparted to accomplish a work, it’s the dynamic power of Yahweh (dunamis is used in Acts 1:8, meaning strength, ability, power). Greatest Power in the Universe When you look at the whole plan of Yahweh’s Feast days you see something dynamic operating on a very personal level: In the Passover we find Yahweh separating a people out from the Egypt of sin. This follows with the eating of unleavened bread, rooting out the falsity from our lives and hearts and arming us with truth. Then comes the Feast of Weeks, where we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to tell others the truth of Yahweh. Now Yahshua prepares the disciples, telling them not to go anywhere, but to be at Jerusalem where they must wait for the promise of Yahweh. That promise was the power of dunamis— active force—to be used to actively bring a forceful witness to the world through powerful communication and miracles. We are a witness of the greatest power in the universe. The danger is in allowing this gift to be a show of our
own greatness! That’s what the heretic Simon wanted. “For as yet he [Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahshua. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of Elohim may be purchased with money,” Act 8:16. Access Through Obedience How does one receive this Spirit power? Acts 5:32 explains that it is given to those who obey Yahweh. ∙ Some say you get the Holy Spirit when someone hits you on the forehead and knocks you backward. But what about Acts 5:32? ∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. I would refer them to Acts 5:32. ∙ Others teach that you get the Holy Spirit the moment you are saved. They need to read Acts 5:32. Here is what one denomination teaches in getting the Spirit: “Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as
possible. At the same time he should tell G-d in his heart, ‘I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.’ I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak out whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising G-d with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.” Nowhere is this procedure supported anywhere in the Word. Here is what we find in 1John 3:24: “And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.” True baptism for the obedient is in Yahshua’s Name. That is how the Spirit is given. The Holy Spirit force is manifest by the many number of gifts it bestows, detailed in 1Corinthians 12, like wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, and even just stamina for living the truth. At immersion each individual is given one or more of the Holy Spirit gifts. In Acts 2 Peter and the rest had been waiting in an upper room as
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Yahshua had told them to do. They were of one mind as the Spirit descended like flames on their heads. As the dunamis was imparted they were able to speak different languages (heteros, different kinds of tongues or languages). This power translated into the ability to communicate to the 15 different languages and dialects represented in the gathered crowd. That Feast in the New Testament was unique and never have those phenomena been duplicated since. Many Worshiping Own Way One person wrote us, “You aren’t going to tell me what name I can pray in.” No, but Yahweh, whom you’re assuming to pray to, definitely is. You have no more authority to decide what you will call Him than Israel had to make their own image of Him through their idols. There is no difference. Whether you make your own image of Him or call Him by whatever name you please, it’s the same thing, idolatry. Yahweh says in Deut. 29 that if you don’t honor me with my Name, but serve me under common names of idolatry, then I will blot your own name out of the book of life. When we seek the Holy Spirit we do it Yahweh’s way, on His terms, not our own. True Worship is about obeying Him, not church traditions or private notions. Does Yahweh allow us to decide which Feast days we choose to keep and which to ignore? How about just keep the weekly Sabbath and ignore the annual ones, as one large denomination does? If we accept one commanded observance then Scripturally we must accept them all, 2Timothy 3:16. All of Yahweh’s Holy Days are presented as an entire package to us to observe, with the admonition that they are all sanctified by Yahweh (and are not just Feasts of Jews). “These are the feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons,” Leviticus 23:4. To argue that these annual Feast 22
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days are Jewish or “Mosaic Law” and therefore are done away is to be uninformed on multiple levels. Many statements in Scripture tell us that these are Yahweh’s observances, not Mosaic ones. John taught old truths in the New Testament, writing, 1John 2:7: “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.” The only Word they had from the beginning was the Old Testament. Verse 24 continues, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” Yahshua kept every one of the annual observances, from Passover through Tabernacles. He is our example. He said He had kept His Father’s commandments and we are to follow Him, John 15:10. He did so perfectly, without fail, otherwise He would have sinned,1Peter 2:21-22. The Spirit and the Law A command for the Feast of Weeks is found in Deuteronomy 16:9-11: “Seven weeks shall you number unto you: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as you begin to put the sickle to the corn. And you shall keep the feast of weeks unto Yahweh your Elohim with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give unto the Yahweh your Elohim, according as Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you: And you shall rejoice before Yahweh your Elohim, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Yahweh your Elohim has chosen to place His name there.” This Feast is marked by offerings and rejoicing. It was probably at the May/June 2011
time of the Feast of Firstfruits that Israel received the law at Sinai, which can be determined by paralleling the timing of their journey in the wilderness with the timing of the Feast. The Biblical Feasts are a type of the spiritual trek we make as we come out of the world and follow the ways of Yahweh. Seeking Truth is also is a wilderness adventure at times as we travel a path not well-traveled. The significance of the Feast of Firstfruits centers on teaching of the Truth with the Spirit given to keep it. In Acts 2, after the 120 received the power of the Holy Spirit, they began to teach the truth boldly and powerfully. Peter gave such a stirring message that 3,000 people sought and received baptism in the Name of Yahshua. Peter and John spoke with uncommon power and boldness, Acts 4:13. Miracles began happening, and these disciples had powers and maturity they never had before in their ministry. The Feast of Firstfruits shows us that Yahweh’s laws exist more than in the physical sphere. Now the spiritual intent of obedience must be emphasized. The real purpose for obedience becomes clear and a righteous attitude is made manifest. Hebrews 8:10 says that Yahweh’s laws would be put into our minds and written on our hearts. Some may say that this means we obey only spiritually and not actually participating in Sabbath or Feast observance. However, in Biblical terms, writing something on a heart means to obey even more closely. Read Ezekiel 11:1920: 19: “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim.” We “take to heart” Yahweh’s laws when those laws are in our hearts. May this key observance in Yahweh’s scriptural calendar become n one of the seven you keep annually.
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