Hezekiah’s Revival

This four-tiered cult stand found at Tanaach is thought to represent Yahweh and Asherah, with each deity being depicted on alternating tiers. Note that on tier two, which is dedicated to Asherah, is the image of a living tree, often thought to be how the asherim as a cult symbol was expressed. Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/Israel Antiquities Authority (photograph by Avraham Hay).

This four-tiered cult stand found at Tanaach is thought to represent Yahweh and Asherah, with each deity being depicted on alternating tiers. Note that on tier two, which is dedicated to Asherah, is the image of a living tree, often thought to be how the asherim as a cult symbol was expressed. Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/Israel Antiquities Authority (photograph by Avraham Hay).

In 2 Chronicles 30 there is a report of a great revival under the leadership of Hezekiah the king of Judah.

Prior to Hezekiah’s reign the temple rituals had been neglected for many years, to the point where the temple and its utensils were all in disrepair. [2 Chron. 29] In order to repair all the damage Passover was delayed for one month, according to the Law. [Num. 9:9-11]

When the cleaning was accomplished Hezekiah invited both Israel i.e. the Northern Kingdom and Judah the Southern kingdom that he ruled, to come to the Passover.

1   Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the LORD the God of Israel.  2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the passover in the second month —  3 for they could not keep it in its time because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem —  2Chr. 30:1-3

These couriers were not well received by those that had completely turned to paganism.

10   So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.  11 Only a few men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.  12 The hand of God was also upon Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD. 2Chr. 30:10-12

Only a few came from the Northern Tribes. But of those that came, were truly humble. However they were so far from any sound teachings that they came unprepared for they were unclean.

 18 For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “The good LORD pardon every one 19 who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.”  2Chr. 30:18-19

hezekiah_in_temple_22-138Hezekiah prayed that YHWH would pardon their physical condition and accept them on the basis of their hearts desire to follow God.

This is the way we all feel when we come to the Hebrew roots of our faith. Our temples are filthy with all manner of unBiblical practices, which we have never considered before. Although we have been taught that we are clean because of Messiah’s sacrifice, we suddenly don’t FEEL that can be true, considering the extent of the filth that comes from all the false teachings we have received from the inherited church.

Our desire has now turned to walk with Messiah in an unadulterated faith. To find a spiritual cleanness, unpolluted with the traditions of men. This puts us at odds with those who profit from the traditions, as well as those who are emotionally addicted to the pomp and circumstance of all the tinsel and ceremonies. To them, what they are doing IS Christianity. To those who study pagan mythology it all stinks of paganism.

We just want to clean it all out with spiritual soap made from ashes of the red heifer.

Although we stand before the throne in all this filth, we ask our Lord to excuse our condition and teach us to walk with Him.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24

And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 1John 5:7

Truth is all we seek. We may not have things perfectly in order. There may yet be things that must be cleaned out. As we throw out the paganism of the inherited church we may have stumbled into unacceptable things from Judaism. Yet we are working out our own salvation.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Phil. 2:12 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Prov. 9:10

Faith is a struggle, there is no easy believism as the post-modern church teaches. There are no formulas, that the church so loves to put between God and man. There is only the pure faith of the Bible.

As James taught “faith without works is dead.” However 2000 years of church teachings have killed the Congregation of the Lord. They teach an easy salvation, one that has no works from the Bible, but rather new works that they have created. They have no fear, because they have no wisdom.

After Hezekiah’s revival there was a great cleansing of the land. If only the false teaching of the post-modern church would be so easily cleared.

1   Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and hewed down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession. 2Chr. 31:1

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Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement

right_handThen and Now

There is a New Testament passage that is all about Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement. But because the church never studies the Old Testament they have never noticed that Yom Kippur is in the New Testament. Most Hebrew Roots/Messianics have come out of these churches and as we stumble our way to the truth we build on what we already know. And sometimes that is too much church, other times it is too little.

Most of us, as part of our worship for this day, read the passages about Yom Kippur in the Old Testament. We know what was sacrificed and when. We vaguely understand that Messiah’s sacrifice replaces them all. But we have yet to start to put the whole picture together. Here is one of those pieces of the puzzle.

When reading the book of The Revelation few notice this particular verse.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet Rev. 1:10

The Seventh Day Adventist go on and on as to this meaning of “the Lord’s day” and conclude that it is the Sabbath. Since the emergence of the Seventh Day Adventist the inherited church commentators have had to respond and have written at great lengths about it being Sunday. However it is clear from the rest of the book of The Revelation that this “Lord’s Day” is Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement.

This becomes quite clear when one looks at Chapters 4-5. The 24 elders are dressed in white, they have golden crowns and golden censors. They represent the 24 courses of high priests that served in the temple. And it is only on Yom Kippur that the High Priest wore white and a golden crown and used a golden censor. [I Chron 24:7-18]

All of The Revelation happens on Yom Kippur. Till chapter 20 when the day is over and the books are opened and final judgment is given. Till then, not matter what judgement is going on it is always Yom Kippur before the Throne. We can always “make it right” before a just God. As far as the Throne is concerned it is always the day of Salvation for who-so-ever will.

So why are we fasting on this day, when they are rejoicing before the Throne? Why are we attempting to afflict our souls when the 24 elders and the four living creature are singing the praises of the Lamb?

It would be noble to spend some time praying for the lost sons of Adam, maybe even fast for their salvation. For the Jews, the Muslims, and any other group that comes to our hearts, but then there should be a celebration of our own salvation. That the Lamb was Worthy is the greatest news that has been given for all mankind.

And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; Luke 2:10

The Churches calls us Heretics

The Church is all about salvation and grace, which is fine, in and of itself.  So because they do not hear those teachings coming from us on a regular basis they think that we do not hold to them and are therefore are heretics. We have heard all that, and we do tell our children who haven’t heard, but the Hebrew Roots community wants more than just salvation by grace. We want to know how we should live, being given such a great gift.

We see that our ancestors were judged because they did not put away the Baals and the Ashtaroths. We don’t want to go that way again. So naturally we don’t want the church’s Christmases, Easters, or anything else that came from Babylon.

That brings us back to the commandments and holy days of our Lord, a.k.a. the Song of Moses.

Paul said, contrary to Dispensational teachings, that the Law has not passed away.

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31

Our Lord said to do all the Pharisees said.

2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. Matt. 23:2-3

He repeated that obedience was the sign of our love.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”. John 14:15  

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10

James taught that we are known by our works.

So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:17

There is nothing more freeing than to obey God. The lightness of this yoke is far beyond the burdens laid upon the people by the churches.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1John 5:3

Those who would over come, must keep the commandments and faith in Yeshua/Jesus.

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. Rev. 12:17

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:12  

2  And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,  “Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! Rev. 15:2-3

People from all over the world, not connected in anyway to each other, have woken up one day and said. “If I love God I should keep His Commandment.” The next question we ask ourselves is, “what does that mean?” So we find Ex. 20 and read the commandments and everything is fine until we get to number 4. What about that Sabbath? And from there our journeys begins. Back to a simpler purer faith.

We must, by the leading of the Spirit, put out of our hearts and minds all the traditions and dogmas of the church, and hold on only to that which is Biblical. Traditions are fine as long as they are based on the Word. Whenever we find one an error floating around in the back of our minds, we must take out our sword and slay it with the Word.

 

Theology is what is in the Bible.

Doctrine is what we believe about the theology.

Dogma is what we do about the doctrine.

Tradition is how we repeat the dogma over and over for years.

 

Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:19 

Doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation, just makes them least.

The Holy Spirit has Personality / Intelligence

This gets down to the Holy Spirit’s life’s work or His purpose. The personality of the Holy Spirit is to be that conduit by which the right relationship between man and God is brought about. His sole function is to heal a person perceptions so that they can understand that the great sacrifice of the Son has reestablish our ability to walk with God.

To understand that work a person must be given knowledge and wisdom. The Holy Spirit purposes to reveal God’s plans and purposes to us.

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. Is. 11:2

And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; Is. 11:3

Thou gavest thy good Spirit to instruct them, and didst not withhold thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Neh. 9:20 

10 God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Cor 2:10-11

To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 1Cor. 12:8

. . . they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. 1Pet. 1:11

. . . because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2Pet. 1:21

Elijah/Eliyahu

elijahcomes before the great and terrible day of the LORD

Is Elijah one of the Witnesses?

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Mal. 4:5-6

Each year, the Jews hope that Elijah will come again to announce the return of Messiah. All Passover services have a break where the children leave that table go to the door and call out to see if Elijah is there. The Rabbis have very elaborate views of Elijah. They teach that his major concern, both in heaven and on earth, is with the fate of the Jewish people. While many Christians mistakenly teach that he will return as one of the two witnesses of The Revelation 11. A careful reading of which shows that there are actually four witnesses. See Also Two Witnesses

What John Said

“And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:19 -23

John is quoting Isaiah.

“A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Is. 40:3-5

The confusion come from not understanding what John said of himself. Now at the time the Rabbis where teaching that when Elijah came back to announce the Messiah he would be fulfilling this Isaiah 40 prophecy. So John tells them truthfully that he is not the actual person of Elijah, but  he also makes it quite clear that he is fulfilling the office of Elijah, and doing the things that they expected that Elijah would do.

Lest one think that John didn’t do a very good job at turning the hearts of the people, Matthew records that ALL Jerusalem and Judea and the whole region followed him.

“Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” Matt. 3:5-6

What Messiah Said

Our Lord clearly taught that John the Baptist fulfilled the Malachi prophecy.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matt. 11:13-15

This was the same John who declared:

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

So why are we sending our children out to call for Elijah/Eliyahu at the close of our Passover service? Mostly because they need to wiggle. They have sat still for far too long. Elijah is not there. He will never be there. He has already come and done his duty, one for which he lost his life.

The Messiah, Himself said of John:

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”  4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.  6 And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” 

7  As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?  8 Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses.  9 Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  10 This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.’  11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force.  13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John;  14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.  15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matt. 11:2-15

This all happened before the great and terrible day of the LORD came. The great and terrible day of the Lord was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. When it was over, the land most certainly was under a curse. (See Also: The Olivet Discourse)

See also: Matt. 3:1-4; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:3 -6

See also our post  Two Witnesses:

If you want to read more about what the Rabbis teach about Elijah read:
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim 1883
Appendix 11 . ON THE PROPHECY, IS. 40:3

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim 1883
Appendix 8 RABBINIC TRADITIONS ABOUT ELIJAH THE FORERUNNER OF THE MESSIAH

Spirit of Truth

. . . even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. John 14:17 

Truth is an illusive thing in the post modern world. Everyone is left to decide what to believe on their own. Even our science has become political rather than observed phenomena and experiments with repeatable results. They all create postulations, theories, that are not tested but rather expanded upon by using computer algorithms. No proofs are given. We all stand around in frustration and ask the same question Pilot asked as he passed judgement on Messiah, “What is truth?” The worldly cannot receive absolute truth. To them it is folly.

The Greek word aletheias pertains to a real or actual event, the existing state of things, literal truth, something that is not a mistake or misunderstood, factual.

The facts are that God became a man came to earth suffered, bleed, and died so that the relationship between God and humans could be restored to those who except that fact.

The Holy Spirit is Eternal

13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Heb. 9:13- 14 

Messiah was offered through the eternal Spirit, the Greek word ainoios meaning eternal, unlimited duration of time.

And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, John 14:16

The Greek word aion meaning forever, age, or universe and is where we get our eon. The word really has the idea of being beyond all creation,  or greater than the transitory nature of the universe.