Christian Apologetics Study

THE HOLY BIBLE, SCIENCE, AND HOMOSEXUALITY

May
01

The primary reason for the liberal establishment’s support for homosexual “marriage” is their belief that homosexuals are born gay, despite the weight of biblical and scientific evidence against this belief. For many years we have debated the root cause of homosexuality. We have often wondered whether people are born homosexual or whether people choose the homosexual lifestyle. Many conservative Christians argue that homosexuality is a choice people make to satisfy their passion for same sex relationships, which is sin against God. However, the Gay and Lesbian Community argue that they were born that way and have no choice in their sexual orientation. Therefore, which group speaks truth?

Human Sexuality is very complicated and there may not be a simple “white or black” answer to this question. However, there are major problems with saying a man or a woman is born homosexual. First, according to the Human genome study led by Dr. Francis Collins, human beings have about 30,000 or more genes, but the scientific community has never identified any homosexual gene. Second, the Holy Bible consistently tells its readers that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13 NKJV; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 NKJV; Romans 1:26-27 NKJV; 1 Corinthians 6:9 NKJV). St. Paul’s writings in Romans 1:26-27 NKJV teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the vainness and hopelessness of life apart from God. St. Paul wrote again in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that homosexual “offenders” will not come into the kingdom of God. However, this may not always be the case.

While God is not the creator of any homosexual, God does allow people to choose the homosexual life style in this world because we live in a fallen universe (Hebrews 1:10-12 NKJV) of increasing entropy or degeneration from an original perfect creation. Therefore, some people are born blind, born with cancer, born with diabetes, and could possibly be born homosexual. In this fallen universe that we live in, occasionally something may go wrong within the mother’s womb where hormonal development is altered and a baby is born homosexual or Lesbian or at least born with a biological predisposition for same sex relationships.

According to a few unconfirmed studies done in post-World War II Europe and elsewhere, there was a significant increase in male and female homosexuals because women under extreme stress during pregnancy appeared to be more likely to give birth to homosexual children. Furthermore, the increase in male homosexuality could be related to the consumption of highly process food products with high estrogen levels. However, these theories are only speculations because homosexual men and women have been around for generations.

While many factors could cause this biological abnormality within a small portion of the gay and lesbian community such as the environment, drugs, alcohol, stressful lifestyle, and pharmaceuticals that a mother takes while pregnant, the weight of scientific and biblical evidence clearly indicates that God did not create homosexuals because homosexuals are the result of a fallen universe which came into existence by free will beings who choose to disobey God. The Holy Scriptures tells its readers that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24-27 NKJV) and ultimately because of their own decision.

A man or a woman may be born with a greater inclination toward homosexual relationships, just as some people are born with a propensity to violent behavior and other sins. If a person is born with Kleptomania, this psychological condition does not pardon any person when he or she chooses to steal items or property that belongs to another. We do not say that stealing is now OK because science has proven that people are born that way. People with Kleptomania need treatment for their psychological compulsion to steal. If a person is born with a greater propensity for anger or rage, does that make it right for him or her to give into their dramatic desires? Should a man have two wives and a woman two husbands because science has discovered a bigamy and polygamy gene? The answer to these questions is simply no! The same answer is also true for homosexuality.

Although homosexuality is an unnatural sexual act, hating homosexuals is simply wrong. The Holy Scriptures does not describe homosexuality as a “superior” transgression than any other. All transgression is offensive to God of the Holy Scriptures. Homosexuality is just one of the many sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV that will keep a person from God’s kingdom. Acco

rding to the Holy Scriptures, God’s forgiveness is just as accessible to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, fornicator, idol worshipper, murderer, thief, and more. God gives believers spiritual strength for victory over these intense passions, including the sin of homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Messiah Yeshua for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV; 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV; Philippians 4:13 NKJV). God does not hate homosexuals, but God hates the sin of homosexuality.

Finally, there are those who attempt to legitimize homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Even some Christians say people have a right to choose their sexual preference. However, the Holy Bible specifically calls homosexual behavior sin, according to Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. We must be careful, however, to condemn only the practice, and not the people. Those who commit homosexual acts are not to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. They can be forgiven, and their lives can be transformed. The church should be a haven of forgiveness and healing for repentant homosexuals without compromising its stance against homosexual behavior

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BOOK OF GENESIS: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BEGINNING

Jan
11

The Book of “Genesis” means “beginning”. This book is the foundation of the whole Bible, on which everything is built. The book tells of the Creation, followed by the rebellion of our first parents. It then records the growth of wickedness in the earth, followed by the Flood, in which the only human survivors were Noah and his family. Another rebellion against God’s commands is stopped by the introduction of different languages. The first 11 chapters reveal four outstanding men, which are Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Nimrod. The rest of the book is the early history of the Jewish nation (also called the Israelites, Hebrews, or the children of Israel). Genesis Chapter 12 onwards primarily focuses on another group of four outstanding men, which are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

SATAN’S HATRED OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS

While Satan’s hates the entire Sacred Scriptures, there are two books in the Holy Bible the great adversary of God and humankind especially hates and the enemy has spent all his energies to discredit these books, which are Genesis and Revelation. The adversary has attempted to overthrow Genesis with relentless attacks from the secular scientific community, famous atheists, and popular pagan philosophers. The enemy dislikes Genesis because the book honors God in creation (Genesis 1:1-31) and the book portends his downfall. Genesis tells readers who (Genesis 3:15) will bring about Satan’s defeat, while Revelation gives readers the details of Satan’s ruin (Revelation 19 and 20).

GENESIS GREAT VALUE

Genesis is one of the most important books in God’s Sacred Scriptures. Every great leading fact, truth, and revelation is found here in seed form. Genesis is the seed-plot of the whole Bible and its words are essential for understanding all its sections. It is the foundation on which the Divine Revelation rests and on which it is buildup. It is not only the foundation of all Truth, but it enters into various forms of subsequent inspiration, according to Dr. Bullinger.  Genesis has great value because it is the first real history book.

GENESIS AUTHOR AND ORIGINS

The book of Genesis was written by Moses when he compiled and edited ancient records around 1450 BC. The records were derived from ancient stone tablets containing information about human history that originated from eyewitness accounts, according to the tablet theory of Mosaic authorship. Genesis chapters one and two probably originated from God (7:37-38) when Moses was fasting atop Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:16-18). The Genesis narration is simple and straightforward, it is consistent everywhere with itself, it is accurate with its dates, it is impartial with its biography, it is correct with its philosophical details, it is pure with its morality, and very benevolent with its spiritual design. These observations confirm that Genesis had an extraterrestrial origination.

GENESIS LITERARY STYLE

The Book of Genesis is written in prose and not in poetry. This fact is significant because poetry forms handy clothing for myths and legends, which decorates many other primeval books. Genesis is written not as mythology, but as straightforward history. Therefore, Genesis is really history, purely fact, and literally true and it is not decorated with fables, myths, or colorful exaggerations.

GENESIS SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS

Genesis chapter one highlights the beginning of the universe when God created the heavens, the planet Earth, plant life, marine life, land animals, and humankind during six-24-hour-days. Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17 says God created the universe in six days.  Genesis Chapter two sketches the beginning of the human race after God blessed the seventh day because it begins the Sabbath. Chapter two retells the creative acts of the six day with additional details related to Adam and Eve’s formation. Genesis chapter three reveals the beginning of human sin when the serpent deceived Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden. God curses the whole Earth and Adam and Eve were forced out of the Garden of Eden. This chapter also uncovers the beginning revelation of redemption when God predicts the seed war (Genesis 3:15) between the fallen one and the woman.   Genesis chapter four reveals the consequences of murder when Cain kills Abel and God curses Cain and Cain’s descendants and family history. This chapter mentions the beginning of human civilization. Genesis chapter five shows the chronology of the family history of the line of sons from Adam to Enoch to Noah.  This chapter mentions Enoch the first prophet who was raptured to heaven at age 365.

In Genesis chapter six, a Godless and violent civilization emerged when wickedness in the Earth increased because fallen angels had sexual relations with human females and together they produced a Hybrid, gigantic, and violent Nephilim population.   God declares He will destroy the Earth with water and God commands Noah to build an ark. In Genesis chapter seven, Noah, his family, and animals enter the ark and the flood waters completely cover the whole Earth and all humans and land creatures outside ark were destroyed. In Genesis chapter eight, the flood ends and the waters recede; Noah, his family and the animals exit the ark; Noah made a burnt offering to God. In Genesis chapter nine, God blesses Noah and three sons (Ham, Shem, and Japheth), outlines their new diet, makes ‘anti-global flood’ covenant with them. Later, Noah gets drunk and he speaks a curse on Canaan before he Noah dies at age 950.  In Genesis chapter 10, the family history of Shem, Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah are given. In Genesis chapter 11, Tower of Babel built; LORD scatters and confounds the people from Babel and the family history of Shem’s descendants to Abram is given. Finally, from Genesis chapters 12 to 50, we see a biographical sketch of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

ANALYSIS OF GENESIS

This book’s distinctive message reveals humanity’s failure under every condition met by God’s Salvation. It was necessary for us to know by failure our own weakness and insufficiency before we would voluntarily choose Good. In the book of Genesis, we all failed as human beings in every era of the testing. During the perfect environment of the Garden of Paradise we failed. Under the rule of human consciousness from the Fall of Humanity to the global Deluge we failed.   Under the patriarchal rule from Noah to Joseph we failed. However, human failure is met by Divine grace and activity. Where sin abound, grace did much more abound.

RELATED SOURCES

Halley’s Bible Handbook; Henry Halley; 1965. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Campbell; 1999. The Bible; Dr. Jeffrey Geoghegan and others; 2003. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen Miller; 2007. The Dead Sea Scrolls; Craig A, Evans; 2010 The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Understanding The Bible; Kendell H. Easley; 2000. The Book Genesis Outline by Robert Lee.  The King James Version (KJV). The New King James Version (NKJV).

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GENESIS RECORD: NOAH’S CURSE ON CANAAN

Jul
04

Did Noah curse Ham and all his black African descendants? Ham was the second son of Noah (Genesis 5:32, 6:10, 7:13, 9:18, 22, Genesis 10:1, 20 and 1 Chronicles 1:8). Ham is the ancestor of the Egyptians, as well as the people in Africa, Arabia, and Canaan. After the Great Flood, Noah began cultivating vineyards, and on one occasion exposed himself while he was drunk inside his tent (Genesis 9:20-24). Ham saw his father lying naked and related the incident to Shem and Japheth, who covered Noah up discreetly. When Noah awoke and learned what Ham had done, he cursed Ham’s son Canaan, saying his brothers (Cush, Mizraim, and Put) and Shem and Japheth would rule over him.

However, if Ham is the one referred to in 9:24 as offending Noah, why should the curse fall on his son Canaan? The most likely answer is that it is not Ham who is being referred to here, but Canaan. The expression is “his youngest son,” whereas Ham is repeatedly seen and mentioned as the second son of Noah, not the youngest (5:32, 6:10, 7:13, 9:18 and 10:1). More exactly, Noah’s curse on “his youngest son” refers to Canaan because of some kind of sinful act done to Noah when Noah was asleep in his tent, which was not recorded in the Bible. The word for “Son” was always used for “grandson” and great grandson in ancient times, and it seems to have been used here in this manner. Because Canaan was the “youngest” of all Noah’s grandsons during this period, the curse was clearly on Canaan and his descendants only. The text clearly says the curse  is on Canaan rather than Ham. Canaan and his offspring were to be subject to Japheth and Shem before their complete extermination during the generation of Joshua.

This fact means the correct reading of the Genesis passage should be: “When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son (CANAAN) had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves he will be to his brothers.” (Genesis 9:24-25 NIV).

ANALYSIS OF NOAH’S CURSE

Traditionally, Noah’s curse has been interpreted to justify the institution of slavery over black African populations worldwide. However, Noah could not have cursed Ham because God had already blessed Ham along with his brothers, according to Genesis 9:1. The first great post-flood civilizations in the Middle East and North Africa all originated from the descendants of Ham.  The first rulers of Babylon and Egypt were primarily the descendants of Ham.  The descendants of Ham were great navigators who traveled to North, Central, and South America. They built great post-flood civilizations for generations before the rise of Greece and Rome.

RELATED SOURCES

 The Holy Bible New International Version; 2014. Ancient Egypt; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D.2002. Middle East Conflict; Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.; 2008. The Middle East; Craig S. Davis,PhD; 2003. World History; Peter Haugen; 2009. Got Questions? org; Data derived from: gotquestions.org/curse-on-ham.html

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MASORETIC TEXT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY

Feb
23

The Old Testament Bible was originally written in Hebrew, with scattered passages of Aramaic. It was first translated in its entirety into Aramaic and then later into Greek (the Septuagint). Hebrew scholars created the authoritative Masoretic text from Aramaic Targums and the original Hebrew scrolls, which have been lost to history.

Today, many scholars believe the Masoretic Text is more authoritative because it is the traditional Hebrew text of the Jewish community. The Masoretic Text was meticulously assembled and codified, and supplied with diacritical marks to enable correct pronunciation. This monumental work was begun by scholars at Talmudic academies in Babylonia and Palestine, in an effort to reproduce, as far as possible, the original text of the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. Their intention was not to interpret the meaning of the Scriptures but to transmit to future generations the authentic Word of God.  Because of this history, many scholars believe the Masoretic Text Chrono-genealogy is more precise than the Septuagint and other biblical versions.

According to the Masoretic Text, the first 11 chapters of Genesis give us the history of the Creation (Genesis 1:1-2), the fall (Genesis 3:1), Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1), the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). They also give us a basic framework for dating those major historical events. According to Genesis five, a period of 10 generations went by between the Creation and the Flood. Although the individuals listed in that chapter enjoyed an average life span of roughly 858 years or more, the total time between Adam and the Flood was only about 1,656 years.

According to Genesis chapter 11, another 9 generations elapsed between the time of the Flood and the time of Abraham. The average life-span of these individuals was roughly 385 years; the total time between the Flood and Abraham is roughly 350 years. If we take Genesis literally, that would mean that all of Abraham’s ancestors as far back as Noah’s son Shem were still alive when Abraham was born, and that the time separating Abraham from the day of Creation is only 2,176 years—a bit more than the time separating us from Christ.

In modern times, the systems of Biblical chrono-genealogy that have been adopted are chiefly from Archbishop James Ussher. Archbishop Ussher’s system is called the short chronology. The short chronology generally teaches that the creation of Adam was in 4001 BC, the Great Flood was in 2345 BC, the time of Abraham was in 2001 BC, and the time of Messiah Yeshua began in 1 BC and ended in AD 32.

Furthermore, early Christian writers held that at the end of 6,000 years of history, Messiah Yeshua would return and reign for 1,000 years. These included Barnabas (A.D. 100), Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (A.D. 150), Lactantius (A.D. 325), and Methodius, Bishop of Tyre (A.D. 300).  Barnabas wrote: “as there had been 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, and 2,000 from Abraham to Messiah Yeshua; therefore, there will be 2,000 years for the Christian era and then would come the Millennium.” If these Christian writers are correct, then the Christian era should conclude sometime before, during, or shortly after the year A.D. 2032 because the Christian era began in the summer of A.D. 32.

However, we must understand that these dates are not base on what the Holy Bible says because the sacred Scriptures reveal no dates for the creation of the universe, planet Earth, formation of life, and the global flood. The Holy Scriptures reveal no dates for the return of Messiah Yeshua. This fact means that the universe  could be significantly older than 4000 BC and  the Lord could return sometime before A.D 32 or sometime afterwards.

RELATED SOURCES

The New King James Version. Easton Bible Dictionary. Holman Bible Dictionary.  Septuagint Bible; Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton; Old Testament Chrono-genealogy Barry Setterfield; Biblical Creationism; Dr. Henry Morris; 2005. Creator and the Cosmos; Dr. Hugh Ross; 1998. Creation; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2003. Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics; Dr. Duane T. Gish; 1993. Learn The Bible in 24 Hours; Dr. Chuck Missler; 2002. Panorama of Creation; Dr. Carl Baugh; 1989. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science; Dr. Henry Morris; 2008. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Science of God; Dr. Gerald Schroeder;1997. The New Answers Book 1; Ken Ham; 2006. The New Answers Book 2; Ken Ham; 2008. The New Answers Book 3; Ken Ham; 2010.

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THE SEPTUAGINT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY

Feb
22

The Alexandrian Septuagint (LXX) is the Oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures. This Greek translation also contains several apocryphal books. Most New Testament quotations of the Old Testament are from the Alexandrian LXX. According to some scholars, the Alexandrian LXX is more historically accurate than the Masoretic Text (MT) Hebrew Bible because the LXX Bible contains more accurate Christological passages and it was translated from earlier paleo-Hebrew Scriptures.  A few scholars believe the MT Bible translators removed significant Christological passages when they shorten the biblical chrono-genealogy in the original Holy Scriptures.  However, other scholars believe the LXX translators lengthen the biblical chrono-genealogy because they were influenced by Greek philosophy.

Analysis of the LXX chrono-genealogy reveals its history appears more consistent with archaeological science and secular history. The Greek LXX gives its readers much longer periods between the creation of Adam and the great flood and much longer periods between the great flood and Abraham’s generation.  According to some scholars, the first century copyists and translators of the MT just didn’t believe the long life spans before the conception of each child; therefore, they simply deleted the word for one-hundred wherever they found it. And this action significantly shortened the biblical history describing human growth, proliferation, and expansion on the Earth.

According to the Alexandrian Greek LXX chronology, the first 11 chapters in Genesis reveals the creation history (Genesis 1:1-2), the fall (Genesis 3:1), the Cain and Abel conflict (Genesis 4:1), the global flood (Genesis 6-9), and the Babylon Tower (Genesis 11). The LXX narrative gives its readers a basic framework for dating major historical events.

According to Genesis chapter five, 10 generations went by between the Creation and the Great Flood. While the people listed in that chapter enjoyed an average life span of roughly 858 years, the total time between Adam and the Flood was approximately 2262 years.

According to Genesis 11, another 10 generations elapsed between the time of the Flood and the time of Abraham. The average life-span of these individuals is approximately 385 years; the total time between the Flood and Abraham is roughly 1002 years. If we take the LXX chrono-genealogy as history, then the time separating Abraham from Adam is roughly 3,264 years.

We are told, in Matthew, that there are 14 generations between Abraham and David, between David and captivity to Babylon, and between Babylon and Messiah. This equals 42 generations between Abraham and Messiah Yeshua. If a generation in Matthew’s time equal 53.5 years, then we have a period equaling 2247 years from Abraham to Yeshua. When we add up the 2262 pre-Flood years with the 1002 years between the flood and Abraham, and the 2247 years between Abraham and Yeshua, we reach a calculation equaling 5,511 years. This means that Adam was created around 5,511 BC.

Early church commentators, such as Clement of Alexander, Eusebius, Lactantius, and Theophilus, believe Adam was created on the 6th day and Yeshua would come into the world during humankind’s 6,000th year because St. Paul wrote Messiah Yeshua was the last Adam (1-Corinthians 15:45). In other words, they believe Yeshua came into the world 6000 years after the creation of Adam because each creation day in Genesis chapter one represents 1000 years of human history. According to these Christian writers, the 10 generations from Adam to Noah equaled 2000 years, the 10 generation from Noah to Abraham equaled 2000 years, and the 42 generation from Abraham to Messiah Yeshua equaled 2000 years. When we calculate the generations from Adam to Yeshua, we reach 6,000 years of human history.  The problem with the six millennial day theory is that 1000 years probably meant a very long time rather than exactly 1000 years, during the early Christian era.  This means we should never employ the six day millennial theory to determine Adam’s creation.

SUMMARY OF THE GREEK SEPTUAGINT CHRONOLOGY

The LXX chrono-genealogy has an earlier date for Adams creation for several reasons.  First, some scholars argue that early Hebrew translators were probably influenced by Greek philosophy and they attempted to lengthen the biblical chrono-genealogy to 5,500 or 6,000 years to parallel the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition of their generation. Second, other scholars believe that translators of the Hebrew MT changed significant Christological passages when they shorten the chrono-genealogy to disprove that Yeshua was the Messiah. Third, because the LXX was translated from the paleo-Hebrew Scriptures, then the original paleo-Hebrew Bible probably contained a longer chronology.  Finally, if there are gaps in the MT and LXX chrono-genealogies, then Adam was probably created around 6000 BC or earlier. Therefore, a precise date for Adam’s creation remains a mystery when we study the Hebrew MT and the Alexandrian Greek LXX.

RELATED SOURCES

Septuagint Bible; Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton; Old Testament Chrono-genealogy Barry Setterfield; Biblical Creationism; Dr. Henry Morris; 2005. Creator and the Cosmos; Dr. Hugh Ross; 1998. Creation; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2003. Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics; Dr. Duane T. Gish; 1993. Learn The Bible in 24 Hours; Dr. Chuck Missler; 2002. Panorama of Creation; Dr. Carl Baugh; 1989. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science; Dr. Henry Morris; 2008. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Science of God; Dr. Gerald Schroeder;1997. The New Answers Book 1; Ken Ham; 2006. The New Answers Book 2; Ken Ham; 2008. The New Answers Book 3; Ken Ham; 2010.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF ENOCH

Dec
08

The Book of Enoch has been attributed to the prophet Enoch mentioned in Genesis chapter 5, Hebrews chapter 11, and Jude chapter 1. The Holy Scriptures mentions two Enochs.  The first Enoch was the eldest son of Cain, who built a city east of Eden in the land of Nod, and called it “after the name of his son Enoch.” This is the first “city” mentioned in Scripture. The second Enoch was the son of Jared, and father of Methuselah. The second Enoch wrote the Book of Enoch, according to the oral and written traditions.

Enoch’s father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch “walked with God three hundred years,” when he was translated without experiencing physical death. His whole life on Earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the “seventh from Adam”, as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews. When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch’s prophesying only in Jude 1:14.

The Book of Enoch is a collection of apocalyptic writings the lengthiest work included in the                                             Pseudepigrapha. The book is ascribed pseudonymously to the Hebrew patriarch Enoch. It is also called the Ethiopic Enoch, because it is preserved in its entirety only in Ethiopic, a Semitic language formerly spoken in Ethiopia. This book is a collection of distinct sections written by different authors at various times during the Second and First centuries BC. Scholars have concluded that the original collection was written either in Hebrew or in Aramaic. Soon afterward, it was translated into Greek. The Ethiopic translation is thought to have been made from the Greek about AD 500. Portions of the Ethiopic Enoch survive in Greek, Latin, and Aramaic, the last discovered at Qumrân, in Jordan.

The book consists of seven sections. The first section introduces the underlying theme of the book, God’s coming judgment. The second section recounts the plight of the fallen angels and Enoch’s journey into the places of final punishment and reward. The third section predicts the coming of the Messiah, who will pronounce judgment on all angels and humans. It also describes the future heavenly kingdom of God. The fourth section contains revelations about the heavenly bodies-for example, the disorders that will occur among them when the last evil days are at hand. The fifth section contains Enoch’s visions of a flood sent to punish the world for its wickedness and of the establishment afterward of the messianic kingdom. The sixth section consoles the righteous, admonishing them to remain faithful, and condemns the unjust, predicting their end. In this section, all human history is divided by Enoch into ten unequal weeks (symbolizing ten epochs), each one characterized by a special person or event-for example, the fourth week is typified by Moses; the seventh week, by a universal degeneration. In the tenth, and culminating, week, the old heaven is to be replaced by a new and eternal one. The final section speaks again of the flood, of the recurrence afterward of wickedness, and of the punishments and rewards to come when the Messiah establishes his reign.

The early Christians esteemed the Book of Enoch highly; it is quoted in the book of Jude, verses 14 and 15. Except for these infrequent references to it, however, little was known about the work until three complete manuscripts in Ethiopic were discovered in northeastern Africa in the late 18th century. Like other apocalyptic writings, the Book of Enoch describes the vindication of the persecuted righteous by divine judgment; the primordial rebellion of the angels is reflected in the oppression of the poor by the rich and mighty. This emphasis on the distinction between the righteous and the sinners suggests that the book originated with the Qumrân community, although certain characteristic traits of the Qumrân writings-references to the Jerusalem temple, a pronounced dualism, and use of the term elect-are all absent.

ANALYSIS OF ENOCH’S BOOK

The Book of Enoch is an elaboration of the history of fallen angels and Nephilim giants found in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 6:4). The Book of Enoch focuses on the fallen angels and their creation of the Nephilim. The Nephilim were an early group of gigantic human hybrid race, mentioned in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures translated the name “Nephilim” as “giants,” and other versions followed this rendering, including the King James Version (KJV). Modern translations usually designated them as Nephilim, thus identifying them with the Anakim  and the Rephaim who were reputed to be large physically. Finally, the Book of Enoch warns the final generation of humanity that the fallen angels will return to earth during the end times.

RELATED SOURCES

The Holy Bible; The Bible by Jim Bell and Stan Campbell ;Learn The Bible in 24 Hours by Dr. ChuckMissler ;The Bible by Stan Campbell and James S. Bell, Jr ;The Last Days by Richard H. Perry ; and The Book of Revelations by Dr. Larry R. Helyer, PhD, and Richard Wagner; The Complete Guide to the Bible by Stephen M. Miller, The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy by Stephen M. Miller.

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THE BOOK OF ISAIAH: SALVATION OF A NATION AND THE FUTURE MESSIAH

Nov
30

Isaiah ministered during the rule of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. His primary focus was the coming judgment on the southern kingdom of Judah due to its great wickedness. Isaiah identified the root of Judah’s trouble as its idolatry and apostasy. Although he spoke of judgments on other nations as well, he urged the kings and the people to put their trust in God rather than in alliances with earthly powers. He comforted his people with the realization that God loves those who are faithful to Him and keep His commandments. He spoke of the future Messiah who would come to redeem the nation and restore the Kingdom.

The central messages of the book of Isaiah are the holiness of God and the coming of Messiah Yeshua, who would come to provide peace, forgiveness, and salvation to all who would put their faith and hope in him. Isaiah foretells both the birth of Messiah Yehusa (Christ Jesus) and his death as the final sacrifice for the sins of humanity. God is highly exalted above all his creatures. His moral perfection stands in contrast to evil people and nations. God is perfect and sinless in all his motives and actions, so he is in perfect control of his power, judgment, love, and mercy. His holy nature is our yardstick for morality. Because God is without sin, he alone can help us with our sin. It is only right that we regard him as supreme in power and moral perfection. We must never treat God as common or ordinary. He alone deserves our devotion and praise. He is always truthful, fair, and just.

Because God is Holy, he requires his people to treat others justly. He promised to punish Israel, Judah, and other nations for faithless immorality and idolatry. True faith had degenerated into national pride and empty religious rituals. We must trust in God alone and fulfill his commands. We cannot forsake justice nor give in to selfishness. If we harden our heart against his message, punishment will surely come to us. Because God’s judgment is coming, we need a Savior. No man or nation can be saved without God’s help. Messiah’s perfect sacrifice for our sins is foretold and portrayed in Isaiah. All who trust God can be freed from their sin and restored to him. Messiah Yeshua died to save us from our sin. We cannot save ourselves. He is willing to save all those who turn from their sin and come to him. Salvation is from God alone. No amount of good works can earn it.

God will send the Messiah Yeshua to save his people. He will set up his own Kingdom as the faithful Prince of Peace, who rules with righteousness. He will come as sovereign Lord, but he will do so as a servant who will die to take away sins. Our trust must be in the Messiah Yeshua, not in ourselves or in any nation or power. There is no hope unless we believe in him. Trust Messiah fully and let him rule in your life as your sovereign Lord. God promises comfort, deliverance, and restoration in his future Kingdom. The Messiah will rule over his faithful followers in the age to come. Hope is possible because Messiah Yeshua is coming. We can be refreshed because there is compassion for those who repent. No matter how bleak our situation or how evil the world is, we must continue to be God’s faithful people who hope for his return.

THE PROPET ISAIAH

The prophet Isaiah was a man of royal blood, his father, Amoz, being a younger son of Joash, King of Judah. He was a man with a strong and commanding personality, who became a statesman and he wielded tremendous influence for good in the State. He married a woman who shared the same prophetic gift, he had two sons, he labored for sixty years, and he died a martyr in the reign of Manasseh.

LITERARY STYLE OF THE BOOK

The prophet Isaiah is the William Shakespeare of the Sacred Hebrew Scriptures because he writes in one of the most beautiful and sublime styles of all the prophetic writers. He has been called the greatest of the prophets. With the exception of chapters 36 to 39, the book of Isaiah is decorated with poetry, science,  and eschatology. The book is immersed in metaphors. His description for the coming Messiah was endowed with eloquence and dramatic language. As the New Testament Christian Scriptures present Messiah Yeshua as its major theme, so does Isaiah the prophet present Messiah Yeshua as his theme. The Book of Isaiah has been called the 5th Gospel because Messiah Yeshua’s virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6), His character, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His second coming are all found in Isaiah’s book with certainty and clarity.

There are 66 books in the Holy Scriptures and 66 chapters in the Book of Isaiah. There are 39 books in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures and 39 chapters about the God’s Law and God’s government in the Book of Isaiah. There are 27 books in the New Testament Christian Scriptures and 27 chapters on the subject of grace and God’s salvation for humanity in the Book of Isaiah. Additionally, there are 66 direct quotations from Isaiah in the New Testament Christian Scriptures.

SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS AND ANALYSIS

The book of Isaiah can be divided into three sections involving denunciation, history, and restoration.  The first section (chapters 1 to 35) begins with Lord’s giving the reason for the impending judgment and captivity of Israel, but ends with blessing and the restoration of Israel.   The second section (chapters 36 to 39) gives the Lord’s intervention and deliverance of Israel. The third section (chapters 40 to 66) is in three parts, two of which end with refrain: “there is no peace says my God to the wicked’ and the third part concludes with the death of the wicked. The first section begins with a vision and the third section begins with a voice.  The third section begins and ends like the New Testament Christian Scriptures, which is with John the Baptist in the Wilderness and a New Heaven and Earth. The threats and announce of judgments are all balanced with promises of blessing and assurances of a glorious restoration.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Book of Isaiah; Dr. J. Vernon McGee; 1988. Bible Outline by Robert Lee.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH

Nov
29

The prophet Jeremiah was the bad news bearer. His message was intended primarily to warn Judah’s people, who were living in the Israel’s southern kingdom, and Jerusalem that if they continued to live by defying God’s truth and refused to ask forgiveness for their wickedness, their destruction as a nation was inevitable. However, despite the bad news, Jeremiah also pointed to a wonderful new future hope. God would send His good shepherd, Messiah Yeshua, to lead his people into a new relationship with himself.

King Josiah’s reformation failed because the people’s repentance was shallow. They continued in their selfishness and idol worship. All the leaders rejected God’s law and will for the people. Jeremiah lists all their sins, predicts God’s judgment, and begs for repentance.  Judah’s deterioration and disaster came from the people’s callous disregard and disobedience to God. When we ignore sin and refuse to listen to God’s warning, we invite disaster and failure into our lives. Don’t settle for half measures in removing sin because there are no short cuts with God.

Because of sin, Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple was ruined, and the people were captured and carried off to Babylon. The people were responsible for their destruction and captivity because they refused to listen to God’s message.  Un-confessed sin brings God’s full punishment. It is useless to blame anyone else for our sin; we are accountable to God before anyone else. We must answer to him for how we live.

God is the righteous Creator. He is accountable to no one but himself. He wisely and lovingly directs all creation to fulfill his plans, and he brings events to pass according to his timetable. He is Lord over all the world. Because of God’s majestic power and love, our only duty is to submit to his authority. By following his plans, not our own, we can have a loving relationship with him and serve him with our whole heart.

Jeremiah predicted that after the nation’s destruction, God would send a new shepherd, Messiah Yeshua. He would lead them into a new future, a new covenant, and a new hopeful day. He will accomplish this by changing their sinful hearts into hearts that love God.  God still transforms people by changing their hearts. His love can eliminate the problems created by transgression. We can have a new heart assurance by loving God and trusting Messiah Yeshua to save us by repenting of our transgression.

Jeremiah served God faithfully for 40 years. During that time the people ignored, rejected, and persecuted him. Jeremiah’s preaching was unsuccessful by human standards, yet he did not fail in his task. He remained faithful to God. People’s acceptance or rejection of us is not the measure of our success. God’s approval alone should be our standard for service. We must bring God’s message to others even when we are rejected. We must do God’s work even if it means suffering for it.

SUMMARY OF JEREMIAH’S MESSAGE

Jeremiah’s message was the most unwanted prophecy ever delivered to a people. He was called a traitor by many because he said that they were to yield to Babylon. Isaiah, almost a century before him, had said to resist. Why this transformation? In Jeremiah’s day surrender was the only thing left to do. In the economy of God the nation was through, and the “Gentiles Times” had already begun with Babylon, the head of gold. Jeremiah predicted the 70-year captivity in Babylon. However, he saw beyond the darkness to the light, and few prophets spoke as vividly of the future as did he. Jeremiah’s message was not only unwelcomed, but it was rejected by the nation.

Today, the United States of American appears to be headed in the same direction as ancient Israel did during Jeremiah’s generation. When America ignores sin and refuse to listen to God’s warning, this nation will invite disaster and failure upon the population. Americans must not settle for half measures in removing unrighteous from the land because there are no short cuts with God. Unless, America turns around, this nation will become a regional power and small nations will tell Americans what to do and how to live. Believers in this nation are seeking acceptance from the secular Messiah rejecting world. Christians should only seek the acceptance of Messiah Yeshua because he is the ultimate decider of a believers destiny.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Bible Prophecies; 2013. The Book of Jeremiah; J Vernon McGee; 1988.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF DANIEL

Nov
29

Distinctive amid the Hebrew prophetic books, the Book of Daniel offers us a historical account about the faithful Israelites who lived in Babylonian captivity; then it points us to the gentile nations’ future destiny through apocalyptic vision series. In book of Daniel, we find the famous story of Daniel in the lions’ den because the prophet was the victim of political and religious persecution.  The book offers us a direct prediction about Messiah Yeshua’s coming to save the world from sin.

God is omniscient, and he is in control of global events. God overrules and removes rebellious leaders who defy him. God will overcome evil; no one is exempt. However, he will deliver the faithful who follow him. Although nations battle for world control now, one day Messiah’s Kingdom will replace and surpass the kingdoms of this world. Our faith is sure because our future is secure in Messiah. We must have courage and put our faith in God, who controls everything.

Daniel and his three friends are examples of dedication and commitment. They determined to serve God regardless of the consequences. They did not give in to pressures from an ungodly society because they had a clear purpose in life. It is wise to make trusting and obeying God alone our true purpose in life. This will give us direction and peace in spite of the circumstances or consequences. We should disobey anyone who asks us to disobey God. Our first allegiance must be to God.

Daniel served for 70 years in a foreign land that was hostile to God, however, he did not compromise his faith in God. He was truthful, persistent in prayer, and disinterested in power for personal glory. In order to fulfill your life’s purpose, you need staying power. We must never let our Christian distinctness become blurred. Be relentless in our prayers, maintain our integrity, and be content to serve God wherever he puts us.

God was faithful in Daniel’s life. He delivered him from prison, from a den of lions, and from enemies who hated him. God cares for his people and deals patiently with them. We can trust God to be with us through any trial. Because he has been faithful to us, we should remain faithful to him.

SUMMARY OF DANIEL’S VISIONS

Daniel was the prophet for “the Gentiles Times.” Within his prophetic writings major portions were directly concerned with the gentile nations. With the notable exception of Daniel chapter 9, which concerns the 70 weeks, but here the emphasis is upon the interval after the cutting off of the Messiah between the 69th week and the 70th week. It is during this period that the city and sanctuary are destroyed, and “the Gentiles Times” are identified as the time when “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). Evidently, the “wise men from the east” knew Daniel’s prophecy. A portion of the Book of Daniel was written in Aramaic, the Gentiles’ language of that day. All this does not imply that the Book of Daniel was not written for the nation Israel; on the contrary, Israel was acquainted with Daniel’s prophecies in his day. Ezekiel, who was with the captives, made reference to the character of Daniel and to his office as a prophet (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3). By the way, this reference to Daniel by Ezekiel, who was Daniel’s contemporary, is conclusive evidence against the theory that this book belongs to the Maccabean period of 165 BC.

The Book of Daniel chapters two and seven cover the same chronological prophetic history, commonly describe as the “Gentile Times,” and the chapters retells the same subject about the future gentile nations. These gentile nations are identified as Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a revive Middle East Empire. The gold head (chapter 2) and lion (chapter 7) represent the Babylonian Empire. The silver chest and arms (chapter 2) and Bear (chapter 7) represent the Media-Persian Empire. The bronzes stomach and thighs (chapter 2) and leopard (chapter 7) represent the Greco-Macedonian Empire. And the legs of iron mixed with clay (chapter 2) and the composite beast (chapter 7) represent the Roman Empire and the future Revived World Wide Roman Empire.

Analysis of chapter two reveals how mankind view these gentile empires, while chapter seven shows how God view these empires. In other words, we see these gentile nations as part of a majestic metallic image representing the glorious history of humanity. However, God view these empires as ferocious animals devouring each other in the struggle to gain and maintain power over other wild beasts.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Bible Prophecies; 2013. The Book of Jeremiah; J Vernon McGee; 1988.

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BOOK OF REVELATION: THE APOCALYPSE OF MESSIAH YESHUA

Nov
29

The book of Revelation, where John receives a stunning vision series of the future Earth and Heavens, is by far the most unusual and difficult book in the New Testament Christian Scriptures. John writes in the highly symbolic apocalyptic style, which uses dramatic images to convey spiritual truths. Once the reader gains a basic knowledge of the symbols John uses, the meaning becomes clearer.

Revelation has three levels of interpretation. First, John writes to encourage first-century Christians suffering at the hands of the Roman Empire. Second, God uses these same words to encourage and challenge Christians to faithfulness today. And third, John points prophetically to the eventual triumph of Messiah over the forces of evil as God judges the world once for all and creates a new heaven and a new Earth.

God is sovereign. He is greater than any power in the universe. God is not to be compared with any leader, government, or religion. He controls history for the purpose of uniting true believers in loving fellowship with him. Though Satan’s power may temporarily increase, we are not to be led astray. God is all-powerful. He is in control. He will bring his true family safely into eternal life. Because he cares for us, we can trust him with our very life.

Messiah Yeshua came to Earth as a “Lamb,” the symbol of his perfect sacrifice for our sin. He will return as the triumphant “Lion,” the rightful ruler and conqueror. He will defeat Satan, settle accounts with all those who reject him, and bring his faithful people into eternity. Messiah Yeshua’s return to Earth assures suffering Christians the strength to endure. We can look forward to his return as king and judge. Since no one knows the time when he will appear, we must be ready at all times by keeping our faith strong.

John wrote to encourage the church to resist the demands to worship the Roman emperor. He warns all God’s faithful people to be devoted only to Messiah. Revelation identifies who the faithful people are and what they should be doing until Messiah returns. We can take our place in the ranks of God’s faithful people by believing in Messiah Yeshua. Victory is sure for those who resist temptation and make loyalty to Messiah their top priority.

One day God’s anger toward sin will be fully and completely unleashed. Satan will be defeated with all of his agents. False religion will be destroyed. God will reward the faithful with eternal life, but all who refuse to believe in him will face eternal punishment. Evil and injustice will not prevail forever. God’s final judgment will put an end to these. We need to be certain of our commitment to Yeshua if we want to escape this great final judgment. No one who rejects Messiah Yeshua will escape God’s punishment.

One day God will create a new heaven and a new Earth. All believers will live with him forever in perfect peace and security. Those who have already died will be raised to life. These promises for the future bring us hope. Our great hope is that what Messiah promises will come true. When we have confidence in our final destination, we can follow Messiah with unwavering dedication no matter what we must face. We can be encouraged by hoping in Messiah’s return.

INTERPRETATIONS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION

This book has been very difficult to interpret for believers and students of eschatology and because of this challenge God will give readers and hearers of this book a special blessing (Revelation 1:3). For years, there have been many approaches to interpreting this Book of Revelation, but each theory can be divided into four major systems: the Preterist theory, historical theory, historical-spiritual theory, and futurist theory. The Preterist theory says all of Revelation has been fulfilled in the past. It had to do with local references in John’s day. It had to do with the days of either Nero or Domitian. The view was held by Renan and most German scholars, also by Elliott. However, the problem with this theory is that Messiah Yeshua never returned and set up his kingdom on Earth.

The Historical theory says the fulfillment of Revelation is going on in history, and Revelation is the prophetic history of the church, according to this theory. However, the problem with this theory is that it only focuses on Revelation chapters two and three, while ignoring the rest of the book. The Historical-Spiritual theory is a refinement of the Historical theory and was advanced by Theologian Sir William Ramsay. It argues that the two beasts are Imperial and Provincial Rome. The point of the book is to encourage Christians. According to this theory, Revelation has been largely fulfilled and there are spiritual lessons for the church today. Liberal scholars have adopted this unbiblical view because it dissipates and defeats the purpose of the book.

Finally, the Futurist theory holds that the Book of Revelation is primarily prophetic and yet future, especially from Revelation chapters 4 on to the end of the book. This is the view of many conservative premillennial prophecy scholars and it is the view embraced and accepted by scientist and eschatologist Sir Isaac Newton.

SUMMARY OF APOCALYPTIC CHAPTERS

The first chapter sketches the revelation of Messiah Yeshua to John. A voice said, “Write to the seven churches. John describes the sevenfold splendor of the glorified Son of Man. Chapter two begins Yeshua’s evaluation of the seven Churches. To the Church of Ephesus, He says renew your first love. To the Church of Smyrna,  He says be faithful until death. To the Church of Pergamum,  He says some hold false teaching. To the Church of Thyatira, He says you tolerate Jezebel. Chapter three continues Messiah Yeshua’s evaluation of the Churches. To the Church of Sardis, He says you are not alive but dead. To the Church of Philadelphia, He says you have endured in my word. However, to the Church of Laodicea, He says you are lukewarm so I will spit you out. Chapter four says John is transported to the throne room of God Almighty. John saw God seated on the throne in heaven. The four living creatures say, “Holy, holy, holy.” The elders say, “You created all things. Chapter five reveals Messiah Yeshua when John saw a Lamb standing as though slain took the scroll with seven seals. The creatures, elders and myriad angels sang, “Worthy is the Lamb!”

Chapter six begins the 21 judgments during the tribulation period when the Lamb opened four seals and the horsemen went out to destroy. With the fifth seal John saw the martyrs. With the sixth the stars fell. Chapter seven reveals that the 144,000 were sealed from the tribes. A multitude cried, “Salvation belongs to our God.” An elder said, “God will wipe every tear.” Chapter eight reveals that when the seventh seal was open there was silence. John saw seven angels. Four angels blew their trumpets and a third of the earth was destroyed. Chapter nine reveals that at the fifth trumpet, locusts from the pit tormented the earth emerge. At the sixth trumpet, four angels killed a third of mankind with fire.

Chapter 10 reveals John observation of an angel with a scroll. The angel cried out and seven thunders sounded. A voice said, “Eat the scroll.” It was sweet and then bitter. Chapter 11 reveals Moses and Elijah when the two witnesses will prophesy until the beast kills them. At the seventh trumpet, loud voices said, “Our God shall reign forever.” Chapter 12 mentions the nation of Israel as a woman giving birth and a great dragon who is Satan appears. Michael and his angels fought the dragon. The dragon was defeated and thrown out of heaven and down to planet earth. Chapter 13 reveals the Anti-Messiah and the False Prophet when John saw a beast rising out of the sea. It spoke blasphemy against God. Another beast rose and gave everyone a mark. Its number is 666. Chapter 14 mentions Messiah Yeshua and His Jewish followers when John saw the Lamb in Zion with the 144,000. Angels said, “The hour of judgment has come.” The earth was reaped with a sharp sickle. Chapter 15 reveals the proliferation of sickness and disease when John saw angels with seven plagues. Those who conquered sang, “Just are your ways, Lord!” The angels were given seven bowls of wrath.

Chapter 16 reveals worldwide natural disasters when the bowls of wrath were poured out. The seas turned to blood, darkness fell, the kings gathered at Armageddon and the earth quaked. Chapter 17 reveals the worldwide pagan religious system when John saw a prostitute on a beast with seven heads and ten horns. An angel said, “The heads and horns are kings. The Lamb will conquer.” Chapter 18 reveals a global government system and the destruction of its world economy when an angel cried, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon!” The kings and merchants will weep. An angel said, “The great city will be thrown down.”

Chapter 19 reveals the defeat of the Anti-Messiah’s world army at the battle of Armageddon when a multitude cried, “Hallelujah! The Lord reigns.” The Word of God led the armies of heaven. The beast was cast into the lake of fire. Chapter 20 describes the complete defeat of evil in the universe when Satan is bound and the martyrs reigned with Messiah Yeshua for 1,000 years. After this period, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire. The dead were judged. Chapter 21 reveals the restoration of God’s universe and all things good when John saw a New Heaven and Earth renovated. A voice said, “God dwells with his people.” An angel showed me the New Jerusalem. Its lamp is the Lamb. Finally, chapter 22 says the river of life flows from the throne of God. “Behold, I am coming soon. I am the beginning and the end.” Amen. Come, Lord Yeshua!”

REVELATION COMPLEMENTS GENESIS

Revelation complements Genesis because there is a striking balance between these books. In Genesis we see Heaven and Earth created, but in Revelation we see them passing away. In Genesis we read about the Sun and Moon being created, but in Revelation we read that the people of Earth have no need of the Sun or Moon because the Lamb is the light of the world.  In Genesis we read about the Garden of Eden, which is the first home for humankind. In Revelation we read about a city, the home for the nations.  In Genesis we read about the marriage of the First Adam; in Revelation we read about the marriage of the Second Adam (Messiah Yeshua). In Genesis we see the first grim appearance of the great Adversary of God and man; in Revelation we see the enemy’s final doom. In Genesis we read about the beginning of sorrow and suffering; but in Revelation we see the end of sorrow and suffering when tears are wiped away and no more pain exist. In Genesis we read about the beginning of the curse because of human transgression; but in Revelation we read there will be no more curse.  In Genesis we see mankind driven out of the Garden of Eden; but in Revelation we see mankind welcomed back with tree of life at humanity’s disposal. Finally, Revelation offers a glowing illustration of Messiah Yeshua as the Triumphant Leader. The key words are “The Revelation of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.” This Book unveils the Lord Yeshua. When we study the Apocalypse, we will discover a marvelous revelation about who Yeshua really is. Messiah Yeshua is the Glorified Son of Man, The Second Person in the Triune Godhead,  the Head of the Church, the Triumphant Warrior, and the Creator and Ruler of His Tri-Universe.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Bible Prophecies; 2013. The Book of Revelation; J Vernon McGee; 1988. Bible Outline by Robert Lee. Book of Revelation by Rev, Clarence Larkin.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT OBADIAH

Nov
29

The prophet Obadiah issues a prophetic warning to the foreign nations that participated in the attacks against Judah. Obadiah predicted that God would destroy Edom as punishment for standing by when Babylon invaded Judah. Because of their treachery, Edom’s land would be given to Judah in the day when God rights the wrongs against his people. God will judge and fiercely punish all who harm his people. We can be confident in God’s final victory. He is our champion, and we can trust him to bring about true justice.

Because of their seemingly invincible rock fortress, the Edomites were proud and self-confident. But God humbled them and their nation disappeared from the face of the earth. All those who defy God will meet their doom as Edom did. Any nation who trusts in its power, wealth, technology, or wisdom more than in God will be brought low. All who are proud will one day be shocked to discover that no one is exempt from God’s justice.

SUMMARY OF THE EDOMITES

The Edomites were part of the Semitic populations who were descended from Esau, just as the Israelites are those who are descended from Jacob. There are many prophecies concerning Edom which have been remarkably fulfilled. The present desolate condition of that land is a standing testimony to the inspiration of these prophecies. After an existence as a people for above 1700 years, they have utterly disappeared from the region, and their language even is forgotten forever. Edomite tribes settled in Judah’s south, like the Kenizzites, to whom Caleb and Othniel belonged. The southern part of Edom was known as Teman. A few eschatology experts believe that Obadiah’s prophecies describe the future Arab enemies of Israel who will fight Israel during the next major Arab-Israel war.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Amos & Obadiah; Dr. J. Vernon McGee; 1988. Bible Prophecy Articles; Dr. John Mc Ternan; 2012.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL

Nov
29

While Jeremiah spoke to the people still living in Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel, including Jerusalem), Ezekiel, his younger contemporary, prophesied to those already exiled in Babylon. After announcing God’s judgment, Ezekiel concludes with the promise that God will one day breathe new life into dead bones. In other words, God will someday restore his people back into the land of Israel and He will bless his people once again.

Ezekiel saw a vision that revealed God’s absolute moral perfection. God was spiritually and morally superior to members of Israel’s corrupt and compromising society. Ezekiel wrote to let the people know that God in his holiness was also present in Babylon, not just in Jerusalem. Because God is morally perfect, he can help us live above our tendency to compromise with this world. When we focus on his greatness, he gives us the power to overcome sin and to reflect his holiness.

Israel had sinned, and God’s punishment came. The fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile were used by God to correct the rebels and draw them back from their sinful way of life. Ezekiel warned them that not only was the nation responsible for sin but each individual was also accountable to God. We cannot excuse ourselves from our responsibilities before God. We are accountable to God for our choices. Rather than neglect him, we must recognize sin for what it is, rebellion against God, and choose to follow him instead.

Ezekiel consoles the people by telling them that the day will come when God will restore those who turn from sin. God will be their King and shepherd. He will give his people a new heart to worship him, and he will establish a new government and a new Temple. The certainty of future restoration encourages believers in times of trial. But we must be faithful to God because we love him, not merely for what he can do for us. Is our faith in him or merely in our future benefits?

Ezekiel condemned the shepherds (unfaithful priests and leaders), who led the people astray. By contrast, he served as a caring shepherd and a faithful watchman to warn the people about their sin. One day God’s perfect shepherd, the Messiah, will lead his people. Yeshua is our perfect leader. If we truly want him to lead us, our devotion must be more than talk. If we are given the responsibility of leading others, we must take care of them even if it means sacrificing personal pleasure, happiness, time, or money. We are responsible for those we lead.

An angel gave Ezekiel a vision of the Temple in great detail. God’s holy presence had departed from Israel and the Temple because of sin. The building of a future Temple portrays the return of God’s glory and presence. God will cleanse his people and restore true worship. All of God’s promises will be fulfilled under the rule of the Messiah. The faithful followers will be restored to perfect fellowship with God and with one another. To be prepared for this time, we must focus on God. We do this through regular worship. Through worship we learn about God’s holiness and the changes we must make in how we live.

SUMMARY OF EZEKIEL’S VISIONS

The Book of Ezekiel consists mainly of three prophetic subjects: prophecies for Israel’s future destruction, prophecies for the surrounding gentile nations’ future destruction, and prophecies for the restoration of Israel and the Messianic Kingdom Age. His message was the most spiritual of the prophets because he saw dramatic visions of God.

Following an account of his call to the prophetical office, Ezekiel utters words of denunciation against the Jews, warning them of the coming certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets. The symbolical acts, by which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced reveals his intimate acquaintance with the Levitical legislation.

Ezekiel reveals prophecies for the destruction of various surrounding nations: against the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Philistines, Tyre and Sidon, and against Egypt. Ezekiel releases prophecies for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. He mentions the restoration and triumphs of Israel before and during Messiah’s kingdom Age on Earth. He mentions the Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of God’s kingdom.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Bible Prophecies; 2013. The Book of Ezekiel; J Vernon McGee; 1988.

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A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH

Nov
29

Zechariah encourages the people to put away the sin in their lives and to continue rebuilding the Temple. In looking forward to God’s messianic kingdom, Zechariah accurately predicts Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on the back of a donkey.

God was angry at his people for ignoring his prophets through the years, and he was concerned that they not follow the careless and false leaders who exploited them. Disobedience was the root of their problems and the cause of their misery. God was jealous for their devotion to him. God is jealous for our devotion. To avoid Israel’s ruin, don’t walk in their steps. Don’t reject God, follow false teachers, or lead others astray. Turn to God, faithfully obey his commands, and make sure you are leading others correctly.

The Jews were discouraged. They were free from exile, yet the Temple was not completed. Zechariah encouraged them to rebuild it. God would both protect his workmen and empower them by his Holy Spirit to carry out his work. More than the rebuilding of the Temple was at stake—the people were staging the first act in God’s wonderful drama of the end times. Those of us who love God must complete his work. To do so we must have the Holy Spirit’s help. God will empower us with his Spirit.

The Messiah will come both to rescue people from sin and to reign as king. He will establish his Kingdom, conquer all his enemies, and rule over all the earth. Everything will one day be under his loving and powerful control. The Messiah came as a servant to die for us. He will return as a victorious king. At that time, he will usher in peace throughout the world. Submit to his leadership now to be ready for the King’s triumphant return.

There was opposition to God’s plan in Zechariah’s day, and he prophesied future times of trouble. But God’s Word endures. God remembers the agreements he makes with his people. He cares for his people and will deliver them from all the world powers that oppress them. Although evil is still present, God’s infinite love and personal care have been demonstrated through the centuries. God keeps his promises. Although our bodies may be destroyed, we need never fear our ultimate destiny if we love and obey him.

SUMMARY OF ZECHARIAH’S MESSAGE

Zechariah’s name (Zecharyah) means Yahweh is renowned and God remembers. He was Judah’s prophet and he was the 11th among the 12 minor-prophets. Like Ezekiel, he was of priestly extraction. He describes himself as “the son of Berechiah.” His prophetic career began in the second year of Darius, about 16 years after the return of the first company from exile. He was contemporary with Haggai. His book consists of two distinct parts because the first eight chapters are historical, while the next six chapters are prophetic.

The first eight chapters reflect the period immediately after the Babylonian Captivity and are concerned with the reconstruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in preparation for a messianic age. The narrative emphasizes individual commitment and obedience, inward spirituality, and a peaceful world where Jew and Gentile will worship together. These chapters fall into four parts. The first part is a brief exhortation to repentance. The second part contains oracles in the usual prophetic style intermingled with a series of eight night visions experienced by the prophet in 519BC. The visions, which contain much apocalyptic imagery and are interpreted for Zechariah by an angel, foretell generally an imminent messianic age. The third part describes the symbolic coronation of a priest who will lead the people in rebuilding the Temple. The fourth part consists of oracles describing the conditions expected to prevail in a restored Jerusalem.

The remaining six chapters of Zechariah constitute one of the most obscure portions of the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. They are made up mainly of apocalyptic oracles with numerous allusions that are now difficult to understand and are concerned generally with elaboration of earlier themes. Chief among these themes are the restoration of Israel after the defeat of Israel’s enemies, the advent of the Messiah, and the coming great “day of the Lord,” when the covenant will be reestablished and the God of Israel will be universally worshiped. The tone of these chapters is despairing, and emphasis is placed on supernatural intervention as the sole possible means of the long-delayed but still-expected salvation from Gentile oppression.

Finally, Christian eschatologists attach special significance to several passages in the last six chapters. They regard them as prophecies later fulfilled by Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, Zechariah 9:9 is believed to pertain to Yeshua’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem; Zech. 9:10 to his universal reign; Zech. 11:12 to Judas’ betrayal of Yeshua for 30 pieces of silver; Zech. 12:10 and 13:6 to the wounds suffered by Yeshua; and Zech. 13:7-9 to Yeshua as the Good Shepherd smitten for the sheep.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy; Stephen M. Miller; 2010. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Book of Zechariah; Dr. J. Vernon McGee; 1988.

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BAPTISMAL FORMULA IN YESHUA’S NAME ONLY

Nov
29

For many Christians, the correct baptismal formula is an important step in Christianity. This analysis will assess the biblical revelation for baptism in Yeshua’s name.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (NIV: Acts 2:38-39).

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV: Matthew 28:19-20).

The baptism in the Messiah Yeshua’s name, according to Acts 2:38, does not violate the commandment that Messiah Yeshua gave in Matthew 28:19 because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s salvation name is Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Today, many Christians are divided over what is called the correct baptismal formula. The Roman Catholic Church and the majority of the Protestant churches baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew. 28:19). However, a small but growing number of Christian churches that are called Apostolic are baptizing “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38) and a smaller number of believers are baptizing in the sacred and most Holy name of Yeshua the Messiah. Some critics ignorantly call this division a conflict of choosing the Messiah Yeshua’s commandment and the apostle Peter’s commandment. Actually there is no real conflict between the Savior’s words and Peter’s words. They harmonize perfectly. This article reveals several reasons why the baptism in the name of Yeshua the Messiah does not violate the commandment of Yeshua in Matthew 28:19.

Acts 2:38 records the Apostle Peter’s words when he spoke on the Day of Pentecost, “Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” This was a robust declaration by Peter that “there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Water baptism in the name of Yeshua indicates a realization by all persons being baptized that Messiah is their Savior.

Christian baptism is also conducted in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Water baptism in this manner simply means you are identifying yourselves with the God’s Tri-unity. Christians belong to the Father and believers are saved by the Son, and they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This is similar to how believer’s should pray in Yeshua’s name (John 14:13). When believers pray in the sacred name of Yeshua, they are praying with His authority and asking God the Father to act upon their prayers because they come in the name of His Son, Yeshua. Being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is being baptized in identification with them and their power over and in your life. Yeshua Himself specifically tells believers to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

In the Book of Acts, new believers were baptized in the name of Yeshua (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5). It is, however, essentially the same thing because Yeshua, the Father and the Holy Spirit are one (John 10:30; Acts 16:7). Many believers are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit because of Messiah Yeshua’s instructions. However, as the book of Acts proves, baptizing in the name of Yeshua is also done because this is how Messiah Yeshua wanted his followers to execute the baptismal formula.

The names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same. For example, in Exodus 3:13-16, Psalm 68:4, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4 and 38:11 the name of God the Father is YAH-WEH or YAH, which is like calling a man DANIEL or DAN. The name YAH-WEH means I AM who I AM (Ayah Ashur Ayah). The name of the Son is Yeshua which is short for YAH-SHUA. Bear in mind, the name JESUS is an English word that originated from the Greek name IESOUS which was derived from the Hebrew name YAH-SHUA. The word YAH means I AM and the word SHUA means salvation, which proves that YAHSHUA’S name means I AM SALVATION. The name of the Holy Spirit is YAH-SHUA because Messiah Yeshua said “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will SEND IN MY NAME, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John. 14:26). While the Holy Spirit is called the RUACH HAKODESH in Hebrew, a few biblical scholars believe that He can be called the RU-YAH HAKODESH, which carries the YAH portion of God’s most sacred name. Therefore careful analysis of the name of YAH-SHUA reveals the SALVATION name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

THE BAPTISMAL FORMULA IN HISTORY

The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ (Yahshua Ha Mashiach) to the words Father, Son and Holy Spirit by Christian Church leaders in the second Century AD. The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Yeshua) until the development of the Trinitarian Formula in 2nd century AD. The use of the Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early church history. Baptism was always in the name of ‘Lord Jesus’ (Yeshua) until time of Justin Martyr when the triune formula was used.

The words “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” was added later to replace the original words “in my name” (Matthew 28:19) and codified at the Nicean Council in 325 A.D. when much of the biblical “Jewishness” and the faith was done away with; therefore, we should not be surprised that some very non-Hebraic traditions were introduced, according to some biblical scholars. Some earlier Christian theologians who had seen the complete book of Matthew attested that the early copies of Matthew did not contain the phrase “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. Eusebius wrote that these words were not in the early texts, as did other theologians. The evidence appears to be overwhelming that the Trinitarian phrase was not in the original texts. This history reveals why the disciples always baptized in the name of Yeshua, according to bible teacher Lonnie Lane.

THE BAPTISMAL FORMULA IN SACRED NAMES

Finally, while the baptism in Yeshua’s name appears to be the correct and historic baptismal formula before the Second Century AD, the name or titles in which believers in Yeshua are baptized in is not as significant as the recognition that baptism is a Christian’s symbolic identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua our Lord and Savior. Baptism in Yeshua’s sacred name is not a rejection of the Holy Trinity because God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have one name for salvation which is YAH-SHUA commonly pronounced  as YESHUA. Understand that water baptism is not a requirement for eternal salvation, because baptism is for the believer who is already saved. Christians are saved by faith in Messiah Yeshua and not by works. Additionally, baptism means that believers are symbolically buried with Messiah Yeshua and they rise again with Messiah to walk with Him in the newness of their spiritual lives.

RELATED SOURCES

Baptized Only In Yeshua’s Name! by Lonnie Lane (Access 28 February 2013). Harper’s Bible Commentary; James L. Mays (general editor); 1988. Harper’s Bible Dictionary; Paul J. Actemeier (general editor); 1952. The Bible; Dr. Jeffrey Geoghegan; 2003. The Bible ; Jim Bell and others; 2000. The Harper Collin’s catholic Encyclopedia; Richard P. McBrien (general editor); 1989. The World’s Religions; Brandon Toropov and others; 2000.

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BOOK OF LEVITICUS: ACCESS GOD WITH HOLINESS AND WORSHIP

Nov
29

The third book of the Pentateuch takes its name from one of the twelve sons of Jacob, Levi, whose family was chosen by God to act as priests and assistants in the Tabernacle. The book covers the national and personal laws given by God to the Jewish people regarding worship and religious activities. It contains laws regarding cleanliness, morality, ethics and hygiene which guided the Jews on a day-to-day basis, and still does today. Animal sacrifice was introduced as a covering for the individual and national sins of the people.

When the Israelites prepare to take possession of the land God promised them, God gives them careful instructions about how to worship Him, how to serve a Holy God, and how to live as a holy people. There are five kinds of offerings that fulfill two main purposes: one to show praise, thankfulness, and devotion; the other for atonement, the covering and removal of guilt and sin. Animal offerings demonstrated that the person was giving his or her life to God by means of the life of the animal.

The sacrifices were for worship and forgiveness of sin. Through them we learn about the cost of sin, for we see that we cannot forgive ourselves. God’s system says that a life must be given for a life. In the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, an animal’s life was given to save the life of a person. But this was only a temporary measure until Yeshua’s death paid the penalty of sin for all people forever.

Seven festivals were designated as religious and national holidays. They were often celebrated in family settings. These events teach us much about worshiping God in both celebration and quiet dedication. God’s rules about worship set up an orderly, regular pattern of fellowship with him. They allowed times for celebration and thanksgiving as well as for reverence and rededication. Our worship should demonstrate our deep devotion.

Civil rules for handling food, disease, and sex were taught. In these physical principles, many spiritual principles were suggested. Israel was to be different from the surrounding nations. God was preserving Israel from disease and community health problems. We are to be different morally and spiritually from the unbelievers around us. Principles for healthy living are as important today as in Moses’ time. A healthy environment and a healthy body make our service to God more effective. Holy means “separated” or “devoted.”

God removed his people from Egypt; now he was removing Egypt from the people. He was showing them how to exchange Egyptian ways of living and thinking for his ways. We must devote every area of life to God. God desires absolute obedience in motives as well as practices. Though we do not observe all the worship practices of Israel, we are to have the same spirit of preparation and devotion.

Finally, the Levites and priests instructed the people in their worship. They were the ministers of their day. They also regulated the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws and supervised the health, justice, and welfare of the nation. The Levites were servants who showed Israel the way to God. They provide the historical backdrop for Messiah, who is our High Priest and yet our Servant. God’s true servants care for all the needs of their people.

SUMMARY OF LEVITICUS CHAPTERS

Chapters 1 to 10 reveal how to access God by way of the five offerings, the law of the offerings, and the Priesthood.  The five offerings represent five distinctive aspect of the one offering of our Lord Messiah Yeshua. The law of the offering sketches the giving particulars as to order and arrangement.  The priesthood illustrates the call, the cleansing, the clothing, the atonement, the anointing, the food, the ministry, and the failure. Chapters 11 to 27 sketch holiness by focusing on the laws of purity, sundry laws, and laws related to vows.  When we read about the laws of purity, we learn that holy people must have pure food, pure bodies, pure homes, and pure habits. Holy people must continually return to the blood. The 16th chapter is the great atonement chapter.  The sundry laws reveal that holy people must have pure worship, sacred regard for innocent blood, pure morals, pure customs, and pure clothing. The laws concerning vows demonstrate that we must honor our words.

ANALYSIS AND  MESSAGE

This book is for believers in Yahweh God because it reveals how God is to be approached and worshiped. Genesis sketches man’s fall, Exodus illustrates man’s redemption, and Leviticus shows man worshiping. Leviticus is the book of worshiping God. The key word in the book is “HOLY.” The next key word is “ATONEMENT.” How can a sinful person approach a Holy God? How can we gain access to God? Who is the answer to this question? This book reveals that believers in Yahweh can only gain access to Him, with daily communion and worship, on the basis of sacrifice through shedding of innocent blood. The animal sacrifices were types and Shadows of Messiah Yeshua. The book teaches the significance of holiness of our bodies and of our souls. The believer must be holy because their Redeemer is Holy (Leviticus 19:2). Today, the Messiah Yeshua makes imperfect believers Holy in God’s eyes.

RELATED SOURCES

Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. The Outline Bible by Robert Lee.

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