Even though this well-known historical account would seem to be adequately explained by Scriptures and understood by most everyone, it also seems that upon closer examination there would appear to be crucial information that has essentially gone unnoticed.
When several key passages of the narrative are more carefully scrutinized, one will discover something quite unexpected especially in regard to the true identity of who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
With this information in hand, we will proceed to examine the pertinent verses of Scriptures with the intent to uncover Yahweh’s truth of the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
In The Inheritance & Salvation-Part 1 we discussed the legal mechanism of an inheritance promised to Abraham and his seed (Yahushua the messiah) that is utilized by Yahweh to enable the saved of mankind to gain salvation and eternal life.
We will now direct our focus on discovering the actual promises that are contained in this inheritance. In other words, Just what can we inherit and why is it so valuable?
These promises are specified in the book of Genesis.29 They include the promise to make Abraham a great nation, to make kings of his descendants (thus establishing the great nation as a kingdom), to give a blessing (which is eternal life),30 and to give a great name (i.e., the sacred name Yahweh).31
Most modern-day Christians, together with those who proclaim to be followers of Yahweh, seem to fall short when to comes to understanding how the death of Yahushua the messiah enables us to attain salvation and eternal life.
Many point to the basis for their understanding from one passage as given in the book of John:
For the deity so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Numerous individuals understand this to mean that all one has to do is profess a belief or faith that Yahushua (Jesus) was the messiah who was given to mankind by the father and that the messiah has washed us from our sins by dying and shedding his blood for us whereby we can become saved and have eternal life.
In reality, if one were to base all of their faith only on this one verse, it would be obvious to the serious student of Scriptures that this type of faith would be more accurately defined as “blind faith.”
In our previous discussion, Beginning the New Year – Pt. 1, we addressed the issue of the Hebrew terms תקופה (tequphah) and תקופת (tequphath).
We learned that a tequphah is a solar event and is a point in time that could be an equinox or a solstice.
It was also recognized that a tequphath represents a season of the solar year. The two seasons for calculating Festival Days being spring-summer and autumn-winter.
With this in mind we will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Ingathering. What we will discover is how they both relate to the determination of the scriptural New Year.
Khag of Tabernacles
We must next be cognizant of the difference between the use of the labels “the Khag (Festival) of Ingathering” and “the Khag of Tabernacles,” the latter forming only a part of the former. The instructions from Deuteronomy and Leviticus for the seven-day Khag of Tabernacles state:
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
In Part 2 of our discussion we will delve deeper into the Pharisaic influence on many, especially among the Sacred Name groups of today, regarding the practice of considering the maturity of barley to determine the month of Abib and the scriptural New Year.
Picking up from where we left off in Part 1, the month-name ha-Abib was next connected by the Pharisees with the day of the omer wave offering. An עמר (omer) is a dry measure or gathering of “newly cut grain,”32 as in “a heap.”33
Omer Wave Offering
The omer wave offering of newly cut grain was a requirement under the Torah of Moses as a gift to Yahweh, being the first-fruits from each year’s harvest. The offering occurs in the spring at the time of Unleavened Bread and is directly connected with the Promised Land. This offering is described in detail by the book of Leviticus.
When you come into the land (of Promise) which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in this omer, the beginning (first-fruits) of your harvest, to the priest, then he will wave this omer before Yahweh for your acceptance. On the day after the Sabbath the priest will wave it. (Lev. 23:9-11)
Technically, the instructions from Scriptures do not specifically mention which first-fruits from which harvest. It only indicates in a subsequent passage that the Israelites were not permitted to eat bread, קלי (qali; roasted whole grains),34 or כרמל (karmel; fruits and produce)—all indicating a variety of produce—derived from the new year’s crops until after the omer wave offering had been made.35
Several questions that are usually brought forward by those concerned regarding the New Year are:
• What is the definition of a scriptural New Moon?
• Is a visible crescent of the moon required to begin the month?
• From what location does one need to determine the New Moon?
• Does one use the spring equinox to determine the month of Abib?
• Does one only use the “green ears of barley” formula for the month of Abib?
• Can one use only calculations for the New Moons?
• Does one use both the spring equinox and barley for the month of Abib?
• What group today has Yahweh’s truth and authority to proclaim the true New Year?
• Can we rely on the current Jewish Calendar for the correct dates?
As you can surmise, there can exist much confusion as one tries to sort out the actual truth of the matter.
In previous articles, we have already discussed the issues of visible new moons and calculations as they relate to Yahweh’s sacred calendar.
In this particular discussion we will address the validity of the so-called requirement of “green ears of barley” to determine the month of Abib and the beginning of Yahweh’s New Year.
Previously, in Part 1 of our two-part series,
we provided the groundwork for our present examination of the facts regarding whether or
not water baptism is a prerequisite for the
partaking of the Passover meal.
Replaced by Water Baptism?
It is then claimed that after Yahushua’s death and resurrection the requirement of fleshy circumcision especially for the Passover was “replaced” by water baptism. To make this point, the following quote by Saul (Paul) is given:
The reason being that the majority of Sacred Name groups of today assert that in order for a person to partake of the Passover meal they must have undergone a mandatory water baptism in the proper name of the messiah.
It is also maintained by these groups that before the death of Yahushua the messiah, in order to partake of the Passover meal, all men had to be fleshly circumcised.
Different Passover Systems
We must first admit to a basic difference in the opinion about Passover. To begin with, many Christians are often unaware that there were several different Passover systems practiced by the ancient Jews.
In Circumcision & Passover – Pt 2 our discussion left off with the evidence provided from Scriptures to prove that the Israelites kept the Passover in the wilderness including all uncircumcised males.
We now need to go back and take another look at Exod. 12:48 in context where the command is given for all males to be circumcised in order to partake of the Passover.
And when a stranger shall sojourn with you, and will keep the passover to Yahweh, LET ALL HIS MALES BE CIRCUMCISED, and then let him come near and keep it; AND HE SHALL BE AS ONE THAT IS BORN IN THE LAND: FOR NO UNCIRCUMCISED PERSON SHALL EAT OF IT. (Exod. 12:48)
The reader then has to proceed on to Exod. 13:5 where it states:
And WHEN YAHWEH BRINGS YOU INTO THE LAND of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, YOU SHALL KEEP THIS SERVICE (the Passover) in this month. (Exod. 13:5)
It is important to now notice what happens as soon as the Israelites do cross over to the west side of the Jordan and enter the land after 40 years in the wilderness:
In Circumcision & Passover – Pt 1 we covered the testimony regarding fleshy circumcision as found in the New Testament. We will now continue on the Trail of Truth to reveal the confirmation of that testimony primarily from the Old Testament.
A close examination of the book of Genesis, for example, reveals that fleshly circumcision was not a legal requirement of the original contract made with Abram (Abraham) in the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise.
Abraham Blessed Before Fleshly Circumcision
Before the token of fleshly circumcision was used by Abraham and his household (which did not come into effect until Genesis 17), we read in Genesis 12:
Fleshy circumcision is also held by some as a proof that Passover is not an actual Festival or Feast Day for the reason that the lack of circumcision would prevent individuals from participating in a required sacred day of Yahweh.
What do Scriptures actually say concerning this issue?
If you are interested in finding out the truth of the matter then it would be advantageous for you to hop on the Trail of Truth to investigate.
Before we can directly address the issue of circumcision as it relates to Passover we must first determine if Scriptures demand fleshy circumcision in order for men to be saved.
Usually two reasons are given by the advocates of circumcision:
• Abraham was circumcised and he was commanded to circumcise all the males of his household.
• Fleshly circumcision is required in the written Torah of Moses.
What is extremely important to understand is that the same conditions for salvation apply to both Jews and those of any other nation.
And the deity, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the sacred ruach, even as he did unto us; AND PUT NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THEM, purifying their hearts by trust. Now therefore why do you tempt the deity, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR? But we trust that through the grace of the sovereign Yahushua messiah WE SHALL BE SAVED, EVEN AS THEY. (Acts 15: 8-11)
In “Salvation & the Pork Chop Files – Pt. 1” it was demonstrated per Genesis 9:3 that before “the law of Moses (The Law, Old Covenant)” there was no restriction from eating all things whether clean or unclean.
Let us now explore the assertion that we only have the one witness found in Scriptures that makes such a claim, this witness being Gen. 9:3.
The Second Witness
Our second witness is Matthew 15:11. Some say that this verse does not refer to literal food but speaks only in a spiritual sense. We will now proceed to prove the fallacy of this assertion by taking a look at the verse in context:
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. (Matt. 15:11)
But then again, is this what Scriptures actually profess? Put another way, do Scriptures, in fact, reveal that in order to attain salvation and eternal life, one must adhere to the dietary regulations regarding clean and unclean meat/food as given in the Torah of Moses (the Law, Old Covenant)?