Tag Archives: Messiah

Picturing Messiah

Snapshots of Messiah

The Old Testament contains numerous snapshots of Messiah in His many roles and aspects.  The more snapshots we examine, the more comprehensive our understanding of Messiah.  As we explore some details of Messiah, we discover implications for ourselves for it is not only our job to learn about Messiah, but to reflect His glory.  

In this article, we will focus on chapters 15 and 17 of Deuteronomy. The first three verses of chapter 15 command us to forgive debts owed to us.  Our Savior paid our debt in full and does not demand reimbursement.  In our case, the debt each of us owes is far beyond our means to repay.  Our Savior repaid all debts owed to YHVH once for all (Heb 10:12; Rom 8:9-10).  Therefore, we are not to expect payment from our debtors, but are called to forgive them even as we are forgiven and to reconcile just as we have been reconciled to YHVH.  (1 John 1:9; Matt 18:21-35).

Chapter 15, verses 4-11 illustrate the generosity that characterizes Messiah.  Our Savior not only released us from impossible debt, but liberally shares His own treasures with us (Is 55:1-2; Matt 8:16-17; Eph 1:1-18).  We are to do likewise (Matt 10:8) with those who have wronged us.  How generous are we toward our enemies, or even toward those who have not offended us but are needy?  Do we judge the poor, ignore them, or reach out to them?

Messiah rescues us from slavery to hasatan and restores us to the kingdom of YHVH.  As citizens of the kingdom of YHVH, we are to use our freedom to serve YHVH and others just as Messiah has served us (1 Pet 2:16; Gal 5:13).  We cannot reflect the glory of YHVH by serving ourselves, but only by serving others.

The sacrifices described in Deuteronomy 15:23 and 17:1 were to be without any sickness, deformity, or blemish, thus illustrating Messiah.  It is through the most perfect Sacrifice that we who are diseased, deformed and stained with sin, are made whole and perfect by the One who absorbed all our imperfections in Himself and put them to death.  The Israelites were to eat the flesh of the sacrifices for nourishment, but were forbidden to consume any of the blood, which contains life.  We gain little from consuming the life of creatures inferior to us, but we gain everything from partaking of the flesh and blood of the One who gives life to all (John 6:53).

The Israelites were ordered to keep evil from their midst.  This was so serious a matter, that a person found guilty of introducing evil was to be stoned to death.  Messiah warned people to turn from their sins (Matt 4:17; Luke 5:32).  He expelled demons from multitudes of people (Matt 8:16; Mark 1:34; Luke 4:41).  When He returns, Messiah Yeshua will eradicate all evil from the earth (Is 25:8; Rev 21:3-4).  We too are empowered and expected to purge all evil from our midst (Jude 1:14-15).

Priests and judges were appointed by YHVH (Deut 17:8-13).  The verdict of a priest or judge was final and orders were to be carried out exactly.  Yeshua did not come as judge the first time (John 3:17).  However, Messiah will return as Judge (Matt 25:31-46; James 5:9; 2 Cor 5:10).  Messiah’s judgement will be final and His orders will be carried out precisely (Is 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-3; Is 9:6-7).  Just as Yeshua came the first time to serve, not to judge, so we must focus on serving others, not judging them.  Our time for judging comes later (1 Cor 6:1-6).  We also are priests (1 Pet 2:9) and Messiah Yeshua is our High Priest (Heb 4:14-16).  Our main job as priests is to worship YHVH and show others His goodness (1 Pet 2:5, 9).

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 describes the selection and appointment of a human king and the guidelines for human kings.  A vivid picture of Messiah as our king emerges from these verses:

  • The king was selected by YHVH Himself (Ps 110: 1-2; Rev 19:11-16). If we have accepted Messiah Yeshua as Lord of our lives, then we are already citizens in His kingdom and are subject to Him first and foremost.
  • The king was a fellow Israelite. Messiah Yeshua is a fellow Israelite (2 Sam 7:12-13; Matt 1:1-17; Luke 3:21-38).  The Israelites were taught some basics of kingdom living and when Yeshua came to the earth He taught and demonstrated Kingdom living.
  • The king should not build up a large stable of horses. In Scripture horses were used for war and could become a false stronghold.  The king should not depend not on horses, but rather on His fear of YHVH (Ps 147:10-11).  Even though Messiah will return on a horse, He does not depend on the horse.  Rather, the horse depends on its Creator, Messiah Yeshua (John 1:1-3).  We must rely solely on YHVH for our strength and protection and avoid false strongholds.
  • The king was not to return or send his people to Egypt (symbolizing slavery and bondage). Messiah came free us from bondage to hasatan (Heb 2:14; Col 2:15).  When Messiah returns, He will place hasatan in bondage (Rev 20:1-3) and imprison him for the rest of eternity (Rev 20:10).
  • The king is not to have many wives, lest he turn away from YHVH. Yeshua has the Bride.  Although many individuals make up that Bride, they are all united by His Holy Spirit and operate as one (echad) (1 Cor 12:12, 27 NLT; Eph 4:3-5; 2 Cor 11:2).
  • The king is to read Torah daily to remain humble and obedient to YHVH. When hasatan tempted Yeshua in the wilderness, Yeshua responded by quoting from Deuteronomy each time.  Yeshua is the Living Torah, the Word of YHVH (John 1:1-5).  We, too, should keep Scripture within our hearts to remain humble and faithful to YHVH (Deut 6:5-6; 2 Tim 3:16).

These snapshots of Messiah give us much to ponder.  Yeshua is our perfect example of how to live and serve in YHVH’s kingdom.  How well do we reflect His glory?

Reflections of His Presence

This is the seventh article of our Living Tabernacles series, where we study the Tabernacle in depth. It is exciting to see how each element symbolizes some characteristic of Yeshua.  It is also challenging when we examine what each element means for us, since each of us is now a living tabernacle of YHVH [Yehovah].  We are posting two articles each month as part of this series. YHVH is building His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  A king reigns from his throne and also pronounces judgment from there. 

This article focuses on the significance of the “Table of Showbread” and the Showbread itself that YHVH instructed His people to place in the Holy Place in front of the Holy of Holies.  In Exodus 25:23-30, YHVH told the Israelites to: “Make a table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high.  Overlay it with pure gold and run a gold molding around the edge.  Decorate it with a 3-inch border all around, and run a gold molding along the border.  Make four gold rings for the table and attach them at the four corners next to the four legs. Attach the rings near the border to hold the poles that are used to carry the table. Make these poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. Make special containers of pure gold for the table – bowls, ladles, pitchers, and jars – to be used in pouring out liquid offerings. Place the Bread of the Presence on the table to remain before me at all times”.

This table (often called the “Table of Showbread”) was to be set up next to the lampstand (Menorah) outside the Holy of Holies, so that the light from the lamps could illumine the table.  As with the Ark of the Covenant and the lampstand, this was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, so we know it was meant to be one of the most precious items YHVH wanted to be in His holy place.  We have spoken in earlier articles about the special place that both gold and acacia wood hold in YHVH’s heart, so we can say that the Table had to be made of materials worthy of the King of creation – our King, Messiah Yeshua.  The acacia wood covered in gold that composed the Table of Showbread can also be seen as symbols pointing to both the humanity and divinity of Yeshua.

I will just mention one other thing about the Table – in a typical Hebrew home at that time, it would have been common to have a table set with plates and dishes for bread and incense, and pitchers and bowls for liquid offerings (although probably not of pure gold!).  By having this Table in the Tabernacle, YHVH was showing that He wants us to regard the Tabernacle as His house – this includes both the Earthly tabernacle as well as His heavenly Tabernacle (after which the Earthly tabernacle was modeled).

Moving on now to the bread that Abba instructed His people to place on the Table, we see that “Showbread” is not an accurate translation.  The original Hebrew phrase for this bread is Lechem haPanim, which literally means “Bread of the Presence” or “Bread of the Face [of God]”.

The historian Josephus indicates that the Bread of the Presence was unleavened, pointing to Yeshua as our sinless Savior who is the true Bread of the Presence.  In John 6:35, Yeshua said: “I am the bread which gives life! Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in Me will never be thirsty”.   Then in Verses 48-51 of John 6, Yeshua says that He is the true Bread that came down from Heaven and that if anyone eats of this Bread, they will live forever.  Yeshua gives us life to the fullest; life more abundant on this Earth and life everlasting in Heaven!

When we look again at the Bread of the Presence in the Tabernacle, we see that it symbolized being in YHVH’s presence, so when the priests ate the bread they were fellowshipping with Abba Father in His presence, face-to-face.  The bread on the Table in the Tabernacle, as well as the bread in Messiah’s communion, reminds us that our life is in the true Bread from Heaven, Yeshua HaMashiachYeshua went even further than this, though, because He told His disciples [talmadim] that he didn’t need physical bread to eat (John 4:32-34),  but rather He had “food to eat that they knew nothing about”.  When they asked what food He had, He said that His food was to do the will of the Father (the One who sent Him).  When Yeshua shared the communion bread of His body, He was teaching His disciples to be filled with the Bread of His presence, satisfied with doing the will of our Father.

Yeshua gives us more spiritual food when He says in Matthew 4:4 that people do not “live by bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God”.  In Matthew 6:11, He also teaches us to pray to our Father that He will give us our daily bread, but I believe this means spiritual Bread as well – that He will tell us what He desires for us to do each day.  I want to leave you with a story about one of my favorite composers – it is said that when Handel wrote the Messiah, food trays stacked up outside his door for 17 days.  He was too busy and too fulfilled to eat – he was eating the Bread of life, the Bread of the presence of YHVH, and it sustained and nourished him.  What is the Bread of YHVH’s presence for you?

Ancient Hebrew Confirms Yeshua’s Work on the Cross

How to live Torah“So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am He.” John 8:28

We have spoken before about all the amazing prophecies of the Messiah in the Nevi’im (prophets) that foretold the first coming of Yeshua and how He would die and be resurrected to atone for our sins and bring us back into relationship with Abba Father.  When we go deeper into the history of the Hebrew language and look at the paleo-Hebrew word pictures, even more incredible Messianic prophecies are revealed to us.

The most elemental aspects of our relationship with YHVH [Yehovah] are the life instructions He gave us in His Torah, and the covenant(s) He made with us from the beginning of His creation.  Looking at the ancient Hebrew symbols for Torah first, we see that the final letter is hey, which appears like a person with their arms raised, meaning “to reveal or behold”.  As the final letter, it actually means “what is revealed from”.  Looking back at the first three letters, they tell us where the law [Torah] originates from.  The third letter, resh, which looks like a person’s head, means “the man”.  The second letter, vav, means “nail”, and the first letter, tav, means “cross”.  So, putting all these together, torah means “what is revealed from the Man nailed to the cross”.

Covenant in Hebrew is b’rit (pronounced breet).  This word starts off with the letter bet, which means “house” in ancient Hebrew word pictures, and then is followed by the letter resh, meaning a person, man or leader.  When these two letters are placed together, they mean “the man of the house” or more commonly “the son of the house”.  The next letter is yod, which means hand or arm, but when used at the end of the first two letters, it becomes possessive, or “my”.  So the first three letters now give us the meaning of “my son”.  Finally, we have the tav at the end of the word, which we saw above meant “cross”.  Putting these together, we get the awesome prophetic meaning of the word covenant as “the cross of My Son”!  This was prophesied in Psalms 22:16 as “they pierced My hands and My feet.” And Zechariah 12:10 as “they shall look upon Me [Yeshua] whom they have pierced”.  We know that YHVH’s covenant with His people started with Abraham, but it was prophesied that the final covenant would be fulfilled through the Messiah, our Redeemer.  Through Isaiah, Abba Father said to Yeshua the Messiah: “I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people” (Isa 49:8).

If we go full circle back to the name of the Hebrew language, iv’rit, in the ancient word pictures it is written the same as covenant [b’rit] with one addition – the letter ayin (meaning reveal) is added to the front of the word.  Putting these letters together, we can see the purpose of the Hebrew language stated in its name, meaning in English “to reveal the covenant”, which is “the cross of My Son”.

These are beautiful insights into the Scriptures and the Hebrew language, but what does it all mean for our lives?  If we study YHVH’s Word, then His Son will be revealed to us more and more, and we will come to know Yeshua and His Father, our Creator and Redeemer, who desires only good things for our lives (Jer 29:11).

Life in the Rock

for they drank froim the Rock

In a previous blog (Tzur Chayeinu-Rock of Our Lives, March 12, 2016), we began a study of rocks and stones in Scripture.  We discovered that rocks can have either positive or negative connotations.  Stones and rocks had various uses in Scripture including memorials of visions or significant events and witnesses to covenants. The most important Rock in Scripture is Yeshua, who produced the most significant event in our history and is the Mediator and Guarantee of our most important covenant (Matt 26:28, Heb 7:22).

A comment in the New Revised King James Bible led me to explore the word tzur further.  I learned that not only is this word for rock or cliff a noun, but it can be a verb as well.  I did not have to search long before I uncovered a treasure trove of meaningful information and symbolism.  One cannot plunge anywhere in Scripture without encountering a bottomless depth.  My exploration produced a wealth of pictures or images of our Rock, Yeshua, and the numerous roles He has in our lives.  Each of these Scripture references uses the word tzur or a variation of it.

Yeshua (YHVH) is our Origin, the Rock from which we were cut (Is 51:1).  We see a clearer picture in Deuteronomy 32:18.  You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth.  YHVH not only created us, but He gives us a new birth in Yeshua.

Yeshua is our Defender.  A tzur is not only a mountain or a cliff, but it can contain caves or enclosures where we can hide.  One of the definitions associated with tzur is “to enclose or barricade” (Song of Songs 8:9; Ps 139:5).   David hid from the Philistines in or near a cave (1 Chron 11:15).  Although the cave and rock were physical structures that David used as a stronghold, David discovered that his only true stronghold is YHVH (Ps 18:2, 27:1, 5).  In Daniel 2:45, we see that the Rock that destroys the other nations is hewn from a mountain, but not with human hands, signifying Yeshua.  Our Rock trains us for battle (Ps. 144:1, 2 Sam 22:35).  Our Rock besieges our enemies and even us, when He needs to punish us or bring us back (Ex 23:22, Is 29:2).

Our Tzur is our Atonement (Ps. 62:6).  It is appalling how quickly we can forget Yeshuas sacrifice for us, yet we do, just as the Israelites forgot the Savior who rescued them from slavery to the Egyptians (Deut. 32:5).  Perhaps that is one reason for circumcision.  The instrument to be used was a sharp (surim) knife (flint) (Joshua 5:2-3).  The males were to be cut in a vulnerable area of their bodies, causing them much pain, just as Yeshua made Himself vulnerable to severe pain at His crucifixion.

Yeshua, our Rock, is our Righteousness.  Everything He does is perfect and everything He does is just and fair (Deut 32:4).  In Judges 6:21, we have a picture both of YHVH accepting sacrifices offered to Him as well as the perfect sacrifice of Yeshua (the meat and the unleavened bread).  YHVH is perfect holiness and righteousness (1 Sam 2:2).

Finally, our Rock, Yeshua, is our Eternal Life.  My favorite Scripture in this study is the picture presented in Exodus 17:6.  I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.  Yeshua, our Rock, was struck on our behalf and out of Him flow rivers of living water.  Yeshua Himself provides eternal life and is Life (John 11:25). With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (yeshua) (Is 12:3).  Yeshua invites us to come to Him to drink (John 7:37).

Although I have always been attracted to mountains and cliffs, I will now look at them with a new appreciation as I reflect on our most important and awesome Rock.  This article barely skims the surface. I encourage you to search for yourself in the treasure trove of Scripture perhaps beginning with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Hebrew 6696 and 6697.  You will be greatly rewarded for your efforts.

Tzur Chayeinu (Rock of Our Lives)

for they drank froim the RockThroughout all creation there are many signs that witness to us about Yeshua, telling us who He is and teaching us about all that He has done and will do for us. As Peter has pointed out in some of his blogs, the stars tell us the story of salvation and Yeshua’s triumphant return to reign on the earth. The sacrifices that our loved ones make for us, the love between a husband and wife, the seed that must fall to the earth and die in order to produce much fruit, are all signs and teachings that we have with us daily.

One sign that perhaps we have overlooked are rocks and stones. Stones and rocks are mentioned numerous times in Scripture. Abraham and his descendants set up stones as  memorials of significant events Gen 28:18, 35:14, Josh 4:9). After Jacob’s dream or vision and YHVH’s promise to give him the land, Jacob set up his stone “pillow” as a memorial and anointed it with oil. Yeshua is our Anointed One, our Messiah. Yeshua referred to Jacob’s vision when he met Nathaniel. He said that Nathaniel would see angels ascending and descending and that He Himself is the staircase that Jacob saw (John 1:50-51 NLT). A mound of stones was used as a witness of a treaty between Jacob and Laban (Gen 31:47).

Sometimes stones have negative connotations. One example is when YHVH said that He will remove stony hearts and replace them with hearts of flesh. In this case, YHVH is speaking metaphorically to demonstrate hardened or insensitive hearts. Israelites who were guilty of certain sins, such as adultery, were to be stoned to death. In Joshua 7:26, rocks were piled up over the grave of the offenders who had been buried after being stoned to death for their offenses.

YHVH wrote His Ten Commandments (or summary of Torah) on stone tablets. Yeshua is our living Torah. Yeshua tells us in Matthew 7:14 that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” We as believers in Yeshua are referred to as living stones and Yeshua is our Chief Cornerstone (Eph 2:20-22, 1 Pet 2:4-8). If we living stones fail to proclaim Messiah, then even the non-living stones will cry out (Luke 19:40).

In the second chapter of the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that none of his astrologers could interpret. Daniel, aided by a vision from YHVH, was able to explain the dream and how the different parts of the statue represented four kingdoms. During this time, YHVH would be setting up His own kingdom and the rock not cut by human hands represented YHVH’s kingdom (Ex 20:25). This “rock” of course is Yeshua. The altars used for worship and sacrifice were to be made of rocks that were not hewn, thus providing for us another picture of Messiah.

In Matthew 6:18-19, if you study the Greek text, you will find the word petros for Peter which means a small piece of a rock or stone. The small rock is movable, and shifting. The word “rock” upon which Messiah would build His church, is the Greek word petra, which means a cliff or solid formation that cannot be moved or shaken. In the English translation, rock is used in both instances and this very important distinction is lost. In Hebrew, the word for Peter is keifa, which means small rock or stone and tzur is the cliff or solid formation.

YHVH is often referred to as our Rock. Some examples are: YHVH is our rock, our fortress and deliverer (David Ps. 18). But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel (Gen.49:24). For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (1 Pet 2:6).

Let us as living stones, forever boldly proclaim our solid Rock!

Speaking God’s Awesome Name

LORD of Hosts“And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it the LORD my Banner [Yehovah Nissi]” Exodus 17:15

In my previous postings on God’s Name, Yehovah, I spoke about the importance of knowing and speaking God’s holy Name. We learn from the Scriptures that His Name is holy, righteous, mighty, beautiful, glorious, exalted, a high tower, the Word of God. As far as the LORD being a helper for us in our everyday lives having to live “in the world” but not being “of the world”, here are some of the titles and roles that our God [Yehovah Elohim] fulfills: The LORD my rock (tzuri) and my redeemer (goali), my banner/miracle (nissi), my provider (yireh), our shield (mageinu), our refuge (mach’seh), our righteousness (Yehovah Tsid’keinu), The LORD of peace (Yehovah Shalom), the LORD our presence – or “He is there” (Yehovah Shammah), the One who heals (Yehovah Rapha), and the LORD of hosts/armies (Yehovah Tzeva’ot).

This final name, Yehovah Tzeva’ot, is one of the most powerful – it literally means LORD of armies or LORD of hosts.  In Isaiah, we see how this Name is associated with the Messiah in several different passages – here are a couple of examples:

  • Isaiah 44:6 – “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts [Yehovah Tzeva’ot]: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god’.
  • Isaiah 47:4 – “Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts [Yehovah Tzeva’ot] is his name—is the Holy One of Israel.”

From other passages in Isaiah, we know that “The Holy One or Mighty One of Israel” is always used to refer to the Messiah. Putting these references together, it is clear that Yeshua HaMashiach is called the LORD of Hosts as He is the person of the Godhead who directs God’s armies (both heavenly and earthly armies). One other clear passage that identifies Yeshua as Yehovah Tzeva’ot is in Zechariah 14:16: “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts and to celebrate the Feast of Booths”. We have learned from these and other Scriptures (through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration) that when we are cleansing our household of evil spirits (demons), it is very effective to use this divine name of Yeshua, as He is the LORD of Hosts.

There is truly “power in the Name” as believers often quote, but what name is that? We know from Yeshua’s own words to us that we can pray to the Father in His name and whatever we ask will be done (paraphrased from John 16:23). Yeshua also says in John 17:11 (in his prayer to Abba Father): “Holy Father, you have given me Your name; now protect them by the power of Your name so that they will be one just as We are One. During My time here, I protected them by the power of the name You gave me”. Then later in His prayer He says: “I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). So we see from this that Yeshua’s name is holy and powerful, but He is also named with the same name as all persons in the triune Godhead, Yehovah.

So when you are praying, remember that the name and titles of our God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit, are powerful, not only for salvation, but for protection and deliverance from our enemies (physical and spiritual), for healing, for victory in life’s battles, and for our times of praise and worship when we are seeking His face, His guidance, and His voice speaking into our lives. Try out these names and see how Yehovah answers you.

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

Lion of JudahJudah is a lion’s whelp…and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Gen 49:9-10

As I mentioned in a previous blog on YHVH’s Gospel message written in the stars (Messiah’s First Coming Foretold in the Stars), we can identify the beginning and ending of the story written in the star pictures, as it is confirmed in all the ancient Zodiac drawings. For instance, the great sky painting found in the Temple of Esneh in Egypt shows the whole image of the Zodiac with all of its constellations. Virgo (the virgin) is shown as the first sign of the Zodiac. Between Virgo and Leo (the Lion), there is a carved figure of the sphinx with the head of a woman and the body of a lion. The woman’s face is looking at Virgo and the lion’s tail is pointing at Leo, telling us where the Zodiac Gospel story begins and ends.

The sign of Leo the Lion (or Aryeh in Hebrew – אַרְיֵה) is not only the last of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, but it tells the end of the Gospel story if you are following it in the Scriptures. Taking the ancient star names from this sign and compiling them together, the meaning that emerges can be paraphrased as “Messiah’s final triumph”. Leo (Aryeh) represents Messiah Yeshua, returning to Earth as King of kings and LORD of lords at the end of the age as revealed in the Word of YHVH.  Aryeh is always shown and named as a lion in the drawings and languages of all the ancient Zodiac depictions.

He is sometimes shown to be treading on a serpent (Hydra), as confirmed by the ancient star name Regulus, which literally means “treading under foot”. Based on some of the other star names in this sign, Aryeh also means “a lion hunting down His prey”, or (from the Arabic star-names) “coming forth as a flame”.

The Egyptian name (Pi Mentekeon) means “the pouring out”, which symbolizes the pouring out of Divine wrath on the Old Serpent. The name of the Serpent constellation associated with this sign, Hydra, literally means “he is the abhorred” – Yeshua is the only One who is able to destroy the evil one (HaSatan). The star names in Aryeh tell the rest of the story without further explanation: “the Judge or Lord who comes”; “the exaltation”; and “the shining forth” (see Revelation 5:5-14).

The second constellation in Aryeh is Crater (the Cup, which represents the cup of Divine wrath poured out upon the Serpent. This syncs up with Scripture as “the cup of His indignation” (Rev 14:10) and “the cup of the fierceness of His wrath” (Rev 16:19). The final constellation in Aryeh is Corvus (the Raven), whose star-names in the ancient languages refer to the birds of prey devouring the Serpent. Its Arabic name is Minchir al Gorab, meaning “the Raven’s tearing to pieces”. The brightest star is Al Chiba, which means “the curse inflicted” – which refers to the birds of prey who took part in the final avenging of God’s curse on the evil forces of the world (Rev 19:17,18,21).

We can see confirmation of the Lion being used as a symbol for YHVH coming in judgment to defeat His enemies in Isaiah 42:13: “The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies”. Just as with the other “strongman” signs in the stars, Aryeh is a Lion in this case which symbolizes Yeshua as El Gibbor, “a mighty man” who is also YHVH God.

Out of all the universe, the Lion of Judah alone is worthy to judge and to reign over the Earth. In Revelation 5:5-6, after John starts weeping because no one is found worthy to open the scroll and read the final words proclaiming the end of the world, John says:

“…one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’  And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…”

This is our Messiah Yeshua, a Mighty Man, God incarnate, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  Even quoting His names and titles from the Scriptures sends supernatural joy and power surging through my veins. Speak His names out loud, bask in His glory, tell Him how worthy He is and how much you love and worship Him. For we know that someday, all people will bow down and worship Him, the Lion of Judah, “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). I am going to start now instead of waiting until the end of the world – how about you?

Where do we look on Yom Teruah?

blowing of trumpets

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky: all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. He [Messiah] will send out His angels with a great trumpet [shofar] blast; and they will gather together His chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Yeshua tells us in Matthew 24:30-31 (CJB) that in the last days, He [Messiah] will sound a great shofar, and send out His angels to gather His Body from all the ends of the Earth. YHVH has provided the Feast of Trumpets [Yom Teruah] as a rehearsal to help us prepare for this great End Times event.

When you see phrases like the “blowing of the trumpets” or “loud shouting”, these are translated from the same Hebrew word, Teruah, which simply means a loud noise. One of my favorite uses of this word in Scripture relates to the moving of the Ark of the Covenant in II Samuel 6:15: “So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of YHVH with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet [shofar]”. This same event was described in I Chronicles 15:28: “So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of YHVH with shouting, to the sound of the ram’s horn [shofar], trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.” In both descriptions, you see the combination of loud shouting and the blowing of the Shofar, which both come from the word Teruah. An occasion like the moving of the Ark elicited many loud sounds from the people in the procession, both from instruments and with their voices raised in praise to Yehovah.

There are many other passages in Scripture that tell us how the Shofar is used: as a wake-up call to turn people back to YHVH (Jer 6:17, Eze 33:3-6), a call to battle (Isa 18:3, Jer 4:19, Josh 6, Judges 7), or the announcement of an appointed time with Yehovah (Ex 19:16-19, Lev 23:23-25, Num 29:1). These last two verses refer to the blowing of the Shofar and “loud shouting” on the Feast of Yom Teruah, or the Day of the Blowing of Trumpets.

Going back to the original Hebrew, a better translation of Numbers 29:1 would be: “On the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy rehearsal. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets”. Leviticus 23:24 could also be more accurately translated as: “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of trumpets, a holy rehearsal”. Why would this and other Fall Feasts be described as rehearsals? Most likely because the Fall Feasts have not yet been fulfilled. Putting all these Scriptures together, it seems clear that Yom Teruah will find its ultimate fulfillment in the “great shofar blast” described in Isaiah 27:13 (and quoted by Yeshua in Matthew 24:31): “And in that day a great trumpet [shofar] will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship YHVH on the holy mountain at Jerusalem”.

So, what does all this mean to us as the Body of Messiah? No matter whether or not end times prophecy is fulfilled this year and this is indeed the Great Shofar blast that signals the return of Yeshua to reign on the Earth, the blowing of the Shofar on Yom Teruah is nevertheless very significant for believers. Yom Teruah is always meant to be a special time of awakening for our souls and repentance for our hearts so that we are prepared to be received by Yeshua as the Bride of Messiah when He returns. So on this Yom Teruah, we need to look at our inner selves and take stock of how we are doing at lining up our souls with our born-again spirits (Rom 12:2). I know I have areas that need work based on my report card – how about you?

Will the True Messiah Please Stand Up?


Many passages in scripture talk about the dual nature of Messiah Yeshua, that He is both God and man. So how do we know that Yeshua the Messiah is both divine (YHVH Elohim) and human? Scripture makes very clear this dual nature of Yeshua, and we know that we can believe the testimony of Scripture because all Scripture is inspired by God and is true and good for doctrine, teaching, etc. (2 Tim 3:16).

Galatians 4:4 shows the humanity of Yeshua: “…God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Torah..”. Luke 1:35 provides clear evidence of the divine nature of Yeshua – the angel said to Miriam: “…The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

God did not just manifest Himself in flesh as a human being, but rather “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father..” (John 1:14) God the Father took Yeshua who was already His Son from the beginning, and made Him to be born through a human woman by the power of the Holy Spirit. So why did Messiah need to be fully human as well as fully divine? Because we had to have a High Priest [our Messiah Yeshua] who could understand our weaknesses – One who had been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. (from Heb 4:15) Even more specifically, Hebrews 2:17 says: “Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of all people. Scripture confirms this in Philippians 2:7-8, where it says that Yeshua took on the “form of a bondservant, and [came] in the likeness of a human being. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

We can see clearly from these scriptures that Yeshua could not have taken away our sins unless He was both fully human (so He could identify with us in our human weakness) and fully divine (so that He had the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat the enemy, HaSatan). It is true that we now have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, when we have been baptized into that power. However, Yeshua has a special relationship with the Holy Spirit and Abba Father, in that He is One (Echad) with them as persons of the triune God, Yehovah Elohim.

To put this into a context that might be easier for us mortal beings to understand, YHVH has painted the entire Gospel message into His star-pictures in the sky. We have looked at some of these in depth in previous blogs, but here I just want to give you a brief snapshot of one of them to help clarify Yeshua’s duality as God and man. Most people have heard of Gemini as one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. However, as with the others, its meaning has been corrupted over the ages through pagan mythology and astrology. The original Hebrew name for this sign was Thaumim, which means united, or twinned, as in Exodus 26:24.

In most of the myths about Gemini, twin brothers are represented; they are sometimes seen as heads of armies or great pirates on the seas (sons of Jupiter), which is why they were looked on as “patron saints” of marine navigation. The ancient star-names paint a very different picture, though, of a single person with a twofold nature–God and Man. They tell the story of His twofold work of suffering and glory, and His twofold coming in humiliation and in triumph. Two of the 85 stars in this sign point this out very clearly; the star Apollo in the head of one means ruler or judge, while the star Hercules in the other’s head means “the One who comes to suffer”. The best translation of the Hebrew name of the sign (Thaumim) is “united into one”, in the same sense that Yeshua is one person of the Godhead, but has two distinct natures united together in His one essence.

There are not two separate persons, but rather two natures joined together in one Person, “God and man in one Messiah.” We can’t have one without the other – if we accept Yeshua as a man, suffering for our redemption, then we must also accept Him as our God (Yehovah), coming to judge all people and reign as King of kings for eternity. When we remember what Yeshua said to His disciples before He left the earth, it helps us understand what it means to be a part of His Kingdom: “If you love me, you will keep My commandments”. (John 14:15) In verse 21, He goes on to say: “If anyone loves Me, they will keep My word; and My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them.”

This sounds like the greatest thing that could ever happen to us, that Abba Father and Yeshua His Son would come make their home with us! Do you want this? It means sacrifice and commitment for someone to keep His commandments (His word) day-by-day. As Yeshua promised, Abba sent the Ruach HaKodesh to help us every moment of our lives – do you think the Holy Spirit can also help you to stay faithful to Yehovah’s Word? Is it worth trying?

Ultimate Struggle in God’s Star Pictures


Many scriptures describe Yeshua’s conflict with and victory over the great adversary (HaSatan). These “good vs. evil” conflict scriptures lead us into the third major sign in the Zodiac: Scorpio, or Akrab in Hebrew which means “the Redeemer’s conflict”. The word pictures in this sign and its three related constellations clearly depict the Messiah as our Redeemer, who comes to save us from the power of the enemy.

The first and most familiar allusion to Messiah’s great battle with the enemy is in Genesis 3:14-15, where God curses the serpent (the devil) and says to him that He will “…put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He [Messiah] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel”. This prophecy from YHVH set in motion the spiritual battle between HaSatan and the children of Eve that continues through the ages. Hebrews 2:14 describes how Yeshua, through His death, destroyed the one who has the power to bring death (the devil). Because of Yeshua’s victory over the enemy, we as YHVH’s children now have His authority to defeat the power of HaSatan in our lives (Luke 10:19, Romans 16:20, Psalm 91:13 and Revelation 12:11).

The Scorpio star-pictures graphically illustrate each of these scripture prophecies. In a couple of previous “Gospel in the Stars” postings, I discussed how Yeshua (Jesus) represents the strong man in Psalm 19:5. In this star sign, there are two images representing the Messiah as the Strong Man: El Gibbor (which means “Mighty God” as in Isaiah 9:6) and Ophiuchus, derived from a Hebrew word meaning “Mighty One”. In Scorpio, these Strong Men characters are actively engaged in warfare with the enemy, and are winning the battle! We see the serpent (Serpens) struggling vainly with Ophiuchus. Although the serpent [HaSatan] stole the crown from Adam in the Garden, he is not able to steal the crown from Messiah Yeshua in the ultimate battle between YHVH and the enemy. At the same time Ophiuchus is treading on the heart of the Scorpion, which is the bright star Antares, meaning “the wounding” (from Arabic) or “the heart of the scorpion” (from its Latin name).

In this star-picture, the Mighty God, El Gibbor (paganized to Hercules by the Greeks) has His foot positioned over the head of Draco the dragon (which also represents the devil in Revelation 20:2-3) ready to crush him with His foot. The finality of Messiah Yeshua’s victory over the evil one is shown in Revelation 20:1-3, 10 (“And He [Yeshua] seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil and Satan,…and threw him into the pit…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur…where [he] will be tormented day and night forever and ever”). In the end, HaSatan is thrown into the lake of fire and will never again return to deceive and torment YHVH’s children.

Many people in our modern society seek to know the future by studying the stars from a pagan perspective (astrology) or other means of worldly prophecy. However, we can know the truth of the future from the beautifully accurate stories YHVH painted into the stars from the beginning of His creation. The message in the Scorpio star-pictures has helped confirm for us the scriptures which prophesied Messiah’s victory over the enemy, as well as our authority to tread on the enemy (serpents and scorpions, from Luke 10:19) and to trample the serpent [HaSatan] under our feet (Psalm 91:13).

We pray Abba’s blessings over you to seek and know the truth of Abba’s word (both in writing and painted in the sky). We pray that this new revelation will help you grasp ahold of the authority that YHVH has blessed us with, that in the name of our Lord Yeshua HaMashiach we can defeat the fiery darts of the enemy that come against us in our daily lives.