In the fall of 1986, although God had been pursuing me since my childhood, He finally got my attention. But it wasn’t just a prayer of faith that I prayed on my knees that night. For I had known since the age of six that Jesus was indeed God’s Son, and that He died for my sins. But scripture says that demon’s believe and tremble. And for 34 years I had been running my life my way, and I had completely messed it up. So at the age of 34, alone in my room, I finally surrendered. I told the Lord, whom I knew only as Jesus back then, that to the best of my ability, from that night on, I would live by His rules. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but that night when I made Jesus not only my savior but my Lord, I came into covenant. And as I began to study the Bible, I asked God to show me the truth, and over the decades He has been faithful to reveal more and more of it, line upon line and precept upon precept.
This article is about separating out 1700 years of religious tradition that has been mixed in with Yah’s Scriptural truth, a Truth so potent that, in spite of that un-holy mixture, God has been saving those who turn to Him in faith, and make him Lord.
Yeshua, speaking in Matthew 24:5 warned: “Many will come in my name, saying I am the Messiah, and they will cause many to be deceived.” In Sunday church, I was always taught that Yeshua was warning about men who would claim that they were the Messiah. But is that the one and only meaning? I don’t think so. In this article, I will explore another possibility. But first, allow me to mention a few points you will need to consider.
Since returning to the Hebraic roots of my faith, I have learned that there are many approaches to Biblical exegesis. The four most common levels are: the peshat (surface); derash (comparative); remez (allegoric or symbolic); and sod (mystical). Each of these levels of interpretation examines an extended meaning of a passage, but should never contradict the literal (peshat) meaning of the text.
Something else to consider when studying scripture is the fact that, just like in the Hebrew Bible (OT), punctuation in the Greek New Testament was added by translators. And a misplaced comma can change the meaning of a passage. Take, for instance the following:
“I tell you today, you shall be with me in paradise.”
“I tell you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”
Now I will quote Matthew 24:5 once more, this time inserting brackets to demonstrate two possible meanings. The first will be consistent with the traditional interpretation, the second, however, is the one I want to explore.
1. Many will come in my name, saying I (the many who will come in his name) am the Messiah, and they (the many who will come in his name) will cause many to be deceived.
2. Many will come in my name, saying I (Yeshua) am the Messiah, and they (those who say Yeshua is the Messiah) will cause many to be deceived.
First off, the word translated as “and” is the Greek word “kai” and it can also be translated as “but.” So let’s change it to but and read it again.
“Many will come in my name, but they will cause many to be deceived.”
Now, that second one tells exactly what happened.
Constantine and the Catholic Church claimed they were worshiping the Messiah, but turned him into a blue-eyed, sun-disk (halo) wearing, Torah breaking, Messiah, who was born on December 25th, the very day every sun-god was said to have been born. Then, to make matters worse, they claimed that he came to start a new religion called Christianity.
Believers In Yeshua become part of Israel, known in Scripture as the People in Covenant with God. We do not replace Israel. Yeshua never started a new religion as the Catholic Church claims. Scripture tells us, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith . . .” (Eph 4:4-5)
Through our faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, we are no longer aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel or strangers to the covenants (plural) (Eph 2:12). We have been grafted into Israel’s cultivated Olive Tree.
“For if you who were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?” (Romans 11:24)
Scripture says we were grafted in AMONG THEM, it does not say we replace them, as Catholics and many Protestant denominations falsely claim to this very day.
God doesn’t inhabit the praise of “his people” as so many pastors love to misquote from Psalms 22:3. That Scripture says He inhabits the praise of Israel.
Romans 11:17 says, “And if some (not all) of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among THEM, and WITH THEM partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree…”
For fun I will list some other commonly held misconceptions about the Messiah that don’t line up with what the Scriptures tell us.
Fallacy: The night the Messiah was born three wise men came bearing gifts.
Fact: No where in scripture does it say that there were three wise men. Scripture only mentions three gifts. The wise men only started traveling from the East when they saw his star. It took time to get there. Scripture also calls Yeshua a young child, (probably about two years old since Herod ordered all boys, two and under, be put to death), and Matthew 2:11 tells us that Yeshua and his parents were living in a house by the time the magi came to visit.
FALLACY: The blue-eyed, halo (sun-god disk) wearing Jesus, whose birth is celebrated on December 25th, the very day every pagan-sun god is said to have been born, overruled His Father’s instructions regarding what is and is not food for mankind.
FACT: Our promised Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, came only to speak His Father’s words and to do His Father’s will. Yeshua would’ve sinned had he overruled His Father, as so many claim, for sin is transgression of the Torah (1John 3:4). The words “thus Jesus declared all food clean” found either italicized or bracketed at the end of Mark 7:19 in many translations were added by the translators.
As I discussed at length in my article “Has God’s Dietary Law Been Done Away With?” the subject discussed in Mark 7 has to do with the Pharisaic tradition of performing a ceremonial (closed-palm) hand washing before eating bread. Yeshua and his disciples did not comply because it is not a Torah command, but a tradition of the Pharisees, who claimed that eating bread without performing this ritual defiled a man. Yeshua explained that they were defiled, not by eating with unwashed hands, but by the evil in their hearts. This same account is given in Matthew 15. In verse 20 Yeshua says:
“These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” The issue of what constitutes food was never even mentioned in Mark 7 (except by the translators) or in Matthew 15.
The misleading words: “thus Jesus declared all foods clean” were inserted by translator’s either through their Biblical ignorance, their wish-fulfillment, or their subversive agenda. You decide!
The Hebrew Yeshua declared:
John 12:49-50 “For I did not speak from Myself, but He who sent Me, the Father, He has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandments are everlasting life. Then what things I speak, as the Father has said to Me, so I speak.”
John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments you will continue in My love, as I have kept My Father’s commandments and continue in His love.”
THEIR Messiah: That blue-eyed, sun-god-disk wearing, Iseous/ Jesus, whose birth is celebrated on December 25th, the very day every pagan-sun god is said to have been born, died on Good Friday, was buried and rose before sunrise on Sunday morning That is a timespan of 36 hours, a mere day and a half. It is NOT three days and three nights no matter how you shake it.
OUR Hebrew YESHUA: Our promised Jewish Messiah, our Passover lamb, died on Passover, the 14th of Nisan/ Aviv (which was a Wednesday that year, and never a Sabbath. It was the “preparation day.” It was that day on which all Passover lambs were to be slain.
John 19:14 “Now it was the preparation day of the Passover, about the sixth hour.”
Here the sixth hour correlates to our 12 noon, for they told time in 12 hour increments: 12 hours of night (when a new day began: Gen 1: 5 “…and there was evening and there was morning, day one.”) then 12 hours of daylight. That is why Yeshua asked, in John 11:9, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.
Yeshua was hung on the tree at noon, and according to Matthew 27:45, He died at the ninth hour, which would be 3 p.m. our time. He was taken down from the cross, taken to the tomb, and prepared for burial before sunset on Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan.
Once the sun set, a new day, the 15th of Nisan/Aviv, known in Scripture as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, would begin. This was a High Sabbath (Lev 23:6) No work was to be done. By then, everyone had to be in their home ready to eat the Passover meal, which consisted of the lamb that was sacrificed for their family at the temple on the 14th, bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. Therefor, Yeshua had to be in the tomb no later than, what in our counting of time would be somewhere between 5 and 5:30 pm on the 14th, to give those who had been preparing his body for burial time to walk home and start the High Sabbath on the 15th, which commenced at sunset.
In Matthew 12:40, Yeshua declared, “… even as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. That constitutes three twenty-four hour days, 72 hours, not one and a half days from Friday to Sunday morning as the Roman Catholic Church invented for their blue-eyed Messiah, a fiction their Protestant step-children have remained faithful to.
Our Messiah, Yeshua, who told us that He was “Lord of the Sabbath”, rose at the close of the weekly Sabbath, on the 17th of Nisan, 72 hours after he was buried, just as he said he would.
The King James says this in Matthew 28:1
“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.”
Now here it is again, this time from the Literal translation:
“But late in the sabbaths, at the dawning into the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene and the other Mary came to gaze upon the grave.”
Now one final time, with my bracketed insertions to help clarify, since context is so important, and most people today do not understand God’s time-keeping, His calendar, or the prophetic significance of each of His Feasts Days, which are rehearsals for the events which God has had planned for His people from before the Creation of the world.
The Spring Feasts have now all been fulfilled: Yeshua’s death, His resurrection, and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit were fulfilled as foretold through Passover, First Fruits, and Shavuot (Pentecost). Only the Fall Feast are yet to be fulfilled at Yeshua’s second coming.
Now let’s examine that verse again.
“But late in the (weekly, 17th of Nisan) Sabbath, at the dawning (beginning) of (i.e., the 18th of Nisan) the first of the (7 weekly) Sabbaths ( counted from First Fruits to Shavuot as found in Leviticus 23:15-16,) Mary the Magdalene and the other Mary came to gaze upon the grave.”
Look, I know it’s confusing. We, in the west, some two thousand years after the fact, are just not accustomed to accounting for time in God’s way. But “time” and God’s calendar, His appointed times and seasons are what the Creator says they are. So let’s stop gypping. Just deal with it!
When the sun set, the 17th ended, and the 18th began, or you could say it “dawned a new day.” The 18th, the first day of the week (Sunday) was the Feast of First Fruits in which the High Priest would wave the barley sheaf (the Omer). According to Lev 23, they were to count seven weekly Sabbaths, then add one day to equal a total of 50 days, on which they would celebrate the Feast of Shavuot/ Pentecost.
They started counting the weekly Sabbaths that particular year on the 17th (the day you start counting the Omer changes each year depending on what day of the week the 14th of Nisan falls. But it is always the day after the first weekly Sabbath (Friday night to Saturday night), during the week of Unleavened Bread. And Yeshua is our First Fruits! (1Cor 15:20)
Easter, already celebrated by pagans at this time, replaced Passover by an edict of Rome’s Emperor Constantine, in the forth century. Now Christians, under threat of excommunication and sometimes death, were to celebrate their now blue-eyed, sun-god-disk wearing, Messiah’s resurrection on the first Sunday, on or after the vernal equinox. If Easter—a name derived from the pagan sun-god Ishtar—fell on a Sunday, then Easter would be that following Sunday.
Easter, which seldom coincides with Passover, occurs anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th, and was specifically designed to separate Christians from the Hebraic roots of their faith. So naturally, they celebrate the resurrection of their new blue-eyed, sun-god-disk wearing, Messiah, who came to start a new religion called Christianity, by dying eggs, a tradition borrowed directly from paganism, and by eating a pig.
By this time, Yahweh was seen by more and more Christians as the god of the Old Testament, the god of the Jews, a god who, according to the heretical teaching of men like Marcion of Sinope, was cruel. According to Marcion’s teaching, the job of this new blue-eyed, sun-god-disk wearing, Iesous, who, one thousand and two hundred years later, became known to the world as Jesus, to deliver the world from the God of the Old Testament. And yes, it was from Marcion of Sinope that we learned to pejoratively call the first 39 books of Scripture as the Old Testament.
Although the destructive heresies propagated by the Roman Catholic Church eventually plunged the world into what history calls “the dark ages”, which lasted a thousand years, Yahweh has always had His remnant. And now, as time grows closer for Yeshua’s return, when He will set up His Kingdom in the Promised Land, that small remnant is growing in every country on the face of the earth.
Yeshua is calling: “Come out of her my people, so that you do not receive any of her plagues!” (Revelations 18:4)
I will close with a question: Who is your Messiah? Is He that blue-eyed, sun-god-disk wearing messiah, who changed his Father’s law, making it now okay to eat swine? Does your messiah share his birthday with all the other pagan son-god’s born on December 25th? Did he die on a Friday afternoon and rise on Easter Sunday? If this describes the one you call Messiah, I am afraid you have been deceived.
Yeshua warned that many would come in His name, saying that He, Yeshua, is the Messiah, but that they would deceive many. Don’t be deceived! Yeshua is calling for true worshipers who will worship Him both in Spirit and in Truth. It is time to seek the old paths where the good way is (Jer 6:16), time to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)
Please do not misunderstand. I came into covenant with the Messiah, calling him Jesus. I once thought it was okay to celebrate His birth on the 25th of December and His resurrection on Easter.
But those who are seeking God’s TRUTH, not just a comfortable pew in a nearby church, those who are willing to go wherever TRUTH leads, will find TRUTH. It is Scripture, not Church doctrine.
Yeshua is calling you higher, from glory to glory! We are to be holy (set apart) for He is holy. Our God is long suffering and full of mercy, but time for His return is drawing near, time for judgement, and it will begin in the house of the Lord. So come out of her My people!
God never changes.
His Law never changes.
His Sabbaths and Feast Days have never changed.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever!