Bikuwrym means “FirstFruits.” The Festival depicts, as the name implies, a “harvest of firstborn children.” The Miqra’ is observed immediately after Unleavened Bread, in that Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym occur on three successive days. The Feast was first celebrated as the Children of Yisra’el entered the Promised Land. Therefore, it describes the homecoming of God’s family.
Bikuwrym foreshadows the reaping of souls who have capitalized upon the gifts of Pesach and Matsah. Its ingredients include a grain offering which is anointed in olive oil and wine—symbolic of saved souls who are purified by the Set-Apart Spirit and Yahowsha’s atoning sacrifice. This offering is waved in the presence of Yahowah, forming a picture of our Heavenly Father receiving His children.
The Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits is prophetic of Yahowsha’ returning to Yahowah, and thus of spiritual rebirth into God’s Covenant Family. While the Catholic Church has promoted the notion that Easter is the Christian version of Passover, Easter is actually a counterfeit of Bikuwrym.
In order to put all of this into the proper context, and to provide the best perspective from which to consider Yahowah’s solution, let’s take a step back—way back to the very beginning. There was a reason that the story of mankind opened in the Garden of Eden. This provided a stage upon which the core of God’s message could be conveyed. His is the story of close, personal relationships, of love and fidelity in marriage, of mother and father coming together to create and nurture life in a familial setting. It is all He wants. It is why we exist. It explains the reason He has provided a way home.
Along these lines, the Hebrew word for “garden,” gan, means “covered and protected enclosure.” It is symbolic of the benefit of being adorned in, and defended by, our Spiritual Mother’s Garment of Light. The Miqra’ey, which embody this spiritual anointing, include Bikuwrym, Shabuwa’ and Kippurym—the Called-Out Assemblies of FirstFruits, Sevens, and Reconciliations.
Additionally, the Hebrew word, ‘eden, conveys “blissful joy, gladness, pleasure, and genuine delight.” It describes the result of choosing to live with Yahowah in the Promised Land. This state of bliss is depicted in the Festival Feast of Shelters, where we are invited to campout with God. In other words, we were born into the environment which depicts the conditions in which our Heavenly Father wants us to live.
Properly tended gardens produce quality fruit. The first reaping of such perfected souls is represented by the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym. The second harvest is described in Taruw’ah. FirstFruits, as we shall discover, is predictive of the Son’s return to the Father. Trumpets is prophetic of the Son coming back to bring the Covenant’s Children home in the last days as they shout out a warning not to ignore Yahowah’s plan, in hoping that many will capitalize upon the message of He has provided.
By telling us about the choices made by Adam and Chawah in the Garden of Eden, and their consequences and penalties, we are better prepared to appreciate the what and why of Pesach and Matsah. Because in the garden we learned that the consequence of ignoring Yahowah’s instructions and of eating the forbidden fruit, was death. Therefore, making a conscious choice to ignore God is equivalent to choosing to exist without Him. And even today, those who live without Yahowah will die—their souls ceasing to exist upon their demise. This problem was remedied by Passover.
The penalty for acting against God’s instructions, however, was expulsion from the garden. This resulted in a life of pain and toil among the weeds of oppressive human schemes. It is what naturally occurs when we are separated from God. Yahowah’s cure for this condition was Unleavened Bread, where He endured our penalty—redeeming and ransoming us. After all, we must be perfect in order to exist together with a perfect God. And only God has the resources to cover such a hefty fine.
As we discovered in the previous chapter, the journey home began during the Exodus, where Yahowah, in the context of a Sabbatical Year, said: “Six years you shall sow (zera’ – productively seed) your land (‘erets) and gather in (‘acaph – harvest, collect, remove, and receive) the produce (tabuw’ah – the harvested grain) thereof. But on the seventh (shaby’y) you shall let it rest and lie fallow (shamat – release it and let it fall), forsaking it (natash – rejecting and abandoning it) so that people (‘am – family members and relatives) in need (‘ebyown – who are poor and oppressed requiring deliverance) may eat and be nourished, the remainder (yathar – of which saves and preserves) restoring life (chayah – causing renewal and providing sustenance), nourishing them from the land (‘akal sadeh). Do the same (‘asah ken – accomplish and produce the similar results) with your vineyards and olive groves.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:10-11)
Grain represents saved souls, and is descriptive of the FirstFruits harvest. The vineyards produce wine which serves as a metaphor for the atoning blood of the Passover Lamb. Oil from olive groves is symbolic of the anointing of the Set-Apart Spirit, purifying us on Unleavened Bread.
Every seventh, or Sabbatical Year, serves as a more frequent reminder of the importance of the Yowbel Redemptive Years, which occur on the year following seven-sevens (i.e., every fifty years). During them, all people are freed and all debts are forgiven. These Sabbatical and Redemptive years were prophetic of the fact that on Passover in the Yowbel of 33 CE, we were freed from the consequence of our sin. The next day, on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, our debts were forgiven, delivering us from the consequence of sin. This was accomplished because Yahowah followed His own instructions and forsook and abandoned Yahowsha’s soul, thereby saving us, and restoring us back to life. This thread of truth was woven into the Scriptural tapestry so that we might more clearly see Yahowah’s timeline and more clearly understand Yahowsha’s purpose.
The entirety of Yahowah’s plan is predicated upon this pattern of sevens, and specifically a six-plus-one formula. Examples include: six days of creation followed by a day of rest. There have been nearly six millennia of human history since Adam separated himself from Yahowah, and there will be one final Millennial Sabbath where all mankind will live in the presence of God. There are seven Instructions which focus on man rather than God—the first of which proclaims that we are to work six days each week and rest and reflect as our Creator did on the seventh. The intent of which is to convey the fact that we cannot work for our salvation—that it is a gift from God.
There are six annual Miqra’ey, or Called-Out Assemblies, which direct us to our Heavenly Father, and then one in which we get to campout with Him upon our arrival. Simply stated, the first six Called-Out Assemblies lead to the seventh—a time of rest and reflection with God. These seven days, set apart from all others, foretell and depict the means and timing of our salvation.
Affirming the cadence of His timeline, and recognizing that we cannot work for our salvation, God reminds us: “Six days you shall do (‘asah – accomplish and produce) your work (ma’aseh – pursuits, undertakings, businesses, customary practices, and deeds), and on the seventh day you shall rest (shabath – cease and reflect) so that your ox and your donkey [your means of production] may have a break, and the sons of your servants [your employees], and foreign visitors (ger – those without the inherited rights of citizenship who come from different places, races, and cultures), may have their souls refreshed (napash – restoring their consciousnesses to life).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:12)
Yahowah’s universal formula of six, representing mankind, in addition to God, who is one, equating to a perfect relationship—the desired result of creation, serves as the fulcrum from which every essential element of our redemption springs forth. And it is upon this skeleton that all of what follows hangs.
“And in all things (kol – in the totality of that) which (‘asher – by relationship) I have spoken (‘amar – promised, answered, intended, and avowed) to you, observe them (shamar – save your life through them).” (Exodus 23:13) First among these words is: “Do not bring to mind (zakar – remember or recall, mention or memorialize) the name of other (‘acher – of another or different) gods (‘elohym); neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:13) In the first of the three statements Yahowah etched in stone, He tells us that He has but one name—Yahowah—and that a god by any other name is a fraud.
As an interesting aside, Yada Yah is sometimes criticized by well-meaning people because ‘elohym is usually translated “God,” rather than transliterated. The argument is that the English word “god” has pagan roots, and that it is used to describe false gods. And while that’s true, if we stopped using words with pagan origins, we would all have to speak, write, and read Hebrew. In today’s world, that would mean that only a tiny fraction of one percent of the population would benefit from God’s message. Moreover, ‘elohym is often used in Scripture to describe false gods, as it is here, meaning that it is just a common word. As such, there is no reverence associated with it and our understanding is enhanced when its meaning is translated.
In His second request, God said: “Three times a year (sanah) you shall stand before Me (regel – walk along side and set foot in My presence) celebrating a festival feast (chagag) with Me. You shall observe (shamar – be aware of and attend to, highly regard, heed, and consider) the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of Unleavened Bread (Matsah).
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread (matsah) as I instructed (tsawah – directed) you, at the time appointed (mow’ed – fixed meeting appointment established as a sign; from ya’ad, to meet for a marriage betrothal or judicial summons) in the month (chodesh – from chadash, the time of renewal and repair) of ‘Abyb (‘abyb), for in it you came forth (yatsa’) from the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – plural of matsowr, the place of oppression and siege).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:14-15)
“None shall appear before Me (ra’ah panym – shall be seen in My presence and behold My face, none shall be considered or regarded by Me) as an empty vessel (reyqam – from reyq, void, with an unfilled space, worthless, useless, futile, vain and conceited; without a marker demonstrating the relationship).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:15)
Yahowah created man with a void designed to accept His Spirit. To enjoy the company of our Heavenly Father, we must be born from above by way of our Spiritual Mother. Empty vessels are stillborn and lifeless.
“You shall keep the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of the harvest (qatsyr – the time of reaping that which was sown, of gathering in the crop of), the FirstFruits (Bikuwrym – the initial gathering of grain, the first fruit ready to be picked and gathered) of your labors (ma’aseh – your work, undertakings, and pursuits) which (‘asher – by way of making a connection) you sow (zera’) in the field, and the Festival Feast (chag – celebration) of ingathering (‘acyph) at the end of the year, when you gather in (‘acaph – receive and accept) your labors (ma’aseh) out of the field.
Three times a year (mishlosh pa’am shaneh) all (kol – everyone) shall remember to (zakar) be seen (ra’ah – be inspected and considered) before (panym – in the presence of) Yahowah ( ).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:16-17)
Yahowah is using the harvest of grain as a metaphor for reaping souls. Bikuwr is from bakar, meaning “the first children who are born.” The bakar represent souls who have been born anew and adopted into God’s family. The FirstFruits’ harvest is the first of two ingatherings depicted in Yahowah’s Miqra’ey. It is descriptive of those who are the beneficiaries of Pesach and Matsah, confirming that they, like their Savior, will be “gathered in, received, and accepted” by their Heavenly Father.
At this point, we are confronted with a series of revelations which, for the first time (at least in the Towrah), require us to equate the annual Called-Out Assembly Meetings with Yahowah, and more specifically, with Yahowsha’, the Sacrificial Lamb of God. The first of these begins with
“Do not (lo’) offer the sacrifice (zabah – the expiation (means of atonement and reconciliation) and propitiation (means of restoring favor)) of My (‘any) blood (dam) which was sacrificially shed (zebah – to restore favor, to atone and reconcile) along with (‘al – in proximity to) yeasted food (hames – that which is spoiled, soured, fermented, or embittered by a leavening fungus). And (wa) do not allow (lo’) the fat (heleb – lipid or fatty tissues and heart) to endure throughout the night (lyn – to remain during the time of darkness), until (‘ad) the morning of (boqer) My (‘any) Festival Feast (chag – celebration).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:18)
The “blood” which would be “sacrificially shed to atone and reconcile, restoring favor,” God said would be His. And while that is awesomely important, so is what follows. Yahowah didn’t want us to miss the fact that His soul would spend the next day, that of the Festival Feast of Matsah, unleavening our souls of sin. And while God’s sacrifice of separation during the long night vigil of the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread would be, and now has been, horrific, it is cause for celebration. Because of what He sacrificed away from the Light, in darkness, that which would have spoiled us and embittered our relationship with God, no longer exists.
Continuing to journey beyond the material we pondered in the previous chapter, we discover that the metaphor of the two harvests continues to play out symbolically, because that which is gathered in, is brought into Yahowah’s home. It is where He will take our souls following these spiritual reapings. “The initial and choicest portion (re’syth – the first and best part) of the FirstFruits’ Harvest (Bikuwrym – initial reaping) from the soil (‘adamah – dirt and ground) you (‘athah) shall bring with you (bow’ – arrive and include, carry and bear) to the house (beyth – home, household, and abode) of Yahowah ( ), your (‘athah) God (‘elohym).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:19) The word ‘adamah was chosen for a reason. It depicts the descendants of ‘Adam who are being invited by God to fellowship with Him in His home.
In the sense of bakar meaning “firstborn child,” and re’syth being the “first, best, chief, and choicest of them,” to be admitted into Yahowah’s home, we must come with Yahowsha’—our Savior and Redeemer. He is the only one who can open and shut heaven’s door. (The Catholic claim that Peter was given the keys to heaven’s door, is not only in opposition to the whole of Scripture, it misses the fact that the admission and understanding of who Yahowsha’ is, and the role He performed, is what opens the doorway to God.)
And that leads to a conversation as important as any we have considered. Within the context of this discussion of FirstFruits and of the Called-Out Assemblies, of Yahowah’s harvest of souls, we are told in the next verse from Exodus, to “look” for the “visible manifestation of God.” We are asked to pay attention to the “heavenly messenger” who was “sent out” from God, the one who explains His “Way” to bring us home: “Behold (hineh – look now and see), I (‘anky) will send out (salah – stretch and reach out, extending Myself to dispatch) a Messenger representing Me (mal’ak – an authorized spiritual and heavenly envoy, a supernatural representative who serves as My ambassador, a servant who proclaims My message and fulfills My mission, a theophany—the visible manifestation of God) before you (paneh – in your presence, to appear as a person face to face) to watch over, protect, and save you (shamar – to care for and keep you and for you to revere and cling to) in (ba – with regard to) the (ha) Way (derek), ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:20)
Let’s examine the first third of this passage word by word Hineh conveys two ideas. The first is “pay attention to this.” The second is to “use your eyes and ears to gaze upon, to read, to listen to, and to thoughtfully consider what follows.”
‘Anky, which means “I,” tells us that this is Yahowah speaking in first person. And that is especially relevant, because the heavenly Messenger is salah, literally “stripped off and taken from” God, in addition to being “sent off and away” from Yahowah. This affirms that Yahowsha’ is a part of Yahowah, stripped from Him, taken and set apart from God, and then sent off and away from heaven to save us.
Salah is commonly used in Scripture to communicate the “sending of words to inform by way of a messenger.” Since Yahowsha’ is the Word made flesh, in addition to being sent to save us, He came to enlighten us. By observing His example, and by reading His Word, we come to know Yahowah better. And when His life and His Word are compared, we come to understand that they are one.
Along these lines, salah also means “freedom.” And for freedom to be meaningful, we must be knowledgeable. Without access to Yah’s Word, without an accurate understanding of what He said and did, it is impossible to trust and rely upon Him. And that is why Yahowah said: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Based upon the same consonant root as salah, selah is “an implement,” or “tool,” just as Ma’aseyah means “implement of Yah.” A selah is often a “sword,” which would explain why Yahowsha’ said that He came with a sword to bring division, not peace. He wants to separate His truth from religious rubbish so that we can more adroitly choose sides—God’s or man’s.
Mal’ak, the Hebrew word for “messenger, envoy, and representative,” is often translated “angel” based upon the Greek term for messenger, “aggelos.” It is commonly used to describe “a spiritual being who is sent out to convey a Godly message.” In this light, mal’ak is the root of mal’akah, which depicts “the service of the visible manifestation of God,” and thus represents Yahowsha’s fulfillment of the Miqra’ey as our Savior.
Paneh predicts that Yahowah’s messenger would “make an appearance,” that He would come “into our presence,” and “face us.” Since we, in our flawed mortal bodies, were ill-prepared to come into God’s presence, God came into ours and prepared us for the journey home. Paneh is the “semblance” of an individual, and “reflects their mental outlook, attitude, and character.”
Shamar conveys “to watch over and keep someone safe and secure.” It is to “care sufficiently for someone” so that you are willing to “act as their protector and savior.” A shamar “preserves, maintains, and perpetuates life,” especially in the sense of “preventing decay and decomposition.”
Derek, meaning the “way, path, route, or journey,” even the “conduct of one’s life,” was proceeded by the definite article, ha, telling us that this is not “a” way, but rather “the” way to God. There is only one viable path to salvation. And based upon this passage, that route is by way of Yahowah’s seven Miqra’ey as they were and will be fulfilled by Yahowsha’. It is why Yahowsha’ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” It is why His disciples called themselves “Followers of the Way.”
The second third of this essential message begins: “ and (wa) to (la) bring you to (bow’ – to carry and transport you, to gather you in and harvest you, to cause you to arrive at and be included in, to enter) the (ha) standing place and home (maqowm – the upright abode, the household of the Source and the dwelling of the Upright One) which by relationship (‘asher) I have established (kuwn – prepared, made ready, arranged, and formed) ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:20)
Bow’ is all about “coming and going,” about one’s “arrival and entrance” into the home and household of our Heavenly Father. Bow’ speaks of “being pursued,” “being carried,” and “being gathered in, as in a harvest.” To bow’ is “to be included” in God’s family, with God doing the work to bring us home.
Maqowm is a “place or a site,” in the most general sense. Specifically, maqowm is one’s “home, their dwelling,” even their “office, as in place of work.” It is also “the place or source from which they come.” As such, in this context, God is speaking of heaven. Maqowm is based upon quwm, meaning “to stand up, to establish, to come onto the scene, and to rise.” It depicts the Savior’s mission. He came into our world, and stood up for us so that we could stand with Him in heaven. Quwm is the Hebrew equivalent of histemi—the foundational term of the eyewitness accounts.
The journey home requires us to take a stand and to walk with God. We are asked to meet Him at the maqowm, the standing place, beside Mount Mowryah’s upright pole, which is the doorway to heaven.
‘Asher is “a relational term which conveys a connection between things. In this case, there is a relationship, a connection, between the Miqra’ey and the Way.
Kuwn drives to the heart of the issue regarding our salvation. God, Himself, “fashioned, formed, shaped, provided, established, and prepared” the Way home as surely as He created the universe and the life within it. His path home was made manifest through the Called-Out Assemblies, and it was enabled through their fulfillment. There is nothing for us to prepare or provide, nothing we or any human institution can fashion or establish, which will be of any value. We either come to appreciate, trust, accept, and rely upon the provision Yahowah has provided freely as a gift, or not. It is a “yes” or “no” proposition. God is not offering any alternatives, which is why to be kuwn is to be “firm and fixed,” to be “steadfast and stable,” to be “unwavering.”
Based upon what He revealed in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and what He confirmed when He arrived in person, Yahowah will take a very dim view of those who conceal, corrupt, change, or counterfeit His Word and His Way. The likelihood that God will accept those who travel along a materially different path than the one He prepared at an unimaginably high price is extraordinarily remote.
And that is why He said: “ Carefully observe and consider Him (shamar – watch and wait for Him, revere and treasure Him, pay attention to and be protected and saved by Him, cling to Him) because (min – He is a part of Me, from Me, is an extension of Me and) My presence (paneh – My personal character and nature, My face and visible appearance) is on Him (huw’). Attentively listen to and understand (shama’ – receive, pay attention to, highly regard, and heed) His (huw’) voice (qowl – His verbal communication and intellect) ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:21)
Yahowsha’ provides three distinctly different perspectives from which to view Yahowah. His example reveals God’s character. His words explain God’s purpose. And His reverence for and careful observance of the Torah, Prophets and Psalms, demonstrates where we should go for answers.
“ Do not be rebellious or contentious toward (marah – defiant or disobedient with) Him, because if you are (ky) He will not (lo’) pardon you, lift you up, or carry you away from (nasa’ – support and sustain you, remove your guilt and forgive you, take you away and bear) your transgressions and rebellion (pesha’ – your revolt, crimes, and sins, your offences, faults, and deviations from the established standard) since (ky – because indeed) My (‘any) personal and proper name (shem) is part of (ba – in) His (huw’) inner nature (qereb – physically inside of Him, and in His midst) ” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:21)
Although they were told in the Towrah to “watch and wait for” the One who would “bear Yahowah’s name,” the Jews chose to “reject Him and rebel against Him,” and even murder Him for speaking God’s name. And for their “rebellion and contentiousness” they were not “pardoned personally or nationally.” For the most part, they were passed over at the FirstFruits’ Harvest. As a nation, they were not “raised up and carried away” to heaven. And that is because, there is but one way to God, one savior, one means to being pardoned and to forgiveness. Listen to and understand Him, receive Him and His Word, or pay the price for your crimes, your sins, offences, and faults—for your rebellion against God.
“Messenger” is an accurate, albeit inadequate, translation of mal’ak. In the lexicon of the time, the term conveyed the notion that “the messenger was the officially designated representative of the one sending him”—in this case, God. This “envoy” was “usually commissioned to perform a specific mission,” in addition to being “authorized to deliver an explicit message.” A mal’ak could be “a human or a supernatural and spiritual manifestation” of Yahowah—sometimes at the same time—as was and is the case of Yahowsha’. In Scripture, mal’ak is often used to “present an aspect of Yahowah’s glory.” This is precisely what Yahowsha’ did.
And speaking of Yahowsha’, this passage is one of many which confirms that the name “Jesus Christ” is inconsistent with the Word of God. There is no aspect of Yahowah’s name in either “Jesus” nor “Christ,” meaning that they are either wrong, or Scripture is wrong. There is but one name capable of saving us from our sins—Yahowah, from which Yahowsha’ is derived.
Bringing it all together, without the clutter of my comments, the message is:
“Six years you shall sow (productively seed) your land and gather in (harvest, collect, and receive) the produce (tabuw’ah – the harvested grain) thereof. But on the seventh, you shall let it rest and lie fallow (release it and let it fall), forsaking it so that people (and family members) in need (who are poor and oppressed requiring deliverance) may be nourished, the remainder (yathar – that which saves and preserves) restoring life (chayah – causing renewal), nourishing them from the land. Do the same (accomplish and produce the similar results) with your vineyards and olive groves.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:10-11)
“Six days you shall do your work (pursuits, business, and customary practices), and on the seventh day you shall rest (shabat – cease and reflect) so that your ox and you donkey [your means of production] may have a break, and the sons of your servants [your employees], and foreign visitors (those without the inherited rights who come from different places and races), may have their souls refreshed (restoring their consciousnesses to life). In all things which I have spoken to you, heed and observe them (save your life through them). Do not bring to mind (mention or memorialize) the name of other gods (‘elohym); neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” (12-13)
“Three times a year you shall stand before Me (walk alongside and set foot in My presence) celebrating a festival feast with Me. You shall keep (be aware of and attend to, highly regard, heed, and observe) the Festival Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matsah). Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread (matsah) as I instructed you, at the time appointed (mow’ed – fixed meeting date established as a sign) in the month (time of renewal and repair) of ‘Abyb; for in it you came forth from the crucible of Egypt. None shall appear before Me (shall be seen in My presence and behold My face, none shall be considered or regarded by Me) as an empty vessel (void, with an unfilled space).” (14-15)
“You shall keep the Festival Feast (the celebration) of the harvest (time of reaping that which was sown), the FirstFruits (Bikuwrym – the initial gathering) of your labors which you sow in the field, and the Festival Feast of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in (receive and accept) your labors out of the field. Three times a year all (everyone) shall remember to be seen in the presence of Yahowah.” (16-17)
“Do not offer the sacrifice (the expiation (means of atonement and reconciliation) and propitiation (means of restoring favor)) of My blood which was sacrificially shed (to restore favor, atone, and reconcile) in proximity to yeasted food (that which is spoiled, soured, fermented, or embittered by a leavening fungus). And do not allow the fat to endure throughout the night, until the morning of My Festival Feast. The initial choicest portion of the FirstFruits (Bikuwrym) of the soil you shall bring with you (arrive with and carry) to the home of Yahowah, your God.” (18-19)
“Behold (look and see), I will send out (extend Myself to dispatch) a Messenger representing Me (an authorized spiritual and heavenly envoy, a supernatural representative who serves as My ambassador, a servant who proclaims My message and fulfills My mission, a theophany—the visible manifestation of Myself) before you (in your presence, to appear as a person face to face) to watch over, protect, and save you (to care for and keep you and for you to revere and cling to) with regard to the Way, and to bring you to (carry and transport you to, gather you in and harvest you, to cause you to arrive at and be included in) the standing place and home (the upright abode, the household of the Source and the dwelling of the Upright One) which by relationship I have established (prepared, made ready and arranged).” (20)
“Carefully observe and heed Him (watch and wait for Him, revere and treasure Him, pay attention to and be protected and saved by Him, cling to Him) because (min – He is a part of Me, from Me, and is an extension of Me, and) My presence is on Him. Attentively listen to and understand (receive, pay attention to, highly regard, and heed) His voice. Do not be rebellious or contentious toward Him because if you are, He will not pardon you, lift you up, or carry you away from (nasa’ – support and sustain you, remove your guilt and forgive you, or take away and bear) your transgressions and rebellion (your revolt, your crimes, sins, offences, and faults) since (because indeed) My personal and proper name is upon Him.” (21)
While it has been obvious from the beginning, from the first chapter of Genesis, Exodus 23 is unequivocal. The Miqra’ey are indistinguishable from the Ma’aseyah. In addition to providing the Way (albeit, narrow and unpopular) home, the Called-Out Assembly Meetings explain Yahowah’s plan, they reveal His nature, and they predict how and when God would fulfill them. The Festival Feasts provide the skeleton upon which the entire story of salvation takes shape. Understand these meetings, and you will understand the nature and purpose of God. Rely upon them, and you will be invited into God’s home.
And let us not forget; preceding the unification of the Word with the Word made Flesh, we were told, that the pattern of six years of work followed by a day of rest was designed to restore life—as was the pattern of the Sabbath. And within this context, God just told us:
1) To observe and heed the Towrah—which was the only communication from God available at the time. This communicates two essential truths. First, the Towrah can be relied upon—especially when it comes to our salvation. And second, the Towrah is the primary source for answers, explaining God’s purpose and ours.
2) To recognize that Yahowah alone is God. No other name for God should be spoken. And in this regard, when it comes to eternal life, there is no difference between the fate of those who believe that there is no God, the fate of those who don’t know God, and the fate of those who worship a different god by another name—a god conceived by men and advanced through religion.
3) To stand with Yahowah three times a year, celebrating a festival feast. This makes “three” significant with regard to time. It makes “standing” significant with regard to the purpose of the meetings. And it means that “celebration” is the intent of the relationship insinuated by “with Me.” (In opposition to the religious concept of man submitting and bowing down to, worshiping and fearing God.)
4) To correlate the Festival Feast of Unleavened Bread with Yahowah’s willingness to lead His people out of the crucible of human oppression. The Exodus, the Miqra’ey, and the Ma’aseyah tell the same story.
5) To realize that without the anointing of Yahowah’s Set-Apart Spirit, without the spiritual void within our souls being filled, we cannot approach our Heavenly Father, much less live in His presence.
6) To understand that there are two essential harvests God wants us to celebrate: Bikuwrym/FirstFruits in the first month and Taruw’ah / Trumpets in the seventh month. It is on these days that redeemed souls are gathered together and carried into Yahowah’s home. God doesn’t want anyone to be left behind.
7) To know that it was Yahowah’s blood which was shed on Passover and it was Yahowsha’s soul which endured the long night of separation on Unleavened Bread. The first resolved the consequence of sin and the other removed its penalty.
Collectively, the reference to “three” set within the context of “six plus one,” and alongside the Sabbatical Year, the observance of the Miqra’ey, and their fulfillment by the Ma’aseyah, provides a vantage point from which to view God’s prophetic timeline. Salvation history can be divided into three epochs of forty Yowbel. Two thousand years separate Adam’s expulsion from the Garden and the confirmation of the Covenant Relationship with Abraham on Mount Mowryah in 1968 BCE. Exactly forty Yowbel / Redemptive Years later, and on the same mountain, Yahowsha’ facilitated the Covenant in 33 CE. And now, on the cusp of 2033, the final Yowbel year within the lifetimes of those who witnessed Yisra’el’s rebirth, and exactly 2,000 years from Yahowsha’s fulfillment of the first four Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God, Yahowah will fulfill the final two Meetings. After harvesting His Covenant Children prior to the Tribulation He will return at its conclusion to reconcile His relationship with Yisra’el and Yahuwdym, ultimately camping out with all of us for a thousand years.
Thus far, Yahowah has made it abundantly clear that He isn’t ambivalent about how we respond to Yahowsha’. Those who rely upon Him will be protected and they will ultimately triumph.
“Indeed (ky), if (‘im) you listen to (shama’ – acknowledge and receive) and understand (shama’ – and heed) His (huw’) voice (qowl – His verbal communication and words) and (wa) do (‘asah – observe, attend to, celebrate, and profit from) all (kol) that (‘asher) I say (dabar – all My words), then (wa) I will show hostility (‘ayab – will be a adversary fighting) against (‘eth) your enemies (‘ayab – treat your adversaries with enmity and rancor, animosity and antipathy), and (wa’) oppose (suwr – confine and secure, besiege and bind, being adverse to) those who (‘eth) are overtly hostile and oppressive toward (sarar – besiege and distress) you.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:22)
There are two aspects of this passage we ought not dismiss, just because they make us uncomfortable. First, God isn’t a big, jovial, caricature with open arms, welcoming everyone into heaven. He is just, and He is moral, and that means He hates oppressive and adversarial human political and religious schemes, as well as their schemers, for they victimize souls under their influence. Those who oppose God’s people will find God in opposition to them. Considering the overt animosity and hostility directed towards Jews and/or Israel demonstrated by Roman Catholics, Muslims, Fascists, and Communists, as well as by most Secular Humanists, you can be assured that heaven won’t be overcrowded.
Second, the Covenant is a reciprocal relationship. God’s promises were predicated on a proper response to His Word. Heed what He said, and God will protect you from those who wish you harm. After having survived a thousand death threats for exposing and condemning Islam, I can assure you that He can be trusted.
However, long ago, the preponderance of Jews started to worship other Gods, they neglected the Sabbath, and they ignored the Towrah. In time, they concocted an Oral Law, they rejected the Ma’aseyah, and came to esteem rabbis over Scripture. As a consequence, they became their own worst enemy, abrogating their responsibilities under the Covenant, and bringing all forms of unabated hostility upon themselves. It’s not that they are no longer the Chosen People, it is that collectively, they have made bad choices.
It is not a coincidence that there are numerous Scriptural accounts of how Jews suffered after electing to rely upon themselves, rather than upon Yahowah. Whether or not the last two thousand years of relentless persecution is directly attributable to their willingness to follow their rabbis who have superseded Yahowah’s Word with their own religiosity, what’s clear is that God has kept His promise and has never forsaken His Chosen Children. All who have tormented Jews have or will recede into insignificance or cease to exist entirely as a civilization. Yet, the Jews, through it all, still stand.
In the next verse, Yahowah lists some of the adversaries He would have been hostile to should His people have remained faithful to their agreement. They represent societies whose “poligious” systems were based upon the Whore of Babylon. It was a warning to those in future generations who would ally themselves with the Adversary, indicating that they will suffer his fate. Many will ultimately find themselves “confined and secured” in the Abyss.
Curious, I investigated the meaning of the names Yahowah included in His list. While they may represent nothing more than the actual pagan communities roaming the Promised Land circa 1500 BCE, I wanted to see if their names told us anything about these people, or better, if they were prophetic, telling us about those who would earn God’s wrath and confinement following the Great White Light Judgment. As a result, I discovered that “Amorites” is either ‘Amory or ‘Emory in Hebrew, and this name speaks of today’s Western politicians: “those who make boastful and pleasing promises using eloquent and poetic words.” In a phrase, it conveys a “publicly prominent propagandist.” The “Audacity of Hope” comes to mind. These folks could be those who facilitate the dictatorial New World Order under the dominion of the Antichrist.
The second name on the list, until somewhat recently, was used by theologians to demean Scripture’s veracity, in that scholars claimed that the Hittites never existed, much less reached super-power status in the region. And yet today, we know these people were so numerous and powerful, even the Egyptians couldn’t defeat them. Their name is Hithy in the inspired text. It speaks of jihadist Muslims, because it means: “terrorist.” Ninety-percent of today’s terrorist acts are committed by fundamentalist Muslims, those who are corrupted by Muhammad’s and Allah’s words. Not surprisingly then, the Magog Federation, which serves as the impetus for World War Three, is an alliance comprised exclusively of fundamentalist Muslims.
Similarly, Hivite, which is actually Hwy, serves as the root of hwylah. As such, it depicts Muslims as well. This name speaks of “the sandy domicile of Ishmael near Muhammad’s Mecca in the Western Arabian Desert.” Ishmael is credited in the Qur’an and Hadith as being Islam’s patriarch. And Yahowah told us this about Ishmael and his descendants: “He shall be a wild ass of a man. His hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him. And he will live in the presence of howling jackals.” (Bare’syth / Genesis 16:12)
“Perizzites,” which is Perizy in Hebrew, describes: “impoverished communal people who roam vast territories and who are especially warlike.” A communist nation such as China—the source of Armageddon’s troops—could fit this bill.
The “Canaanites” were Kana’ani. Their history and their name might describe the “merchant traders” of the last days who “clandestinely” make “merchandise of men.” These could well be the bankers and industrialists behind the destruction of the American and European economies.
The last name is “Jebusites.” It is from Yebuwsy. The name means “threshing place,” and thus might describe the conniving conspirators of the Tribulation who, according to the Disciple Shim’own: “increase their wealth by rejecting God and oppressing men, trampling them down, while they crush that which is true, polluting the minds of men.”
So it is quite possible that Yahowah has described the nature of the Adversary’s pawns—past, present, and future. He says of these populations that they will kahad: “disappear and be effaced, be cut off from the source of life, and become desolate, ultimately being destroyed and annihilated.” It is a description of what happens to every soul who dies estranged from God.
The verse reads: “Because when (ky) My (‘any) Spiritual Messenger (mal’ak – My authorized heavenly envoy, the supernatural representative who serves as My ambassador, My servant who proclaims My message and fulfills My mission, My theophany—the visible manifestation of Myself) travels (halak – moves and walks) in (la) your presence (paneh – appears personally face to face) and (wa) brings (bow’) you to (‘el) the Amorite (‘emory / ‘amory – ones who make pleasing, persuasive promises in eloquent, even poetic speeches), the Hittite (hithy – terrorists), the Perizzite (perizy – rural and communal warriors), the Canaanite (kana’any – merchant traders who operate clandestinely), the Hivite (hwy – the sandy domicile of Ishmael near Mecca), and the Jebusite (yebuwsy – the threshing place of those who reject and trample down, those who desecrate and own many possessions), He will make them disappear (kahad – cause them to perish, destroying and annihilating them).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:23)
The following message serves as a specific application of the first two statements Yahowah etched in stone. It further reinforces the fact that Yahowah isn’t tolerant when it comes to man’s gods or our religions. Following His list of boys acting badly, God strongly infers that the primary source of “pride, terrorism, socialism, submission, and oppression” is religion, especially the worship of the Babylonian solar deity known as Lord Ba’al, the principle god of the ‘Emory, Hithy, Perizy, Kana’any, Hwy, and Yabuwsy, as well as their more modern manifestations.
“You shall not (lo’) bow down (shachah – prostrate oneself in worship before, associate with, or show allegiance) to (la) their (hemah) gods (‘elohym) nor (lo’) serve (‘abad – be enslaved, submissive to) them (hemah), nor (lo’) observe, celebrate, or attempt to profit from (‘asah – perform for, deal with, or attend to) the likes of (ka – things associated with, similar or related to) their (hemah) practices and customs (ma’aseh – patterns of behavior, occupations, undertakings, and achievements), rather instead (ky) you shall tear them down and demolish them (harac – topple, oust and utterly destroy them, removing them from their lofty positions), breaking (sabar – shattering), crippling, and crushing (sabar – mauling and pulverizing, disfiguring and destroying) their (hemah) sacred memorial stones, pillars, and altars (masebah – religious monuments, obelisks, and idolatrous statues).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:24)
God isn’t the least bit tolerant, and He doesn’t want us to be either. Nothing has been more brutal or destructive, more deceptive or deadly, than religion. When we tolerate religious lies, people die. Tolerance isn’t compassionate as the proponents of Political Correctness would have you believe. It is merciless.
Life, liberty, and happiness come from one source. “Serve (‘abad – work with and minister) alongside (‘eth – with and next to) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elah /‘ilah), and He will kneel down and bless (barak – adore, invoking divine favor for) your bread (lechem) and water (maym). And I will remove disease and suffering (mahaleh – weakness and grief) from your midst.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:25) This bread is the unleavened bread of the Miqra’ of Matsah and water is symbolic of the living waters of the set-apart and purifying Spirit. The disease that is being removed by them is the corruption of our rebellious souls.
While it is a small thing among the life and death consequences of worshiping false deities and revering man-made religions, Yahowah used ‘ilah for His title of God rather than the more customary ‘el or ‘elohym. He knew that Muhammad would appropriate the Hebrew term, and then use ‘ilah as the Arabic word for “god” throughout the Qur’an. Allah, which contrary to the protestations of Islamic apologists, isn’t the Arabic word for “god,” but is instead the name of one of several hundred pagan sun- and moon-gods worshiped in Muhammad’s Mecca. In other words, Allah became the name of one of the many false ‘ilah Yahowah warned us about.
Now that we have seen how Yahowah linked the Called-Out Assemblies, and especially FirstFruits, to the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, and to our salvation, let’s turn to His presentation of Bikuwrym in Qara’ (Leviticus). There, in the opening sentence, Yahowah uses words which convey an open dialog between Himself and man on four occasions. And that is because Scripture is a discussion with our Creator. It should speak to us, just as God spoke to Moseh.
“Yahowah ( ) spoke to (dabar – conversed with) Moseh (Moseh – the one who draws out), saying (‘amar – speaking and promising, answering and vowing), ‘Speak (dabar – communicate these words) to the children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who live and abide with God, those who are empowered and preserved by God) and say to (‘amar – declare and promise) to (‘el) them (hemah): “Indeed when (ky) you arrive and enter (bow’ – come into) the land (‘erets – realm) of relationship which (‘asher) I (‘any) am giving (natan – assigning and bestowing) to you, and (wa) reap its harvest (qatsar ‘eth qatsyr), bring (bow’ ‘eth – arrive, come in, and draw near with) a sheaf (‘omer – a small, bound measure of grain (one-tenth ephah or about two quarts) bundled and ready for processing and transport) of the FirstFruits (re’shyth – the beginning, the first and the best; the choicest portion which has been set apart unto the foremost family) of your harvest (qatyr) to (‘el) the priest who officiates (kohen – the one who serves as a minister).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:9-10)
Now that we have been freed from the consequence and penalty of sin, as a result of Passover and Unleavened Bread, our souls are prepared for the FirstFruits Harvest. We will be going home. But not just to any home. As a result of becoming immortal and perfect sons and daughters of the Covenant, we are headed to the Promised Land – to live with Yahowah.
This is the first time Yahowah has mentioned “priests” in conjunction with His Towrah presentation of the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Him. Once the first grain crop has been separated from the ground and bundled so that it is ready for processing and transport, a collective sheaf is assembled and given to the priest who waves it in the air, symbolically demonstrating that the beneficiaries of Passover and Unleavened Bread are prepared to go to heaven. And that is exactly how this Miqra’ was fulfilled, with Yahowsha’ acting as our high priest, as we shall soon discover.
While celebrated by the entire community, the benefits of Passover and Unleavened Bread are personal and individual. To capitalize upon the bridge they provide between our mortal realm and God’s eternal abode, we must walk along a path which is so narrow, it is single file. But at the end of that journey, those who accept and rely upon God’s provision find themselves in good company—surrounded by their spiritual brothers and sisters.
When viewed as part of the whole of Scripture, the FirstFruits harvest is about filling up the first of three resort communities in paradise. With the exception of Enoch and Elyah, whose souls were called home long ago, the souls of all of those who chose to love God between Adam and Abraham, and those who embraced Yah’s Covenant Relationship between Abraham and Yahowsha’, were gathered together and taken to heaven during the celebration of FirstFruits in 33 CE—with Yahowsha’ serving as the reaper of these souls following His enactment of this Spiritual Harvest. The next group of mansions will be filled during the harvest of Taruw’ah, known as Trumpets, when the souls of those who followed the Way between the time of Yahowsha’s sacrifice and the beginning of the Tribulation, both living and dead, will be gathered together in the air and taken home. The last of those to receive their eternal inheritance will come to know their Heavenly Father during the Millennial Sabbath.
Passover predicts and explains the purpose of the blood of the Lamb, which is to free us from the consequence of sin—death. Unleavened Bread embodies the sacrifice God made to resolve the penalty of sin—separation. The FirstFruits’ Harvest is the result. It not only identifies the timing and purpose of the initial collective harvest, the pure barley grain speaks to the benefit of having our souls unleavened. Having “received His favor” based upon “our choice” we are “found acceptable and pleasing” to God. Our “debt is paid” so that we are “approved and found satisfactory.”
This verse confirms as much, adding the realization that our approval before God is a favor. Listen “And (wa) he, of his own volition, should lift up and wave (nowph – he should want to put the process into motion by elevating, presenting, and raising (hiphil stem perfect conjugation consecutive mood)), accordingly (‘eth), the sheaf (ha ‘omer/’amar – the small gathering of grain which is bundled and ready for processing and transport) to approach (la – to move toward and concerning) the presence of (paneh – before) Yahowah ( ), for the purpose of advancing (la – moving in the desired direction of) your desire for merciful acceptance (rasown – your yearning to capitalize upon the generous and favorable accommodation of being approved, your choice to be found acceptable and pleasing by way of preferential and auspicious treatment, you wanting to be found satisfactory, even delightful, freely acknowledging and pleased to know that your debt has been paid in full).
On (min – from, as part of, and by means of) the day after (mahorath – the next or following day) the Sabbath, the seventh day, the week, or the promise to settle debts (ha shabat – the time set apart for rest and reflection and to abstain from ordinary labor, the promise of complete resolution, or the seven day period) the priest (ha kohen – the one who serves as a minister) shall consistently raise and wave it (nowph – he shall continually set the process in motion, elevating, presenting, uplifting, and moving it (hiphil stem imperfect conjugation)).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:11)
Nowph, translated “lift up and wave,” can convey “to blow upon,” combining the Spirit, from ruwach, which also means “wind,” and soul, from nepesh, which also means “breath.” This reinforces the realization that to be accepted by Yahowah, God’s Spirit must anoint our soul, setting it apart for service. So in a word, nowph communicates the idea of being “lifted up” to heaven, being “presented to” God, and being “bathed” in the Spirit.
Rasown is equivalent to “mercy”—albeit more descriptive. Rasown conveys the essential truth that the “payment in full of our debt” is predicated upon the “exercise of freewill,” upon “making the choice” to “be accepted,” and to “please” God. Rasown reminds us that the entire process of being gathered in by our Heavenly Father, lifted up to heaven, and living in His presence, is the result of His “generous accommodation,” of Him treating us preferentially—which is to say “better than we deserve.”
A careful examination of Yahowah’s instructions regarding the Miqra’ of Matsah reveals that we are to avoid contributing to, completing, or mimicking the work of Yahowsha’ and the Set-Apart Spirit, especially on the first and seventh day of the festival feast. So while the shabat is the seventh day of the week, shabat also conveys the ideas of a week’s time or seven days, a time to rest and reflect, as well as the promise to settle debts, bringing an end to them. Yahowah did not use Shabathown, a term which instructs us to treat certain days associated with the Miqra’ey as if they fell on a Shabat, in His depiction of Matsah. Therefore, I suspect that the mahorath ha shabat reference is telling us to wave the sheath of grain the day after our debts are resolve on Matsah in recognition of Yahowah’s promise to settle our debts.
It should also be noted that the root of shabat, shaba’, means “a sworn promise,” inferring that we should reflect on God’s promises on this day. Shebeth, which is comprised from the same three Hebrew letters, means the “place where one lives,” and thus conveys the purpose of the promise, which is to include us in Yahowah’s Covenant family. Further, the “cease and desist” aspect of shabat is designed to tell us that we cannot earn our salvation—that it is a merciful gift, and not the result of works. Further, shabat means “to remove,” and thus confirms that our sins were removed on Matsah.
And let us not forget, saba’ as the root of shabat, also means “seven” in addition to “being totally and abundantly satisfied.” The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, our Saturday, not the first—Sunday. And, it was on the Sabbath that Yahowah healed and redeemed us, fulfilling the Miqra’ and totally satisfying our debt—something which brought “great satisfaction” to Him. And that means that the result of God’s formula, of six (man) plus one (God), is the “total and complete satisfaction” of man and God.
Before we move on, please note that the celebration of FirstFruits, unlike the Christian corruption and counterfeit called “Easter Sunday,” doesn’t fall on one particular day of the week each year, but instead on a particular day of the month—two sevens, or fourteen days, plus two from the start of the first month, Abyb. There is no Easter Sunday in Scripture. That holiday’s basis is purely Babylonian—right down to the Easter ham, Easter Bunny, and Easter eggs.
In Scripture and in history, on the fourteenth of ‘Abyb, which is Passover, the Sacrificial Lamb of God was offered so that we might live. On the fifteenth of ‘Abyb, which is Un-Yeasted Bread, Yahowsha’s soul paid the price to redeem us, enabling us to enjoy God’s company. And since this was the day God saved mankind, unleavening our souls of sin, we are asked not to contribute to His work, because God wants us to recognize that our salvation is a gift, something He paid for and is offering freely. So then as a result of us choosing to accept Yahowah’s generosity and please Him, every soul who had been redeemed prior to Bikuwrym, were brought together and harvested on FirstFruits, concurrent with Yahowsha’s fulfillment. In effect, we enter His home and God’s children. These events were predicted to play out over three successive days. And they did.
In the Word, you will find the Way. For example, Yasha’yahuw (Isaiah) 52 and 53 speak of the “Suffering Servant” who became the Passover Lamb. Mizmowr (Psalms) 22 and 88 explain how Yahowah paid the price to redeem us on the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. All four prophetic passages end predicting the glorious reunification of soul and Spirit foreshadowed by the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits.
Yahowsha’ ties this all together “And He said (legos – taught and affirmed) to them, ‘In this manner and way (houto) it is written (grapho – inscribed in the Word of God): the ΧΝ (placeholder for Ma’aseyah, the Anointed Implement of Yah) must experience suffering (pascho – must be afflicted in a horrible way and endure pain) and then rise up enabling others to rise (anistemi) out of (ek) lifelessness and abandonment (nekros – desolation and destitution) on the third day.” (Luke 24:46)
We’ll examine Yahowsha’s wave offering later in the chapter, but first, let’s finish the Miqra’ presentation. On the third day, on the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God of FirstFruits, Yahowah predicted Yahowsha’s assent from She’owl and with it, His and our transformation:
“And then (wa) you should choose to act (‘asah – you should want to actually engage, profiting from and celebrating) with regard to (ba) this day (yowm), you all raising and waving (nowph – elevate, present, and move (in the hiphil stem, those of us participating in this way engage the offering, and in the infinitive construct, blur any distinction between the action and the result with the verb acting as a noun)), accordingly (‘eth), the sheaf of gathered grain (‘omer/’amar – the small gathering of grain which is bundled and ready for processing and transport).
The perfect Lamb (kebes tamym – the blameless and innocent male lamb without any imperfection; from tamam, the one who accomplishes, completes, and fulfills) a son (ben), he changes and he is changed (shana – he will renew is renewed, he will transform and is transformed) for the purpose of (la) rising up (‘olah / ‘alah – being taken up and ascending as a result of a burnt offering) to (la) Yahowah ( ).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:12) I know such a Lamb. He changed and altered me. As a result of His work, I too will rise.
Do not miss the fact that to benefit from the promised provision of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikurym, we have to act, which is to respond to Yahowah’s Invitation, celebrating in the manner He prescribed. Therefore, to participate in the Covenant, to become part of our Heavenly Father’s family, to be perfected and transformed, rising up to heaven, we must engage, walking along the path Yahowah has provided.
In this verse, we are also witnessing a prediction of how FirstFruits would be fulfilled—by the Lamb of God, Yahowah’s Son. On this day, He was changed and altered, renewed and transformed by Yahowah’s Spirit, as His soul emerged from She’owl and was reconciled with the Set-Apart Spirit. That same day—Bikurym—He came to define the word, becoming the “first born child of the covenant,” rising up to the Father restored and transformed, demonstrating what Yahowah will do for all of His children.
So we have before us an explanation of the result of the work done by the “Kebes – Lamb” and “Ben – Son” on Pesach and by the “Ruwach Qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit” on Matsah, which is to transform and renew us so that we can rise from death unto life and, now “tamym – perfected,” can be taken up into the company of God as His “bikurym – first born children.” As a result of Passover and Unleavened Bread there is a FirstFruits Harvest. Because He was transformed and rose, so shall we.
There are two additional insights here worth our consideration. First, in accordance with Yahowah’s Towrah – Instructions, whatever remains of the Pesach “kebes – lamb” has to be incinerated that night, which is to say that the physical body of the lamb becomes “‘olah – a burnt offering.” This is what happened to Yahowsha’, which is why I suspect that the Shroud of Turin is authentic because there is an image of a crucified body irradiated upon the burial cloth.
This then leads to the second observation which is that the reason no one recognized the risen Yahowsha’ on the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym is because He wasn’t the same, at least not physically. His old corporeal body no longer existed. He had been transformed and changed into a spiritual being, and thus was now properly prepared to “‘olah – rise up” to heaven – the spiritual realm of God.
The key to understanding this concept, one explained in the formula E=mc2, is laden in the concept of “shana – change,” itself. You see, energy or light, can be converted into matter and matter can be transformed back into energy because matter is just a structured and diminished form of energy. That is to say that the spiritual state of light energy is vastly more powerful and capable than any corporeal being. But since there are times that converting energy into matter is advantageous, such as when walking, talking, or eating, just as Yahowsha’ was able to do this as a result of Bikuwrym, we too will one day have this transformative ability.
Also, in the name of full disclosure, shana, would be “year” if it had been written shanah. The former is a verb, meaning “to renew, to change, and to transform,” which is why the latter serves as a noun defining the annual cycle of change, transformation, and renewal which occurs during the process of a year.
Next, Yahowah details some of the additional ingredients associated with this gift. And while I can’t say for sure, I believe that the “double tithe” represents the salvation of Gowym in addition to Yahuwdym.
“And so (wa) his sacrifice and gift (minchah – his present and offering), both a double portion (shanaym – two times, a second time, twice, or both), for a tenfold enrichment and empowerment of (‘isarown – a compound of ‘eser – ten and tenfold and ‘asar – to enrich with ‘own – empowerment and growth of) purified grain (coleth – bread flour with the hulls removed revealing the inner pristine kernel, distinguished from whole grain inclusive of its impurities) combined with (balal ba – poured upon with) the oil (ha semen – the olive oil) of the maternal manifestation of God’s light (‘iseh/‘isah – of the mother who enlightens and elevates, the feminine aspect of God’s fire) to approach (la – according to and in relation to) Yahowah ( ), a pleasing Spirit (ruyach – a pleasant and soothing perception of acceptance; from ruwach, the Spirit) of reconciliation (nychowach – of restoration, of relationship, of appeasement, of conciliation, of tranquility and harmonious fellowship, from nuwach, to rest in peace).
And (wa) his poured out offering (necek – his anointing which is dispensed) of wine (yayn – that which demonstrates liveliness and exhilaration; a symbol of bloodshed), a fourth part (raby’y – that which makes us square and thus complete) of the unit of measure (hyn – of the prescribed quantity).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:13) Oil and wine represent the work of the Spirit and the Lamb. Purified grain denotes the souls who have chosen to avail themselves of these things.
So if the lamb, which is symbolic or Passover, is the first part, the oil, which represents the Spirit’s work on Unleavened Bread is the second portion, making the purified grain, or souls which rise up to heaven on FirstFruits, the third part, so that the wine, which denotes redemption, is being poured out as the fourth ingredient in this recipe for reconciliation. This suggests that Bikuwrym is the result of Pesach and Matsah.
Reconciliation is the gift of God. It comes by way of being bathed in the Lamb’s blood and having the Spirit poured upon us. Yahowah is saying that when our souls, represented by the purified grain, are anointed in His Spirit, represented by the oil, and are bathed in His blood, represented by the wine, they are prepared to rise up to Him, represented by the wave offering.
There are three additional insights worth considering. First, the reason there is to be a “fourth part” of wine is because four is symbolic of completion. The quantity of blood God shed on our behalf is the quantity needed to make us square, or right, with our Maker.
Second, grain, grapes, and olives all share something in common. To be useful to us, they must be crushed. The same is true of the Ma’aseyah.
And third, when we search the meaning of ‘isarown, we discover that this word shares an association not only with “‘esar – ten,” but is also a compound of “‘asar – being enriched” and “‘own – being empowered.” These gifts represent two of the five benefits of the Covenant, along with becoming immortal and perfect en route to being adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family. Even more telling, the very purpose of FirstFruits is for us to become children of the Covenant so that we might be “‘isarown – enlightened and empowered” by our Heavenly Father. In fact, those born on FirstFruits receive these specific benefits on Seven Sabbaths. And from this perspective, we can expect to “‘isarown – grow tenfold,” because provision God is providing.
Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits describe the most essential three days in all of human history. They alone provide the Way home. “Do not (lo’) eat (‘akal – consume) the bread (lehem), roasted grain (qaly), or ripe orchard fruit (karmel – garden produce) until (‘ad) the essential, substantive, and foundational (‘esem – skeletal and invigorating, life sustaining) day (yowm), until (‘ad) this specific (zeh) arrival and harvest (bow’) offering and gift which draws you close to (qaraban atem – voluntary contribution to bring you near) your (atem) God (‘elohym).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:14)
The Miqra’ey present the Way, then, now, and forever: “It shall be a clearly communicated prescription of what you should do (chuqah – an appointment for an allotment, an engraved recommendation regarding being cut into the covenant) forever (‘owlam – eternally) throughout your generations (dowr – for all time, ages, and conditions) in all your assemblies and dwellings (moshab - settlements, abodes, locations, populations, situations, and sojourns).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:14)
Chuqah, translated “a clearly communicated prescription of what you should do,” is identical in the revealed text to chaqah, which means that God’s instruction “was engraved,” literally “cut in stone.” Those who want to be allotted their share of heavenly inheritance would do well to keep this appointment with God.
There is a singular purpose of Scripture, of that which Yahowah has engraved and set in stone, and it has been defined in this passage. The Word exists to restore fellowship so that we can be at peace with our Heavenly Father and live with Him.
In the “Matsah – Unleavened Bread” chapter, we reviewed the Numbers 28:16-25 presentation of the Called-Out Assemblies of Passover and Unleavened Bread. In the 26th verse, this discussion transitions from them to the result—to the celebration of Bikuwrym and Shabuwa’. While these Festivals are separated by fifty days, they work together because they are part of the same plan—successive steps along the same path.
“And on (ba – during) the day (yowm) of FirstFruits (Bikuwrym – the harvest of the first born), when (ba) you (‘eham) approach with (qarab – arrive and come into close proximity to, when your personal presence joins together with) the renewing and restoring (chadash – repairing) offering and gift (minhah – the unearned and undeserved sacrificial present) which moves you toward (la) Yahowah ( ) during (ba) the Feast of Sevens (Shabuwa’ – Festival of Weeks), a Set-Apart (qodesh – cleansing and purifying) Called-Out Assembly Meeting (miqra’ – summons to a meeting for reading and reciting that which brings the community together) will exist (hayah) on your behalf (la ‘eham – concerning you).
All things related to (kol) the service of the visible manifestation of God (mala’kah – business, duty and work of heaven’s messenger and representative) you shall not (lo’) engage in (‘asah – perform, assign, or do).” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:26)
Lest we forget, our walk home is seven steps long, not just one or two. As we have learned, Passover resolves the consequence of sin, and Unleavened Bread resolves its penalty, working together to prepare us for the FirstFruits Harvest. Yet the means home isn’t found in the sheaf of grain, saturated as it may be with oil and wine, or its movement toward the heavens, but instead through the cleaning and purification provided by the Set-Apart Spirit. The Miqra’ of Shabuwa’ celebrates the role our Spiritual Mother plays in our salvation, an essential step in our renewal and restoration, ultimately moving us into the presence of God.
“Approach (qarab – arrive and come into close proximity to, draw near and enter into the personal presence, and join in fellowship together) with (la – alongside) the offering which elevates (‘olah / ‘alah – that which ascends, carries away, and lifts up), the pleasing Spirit (ruyach – from ruwach) of reconciliation (nyhohoch – restoration, relationship, and appeasement, of conciliation and tranquility, of harmonious fellowship) unto (la – toward, on behalf of, according to, and in relation to) Yahowah ( ) ” (Bamidbar / In the Wilderness / Numbers 28:27)
The Miqra’ey are family affairs. Our Heavenly Father, our Spiritual Mother, and the Son all contribute to building the family of God.
Before we examine the eyewitness account of the fulfillment of the third Miqra’, let’s see how the Yisra’elites celebrated it. For them, it was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. Yahowsha’, the son of Nun (meaning “the Everlasting”), had led His people into the Promised Land. After crossing the Jordan River and gazing westward at the mountains of Mowryah: “Yahowah ( ) said (‘amar – answered and spoke) to (‘el) Yahowsha’ ( ), ‘This (ha) day (yowm) I have rolled away (galal) the reproach (herpah – scorn and shame, the blame and reprimand you have earned based upon your behavior, the taunts, slurs, and insults; the disgrace, rebuke, and disapproved status) of the crucible (misraym – the time of testing and oppression in Egypt) from (min) upon (‘al) you (‘atem).’
The name (shem) of this (huw’ – of His) standing place (maqowm – upright abode and home whereby one rises, is affirmed, and is validated) is called (qara’) Gilgal (gilgal – the place of rolling away) to (‘ad – up until) this (zeh) day (yowm).” (Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saves / Joshua 5:9)
This was both a declarative statement and a prophetic announcement. After 400 years of being scorned and shamed as slaves in Egypt, and then after 40 years of taunting and insulting their Savior during their wilderness wanderings, the Children of Yisra’el were now free, standing upright in the Promised Land. Just as the Jordan River rolled past them, centuries of reproach flowed into the Dead Sea. It was a new beginning.
Prophetically, our new beginning commenced when Yahowah rolled away the stone from the tomb, commemorating the release of Yahowsha’s soul from She’owl, and then reunifying soul with Spirit showing His victory over death and damnation. That tomb was carved into the same mountain upon which the Yisra’elites were now gazing, the same mountain upon which Yahowsha’ suffered on the upright pole—Mowryah. This was the “standing place,” the place where God stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. It was the place where Yahowah rolled away the reproach from all mankind and freed us from the crucible of separation.
But there is even more to the prophecy of Gilgal than this. In the weathered limestone face of Mowryah (meaning to Revere Yah), directly behind where Yahowsha’ was crucified, and directly below where He was buried (sites separated by less than one hundred meters), massive recesses depicting two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, the elements of a human skull, can be seen in the rock face, even to this day. It is why the escarpment outside of the Damascus Gate was called “Gulgoleth,” meaning “skull” in Hebrew. (As a result of the “New Testament’s” preeminence in Christendom, you are probably more familiar with the name “Golgotha,” a transliteration of the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Gulgoleth.)
So, here is the interesting part: Gulgoleth and Gilgal are so similar, in that they share the same initial four letters, g-l-g-l, one follows the other in most all Hebrew lexicons. While this might be nothing more than a remarkable coincidence, I think it was designed to be prophetic, and serve as another facet in the world’s most brilliant diamond—the Greatest Story Ever Told.
I have been in the Garden Tomb, and I have seen the trench below the doorway where the “gilgal/stone was rolled away” after Yahowsha’ redeemed us on the Miqra’ of Matsah. I have peered into the empty tomb, just as the women, and the Disciples Yahowchanan and Shim’own had done. And I have stood at the very place Yahowsha’ was nailed to the upright pole on the Miqra’ of Pesach. I have gazed up upon the recesses which form the appearance of a human skull, still visible in the side of Mount Mowryah. And by doing so, I have walked directly over the Ark of the Covenant, still protected in Yirmayahuw’s (Jeremiah’s) Grotto, still stained by the Ma’aseyah’s blood, still containing the Ten Statements Yahowah chiseled in stone, still embracing the original copy of the Towrah, all guarded by one of God’s messengers, just seven yards below my feet. And I will return on the day Yahowah lifts it from the earth and builds His Millennial Temple over this site.
To put this all in perspective, the Damascus gate is 600 steps (thus 600 meters or yards) northwest of the Temple, as it stood the day Yahowsha’ fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. And while Golgotha is another 200 strides north-northeast of the Damascus gate, in a direct line of site, the most important place on earth is exactly 700 steps northwest of where the Temple once stood—rising exactly 777 meters above sea level. The temporary tomb, in which Yahowsha’s body was laid before His soul endured Matsah, gilgal-rolling away our reproach, is but a stone’s throw away, west-by-north-west, on the very summit of Mount Mowryah. The reason I share this is because walking, and thus the length of the human stride, is an essential part of the Covenant. And based upon His design, everything, right down to the smallest details, appears to be multiples of seven.
While we are in the midst of this discussion, where the meaning of names (Gulgoleth and Gilgal) is being emphasized, let’s examine the most important ones. Yahowah (יהוה – written right to left in Babylonian Hebrew) gave Moseh the basis of His name prior to the Exodus: hayah. It means “I Exist.” “I Was, I Am, and I Will Be.” Yahowah’s name, therefore, answers the most important question humankind can ask, for if God exists, knowing Him becomes central to understanding who we are, why we were created, and how we might live forever. Moreover, we should not be surprised that hayah is related to hay, sometimes vocalized, chay, the Hebrew word for “life and restoration.” And that is because Yahowah is the source of eternal life.
God’s name is comprised of four commonly used Ancient Hebrew letters: . (If you are reading this at YadaYah.com, you will find the Creator’s name written in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet in the header as: ) In the original script of revelation, the first letter in God’s name, a “Y,” was known as a yad. It was a vowel-consonant similar to the “y” in English.
The second letter, hey, depicted a soft “H,” and was vocalized “ah.” The initial letters, YH, in Yahowah and Yahowsha’, were therefore pronounced “Yah.”
The “W,” or wah, found both in Yahowah and Yahowsha’ (יְהֹושֻׁעַ – written right to left in Babylonian Hebrew) designated the vowel “o” in Ancient and Paleo-Hebrew. Therefore, YHW, is pronounced “Yahow” in both names.
With the addition of a second “H,” God’s lone personal and proper designation becomes “Yahowah.” This means that God’s name can be transliterated Yahowah or Yahwah, recognizing that the “w” is a vowel.
Returning to the Savior’s designation, , the “sha’” suffix is a contraction of yasha’ (יְשֻׁעַ), meaning “salvation, savior, and saves.” When we combine Yahow and sha’, we get: “Yah Saves.”
Collectively then, this means that God has but one name—Yahowah. Yahowsha’ simply defines who He is and what He has done for us. Instead of a name—Yahowsha’ is an identity designation and a mission statement.
Returning to the scene of the first celebration of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym in the Promised Land, the Gilgal encampment was located just fifteen miles (twenty-four kilometers) due east of today’s Jerusalem, at what is now the beginning of Route 1 in Israel. The Mount of Olives loomed on the western horizon, with Mount Mowryah slightly to the left, and a half mile beyond. At the point they crossed the Jordan River, they would have been a few miles north of the Dead Sea, putting them approximately 1,350 feet below sea level. The Mount of Olives and Mount Mowryah to their west still rise above an 800 meter contour line, making them 2,650 feet above sea level, which would have been exactly 4,000 feet above the Gilgal camp. They had endured 400 years of captivity, and 40 years of wilderness wanderings, and now they were 4,000 feet below the site Scripture’s ultimate promise would be fulfilled.
“Now (wa) the children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who engage and endure with God) camped (hanah – pitched their tents and rested, establishing their families) in (ba) Gilgal (gilgal – the place of rolling away), and observed (‘asah – prepared, acted out, celebrated, and benefited from) Passover (Pesach) on the fourteenth (‘araba’ ‘asar – four, meaning to be square; and ten, thus 14th) day (yowm) of the month (hodes – time of renewal) at twilight (‘ereb – at sunset, the beginning of the Scriptural day) in the desert plain (‘arabah – dusty, dry, barren, desolate, and isolated area) of Yarychow.” (Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saves / Joshua 5:10)
This was the fortieth anniversary of the first Passover, making this Abyb 14, 1407 BCE. It would be another 440 years before Solomon would dedicate Yahowah’s Temple on land David would purchase from Araunah the Jebusite.
While the promise of Gilgal was real, and Gulgoleth/Golgotha was surely on the horizon, there is more to our salvation than having our inequity removed. Just because we can come into God’s home, doesn’t mean that we have done so. Spiritually, the Yisra’elites were still in ‘Arabah, and Yahowah’s presence was centered over Mowryah. Therefore, we should not be surprised that ‘arab and ‘arabah convey “dust,” the essence of man without God. The root means to “be dry,” which is to be without God’s living waters. ‘Arab means to “be barren,” which is to be lifeless, the fate of souls who live without God. Similarly, ‘arab means “to be isolated,” that is “separated from” Yahowah.
In addition to all of this, ‘arab conveys “to make a bargain,” to “put up a security,” and to “help someone meet a need.” Therefore, it speaks of the role Yahowsha’ would play in our salvation on the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym—where our iniquity was rolled away. But these are just the first three of seven steps home. While our rebellion was gilgal by these events, we must still choose to avail ourselves of them and then walk home—a path which takes us through the Called-Out Assemblies of Sevens, Trumpets, and Reconciliations before we find ourselves camping out with God on Tabernacles.
On the negative side, ‘arab can mean “to mingle religions together and thereby create social and political upheaval and disorder.” Such is the cause and result of Islam, a caustic blend of the Occult and Judaism. Vocalized as ‘ereb, it means “foreigners, people who are not associated with the group and who are not known.” Further, ‘arab speaks of the race which would create Islam—a religion which has caused billions of souls to live and die outside of God’s company.
On the positive side, ‘arab can mean “to become pleasing and acceptable, to be welcomed as a result of a favor.” Such is the cause and the result of the Called-Out Assemblies—the enablement of the Covenant. And in this light, ‘arubah means “to provide assurance by way of a message, to confidently guarantee the payment of a debt, and to fulfill an obligation or promise which results in a favorable and secure outcome for the beneficiary.” As such, it is a summary of God’s plan of redemption. ‘Arabah confirms that we are saved from lifelessness and isolation.
Jericho, or more correctly Yarychow, is based upon yaryb and yarha’ which mean “adversary” and “morally perverse and reckless.” Collectively, they identify Satan as the head of an “errant and dangerous religion” which “inspires senseless behavior.” Yarychow is also related to yareach, making it the “city of the moon,” symbolic of moon-god worshiping Muslims who live there today.
“And (wa) during (ba – in and on) this specific (zeh) essential and substantive (‘esem – the skeletal and foundational, the life-sustaining and invigorating) next day after (maharat) the Passover (pesach), they ate (‘akal – consumed) toasted (qalah – roasted) unleavened bread (matsah – baked grain without yeast) out of (min) the produce (‘abuwr – yield) of the Land (‘erets).” (Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saves / Joshua 5:11)
The order of things is important to Yahowah. We are invited to enjoy the FirstFruits of the Land after we have capitalized upon Passover and Unleavened Bread. Moreover, this passage affirms that Unleavened Bread is “essential, substantive, and life-sustaining”—something Christians universally miss.
“Then (wa) the manna (man – meaning what, were, how, and why) ceased (shabat) on the day after (maharat) they had eaten (‘akal – consumed) the produce of (‘abuwr – the crop which comes from) the land (‘erets). And the children (ben – sons) of Yisra’el no (lo’) longer (‘od – now or ever again) existed (hayah) on manna. They were nourished by (‘akal min – and ate from) the produce harvested (tabuw’ah – the increased value generated by and gathered in, the fruit yielded) from (min) the land (‘erets) of Cana’an (kana’an) that year (sanah – time of change).” (Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saves / Joshua 5:12) God was still providing for His children. After all, it was He who gave them this land.
The timing was just as God had planned it as well. The Children of Yisra’el celebrated the Passover on the appointed day, the fourteenth of Abyb, followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the fifteenth, in which they tasted the grain of Canaan for the first time. The manna—that miraculous substance that had sustained them for forty years during their wilderness wanderings—ceased on the very next day, the sixteenth, because they were now the FirstFruits of the Promised Land.
The Yisra’elites waved their sheaf of barley before Yahowah, thankful for His provision. The prophetic portrait included a grain offering anointed with oil, symbolic of souls immersed in the Spirit, and a drink offering of wine—representing the Ma’aseyah’s blood shed for the forgiveness of sin, and of course the perfect Lamb, the very son of the living God. Together they brought peace, replacing the rotten stench of sin with the pleasant aroma of restoration. Just as the manna was a temporary measure, a harbinger of God’s future provision in the land of promise, the Towrah itself was meant to be a picture, a prediction, of Yahowah’s coming redemption—of Gilgal and Gulgoleth.
This perfect son, this unblemished male lamb, was sacrificed and consumed by fire—that is to say judged—so that we wouldn’t be. His soul was leavened with our sin, a debt He would pay by spending the Miqra’ of Matsah in the dark and lifeless crucible of hell. But then, the next day, in fulfillment and celebration of the Festival of FirstFruits, He rose, ascending to Yahowah, bringing a harvest of souls along with Him.
Now that we know the schedule and understand the plan, let’s turn our attention to what happened on the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits, the 16th of Abyb in Yahowah’s year 4,000—exactly four thousand years after the fall of man. By our reckoning of time it was just before sunrise, the first day of the week, long before sunrise on a Sunday, April 1st, 33 CE.
As we have seen with the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread, there was a literal day-for-day fulfillment of the Miqra’ey in the life and sacrifice of Yahowsha’. So, this is what happened on the Feast of FirstFruits, one remarkable morning in Jerusalem “Now (de) on the first day of the week (heis sabatown – literally “on the one Sabbath”), very early in the morning (atheia orthros – as others slept before dawn), they [the Galilean women] came (erchomai) to (epi) the burial tomb (mnema – the sepulcher and memorial site), bringing (pheromai – carrying) the fragrant anointing spices (aroma – perfumed ointments, salves, and scented oils) which they had prepared (hetoimazo – made ready). But (de) they found (heuriskomai – discovered and learned) that the stone (lithos) had been rolled away (apokylio) from (apo) the tomb (mnemeion).” (Luke 24:1-2) Gilgal had been fulfilled, as had Bikuwrym.
While the circular stone has long since vanished, the size of the doorway and the width of the track below it, suggest something in the order of a six-foot-in-diameter stone which was ten-inches thick. It would have weighed several thousand pounds. The tomb itself was not large. To enter the doorway, one has to bend over. Once inside, there is an area sufficient for several people to stand while attending to a body stretched out on a six-foot-long bed carved out of limestone along the interior wall.
“They went in (eiserchomai – entered) but (de) did not (ou) find (heurisko) the body (soma) of the (ho) ΚΥ ΙΥ (placeholders for the Mighty One, Yahowsha’). In (en) that they came to be (ginomai) perplexed (aporeo – at a loss and puzzled) concerning (peri – regarding) this, suddenly (idou – behold, they looked and noticed) two (duo) men (andros) appeared standing nearby (ephistemi – instantly approached and stood). They were clothed (esthes – adorned) in (en) dazzling and brilliant light (astrapto – shining like stars).” (Luke 24:3-4) Fact is, in accordance with Yahowah’s Passover instructions, Yahowsha’s body ceased to exist not long after it was sacrificed as the Passover Lamb.
The key word in this passage is ephistemi, a compound of epi, indicating “closeness with regard to proximity,” and histemi, the foundational term of the Greek manuscripts documenting Yahowsha’s life. Histemi means “to stand upright, and to take a stand so as to enable others to stand.” It not only describes what Yahowsha’ did for us on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, histemi is the root of stauroo, the word chosen to describe the “process of nailing Him to a stake and then driving the timber into the ground so that the pole stood upright.”
Tying this to the Covenant, Abraham was asked to walk out of Babylon, to walk with God, to be conversant with Yah, and to be upright and straight with Him. Save “conversant,” these concepts are all histemi. But sadly, this essential insight was lost when the Catholic Church, in seeking to synchronize the Christian religion with its Babylonian roots, replaced “upright pole” with crux, which became cross—the very symbol of Christendom.
I realize that you will find “the Lord Jesus” and not “KY IY” or “the Mighty One, Yahowsha’” in your English bible. But, the Greek equivalent of “Lord Jesus” isn’t written out on any page of any of the oldest and most trustworthy manuscripts. The KY placeholder, if it is indeed based upon kurios, would most accurately translate “mighty and powerful one, one with ultimate authority,” and thus would be very similar to the Hebrew ‘elohym, meaning “mighty one,” and thus “God,” as He is the universal “power and authority.” It would, however, be inappropriate to render KY “Lord,” in that Lord is the Scriptural title attributed to Satan (from Ba’al), and it defines the Adversary’s ambition—which is to control mankind.
Yahowah wants us to engage, which is what these women were doing. They had made the necessary preparations and were ready to serve God, long before the sun had risen. Moreover, Yahowah answers honest seekers. They were concerned that the stone had been rolled away, and perplexed by the absence of Yahowsha’s body. So, in an instant, Yahowah provided answers in the form of Spiritual messengers.
And you’ll notice that these Spiritual beings appeared as if they were light—revealing the very thing which made them eternal, provided their power, and enabled them to enlighten others. We will one day be like them in this regard.
“Frightened (emphobos – terrified and trembling) then, they began to (ginomai) incline (klino) their faces (prosopon) to the ground (ges – earth and land).” (Luke 24:5)
These heavenly messengers weren’t even a million-billion-trillionth as brilliant as Yahowah, and yet their radiance was so startling, so overwhelming, it scared even these women who had lived with the diminished manifestation of God to the point of trembling. It is why Yahowah diminished part of Himself and became a man, to reveal His nature and to save us. Had He not done so, He would have engendered fear rather than reverence. He would have caused us to bow down, rather than facilitated our ability to stand with Him.
As cited previously, Yahowah’s name is based upon hayah, meaning “exists,” and it is related to hay, “life,” because we exist as a result of what He did as our Creator, and we live as a result of what He did as our Savior. Therefore, you won’t find God among the dead, but instead among the living. “And they [Yahowah’s messengers] said to them [the women], ‘Why do you seek (zeteo – endeavor to find) the ZΩ (placeholder for one who lives from zao – life) among (meta – with) the dead (nekros – those destitute of life)? He is not (ou) existing (eimi) here (hode – in this place), but (alla – instead) He has been restored and stands upright (egeiromai – has been aroused, lifted up, caused to stand, and appear in public)!’” (Luke 24:5-6) God did for Him, what He has promised to do for us.
There are two interesting aspects of egeiromai. In addition to describing the restoration of relationship via the reintegration of Spirit and soul, the Greek term reinforces the importance of histemi—“to stand so as to enable others to stand”—in that its primary meaning is “to cause to stand up.” In addition, egeiromai means “wake up, become aware, think carefully, and pay attention” to the essence of what occurred during these three days—the most important three days in human history.
Notice that Yahowah’s messengers led the women to the answers they were seeking. In this regard, their methodology was consistent with the whole of Scripture, and indeed with Yahowsha’s style of teaching as well. God told us what He was going to do, and He explained why He was going to do it, 1,500 years in advance of honoring His commitment.
“‘Remember (mimneskomai – be sufficiently concerned to think again, recall the information provided, and respond appropriately to) the manner in which (hos – how) He spoke (laleo – conversed with and talked) to you when He was still (eti) present (eimi) in Galilee (Galilaia – a transliteration of the Hebrew gilgal, meaning “to roll away”), saying (lego – affirming and providing meaning), “It is necessary and inevitable (dei – proper and beneficial) that the Son (huios) of ΑΝΘΥ (placeholder for anthropos, Man) be delivered (paradidomi – be betrayed and be handed over) into (eis) the hands (cheir – authority and control) of perpetually sinful and mistaken (hamartolos – especially errant, lost, wicked, and heathen) men (anthropos – human males), and then (kai) ΣΡΩΘΗΥΑΙ (placeholder for stauroo – be affixed to and lifted upon an upright pole, be nailed onto a wood stake which was driven into the ground; based on stauros, meaning an upright pole or pillar), and on the third (tritos) day (hemera) return to life and stand up (anistemi – come back into existence).”’ And they remembered (mimneskomai – recalled and responded to) His words (rhema – statements).” (Luke 24:6-8) This, the third day, was the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym. We are witnessing its fulfillment.
The single most important part of this passage isn’t that Yahowsha’ was no longer suffering in the realm of the dead in fulfillment of Unleavened Bread, or that He had become a new creation, fulfilling FirstFruits, but that God predicted that this would all occur and that He told us why it would happen so that we would come to know Him, trust Him, and love Him. The accounts we have been reading in the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms lay out and explain God’s plan. Without these insights, we are not unlike these women were before they were told what to consider, trembling in fear of a God we do not know or understand.
Paradidomi, used in the midst of the previous passage, means more than just “be betrayed and be delivered over to” someone. It suggests that the person will be “placed in custody, be assaulted verbally, will be judged treacherously, condemned unjustly, punished, scourged, put to death, and even tormented.” Para indicates that the abuse and abusers are not far away. Didomi on the other hand, apart from para, is an “advantageous gift and beneficial reward,” indicating the reason behind the torment He endured.
Stauroo is a verb based upon the noun stauros. The verb literally means “to affix and fasten, often by nails, a person to a stake, and then to drive that timber into the ground so that it is standing upright.” It was rendered in all caps with a line over them, telling us that there was a Divine connotation to the word. And indeed there is. The upright timber upon which the Lamb of God’s blood was shed is a reference to the upright pillars of the doorway to life depicted in the first Passover. And Yahowsha’ is the Upright One who stood up for us so that we could stand with Him.
As mentioned previously, it is a tragedy that a Catholic cleric, in honor of Constantine’s vision of a cross superimposed upon his god, the sun, saw fit to damn hundreds of millions of souls by corrupting and concealing Yahowah’s message, changing “affixed to an upright pole” to crucify and cross.
And speaking of stauros, it is based upon histemi, meaning “to stand so as to enable others to stand,” as is anistemi, the word translated “return to life and stand up” at the end of the seventh verse. And that is because these things are all interrelated.
Yahowsha’ had been, and would continue to be, God His entire existence, but He would not always be human. And that is one of two reasons the Heavenly messengers referred to Him as “the Son of Man.” The other is that Yahowsha’ used the title in recognition that He was more than just the Dany’el (Daniel) 9:26 suffering Ma’aseyah, but also the glorious “Son of Man” who, in Dany’el 7:13, is predicted to return and rule. Yet knowing that He wasn’t the son of an ordinary man, instead of using a placeholder for “huios/son,” as was the custom in all old manuscripts, Luke scribed a placeholder for anthropos/man in this case.
By inspiring Him to do so, Yahowah directed our attention to Dany’el’s Aramaic prophecy: “Watch for and see (hazah – come to understand, perceive, and realize the revelation) that which will come to exist (hawah – will take place) by way of (ba) a visual appearance (hezuw – an unexpected sight and phenomenon predicted divinely in prophecy) at night (layla), and (wa) behold (‘aruw – look and see) among (‘im – along with and accompanying) heaven’s (samaym) clouds (‘anan) in accord with His will (ka – the corresponding semblance and likeness of) the Son (bar) of Man (‘enas – of an individual representing all humankind) shall arrive (‘athah – traveling with others), coming to exist in a changed state (hawah – and be known as life preserving life) forever (‘ad – eternally without end), engendering respect and veneration in ancient (‘athyq – previous) days (yowm – times) before (qodam) He (huw’) will reach out in relationship (meta’ – extend from the source and approach with His presence for the purpose of an association).” (Dany’el / Daniel 7:13) The Son of Man: He who was is He who will be.
There were two portraits of God painted in Dany’el. “The Ma’aseyah, the Prince of Restoration” would arrive in “Jerusalem” to be “cut off, but not for Himself.” This was the Lamb of God, the Suffering Servant, who became the Passover sacrifice. And then there would be “the Son of Man” who would descend from the heavens in power and glory:
“And to (la) Him (huw’) is given (yehab – entrusted) absolute authority and unlimited power (saletan – complete dominion), reverence, and glory (yeqar – the dignity, respect, and honor of holding the highest status), and unquestioned sovereignty (malkuw – kingship and the right to reign). And all (kol) the people (‘am), families (‘im – fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, as well as nations) and tongues (lason) shall revere and cleave to (palah – serve and honor) Him (huw’). His dominion (saletan) shall last forever (‘alam – eternally without end). His authority and power (saletan) shall never (la’) cease or be annulled (‘adah – pass away). His kingdom (malkuw) shall never (la’) perish or be destroyed (habal).” (Dany’el / Daniel 7:14)
So now you know why Yahowah’s messengers, as well as Yahowsha’ Himself, referred to the Ma’aseyah as “the Son of Man.” Once again, the answer was in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
Before we press forward, I’d like to clear up two issues which have arisen in Luke’s presentation of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym. First, those who wish to know Yahowah and understand His plan, must come to terms with the fact that there are seven names and titles, most of which are never written out on any page of any of the seventy first-, second-, and third-century manuscripts which have been found of the Greek eyewitness accounts. A placeholder is always used for Yahowsha’s name, as well as for the titles: God (especially when it represents Yahowah’s name), Upright One, Ma’aseyah, and Spirit, and often for Father and Son, when used in reference to the Divine. Man, when used in the phrase “Son of Man,” is often rendered with a placeholder too, as a way of communicating that His Father wasn’t human. And finally, stauros, meaning “upright pole,” and its verb form strauroo, “to affix someone to a stake, and then drive the pole into the ground, making it upright,” are usually, but not always, conveyed in this unique form.
With regard to Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s names, the reason is obvious. They cannot be accurately transliterated using the Greek alphabet. And that’s not a problem, so long as Scripture is read from beginning to end, and is evaluated as a collective whole, rather than as if the end is all that matters. And as it relates to the titles Yahowah has chosen, there is but one rational explanation for the consistent use of placeholders in every pre-Constantine Greek manuscript. The Hebrew basis of these words more accurately conveys Yah’s nature. For if the placeholders were written “out of reverence,” as theologians now claim, it would mean that the God who inspired the Towrah, where every name and title is always written out, wasn’t the same as the one spoken of in the Greek texts, and was too high and mighty to be addressed by name or in common terms.
The oldest existing manuscript containing the 24th chapter of Luke is P75, dating to the late second-century. One hundred forty-four pages of it have been found, covering most of Luke and Yahowchanan. It was written by a professional scribe and is considered to be one of the most reliable texts ever discovered. So, while the capitalized Greek characters used in all of the manuscripts written prior to Constantine may be distracting, it’s important that you know that there was a reason Yahowah used placeholders. They point to the place we must go for understanding: the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
The truth, presented from the proper perspective, transformed these women from trembling to troubadours. “And (kai) changing their mind and returning (hupostrepho – regaining their convictions and turning around), they separated themselves from (apo) the realm of the dead (mnemeion – the burial tomb and memorial sepulcher), and as messengers, reported (apaggello – confessed and acknowledged what they had witnessed and provided an informative announcement) of all of these things (pas houtos) to the eleven and also to others (loipos – to the rest who remained).” (Luke 24:9) If only the whole world followed this example.
Apaggello is based upon aggelos, which conveys: “messenger who is sent.” Unfortunately, aggelos was transliterated “angels” in most English bibles, depriving readers of the word’s meaning. The correlation between these terms suggests that the women were now God’s messengers, just as surely as were those who enlightened them at the empty tomb. It is the role we are all asked to play.
Even when it sounds better, even when it makes more sense, truth is a hard thing for people raised in political and religious societies to accept. It is as if man’s customs, traditions, and dogmas trump evidence and reason. “But the enlightenment (phaino – that which was brought to light and became known and evident) in their presence (enopion – which was acknowledged in plain sight using sound judgment, right in their faces and directly in front of them) came across as (hosei – seemed to them like) nonsensical (leros – foolish conjecture and baseless opinions, completely worthless) statements (rhematos – words and speech), and they did not think they were trustworthy or reliable (apisteo – that they were unbelievable and false).” (Luke 24:11)
This is the kind of reception the truthful, trustworthy, and reliable enlightenment found in Yahowah’s Word receives when it is presented in the presence of devoutly religious and/or politically inspired individuals. They are more comfortable clinging to lies.
The New American Standard Bible claims that “some ancient manuscripts omit verse 12,” and yet, it is there in Parchment 75—the oldest extant witness of Luke. It speaks of the reason we are called to be messengers and witnesses. Sometimes the truth finds fertile ground even in the rockiest places and sparks an appropriate reaction.
“So then (de) Petros (petros – the stone and rocky place) stood up (anistemi – returned to life, was helped to his feet, and rose, standing upright) and ran (trecho – invested the energy and effort to move quickly, rapidly making progress) toward (epi) the tomb (mnemeion – grave, memorial, and sepulcher) and stooped to see (parakupto – bent over to intently investigate and get a closer look, demonstrating a desire to learn), and considered (blepso – was able to visually look at, think about, and understand) the swath of linen (othonion – strips of cloth bandage used in burials) without accompaniment (monos – alone, by itself, abandoned and forsaken). And he departed (aperchomai), advantageously (pros) astonished and marveling in admiration (thaumazo – amazed and extraordinarily impressed) by what had come to be (ginomai – had happened, taken place, and had come to exist).” (Luke 24:12)
The fellow on a mission, the one who listened to what Yahowah’s heavenly messengers had to say as reported by the women, had been Shim’own, transliterated “Simon,” until just a few days ago. Appropriately, his name was based upon shama’, meaning: “to listen to and to understand.”
However, as it relates to the claims of Roman Catholicism, which have errantly anointed Peter Pope, and erroneously insisted the their religion was “build upon this rock, it is interesting to note, that as petros was used by Homer, the most prolific of Greek authors, it always meant “stone,” and never “rock,” depicting something small enough to be thrown by a man.
And indeed, according to the eyewitness testimony, Shim’own was tossed to and fro, and at times was hardheaded, living up to his new moniker. But as His former name implies, he listened, and ultimately understood. The heart and soul, the very essence of the message is that Yahowsha’ as the Ma’aseyah fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits exactly as He had promised. And the consequence of that was indeed, good news.
Speaking of the merit of viewing Yahowsha’s life from the context of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, this perspective is the purpose of the following story. “Now pay attention, on that very day, it came to be that two of them [among the “others” who had heard the women’s testimony] were traveling to a village named Emmaus, which was a distance (stadia) from ΙΛΗΜ (placeholder for Yaruwshalaim, meaning the place from which salvation flows, from Ierousalem, a transliteration of the Hebrew name). And they talked with one another favorably with regard to the account of all these things which had come to pass (sumbaino – the steps which had been taken).” (Luke 24:13-14)
Unlike the Textus Repectus, the oldest manuscript of this account doesn’t designate the number of stadia (said to be 60 or 160) Emmaus was removed from Yaruwshalaim. And frankly, while it’s irrelevant, I’m intrigued by the similarity between Emmaus and Emmanuel, “God With Us,” because that is the moral of the story.
And speaking of Yaruwshalaim, the most logical explanation for presenting Ierousalem by way of a placeholder is that the Greek transliteration is devoid of meaning, and thus doesn’t help us understand the crux of this story. Yaruwshalaim—the source of redemption—is the place where Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym were fulfilled by ‘Immanuw’el—God With Us.
I am particularly intrigued by sumbaino, the last word in the 14th verse. Translated “had come to pass,” it is a compound of sum, meaning “with, beside, and accompanying,” and basis, meaning “steps,” and “walking.” Since these things which had taken place were the fulfillments of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, it suggests that they represent the steps we must follow in our walk with God.
“Coming into existence and appearing while they communed together, pondering the evidence (suzeteo – discussing and debating the facts), ΙΣ (Yahowsha’), Himself drew near (eggizo – approached and joined them) and went with them (symporeuomai – leading them on their journey). But their eyes (ophtalmos – perspective and perceptions) were restrained, so that they were kept from accurately recognizing or acknowledging Him. He said, ‘What kind of conversation is it that you are exchanging (antiballo – tossing back and forth) with one another as you walk (peripateo – opportunistically making your way) standing upright (histemi – established and firm), and yet are sad and discouraged?’” (Luke 24:15-17)
Histemi, translated “standing upright,” is disruptive to the flow of the last sentence, even verbose, since walking presupposes standing up. Therefore, I think that histemi was added because it was the purpose and the result of the very things these men were discussing.
It is also interesting that Yahowsha’ wanted to know why these guys were discouraged, even somber. While Passover and Unleavened Bread had been a horrible experience for Him, along with FirstFruits, the events of the past three days comprised the greatest gift ever bestowed upon humankind. They ought to have been celebrating.
“Then the one whose name (onoma – personal and proper designation and reputation) was Cleopas (Kleopas – a compound of kleos and pater, meaning: to report the Father’s Glory) answered (apokrinomai – considered the evidence, separating fact from fiction), ‘Are You the only one (monos – alone, forsaken, and destitute) living and traveling in ΙΛΗΜ (placeholder for Yaruwshalaim – the source of redemption) who does not know (ou ginosko – who is unaware of, does not have knowledge about, and does not understand, who does not acknowledge and recognize) the things which have happened here (ginomai – have come into existence, have taken place, have become a reality, and have been fulfilled, finished, and received) through Him (autos) in (en – during and with regard to) these (houtos) days (hemera)?’” (Luke 24:18)
On the surface, apokrinomai, translated “answered” above, tells us only that the “one who would report the Father’s glory,” responded to Yahowsha’s question. But since being morose during the most celebratory moment in human history was the wrong response, we should not be surprised that apokrinomai bridges the gap between sadness and joy, between discouragement and hope.
Apokrinomai is a compound of two very similar Greek words. Apo speaks “of separation,” especially as it relates to “being distanced in time and/or space from something or someone.” For example, fellowship is apo when the “union is destroyed” or the “covenant is breached.” On the positive side, we can be separated from this world of oppressive human schemes and be set apart unto God.
The concluding portion of apokrinomai, krino, and its verb form kronomai, also means “to separate,” but in this case with regard to “distinguishing, discriminating, and judging between right and wrong, good and evil, fact and fiction.” Krino speaks of the “process of thoughtfully and morally considering the evidence and concluding, determining, and rendering a rational decision or verdict based upon it.”
Krino is how judges and juries should filter the evidence in a trial—determining that which is valid and then exercising sound judgment based upon the facts. As such, from a Scriptural perspective, especially as it relates to Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, krino describes the means we must deploy to understand what happened on these three days, to trust this plan as it was presented and fulfilled, and then to rely upon the actual pathway God has provided. But more than this, krino also describes what happens to those who don’t properly judge the evidence, in that they will be “separated” from God and His family.
Based upon this understanding, we come to appreciate why the passage which, errantly translated and cited out of context, reads “judge (krino) not lest you be judged (krino),” really says “do not separate [souls from God], lest you be separated [from Him]. And we come to understand why Political Correctness, the replacement moral code of Socialist Secular Humanism, has made being judgmental and discriminating a sin.
The path home to our Heavenly Father requires apo and krino. They are the prerequisites of trust and reliance, and thus of salvation. We cannot rely on something we do not trust, and we cannot trust that which we do not know. And to know, we must consider the evidence and evaluate it morally and rationally, deploying sound judgment. Doing so not only helps us separate right from wrong, fact from fiction, God’s ways from man’s schemes, the process creates the most conducive conditions from which to exercise our freewill and to make the best possible choice with regard to capitalizing upon Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. And therein lies the difference between trust and belief, between reliance and faith, between knowing and hoping.
And I suppose that is why apokrinomai is followed by monos. Those who do not understand Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym will be “forsaken,” which is “to be damned” as in “separated,” because they are “destitute of [God’s] help,” and thus “alone.”
To be saved, we must “ginosko – become aware of, possess knowledge about and understand, acknowledge and recognize” “ginomai – the things which have happened, have become a reality, having been fulfilled, finished, completed and received” “en – during and with regard to” “houtos hemera – these days”—Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. They represent the first three steps we must take in our walk with God—that is after we have walked away from the religious and political schemes of Babylon.
“And He said, ‘What nature of (poios – what kind of) things?’ So they said, ‘Things concerning ΙΥ (placeholder for Yahowsha’) the (tov) Nazarene (Nazarenos – a transliteration of Nazyr, meaning set apart and dedicated unto God), a man who became (ginomai – came to exist as) a prophet (prophetes – one who spoke for God and who predicted the future), mighty (dunatos – tremendously powerful and immensely capable, extremely important and influential) in (en) word (logos – declarative statements and intelligent assertions, message and reasoning) and deed (ergon – accomplishments and results) in the presence of (enantion – in accord with the judgments of) ΘΥ (placeholder for God, namely Yahowah), and all the people (laos – common folks, nation, public, populace, and multitudes), ” (Luke 24:19)
Nazarene and Nazareth are based upon Nazyr—the community of people who set themselves apart unto Yahowah, completely dedicating themselves to God. Having made and consumed wine, Yahowsha’ was not a member of this group, but according to Scripture, He was the “Qodesh Qodesh – Most Set Apart”—the “Holy of Holies” in more familiar albeit errant jargon. Nazyr in turn is based upon nazar and nazer, from which it derives its “set apart” connotation, and from nasar, denoting “salvation.” And this is why the first to trust and rely upon Yahowsha’, referred to themselves as “Nazarenes,” in addition to “Followers of the Way.”
Yahowsha’ let His light shine before men—huge crowds of them—in fact before a whole nation, one at the crossroads of the world. He was bold in word and deed, willing to make profound claims, to profess riveting predictions, and to perform a stunning array of miracles—one of which included bringing a dead man back to life. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, and He healed the most horrid and disfiguring diseases. But His greatest work and His most influential words, pertained to the fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. For as a result of them, all humankind has unparalleled access to God—an open door invitation to paradise.
In this regard, enantion, translated “in the presence of,” in verse 19, tells us that the words, deeds, and prophecies of Yahowsha’ were all “in accord with the judgments of” Yahowah. This means that God is judgmental, and that we should be as well. It also means that the message, accomplishments, and predictions of Yahowsha’ were consistent with the reasoning and conclusions of Yahowah. And to understand these conclusions, and the reasoning behind them, there is only one place to turn—the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
Continuing to document the things which they had witnessed, the men added: “ and how (hopos – the manner in which) the chief priests (archiereus – religious rulers with a high social status, with wealth and authority) and our rulers (archon – political and religious leaders and governmental officials) delivered Him up (paradidomi – betrayed Him and handed Him over) to be judged and condemned by the authorities (krima – be unfavorably evaluated, sentenced, and punished) to die and be separated (thanatos – denoting the physical separation of the body and soul often by way of capital punishment), and affixed Him to an upright pole (stauroo – the active aspect of stauros, meaning they nailed and fastened Him to a stake and then drove the timber into the ground, setting it upright).” (Luke 24:20)
There is no “cross” in Scripture. It is a pagan symbol, one first used in Babylon. The cross is a legacy of General Constantine’s faith in the sun.
Should you be interested in the appearance of the upright pole, and in the process used to kill Yahowsha’s mortal body, there is an image on the Yada Yah homepage which reveals a reasonably accurate depiction. While the shape of the implement of death, apart from the upright pole aspect, is irrelevant, the completed shape was that of a capital T.
In the case of Roman capital punishment circa the first century CE, the victim was laid on the ground next to an upright pole, some eight to ten feet tall. The timber would previously have been set into a chiseled-out recess in the rocky ground, one especially designed to hold the pole vertically, and not permit any movement. The victim would then have had his arms stretched out, and then his wrists would have been nailed onto a five or six foot long beam of wood. Once affixed, the Romans would then lift the wooden beam and the man, holding on to both, until the beam fell into a notch cut into the top of the upright pole. Then, they would drive a single nail through both ankles, affixing the victim’s feet onto the vertical timber.
Keeping our focus on Luke 24:20, archiereus is a compound of arche, meaning “the first, top, most, or highest” and hiereus, “priest,” which is in turn derived from hieros, meaning “sacred and devoutly revered.” It is from this purely religious term that the Latin hierarchia was derived, ultimately leading to the English word “hierarchy.” It is against this aggrandizement of men that Yahowsha’ warns us in His open prophetic letters to the Called-Out Assemblies in Revelation. A religious hierarchy, known as the order of the Nicoladians, is on the short list of things He holds against two early assemblies. Moreover, in Mattanyah / Matthew 23, Yahowsha’ focuses His harshest criticism toward the rabbis (meaning exalted ones) and priests in Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem. Today, while hierarchies abound in man’s militaries, and in politics, especially in socialist societies committed to the religion of man, Secular Humanism, they are especially prevalent in religious circles. In this regard, there is no better example of an institution acting contrary to Yahowah’s instructions than the Roman Catholic Church.
Moving on, the most acclaimed Scriptural prophecy in human history depicts the redemptive advent of the Ma’aseyah, and that is precisely what these men had witnessed. Yisra’el, and indeed all those who strive with God, would be, and now have been, ransomed by way of the most extraordinary of all payments: Yahowah Himself bowing down in love on Passover and Unleavened Bread. And yet, since the powerful prediction of God’s glorious return is comingled in the text, the men on the road to Emmaus were struggling to understand what had just occurred. “But (de – instead, however), we (hemeis – ourselves) were confidently expecting (elpizo – counting and relying on obtaining a benefit, with the attitude of looking forward to, awaiting, and desiring an advantageous outcome, hoping and trusting) that (hoti) He (autos) came into existence (esti – had come, corresponded identically to I Am, and was manifest to represent and stand up) for the (o) intended and destined purpose (mello – the immediately expected and inevitable mission) of redeeming Yisra’el through the payment of a ransom (lutroo israel (a transliteration of yisra’el) – freeing, releasing, and delivering those individuals who live with and are empowered by God by paying the price to liberate them from bondage, oppression, and the penalty of sin) ” (Luke 24:21)
Reliance upon the fact that God came into our world, manifest as a man, for the explicit purpose of redeeming His family, is the essence of the Covenant, the Towrah, and its Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God (Miqra’ey). Versed in the Scriptures, these men knew what to expect, and yet to fully appreciate the magnificence and promise inherent in these three days, they would need insights only the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms could provide.
“ Indeed (ge – really and truly), and (kai – then) besides all this (alla syn pas houtos – but yet, nevertheless, tying this all together by way of making a transition and an association), today (houtos hemera – this day) is the third (tritos) day since (apo) these things occurred and came to be (os ago ginomai – were brought into existence, to heed, direct, and guide).” (Luke 24:21) “Three” was the operative term. Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym represent the three most important days in our salvation.
Even if Easter weren’t entirely Babylonian, and even if it was just another name for FirstFruits, without Passover and Unleavened Bread, it would have been counterproductive. The reconciliation of Spirit and soul only has merit when viewed from the perspective of Yahowah’s seven-step redemptive plan. These men, as well intentioned as they were, had missed the significance of this day—as have most Christians throughout the millennia.
“And (kai) yet (alla – this notwithstanding), certain (tis – important) women (gune) from among us, who arrived (ginomai) at (epi) the tomb (mnemeion – memorial sepulcher) early this morning (orthrinos), astonished us (existemi – literally knocked us off of our feet; from ek, away from, and histemi, from standing up, amazing, bewildering, and astounding us). When they did not (me) find (heuriskomai – discover) His body (somatos – corpse), they came (erchomai) saying (lego – conveying and affirming) that they had even (kai – also) seen (horao – experienced, paid attention to, and acquired information from) the supernatural appearance of (optasia – an apparition, the unexpected visual manifestation of) heavenly messengers (angelos – spiritual representatives who were sent out as God’s envoys) who affirmed (lego – said and confirmed) that He lives (zao – He is alive).” (Luke 24:22-23)
Yahowsha’s body, serving as the Pesach Lamb, ceased to exist during Matsah. Yahowsha’s “nepesh – soul,” however, would continue to endure because it was condemned to fulfill Matsah by becoming separated from Yahowah – the source of life. But then on Bikuwrym, Yahowsha’s soul and Yahowah’s Spirit were reunited, causing the Ma’aseyah to be born again – a new creation conceived from above.
“And some of those who were with us (syn – associating together in fellowship with us) went (aperchomai) to the tomb (mnemeion – grave) and found (heuriskomai – discovered) it just as (houto – in accordance with what) the women (aikos) had said. They did not (ou) see (horao) Him (autos).’” (Luke 24:24)
You’ll notice here that God has been a good listener. While He could have read their minds, introduced Himself, and allayed their concerns, Yahowsha’ wanted these men, and through them us, to connect the dots for ourselves. He wanted them to use the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms to figure out exactly who He was and understand precisely what He had done.
But alas, they, like so many of us, were oblivious. They did not understand that His old body was now gone, which required a new, unrecognizable, form. “Then (kai) He [Yahowsha’] said (lego – spoke) to them, ‘O (o) you who lack understanding (anoetos – who fail to perceive, to ponder, to consider, and to comprehend; who are senseless, foolish, dimwitted, unintelligent, ignorant, and irrational), and are slow within themselves to (bradus kardia – dull of heart and inactive in mind and body, apathetic and sluggish with regard to their own volition to) think and be persuaded by, giving credence to (pisteuo epi – to objectively and intellectually evaluate, to have confidence in, to see as worthy, and to be convinced by; to completely trust and rely upon) all (pas – the complete, whole, and total message, including everything) that (hos – which) the prophets (prophetes – from pro, meaning before, and phemi, to declare; designating those who declare what is going to happen before it occurs) have spoken (laleo – uttered, articulated, and declared through words)!’” (Luke 24:25)
God called them “ignorant, senseless, dimwitted, and foolish.” He went on to criticize them for being apathetic with regard to their failure to properly evaluate and consider His prophetic Scripture. According to Yahowsha’, they, themselves, were at fault for being unaware of what Yahowah had predicted. They were either unable to process these prophecies rationally, or they were unwilling to do so.
In a way, He was describing most of those affected by religion today—especially Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons. Neither evidence nor logic will dissuade their devotees from believing in that which is not and cannot be true. The foundation upon which knowledge becomes understanding, and upon which understanding leads to trust and reliance on God and His provision, upon which freewill can be wisely exercised, and the right path chosen, is the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Nothing is more important than this.
God wants us to know, He wants us to think, to understand, and then to choose. Comprehending is the way. Scripture is the truth. He is life.
Of particular interest in this passage is bradus kardia, literally meaning “slow of heart,” but conveying in this context “sluggish with regard to one’s volition—slow to exercise freewill and make a decision.” In this light, we must keep in mind that God gave mankind many gifts, but foremost among them are freewill, a conscience with which to make wise choices, and the path to eternal life in heaven—one presented by the very prophets He was referencing. Yet for those who lack knowledge, for those who are unwilling to be rational, for those who are apathetic regarding their own volition, such gifts are squandered. Mired in a swamp of religious pollution, they decompose and die while the means of rescue, the story of the Ark of the Covenant, lies within the very book they hold in their hands.
Lastly, since we are encouraged to follow Yahowsha’s example, it is appropriate to call those who lack knowledge and who are unable to think “ignorant and irrational.” The fact is, we are called to be judgmental; to be discerning—to openly, boldly, and bluntly expose what God revealed, sharing its relevance—no matter how many religious institutions and proclamations it impugns. It isn’t compassionate to be tolerant when souls are at stake.
During this journey of discovery, Yahowsha’s exemplar was comprised of four elements. First, we must be willing to engage. These men didn’t come to the Ma’aseyah; He came to them. He initiated a dialog with them on the most sensitive of subjects: politics and religion. He wanted them to tell Him what the Jewish priests and Roman rulers had done, and then explain how that squared with the words and deeds of God. In contrast, in the Secular Humanist realm of Political Correctness, we are told that it’s not polite to initiate a discussion on religion or politics. But based upon this, God disagrees, so it is we who must change our way of thinking.
Second, to follow the Ma’aseyah’s example, we must invest the time required to learn what folks think, what they believe—especially the dogmas, teachings, conclusions, and opinions which comprise their worldview. This is something the vast majority of people are unwilling to do—I suppose in part because it takes too much time, and because the result of such studies is considered offensive, even hateful. For example, I’ve invested nearly 20,000 hours coming to understand the false premises of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, and Socialist Secular Humanism. And yet, my comprehensive, albeit critical, review of them is considered by Christians, Muslims, and Jews to be out of sync with “Jesus Christ’s loving example.” But once again, God begs to differ on all accounts.
This known, my words, as verbose as they may be, are not enough. More voices are needed, especially in other tongues, if the masses are to be awakened. It’s long past time for the truth to be told, no matter who it offends.
And this is where we must start if we want to be effective. Truth will not take root and grow until after the poisons have been removed from the ground upon which we stand and the weeds have been pulled. For Yahowah to be known, for His redemptive plan to be understood, two millennia of religious, political, and cultural myths must be identified, exposed, and then destroyed.
The third step in the redemptive process as it was demonstrated in this passage, is to be brutally honest with those with whom you are conversing. These men were ignorant, which means they had insufficient knowledge, and God told them so. They were apathetic, and thus had not given what little they did know, proper consideration. God criticized them for this as well—as having the wrong attitude is mankind’s most deadly condition. God values those who value Him. He ignores those who ignore Him. Trifle with Him, and death will be the end of life.
You’ll notice that God did not begin by telling these men how much He loved them. He didn’t seek common ground with their political and religious views. He didn’t console them over what they had experienced. He wouldn’t even discuss His plan of salvation until after He had thoroughly rebuked them for their lack of knowledge and understanding, their poor attitude, and their errant perspective, or worldview. Being harsh with them was compassionate because it stirred them from their complacency and moved them away from man’s worldview and toward God’s perspective.
The truth is irrelevant to those who are preoccupied with other things, who are overly indoctrinated by their political parties, cultures, communities, business affairs, or religion, to seek understanding with the proper attitude. It matters not if they are defensive or just lazy, a paradigm shift must occur in someone’s heart for them to be willing to scrape man’s muck away from their eyes and consider what God actually revealed. This does not come easy for most people, which is why Yahowsha’ was so critical, so blunt.
I also think that it is important, even vital to put this discussion into context. This is the first recorded conversation Yahowsha’ has had with His creation upon the completion of His mission. And yet these men, like virtually every Christian, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, or Secular Humanist alive today, were clueless regarding what He had done and oblivious as to how His sacrifice pertained to them.
Can you imagine being Yahowsha’ under such circumstances? Three days ago you had been judged and falsely accused by religious leaders who were grotesquely immoral. You had had the very men you created for the purpose of a loving familial relationship, scourge you with metal-tipped whips—literally ripping the skin and soft tissues from your body. You had volunteered to be the Passover Lamb, and had endured being nailed to an upright pole, your physical body dying the most agonizing death imaginable. And then, your soul, separated from your Spirit, had descended into the depths of She’owl to be tormented by the Adversary—all to fulfill the promise of Unleavened Bread. Now on FirstFruits, after enduring all of this for these men, their inability to see Your actions within the context of Your Scriptures, and thus understand that Your deeds provided as the Way to God, meant that the greatest gift ever offered had been squandered—ignored as a result of apathy, attitude, ignorance, and an inability to reason. Salvation isn’t a casual affair. God had every right to be disappointed.
But do not think that time has healed these wounds. To God, they are as fresh as the day He endured them. And we, beneficiaries as we are of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms and this vital explanation of how the Scriptures predict and describe the lone pathway home, irritate God all the more when we toss aside His gift and replace it with religious illusions. So the moral of the story is: if you don’t want God to call you a moron, if you don’t want God to see you as an ingrate, then view everything, including the words and deeds of the Ma’aseyah from the perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The fourth stage of Yahowsha’s exemplar was to turn to the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms—to the Word of God, to Scripture—for answers. It is the place we must all turn to have any hope of understanding what had happened on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. There is but one path to God and it is as narrow as it is unpopular. The only hope any of us have in finding it is to consider the life, words, and deeds of Yahowsha’ through the lens of Yahowah’s Testimony.
Yahowsha’ said: “‘Wasn’t (ouchi) it (houtos) inevitable and necessary (dei – logical and proper, beneficial and right, compulsory and dutiful) for the (tov) ΧΝ (placeholder for the Ma’aseyah, the Anointed Implement of Yah) to have suffered (pascho – to have experienced, endured, and have undergone) these things and then to return to (eiserchomai eis – enter into) His glory and radiant magnificence (doxa – brilliance and splendor, shining brightness, preeminence and majestic nature)?’” (Luke 24:26)
After all, had He not done these things, had He not suffered on Pesach and Matsah, and then had He not been reunited with Yahowah after enduring the separation of She’owl, and then gone to Heaven on Bikuwrym, He would have been a liar—a God who could not be trusted. There would be no way for man to be restored to fellowship with Yahowah.
So that these men might know Him, so that they might come to understand the path home, God explained who He was and what He had done, starting at the beginning—with the Towrah.
“And (kai – then) beginning (archomai – initiating the process) at the source, with (apo – from) Moseh (Mouses – a transliteration of Moseh, meaning the one who draws out) and all (pas) the Prophets (prophetes – those who declare what is going to happen before it occurs), He explained the meaning (diermeneuo – He unfurled, translated, and interpreted all the reasons) to them in the Scriptures (Graphe – the Writings and Written Word, exclusively used in the Greek texts to describe the divinely inspired Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms) that pertained to (peri – concerned the accounts of) Himself (heautou).” (Luke 24:27)
Scripture is designed to be translated from Hebrew into the common tongues spoken by mankind, and then to be explained and interpreted. Language ought not be a barrier. Moreover, we are encouraged to figure things out, to make the appropriate connections, so as to promote a deeper and more accurate understanding.
The single most important message contained in these verses is that even God relies on the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms to explain His nature and interpret His mission. Apart from the Towrah, the Greek texts are a house without a foundation, a structure without so much as a frame.
Yahowsha’ just told us that the only way to understand His Passover sacrifice, His Unleavened Bread ransom payment, and His FirstFruits rebirth, reunification, and reconciliation is to unfold Yahowah’s prophecies. Without this knowledge we “are ignorant, irrational, and apathetic.” And keep in mind, while Yahowsha’s words can always be trusted, apart from the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, there is no Scripture. The Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ came to fulfill the Towrah’s promises, to facilitate the path home He had outlined therein. He did not come to transition from Jews to Gentiles, to start a new religion, to establish a human institution, or to abrogate the Towrah to establish Christianity. There is no “New Testament,” and the Covenant’s ultimate renewal is based entirely upon the Towrah.
Returning to the message God was delivering, where do you suppose Yahowsha’ started His presentation? Was it in Bare’syth (Genesis) one, where the framework of human history was established—replete with the prediction of His arrival on the fourth day—four millennium after Adam’s expulsion from the garden? Was it in Bare’syth two or three, where He said that He would bow down to us in love, or where He predicted that He would arrive by way of a woman’s womb?
Based upon what I’ve learned, I would have begun by revealing how Yahowsha’s enactment of the Towrah’s promises enables us to walk to God and become perfect as is required by the Covenant. But perhaps He began with the first Passover in Bare’syth, with Abraham’s dress rehearsal for what would occur forty Yowbel later on Mount Mowryah. And yet He could have commenced His explanation with the story of the second Passover in Egypt, where the “blood of the lamb was smeared on the upright pole” depicting the doorway to salvation?
For a more complete picture, He could have turned to the heart of the Towrah, to Qara’. In the twenty-third chapter, the whole story is completely laid out. Yahowah’s presentation of the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym explain and interpret the purpose of these “three days.” Moreover, the seven Miqra’ey are central to Yahowah’s prophetic timeline. Eschatology remains a mystery for most only because religious leaders have concealed, corrupted, and counterfeited their essential message, leaving their congregations groping in the dark. That is why virtually no one knows when He will return.
And while all of these passages would have been enlightening, and indeed essential to their understanding, they don’t explain why Yahowsha’s soul had to go down into She’owl or why His soul would return glorified by Yahowah’s Spirit. For that, God may have begun His Scriptural tour in Mizmowr / Psalm 22 or 88, or even Yasha’yahuw 53. And while He was there, He may have recited scores of prophetic passages foretelling the Ma’aseyah’s role in our redemption. But no matter where He started, one thing is certain, the more He shared from the pages of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, the more these men understood.
Before we move on, please notice that it was appropriate for Yahowsha’ “to return to His glory and shining magnificence,” His “brilliant, splendorous, and majestic nature.” That means that His previous and thus natural state exceeds that which was manifest during His brief tenure as a man. Therefore, God diminished Himself to serve men, to enlighten men, and to save men. But now, on this day, the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits, He would return to Heaven, to His preeminent and radiant brilliance. Understanding this, we should recognize that on His final advent, He will return as light, as brilliant as a star. And on that day, Yowm Kippurym in 2033, He will be known as Yahowah—not Yahowsha’.
This transformation from being God’s shadow, to being like light, isn’t just for Yahowsha’; it is one that we will one day experience as well. And that is the promise of the FirstFruits Harvest. Those who rely upon His path will be transformed into light. And what’s marvelous about that is that according to Einstein’s E=mc2, a little matter converts into an enormous amount of energy. As children of God, we will become extraordinary.
“As they approached (eggiso) the village (kome – or small town) where they were going (poreuomai – traveling), and He appeared as though (prospoieomai) He would go (poreuomai – travel) much further (porro – a great distance beyond [i.e., all the way to Heaven]), they strongly urged (parabiazomai – persuaded) Him, saying (lego), ‘Stay and abide (meno – continue to exist and remain, linger and dwell) with (meta) us, for (hoti – because) it is (eimi) nearing (pros – approaching) evening (hespera), and the day (hemera) is already (ede – even now) drawing to a close (klino – beginning to end).’ And so (kai) He went in (eiserchomai) and stayed (meno – remained and abided) together with (syn – in fellowship and association with) them.” (Luke 24:28-29)
By searching the Scriptures in concert with the Spirit, we can all come to understand the nature and mission of the Ma’aseyah, just as these two disciples did under Yahowsha’s tutelage. Those who seek to live with God, those who choose to walk with Him, find His Scriptural explanation compelling.
“And (kai) it came to pass (ginomai – to be), as He reclined to eat (katalinomai) with (meta) them, He received (lambano – acquired and accepted, grasping hold of) the loaf of bread (artos), speaking well of it (eulogeo – from logos, meaning words, and eu, which are good and prosperous; celebrating, describing, and invoking its blessings and benefits) and broke it (klao – tore off a piece), and gave it to (epididomi – handed it over and delivered it to) them. And now (kai), their eyes (ophthalmos – their mental capacity for seeing and understanding, their perspectives) were opened (dianoigo – given the proper frame of reference) and they became thoroughly acquainted with (epiginosko – came to know in a relational sense, and came to understand accurately and completely; they came to recognize and acknowledge) Him.” (Luke 24:30-31)
Of note in this passage, dianoigo, translated “were opened,” literally means “firstborn son,” and speaks of the “opening of a womb,” and thus it describes Yahowsha’s nature and mission—of the Son of God opening up the way for us to be reborn Spiritually into our Heavenly Father’s family by way of our Spiritual Mother. Figuratively, dianoigo means “to facilitate understanding, opening up one’s mind to the proper perspective and interpretation so that they might understand.” It depicts a “rousing a desire to learn.” So, while the Word of God has the power to open our eyes and to save, for it to do so, our mindset must receptive.
The primary purpose of the Word, and the mission of the Ma’aseyah, is for us to “epiginosko/to become thoroughly acquainted with” God, “to recognize and acknowledge” Him for who He really is, and then to form “a relationship with” Him. As a direct result of having their eyes opened, of coming to understand Yahowsha’ from the perspective of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, they came to know Yahowah. They came to understand the means by which we can form an inseparable union with God. Epiginosko speaks of “possessing information, carefully thinking about it, and coming to understand, to comprehend, to acknowledge, and to recognize the truth.” Once again, this is the way to God. We must think our way to Yahowah, and that requires reliable information (the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms), an open mind, a good attitude, the ability and will to be rational and discerning, and the proper exercise of freewill.
Within the context of Yahowsha’s message only being understood when viewed from the perspective of the Covenant as it is depicted in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, it is unfathomable as to how Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and their illegitimate step-daughter, Protestantism, have fooled so many souls into believing that there is a Scriptural basis for the Babylonian religious traditions of Saint Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, the Eucharist and Communion, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, as opposed to observing and benefiting from Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. The truth is obvious, ubiquitous, and irrefutable, and yet billions of souls cling to these religious myths—to man-made concealments, to human corruptions and counterfeits instead.
It’s sad, but since it is so easily avoidable, it is hard to feel sorry for the lost souls who have missed the essence of the Familial Covenant Relationship. Yahowah has made it abundantly clear that He bowed down in adoration to us, blessing us, for doing nothing more than walking away from religion, for coming to know Him, for walking with Him, for communicating with Him, for being straight and upright with Him, for choosing to revere Him, trust Him, and rely upon Him as He revealed Himself in His Scripture. And yet since the preponderance of people have missed this simple message, I pity them, as does God. But His sympathy does not solve their problem. It does not broaden the pathway or open heaven’s gate any wider. The only way to do this is to expose and condemn the myths which ensnare so many, and then to bluntly and boldly criticize mankind’s apathy, lack of knowledge, and irrational nature, hoping that some will open their eyes and minds to what God actually said.
Listen to what these men had to say about their journey through Yahowah’s prophetic Scriptures. After Yahowsha’ departed for Heaven to completely fulfill FirstFruits: “And they said to one another (allelon), ‘Were not (ouchi) our hearts (kardia – our souls, consciences, and consciousnesses, our inner beings, our attitudes, emotions, intellect, and desires) burning (kaio – ignited and consumed, illuminated and warmed, set on fire) within us (en hemeis) as a result of (hos) His communication (laleo – talk and dialog) with us with regard to (en) the Way (hodos – the path, journey, and way of life), in the manner (hos) He was opening and explaining (dianoigo – expounding upon and giving life to) the Scriptures (graphe – the written Word of God)?’” (Luke 24:32)
It should be like this for all of us. The Word of God is a torch which should burn brightly, impassioning our hearts and illuminating our minds as it sheds its light on the Way.
Their lives were transformed and they turned around—returning to the place from which redemption flows. “And that same (autos) hour (hora – time), they rose and stood up (anistemi – they were restored to life, established, and upheld, rising up and coming to exist, made to stand upright, fully sustained) and returned (hypostrepho) to ΙΛΗΜ (placeholder for Yaruwshalaim, meaning the place from which salvation flows, from Ierousalem, a transliteration of the Hebrew name).
And upon discovering the location of (heuriskomai – finding) the eleven (hendeka) and those with them, they came together (athroizomai – assembled), saying (lego – affirming and clarifying) that (hoti) really and truly (ontos – surely and certainly, in reality and indeed) the ΚΥ (placeholder for the Mighty One, as in ‘elohym, God) has been restored (egeiro – has stood upright) and has been seen (horao – experienced and perceived, observed and recognized) by Shim’own (Simon – a transliteration of Shim’own, meaning, one who understands and listens).” (Luke 24:34)
It is particularly interesting, indeed telling, that upon having the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms opened before them, putting the past three days into the proper context, they too were “restored—anistemi: they were established and upheld, coming to exist, made to stand upright, and were fully sustained.” It is the promise and purpose of Bikuwrym which is why the timing was noted and why the same word was chosen—anistemi—the word Yahowah’s messengers used to tell the women that Yahowsha’ had fulfilled Yahowah’s promises.
Keep in mind, these are the first recorded conversations of what occurred on Bikuwrym. And yet this is the second time that the disciples have used “the Way” in reference to themselves. In fact, there is no Scriptural indication that the disciples ever referred to themselves as “Christians,” only in passing that others, outside of their fellowship, called them “drugged”—the most literal meaning of the word. Therefore, “Christian” was an epithet.
Listen to what these disciples had to say immediately after reviewing Scripture with the restored Ma’aseyah: “And (kai) they (autos) provided detailed information (exegeomai – revealed and made fully known, carefully and meticulously described, recounted all that they had learned from the interpretation of the divine writ) in (en – with regard to and in union with) the (o) Way (hodos – the journey, the path and the route; the conduct of life) as (hos – in the manner that and as a result of the way) He was made known and recognized (ginosko – acknowledged and understood) in (en) the breaking (klasis – tearing apart and separating) of the loaf of bread (artos).” (Luke 24:35)
Broken bread symbolizes the body of Yahowsha’ being sacrificed and tormented on Passover. The loaf itself, which during the seven-day celebration of the Miqra’ of Matsah would have been unleavened, represents the separation of sin from our souls—something Yahowsha’ achieved on our behalf on the Called-Out Assembly of Unleavened Bread. And this day of awakening, FirstFruits, is all about the harvest of the purified grain which comprised the loaf, of being gathered in by God. These things became clear to them once their eyes and the Scriptures were opened, and for the first time, they were on their way home. Bikuwrym is about birth, not resurrection from the dead. FirstFruits depicts the process of being born anew Spiritually into Yahowah’s family. It speaks of the time our soul is reconciled and unified with Yahowah’s Spirit.
And make no mistake. They did not come to understand the symbolism of breaking bread within the context of the Christian rituals of the Eucharist and Communion. These religious rites wouldn’t be invented for centuries. No, they understood as we must, that the broken bread devoid of yeast was symbolic of Yahowsha’ fulfilling Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, and of these providing the Way to God.
This Way, this Path to God, is that narrow and unpopular route described at the end of Yahowsha’s Teaching on the Mount. It is the Way foretold and described in the Towrah, by the Prophets, and in the Psalms. It is the seven-step path which begins with the doorway labeled “Passover,” and with its fulfillment upon Golgotha’s upright pole. The Way home journeys through Unleavened Bread before rising into God’s presence on FirstFruits. The Path ends in paradise, in camping out with our Heavenly Father during Shelters. So, while we should not be Christians, we should be Followers of the Way.
The fulfillment and celebration of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym continued, “And as they discussed (laleo – spoke about) these things, He, Himself (autos), stood upright (histemi – took a stand so as to enable others to stand up, choosing to establish, authorize, validate, and uphold) in (en) their midst (autos mesos – among them), and said (lego – affirmed, promised, and provided meaning) to them, ‘Shalowm (eirene – from eiro, to join).’” (Luke 24:36)
One of the challenges of translating the Greek is the recognition that the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ did not speak to His disciples in Greek, and thus did not say “eirene.” And while He may have spoken to them in Aramaic, the Hebrew greeting of “Shalowm” was so universal, and so ingrained within the culture of Yahuwdym, so central to the purpose of the Miqra’ey and the role of the Ma’aseyah, I am certain God said: “Shalowm.” So, the only question is: what did He mean by it? Why was shalowm the first word He spoke to the eleven upon the completion of the Spring Miqra’ey?
In Hebrew, shalowm means “peace,” but in the sense of “reconciling a relationship, of achieving a favorable outcome, of being saved, freed from danger, and returned to health.” Shalowm is a relational term and is best understood within the context of the Familial Covenant Relationship established by Yahowah. Based upon shalam, shalowm speaks of “friendship and companionship,” of the “blessings and gifts of kindness and favoritism which restore affection to an association.” Shalowm, like its root shalam, infers that the parties to a relationship have “reformed their union, have been reunited, and are now living in peace and tranquility.” It conveys the idea that “restitution has been made for the purpose of reconciliation.” As such, shalowm depicts the result of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym: “our souls have been restored to health, our debt has been paid, we have been blessed with salvation, the covenant relationship has been reconciled, we are reunited with God, and have been bestowed the merciful gift of tranquil contentment in the company of our Creator.”
Shalowm is the perfect summation of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. Understand the word, and you will appreciate their purpose.
Looking at them shaking in fear, knowing that they did not recognize His restored presence, Yahowsha’ asked: “Why are you so agitated and confused (tarasso – distressed, anxious, confounded, and troubled, frightened, upset, and intimidated)? I exist (eimi – I Am). What is the reason for (dialogismos dia – the hesitation regarding deliberation, the argument and dispute, the uncertainty behind) your elevated heart rate (anabaino kardia)?” (Luke 24:38)
Those who lack understanding are often troubled by good news. Such is the case of religious Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter, who worship on Sundays, and who call God “Lord,” and the Ma’aseyah “Jesus Christ.” Rather than celebrating the hope, the affirmation and the magnificence, the mercy and reconciliation inherent in Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Shelters, the Sabbath, Yahowah, and Yahowsha’, when they are confronted by these truths, they become agitated and confused, and they are hesitant to, if not completely incapable of, reason.
I dare say that this problem is now universal and irresolvable. As I write these words in the midst of what is called “the Great Recession,” I am dumbfounded by the ignorant and irrational behavior of government officials, the media, and of the general population. Almost everything which has been done to solve the problem, is not only wrong, the bailouts are destined to aggravate the economic collapse. The West’s monetary death spiral has now entered a period of dynamic instability, not unlike the birth pangs Yahowsha’ said would be harbingers of the Great Tribulation. Traumatic volatility (read: chaotic wild undulations) will increase in magnitude and frequency as our nations collapse over the next fifteen to twenty years. The value of currency is being destroyed, failure is being rewarded, success is being punished, freedoms are being curtailed as free enterprise is being undermined, and wealth is being confiscated and redistributed as if it could be increased through division.
The same is true with the “War on Terrorism,” “Global Warming,” “Democracy,” and “Multiculturalism.” In the public battles for and against such things, crucial evidence has been neglected, the meanings of words have been convoluted, and logical reasoning has been rendered irrelevant. The products of public education have been dumbed down to the point that they only know enough to be dangerous and can no longer think for themselves. In their apathetic stupor, they have become easy prey, hapless victims of the terminally-flawed Socialist Secular Humanist revolution. In America, they have become an ObamaNation.
After allowing the eleven to examine His improved nature, and after sharing a meal, “He said to them, ‘These (houtos) are the words (logos – accounts, treatise, reasoning, affirmations, and statements) which (hos) I (ego) spoke (laleo – shared and communicated) with (pros – among) you (humeis) back when (eti – previously and continuing to the present time) I was (eimi – existed and was manifest) together with (syn – associated and in fellowship with) you all (humeis), namely that (hoti – because, by way of reason and explanation) it was necessary (dei – inevitable, compulsory, expected, proper, right, and beneficial) to completely fulfill (pleroomai – to complete and finish, to consummate and perfectly render, to give meaning to, and to cause people to think about) everything (pas – the totality of that) written (grapho – used exclusively in the RC to describe Scripture—the written Word of God) in (en) the Towrah (nomos – share which is parceled out, inheritance which is given, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used, precept which was established and is received as a means to be proper and approved, prescription to become an heir; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) of Moseh (Moseus – a transliteration of the Hebrew Moseh), Prophets (prophetes – a translation of the Hebrew nabyi’, one who speaks the message of God), and the Psalms (psalmos – a translation of the Hebrew mizmowr, words with a melody) concerning (peri – with regard to) Me (ego).” (Luke 24:44)
In the first two conversations recorded in the immediate aftermath of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’s fulfillment of the Miqra’ey of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, God said that it was necessary, even compulsory for Him to completely fulfill that which was written about Him in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms—and that the reasoning behind what He had done for us, the proper interpretation of it, could be found there. There is no more important lesson than this. It is the light which guides those who walk with Yahowah.
So I ask Christians, and especially Catholics, why have you ignored this Godly advice, and why have you replaced it with Babylonian mythology? Does man have the right to present God’s instructions and solutions in an entirely different and conflicting context? And if the answer is “no,” then what will the fate be of those who have placed their faith in a religion which is inconsistent with God’s instructions? What makes you believe that God will accept religious remedies which either conceal, corrupt, or are contrary counterfeits to His Way as He outlined it in His Word—the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms?
In this regard, it is important that you know that the most literal rendering of logos, as it resonated in the minds of those who first read this passage, was “a completely rational and orderly arrangement of words.” Logos, as a plural noun, can be accurately translated “words, speech, declarations, statements, affirmations, assertions, teachings, preaching, revelations, messages, accounts, or communication.” It is based upon the verb lego, meaning “to say, to speak, to affirm, to maintain, to teach, to exhort, to advise, and to direct.” In Yahowchanan 1, Yahowsha’ is the Lego/Word—and all it conveys.
“Then (tote – at that time), He (autos) opened (dianoigo) their minds (nous – ability to think, to reason, to judge, and to understand, adjusting their attitude to resolve conflicts so that they might become aware and) to have the capacity to understand (suniemi – to be intelligent and gain insight by way of bringing everything together so as to comprehend the whole by way of making the proper connections between the parts of) the Scriptures (Graphe – the Word of Yahowah recorded in Hebrew).” (Luke 24:45)
Nous, translated “minds,” and meaning “ability to think, to reason, to judge, and to understand, by way of a different attitude which resolves conflicts so that we can become more aware” is a derivative of ginosko: “to know, especially in a relational sense, to recognize and to acknowledge, to perceive and to understand evidence.” Once again, to properly evaluate God’s Way, we must first come to know what He revealed in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms and then use our ability to reason to understand it. But for this process to occur, our minds must be open, our ability to think must be unleashed, and our attitude must be adjusted. We must be willing to deal with religious conflicts, and then evaluate Scripture as a whole cloth. Abraham was asked to walk out of Babylon before He was asked to walk and talk with Yah.
Likewise, suniemi, translated, “capacity to understand,” literally means “to bring together.” It is the proper way to think and is the basis of understanding.
While I have said this before, there are countless people who know more than I do, and there are many who are better educated and who think more rapidly. The one gift that I bring to this mission, beyond my willingness to engage while remaining reliant on Yahowah, is an uncommon ability to understand the relationships between things, to comprehend what is being said and done by connecting the facts at our disposal in such a way as to complete the big picture. In this regard, and in this context, suniemi is the operative word behind the methodology of Yada Yah.
Always keep in mind that “Scripture” is comprised of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and that its instructions remain the focus of this conversation, of that held on the road to Emmaus, of the Teaching on the Mount, and of the Olivet Discourse. There was no “Renewed Covenant” at the time, and there still isn’t. When the Covenant is eventually renewed, its reaffirmation will be predicated upon the complete and perfect incorporation of the Towrah. What’s now referred to as the “Christian New Testament” was never called Graphe/Scripture.
“And He said (legos – taught and affirmed) to them that for this reason and cause (hoti) and in this manner (houto) it was written (Grapho – inscribed in the Word of Yahowah) that the ΧΝ (placeholder for Ma’aseyah, the Anointed Implement of Yah) must experience suffering (pascho – must be afflicted in a horrible way and endure pain) and then stand up enabling others to stand (anistemi – be restored) out of (ek) lifelessness (nekros – desolation and destitution, death and abandonment) on the third (tritos) day (hemera).” (Luke 24:46)
From a Scriptural perspective, it is a matter of one, two, three. On the first day, Passover, His body suffered, enduring horrible affliction and pain. On the second day, Unleavened Bread, His soul was abandoned to the realm of pain and suffering. And on the third day, FirstFruits, His Spirit and soul were reconciled and He rose up to Yahowah.
Death was no longer a consequence of sin. Separation was no longer its penalty. God had provided a way home. The first three Miqra’ey, Yahowah’s Called-Out Assemblies, had been completely and perfectly fulfilled. There was now a path to paradise for those who understood it, for those who trusted in it, and for those who relied upon God’s accommodating provision.
But don’t accept my word on this “Publicly proclaim (kerysso – announce, publish, preach, and teach with the intent of persuading and urging, making extensively known, telling everyone everywhere) in (en) My (autos) name (onoma – personal and proper name, renown and authority) a change of mind for the better (metanoia – a reversal in thinking which leads a better perspective, approach, and attitude) to (eis) pardon and forgive (aphesis – release individuals from captivity and free them from bondage and oppression, to cancel debts and acquit the guilty, to liberate people from the consequence of) sin (hamartia – guilt, the moral and just consequence of wrongdoing, any aberration of the truth) to (eis) all (pas – the totality of) races and nations (ethnos – population groups, inhabited areas, and cultures), starting (archomai – initiating the process and beginning) from (apo) ΙΛΗΜ (placeholder for Yaruwshalaim, meaning the place from which salvation flows, from Ierousalem, a transliteration of the Hebrew name).” (Luke 24:47)
Tragically, Christians of all persuasions have removed this verse from its context—that of understanding Yahowsha’s Passover and Unleavened Bread redemptive sacrifices and His liberating FirstFruits harvest of souls from the perspective of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. As a result, the “Great Commission” message they preach is incongruous with God’s instructions and has thus led billions of people down a dead end road.
To fully appreciate the mission God is sending us on, understand that metanoia is from meta, meaning “with and subsequent” and noeo, meaning “to examine the evidence, to think, consider, ponder, perceive, judge, and understand.” As a compound word, metanoia speaks of “using recently acquired knowledge for a subsequent correction in one’s thinking, understanding, approach, and behavior.” While it is usually translated as “repentance,” it isn’t so much about “remorse or regret,” but more about “thoughtfully reexamining the evidence at our disposal from a different perspective and using sound, rational, and moral judgment to change one’s mindset and achieve an improved, more accurate, understanding.” It is about a reversal in thinking from wrong to right, from evil to good, from fiction to fact, from error to truth, from religion to relationship—most especially, to the Covenant as it is described in the Torah.
Aphesis, translated “pardon and forgive,” in the 47th verse, speaks of redemption and salvation, especially in the sense of the Miqra’ey and of the Exodus. It is symbolic of God’s role in removing us from human oppression and bondage, because aphesis is based upon the verb aphiemi, meaning “to send forth, to depart, and to separate oneself from something or someone”—in this case religious, political, and economic schemes. That is why aphesis means “release individuals from captivity and free them from bondage and oppression.” God wants us to have the freedom to exercise freewill, as it is the only prerequisite of love.
But as it relates to Yahowah’s Called-Out Assemblies, it is our hamartia/sin from which we are being separated from and freed. In this context, aphiemi also means “to disregard, to neglect, and to never discuss.” In relationship to our sin, this affirms Yahowah’s promise to blot out and erase the record of our wrongdoing, obliterating it so that our ugliness becomes unknown and unknowable to God.
“You (humeis) are witnesses to (martys – are someone who shares the evidence, information, and statements known directly to them, someone who accurately presents and declares experiences and ascertainable facts to which they possess firsthand knowledge, someone who can enlighten others by reporting and testifying about what they have personally seen and heard regarding) this (houtos).” (Luke 24:48)
The “this” to which they were asked to testify is the change of mind and attitude which is required to understand Yahowah’s path home as it is described in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. Remember, neither the men on the road to Emmaus nor the eleven disciples understood what had happened on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits until it was explained to them from this perspective. And if they didn’t as eyewitnesses, what are the chances anyone else would come to understand the Way accurately enough to correctly follow the path God provided?
Rather than translating martys “witnesses,” religious types have transliterated the Greek “martyrs” and established a class of people who willfully die to advance their religious or political doctrines. Hitler’s Mein Kampf opens with a tribute to martyrs, as did Lenin’s speeches regarding the Communist Revolution. Muhammad took this ball and ran with it, telling the first Muslims that whoever died as a martyr, stealing and killing for him, would be awarded virgins in paradise. It is what caused Islam to be the most barbaric and oppressive religion in human history. But they were not alone, Catholic popes have promised the same thing, especially during the Crusades. Being a witness is consistent with Yahowah’s instructions, while the notion of earning paradise as a martyr is the antithesis.
“And indeed (idou), I (ego) send you out (apostello – dispatch you with the purpose of conveying the message) with My (ego) ΠΡΣ (placeholder for Patros and ’Ab – Father’s) assurance of the promised agreement (epangelia – with an affirmation of approval, with a mandated and obligatory pronouncement, pledge, and summons) upon (epi) you.” (Luke 24:49)
Apostello is another example of a Greek verb which theologians, rather than translating, have chosen to transliterate, “Apostle.” By so doing, they created a title which applied only to a small group of people when Yahowsha’s intent was to establish a mission in which we should all participate.
Apostello, as a compound of apo, meaning “to separate” and stello, “to arrange in order so as to be prepared for use.” This means two things. First, Yahowah wants us to engage individually, as opposed to collectively. We are to separate as we go out into the world, meaning that the institutional religious approach isn’t what He had in mind.
Second, Yahowah wants us to prepare before we witness to others. He knows that those who preach before they understand do more harm than good. And based upon apostello, not just any form of preparation will do. God wants us to arrange the message we will be testifying to in order, so that we present the Familial Covenant Relationship before its completion, the Way as outlined in the Called-Out Assemblies before its fulfillment. He not only wants us to view His words and deeds from the perspective of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, He wants us to arrange our witness in this same order.
In this light, epangelia, translated “the assurance of the promised agreement,” speaks directly of the Covenant agreement established between God and ‘Abram, meaning “Father,” in Genesis. This Beryth—Familial Relationship Agreement—serves as the foundation upon which the entirety of Scripture is based. And central to this agreement is God’s seven binding pronouncements and summonses which comprise the Miqra’ey. Arranged in order, they convey Yahowah’s prophetic promise of salvation and timeline. They are both mandatory and obligatory—on mankind and upon God. By observing them, we have Yahowah’s pledge, His solemn promise, that when it comes to life with Him in Heaven, our approval is assured. This is the message. It is the miracle of the three days—one which will be reaffirmed with the outpouring of the Spirit on Shabuwa’—the Feast of Sevens.
FirstFruits depicts a Spiritual harvest of souls, of God gathering us into His home. For it to be completely fulfilled, Yahowsha’s soul not only had to be released from the darkness of She’owl, He had to be reunited with the Set-Apart Spirit and rise up to heaven. And that is why we read:
“And it came to pass (ginomai – came to exist, happened, and was manifest) with regard to (en – in union and association with) His (autos) speaking well of (eulogeo – and providing benefits, even thanking and encouraging) them (autos), He (autos) departed (diistamai – set them apart and continued on after a specific set interval of time had passed) from (apo) them (autos) and was carried up (anaphero – led, brought, taken away, and borne upward as an offering) to (eis) heaven (ouranos – the abode of God).” (Luke 24:51)
Bikuwrym, the “harvest of firstborn children,” was now complete. God was going back home, inviting us to follow Him.
There are three particularly descriptive words in this passage. The first is eulogeo. It is yet another common Greek term which has been poorly translated—with derivatives rendered “Gospel” on several occasions. In the process, it has lost its meaning. In reality, eulogeo is comprised of eu, meaning “good, prosperous, and beneficial” and logos, meaning “words.” It means that Yahowsha’ “spoke well of His disciples,” that He “wished them well,” that He “encouraged them” and that His “words were beneficial to them.”
Diistemi is another telling term. Translated “departed” above, it speaks of “continuing one’s journey at a specific set interval of time,” in this case within the timeframe established in the Towrah with regard to the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym. For FirstFruits to be fulfilled, the Father would have to bring His Son home.
In this light, diistemi is comprised of dia, meaning “by means, reason, and on account of,” and histemi. And as you know, histemi not only serves as the root of the noun properly translated “upright pole” (as opposed to “cross”) upon which Yahowsha’ fulfilled Pesach, it describes what He did for us on Matsah—“standing up for us, establishing us, so that we could stand with Him.” Histemi even explains the purpose of Bikuwrym: “upholding and sustaining us so that we might rise.” We are to walk along, not crawl down, Yahowah’s seven-step pathway home.
The third interesting term is anaphero, because it speaks of a harvest, of a reaper bringing in and carrying away the fruit of his labors. Consistent with the FirstFruits “offering which elevates,” anaphero speaks of “being carried upward as an offering.” It is a compound of ana, meaning “into the midst” and phero, “to rush someone home by carrying them,” and “helping someone endure the rigors of a storm by bearing and leading them safely through it.”
So now that we understand God’s words and their context, let’s review Luke’s concluding testimony regarding Yahowsha’s fulfillment of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym—the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits—without the clutter of my comments.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning (as others slept before dawn), they [the Galilean women] came to the burial tomb, bringing the fragrant anointing spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. (Luke 24:1-2) They went in but did not find the body of the Mighty One, Yahowsha’. In that they came to be perplexed concerning this, suddenly two men appeared standing nearby them clothed in dazzling and brilliant light. (3-4)
Frightened, they began to incline their faces to the ground. And they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the one who lives among the dead (those destitute of life)? He is not existing here, but (instead) He has been restored and stands upright! (5-6) Remember (think, recall the information provided, and respond appropriately to) the manner in which He spoke to you when He was still present in Galilee, saying, “It is necessary and inevitable (proper and beneficial) that the Son of Man be delivered into the hands (authority and control) of perpetually sinful and mistaken (especially errant, lost, wicked, and heathen) men, and then be affixed to and lifted up on an upright pole, and on the third day return to life and stand up.”’ And they remembered His words. (6-8)
Changing their mind and returning (regaining their convictions and turning around), they separated themselves from the realm of the dead (the burial tomb), and as messengers reported (confessed and acknowledged what they had witnessed) all of these things to the eleven and also to others. (9) But the enlightenment in their presence (sound judgment) came across as nonsensical (as foolish conjecture, baseless opinions, and worthless) statements, and they did not think they were trustworthy or reliable. (11) So then Petros stood up and ran toward the tomb and stooped to see. He considered the swath of linen without accompaniment. And he departed, astonished and marveling in admiration by what had happened. (12)
Now pay attention, on that very day, it occurred that two of them were traveling to a village named Emmaus, which was a distance from Yaruwshalaim. They talked with one another with regard to the account of all these things which had come to pass. (13-14) Coming and appearing while they communed together, pondering the evidence, Yahowsha’, Himself drew near (approached and joined them) and went with them (leading them on their journey). But their eyes (perspective and perceptions) were restrained, so that they were kept from accurately recognizing or acknowledging Him. He said, ‘What kind of conversation is it that you are exchanging with one another as you walk standing upright, and yet are discouraged?’ (15-17)
Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered, ‘Are You the only one living and traveling in Yaruwshalaim who does not know the things which have happened here through Him during these days?’ (18) He said, ‘What nature of things?’ So they said, ‘Things concerning Yahowsha’, the Nazarene, a man who became a prophet, mighty (powerful and capable, extremely important and influential) in word and deed in the presence of (in accord with the judgments of) God and all the people, and how the chief priests (religious leaders) and our rulers (political and governmental officials) delivered Him up (betrayed Him and handed Him over) to be judged and condemned by the authorities (to be unfavorably evaluated, sentenced, and punished) to die and be separated (denoting the physical separation of the body and soul), affixing Him to an upright pole (fastening Him to a stake and then driving the timber into the ground, setting it upright). (19-20)
Instead, however, we were confidently expecting that He came into existence (was manifest to represent and stand up) for the intended and destined purpose of redeeming Yisra’el through the payment of a ransom (freeing, releasing, and delivering those individuals who live with God by paying the price to liberate them from bondage, oppression, and the penalty of sin). (21) Indeed, and then, besides all this, today is the third day since these things occurred. (21) And yet, certain women from among us, who arrived at the tomb early this morning, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had even seen the supernatural appearance of heavenly messengers (spiritual representatives who were sent out as God’s envoys) who affirmed that He lives. (22-23) And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said.’ (24)
Then He said to them, ‘O you who lack understanding (who fail to perceive, to ponder, to consider, and to comprehend; who are senseless, foolish, dimwitted, unintelligent, ignorant, and irrational), and are slow within themselves to (dull of heart and inactive in mind and body, apathetic and sluggish with regard to their own volition to) think and be persuaded by, giving credence to (objectively and intellectually evaluating, having confidence in, seeing as worthy, and being convinced by) all that the prophets have spoken! (25) Wasn’t it inevitable and necessary (logical and proper, beneficial and right, compulsory and dutiful) for the Ma’aseyah, the Implement of Yah, to have suffered (to have endured) these things and then to return to His glory and radiant magnificence (shining brightness and preeminence)?’ (26) And then, beginning at the source, with Moseh and all the Prophets (those who declare what is going to happen before it occurs), He explained the meaning (He translated and interpreted all the reasons) to them in the Scriptures (Writings of the Hebrew Scriptures) that pertained to Himself. (27)
As they approached the village where they were going, and He appeared as though He would go much further, they pleaded with Him, saying, ‘Stay and abide with us, for it is nearing evening, and the day is already drawing to a close.’ And so He went in and stayed together with (in fellowship and association with) them. (28-29) And it came to pass, as He reclined to eat with them, He received the loaf of bread, speaking well of it, and broke it, and gave it to them. And now, their eyes (their mental capacity for seeing and understanding, their perspectives) were opened (given the proper frame of reference) and they became thoroughly acquainted with (came to know in a relational sense, and came to understand accurately and completely; they came to recognize and acknowledge) Him.” (30-31)
Then after Yahowsha’ had left: “They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us as a result of His communication with us with regard to the Way, in the manner He was opening and explaining (expounding upon and giving life to) the Scriptures (the written Word of God)?’ (32) Then that same hour, they stood up and returned to Yaruwshalaim. And upon discovering the location of the eleven and those with them, they came together, saying (affirming and clarifying) that really and truly God has risen and been seen by Shim’own (meaning to understand). (34) And they provided detailed information (revealed and made fully known, carefully and meticulously described, recounted all that they had learned from the interpretation of the divine writ) with regard to the Way as He was made known and was recognized (acknowledged and understood) in the breaking of the loaf of bread. (35)
As they discussed these things, He, Himself, stood upright (histemi – took a stand so as to enable others to stand up, choosing to establish, authorize, validate, and uphold them) in their midst, and said to them, ‘Shalowm.’ (36) Why are you so agitated and confused? I exist (I Am). What is the reason for (hesitation regarding deliberation and the uncertainty behind) your elevated pulse? (37) He said to them, ‘These are the words (accounts, reasoning, affirmations, and statements) which I spoke (shared and communicated) with you back when I was together with you all, namely that it was necessary (inevitable, compulsory, expected, proper, right, and beneficial) to completely fulfill (to complete and to consummate, to perfectly render, to give meaning to, and to cause people to think about) everything written (grapho – in Scripture) in the Torah of Moseh, the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Me. (44)
Then, He opened their minds (their ability to think and to reason, to judge and to understand, adjusting their attitude to resolve conflicts so that they might become aware) to have the capacity to understand (to be intelligent and gain insight by way of bringing everything together so as to comprehend the whole by way of making the proper connections between the parts of) the Scriptures (the written Word of God as conveyed in Hebrew). (45) And He said to them that for this reason and cause, and in this manner, it was written (inscribed in the Word of God) that the Ma’aseyah, the Implement of Yah, must experience suffering (must be afflicted in a horrible way) and then stand up enabling others to stand, established out of lifelessness (desolation and destitution, death and abandonment) on the third day. (46)
Publicly proclaim (announce, publish, preach, and teach with the intent of persuading, making extensively known, telling everyone everywhere) in My personal and proper name, a change of mind for the better (a reversal in thinking which leads to a better perspective, approach, and attitude) to pardon and forgive (release individuals from captivity and free them from bondage and oppression, to cancel debts and acquit the guilty, to liberate people from the consequence of) sin to all races and nations, starting from Yaruwshalaim. (47) You are witnesses to (one who shares the evidence, information, and statements known directly to them, one who accurately presents knowledge which can enlighten others regarding) this. (48) And indeed, I send you out (dispatch you with the purpose of conveying the message) with My Father’s assurance of the promised agreement (with an affirmation of approval, with a mandated and obligatory pronouncement and summons) upon you. (49)
And it came to pass with regard to His speaking well of (and providing benefits, even thanking and encouraging) them, He departed (set them apart and continued on after a specific set interval of time had passed) from them and was carried up (led, brought, taken away, and borne upward as an offering) to heaven (the abode of God).” (Luke 24:51)
Not only had all of the prophecies and promises of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms with regard to the Ma’aseyah’s fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits been completed, just as they had been written, God told us repeatedly that this was the only way to understand what He had done. And yet with reckless abandon, and with no regard whatsoever for the Word of God, Christians in every denomination have scoffed at this testimony, and substituted religious rites, holidays, and orthodoxy for Yahowah’s Covenant Relationship.
The overriding issue I have with man’s backward view of the Ma’aseyah’s life, beyond it being ignorant, irrational, and obnoxious, is the “grace versus the law” argument so many Christians, especially evangelicals, use as a smokescreen to avoid the preponderance of Yahowah’s instructions. It is as if understanding the nature of God’s sacrifice and relying upon it as He described it, somehow negates the favoritism shown to us by the unearned and undeserved gifts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. It is as if understanding the path and provision Yahowah has prescribed, is work stained by the ugly stench of legalism. And yet, according to Yahowah, it isn’t a question of the Towrah versus Mercy, but instead of the Torah providing Mercy.
Yes, there are some requirements which must be met for us to enjoy a familial covenant relationship with Yahowah, and while they require some effort on our part, it is offensive and unreasonable to categorize abandoning religious schemes, studying Scripture so that we come to know God as He revealed Himself, walking and communicating with Him, being straight and upright with our Heavenly Father, and choosing to revere, trust, and rely upon Him, as “working to earn our salvation by way of legalism.” Remember, Yahowah’s initial request of Abraham in the Torah was to come out of Babylon. It is His final request in Revelation of us today. And yet, the most prevalent and popular religious and political dogmas on planet Earth remain rooted in this very place.
Speaking of this: “Do not (me) stray from the truth or be misled (planaomai – wander about lost without purpose or direction, do not be deceived, deluded, led down the wrong path, or be seduced into erroneous thinking) my beloved (agapetos – loved dear friends and) brethren (adelphos – family members and kin). Every (pas) good, worthy, and suitable (agathos – moral and generous, useful, beneficial, agreeable and joyous, distinguished and upright) act of giving (dosis), and every genuine and true (teleios – perfectly completed and finished) gift (dorema) from above (anothen) exists (eimi – denotes God’s existence, represents without contingency and corresponds identically to, happens, stands for, and occurs) moving down (katabaino – descending, from kata, down from and according to, and basis, for walking) from (apo) the ΠΡΣ (placeholder for Patros and ’Ab – Father) of Lights (phos – of illuminations [rendered in the plural because Yahowah is Light, Yahowsha’ is the Light of the World, and the Set-Apart Spirit adorns us in a Garment of Light]), among (para) whom (hos) there exists (emi) no (ouk) variation or change (parallage – transitions or vicissitudes, flexibility with regard to replacing one thing with another), inconsistency or reversals (trope – turning back on a promise, fickleness, cancelation or abrogation, eclipsing of the light), or (e) any interception of [His] light (skia – any shadows or vague and sketchy foreshadows, representations, or obscurity).” (Ya’aqob / James 1:17)
God’s purpose in writing to us is so that we might experience His Light and so that we would be able to prevent men from misleading us. And included in this message is the fact that Yahowah isn’t obscure about anything. His predictions and His representations are neither vague nor sketchy. And most important of all, He is consistent. God doesn’t change His program with the times. He isn’t interested in harmonizing with public opinion. He has created a plan and He is sticking to it. You should expect no variation of any kind when it comes to the process of salvation. The Way Home is a seven-step journey which begins with Passover, Unleavened Bread and FirstFruits and ends camping out with God for all eternity. Any suggestion that this has somehow been modified or updated by the Church is the kind of nonsense that leads millions of souls down the wrong path. In other words, the Torah remains in effect.
Ya’aqob went on to write: “He [Yahowah] will purposefully and affectionately (boulomai – lovingly and willingly) cause us to be born (apokueo – will renew and restore us to life, bringing us forth from the womb, and causing us to exist) by means of (eis – and according to) the Word (Logos) of Truth (aletheia – objective reality and verifiable certainty) with us (hemeis) coming to exist as (eimi) His (autos) newly created (ktisma – completely changed and transformed) FirstFruits (aparche).” (Ya’aqob / James 1:18)
According to Ya’aqob, we can rely on the Word of Truth and the promise of Bikuwrym. The Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits, as it is explained in the Greek texts, is the story of children being born into our Heavenly Father’s family.
In that this portion of the chapter is focused upon condemning unauthorized and revisionist Christian doctrine, you should know that there is no biblical book named “James.” The Savior’s disciple and brother were named Ya’aqob, which even corrupted into Elizabethan English should have been rendered “Jacob.” But the occultist King James who “authorized” the King James Version was so egotistical, so bent on proving that he held divine authority to rule, he had the name changed to match his own.
Thus far, Luke and Ya’aqob have told a consistent story. They said that Yahowsha’ actually did what Yahowah had said He would do more than a thousand years earlier. He even did it on the very day and year He predicted He’d demonstrate this death defying act.
For one additional verification, let’s turn to Yahowchanan’s eyewitness testimony of what occurred on the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym. “Then they [Yahowah’s spiritual messengers] said to her [Maryam Magdalene], ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away (airo – executed, carried off, and destroyed) the (ho) ΚΣ (placeholder for Upright One, based upon kyrios representing ‘edon), and I (ego) do not (ou) comprehend (oida – I lack information, am unaware, and do not understand) where (pou) they have put (tithemi – placed and laid) Him.’ When she had said this, she turned around (strephomai), and behind her, she saw (theoreo – looked at) ΙΣ (placeholder for Yahowsha’) standing upright (histemi), and did not (ou) recognize (oida – perceive, understand, or comprehend, was unaware) that it was (eimi – that He represented a manifestation of) ΙΣ (placeholder for Yahowsha’).” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:13-14)
Humankind had witnessed Yahowsha’ histemi: “come into our presence and stand upright, thereby enabling us to stand by establishing us and rescuing us, upholding us with authority and making us safe.” And yet because most don’t understand Yahowah’s Passover instructions or Unleavened Bread provisions, they were not ready for what they were witnessing.
“ΙΣ (placeholder for Yahowsha’) said to her, ‘Maryam (Mariam – transliterated from the Hebrew Miryam, meaning “they are rebellious”).’ She turned around (strepho – changed her thinking, moved toward Him, and was reestablished in her relationship with Him so that she could follow after Him) and said (lego) to Him in Hebrew (Hebraisti – from Hebrais, a transliteration of ‘eber, designating the Hebrew language in which all Scripture was written), ‘Rhabboni (rhabboni – an Aramaic/Greek transliteration of rab),’ which (ho) is to say (lego), Teacher (didaskalos – instructor).” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:16)
“Hebrew” is a transliteration of ‘eber, meaning “the straight passage to passover to the region beyond.” It is derived from ‘abar, meaning: “to pass over, to take away transgressions, and to pass beyond.” It speaks of Passover leading to Paradise.
It’s hard to know what Maryam actually called Yahowsha’. The eyewitness accounts were written in Greek, a foreign language in Israel at the time. Rhabboni is an Aramaic word, but it is based upon a transliteration of the Hebrew rab and rabab. The problem is that rab and rahab do not mean “teacher,” but instead “mighty and exalted one, the most high, the first and the greatest, the one abounding in strength and power, the one whose ability is sufficient to complete any task, and the one who unites, increases abundantly, and multiplies.” It is a perfect title for the Ma’aseyah—as is the suggestion that it had evolved to mean “teacher.” But it is the exalted nature of the term which explains why Jewish religious leaders coveted the title and applied it to themselves. And in this regard, the first recorded instance of a rabbi using the term is circa 110 BCE. Yahowsha’ Perachyah is quoted saying: “Get a teacher (rab) and find a fellow student.”
“Yahowsha’ said (epo) to her (autos), ‘Do not (me) touch or cling to (haptomai – make close contact with, hold on to, or adhere to) Me (ego), because (gar – for the reason) I have not yet (oupo) ascended to (anabaino pros – gone up to; a compound of basis, meaning to step and ana, into the midst of) the ΠΡΑ (placeholder for Father from patera and ‘ab). But (de) go to (poreuomai – depart and proceed by walking to) My brethren (adelphos – brothers and kin, those with whom I share a close bond of affection) and say to them, “I am ascending into the midst of (anabaino) My ΠΡΑ (placeholder for Father) and your ΠΡΑ (Father), and to My ΘΝ (placeholder for God based upon ‘elohym and theon) and your ΘΝ (God).”’” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:17)
This passage provides important insights into Yahowsha’s restored nature as well as into to our eventual heritage. Yahowsha’ is in the process of being transformed, or more accurately, of being reformed with Yahowah. The part of the whole who had been set apart, was being reunified back into God. Anabaino says as much. The Son was “stepping back into the midst of the Father.” And that is why He didn’t want anyone to touch Him yet. Just as with what occurred on the Mount of Transfiguration, Yahowsha’s energy, His brilliance, would have to be dramatically increased for even Him to endure Yahowah’s presence. A mortal touching Him in this transformational state may have been lethal.
The essence of the Bikuwrym promise is that one day we will increase in power as God’s children, and then follow Yahowsha’ home. Therefore, for the Ma’aseyah to be the first-FirstFruit harvested, for Him to lead the way, and for Him to fulfill the Called-Out Assembly as it was predicted, He had to go to the Father at this time.
Finally, the passage says that “the Father” was not only Yahowsha’s Father but also our Father. And that makes Yahuwdym the sons and daughters of God. Those of us harvested on Bikuwrym and Taruw’ah are born anew and adopted as God’s children.
“But then (oun – therefore and indeed), it came to be (eimi) late (opsios – between three and six o’clock in the afternoon, or a few hours before sunset) that same day, the one (heis) Sabbath (Sabbaton – a transliteration of the Hebrew Sabbathown, the special set-apart day of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym and also the first day of that week) when (kai) the doors (thyra – entrances, gates, and portals) were shut (kleio – closed and locked) where the disciples (mathetes – committed students who are accustomed to habitually being informed, increasing their knowledge, learning, and understanding) were (eimi) gathered together (sunago – assembled) by reason of (dia – because of) their fear (phobos) of the Jews (Ioudaios – a transliteration of Yahuwdym), Yahowsha’ came (erchomai – journeyed from one place to another, made an appearance and revealed Himself) and stood (histemi – having come into their presence, He stood upright enabling them to stand, establishing and rescuing them, upholding them with authority, and making them safe, acknowledging their validity, recommending and authorizing them, having paid for them so that by choice they could choose continued existence while He was) in their midst (mesos – with them).” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:19)
There are two different ways to read this passage because both phobos and Ioudaios have light and dark sides. The disciples could have been huddled and hiding in “phobos/fear, terrified of the Ioudaios / Jews (those who claimed to be Yahuwdym and were not)” because just a few days earlier, Jewish political and religious leaders had coerced the Romans to murder the Ma’aseyah. Might they be next? Or, on the brighter side, could the disciples have been “gathered together in phobos/reverence, loving one another as Yahuwdym (those in relationship with Yahowah),” celebrating the news that Yahowsha’ had risen, consistent with the promise of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym.
But either way, we know that after rising up to heaven, Yahowsha’ returned to earth to complete His mission. He had come, not just to fulfill the Called-Out Assemblies, but also to show man what God is like. It was therefore paramount to demonstrate Yahowah’s steadfast adherence to His written assurances—to the prophetic promises found in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. The message was simple: God is consistent, His Word can be trusted, and His path to paradise can be relied upon.
John, whose name was actually Yahowchanan (Yah is Merciful), continued to document History’s greatest miracle: the fulfillment of the Called-Out Assembly of FirstFruits. “And He said (lego – promised and affirmed) to them: ‘You (humeis) are assured of salvation and a harmonious relationship (eirene – of a state of peace and tranquility by being joined to Me in a covenant agreement, of freedom and safety, of prosperity and great joy; representing the Greek word closest to shalowm).’ When He had said this, He showed them (deiknuo – exposed Himself so as to provide evidence and proof, teaching by revealing) His hands and His side. Then the disciples (mathetes – committed students who were accustomed to habitually being informed, increasing their knowledge, learning, and understanding) rejoiced in joyous salutations (chairo – were exceedingly happy).” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:19-20)
Yahowsha’s restored and reconciled manifestation was tangible, albeit very different than His previous body. It was both corporeal, physical, material, and very real while at the same time more energy than matter. He could eat, and yet He could walk through walls. More revealing still, He could travel unfathomable distances in the blink of an eye. This is exactly what I expect of our restored and reconciled nature. Our soul and Yahowah’s Spirit will be akin to light energy with the potential for temporary diminishment into matter when it serves our interests.
Although we aren’t told specifically, it’s obvious within the context of Scripture, that Yahowsha’s Spirit and soul had ascended to Heaven, having become the living embodiment and the prophetic fulfillment of the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym just after meeting with the women and before returning to meet with His disciples. The women encountered Him at first light. Now it was nearly twilight. Moreover, He told the women not to touch Him because He had not yet gone to the Father. Now He was encouraging the disciples to touch Him.
So then, after revealing His hands and side, God said: “Then (oun – therefore, accordingly and consequently, these things being so) Yahowsha’ said (eipon) to them anew (palin – as a repetition of renewal), ‘Be assured of salvation and of a harmonious relationship (eirene – of a state of peace and tranquility by being joined to Me in a covenant agreement, of freedom and safety, of prosperity and great joy; in Hebrew: shalowm) according to and in the same proportion as exists (kathos – just as, in the identical manner, and to the same degree as is represented) in the ΠΗΡ (Father) who set Me apart, and sent Me away with this message (apostello ego – separated Me from Himself, dispatched Me to go to this place, prepared Me to convey the Word, and arranged the order of events). I also (kai) send you out to begin the harvest (pempo – appoint and dispatch you to represent Me, instruct in the Word, and gather in, reaping what has been sown).’” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:21)
While Yahowsha’ said “Shalowm” and not “Eirene,” the inclusion of eirene in this passage is illuminating because the message of FirstFruits is embodied in this word—just as it is with shalowm. While I have translated it “be assured of salvation and of a harmonious relationship,” there is more to it than this. Eirene is from the verb, eiro, which means “to join.” When Yahowah harvests our souls, and we are brought to Him, our Heavenly Father incorporates us into His family as His sons and daughters. Our assurance of salvation is a derivative of the “harmonious relationship” known as the “Covenant,” a familial affair facilitated by Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits.
Eirene, therefore, provides the ultimate “state of tranquility and peace.” That’s interesting because the Messianic title “Shiloh” means “Counselor of Peace and Tranquility”—the Covenant’s title for the Spirit. Further, according to etymological studies, this favorable and agreeable “state was almost always defined by a binding legal document which conveyed the mutual responsibilities of the parties to the relationship.” That’s important because the Covenant is a legal and binding document which describes the mutual benefits of the familial relationship with Yahowah. The adoption papers and the certificate of marriage are the Scriptures. The Word is our assurance of salvation—our life assurance policy. The fine points are all detailed in the Miqra’ey.
Also essential in understanding this passage is the fact that apostello is a compound of apo, meaning “to separate” and stello, “to arrange in order so as to be prepared for use.” So, when apostello is used in the context of Yahowsha’s relationship with Yahowah, it is especially revealing. Technically, apo designates “the separation of a part from the whole from which the part originated, whereby the individual is separated from the union or fellowship of the source.” Stello means “in order to prepare and equip the individual for use.” Thus, apostello conveys that Yahowsha’ is a manifestation of Yahowah, a part of Yahowah, set apart from God to prepare us to join with God.
While this has been shared before, and will be shared again, the best way I know to convey the nature of the relationship between Yahowah, Yahowsha’, and the Spirit is for you to picture yourself on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Dip two large buckets into the sea. Freeze one and carve it into the shape of a man. Place it in the light so that its form can be seen and felt by those in the presence of its relatively brief physical existence. Then boil the seawater in the other barrel, allowing the steam to envelop those on your ship. Possessing more energy than the frozen form, the steam not only moves up, it can be put to work empowering things just like Yahowah’s Spirit. One radiates light and is easy to see. The other possesses more power and thus enables greater work to be done. And yet they are the same thing—both are pure manifestations of the ocean, just set apart from it to perform a specific function.
Both buckets came from the same place and are thus identical in their composition. There is still only one ocean from which they both were derived. Each was set apart from the whole for the purpose of demonstration and revelation. One was corporeal, tangible, touchable in the form of a man reflecting light. The other was steam, representing the Spirit’s power to raise people up and empower them to do the work of God.
This metaphor, while not perfect, helps us understand that Yahowah is one in nature, one in personality, one in power, and one in purpose. He is one entity and consciousness, not three. Consistent with Yahowsha’s words, the Spirit and the Son return to the midst of the living waters from which they came. That is what this passage is telling us.
In the context of us being “pempo/sent out to begin the harvest, appointed and dispatched to represent God, instructing others in the Word, and gathering in souls, reaping what had been sown by God’s fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, Yahowsha’ revealed: “And when (kai) He had said (eipon) this (houtos), He breathed (emphusao – blew His breath) on them and said (lego – provided meaning, promised, and assured): ‘Accept and carry (lambano – receive and acquire, take hold of and use productively, choose to associate with, experience and exploit courageously) the revered, cleansing, and set-apart (hagios) ΠΝΑ (placeholder for ruwach, Spirit; and pneuma).” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 20:22)
The Set-Apart Spirit is what made Yahowsha’ the diminished manifestation of Yahowah, and She is what makes us like God. She came from the Son because the Father, Spirit, and Son are one.
Our Spiritual Mother provides the means for us to “accept and carry” the message. We are to “use the Spirit’s power productively, choosing to closely associate with Her.” Yahowah wants us to “exploit the Spirit’s resources, using them effectively and courageously.” Through the Spirit we are born anew from above and thus prepared for the Spiritual harvest and for transport to heaven.
Moving from Yahowchanan to Mattanyah, we find another affirmation that the harvest celebration of FirstFruits requires that a wave offering be made. Pure grain, representing saved souls, mixed with wine, representing the Ma’aseyah’s blood, and oil, representing the Set-Apart Spirit, must rise up to Heaven. So, consider Mattanyah’s testimony as proof that the Ma’aseyah presented His “wave offering” of redeemed souls before Yahowah on this day in accordance with His Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23 instructions.
“The tombs (mnemeion – burial sepulchers) were opened (anoigo – were provided with access) and many (polus – a large number, a great quantity of) corpses (soma) of those who had been revered, cleansed, and set apart (hagios), those who had fallen asleep (koimao) were aroused (egeiro – were awakened, transformed from death to life). And coming out of (exerchomai – coming forth on their own accord as an assembly arisen and reborn from) their tombs (mnemeion – sepulchers) in association with (meta) His restoration (egersis), they entered and appeared in the revered and set-apart (hagios) city and they manifested themselves as light to (emphanizo – disclosed themselves as light, declaring and providing proof to) many.” (Mattanyah / Yah Gives / Matthew 27:52-53) Members of Yahowah’s family became like their Savior Yahowsha’, collectively fulfilling the prophetic foreshadowing of the third Miqra’. As was the case with Yahowsha’ on Bikuwrym, these Children of the Covenant were seen as a manifestation of light energy.
Dissecting this important fulfillment of the Festival of FirstFruits, we learn that egeiro, or “were aroused,” is from agora, which shades its meaning considerably. The hagios (those who had been revered, cleansed, and set apart) were not only “egeiro – awakened and then transformed from death to life, stirred and then enabled to appear,” they were “agora – an assembly of people brought forth for the purpose of public debate, for election and thus to facilitate choice.” They were evidence of “a favorable judgment in the marketplace of ideas.” They were “the beneficiaries of a business transaction” known as ga’al/redemption.
Yahowsha’ came to stir public discussion on the subject of who Yahowah is, what He is like, what He recommends and desires, and what provision He has provided. He did this so that we could judge the evidence and then make an informed and wise choice, one by which we can elect to know Him and trust Him, becoming part of His assembly—Yahuwdym. This is the business of God.
Emphanizo is an equally revealing term. It defines Yahowsha’s relationship with Yahowah as well as the purpose of His visit. An emphanizo is a “manifestation.” Webster defines “manifestation” as: “the act or process of revealing a form of an individual in a public demonstration for the purpose of presenting their power in a way in which is readily perceived by the senses, especially by sight.” An emphanizo/manifestation is “easily understood and recognized by the mind; it makes someone or something evident by demonstrably displaying it or them.” As such, emphanizo is designed “to exhibit and disclose [Yahowah’s] nature and power.” To emphanizo is “to make Him known by providing proof and then declaring that proof publicly.”
To further appreciate this term, emphanizo is a compound of em, a variation of en meaning “by and with” and phaino, which conveys “to shine light, to bring forth into the light, to cause light to shine, and to shed light.” Phaino also means: “to become evident, clear and manifest.” Phaino is from the base of phos which is “light.” This should not be surprising since God is light—even the Father of Light. Light is Yahowah’s most oft-repeated metaphor to describe Himself because it is the most revealing and accurate.
By analyzing the root of emphanizo, we discover that the process of change that makes our restored and reconciled nature different than our current mortal existence, is directly related to light. This means we will become more like Yahowah in yet another way. Light is energy and yet it has a particle nature, much like the post Bikuwrym Yahowsha’. And light exists in the eternal now where past, present and future are one. This makes light eternal. In the context of the FirstFruits Harvest, it reveals a great deal about the purpose of this day. These were not physical bodies which were seen, but instead manifestations of Yahowah’s light in harmony with the souls of the Called Out.
Analyzing this amazing passage further, we discover that the revered, cleansed, and set-apart souls who comprised the FirstFruits Harvest were “awakened from their sleep.” This means that those whose mortal lives ended before Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Passover and Unleavened Bread, the transition from temporal consciousness, to death, and then to rebirth included a period of prolonged sleep where their souls were unaware of their surroundings and circumstances, even of time.
The Spring Miqra’ey were prophetic rehearsals directing our attention to their miraculous fulfillment in Jerusalem—the city which lies at the crossroads of the world—the city from which redemption flows. Now they are memorials—set-apart assembly appointments to celebrate and facilitate our relationship with our Heavenly Father. They are not only fixed in time, they are the very fixtures upon which time hangs. And they are signs, lessons to us, so that we might more fully appreciate Yahowah’s provision, the nature of His sacrifice, the reasons He made it, as well as their effect on our standing with Him.
We can keep this appointment with our Heavenly Father by focusing on the significance of the three things which were prophetic of our salvation: the sacrificial lamb, the benefit of unleavened bread, and the resulting harvest of purified grain mixed with wine and oil—symbolic of saved souls. FirstFruits is a time to be grateful for the provision God has provided at such great cost. It is a time to celebrate our relationship with Yahowah, to read His Word immersed in the Spirit. The Miqra’ of Bikuwrym is a time to go out in Yahowah’s name, encouraging others to accept God’s merciful gift.
The FirstFruits Harvest is a communal celebration—one that leads directly to being born anew into Yahowah’s family. It is the result of Passover and Unleavened Bread. It is the fruit of the Spirit.