REDISCOVERING THE HEBRAIC ROOTS OF THE EARLY
CHRISTIAN CHURCH, CIRCA A.D. 60
THE RAPTURE QUESTION
The Hebraic roots of the end of the Age
Our ministry mission is to help to restore the Hebraic roots of the Scriptures to believers today. Our studies return to the foundational Apostolic viewpoint that was the context of understanding biblical precepts during the time of Christ. This is so important because virtually all of the writings of the Apostles...and even most of the words of Jesus....were expressed within the context of their cultural Jewish background and the Hebrew Scriptures (biblically called “the Word of the Lord” or “the Torah”): but known today as the “Old Testament”.
It is so important to recognize that where-ever “the scriptures” are referred to in the New Testament – it is a direct reference to the Hebrew Bible exclusively: as there was no “New Testament” until late in the 3rd century.
Where-ever the words “Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” or “Moses and the prophets” or even “the Law of Moses” is used in the New Testament, it is a direct reference to the Torah, or the Hebrew Scriptures.
Despite many current doctrines that attempt to make the Hebrew Scriptures irrelevant or “done away with” in doctrinal issues today, Paul told Timothy “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, [evidence to prove] for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Paul was saying that the source for defining the Lord’s intent in Scripture and prophecy was the ancient Hebrew Bible: and it was also the source for “reproof” (evidence to prove doctrine). It was the sole authority quoted by Jesus and the Apostles throughout the New Testament.
The reason I am bringing this up in the context of the question about the “rapture” or what I prefer to call “the catching away” is that the historical progression of this doctrine from the time of the Apostles until today is breath-taking in it’s departure from the original source and ancient Hebraic framework of revelation. This sharp departure is very dismaying evidence of the confusion that has developed since the Apostolic viewpoint was totally abandoned after the death of the Apostles.....John was the last and died about 95 A.D.
Today there are at least five to six opposing viewpoints on the “rapture” and the bitter confusion over this is very deep. So much so that most people don’t know what to believe and because of the doctrinal turmoil, some have decided there will be NO rapture at all. This was not the case during the times the Apostles walked the earth.
WHAT DID THE DISCIPLES TEACH ABOUT THE “RAPTURE”?
We can find real evidence from early church records, letters and documents that there were NOT five to six opposing doctrines of the “rapture” competing with each other during the time of the Apostles and for hundreds of years thereafter. The source of these documents that confirm the Apostolic viewpoint can be found in the l6-volume library called, the Ante-Nicean Fathers. Here is an example from these volumes of the Hebraic viewpoint as late as 373 A.D.
“We ought to understand thoroughly, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. We must PREPARE ourselves for the meeting of the Lord so that He may draw us from the confusion that overwhelms the world. For all the Saints and the elect of God are gathered PRIOR to the Tribulation and are taken to the Lord, lest they see the confusion that is to come that is to overwhelm the world because of sins.” Ephrem, the Syrian, 373 A.D., The Ante-Nicean Fathers
This statement is a clear declaration of the pre-tribulation viewpoint taught by the Apostles.
However, the European fathers of the Roman Church rejected the Hebraic viewpoint because it was “too Jewish” and thereafter the contrarian doctrines that have sown the seeds of confusion and conflict regarding the “rapture” today began to be developed. Examples of this are the more recent doctrines of Futurism (1591 A.D.) and Preterism (1614A.D.) which were developed from Roman Catholic Jesuit origins and not by Hebrew scholars. The Jesuit theology is Hellenistic and not sourced in the Hebrew Bible, whereas the Hebraic viewpoint is.
But what is important for us to know is that the history and record of the early Apostolic church indicates that the Apostles taught ONE universal Hebraic viewpoint on the rapture that predated current doctrines by thousands of years. This was the pre-tribulation resurrection and the “catching away”of the “tzadikim” (the living saints) that will occur at the “Last Trump”. When Paul used the term “the Last Trump”, he was placing the rapture within the context of the Fall Festivals, and the Feast of Trumpets.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be CHANGED; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP, for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor 15:51 KJV “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and WITH THE TRUMPET OF GOD. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:16)
The Hebraic context of the prophetic precept of “the Last Trump” is that it places “the catching away” in it’s original pre-tribulation position within the pattern of the Fall Festival revelation. According to this precept, when it is fulfilled, it will be the trigger that begins the eschatology of the final events of the end of the age and it will set everything prophesied for this time into motion.
The timing in this is crucial. In it’s fulfillment, “the Last Trump” first signals the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the “catching away” of those who are alive at that time (the Bride). Secondly, it signals the beginning of final judgment for the nations: what is called “the Days of Awe” or the Great Tribulation. In Leviticus 23, the Lord describes this period as “severe soul affliction”. (please refer to attached brochure, “the Last Trump”)
In Scripture, the Great Tribulation had many different names such as “the Indignation”, the “Day of the Lord’s Anger”, the “Time of Trouble” and “the Hour of Trial”: all referring to the same point in time. Although apocalyptic, these scriptures always had a common theme for the Lord’s true remnant who will be alive at the time - an inspired precept of being “hidden” or “concealed” when the time of final judgement begins on the earth.
This biblical precept is referenced as one of the scriptural themes of the High Holy Days in the ancient Rabbinic commentaries, such as the Midrash, the Mishnah and the Talmud. As a matter of fact it was from this ancient source of Hebrew Scripture that the first of the Fall Festival days - the Feast of Trumpets - was also called “the Day of Our Concealment”.
“Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall ARISE. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, My people, enter your [bridal] chambers, and shut your doors behind you; HIDE YOURSELF, as it were, for a little moment, UNTIL THE INDIGNATION IS PAST. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;” Isaiah 26:21-22 (being taken away and hidden in the “heder”, the bridal-chamber, was the consummating act of the ancient Jewish wedding. In that tradition, the marriage covenant was not considered to be consummated or fulfilled until the bridegroom fulfilled the required “seven days in the bridal-chamber” with his bride. In prophetic application, the Lord invites His bride to “hide in the bridal-chamber” that has been prepared in Heaven prior to “the Indignation” - the Great Tribulation) “Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the Day of the Lord's Anger comes upon you! Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be HID In the Day of the Lord's Anger.” (“hid” - Hebrew word “cathar” - “to be absent from”)Zeph 2:1-4 “For in the Time of Trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His Tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Revelation 15:5 speaks of the Tabernacle that is in Heaven) Psalm 27:5 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you FROM the Hour of Trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (“from” - Greek word “ek” - “out of”)Rev 3:10-11
These are some of the scriptures that reflect the biblical origins of the ancient Hebraic roots regarding “the catching away” that precedes the tribulation period. These prophetic roots were established long before the time of Jesus and the Apostles and even predate the Babylonian captivity. They established the Hebraic instructional model that was the basis of Apostolic teachings; particularly the Lord’s end-time program that is clearly described in the eschatology of the Fall Festivals and the High Holy Days.
The biblical source for the Festival Days is found Leviticus 23 and it is important to recognize that in Leviticus 23, the Lord identifies these as the “Festival Days of the Lord” and not the Festival Days of the Jews. They were not the religious invention of the Jews (an incorrect assumption made by the anti-Semitic gentile church authority of the 2nd and 3rd century that succeeded the Apostles after their death).
The ancient Hebrew people called them “miqra” - - which is a Hebrew word that means “rehearsal.” For religious Jews, even to this day, the Festival days are seen to be prophetic “rehearsals” of events that will be fulfilled in the future. For believers, the Spring Festivals have been fulfilled in exact prophetic detail that describes the first advent of Messiah. So we can confidently anticipate that the Fall Festivals - which describe His return - will be fulfilled in the same way.
The Apostles’ pre-tribulation viewpoint of end-time prophecy is irrefutably based on the eschatology of the Fall Festivals. They reveal the blueprint of the Lord’s end-time program that culminates in the return of Jesus. This was always described in a precise commencement of events: whereby the “catching away” is always revealed as pre-tribulation.
The bitterly opposing doctrines regarding the “rapture” that are prevalent today were unknown by the Apostles prior to 100 A.D. So, if we want to learn what the Apostles taught in this regard, it is important for us to strip away all later doctrines that were developed from the 2nd century on. Examples of this are the more recent doctrines of Futurism (1591 A.D.) and Preterism (1614A.D.) which were developed from Roman Catholic Jesuit origins and not by Hebrew scholars. The Jesuit theology is Hellenistic and not sourced in the Hebrew Bible, whereas the Hebraic viewpoint is.
RETURNING TO THE SOURCE: What happened to the Apostolic teachings?
As the “resurrection” and the “catching away/ rapture” are some of the most ancient of the Hebraic roots, it is essential to return to the biblical instructional model that defined these events. The origin and foundation for understanding events of the end of the age was established by the Lord in the prophetic pattern of the Fall Festivals.
That is why the Apostles continued to observe and to teach the prophetic precepts of the Festival days after the death of Jesus. Through this inspired source, they could now recognize the eschatological importance of the Festival cycle pattern that describes the first and second advent of Messiah: the consummation of redemption. For the disciples of Christ this was not an exercise of legalism, but a memorial of God’s redemptive plan for the world. This Apostolic practice continued on for hundreds of years until the Roman Empire outlawed this practice in 323 A.D. The Festival Days (which includes the true Sabbath) were an essential part of early Christian worship until they were specifically outlawed by Rome. This is referenced in the following commentary from D. Thomas Lancaster’s excellent book, Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus.
“We call the leaders of the generation of Gentile believers who lived through the second Jewish Revolt, the Church Fathers. Unfortunately, their understanding of Torah was largely a misunderstanding. One of the Church Fathers, Ignatius, wrote an epistle to the congregations of Asia (where John had lived and served just three decades before). He said to them: ‘Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner and rejoice in days of idleness...but let every one of you keep the Sabbath in a spiritual manner....’ What did he mean? Why did he have to prohibit second-century believers from keeping the Sabbath? He had to prohibit them because despite all the adversity, John’s and Paul’s congregations were still keeping Sabbath. At the same time that men like Ignatius and Justin Martyr was holding their sway over the developing church, the believers saw the rise of the great heretic Marcion. He came sweeping through the church with his refined doctrine that the Jesus of the New Testament had defeated and unseated the evil god of the Jews. Therefore, the Hebrew Scriptures (what we call the Old Testament) and any Jewish relics in the Christian faith need to be expelled. He compiled the first version of the ‘New Testament’. Marcion’s Bible consisted of portions of the book of Luke and ten of Paul’s epistles, which he edited to remove what he termed as “Jewish corruptions.” He discarded the rest of the books of the Apostles, as well as the entire Old Testament, on the basis of their Jewishness. Marcion’s anti-Jewish, anti-Torah version of Christianity caught on quickly. Meanwhile an annual remembrance of the resurrection of Messiah had emerged in Christian practice. It occurred every year on the Sunday that followed Passover. The Roman Christians called it “Easter”, an older name for a pagan Roman springtime festival [the veneration of the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar - at the Vernal Equinox]. The Roman church ordered believers to quit reckoning Passover by the traditional Jewish method and to only keep this annual resurrection festival. It was a great controversy because the churches of Asia (the congregations of Paul and John) did not want to play ball with Roman authority. They wanted to keep Passover as they always had. But in the end the authority of Rome prevailed. Part of the fallout of the controversy was that Sunday was elevated while all the biblical (i.e., Jewish) elements, festivals and days were eliminated. Constantine made the divorce from Judaism final with the Council of Nicea (325 CE). His official policy regarding Torah observance is expressed in his words: “Let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish rabble” The decisions made at Nicea defined the course the church would take henceforth. Later church councils followed suit, and new legislation was introduced to forbid Christians from observing Torah. The Council of Antioch (341 CE) prohibited Christians from celebrating Passover with the Jews, while the Council of Laodicea (363 CE) forbade Christians from observing the Biblical Sabbath. The edicts of these various councils make it clear that many believers were still, even in the fourth century, keeping Torah.”
THE EVIDENCE OF CONFUSION:
FROM WHENCE COMES EASTER EGGS AND EASTER BUNNIES?
“Although, according to Christian teaching, the events regarding the crucifixion of Jesus were said to have occurred at the time of Passover, the Church nonetheless wished to avoid any coincidence with the Jewish festival and therefore established rules where this would not occur. Furthermore, Easter was celebrated at the time of the feast of Ashtoreth (Ishtar, pronounced Easter: see 1Ki 11:5, 2Ki 23:13), the Queen of Heaven, whose symbols of fecundity and sexuality included rabbits, eggs and the lily. At the Council of Nicea the anti-Semitic Constantine outlawed circumcision and replaced Passover with Easter and the Sabbath day with Sunday. The early church also “Christianized” the pagan Festival of Saturnalia [birthday of the Roman Sun-god Saturn - December 25] by establishing it as Christmas.” Tabernacles - Succot / Zaide Reuven “Hyginus, the Egyptian historian who was the curator of the Palatine library in Rome at the time of Augustus, wrote: “an egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, hatched it, and out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess [that is, Astarte/ Ishtar]. The egg became one of the chief symbols of Venus or Astarte. The origin of the Easter egg is traced back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Phoenicia, and Greece, where the universe is said to have been born from a mighty world egg [denying God as the Creator] The ancient peoples of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and China exchanged eggs at their spring fertility festivals. In Babylonia, eggs were presented to the goddess of fertility, Astarte (Eostre). Pagan influence can also be seen in the replacement of the Passover symbolism of the lamb with that of the Easter hare. The Easter hare was once a bird which the goddess Eostre changed into a four-footed creature. The hare, or rabbit, became a symbol of fertility, presumably because rabbits are notably prolific. The hare laid eggs which became the symbol of the abundant new life of spring. Thus, the Easter egg is the production not of some mystical bird but of a rabbit or hare.” God’s Festivals in Scripture and History - Samuele Bacchiocchi
RESTORING THE TRUE BIBLICAL SOURCE: The Hebrew Scriptures
“THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER” (1 Peter 1:25)
The point I want to emphasize is that we need to ask ourselves this question regarding the prophetic importance of the Festival Days and the Sabbath, especially as they pertain to the Lord’s program for the End of the Age: Was the rejection of these ancient God-Inspired precepts a move of the Holy Spirit or was it an act of man? It was only after the rejection of the Lord’s Appointed Days in the 2nd century that divergent doctrines began to emerge: as we can see in the previous references.
The historical record informs us that the Apostolic teaching of a “pre-tribulation catching away” remained intact and unchallenged until about 144 A.D. It was at this time in early church history that the Greco-Roman cleric, Marcion, became one of the first to challenge this established Hebraic precept, among many others. From this time forward, confusion and controversy shattered the harmony of Scripture that had existed in the ancient instructional model known and taught by Jesus and the Apostles.
Marcion rejected this foundational model and began to rework biblical precepts long rooted in the established framework of Hebraic principals. By denying these, his theology more reflected the Greek religious model of Imperial Rome. He proceeded to mix his own preferred culture of Greek mythology into his new doctrinal interpretations. We saw this in the strange example of the blending of the pagan Babylonian Easter hare and the Easter egg together with the Passover.
The theological chaos and confusion created by the merging of Greek mythology with Hebraic precepts deepened even more when Gentile teachers and translators applied the new title “the Law of God” to the Hebrew Bible. However, the word “Law” does not exist in the ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible. This unfortunate word was the invention of the Greek translators whose culture diminished and discounted the ancient Scriptures as merely irrelevant “law”. In fact in this context, Marcion taught that “the Law of God” was imperfect and had to be replaced.
It is sad to recognize that his motivation in developing doctrines that opposed the long-standing Apostolic foundational teachings was inspired by his virulent anti-Semitism. He was a powerful cleric who disapproved of the Jews and the Hebrew bible: known by them as “the Torah” or “the Word of God”.
We must remember as we read our Bibles today, that the word “Law” was never in the original manuscripts and should be understood as “Torah”.....the Word of God. As such, it is eternal.
“The Word of the Lord endures FOREVER.” 1 Peter 1:25 “The Word of our God stands FOREVER”. Isaiah 40:8 “EVERY Word of God is pure” Proverbs 30:5
“HIS TRUTH ENDURES TO ALL GENERATIONS” (Ps 100:5)
Even more biblical confusion was sown when Marcion ignored the ancient Hebraic model that applied a “literal” interpretation to prophetic scripture. Despite the literal example previously established by the Apostles, he was one of the first in the 2nd century to apply the Greek allegorical methodology to Hebraic bible study. This opened the door to a myriad of disparate interpretations and the resultant splintering of Christendom that we see today.
In an aggressive display of animosity for the Jews and the Hebrew Bible, he developed the doctrine of “replacement theology”. This rejects God’s promises to restore Israel in a literal sense at the end of the age. It further states that the Church of Rome had replaced Israel as the covenant people...and that Israel and the Hebrew Scriptures were condemned and accursed by God and had been “done away with” or abolished.
This doctrine implies that God’s prophetic program regarding Israel’s restoration as revealed in Scripture is failed theology...that His plan was imperfect and needed to be abandoned for something new. This whole premise implies that the Lord Himself is imperfect and has failed and it denies His omnipotent power. When Marcion attacked the credibility of the Word of God, he was also attacking the credibility of God Himself.
Today, more than 80% of Christendom adheres to Replacement Theology (the Church replaces Israel and the New Testament replaces the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures).
Yet Jesus did not condemn any part of Scripture as being abandoned or accursed by God. In fact, He confirmed the importance of ALL of Scripture in Matthew 4:4
“But He [Jesus] answered and said, "It is written, 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (as He was quoting directly from Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus was actually confirming the authority of the Torah or “the Word of God”. Over ten percent of what Jesus said were quotes from the Torah. He would often begin these quotes by saying, “it is written [in the Torah]”.
Later, Jesus would repeat His confirmation of the Hebrew bible in Matthew 5:17
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law [the Torah] or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till ALL IS FULFILLED”. [As “the Law and the Prophets” represents the Hebrew Scriptures in it’s totality, we know from this source that “all” prophecy will not be fulfilled until “theTimes of the Gentiles are fulfilled and final judgement is executed. ..”for the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” (Ps 37:27) As the “seed of the wicked” are still at work today, this prophecy will not be fulfilled until Messiah returns to bring in the righteous Kingdom Age.]
AND THEN Jesus went on to condemn anyone who would teach against Torah in verse 18:
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
These words spoken by Jesus give confirmation to the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures in this age. Yet by the 2nd century, Marcion boldly manipulated these same words of Jesus in order to support his divergent new theology that claims to abolish the very Law or Torah that Jesus was upholding. This was the genesis of the doctrine that “the Law was done away with because it was imperfect.”
Historian E.C. Blackman has noted how Marcion changed the meaning of Matthew 5:17 by “inverting the order of the clauses so as to give exactly an opposite sense. According to Marcion’s interpretation, Jesus said, “Think not that I have come to fulfill the Law, I have not come to fulfill but to abolish it”. Paul the Jewish Theologian, Brad Young
In this deceptive action on the part of Marcion, he chose to ignore the Lord’s warning:
“Whatever I command you...be careful to observe it: you shall NOT add to it nor take away from it.” Deut 12:32 (Marcion’s doctrine of rejecting the Hebrew Scriptures as abolished and “done away with” was “taking away from” Scripture and resulted in much of Christendom rejecting most of the Bible.....as the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) comprise three-quarters of the Bible revelation).
Jesus spoke about this in Mark 7:8
He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men.”
“HE WHO LOOKS INTO THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY AND CONTINUES IN IT,
and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the Word, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)
In this scripture, the Apostle James expressed the reverence and attitude towards the Hebrew Scriptures that was an essential part of his cultural generation....that it was “perfect” and if followed, would lead God’s covenant people into “liberty”.....from being captive to sin.
"So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our GOOD always and for our SURVIVAL, as it is today. "And it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us." Deut 26:24-25.
Despite Marcion’s post-Apostolic claim that the Law of God was imperfect and despite his manipulation of Matthew 5:17, the cardinal point for sincere Bible students is that Jesus cited the “Law and the Prophets” as the biblical source for prophetic knowledge that defines His mission and ministry to the earth.
“Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms CONCERNING ME." Luke 24:44
“Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things CONCERNING HIMSELF.” Luke 24:27
In seamless continuity, the apostle Paul followed this same teaching example established by Christ......wherein the Hebrew Scriptures are cited as his source and authority in recognizing Jesus as Messiah:
“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the Kingdom of God persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses [the Torah] and the Prophets from morning till evening.” Acts 28:23
Despite the clear biblical record, Marcion twisted the words of Jesus. He did the same to the words of Paul and dismissed the truth-revealing example set by Paul in Acts 28:33. The most damaging of all his theology was the doctrine that the “Law of God” was imperfect and must be replaced. This shocking rejection of Scripture would continue to evolve as official church doctrine through the likes of Origen, Augustine and other Gentile leaders....so much so that the rejection of the Hebrew Scriptures was codified as official Church doctrine at the Council of Nicea in 323 A.D.
By 1236 AD, Pope Gregory actually condemned the Torah of God as “satanically inspired”.
“THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT, CONVICTING THE SOUL”
“The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps 19:7)
Despite the post-Apostolic errancy of Greek translators and teachers, what is called “the Law of God” in our Bibles today is both perfect AND eternal. Far from being abolished, the Lord declares His intention that it will be written in the hearts and minds of His covenant people today.
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, [the end of the age] says the LORD: I will put My Law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Jer 3l:3l)
The “law” no longer exists as an external requirements, but has become an INTERNAL commitment that is WRITTEN in the hearts and minds of God’s covenant people. So, rather than accepting the doctrine of Replacement Theology that attempts to utterly abolish the Law or the Hebrew bible as irrelevant, we should remember the Lord’s words in the above scripture. Remember also that the sum total of all inspired Scripture foreshadows and describes the redemptive work and ministry of Messiah. In that respect, it can never be “done away with” as irrelevant.
That is why Paul’s words to Timothy - that the Hebrew Scriptures are profitable for doctrine, reproof (evidence) and correction are more relevant today than ever before. In them, the Lord expressed a very specific pattern that is the blueprint for the end of the Age and describes the thresh-hold of the Messianic Kingdom Age.
I have found in our congregation that as we review the Festivals every year, the related biblical references definitely do correct doctrine. History itself is often one of my best friends in supporting and presenting these studies. This, when it is coupled with the scriptural source of the Hebraic roots, makes a powerful presentation of the Lord’s intent in prophecy and Scripture today.
“In the days of the Apostles, the Christian faith was a sect of Judaism. Torah study was a normal expectation for every believer, Jew or Gentile. Jesus Himself was a teacher of Torah. He encouraged His disciples to demonstrate their love for Him by being faithful to the commandments (John 14:15). Yet since the earliest Church fathers, Christians have studied the Bible as if Jesus and the Apostles taught in antithesis to biblical Judaism and the Torah. Modern scholarship has revealed just the opposite. The fact is that Torah is the foundation on which the rest of the Bible is built. It is impossible to accurately understand Yeshua and the New Testament without first learning about this foundation. Studying the Bible outside of the auspices of Torah and Hebraic thought is like trying to enter a walled city without using the gate.” The White Paper/ First Fruits of Zion
“AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH - so it will be in the days of the Son of Man”
In too many instances, many in Christendom today treat the biblical accounts of the Lord’s miracles of deliverance as mere children’s fables and parables. However, Jesus spoke of the flood in Noah’s day and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as true historical fact. He cited them in particular as examples of how the Lord delivered His people PRIOR to executing judgement in these instances.
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOAH ENTERED THE ARK, And the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; "but on THE DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26
In both of these examples, the Lord removed His servants PRIOR to judgment falling. In the account in Genesis, the Lord shut Noah and his family into the ark EXACTLY seven days prior to the onset of the flood waters upon the earth.
“Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. For AFTER SEVEN MORE DAYS I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made." And it came to pass AFTER SEVEN DAYS that the waters of the flood were on the earth. [these seven days are a prophetic type of the seven year tribulation that marks the end of the age]. Genesis 7:1-10
THE BLUEPRINT OF THE END OF THE AGE
There are four specific Hebraic precepts that establish the pattern of pre-tribulation eschatology. Although largely unknown and untaught within main-stream Christendom today these have never been more important and relevant to the times in which we now live. What is inspiring is that each one of these four precepts stands alone.....while at the same time each also completely inter-relates with the others. Only the Lord could be so profound!
The cardinal point that is the foundation of each of these precepts.....and which also inextricably connects them together.....is the “last week of Daniel”....which is universally accepted as the 7-year Tribulation period that ends the Age prior to the return of Jesus. This Is the common denominator of the four precepts. In prophetic interpretation, the term “days” and “years” are interchangeable. In Daniel, the last week is a sabbatical week — and is a type of the 7-year Tribulation.
Here is how this pattern is found in these four specific Hebraic precepts. In each case, the “rapture” or the “catching away of the saints” or “the Bride” is always positioned PRIOR to the 7-year Tribulation period.
We can see this pattern in:
-The Fall Festivals - 7 days (years) of Tribulation -The High Holy Days - 7 days (years) of Soul Affliction -The ancient Jewish wedding - 7 days (years) concealed in the Bridal-Chamber -The Last Trump (trumpet) - announces the onset of the 7-year Tribulation
I have divided our various brochures and related teaching materials into these categories for your information so you can see the crucial 7-day (7 year) periods as they were originally taught in the Apostolic church era that predates 100 A.D. Again, I want to emphasize that our approach is not in a legalistic sense whatsoever, but more to review the appointed “rehearsals” of the Lord’s end-time program that brings in the consummation of His redemptive plan.
The Festival Days are prophetic and, as they are fulfilled, have become markers in the Lord’s plan of redemption as it progresses on the earth. Through the prophetic knowledge that they impart, the Lord has prepared His people for the end of the Age.
Jesus stated this clearly in Mark 13:23.
"But take heed; see, I have told you ALL THINGS BEFOREHAND.”
Our Lost Legacy/ John Garr
Our Father Abraham - Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith/ Marvin R. Wilson
Yeshua - A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church/ Dr. Ron Moseley
God’s Festivals in Scripture and History/ Samuele Bacchiocchi
Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus/
D. Thomas Lancaster
God’s Appointed Customs/ Barney Kasdan
The Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays/ Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce
cc Copyright 2002 Arielministries.net
Shabbat Shalom Hebraic Studies Fellowship
WE OFFER SEMINARS AND GROUP BIBLE STUDIES
TO TEACH THIS INFORMATION MORE THOROUGHLY
FROM GOD'S WORD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
SHABBAT SHALOM HEBRAIC STUDIES FELLOWSHIP (831) 755-2275