Want Some Fun?
In Everything Give Thanks.
Love One Another.
Love Is Kind.
Written On Our Hearts
The heart is the center of us all. Scripture tells us this about the heart.
Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 27:19, “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
And Jeremiah says this in
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
So we can see that the heart is important when it comes to our walk with God.
Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37 tells us this “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So the question is, “What is in your heart?” If the heart is a reflection of you, then it is important to examine yourself to see what really is in your heart.
Proverbs 3:3-4 says this, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
We see that God wants us to write love and faithfulness upon our hearts.
Colossians 3:14-17 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
If we are going to have the Word of God dwell within us then we must be doers of the Word as James 1:22-24 tells us this, “But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.”
We see that we are to let the Word dwell within us or in other words, the Word must be written on our hearts.
Jeremiah 31:33 says, “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
This is what we call the New Covenant as Hebrews 10:16 tells us, “This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws upon their hearts, and write them on their mind,”
But before God can write His Word upon our hearts we must first have a new heart, a heart after God, a heart of a new creation, a heart of a born again person.
Ezekiel 36:25-26, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Psalm 51:10 says , “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
If we are the people of the New Covenant then we must be people whose hearts are no longer of stone. We can not be people who are stubborn and rebellious against God’s Word, His total Word. We can not pick and choose what we want to believe or live by. Yeshua, the Word made flesh, (John 1:14). said that He and His Father were one, (John 10:30). Yeshua said this when all there was was the Torah, Torah meaning God’s teachings. Today people do not think that they have to live by the Ten Commandments. Does this mean that they believe in murder, stealing, coveting, lying under oath, and that they can serve two masters? (Matthew 6:24). If they do, then they are not people of the New Covenant. To have God’s Word written on our hearts, means that we must live by God’s Word, otherwise our hearts are as cold as stone. We must die to ourselves, so that we can be born again as new creations, born of the Spirit, the Spirit of Messiah, fighting the spiritual battle with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, (Ephesians 6:17). Galatians 5:13-26 takes us back to the beginning, walking in the Spirit causes us to put love in our hearts. “ For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law, (because you are living out the law). Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law,(because now the fruit is a part of you). Now those who belong to Messiah Yeshua crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well. Let’s not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”
Are you people of the New Covenant, then what’s written on your hearts, God’s Commandments which bears good fruit, or the fleshly actions of this world, which bears bad fruit? As Matthew 7:15-20 says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
It’s the heart that God looks upon, 1 Samuel 16:7. God’s Commandments, which sums up His Word, will be written upon our hearts, and upon our hearts it will remain forever, but only if we have a heart for Him to write it upon, today.
The Clarion, Feb. 2023
There is the saying that love makes the world go round. But in these end times it is hard to find love, for the love of many grows cold. We have become lovers of ourselves.(Matthew 24:12, 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Selfies are a big sign of that. So as believers in Messiah, we must not only let our light shine, but our love. Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 3: 12-13, “May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Yeshua with all His saints.”
As we celebrate or salute love this month let us consider true love that only comes from God, for God is love as 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
The Mishkan, the House of Holiness Pt.1
The Mishkan is the Hebrew name for the Tabernacle. We want to take a closer look and see just how the Mishkan plays a part in our lives today, but first I must lay the foundation. We want to start all the way back at the beginning of time, well actually before time. Let’s imagine what it was like before God created. I guess we can’t, but I think it is safe to say that God wanted company. God is love, and if He had no one to show His love toward, then all He could do was love Himself. Well we know that God is not self -centered or egotistical, so God removed a part of Himself, because God is everywhere, to make a home for us, and He called it Earth. He created man in His own image so He could show him love, someone who was holy and set-apart that could co -exist with Him. So God made man in His image, and that image was glorious. Adam and Eve shined like the sun, that is why they did not know that they were naked. They also were immortal, until they sinned, and because of sin the glory went away, and they were now doomed to death. Genesis 3: 24 says, “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
But God in His great love promised a way for man to return to his right standing with their Creator. Now let’s fast forward to the wilderness, in fact, to Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai was like the Garden of Eden. I know, you have to have a good imagination. But it was, and here is why. Exodus 19:1-6 tells us this,
“In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
In the garden Adam and Eve only had one commandment, and that was not to touch or eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. Throughout the time that they were expelled from the garden, man sinned over and over again, but God found one man, Abraham to make a covenant with, and that covenant was extended to his son, and then his grandson. So we find ourselves here in the wilderness and God now makes a covenant with all of Abraham’s children, who God has turned into a nation. In fact we see here that God betrothes them. If you study the Torah you will see that the wilderness experience is like a Ketubah, which is a Jewish
marriage agreement used still today, that actually protects the bride, by the groom’s promise to care for her. So you say what does this all have to do with the Tabernacle? It’s coming! Exodus 19:7-8 continues to tell us this,
“So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.”
Well, God did come to meet the people as Exodus 19:10-11 continues. “The Lord also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their garments; and have them ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
God wanted the people to consecrate themselves, this means to be set-apart, (holy), and even their clothes had to be clean. God was setting up a situation as close as He could to that of the Garden of Eden. God wanted to once again walk with man in the cool of the evening, but because of the fall of Adam and Eve, man could not really be totally holy and in right standing with God, not just yet, but we will discuss this as we go on. But for now God wanted to bring man as close as He could to Himself. So God set up boundaries to protect them from Himself as Exodus 19:12-14 tells us,
“You shall set boundaries for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall certainly be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall certainly be stoned or shot through; whether animal or person, the violator shall not live. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.’ So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He also said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”’
No, God was not against women and this too, we will discuss as we go on. So the third day did come and God and the people came together as close as they could. Exodus 19:16-25 goes on to say this, “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud over the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the entire mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him with thunder. Then the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the Lord to stare and many of them perish, also have the priest who approach the Lord consecrate themselves, or else the Lord will break out against them.” And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set boundaries around the mountain and consecrate it.’” Then the Lord said to him,’ Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, or He will break out against them.’ So Moses went down to the people and told them.”
Wow! What a display of power by God, it makes you wonder what Creation was like. God, the soon to be Bridegroom, has come for His Bride. So, God gives them the Ten Commandments, and these Commandments are explained all through the rest of the Torah. What a day for God and what a day for His people. God gave Adam and Eve one commandment, and now God is giving His people ten. Will they, too, break these ten? Well, it did not take them long as we see with the Golden Calf. What we begin to see is that there are references to different things like the priests, for one, before the tabernacle even existed. But we must
remember that God said to the people in (Exodus 19:6), that they would be a royal priesthood. Do you remember Melchizedek? He too, was a priest in the time of Abraham, a godly priest who had no beginning. Many people existed during the many years up to this point, and these people even though they were pagan , had priests who offered up sacrifices to their gods. So the concept of priests and sacrifices were not new to the people, in fact, God sacrificed two animals on account of Adam and Eve to atone for their sins, and then gave them the hides to wear as garments, (Genesis 3:21). So now that I have laid the groundwork, we are now at the point of the Mishkan. We now know that a tabernacle, or temple, or sanctuary was not a new idea. But to God, He made room for us by removing a part of Himself to create a home for us, and now He wanted to carry on this new relationship with the people by being in their midst. So He wanted them to build a home for Him. God loves us so much that He wants to be in our midst. He wants us to come to Him, and He wants to come to us. We will end with this in
Exodus 25:1-9, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to take a contribution for Me; from everyone whose heart moves him you shall take My contribution. This is the contribution which you are to take from them: gold, silver, and bronze, violet, purple, and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, fine leather, acacia wood, oil for lighting, balsam oil for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. Have them construct a sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, so you shall construct it.”
We hope you join us next month as we continue looking into the Mishkan
Recipe Corner: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
By A Spicy Perspective
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 10 ounces soft caramels, unwrapped
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil and liberally coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix well, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Turn the speed to low and add the flour. Beat to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.
- Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium sauce pot, add the sweetened condensed milk and unwrapped caramels. Set over medium-low heat and stir until the caramels melt, making a smooth caramel filling. Pour the filling over the cookie dough base.
- Drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel filling in small teaspoons-sized clumps. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, until the center is just set.
- Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and allow the bars to cool completely. Then lift the bars out of the pan by the edges of the foil and cut. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- prep time: 15 MINUTES cook time: 30 MINUTES total time: 45 MINUTE
Hebrew Corner: The Month of Shevat
Shevat is the eleventh month on the Hebrew calendar, counting from the Passover. The name like most of all of the names for the Hebrew months come from when they were exiled in Babylon. Shevet means “branch”. The month of Shevet is during January -February on the Gregorian calendar. Shevat finds us turning away from winter and we begin to look toward spring. On the fifteenth day of Shevat is a special holiday called Tu b’ Shevat or as we would say, “The New Year for Trees.” As we look for the trees to wake up from their winter nap and begin to bring forth their leaves, the people in Israel celebrate by planting trees. I guess you could call it earth day or you could take time to remember the third day of creation when God created trees. You could go out and walk in a park or forest and enjoy nature. Maybe even partake in the Tu b’ Shevat Seder. It is like the Passover Seder except it consists of nuts and fruits and grains along with a glass of wine or grape juice. You can find a copy of this on the internet, (PJ Library is a good start). It is a great way to gather the kids and speak to them about creation, our responsibility in caring for the earth that God created. As you go around tasting the different items on the plate there are blessings that are said. Like most of all of the Biblical Feasts and the Hebrew holidays they are all centered around the family. We like to plant trees in memory of loved ones who have passed on. Maybe you may want to start a new family custom in the month of Shevet as we start to come out of our Winter shell and begin to do our own sprouting as the days begin to get longer, and the days begin to get warmer. Here is a blessing that you can pray when planting a new tree. “Blessed are You, God our Lord, King of the Universe, that His world is not lacking anything, and He created in it good creations and good trees for the pleasure of mankind.”
Happy Shevet, Happy Tu b’Shevat, Happy Planting!
If you have teens or young adults they may want to check out our new website at
In The Beginning Bible Study, Lesson 10
Today in the 21st century we now have a global Secular Humanist movement. Social media and the digital age has caused the Humanist movement to explode. Its creation resembles a semi-constitution, which enables those who participate to actively engage within the community. The understanding is that this religion (Secular Humanism) has been a powerful force in the world because it gives people a sense of contributing to something larger than themselves. However, the difference here is the shift from supporting a deity to supporting ourselves, based on our own common humanity. The model is as follows:
- God does not exist: human beings do.
- If we contribute to what actually exists, all of us will benefit.
- Helping others will allow others to help each other.
- Humanism is a self-preservation system as well as a system that moves us forward.
Today all restraints are off, and the Humanist feels empowered and free. The global effort has begun to control governments and laws and even has affected modern day religious thought. The years of pushing their ideas in the world of academia and the media with Hollywood at its side, about this new age of “the Human Right” and “Social Justice” and basically this: “All for one and one for all.” Socialism and even Communism that they have been pushing for decades has begun to pay off.
Even if we realize it or not, Secular Humanism, or should I say the religion of Babylon, has played a part throughout history. We have seen the breakdown of every area of our lives. History has been repeating itself over and over again, but with greater influence as the population has exploded over the centuries. We see Paul’s words to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-4) about how the people will be in the end times is totally correct. Our walk with God has become cold. We see, in Revelation 2-3, Yeshua telling the 7 churches that they need to come back to their first love and do the things they did at first. He tells them they are holding on to the teachings of Baal and the Nicolatians (Humanism) and committing acts of immorality. They were tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel (Humanist teachings) who was leading them astray to commit immorality. Yeshua calls it Satanic teaching. He tells them that they are soiling their garments. They thought they were alive, but actually they were dead. Yeshua calls it all a lie. He tells them that they are lukewarm and that He will spit them out. They think that they are rich, but they are poor, miserable, and naked. He tells them that they need to repent. This was for the church then, and this is for the church now. So let us say, this is not something that we can take lightly. The Bible tells us to beware in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Messiah. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
We see that even with all the miracles and the mighty hand of God that moved in the lives of the Israelites, they still fell. Just like Adam and Eve who walked with God still fell, we can not take for granted such a great salvation. Satan’s counterfeit religion has come through the ages, and he has taken down so many before us because he is so crafty. Today, the world has a lot to offer, especially here in America. The church is not even close to what it was in the previous centuries. We have fallen into Humanism if we realize it or not. So many people believe that they no longer need the Ten Commandments. So many people are into Social Justice that they believe that they, and not God, need to bring about an equal world. Today the church is seeker-friendly and so politically correct that sin and repentance are no longer preached. We believe that we can not fall from grace, even though we see in the parables of Yeshua that that is not correct. The door will be closed to many who think they are standing but are not. Yeshua tells us in Matthew 7:21-23,
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.”
We may go to church or to Bible studies, but do we seek God out for His will in our lives? Do we pray when we need to make a decision to find out what God thinks about it? I have known people who prayed for God to open a door and when several doors opened they believed that it was God opening every door, and so they chose whichever job had the better pay, never considering to ask God His will. This is all Humanism. We must learn to seek God out and to pray things through, and that takes time and even perseverance, waiting upon God and trusting Him. But if we do not, then we rely on our own intuition or our own resources, and that is all Humanism. Whenever we leave God out of our lives or He is not the center of our lives then it is Humanism. When we live outside of His Word, it is Humanism. When we start to think that something is owed to us, that is Humanism. We cannot earn anything, because God is the one who gives us everything, and when we start to think differently, that is Humanism. Humanism is now in the church. Today there are many preachers who do not even believe what they preach. They believe in same-sex marriage, they believe in abortion, they do not believe in a final judgment. They believe that God is only love and that He will not judge us or condemn us. Every denomination has made concessions and compromises to their creed of faith. Yes, every denomination. The heads of faith from all over the world have signed agreements, and heads of universities also. We must beware lest we fall. We do not examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith as 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?”
So now that we have seen how Humanism (Mystery Babylon) and its religion began, let’s go to the Book of Revelation and see just how this false religion will coexist with the Antichrist.
Revelation 13:1-10 tells us this about him:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
This beast is Babylon, a powerful one world government system by which its people are ruled by Humanism. Their king, who is worshiped and considered as God, is the Antichrist, Satan himself.
Revelation 17:1-2 tells us,
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
Revelation 17:3-7 goes on to say,
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Yeshua. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.”
Who is Babylon that the kings and the inhabitants of the earth will have this adulterated affair with her? And second, what are these waters by which she sits? God’s Word always interprets the Scriptures, and so we should not go outside of that interpretation. The Scripture gives us a riddle.
Revelation 17:8-18 explains,
“The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come. This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.” Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
Many people over the years have thought that the ten horns were ten nations and those ten nations made up the return of the Roman Empire. It is not so important to understand or to know who these ten kings are, or where these seven hills are, or who the Antichrist is. These things will be revealed in due time. But what is important is the call to come out from Babylon, because this one-world government along with its Humanistic false religion will be judged with everyone who has fallen into her trap.
Revelation 18:1-8 says,
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given, pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
Yeshua will come and He will conquer as Revelation 19:11-21 tells us,
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Revelation 20:11-15 goes on to tell us,
And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Isaiah writes in Isaiah 66:22-24,
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will endure. And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the Lord. “Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”
Yeshua tells us this also in Mark 9:42-48,
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
Revelation 14:9-12 says this,
Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yeshua.
It appears that we will see those who are in hell for eternity as a witness, for their fire will burn forever.
We have seen from the beginning the many sides of God and the many attributes of God and the different names of God, but this is only a small part of the picture. Every day we experience God, even if it is in a sunrise or a flock of birds. God’s hand is everywhere. Romans 1:20 tells us, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
One day the Judge will come to judge, and God who in peace laid down His bow will destroy all the earth as 2 Peter 3:3-7 tells us,
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Yes, this present age will come to an end and then we will enter into “the age to come,” the rule and reign of the Messiah; the restored Eden will also be fulfilled. And then there will be the “here after”, which is Eternal life. We see that God will once again, for the last time, not recreate His creation like in the day of the flood, but totally create a new heaven and earth. Revelation 21 tells us this,
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 22:1-5 continues with this,
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the Tree of Life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
God’s final creation will not have the sun or the stars, for there will be no night, only day, and there will be no summer or winter. There will be no time at all. There will be no universe, and once again there will be no atmosphere to cause rain or cold or heat. In fact, when you see the New Jerusalem like a square, you have to ask yourself if the world will no longer be round, for it will no longer be rotating around the sun. Maybe God will create it flat. We also see that the Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled, for God will dwell with man forever. For all eternity, we will drink from the River of Life and eat from the Tree of Life. The Alpha and the Omega will have fulfilled all that was written from the beginning, and He will be our source for all eternity.
We are the ones who are being built up today, as 1 Peter 2:4-10 tells us,
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
And again in Ephesians 2:19-22,
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Yeshua Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
We are the New Jerusalem, the fellow citizens in the household of God.
John 14:1-3 tells us this:
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Before the foundation of the world, this was God’s plan: that we would be a priestly people, a holy people. His desire to create all things was to bring us to this day, for His desire was to dwell with man, like in the original Garden of Eden where man was in His glory. Our new eternal bodies will live on for eternity as 1 Corinthians 15:40-49 tells us,
There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
And it continues in verses 53-57,
For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Messiah Yeshua.
We started in the beginning, and there is no better way to end this study then to end it with the last words of the Book.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Yeshua have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Tree of Life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Yeshua. The grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:12-21)
IT IS FINISHED!
In The Beginning Bible Study, Lesson 9
The Noahide Laws
Genesis 9:1-7 goes on to tell us about what we call the Noahide laws.
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
We see here that God passes on these seven laws, that were originally given to Adam, to Noah. They are:
1. Establish laws.
2. Don’t curse God.
3. Do not practice idolatry.
4. Do not engage in illicit sexuality.
5. Do not participate in bloodshed.
6. Do not rob.
7. Do not eat flesh from a living animal.
These were the terms of the covenant which God was now making with Noah and his descendants. God declared that He would never again flood the world, and for their part Noah and his descendants would abide by a particular set of laws. The rabbis thought of these as universal laws that were incumbent on all of humanity, as opposed to the Torah which they felt was exclusively for God’s chosen people. They reasoned that there must be a standard which the other peoples are judged by, otherwise, as Paul says (understood in the general sense), “Where there is no law there is no transgression.” There must have been some universal law that, for example, the Canaanites were judged by. One of the rabbis referred to the punishment of the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 and deduced, “Evidently, the Canaanites were punished for these practices; and since God would not have punished them for an action unless He first prohibited it, these practices are clearly prohibited to gentiles” (b. Sanhedrin 56b). Since all of humanity is descended from Noah, and these are the laws designated for the Gentiles, this set of laws was termed the Noahide laws.
It’s possible that an early tradition of the Noahide laws is preserved in the book of Jubilees. Some time after the flood ends and Noah’s sons have born children of their own, Noah observes that they are not walking according to righteousness, so he begins to instruct them:
And in the twenty-eighth jubilee Noah began to enjoin upon his sons’ sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honor father and mother, and love their neighbor, and guard their souls from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity. . . . “There shall be no blood seen upon you of all the blood there shall be all the days in which ye have killed any beasts or cattle or whatever flies upon the earth, and work ye a good work to your souls by covering that which has been shed on the face of the earth. And ye shall not be like him who eats with blood, but guard yourselves that none may eat blood before you: cover the blood, for thus have I been commanded to testify to you and your children, together with all flesh.” (Jubilees 7:20, 30-31)
Additionally, according to this passage Noah also teaches his grandchildren about the proper way to give first-fruit offerings, passing on the instructions which he received from Enoch.
This list of commandments preserved in Jubilees is different from the commands which the rabbis would later determine had been given to Noah, the seven commands which we listed above. The rabbis looked into the Scriptures and discovered seven laws which Gentiles (called “sons of Noah”) were obliged to follow. Two of these commandments were given in Genesis 9 (do not eat meat with the blood and establish courts of justice), and the others were drawn from other passages of Scripture: “The children of Noah were admonished regarding seven religious duties: setting up courts of justice, idolatry, blasphemy, fornication, murder, thievery, and concerning a limb cut from a living beast” (t. Avodah Zarah 8:4-6).
Although there was general agreement about these seven laws, there was also some dispute over whether there were other laws in addition to these seven:
The Sages taught in a baraita: The descendants of Noah, i.e., all of humanity, were commanded to observe seven mitzvot [commandments]: The mitzvah of establishing courts of judgment; and the prohibition against cursing the name of God; and the prohibition of idol worship; and the prohibition against forbidden sexual relations; and the prohibition of bloodshed; and the prohibition of robbery; and the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal. Rabbi Hananya ben Gamla says: The descendants of Noah are also commanded concerning the prohibition against consuming the blood from a living animal. Rabbi Hideka says: They are also commanded concerning castration, i.e., they are prohibited to castrate any living animal. Rabbi Shimon says: They are also commanded concerning the prohibition against engaging in sorcery. (b. Sanhedrin 56a-b)
In practice, these seven laws function more like general categories than as precise laws. A medieval explanation of the Torah and the rabbinic commentaries makes this point explicit:
And do not err, my son, with this well-known tally of the seven commandments of the Noahides mentioned in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 56b); as truthfully these seven are [only] like general principles, but they have many details. (Sefer HaChinuch 416)
In fact, these seven commandments, once the details are fleshed out, become more than 60 precise commands.
The command concerning idolatry, in addition to its traditional definition of worshiping other gods or any created thing, also includes the prohibition of witchcraft and magic practices. This command also forbids the worship of any physical representations of God.
“Blasphemy” encompasses the prohibition on taking the Lord’s name in vain (swearing false oaths). The rabbis determined that this applies to non-Jews based on the book of Job: Job is a non-Jew, and yet he knows that it would be a sin to blaspheme God. “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said” (Job 2:9-10).
The prohibition of murder is based on the command to Noah in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image.” Murder is also condemned, as we have seen, after Cain kills his brother Abel. This command also prohibits gossip, which the Torah says is equivalent to making an attempt on your neighbor’s life: “You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:16).
What exactly qualified as fornication for Gentiles was debated among the rabbis. Some rabbis felt that Gentiles were obligated to observe all of the Torah’s laws governing sexual relationships. On the other hand, Maimonides, for example, said that the Noahide laws forbid six sexual relationships: with one’s mother, father’s wife, maternal sister, a married woman, an individual of the same sex, or an animal.
The prohibition of theft additionally includes all of the laws of the Torah which describe taking advantage of another person or cheating them in any way.
The prohibition regarding a limb cut from a living beast refers to eating meat without cooking it, or eating meat without first draining the blood as God commands Noah in Genesis 9:3-4, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” The laws of slaughter are not as strict for Gentiles according to the Torah, since in Deuteronomy 14:21 a Gentile sojourner is not forbidden from consuming meat from an animal which died a natural death (rather than being slaughtered properly). An additional implication of this rule is that one should not be cruel to animals.
The final command is to establish courts of justice. This follows from Genesis 9:6, which decrees retributive justice for murderers. A surface reading would accommodate vigilante justice, so the rabbis determined that this requires a judicial system. Additionally, of necessity there must be some kind of legal system to enforce the other six laws, making it necessary to establish courts of justice.
Anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvot [commandments] and is precise in their observance is considered one of “the pious among the gentiles” and will merit a share in the world to come. This applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us through Moses, our teacher, that Noah’s descendants had been commanded to fulfill them previously. However, if he fulfills them out of intellectual conviction, he is not a resident alien, nor of “the pious among the gentiles,” nor of their wise men.” (Melachim uMilchamot 8:11)
In other words, Maimonides is saying that the outward practice of these laws would be of no benefit to the son of Noah if they obeyed for the wrong reasons. According to Maimonides, the only obedience which is acceptable is that which comes from a pure heart which loves God.
Some scholars understand the decision of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 to be a variant form of the Noahide commandments. This passage records the deliberation of James and the other apostles and elders regarding the question of whether Gentiles need to be circumcised, that is, convert to Judaism, in order to be saved. As part of his concluding statement, James says the following:
Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:19-20)
There are definitely some similarities here. It is a subset of rules applied specifically to Gentiles. The rules themselves are very similar, although there are only four in this list, versus the seven rules in the list developed by the rabbis. As mentioned earlier, some scholars draw a strong connection between the two ideas. The Jewish Encyclopedia says,
On the initiative of Peter, and of James, the head of the Jerusalem church, it was agreed that acceptance of the Noachian Laws—namely, regarding avoidance of idolatry, fornication, and the eating of flesh cut from a living animal—should be demanded of the heathen desirous of entering the Church.
Others believe that the four commandments in Acts 15 go beyond the universal Noahide commandments and advocate a stricter form of the commandments for Gentile believers in the Body of Messiah. A closer look reveals that the commandments given by the Jerusalem Council seem to be modeled after Leviticus 17-18 rather than Genesis 9:
The first rule given by the Jerusalem Council is that gentiles are to abstain from things sacrificed to idols. We find here a connection to Leviticus 17:7-9, which forbids both the Israelites and the Gentiles who live among them from practicing idolatry:
So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations. And you shall say to them, “Any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it to the Lord, that man shall be cut off from his people.”
The rule set forth by the Jerusalem Council goes beyond the mere forsaking of idolatry and makes consumption of food sacrificed to idols unlawful. This is something that the Israelites were specifically commanded not to do: “Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you, and you will eat their sacrifices” (Exodus 34:15).
A second rule given by James and the elders is to abstain from blood. This commandment is based on Leviticus 17:10: “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.” Again we see that the Torah commanded Gentiles who were living among Israel to abstain from consuming blood.
The third rule decided upon by the meeting at Jerusalem was that Gentiles must abstain from things strangled. In other words, they were now being held to a higher standard of slaughtering meat. This is based on Leviticus 17:13: “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.” In order for meat to be eaten, the animal must be slaughtered in such a way that the blood is drained out. This means the Gentile believers are now being held to this Biblical standard of ritual slaughter.
Lastly we have the command to abstain from fornication. A long list of unlawful sexual relationships is listed in Leviticus 18, and the chapter is summed up in verse 26: “But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.”
Thus the four apostolic laws seem to be an additional requirement on top of the Noahide laws, which were already required of Gentiles in the days of the apostles. These specific observances which they advocated in Acts 15 seem to be based on the laws given in the Torah which regulated the behavior of Gentiles who wished to join themselves to the Israelites. The rules given by James and the elders would functionally drive a wedge between the Gentile believers and the pagan world in which they lived, while facilitating relationships between Gentile believers and observant Jewish believers. It would create an atmosphere where they could eat together and live together as the Body of Messiah. It would also set the Gentiles on the path toward Torah-obedience.
In mainstream Judaism, evangelism of Gentiles has not been a common practice. If a Gentile expresses to them a desire to become a Noahide, they will happily accept this but rarely openly encourage it. There have been some changes to this fairly recently. There is a movement within Orthodox Judaism known as Hasidism, and the most famous Hasidic group is called Chabad. A prominent leader of Chabad Hasidism, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, began a campaign to actively evangelize to Gentiles in the hope of getting them to observe the Noahide laws. He has said, “It is now the time for Jewish people to fulfill their Torah obligation to reach out to Gentiles, to encourage them to follow the Seven Mitzvot.” For Schneerson, this campaign was, among other aims, an attempt to bring humanity to a higher level of spirituality in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. In his own words, “We are so close to the Messianic Era, that now is the most appropriate time to prepare the world and make it fitting for Moshiach’s coming through Gentiles following their 7 Mitzvot.”
Returning to Genesis, we see that life now is able to go on despite its many flaws, but God has been faithful in keeping His covenant. When we see the rainbow in the sky it should encourage us that God is still with us, and He is faithful. Over the years this sign of the covenant with the world has been used for other reasons, and this is as much as a mockery of God as saying that we evolved from animals. The things of God are holy and we must keep them holy, for they represent Him.
The Tower of Babel
So God laid down His bow and said that He would never destroy the earth again by a flood. Life went on after the flood, and so did the fall of man. But God shows Himself as a faithful covenant-keeping God. He has kept His word and His covenants throughout every generation. What we will continue to see in Genesis is that God may not bring about total destruction, but He still deals with sin.
Genesis 11:1-9 tells us this:
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
The Tower of Babel was located in Babylon in the country today known as Iraq in the city we call Baghdad. For this reason, the rabbis connected the Tower of Babel to the Biblical character of Nimrod. In Genesis 10:10 we are told of Nimrod, “The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Since Nimrod was king of Shinar, they suggest that he led the building of the tower.
Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer records the words of Rabbi Akiva, who says of the builders of the tower: “They cast off the Kingdom of Heaven from themselves, and appointed Nimrod king over themselves” (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer 24).
Josephus also preserves this tradition:
Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers! (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, 4:2).
Nimrod had a bad reputation even divorced from these traditions. In Hebrew his name means “we will rebel.” Nimrod was interpreted as a person opposed to God mainly because of Genesis 10:9. This verse says that Nimrod was, “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” However, in Hebrew the word translated as “before”, if literally translated, would mean “in the face of”, signifying opposition. Regarding the description of Nimrod as a mighty hunter, Rashi says that Nimrod hunted for men’s souls: “He ensnared people’s minds with his speech and misled them to rebel against the Omnipresent.”
Why was God so concerned about the people building this tower? The Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Genesis 11:4 preserves the tradition that they put an idol on top of the tower, the image of a man with sword in hand thrusting toward heaven:
And they said, Come, we will build us a city and a tower, and the head of it shall come to the summit of the heavens; and we will make us (an image for) worship on the top of it, and put a sword in his hand to act against the array of war, before that we be scattered on the face of the earth.
Other traditions say that this was an image of Nimrod himself, and that he set himself up as a god to be worshiped.
Was it because they wanted to reach heaven? We know that would have been impossible. Or did God see something that seemed too familiar? The people said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
First, the people wanted to make a name for themselves. What’s in a name? Remember Adam named all the animals and that gave him control and dominance over them. The builders of the tower wanted to make a name for themselves and not God. There was no glory in it for God. This is what Satan’s intentions were, to make a name for himself. This is the continuation of what Satan had begun in his revolt against God. The flood may have destroyed the people and the world but not him, for he too wanted to go up to heaven and sit upon God’s throne. This is what he did in the Garden when he got Eve to question God’s commands. He said, “If you eat from this tree God knows that you will become like Him.” This is Humanism, the religion of Satan.
Humanism says we can all be gods. You see that the people did not want to be scattered, but this is just what God did to them. He scattered them and confused them by changing everyone’s language. God saw what man could do if they were united.
Today we see this very thing happening again. We are trying to bring man together and unite us. This is globalism, the one world order. If God divided us then we have no right to unite us. Globalism is what the Antichrist will use to bring about his reign. God saw this at the Tower of Babel.
The rabbis connected this incident at the tower of Babel with the final battle of Gog and Magog, when mankind will once again rebel against God.
R. Aibu stated in the name of (R. Eliezer the son of) R. Yosé the Galilean: Mankind rebelled against the Holy One, blessed be He, three times. The first rebellion was this one [the Tower of Babel]; the second occurred in the days of Joshua, as it is said: They gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord (Joshua 9:2); and the third will transpire in the days of Gog and Magog, as it is said: The kings of the earth stand up and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord (Psalm 2:2) (Midrash Tanchuma, Noach 18:8).
We have seen from the beginning how God created the world. We have seen how God recreated the world at the time of the flood. All of history has come and gone to this point, and we have seen the Creator of this world interact with His creation and how He made right the wrong of the Garden of Eden through the Messiah Yeshua. We see now in the book of Acts a window through which God reveals life at the time of the Tower of Babel:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:1-12)
On the day of Pentecost God showed us that one day we will all understand each other because we will once again have one language and we will be united. But we also learn that it will be God who will bring this about and not man. The rabbis believed that originally, everyone spoke Hebrew, and that this only changed at the Tower of Babel. The Midrash Tanchuma says, “Originally, they had spoken to each other in Hebrew, the language with which the world was created” (Midrash Tanchuma, Noach 19:1). Because of this, they believe that in the Messianic Age everyone will once again speak Hebrew:
The Holy One, blessed be He, said: In this world My creatures opposed Me, and therefore they were divided into seventy languages because of the evil inclination, but in the world-to-come they will all be of one accord, calling upon My name and serving Me, as it is said: For then will I turn to the peoples one pure language that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent (Zephaniah 3:9). (Midrash Tanchuma, Noach 19:2).
So let us now take a closer look into the religion of Satan called Humanism. At the Tower of Babel the people wanted a name for themselves. They did not build to bring honor to God, but to themselves. If we are not living for God then we are living for ourselves, and the worship of ourselves is the worship of the Evil One. When Yeshua was tested in the wilderness, what did He say to him? As we see in Matthew 4:8-10,
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will bow down and worship me.” Yeshua said to him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
The Father of Lies has been telling a lie from the beginning—that we can be gods. We hear it today: “You deserve a break today,” “You owe it to yourself,” “You earned it,” “If it feels good do it,” “Experience all that life has to offer.” In Genesis we see that the lie he spoke to Eve was that it is okay to question the Word of God. Man cannot trust God because God lies. Satan lied when he said, “We can be like God,” “We all can be gods,” “If God cannot be trusted then He is not supreme and therefore there are no absolutes, no morals, no truth, and so this now allows us to rebel against God, because God was and is the liar.” We are now free from all restraints.
Humanism’s emphasis is on secular concerns: “I am the center of the universe.” We have replaced the Word of God with science, philosophy, and man’s reason. We seek for man’s enlightenment and knowledge.
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:1-4,
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Paul also tells us in Romans 1:18-25,
For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
And again in 1 Corinthians 1:20-21,
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
So what do Humanists believe? Let’s take a look at their own manifesto.
In 1933, the Humanist Manifesto I was published. Here are 15 key points.
- It begins with there is no Creator.
- Man is an animal and all life is a product of evolution.
- Man has no immortal soul so there is no future judgement.
- Religion is a by-product of evolution and social development. Secular Humanism must replace outdated concepts as in Christianity and Judaism.
- There are no absolute values
- Humanism rejects all religious morals and concepts of “right and wrong.”
- Humanism is a religion.
- Humanists are social engineers out to remake the world in their image.
- Humanists want to create a heaven on earth through collectivistic (communist) socialistic utopia.
- In that socialistic amoral utopia there is no room for traditional religion of any kind.
- There is no faith or hope beyond this present world.
- There can be no restraints put on humans in their pursuit for sensual pleasure (hedonism).
- There is an emphasis on living for the moment.
- Traditional religion and religious expression must give way to a global Humanistic one world religion.
- Humanists have a collectivistic/Marxist view of economics.
In 1973, the Humanist Manifesto II was published with an updated blueprint for a new One World Order. Even though the manifesto was updated, not much has changed because Humanism was founded upon principles of self-empowerment, critical thinking, reason, curiosity, and doing good for the sake of the other. Humanism requires no authoritarian figures to control one’s thinking or motivate one’s actions because what is right for me may not be right for you.