Tag Archives: Messiah

The Curse of Coniah & the Promised Messiah

Can you imagine having a curse placed upon you and all of your descendants by the living God of the Bible? If there was ever a hopeless condition that would be it, don’t you think? Well, that’s what happened to one wicked king of Judah in the days of Jeremiah. But this story doesn’t go the way you might expect, instead it has a remarkable ending which shows Yahweh’s redemptive love. So if you have a few minutes I hope you’ll let me tell you the story of the curse of Coniah and the promised Messiah.

As I live, saith YHWH, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;

Thus saith YHWH, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. (Jeremiah 22:24, 30)

Pretty hopeless, don’t you think?

Now let me challenge you with what seems like a Biblical paradox. The curse of Coniah (aka Jechonias) is only part of the story. The New Testament tells us that this cursed king was in fact one of the ancestors of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Take a look as this chart showing the lineage of Yeshua as given in Matthew 1.

Wait… how can a man cursed through all his generations someday produce the Messiah you might ask?

With man this would be impossible, but with Yahweh nothing is impossible. This fascinating paradox is resolved by a wonderful prophetic promise given to the grandson of king Coniah (Jechonias). That promise was given to a man named Zerubbabel about seventy years after Yahweh cursed Coniah and it is the key to unlocking this conundrum.

Our story begins roughly seventy years after Jerusalem’s desolations by king Nebuchadnezzar. You see, Jerusalem had lain desolate for 70 years and then when Yahweh’s divine calendar reached that special date He, the living God of the Bible, stirred up a Persian king named Cyrus to allow the Jewish people to return and build the temple and Jerusalem so that His word, given to the prophet Jeremiah, might be fulfilled.

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of YHWH came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:2)

For thus saith YHWH, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. (Jeremiah 29:10)

It was Coniah’s grandson, Zerubbabel, along with the high priest Joshua (Hebrew = Yeshua) who led the resettlement of Jerusalem when King Cyrus of Persia decreed the Jewish people’s return. Zerubbabel and Yeshua left Persia with good intentions, but when they reached Jerusalem they only got as far as laying some of the temple foundation stones before their zeal for Jerusalem’s restoration was tempered by the harsh realities of their desolate homeland.

So for the next sixteen years not much work was done on Yahweh’s house. Instead the people built their own houses. Then Yahweh, when the time was right, reached down into history and personally commanded His people to “restore and build Jerusalem.”

For those of you who have read Book II in my Prophecies & Patterns series: Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy, you know this divine command (Hebrew dabar) given by the living God of the Bible and witnessed by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, began the prophesied countdown to the Messiah.

So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Therefore thus saith YHWH; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith YHWH of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

Cry yet, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and YHWH shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1:14-17)

It was that same year in 520 BC, (the 2nd year of Darius, the Great Artaxerxes) that the prophet Haggai received a prophecy concerning Zerubbabel, and the coming of the Messiah. Remember this prophecy was given within the context of Zerubbabel’s and Joshua’s (Yeshua’s) restoration of the temple and Jerusalem. Here take a look:

Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith YHWH; and be strong, O Joshua [Yeshua], son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith YHWH, and work: for I am with you, saith YHWH of hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

For thus saith YHWH of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations,

and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith YHWH of hosts . . .

Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month . . .

And again the word of YHWH came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month [the second year of Darius, i.e. 520 BC], saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

In that day, saith YHWH of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith YHWH, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith YHWH of hosts. (Haggai 2:4–7, 20–23)

A Signet of YHWH
Notice in this passage it seems to speak of two comings of the Messiah. One when the “desire of all nations shall come” and YHWH’s house is again filled with glory and then another time when Zerubbabel, “my servant,” would become a “signet” or seal in the hand of YHWH to overthrow the kingdoms of this world and “shake the heavens and the earth”.

Now to understand the full miraculous wonder of this prophecy, let’s take a look again at the curse pronounced against Coniah:

As I live, saith YHWH, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.

Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of YHWH.

Thus saith YHWH, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. (Jeremiah 22:24–30, emphasis mine.)

Did you catch that? Even if Coniah were a “signet” upon YHWH’s hand, none of his seed would prosper in sitting upon the throne of David. Yet Haggai prophesies that someday Zerubbabel, and by implication his offspring, would become a “signet” upon the hand of YHWH—in a passage with a strong Messianic context. How could the cursed lineage of Coniah bring forth the future Messiah? How is this conundrum rectified?

Zechariah 4 gives us the answer in a word to Zerubbabel:

This is the word of YHWH unto Zerubbabel, saying,

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith YHWH of hosts.

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that YHWH of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of YHWH, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:6–10)

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Revelation 5:5–6, emphasis mine)

Not by Power nor by Might
Did you catch it? “Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit” was the promise given to Zerubbabel. The Messiah then didn’t come through human power or might but by Yahweh’s spirit.

One of the most powerful examples of this promise is found in the first chapter of the New Testament and the lineage of Yeshua represented there.

In Matthew 1 it shows us that Joseph—and by implication his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Zerubbabel, was only the legal father of Yeshua. The “seed” of Yeshua came not by their human power or might, but by the Spirit of Yahweh.

Matthew 1 and Isaiah 7 explain it this way:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together,

…she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of YHWH appeared unto him in a dream, saying…

Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yeshua [Yeshua = YHWH’s salvation]: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of YHWH by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:18–23, emphasis mine)

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore YHWH himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:13–14)

By the Spirit of YHWH indeed!

Think about this for a moment. Yeshua’s human lineage must have come through Mary (Luke 3), but the lineage, as represented by apostle Matthew (Matthew 1), shows us how the Messiah came not by human power or might, but by the Spirit of YHWH. YHWH stood in place of the cursed Coniah and his ancestors. He became the kinsman redeemer who raised up the promised seed upon the throne of David – by His spirit.

For those of you who read my last article Homo Deus, you saw how Satan has long deceived mankind into believing that we can achieve immortality by our own efforts. Long ago in Eden, he whispered the lie that mankind, by our own power and might, can become Homo Deus or God men.

But that is not Yahweh’s plan for mankind. As with the curse of Coniah and the promise of the coming Messiah, mankind can only be restored to their intended state by Yahweh’s spirit made flesh, that is Yeshua – Yahweh’s Salvation.

Take a look once more at Matthew’s amazingly clever list of names. This list is such a wonderful spiritual metaphor for Yahweh’s redemptive purposes.

The First 14 Generations – The Promise
The first column begins with Abraham and ends with king David. As I explained in Book II – Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy, it was Abraham with whom Yahweh swore (shaba) the first oath with any man in the Bible (Gen 22 & 26). This oath was in part the promise that through Abraham’s “seed” all nations of the earth would be blessed. When talking to Isaac, Yahweh explained it this way:

Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; (Genesis 26:3-4)

This oath (shebuw’ah) which Yahweh swore (shaba) in Gen. 22 was later described by Moses in Deut. 7:7-26 as the “covenant and mercy” promised to the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Due. 9:5)

The prophet Daniel appropriately mentioned this “covenant and mercy” when he petitioned Yahweh to forgive his people and restore Jerusalem in Daniel 9:4. Shortly thereafter YHWH sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel with the prophecy of 70 Weeks which gave the precise date when this “covenant and mercy” would come.

But back to the first group of names in Matthew’s famous list now. The first 14 generations of Yeshua’s lineage ends with king David who was a symbol of a yet future Messianic king. Emphasizing this point is the fact that David’s name has the Hebrew letter value of 14.

Now to give you a sense of how important these first 14 generations are in Yahweh’s redemptive plan, here are the words of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist; putting it all together for us:

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:67-75)

Wonderfully congruent, isn’t it? Here, Zacharias, talking about the future Messiah Yeshua, describes Him as the “horn of salvation” from the house of David, in fulfillment of the covenant and mercy which was the ancient promise or oath (shebuw’ah) Yahweh swore (shaba) with Abraham.

The Second 14 Generations – The Problem
But now the Problem of the second 14 generations described by Matthew. This grouping begins with Solomon and ends with the cursed Coniah  (Jechonias). It would be hard to find another list of names in the Bible that better represents the fallen sinful nature of mankind!

Solomon was the son of king David and Bathsheba. It was David and Bathsheba’s illicit affair, which resulted in David murdering Bathsheba’s husband, which in turn eventually led to the birth of Solomon. That second grouping of 14 generations represents the height of Israel as a nation, its division, idolatrous demise, and its heartbreaking destruction, and captivity. To mark the 14th generation, Matthew ends the lists with the cursed king Coniah.

I should mention something here so that you really grasp the significance of Coniah as the 14th generation. It was no cosmic accident. You see, in order to make 14 generations from Solomon to Coniah, Matthew had to leave out 4 of Yeshua’s ancestors. That’s right, Matthew purposely arranged the list. Here take a look:

Consider that for a minute. Matthew could have easily made the righteous Josias the 14th generation, but instead he named the only king in the Bible who was personally cursed along with all his offspring. (Interestingly, if you add those 4 missing kings back into this list of 14 names you get 18 names instead (6+6+6).)

In any case, a reasonable argument can be made, that the second grouping of 14 generations of Yeshua’s ancestors is a clever metaphor for the curse of sin. Those kings represent the problem of mankind’s fallen state.

The Third 14 Generations – The Panacea
Thankfully the symbolism doesn’t end with the curse of Coniah. Matthew gives us the final grouping of names which he represents as 14 generations. I say represents, because if you actually count the names in Matthew 1 you’ll find that in fact there are only 13 names in the third generational grouping. Yeshua, the Messiah is the 13th generation, or what I like to call the 13th Enumeration.

You see Matthew completes Yeshua’s lineage with compelling symbolism which testifies to the Old Testament’s description of the Messiah as both a suffering servant and ruling king. Yeshua as the suffering servant, the atonement sacrifice, and the kinsman redeemer, was the 13th generation. He is both a man (6) and divine perfection (7), thus he is the true Homo Deus (God man – 13).

Then by His sacrificial death and resurrection Yeshua became the 14th generation thus completing symbolism of Matthew’s list. Yeshua – Yahweh’s Salvation, became mankind’s panacea or in other words he became our cure.

Fantastic symbolism, don’t you think?

And just in case you don’t get the messianic symbolism, consider the meaning of the names in each of the 13 & 14 generations.

• 13 – Jesse = I possess
• 14 – David = Beloved
• 13 – Josias = Whom Yahweh heals
• Jehoiakim = Yahweh raises up (missing)
• 14 – Jechonias = Yahweh establishes
• 13 – Yeshua = Yahweh’s Salvation
• 14 – Yeshua

Or in other words:

I possess, beloved whom Yahweh heals, he raises up & establishes His Salvation – Yeshua!

Zerubbabel as the Great Leveler
Before leaving the subject of Coniah, Zerubbabel, and Yeshua, I would like to look at just one more Messianic thread woven into Zechariah 4. The literal context of this passage shows us that Zerubbabel was the man responsible for laying the temple’s foundation, as well as bringing forth its final headstone—the top stone or capstone if you will. Messianic symbolism aside, this building process required another important step. Zechariah 4:7–10 explains:

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that YHWH of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of YHWH, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:7–10)

Isaiah 28 and Zechariah 1 both continue the construction theme and apply it to the coming of the Messiah. Note especially Zechariah 1:14–16 below, because this divine command to “restore and build Jerusalem” played a central part in the divine command to restore and build Jerusalem as I explained in Book II of my series on Prophecies and Patterns—Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy.

Therefore thus saith the Lord, YHWH, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (Isaiah 28:16–17)

So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith YHWH of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

Therefore thus saith YHWH; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith YHWH of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (Zechariah 4:7–10)

Before the Second Temple could be constructed, the place upon which it was to be built had to be leveled. Zechariah 4:7 explains that Zerubbabel had to make the mountain a “plain.” The Hebrew word here is miyshowr, and it is used primarily to refer to leveling something, in a symbolic sense, though the word means uprightness or righteousness. Miyshowr is the very same term used in the famous Messianic passage of Isaiah 40—the same passage John the Baptist proclaimed in Luke 3 concerning the coming of the Messiah:

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of YHWH’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHWH, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40:1–4, emphasis mine)

The word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHWH, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see [Yeshua] the salvation of God [Yeshua = Salvation of YHWH]. (Luke 3:2–6, emphasis mine)

Nothing Is Impossible with Yahweh
In closing if there is one lesson to be learned from the Curse of Coniah and the Prophecy given to Zerubbabel, it is that nothing is impossible with Yahweh. No matter what your circumstances in life, our Creator can use you for His honor and glory if you are willing. He loves you and wants you to be part of His redemptive plan for mankind.

So next time someone tells you, that the crooked cannot be made straight, the sinner cannot be made righteous, the blind will never see, a virgin could never bear a future king, or a cursed king could never produce the promised Messiah, just tell them the story of Coniah and Zerubbabel. Tell them the story of a cursed man who brought forth the Headstone, not by his own power or might, but by the Spirit of Yahweh.

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I hope you’ll join the adventure!

The Flood, the Exodus, and the Coming Messiah

Noah-offering-sacrifices

Noah Offering Sacrifices

In my last blog post, Halloween: Celebrating the Destruction of Mankind, we looked at the fascinating history of Halloween and the flood of Noah. Today I want to share with you how those events are related to Israel’s exodus from Egypt, the Biblical calendar, and the promise of the coming Messiah. Continue reading

What is the 13th Enumeration?

Chapter-1If you are wondering why this blog is The 13th Enumeration – Where History and Bible Meet, today you’ll learn part of the amazing Biblical history behind The 13th Enumeration. Our adventure takes us back nearly 2000 years to a tax collector who penned a Biblical lineage of 41 names, an enigma which has become one of the most disputed texts of the New Testament.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Proverbs 25:2

Even a quick perusal of the biblical record will show you that our Creator, YHWH, doesn’t always do things in a way mankind expects. In fact, when we’re dealing with God, it’s prudent to expect the unexpected. Whether because of our shortsightedness, His sense of humor, or something else, humans have been misunderstanding YHWH’s actions and words since the very beginning.

The examples are almost too numerous to recount: He promised us a Savior. We expected a conquering hero on a white horse; instead He sent us a humble carpenter on a donkey. To meet a giant, He sent a shepherd boy with a stone and a sling. To protect His people from the wrath of Persia, He prepared a young Jewish maiden. To give the city of Nineveh a second chance, He sent a giant fish. We could go on and tell of a young Hebrew man sold into slavery who became the second most powerful ruler in Egypt, or of a harlot who would be the grandmother of a future king. The bottom line is that YHWH often does things that do not make sense based upon our human experience and expectations.

 An Unexpected Argument
The first chapter of the first book of the New Testament is no exception. I mean, come on—this is the place you’d expect to find rock-solid, ironclad proof that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures. Chapter 1 of the gospel of Matthew is like the opening argument in the most important legal case in the history of the world. Mess up here, and the repercussions will have untold consequences. Continue reading

41 Generations to the Messiah

Fib13

Fibonacci Sequence

One of my favorite prophetic passages in the Bible is found in Isaiah 46:9-10. It’s a statement by YHWH, the living God of the Bible, that He is God and there is none like Him. In this wonderful passage, YHWH is talking to Israel contrasting Himself with the Babylonian gods, Bel and Nebo, which had been unable to save ancient Babylon and its inhabitants from captivity.

To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?…

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah 46:5, 9-10

Did you catch that? The first evidence YHWH uses to prove to Israel that Bel and Nebo are not His equals is the fact that He tells the end from the beginning. In other words He knows the future. This foreknowledge of the future is one way YHWH sets Himself apart from other gods and elevates the Bible above other religious texts. Continue reading

70 Weeks and the Blood Moon

Book2_400x600In all the hoopla surrounding the Blood Moons my hope is that the real significance of this day is not forgotten. You see, over 6000 years ago our Creator set in motion His heavenly Rolex so that you and I could see this incredible display. I know, many claim the world we live in is just the evolution of randomness, but just a glance into your child’s eyes will put the lie to that claim.

As someone who loves to dig into the history and chronology of the Bible, to me the blood moon is a spectacular reminder of a world changing Biblical event that happened long ago. For those of you who have read my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism or one of my blog articles on the subject you know that there is reasonable, if not conclusive, evidence that today, nearly 2018 years ago, a Jewish child was born who changed the history of the world.

We know Him as Jesus or by his Hebrew name Yeshua and today just happens to be his birthday. You see today is the Biblical Feast of Sukkot also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths and it was around this time of year that Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Interestingly, the traditional association of Christ’s birth with Christmas likely comes from the fact that it was nine months earlier during the Feast of Hanukah (in late December) when the conception of the Messiah took place. Over the years the lines between Hanukah (also known as the Festival of Lights / Feast of Dedication) and Christmas blurred due to the increasingly gentile make-up of the early church and slowly the messianic significance of the Jewish Festival of Lights was forgotten.

Did you know that Yeshua, during the Festival of Lights in Jerusalem, told his listeners that He was “the light of the world”? Indeed, when YHWH’s spirit brought about the conception of the Messiah in a Jewish maiden named Mary, a new hope was brought into a world blinded by the darkness of sin.

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him…

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing…..

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. John 9:1-7; 10:22 

Although Yeshua told us that He was the light of the world it was the apostle John who so eloquently alluded to the birth of Christ in words which remind us of the Feast of Tabernacles.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God….. 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2, 14 

So over the coming days when you look back on the “super blood moon” during the Feast of Tabernacles in 2015, no matter what your opinion on the subject, don’t forget about a lowly little Jewish child born in a manger who brought light and hope into this world.

Book2_400x600Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy
For those of you who would like real Biblical proof for the promised Messiah I’m happy to tell you that I’ve finished Book II in the Prophecy and Patterns series. Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy is finally finished!

As promised, subscribers to my blog may download it for free. If you are not yet a subscriber and would like to read the book please feel free to subscribe below. The book will also be up on Amazon in the coming days.

Let me tell you right up front the book will be controversial. This is not your ordinary book on the prophecy of Daniel 9. Those of you who have read my blog over the years know I often have an unconventional take on Biblical history and Bible prophecy. Here are just a few of the many topics we will look at in the book which I hope will give you a new appreciation for the subject:

  1. Can we date the birth of the Messiah from Daniel 9:25?
  2. Why does Daniel 9 point symbolically to the flood of Noah and the consequences of mankind’s sins?
  3. What is the significance of the Messiah being “cut off” after the 69th week?
  4. Who gave the “commandment” to restore and build Jerusalem?
  5. What is the significance of the covenant of Daniel 9:4 as it relates to the covenant of Daniel 9:27?
  6. Why have we ignored the Biblical evidence concerning the 2nd temple era?
  7. Who was the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra and Nehemiah?
  8. Why do many acknowledge that Yeshua fulfilled the Biblical feast days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits using a biblical lunar/solar calendar, but when it comes to Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 Weeks, they insist on a so called “prophetic” calendar which would wander through the seasons much like the Islamic calendar of today?
  9. Why both Historicists and the Futurists have used Daniel 9 and an erroneous chronology of the 2nd temple era to bolster their theological positions. (And the effect this has had on modern eschatological thought.)
  10. Why many scholars believe the Messianic message of Daniel 9 ends with the Messiah’s death.

I know some may be wondering why any of this even matters. Whether you know it or not, the truth is, Daniel 9 has in some way influenced nearly every aspect of how we see the Messiah Yeshua. This is especially true for our yet future eschatological expectations. Daniel 9 is the basis for our understanding of a 7 year tribulation, the anti-Christ, and many other end time events. Yet, surprisingly very few of us can provide a solid Biblical basis for our interpretation of this wonderful prophecy.

Today, I asked you to join me in a Biblical adventure with the goal of remedying that oversight. Together let’s look at the prophecy of 70 Weeks with an eye to its 2nd temple era context and a Biblical reckoning of time. I can’t promise you that you’ll agree with me on every point, but I will guarantee that by the time you have finished the book you will be in awe of YHWH’s love for His fallen Creation and how Daniel 9 is one of the greatest testimonies of that love found in the Bible.

To help you understand the extent to which Daniel 9 has influenced our view of the End Times, YHWH willing over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you how Daniel 9 has been incorporated into the teachings of some of today’s most popular prophecy teachers. We will take a respectful but critical look at how Daniel 9 is used to strengthen:

As we will see, though diverse in their opinions regarding Daniel 9, all have failed to address the most basic aspect of the prophecy of 70 Weeks – that is they have failed to establish the prophecy of Daniel 9 on a solid chronological basis in the Biblical and secular record. In other words, they have failed to provide a definitive starting point upon which to calculate the countdown to the Messiah. This oversight in turn has caused each of them to make assumptions about Daniel 9 which has altered their eschatological world view. Can their end-times world view survive this oversight? Stay tuned, the answer will surprise you.

Getting a Head Start
If you would like to get a head start on these upcoming discussions I encourage you to download a free copy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. Verified blog subscribers may download a free copy of the book here: Subscribers Book Download

If you would like to become a subscriber you may use the form below. It’s free to subscribe and I won’t share your email nor will I spam you with junk mail. Long ago I made a commitment to make the information on this blog and my websites available free of charge in one form or another. So you won’t find advertisements on this blog or a donation button, just my unconventional take on Biblical history and Bible prophecy.

My Gift to You
So today, on Yeshua biblical birthday, my gift to you is reasonable Biblical proof that Yeshua was the Messiah promised in the Scriptures. My hope is that you will enjoy the adventure as much as I have!

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The Flood & the Coming Messiah

Noah-offering-sacrifices

Noah Offering Sacrifices

In my last blog post, Halloween and the Bible, we looked at the fascinating history of Halloween and the flood of Noah. Today I want to share with you how those events are related to Israel’s exodus from Egypt, the Biblical calendar, and the promise of the coming Messiah. David Jesse, a blogger I read, has a saying which I really love. He says “Context makes the Bible come alive”. Today I want to share with you some unique historical facts about Egypt and Israel’s exodus in the hope that this information will make the Bible come alive for you in a new way.

The Descendants of Seth
First let’s travel back to the time of Christ and a Jewish historian named Josephus. Nearly two thousand years ago Josephus had this to say about the flood:

Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his virtues…

They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, {e} the one of brick, the other of stone: 

they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad [Egypt] to this day…. (Antiquities of the Jews 1:68-71)

Interestingly in Isaiah 19:19 such a pillar is mentioned in the land of Egypt in a future messianic context. Here take a look:

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

XVIII_700pixYou see, nearly two thousand years ago the Great Pyramid in Egypt was already considered a monument built by the descendants of Seth to monumentalize a warning to mankind that judgement was coming. Some even claim this pillar has messianic significance. A discussion of whether this tradition is true or not will have to wait for another article, but we do know from the evidence of the Great Pyramid itself, that it was built in such a way that it marked the first day of November (and the Flood) in a very special way. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let me describe this monument in a little more detail. For context’s sake keep in mind that Goshen, where the children of Israel lived for several hundred years, was only fifty miles or so from this great monument. In a moment you will see why the Great Pyramid was known to the ancient Egyptians as Ta Khut “The Light” and why it is still one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world.

Now let me paint you a picture of the Great Pyramid as it was during the time of Israel’s sojourning in Egypt. The base of the Great Pyramid was 365.24 cubits squared covering 13 acres. This stone structure was laid out in relation to the cardinal points of the compass with the precision of a modern observatory. Its base circumference was 36,524 inches and its height was 5813 inches or nearly 484 feet. Quite literally, it was a manmade mountain. For perspective, you could take the stone mass of the Great Pyramid and it would make a wall one foot thick and four feet high stretching from New York to San Francisco. Now that is big!

Air_Photograph_Showing_HallWhat really stood out about the Great Pyramid was its covering. The four slightly concave triangular sides of this incredible monument were covered with a casing of pure white polished limestone and fitted with such precision that even today engineers and archeologists have no conclusive idea how the task was accomplished. Oddly enough, the capstone or ‘head corner stone’, as it might be called in Biblical terms, was never placed on the Great Pyramid. In antiquity it was considered a stone rejected by its builders.

The Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, observed that in his day (56-60 BC) the Great Pyramid was complete without any decay, but it lacked its capstone. (Diodorus Siculus, Book I, 63.4-64.14)

The Greek geographer Strabo who lived as a contemporary of Siculus is said to have stated that, “It seemed like a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.”

So we have a massive manmade structure with highly reflective sides fixed precisely to the cardinal points of the compass. This arrangement then produced reflective beams of lights and shadows marking the limits of the astronomical year with a brilliant display, hence the Egyptian title, “The Light”. Among its many characteristics the Great Pyramid was in fact an astronomical almanac. This purposeful design marked the 1st of November and the sowing season with a specific reflective effect which was used by the Egyptians to begin their agricultural cycle as well as their New Year. The chart below comes from Davidson’s Pyramid Records and it shows what the children of Israel likely saw during their captivity. In the far right of the chart note the reflective design which was seen on the 1st of November.

Egyptian_Calendar_Year_And_

So okay, this is all a neat bit of history you might be thinking, but what does this have to do with Israel? Well, this is where it gets really amazing in my opinion. The Great Pyramid defined Egypt’s agricultural calendar and seasons with its reflective effect. This was the calendar system under which all Egypt operated during Israel’s captivity, one which reminded them of a great destruction of mankind.

After the exodus of Israel from Egypt one of the first things YHWH did was change Israel’s calendar from what they were familiar with in Egypt to a new calendar which began in the spring and commemorated the events of the Exodus.

And YHWH spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house;

…And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YHWH’s passover. (Exodus 12:1-11)

Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) (Exodus 23:15)

You see, Israel, while in slavery to Egypt (which can also be seen as a symbol of mankind’s slavery to sin), kept a calendar which immortalized the righteous judgment of God on a sinful world. After the exodus, YHWH directed Israel’s focus away from a remembrance of the flood and towards a calendar which celebrated their deliverance from Egypt and foreshadowed their redemption through the coming Messiah. A messiah who became “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Now how awesome is that!

Noon_Reflections_SummarThe Ark and Deliverance
But there is more. Remember how the Bible describes the flood as occurring on the 17th day of the second month of the pre-flood calendar, a day which modern tradition observes in ignorance as Halloween. Have you ever thought about the day Noah’s ark finally rested on the mountains of Ararat? Well, that day was just as symbolically important? Here take a look:

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:3-4)

Yes indeed, the ark rested on a date which YHWH, hundreds of years later, would commemorate as Feast of Unleavened Bread. So in wonderful prophetic symbolism Noah and his family were delivered from the flood on the 17th day of the 7th month which according to Israel’s religious calendar after the exodus became the 17th day of the1st month. In modern calendar terms this would be our March or April. In other words, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the same day in which Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage. Then over a millennium later on that very same day, Yeshua the promised Messiah, rose from the grave and became the firstfruits of them that slept, thus delivering mankind from their bondage to sin.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

You see, the Israel that lived in the shadows and reflections of the Great Pyramid was only reminded of the judgment of God. The Israel that left Egypt was given the promise of a coming redeemer. How’s that for a new perspective on the Flood and the Exodus!

The Flood and Daniel 9
The above context provides a rather unique perspective on Israel’s calendar system and the promised Redeemer but there is another aspect to the flood story and the Messiah. In Daniel 9 we have the most important messianic prophecy in the Bible. Commonly called the Prophecy of 70 Weeks, its importance lies in the fact that it is the only prophecy in the entire Bible which gives a specific and datable timeline for the coming of the Messiah.

Daniel 9:25 tells us that after 7 “weeks” the Messiah will come. Keep in mind that the term weeks in Daniel 9 comes from the Hebrew Shabuwa and simply means sevens. The period of time intended by the prophecy is never stated.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [sevens],… (Daniel 9:25a)

I won’t go into all the details in this article, but in Daniel 9:26 the prophecy goes on to tell us that the Messiah will be “cut off”. We know in retrospect from both the Old and New Testaments that the Messiah would have a dual role in the affairs of mankind. He would be both a suffering servant as described in Isaiah 53 and a future king as described in Luke 1:31-33. Here in Daniel 9:26 though we have a description of the Messiah as a suffering servant.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (Daniel 9:26a)

VIII_1000pixNotice in the passage above, it says that the Messiah will be “cut off, but not for himself”. This is where we find an amazing connection between the promised Messiah and the flood of Noah’s day. You see the term “cut off” in Daniel 9:26 comes from the Hebrew karath which means to cut off or cut down. As many scholars have noted over the years, the first occurrence of a Hebrew word in the Bible often provides additional insights into its meaning. Here in Daniel 9:26 we find such an example because the first occurrence of the work karath comes to us from the flood story.

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off [karath] any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11) 

Take a moment to read Daniel 9:26a once again. Notice it says the Messiah will be karath “but not for himself”. Contrast that with Noah’s day were we are told that nearly all mankind was cut off (karath) because of their sins. In Noah’s day mankind paid the required price for their sins. Daniel prophesied that a day would come when the Messiah would pay that price (karath) in place of mankind, it was his blood which would atoned for the sins of humanity.

Not for Himself indeed!

Let me give you a few examples from the Biblical record illustrating how the Messiah was cut off for the sins of mankind:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)
Did you catch the analogy Peter made above? The same waters which “baptized” the world and removed sin also lifted the ark and brought deliverance from the death. In a like manner it was Yeshua’s resurrection which brings salvation and deliverance from sin.

And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 7:18) 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Noon_Reflections_Solstice60The Flood and the Messiah
So next time you’re thinking about Israel and their exodus from Egypt remember the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Remember a monument which Strabo described as, “…a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.” A megalithic wonder which reminded all Egypt of YHWH’s judgment on a sinful world. A monument which in its own way points mankind to the promise of a coming redeemer.

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

A Berean’s Challenge
For those Bereans out there who love to dig deeper into YHWH’s word, I have a challenge for you. In Daniel 9 there are three Hebrew words which the Bible first uses in describing the events of the flood. We already looked at the word karath which was used to describe mankind being “cut off” from the earth. The other two words are gabar (prevail) and beriyth (covenant). It was no accident that all three of these words found in Daniel 9 are first found in the flood story and the destruction of mankind. See if you can find the connection.

Book2_400x600YHWH willing, in a couple of weeks I will be releasing Book II in my Prophecy and Patterns series, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. In the book we’ll search for an answer to these intriguing questions and many others as well. Remember if you are a blog subscriber you’ll receive a complimentary digital copy of the book when it is released. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your own Biblical treasure hunt for the wonders YHWH has hidden for us to find.

 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)

Authors note: All the charts in this article come from Davidson’s Pyramid Records (1924)

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Book Update

Book1-400x640-webFor those waiting for the release of my new book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism I am happy to say I have completed it ahead of time. As promised, subscribers to my blog will receive a complimentary copy of the book by downloading the digital version here: Book Download

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