We believe the “Good News”, or “Gospel” [B’sorah]: Yeshua, the Son of God, was sent by God, the Creator, to Israel, to save people from their sins. God is LOVE. He expresses that love perfectly to the WORLD in Yeshua, His Son. The final punishment of sin is separation from God, if that sin is not atoned.
Yeshua was born in Israel to a Jewish family. He lived life perfectly in obedience to His Father in Heaven [keeping Torah]. He suffered the punishment of everyone’s sins [breaking Torah], by hanging on the tree, shedding His blood in order to cover [atone for] our sins. He entered into She’ol [hell], and rose again from the grave after three days and three nights. Trust in these truths and confession in faith of who He is and what He did is the beginning of Salvation. Faithfulness and obedience [Walking Torah] are the proof that one’s confession is real and eternal, and shows the world what righteousness is.
Below are the core beliefs of The Fellowship. There will invariably be differences of opinion on many scriptural matters, but there should be none on these that are so foundational and plain. Sometimes semantics get in the way of seeing we actually agree. We encourage congregational leaders to pray and consider differences in wording concerning more difficult topics, and whether we agree on the thought, but perhaps differ only on the expression. For deeper understanding/insight into the doctrines that are described very briefly below, please contact one of the members of our leadership. [see the glossary for definitions of terms used]
There is ONE G-d. [Deut 6:4, Mark 12:22]He is Elohim, the Creator of the whole earth, having created Heaven and Earth, the seas, and all that is in them, and everything in the skies, and all creatures on the lands. He did so in six 24-hour earth days. [Gen 1]
He is the G-d of Avraham, Yitz’khak, and Ya’akov. He is the G-d of Yisra’el. His Name is יהוה , and as such is “The Existing One,” “Who was, is, and will be”. [Exodus 3:6, 15] He is the Father of the Nation of Israel; [Ex 4:22] He is Yeshua’s Father [John 8:42] , and the Father of all who trust in Him through the Son [John 1:12].
Yeshua is a man, [Acts 2:22]who is also the very image of the Creator in a human Body [Heb 1:3]. The Nature of יהוה , the very power of life and creation, is embodied in Yeshua’s character, and manifests in His flesh. He is thus the SON of G-d [John 10:36], having been conceived of the Ru’akh of the Creator in a virgin, Miryam of Natzrat, a daughter of Yisra’el’s royal line of Melekh David [Luke 1:26-56]. He is thus “Melekh HaY’hudim”, or “King of the Jews.” Yeshua came to earth as an infant, was circumcised into the Covenant of Avraham [Luke 2:21], grew up as a Jew in Yisra’el [Luke 2:40-52], ministered to the Nation of Yisra’el, our Jewish people, teaching them the Torah and correcting their error [Mat 5-7]. They seized Him, and together with gentiles condemned Him to death [Mat 26:47, Mat 27:2-54] . He died during Pesakh [Passover, John 18:39], and rose from the dead at the very start of Bikkurim [Mark 16:1]. He showed Himself to His Talmidim [Torah Students] [John 20:19, Acts 1:1-11] and others as a resurrected man, before He then ascended visibly into Heaven, where He now lives, at the right hand of His Father, our Creator . [Heb 1:1-4]
One day, Yeshua will meet His Bride in the heavens [1 These 4:17], and there will be a union with Him; the Bride, His congregation, will assemble around the Throne of the Creator [Rev 4-5]; seven years later, Yeshua will return to the earth with His Bride and take vengeance on the wicked. [Rev 19:11-14] He will then rule on the earth for 1,000 years [Rev 19:7-20:8] .
יהוה is the spoken Name of the Creator. Elohim, G-d, the creator, is an immeasurable being. He is NOT limited to ‘three-ness’, but is ONE being who manifested to mankind “in many forms and in many ways,” [Heb 1:1], saying, “I will be WHATEVER I will be”.
And then He said, “ יהוה ….. THIS is My Name FOREVER .” [Shemot 3:15]
But He, the Creator, while still seated on His throne, is NOW manifested to us permanently in the man, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, and is revealed to us by His Ru’akh when we Hear of His Good News and trust in His blood, since Yeshua, the Man, sits at the right hand of the Creator in heaven. We ‘see’ G-d through Him, by the Ru’akh. This is ONE Elohim, manifesting to us in Yeshua by His Ru’akh. Yeshua is a manifestation of G-d. The Ru’akh is an emanation from G-d through Yeshua, to us. He is ONE Elohim, manifested, revealed.
Yeshua had previously ‘manifested’ to the Prophets AS: “Malakh יהוה , ” and as “Dvar יהוה ” . Our Jewish people understood that the Malakh יהוה , or “Angel of the LORD”, was indeed a perfect representation of the Creator ‘as a man’.
The ‘man’ seen in scripture as Malakh יהוה up to 1 Samuel 3:21, became there D’var יהוה , manifesting to the Prophets as such, until such time as the D’var יהוה , or the Word of the LORD, would become a body of flesh. Thus, Yeshua is יהוה .
The Name, יהוה , is His declared Name, which He commands us to call Him, and the Name which He commands us to declare to the world.
Yeshua, being the very power of creation, was in Elohim, יהוה , in the beginning [Yokh 1:1, 8:42]. Elohim created all [Gen 1], but יהוה Elohim interacted with mankind [Gen 2]. This is the beginning of the manifestation of G-d in many forms and ways.
He manifested to Avraham, Yitz’khak, and Ya’akov as the “Malakh יהוה ” the Messenger [angel] of יהוה . This same manifestation appeared in the bush to Moshe, and NOT ‘as’ a bush. The Malakh יהוה looks ‘like’ a man, but is in fact a manifestation of Elohim in the ‘form’ of a man. This is a pre-manifestation of the Man we now call Yeshua, D’var [The Word Of] יהוה , who IS a man, and is the permanent manifestation of the Creator in a human body/flesh. This IS יהוה , and this IS Mashi’akh [Messiah], Yeshua. Yeshua, the man, inherited this Name, יהוה , [“O Av Kadosh, protect them in Your Name, which You have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.” Jo 17:11, Heb 1:4 ; see also Acts 2:36, and Phil 2:10-11] If Yeshua is not, right now, a MAN, then we have no hope, as we declare that we put our trust in the RESURRECTION. G-d cannot die, and did not die; the MAN, Yeshua, died. His soul went into She’ol, His body into the grave, while Elohim was still on His throne. [Acts 2:31]
Because He obeyed His Father, since He had His Nature in Him, Elohim has made Him both יהוה and Mashi’akh. [2:36]
Yeshua declared His Name, and inherited His Name. And we are instructed to call on that Name [2:21], and declare that Name.
“He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the stake; therefore, Elohim also has highly exalted Him and given Him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, of those on earth, and those under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that He, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, is יהוה , to the glory of Elohim His Father.” [Phil 2:10-11]
Ru’akh is ‘breath’, or ‘spirit’. The Ru’akh HaKodesh [Consecrated/Holy Spirit] is not separate from G-d the Creator, but is an emanation of Him, as our breath emanates from us and carries our words. The Ru’akh is not a person, but is the eternal emanation of the person of G-d, יהוה . Elohim sits on His Throne; He has form. We are created/fashioned in His form. His Ru’akh emanates from within Him, and it is by His Ru’akh that He is omnipresent. His power manifests in His Ru’akh. His Presence manifests in His Ru’akh. It is by and through His Ru’akh that Yeshua, HaDavar, the Word of G-d, left Him and came into being. Yeshua was given a great measure of the power of the Ru’akh at His immersion, and by the Ru’akh did His miracles. The Ru’akh is now also called “Ru’akh HaMashi’akh”, as Yeshua has been given “all power”, and Ha’Av, the Father, speaks to us by His Ru’akh through Yeshua. His Ru’akh moves [motivates] us, speaks to us by His Word, and reveals the Will of G-d to us, if indeed we have His Ru’akh in us.
Salvation is from the Jews. Yeshua is Jewish. He is Salvation, and His Name, Yeshua, means “Salvation”.
Yeshua saves us by rescuing us from our sins. Adam brought ‘Khatah” [breaking Torah, sin] into the world, when he disobeyed the instructions of our Creator. The ‘neshama’, the spiritual ‘life’ of Adam, the essence that connected Him to life in the Creator, died when he sinned, and as a result, his body died nearly 1,000 years later.
Yeshua declared salvation, saying that He came to save us from sin, and to give us ‘life’. He restores to us a living neshama by His Ru’akh, and then also gives us of His Ru’akh as a garment. This is ‘eternal life,’ which will one day also resurrect our own bodies. Those who trust in Yeshua continually and demonstrate that trust through humble obedience to His Word will rise from the dead, because they live in Him.
Yeshua saves us from ourselves, our propensity to break His Torah. Sin is the breaking of Torah. Remaining in sin, or continually breaking Torah without contrition, brings perpetual death. These are the lost.
SALVATION IS BY TRUST ALONE. NOTHING in scripture can be more plain. True salvation that imparts ‘tzedaka’, however, will produce OBEDIENCE to His Mitzvot [Torah commandments]. This is probably the MOST critical tenet of trust in Yeshua the Messiah. Many believers who think they do not follow the Torah, do not follow it ‘fully’, but they DO follow it, even though they do not realize it. [Rom 2:14] We believe that ALL believers, Jew AND Gentile, are being ‘purified’ in these last days, by being called back to the foundation of trust, Yeshua, our only Rabbi, and His Torah, walking it out the way He did [1 Jo 2:6]. Trusting in the blood He shed on the tree saves us. Obeying His Mitzvot consecrates us, and communicates His message of REPENTANCE more clearly in this DARK world.
We believe the Scriptures are complete and perfect in Genesis to Revelation. Yeshua affirms the Jewish canon in His day [Luke 11:51]. We accept the canon of the Brit Khadashah [Renewed Covenant Scriptures] to be the writings of named and known apostles and disciples of Yeshua who are shown to have had the Ru’akh HaKodesh. These books are reflected in “HaDavar“, a modern publication of the Semitic texts. All those books were written by the hands of men, but inspired by God Himself. Those who wrote them were writing them by the inspiration of the Ru’akh HaKodesh [The Holy Breath/Presence of God] [2 Tim 3:16].
The Torah is the first five books and the bedrock and foundation of Holy Scripture. [Eph 2:20] These books were dictated to Moshe when He was on the Mountain with God, after the Exodus. All the other scriptures derive from and support the Torah; they do not contradict it. Our interpretation of later scriptures cannot contradict, contravene, or abrogate the Torah. [Mat 5:17-19]
The Torah is called ‘law’; but, more accurately, it is ‘instruction’. The Torah is instructions for righteous living. [2 Tim 3:16] It teaches us to love God, and to love people. Without that approach, it becomes an unwieldy weapon.
The Torah’s whole purpose was to guide the nation of Israel to the Messiah [Rom 10:4]. From its very inception, the goal was to guide the way to Salvation, by FAITH.
It contains, ‘statutes’, ‘decrees’, and ‘laws’. But it is ONE Torah. There is not a separate set of laws for one group of people over another. [Exodus 12:49]
Yeshua upheld and taught the Torah [Mat 5-7]. Sha’ul upheld and taught the Torah [Rom 3:31, Acts 19:10]. All the apostles upheld the Torah. It was not done away with. In fact, Yeshua was careful to keep it, and to teach it. It is His Torah, the “Torah of Messiah” [otherwise called “The Law of Christ”, Gal 6:2]. Messiah did not come to make a new law. He renewed/refreshed our understanding of His Torah.
We are beholden to keep the ‘laws’ which we are indeed able to keep, and we can, because we are given the Power of His Ru’akh [Breath/Spirit] to do so, power not to sin. Sin is the breaking of the Torah [1 John 3:4].
Our Jewish people did not keep it. [Acts 7:53] They still do not. They created a ‘fence’ around the Torah, and they will still tell you that today. This was done by the Pharisees, and Yeshua excoriated them for it. [Mark 7:1-13]. Yeshua wrested the spiritual, interpretive power and authority from the Rabbis, and they killed Him for it. [ Mat 7:29 , Mat 28:18]. He is our ONE Rabbi. [Mat 23:8]. Those who seek to “Walk” the Torah and trust in Yeshua must walk His Halakhah. [1 Jo 2:4-6]. To follow today’s Rabbis is the very spirit of Anti-Messiah, because they reject Yeshua as the Messiah. They deny that Messiah is already come in the flesh, and that we have the Ru’akh by our confession of Him as the Son of God. To follow them is to reject Yeshua as one’s Rabbi. Not to follow The Torah is to reject Yeshua as one’s Rabbi. [1 Jo 4:1-3]
The Torah is entirely keepable. [Deut 30:14]. There are many ‘mitzvot’ in the Torah; but, many of them do not apply today: laws about cultivation of the land of Israel, laws about the priesthood, laws of ritual purity for service in the temple, laws that apply to one’s opposite gender, etc, are not obligatory to one endeavoring today to reflect the righteousness of the Torah as Messiah taught it. Yeshua did not even keep them all, because they were not directed at Him, but at others [ Heb 8:4 , women, priests, etc].
What we ARE able to keep are the commandments concerning worshipping God in His Way, commandments concerning how we treat other people, and concerning the governance of our hearts and minds, and about what to eat for the health of our bodies, as food. All of these are not only keepable, but obligatory after trusting in Messiah, for the purpose of preserving the Body and being light to mankind. To say one has no requirements of righteousness and worship is tantamount to treason. God’s realm is a Kingdom. Yeshua is its King. His Torah governs His people. It does not SAVE them, but it KEEPS them safe. And it makes us a LIGHT to the NATIONS. [Is 2:1-4].
Here is a list of all the mitzvot, and an attempt at marking the ones we should endeavor to reflect in our lives.
Elohim, the Creator and King of the Universe, chose Avram, changed his name to Avraham, and entered into covenant with him, preaching the B’sorah to him, and declaring him a Tzadik because he trusted in יהוה . He then also obeyed the Torah.
The genetic, chosen children of Avraham are the descendants of his son Yitz’khak, through his son Ya’akov. Ya’akov is the patriarch of the twelve sons whose names identify twelve tribes. Ya’akov’s name was changed to Yisra’el/Israel. There are only twelve tribes, descended from the twelve sons of Yisra’el. They formed a nation in Eretz Yisra’el.
The nation split in two, and the northern tribes were scattered and forgotten [Hoshe’ah 4:6] because of their spiritual harlotry, mixing the worship of יהוה with the worship of Ba’al and Ishtar.
The southern Kingdom was called “Yehudah”, and from there we get our moniker for this people, the “Jews”. The Jewish people today are the only known genetic Israel. The remnant of the ten northern tribes already returned and rejoined the southern Kingdom, as plainly seen in scripture [2 Chron 30], and all twelve tribes were then scattered again, together, in 150 AD, and will again be brought back into the land, together, as one family, known as Jews, as the Nevi’im declared. The ‘two sticks’ are already united, and the descendants of Yisra’el are ONE: the Jewish people.
This is earthly, genetic Israel, and no other.
[We are certain that there are descendants of the northern tribes in other areas, but no one can ascertain where or who they are, with any certainty. It is all mere speculation, and some of the proponents of genetic identity make word associations up, genetic mumbo jumbo, etc. It is deceit. The ones that were scattered are forgotten. Some of their very distant offspring today may indeed be believers in Yeshua, but if so, they are saved because of and by their trust ALONE, and are become the Yisra’el of G-d, along with Jews AND Gentiles. They were scattered, according to scripture, into parts that are now almost exclusively Islamic, oddly enough. Our Jewish People have searched them out, and found all the former tribes to be in parts east in Eurasia and Asia, and in east and southern Africa.]
“Charge certain ones not to teach diverse doctrines, and not to give heed to fables and stories of endless genealogies, which cause dispute, rather than build up HaEmunah of Elohim.”
Two-house doctrine does NOTHING to build trust in Yah. It only divides, just as our Jewish people divide the Body at times. “Is Mashi’akh divided?” No!
The Israel of Elohim [Gal 6:16] , those CHOSEN BY PROMISE THROUGH TRUST, is comprised of any JEW who TRUSTS IN the risen Yeshua as the son of Elohim, A JEW, AND, any Goy [gentile, non-descendant of Avraham] who has joined himself to Yeshua, the King of the Jews, in like manner. [Rom 2:29, 11:17-21, Gal 3:9, 6:16]
The Mo’edim are “The Appointed Times.” They are to be kept according to His instruction, and not man’s, be he rabbi, priest, or other. We follow Yeshua’s example, who kept the Pesakh a night before the Rabbis, along with much of Yisra’el, and He fulfilled the first four Mo’edim, showing that the Rabbis had them wrong. They executed Adon HaKavod [The Master of Glory], and yet people today follow them. We do not. יהוה plainly tells us that the sun, moon, and stars are given to set the “Mo’edim,” and He tells us plainly that the sacred year is determined by the barley when it is “aviv” at the time of the Khodesh. The year has twelve ‘khadashim’, or lunar cycles. In the twelfth Khodesh leading up to a possible 13th ‘crescent new moon,’ if the barley is aviv, ‘in the ear’, ready to harvest, then the next crescent new moon, ‘khodesh’, must be seen to determine the first Khodesh for setting the Mo’edim. It then becomes the first Khodesh, and not the 13th. If the barley is not ripe, ‘aviv’, then there is a 13th lunar cycle, and the next Khodesh is the 1st of the new year. Pesakh is the first Mo’ed of the yearly celebrations, and occurs at the start of the 14th day after the crescent new moon of the 1st ‘khodesh’, lunar cycle, [in evening, as biblical days start in the evening]. All the other Mo’edim are set by counting from the Khodesh of Pesakh.
These are all listed in VaYikra [Lev] 23. They are:
- Reshit Omer
- Yom Teru’ah
- Yom Kippur
The Shabbat is HIS, the Shabbat of יהוה , and not of the Jews. He made the Jews custodians of His Word, but it is His Shabbat. As are all the Mo’edim [yearly appointed celebrations] His.
The Shabbat is the Seventh Day of the week starting at sundown on ‘fri’ night, going to sundown on ‘sat’ night. This is absolute. No other times for Shabbat are acceptable. Rome made certain to know the Seventh day Sabbath when they moved their day of worship to the 1st day of the week and created a state religion.
Elohim set the ‘clock’ of the Sabbath, making certain the Jews knew when it was, by giving them manna for 40 years, a double portion on the 6th day, and none on the 7th day. Yisra’el has been tracking the Shabbat ever since. Our Jewish people have not erred in keeping the Shabbat and being the custodians of it. The Shlikhim show us that they also followed this model. There is a Havdallah service in Ma’asei [Acts] 20:7 , clearly showing the keeping of the Sabbath and the ceremony of closing it out with lamps, and with fellowship, on ‘sat’ night.
It is His day of rest, and it is a DELIGHT to Him. Yeshua is the Adon of Shabbat. He did not move it. Neither did He rise from the dead on the morning of the 1st day, but at the very moment Shabbat ended, Motza’ei Shabbat, ‘at the start of the week.’ [ie Sat. night]
The Mo’edim are “Prophetic Celebrations”. Shabbat, every week, is a picture of the upcoming 7th Millennium, our future ‘day of rest’ when Messiah Yeshua returns to earth.
The seven yearly Mo’edim are also very prophetic, and this is one reason why we celebrate them according to Yeshua’s pattern, other than the mere fact that He instructs us to do so.
Pesakh, Matzot, Reshit Omer, & Shavuot
Pesakh is the first yearly “Mo’ed” of the creator. He established the “Mo’edim” in B’reshit 1:14 – “And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for Mo’adim, and for days and years…”
Pesakh is the ‘mo’ed’, the khag, the ‘celebratory feast’ that is held in the beginning of the ‘sacred’ year. Elohim instructs us to ‘see’ the first Khodesh, which is determined to be the first Khodesh by the presence of barley that is “Aviv”, or ripened. After the 12th lunar cycle, when the Khodesh, [renewed crescent] is seen, if the barley in the land is ‘in the ear,’ then and only then is the first Khodesh of the “new year” declared, and the count of 14 days to Pesakh begins. Pesakh is held on the 14th evening of that ‘khodesh,’ counting from the sighted crescent and aviv barley.
Our Jewish people moved the Pesakh to the evening of the 15th. Most of Judaism still observes it on that day. We do not. Yeshua determines our steps, and He kept His Pesakh Seder on the night of the 14th, as did many in Yisra’el, though the P’rushim had moved it. [We believe this is one reason they did not recognize Him]
Pesakh is the recounting of the “Exodus” of Shemot. It is the story of deliverance and redemption. There are four cups at a Pesakh Seder, and Yeshua took the cup ‘after dinner,’ the third cup, and declared the Brit Khadashah, the RENEWED covenant of Yirme-Yahu 31:30-33. It is the cup of redemption in His blood and body.
The Pesakh is also a ‘season,’ lasting all the way to Shavu’ot. The Pesakh is followed on the night of the 15th with “Matzot”, a continuation of eating the Matzah of Pesakh for six more days, the memorial of having bread to eat on the night they left Mitzrayim, the 15th of the first khodesh. They left Mitzrayim at night, on the 15th, under the full moon. The night of Matzot is a simple memorial by eating Matzot apart from the Pesakh matzah, for six more days [Deut 16]. This is the night the Bread of Life was put in the grave.
After three days they emerged from their immersion in Yam Suf, and prophetically depicted the resurrection of Yeshua from His immersion in death.
Image 1: Pesakh Timeline according to SCRIPTURE
Yeshua held His Seder on the night of [Tuesday] the 14th, and was arrested and tried that night. At 3:00 P.M. of that ‘day’, He was executed on the 14th day [biblical days start in the evening, B’reshit 1:5], and taken off the tree before sundown, put in the grave at the start of the 15th on a Wednesday night. He stayed in the grave for three days and three nights, Wed night through Thur day up to the night is 1, Thur night through Fri day up to the night is 2, and Fri night through Sat day up to the night is 3. Yeshua rose from the dead at the end of the Shabbat, at the very beginning of the biblical first day, the day light was created. This day is also “Reshit Omer,” the ‘first omer’ or the first wave-sheaf offering, otherwise known as the beginning of “Firstfruits”. Messiah is thus our ‘firstfruits from among the dead’. Yeshua rose from the dead at the very beginning of ‘firstfruits’, the first day of the week. By this, He establishes that the first Omer, or wave-sheaf of firstfruits, is ALWAYS on the first day of the week [sun], and does NOT move around, as our Jewish people observe it. The ‘day’ of firstfruits followed, and He ascended to the throne, and returned to reveal Himself to His Talmidim as the resurrected Savior the next evening. [for more detail, see founders blog entry]
For forty-three days, Yeshua then appeared to many people in His resurrected Body. He then ascended up into Heaven bodily and visibly in front of many Talmidim. Seven days later, when the end of “Counting the Omer” was reached, on the fiftieth day, called “Shavu’ot”, Yeshua sent the Ru’akh HaKodosh to His Talmidim, the first message of the B’sorah was declared in that power by Kefa. and 3,000 Jewish people were saved that day. This was the beginning of the Congregation of Yisra’el in new life under the Brit Khadashah. As the first Omer is always on a first day of the week, so also is Shavu’ot, as it is seven weeks and a day from the first Omer.
Image 2: Prophetic order of the Mo’adim
These first four feasts represent the right side of the Menorah, and Shavu’ot [“Sevens” or “Weeks”] is on the ‘Tree’ of the Menorah. Messiah obviously fulfilled [confirmed, made full] the first FOUR feasts, at the end of the fourth Millennium of mankind [2,000 years ago]. There remain three branches yet to be fulfilled:
Yom Teru’ah, Yom Kippur, & Sukkot
Yom Teru’ah is a ‘khok’, an unexplained decree. It is the declaration of the Seventh Khodesh with the blasting of the Shofar. There is only ONE passage of scripture that clearly discusses Yom Teruah on the peshat level [plain meaning], ‘the day of the awakening blast/shout’. We celebrate it by blasting the Shofar and Shouting. It is the beginning of the fall season of harvest. It is the very beginning of “The Day of יהוה ”, the last millennium. It is also “Yom HaDin”, or ‘judgment day’, being the Judgment of the Tzadikim.
It is a ‘sod’, or a scriptural mystery. It is rife with symbolism. This ‘sod’ is ‘revealed’, or shown to us, by Sha’ul, in Korinti’im Alef 15:52, and in Tesalonikim Alef 4:16-17.
Yom Kippur is the “Day of Atonements”, and is “The Great Day”, and “Yom HaPedut”, the day of redemption. It is the tenth day of the seventh Khodesh. It is the judgment of the damned. This is the only commanded fast in all of scripture, a day of ‘affliction of the soul’, because it is the day people will be judged forever to spend eternity with Him or in utter darkness. It is the day Yeshua will put His foot down on Har HaZetim and condemn the wicked. It is also the day that at the end of the 7th Millennium, the damned will be raised from the dead and sentenced to eternal destruction and torment. This is why we afflict our souls on this day, and ‘examine ourselves’ to see if we walk in true Emunah.
Sukkot is the seventh “Mo’ed”, and is a picture of the seventh Millennium, when we will dwell with Yeshua on earth. It is on the 15th day of the seventh Khodesh. It is the commemoration of Yisra’el dwelling in ‘booths’ for forty years. We are commanded to build and sit in booths for the seven days of “Sukkot”. It is the ‘ingathering’ of the harvest of fruits, nuts, and grapes for wine. It is the Mo’ed for the Nations, the time when seventy bulls are offered for all nations, and all are invited to celebrate this khag. All the nations will serve Messiah Yeshua during the last millennium, and into eternity, with eternity being symbolized by the “Eighth Day” after Sukkot, or Shmini Atzeret, the Eighth FESTIVITY.
Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot, in a Sukka! Our Aramaic texts make this plain:
“And this is a sign for you: you will find the babe wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a sukka.” …And they came hurriedly, and found Miryam and Yosef and the babe at rest in the sukka.” Luka 2:12, 16.
On the evening of the 15th day of the seventh Khodesh, a full moon, the first night of Sukkot, He was born. He was circumcised on the Eighth Day, Shemini Atzeret, the day after the seventh day of Sukkot, the Great Day of Rejoicing in the Torah.
Akharit HaYamim / The Last Days / אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים
The topic of “The Last Days” or the “End Times” is vast. There is no unity in belief, except that there are many today who do believe that Yeshua, The Son of God, is going to return ‘soon’. Most of us in the Messianic Peshitta Fellowship do as well. Doing a ‘summary’ of “Last Things” or “Eschatology” is a difficult task, but we are going to make the attempt, as we do think there is an urgency from the Ru’akh HaKodesh, saying “Behold, I come quickly”.
The first thing Yeshua said about “Last Things” when pointedly asked about them was, “Do not be decieved.” We believe, unfortunately, that there is indeed a lot of deceit. We pray and strive not to be deceived, and certainly that we not deceive anyone else.
When interpreting prophecies, we believe there is a biblical model for doing so. We have tried to ‘see’ prophecy through other ‘lenses’, but nothing else makes as much sense as what we have seen concerning “Appointed Times”.
God set His appointed times in Leviticus 23:
“These are the Mo’edim of יהוה …. “
He describes there these ‘appointed times’:
First Omer of Firstfruits
Day of the Awakening Blast
Day of Atonement
Each of those feasts are ‘shadows’ of things to come:
“These [feast days, the beginning of the khadashim and of Sabbaths] are shadows of things to come; but HaGuf, it is Mashi’akh.” Kol 2:17
The ‘appointed times’ were put on God’s calendar in the very beginning:
“Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for Mo’adim, and for days and years….”
“Mo’adim” there is “appointed times,” what we would call ‘appointments’. They were written into the calendar of God, the Universe.
The Sabbath is the most frequent one, being celebrated four times per ‘khodesh’, or 48 times a year. On our Gregorian calendar, we celebrate it roughly 52 times per year.
The Sabbath is a foreshadow of “The Day of יהוה ,” the last epoch of man. What we mean is this: There is a “World Week”, where God has set aside seven ‘days’ that are made up of 1,000 years each. We call them millennia. One millennium is 1,000 years. This has been understood in Judaism since antiquity. It is derived from scripture:
4For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. [Tehillah 90]
8But, my beloved, do not forget this one thing, that one day is with יהוה as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 יהוה is not slow concerning His promises, as some men count slowness; but is longsuffering toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to teshuvah. [ 2 Peter 3:8-9 ]
This concept is detailed in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and in ancient Jewish, extrabiblical writings. Kefa [Peter] stated it as a matter of fact to the Congregation. So, the seventh millennium is “The Sabbath” of history, the Day of יהוה [Day of the LORD]. It is thus foreshadowed and ‘rehearsed’ each week, by those who keep His Sabbath, as we are commanded.
The whole “World Week” is also depicted yearly, in the Seven “Appointments” already mentioned.
We read from right to left, so we represent things in the same flow:
The Messiah is the goal at which all of Torah, and thereby all sacred writings, aims. [Rom 10:4] The purpose of the feasts, we believe, is to foreshadow what is coming, just as Paul told the Collossians, as cited above. As such, we should see Messiah in these feasts, and what He ‘is going to do’. Since He has already come, we should see things as having been done in some of these feasts. We do.
As seen in the diagram, and in Leviticus 23, Passover is the first of the yearly/annual ‘feasts’, better known as “Appointed Times”. When Yeshua began to become the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,” He was conducting His last Passover Seder. He instituted the “Renewed Covenant”/Brit Khadashah which was predicted by Jeremiah in 31:30-34, when He took the cup at Passover, the third cup, the cup after supper, and blessed it, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for your sake; this do in remembrance of me.” 20And likewise also He took the cup, after they had eaten supper, and He said, “This is the cup of the Brit Khadashah [Renewed Covenant] in my blood, which is shed for you.”
Yeshua then became The Pesakh Lamb, and the “Unleavened Bread”/Matzot of Passover. This is marked by the first two branches of the prophetic Menorah of “Mo’adim.” The third branch is the “First Omer of Bikkurim”/Firstfruits, and Yeshua rose from the dead on Saturday Night, when the “First Omer” of the fifty days of counting was counted. Yeshua rose from the dead on Saturday night, three days and three nights after His having been put in the tomb as Unleavened Bread. He presented Himself to His Talmidim/Torah Students and gave them “Salvation” by breathing the “Ru’akh HaKodesh” into them [John 20:22], after having presented Himself to the Father as the “Firstfruits of those who have died” on the first day of the week during Passover. [1 Cor 15:20, Lev 23:11] . The feast of ‘firstfruits’ continues, however, and goes to what is called “Shavu’ot”/Weeks, which most people know as pentecost, although that day is calculated errantly by papal authority. Yeshua fulfills Shavu’ot, the fourth candle on the Menorah, the “Tree” of the Menorah, by sending His Ru’akh HaKodesh to the believers, so that they can be the firstfruits with Messiah: “Do not err, my beloved brethren: every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from Avi HaOrot/My Father of Lights, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of change. It is He who fathered us of His own will with D’var HaEmet, that we should be the firstfruits of His creatures.” [James 1:16-18].
So, Messiah Yeshua has already fulfilled, or made us to understand by His confirming the predictions of the Mo’adim, the first four ‘feasts’ on the Menorah of Prophecy. This is the model by which we interpret all the prophecies concerning the return of Messiah. Yeshua affirms this for us when He started His ministry by visiting His hometown synagogue in Nazareth. He read from the Isaiah scroll one of the most “Messianic” prophecies of scripture:
1“[The] Ru’akh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me [Messiah/Anointed One] to bring good tidings [gospel] unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes that are bound; 2to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה …..” [Isaiah 61:1-2a]
What is most interesting about Yeshua stopping in mid verse is how it fits on the Menorah of prophecy above.
What Yeshua read is exactly what He did leading up to Shavu’ot, in that He declared the good news, became the Sacrifice of God, rose from the dead, began to forgive the repentant, and then sent His Spirit into the world to empower them to tell His Good News just as He did. The next phrase in the verse He read, which He left off, was:
“and [to proclaim] the day of vengeance of our Elohim.”
The ‘Day of Vengeance of Our God’/Yom Nakam Eloheinu’ is ‘The Day of יהוה ,’ the seventh millenium. The Sabbath of God. Which begins with vengeance, from Messiah Yeshua, the Avenger of God’s wrath [Rev 19]. Yeshua STOPPED there, because first, He had to declare, and become the lamb, and empower His people to declare His Good News, and the warning of the Wrath to Come. Much of the Renewed Covenant Scriptures/NT warn us of that wrath.
So, we are currently ‘living’ on that fourth candle, the ‘tree’, where Shavu’ot sits. We are planting and watering the incoming harvest, which will start on the next candle, “Yom Teru’ah,”/The Day of the Awakening Blast.” The first three candles have been fulfilled, the fourth is ‘being’ fulfilled, figuratively, having already been an early harvest of grains, our Jewish Messianic believers of 2,000 years ago; we are in the long, hot, dry summer, partaking of that crop’s goodness, awaiting the harvest of the fall crops, which are almonds, fruits, and grapes, et cetera.
The times in which we live right now are the Akharit HaYamim/Last Days. Look back up at the Menorah. Yeshua completed candles 1-4, from Passover to Weeks, and there are three candles left, Yom Teru’ah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Peter stood up in Acts 2 and declared that the “Last Days” had begun, and it is affirmed by other scriptures in the Brit Khadashah as well:
16But this is that which was spoken by Yo’el HaNavi: 17“It shall come to pass in the last days, says Elohim, that I will pour out my Ru’akh upon all flesh…
1From of old Elohim spoke to our fathers by the Nevi’im in many forms and in many ways; and in these Akharit HaYamim He has spoken to us by His Son…” [Heb 1:1]
This is related to the “World Week.” According to ancient Judaism, which Messiah refers to quite a bit, there were Two Days reserved for Adam; Two Days reserved for Israel, and Two Days reserved for Messiah, and then the Day of יהוה . Looking back in scripture, we can see that from Adam to Abraham’s covenant is right at 2,000 years. From Abraham’s covenant to Messiah is right at 2,000 years. From Messiah to our day is right at 2,000 years. We do not know exactly when the last Millenium will start, because our Jewish People lost track of time in Babylon a bit, and monkeyed with the calendar that they calculated about 1100 years ago to try to ‘fix things/unify’ Judaism in the diaspora. But, we are within a few years of that benchmark, nonetheless.
We have thus been in the “Last Days” since Peter proclaimed so nearly 2,000 years ago. Day 1 through 4 were the ‘first days’, and days 5-7 are the last days. 1-4 were the “Spring Rains”, and 5 – 7 will be the “Fall Rains” [Former and Latter rains]; both are harvests. Grains harvested in Spring [Jews of the 1st century], all other crops in the fall [Other grains [Jews], fruit trees, nuts, grapes, the nations].
The Apostles gave us ‘evidence’ of the “Last Days”.
3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the Akharit HaYamim, mockers who scoff, following after their own lusts 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since our fathers died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5Of this they are willingly ignorant, that by D’var HaElohim the heavens were of old, and the earth emerged from water and by means of the water; 6and those men, because of whose deeds the world of that time was flooded, perished under that water; 7but the present heavens and earth are sustained by His D’var and are reserved for fire on Yom HaDin [Judgment Day], which is the day of the destruction of ungodly men. [2 Peter 3]
17But you, my beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the Shlikhim of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh, 18how they told you that in the Akharit HaYamim there will be mockers, and they will always follow their own ungodly lusts. 19These are those who divide, sensual people who do not have HaRu’akh in them. [Jude 1]
1Now HaRu’akh says expressly that in the Akharit HaYamim some shall depart from HaEmunah, following after misleading spirits and doctrines of demons. 2Some with false appearances will mislead and speak lies, and are seared in their own conscience..” [1 Tim 4]
1Know this, that in the Akharit HaYamim disastrous times will come. 2And men shall be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, proud, conceited, blasphemers, disobedient to their own people, ungrateful, wicked, 3false accusers, addicts to lust, brutal, haters of good things, 4traitors, hasty, boasters, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; 5having a shade of the fear of Elohim, but far from the power of Elohim; from such turn away. [2 Tim 3]
To sum up, the last days will be full of demonic lies clothed in religious language/doctrine, the disbelief in creation and the flood, full of mocking the notion of Yeshua’s return, disastrous, full of greed, pride, et cetera. Anyone who cannot tell we are there has his head in the sand. We are in the last days, indeed.
But, we yet await the return of Messiah.
There are those who say they believe, but they do not await His return. That was seen in the mockers we read about above. There are those who say we are already under the final “Messianic Kingdom,” and that He has returned in religious figureheads [pope, etc]. There are those who say that He will not return at all. But, we are instructed to wait for, look for, and even speed up the Day of His Return.
11Now since all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in your consecrated conduct and fear of Elohim, 12waiting for and longing for the coming of Yom HaElohim…[the seventh Millenium, the final Judgments] [2 Peter 3]
We are supposed to be preparing, in fact, for that day. This is intimated in the verse above, but clearly spoken by Yeshua and others:
34But take heed to yourselves that your hearts may not become heavy by extravagance and drunkenness and the worries of this world, and that day come suddenly upon you. 35For like a downpour it will entrap all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36Therefore keep watch always, and pray that you may be worthy to escape all these things which are to happen, and that you may stand before Ben HaAdam. [The Son of Man]” [Yeshua, Luke 21]
4But you, my brethren, are not in darkness that that day shall overtake you as a thief. 5You are all the children of light, and the children of the day; and you are not the children of the night, nor the children of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep in the night; and those who are drunk are drunk in the night. 8But let us who are the children of the day be alert, putting on the breastplate of Emunah and love, and for a helmet put on the hope of life. 9For Elohim has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain life through Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we shall live together with Him. 11Therefore comfort one another and edify one another, even as also you do. [1 Thess 5]
So, we know that ONE DAY is coming, the Day of יהוה . It is a day of Judgment, of Wrath, of DESTRUCTION, of BLOOD. [Isaiah 63, Joel, Rev 19]. BUT, it is also a day of Joy, of Safety, of Marriage, of Coronation. Because the 1,000 years of that day begins both in Heaven and on earth!
Yeshua taught about those times differently than most are willing to investigate. He wrapped up Yom Teru’ah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, in His discussing those details, but too many people are oblivious to it.
Yom Teru’ah/Rosh Hashanah will begin the LAST DAY, the DAY of יהוה . Yom Teru’ah is also known as “The Head of the Year,” the “Birthday of the World,” “The Coronation of the King,” “The Wedding of the Messiah”, “The Judgment of the Righteous,” and more.
When asked about His Return, and the “End of the Age,” and the “Olam HaBah”, the World to Come, Yeshua started by saying “DO NOT BE DECEIVED,” and then He summarized a lot of what we have already discussed. But, the language He used is wrapped up in the themes of the last three candles on the Menorah of Prophecy. Yom Teru’ah literally means the “Day of the Awakening Blast”. It is a “khok”, meaning that it is a decree that God did not explain when He gave it. There is only ONE passage in the whole Torah explicitly and obviously about it:
23And יהוה spoke unto Moshe, saying, 24“Speak unto B’nei Yisra’el, saying, ‘In the seventh khodesh [renewed moon], in the first day of the khodesh, shall be a Shabbaton [High Sabbath] unto you, a Zikhron Teru’ah [Memorial of Blasting], a Mikra Kodesh [Holy Rehearsal]. 25You shall do no manner of regular work; and you shall bring a karban of fire unto יהוה ‘.”
Because it is a day of a Memorial of Blasting, it has become known to many as the “Feast of Trumpets”. But, this day is rife with mystery, even in the simple passage above. And, our Jewish people were instructed by King David on how to observe this day, when he made plans for the Temple service in the House for God that his son, Solomon, would build. But, in the verse above, we see a lot. A ‘memorial’ of blasting is ‘recalling to mind by speaking’. Is it any wonder that in the Revelation Yokhanan/John writes about this day,
“… the first voice which I heard was like a shofar talking with me, which said, “Come up here! And I will show you things which must come to pass.” [Rev 4:1]
This blast would take place in the Temple only after the seventh renewed moon was seen and declared. So, it would happen at night. Probably near midnight at times, because it would take time for the watchers to go out and spot the moon and report it back to the Rabbis in Jerusalem [ one of whom is seen in the NT, Gamli’el, Paul’s teacher, who is recorded in the Mishnah as to how he verified the crescent was seen, on Yom Teru’ah].
One day soon, this earthly day will coincide with the start of the seventh Millennium. We just do not know precisely when. But, it is getting close. A duality of events will begin, and that is what many people cannot see. There will indeed be a ‘catching away’ on that day. The Brit Khadashah makes that abundantly clear:
51Behold, I tell you a Sod [biblical mystery]: we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Shofar; for the shofar shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [1 Cor 15]
What most people do not know is that Yom Teru’ah is also called “The Last Shofar”. It is known to herald the Day of יהוה , or The Day of God. This fixes the very day on the earthly calendar year when this would happen, which is also known as “The Day That No Man Knows”. No man knows it, because the seventh crescent has to be seen. Our Jewish sages, therefore, stretched it out to be a 48 hour day! To give time to make certain the new year for tracking time and prophecy would actually begin. This was a feast day, and is only seen in one place as actually observed in all of scripture:
5And David said unto Yehonatan, “Behold, tomorrow is the khodesh, when I should sit with HaMelekh to eat; so let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at evening. 6If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beit Lekhem, his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ 7If he says thus, ‘It is well,’ your servant shall have shalom; but if he is wroth, then know that evil is determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with your servant; for you have brought your servant into a covenant of יהוה with you; but if there is in me iniquity, slay me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?” [1 Sam 20]
Here, we see that David hides for two days! And, we know it is Rosh HaShannah, because it is the ‘yearly sacrfice’. There is no sacrifice for the monthly khodesh; we are just supposed to count them. But, there is a yearly sacrifice, and in Leviticus we read: “you shall bring a karban of fire unto יהוה “. If we read that in Hebrew, it could be read this way: ” you shall bring near a wife unto יהוה . ” In Hebrew the last part reads, אִשֶּׁה לַיהוה / ishe la’ יהוה . Fire is usually spelled ‘esh,’ אש, but, for some odd reason, here, it is spelled just like the word ‘wife’. And in ancient Judaism, Yom Teru’ah, the “Head of the Year,” was traditionally when the King should marry!
Is it any wonder, then, that after explaining end things, Yeshua gives us this visual?
1“Then, Malkhut HaShamayim [Kingdom of Heaven] will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out for the meeting of the bridegroom and the bride. 2Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3And the foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. 4But the wise ones took oil in the vessels with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to greet him!’ 7Then all the virgins got up and fixed their lamps. 8And the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9Then the wise ones answered and said, ‘Why, there would not be enough for us and for you; go to those who sell and buy for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready entered with him into the wedding house, and the door was locked. 11Afterward the other virgins also came and said, ‘Adoneinu, Adoneinu, open to us!’ 12But he answered and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.‘ 13Be alert, therefore, for you do not know that day nor that hour.”
This goes with other images that Yeshua painted about that day:
26Just as it happened in the days of No’akh, such will it be in the days of Ben HaAdam. 27For they were eating and drinking, and marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when No’akh entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed every man. 28And again, just as it happened in the days of Lot, they were eating and drinking, and buying and selling, and planting and building; 29but in the day when Lot went out of S’dom, יהוה sent down a rain of fire and sulfur from Heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Such will it be in the day when Ben HaAdam appears. 31In that day, he who is on the roof, with his clothes in the house, will not come down to take them; and he who is in the field will not turn back. 32Just remember Lot’s wife. 33He who desires to save his life shall lose it; and he who loses his life shall save it. 34I say to you that in that very night two will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other forsaken. 35And two women will be grinding together; one will be taken and the other forsaken. 36Two will be in the field; one will be taken and the other forsaken.” 37They answered, saying to Him, “Adoneinu, to what place?” He said to them, “Wherever the Guf [Body of Messiah] is, there will the eagles gather.”
There is debate about the timing of these things; but the imagery of the feasts leaves little room for doubt. First, concerning the fact that Yeshua compared the kingdom to a bridegroom coming for His bride, and then just a very short time later told His Talmidim that He was going to ‘prepare a place for you’, it seems Yeshua is directly linking His Pesakh to His coming Yom Teru’ah.
Yeshua told us about his preparing a place in His Father’s house in John 13, at His Passover Seder! Then He shares the cup with them and institutes the Renewed Covenant. In a Galilean wedding, where Yeshua and most of His Talmidim were from, the bridegroom first makes a contract with the bride and her father, sealing that contract by sharing a cup of wine between all three of them, and then he goes away to build a house, or add on to his father’s house a room. When the groom’s father says the house or additional room on his own house is ready, he sends his son at midnight to go get his bride. Because they see the house is almost ready, the bride and her maidens are prepared, dressed, beautified and ready to go. The groom’s mates go before him and SHOUT [TERU’AH] that He is coming to meet her halfway! She and her maidens come out, the friends of the groom are carrying a litter on which they lift her up to ‘fly’ her to the wedding at the groom’s house. [She can refuse the wedding, all the way up to the moment of partaking of the cup again during the ceremony.] After the wedding, they live in the ‘kheder’ for seven days. Yeshua said that the five other virgins were locked out. He said many were ‘forsaken’, and not taken, to the wedding!
This is the day Sha’ul/Paul was elucidating in 1 Corinthians 15. He also goes into some detail about it in Thessalonians:
15For this we say to you by the very word of Adoneinu, that we who are the remnant until the coming of Adoneinu shall not precede those who are dead. 16For Adoneinu Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the Chief Malakh [Messenger/Angel] and with the Shofar of Elohim; and those who died in Mashi’akh will rise first. 17Then we who remain, which are alive, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Adoneinu in the air; and so shall we ever be with Adoneinu. 18Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
Those who think ‘the rapture’ is not in Scripture are ignorant of the fact that in the Latin Vulgate the words above ‘caught up’ are rendered from Latin “raptaeo”, which in greek was ‘harpazo’, and in Hebrew is either ננצלֹ / nin’tzal or נֵחָטֵף / nekhatef, where in Aramaic it is נֵתחטֵפ . All of these languages’ words mean exactly the same thing: to snatch away quickly.
So, we expect a ‘catching away’ on Yom Teru’ah. We just do not know what year, nor what specific day of that year, since Yom Teru’ah is 48 hours long, nor even the hour, just as Yeshua said. But, we have already pointed out that we are instructed to prepare. And further, Yeshua told us we can know when it is near!
33So even you, when you see all these things, know that it has arrived at the gate. [Mat 24]
1But of the times and seasons, my brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of Adoneinu comes like a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, “Peace and tranquility,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But you, my brethren, are not in darkness that that day shall overtake you as a thief. 5You are all the children of light, and the children of the day; and you are not the children of the night, nor the children of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep in the night; and those who are drunk are drunk in the night. 8But let us who are the children of the day be alert, putting on the breastplate of Emunah and love, and for a helmet put on the hope of life. 9For Elohim has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain life through Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh, 10who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we shall live together with Him. 11Therefore comfort one another and edify one another, even as also you do. [1 Thess 5]
Yeshua’s comment about knowing that it is ‘at the gate’ is not lost on those who understand Yom Teru’ah. It is also the “Day of the Opening of the Gates”, and on that day in Isaiah 26, God instructs His people very specifically:
2Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faithfulness may enter in…..
16” יהוה , in trouble [tribulation] have they sought You, silently they poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them. 17Like a woman with child, that draws near the time of her delivery, is in pain and cries out in her pangs; so have we been at Your presence, O יהוה . We18 have been with child, we have been in pain, we have given birth to wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the land; neither are the inhabitants of the world come to life. 19Your dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise. Awake! And sing, you that dwell in the dust! For Your dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades.”
20“Go, my people, come into your khederim [rooms], and shut your doors about you; hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation passes. 21For, behold, יהוה comes forth out of His place to visit upon the inhabitants of the earth their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
We do not have time to explain the enormity of the details of all of this. Yeshua linked this season to a woman in childbirth pains, as did the Apostles. But, Josephus tells us that the gates of the Temple opened miraculously every year, except for the last forty years of Temple service, on Rosh HaShannah/Yom Teru’ah. It is the day of the opening of the gates. And on that day, God figuratively tells His people to “go into your rooms” which Messiah has gone ahead to prepare for us, saying we would go and be with Him there. And the Navi/Prophet Yo’el/Joel gives us an answer to that command:
1“Blast the shofar in Tzion, and sound an alarm in My Har Kodesh; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for Yom יהוה comes, for it is at hand…
This is Yom Teru’ah, announcing the Day of יהוה , and the following tribulation.
“Blast the shofar in Tzion, consecrate a fast, call a solemn assembly; 16Gather the people, consecrate the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that nurse at the breast; let the bridegroom go forth from his kheder, and the bride out of her khuppah.
This is Yom Kippur, a fast, where the Bride and Groom come out of their chambers, after the indignation/tribulation have passed.
Some people who dig into these things are confused about these two shofars. The “First Shofar” is not seen in this passage. It was sounded at Shavu’ot/Pentecost 2,000 years ago! We await two more shofars: The Last Shofar, and The Great Shofar. Some people confuse Messiah’s mention of the Great Shofar as being The Last Shofar, and they move the catching away as a result. The Great Shofar of Mat 24 is not the Shofar of the Bride’s calling away; it is the Shofar of Yeshua returning and putting His foot down on earth, seen in the Hitgalut and in Mat 24:
31And He will send His Malakhim with the Shofar HaGadol, [great shofar] and they will gather His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
There will be many people saved during the great tribulation, which is the seven earth-year period that begins on Yom Teru’ah when the Day of יהוה actually begins, which will coincide with the time that the Bride goes into the Khuppa, the “Kheder” above. The people that are gathered at the end by the Messengers, are those saved on earth during that time, because they end up dying for their faith. That is the only way to escape the beast at that point. Death. But, in Yo’el, the first blast we read about is the Last Shofar, where the bride is caught up, and trouble begins on earth, Yom יהוה , The “Day of the LORD” begins with that Shofar. That is the day that Yokhanan was ‘in the Spirit’ in the beginning of Revelation. It was Yom Teru’ah. It was not Sunday! The concept of sunday worship did not even exist nor cross his Jewish mind when he wrote that!
10 “I was in HaRu’akh on Yom יהוה , and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a shofar, saying…”
So the shofar that announced The Day/Yom [of] יהוה in Yo’el is the same shofar Yokhanan hears in the Spirit in Revelation 1.
He hears that same shofar again in chapter 4:
1After these things I looked, and behold, a gate was open in heaven; [Yom Teru’ah is the Day of the Opening of the Gates” and the first voice which I heard was like a shofar talking with me, which said, “Come up here! And I will show you things which must come to pass.” 2And immediately I was in HaRu’akh and behold! a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
Yokhanan participated spiritually in the physical rapture that will happen soon! He saw what we who are the remnant will see! He saw us!
Here is the proof, and this is the major reason we cannot tell the world that the catching away will be after the tribulation: Yokhanan sees resurrected people gathered around that throne, and he tells us very specifically who they are:
“and centered round about and in front of it were four creatures, full of eyes before and behind. 7And the first animal was like a lion, and the second animal was like a calf, and the third animal had a face of a man, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle… 9And they [the four creatures] sang a new song, saying “You are worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for You were slain and have redeemed us to Elohim by Your blood out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10and have made us Melakhim and Kohanim for our Elohim; and we shall reign on the earth.”
It is critical to understand who this is. This is His Bride. This is the Camp of Israel.
The ancient camp of Israel, which was laid out on earth according to the stars in heaven, making the stars a mirror of the gospel of Israel’s Messiah, had four camps. In ancient Jewish liturgy, it was well known that those four camps each had a banner. The camp on the east of the Taberacle, wherein sat the Ark as the Throne of God on earth, was the lion. The camp on the west was the calf. The camp on the south was the face of a man, and the camp on the north was a flying eagle. These match the four ‘creatures’/animals seen symbolically in heaven, and the symbolism is utterly clear to Jewish people of John’s day.
These are people, and they are assembled around the throne room in Heaven, before even the first seal of the end time judgments is opened. Anyone who thinks the tribulation has begun does not understand the key of prophecy. No seal has been broken as yet. Yokhanan participated in the “rapture” spiritually, 2,000 years ago. He was snatched out of time on Yom Teru’ah in his spirit, and then saw our future in heaven. Those resurrected humans who are assembled around His Throne for the wedding will come back with Messiah as His Army Bride, those who declared the gospel and entered into the Suffering of Messiah in this earth voluntarily, and dedicated themselves to Him as a bride, and looked for His return, and were ready. Psalm 68 alludes to the bride of His gospel being an army:
12Adonai gives the word; those who declare the good news are a great army.
That reads in Hebrew: הַמְבַשְּׂרוֹת צָבָא רָב, and it is all in the feminine gender. This army is seen in Hitgalut/Revelation:
12Here is the patience of the K’doshim [holy ones]; here are they who keep the mitzvot of Elohim and the testimony/confession of Yeshua.” 
His bride has made herself ready.” 8And it was given to her that she should be arrayed in fine, pure linen, clean and white; for fine linen is the tzedaka [rigtheous deeds] of the K’doshim.
14And the armies which were in heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, pure and white. 15And out of His mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, that with it He should smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He will tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Elohim Okhez HaKol. 
The bride will go in a catching away; the earth will undergo tribulation and great tribulation, 3 and 1/2 years plus 3 and 1/2 years, for a total of seven years. Yeshua gives the events leading up to it, and then describes the catching away, and then details the tribulation, and then cycles back and summarizes, and analogizes things afterward in Mat 24 and 25. But, the seven year ‘tribulation’ happens also to coincide with the seven days between Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur, the Last and Great shofars, which are called “The Terrible Days” in Judaism, and “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, or “Tribulation”. Those seven days are symbolic of the tribulation every year. In fact, in temple times, the High Priest would perform the rites of Yom Teru’ah, and then go into a secret chamber with his bride, to remain there for seven days to prepare for Yom Kippur, and the two of them would come out on Yom Kippur. Yeshua will get His bride on Yom Teru’ah, go into the rooms of heaven with her, just like He said at Passover 2,000 years ago as a promise, and the tribulation will start. He will return on Yom Kippur [perhaps after seven ‘evenings’ in Heaven, but certainly after seven years on earth]. He returns with His Bride on Yom Kippur, and destroys the wicked. Those who survive the tribulation will be gathered together on earth on Yom Kippur, by the Great Shofar, to be ruled by Messiah with His Bride for 1,000 years. This is Sukkot’s fulfillment, the last candle of prophecy. It is at the end of that 1,000 years, on Yom Kippur, that final judgment happens, those who denied the truth of the gospel will also be resurrected from the dead, to be punished for eternity separated from God, with the knowledge of all of His goodness and truth, and that they rejected Him.
To know whether or not these things are near, we need other information. The yovel cycle that follows the feasts in Lev 23 and 24 further explains the Revelation and its many layers:
A Yovel is the fiftieth year of a cycle of years called “Sh’mita” years. Yovel is also a ram’s horn, from which they make the shofar, which is blasted on Yom Kippur of the Yovel year. We are told a Yovel blew at Har Sinai [Shemot 19] as the “First Shofar” of Shavu’ot, since that was the first Shavu’ot/Pentecost. In the Yovel cycle, there is a 49 year cycle where every seventh year, the land lies dormant, giving the land itself a ‘sabbath’ [7th] rest for a year, a year of ‘release’. In the fiftieth year, after the seventh ‘sh’mita’ cycle, there is another year, called a year of ‘liberty’, making a back to back sabbath year for two years. “Yovel” is known to most as Jubilee. In this year, a Shofar is blown, and there is a proclamation throughout all the land: דְּרוֹר . There is a linguistic link in this word, ‘d’ror’, ‘liberty,’ to one of our favorite scriptures, already cited:
“[The] Ru’akh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes that are bound; to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה ….”
One of the reasons that this scripture is so special to us is because Yeshua read this passage in the Beit K’nesset in Natzrat, His home town, before his family and the friends with whom he had grown up. In the Yesha-Yahu 61:1-2a portion, which Yeshua read from at the Bimah in Natzrat, the word there for ‘liberty’ is also ‘dror’, as in the Yovel passage, where a year of ‘liberty’ is declared, since Yeshua was reading this very passage. Yeshua thus declared this ‘liberty’ in His synagogue in Natzrat.
Scholars differ on when the last Yovel cycle of the land of Yisra’el would have been. Some have said 67AD, some have said 70AD, and there are other ideas. While studying the Hitgalut [Revelation], one must see how very close we are to Messiah’s return and the restoration of all things. The yovel is a prophecy timepiece, a ‘key’. One can see Leviticus 25-26 in Revelation. The Yovel cycle leaps out at the reader who is familiar with Leviticus 25-26.
“Time” in the scriptures has already come to mean a lot. The world week already showed us that there are 6,000 years reserved for mankind, and a 7th “Shabbat” Millennium when Yeshua would rule on earth. We can get closer to knowing when the Shabbat Rest of Messiah Yeshua, the last Millennium, would start, by doing some basic math:
A Yovel is a 50 year cycle
In a 6,000 year period, there would be 120 Yovel cycles
God told No’akh “I have numbered man’s days to 120 years”
A Yovel is a figurative timeframe; there is an unfolding of time. There are ‘weeks of years’, etc.
From 70 AD to 2020 AD there would be 39 Yovel cycles, so 2020 would mark the beginning of a 40th Yovel from the destruction of the Temple.
40 is the number of judgment: the rains lasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Yisra’el wandered in the desert for 40 years, Torah’s limit of 40 lashes with the whip for punishment, 40 years of Philistine control, Yeshua fasted for 40 days, etc etc.
To me, this pointed to 2020 as a ‘possible’ yovel year, given that the Yovel not kept comes with a promise of judgment, and given that there are 39 cycles from 70AD to 2020. The 40th would be 2070, but we can’t see how our current state of mankind and prophecy could last that long. It could, but we just struggle believing it will. So, 2020 was still a possible demarcation of the Yovel cycle, IF 70 AD was indeed the last one. But, there is no real biblical reason to believe that 70 AD was a Yovel year, other than the destruction of the Temple. Yeshua did predict that. But, He predicted the destruction of the Temple in the last year of His ministry, just before His execution. He said that the generation of that day would see its destruction. That was a warning. That would be only 37 years before 70 AD. There should have been a forty year cycle, a generation! A biblical ‘generation’ is 40 years. It would seem that Yeshua would have given Yisra’el forty years to repent from the time He first stood and declared, “Repent!”. A whole ‘generation’. If He started His ministry and declaration for ‘teshuvah’ in 27AD, then it was forty years before Rome sacked Yerushalayim in 67AD!
In the times of Yirme-Yahu, Yisra’el, which at that time was Yehudah and the return of the remnant of the 10 northern tribes, our Jewish people, was about to be punished for not keeping the Torah. One of the sins that יהוה punished Yisra’el for, that is called out in Jeremiah’s book, is that of not keeping the Sh’mitah and Yovel cycles. One of the great things about those cycles is the lesson of compassion. It is not just about giving the land rest, nor of relieving debt, but about learning to trust יהוה , and learning to demonstrate compassion to those in bondage. So many people today do not want to learn compassion. Especially among “Messianic” people who are bent on punishing people for ‘their’ infractions, which usually end up not being Torah infractions at all. The Yovel cycle calls to mind the same sins in Yisra’el that Elohim punished them for in sending them into captivity into Bavel. After Yeshua’s day, when they had been visited by “Adon HaKavod”, they refused to repent, and would not accept Messiah Yeshua as their Moshiah/Savior. For those 37 years after His death until Rome’s besieging the city, they chased, persecuted, and killed the Kadosh ones, the Khasidim, those who trusted in Messiah and obeyed the Torah. At the end of those 37 years, their spirit of “Mashi’akh HaSheker,” their מִתְנַגֵּד הַמָּשִׁיחַ spirit, ‘against Messiah’, was punished, and their Temple was destroyed. And their religious life became a ruin. They were scattered. As predicted by Yeshua. But, that was only 37 years after Yeshua predicted it. However, perhaps the benchmark of the Yovel has been hiding under our noses all the while. Yeshua declares a Yovel in Luke 4! And this was FORTY years exactly before 67 AD! A ‘generation,’ time enough to warn of impending judgment.
“[The] Ru’akh of Adonai יהוה is upon me; because יהוה has anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes that are bound; to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of יהוה ….” The yovel year that began Yeshua’s ministry was indeed the “good pleasure of יהוה …”
Who better to ‘declare’ the Yovel than Yeshua the Messiah? Especially since it came with His anointing, miracles, and His declaration and warning: “The time has come to an end, and Malkhut HaElohim is at hand; repent, and trust in HaB’sorah.” He spoke these words just days before entering the Beit K’nesset at Natzrat and declaring Yesha-Yahu 61:1-2’s declaration of “D’ror”, Liberty! The Yovel? !
In the Hebrew, “likro lishvu’im dror’, gets rendered as ‘declare liberty for the captives’ in many translations. This is not wrong. However, there may be a hint in that middle word: sh’vu’im. The root word is very similar to the root for “seven/shabbat”, which would be what the seventh year of the cycle is called. And the Yesha-Yahu verse finishes with another declaration, the “Year of the Will [good will/favor] of יהוה .” But, more importantly, the idea of ‘dror’ and ‘good will’ being declared by Yeshua Himself in this first year of His ministry, is very telling, considering that the clock of mankind ‘revolves’ around Him. If he was born in 3 or 4 BC, then either 27 or 26 AD could have been the year He stood and read this passage. We believe it was 3 BC, per stellar events recorded in history, which would make our year of this ‘declaration’ 27AD. Yeshua then says, after reading this ‘good news,’ “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears..” If this is the case, then exactly 40 years later Rome sacked Yerushalayim. Forty years is the year of judgment in many scriptures/events of precedent. This forty years would have been an opportunity for Yisra’el to do teshuvah, which we know that only a remnant did, by returning to Elohim, and trusting in Messiah and not in their own Tzedaka. For forty years, starting with Messiah Himself, the B’sorah/Good News was declared and the Messianic community grew, and only the Messianic community fled Jerusalem before Rome shut it in in 67AD, forty years after Yeshua’s declaration of Yovel, until its destruction in 70AD. If this is the case, then 2027 may be a very interesting year, as that would be the next biblical Yovel, if my math is right. It may have been a Sabbath just before or after Yom Teru’ah or Yom Kippur when Yeshua stood and read, and ‘declared’ what looks strikingly like a Yovel. Would not it make sense that Messiah start His ministry with the official declaration of Yovel, “D’ror”, and that it coincide with the actual clock of scripture? And would it not then make sense that as soon as His Messianic ministry started, and the opposition of it, that forty years later, the time of judgment, the Temple would be destroyed, and all the punishments for breaking the Yovel would be meted out on Yisra’el? It is certainly something to consider more deeply. And it would be further sensible to see that there would be exactly 40 Yovels of time between Yeshua’s declaration and 2027, which ‘could’ mark the 6,000 year mark of the time appointed for man.
We are NOT setting a date; but, it certainly looks close. Even if it is not 2027, still, another Yovel cycle would be God in His Mercy having more patience for us, and it would put the end of all things out to 2077. We are okay with that, though things are speeding up in the world as this is being written [06/06/2022].
The signs we see are certainly there. But, Israel is a nation, but does not possess the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the defining mark of Israel, and so our Jewish people will need to possess it in order for things to move forward. There will be a Temple, and the Lying Messiah, who will deceive Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and all the world, will defile it.
1Now we beseech you, my brethren, concerning the coming of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh and concerning our gathering together with Him, 2that you let not your minds be hastily excited or troubled, neither by word nor by a spirit nor by a letter supposedly from us, stating that Yom Adoneinu is at hand. 3Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come unless it is preceded by a departure. And then the man of sin will be revealed as Ben Ha’Abadon [Son of Destruction], 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called “god,” or that is worshiped; so that even in the Heikhal [Temple of God] of Elohim, he sits as God, and shows himself as though he were God. 5Do you not remember that when I was with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what has prevented him from being revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity is already at work, until that which now hinders is taken out of the midst of them [The Bride]. 8Then shall the Wicked One be revealed, that one whom Adoneinu Yeshua shall consume with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy with the revelation of His coming, 9even he whose coming is due to the working of HaSatan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10and with all deceitfulness of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved thereby. 11For this reason Elohim shall send them [those who do not love the truth: His Torah!] strong delusion that they should believe the lie, 12that all who did not believe in HaEmet /The Truth, but preferred unrighteousness, might be condemned.
Be ready. Do not be condemned.
Believers who mock His righteous requirements, abrogate them, and ignore them, are not His Bride.
There is a tendency in the Messy-anic community, and I write that with great sadness, to throw the baby out with the bath water. People look for any other explanation than what Christians might think, as they doom all of Christianity to condemnation, and speak disparagingly about all people of faith. Perhaps we have been perceived to think that way, but we never have.
We believe the scriptures are very plain about the consequence of rejecting the Salavtion of יהוה , which is expressed and granted through His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, the man from Natzrat.
He is our one Rabbi. And He taught and warned people more about the dangers of “She’ol” and “Gehinom” than He did about the pleasantness, safety, and beauty of Heaven.
In Yisra’el, in Yeshua’s day, there was indeed a fear of that ‘place’. There was a mainstream thought in Israel about “Olam HaBah”, the world to come.
The Tanakh speaks often of what most people perceive as “hell”. But, there is indeed some confusion, because culture and interpretation have influenced the public mind on what that ‘place’ is. Whatever it is, it is REAL, and it is to be FEARED. We are to fear יהוה and His Righteous Judge, who has the power to send us ‘there’. The scriptures are very clear on that. Yeshua was very, very clear on that.
To summarize, before we dive in, the ‘hell’ that most people fear goes by another name in the scriptures, and is ‘layered’ and multifaceted. We do not and will not understand it fully. But, there is enough information to inform us of the misery of it.
Yeshua came to save us. He came to save us from SIN. The consequence of sin is DEATH. Thus, Yeshua does save us from DEATH. But, death is more than just the loss of a pulse or a consciousness. Death from which we are rescued is eternal and permanent. And, according to scripture, death is a state of consciousness!
Yeshua explained His mission of Salvation by teaching and expounding the Scriptures. He didn’t walk around with a King James Bible, however. He embodied the Scriptures in His very being. He did not have to study under a Rabbi. He did not have to go to Yeshiva, to Seminary, to “Bible School”, in order to understand the Word of God. He is the embodiment of His Word. Thus, He understands what “Hell” is, and taught on it quite at length, and often. And, He used “scare tactics” to invoke repentance and trust in God. The knowledge of “hell” should be a deterrent to a sinful life.
We have already summarized “Salvation”. So, we will focus on the final result of Salvation being free of the punishment of ‘hell.’
There is a word in the scriptures that represents ‘hell’ as a ‘kingdom’; the kingdom of ‘darkness’, and of HaSatan, The Adversary. It also represents ‘the realm of the dead’, where people’s eternal nature ‘reside’ until the judgment. That word is “She’ol”. Some messy-anic/Hebrew roots/two house people interpret that to be ‘grave’, but that is a very week interpretation, and a bit of a distraction. “She’ol” is not a hole in the ground. “Kever” is the Hebrew for the hole in the ground where one puts a dead body. She’ol sometimes gets translated as ‘grave’, because when one dies, their eternal nature goes to She’ol at the same time their body goes in the Kever. But, She’ol is both a ‘power’ and a ‘place’. And it is not a ‘grave’.
The first mention of “She’ol” in scripture is in B’reshit/Genesis 37-44, where four times Ya’akov laments his son Yosef, saying that he will ‘go down to she’ol in sorrow’. Does Ya’akov think he will ‘go to hell’, or was he talking about a tomb? Again, a ‘kever’ is a tomb. And for ancient Jews, that was an above-ground cave. “Down” doesn’t fit the narrative of the culture, per se. Literally, He said, כִּֽי אֵרֵד אֶל בְּנִי אָבֵל שְׁאֹלָה , “for I will descend to my son mournfully to She’ol.” He felt doomed without Yosef. She’ol has here a mournful connotation at the least. But it is not a treatise on whether or not Ya’akov was ‘saved’ or ‘lost’.
Next, we have the incident of one of the rebellions in the wilderness. Korakh had stirred a rebellion, and Moshe invokes the punishment:
“But if יהוה makes a new thing, and the ground opens her mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs unto them, and they go down alive into She’ol, then you shall understand that these men have despised יהוה .”
Most translations render the word she’ol as ‘pit’ here, as it was very literally an abyss that opened up and swallowed them; but, perhaps there is double entendre here, and they go to the ‘place of the dead’ at the same time.
Moshe mentions She’ol in his last song in D’varim 32.
“For a fire is kindled in My nostril, and burns unto the depths of She’ol”.
This seems to be poetic, but it quite clearly associates She’ol with the anger of God.
Khanah is next to mention the place, in her song after her plea for a child: ” יהוה kills, and makes alive; He brings down to She’ol, and brings up.” ~ 1 Sam 2:6
A more literal translation of ‘ יהוה מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה; מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל וַיָּעַל ‘ , would be: ” יהוה brings death, and brings life, he descends to She’ol and will ascend”. Given the salvific and Messianic nature of her song, this would appear to be a prophecy about Yeshua’s descent into She’ol and His return after resurrection, and not any more commentary on the place.
King David is next to mention the ‘place’, and it is again in a song. This time, David speaks of the ‘powers’ of She’ol, proving it is not simply a hole in the ground, nor just a place:
“Elohei Tzuri, [God of My Rock] in Him I take refuge; my shield, and my horn of Salvation [My Yeshua יִשְׁעִי ], my high tower, and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence. Praised, I cry, is יהוה , and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of Mavet encompassed me. The floods of Bli’ya’al assailed me. The cords of She’ol surrounded me; the snares of Mavet confronted me. In my distress I called upon יהוה , yes, I called unto my Elohim; and out of His Heikhal He heard my voice, and my cry did enter into His ears.” This is also a psalm, but is found first in 2 Sam 22:6.
David is also prophesying about Messiah’s descent, and His ‘contest’ with “Death and Hell”, or “Mavet and She’ol.” Those are the last two ‘powers/principalities’ that Yeshua will conquer! He has not vanquished those two, yet; He has already vanquished “Sin”, but not Mavet and She’ol, yet, He currently holds the ‘keys’ to them: “I am He who lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amein. And I have the keys of Mavet and of She’ol.” Rev 1:18: The ‘power’ and ‘place’ of DEATH. These two ‘things’ will be cast into the “Lake of fire”: “And Mavet and She’ol were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, which is the lake of fire. And whoever was not found written in the Sefer HaKhayim was cast into the lake of fire.” That is at the end, and we will return to that later. But, what we can see here is that “She’ol”, translated as both ‘grave’ and ‘hell’ so far, is indeed a supernatural ‘place.’
David also mentions this ‘place’ in instructing his son Solomon to take vengeance on his enemies after he dies. No new information about She’ol is learned in those verses.
But, Iyov, or “Job”, speaks quite at length about “She’ol”:
“He that goes down to She’ol shall come up no more.”
She’ol is “deep”.
“Oh that You would hide me in She’ol, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a decree, and remember me!”
“If I look for She’ol as my house; if I have spread my couch in the darkness; If I have said to corruption, ‘You are my father’, to the worm, ‘You are my mother, and my sister’; Where then is my hope? And as for my hope, who shall see it? They shall go down to the bars of She’ol, when we are at rest together in the dust.”
All of these show us a little bit more about the ‘concept’ of ‘hell’/She’ol, and these words also seem to be prophetic, Messianic ideas:
Someone will go there and return. It is ‘dark’. There is ‘corruption’ and ‘worm’, indicating ‘decay’; it is a ‘prison’ with bars, and it coincides with the timing of going back to the dust.
Next, the Psalms and Proverbs deal quite a bit with ‘hell’/She’ol. And it is there where our picture becomes a little more clear, and we also see more “Messianic” overtones to the discussion of the place. As there are many, many references in the Tehillim and Mishlim, we will attempt to summarize:
The wicked go there.
The Holy One [Messiah] will go there, but God will not leave Him there. This is predicted in psalm 16, and cited by Peter as fulfilled in Messiah’s resurrection, in Acts 2. It is important to note that Tehillah 30 is an echo of the same, as is 86:13, 89:48, 139:8; and, 18 echos David’s song in 2 Samuel. Psalm 49 also notes that someone will be redeemed, ‘bought back’ from the ‘power’ of She’ol. All of these show us that She’ol is a ‘place’, and that it has ‘power’, and that people experienced that power in their life on earth, as did Ya’akov, and now David, and that the wicked experience it after their death.
The Mishlim/Proverbs mention “She’ol” nine times. In these words, “She’ol” is most definitely a ‘force’, which opposes ‘Wisdom’. As the Spirit of Yeshua is personified as ‘Wisdom’ in the Proverbs, ‘Folly’ would be ‘her’ opposition. The two are at odds, always. She’ol is expressed this way: sinners take people to ‘she’ol’. In chapter 5, ‘folly’ is personified as a ‘harlot’, which has other “Messianic Age” overtones, and “Her feet go down to Mavet; her steps take hold on She’ol. Lest she should walk the even path of life, her ways wander, but she knows it not.” Clearly, the harlot does not follow the Torah, the ‘even path of life’, but does her own thing, and that puts her in the power of Mavet and She’ol. This is also seen in 7:27, and alluded to in 9:18.
In Mishlim 15, we see an ever more stark contrast between She’ol and יהוה , and its powers’ opposition to Messiah: “She’ol and Abadon are against יהוה ; how much more, then, are the hearts of the children of men!” This is clearly an allusion to the “False Messiah”, who opposes God, and is called “Abadon”, or “Destruction”.
“And then the man of sin will be revealed as Ben Ha’Abadon, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called “god,” or that is worshiped; so that even in the Heikhal of Elohim, he sits as Elohim, and shows himself as though he were Elohim.” 2 Thess 2:3-4
A few verses later Solomon writes: אֹרַח חַיִּים לְמַעְלָה לְמַשְׂכִּיל לְמַעַן סוּר מִשְּׁאוֹל מָטָּה . “The path of life is an ASCENT for one who has understanding, so that he may turn aside from She’ol below.” This seems to go with his next mention of She’ol: “Withhold not correction from the child; for though you beat him with the rod, he will not die. Beat him with the rod, and you will deliver his soul from She’ol.” According to Solomon, “She’ol and Mavet” are never full… The kingdom of HaSatan is constantly hungry for more destruction, of SOULS.
David and the Torah both indicate that people go alive into She’ol. She’ol is then cast into the “Lake of Fire”. But, during life, She’ol and Mavet pursue the souls of the living, to take them off of that path of God. This is contransted against Messiah, the one who would would ‘taste death’, but return from the place of “Death”/Mavet and Hell/She’ol”, and rescue people from both. And all of this is seen in the Torah and the Prophets, but confirmed already in Acts and Revelation. And we’ve not even begun to look at what the “Nevi’im”/Prophets say, from Isaiah to Malachi, nor what Yeshua Himself taught on the subject, which was quite a bit.
Five of the Nevi’im speak of “She’ol”. Yesha-Yahu/Isaiah is the first of them, and he is the first to mention the place. And to him, it seems to be a place and a kingdom/power/principality:
“She’ol has enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure; and down goes their glory, and their tumult, and their uproar, and he that rejoices among them.” 5:14
This is interjected into the middle of the first prophecies of Israel’s coming judgment, and it shows that God has unleashed the ‘power’ of She’ol on Israel, as judgment for her committing harlotry.
Next, Yesha-Yahu prophesies over Bavel/Babylon, and says, “She’ol from beneath is moved for you, to meet you… the shades are stirred up for you…” [14:9] The netherworld will work against Bavel at that point. “Shades” are spirit beings, according to ancient Jewish thought. Souls that live in the place of the dead. There are those that are in She’ol, and there are those that are in the bosom of Avraham. We will revisit that in discussing Yeshua’s teaching on this topic. She’ol’s “shades” are those cast out, and those condemned. “Your pomp is brought down to She’ol, and the noise of your nevalim; the maggot is spread under you, and the worms cover you.”  The same imagery of ‘corruption/decay’ is used in relationship to “she’ol” here. And immediately we are given the famous verse about “Heilel Ben Shakhar,” which is the Hebrew name that most people have heard translated as “Lucifer”. Heilel Ben Shakhar is the “Bright Son of the Dawn”, and is in reference to both HaSatan and Ben HaAbadon.
“How are you fallen from heaven, O Heilel Ben Shakhar! How are you cut down to the ground, that did cast lots over the nations! And you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, above the stars of Elohim will I exalt my throne, and I will sit upon the mount of meeting, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like Elyon’ [The Most High]. Yet you shall be brought down to She’ol, to the uttermost parts of the pit.” [12-15]
This prophecy is layered, and speaks of Satan, of Sheker HaMashi’akh [Lying Messiah coming on the world], and of Bavel. Bavel has already suffered this fate in history. HaSatan and Ben Abadon have not as yet been so subdued. They will. They will first go to the pit of She’ol, and then She’ol and Mavet will both be put into perpetual fire. For now, however, She’ol is their ‘kingdom/realm’, pitted against Malkhut HaElohim, The Kingdom of God.
Yekhezkel/Ezekiel also speaks of this opposer of God, but the prophet this time is addressing HaSatan who is personified in Paroh of Egypt:
“Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘In the day when he [Paroh/HaSatan] went down to She’ol I caused the deep to mourn … I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to She’ol with them that descend into the pit….”
Yesha’Yahu revisits the concept of She’ol in chapter 28, but it is important to summarize “The Book Within The Book,” being chapters 26-27. In those chapters, The Gates are opened, which happened every year miraculously on Yom Teru’ah in Jerusalem, according to Josephus, until such time as Messiah came and died, rose again, and ascended. After that, they never opened again. And the “gates” we will see opened in fulfilment of this little book will be the same ‘gate’ that Yokanan saw opened in Revelation 4:1. So, Yom Teru’ah happens, the natzal/rapture happens, the dead are raised, and the bride goes into her ‘kheder’:
“Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faithfulness may enter in.” [26:2]
“Like a woman with child, that draws near the time of her delivery, is in pain and cries out in her pangs; so have we been at Your presence, O יהוה .” v. 17
“Your [Israel’s] dead shall live, my [יהוה] dead bodies shall arise. Awake! And sing, you that dwell in the dust! For Your dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades.” v. 19
“Go, my people, come into your khederim [rooms], and shut your doors about you; hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation passes. For, behold, יהוה comes forth out of His place to visit upon the inhabitants of the earth their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” [20-21]
After these events of Yom Teru’ah, which kick off the “Tribulation” and the reign of Ben Abadon, then the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble/Tribulation” happens, where he is finally revealed. This is detailed in chapter 27. יהוה takes vengeance for His vinyard, first mentioned in chapter 5! This chapter covers the ‘trouble’ visited on Ya’akov, the natural people of Israel, today’s Jewish people who yet reject Messiah; they will accept Him during the trouble of those seven years. At the end of that seven years, “The Great Shofar” will be blown, which is blown as a rehearsal by our Jewish people every year on Yom Kippur. This will be the final ingathering of Israel from all over the world, at the very end of those seven years.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that יהוה will knock off [His fruit] from the flood of the River unto the Brook of Mitzrayim, and you shall be gathered one by one, O B’nei Yisra’el.” “And it shall come to pass in that day, that The Great Shofar shall blast; and they shall come that were lost in the land of Ashur, and they that were dispersed in the land of Mitzrayim; and they shall worship יהוה in Har HaKodesh at Yerushalayim.”
So, “The Book Within The Book” starts with the opening of the gates on Yom Teru’ah, and ends with the blasting of The Great Shofar on Yom Kippur, and the ingathering of the people of God. The same very thing is seen in shorter form in Yo’el 2:
“Blast the shofar [The Last Shofar] in Tzion, and sound an alarm in My Har Kodesh; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for Yom יהוה comes, for it is at hand; A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as blackness spread upon the mountains…” [1-2]
“Blast the shofar [The Great Shofar] in Tzion, consecrate a fast, [Yom Kippur is the only fast commanded] call a solemn assembly; Gather the people, consecrate the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that nurse at the breast; let the bridegroom go forth from his kheder, and the bride out of her khuppah.” [15-16]
The interesting thing about both of these accounts, is their close association with She’ol. In chapter 28 of Yesha-Yahu, the prophet explains that Israel had made a covenant with “Mavet and She’ol”!, , doing the works of HaSatan, and that God will cancel that covenant, and punish them for having made it.  This is on the heels of God saying that the foundation stone will be laid [Yeshua], and sweep away the lies. “Therefore thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘Behold, I lay in Tzion, for a foundation, a stone; a tried stone, a costly cornerstone of sure foundation; he that trusts shall not be ashamed.” 
Our Jewish people made a covenant with Mavet and She’ol. They no longer worship the Creator, but the ideas of Rabbis who rejected that cornerstone, as predicted by David in Tehillah 118, which Yeshua and His Talmidim sang after the Passover Seder:
יְמִין יהוה רוֹמֵמָה; יְמִין יהוה עֹשָׂה חָיִל. לֹא אָמוּת כִּי אֶחְיֶה; וַאֲסַפֵּר מַעֲשֵׂי יה . יַסֹּר יִסְּרַנִּי יָּהּ; וְלַמָּוֶת לֹא נְתָנָנִי. פִּתְחוּ לִי שַׁעֲרֵי צֶדֶק; אָבֹא בָם אוֹדֶה יה . זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַיהוה ; צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ. אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי; וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְרֹאשׁ פִּנָּה
“The right hand of יהוה is exalted; the right hand of יהוה does valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of יהוה . יהוה has chastened me sore; but He has not given me over unto Mavet. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will enter into them, I will give thanks unto יהוה . This is the gate of יהוה ; the Tzadikim [righteous ones] shall enter into it. I will give thanks unto You [יהוה] for You have answered me, and have become Yeshua[h] for me. The stone that the builders [Israel] rejected has become the chief cornerstone”.
All of this is a picture of both Yeshua rising from the dead, and our rising from the dead, and that is the ‘first resurrection.’ But, between Yeshua rising from the dead and our rising from the dead, our Jewish people, the builders, reject יהוה as Yeshua! The Cornertsone of all people of faith, from Abraham to the last man! Yeshua dies, and rises again, and then the gates open, and righteous ones enter in. Yeshua was not perpetually surrendered to “Mavet”, but God conquered ‘Mavet’ through raising Yeshua from the dead. Our trust in Him is the power over Mavet and She’ol, that will also raise our bodies from the dead.
Mavet and She’ol are almost symbiotic, almost synonymous. “Death” is the power that kills, and “hell” is the realm in which it lives. Both of these words represent the center of that power/realm, a ‘place’, where the adversary currently ‘resides’, and from where that adversary tries to buffet the people of God.
Only two other prophets speak directly about She’ol.
Amos speaks of She’ol as in direct opposition of Heaven, ‘spatially’ and politically. “Though they dig into She’ol, from there shall My hand take them; and though they climb up to heaven, from there will I bring them down.” He was addressing Israel, and warning of the destruction of the Temple at their judgment for having committed harlotry.
The last prophet to speak of “She’ol” is “Yonah”, whose name means “Dove”, and whose prophecy is concerning very clearly the resurrection of Yeshua, since Yeshua Himself said that there would be one sign that He would give that He was the Messiah: resurrection. He called that sign, the ‘sign’ of Yonah.
This is the ‘sign of Yonah’ that Yeshua spoke about:
“An evil and adulterous generation wants a sign; and no sign will be given to it, except the sign of Yonah HaNavi. 40For as Yonah was in the great fish’s belly three days and three nights, so Ben HaAdam will be in the heart of the earth, three days and three nights.”
Here is Yonah’s account of that episode, and his prophecy, which is actually concerning Yeshua in She’ol:
“Yonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 2Then Yonah prayed unto יהוה his Elohim out of the fish’s belly. 3And he said, “I called out of my affliction unto יהוה , and He answered me; out of the belly of She’ol I cried , and You heard my voice. 4For You did cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, and the flood was round about me; all Your waves and Your billows passed over me. 5And I said, ‘I am cast out from before Your eyes‘; yet I will look again toward Your consecrated Heikhal. 6The waters encompassed me about, even to the soul; the deep was round about me; the weeds were wrapped about my head. 7I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars closed upon me forever; yet have You brought up my life from the pit, O יהוה my Elohim. 8When my soul fainted within me, I remembered יהוה ; and my prayer came in unto You, into Your consecrated Heikhal. 9They that regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 10But I will sacrifice unto You with the voice of thanksgiving; that which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation / ישוע is from יהוה .” And11 יהוה spoke unto the fish, and it vomited out Yonah upon the dry land.”
Yeshua’s words concerning Yonah are very, very important, and more revealing than most people realize. Yeshua went into She’ol when He died! For our sakes, to suffer there in our place, where each of us should have been!
When Kefa preached the first gospel message, he said Yeshua’s soul went into She’ol.
22“Men of Yisra’el, hear these words: Yeshua HaNatzri, a man of Elohim, who appeared among you by miracles and signs and wonders which Elohim did by Him among you, as you yourselves know, 23this man, who was consecrated for this purpose by the foreknowledge and will of Elohim, you have delivered into the hands of wicked men, and you have executed and murdered Him, 24whom Elohim has raised up, having destroyed the pains of Mavet, because it was not possible for She’ol to hold Him. 25For David said concerning Him, ‘I saw יהוה always before me, for He is on my right hand, so that I should not be shaken; 26therefore my heart is comforted and my glory is exalted; even my body shall rest in hope, 27because you will not leave my soul in She’ol, neither will you suffer your Khasid to see decay.”
His body was in the ‘kever’, the ‘tomb/grave’, but His SOUL was in She’ol, the place of Mavet, where Yeshua suffered those pains, which He should not have suffered, but did, for our sakes. But God did not leave His soul there, nor did his BODY suffer decay [worm/maggot, corruption], because it would be the SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN.
David also predicted Yeshua’s descent into She’ol, and His victory over Mavet and She’ol. It has been seen already that She’ol is seen as a prison. David understood this. He also understood that HaSatan was the prison warden, putting people there through the power of sin. That’s both LIVING people and DEAD people, both existing in the same ‘realm’.
“You have ascended on high, You have recaptured the captives; You have taken gifts to mankind.” Psalm 68:19
Most every believer knows that Sha’ul associates the ‘gifts’ mentioned here to the powers of The Kingdom. But, he further explains that Yeshua is the one to have descended and then ascended:
8Therefore it is said, “He ascended on high, and recaptured captives, and gave gifts to men.” 9Now that He ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the depths of the heart of the earth? 10So He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that He might fulfill all things. ~ Efisim 2
Kefa seems to allude to that descent as well:
18“For Mashi’akh also once suffered [the pains of Mavet] for our sins, HaTzadik for sinners, that He might bring you to Elohim, therefore while He died in the flesh, He lives in HaRu’akh. 19And He declared to the souls imprisoned in She’ol, 20those who in the past were disobedient…”
The focus here is the existence of She’ol. Yeshua went there. He returned from there. He suffered there. And it is more than just a hole in the ground.
Kefa also speaks of the ‘place’ of Hell as a prison, concerning fallen ones:
4“Elohim did not spare the Malakhim who sinned, but sent them in chains of darkness to be reserved for tormenting judgment in the depths beneath…”
Similarly, Yehuda writes:
“And the Malakhim which did not keep their first estate, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness until the judgment of Yom HaGadol, even as S’dom and Amorah and the neighboring cities, which in like manner gave themselves over to fornication and followed after other carnal lusts, are condemned to judgment and placed under everlasting fire.” Yehudah 6, 7
לְתַחְתִּיּוֹת is ‘le’takhtiyot’, or ‘into the depths below’, which is also how She’ol was described, which is why the Greek translators used ‘hell’/tartarus there. That has not happened yet, as the fallen ones still roam about, bringing ‘Mavet and She’ol’ against righteous ones, trying to discredit His Kingdom. But, one day, their ‘reservation’ in She’ol will be met, and they will be sentenced there for 1,000 years. We will return to that concept in a bit. but, She’ol is a place, a prison, where souls are held.
The Brit Khadashah also attests to it being a ‘kingdom’:
First, when Kefa confessed that Yeshua was the Messiah, having been revealed to him by The Father Himself, Yeshua said:
“Happy are you, Shimon Bar Yonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but Avi Sh’baShamayim [My Father, who is in Heaven]. 18I tell you also that you are a stone, and upon this stone I will build my Congregation; and the gates of She’ol shall not shut in on it.”
If “She’ol” is just a hole in the dirt, it cannot fight against the Congregation of Messiah. The truth is, we fight ‘hell’ every day.
“For your war is not with flesh and blood, but with the authorities, and with powers, with the rulers of this world of darkness, and with the evil spirits under the heavens. Therefore put on the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to meet the evil one, and being prepared you shall stand firm….take for yourselves the shield of Emunah, for with it you shall be able to quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. ” Ef 6:12-13, 16
Yeshua’s resurrection is the focal point of that armor, and secures our every day victory over the powers of She’ol and Mavet.
15“and by putting off His mortal body, He exposed the powers of evil, and through His nature put them openly to shame.
Yeshua now holds the keys of She’ol and Mavet, and has given certain authority to those who trust in Him, to fight against that kingdom, which is in direct opposition to His Kingdom. She’ol still holds the dead, both living and deceased. People who do not trust in Messiah Yeshua are trapped in the power and deceit of She’ol. If they remain there, their souls will remain imprisoned. Yeshua came to set everyone free of that prison, in LIFE, right now. Those who leave the prison of She’ol while alive, will not ‘remain’ there while dead; they will go to the Bosom of Avraham. Yeshua makes this very, very clear, when He describes the two places:
19“There was a rich man, who used to wear purple and fine linen, and every day he made merry very lavishly. 20And there was a poor man named Elazar, who was laid down at that rich man’s door, afflicted with boils; 21he longed to fill his stomach with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. The dogs also came and licked his boils. 22Now it happened that the poor man died, and the Malakhim carried him into Avraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23And while he was tormented in She’ol, he lifted up his eyes from a distance, and saw Avraham with Elazar in his bosom. 24And he called in a loud voice, saying, ‘O my father Avraham, have mercy on me and send Elazar to dip his finger in water and wet my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25Avraham said to him, ‘My son, remember, you received your pleasures when you were living, and Elazar his hardships; and behold now he is comfortable here, and you are suffering. 26Besides all these things, a great gulf is fixed between us and you, so that those who wish to cross over from here to you cannot, neither from there to cross over to us.’ 27He said to him, ‘If that is so, I beseech you, O my father, to send him to my father’s house; 28for I have five brothers. Let him go and testify to them so that they may not also come to this place of torment.’ 29Avraham said to him, ‘They have Moshe and the Nevi’im; let them hear them.’ 30But he said to him, ‘No, my father Avraham; but if only a man from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31Avraham said to him, ‘If they will not hear Moshe and the Nevi’im, even if a man rises from the dead, they will not believe in Him.‘”
There are people who think this is a ‘parable’; but, a parable does not name known people. This is an account. What many people do not realize is that “Avraham’s Bosom” was not arbitrary, neither was it speaking of his ‘body’. The Bosom of Avraham was known to Jews as the “Court of Israel” in the Temple.
The Temple of Israel, “The Mikdash”, the “Heikhal”, “Beit HaElohim”/House of God, was built as a replica of Heaven. The first Miskhan was of cloth, and Sha’ul explains that God showed Moshe the ‘pattern’ or the ‘blueprint’ of it, in the book of Hebrews:
44“Behold the Mishkan HaEdut of our fathers was in the wilderness just as יהוה , who spoke to Moshe, had commanded him to make it after the pattern which he had shown him.”
This is derived from Shemot/Exodus 25:40 “And see that you make them after their pattern, which is being shown you in the mount.”
That ‘pattern’ is heaven itself, which has seven ‘levels’. So did the stone Temple. The third level, which Sha’ul was ‘shown’ either in a vision or in an actual visitation, was “The Bosom of Abraham”. That was the Inner Court, the Court of Israel, where the Altar was. If one looks at a birds-eye view of the Temple, one sees the block-figure of a man, and the altar is the ‘heart’ of the man, and the heart is in the ‘bosom,’ which is in Hebrew describing the torso of the body. Thus, the court of Israel is a picture of the third heaven, where the people of God are ‘gathered’ after their death. They do not go to She’ol, the place of ‘torment’. Abraham speaks, Elazar is there, and the rich man cries out for help from across the ‘gulf’. That ‘gulf’ was a ditch in the Temple, and all the blood from the sacrifices was swept into it. It drained out of the Temple into the extended ‘gulf’, down to Gei Hinom, the Valley of Hinom. That valley was used as a pagan place of child sacrifice during Israel’s period of harlotry with Ba’al and Ishtar. [Lord and Easter, parts of a trinity]. It became synonymous with “She’ol” and “Mavet”. Yesha-Yahu used imagery of it to describe eternal judgment:
“And it shall come to pass, that from one khodesh to another, and from one Shabbat to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me’, says יהוה . And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” 66:23-24
Already in Israel’s prophets the idea of the “place of torment” was associated with “Gei Hinom”, the “Valley of Hinnom”, because their worst sin was offering children to the fires of Molekh in the trinity of Ba’al.
“And he [Israel’s king] did that which was evil in the sight of יהוה , after the abominations of the nations whom יהוה cast out before B’nei Yisra’el. For he built again the high places which Khizki-Yahu his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Ba’alim, and made Asherot, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. And he built altars in Beit יהוה , whereof יהוה said, “In Yerushalayim shall My Name be forever.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of Beit יהוה . He also made his children to pass through the fire in Gei Ben Hinom; and he practised soothsaying, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and appointed them that divined by a ghost or a familiar spirit; he wrought much evil in the sight of יהוה , to provoke Him. And he set the graven image of the idol, which he had made, in Beit HaElohim…”
Gei Ben Hinom is that valley south of Jerusalem. It was used for child sacrifice [2 Kings 23] along with all the other atrocities committed in Israel with the trinitarian Baal worship. The punishment must fit the crime, and the imagery of Gei Hinom became the standard to describe the place of torment of the wicked after death. That is where the rich man was, when he cried out to Avraham. They could see and hear each other. Avraham was watching him ‘rot’. It will be that way until such time as Mavet and She’ol are cast into the lake of fire. The Lake of Fire is NOT in heaven, as some teach. It is the final place of perpetual torment, where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
Yeshua spoke on the ‘fires of Gehinom’ several times in Matt 5:
21“You have heard that it was said to those who were before you, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders is guilty before the law.’ 22But I say to you that whoever becomes angry with his brother for no reason is guilty before the law: and whoever should say to his brother, ‘Good For Nothing!’ is guilty before the Sanhedrin; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You crazy fool!,’ is condemned to the fire of Gehinom.”
27“You have heard that it is said, ‘you shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you, that whoever looks at a woman with the desire to covet her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye should cause you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of your members, and not all your body fall into Gehinom.”
29“If your right eye should cause you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of your members, and not all your body fall into Gehinom.”
30“And if your right hand should cause you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of your members, and not all your body fall into Gehinom.”
In Yeshua’s day, Gei Hinom was no longer a place where babies were burned in fire sacrifices. It would have been silly for Yeshua to mean that literally in His day, as there were no fires there. Gei Hinom has become the description of the final torment, when She’ol is cast into the “Lake of Fire”.
Yeshua talks about the ‘soul and the body’ going to Gei Hinom:
28“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but who cannot kill the nefesh; but above all, be afraid of Him who can destroy both the nefesh and the body in Gehinom.” ~ Mat 10
There are those who think ‘destroy’ in Gei Hinom means that the soul and the body cease to exist. But that goes against what scripture says, including Yeshua’s own words:
42“And whoever shall cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a donkey’s millstone were hanged on his neck and that he were thrown into the sea. 43If your hand offends you, cut it off; it is much better for you to go through life maimed than to have two hands and go to Gehinom, 44where the embers do not die and the fire does not go out.”
45“And if your foot offends you, cut it off; it is much better for you to go through life lame, than to have two feet, and fall into Gehinom, 46where the embers do not die, and the fire does not go out.47And if your eye offends you, remove it; it is better for you to enter Malkhut HaElohim with one eye than to have two eyes and fall into the Gehinom of fire, 48where the embers do not die, and the fire does not go out.“
Three times Yeshua says of Gei Hinom, the Lake of Fire, that the embers do not die, and the fire does not go out. Isaiah said that the worm does not die. The corruption is perpetual. “Destroy” here actually means “cause to be lost”, in the place of being forgotten, perpetually absent from God but ever aware of His Truth.
Fire hurts. It is torment. People understand that. This is the description of something supernatural, and not physical fire. Yeshua was not talking about the literal valley in Israel, but invoking the imagery of a place were innocent children were burned alive in fire by their parents, as a sacrifice to God. People who reject Yeshua, who descended into that place for us, and suffered there beyond our comprehension, suffer a similar fate, because of their own choosing. They perpetuate the self-indulgent belief system of the world, a lack of the respect for the sanctity of life, for righteousness, and thus they suffer the fate of it. If ‘hell’ is not a deterrent, then Yeshua suffered for no reason. It would be painless simply to vanish altogether as the judgment, which is what many of today’s ‘teachers’ teach. But, the truth of it is, wicked people will die physically; their body will be in a grave, and their soul in She’ol. Then, at the end, they will be RESURRECTED, and THEN sent into the lake of fire. They will be ‘immortal,’ or incapable of physical death, and be put into perpetual fire, separated from God utterly.
We have a summary of this in the Hitaglut:
1And I saw a Malakh come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he seized the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Deceiver and HaSatan, who deceived the whole world, and bound him a thousand years, 3and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal over him, that he should no more deceive the nations until the thousand years should be past: after that he will be loosed for a short time. 4And I saw thrones, and those who sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and the souls of those who were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua and for D’var HaElohim, and who had not worshipped the wild beast, neither his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads or on their hand, lived and reigned with their Mashi’akh these thousand years. 5This is the first resurrection.
The first resurrection began with Yeshua, continues at the beginning of the Tribulation with the natzal/rapture, and fininishes at the end of the tribulation with those who became ‘saved’ and died during that seven years being resurrected to live with Messiah for 1,000 years.
6Happy and Kadosh is he who has part in the first resurrection; over such the second death has no power, but they shall be the Kohanim of Elohim and of His Mashi’akh, and they shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7And when the thousand years come to an end, HaSatan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, even to Gog and Magog, to gather them together for war; the number of them is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on a broad plain, and surrounded the camp of the K’doshim and the beloved city; and fire came down from Elohim out of heaven and consumed them. 10And the Accuser who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also are the beast and the false prophet; and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11And I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat on it, from whose presence the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was no place found for them. 12Then I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the throne; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Sefer HaKhayim; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Mavet and She’ol gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to his works. 14And Mavet and She’ol were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, which is the lake of fire. 15And whoever was not found written in the Sefer HaKhayim was cast into the lake of fire.
Most people are unaware that there are multiple judgments. On the biblical yearly calendar, we ‘rehearse’ the judgments each year. “Yom Teru’ah” is the judgment of the Devout Ones; and “Yom Kippur” is the judgment of the damned. That final judgment is taking place, judging those who are still ‘dead’ AFTER the first resurrection. These are all those who reject Yeshua utterly, even after having seen the “Sign of the Son of Man” in the sky, the final RETURN of Yeshua in His resurrected Body descending over Jerusalem at the end of the Tribulation.
Yeshua’s BODY IS the Sign of the Son of Man. He was resurrected from the dead. Trust in that fact, and in His suffering for our sakes, taking into Himself the pains of Mavet, the separation from His Father for our sakes, is the ONLY thing that saves us. It saves us first from sin, but also from Mavet and She’ol. One can choose to live in His heavenly Kingdom now, and thus also to rule and reign with Him, or one can reject Him, and risk being in perpetual fire.
Hell is real. It is forever. You have been offered a way of escape.
2For He said, “I have answered you in an acceptable time, and I have helped you on the day of Yeshua[h]; behold, now is the acceptable time; and behold, now is the day of Yeshua[h].” [Salvation]