Month 1:01 (Aviv1), Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5940:1 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 8 April 2016
The New Year & Yovel
I. The Mystery of Elohim Declared
I. MORNING SERVICE
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh mishpachah and a blessed New Year as I announce, on behalf of this fellowship, the beginning and first day of the Yovel or Year of Jubilee! This is going to be a year of tremendous change, for both good and evil - good for those who have trusted, been obedient and have prepared, but evil for those who have not believed, rebelled and not trimmed and refuelled their lamps.
No Return Yet
We shall not be returning to our our ancestral homeland and homes this year because we are still in disaspora, scattered throughout the nations awaiting the call to gather to the cities of refuge and thence to the Promised Land to meet the returning Messiah. Yes, the Second and Last Exodus has indeed begun, and in a few days we will enter its third year, but it will take many more years (up to 37) to complete it. We are at an early stage and are about to be proven as an emerging Remnant in some exceedingly stormy days ahead.
Claiming the Land Stolen By Satan in Our Souls
I will have much to say about the Yovel in the days and weeks ahead. Since we are not yet returning to our inheritance physically, it's important that we understand that we are - if we choose and have emunah (faith) - returning to the inner territory of our souls which we sold out to the devil in sinning and may yet purchase it back through the Atonement of Yah'shua (Jesus) made for us at the Cosmic Pesach (Passover).
Messianic Israel's Declaration
Friends, we are here today and over the coming year to take back, by divine right and in divine toqef (authority) granted twice every century and at least once in the lifetime of every soul who makes it to old age, those parts of our soul we were foolish enough to sell into slavery in exchange for the fleeting pleasures of the world. Let us begin by declaring our intention to do so by recognising the Yovel for our own souls as Messianic Israelites and appropriating the undeserved loving-kindness of our Father in Heaven in making this claim. More about that in the coming days.
Waiting on Yahweh
As you know, for the last year, all our organised activity as the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY) has been suspended as we have waited for Yahweh to instruct us on how to pursue our mission in the future. For a year I have been asking Him to make plain how, if at all, we are to be organised, and what it is we are to be doing. And for a year He has been silent as pertaining that particular question.
Revealing Again the Commission
Four days ago, in compliance with an earlier instruction He gave me to "seek Me early", I arose at about 6.30 a.m. and whilst sitting on the edge of my bed, went into prayer and asked Him once again, as I have been day after day, week after week, month after month, what it is He wants us now to do. The answer came came out of the stillness, very peacefully, but in a way that melted my heart and caused the tears to well up in my eyes. He gave me the well-known and well-beloved Scripture at the end of the Gospel of Matthew, in Aramaic, that reads as follows:
The Great Commission Revisited
"All toqef (authority) is given to Me in heaven and on earth. And as My Father has sent Me, I send you. Go therefore, make talmidim (disciples) of all nations and immerse (baptise) them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). And teach them to keep all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen" (Mt.28:18-19, AENT).
You, like myself, have no doubt read that passage dozens of times in your life, but on this occasion it impacted me differently, as tends to happen when the Ruach (Spirit) is operating on you powerfully. The Master wasted no words in what has come to be called, quite simply, 'The Great Commission'.
Work While It is Day
His words were spoken "after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning" (Mt.28:1, NRSV) . Yom Rishon or the first day of the week "was dawning" (v.1b, AENT) so the Sabbath was about to end (at sunrise). We recall Yah'shua (Jesus) on an earlier occasion having said:
When All Appeared Lost and Hopeless
"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him (Yahweh) who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:3-5, NIV).
Yah'shua (Jesus) had been crucified, He had died, and He was absent from them. And as far as the talmidim (disciples) were concerned, a thick and heavy night had set in and all had apparently failed. The free Israel they had hoped for was over. They had not been witnessing, how could they? Their hearts were heavy, all seemed lost and hopeless. And then, at the end of the Sabbath, just before dawn, on the third day, the two Marys went to the grave. An earthquake followed and a malak or angel of Yahweh "descended from heaven and came and rolled away the boulder from the entrance [of the tomb], and he was sitting on it. And his appearance was like lightning and his clothes were as white as snow. And from the fear of him, those who were watching trembled and they became like the dead" (vv.2-4, AENT).
A Meeting in Galilee
The two Mary's fled the scene to tell the good news to the other talmidim (disciples) and we read further in the account how the Master met up with them all, saying: "Do not fear. Rather, go and tell My brothers to go to Galeela (Galilee), and there they will see Me" (v.10, AENT).
The Apostolic Commission Expounded
"Now the eleven talmidim (disciples) went to Galeela (Galilee) to the mountain where Yah'shua (Jesus) had arranged for them to meet. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some of them were doubting. And Yah'shua (Jesus) drew near and spoke with them..." (vv.16-18a, AENT).
There then follows the 'Great Commission' and the Gospel of Matthew concludes on that evangelistic note. First of all it must be understood that the commission was to these eleven apostles, to which Matthias would later be added, making twelve. So this commission was not, in the first instance, to all talmidim (disciples) but to the talmidim (disciples) or the Twelve Apostles, one of whom (Judas) was then dead. Theirs is the task of the traveling evangelist to all the nations in the world, and their commission is to convert and make new talmidim (disciples) and immerse (baptise) them in the Name, which is YAHWEH, and what that stands for in terms of the character and attributes of Elohim (God) which is to be duplicated in all believers through Messiah and by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
The Night Before the Dawn
In the first verse of the last chapter of the first and oldest record of the Besorah (Gospel) we witness the end of an evening/night - of a period of darkness - right before the dawning of a new light. Today, as then, we have been awaiting that. It is still "evening" or nighttime with us, but now it is the New Year and the Month of Blossoms, and we are definitely in the new beginning as we await the full dawn signified by the Spring Festivals that are two weeks' away. This last year we have been making a conclusion to our old life and old ministry in preparation for the new. Today we draw a thick line in the sand and are standing on the side of the new, leaving the old ways fully and completely behind.
Apostles and the Commission to Everyone as Yahweh's Witnesses
This always has been, and always will be, an apostolic ministry. You cannot have the fullness of the Besorah (Gospel) without it, which means there have to be bona fide apostles and not, as is the practice of at least one denomination, an 'apostle' in every congregation. That does not mean, of course, that there aren't other witnesses or other talmidim (disciples). The apostles, evangelists, missioners, pastors, elders, deacons, teachers and even the 'ordinary' members are all talmidim (disciples) or witnesses too, so the commission is to all the spiritually regenerated. Every born again believer is a called forth-teller and testator of the excellent news of the Messiah:
Baptising in the Name
"You are my witnesses,' declares Yahweh,
'and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
and understand that I am He"
We are all Yahweh's Witnesses  who are of the nation of Israel, who has placed His Name (Yahweh) in its commonly abbreviated form, Yah (e.g. Ps.68:4, KJV, where it is rendered "Jah" ), in the Name of the Messiah, Yah'shua (Jesus). Yah'shua (Jesus) is 'the salvation of Yah' who is Yahweh which is why we baptise in THEIR Name, Yah, and the salvation (shua) thereof. YAH is the Name of the Father (YAHweh), the Son (YAH'shua) and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) or 'Spirit of Yah' .
Yet to Meet With Yah'shua for the New Commission
However, I do not wish to jump the gun and give a Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) sermon today. We haven't assembled today to observe Resurrection Day but, amongst other things, to prepare for it. This is Aviv 1 or New Year's Day with the promise of good things ahead for the faithful and obedient. We have yet to "meet" with Yah'shua (Jesus) to get the details of our new or renewed calling, whatever that may be. No doubt this will occur over the next 14 days as we prepare for the spring festivals, or perhaps it will occur during the days of Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread).
Yah'shua's Total Authority is Temporary
The 'Great Commission' given by the Master is, as I said, simple and succint. It begins by reminding us that the Father has transferred all toqef or authority to the Son so that all the Son says concerning commissions has the toqef (authority) of Heaven. We are listening to Elohim (God) and we are listening to that member of the Elohimhead (Godhead) who is in charge of human and universal affairs until, at the end of the age, the Kingdom is returned to the Father from whence it came as a commission in and of itself.
Returning the Kingdom Dominion to Yah
"Then the end will come, when He (Yah'shua/Jesus) hands over the kingdom to Elohim (God) the Father (Yahweh) after He (Yah'shua/Jesus) has destroyed all [Enemy, Satanic] dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet" (1 Cor.15:24-25, NIV).
This, then, will occur at the end of the Millennium, after Satan and his fallen malakim (angels) are released one last time to tempt mankind one final time. Once the devil and his demonic hosts have been permanently removed from human and cosmic affairs, Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son will return the Kingdom Dominion, and all toqef (authority) to the Father, Yahweh. In this way we see how the Name YAH is the Supreme Name.
Concepts of Godhead and Deity
The vast majority of believers are completely unaware of this passage or simply skim over it because its implications don't register or dovetail with their creeds. Most Christians and Messianics have been taught that Yah'shua, Yeshua or Jesus is the 'Name above all names' and that this state of affairs will remain forever. Certainly, it is so for now, but the Name above all names in eternity is Yahweh. The Messianics who try to tackle this issue and dare to move out of the co-headship thinking of Greek neo-Platonist Catholic Trinitarianism (as is needed and necessary) tend, unfortunately, to head in the direction of Unitarianism and into apostacy, often de-deifying Messiah. Either way amounts to idolatry which the Body must repent of - for either degrading the Father (Trinitarianism) or degrading the Son (Unitarianism) is a violation of the First Mitzvah (Commandment).
Problems With the English Language
Part of the "restoration of all things" (Ac.3:21) that is prophesied in Scripture to occur in the last days must include the scrapping of all false 'Elohimhead' or 'Godhead' doctrines. What does this word even mean? Is it even Biblical? If you look at Catholic, Protestant and Messianic translations into English of the original biblical Hebrew and Aramaic (or Greek) you will find a struggle to accurately represent the Heavenly Reality in linguistic terms that do not derive from paganism. We are stuck, in our own English language, with 'God', 'deity' and 'divine' to describe the Creator(s) and all of them have clusters of meaning which are pagan. And when it comes to trying to 'fit together' attributes or qualities of the Creator(s) known in Scripture as the 'Father', 'Son' and 'Holy Spirit' (Ruach haQodesh) all sorts of complications arise.
Where Does the English Word 'God' Come From?
Let's take the word 'God', for example, which we unfortunately translate the Hebrew word 'Elohim' with. 'God' is traceable back to the Indo-Germanic 'GHODH' which means 'sexual union', and this original sense still lingers in the Dutch and German 'gade' from which we get the English words 'gadfly' (a horse-fly that annoys cattle, also a person who upsets the status quo) and 'gadding' (going in search of aimless pleasure). What on earth has this description got to do with the Creator of the universe?! Worse, it mutated into 'Gad', a name of Zeus, Baal and Satan himself. The word 'God' is less than flattering when applied to the Most High - it is a positive insult, and we become accountable once we know its true history and meaning, as those of you listening and reading now most certainly do.
'Deity' and 'Divinity'
Now there is not a lot English-speakers can do to change this word as it is an inextricable part of our English language but we certainly don't have to use it amongst fellow Sacred Name believers where 'Elohim' and 'Yahweh' are the preferred Title and Name. respectively, of the Creator. Other words we use in English to describe the Creator and Ruler of the Universe include 'deity' and 'divinity', also unfortunate words which we have borrowed from Latin. 'Deity' is derived from the Latin 'Deus' meaning 'God' and likewise comes from an Indo-European source, deiwos, meaning 'celestial' or 'shining', from the root Dyéus, the chief god (i.e. demon) of the Proto-European pantheon. That's right, 'Deus' was a pagan 'god'.
Back to the Sun God of Antiquity
We have the same problem with the word 'divine' which comes from the Latin divus (from which we get the English word 'divination', incidentally, meaning consulting demons to get information about the future, etc.). Both Deus and Divus are variations of Dzeus or Zeus who was known by the Aeolic Greeks as 'Deus', showing their interconnectivity. Even our English word 'day', 'dies', descends from the same pie root that originated deus. What was this 'celestial', 'shining' entity that gives us all these words? You've guessed it - the SUN. All the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc.) have inherited it directly and call their 'god' dieu (French), dios (Spanish) and dio (Italian). The Celtic languages have the same source - duw of the Welsh and dia of the Irish, all of which mean 'God'. All of these terms are references to the heathen Sun god.
Origin of the Word 'Godhead'
So here's the problem. In English we are using borrowed pagan words, which reflect pagan concepts in pagan religion, to describe the Creator(s). Whole theologies have been woven into these words (and, yes, the word 'theology' stems from the Greek theos which we render 'god', used to describe pagan Greek deities). For instance, what does the word 'Godhead' conjure up in your mind? This word, first known to have been used in 1225, comes from the old English godd'e'hed and has at least four different but related meanings in our language, and was originally invented to describe the Catholic TRINITY doctrine. Accordingly old English translations of the Bible in three different places, namely, Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9 speak of a "Godhead". So when English speakers encountered 'Godhead' in these passages it immediately conjured up the Catholic Trinity, and still does. Several Bible versions still use it, mostly older ones, so I must say I was surprised to see it used in a much respected messianic version as well, as messianic versions tend to be a bit puritannical when it comes to carefully avoiding pagan words and Catholic doctrines! .
Struggling to Translate Elhuta
Modern versions (with the one messianic exception) have now dropped the word 'Godhead' from these three passages but are still forced, in the majority of cases, to use other English words that have pagan backgrounds too. Today the Greek translation of the Aramaic Elhuta (or Hebrew equivalent) is now rendered into English as either "divine nature" , "divinity" , "deity" , "Mightiness" , "Godship" , "divine being" , "divineness"  or "eternal...character" . And the only translations (which aren't actually translations, unfortunately, but cosmetic alternations) that manage to escape the pagan words are the ISRV (Institute for Scripture Research) and HS (Halleluyah Scriptures) which use the word "Mightiness", a word strange to our ears to be sure but very close to the meaning of the Hebrew Elohim which is best translated as either 'Mighty One(s)', 'Authority/Authorities' or - my particular preference - Power(s). The Creator, Yahweh-Elohim, is therefore, in my view, best translated as 'Yahweh of Powers, since He has all power (the All-Powerful) and is all-mighty (the 'Almighty'), an excellent descriptive . The only other translation I am aware of which comes anywhere close, is the CEV (Contemporary English Version) which renders the key word as "eternal character" since Yahweh-Elohim is the only Eternal Being. Everything and everyone else is derived from His Almightiness, All Powerfullness (Omnipotence) and Eternalness.
Rethinking the Creator
My challenge to you it to start thinking about the Creator(s), Yahweh-Elohim, apart from all these pagan terms we have inherited in our language like 'god', 'divine', divinity', 'deity', 'lord' (another pagan word we don't have time to go into today) and to instead start substituting in words like 'mighty one', 'powerful one', etc.. Then what we need to do is go back to what Paul taught about what Yah'shua's (Jesus') relationship to the Father is, remembering that Messiah has a temporary assignment, that He must return the Kingdom to the Father once all Yahweh's satanic and human enemies have been subdued at the end of the Millennium, and start seeing Yah'shua (Jesus) for who He really is - one of the Elohim (Mighty Ones), Eternal in Nature and Substance like the Father and possessed of all Power (for now). This Son of Elohim is therefore rightly to be seen as the Heavenly Plenipotentiary or Authorised Executive of the Father. Not only that but this Plenipotentary has given us some very important and explicit instructions, so it behoves us to study and know them well because everything else we do flows out from this Instruction of all instructions in the 'Great Commission'.
The Importance of a Correct Etymology
You are probably wondering why I have devoted so much time to a study of etymology (words) and whether it has anything to do with the immediate future. It has everything to do with it because it is connected with the reality of the cosmos which the old Roman models are unequipped to handle. We cannot walk in our sonship as the children of Elohim, (God), or receive the anointings, blessings and entitlements of that calling that have been promised, if we don't know who or what an elohim is! And another problem we have is that Jews and Messianics have also gone and tweeked this word 'elohim' to make it mean other things which it does not. So we have to be especially careful.
Seeding the Elohim Principle Over the Years
You have got to get rid of the idea of the neo-pagan 'Trinity', so mysterious that it was designed to be incomprehensible, and to think much bigger. Though I have been dropping this concept into sermons and articles over the years to prep the Remnant, I suspect I have done little more than raise eyebrows and been viewed as idle speculation best ignored. In important articles like, Yah'shua the Messiah and His Place in the Elohimhead/Godhead, originally written 14 years ago, and using the terminology of the Roman/Protestant Church in order to be comprehensible to those unfamiliar with the Hebrew terminology, I painstakingly laid out the Scriptures that speak of a very large ELOHIM or 'Godhead', of which the following diagram is an illustration from that article:
The Need for a Good Messianic Version for Study
How is all of this structured in the invisible world? How does it work? I am only going to give a very brief introduction to this subject today, as we don't have time to make a proper study, in order to sensitise you in your reading of Scripture. I have to say, right out, that Protestant versions of the Bible which propagate all the pagan names and concepts as far as the word 'elohim' is concerned, will be quite useless, and it is important to get a version where the terms elohim, el, eloah, etc., are used without being fudged into English pagan words like 'god', 'angel', 'demon', etc.. Unfortunately I cannot point out one version and say, 'use this'. Even the better versions, when the word elohim is used to describe a demon or fallen angel, usually translate elohim to "mighty ones" whereas "Elohim", when referring to the Creator, is retained untranslated.
ISRV, Halleluyah Scriptures and Other Versions
If you have got a copy of the ISRV (2009 edition) or the Halleluyah Scriptures (6th edition) these (and especially the latter) are quite cheap (and allegedly free sometimes). They are not perfect translations but at least you will be able to sift through all the references to elohim and 'mighty ones' relatively easily. I recommend, if you have an ISRV or HS, you read it side by side with a Protestant version like the NKJV (New King James Version), ESV (English Standard Version) or NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) as these are pretty literal translations. Best are those with lots of footnotes showing all the textual variations - the New Interpeter's Study Bible (NRSV, a really good scholarly work, but with a liberal bias in the commentaries...it's the preferred version of scholars) and ESV Study Bible (evangelical-conservatively biased) are really helpful (both are Trinitarian, mind you). Dynamic equivalent versions (like the NIV) tend to obscure important meanings so don't use them for serious study - where they are handy is in trying to get the overall sense of a chapter or section of scripture. Don't even look at paraphrases (e.g. GNB, LB) - give them to your young children as starters only and then wean them off them as soon as their English is advanced enough for a better version.
Psalm 82 and the Divine Council
Now let's get to the meat of this matter. Let us see what the Heavenly Realm is truly like, who is in it and how it is organised. We'll take a look at a single passage, the opening verse of Psalm (Tehellim) 82:
The ISRV and LEB
"Elohim stands in the congregation of El; He judges in the midst of the elohim" (Ps.82:1, ISRV2009).
"Elohim stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges in the midst of the mighty ones" (HS).
"Elohim stood in the congregation of Elohim; He judges among the gods" (MATS).
"God presides in the great (la) assembly. He judges ('gives judgment', NIV) among the gods" (ATOT).
"God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment" (NRSV & ESV).
You can check other translations if you want to and find all kinds of interesting twists. Of the selection of versions above, there is no doubt that the ISRV is the best here and is wise to leave "El" (la, the singular of 'Elohim') untranslated. Most translations leave it out, the NIV and ATOT unwisely, in my opinion, insert "great". I will add one more translation as I think it is probably the most accurate:
Who are the elohim of the Pantheon?
"God (Elohim) stands in the divine assembly; he administers judgment in the midst of the gods (elohim)" (LEB) .
Spelled out plainly and simply (as I am sure simplicity is what you all want out of this), is this: Yahweh is part of an Assembly - a Pantheon, if you will - of other elohim. He is its Head and Judge. Traditionally you will have been taught that these elohim or 'gods' were idols but I am sure you will agree with me that the Creator, Yahweh-Elohim, has no part of idols. The notion is absurd, as are so many of the traditional Christian commentaries of this passage. Neither, though, are these "elohim" 'gods' in the classical Greek sense which is why we shall no longer use the traditional English translation, "gods". As you carefully read through Psalm 82 you will see that these elohim are condemned as corrupt in their rulership of the nations of the earth. They have been bad administrators or judges themselves. We read:
Traditional Protestant Explanations
"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, 'You are elohim (gods)'; you are all sons of the Most High.' But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler'" (Ps.82:2-7, NIV).
Now go to a Protestant commentary and you'll find a number of explanations given, two of which are prominent:
- (1) This is an assembly of malakim or angelic beings who surround Yahweh's Throne as in a Divine Court (cp. 1 Ki.22:19; Job 1:6; 2:1) and this contention is certainly supported by the way "sons of the Most High" parallel and match the "sons of Elohim (God)" in Job as well as the elohim, "heavenly beings" (ESV) or gods in Psalm 8:5;
- (2) On the other hand, these elohim or "gods" are said to "judge" among men (Ps.82:2-4) and to die like men (v.7) and Elohim (Yahweh) is to judge the earth and to inherit, where mankind lives (v.8). So these have to be human rulers who hold their toqef or authority as representative rulers of the true Elohim (God) and therefore deserve respect because of their office (cp. Ps.58:1; Rom.13:1-7; 1 Pet.2:13-17). The problem here is that nowhere in the Tanakh (Old Testament) does Yahweh ever appoint Israelite elders to rule over foreign nations except in the millennium to come. Since these elohim were part of the Heavenly Assembly or Divine Council, they can hardly be referring to unsaved pagans. Or could they?
Part of the problem with Evangelical and Messianic theology is there is no concept of human pre-existence. There is no sense that we, as human beings, could have been spirits who existed in the invisible world before incarnating down here, so the idea that there might have been assemblies of pre-incarnate human beings would not figure in any theological equations.
Order, Structure and Organisation are Mandated
One thing is certain and it's this: Yahweh's Kingdom, whether in the visible or the invisible, has order and structure. The malakim (angels) certainly have it so why would humans not? And isn't that one of the reasons we are gathering during the spring festivals to find out how, if at all, Yahweh wants us to organise hereon? I know there are some of you who don't think much of 'organisation' because of the potential of abuse. That is a legitimate concern. However, as Psalm 82 demonstrates, the potential for abuse is built into Yahweh's Order and indeed we see in this psalm that the elohim - whether angelic or human - do abuse their calling, not sometimes but seemingly often! This fact does not cause Yahweh to abolish the Assembly or Council. Rather, there is a time of accountability for the wicked elohim. We might as well abolish families and stop having children if we are going to be afraid of bad parents not doing their children justice as to do the same in the wider society of nations. No, this is not an excuse we are given.
What Do We Really Know About Angels?
It's surprising how wrong doctrinal belief can mess up our perception of a whole range of subjects. In Psalm 82 apparently 'divine' elohim can die like human beings. What do we really know about malakim (angels)? Do we know, for sure, that they are immortal? About all we truly know about them is that they are Elohim's (God's) messengers and ministers to man, they possess supernatural powers, they have free agency and are not impervious to temptation and sin and as a created order they are only a little higher than man. They were witnesses to Creation but not necessarily participants in it. We also know that fallen malakim (angels) retain from their pre-fallen condition a status and dignity such that their former unfallen former companions may not speak against them in unrestrained terms, but must leave the final condemnation to Yahweh. And from the Book of Job we learn that Satan, and presumably his companions, have access to the Divine Council in order to accuse humans on earth. But why do we assume that all of this necessarily equates with immortality? The elohim of Psalm 82 could therefore conceivably include unfallen and fallen malakim (angels), the latter of which are to be judged and die "like mere mortal men". There are many who believe that the final fate of demons is extinction and there is nothing directly in Scripture to contradict that belief.
The Evolution of Angels in Judaism and Christianity
The English word 'angel' is not necessarily equivalent to the Hebrew word malak. It is a blend of the old English engel (still used in Scandinavia) with the old French angele. These come from the Latin angelus, meaning 'messenger', which in turn was borrowed from from the late Greek angelos. That Greek angelos and Hebrew malak both mean 'messenger' does not mean they are of the same nature. Moreover, malekim (angels) in late, post-New Testament Judaism, evolved beyond what is revealed in the Bible to assume ten different ranks of unique personalities and rôles, leading to kabbalism's many ficticious figures like 'Metatron'. Angels also 'evolved' in Christianity and as early as the 4th century there was no agreement as to whether they were spiritual or physical. Some theologians suggested they weren't even divine.
Might Angels Be Mortal?
The truth is we don't know an awful lot about them. We know that they either have, or can assume, materiality because of their ability to sire children with the daughters of men, the nefilim. Based on what the Bible does and does not tell us, it is not unreasonable that malakim (angels), though supernaturally endowed, are not necessarily immortal, we know they are able to fall and do great evil, and we know that in terms of divine hierachy they are not much different from us - a little higher than us now and a little lower than us in the resurrection. It explains why they are able to mate with humans, albeit it illegally. This means that the elohim could quite conceivably contain many orders of created beings including both pre-incarnate and disembodied men as well as malakim (angels).
Recovering Supernatural Reality
In reading the Bible we must no longer make the mistake of assuming that the context of the ancients is the same as our own modern context. We have to read Scripture through the eyes of the ancients and not through the eyes of 21st century Western man. It was the failure of the Messianic Community or Church after the second and third centuries to stick to biblical tavnith (pattern) that led to the institution of the 'Church' in the first place and the erection of false institutions and abusive power structures. Today's Evangelical and Messianic processes Scripture through a mixture of credal statements and modern rationalism and in the process they utterly distort the reality of the invisible world of our Elohim (God). False expectations are, as a result, made of it and the kind of communion with Elohim (God) enjoyed by the ancients seems strangely, pardoxically and frustratingly absent. We need to recover supernatural reality as well as facing squarely with reality in our own dimension.
The Seven Plus Categories of Elohim
Summarising, then, what we know from Scripture about the elohim, we can catalogue them, and in so doing quickly realise that they are different kinds of entities who are not remotely equal to one another:
Elohim is Not a Set of Attributes
- 1. Yahweh, the Elohim (Mighty One, Power, Ruler) of Israel (thousands of references - e.g. Gen.2:4-5; Dt.4:35);
- 2. The members of Yahweh's Council (Ps.82:1,6);
- 3. 'Gods' and 'goddesses' of other nations (Judg.11:24; 1 Ki.11:33);
- 4. Demons/shaddim (Dt.32:17);
- 5. Deceased humans like Samuel (1 Sam.28:13);
- 6. Human Rulers in Israel (Jn.10:34-36);
- 7. Many different Orders of Malakim or Angels (Seraphim, Cherubim, etc.) (Gen.35:7); and
- 8. The Malak Yahweh or Angel of Yahweh, the pre-incarnate Messiah, Yah'shua (Jesus), who alone of all the malakim (angels) accepts worship from man.
From this compilation we may conclude, without any doubt, that the word elohim does not describe a set of attributes like immortality or supernatural powers. When we use the word 'God' in the English language, which we translate from the Hebrew 'Elohim', what is it we normally do? We think of, or assume, a set of attributes, but when a biblical writer used the term elohim he was not thinking in that way. If he were, he would never have used the term 'elohim' to describe anything other than Yahweh.
Elohim is Not a Pagan Polytheistic Pantheon
Equally, it is clearly wrong to view Yahweh as one of many equal elohim or 'gods' in the pagan sense. A biblical writer would not have presumed that Yahweh could be defeated on any particular day by another elohim like Heylel (Lucifer, Satan), or that any another elohim had the same set of attributes, because that is polytheistic thinking and the Hebrew 'Pantheon' was, and is, not polytheistic. Indeed, Scripture testifies:
Yahweh's Unique Qualities
"Who is like You among the elohim, Yahweh? (Ex.15:11)
"What el is there in the heaven or on the earth who can do according to Your works and according to Your mighty deeds?" (Dt.3:24)
"O Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, there is no elohim like you in the heavens above or on the earth beneath" (1 Ki.8:23).
"For You, O Yahweh, are Most High over all the earth. You are highly exalted above all elohim" (Ps.97:9).
The biblical writers assigned unique qualities to Yahweh-Elohim. He is:
Yah'shua as Subordinate Elohim and Lesser Yahweh
- 1. All-powerful or Omnipotent (Jer.32:17,27; Ps.72:18; 115:3);
- 2. The Sovereign King over all other elohim (Ps.95:3; Dan.4:35; 1 Ki.22:19);
- 3. The Creator of the other members of His host-council (Ps.148:1-5; Neh.9:6 cp. Job 38:7; Dt.4:19-20; 17:3; 29:25-26; 32:17; Jas.1:17);
- 4. The "Father of lights" and therefore the Creator of celestial objects and all other heavenly beings (Jas.1:17) described metaphorically as "the stars of Elohim (God)" (Job 38:7); and
- 5. The lone elohim who deserves worship from other elohim (Ps.29:1) - He is unique - there is only one Yahweh, "You alone are Yahweh" (Neh.9:6).
Add to this the fact that as the (as opposed to 'a') Malak Yahweh or "angel of the LORD", who appeared on Mount Sinai to Moses and the elders, and before Joshua before the Battle of Jericho, alone of all the other elohim accepted worship like unto Yahweh Himself. This was, and is, the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) in His pre-incarnate form, who is also Elohim and a 'lesser Yahweh' on a subordinate level to Yahweh the Father, as is proper and fitting of a Son in relationship to His Father. Whatever this 'Godhead' is, it is not Trinitarian, but neither is it Unitarian or Binitarian.
The Ruach haQodesh
We do not have time to explore this further today or to look into the nature, gender and personhood of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which is most definitely not Trinitarian and a very interesting study indeeed. Please study the article I referenced earlier  for more on that.
Structure of the Family of Elohim
What is important to realise is that there is a Family of Elohim of whom Yahweh is the one and only Elohim who presides over other uncreated Elohim, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), His Only Begotten Son, and the sevenfold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). They are the primal Elohim Family. On a secondary level are all the saved human being elohim, themselves divided into two classes that we know of, the topmost of whom are the elohim rulers in Israel, and all the faithful elohim messengers or malakim (angels). This is one giant three-tiered Heavenly Family. Outside of this sphere are all the other elohim including Satan and his fallen angels, etc..
A Multi-Layered, Hierarchical Heavenly Family
This is what the Bible teaches in its most basic. It is what the Bible writers understood the Heavenly Order to consist of, not some man-made, Greek pagan-influenced mumbo-jumbo 'Trinity' of coequal and cosubstantial Persons. The 'Godhead', if such a word even exists, consists of 1, 3, 9, or millions of elohim, depending at what level you are looking. It's a Giant Family, with a Ruling Council - the Council of Yah's elohim which it has been my privilege to experience personally.
Making Sense of the Heavenlies
Brethren and sisters, we can now make better sense of scriptures that may otherwise seem to have appeared esoteric and unapproachable. We can now know who we are called to be and what we must now do. Let me remind you of the Commission:
The Call to Mount Tsiyon
"All toqef (authority) has been given to Me (Yah'shua/Jesus) in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make talmidim (disciples) of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the aeon (age)" (Matt.28:18-20, NKJV).
Speaking of New Covenant believers, the writer of Hebrews says:
"But you have come to Mount Tsiyon (Zion) and to the city of the living Elohim (Yahweh), the Urishlim ([New]Jerusalem) that is in heaven; and to the assemblies of myriads of elohim (Messengers, angels, malakim); and to the assembly of the firstborn (chavurat bekorot) who are enrolled in heaven and to Elohim (God) the judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who are perfected; and to Yah'shua (Jesus) the Mediator of the [New] Covenant; and to the sprinkling of His blood..." (Heb.12:22-24, AENT).
Do you see that? Do you understand it? All who are spiritually regenerated or born again are called to the heavenly Mount Tsiyon, the New Jerusalem in the Ruach (Spirit), and to "assemblies of myriads of elohim". We have not been called to start a social club, sit around, drink tea, eat fairy cakes and pat each other on the backs. We have been called to "numerous assemblies" of Yahweh's elohim and to the Chavurat Bekorot or "assembly (church) of the firstborn". What is this 'firstborn assembly'? It is the assembly of all who have been called to, anointed in, and serve as, active cohenim - priest and priestesses - to our King. And to be a cohen is to be more than ordained - it is to serve, and to serve mightily, valliantly, with dedication and self-sacrifice no matter what the obstacles - health, economic, spiritual, familial. The Kingdom of our Elohim (God) is always in motion, always expanding, always multiplying in ahavah/agapé (love). It can't sit still, and if it does, then it isn't the Kingdom.
Please note that this key passage in Hebrews speaks not of one "assembly" but to "numerous assemblies" of Yah's elohim. Yes, we have a home congregation or assembly, an intimate spiritual family, with a core doctrine and practice, but we are also to go out to other assemblies and minister to them, and be ministered to in turn when they possess light that we do not, so that there is cross-fertilisation in sharing. BUT - and this is a very big 'but' - if you go and receive from a poisoned tree, and lack the discernment which is both a hall mark and essential spiritual trait of the firstborn, then you will bring destruction to your own soul, and to your family, and to your home congregation to which you are united by covenant. Some of the mistakes that have been made in recent times by our people going out to minister and returning having embraced false spirits and heresy can never be repeated! Therefore do not rush out, check and double check with Yahweh and with the home congregation before heading off to minister or be ministered to.
What, then, have we as Messianic Evangelicals or New Covenant Christians been called to do? What is our mission hereafter? We are to go out and evangelise and disciple for Yah'shua (Jesus), the Elohim of Yahweh, the Messenger, Malak or Angel of Yahweh, the Firstborn and Bikkurim (Firstfruits) of the resurrection amongst men, because we have been given the toqef (authority) to do so as an international assembly of aspirant firstborn elohim. We are to be made mighty and powerful in the Almighty and All-Powerful One, by emunah (faith) and obedient observance of New Covenant Torah. There is nothing passive whatsoever in this calling. Every man and woman is called to be a missionary and a disciplier, each according to his or her gifting, experience, knowledge, situation and location. Our mission field is the nations of the earth, wherever we may be and to wherever we are sent.
Many Assemblies of the Remnant
Because we are planters of the leaven of emet (truth) and ruach (spirit), Yahweh will be sending us out to witness both to unbelievers as well as to other believers and their assemblies. And whilst we will have a home fellowship, we will be sent out to others too, and others not of our home assembly will be sent to us to be leavened and then return to their own congregations.
Appearance of the Twelve Tribes
There will be twelve tribal assemblies, as they slowly gather over the next generation, as well assemblies of the Remnant globally. Within each tribal assembly there will be other assemblies, independent ones as well as groups of independent ones. There will be a considerable dynamic at play as each individual, family and assembly moves and changes with the revelation of the Ruach (Spirit). Contact between different Remnant groups will become essential. And their doctrines will not all agree at first. Nevertheless Yahweh's purpose will be, and is, complete unity in doctrine and practice so that the Remnant Body can begin to work as echad (one).
Unity through the Crucible of Adversity
How will this be achieved now where it has failed for nearly two millennia? Very simply, where false doctrine is believed and false practice entertained, Satan will be given an open door to buffet until repentance has been made, for he will break in with fury until repelled through revelation and repentance, leaving none in any doubt as to the emet (truth). As they are convicted of the emet (truth), repent, and embrace more of the fullness, so the divisions that currently exist will slowly but surely disappear. Unity will come in the foundry of adversity.
The Remnant Will Be Driven into the Truth by Adversity
This is why we have been given, and will be given tribulation at this time and why Satan has been allowed to invade the Courtyard, forcing the Remnant to be willing to renounce and reliquish pet doctrines as they are driven by adversity more into the arms of the Saviour. There will be no security in outer, lifeless and false things, for the Enemy will give no quarter to those who try to do anything after the flesh. This I am giving to you as a revelation from the Father so that you may know, and undertand, what is happening to you and why it is happening to you in this time of great shaking. Obviously those more surrendered and more yielding to the emet (truth) will be affected less by tribulation than those who are not.
The Game is Over
Brethren and sisters, we do not have time or energy to play around anymore. The Exodus is in earnest and it cannot be reversed. There will be no place in this work for cowards or camp followers, for the Enemy will pick them off like flies. You have to decide to arise in emunah (faith) or sink back into the Enemy's enchanted sleep to be dealt with as he sees fit. You have to get up on your own - no one else will do it for you. Each virgin must have her lamp trimmed and her oil store filled. For the genuinely needy who cannot help themselves, our sympathy and help will flow. There will be grace, always. For the self-entitled, the lazy and those who won't accept responsibility for themselves and their choices, sympathy will not be coming their way, but a sterm rebuke and warning to awaken. They must call mightily upon Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) for a forgiveness of their sins, for their slovenliness, for their cowardice. Such as would be saved in order to serve are most heartily welcomed here, who will embrace true doctrine and share it enthusiastically. These are called. The disputers and complainers must move on.
The Guarded Remnant are the Repentant
"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev.21:8, NKJV).
Such cannot, in any case, come up to any assembly of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones), let alone to the Remnant, which is guarded by messenger elohim - by both malakim (angels) and regenerated men - but must be spat out and shut out. These must, if they have any genuine love of Yahweh in their souls left, cry out in fury against their sin, detesting it, and doing something about it by making sincere and passionate teshuvah (repentance). Self-pity is not repentance. Without proper repentance, they are without tiqveh (hope).
No Longer a 'Church'
We are no longer a 'church', brethren and sisters, and can never be one again, and that includes 'messianic synagogues', 'temples' or 'assemblies' that are in any way pattered after Babylon's own religious system. We're not a 'club' which you can 'join' by being 'baptised', by signing a document or by a handshake. We are a covenant-entering people which means we individually and collectively have 'commissions' and 'assignments' in the work of the Kingdom. We know who these people are by their testimony, their loyalty, their fire and their committment to all emet (truth), their lack of guile and their lack of dishonesty. So what are we to be? How are we to be organised? The details will come during the Pesach (Passover) season, Yah willing.
May he who started a tov (good) work in you finish it and bring you, and I, and all the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) to "to the general assembly and [gathering] of the firstborn who are registered in heaven" (Heb.12:23, NKJV). And may we, for our own part, faithfully and diligently "complete the work [we] have received in the Master" (Col.4:17, NIV). I look forward to talking more with you in the spring moedim (appointments). Shalom.
Continued in Part 2
 The AENT changes the text at this point, "Now in the closing (evening) of the Sabbath", adding a footnote, "Aramaic literally reads, b'ramsha din b'shabata or 'in the evening of the Shabbat'" in order to harmonise the text with the Talmudic tradition of sunset-to-sunset days, making this havdalah or around 6 p.m. However, as Trimm notes in The Hebraic Roots Scriptures (2004 ed.), footnote #699, p.1238: "Hebrew bru 'evening'. The Aramaic of Mk.16:1 has rbu 'passed'. One of these readings is likely a scribal error from the other. The original may well have read 'Now at the passing of the Sabbath'". Trimm therefore translates this passage, "And in the evening of the Sabbath, as it dawned toward the first day of the week" as this agrees with the Hebrew of DuTillet and Münster. Shem Tov has "and on the first day of the week in the morning" (cp. Mk.16:1-2; Lk.23:55-24:1, Jn.19:42-20:1. For this and other reasons I reject the havdalah hypothesis of Roth, Koniuchowsky and others as it leans too heavily on the false Rabbinical tradition of the sunset-to-sunset day's end and beginning.
 Not to be confused with the 'Jehovah's Witnesses' cult (based in the USA), or a break-off group known as the 'Lord's Witnesses' (based in the UK), which base their names on this passage in Isaiah.
 Also see Psalm 68:4, Isaiah 12:2; 26:4 and 38:11 where in modern versions, like the NKJV, it is correctly rendered as "Yah" - e.g. "See, El (God) is my Yah'shua (Salvation - 'Yeshuwah', MATS); I will trust, and will not be afraid: for Yah-YHWH ('Yah-Yahweh', ATOT) is my Strength and Shir (Song), He also has become my Yah'shua (Salvation - 'Yeshuwah', MATS)" (Is.12:2, RSTNE 2005).
 In NCAY we use the formula: "I baptise you in into Yah'shua the Messiah and into Messianic Israel in the Name of the Father Yahweh, and of the Son Yah'shua, and of the sevenfold Ruach haQodesh. Amen" (NCAY Constitution, Article #8.1.3.).
 Tyndale/Coverdale, KJV, AV, Newberry and NKJV - surprisingly the author of the HRV renders the Aramaic Elhuta as "Godhead"
 NRSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, RSTNE, JNT/CJB, HCSB, GNB/TEV, MRC
 AENT, OJB, NAB, CLNT, Amp.V
 KNT, JB, NEB, JBP, RSV
 ISRV, HS
 See Yahweh of Powers and What is Elohim?
 Lexham English Bible (Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA: 2012)
 Yah'shua the Messiah and His Place in the Elohimhead/Godhead
 Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA: 2015)